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2020 GDT Week #15 Steelers @ Bengals


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9 hours ago, warfelg said:

Ok this is the legit first time where I’m questioning Tomlin’s intelligence:

 

Wow.

Its getting harder and harder to defend him.

And to think, this guy was considered leading candidate for coach of the year just 2 weeks ago.

The issue with Claypool isnt really Claypool at all.   Its a pathetic offense and a cowardly, regressing QB who cant get it to him consistently or take advantage of his skillset.    How many times has Ben missed him when he was open downfield.     Ben couldnt deliver the ball to him consistently, so instead of addressing the real issue, Tomlin's best idea is do play Chase less, even though he is our most dynamic WR.   

Brilliant.  

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14 hours ago, 43M said:

Wow.

Its getting harder and harder to defend him.

I have even more respect for Coach Tomlin and Big Ben this year. I have seen growth, maturity, accountability and leadership from both men.  While some Tomlinism are vague and at times seem to avoid a direct answer The standard is the standard type stuff). The Steelers coaches and leaders have not publicly said anything, but the way  the NFL handled the situations from the Titans and Ravens have hurt the Steelers. They are a tired football team. Preparing for three physical football games in 12 days is rough. They were twice denied real rest time and they were thrown out of sync. We don't make excuses here, but that was a factor as the team has played poorly in each of the past three games that the last change affected. He tried to manage snaps and keep players as fresh as he could. The stats show that the Steelers defense got worn down in the second half of all three games and part of that was injuries and ineffective offense as they looked worn down from the opening kick in all three games. This happens with every rookie and is harder with the Covid stuff, lack of a bye and just being able to handle the grind and conversion to the NFL from college. We saw this in 2004 with Big Ben after a great rookie season start. He was mentally and physically whooped come the play-offs versus the Jets and Patriots. There are countless of other examples that have happened before and after Ben that we could point to. With Dionte dropping passes, the logical thing would be to let him rest and get his head (and hands) together. I think they are looking beyond just winning games in December. I am glad of that. The problem is what he has attempted to do hasn't looked good nor can we say it has worked (1-2 over that period). 

And to think, this guy was considered leading candidate for coach of the year just 2 weeks ago.

And really he still should be. What he did last year and this year in getting this team together and keeping them together despite the pandemic and changes has been remarkable. Whether they finish 14 - 2 or 12 - 4, he should be a top consideration. If they lose to the Bengals and crash and burn at 11-5, then I would agree.

The issue with Claypool isn't really Claypool at all.  

Agreed. He has drawn more attention and tighter coverage since his success, but he has not always been put in a position to succeed. He either runs long or extremely short. Try getting the guy the ball in the intermediate range and in space more consistently. 

It's a pathetic offense and a cowardly, regressing QB who can't get it to him consistently or take advantage of his skillset.   

Wow! Whew wee! 

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How many times has Ben missed him when he was open downfield.     Ben couldn't deliver the ball to him consistently, so instead of addressing the real issue, Tomlin's best idea is do play Chase less, even though he is our most dynamic WR.  

Truthfully Ben has not been the main one holding our offense back as much as the dropped passes and poorly schemed offensive game plan. Not even the fact that they were throwing fifty times, it is the routes that they were throwing. He definitely made some bad throws and got the offense out of sync more in Buffalo than against the WFT and Ravens.  I thought that if the receivers caught the ball and the OL and TE (Ebron) blocked better, the offense puts up more points and extends drives. Those are different football games. Honestly, yes Ben missed some open throws and missed a potential TD to Washington against Buffalo that turned into an INT because he couldn't get him the ball. His deep ball has been extremely inconsistent, but he has been much more accurate in the short and intermediate passing game (which has all but disappeared). 

Brilliant.  

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Losing pisses us all off. Losing and not playing your best makes us downright irate! I get it! That has been the Steelers issue. They have not played a complete game 13 games into the season. Regardless of cause, reason, rationalization or explanation they have to fix it fast. If not, it will be one and done in the play-offs and the real anger and name calling will start. 

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13 hours ago, August4th said:

 

Eventually the sacks will come. He has definitely exceeded expectations in his first year.  He looks like he can become a very good player and quite typically follow the trend of the Steelers developing another well-rounded 3-4 OLB in an already great line of Steelers who played that position. 

