Jump to content


Veteran Members
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

732 Pro Bowl

Recent Profile Visitors

629 profile views
  1. kurgan's Coach/Film room

    Edmunds and the OLine are two I’m an extremely interested in seeing what you find, but I’m looking forward to all of your write ups.
  2. Right and Wrong: Offense

    I agree on turnover regression, but I think it’s going to be more of an even swap at the end of the day. We barely scored off any turnovers that we actually did create, with Ben that’s a different world. I, largely, expect our defense to continually stop people from scoring despite less turnovers — I just think we will take advantage offensively more this year.
  3. Right and Wrong: Offense

    I thought a lot about Ben and the reason I am confident in our offense this year is because I believe any form of Ben will win us more games. If we scored 22 points a game last year, we win three more games. We had three more games against playoff teams go down to the final possession. That’s 6 games impacted by just having hots or just understanding audibles. 22 points per game would have ranked 18th last year. I don’t know that I would say we will be top ten, but if we are even just top 16 - top half of the league - we will immediately be a playoff team. As an 8-8 team who ranked 27th in the league in scoring at 18 per game, that 4 points swing brings us between 10-14 wins. To be, that’s Ben doing the bare minimum last year, so I’m super pumped for whatever return he brings. Its why I don’t get so many media people seemingly sleeping on the Steelers. I don’t think they understand how little we needed from an offense that collapsed to not only be in the playoffs, but contending for a bye.
  4. Right and Wrong: Offense

    Just revisiting as I found something interesting in terms of separation last season Johnson actually lead all NFL receivers in separation. That’s the kind of stuff that’s super important on this team full of combat catch guys. DJ will be the 1 on this team. JuJu has chemistry and will still eat a large target share, but game on the line, 3rd and 5 getting man’ed up....Johnson’s the guy you want. also, the goal was for you guys to also share your right and wrongs 😉
  5. Mike Hilton

    I think it’s a bit more of a mixed bag and really depends on what you think December looks like. Ravens, Browns, Patriots, Bills, Tennessee, Indy - those are all run “heavy” (Or should be....idiot Browns), 12 personnel style teams that we are scheduled to play late season or would potentially play in the playoffs. Those teams don’t benefit from a guy who just covers. i firmly believe you match your team to your division, and that’s gonna be heavy 2 TE sets. Ultimately it would depend how much they WANT to play nickel Vs base. But if you WANT to make nickel your key defense, it’s gotta be Hilton against teams more apt to run or play big. i will say this is all a bit of assumption though, as we really haven’t seen Sutton take heavy nickel snaps to know if he can/can’t handle the running situations.
  6. Mike Hilton

    Yes and no. Sutton is a much better defender in the air, but Hilton is still very good against the run and being part of the pass rush. The question is really going to become how much do you like being versatile in the nickel vs closer to one dimensional? If Sutton can’t help set the edge against the run like Hilton, can we play as much nickel as we do? Ravens and Browns are going to be heavy 2TE sets - so looking at a division that will probably play big, do you want coverage over run stopping to be the be all end all? I think the biggest question as to who gets extended - Hilton or Sutton - comes down to Layne. Layne will be an outside defender, so with Layne as a positive, Sutton becomes less necessary as Nelson has inside/outside ability if needed in sub or because of injury. If Layne isn’t the guy, Sutton, to me, almost becomes mandatory with Haden towards the end of the journey. Moral of the story, I don’t think Sutton vs Hilton long term is an easy equation, but if both could be had for $10-$15M (aka, Dupree) just take all my money.
  7. Mike Hilton

    😳 I may be ignorant to this, but is this a real tracked metric people look for in DBs? Average time To throw for QBs is usually well under 3 seconds. I can’t imagine if that’s the case we expect players to cover their man for 4.
  8. Mike Hilton

    In all honesty going into last year I felt the same way you did. But changing the way I viewed him really flipped my opinion and after doing some playing around on pro football reference lining him up against other guys it opened my eyes to just how good he has actually been. I keep coming back to this name, but he really started my deep dive, but Jamal Adams was a first team all-pro and he and Hilton’s production levels are almost identical through three years in the league...and then you see that Hilton plays about half the snaps. I absolutely get his glaring weakness and we will absolutely see him get smoked a time or two in season. But I think it will be hard to replace his overall game - especially the way he is used to defend the run out of nickel and also be an asset in butlers rush game.
  9. Mike Hilton

