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igor0190
11-21-2010, 07:52 PM
http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/20759/are-the-steelers-being-targeted

PITTSBURGH -- Pro Bowl linebacker LaMarr Woodley knew the question was coming, and he didn't seem at all upset that the touchy subject was brought up.

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers being targeted by officials?

"I'll let you be the judge of that," Woodley said with a sly grin after Sunday's convincing 35-3 victory against the Oakland Raiders. "If you just look across the board and what's been happening this year, I will let you answer that one."

As Woodley hinted after Pittsburgh set a franchise record with 163 yards on 14 penalties, the Steelers have their suspicions. The general feeling inside the Steelers' locker room is that it's possible they're being made an example of almost on a weekly basis.

In the new-age NFL where playing punishing defense is becoming increasingly frowned upon, the Steelers (7-3) are the team that most exemplifies that style. The NFL and its most successful franchise have butted heads all season as the league continues to try to pull back the Steel Curtain in the form of heavy fines and penalties.

It was never more clear than Sunday as Pittsburgh pounded the Raiders into submission. A blowout win was clouded by the enormous number of flags showering Heinz Field. Whether it was linebacker James Harrison getting a roughing-the-passer call on a clean play, or safety Ryan Clark wrongfully called for a helmet-to-helmet blow when Clark made contact with the receiver's back, there was no flow to an ugly game dominated by officiating.

In what has become virtually another weekly routine, it's time for the Steelers to await word on possible fines.

"We'll see what happens with those once Wednesday gets here," said Harrison, who has been at the center of the NFL's increased attention to big hits. "The way I see it, I don't think it was a callable flag -- a good, clean hit. I don't know, I guess he felt different.

"We're going to play together no matter what. And when there are a lot of penalties that are going against you, that's going to bring you closer together and you are going to play harder."

The Steelers are off to a stellar 7-3 start, and it's a shame that fines and penalties have dominated headlines with this year's team. Pittsburgh is playing hard-nosed defense the only way it knows how in a rapidly-changing climate, and it's leaving the Steelers confused at times.

"If you look at the offensive and defensive line, it's helmet-to-helmet [contact] every play," Woodley said. "If that was the case, you might as well throw a flag every time."

It will be the challenge of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin to keep the defense focused. The players on the field seemed confused by the bevy of flags being thrown against them.

After the game, I asked Tomlin whether he feels his team has clarity on the way calls such as roughing and personal fouls are being officiated. He refused to elaborate on the subject.

"I'm not going to question the officiating," Tomlin said. "I understand the climate that we’re in from that standpoint. I'm just not going to do it; our guys aren't going to do it. We're going to play football, and we're going to try to play it as fairly as we can, as cleanly as we can."

Here are some other, non-penalty related observations on Pittsburgh’s win against the Raiders:

Defense gets improved pass rush:Pittsburgh defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau did a good job of dialing up better blitzes this week against Oakland. The Steelers sat back last week as quarterback Tom Brady and the New England Patriots carved up their defense. But Pittsburgh was much better at getting to the quarterback against Oakland, recording six sacks.

Wallace is gaining consistency: This continues to be a breakout year for starting receiver Mike Wallace, who scored a touchdown in his third straight game. His 52-yard score was impressive as he showed his speed and zipped by Raiders defenders. Wallace, who is replacing former Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes, has already set a career high for touchdowns (seven) this season.

"I did all right. I felt like I left a couple things out there," Wallace said.

Ben Roethlisberger gets offense going:Pittsburgh's franchise quarterback took the blame for the offense getting off to a slow start against New England, and responded by leading the Steelers to three touchdown drives in the first half. The Steelers led 21-3 at intermission and cruised the rest of the way. Roethlisberger threw for 275 yards and had four touchdowns (three passing, one running) in one of his better games. But he still wants more.

"It's funny, because if you ask me I felt like we didn't have a good offensive performance," Roethlisberger said. "I felt that we were OK. I told the guys that at the very end. It's a good job of bouncing back and playing well."

