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Steeler Hitman

Fans are at Times Very Fickle

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52 minutes ago, Big Snack said:

id rather draft etienne than give a 2nd contract to either rb.

My thought is if they wanted to sign an impact offensive FA and upgrade the lines in the draft.

I agree on not giving $$$ to RBs unless theyre a generational type of player or you’re just a player away from making a run.

The Steelers may fit that last part.

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@Steeler Hitman 

While some of what you said is true, I believe it is not as 'night and day'/'love and hate' as you portray.

In the case of Rudolph, I believe most understand that Rudolph is suffering after effects from his concussion; so yes, fans were calling for Duck as soon as it was evident that Rudolph was not performing nearly as well since the concussion.  And while many were excited for Duck, I'm not sure how many here absolutely felt that Duck was the answer to our long-term prayers.  I do believe, as do many others, at this moment, Duck is our best option moving forward, but I don;t think anyone really believed he was anything more than a good back-up, overall.

IRT to Juju, I haven't read much negativity, but I have not read likely half the posts over this past season.  I feel most still believe he is our best WR on the roster, and will be a force for us in the future.  If anyone is saying otherwise, well, then yes, that is shortsighted.  I mentioned that, if the circumstances/an offer form another team were good enough, we could stand to part with Juju, but that is ONLY because I feel without him, we'd still have two high-level starters on the roster in Diontae and Washington, with Cain being a very real possibility of having a bright future for us.  But as I alluded in a thread earlier today, I believe Washington is actually our best chance, and most viable option, to be able to be replaced and traded for a good Draft asset in return.

As to Conner, well, he has similarities in his story to that of Rusdolph, in that injuries appear will continue to hamper his ability to be our starting RB of the future.  I don't think anyone here doubts his abilities, when healthy, but we simply can't depend upon a RB that has shown to be unable to remain healthy for an entire season, which, of course, prevent him from being a true 'factor back' for us. IMO, TBH, I believe Conner can be as good as Bell. Problem is, our OL this season is nowhere near as effective as in recent seasons.  Bell wouldn't look much better in our offense this season.

All that said...yes, the fanbase is very fickle...me included, and each one of us will 'pounce' on an opportunity to turn sour on any one of our players that are meeting 'The Standard'  I, for one, feel Poncey's time needs to come to a close, and while I respect the MANY outstanding seasons he's provided us, I don't think  it's a stretch to say his play has fallen off quite a bit.

I'm most surprised with how many are already done with Ben.  I do worry that he may never come back to the Ben we once knew, and I recognize his time needs to likely be 'short', but I've seen some allusions to him never being that great anyway, which surprises me, for all he's done for this team, and being the clear top QB from that vaunted 2004 class of QBs, all things considered.

Anyway, in many ways I agree with the sentiment of your post, but I don't think it's quite as cut and dry as you alluded, IMO.

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On 12/20/2019 at 2:21 PM, jebrick said:

Conner's running style leads him to be injured every season.  He is the best runner but can't be counted on.  Keep him but draft a replacement.

Let's face it, being a RB does not make for a long career. People are bigger stronger and faster running on the same joints and ligaments. While being a tough and  violent runner is not bad,; you also have to learn to be an intelligent runner (I.E. don't take unnecessary shots). Someone made the Marcus Allen reference as Allen was 6'2 and knew when and how to dip to avoid taking huge shots.  Chuck Muncie (another tall 6'3) RB who had a punishing style, but didn't get hurt a lot.  Then there was Franco, who took a lot of heat for being called soft. However,  I think many of us now realize that he was smart in not taking unnecessary shots.

On 12/20/2019 at 11:41 PM, FourThreeMafia said:

@Steeler Hitman, I love reading your posts, bur they go on forever sometimes.

xD...just messin.

 

Anyway, Ill respond to this quickly...

Rudolph and Hodges....I think people should give them a break.  Neither came into this season expecting significant playing time, and therefore didnt get the type of coaching they needed to be ready to start in place of Ben the entire year, but both had some success.  Also, both were essentially handcuffed by an OC who is clearly in over his head.    Neither were ready to start and neither are starting caliber talents.  This is what happens when your franchise QB suddenly goes down.

Juju...love the guy, but not sold he is a number 1.  I would love to keep him long term, but not for top tier number 1 money.

Conner is a capable RB, but will always be injury prone.  Id like to keep him, but only for a reasonable price.  The league isnt really fair for RBs, but thats the reality of it.

