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Thread: Steelers 2012 Postmortem

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    Unhappy Steelers 2012 Postmortem

    The season is done for us. Were home watching, a rare occurrence I hope pisses off the younger guys. Lots of the roster is at odds. We've officially $12 mil over the cap. It's closer to $20 mil actually, with the restricted and exclusive rights guys. I'll trust the best cap guy in the league, Omar Khan, to make it work. Lots of unexpected cuts, restructures, and very little fa activity.

    Keenan Lewis gets a deal done. He's earned it. Wallace is gone. Big snack is gone (time for McClendon to get snaps before his contract year). Harrison is likely gone, unless he takes a 5 mil pay cut.

    Ben, Woodley, Timmons,.and ab restructure to give cap flexibility. Keisel is up in years, but played well, thereby negating his minimal cap hit vs the vested vet salary.

    The d is solid to make it 5 of 6 being #1 in total d, and 3 years running #1 vs the pass. Lebeau is the Walsh of defense. Best mind in that arena, ever. Taylor, lewis, Allen, and Brown with troy and Clark at safety are an embarrassment of riches. McClendon will immediately make a difference, since he makes splash plays on nearly every play he gets in the game. That pressure in the middle should help fix the sack and turnover totals. That and the turnover machine that is Cortez Allen. He's not a man up corner, but he's a turnover beast.. 20% of the d's turnovers in 2 starts..

    Hoping the o line clicks next year. A good line with Ben and that lebeau d is a reason for bright optimism. God forbid we have a legit #1 rb.

    I'll agree this is highly glass half full. I know this off-season will involve much cap wrangling, and rely on young guys contributing.

    Given what I've seen from the youngsters, what the o was showing early, and our depth I feel good, given we draft well and cut dead weight. This team healthy is 12-4, not 8-8.

    It is what it is..

    That said these Pittsburgh moron fans screaming for Haleys dismissal, and more importantly tomlins are on drugs.

    Tomlin isn't going anywhere. Bandwagon dummies go away. Same idiots who keep insisting that Ben be traded.

    Are you kidding? The oc isn't going anywhere either. Scheme was great before Ben got hurt.

    You NEVER, EVER let an elite franchise qb get away from your team. Steelers doom and gloom morons be damned.. I'm still floored by the talk of trading Ben and firing tomlin..
    Last edited by mikesteelnation1; 01-02-2013 at 02:50 AM.
    "If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler." Jack Lambert, 1990 HoF Introduction.

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    It was a very disjointed year this year. At the beginning of the year, the defense couldn't get off the field or force turnovers, and they lost higher scoring games to Oakland and Tennessee they should have never lost. Then in the middle portion of the year, the defense started to regain its swagger a bit, if not quite its explosiveness, and the entire team was playing great. Then Ben got hurt, and the offense went completely stagnant. Over the final few games, we got old Troy back, which was a sight for sore eyes. But, the offense couldn't consistently move the ball, and Ben committed a few huge and uncharacteristic turnovers.

    Problems-
    1. Mike Tomlin should not be anywhere close to a discussion among Steeler fans about being fired. That said, he had a really poor close to the season. He was outcoached by Norval Turner and Jason Garrett, and even when Marvin Lewis tried to hand him the game by attempting a 56 yard FG, Tomlin turned around and did the exact same thing, asking Suisham to make a FG 2 yards beyond his capacity in that stadium. I'm not sure how to chalk all of this up, except to say that I'm sure he'll resume being one of the best coaches in the league next season. But I do see some reasons to be concerned. They have become the AFC version of the Giants, with a propensity to play down to, and too often times, below the competition.

    2. Where are the splash plays? I agree 150% with mikesteel on Steve McClendon. He needs the opportunity to play, and in our roster evaluations, should already be a green, if he'd only be given the opportunity. Hampton needs to go. He definitely played better this season than last, but can't control an opposing team's line like he used to. Meanwhile, Harrison and Woodley have been hurt too frequently, as has Polamalu. Ike Taylor is a fantastic cover guy, but can't make big plays.

    3. Lack of a consistent running game. Jonathan Dwyer was their best bet at consistent production at RB for most of the season, even though the team only treated him like their best option for less than half the season. However, even when given the opportunity, he was consistent at best. Mendenhall has the most talent on the team, and will be a full season removed from his ACL injury next year. His contract is up, and he could move on, but it wouldn't shock me if he comes back on a 1 year prove-it deal. Of course, the Steelers could always look to fix this position in the draft and move on from Mendy. Another possibility is a cheap FA. The 2 most interesting under-the-radar names on the FA list this season are Chris Ivory, and my personal favorite, Mike Goodson.

    4. The O Line is still an issue, but at least it seems like it's coming along. Injuries continue to be a huge concern. I'm not sure if there's a way to fix it, but the Steelers' O-linemen are constantly banged up. Having a healthy Mike Adams and David DeCastro in year 2 to go along with Pouncey will be huge. Keeping Willie Colon healthy will solidify the 4th spot, and a healthy Marcus Gilbert would solidify the 5th spot. John Malecki also showed some good things at the end of the year, and could turn out to be a pretty nice #6, able to fill in on the inside.

