1. The loss of Matt Spaeth was more significant then people realize
Spaeth is an exceptional zone blocker. He is a player that you can build the stretch run game around. When he went down in camp, the Steelers were left with no one capable of inheriting that responsibility within the playbook and were forced to use Beachum on the outside. The week 1 gameplan was built for Beachum to be a starter at TE. Once Pouncey went down, and Beachum forced inside, the entire gameplan for week 1 was blown up. I don't think people generally recognize how much goes into the game plan, and how dependant a young team can be on said game plan. I expect to see Palmer's role expand in week 2.
FYI, the play that Pouncey was injured on, was the ONLY zone stretch they ran all day... the injury literally took it out of their playbook.
(i guess you could make the argument that this was a stupid gameplan on the coaches part....at least, not dressing Wallace)
It also hasn't been acknowledged enough, that Pouncey's injury.... was Pouncey's fault. On the zone stretch, he is supposed to immediately get to the 2nd level, and take out the Mike. Decastro is supposed to cut the A gap DT.
2. Larry Foote's injury may be a blessing in disguise.
I've always been a fan of Foote. Not that he is anything special, but that he was a warrior in a warriors role (Buck). That guy had been pounding on the interior for the better part of a decade. But man, did he look bad Sunday. Warmack/Levitre were eating him up and moving him around with ease. I'm not sure if he was playing injured for awhile, but he looked spent ... and it's only week 1. It's been a long time coming for a new Buck to be groomed and we currently have a few options which is nice.... FYI Foote came out of nowhere to be a the franchise Buck when Bell went down... interesting that he'll be passing the job on in the same fashion.
3. Emmanuel Sanders needs to catch the football
The Steelers aren't going to be a high scoring offense, so when they go downfield, you have to catch the ball when it's put in the bread basket. Sanders failed as big as anyone on Sunday... doing his job could've resulted in a far better outcome. I've never been a fan of Sanders... I think he's a barely average NFL WR. Yea... he's fast... big deal. Heyward-Bey is fast and you could've sign him for a breakfast burrito.... Sanders simply doesn't catch the ball well. You can grab guys like him in free agency easily, and he's easily replaceable via the draft.... they should've taken the compensation pick (3rd) and let him go...
4. David Decastro... why do you suck so badly?
My first posts on this board were about how we should draft Cordy Glenn in the 1st... man... wouldn't that have been nice? I never thought Decastro would fall to us, and was on the same page as everyone else who saw him as an elite talent, and one of the best guard prospects... ever. Yes, his developed was stalled by injury, yes, he's still only started a handful of games... yes, he flashes extraordinary technique at times... but NO, he hasn't been remotely good in a single game in his career. It's one thing to get your *** handed to you by Geno Atkins (last year), it's another thing to get dominated by the Tennessee front 7... i counted ONE.... yes, ONE play, where Decastro executed his assignment well enough in the running game (Redman gained 8 yards). It's normal for young players to need time... but players who are so highly touted, should not look this awful in year 2.
5. Big Ben needs to get rid of the football, the end.
Same old song and dance. **** coverages, great QBs throw to WRs that are covered. That's what makes them great. We aren't running 3 downfield patterns on every snap anymore (Arians), there is NO reason to hold on to the ball to "let the play develop". Throw the ball, and throw it quickly and decisively. Ben HAS to make this adjustment. Throw the ball...
Our running game is going to remain garbage for a while, our offensive line is a looong work in progress....BUT, our defense is going to keep us in games, and our franchise QB is going to have the opportunity to win us enough games to stay in the conversation.... IF.... he gets rid of the god damned ball.