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Steelers-Patriots and the Future

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Mike Tomlin decided the Steelers fate long before kickoff on Sunday in the AFC Championship game against the Patriots in Foxboro. Once the game started it was pretty clear early on who was advancing to the Super Bowl to face the Falcons. What was the deciding factor, was it the difference in talent between the two teams? No, it was mostly the difference in coaching and yet another illustration of the importance of coaching in today’s all time high parity in the NFL.

As was pointed out in the last article on here, one of the big keys to the Steelers success is Tomlin not coaching scared. Well, it didn’t happen….Once again. For reasons known only to Tomlin and the coaching staff, the gameplan for both sides of the ball was to play a meek timid game hoping for a miracle win of sorts, something to the tune of 15-14 or 17-14, it’s almost like Tomlin forgot he was playing against a high powered offense, coached by the best head coach in the NFL.

Defensively, with years of evidence to the contrary, Tomlin and Butler thought the Steelers best chance on defense was to once again give up 10 yard cushions and play a soft zone. This is about the worst possible defense a team can play against Brady. The Steelers secondary looked like they had this scheme sprung on them right before the game started as players constantly ran into each other, missed assignments and left receivers wide open all game long. Amazingly but not surprisingly absolutely no adjustments were made at halftime even though the Pats had already rung up 17 points, and likely it would’ve been 21 except for a bad drop by one of the Patriot receivers inside the 10 yard line.

The Steelers offensive decline continued as the team came out flat and conservative with run after run. It’s almost like this team is super predictable! Did Tomlin and Haley think they were playing the Chiefs again? If it worked last week it’s got to work again! Bell was injured but with the gameplan and playcalling it wouldn’t have mattered as the team amassed a grand total of 9 points going into the 4th quarter. The offense continued to putter around with the occasional run call continuing into the fourth quarter. Sammie Coates was targeted way too much and dropped pass after pass. Phil Simms made an interesting comment that Tomlin had told them before the game that he believed Sammie Coates would be a difference maker in the game. Well, I guess Tomlin was right in a way, but probably not in the way he meant it to be.

The special teams once again had a number of blunders

  • Sammie Coates with a horrible return in the 1st half.
  • Bad punt in first half, eliminating a chance to pin Patriots deep in their own territory.
  • Missed extra point in the first half.

What’s amazing about how this game turned out is just how predictable it all unfolded. Special teams blunders? Check. Super conservative and predictable gameplans on both sides of the ball in a big game? Check. Lack of adjustments? Check.

I’m honestly baffled that anyone could still be OK with Mike Tomlin as head coach. It’d be one thing to lose this game, it’s another to lose it before the game even starts because the head coach coaches scared. The Steelers snuck into the AFC Championship game because the AFC is just that weak this year, Miami is mediocre and the Chiefs are supremely overrated with their 12-4 record.

I mentioned that getting this far would be considered a successful season for Tomlin and the Steelers, but watching this game unfold simply paints a depressing picture. 9 straight wins for the Steelers and an AFC Championship appearance will no doubt be considered a win for the Rooney family but any critical thinking fan will see how very unlikely it is that the Steelers win another Super Bowl with Tomlin as head coach. I honestly don’t think the Rooney’s even care.

Going forward the Steelers will likely return in 2017 with largely the same team and perhaps even a similar record and playoff appearance. And likely the same result at some point in the playoffs. Groundhog Day is still a really good film.

Some other observations. The officiating continues to suck massive quantities as the Pats were not flagged at all until the game was all but decided even though there was some pretty clear defensive holding on a number of plays earlier in the game. In addition to that was probably one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen when Ryan Shazier was flagged in the 3rd quarter for “hitting a defenseless receiver”, complete and absolute horseshit and a good illustration of why I probably wouldn’t even care if tomorrow the NFL stopped existing. 10 years ago I never thought I’d feel that way.

