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SteelfordWexler
07-13-2008, 07:06 PM
As the offseason begins to wind down, the focus will finally make a welcome shift from personnel decisions to football. This was an important offseason though, because it isn't clear if this team is on the rise or on the fall. There is an interesting mix of youth and experience, depth and vulnerability at this moment. The success or failure of this team to compete for a championship over the next few years could depend upon the answers to a few key questions. These are my top questions going into camp (in no particular order)

1) Which is going to have a bigger impact on the effectiveness of your offensive line: upgrading your worst performer or losing your most reliable one?

Going into the offseason, pass protection was the big concern - at least for most fans. The way the draft shook out, little help was available there, so we picked up a free-agent who we expect to win a starting job, correctly watched a HOF LG walk for greener green stuff and blew a huge chunk of change for last years backup tackle. I'm not sure we did enough here. But, coach Z seemed to have a great impact on Starks and Essex last year - both of whom played pretty well in the Jville playoff game. Both looked really bad in the pre-season - so progress right?

2) Will getting a $100 million contract effect Roethlesberger?

His worst season was after winning the Super Bowl (and almost killing himself). He followed up that poor performance with his best season. You could make the observation that he has played very well when he has something to prove. He has the unquestioned commitment from the franchise, his first pro-bowl and a huge chunk of cash. I think he will be great, but others have fallen flat after getting paid (see Shawn Alexander)

3) How well did we pick last year?

The success of Timmons and Woodley will be a huge indication of how well this team will do over the next few years defensively. We addressed the future core of our linebackers last year in the draft - they have always been the focus of our defense. With future needs looming (d-line comes to mind), if we blew either of these picks, we could be set back quite a while. These two need to contribute in a big way this year if we are to reach our expectations.

4) Will Mike Tomlin show up on gameday?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Tomlin - so far so good anyway. But I was a little disapointed that he was so hands off during the games. He seems to completely defer to his assistants. That isn't a bad idea - at least with respect to Lebeau, but I guess I would want my head coach to have some sort of gameday presence. Other than making some questionable challenges, he didn't seem to be that impactful. He was a rookie - it wasn't his team yet, but he needs to grow and make a difference if we are to be championship caliber.

5) Can our D-line hang on.

What a difference we saw when Smith went out last year. We all know the front three have some miles on them (at least Hamp and Smith do) and the top five are pretty old for football. We may see an upgrade in the front seven due to the linebacker play of 56 and 94, but depth on the d-line is one of the biggest weaknessess of our team.

I have faith that we will progress this year. I don't know if we are a playoff team, given our schedule - but I always try to keep my expectations in check this time of year. As the chin put so well, "there is a fine line in this league"

yinzer
07-13-2008, 10:17 PM
we're definitely a playoff team this year and have been a playoff team every year for as long as i can remember. it's a matter of playing to our potential. i know we have one of the hardest, if not the hardest, schedules in the league but remember, other teams have to play US too. every other team on our schedule is concerned about going up against us just as much as we are going against them.

BlitzburghNation
07-13-2008, 10:51 PM
we're definitely a playoff team this year and have been a playoff team every year for as long as i can remember. it's a matter of playing to our potential. i know we have one of the hardest, if not the hardest, schedules in the league but remember, other teams have to play US too. every other team on our schedule is concerned about going up against us just as much as we are going against them.


:ditto:
I really like our tough :moon: schedule,,,,,,,,,If we can get through it on a positive note,,,,,,It will only make us stronger in the playoffs and will be a major covidence builder for the team ~~~:tt02:

This season will have alot of us on the edge of our seat,,,,,,,,:popcorn:

I'm thinking we are gonna have several nail biters~~~:yesnod:

bonesetter58
07-14-2008, 12:01 PM
:tt02:This season is going to be a test of our will as a team to get to the level of "Elite". We have to play almost every team that made the playoffs last year and also some of the teams that keep beating us in the power rankings. This means a load to place on the whole team. But 2 parts in particular. The O and D Lines. I hope Coach Tomlin rotates some fresh blood in there to keep these guys healthy. If we can get help from the 2nd year players and some from the older war horses still around we could quite possibly spread fear throughout the NFL for years to come!!:helmet:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-14-2008, 12:18 PM
Steeler teams have always rose to the occasion when their backs are against the wall and when people doubt them. It's when everybody sings our praises that I start to get worried. Our schedule is tough, really tough, but if we stay healthy and play the way we are capable of we can compete with anyone.

