Skip to comments.Pittsburgh Steelers 2006: What's Wrong with the Defending Super Bowl Champions?
Posted on 10/29/2006 7:53:43 PM PST by mcg2000
Official Website of the Pittsburgh Steelers
This year is quickly moving in the wrong direction with regards to an effective playoff run. What are your thoughts on the some of the issues and how things need to change for a turnaround in 2006?
#1 The Running Game
The running game isn't quite at the level of past teams.
Understatement of the year, huh?
Operating a historically ball control offense, without a featured back capable of providing a consistent 3-4 yrds per carry, is a problem. That void allows pass coverages more flexibility without fear of a Steeler running game. Over the past two seasons, Willie Parker has shown explosive game breaking speed when holes are opened at the line. When those holes need to be created or altered, he's generally a non-factor. He hasn't shown an ability to either read or react to lead blockers or supply meaningful yards after inital defensive contact. Without that running threat, defenses have the option of placing more guys into coverage and don't have to commit to play as close to the line in guarding against a solid running game. Each of which combine to greatly reduce Parker's only real value - the big play.
Do we need to mention his ability to pass protect?
#2 The Receiving Corp
Hines Ward may still be one of the best all around 2-3 wide receivers in the NFL.
After him .... then what?
Nate Washington? Cedric Wilson? Santonio Holmes?
Heath Miller has shown promise, but he's not going to stretch a defense or change the Steelers legacy of limited TE involvement (sans Eric Green). Besides, Heath blocks too well and the team needs all the help they can get in that area.
The loss of Randle-El has negatively impacted the special teams and gimmick plays that loosened up defenses for the past few seasons. Cedric Wilson is a #3 receiver at best, never mind a legit #2 on a contender.
Or maybe that last statement answers my concerns?
Santonio Holmes may supply the offensive boost in the future, but there's no guarantee. The Rooney's moved away from their traditional "high character" draft selections and picked Holmes in the first round. If Holmes stays out of "The Big House" and Cowher's dog house (not "DAWG", Santonio) ... perhaps he'll be an asset in a year or two.
If that doesn't work out, Holmes could always fall back on that secondary career in medicine. Or was that engineering? I digress ...
Cowher has lost his edge. From the outside it appears he's genuinely distracted and possibly contemplating retirement (with his family in North Carolina). After all, coming home to an empty house with your family a couple of states away can't be healthy for the coach. If for nothing else, Cowher has shown he's a quality person who's extremely loyal and values the consistency of trusted individuals.
Back to this season ... the old Cowher held players accountable for dumb penalties, taunting flags and generally embarrasing unprofessionalism. The 2006 model doesn't engage in such things. And who said there were no redeeming qualities of the Neil O'Donnell legacy?
The 2nd half adjustments haven't been there this year. Who knows? Maybe they were and the players aren't executing ... there's a thought, huh? Either way a control of the team from the perspective of direction seems to be a grey area.
If the players are reflections of the head coach's personality ... this version of the Steelers lack a healthy sense of urgency with approach to their season.
It pains me to even think of a non-playoff title defense this year.
Did I hear an aspirin bottle pop open? Pass a couple of 1,500 mgs my way ...
#4 The Coverage Teams
I won't even justify the few minutes of my life with a commentary on the performance of these units in 2006.
How do you go out and give only 98 total yards and lose the football game. Amazing.
..or maybe God is judging the steelers for injuring Carson Palmer last year...just kiddin'
not funny ... but I didn't realize it until after a I finished laughing.
I didn't even bother to watch the game.
nothing is wrong...they are a good team that got lucky last year but now they are a good team thats not so lucky...fate is a fickle woman
You sound like Big Ben and his 'dark cloud that hangs over him' quote. Honest, I think they miss the leadership of Bettis. Big void to fill.
I have no idea...How could they lose to the Raiders...LAMO
They suck and were given the championship last year.
They ate the Big Whooper last year and they're still filled from it.
so, I am not surprised they are struggling this year.....Seattle is struggling too but it lost its qb, its star running back and at least two receivers so far this season....
What's the difference? The Steelers have lost two lineman, two LB's, a cornerback, several QB injuries in addition to losing free agents last year.
I'm talking about adjustments and changes in philosophy. Not the omnipresent lists of excuses which are a permanent fixture from all things related to the angst-ridden Seattle lifestyle.
Seattle should get used to Alexander being out ... his career is over and Hasselbeck is a journeyman QB who had a career year.
"...What's Wrong with the Defending Super Bowl Champions?..."
Nothing that a long, playoffless, offseason won't cure. Losing to the Raiders, sheeesh. This year, that's hitting rock bottom. They can only go up.