 

I know that I can get too caught up with trying to over-explain sometimes. What can I say, I am from Western PA, it is in my DNA.:D9_9

On 12/20/2019 at 11:57 PM, Displayname said:

The hate juju gets is Ridiculous! He may not be a number one yet, but it took until year 4 for Antonio Brown to become A.B. I’m not saying that’s what I think he’ll become, but the man is 23 years old and has three years of experience under his belt. I’m not convinced we’ve seen his ceiling yet.

I agree completely with this statement.

It seems like WRs are slow developers.  A.B is/was in the same Category(in terms of play) of Rice, Moss, Marvin Harrison, T.O, etc. Please tell me how many times did their number two beat them in catches and yards. Even with all the attention they drew. I wonder if Reggie Wayne was catching the same heat early in his career. The Steelers offense didn’t lack any weapons early, mid, and the end of Browns career here. People forget that it’s the ultimate team game. They benefit from one other especially when AB could be hall of fame QB was in his prime. This year we had two young WRs on the opposite side going through growing pains and another that’s not even on the team anymore. The way how Washington has been playing as late will really help juju. Having juju will also help johnson/Cain and ultimately duck/mason. I don’t know why they're still messing with holton.... SMH

Special Teams gunner. That is pretty much it. He was given an opportunity early to catch some deep balls, but never connected with any of the QB's. I think he is gone next year.  I am curious to watch Cain develop into a #4 or at worst #5 next year.

I wasn’t completely sold on Mason. Even early on. The flea flicker play to juju against the hawks felt like a punt. Watching his timing was very hard at times. His mid passing game was also high/low/behind/to forward. Granted our young WR core and drops-crief didn’t help much. It looked like he was scared until the Ravens game then got knocked out and regressed. 

I was in the minority who felt like Landry was not a horrible back-up. After watching Dobbs and Mason in pre-season, I think we all prayed for Big Ben's health.  I think both Duck and Mason will be better next year, but I would be looking for a veteran free agent QB for security. 

Duck, it’s hard not to root for this long shot rookie. Literally, I’ve been rooting for him to be on the team during training. I like his confidence in the pocket and doesn’t just stand like a deer in the headlights. However, both have a long way to go to become Ben's replacement. People forget Ben had a horrible games in the 2004 playoff games. It happens with young QBs, not every QB starts out like Marino or Mahomes. I’m obviously pulling for Duck over Mason. 
I think Mason has a brighter future and higher ceiling, but I am a Duck fan too. I love rooting for the underdog and the kid has heart.  He isn't scared to throw the ball. If he can improve his reads on the defense (experience and study) and learn to go through his progressions quicker, he can be at least a decent back-up a la Fitz-magic. I don't think he will ever be confused with Drew Brees, but I do not believe the kid is a scrub either. Like I said, he has heart.

Connor, it’s hard not to root for him also. With Snell and Samuels I’m starting to think RB by Committee approach would be ideal for all of them since they’ve missed time this year and go with who’s hot during the game. Long term, I’m not sure yet. They’ve also had short comings when healthy. 
I like Connor and I think he is a legit RB1.  His injuries are a concern.  I think you have to safeguard yourself and get another RB via, draft, free agency or trade.  Snell showed some promise, but I can't see him being a long term feature back. Ditto with Samuels as this season has shown.  I have a feeling some Leveon Bell inquiries may be made after the season. He did wear Black N Gold to the game. He is a bit fickle and I think both sides can admit, that they may need each other.  Bell and Connor dual would be a RB1 and RB1A combo. Both of those guys are not the top or best RB on the NFL, but together, you wouldn't get a much better duo.  Problem would be his salary and having to sign our own free agents like Bud and Hargraves.

The blame for this offense is all around and injuries to three of your feature players doesn’t help including the coordinator( he’s not off the hook though). The only ones, IMO, that don’t have an excuse is the o line. [insert a shockingly cuss word phrase here]. All that money tied into them and their that? Idk if it’s because munch left or it’s that time for three of them to retire or be cut.

I think that the team did not have an adequate back-up plan for if Ben, Connor or Ju Ju got hurt let alone all of them. What team really would? I think the Steelers need to get a few road graders again up front.  I would move Pouncey to LG where Foster has been. Pouncey is actually better suited to play OG in my humble opinion and draft or sign a big C. Pouncey is still the teams leader and second best OL to DeCastro.  however, not having another guy or two like Finney who can move big bodies hurts the running game especially when teams know you are limited passing and have to try to run.  Our young QB's could not make teams pay with their arms consistently enough when teams put 8 or 9 in the box, blitzed or dropped in zone which seem to kill Duck the past two games.

22 hours ago, Ward4HOF said:

@Steeler Hitman 

While some of what you said is true, I believe it is not as 'night and day'/'love and hate' as you portray.

