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  1. #1
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Exclamation Special teams seek to end struggles

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_469866.html

    By John Grupp
    TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, September 10, 2006


    They are the mistakes that turn field position into fraught position.
    The Steelers' special-teams miscues carried over from the preseason into the regular-season opener, leaving only the promise of improvement.

    "We've always had great special teams," punt returner Ricardo Colclough said before Thursday's 28-17 season-opening win over the Miami Dolphins. "We had a missed assignment here and missed assignment there. We just can't quite break it. We're trying back there, and hopefully, this year, we can get the kick returning going."

    While the Steelers prevailed Thursday, the return teams had little to do with the victory. The Steelers averaged 1.7 yards on three punt returns and 25 yards on three kickoff returns.

    Prior to the Miami game, special teams coach Kevin Spencer said the unit would develop more continuity. Since last season, he lost Antwaan Randle El (sixth in the NFL in punt returns last year) to free agency and Quincy Morgan (eighth in kickoff returns) to a roster cut.

    "We just used a combination of a lot of different guys -- and I'm not trying to make excuses -- but what do you do?" he said. "Do you keep your front-line guys in there and get good at it, or do you take the time to evaluate people?

    "The bottom line is that, now that we have our group and our corps, we have to hope we can pick up where we left off last year and even do a little bit better."

    Colclough and rookie Santonio Holmes returned kickoffs and punts against the Dolphins. Rookie Willie Reid, whom coach Bill Cowher hinted would handle punt returns, was inactive.

    "Once we get going, we'll be OK," Colclough said.
    Bottom line is, it doesnt matter who's returning the kicks, who's blocking, who's the gunners, or anything else...our ST are a big part of our offense. It sets everything up for the defense and the offense so they better get it together and fast.

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    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    This was by far the weakest part of our game Thursday. Way too many blunders to name off. Someone needs to step up and take control of the ST's. They just looked so out of sync it wasn't even funny.

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Not all that long ago our special teams were so bad that they cost us more than a game or 2 through the season and that spelled the end of Jay Hayes...but since we got rid of him they have been pretty stellar for the most part. Let's hope this is just a unit learning to work together and they'll get better and pull it all together...we can't afford the ST to be below par at any time.

  4. #4
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    The only way to go is up. I think the best is yet to come. Holmes can very well be like Dante Hall is to the Chiefs. I think a little more grooming and he will become a very lethal threat on the ST. We do need to work on that, that was an eyesore.

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    I've never seen so many ST blunders in one game... maybe the Steelers back in the 02 playoffs against NE (I think it was 02)... still ST can make or break the game for you and if the defense isn't given al ot of feild to work with then it puts a lot of preassure on them... at the same time though if guys are fielding balls inside the 10 and getting so scared when receiving the ball that they muff it that doesn't do anything for the offense.

    I don't know if they can get Chidi back, but I'm sure they are really missing him now. He was a huge part of the ST group and was involved in almost every play it seemed like. ST needs to do a 180 before next week agaisnt Jacksonville, that's for sure!

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