Related to the above but the NFL as a whole just sucks now. Chargers moving to L.A., Raiders moving the Las Vegas, greedy owners, incompetent commissioner, mediocre teams, poor head coaches. I think back to some classic conference championship games, like the 49ers vs. the Cowboys, or the Packers vs. the Cowboys and it’s a far cry from the two turds, I mean games, that the NFL showcased today, in fact the entire playoffs this year has been woefully underwhelming. It’s like defense, the fundamentals and coaching are all a thing of the past. This is what the NFL wants? It sure isn’t what I want but maybe I’m in the minority.

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State of the Steelers

November 18, 2016 Leave a comment

After a long hiatus, Steelerheaven is back for the rest of the 2016 season. NFL is a pretty bad product right now, but in the end we are Steelers fans so let’s get down to it.

State of the Steelers – Let’s see, this team has a few great players, a handful of good players, a few promising rookies and…that’s about it. What we are watching this season is the result of years of poor drafting, namely on the defensive side from Colbert and Tomlin. They have managed to take the Steeler’s defensive identity of the past 40 years and wipe it all away in the last few years. Let’s take a look at the recent drafts real quick. Let’s forget about the 2016 draft for now.

2015 Draft 

Round 1 – Bud Dupree – Dupree hasn’t done much so far although he did snag 4 sacks in his rookie year. Dupree has been out this season so far after undergoing surgery.

Round 2 – Senquez Golson – Is this guy even still on the team.

Round 3 – Sammie Coates –  Seems like another good WR pick, although jury is still out.

Round 4 – Doran Grant – ??????

2014 Draft

Round 1 – Ryan Shazier – Since being drafted Shazier has dealt with some injury issues, he’s played in 27 games and amassed 4 sacks and 2 INT’s. Not bad bust still a lot of question marks going forward.

Round 2 – Stephon Tuitt – Decent player so far, decent pick.

Round 3 – Dri Archer – Bad pick in 3rd round, bad pick regardless really.

Round 4 – Martavis Bryant – Great pick especially if Bryant can get back on the field!

2013 Draft

Round 1 – Jarvis Jones – Bust? Looking like it so far, Harrison will now start for Jones this weekend.

Round 2 – Le’Veon Bell – I was so wrong having doubts about this pick, best RB in the NFL.

Round 3 – Markus Wheaton – Wheaton showed potential but has disappeared this season which isn’t a good sign, probably on his way out which is disappointing for sure.

Going back further we have guys like LB Jason Worilds, former 1st round pick Ziggy Hood, Sean Spence (remember him? Didn’t think so), Stevenson Sylvester, defensive backs Keenan Lewis, Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown. None of these players are still on the team. There is a serious problem under the Tomlin regime in regards to successfully drafting and developing defensive players. Even talented players like Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree have legitimate injury and durability concerns. Tomlin and Colbert’s idea of a good NFL defensive player is not panning out, we have 5+ years and running to show all that.

It’s time to face reality, this is just a poorly run team and there are no signs things are improving. If not for great drafting at the receiver and RB positions along with the play of HOF QB Big Ben, this team would be royally screwed, likely a perennial sub .500 team. As Illustrated above, there’s been poor drafting on the defensive side for years now, which is a good reason for the Steelers current 4-5 record, but that’s not all, not even close, the team is undisciplined, sloppy and all around poorly prepared. The special teams continue to make at least a couple of boner plays per game. All of these issues have remained the status quo for most of Tomlin’s regime.

I’ve ranted about Tomlin for years now, it’s good to see some criticism coming out in the media finally. Tomlin seems to be an all right guy, but as head coach he remains a lame duck. I’ve asked on here, what exactly does he bring to the table as head coach? I’ve never gotten a legitimate answer. And now we have the team’s best player, Big Ben, basically calling his ability to coach out in public to the media. It’s not just Tomlin of course, there are numerous issues with the team. Colbert and the scouts for sure share blame, along with other coaches on the team. But in the end, the buck stops at head coach in the NFL.

