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Thread: Questions that will be answered this season

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Rookie Free Agent SteelfordWexler's Avatar
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    Questions that will be answered this season

    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"

  2. #2
    THAT DAMN GOOD yinzer's Avatar
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    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.
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    BlitzburghNation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yinzer View Post
    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.


    I really like our tough 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 ~~~

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

    I'm thinking we are gonna have several nail biters~~~
    Last edited by BlitzburghNation; 07-13-2008 at 10:52 PM. Reason: spelling

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    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!!
    Last edited by bonesetter58; 07-14-2008 at 12:03 PM.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #6
    BlitzburghNation's Avatar
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    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,,,,,,

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

    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 ~~~

  7. #7
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    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

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    The One And Only Phenomenal TJ's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    THAT DAMN GOOD yinzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phenominal TJ View Post
    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
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  10. #10
    Starter steelcityrockers's Avatar
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    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.

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