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Preseason Kickoff: Steelers vs Iggles; Thursday 8/9 @ 7:30
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FourThreeMafia


Joined: 28 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Preseason Kickoff: Steelers vs Iggles; Thursday 8/9 @ 7:30 Reply with quote


Thu, 08/09 at 7:30 PM EDT
Lincoln Financial Field


Well, its that time of year again.

That time of year where we bid farewell to the long days of summer, and the seemingly endless void of football between the months of May and August, and welcome the shorter days, the colder weather and of course, the game we all love. A time when all fans hopes spring eternal with the aspirations of greatness, and the dreams of seeing their team raising that Lombardi on that final Sunday. A dream that many will have, but few will come close to, and only one will achieve.

Many teams fans can only hope and dream of reaching that pinnicle. They patiently wait year after year, suffering through the hardships of draft busts, poor team management, and mediocre performances, all culiminating in yet another season where their team falls short of fan expectations, which is usually always higher than it likely should be.

As Steeler fans, we are blessed. As much as we bellyache, and moan and criticize players and the front office, this team has spoiled us rotten. If I put myself in the shoes of several other teams fans, Id want to punch alot of Steeler fans, including myself, square in the face sometimes. Not out of jealousy or resentment, but out of pure disgust of how blind we are to our own good fortune.

Every year, we have the peace of mind that our team is likely to compete. The future, seemingly every year, is bright, even if the light may not be blinding. Stable ownership... competent front office... consistent solid coaching...a team where players play as one, and not as individuals....and a fanbase that is as passionate and loving of their teams as any fanbase on god's green earth.

So, as we embark on yet another journey throughout another season, keep in mind how fortunate you....WE have been to cheer for such and organization. In my mind, while there are alot of great sports franchises out there and alot of great fanbases....there are very few on par with the Steelers. Thats not meant to say that we are the best fanbase or the best franchise in sports...but not many have the tradition of excellence, fan camaraderie and overall team success in one package.




With that being said....let me mercelessless rip into them....

This team has alot of questions marks this year in my opinion. We are still a very competitive team and will again, as every year, push for a title. But 2012 and 2013 will be, in my opinion, two of the most important years the Steelers have faced in the last decade. Why do I bring these questions up now?

Because those questions, even if only gradually, begin to be answered this Thursday.

43M's TOP 10 CONCERNS FOR 2012
1) Time for a Nose Job
Sadly, one of the casualties of age and turnover is long time dominant Nose Tackle Casey Hampton. While Snack may still be on the team, the writing is on the wall, and this is likely his last year as a Steeler. Coming off a serious knee injury is hard for anyone, but for a heavy, aging NT, its a sign that its almost time to hang em up.

That being said, we have to look forward, and the question is...is his LONG TERM replacement on the roster?

The battle will be between Steve McClendon and Alamaeda Ta'amu.

McClendon, from what Ive seen of him, is not a starting caliber player. He is a nice backup and situational guy, but from what I saw of him last year, my hopes for him in 2012 arent particularly high. His added weight and thickness could make a major difference, though, since his biggest issue IMO was eating up space in the run game for our LBs to make plays. McClendon has to prove he can consistently command double teams and that he can be not only as strong as Snack was, but smart as well.

Ta'amu is a prospect Ive always been mixed on. At the very least, I think he will be a very nice situational backup. If he learns to play with better leverage and is given the John Mitchell treatment, I think he could be special. He moves well for a guy his size and is very powerful, and with the right structure, could be that answer.


There is a chance, however, that both could show little this year in terms of being a capable successor to Snack. So, do the Steelers have their future NT, or will we still be looking in 2013?

2) Backed into a Corner
Cornerback has been a long...longstanding issue for the Steelers, especially across from Ike Taylor. Anyone who has been a member of this site long enough knows that I am not a huge fan of Ike. I think he is solid but not much else beyond that. Last regular season, he played maybe his best season to date, but to be honest didnt face much to really challenge him. In Denver, he was completely humiliated versus DeMariyus Thomas, who he couldnt stick with to save his life. I blame LeBeau for not recognizing it and addressing it, but Ike was still terrible.

Why am talking about Ike? Because IMO, he is declining as well, and while everyone is focused on cornerback 2....I am focused on possible future players at both 1 and 2. Ike will be the starter in 2012 and likely 2013, but by 2014, I think it will be evident he needs replaced. So, what are the Steelers options?


Cortez Allen: Has gotten good reviews from coaches and looked good in situational play in 2011, but still not guaranteed to fill any void?