I’ve come across some seriously flawed arguments in defense of Tomlin such as “What head coaches in the NFL would you take over Tomin”? Ok, let’s get something clear – The NFL is so mediocre today and filled with so many mediocre head coaches that add virtually nothing of value to their teams that this question is flawed from the start, not to mention irrelevant regardless. How has Belichick and the Patriots remained so dominant for so long? I believe their success is more of an indictment of how poorly coached other teams are along with the overall sad state of the NFL than anything else. Belichick is obviously a great coach, and it shows how important coaching is in today’s NFL, you look at his teams and it’s not like they are supremely more talented than a lot of other teams. Because Tomlin may be marginally better than an assortment of other mediocre coaches (because that is what that argument really comes down to) is hardly a ringing endorsement.

Another similar argument is “Look at the teams success under Tomlin, no losing seasons!” That would be great and all if the team were the Browns I guess. The fact is the Steelers have now gone 5 seasons with just one playoff win, a playoff game that the team was very lucky to win after pissing away a 15 point lead. If people’s expectations are so low that not having a losing season is the sign of true success then Tomlin is golden, but last I checked I thought the point of the game was to win the Super Bowl. And if a team isn’t doing that then there should be a clear sign of the team trending towards that goal. Is that happening with the Steelers? Sure doesn’t look like it. And last I checked the Steelers have a generational talent at the QB position, a future HOF’er, who’s time is running out. How many teams with a HOF QB go 5 years and win just one playoff game in today’s modern NFL? Underachieving would be an understatement.

I’ve even seen some fans try to jump through mental hoops arguing “Well mathematically each year only a small percentage of teams can actually win a playoff game” Uh, ok? Looking at the AFC in recent years there are like two to three teams tops that are legitimately good (Not even necessarily great) each year. There is absolutely no reason the Steelers shouldn’t be more successful in recent seasons, even with the misses on the defensive side of the ball in recent drafts.

Obviously my position is it’s clear it’s time the team move on from Tomlin. But not just Tomlin I believe the team needs a quick reboot while Ben is still playing, trim the fat and plug in some new players on defense. In today’s NFL that can be done if all the right moves are made. A strong argument could be made that Colbert needs to be replaced as well. The team just isn’t fun to watch in recent years as a fan outside of some no huddle drives and watching Bell run the ball. Year after year the team is just frustrating and painfully predictable. I don’t see this team getting anywhere close to the Super Bowl with the way it’s currently constructed and with Tomlin as head coach. I was pretty surprised to see the Steelers as Super Bowl favorites at the beginning of the way. What exactly was that based on outside of some talented players on offense?

In the end, some teams in the NFL are just trying to scrap out from the bottom, some are trying to just achieve a winning season and sell tickets and some are actually trying to legitimately win a championship which is supposed to be the reason the game is ultimately played. Every team will tell you they are trying to win a Super Bowl but that’s not really true and the longer the Steelers employ Tomlin and some of the other coaches on the team the more it appears like the Rooneys are just content with finishing with competitive records and selling tickets. When a team has a generational talent at QB who’s time is winding down and plays in ultimately a weak conference this is almost like being in purgatory as a fan, it’s the ultimate blue balls as a sports fan. I’ve been correct in my prediction regarding this team’s fate under Tomlin for years now and unfortunately I don’t see any signs that is changing. Let’s see what happens the rest of the season, don’t forget to give Groundhog Day another watch sometime in January.

Fire Haley!

October 12, 2014 Leave a comment
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I Miss Field Goal Bill

October 12, 2014 Leave a comment
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Steelers-Panthers Recap

September 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Things didn’t start off too promising but eventually things fell the Steelers way as the team goes down to Carolina and wins with relative ease, 37-19.

The Good – The running game, the run blocking. Bell and then Blount in mop up duty. Both rushed for over 100 yards. Bell continues to be a big surprise, showing some great patience and some sweet cuts. The highlight of course was the 81 yard run, the longest run in the NFL this year and the longest Steeler run in over 40 years. Not too shabby!