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8 hours ago, Steeler Hitman said:

Eventually the sacks will come. He has definitely exceeded expectations in his first year.  He looks like he can become a very good player and quite typically follow the trend of the Steelers developing another well-rounded 3-4 OLB in an already great line of Steelers who played that position. 

already looks much better than worlds, mr.subway and Dupree early in their careers. Lets wait to see if he keeps getting better and how it goes, but it looks to me like they got a legit player here.  Bud took 4 years to get going, has a high ceiling due to freakish traits. Highsmith will have his own way to get the job done , and similar stats to follow. 

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16 hours ago, 3rivers said:

already looks much better than worlds, mr.subway and Dupree early in their careers. Lets wait to see if he keeps getting better and how it goes, but it looks to me like they got a legit player here.  Bud took 4 years to get going, has a high ceiling due to freakish traits. Highsmith will have his own way to get the job done , and similar stats to follow. 

Highsmith must have had a really good coach at Charlotte. He's already a very refined player. I vaguely remember that Bud Dupree never had an OLB coach until he got to the Steelers. 

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2 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

Excuse Me Reaction GIF by Mashable

seeing stuff like this makes me think Ben is not all the way in or its his elbow/body needing all this rest

I'm starting to hope next yr is his last, because this won't get better and it feels like its holding the team back

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1 minute ago, August4th said:

seeing stuff like this makes me think Ben is not all the way in or its his elbow/body needing all this rest

I'm starting to hope next yr is his last, because this won't get better and it feels like its holding the team back

He has gotten vet days off first practice of the week for a few years now though. That has always, always bothered me, personally. There are no other vets taking days off at the position. I think it has a direct correlation with why our offense goes in this mid-season funks and why Ben doesn't seem to be able to reign in accuracy at times. I think we give too many reps away at practice to guys who don't need them (Mason/Dobbs) and rest a guy who has the easiest practice physically on the team outside of specialists. 

It probably bothers me because I played the position along the line. I was the guy at the end of practice on Monday/Tuesdays that had to fake being more tired than I was when conditioning started. There's just not a ton that is physically draining happening at QB at practice and so many ways to limit the amount of throws -- but the reps with the ones are invaluable to timing, implementation, and total understanding of weekly prep. 

It's a lot different when you have a very vet group. But, not counting this year Ben has played 2 years with JuJu, 1 year with Washington, 0 Years with DJ, Claypool, and Ebron. There's still a TON of learning to do and practice time is already limited. I cant imagine taking a day off at the most important position is helping anything. He doesn't have to contribute in more than 50% of the work, but I think he has to be there with the ones for at least half their work. 

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On the flip side @Dcash4 it depends on what their practice schedule is like. Maybe Wednesday is a day they work on drills more so than implementing gameplan. If you want to give him a break I rather it come on a day/time you are running usual drills rather than implementing game plans. 

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AFC is starting to get too many good young QB's. Allen, Burrow, Herbert, Mahomes, Jackson, Watson. will add guys like Lawrence and fields next yr. at least one will probably work out. Mayfield/Tua could be decent

lucky we have a nice young defensive core to build around once ben leaves, so I can still see us being relevant despite not having one of the best QB's in the conf. we'll have to win a SB like the 00 Ravens, 02 bucs,15 broncos and 13 seahawks

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15 minutes ago, warfelg said:

On the flip side @Dcash4 it depends on what their practice schedule is like. Maybe Wednesday is a day they work on drills more so than implementing gameplan. If you want to give him a break I rather it come on a day/time you are running usual drills rather than implementing game plans. 

While I understand that, I still don't view it as necessary for a QB and think any opportunity to have football related activity with the team as more important. Physically, his day will not be draining. Limit the amount he throws, hell give him a chair and limit the amount of time he is on his feet. But when we say drills, its not like ben is out there running Oklahoma's. Randy mentioned that they would be working on deep balls -- that's a huge opportunity for ben from snap, hitch, and release/read to work with receivers, even in a limited fashion. That mechanics, thats timing, that helping understand your receivers. That opportunity instead went to Mason, Dobbs, and Duck -- none of which will play on Sunday. 

Was just curious to see what kind of articles might be out there to help outline NFL practices (seeing as I have never been to one) and found this quote about Wednesdays. Obviously, this isnt a mandatory thing for teams, but I would imagine they are all lined up fairly similar as the logic of order makes sense:

Quote

11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m. Practice. This is one of the most critical practice sessions of the week, because the game plan on both sides of the ball is installed and the players work on the details in practice. 

