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View Full Version : Between the lines: A Steelers postgame analysis by Ed Bouchette



Captcoolhand
08-13-2007, 12:26 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007


The Breakdown:
Special teams: No Steelers coach has devoted as much time in training camp to special teams as has Tomlin. He holds separate practices for them in the mornings and still devotes large chunks of regular practices to them. His kicking game, however, has failed to love him back. Among the surest things in the NFL is the extra point, but Jeff Reed's only try was blocked up the middle Saturday, six days after his field goal went wide in Canton. Tomlin wasn't happy with the blocking for him.
"It was the second week in a row that we exposed a glaring weakness in our PAT/field-goal protection and, in this league, if you're not sure in any aspect or any facet of your game, people are going to attack you. It's obvious based on the two tapes that we put out there that we need to address that this week and we will. Can't do it till you make problems like that disappear and we'll do that."
Rookie punter Daniel Sepulveda is all that was advertised, whether draft choices in the fourth and sixth rounds were worth it or not. He has not been in position to try his Aussie Roll spin-back punt, but that 59-yarder he knocked out of bounds Saturday night was a beauty. He averaged 49.8 yards, 48.0 net, on five punts, although his first was almost blocked and was low and benefited from a long roll.
Gary Russell and Carey Davis continue to carry the day as they make bids for roster spots at running back. Russell, an undrafted rookie who did not play football last year after flunking out of Minnesota, led the Steelers with 56 yards rushing on nine carries. Davis, a dual-purpose back, played fullback strictly and threw a few good blocks.
"We like his running style," Tomlin said of Russell. And of Davis: "We got a few perimeter runs where he showed his athleticism, got on some blocks on the perimeter, sprung us for some significant gains."
Brian St. Pierre has seen plenty of time at quarterback through the first two games. He completed 10 of 23 passes for 99 yards Saturday. Quarterback Bryan Randall did not play. It seems as if Tomlin is looking hard at St. Pierre to determine whether or not to keep three quarterbacks on the roster. Considering that St. Pierre is no longer eligible for the practice squad, if Tomlin decides to keep only two, he'll have to add another to the practice squad.
Six-foot-4 Walter Young is having his best training camp in his bid to catch on as the sixth wide receiver. He did not hurt himself Saturday with a 41-yard touchdown, catching the ball in the open and breaking a tackle along the way.
The left tackle position had a rough go of it Saturday night. Marvel Smith was beaten once and Max Starks twice for sacks. But then, the guy normally next to them, Alan Faneca, did not play and who knows what kind of effect that had.
Najeh Davenport does not look like a short-yardage runner. He runs high and he was stuffed on a third-and-1 attempt on the second quarter. On the other hand, he had a 21-yard run around left end with a good stiff-arm.
In the past, Joey Porter and Clark Haggans stayed on the field as outside linebackers and pass rushers with nary a replacement. That may be different this year. First off, rookie LaMarr Woodley, who made his second consecutive start at left outside linebacker, likely will play on passing downs even if he does not start. Saturday night, while the Packers were running the two-minute drill, the coaches reinserted Woodley to rush from the left for an obviously tired Arnold Harrison. That might not have happened in the past.
Nose tackle Chris Hoke smashed his helmet to the ground when he limped off the field with an injury to his left knee. It looked bad. However, pending further tests to confirm it, Hoke's knee was hyperextended with no serious damage and he may even practice sometime this week. That's good news for anyone who remembers the job Hoke did filling in for an injured Casey Hampton in 2004.:tt02:

BlackGold4vr
08-13-2007, 09:18 AM
With the way St. Pierre played that decision should be made easier.....cut him! There are other postions like wide receiver where we have more talented players who deserve to make the team. 3rd string QB's are prima donna clipboard carriers who don't even contribute on special teams. Dead weight IMO.

AZ_Steeler
08-13-2007, 11:45 AM
I'm starting to grow a little concerned that with these new LB's in place that the Steelers haven't registered a sack yet :dunno: Should we as fans start to worry or are they holding back? :dunno: It's starting to feel like in the past when the Steelers are unable to register that first offensive TD only this year it's sacks :D

I'm all for BSP being the 3rd QB. You just never know what could happen any given Sunday. He may not have looked all that great against GB but it was only one game because the last game he looked decent.

Captcoolhand
08-13-2007, 11:57 AM
I'm starting to grow a little concerned that with these new LB's in place that the Steelers haven't registered a sack yet :dunno: Should we as fans start to worry or are they holding back? :dunno: It's starting to feel like in the past when the Steelers are unable to register that first offensive TD only this year it's sacks :D

I'm all for BSP being the 3rd QB. You just never know what could happen any given Sunday. He may not have looked all that great against GB but it was only one game because the last game he looked decent.


With the way St. Pierre played that decision should be made easier.....cut him! There are other postions like wide receiver where we have more talented players who deserve to make the team. 3rd string QB's are prima donna clipboard carriers who don't even contribute on special teams. Dead weight IMO.
I got to agree with BG4vr on this one, BSP is nothing more but wasted space that could be used on someone else. But then again can you blame the Kid for a bad game when you have an Oline like ours.:dunno:

BlackGold4vr
08-13-2007, 12:14 PM
I'm starting to grow a little concerned that with these new LB's in place that the Steelers haven't registered a sack yet :dunno: Should we as fans start to worry or are they holding back? :dunno: It's starting to feel like in the past when the Steelers are unable to register that first offensive TD only this year it's sacks :D



The LB's can't be the only ones to blame. Our front 3, Smith - Hampton - Kiesel are supposed to occupy the front 5 O-lineman so that our LB's have a free shot or a TE/RB to beat to get to the QB. I am not that alarmed yet because our starters have not really played that much. I have tried to zero in on our rushing linebackers and Woodley has gotten the most pressure on the QB by far. I have read somewhere that when James Harrison comes back that they may use Woodley on passing downs because he gets better pressure on the pass rush than Haggans. Also I expect Harrison to bring some heat too! The unknown factor in all this is how Timmons will work his way into some playing time. What are his strengths and weaknesses? We haven't seen anything from him yet but surely there must be some redeeming qualities about his game or Tomlin and Kevin Colbert would not have picked him first! I think we will be okay. :bigthumb:

Stlrs4Life
08-13-2007, 06:55 PM
Hope Hoke gets better soon.