– Ben wasn’t asked to do as much as usual but played well, especially as the game progressed, his best play was the sidearm special to Brown in the back of the endzone.

– Antonio Brown continues to be money, highlights include a great over the shoulder grab on a 3rd down, deep in Steelers territory. Huge play. The drive eventually resulted in 3 points for the Steelers. As mentioned, Brown’s TD snag in the back of the endzone. Finished with 10 grabs and 2 TD’s.

– The defense had by far it’s best game of the season. Specifically the front 7, which managed to get constant pressure on Cam Newton. Some highlights included Cam Heyward’s one arm pull down of Newton (nullified by offsetting penalties), LB Arthur Moats and NT Steve McLendon getting great pressure and snagging a sack each. The pressure was constant throughout the game which has been MIA until tonight’s game. Great to see.

– Wasn’t thrown to a lot but Markus Wheaton continues to look reliable when given the chance. Wheaton actually caught a TD pass but was ruled out of bounds before the catch. Looked to be dubious but it was overturned.

– LB Sean Spence, filling in for an injured Shazier, looked really good in run support.

– Steelers get their first turnover of the season as Newton lost the ball as he went back to throw. Later, Shamarko Thomas forced a fumble on a punt return which was eventually recovered for a TD. Hopefully Thomas will be given some playing time with the defense.

The Bad – Steelers got off to a pretty rough start. The offense’s first drive compromised of a wasted timeout (again), a penalty and 5 minutes taken off the clock after moving just 20 yards before punting (with a false start penalty to boot). Pass protection continued to be an issue early on which resulted in some stalled drives.

– First defensive play resulted in an easy 19 yard pass play for the Panthers as rookie WR Kelvin Benjamin was WIDE open on the play. This continued for some of the 1st half before the Steelers front 7 took over and managed to pressure Newton into some rushed throws. Newton looked to be injured throughout the game and had a number of inaccurate throws to some fairly open receivers.

– On a Carolina punt, a Steelers gunner is almost hit by the punt near the Steelers GL. Very dumb and lucky the ball wasn’t touched.

– Antonio Brown deciding to return a punt from the 5 yard line and he doesn’t get far. In addition, a block in the back penalty is called resulting in the Steelers starting on the 7 yard line. The good news is the Steelers managed to put together an impressive drive resulting in 3 points.

– CB Cortez Allen was picked on early and often. His coverage was mostly solid although he had issues breaking up a number of passes. His low point of the game was allowing TE Greg Olsen to beat him on an out resulting in a long TD reception.

– Some of the playcalling, especially early on was pretty hit and miss and fairly inconsistent.

The Ugly – Lawrence Timmons inuring fellow teammate Ike Taylor’s arm, likely ending his season and maybe his career. It was an ugly and dumb play by Timmons. Timmons was just going full steam ahead on the play, trying to be aggressive which is understandable but you still have to be aware of what’s going on.

– The Steelers TE Palmer getting called for an offensive pass interference penalty on a 1st and goal from the 1 yard line. Simply amazing. Penalty was bullshit but still amazing.

– All the flags, I’m tired of it, no more please.

Summary – A great win on the road. The Steelers next two opponents are likely the two worst teams in the NFL (Bucs and Jags) so let’s see if this team can get on a roll. The key is taking what worked and continuing that which has been a big problem under Tomlin. Consistency, cutting down on dumb mistakes and penalties, a coherent gameplan. Will it happen? We’ll see but Steelers have to be feeling pretty good right now.

And finally, new shirts! Get ’em hot and fresh! Hot and fresh!

Categories: Uncategorized

2014 Season preview

September 1, 2014 Leave a comment

Here we are, a week away from yet another season of NFL football. Let’s hope that preseason is indeed meaningless!

Alright, let’s get down to it, starting with a look at the coaches.

