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Ups:

1) Tre Norwood. I thought he played really well, but the biggest contribution he brought to the table was weaopinizing Minkah. They lined him up everywhere. Norwood’s ability to be that kind of Sutton slot/S mixture and filling in at FS to roll Minkah down low would be a huge asset to forcing teams to go at the 2 time All Pro. You hear so often about teams just flat avoiding Minkah….Steelers looking to be making that harder, and Norwood was the key. 

2) The 31 other teams that could have had Melvin Ingram for $4m. 

3) The offensive growth. No, it never got pretty but it did get better. It’s not hard to get better than 59 yards in the first half, but I just want to see improvements. And it seemed to stem around more Canada concepts. 

4) Boz. Justin Tucker is the only dude in the league I’d trust my life with for a kick. What a turn around after 2018. 

5) TJ Watt, got paid and then showed the world why. 

Adding a 6) because JuJu played fantastic. That’s the JuJu we hadn’t seen playing down the field a bit. That back shoulder seam route late in the game was where he mad a killing on the outside. He can still be your slot guy, but you need to play to his strengths down the field. Tough kid though. 
 

Down:

1) Retaining Randy Fichtner after all. He didn’t get another job because, well, we kept him apparently! That first half was just the 2020 offense. Slow it down, let ben sit in gun and survey the field. Nothing special and trash results. I’m willing to give some leeway here because of the rookies and position changes in the OL, but that was absurd that we started off committing to 2020 all over again. 

2) OLine ebbs and flows. Nothing here is going to be groundbreaking, but the Oline had a lot of downs with occasional ups. The tackler were not Very good. I did like seeing these guys get out on the move. Trai Turner and Green almost killed players during the game. But this unit desperately needs to improve quickly. 

3) Claypools a bit of a hot head. Showed up on the penalty and also late in the game when he drew a penalty. He got in the face of some Bills over pulling a flag. I like passion and fire, but that was a bit worrisome just how hot he got. 

4) Continuing to think Eric Ebron is a tightend. Huge drive in the second half he was in-line inside the 5 to run block. Just stop. Pat looked solid on the day  hoping we see more and more of him. Im very interested to see the snap counts. 

5) Special teams…..kinda.  Danny Smith is lucky he dialed up a punt block. So much mediocrity with him. Pressley with some absolute duds as well  

 

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I might make a full 5 and 5 later, but one major down that really stuck was Chuks.  He was terrible.   I think he is more cut out for LT like Max Starks was, but he isnt starting caliber in general.    If he has another week like that, you have to bench him or Ben's gonna get killed.

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17 minutes ago, 43M said:

One big up that stuck out was Cam Sutton.   He was making plays everywhere.

Obviously TJ was great, but...its TJ.   Duh.

Cams a good call I forgot to mention him. He was really, really good. Especially his versatility to line up anywhere. I thought Pierre played really well too, which allowed for Sutton to move. It’s only one week, but maybe this DB situation wasn’t as dire as I thought at the end of pre-season there 

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It says a lot that the Steelers last two offensive coordinators are completely out of the league. No one else wanted them in any capacity outside some high school that hired Haley. Canada did not start off strong in that first half. I was glad to see some actual tempo in the first.

I think some things worked today because it was week 1. I think Buffalo's rhythm was off and they weren't able to adjust the way they could later in the season to all that coverage. So, Tomlin was right about that before the game. But still this was more of an we are going to ease into the game on the road approach that often gets this team in trouble. They were actually just able to weather the storm and keep things reasonable.

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Because the defense came out firing.  The Bills were daring the Steelers to throw mid/deep balls.  They had 8-9 guys in the box for most of the game and 10 within 5 yards of the LOS.  They desperately need to get the running game going so they can use some PA to get those mid to deep throws open.