Curtis Brown: One of my favorite corners of the 2011 NFL Draft, and a guy I think can really be a good starter, but needs to become more physical if he ever wants to start.

Keenan Lewis: On again, off again guy that cant seem to get over the hump.

So...my main questions are...

a) Is there a good number 2 on the roster?
b) Is there a possible replacement for Ike in 2-3 years?
c) Will CB be a major need of the 2013 draft?


3) Will Deebo Get Knocked the F*** Out?


Ahh...James. Its disappointing that he didnt take off until he was almost 30 because he is such a fun player to watch. Relentless, ruthless and mean...just how the Steelers like their defenders. But James has shown signs of wearing down. He is getting injured alot more and when he was healthy in 2011, didnt have the same burst out of his stance as 2008 Harrison did.



With Harrison's salary being pretty high, this could be Harrison's last year here. Only way I can see us retaining Harrison next year is if he is healthy most of the year and can show he can still ball. Can he do it? Yes. Will he...thats the question?
Here's hoping Chris Carter or Jason Worlids can finally step up. My money is on the former, if anyone.

4) Where's Wallace, String?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcgvFEdhq-I&feature=youtube_gdata_playerk

Simple question...where is he...when will he show up...how will he act....how will the team treat him?

The relationship, while not irrevocably damaged, diminishes more with each passing day that Wallace isnt sign long term? The even worse part, is that he doesnt have a chance of getting that contract if he doesnt show up?

So...we have to look beyond Wallace, and several questions lie there...

a) Can Antonio Brown produce as well without Wallace opposite him?



b) Can Sanders finally stay healthy and break out?
c) Is Cotchery capable of being a number 2 if needed?
d) Who will claim the 5th WR spot?


5) Show Me Your "O" Face

Well...we got our wish.

After 2 years of constant complaining...Bruce Arians is gone. In this case, the complaining was justified. Even if Arians turns out not to be the main problem, the fact is the team needed a change. He was a horrible situational playcaller, never learned from mistakes, made our offense too one dimensional at times and rarely stuck with things that were working.



The change has come in the form of Todd Haley. Haley has a repuation for being a hothead, but I think if the players..especially Ben...understand that its not personal and Haley doesnt go overboard, that the relationship will be just fine. I also think this locker room and coaching staff can and will cool Haley down. He has more talent to work with her than he did in OC, and now he can just focus on offense, which IMO, he is more suited for.

Still have my concerns about Haley, but happy Bruce is gone and looking forward to seeing the new offense.

6) Walk the Line
Finally, we addressed the line....so Ben can stay upright and 3rivers can shut the f*** up.

A moment of silence is requested for two fan favorites...




They will be missed, and I truly, honestly wish them nothing but the absolute worst. Go to hell you fat slobs. Well...I dont hate them for real....but as football players I despise them.

Anyway...lets move on. The Steelers, to the delightful shock of all us, landed highly heralded OG prospect David DeCastro in the first round. If that wasnt good enough, the Steelers then landed troubled, but talented offensive tackle Mike Adams in the 2nd round. Both of these rookies are expected to start, and while I like the future, this "trial by fire" could prove to be an issue. The only solace is that Mike Adams cant possibly be any worse than Jon Scott was early last season...and thats not even exaggerating.



Beyond that, we have 3rd year first round center Mo Pouncey, who IMO could have a breakout year. Second year right tackle Marcus Gilbert showed flashes last year and impressed me at times, but still needs work. And then there Willie Colon. Normally, Id bash Colon relentlessly and complain that he is still on the team, but since Colon is now playing on the inside (which he is better suited for) and replacing the Samoan Sack of Sh.t, I cant be too angry....at least not until he gets injured again or proved to be just as mediocre an OG as a RT.
Hopefully, that doesnt happen.

Oh...and the starting average age of our OLine is 24....and would be around 22 or so if not for Colon, who is only 29. if this line shows promise...we can rest easy about the OLine for while.



7) No Mendy's!

Bonus points for whoever gets the reference.

Mendenhall is nothing special, but he is a good player who played behind a crap OLine and was made one dimensional by Arians.

With him out of the lineup for the first month or so at least, the question is...how can the backups do?

Redman has proven he can fill in when needed, but as a full time starter, Im not sure. I think he can be a tandem back, but there needs to be someone spelling him IMO to get maximum effectiveness from Redman.

Beyond Redman we have 3 names...Jon Dwyer, Baron Batch and Chris Rainey.



At this point, I wont be shocked if Batch is the primary backup to Dwyer. He has been getting good reviews in all phases of his game. Dwyer....I think they are hoilding out hope but I seem him done soon. Rainey is a gimmick player on offense at best. Anyone thinking he will ever be a Darren Sproles type are kidding themselves. He may be thrown in obvious passing downs as a gamebreaking type, but more often as a decoy IMO.

Personally, I think our running game will be about the same as last year, Mendy will be gone in 2013, and we will draft a RB in the first 3 rounds of next years draft.

8 ) Playing it Safe

Our current oldest position on the team is now safety. Ryan Clark and Troy are both over 30 and neither are getting any younger. Clark had a solid year last year and led the team in tackles, but he still has major issues in coverage and with open field tackling. Troy was good in 2011, but not great. He too had issues in coverage and with open field tackling.



So in 2012...I am really hoping that this is recognized. Troy IMO needs to be used differently. NOT COMPLETELY different, but not putting him in position to where his weaknesses can exploited. And Troy needs to realize he isn't as quick as he used to be, and while he is still and instinctual playmaker, doesnt have the body to cover ground as quickly as he used to.

Beyond 2012, safety is a HUGE need. ...both from a depth and starter standpoint. Safety class of 2013 is much better than that of 2012, and Im hoping we can possibly capitalize on that by getting a future starter and a depth guy.

9) Show me Your Insides

James Farrior was terribad last year on the field, but his leadership and veteran presence was still there, and thats why this team will miss most IMO.

Foote is a decent stop gap, but is a guy that will make you sh1t your pants in anger at some points with how poorly he plays. For the most part though, he should suffice for a year.

Timmons also needs to step up. In 2010, Timmons was excellent. Injuries started hitting our LB corps in mid 2010 and throughout 2011, and Timmons has been moved all around. BIG MISTAKE. Timmons was getting into a groove, and is not suited to play OLB in the NFL. Keep him at ILB and let him regain his 2010 form and STAY there. If Worlids cant stay healthy, cut his broke a$$ and find someone who can and can step in as starter, even if they are only average at best. Just dont move Timmons from ILB anymore.



Then, there is the matter of Sean Spence, who Ive discussed alot this offseason. I like Spence as a college player and he has alot of tools, but I do question certain things about him. I heard he put on some mass, which is nice, but that still doesnt address my main concerns about him. Only time will do that. Im hoping Im wrong, but I just dont feel he is a future starter.

So...like safety, I feel ILB will be a major need next year. Hoping Spence can make me eat crow, but until then...thats how I feel.

10) Has D1ck Gone Soft?


No pun intended.

LeBeau is beloved by Steeler fans everywhere, and rightfully so. His defenses are a reason we have all gotten to enjoy the success we have had over the last eight years. However, there are people that blindly defend him and act like he is never part of the problem.

Im not a defensive mastermind, but I saw alot of issues IMO with LeBeau's playcalling last year. We didnt attack as much...which had alot to do with injuries, but we just didnt seem to have that same blood thirsty mentality. That all came to a head in the playoff game, when LeBeau failed to properly gameplan for Tebow and made minimal adjustments to stopping him. Again, I get the injuries, but LeBeau of old wouldn't go down without a fight. Last year at times, he seemed content on letting things just play out.

So, the question becomes...is it time to make way for Keith Butler, or do you think LeBeau should stay on for awhile longer? At 75...how much longer can he really stay?






So, for now...thats it.

I was going to do training camp battles, but feel like I covered most of the main ones in the write up.
As for the game itself...does it really matter? First preseason games are meaningless in terms of who wins....actually all preseason games are, but especially the first since everyone is just getting into a flow.

Im not even going to make a prediction. I just want to see the early progressions of young players and see how they look in real game situations...even if its limited.

So, with that, I bid you all...adieu....except Ward4HOF...you bastid.



43M
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SteelerPR


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good write up. Thanks for taking the time.
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JDLefebvre


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow 43!!! Way to set the bar extremely high for the rest of us! Geesh!!!!! Wink
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at23steelers


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good job 43!! Way to start off the season! I also like you calling-out Ward for what he is!!
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stefan52268


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice write up brother!
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great write up 43. I hope the steelers kill the eagles. Ughhh I can't stand those lil green bastards. Laughing
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steelcurtain29


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

#10 had me rollin'

Also, is it awkward that my wife noticed Kate Upton before I did? Eh?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

steelcurtain29 wrote:
Also, is it awkward that my wife noticed Kate Upton before I did? Eh?


Gawd no!!! Proves she is a keeper....

Best picture EVER!!!!!
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3rivers


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I only see your pal kemo , where is the pic if scoot and the [inappropriate/removed] block? Am I allow to applaud the OL if they play well? Not sure if the shut the f *** up is just regarding what some here called negative.

I just read that Adams has been working at LG the last few days (colon hurt again). Maybe they will play Adams at LT for a while then at LG for more versatility. I thought they would move Foster to LG?
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FourThreeMafia


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rivers wrote:
I only see your pal kemo , where is the pic if scoot and the [inappropriate/removed] block? Am I allow to applaud the OL if they play well? Not sure if the shut the f *** up is just regarding what some here called negative.

I just read that Adams has been working at LG the last few days (colon hurt again). Maybe they will play Adams at LT for a while then at LG for more versatility. I thought they would move Foster to LG?


Umm...there is a Scott GIF of the butt block...maybe you just cant see it.

And the "shut the bleep up" part was semi joking...and more in regards to you incessantly talking about the OLine, even in threads that had nothing to do with the OLine.
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3rivers


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FourThreeMafia wrote:
3rivers wrote:
I only see your pal kemo , where is the pic if scoot and the [inappropriate/removed] block? Am I allow to applaud the OL if they play well? Not sure if the shut the f *** up is just regarding what some here called negative.

I just read that Adams has been working at LG the last few days (colon hurt again). Maybe they will play Adams at LT for a while then at LG for more versatility. I thought they would move Foster to LG?


Umm...there is a Scott GIF of the butt block...maybe you just cant see it.

And the "shut the bleep up" part was semi joking...and more in regards to you incessantly talking about the OLine, even in threads that had nothing to do with the OLine.


History could repeat tself, but in a more positive way this year and possibly for years. I think this OL can be really good, but lets see. I don't even know what there will be to complain about this year:
arians is gone, the OL should be good, WR's are good, etc. The only issue could be NT, but nobody runs anymore anyways. Woodley is said to be in shape, so he might take DPOY if he starts at week 8 form in week 1.
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FourThreeMafia


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3rivers wrote:
FourThreeMafia wrote:
3rivers wrote:
I only see your pal kemo , where is the pic if scoot and the [inappropriate/removed] block? Am I allow to applaud the OL if they play well? Not sure if the shut the f *** up is just regarding what some here called negative.

I just read that Adams has been working at LG the last few days (colon hurt again). Maybe they will play Adams at LT for a while then at LG for more versatility. I thought they would move Foster to LG?


Umm...there is a Scott GIF of the butt block...maybe you just cant see it.

And the "shut the bleep up" part was semi joking...and more in regards to you incessantly talking about the OLine, even in threads that had nothing to do with the OLine.


History could repeat tself, but in a more positive way this year and possibly for years. I think this OL can be really good, but lets see. I don't even know what there will be to complain about this year:
arians is gone, the OL should be good, WR's are good, etc. The only issue could be NT, but nobody runs anymore anyways. Woodley is said to be in shape, so he might take DPOY if he starts at week 8 form in week 1.


Lets not get ahead of ourselves, man.

The OLine has some new talent, but its still very young and inexperienced, and has not worked with each other much yet. There will be definite growing pains....they key thing is how they repsond to adversity and how they IMPROVE throughout the year...not necessarily how the play on a strict game to game basis.

And you are undervaluing the NT issue. NT isnt just for stopping the run, but for allowing our LBs to make plays, even on passing downs. If our NT isnt good, that effects every aspect of the defense.

Hold up on Woodley as well. We know what he is capable of, but it takes more than just being in better shape.
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BigSnack


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

great write up brother.

and I'll let you take me to mendy's for the suit, and i promise i will order more than just soup
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Yeast infection.
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steelcurtain29


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JDLefebvre wrote:
steelcurtain29 wrote:
Also, is it awkward that my wife noticed Kate Upton before I did? Eh?


Gawd no!!! Proves she is a keeper....

Best picture EVER!!!!!


While I admire the kind words, my wife always wants to kill [Kate Upton] with fire; provided that it's not illegal when she does it Laughing

I wonder if we'll see Big Ben at all in this one? I prefer we don't, given the recent injury news.
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SteelKing728


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 11:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tease of the preseason. I'm getting just as excited for this game as the Vikings/49ers, but its the 1st game. We won't see the starters much.

I'm excited to see how Redman and Antonio Brown play with Mendenhall out, and Wallace doing his thing.

Finally, the Oline might be good this year! Mr. Green
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