 This blends with my experiences as well and matched with a couple other articles (though, one mentioned Thursday as the most important because it was 3rd down, redzone focus). The first practice introduces the planning and concepts of the week, then you work on implementing those during the rest of the weekly practices. Specific drills will focus on what you are implementing (deep ball, crossing, timing, run concepts, ect) throughout work week. 

NFL has such limited practice time already. I would find it hard to believe we would waste an opportunity on just drills without some level of weekly specific install. 

Our offense feels simple and repeated. I cant help but wonder if that's not because the most important cog in the machine is missing consistent time. If it was because of Injury, obviously take the day, but this is a 3 or so year thing. 

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43 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:

Highsmith must have had a really good coach at Charlotte. He's already a very refined player. I vaguely remember that Bud Dupree never had an OLB coach until he got to the Steelers. 

I think that a lot of it has to do with your personal development curve.  Some players get it early and their abilities and technique transfer early Von Miller came in and performed for Denver early as a rookie. I remember the same with Clay Mathews as well. Bud was a slow developer, but now that the light clicked on, we are seeing more consistency from him. He has always shoed a flash here or there, but then would disappear. His off season work with former Falcon Edge Chuck Smith has helped him as well. Highsmith looks like he is starting out ahead of where Bud was in terms of taking his talents and skills and transitioning from college to the NFL game.

27 minutes ago, August4th said:

seeing stuff like this makes me think Ben is not all the way in or its his elbow/body needing all this rest.

I don't think many people realize the value of rest, both mentally and physically. This has been a tough year. Again, no bye, no ten day lay-off after games, etc., and getting out of your regular game schedule and routine.  The team got by the first interruption with moving the Titan game and getting a abbreviated bye (that's being kind). Then with the Ravens, they got put completely out of sync in terms of playing and then being strung along mentally with when you were going to play. No coincidence that the Steelers play and "physicality" has diminished. Three games in 12 days after not really having time to mentally get away. No excuse, but the reality of the situation. He is not 25 anymore. His body has taken a beating. The best thing for Ben is some rest  both physically and mentally.  He is all the way in or he would not have come back in the first place. The NBA has learned that saving your stars for the play-offs is a key to success. The Steelers got to the play-offs for the first time in three years. It was the ugliest 11-0 start that we have ever seen according to some experts. 😅 You hope this team adjust to the adjustments made against their opponents and they get healthy and rested to compete and win in January and February. 

I'm starting to hope next yr is his last, because this won't get better and it feels like its holding the team back

I am sure that he will evaluate what is best for himself and the team this offseason for next year and beyond.  This team does not win 11 games without him. I remember how things were with Mason and Duck. Neither of them would have been able to get this team to the play-offs. While the offense has struggled and Ben has made his fair share of mistakes, I would hardly call him the root cause of the issues. As mad as I have been with the drops and lack of execution on offense the ROOT CAUSE of the issues on offense is not the players or even the coaches, but they are mentally and physically exhausted and out of sync. This team is back to struggling to be 8-8 without Ben. It has been an ugly last three games and the offense has never fully hit its stride in the previous 8 games. It is still untapped potential. However, they are running out of time. They have to find a way to rest mentally and physically. Maybe it is simply resting players during the week, managing snaps in a game and hopefully winning the next two or three to get a bye or to create one week 17 if you can't lock up #1. I honestly can't see by where Ben is holding this team back or is being an impediment to them moving the ball or winning.

 

9 minutes ago, Dcash4 said:

He has gotten vet days off first practice of the week for a few years now though. That has always, always bothered me, personally. There are no other vets taking days off at the position.

That is not  completely true. The Steelers are not the only team that does this. If you are smart, you have to manage your game reps, practice time and other things in relation to games played, wear and tear and being able to continue the season.  If you recall in Coach Tomlin's rookie season, the big complaint was that the team was worn down and tired from the physical practices and the usual longevity of a season.  Coach Cowher had learned that and gave that leeway to veterans. Coach Tomlin eventually changed that the next season after seeing and hearing about the effect on the players stamina. The NFL itself has put a limit on the amount of padded practices, etc. This is in the CBA because they are learning through science and research of the effects of the contact, relationship to injuries, and just being able to keep your body fresher for an entire season. 

I think it has a direct correlation with why our offense goes in this mid-season funks and why Ben doesn't seem to be able to reign in accuracy at times.

