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Random Thoughts and Observations

Goat of the Week?

– According to some fans Ben had a poor game due to his 3 fumbles on Sunday. Interesting take but I just don’t see it. Let’s take a look at the fumbles. The first one Ben simply tries to do too much and foolishly attempts a shovel pass when his arms are being held. This is a classic case of Ben trying to do obviously too much on a play. The result of the fumble? 3 points for the Dolphins. The second fumble was at least partly due to a teammate knocking into Ben. The result of the fumble was a recovery for the Steelers. The third fumble, and most controversial call of the day, was Ben’s fumble at the Dolphins goalline. Now, can someone explain to me how Ben is going to score a TD on the play if he doesn’t extend his arms with the ball in that situation? Does he not extend the arms and the Steelers simply kick a FG? If he did that plenty of fans would be bitching about the effort on Ben’s part on the play. Tell me one QB, in that situation with the ball extended, that WON’T fumble the ball while getting hit directly right in the arm by a defenders shoulder and helmet. Not going to happen. Blame the crappy playcalling that preceded that play that put the Steelers in that situation. When you consider Ben’s numbers – 19/27 (including a couple dropped passes), 302 yards and 2 TD’s with 0 INT’s, combined with no rushing attack, a poor game by the O-line and some horrible playcalling that continually put the Steelers offense in 3rd and longs and I’d say Ben played a huge role in the victory! I’ve said it before but the things this team asks Ben to do (converting 3rd and longs on multiple drives in a game) is unbelievable.

– Is it just me or do the Steelers like to sleepwalk through portions of games? It’s obvious that the defense lays back on the intensity at times and the offense sputters through portions of games. This team is loaded with vets that “have been there before” and it really seems to me that because of this, the team at times does “just enough” to get the job done. Hey, why wear yourself out before even the midway point of the season? Maybe it’s experienced wisdom or simple folly. It’s like the Steelers are looking for just enough points in games and just enough wins to get into the playoffs. The problem with this is laying back on defense and sleepwalking through chunks of games in today’s NFL is obviously dangerous when every team has talent and can win on any given Sunday (last year was certainly proof of that). Maybe I’m totally off on this but there definitely seems to be a pattern here, but hey the Steelers are 5-1 so what the hell do I know?

– Remember Mewelde Moore’s 29 yard catch on 3rd down in the 4th quarter of the Dolphins game? Yeah, that was nice. Why don’t the Steelers do that more often? I really think this offense would be lethal with more competent playcalling. One way of improving that would be to involve the RB’s and TE’s in the passing game more, especially on early downs. It would make Ben’s job a little easier and more importantly perhaps it would make opposing defenses job’s a little harder.

– Remember Mike Wallace’s 53 yard TD catch in the first half of the Dolphins game? Thing of beauty wasn’t it? Why do the Steelers only try that once a game?

– Will the Steelers try a reverse play for negative yards in every game this year?

– Does Bruce Arians simply out think himself at times or not think at all? That’s one for the ages.

– Is Hines Ward still the best all-around WR on this team? He sure has made a strong case for that so far. Through six games he’s made a number of very impressive catches combined with some great runs after catches leading to TD’s. He leads the team with 24 grabs for 350 yards, 3 TD’s and an impressive 14.6 yard average. Not only is Ward headed to the Hall of Fame, I really think he’s one of the most consistent and clutch WR’s ever to play the game. Just an amazing (and seemingly ageless) receiver. Don’t retire Hines!

– Is the Steelers secondary, minus Troy, capable of making a real impact play on the field? I’m starting to have my doubts. Now don’t get me wrong, McFadden and Ike have both had solid seasons so far this year, but you just get the feeling that nothing great is going to come from these guys as long as they play under the current pass defense schemes. I guess it’s the nature of the beast. Under Lebeau’s defense it’s all about keeping everything in front of you in pass defense, which makes it hard for a CB to make an impact play.

– It’d be nice to see safety Will Allen get some more playing time. I saw him out there early on in the year when the Steelers were rotating more defensive players due to heat. Ryan Clark hasn’t shown me much this year, which is pretty much like any year.

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