Scorp
11-21-2010, 08:02 PM
Someone does not want them to play the way they are use to playing. They should not be afraid to make big hits or sack their opponents. Fines won't get them a loss. Don't make stupid decisions that are going to cost you and your team. Continue to play hard and play to win. All this BS is getting old already.

madtowndrunkard
11-21-2010, 08:07 PM
The funny thing is the league wide crack down on head shots is all a response to the Mike Webster suit against the NFL.

coach
11-21-2010, 08:21 PM
Someone does not want them to play the way they are use to playing. They should not be afraid to make big hits or sack their opponents. Fines won't get them a loss. Don't make stupid decisions that are going to cost you and your team. Continue to play hard and play to win. All this BS is getting old already.

You are right about the fines not leading to losses, but late flags and suspensions will.
If the league is targeting the Steelers, we will be the first team who has a player suffer a suspnsion for an acumulation of fines. That could be Harrison and that will hurt.

I am not even saying there is an actual conspiracy out there, but this team has been branded the poster boys for bad hits and the flags will keep on coming, whether deseved or not, if today was any example.

Farrior Fan
11-21-2010, 08:24 PM
You are right about the fines not leading to losses, but late flags and suspensions will.
If the league is targeting the Steelers, we will be the first team who has a player suffer a suspnsion for an acumulation of fines. That could be Harrison and that will hurt.

I am not even saying there is an actual conspiracy out there, but this team has been branded the poster boys for bad hits and the flags will keep on coming, whether deseved or not, if today was any example.

Not a conspiracy? Let me ask you if Coach T was cheating like the Pats did, do you think the tapes would dissapear and there would be a slap on the wrist? No one likes a winner except for their fans. Just ask a Duke basketball, Yankees, or Lakers fan.

KSSteelerfan
11-21-2010, 08:30 PM
It's glaringly obvious by today's bad and sometimes ugly officiating that Roger Goofball and his cronies in the League office have it out for the Steelers....you would have to be blind not to see what's going on here. It's an up front blatant attempt by the league office to make an example of the Steelers. Expect more of this crappy officiating against the Steelers everytime they step on the field to take on an opponent....

SteelDad
11-21-2010, 10:22 PM
There is no one right now that could convince me otherwise that we are NOT being targeted. Tony Corrente and his crew should be suspended a week for that debacle today. Some of the hits that were penalized as personal fouls were not even questionable meaning they shouldn't even have been called penalties let alone PFs. Goodell has made it clear he wants the League less aggressive and he is stopping at nothing to get it. He will ultimately turn the game into a glorified flag football in an effort to expand the product to Europe because he knows they won't tolerate the violence. It was a sad and disturbing day friends and it is not going to get any better.

igor0190
11-21-2010, 10:27 PM
If football keeps going in this direction I will still watch Steelers games because I can't help myself, but I guarantee I will watch a lot less of the other games. I already have started to watch less to be honest. I love defensive football... and the league doesn't.

RIVERS OF STEEL
11-21-2010, 10:39 PM
Hope the owners tell the team to play football like you did against the rising star rayders(where do the sports writers get this ****) cause i got the check book ready. If we play the rest of the season like we did today look out rawjer gooball.
Man was that pretty. The field was covered in terrible towels(or referee flags, call it like you see it). The whole United States of America saw this travesty of officialdum and probably hoped our opponent ? would beat us. well...

GoBenGo
11-21-2010, 11:04 PM
If it were just pf calls or h2h hits, their motives would be clearer, but we have every type of bad call, missed call, happening before us, to us...at some pretty ambiguously opportune times for the opposition, I might add....
That being said I do not believe a ref would fix, throw, or jick a call for the sake of the games outcome or certaiin team..this isn't the NBA.....I do believe they are under tremendous mafioso style pressure from above on accountability for these hits and situations, and ensuing injuries and media fallout that occurs...causing them to affect the game much more than any had ever intended or imagined....