Coaches – Well, what can you say at this point? Tomlin isn’t exactly a proactive head coach, and that’s putting it nicely, and there’s no been sign that is changing any time soon. Haley’s body of work is out there, if you will, and the results have been mixed with the Steelers thus far. There’s been talk of more no-huddle in the regular season, but until we actually see it fans everywhere should be doubtful. Promises have been made before with this offense and not delivered. I’ll just say this, no more 5 wide, empty set, I HATE IT, it basically tips your hand to the defense and offers no extra protection for a QB playing behind a still unproven O-line. Lebeau might have his hands full with some new players and a largely unproven front 7 along with an aging secondary. Mike Munchak was hired as O-line coach, good hire, we’ll see if he can improve and already improving O-line. I don’t know who the ST coach is but it might be time to fire him and just get it over with.

Offense – Big Ben and Antonio Brown are the only sure bets with this unit going into 2014. Heath Miller, normally money, is getting up in there in age and past injuries look like they may haven taken their toll on the warrior. TE looks to be a serious weakness with this team if Miller is unable to be effective this season. Outside of Brown, the Steelers WR corps is comprised of unproven players like Markus Wheaton and Justin Brown and older and injury prone players like Darrius Heyward Bey. O-line is still a question mark although the unit looked very good at times with Pouncey out of the lineup last season, probably the best its looked in years. RB looks to be solidified with the acquisition of Legarrette Blount and emergence of youngster Myron Bell. Depth looks to be a major concern with this unit and arguably with the entire team.

QB – Just say it with me Steeler fans – “Thank God Ben is our QB”, because after him it’s looking bad, really bad. Bruce Gradowski did a good impression of looking like an over the hill verteran QB with a noodle arm this preseasons and youngster Landry Jones is clearly not the answer as even a #2 QB.

RB – As mentioned the Steelers look to be fairly set with Bell and Blount as starters but after that it gets a little worrisome with small but fast rookie Dri Archer penciled at #3 and who the hell knows who else. This could really hurt the team at some point if there are injuries.

WR – Antonio Brown is money, after that it gets a little dicey. FA pickups Lance Moore and Heyward-Bey could be key contributors if they can stay healthy. Markus Wheaton looks to start opposite Brown and has shown some good things in preseason after not playing for most of last year, still a question mark considering experience. Youngsters Justin Brown and Martavius Bryant round out the group, both are very rough to say the least.

TE – Let’s hope Heath Miller can stay healthy and play at a high level because after him there is Matt Spaeth, the receiving dynamo and Michael Palmer. I still can’t believe Spaeth is back on the team.

OL – Lack of injuries is key, which given the recent history with this unit, is basically asking the impossible, because there is literally no depth here based on preseason play. Mike Adams, once a starter, has been demoted to backup status and he is probably the only decent backup. Marcus Gilbert and Kelvin Beachum are the starting tackles, serviceable for now, David DeCastro should improve even more this year at guard, opposite him is Ramon Foster. Maurkice Pouncey returns with a new contract, making him the highest paid center in the league, YIKES, let’s hope he actually stays healthy this year. The O-line last year arguably played better when Pouncey wasn’t in the lineup, which I guess is the reason Pouncey was rewarded with his gigantic new contract.

Defense – Like the offense, there really doesn’t seem to be much depth here. Cam Heyward and Troy Polamalu are the only sure bets going in to the season as impact players. There is some potential with some of the younger players, but time will tell. Contrary to popular opinion I think Ike Taylor can still be a shutdown CB but with the new emphasis on defensive holding his impact in that regard may be limited. Overall, under Tomlin’s tenure it’s hard NOT to see the softer approach with this defense with players like Ziggy Hood getting tons of playing time to prove themselves, largely failing and then moving on. This trend appears to be alive and well going into the 2014 season.go

DL – Outside of Cam Heyward there isn’t much to be excited about here as evidenced by the FO recently bringing back Brett Kiesel. Kiesel is a legend but he’s obvioiusly past his prime. Rookie Stephon Tuitt has shown some good hustle in the preseason, Cam Thomas was signed in FA and looks like he may be serviceable in spot duty, if he has to start it could be trouble. Steve McClendon is an enigma at NT, at times he looks good, other times not so much. Casey Hampton this guy is not.

