Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

AFC North thread

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Pittsburgh is definitely in a good place. The linebacker corps really turned it on late. Off the top of my head, I think they could still use some DB help, and maybe one DL. Other than that, it's luxury and depth.

    Comment


    • I'd say the needs are, in no particular order:

      QB: Ben has a few years left. Hopefully his poor play on the road this year was an aberration and not a sign of long term regression. It wouldn't hurt to have a successor in place. I doubt that will happen this year, though, and it's not like this year's QB class is that strong. However, they absolutely need a better backup for the 2-4 games that Ben won't be healthy. There has to be someone better than Landry Jones, who is thankfully a free agent. Oh, and Zach Mettenberger exists, too, though he's nothing special.

      RB: Bell was awesome last year. He'll likely be franchised. Now, the hope is he can keep himself out of trouble, and he won't hold out if a deal can't get done. The issue is behind him: Williams has been a good backup, but the RB wall takes no prisoners nor pity. He won't be around forever. A backup/successor is needed here.

      WR: AB is great, no doubt about that. Eli Rodgers has been a good find, and will likely be the team's slot receiver going forward. Beyond that, it gets dicey. Josh Gor...I mean Martavis Bryant may not be reliable if he can't keep his head on straight. He's a stud, and is an excellent fit at #2, but he's useless if he can't play due to off the field stupidity. After that, there's Limas Swe...I mean Sammie Coates, who looks good in practice but has the hands of Ike Taylor when the game starts. He can at least play special teams. Really, he and DHB are the same guy, as 88 is another guy that runs fast and can't catch. That brings us to Cobi Hamilton, who is kind of unimpressive all around. Wheaton is a free agent, and not that good anyways. Another player will be needed here, if Bryant can't stay clean.

      OL depth: The starting 5 are swell, and they have a couple of guys behind them that are at least not terrible. Thanks coach Munch! But it's always a good idea to have more OL depth.

      OLB: Bud Dupree looked really good when he returned to the lineup, and James Harrison is probably doing something unreal at the gym as we speak. Thing is, eventually James will retire. and behind him is Arthur Moats, who is simply a backup, and Anthony Chickillo, who hasn't developed into a starter just yet. Having another strong edge rusher is just a good idea in general, and even more important considering Harrison's age. Did I forget Jarvis Jones? I sure hope so.

      CB: Not as big of a need as it used to be, as Cockrell and Burns are a solid young duo. However, you need 3 in today's NFL. Willie Gay played in the slot last year, and while not an abomination, could be upgraded. The man that was supposed to be that upgrade is Senquez Golson, who has wound up on IR each of the past two seasons. Now, the Steelers have given injured players time before (Sean Spence) but I'm not sure how healthy Golson is, or if he will stay healthy. Aside from him, there's Gilbert, a Browns flop that at least hasn't been trouble off the field, and Shabazz, who has a fun name to say and looked okay in preseason, but far from a guarantee. So, I'd say it depends on Golson's health whether or not a slot CB is needed.

      S: Once they moved Sean Davis from slot CB (where he struggled in college) to safety, he began playing much better. A player playing better in his natural position, hot damn! So I have no beef here. I also have no beef with Robert Golden or Jordan Dangerfield, who are solid special teams players and okay depth. No, my issue is with Mike Mitchell, who was maddeningly inconsistent last year. See, he's supposed to be the hitting, tone setting safety, but he misses as many tackles as he makes. He's not super good in coverage, either. I'll admit, this is kind of a personal opinion, but I'd love a center fielder-style safety to pair with Davis. That would help the young CBs out even more.

      Those are the bigger needs, I'd say. Fortunately, it's mostly depth-related, which is good. As for other positions: This goes against popular opinion, but I think Vince Willams will be a fine replacement for Timmons, provided he doesn't return on a very cheap contract. And I'm fine with Fort and Matekevich as backups. As for the DL, I've done a 180 on Hargrave; the dude really stepped up when Heyward got hurt, and the run defense improved as a result. Tuitt, Hargrave, and Heyward are a solid starting front 3, and Matthews and Walton were solid back ups. Could probably do better than Big Dan for a backup NT, but that's not too pressing at the moment. I think they give Green another year at TE as well, as he spent most of the year hurt. James is an average all around TE, not bad in any regard but not someone that really scares DCs. The team likes Xavier Grimble there, but I really can't tell you much about him. David Johnson may be on his way out again, especially if Rosie Nix is healthy. To quote a certain someone: Moar fullback! He's a good blocker and special teams player. The team was working with him in camp to get him the ball more, but he got hurt and didn't return until later in the season. I'd be happy seeing him get more snaps. Oh, and I'm fine with our kicker and punter as well. And Greg Warren, just for completion's sake.