Three games in twelve days without a full week to prepare for one opponent, while our opponents have had normal work weeks (save the Ravens). The WFT came off a bye after we played five days prior. It showed in the second half as the defense wore down and the offense didn't do enough to put points on the board to put the game away as they should have. At minimum the WFT game should have been 20 or 24 - 0 at the half being conservative and if the offense shows any semblance of life.  

Buffalo had a week 11 bye, played on 11/29, then played 8 days later on Monday Night 12/7, and then their short week was with a evening prime time game and not even an afternoon game at 1 pm on 12/13. Defense does a great  job of holding a top tier offense to 3 points before Ben's pick six. Yes the offense again fluttered and dropped passes and missed blocks, etc. killed drives and scoring chance. If the offense has any semblance of a pulse, they should have been up 13-3 or 17 -3.  It is a different ball game.

I think we give too many reps away at practice to guys who don't need them (Mason/Dobbs) and rest a guy who has the easiest practice physically on the team outside of specialists. 

I strongly disagree here. You have to the proper balance between starting reps and back-up reps with starters.  I believe that one of the major flaws of the NFL is not having larger rosters and things in place to develop younger players. Most of these guys get scout team reps. They are typically running another teams offense. Josh Dobbs for instance is playing Lamar Jackson or Josh Allen rather than typically getting to work with the starters. The only time this may happen is in training camp and OTA's. We all gasped in agony as Ben was laying on the grass in Dallas. They were already playing poorly. Do you think Mason or Dobbs could have won that game or any others afterwards? 

It probably bothers me because I played the position along the line. I was the guy at the end of practice on Monday/Tuesdays that had to fake being more tired than I was when conditioning started. There's just not a ton that is physically draining happening at QB at practice and so many ways to limit the amount of throws -- but the reps with the ones are invaluable to timing, implementation, and total understanding of weekly prep. 

The science of the sport has evolved. We used to get, "Are you hurt or injured son?" "Get that damn water out of here! They don't need water!" This was during two a days in the summer in full pads at 9 am and then at 3 pm.  If we messed up, we would have a three a day at 7 pm. How many concussions have we had and played with as well. I am not pointing the finger, but we didn't nor did our coaches know any better. QB's have always "had it easier" at practice. You can't really hit them, etc., but it is the reality of the game. The highest investment in the NFL is a franchise QB. They will be treated better than and protected more. 

It's a lot different when you have a very vet group. But, not counting this year Ben has played 2 years with JuJu, 1 year with Washington, 0 Years with DJ, Claypool, and Ebron. There's still a TON of learning to do and practice time is already limited.

The offenses woes over the past three games have come from the receivers and TE's dropping balls! It forced the defense to play more, kept games that should have been put away, close and competitive, and gave opponents life/hope that the last two teams turned to victory's. Truthfully, I am not seeing where the receiver and QB are not on the same page in terms of running and out and throwing an in for example. They are not holding onto the balls thrown. In fact, very catchable balls.

To your point, Ben is not perfect in the offense either. He's  not getting the ball to the open receiver at times. He is slow delivering the ball at others. His deep ball has been inaccurate for most of the year (underthrown or overthrown).  The coaches have not always put the best players in to do a particular job either. $th and short against the WFT, and you call a deep pass with your fast rookie RB instead of using your best receiving RB (Samuels) or letting the fast RB run outside. You have a TE who can block in McDonald, but you have the receiving TE trying to block on running situations at the goal line. These are all correctable things. 

You cannot perform at 38 like you did when you were 24 on the football field. Father time catches everyone. While Ben is more savvy in a lot of areas, he also has to be smart and used to be available in January and February. 

I cant imagine taking a day off at the most important position is helping anything.

It is helping to get reps to your back-up QB's should they be called upon to maintain a lead or win a game later. It also rets the arm and body of the older vet. It is all perspective. It helps a lot more than many recognize. They have been doing this all season and in previous season. This team will only go as far as Ben can carry them. Like it or not, that is a pretty accurate statement.  Of all of the people and elements that need to turn around, I am not worried at all about Big Ben improving. 

He doesn't have to contribute in more than 50% of the work, but I think he has to be there with the ones for at least half their work. 

He actually is. He is not on the couch at home while others practice. e is on the field helping out and learning himself. Again 37 year old with 17 years of NFL pounding body versus 23 and 24 year old body with 1 - 4 years of NFL pounding. Hopefully they can turn it all around. There are a lot of ways to reach a destination. The Steelers haven't always taken the most direct or prettiest route to get there. 

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