The offensive line is the biggest concern overall; if those guys don't get it together and stay healthy nothing is going to work and Ben will get killed this year again. That is priority number 1, keep Ben from being sacked so much and giving him the time he needs to make things happen. Ben will always be a guy that does take some sacks simply because he holds onto the ball so long, and that's ok but that pressure up the middle will blow up anything before it starts and that's what needs to be fixed.

BlitzburghNation
07-14-2008, 12:50 PM
:crossfingers: That hartwig plays up to his capability !

Pat Kirwin on sirius loves our pick up and he thinks our o-line will do realy well this year,,,,,, :crossfingers:

Adam Schein: Loves our draft & goes on & on about our pick up of hartwig~~~:clap:

Jim Miller: He's really high on our team to surprise alot of doubters this season !

Now if the guy plays the way he played in carolina & stays healthy ~~~:crossfingers:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-14-2008, 03:59 PM
I love it when the doubters come out every year; they always find something bad about us that will put us in the bottom of the AFCN but year after year we stay competitive. You'd think they'd learn by now :rolleyes: :willybs:

Phenomenal TJ
07-14-2008, 06:54 PM
Not to mention that the Browns are going to give us a run for our money in the North. That offense they've put together is scary.

yinzer
07-14-2008, 09:58 PM
Not to mention that the Browns are going to give us a run for our money in the North. That offense they've put together is scary.

ya but derek anderson isn't scary

steelcityrockers
07-14-2008, 10:07 PM
When he gets hot he can be very scary. He has a rifle and above-aveage accurtacy. It is his horrendous decision maing that often hurts him. But then he can get cold, nd it isn't pretty. Kind of like a better Rex Grossman.

steelcitysfinestXL
07-15-2008, 04:23 PM
As the offseason begins to wind down, the focus will finally make a welcome shift from personnel decisions to football. This was an important offseason though, because it isn't clear if this team is on the rise or on the fall. There is an interesting mix of youth and experience, depth and vulnerability at this moment. The success or failure of this team to compete for a championship over the next few years could depend upon the answers to a few key questions. These are my top questions going into camp (in no particular order)"


1) Which is going to have a bigger impact on the effectiveness of your offensive line: upgrading your worst performer or losing your most reliable one?

I would say a combination of both are gonna make us better. I believe Chris K is gonna be a great player for years to come. Having Hartwig anchoring the line should be an asset to him, where Mahan was a hinderance to Faneca who knew he was done all season. I look/hope for great things from our oline to be honest.

2) Will getting a $100 million contract effect Roethlesberger?

Look at Bens offseason: He wanted a contract that would make him a steeler for a long time... CHECK
In that contract he wanted to be paid elite numbers: CHECK
He wanted weapons:DOUBLE CHECK
I think Ben has this franchise (atleast the offensive side) as his own!!! I would guess from here on out, he will be playing to prove he was worth every penny.

3) How well did we pick last year?
I have said it before:
Woodley:A
Spaeth:B
Timmons:???
Woodley was better than Haggans last year, why he didnt start i have no clue! Spaeth was impressive before he was sidelined by injuries. Pair him with ME-MO, Mende and Sweed and this offense has some serious new fire power.
Timmons is gonna be given a shot due to the fact that he was a 1st round #15 overall. Foote has been solid since he took hold of the starting spot. If Timmons unseats him I hope its legit. He looks to be a DYNAMIC player, lets hope that equates to the pro level!

4) Will Mike Tomlin show up on gameday?

My thoughs are that the HC does his work from Mon-Sat... preparing his team to get it done every sunday. I dont think i saw a game where the team looked totally out of sorts last year. (-New England) I like his passion on the sidelines most of all. Plus, he has been saying all offseason... now, in his 2nd year he knows what to expect from his players and can use them accordingly.

5) Can our D-line hang on.

God, i hope so! Give us one healthy year... if so we'll have another top 3 D year. Then the OL/DL needs to be addressed next offseason.

I predict a year like '05, i'd say 11-5 to 13-3. I think we will suprise alot of people and establish ourselves as a top tier team. Like its been said here many times before, we seem to play better with a chip on our shoulder. Between our tough-@ss schedule and every national press/media type picking CLEVELAND as #1.... thats a pretty damn big chip!

SteelerSteve
07-15-2008, 09:09 PM
When he gets hot he can be very scary. He has a rifle and above-aveage accurtacy. It is his horrendous decision maing that often hurts him. But then he can get cold, nd it isn't pretty. Kind of like a better Rex Grossman.lol which isn't all that scary to me.:lol:

steelcityrockers
07-15-2008, 09:39 PM
When the Sex Cannon is on, he can light it up. And that is not a joke. Look at September of 06. The guy was performing stunningly. He subsequently sucked but he was damned good. Derek Anderson is just more consistent.

yinzer
07-15-2008, 11:19 PM
When the Sex Cannon is on, he can light it up. And that is not a joke. Look at September of 06. The guy was performing stunningly. He subsequently sucked but he was damned good. Derek Anderson is just more consistent.

there are a lot of shiat bag qb's that had a little streak when they could "light it up". after all, they ARE pros.

