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2020 GDT Week #13 Steelers vs.Football Team


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2 hours ago, warfelg said:

Ok so a few next morning thoughts now that some time has passed:

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    The game plan worked at the start, and suddenly they went away from things that were working.  I'll never understand why the offense does that so much.

    Correct the game plan worked, but the execution of it did not. The slow and lethargic starts do not help, especially against teams that are limited as well. This is where the talk of "playing down" comes in. It is not really that in my opinion as much as not executing through actions.  

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    Diontae 12 targets; Ebron 11 targets; Juju 10 targets; Claypool 4 targets; Washington 4 targets.  For such a "deep" wr group we certainly have no freaking clue how to use it.

    We certainly haven't liked what we have seen, but we will essentially need those players down the stretch and in the play-offs. What I believe will make 2029 different than 2016-2018 and early 2019 is that Ben is showing some trust and taking leadership and OWNERSHIP of some things. Has Ben really played poorly the past two games or has it been other aspects of our game? The drops and saying positive things like, "I have to throw a more accurate pass. I have to get better. JW needs more playing time." This is a stark contrast between Big Ben of 2004-2019.  He is carrying responsibility that is not really his. That is what a great QB does publicly. It took a while, but Ben finally seems to get that.  Privately, you have those one on ones and say what you need to or should to the player. 

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    71 plays, 62 in the shotgun.  I know there's been commentary of Ben not liking being under center but we got to tell him 'tough crap' and get under there.

    If we could have some help with any semblance of a running game that may change more. You can't play action pass and the deep game is not consistently open. This is your franchise like it or not and if he goes down, all hope goes down as well. Sadly the offense the past two weeks has resembled the offense of 2019 minus the majority of turnovers. When they throw they are dinking and dunking like last year and teams have caught onto it and adjusted accordingly.

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    The mess of non-calls and clock screw ups to end the half and start the next one really piss me off.  I'm normally critical of refs but this year has been far worse than any other.

    That was crazy at the end of the half. Alex Smith ran off with the ball and they gave them a time out to get the proper ball located.  The refs are inconsistent at best. Some calls have been very bad even in obvious situations they refuse to reverse a call.

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    Us off 4 days rest vs a team off 11.  And it looked it in terms of on field speed.  They looked fresh and running moving around.  We looked very sluggish.

    No one i sgoing to feel sorry for the Steelers, but the mental strain and changes to their routine have hurt them more. I highlight rest because essentially, they have had none. They got time off, but not rest. They were placed in a stressful situation of your playing this day, your not, your playing that day, no your not. Mental stress and mental fatigue may have caught this team combined with playing teams that are in survival mode. It has turned into the perfect storms for some poor play.

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    I'll still contest that part of the batted ball issue is the OL.  They sit in pass pro.  That tipped pass at the end of the game (and two others) by Sweat, he was untouched by Okorafor.  Under Munchak that was a strength to see a DL go up and undercut them to take them down.  That's not a priority right now despite passing faster and it's been a season long problem.

    Losing a great coach like that is nearly impossible to replace. The thought was that those under him would adopt his style and coaching. The loss of his experience as a player and ability to motivate, make adjustments and all that he has brought has hurt the team as much as losing the TALENT of AB and Bell.

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    I couldn't give two flying craps about Tomlin's post game press availability.  15 years in and if you don't realize he's not going to throw guys under the bus.  He's not going to say anything bad about other coaches.  Not going to say anything bad about players.  

    And you shouldn't. Just like in business, it is best to praise in public and criticize in private. My disappointment is in the receivers, who did not take it personally and respond with a bigger game catching the ball. They were getting open. I continue to say use different weapons. TE Vance McDonald, FB Derek Watt and getting Jaylin Samuels more involved in catching out of the backfield. I love McFarland's abilities, but the game is still very fast for him. Even if they converted, I would have preferred to see someone like Samuels out there. If he wasn't going to put a rookie kicker in a tough spot, he shouldn't have put a rookie RB who has struggled to get going there either in my humble opinion. Use everything in the toolbelt. Why hammer with a screw-driver when you have a hammer?

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    Honestly the game plan looked the exact same from Ravens game to Football Team, including the snap distribution.  Yes that is part of the short week issue, but IMO part of the issue is that there seems to be a push from Ben/Fichtner to push Diontae.  I think because he was the "AB replacement" they are trying extra hard to not doghouse him.

