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Thread: A few changes and getting healthy makes all the difference.

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    A few changes and getting healthy makes all the difference.

    So far we're 4-1 in 2008, a fast start and definitely a good thing. Last year we started out pretty good and then went to crap when all the injuries started, the OL's weakness shining through, Troy wasn't playing well, and the defense not getting off the field on the 3rd down, poor play calling at the wrong times, etc.

    Last year many of us were calling for Troy's head, the line needing a change, better backup for Willie, secondary letdowns all over the place, Aaron Smith being out, you name it...Now this year we are essentially the same team with a few key additions like Hartwig, Moore, Timmons getting more playing time, Troy being healthy, Stapleton getting inserted into the lineup due to injury but mainly the fact that we are healthy right now. Our 2008 draft picks have done virtually nothing for us this year and that probably won't change unless Sweed starts seeing the field and event then it will be limited action.

    The surprise for me has to be the solid play of the DL considering Keisel and Hampton both being out. Travis is playing well and getting good pentration, the addition of Roye back on the team is huge and Hoke is still being as solid as ever.

    To me it's just interesting to see that just a few tweaks here and there get this team right back in contention and in the upper echelon of the NFL. It's a long season but the pieces are in place if we can stay healthy.

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    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    Hoke (i.e. Morman Beast) is actually better than Hampton at this point of "fatso's" career.
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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    Rookie Free Agent SteelfordWexler's Avatar
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    We have seven guys who can all play on the the D line. But I think the difference this year from last underscores how valuable Aaron Smith is to this defense. The guy is a beast. Another great lift has come from the play of McFadden. He has been very good. Overall, our D still gives up a lot of 3rd and longs - but have avoided giving up the big play and have not given up many points.

    As for the offense, I think we haven't arrived just yet. We are making progress, but protection is still a problem. Ben will always take sacks - it is what it is. But I am encouraged by the evolution of the play calling and the improvement up front. The quick reads like that slant/draw option they put in for Jacksonville is definitely on the right track.

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    Draft Pick $teelersRule's Avatar
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    guys we are all forgetting the biggest impact this year. the addition of woodley has been dynamite he is not only a tremendous upgrade over haggans but he is even making harrison better too. i think that is the major difference this year.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    That's true, with Wood inserted into the lineup we have that traditional legitimate combo at OLB that Lebeau loves to have. Both he and Harrison are as good a combo as we've seen since Gildon & Porter were around in their prime.

    Hoke is the unsung hero of the defense so far and if Hampton does go down we just keep right on trucking which is important. Smith is what makes this run defense go though, without him we see exactly what we saw last year.

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    Rookie Free Agent SteelfordWexler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by $teelersRule View Post
    guys we are all forgetting the biggest impact this year. the addition of woodley has been dynamite he is not only a tremendous upgrade over haggans but he is even making harrison better too. i think that is the major difference this year.
    Absolutely. It is getting fun to watch our pass rush again.

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    AZ_Steeler's Avatar
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    I think the important thing for the Steelers this year is that they have some left in the tank as the end approaches. Tomlin came in last year and tried to instill discipline for this team and in all fairness really over worked them all to the point they just couldn't get it done any more. Hopefully Tomlin learned a lesson from that and they won't be any let downs this year!

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    Quote Originally Posted by $teelersRule View Post
    guys we are all forgetting the biggest impact this year. the addition of woodley has been dynamite he is not only a tremendous upgrade over haggans but he is even making harrison better too. i think that is the major difference this year.
    Agreed

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ_Steeler View Post
    I think the important thing for the Steelers this year is that they have some left in the tank as the end approaches. Tomlin came in last year and tried to instill discipline for this team and in all fairness really over worked them all to the point they just couldn't get it done any more. Hopefully Tomlin learned a lesson from that and they won't be any let downs this year!
    He's going to be on that learning curve as the years continue so I would suspect we'll see various changes be it small or large scale in reference to how he works out the team, practices, training camp, etc. One good thing is that he seems to be open to change and not so stubborn that he won't deviate from his routine just for the sake of consistency..that's one thing that always bugged me about Cowher. Tomlin; it may take alittle longer then we'd like because we're not used to an HC that is new to the job since BC was here for 15 years but so far the changes he's made and the players he's developing are definitely paying off. The real key will be to see how they do in late December.

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    Keeper of Keys Dean Denton's Avatar
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    We should be fine later in the season. I read in one of my Steeler digest that Tomlin understands that he wore them out late in the year last year and will not make that mistake again.

    And yes Woood as been money all year. He has made Harrison alot better. You can only put so many guys on one side to block before you leave the other side unprotected. It reminds me of the Giants last year with Osi amd Strahan. You can only block so much.

    Also Aaron Smith Never gets the credit he should. We all understand how great he is, and I'm will to bet most OL men do too. I was watching the games for 2 years with his uncle until I got Direct TV. Aarons Uncle was going to the Same Steeler bar I was.

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