Agree. I didn't mean for it to sound so cut and dry. I was just trying to illustrate the main point that people change (quickly). I agree that it is not always unwarranted.

In the case of Rudolph, I believe most understand that Rudolph is suffering after effects from his concussion; so yes, fans were calling for Duck as soon as it was evident that Rudolph was not performing nearly as well since the concussion.  And while many were excited for Duck, I'm not sure how many here absolutely felt that Duck was the answer to our long-term prayers.  I do believe, as do many others, at this moment, Duck is our best option moving forward, but I don;t think anyone really believed he was anything more than a good back-up, overall.

Agreed, but winning raises expectations. Duck came in and seem to chuck the ball fearlessly.  It was what was needed early, but just as teams adjusted to what Mason was comfortable with and what he struggled with, they did the same with Duck as well.  If the Steelers win their last two games, I don't think any of us would have been shocked if the Steelers went to Houston and beat the Texans with Duck at QB.

IRT to Juju, I haven't read much negativity, but I have not read likely half the posts over this past season.  I feel most still believe he is our best WR on the roster, and will be a force for us in the future.  If anyone is saying otherwise, well, then yes, that is shortsighted.  I mentioned that, if the circumstances/an offer form another team were good enough, we could stand to part with Juju, but that is ONLY because I feel without him, we'd still have two high-level starters on the roster in Diontae and Washington, with Cain being a very real possibility of having a bright future for us.  But as I alluded in a thread earlier today, I believe Washington is actually our best chance, and most viable option, to be able to be replaced and traded for a good Draft asset in return.

I wouldn't trade Washington.  He is young and on the upswing just as Dionte is. As for Ju Ju, he had some adversity due to injuroes and losing a HOF QB. I don't believe that Jerry Rice would put up great numbers with our QB's passing to him. Ju Ju is winner and is a classy Steeler type of guy. At 23, you hold onto him tightly.  If he can stay healthy, I predict a big 2020 with Ben back for Ju Ju.

As to Conner, well, he has similarities in his story to that of Rudolph, in that injuries appear will continue to hamper his ability to be our starting RB of the future.  I don't think anyone here doubts his abilities, when healthy, but we simply can't depend upon a RB that has shown to be unable to remain healthy for an entire season, which, of course, prevent him from being a true 'factor back' for us. IMO, TBH, I believe Conner can be as good as Bell. Problem is, our OL this season is nowhere near as effective as in recent seasons.  Bell wouldn't look much better in our offense this season.

Excellent points. I agree with part and slightly disagree that Bell wouldn't have had much success.  Bell is more elusive than Connor. He might not be straight line 40 yard dash fast, but Bell has that wiggle and knows how to avoid big shoots, pick his holes and creases and can make something out of a nothing block. I agree that it is time to get some OL's who are better run blockers. Our OL's are better pass blockers.  In a perfect world you want a balance, but we need to be able to run the ball well, even when Ben comes back. A huge part of the Ravens big offensive output in 2019 is their ability to run that has opened up the ability to throw deep.

All that said...yes, the fanbase is very fickle...me included, and each one of us will 'pounce' on an opportunity to turn sour on any one of our players that are meeting 'The Standard'  I, for one, feel Poncey's time needs to come to a close, and while I respect the MANY outstanding seasons he's provided us, I don't think  it's a stretch to say his play has fallen off quite a bit.

I agree that his play at C has fallen off. I think he can play LG and would be solid as he is still good with movement and blocking in space. At the point of attack, he seems to have regressed as a blocker in 2019.

I'm most surprised with how many are already done with Ben.  I do worry that he may never come back to the Ben we once knew, and I recognize his time needs to likely be 'short', but I've seen some allusions to him never being that great anyway, which surprises me, for all he's done for this team, and being the clear top QB from that vaunted 2004 class of QBs, all things considered.

I understand that you have to prepare for the future, but we still have a SB winning HOF QB in Big Ben. I think fans get enamored by the success of some young QB's early like Mahomes, Watson and LaMaar. I would try to get a veteran to back him up like the days of Charlie Batch.  Would you take a flier on Jameis Winston,  Marcus Mariotta, or Blake Bortles? I would.  Mariotta fascinates me the most as I think he just needs some QB Coach love and a little time.  The cap makes it hard to trade for a starting caliber QB.

Anyway, in many ways I agree with the sentiment of your post, but I don't think it's quite as cut and dry as you alluded, IMO.

Thanks for responding. I honestly wasn't trying to make it so black and white, yes or no, right or wrong. I do see how people jump on and off the bandwagon in a minute. To your point, some of it is justified or explained and some is also just front running fans who love you when you are up and will hate on you when you struggle.