    5. Carelessness with the football- Perhaps nothing defined this season more than untimely drops and critical fumbles. Mike Wallace's drops were a huge problem, but at least they didn't result in turnovers. Antonio Brown put the ball on the ground way too frequently, and each of the 4 main RBs also displayed that issues at times throughout the season. Add in Ben, who had taken care of the ball as well as anyone in the league, but when it mattered most, had 2 of the worst turnovers you'll ever see, to end the Dallas game, and then the Cincinnati game the following week. Those 2 plays ultimately cost them their season.

    Positives

    1. The new offense was starting to work great prior to Ben's injury. Ben was playing the best ball of his career, and his sack totals were way down. It even seemed like they were starting to figure out how to properly mix the shorter passes with some of those downfield plays. Ironically, this injury came in the pocket, and not on an effort to extend the play. Ben may not have been thrilled, but he was transitioning very nicely to this more controlled offense, and was a top 3-4 MVP candidate at the time of his injury. The biggest key to all of this was Haley's complete understanding of how to use Heath Miller. He was finally used as the mismatch he is, and proved his worth as the best all-around TE in the game. Hopefully he'll be able to recover from the ACL injury he suffered against the Bengals, and provide them with the same type of production next season. But to me, Heath Miller was the Steelers' MVP.

    2. We have a secondary! The secondary had become much maligned over recent seasons, despite statistical success against the pass. GB proved in SB XLV that the way you beat Pittsburgh is through the air. But since that game, Ike Taylor has officially become one of the top cover corners in the game. This year, Keenan Lewis developed into a pro bowl-calibre CB as well, playing great football, even when he had to take over for Taylor as the #1 late in the year. Cortez Allen, who battled Lewis in the preseason for the 2nd starting spot, has turned himself into a turnover machine, and is an excellent #3 capable of stepping in as the starter whenever needed. We even figured out how to account for not having Polamalu around, as Will Allen was great in his stead. Ryan Clark has become one of the truly great stabilizing forces in the league, and Polamalu showed his old form at the close of the season. There's a lot to be excited about in the Steelers' secondary.

    3. Emmanuel Sanders is fully capable of taking on a starting role. If there's a way to keep Mike Wallace without hurting the rest of the team, great. But if not, Sanders can step in and the offense shouldn't miss a beat.


    I wish there were more specific positives, but there aren't. It was a disjointed, and disappointing season. I don't think heads need to roll, but I do think a continued youth movement needs to take place on the defensive side of the ball. Keeping Keisel around would be fine, but not overly necessary, since Cam Heyward should be ready to step in next year. James Harrison would be a loss, but with the development of Worilds, they wouldn't miss too much of a beat if Harrison ends up leaving.

    It will be a challenge to keep things together, but the Steelers proved this year they can still beat anybody. The problem is, they also proved they can lose to anybody as well. Until this week-to-week inconsistency is fixed, personnel won't matter a whole lot. That comes directly on Mike Tomlin. But considering his track record, I'm willing to chalk that up as a one year fluke. He's a much better coach than what he showed at the end of this season.
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

    -Marion Motley

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    I agree that the Steelers need to keep Tomlin and they will. One of the good things about the Rooney family (and other owners and lots of fans and media could learn this from them), is that they don't panic. They know that not every year will be a good one, and that to panic fire just seems to create a series of fire-rebuild-lose over and over.

    I'd be shocked if the Steelers are not back in the mix next year. I don't like some of the players on the current Steelers, but I do admire the way the team is run from top to bottom.
    "Amy is happily drinking the tears of Broncos fans." Giantsfan97.

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    Seriously, they want to trade Ben? He shouldn't have been playing those games in the first place.

    And Tomlin is a great coach. He has some trouble with Challenges and he had difficulty adjusting to the changes caused by the lack of sacks this year. But he is still a top.10 coach. (Maybe even top 5).

    Idiot fans. My Bears have plenty of those as well.
    “Never ascribe to malice that which can adequately be explained by incompetence.”
    ― Napoleon Bonaparte

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    A few thoughts from Bengals-world: I like Jericho Cotchery better than Sanders. Sanders seems more like Wallace, in that he can make bigger plays, but is just as likely to drop it, or fumble. I'm still not sold on Brown as a #1 either. He made plenty of bad plays too. Still a solid, though not great unit. Ben shouldn't be traded. That's idiotic. I agree with iwatt about him not playing too. I understood it, because he was their only shot at the playoffs (ironically since ultimately he cost them the spot), so he pretty much had to play, but once again, I think he rushed back and wasn't himself. I think the Steelers need to address safety soon. Clark was fantastic, but Troy is hurt at the drop of a hat and Clark is well past 30. My worry would be on the defensive side. I know you guys have the utmost faith in "next man up", but to lose Hampton, Harrison, maybe another starter to cap woes, and that's a lot of change. Admittedly, I haven't seen those next guys much, and could be off, but I'm not ready to crown them the #1 defense yet. Also, I'm interested in how they work the cap. It should be an interesting off-season.
    Twitter @vancemeek "I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory...lasts forever."-Shane Falco