      Now for the coaching. I've been back and forth on Tomlin a lot. Overall, he's not bad, but there are weaknesses to his game. Mainly, over-aggression (See: Dallas game) and some occasional clock management issues. Not Andy Reid levels, mind you, but something to work on. Also, dropping games to loser teams is frustrating, but that thankfully didn't happen, as the Miami game was the turning point for a solid Dolphins squad. So, he's not Belechick, and never will be. But he's probably closer to Cowher than the haters will ever admit: an enthusiastic defensive coach that motivates his players and leaves the Xs and Os to the coordinators. Cowher was just more animated. Speaking of coordinators, Todd Haley isn't terrible, though I wish he'd remember the QB sneak for short yardage. But he has this offense running the ball again. I'm not a fan of Keith Butler: he has his moments, but doesn't seem to always have a good plan and gets out-coached. He's kind of a poor man's Lebeau. I'm not sure who I'd replace him with though. Special teams coach Danny Smith was the whipping boy this year, and rightfully so, the coverage and return units were mediocre at best. I have no issues with any positional coaches at this point.

      Phew, that's what happens when your AM client cancels. So yeah, the arrow is pointing upwards, but depth needs to be carefully maintained to keep it that way. The need for a successor at QB looms larger with every passing year, though, and that will ultimately determine where this team goes.
      sigpic

      Comment


      • Originally posted by Johnnyallstar View Post
        This is for you, Cast

        I hate that guy. "Let's go into Foxboro with the same goddamn defensive gameplan they've destroyed for over a decade! That'll work!" Standard is the standard. Obviously.
        Flinchy McTapQwik

        Lol

        Comment


        • Also, fullbacks are awesome. I want a guy on my team that's 5'11"-6'1", 245 lbs+, and whose last name is just a bunch of consonants with the letter "y" thrown in at random intervals.

          Btw, it seems the whole reason behind ABs facebook live lockerroom post was that he just signed a deal with facebook live!
          Flinchy McTapQwik

          Lol

          Comment


          • Fullbacks are starting to see a renaissance, and I love it. Juice is good, Ripkowski, that guy in Hotlanta that had the 31 yard reception early. All good stuff. I hope we can find a guy like that as well. Block 90% of the time, and then sneak out for big checkdown plays or ram it through for tough yards.

            Need more big slugging pollacks.

            Comment


            • Patrick DiMarco. Both he and Juice are FAs this year, too.
              Flinchy McTapQwik

              Lol

              Comment


              • I am also glad to see the FB come back. A big nasty 250 pounder could come in handy against DBs that want to be like Deion and never tackle, ever.
                sigpic

                Comment


                • I get a lot of times there is some backlash that happens when teams don't make it into playoffs, but Pittsburgh is getting a lot it seems. Ben talking about considering retirement (he won't this year), talks about how AB is too concerned with stats, and the Steelers might be secretly preparing to shop him, how Tomlin is being criticized again as riding the coattails of great players,

                  Normally this kind of media break happens when a team falls considerably short of their expectations, not being beaten in the AFCCG.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Johnnyallstar View Post
                    I get a lot of times there is some backlash that happens when teams don't make it into playoffs, but Pittsburgh is getting a lot it seems. Ben talking about considering retirement (he won't this year), talks about how AB is too concerned with stats, and the Steelers might be secretly preparing to shop him, how Tomlin is being criticized again as riding the coattails of great players,

                    Normally this kind of media break happens when a team falls considerably short of their expectations, not being beaten in the AFCCG.
                    Ben is a massive drama queen, and all the other stuff is accurate.
                    Flinchy McTapQwik