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11 minutes ago, wwhickok said:

Made me wanna puke last night that Bell and Ward had the last laugh.

Bell I understand but why Ward?  Ward is an All Time Steeler great and a seemingly good person.  Unless I missed something.  

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13 hours ago, wwhickok said:

Made me wanna puke last night that Bell and Ward had the last laugh.

 

13 hours ago, Chieferific said:

Bell I understand but why Ward?  Ward is an All Time Steeler great and a seemingly good person.  Unless I missed something.  

I think the competitive edge of "wanting to do your best win," was felt by both.  I don't think there was any ill feelings or shade exhibited by either Ward or Bell.  Ward even said before the game that this would be the only time he rooted against the Steelers. This is similar to when Kevin Green and Mike McCarthy coached with Green Bay. They love the Steelers except when they play them.  After seeing Bell's pre-game attire, some of the comments made in New York and the overall experience; (my humble opinion) I think Bell misses Pittsburgh.  He may not say it publicly (not the right thing to do when another organization is paying you big $$$).  I think Bell is going to be gone from the Jets this off season. Is a reunion in Pittsburgh possible? I think it would be hard with his salary at this point, but I think his bonus would be on the Jets.  He is not in a good place for his skills and talents and would be an incredible one-two punch with Connor.  Sometimes you appreciate what you had after it is gone and you got to have something else. I would not be surprised if this isn't thought or talked about this off season.  Remember there was a rumor that the Steelers inquired about Bell at the trade deadline.  How serious that was, I don't know, but based on what teammates have said leading up to this game, all could be forgiven.

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On 2019-12-23 at 2:22 PM, Steeler Hitman said:

I agree that his play at C has fallen off. I think he can play LG and would be solid as he is still good with movement and blocking in space. At the point of attack, he seems to have regressed as a blocker in 2019

Just move on, get players that are good, not were good several years ago with HOF OL coach as that's not the situation now. 

Problem: this team and ,coincidentally it's fanbase ,  accepts the idea/reality that players on this team that  are on their downside of their career yet are making more $ than they ever have or should have. This causes cap strain, and is something they might want to consider correcting as it only hinders the future due to the cap issues that will always be present as a result. 

pouncey made the all decade team, and what's next the HOF? I can't believe this, but that's the nfl today I guess

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i pride myself in not being fickle.

i always hate tomlin and never love him

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To preface this post, this season is the first season in 28 years that I didn't watch almost all (if not every single one) of the Steelers games.  I got sick of the NFL's BS and cancelled the NFL Sunday Ticket and didn't go to the bar to watch either.  So I admit this season I didn't see it all.  But early in the year, most of the games were televised this year, so I still saw over half the games I suppose.  Just wanted to be sure to clarify that in case I missed some things.

I thought Rudolph was solid coming out and liked the pick.  He showed flashes of being decent before.  He looked horrible after the concussion.  Can he rebound?  They need to protect him better and get him better weapons.  

James Conner I've liked from day 1, and I remember watching the game he got hurt at the end and thinking Tomlin, you dumb SOB, get him out of the game!  THAT VERY NEXT PLAY, he got hurt.  I think he's a great RB, just not too durable.  

JuJu is a good receiver.  I think he got too much hype when he was the #2 and teams were doubling DownTown Brown.  He's a really good #2, not a stud #1 by any means.  

All 3 of those guys seem to have great character, and have shown that they're good or at least have the potential to be good.

Duck, is a whatever to me.  I never saw much out of him, and yes I saw a couple of his first few games where they won because of the defense.  He looked like crap the last game I saw.  He's irrelevant.  JAG.  

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1 minute ago, Magnus-Viktor said:

To preface this post, this season is the first season in 28 years that I didn't watch almost all (if not every single one) of the Steelers games.  I got sick of the NFL's BS and cancelled the NFL Sunday Ticket and didn't go to the bar to watch either.  So I admit this season I didn't see it all.  But early in the year, most of the games were televised this year, so I still saw over half the games I suppose.  Just wanted to be sure to clarify that in case I missed some things.

I thought Rudolph was solid coming out and liked the pick.  He showed flashes of being decent before.  He looked horrible after the concussion.  Can he rebound?  They need to protect him better and get him better weapons.  

James Conner I've liked from day 1, and I remember watching the game he got hurt at the end and thinking Tomlin, you dumb SOB, get him out of the game!  THAT VERY NEXT PLAY, he got hurt.  I think he's a great RB, just not too durable.  

