I'll say it as simple as I know how:
"The Steelers are not as good as you think they are, or as bad as you think they are"
I know many in Steelers Nation are running around in doomsday mode right now telling others we all need to jump from the 86th floor window, .... but the truth of the matter is .... we don't.
I won't spend too much time talking about the offense because we're fairly solid on that side of the ball and will only get better with the return of Mendy and eventually DeCastro. Sure, the running game is not where it needs to be, but it will get there. The young fellas' need real game experience. Overall, I like Haley's play calling and I like the scheme. I love the way he's utilizing the TE and the RB's in the passing game and his quick passing attack is sure to preserve Ben in his later years. Ben Roeth put up herculean numbers yesterday. Anytime you hang 31 points on a team you would THINK that would be enough to put a team away. Not the case yesterday ...
And now the Defense:
Wow, where do I begin? First off, I'm not about to drop trau and **** on LeBeau like some other people are doing right now. 1) I have too much respect for the man and 2) he's more than earned that respect. The reality is, LeBeau has personnel problems and that's something he has very little control over now that the season has started. The personnel problems that I'm referring to is, quite simply, a lack of playmaking talent as a direct result of busted high round draft picks that are not living up to their potential. Combine this with aging veterans that are no longer starting caliber players.
In a nutshell:
LeBeau does not have the player talent to employ the type of defense that he is accustomed to running.
BOOM! ...... and there it is.
Hood, Timmons, Worilds, Gilbert .... not even close to their 1st and 2nd round draft billing. I've seen enough of Jason Worilds to say with 100% certaintly he's Zo Jackson all over again. He looked lost and slow. Hood's ability as an edge rusher has been taken away from him in this system. If the Steelers thought he would fit their system, they were sadly mistaken. Hood is truly trying and has motor, but the reality is ... this is not the system for him. Timmons is hit or miss. He'll have a great game followed by 2 pedestrian games followed by 1 "**** the bed" game and the cycle wil start all over again. Foote is a guy who can hold his own. Probably a 2nd teamer on most squads, but certainly not a stand-out top tier MLB. Woodley is the only true guy who can be called an impact playmaker on our defense right now. As long as teams know this, he'll be doubled and deemed Mr. Irrelivant. This just in, Marcus Gilbert has a vagina.
Hampton and Keisel are no longer starting caliber talent. I'm sorry if some of you still think that they are. Trust me on this one, let go people ... let it go, they're simply NOT. They are now "spot duty" subs at best. McLendon is a better nose than Fat Casey is at this point of his career. McLendon needs to see the field more. Keisel has been as irrelivant as any player I've seen on the defense this year. The man is virtually non-existant. Where in the hell is Cam Heyward? Who did he **** off so badly that they're keeping a 2nd year 1st round pick off the mother lovin' field? All I heard out of camp was how Mundy and Lewis are ready to take on more responsibilities this year. Guess what? Not only are both NOT ready for prime time, I could argue that neither would even make a final 53 man roster around the NFL.
And there you have it folks. It's a grab-bag **** sandwich on defense and we all have to take a bite. I won't even go into the top round draft picks that we squandered over the past few years like Limas Sweed, Keith Urbick, Thaddeus Gibson, Tone Holmes, Bruce Davis, Anthony Smith, or Willie Reid.
If you want to pin the current state of the defense on anybody, pin it on Colbert and Tomlin. They're the one's who are grading the draft picks and going after these dark horses to fit into a system they have no business being in. They're the one's who decided to dish off 1st rounders like Tone Holmes without getting any value in return .. to make some silly *** "zero tolerance" statement!
LeBeau is playing the hand he's being dealt. If I were him, I'd sign-off at the end of the season and call it a day. He has nothing left to prove.