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Author Topic: Steelers are mediocre  (Read 3140 times)
koehla
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« on: Sep 04, 2007 at 13:21 »

http://www.timesonline.com/site/news.cfm?n...id=478568&rfi=6

Madden Column: Face it, Steelers mediocre
By: Mark Madden
09/03/2007


Steelers fans are to be commended for not accepting mediocrity.

But they look kind of silly when they can't spot it.

This year's model looks like an 8-8 team, and is closer to 6-10 than 10-6. Only a miraculous year by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could propel the Steelers into the playoffs.

Don't rule that out. If Roethlisberger plumbs the versatility and unpredictability of his new offense while avoiding capital punishment at the hands of his line, great things are possible. If the Steelers fail, Roethlisberger will wake up with a headache most Mondays while absorbing an unfair share of the blame, but every quarterback signs that Faustian contract.

Beyond Roethlisberger, the Steelers are average. That's a blasphemous thought in these parts. But in the land of the wild-eyed yinzer, the objective thinker rules.

Consider this: How many Steelers starters are good enough to start for a legitimate postseason contender? How many Steelers defenders could start for, say, Baltimore?

The Ravens would laugh at Clark Haggans and James Harrison.

The Ravens would laugh at the Steelers cornerbacks.

James Farrior, Larry Foote, Casey Hampton, Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith provide the only true quality on the Steelers defense. Brett Keisel may join that pack; he has the football sense and athletic ability to handle his expanded role.

How many starters on the Steelers offense could start for Cincinnati? Hines Ward could be the third receiver. Maybe.

Roethlisberger, Alan Faneca, Willie Parker and Marvel Smith are legit big-timers. Santonio Holmes and Heath Miller might be. Ward is a lot closer to the end of his prime than the beginning.

It's a bit skewed to compare the Steelers to the best their division rivals have to offer while ignoring the worst of the Ravens and Bengals. Baltimore quarterback Steve McNair could easily jump back on the scrap heap, while Cincinnati's rotten defense doesn't have even a single playmaker.

But it's difficult to imagine the Steelers outscoring Cincinnati, and equally difficult to imagine the Steelers scoring enough against Baltimore. The Steelers figure to again be brutalized two straight by the Ravens. Going 1-1 against Cincinnati seems possible only because the Bengals loathe prosperity.

If the Steelers really see themselves as a Super Bowl contender not far removed from winning XL, hiring a rookie head coach from outside the organization was bad. Continuity from within would have been better.

The Steelers' saving grace may be their undemanding early schedule.

At Cleveland this coming Sunday, then Buffalo and San Francisco at home, at Arizona, then home against Seattle. If the Steelers get through that stretch 4-1 (or, speaking idealistically, 5-0), momentum has been built and wiggle room created.

The schedule gets a lot harder. But if the Steelers begin 5-0, 10-6 and a playoff berth seems realistic. If the Steelers begin 3-2, that might seem OK but will actually be a deep hole.

The Steelers will come up short at center, where behemoth foes will bully Sean Mahan physically. Tackle Willie Colon is unproven. Holmes and Miller must fulfill their promise. More important, each must be given ample chance to fulfill his promise.

On defense, the outside linebackers are below average. The best cornerback won't be starting.

It all adds up to mediocre. It all adds up to 8-8. Recognize, will you?

Mark Madden hosts a sports talk show 3-7 p.m. weekdays on ESPN Radio 1250.
 
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whitmer_87
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« Reply #1 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 13:35 »

Last season everything that could have went wrong pretty much did. And we still finished 8-8. We had a top 10 defense and offense, but we were like 28th in turnover margin. I just don't see us making as many mental mistakes again this year. We've improved in a lot of ways too. I know it was during preseason play, but our defense looked fast and tough. I just find it hard to believe that we will be mediocre this year.

I don't want to say we our going to be a super bowl team, but I see 10-6 and a playoff birth.  
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DCSteelers
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« Reply #2 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 13:49 »

I don't agree with many things in the article.  I think the D/ST will be much improved and the team will be hungrier in general.

Ben's play, as the article states, will be a huge role.  I don't think Madden is far off by saying we need to start 5-0, either.
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pensteel
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« Reply #3 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 13:55 »

What I find interesting is he did say that we 6 players that are true quality on our defense. I'm assuming that means we have only 6 players on Defense that would start on the Ravens.

Yet, there's only 11 players that start on defense.

Does that mean that the Ravens only have 5 defensive players that would start on the Steelers?

 
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 14:00 »

Totally flawed logic.  He says our defense doesn't measure up to the Ravens' defense.  Fine.  Then he says our offense isn't as good as the Bengals'.  Debatable, but, okay.

Here is the jump in logic:  because our defense isn't as good as the best defense in the division, and because our offense isn't as good as the best offense, the team must be mediocre.

Might as well argue that the Ravens are mediocre because their offense isn't as good as ours, and likewise for the Bengals' defense.

Makes no sense.  Last time I checked, both your offense and defense plays on Sunday.  
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 14:22 »

two words for ya...

douche bag.

He always has been one, always will be one.
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BleedGreen710
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« Reply #6 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 14:51 »

Quote
This year's model looks like an 8-8 team, and is closer to 6-10 than 10-6. Only a miraculous year by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could propel the Steelers into the playoffs.

Don't rule that out. If Roethlisberger plumbs the versatility and unpredictability of his new offense while avoiding capital punishment at the hands of his line, great things are possible. If the Steelers fail, Roethlisberger will wake up with a headache most Mondays while absorbing an unfair share of the blame, but every quarterback signs that Faustian contract.

 
I like how he makes his bold prediction, then immediately covers his ass.  So much for any kind of intelligent foresight......
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"Now that I'm here, I don't want to just be here, I want to be here for a long time." Hines Ward, 1998 3rd round draft pick.
VanWilder
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 15:04 »

Quote
Totally flawed logic.  He says our defense doesn't measure up to the Ravens' defense.  Fine.  Then he says our offense isn't as good as the Bengals'.  Debatable, but, okay.

Here is the jump in logic:  because our defense isn't as good as the best defense in the division, and because our offense isn't as good as the best offense, the team must be mediocre.

Might as well argue that the Ravens are mediocre because their offense isn't as good as ours, and likewise for the Bengals' defense.

Makes no sense.  Last time I checked, both your offense and defense plays on Sunday.
Word.

He's basically calling out everyone that is/has the potential to be Pro Bowl players.  I counted 6 on D, 5 on O, by his logic.  That's 11 Pro Bowl type starters, name another in the division with that...

Madden = douche
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« Reply #8 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 15:10 »

not to fall in line as penso's little sheep, but he hit the nail on the head.  Its not like the steelers have to go toe to toe with a team with an awesome O and D all wrapped up into one.  The bengal O is great and the Baltimore D is great.  But what we have going for us is a pretty good O that is very close to what Cincy brings to the table and a D that is a pretty damn good unit in itself.

that right there my friends, wins championships.

yeah, THAT. JUST. HAPPENED!
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VaBchSteelersfan
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« Reply #9 on: Sep 04, 2007 at 15:24 »

I'm not sure but I think Madden called us 'mediocre' after 15-1 season a few years ago. Why does this man stay in Pittsburgh with all the yinzers if he despises it so much???
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"Now that I'm here, I don't want to just be here, I want to be here for a long time." Hines Ward, 1998 4th round draft pick.
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