     

Some guys just don't respond well to the yeller, screamer, or the coach that tears you a new one. This isn't just coddling new era athletes. Terry Bradshaw himself hated Coach Noll's style and how he dealt with him.  He needed a Bum Phillips type of coach who was more laid back to get him to go to the next level without the scars that Terry got as a result of the tough love. Ben was criticized for putting JW on blast after his drops in Denver in 2018.  He caught heat for the team imploding because of his attitude and was accused of being the reason AB wanted to leave after their practice incident.  It is a thin line between coddling, and coaching.  If it were just Dionte' I might say that, but the entire WR corps has taken a step back the past two weeks: Ju Ju with an early drop and has dropped some tough passes that we have seen him catch before, Dionte' drops, and trying to hit a home run without making contact with the ball so to speak, Ebron, inconsistent and lack of concentration/focus, Ray Ray has gotten gun shy since some judgement fielding mistakes started in Jacksonville (fair catch and defenders ten yards away), Claypool's results have dropped off because teams have focused on him more. JW just hasn't gotten back in the  game rhythm since Claypool's early success. An increased rushing attack and more balanced offense would go along way in helping as well. Confidence and egos can be fragile in this business and bottom line is that the team is going to need these players over the next four weeks and hopefully beyond.

13 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

 

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Sail it, change arm angle, hesitate -- anything. That 3 yard gain isn't worth the chance in that circumstance. 

I think they would have some more success utilizing the pump fake more. I know they want to get the ball out in a hurry, but the Ravens and WFT DB's are just staying close to the receivers and tackling. There does not seem to be any concern from the opposing db's of getting beat on the cut or in the intermediate passing game. That play was a case of things just catching up to them. They should have never been in that position if they played some complimentary football earlier. This offense has scored 10 points in the second half of the past two games. Why? Fatigue, poor execution or  both?

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The way Washington talked about "knowing our tendencies" after the game, it really feels like this could be a big piece of that. There is no reason to put 100% effort into rushing the passer when the ball is out before you will ever get there. Focus on hands up instead of pass rush. We need to find a way to take advantage of less aggressive pass rushes if that's the case. 

Two things can kill that: 1 a semblance of a running game and 2. pump faking. Get them (defenders) off their feet and off balance.  The defense has learned the rhythm of the offense. The other problem is simply the drops.  You can't make mistakes with this offense. 

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My concern is that he doesn't actually think coaching is a problem. That if the players play better, everything is fine. And based on the situation constantly being on the low end of the football IQ stick and seeing the same, simple problems for 3 years now -- I think it's pretty safe to say nothing is changing there without some force.

I am not a fan of Randy Fichtner or Danny Smith. Ben love his OC and I don't know what "blackmail" STC Smith has on Coach T or the Rooney's. 🤪 Seriously, players make coaches look smart. Genius Bill Belichick was  called  a dummy in Cleveland and New York. Keith Butler went through this as well. When you get talent and the talent executes, you look pretty smart coaching. I am not dismissing that there should be some more creative play calling and that I would not be trying a QB sneak on fourth and inches, but that's just me. If the receivers caught half or all of the misses we blow out both teams. Our defense is in a different position and their offense is forced to play to our defenses strength.  Our offense has scored 7 and 3 points in the second half of the last two games and zero in the first quarter (not including defensive pick six against the Ravens). That is execution. 

We have actually reverted back to our "normal" and away from some of the new concepts that Canada obviously influenced. I'm not able to be in the locker-room or the meeting rooms to know better but assuming that its getting fixed when we clearly never see changes makes me believe its not of concern. 

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Execution doesn't fix everything, so it's concerning when that's the only sound bite we get. 

I get what you are saying here, but I slightly disagree. The Steelers lost this game not because they were clueless as to what the WFT was doing, but because the WFT made more plays. Making plays is executing.  Two game changing plays where the WFT executed better than our defense: 1. First drive of the second half. Third and I think 20. They hit a 30 yard screen pass to WR. First down, new life, new opportunity and the got points from it. 2. Another third and long and the same WR makes a one handed grab for a first down. The tons of dropped passes disrupt our offense flow and opportunities to score. First and goal at the one or two is not a schematic problem. You should be able to pound the ball in. That is attitude and execution. After TJ's holding penalty the WFT scored and we didn't in the same instance. They didn't trick us, they out executed us. Tough one to admit, but true. We got beat by them making more plays, not because we were in the wrong defense, they tricked us or did something we didn't expect. We didn't make enough offensive plays. We got away with it with the Ravens and it bit us against WFT.

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I think you are spot on here. The more I watch of the games, the less I think he will ever be coming out (even if I believe that's the only way to really fix his issue). I've never seen a receiver get so many chances with drops and constantly having to be instructed by his QB on the field - especially not when there are viable options for more snaps behind him. About once every other series Ben seems to be motioning to DJ about how to run his route or is pulling him aside for a chat.  I don't know if its a pet project of Ben's, but it's starting to seem like there's a protection for playing time. As poorly as it seems some guys have played (DJ, Ebron, IMO Feiler), its kinda surprising we haven't seen any seat changes. I'm just a little worried about Ebron and DJ at this point. Dropping nearly a combined 10 passes in 2 games and continuing to get peppered with targets and playing time validates that what they are doing is okay. 