SteelerSteve
07-15-2008, 11:55 PM
When the Sex Cannon is on, he can light it up. And that is not a joke. Look at September of 06. The guy was performing stunningly. He subsequently sucked but he was damned good. Derek Anderson is just more consistent.
dont get me wrong, I think DA is a decent, above average quarterback, but he is inconsistent, and I dont think he can consistently lead the browns through a very tough schedule this year. I really wouldn't be surprised if the Bengals finished ahead of them this year. I think we will win our division by at least 2-3 games.

yinzer
07-16-2008, 12:48 AM
dont get me wrong, I think DA is a decent, above average quarterback, but he is inconsistent, and I dont think he can consistently lead the browns through a very tough schedule this year. I really wouldn't be surprised if the Bengals finished ahead of them this year. I think we will win our division by at least 2-3 games.

:iagree: "inconsistent" is the key word. i'm not sure how much heart he has either.

BlitzburghRockCity
07-16-2008, 04:32 PM
4) Will Mike Tomlin show up on gameday?

My thoughs are that the HC does his work from Mon-Sat... preparing his team to get it done every sunday. I dont think i saw a game where the team looked totally out of sorts last year. (-New England) I like his passion on the sidelines most of all. Plus, he has been saying all offseason... now, in his 2nd year he knows what to expect from his players and can use them accordingly.

Tomlin is entering his 2nd year now and we could all see some of things in his rookie year that we wish he'd have done differently. Preparing the team in big games was something we never had to worry about when Cowher was here but it seemed like time after time in primetime games, big games for whatever reason in 2007 that the team came out flat early on and that lasted sometimes well into the 2nd half before they finally got their act together. We need to come out firing on all cylinders from the get go, strike early and often and don't let up. There were times last year when we did that as well but then the team just fizzled out in the 4th quarter. We need a more consistent effort start to finish and that's as much the Coach preparing the team as it is the players.

SteelfordWexler
07-16-2008, 05:40 PM
I predict a year like '05, i'd say 11-5 to 13-3. I think we will suprise alot of people and establish ourselves as a top tier team. Like its been said here many times before, we seem to play better with a chip on our shoulder. Between our tough-@ss schedule and every national press/media type picking CLEVELAND as #1.... thats a pretty damn big chip!

I hope you're right. Maybe the schedule will keep us focused better than last year.

If you look at last years losses, the Pats and Jags were good teams, but we should have competed better. Neither got our best game. We clearly had more talent than the Cardinals, Jets, and Broncos. Throw out the meaningless Baltimore game but consider the poor performance in the Dolphin win - you can definitly say we didn't always show up the way we should have.

We could have easily had 3 more wins. We can be a better team than last year but there are not many gifts in this year's schedule. If we are going to post 11 or 12 wins this year, we cannot give any games away and must find a way to win a few as underdogs. Your "chip" may be our ticket.

mental.apparition
07-17-2008, 01:40 PM
Please, please enough already on the strength of schedule! We won't know how tough the Steelers schedule is until January of 2009.

Just in the Roethlisberger era the year over year playoff team turnover is > 50%. In that same time period only NE, INDY & SEA have made the tournament every year.

I'm sure this playoff turnover has been discussed here previously but damn it needed to be said again.

dawgs
07-18-2008, 08:36 PM
First off, no team in the AFC north will finish 11-5 or 13-3 thats just stupid to even say. unless other good teams lose all there players.

derek anderson Has a great arm thats no question. He also has great weapons. Plus the best OL in the NFL rated by many. His biggest problem is forcing passes, Which is very easy to fix by just getting more expericence and getting better. He is only 25. and this was his first full season. Plus quinn has been insane so far in the camps, so QB is the least of are worries, and if the browns rivals are talking about are QB postition, That makes me feel great about this season.

browns biggest problem is cornerback. I love wright and McDonald but there is very little depth. Now if baxter comes back and plays near where he once did, that would be great.

Anderson is very scary if your a corner. With the browns offence weapons, anderson can hit anyone deep. So as a corner, that scares the hell out of you.