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2 minutes ago, jebrick said:

Because the defense came out firing.  The Bills were daring the Steelers to throw mid/deep balls.  They had 8-9 guys in the box for most of the game and 10 within 5 yards of the LOS.  They desperately need to get the running game going so they can use some PA to get those mid to deep throws open.

They desperately need to get the vertical passing game going or there will be no ground game. They aren't good enough to run into the stacked fronts teams are giving them and the short passing game is going to be flat out dangerous. It's the same story as the end of last year. 

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1 hour ago, CKSteeler said:

It says a lot that the Steelers last two offensive coordinators are completely out of the league. No one else wanted them in any capacity outside some high school that hired Haley. Canada did not start off strong in that first half. I was glad to see some actual tempo in the first.

I think some things worked today because it was week 1. I think Buffalo's rhythm was off and they weren't able to adjust the way they could later in the season to all that coverage. So, Tomlin was right about that before the game. But still this was more of an we are going to ease into the game on the road approach that often gets this team in trouble. They were actually just able to weather the storm and keep things reasonable.

I dont disagree, but for as many new starters and rookie starters we have....our rhythm wasn't exactly great either.    OLines need time to gel even with two new starters....and we essentially have a completely new line.   Harris and Friermuth both showed flashes, but need time to grow, and need more from the OL.

The hopeful improvement of the OLine in the running game is what will likely be the difference between a good season and bad season.

That's the only chance this team is going to have of possibly pushing the ball down the field with any success.   If opposing defenses can shut down our running game with 5 or 6 defenders like they did last year, this offense will be just as ineffective 

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This is the stat of the game for me-

Pittsburgh blitzed on just two of 54 dropbacks (3.7%), the second-lowest rate by a Pitt defense since at least 2016

if we can generate that kind of pressure without blitzing it will help our secondary so much. I’m guessing half the reason our dbs looked good was us not having to blitz. For comparison sake, we blitzed 39.6% of the time last year. 

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12 minutes ago, SteelersFan2333 said:

This is the stat of the game for me-

Pittsburgh blitzed on just two of 54 dropbacks (3.7%), the second-lowest rate by a Pitt defense since at least 2016

if we can generate that kind of pressure without blitzing it will help our secondary so much. I’m guessing half the reason our dbs looked good was us not having to blitz. For comparison sake, we blitzed 39.6% of the time last year. 

Last year, the game plan seemed to be to throw as many pressure looks at Allen as possible. So, it was a complete 180 in approach.

Steelers won the day schematically. They outcoached the Bills.

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22 minutes ago, CKSteeler said:

Last year, the game plan seemed to be to throw as many pressure looks at Allen as possible. So, it was a complete 180 in approach.

Steelers won the day schematically. They outcoached the Bills.

I meant for the year we blitzed 39.6% not just a single game. 

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I think a couple of us really mentioned it early in the off-season regarding the loss of Bud...but what we lost in his all around game, we have have double down on our ability to rush the passer. Losing Bud and Hilton, who was best at blitzing, isn't as big when you have Highsmith and now Ingram that could allow you to rush 4 and win. I am very interested in seeing week 1 PRWR. 

It remains to be seen what type of improvements Highsmith has made against the run, but we will find out pretty soon. The pass rush took a step forward from Dupree to Highsmith/Ingram...it just can't take a tremendous step back against the run. 

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The only time we’ve seen a massive shift in Ben’s play and the overall offense is when Todd Haley was brought in from the outside. Otherwise we promote from within and on game day nothing changes despite all the talk. 

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Up,

 TJ obviously, but how about Turner with the pancake and many other good blocks?

Sutton, also solid. The punter also deserves props

ST made the big play, and the team as a whole showed to be resilient against a top tier  playoff team

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On 9/13/2021 at 3:22 PM, warfelg said:

The only time we’ve seen a massive shift in Ben’s play and the overall offense is when Todd Haley was brought in from the outside. Otherwise we promote from within and on game day nothing changes despite all the talk. 

There was a major shift when Arians first became OC as well.

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