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    Quote Originally Posted by vancemeek View Post
    A few thoughts from Bengals-world: I like Jericho Cotchery better than Sanders. Sanders seems more like Wallace, in that he can make bigger plays, but is just as likely to drop it, or fumble. I'm still not sold on Brown as a #1 either. He made plenty of bad plays too. Still a solid, though not great unit. Ben shouldn't be traded. That's idiotic. I agree with iwatt about him not playing too. I understood it, because he was their only shot at the playoffs (ironically since ultimately he cost them the spot), so he pretty much had to play, but once again, I think he rushed back and wasn't himself. I think the Steelers need to address safety soon. Clark was fantastic, but Troy is hurt at the drop of a hat and Clark is well past 30. My worry would be on the defensive side. I know you guys have the utmost faith in "next man up", but to lose Hampton, Harrison, maybe another starter to cap woes, and that's a lot of change. Admittedly, I haven't seen those next guys much, and could be off, but I'm not ready to crown them the #1 defense yet. Also, I'm interested in how they work the cap. It should be an interesting off-season.
    -Clearly Ben shouldn't be traded, and Tomlin shouldn't be fired. But talk shows typically hear from the extreme 1-2%.
    -Sanders is explosive. Cotch is perfect as that 3rd WR, filling Hines's role from later in his career.
    -Safety must be addressed in the draft. Troy showed his explosiveness again, but clearly he has become such an injury risk, and who knows how much longer he has.
    -That said, CB has surprisingly become a team strength.
    -McClendon replacing Hampton is a huge upgrade at this point. McClendon has been fantastic in his opportunities, but on defense especially, vets tend to win out (frustratingly so, as far as we're concerned).
    -Losing Harrison would be a blow, but Worilds is more than capable of filling in. It's a drop off, but not as much as people assume. The big issue if Harrison leaves becomes depth .
    -As mike said, Omar Khan is the best in the business. I'm amazed he hasn't left yet to become a GM, considering the interest in him around the league. But he's more of a cap specialist than talent evaluator.
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

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    It's definitely strange to see that CB has suddenly become a strength.
    Twitter @vancemeek "I wish I could say something classy and inspirational, but that just wouldn't be our style. Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory...lasts forever."-Shane Falco

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    Cotchery will be 31 though. How much does he have left?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bengals1181 View Post
    Cotchery will be 31 though. How much does he have left?
    31 nowadays? He has plenty left to be effective in the slot for at least 3-4 more seasons.
    "I'd knock your brains out, then pick them up later."

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    Quote Originally Posted by vancemeek View Post
    It's definitely strange to see that CB has suddenly become a strength.
    Coach of the dbs is carnell lake. He's been a monster at helping these youngsters develop better technique. Now we just have to hope we can resign lewis. A backfield of Ike, lewis, and Allen would be among the best in the league.

    I almost have to avoid the Steelers blogs these days. Too many morons screaming for tomlins head and Ben getting traded. I'm guessing these are either young Steelers fans (or new bandwagon fans) who don't remember the days of our junk qb costing us, or they are just insane.

    Losing Hampton and Harrison wouldn't be a huge blow. Hamps replacement is already a better player, but didn't play much. Once you're one of tomlin or lebeau "guys" you get the snaps unless you suck. Harrison wasn't all that productive this year. It's not hard to replace 6 sacks and 1 forced fumble. Also neither guy is anything even closely resembling a leader. Hampton 100% needs to be gone, but I'd be ok with Harrison returning with a greatly restructured contract.

    The wr corps of Brown, Sanders, and cotchery is good in my book, but we need a tall speedy guy to round things out. Jericho is a bit old, but let's be real, he's on a one year deal, auditioning for another one year deal. Sanders and Brown were sloppy as hell with the ball this year, and both need to learn to be more protective of the rock.

    Khan will juggle chainsaws again, but by redoing Ben, Timmons, Woodley, and Brown it clears $20 mil in cap space, or $8 mil under the cap. Cutting Harrison gets us another $6 mil (or $5 mil if he is willing to redo his deal). Our off-season follows the path it always does. We sign almost no free agents, more news about restructures than signings. And wait for the draft, one that's loaded at safety in the 2nd rd and later... Just what we need...
    Last edited by mikesteelnation1; 01-03-2013 at 12:49 AM.
    "If I could start my life all over again, I would be a professional football player, and you damn well better believe I would be a Pittsburgh Steeler." Jack Lambert, 1990 HoF Introduction.

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