SteelerSteve
07-18-2008, 10:30 PM
First off, no team in the AFC north will finish 11-5 or 13-3 thats just stupid to even say. unless other good teams lose all there players.

derek anderson Has a great arm thats no question. He also has great weapons. Plus the best OL in the NFL rated by many. His biggest problem is forcing passes, Which is very easy to fix by just getting more expericence and getting better. He is only 25. and this was his first full season. Plus quinn has been insane so far in the camps, so QB is the least of are worries, and if the browns rivals are talking about are QB postition, That makes me feel great about this season.

browns biggest problem is cornerback. I love wright and McDonald but there is very little depth. Now if baxter comes back and plays near where he once did, that would be great.

Anderson is very scary if your a corner. With the browns offence weapons, anderson can hit anyone deep. So as a corner, that scares the hell out of you.
Anderson has a strong arm. And??? Having a big arm has little to do with being a good qb though it is definitley a plus for a guy that makes good decisions(one of anderson's weaknesses) and is accurate. Any starting qb in todays game has the ability to throw the football 50-60 yards plus. As stated before, Anderson is way to inconsistent and forces the ball when he shouldn't. He struggled against teams that had above average defenses and when you look at the AFCN schedule this year, I just dont see him putting up numbers anywhere close to last season. Quinn is a different story, it is a well known fact that he lacks arm strength, and he's really nothing special when it comes to accuracy. He is somewhat mobile, but I really dont think either of them has what it takes to be a long term answer as a franchise qb.

Stlrs4Life
07-18-2008, 10:37 PM
Very good analysis.

dawgs
07-19-2008, 09:58 PM
Anderson has a strong arm. And??? Having a big arm has little to do with being a good qb though it is definitley a plus for a guy that makes good decisions(one of anderson's weaknesses) and is accurate. Any starting qb in todays game has the ability to throw the football 50-60 yards plus. As stated before, Anderson is way to inconsistent and forces the ball when he shouldn't. He struggled against teams that had above average defenses and when you look at the AFCN schedule this year, I just dont see him putting up numbers anywhere close to last season. Quinn is a different story, it is a well known fact that he lacks arm strength, and he's really nothing special when it comes to accuracy. He is somewhat mobile, but I really dont think either of them has what it takes to be a long term answer as a franchise qb.


Nothings wrong with quinns arm strength, it has improved so much and not like he can't make a 50 yard pass or anything if needed. His acc is not a problem either. He is a great leader and very good decision maker. Quinn had nothing at nothe dame. other then 1 WR that is now playing baseball. You guys have to admit that.

You do know who the browns Wrs are right?? Ok just gotta make sure. The ball does not need to be on the money everytime, These guys can go get it. Like I said anderson will improve on his decision making, and you will see that. young guy, with his first full year under his belt. We will see week 1 against the cowboys.


wait wait wait. You just said ''Having a big arm has little to do with being a good qb''. then u bash quinn for not having a strong arm. NICE!!!!

SteelerSteve
07-20-2008, 03:32 PM
Nothings wrong with quinns arm strength, it has improved so much and not like he can't make a 50 yard pass or anything if needed. His acc is not a problem either. He is a great leader and very good decision maker. Quinn had nothing at nothe dame. other then 1 WR that is now playing baseball. You guys have to admit that.

You do know who the browns Wrs are right?? Ok just gotta make sure. The ball does not need to be on the money everytime, These guys can go get it. Like I said anderson will improve on his decision making, and you will see that. young guy, with his first full year under his belt. We will see week 1 against the cowboys.


wait wait wait. You just said ''Having a big arm has little to do with being a good qb''. then u bash quinn for not having a strong arm. NICE!!!! lol What I said was having a strong arm is a nice compliment to a guy that is accurate and makes good decisions which DA is not. Quinn's accuracy is nothing special and that along with having a noodle arm doesn't help his case. Besides, Quinn choked like an infant swallowing a marble in every big game he played in against any decent competition.

K Train
07-20-2008, 03:35 PM
quinn has good accuracy and is a much better QB than DA....dont blame him, ND is a failure with or without him

SteelerSteve
07-20-2008, 09:48 PM
quinn has good accuracy and is a much better QB than DA....dont blame him, ND is a failure with or without himyeah, he probably is a better qb than DA but thats not really a huge compliment for him in my opinion:lol:

SteelfordWexler
07-22-2008, 11:25 AM
Tunch Ilkin made a really good observation about Anderson last year on Steelers TV. He noticed that Anderson was very accurate and effective if he had a 2-3 yard bubble in front of him in the pocket. His throwing motion includes a large step-up when he plants to throw. If the defense gets push up the middle and he is forced to shorten that step - his accuracy goes completely away. I'm not talking about excessive pressure - just push that bubble a little bit. I watched a few late season Browns games with this in mind and it was born out every time. Defenses obviously saw what Ilkin saw. The question for this season is can DA adapt and overcome or will he be another single season wonder? My guess is we will see Mr. Quinn by mid-season.