I just got a text from a friend who said Coach Tomlin said this about the drops for the second straight game, "They can catch the ball or get replaced by guys who will!"  We will see how this plays out. It sounds like the honeymoon with the drops is coming to an end. I think the patience is running thin with that subject. That is execution of a play. We see what happened to the talented, but always dropping a pass Sammy Coates. You can't play receiver in the NFL and not be able to catch. Maybe he sends a message and mixes up the starting line-up. 

 

 

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52 minutes ago, August4th said:

 

when will fichner get covid, because with him calling the plays, what difference will it make vs good teams? If Connor returns, do they decide to go back to running and can they successfully? Same applies to pouncey, not a good run blocker anyways, but do they go back to running then? 

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38 minutes ago, Steeler Hitman said:

I just got a text from a friend who said Coach Tomlin said this about the drops for the second straight game, "They can catch the ball or get replaced by guys who will!"  We will see how this plays out. It sounds like the honeymoon with the drops is coming to an end. I think the patience is running thin with that subject. That is execution of a play. We see what happened to the talented, but always dropping a pass Sammy Coates. You can't play receiver in the NFL and not be able to catch. Maybe he sends a message and mixes up the starting line-up. 

how about sending a message by running the ball with meaning, and only throwing to players that will catch? Right now, the team caught Ebron's dropitis which has shown to be more contagious than covid .  JW and Claypool seem good though, stay with them, let the others clear out for them.  Still , the OL better start run blocking or forget it.  If this pass happy offence is because of ben and fichner, it won't hurt my feelings the day they are gone then. Problem is that might not be for 5 years and what a wasted opportunity all because of the inability or lack of will to run and be balanced. 

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5 minutes ago, 3rivers said:
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how about sending a message by running the ball with meaning,

If they could then they would. Top RB out, Top C out, new first year starters at LG and RT, and they are playing against the best "young DL" in the NFL. No excuse, but that is the reason why they didn't and couldn't have success running. They are also a tired and out of sync  and rhythm bunch. A Wednesday afternoon game and a Monday early evening game after being strung along for the past week and three scheduled games in 12 days with two coming off of four days rest and the WFT coming off an 11 day bye. It matters. I think the team would love to run more, but they simply can't right now. We really miss Coach Munchak and his in game insight and coaching along that OL.

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and only throwing to players that will catch? Right now, the team caught Ebron's dropitis which has shown to be more contagious than covid .

You have good Ebron and bad Ebron.  He has a tendency to make tough catches and drop easy ones. My solution would be getting Vance McDonald more involved. Beside's he's a much better blocker at TE than Ebron. Good Ebron will come off the "poor catch" list rather quickly. Same said for young  Dionte by getting JW more reps. However, you still have to be careful of how you do this. You are going to need those players to step up and perform in some future big moments.

JW and Claypool seem good though, stay with them, let the others clear out for them.  Still , the OL better start run blocking or forget it.  If this pass happy offence is because of ben and fichner, it won't hurt my feelings the day they are gone then. Problem is that might not be for 5 years and what a wasted opportunity all because of the inability or lack of will to run and be balanced. 

Truthfully Ben's passing has not been the problem or what is stopping this offense. It has been the drops. Ben has missed some open receivers, thrown to the wrong read, and forced some balls as well. However, we have not been able to run well since early in the season.You may have to switch some things up. Asjebrick has said, Dotson is our best run blocking OG. Matt Feiler is more comfortable blocking at RT. Chuks has done well pass blocking, but we are not getting a push on the OL. Actually on either side. It is a game of adjustments. Maybe it is time to adjust some things in terms of personnel and play calling.

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Inability to even try to run is one problem.  Ben having to throw 50+ times a game, every game, is a problem.  Relying on the short passes makes the defenses crowd the line and then be able to react to the run.  You know when they are going to run because they line up with the same formation and run the same damm plays.  If I can sit on my couch and know a run is coming then DC and their teams know it as well.

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feels like the goal of the offense is to protect ben at all cost. Ben got hurt on a play-action play against Miami around 2015, so I believe its part of the reason why that part of the offense has gone way down over the years.I think Ben does not feel comfortable doing it anymore. the extreme high use of the quick passing game is so Ben does not get hit, but at what cost? the WR core is not being used to its full abilities playing like this. They are using Juju like he's Ryan switzer for crying out loud.

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1 hour ago, wwhickok said:

Marcus Allen needs to stay the hell off the field the only time he is recognized is when he is getting a stupid penalty on special teams.

I always have a different take on DB's and OL.  If we don;t hear your name often you likely are good because QB's won't throw your way and you don't commit many penalties.

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Just now, warfelg said:

I always have a different take on DB's and OL.  If we don;t hear your name often you likely are good because QB's won't throw your way and you don't commit many penalties.

Yeah, I'm with you on this one. Allen has been unnoticed(in a good way) this season on defense. He got that roughing the passer call, I think, but that was the only time I'd heard his number. He seems to be doing well in coverage. 

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