LB – Once a mainstay strength of the Steelers, once the team’s identity, it’s hard to believe that isn’t the case anymore and maybe it isn’t although there are a lot of question marks with this unit. A LOT. Mainstay Lawrence Timmons is what he is at this point, a solid LB, hardly an impact player at the position though. Jason Worilds had a good year last year but consistency remains to be seen, it’s hard to imagine him in the same group as Greg Lloyd, James Harrison in terms of impact. Athletic rookie Ryan Shazier showed some flashed of brilliance in preseason at ILB including snagging an INT as he ran stride for stride with his man. With is smaller size how effective he will be against the run remains to be seen as he struggled with that at times in preseason. Jarvis Jones looks to be another Timmons, hardly an impact player, but may turn out to be a solid player at his position, it’s still too early to tell with Jones though, maybe he’ll surprise. Backups include unremarkable Vince Williams, Arthur Moats and often injured Sean Spence. Let’s hope Spence can stay healthy and contribute.

CB – The reliable Ike Taylor returns along with Cortez Allen as starters. As pointed out above, I believe Taylor can still play at a high level, although with the NFL continuing to crack down on defense that may hurt Taylor’s effectiveness. Allen should continue solid play opposite Taylor. Backups include Willie Gay and FA signings Brice McCain and Antwon Blake. Like with the rest of the defense it’s hard to get too excited with this group. Reality is Taylor is on the downside of his career even if he’s still effective, Allen will probably never be more than a solid #2 CB and the rest of the CB’s are strictly backup/nickel guys. Nickel and dime defensive matchups could be a problem.

S – FA signing Mike Mitchell replaces departed Ryan Clark at FS, but judging by preseason it looks like Clark never left as Mitchell’s slow speed and bad angles showed up a number of times. Hopefully Troy can still continue to play at a high level and help to create TO’s. Sharmarko Thomas showed some nice flashes in preseason, with some quick strikes, in space he could have some problems. Robert Golden and vet Will Allen round out the group, this is probably one of the deeper positions on the team right now.

ST – Hopefully punter Adam Podlesh doesn’t get injured because backup Brad Wing really struggled in preseason. To the point where it makes one surprised he’s even on the team. Reliable Shaun Suisham returns along with long snapper Greg Warren. Should be interesting to see how speedster rookie Dri Archer does with returns, not a fan of Antonio Brown still getting returns, hopefully some other players get in there. Overall, until we see otherwise, don’t be surprised by the same mistakes, holds, mental lapses that have been part of the Steelers ST’s since who knows when. If there’s improvement that will be a nice surprise.

Outlook – First thing everyone does when looking ahead at the next season is to look at the schedule and deduce the team’s chances for the new season. But in today’s NFL where parity reigns supreme, it’s largely irrelevant, and it’s especially irrelevant with the Steelers under Tomlin when you consider all the bad teams the Steelers have lost to under Tomlin in recent years. It simply doesn’t matter. Trying to predict a final record is pretty useless because I can see this team finishing anywhere from 6-10 to 11-5, a lot depends on luck, if Ben stays healthy and other factors like the youngsters stepping up. There’s just too many X factors, Tomlin’s inept coaching, Ben staying healthy,  youngsters stepping up, etc.  If I had to pick a record I’ll go with 8-8. Again. Let’s hope for the best and hope I’m wrong.

