What’s Wrong with the Steelers?

These are my disjointed thoughts about these hard times in Steeler Nation.

Beating the browns in the closing moments of the game last week should have told us something is desperately wrong. But the spanking that the Ravens gave them this week confirms it. Something is wrong.

Where’s the Blocking?
In my estimation, the biggest problem with the Steelers on the field is the offensive blocking scheme. Maybe it’s the linemen. Maybe it’s the coordination. Maybe it’s the play-designs. The coaching. In any case, it’s not working. Nine sacks. Wow. Gerry Dulac grades the Steelers each week in several areas. This week he gave Ben a “D”. Come on, Gerry — did you see the game? Ben was running for his life all day. Last evening at church, a hunter was saying how poorly Ben performed and I said, “Tomorrow, on the first day of buck season, when that 8-point walks out in front of you, don’t just stand still and shoot at it. Start running laterally and shoot as you are running. Then let me know how well you do.” Ben’s performance yesterday is pretty much ungradable. You can’t grade someone to whom you gave no legitimate test. And the thought that Batch would have done better, based on his one play, is just silly.

Where’s the Leadership?
It seems that there is no offensive leadership on the team. While Hines may fill that position by his tenure, his personality is not really of the nature that Jerome’s was. And while Ben may be a leader, it’s hard to lead while you’re lying on your back most of the day. It’s unimaginable that Willie or Najeh are leaders. By the way, did those running backs have terrible days, or what?. While one might excuse their performance by saying they were asked to run through the non-existent holes, there is no excuse for their failure to stop a couple blitzers.

Where’s the Gadgets?
Last year we saw lots of gadget plays, but this year — where are they? I know, I know — you don’t do gadget plays unless you are doing well in other areas of the game. But when you are doing so pathetic, why not run a couple just to give the fans something to talk about beyond your poor performance. While we don’t have Randel El to throw it, we’ve had others throw it in the past. I think I remember Bettis throwing a ball that soared like a crippled chicken into the endzone. And I also recall that Hines was a QB in a former life. Why not try something like that just to make their defense spread out a little and take some pressure off Ben?

Where’s the Defense?
On the field all day long. Toward the end of the game I heard an announcer say, “These Steeler defenders look tired.” No wonder — they were on the field about ten minutes longer than their counterparts. Where was the defense? On the field all day long.

Where’s the Jaw?
Cowher called it a “pitiful performance”. Indeed it was. The question in my mind is this: Where’s that Cowher jaw? You used to see it on every-other play. Now, you see it once in a blue-moon. Has he lost his passion for performance? The media wants to say that he left his heart in North Carolina. I don’t know that I believe that, but I do think his heart is not in the game as it was years ago. When was the last time you saw him hunkered down in front of a player who was sitting on the bench, coaching him? That picture of him doing that with Greg Lloyd and others was timeless. But it’s not been his style this year. Not at all.

These are hard times for Steeler Nation.

7 thoughts on “What’s Wrong with the Steelers?

  1. I agree with all you stated. As I say, it’s hard to throw a pass when you’re on your back. And the Ravens were blitzing all game. Didn’t have to stop the run…there was none! It seems to me we need so many things on that team. How could they go south so fast? I hated seeing Betis leave and I was right to feel that way. DUCE…why is he not playing? He may be over the hill, but let him try blocking. He’s bigger than Parker.

  2. So it took getting crushed by the Ravens for you to figure out something was wrong? FYI, the Ravens barely beat the Browns as well.

    I can’t believe anyone thought, prior to the Ravens game, that the Steelers had a realistic chance to make the playoffs. My friend told me after the Browns game, “Dude! We only have to win 6 in a row! We won 8 in a row last year, and 14 in a row the year beofre that. We can still do it!” I didn’t want to crush his dreams, so I didn’t remind him that by beating the Browns we had earned our first TWO game winning streak of the season. Funny how we couldn’t win 2 in a row all year, but people actually believed we were suddenly gonna win 6 in a row!

    I think we have a lot of guys who have been here to lose the AFC Championship games, and now they have finally won a Super Bowl. I think this is one serious Super Bowl hangover… from the players to the coaches. It’s happened in the past to other teams, so it’s not that surprising. It happened to the Patriots, but they came back to win the next 2 Super Bowls, so who knows.

    Now we get to play the spoiler role. Maybe we can beat the Ravens next month, and keep them from getting home field advantage? Even better, how sweet would it be to be the Bengals on the last week of the season, and know them out of the last Wild Card spot?!

    So yeah, our season is over now, but there might still be a chance to knock the Bengals outta the playoffs! 🙂

  3. Oh, I never thought they’d go to the play offs, the way they have been playing. But I like to see them beat the teams in our division. Or even play them HARD. But to lay down and die…that’s disappointing. And I’ve been crying for The Bus all season. Guess I should have been crying for an offensive line!

    Yea, I’d like to see them be the spoiler. But I wanted them to start yesterday!

  4. Now we’re hoping they can spoil things for the Ravens, who took them to the woodshed yesterday? And we’re hoping they can spoil a wildcard for the Bengals, who destroyed the Browns that almost beat the Steelers? Is anyone else having trouble with the math on this?

    Until yesterday, I felt like the Steelers had run into a lot of bad breaks. Fluke interceptions. Uncharacteristic fumbles (Hines on the goal line, for example). But yesterday they were whipped soundly.

    I am kind of hoping we don’t spoil our chances at some good draft picks.

    It’s hard for me to imagine them having the spirit to spoil anything, except maybe our Sunday afternoons.

    Still I will watch, for I am a citizen of Steeler Nation.

  5. I’m going to have to go with the spoiler role on this one. This is only the second team that actually beat us. We lost to Jacksonville earlier in the year, but the other games involved a lot of bad luck. We have pretty much the same talent we had last year, we could beat all of these teams, we just don’t want to. I don’t think we can beat the ravens, but I do think that we can beat Cinci in the last game. Besides that, I’m just hoping that we get a good draft pick and that a losing season will make the steelers hungry for another good year.

  6. Hey they are spoilers. The season is spoiled and we want everyone to feel it! Raven and Bengal fans alike.

    Also… oh, never mind.

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