    Agree with the underline, whole heartedly disagree with the bold. When you line up with and sometimes beat one of the best box safeties in the league I’m most metrics - you are not below average against the run. Hilton has a better or similar miss tackle rate to Bobby Wagner, TJ Watt, Jamal Adams, and Chris Harris - the best ILB, Best player on our team, best Box safety, and best slot CB . But that leads to what I think of Hilton. I stopped thinking of him as a Corner. 43 is absolutely right, he is a below average cover guy, but the rest of his game suits today’s NFL perfectly. I have long believed that the NFL would transition, or should transition, into a three safety league. Hilton is that - our third safety. Defends the run, fits as a pass rusher, and can cover, though it’s not his strong suit. I get wanting a better cover guy when you think of a lot CB, but if the next guy (maybe Sutton?) is a vastly superior cover guy but not nearly as good in the other phases of the game we will look back and miss Hilton’s versatility in versatile defensive world. If we could resign him for $5M a year, you thank the NFL gods that you got a steal when someone is going to pay Jamal Adams NFL safety breaking money and you got the same player for 1/4 the cost. But seriously, not thinking of him as the CB letters in the program completely changed my opinion of him.
  10. Right and Wrong: Offense

    Dude, that’s gotta be fake......right?? Looks like a bad guy from the Batman video games.
  11. Right and Wrong: Offense

    Love the VJax comparison, and hope it’s right. Always liked watching him play. Ultimately I hope your correct, but I have concerns making an entire receiving core out of guys who need everything to go right and have to rely on contested catches. To me; it’s not a winning strategy to play with a guy in your pocket and be comfortable with a “you win some, you lose some”. That’s now how you pick up key 3rd and 5’s in a fourth quarter. I’m gonna say the name I didn’t want to talk about in this thread, but any body but Fitchner and I might be less worried. But he showed last year when he needed to create for his squad that he still relied on guys making plays (much like 2018, just with far, far less success for obvious reasons).
  12. Right and Wrong: Offense