SteelerSteve
07-23-2008, 08:10 PM
Tunch Ilkin made a really good observation about Anderson last year on Steelers TV. He noticed that Anderson was very accurate and effective if he had a 2-3 yard bubble in front of him in the pocket. His throwing motion includes a large step-up when he plants to throw. If the defense gets push up the middle and he is forced to shorten that step - his accuracy goes completely away. I'm not talking about excessive pressure - just push that bubble a little bit. I watched a few late season Browns games with this in mind and it was born out every time. Defenses obviously saw what Ilkin saw. The question for this season is can DA adapt and overcome or will he be another single season wonder? My guess is we will see Mr. Quinn by mid-season.
We'll see quinn doing what? playing football, or grabbing young boys crotches?:eek1:

steelcitysfinestXL
07-23-2008, 08:52 PM
my money is on the crotch grabbing... but i do think he would give CLE a better chance to win once he adjusts to the NFL

SteelerSteve
07-24-2008, 05:51 PM
my money is on the crotch grabbing... but i do think he would give CLE a better chance to win once he adjusts to the NFL yeah, but as soon as he becomes the face of the browns he'll end up in jail for having illegal cockfights in his house. :lol: And i'm not talking about roosters

dawgs
07-27-2008, 05:31 PM
Browns are set at QB. if big ben goes down, who backs him up?? we still have a shot with quinn or anderson. steelers have no shot without big ben.

SteelerSteve
07-28-2008, 08:24 PM
Browns are set at QB. if big ben goes down, who backs him up?? we still have a shot with quinn or anderson. steelers have no shot without big ben.Really? REALLY? Quinn is a young guy that hasn't proven anything yet, Charlie Batch is as good a backup qb that you can find. He has been very solid when he's had to step in and play.

dawgs
07-31-2008, 08:59 PM
Really? REALLY? Quinn is a young guy that hasn't proven anything yet, Charlie Batch is as good a backup qb that you can find. He has been very solid when he's had to step in and play.


batch lol. He was pretty good 2 years ago. sucked last season. quinn can def play better then him. I could.

steelcityrockers
07-31-2008, 09:51 PM
I agree with Dawgs completely here. Batch would be a good 3rd String now. He is a good teacher, but his arm is shot at this point.

JensK
08-01-2008, 06:04 AM
im convinced that Dixon can do a difference if ben should go down! The guy has the potential!

steelcityrockers
08-01-2008, 12:41 PM
Yeah but he is really raw right now and is only 8 months off a torn ACL.

SteelerSteve
08-01-2008, 06:07 PM
I'm just saying that Batch has been a good backup and still is. He doesn't have a big arm, but thats why he's a backup! Dixon, will probably take over soon and its a plus that he can scramble so he doesn't have to rely on his arm.

Stairwayto7
03-03-2009, 06:13 PM
First off, no team in the AFC north will finish 11-5 or 13-3 thats just stupid to even say. unless other good teams lose all there players.

derek anderson Has a great arm thats no question. He also has great weapons. Plus the best OL in the NFL rated by many. His biggest problem is forcing passes, Which is very easy to fix by just getting more expericence and getting better. He is only 25. and this was his first full season. Plus quinn has been insane so far in the camps, so QB is the least of are worries, and if the browns rivals are talking about are QB postition, That makes me feel great about this season.

browns biggest problem is cornerback. I love wright and McDonald but there is very little depth. Now if baxter comes back and plays near where he once did, that would be great.

Anderson is very scary if your a corner. With the browns offence weapons, anderson can hit anyone deep. So as a corner, that scares the hell out of you.

Yeah scares the hell out of us! LOL:lol:

--- Added 3/3/2009 at 04:13 PM ---

Just who can`t see past thier team!????? You!

BlitzburghRockCity
03-03-2009, 06:17 PM
Wow you dug this up out of the depths :lol:

So how'd that work out for ya this year Dawgs? :wedaworldchamps:

BlackGold4vr
03-03-2009, 06:26 PM
Browns are set at QB. if big ben goes down, who backs him up?? we still have a shot with quinn or anderson. steelers have no shot without big ben.


Great thing about the Stains being in the Steelers division is that at least once a year they can get close enough to see what a Lombardi Trophy actually looks like. All six of them! :hilarious:

Silverback 92
03-03-2009, 06:57 PM
living in the past is for the fans, players live in the now

Stairwayto7
03-03-2009, 10:23 PM
:lol:
Wow you dug this up out of the depths :lol:

So how'd that work out for ya this year Dawgs? :wedaworldchamps:

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: