Friday, September 5, 2008

Man with Pubic Hair On His Head is at it Again

Bob Smizik must really hate Pittsburgh. First he disses the fans, calling them knuckleheads, then has the audacity to say the defense is over the hill and the team will go basically no where this season. Has anybody checked whether Bob Smizik attended the Jay Marrioti School of Journalism?

Debbie Downer forgot to mention the injury of Ryan Clark last season forcing Coach Tomlin to insert Anthony "I can't back up my mouth" Smith into the lineup. You know the rest. This contributed to the downfall of the defense more than anything else. With the return of a healthy Ryan Clark the Steelers Defense will not be suspectible to the deep pass as they were late last season.

On to whether the defense is running on fumes as he suggests. I disagree, just last year we picked 2 LB's, Lawrence Timmons and Lamar Woodley who will have a big impact and are both *gasp* young! Anyone but the man with Pubic Hair on his Head knows that the strength of a 3-4 defense is the linebackers. With these additions the Steelers are set there for a few years.

Also, James Farrior was just signed to a new 5 year contract by the Steelers who believe he can play 3 more productive years. I tend to trust Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin on assessing players over Debbie Downer.

Is the Defensive Line's age a bit concerning? Yes. But defensive lineman can play forever, the Giants just begged 36 year old Michael Strahan to come back at double his salary from last season. As far as the Steelers go, I'm sure they will deal with it next offseason. It's September, the draft isn't till April, let's talk about this season until then.

As far as Casey Hampton goes, he's just going to keep getting bigger and taking up more and more space. Which is his job. So what's the problem?

Oh and way to have confidence in the team, predicting they will lose in the first round at home. As a fan I like to hope for the best for my team. Please forgive me if I have faith in Ben Roethlisberger to take the Steelers a bit further than losing in the first round.

I haven't gotten to Debbie Downer's biggest sin yet. He says the Steelers will win 5 division games and games against Houston, Giants, Washington and Tennessee. What? We can't beat the Eagles? Donavan McNabb may be a good QB, but I think Big Ben is pretty good in his own right. Sure Brian Westbrook is a great all around running back but I seem to remember Willie Parker leading the league in rushing when he was injured last season. The Steelers have Santonio Holmes and Hines Ward, the Eagles have NO good wide receivers. Even with the additioni of Asante Samuel, I still give our defense the edge over the Eagles. This doesn't mean the Steelers will beat the Eagles, but I'm not going to write the Steelers off like a charitable deduction on my tax return.

I agree the 1-4 record to end the season is disturbing but one loss was to the Patriots, who beat everyone in the regular season and a loss to Baltimore in a meaningless game in which Ben, Hines and Polamalu didn't even play to end the regular season. So yes Mr. Smizik, numbers do lie.
I really don't get Bob Smizik. For someone who was born and raised in Pittsburgh, he sure doesn't act like it.

Is vaunted defense running on fumes?
Friday, September 05, 2008
Bob Smizik, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
By the numbers, the Steelers had the top defense in the NFL last season, allowing the fewest yards. In points allowed, they were second best.
Numbers can lie.
The bulk of those sterling statistics was achieved in the first three quarters of the season when the Steelers were 9-3 and looked like a Super Bowl contender. Over their final five games, including one in the playoffs, they were 1-4 and allowed 145 points as their vaunted defense collapsed. They had the look of not just another team, but another bad team.
Some of that decline -- but not all -- was the result of an injury Dec. 9 to defensive end Aaron Smith that kept him out for the remainder of the season. Smith is healthy this season, another aging veteran on a unit that will be supremely challenged.
Not only do the Steelers have the most difficult schedule in the NFL, but their opponents also are particularly strong on offense. The Steelers will be facing seven of the top 10 offenses in terms of yards from last season and six of the top eight in points scored. Considering how they finished and considering what was a veteran defense is now a year older, there have to be grave doubts about the unit's ability to handle the challenge it faces.
It becomes especially daunting late in the season when, in successive weeks beginning Nov. 9, the Steelers face offenses that were ranked third (Indianapolis), fifth (San Diego), 11th (Cincinnati), first (New England) and second (Dallas) in scoring in 2007.
Can this older unit hold up against such pressure?
Three of the starters have double-digit years of experience: Inside linebacker James Farrior is in his 12th season; cornerback Deshea Townsend his 11th; Smith his 10th. Nose tackle Casey Hampton has eight years of experience, end Brett Keisel, inside linebacker Larry Foote and safety Ryan Clark seven, cornerback Ike Taylor and safety Troy Polamalu six and outside linebacker James Harrison five. Only second-year outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley is a kid.
The fact that the Steelers have what looks to be a potent offense can take some of the pressure off the defense. They have one of the premier quarterbacks in the league in Ben Roethlisberger and a very good running back in Willie Parker. Hines Ward remains a top possession receiver, and Santonio Holmes could be ready to step up into the ranks of the elite deep threats. He led the NFL in yards per catch last season. Tight end Heath Miller is another high-caliber offensive player.
The Steelers might need all of that offense as they take on their difficult schedule, which also includes such playoff contenders as the Super Bowl champion New York Giants; the Jacksonville Jaguars, who beat the Steelers twice last season; the Philadelphia Eagles, the No. 6 offense in the league last season; and the improved Washington Redskins.
The difficulty of the schedule is a bit overrated because the Steelers' chief competitor in the AFC North, the Cleveland Browns, plays a similar schedule, although with one notable exception: The Browns don't play the Patriots. The Browns play Dallas, the Giants, Washington, Jacksonville, Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
The bottom line on any season is not statistical rank but rather wins and losses. The Steelers' defense will perform adequately and the offense exceptionally. If it were not for such a difficult schedule, the Steelers would win 11 or 12 games. With this schedule, they should win nine, and that will be good enough to win the division. It's possible eight wins might earn a title in the AFC North.
Here are the teams the Steelers can beat: They'll win five games among their division opponents and add victories against Houston, the Giants, Washington and Tennessee. That will put them in the playoffs where they'll lose in the first round.
In free agency and the draft, they'll be looking for defensive players.
This once-excellent defense is fading fast. It might have one season left in it, but no more.

FYI: Bob Smizik can be reached at

1 comment:

Broke But Still Drinking said...

I think I know who is responsible for the high speed chase in Pittsburgh.