Finally, check out these awesome shirts we’ve made for Steeler Nation. The first wave includes “Fire Haley” shirts for all you fans who can’t wait for this guy to get the boot! We’ll be releasing more as the season goes on, ranging from modern all different Steeler eras. We hope you like them!

http://teespring.com/stores/steelcity-shirts

 

Shirts

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Ben wants Fichtner to be OC? Don’t promote him

January 29, 2012 Leave a comment

Rumor has it that Ben is lobbying for QB coach Randy Fichtner to be promoted to the vacated offensive coordinator spot –

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/01/28/roethlisberger-could-be-making-a-power-play-for-fichtner/

Not a fan of that website for numerous reasons, BUT, if there is any truth to it (And it sure wouldn’t surprise me) then I hope the Steelers think long and hard before promoting him to OC.

I don’t want to slam Fichtner, he could be a great OC, and he may be the one hired, who knows, but he has been the QB coach since 2010, and I’m not really seeing the benefits from that. I am extremely leery at this point to see the Steelers do what Ben “wants” and actually view it as a warning sign, if anything, based on recent history.

It’s no secret that Ben’s judgment is questionable at best (both on and off the field). In recent years, Ben has seemingly gotten what he has wanted – the team consistently drafting WR’s, retaining Arians as OC, having more control of the offense, etc. What have been the results? An offense that has continually underperformed and a QB that has arguably not grown or progressed at QB. Why, at this point, do you listen to him for advice?

I found it sort of funny that Ben recently mentioned, in a somewhat confrontational tone/message, that he wanted to meet with Art Rooney II, the team’s President and Co-Owner, to discuss “Just what he wants from this offense” after Arians was fired (Arians obviously didn’t “retire”, since he was just hired by the Colts). I dunno, Ben, maybe for the offense to score some fucking points for a change? Just how dumb is #7?

Fans have constantly defended Ben (myself included) whenever rumors surface that he’s lazy, arrogant, etc. Well, I’m starting to think those rumors are probably true. Ben constantly shows up out of shape, he seems to still have trouble reading defenses (dumb or simply not watching enough tape of opposing teams?), he hasn’t progressed in any noticeable areas. It’s very easy to say that he still largely relies on raw talent to get by, which is something that has diminishing returns as a player gets older.

I really think, if this rumor is true, that Ben probably wants Fichtner promoted simply because it means an extension of the Arians era – both in offensive philosophy and coaching. I can understand the continuity of the overall offensive philosophy but Ben clearly needs a better coach, not someone that won’t push Ben to be better and will just be another buddy on the sideline. He needs someone that won’t let him become complacent (or even lazy, by NFL standards), which seems to be a real issue at this point. I really have doubts whether Fichtner is that guy, especially IF Ben is lobbying for him to be the next OC, and the fact that Fichtner has been the QB coach the last two years and not much has improved in Ben’s play.

I think the problem at the core is Ben is simply oblivious to the problems on the offense – Which means that he’s either – really dumb, stubborn, arrogant, lazy or a combination of all those things. That would explain why a QB would warn against possibly losing his OC, while continually talking about the “sky’s the limit” with the offense but yet somehow miss the fact that the Steelers offense has continually underperformed in putting up points year after year. It would also explain why a QB would publicly put out a confrontational message towards the co-owner and president of the team after losing his OC, like it was somehow the crime of the century. It would also explain why, to this day, Ben still takes eons of time in the pocket while continually looking downfield, NOTHING has changed in his playing style.

It’ll be a shame if Ben ends his career without ever truly reaching his potential. He clearly hasn’t yet, and I blame part of that on the coaching (Arians in particular). Maybe Ben is really a drama queen (or someone with too big an ego) that can’t handle a coach with real opposing viewpoints, a coach that will point out mistakes and expect accountability. It’s even possible that he’s too dumb and/or stubborn to be coached past a certain point. Who knows, it’s all speculation on my part. But in any case, maybe it’s time for the Steelers to take a step back and look at what is ultimately in the best interest of the entire team, instead of seemingly and blindly trying to placate one player. Going that route has had, at best, mixed results in recent years. Maybe it’s a perfect time to try something different (and I’m not talking about Jim Caldwell!).

Categories: Uncategorized