JuJu is a good receiver.  I think he got too much hype when he was the #2 and teams were doubling DownTown Brown.  He's a really good #2, not a stud #1 by any means.  

All 3 of those guys seem to have great character, and have shown that they're good or at least have the potential to be good.

Duck, is a whatever to me.  I never saw much out of him, and yes I saw a couple of his first few games where they won because of the defense.  He looked like crap the last game I saw.  He's irrelevant.  JAG.  

I think this is a fair assessment of all those guys. I agree. As long as Mason doesn't get jumpy because of getting hurt after he came back from his concussion, I think he's still a good option as our backup.

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Mason - he’s a career backup at best. 
Juju - this isn’t a good season to assess his ability as a #1. Mason didn’t have a rapport with anyone. Duck has it with DJ and Wash because they ran scout team in preseason. I think he’s a Super 2 (think Holt to Bruce) but I need a healthy Ben before thinking that. 
Conner - Not a feature back. He’s part of a stable of backs. Too back the others suck. 
Duck - thanks for your service but there’s a reason you were Undrafted. 

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4 hours ago, warfelg said:

Mason - he’s a career backup at best. 

While I am just not jumping all over the place with Mason's play, I think he "may" have some starter ability.  We want the taste of real rice and grits, but with the time of instant. :D  The kid hit his rookie wall, the injury, no consistent rushing attack or estabished #1 WR and teams caught up to his limitations. He was not cabable of (consistently) leading the offense on long sustained drives. Defenses just were patient. Teams just played situation football and knew this offense was not cabable of stringing together long drives and a huge offensive output, especially not being able to run on first or second down.  He was essentially a rookie this year.  I would love not to see him play an offensive down until 2022 or 2023.  His playing experience should help him going forward. I don't see star written all over him, but that doesn't mean he can't turn it around.  


Juju - this isn’t a good season to assess his ability as a #1. Mason didn’t have a rapport with anyone. Duck has it with DJ and Wash because they ran scout team in preseason. I think he’s a Super 2 (think Holt to Bruce) but I need a healthy Ben before thinking that. 

Not many WR's are great without a good QB. Remember that AB's numbers went down whenever Ben did.  I think Ju Ju can be a #1.  Our offensive philosophy probably needs to be tweaked somewhat the way Denver did for Elway when they finally won their two SB's with him and the one they won with Peyton after being beat up badly by the Legion of Boom (AKA great defense and a stout rushing attack). Ju Ju will bounce back and try to give Ben some run for 2020 Comeback player of the Year.  The kid is high character and output. I see a bit of a fire lit underneath him after AB's latest comments about him.  Work on some in game focus and ball security and he is #1 with very good numbers in our offense. 

Conner - Not a feature back. He’s part of a stable of backs. Too back the others suck. 

OL not built for Connor's smash mouth style and his injury history has been somewhat disapointing from a fan's standpoint because we all root for him.  He gained over a 100 yards last year. Put him on a physical running team (Seattle, San Fran, Tennessee, New England, Jaguars, Colts, Buffalo, Texans, Bears, Packers, Cowboys, or Ravens) and he is tearing it up.  Our OL was built to protect Ben not so much maul defenders.  Add a road grader or two and his numbers, effectiveness and production will go back up. The style and injury history are a concern though. Add Big Ben being at QB to stop the 8 and 9 defender fronts. Mason and Duck struggled to consistently beat this and our rushing attack suffered (Connors or any other back). Both Connor and Benny Snell and best running downhill (North/South).  We need the big Zach Banner types to plow open some holes. 

Duck - thanks for your service but there’s a reason you were Undrafted. 

I definitely have a soft spot for Duck. I love the kid and his fight. He became a bantamweight trying to slug with a heavyweight.  He was playing out of his capabilities (and time).  Undrafted free agents need a lot of time to develop. In preseason, he outplayed and performed both Mason and Dobbs.  The guy should have sat all season on the P.S.  Instead he won some games and got a few of us to believe and buy into the Cinderella or Heavan Can Wait story line that came crashing back to earth. The samething happened and was said about HOF'er Kurt Warner. I am not by any means suggesting that Duck is the second coming of Kurt Warner, but I like his moxy and heart. Personally, I would like a veteran QB to back up Ben. In a perfect world, I would like to try to get a guy like Marcus Marriotta.  he is still young and would benefit sitting behind Ben and getting his mojo back working with a QB Coach and having some specialized gadget plays to run.  The team has too many othe rneeds to be able to afford a luxury or insurance policy as expensive as Marcus.  Reality is that Duck is a third string QB.  I think he deserves a shot to at least compete. 

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