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Thread: Are the Steelers being targeted? (ESPN)

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Starter igor0190's Avatar
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    Are the Steelers being targeted? (ESPN)

    http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/pos...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."

  2. #2
    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    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.

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    The funny thing is the league wide crack down on head shots is all a response to the Mike Webster suit against the NFL.

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    Starter coach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scorp View Post
    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.

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    Ratbird Slayer Farrior Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coach View Post
    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.

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    Veteran KSSteelerfan's Avatar
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    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....

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    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.


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    Starter igor0190's Avatar
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    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.

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    Assistant Coach RIVERS OF STEEL's Avatar
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    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...

    And their fans.

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    Veteran GoBenGo's Avatar
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    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...
    "Like a midget at a urinal, I knew I had to be on my toes." - Lt. Frank Drevin

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