Accountability being what it is , we should not see this crew officiating a professional game nor any college game of relevance, in the foreseeable future...

Real Deal Steel
11-22-2010, 02:20 AM
It's glaringly obvious by today's bad and sometimes ugly officiating that Roger Goofball and his cronies in the League office have it out for the Steelers....you would have to be blind not to see what's going on here. It's an up front blatant attempt by the league office to make an example of the Steelers. Expect more of this crappy officiating against the Steelers everytime they step on the field to take on an opponent....

We are being targeted and it's time for Mr. Rooney to call Goodall on the carpet and tell him to stop.

coldrolled
11-22-2010, 07:31 AM
Basically 2 td's taken away on offense.. 3 or 4 large offensive plays reversed.
Kick TD return reversed.

then on defense.. wtf.. just a bunch of crap calls... to help drive oakland to some points.

IMO its the league trying to keep us from winning 7 more than trying to prove anything else.

Blazedby92
11-22-2010, 07:59 AM
IMO its the league trying to keep us from winning 7 more than trying to prove anything else.

My thoughts exactly and they saw it llike we did, we were playing lights out D and was winning games without Ben, wait til he gets back, could be #7 for them and then came Mr. "Safety" Godell

Rampage
11-22-2010, 10:30 AM
The whole player safety movement is starting to look like a clever guise to impede this team's success. What is starting to get to me is that this team just has to hit a guy hard and the flags and fines come in full force. Either Goodell is like Homer Simpson the safety inspector, "safen up over there," or he is just making every effort to handicap this team by spotting the opponent flagrantly terrible calls.

BlitzburghRockCity
11-22-2010, 11:53 AM
The NFL is targeting the entire league in general trying to change the culture and dumb it down to flag football style play. That much is clear; the soccer moms who won't let thier kids play football because it's too violent have a lot to do with that. They are preaching player safety and totally contradicting themselves at every turn.

It's a total snow job in every way, but i still feel that the Steelers are getting the brunt of these new policies more than anyone else.

Steelerlyn
11-22-2010, 12:13 PM
If football keeps going in this direction I will still watch Steelers games because I can't help myself, but I guarantee I will watch a lot less of the other games. I already have started to watch less to be honest. I love defensive football... and the league doesn't.

If this silliness continues I will prolly become an NCAA fan, only. I havr not noticed as many flags in the NCAA which I do not understand because many of the guys playing at the college level will go onto the NFL

--- Added 11/22/2010 at 11:13 AM ---


There is no one right now that could convince me otherwise that we are NOT being targeted. Tony Corrente and his crew should be suspended a week for that debacle today. Some of the hits that were penalized as personal fouls were not even questionable meaning they shouldn't even have been called penalties let alone PFs. Goodell has made it clear he wants the League less aggressive and he is stopping at nothing to get it. He will ultimately turn the game into a glorified flag football in an effort to expand the product to Europe because he knows they won't tolerate the violence. It was a sad and disturbing day friends and it is not going to get any better.

Really? that is an interesting concept, what does Europe have against aggressive football, please educate me. We have supported these team when they were nothing so n ow they are changing the rules to make soccer moms and Europe happy? Sounds like something that would happen. PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANYTHING WITH AN NFL TAG, you can get some kewl Steeler stuff that does not have a NFL tag. we need to boycott, but we have to do it together

SteelDad
11-22-2010, 12:32 PM
If this silliness continues I will prolly become an NCAA fan, only. I havr not noticed as many flags in the NCAA which I do not understand because many of the guys playing at the college level will go onto the NFL

--- Added 11/22/2010 at 11:13 AM ---



Really? that is an interesting concept, what does Europe have against aggressive football, please educate me. We have supported these team when they were nothing so n ow they are changing the rules to make soccer moms and Europe happy? Sounds like something that would happen. PLEASE DO NOT BUY ANYTHING WITH AN NFL TAG, you can get some kewl Steeler stuff that does not have a NFL tag. we need to boycott, but we have to do it together