    The only problem I have with this is that you can tell if a guy separates well before the ball gets close to the target. There’s a good saying “if he’s even, he’s leavin’” for a receiver who is about to separate from a corner on a go....but Claypools saying would be more, “if I am even, I’m staying even but don’t worry I’ll win at the POA”. Even in his highlights, dudes are right in his pocket often, he doesn’t seperate from them. I question that that will change when pro corners are just faster and more athletic. I probably didn’t get into enough detail because I didn’t want to make too big of a wall of text, but I don’t think combat catch vs separation is a problem, but it can be if that’s all you have. Completions to guys that separate are far more repeatable at the pro level. Giving defenders chances to make a play too often leads them to do just that — make the play. You can have success, but can you have success when it matters? That was the same issue we ran into when Bryant and Coates were both out. AB was the only person who could get himself open. Teams like the Ravens went as far as to triple team him and when no one else could get open, it’s off the field on a key 3rd because you played 50/50 balls in tight window s and wound up on the wrong side of the odds. Washington is an interesting case because the more I watch, the less I see any separation...which is weird considering his downfield success last year. Even his highlights, big play against the Bengals looked like the corner behind him thought he was getting a pick floated to him, the score against the Browns will never happen again that way, he had a bit play against the Pats that McCourty just stopped running, and two more against the Browns that had dudes all over him, but Duck had perfect ball placement against Washington and the sideline. I thought he was awesome last year, but it still comes down to can you repeat the good? I’m not sure thing group can continually win against good competition in tight situations. We can’t rely on things falling out way consistently. I think DJ is going to be the killer of the group. And I think JuJu and Washington are good receivers, but if we rely on perfect too much, 3rd and 8s I’m big games are going to be frustrating not being able to dictate coverages with only one true guy that separates.
  13. Wanted to start a little two part series to kill some of this offseason from hell boredom. Going to ask: What goes right for team success and what could go wrong to keep us from moving forward. Also, for fun throwing in a little bonus for some hot take calls - what YOU will be right about at the end of the season and what YOU will be wrong about. I’ll start. What goes Right: Variety While I still think we lack a bit of diversity, this offense is unique. We have a lot of guys who can line up in multiple areas and perform a variety of jobs. Our additions of Watt, Ebron, and then Claypool give us a lot of options in traditional sets. While I’m fully willing to commit to Chase as a WR, I think his ultimate calling card will be the pseudo TE, like Ebron as a big slot. I love the idea of facing a base defense with Ebron, Claypool, Watt, McDonald and JuJu/Washington (exceptional blocking receivers). We can be spread, we can be 2-3 tight, we can run, we can pass — we can go no huddle and absolutely kill a team. Trying to keep it short and simple, but we can offer a variety of formations and playing styles with our personnel and keep teams off balance to make up for the lack of diversity. What goes wrong: Separation Surprise! I didn’t say Fitchner! Which, we’ll, is the correct answer, but I’m trying to forget he is out OC so I’m taking a different route... While we can be varied, if our receivers can’t separate, it’s not going to matter. I think there is a lot of hope right now that Claypool can stretch the field and DJ takes the next step in becoming AB 2.0, but Claypool doesn’t play like his 4.4 and DJ is still growing. If teams can play us like they did the year Bryant was suspended and Coates got hurt and just sit in Man 2 (effectively doubling the field) on key downs...we are going to be in trouble without a go to man beater on the field in the short area or ability to take the top off. We have a lot of combat catch players who don’t separate well, and while that’s a valuable trait, it’s not a long term success plan in the NFL to have your entire core made up of that. Separation is king, and we don’t know that we have a lot of it. Where I am right: James Connor Just book mark this when he plays 12+ games and is a top 5 RB in all purpose. I get the concerns, but I really feel like people forgot just how damn good he was in 2018 and also missed his moments in 2019 when he was just as good in a terrible situation. I think he is easily a top 8 RB and the missed tackle numbers support that. Go watch the Bills game last year where he made guys in a 10 man box look foolish. He has a history of being injured but he doesn’t have an injury history. Makes me believe it’s more coincidental than his body being a problem. Big things coming from a guy who has really been tremendous but has spent the offseason hearing about how we needed a running back Where I’m wrong: Offensive Line I spent a good chunk of last season defending them instead of acknowledging that it could have been regression (outside of Foster who couldn’t even get in his stance at the end of the year). The QB play cause a lot of undue criticism at the OL (Hi, Miami game) my stance is that with Ben back and the returns of a passing attack, audibles, and hots....this will be a top third unit again. Having said that...our key guys are all on the wrong side of 30. Did Munchak just maximize the talent available or did someone like Villy just fall off a bit? I still don’t see the OL being issues when I watch the games back, but it wouldn’t be overly surprising if the unit begins to slide again. My plan is to let this run it’s course a little (if people enjoy the convo) before starting the Defensive side, but I have been fairly hit and miss with availability so if we get a few days in and someone wants to start the defense, feel free.
  14. Offseason Work to do

    I really don’t disagree with anything, but I’m not as stone cold locked on that premise. I’m not convinced a guy who never did a thing and a defense that never played a certain way is going to work just cuz. I get the logic behind the amount of base we have played, but again, the other teams dictate that. Our defense has had stretches of being weak against the run, even with Hargreaves as a more suitable NT (though, not perfect). If we have problems playing the run in base or against the pass because we need our run game backers on to make up the difference, who’s gonna be shocked? The Ravens will run, the Browns should run, and the Bengals with a rookie QB should rely on the run. Again, I’m definitely on your side, but I like to look at both sides. They always say don’t do the thing the other team wants you to do. If I was the other team, what would I want the Steelers to do? And it’s play a lot of base.
  15. Offseason Work to do

    The fear that is that he has never done that. Are we too light (not necessarily in weight, but ability) to consistently stop the run with Tyson at NT? Are we too vulnerable against the pass with Vince/Edmunds in the middle if they are necessarily to stop the run? Base defense could be a concern, because it feels like we don’t think we will be playing it often. Ravens and Browns are going to be two teams in our division that should be 2 TE heavy. Those games are key for us making playoffs. That’s a lot of high pressure usage of the NT position that we don’t seem to care about.