                    Lol

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Johnnyallstar View Post
                      I get a lot of times there is some backlash that happens when teams don't make it into playoffs, but Pittsburgh is getting a lot it seems. Ben talking about considering retirement (he won't this year), talks about how AB is too concerned with stats, and the Steelers might be secretly preparing to shop him, how Tomlin is being criticized again as riding the coattails of great players,

                      Normally this kind of media break happens when a team falls considerably short of their expectations, not being beaten in the AFCCG.
                      Expectations are constantly very high for Pittsburgh. And yeah, Ben likes to be dramatic. As far as AB goes, Tomlin said in the press conference after the facebook incident "that's how star players move from team to team." He was pretty clearly pissed. Whether or not there's fire to that smoke, I don't know. Regarding the recent report, Brown was not in the endzone and was celebrating the TD when WIlliams got in. So my guess is that part is nonsense. What isn't is the personal foul penalties on celebrations and the team being very pissed about the locker room video.
                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • Everything about that game is why I have no use for the Tomlisbergers. Well, other than to laugh at. Which I did. The whole game.
                        Flinchy McTapQwik

                        Lol

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Castiron View Post
                          Everything about that game is why I have no use for the Tomlisbergers. Well, other than to laugh at. Which I did. The whole game.
                          It was a poor matchup from the start, but using a defense that. Never. Works. Against the Pats was the worst part.
                          sigpic

                          Comment


                          • I get that their defensive scheme was good enough to help get them into the playoffs and into the AFCCG, but Brady has made his millions picking apart zones, you'd think they would have something in their back pocket as a strategy for when their zones start to fail.

                            I heard one angry guy on the Rich Eisen show today who basically was saying that having their defense not designed to beat Brady was designing it to lose. Which I somewhat agree with.

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Johnnyallstar View Post
                              I get that their defensive scheme was good enough to help get them into the playoffs and into the AFCCG, but Brady has made his millions picking apart zones, you'd think they would have something in their back pocket as a strategy for when their zones start to fail.

                              I heard one angry guy on the Rich Eisen show today who basically was saying that having their defense not designed to beat Brady was designing it to lose. Which I somewhat agree with.
                              The thing is, they did it before. It was a regular season game, a few years back. They played tight coverage against the Pats, and lo and behold, it worked.

                              I'm over the soft zone in general. I think the NFL has evolved past it, as teams are more than willing to hit you with slants, crossers, and screens to beat you, death of a thousand cuts style. You can "tackle the catch" all you like, but when those catches go for 6-7 yards a pop, it adds up. Not to mention seam routes and such, that go deeper and are designed to beat your zone. It's just a bit too passive against offenses that get rid of the ball within 2 seconds, making it next to impossible for a blitz to hit home. You have to hit them on the line, disrupt the timing, make the QB sit just a bit longer, then land the hit.

                              There's also the matter of adjusting in-game. And I've seen it done before, why not there? I get having an identity, but versatility is the name of the game now, on both sides of the ball. You can base yourself around one thing, but you better be able to shift gears and do something else, or you're basically screwed.

                              Yeah, this team simply wasn't beating the Patriots. Even when the defense was amazing, their scheme was basically a giant target for some of the better QBs (except for Peyton, who had a strange weakness to the 3-4). I remember thinking the same thing during the superbowl against the Packers.
                              sigpic

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by steelers_pens_fan View Post

                                It was a poor matchup from the start, but using a defense that. Never. Works. Against the Pats was the worst part.
                                This is why I'd always say "Thanks Tomlin!" The one time when I thought the team had finally solved the Patriots was in 2011 when they played bump and run across the field on them. And it worked. You know why they did that? Because a few weeks before on SNF, and on b$pn, there were former coaches and players explaining that you had to knock the WRs off their routes and mess up Brady's timing. Tomlin heard it, enacted it, and it worked. Before and since, it's been "We do what we do". Apparently, what they do is be NE's *****.

                                Tomlin has turned the Pittsburgh ****ing Steelers into Dungy's Colts. A soft, pansy-ass team that can't gain one damn foot when they need to, and can't stop a nose bleed. **** that guy in the ear.
                                Flinchy McTapQwik

                                Lol

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X