Europeans have always looked down upon Americans as barbaric and uncivilized. Apparently they haven't paid enough attention to their soccer hooligans, but I digress. We are the violence capital of the world like it or not, it's part of life and part of our most treasured pastime. Europeans like to see more strategy and greater 'disection' of the opponent. I realize I'm generalizing here, but I'm just going from friends who are from Germany and Italy and my wife lived there for some time as well. This all fits Goodell's 'master plan' to make the game global and limit the violence to it at the same time. Just my opinion...

Nice year for Sparty!

Clevelandsux
11-22-2010, 01:09 PM
The funny thing is the league wide crack down on head shots is all a response to the Mike Webster suit against the NFL.

No it's not. It's about James Harrison.

coldrolled
11-22-2010, 01:10 PM
If this silliness continues I will prolly become an NCAA fan, only.

Have you considered playing in the lingerie football league.. lots of hits with limited equipment...

jnes1216
11-22-2010, 01:55 PM
Europeans have always looked down upon Americans as barbaric and uncivilized. Apparently they haven't paid enough attention to their soccer hooligans, but I digress. We are the violence capital of the world like it or not, it's part of life and part of our most treasured pastime. Europeans like to see more strategy and greater 'disection' of the opponent. I realize I'm generalizing here, but I'm just going from friends who are from Germany and Italy and my wife lived there for some time as well. This all fits Goodell's 'master plan' to make the game global and limit the violence to it at the same time. Just my opinion...

Nice year for Sparty!

So how do you explain the growing popularity of MMA in Europe? Rugby is big and they don't even wear pads.

Goodell is just a yuppy little bitch who comes from an affluent background that turns its nose down to physical confrontations. If he were in Africa he'd be the only goddamn lion with his head sticking out of the bushes telling the zebra to run.

LarryNJ
11-22-2010, 03:36 PM
Rugby is big and they don't even wear pads.

This is very true, but Rugby also has very strict rules on how you can hit someone. I actually think that if we got rid of some of the pads starting with the helmet there would be less injuries.

Goodfrom55
11-22-2010, 03:37 PM
I hate to say it, but I have to admit there is a target on the Steelers back. From Harrison's hit on Campbell, to Woody excuse me roughing the passer to the ever famous pass interference call on Ike for "running" the raiders receiver out of bounds, The Steelers have 2 strikes against them coming into each game. And it was painfully obvious. But I'm sure, the NFL office will say later in the week that Clark's hit, Harrison's hit should have not been called.

35-3 makes it a litle easier to overlook poor officiating, but what is this game was closer? They hold players accountable, at some point, they have to hold refs accountable and hit them in their wallet for poor officiating.

SteelDad
11-22-2010, 09:19 PM
So how do you explain the growing popularity of MMA in Europe? Rugby is big and they don't even wear pads.

Goodell is just a yuppy little bitch who comes from an affluent background that turns its nose down to physical confrontations. If he were in Africa he'd be the only goddamn lion with his head sticking out of the bushes telling the zebra to run.

It's difficult to explain jnes, but just a hypothesis I have. You're right about MMA and rugby, but I just feel that Goodell wants a 'perfect product' to market to the world.

jnes1216
11-22-2010, 09:36 PM
It's difficult to explain jnes, but just a hypothesis I have. You're right about MMA and rugby, but I just feel that Goodell wants a 'perfect product' to market to the world.

I would be curious on how Goodell wants to expand to Europe if thats the plan. They tried it once before with NFL Europe and that didn't seem to work. Logistically it doesn't mesh with N Amer. teams going over there. Except the once a year game with the teams getting a bye the week after. I don't think they can compete with soccer in Europe imo.

lloydfan4life
11-22-2010, 09:47 PM
YES!!! Next question.