Tag Archives: Dick LeBeau

5 Smoldering Questions on the 2017 Playoff Ruins

A132FC3E-BC23-42BC-BBE5-C4A2C17488A2.jpegPhoto via Steelers.com

By Hombre de Acero

If ever there was a week when circumstances would match the title of this column, it is this week. The Jacksonville Jaguars came into Heinz Field and embarrassed the Steelers to the tune of a 45-42, eliminating them from the playoffs and rendering their 2017 season a smoking ruin.

With that introduction, here are this week’s 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers 2017 Division Playoff loss.

1. A year ago the Steelers were without Cam Heyward, had Eli Rogers and DeMarcus Ayers as their number 2 and 3 receivers, played Ross Cockrell and William Gay as their number 2 and number 3 corners, yet made it to the AFC Championship. This year, save for Ryan Shazier, they were at full strength, with a 1st round bye, yet gave up 45 points to an offense that only managed 10 the week before, against the Buffalo Bills. 

What the hell happened?

2. Heads are already rolling on the South Side, with Todd Haley sent packing. Haley, in the tradition of Steelers offensive coordinators was a lightening rod for criticsm during his tenure and if social media is any guide, the vast majority of Steelers Nation is happy to see him go.

Yet, Haley was brought into save Ben from himself, and numbers don’t lie.

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Do you agree with the decision to part ways with Haley? Defend your choice.

3. Meanwhile, if Gerry Dulac’s reporting is correct, the entire defensive staff that oversaw and effort that tied the franchise record for most points given up in a playoff game will remain intact….

However, Mike Mularkey has been relieved of his duties in Tennessee which could make things interesting.

Assuming the new head coach doesn’t retain the assistants, and assuming Dick LeBeau would even listen to an offer—perhaps neither assumption is correct—but were he to become available, should the Steelers consider bringing back LeBeau in some sort of Assistant Head Coach Defense capacity?

4. It’s been reported on two occasions this season that the Steelers have prohibited Ben Roethlsiberger from making quarterback sneaks for fear of him being “Ear holed.” Do you agree or disagree?

5. You are Art Rooney II. Realistically, what do you say, or perhaps ask, Mike Tomlin in your year-end meeting?

That’s all for now. Depending on which stories develop, we may have another 5 Smoldering’s in the next week or so, if not we’ll certainly be back for free agency and the draft.

Until then, use your number 2 pencils, be sure to look at your neighbors paper, and by all means show your work.

I would like to express my thanks to Hombre for the great questions he comes up with for us, a task which he has to somehow fit into a very busy life with work, family, his own website, and travel. We will look forward to the next set of questions, whenever they hit my inbox : )

YCOD Stunned as AB and Steelers Celebrate Pittsburgh’s Light Up Night Early

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Photo via Steelers.com The Helmet Catch wasn’t AB’s only great feat last night…

By Homer J

Homer has been asked to announce that the Yinzer Cult of Doom’s weekly post-game Bitchfest and Kvetching Bee has been postponed for lack of material. The YCOD promises to return next week or whenever they can find something real or imaginary to complain about, but they are taking a bye week of sorts after last night’s game to grab some smelling salts and try to come to their senses. A forty-burger can do that to you.

Homer, as always, apologizes for any inconvenience. Read more

Steelers Opponent Preview: Dick LeBeau and the Titans Come to Town

Photo via Steelers.com. Can you tell I’m loving the color rush unis?

The title of the article pretty much sums up the feel of this game. Many of the Titans coaches have played or worked for the Steelers at one time, including Mike Mularky, Deshea Townsend, and of course Dick LeBeau. It goes the other way, too. Starting corner Coty Sensabaugh was drafted by the Titans. But perhaps the big name here is Offensive Line coach Mike Munchak, who played for the Titans, coached in a variety of capacities for them, and was their head coach for three years. Bob Labriola of Steelers.com pointed out that there are more Steelers/Titans connections than there are between the Steelers and the Cardinals, and that’s saying something.

But once the “hail fellow well met” greetings are over on the sidelines, the battle lines are drawn up, and what we have is a game between a 7-2 and a 6-3 club. Both would very much like to win it. For the Titans, it would represent a sweep of the AFC North, as they’ve already beaten the other three teams (barely.) And they would naturally like to hold on to their lead in the AFC South. For the Black and Gold, it would represent another step towards a bye week and home field advantage in the playoffs. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions: Steelers at Ravens

img_0531By Hombre de Acero

The Steelers bye week went well, as neither AFC North rival logged a victory and as several key players appear to be returning to practice, if not full health. But before the Steelers arrive in Baltimore for their all-important showdown with the rival Ravens, this corner of Steelers Nation must first resolve these 5 Smoldering questions:
1. The Steelers activated Ladrius Green from the PUP list during the bye week, and Mike Tomlin’s assessment was positive. Although some Steelers beat reporters do still do not expect him to play this season, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have nearly two weeks to make a decision on whether to activate him or not.

Should the Steelers opt to activate Green, who should they cut to make roster room for him?

Read more

What’s So Special About 30 Points per Game?

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Charles LeClaire, USA Today Sports

If you pay even the least attention to offseason Steelers news, you’ve probably read that the offense intends to achieve the Holy Grail of 30 points per game this season.

Last season the offense did in fact manage 30 points or more per game for six games in a row later in the season, and the ultimate figure of 26.4 was considerably higher than the old standard of 20 points per game.

Why has the desired number changed so much? This should be pretty obvious—the stifling defense of old is no more. Under the old Dick LeBeau defenses you could pretty much count on winning the game if the offense managed to put up 20 points, or that was the theory. Read more

The Sunday Football-Related Music Post: Amateur Efforts

lebeauIn one of the early posts in this series we looked at the practice routine of a professional musician and the workout routine of an NFL player. The musician was my son, and I just went to hear him play in Carnegie Hall, so I guess practice really does get you there. The NFL player was Clay Mathews, and he seems to have had a pretty reasonable career too.

But this does not mean that music cannot be an enjoyable avocation for a NFL player, and we’re going to look at some examples of this in the weeks to come, in varying degrees of competency.

The idea for this entire Football-Related Music series was actually spurred by Bob Labriola, whose “Asked and Answered” column on steelers.com is one of my favorite features. It has also resulted in ideas and materials for many a column on this site, which would probably annoy Labriola to no end, so let’s not tell him. Here is the item:

Q: The Pro Bowl is the least entertaining event in all of professional sports. Do you think it would, “spice up the game” by having players switch offensive and defensive positions? Meaning, if you are an offensive player, you must play a defensive position in the Pro Bowl, and vice versa. Some players have already made the switch during this contest anyway.

A: I say we give all of them musical instruments and ask them to play Beethoven. Read more

Things Bigger than Football: Head Coach Mike Tomlin

steelers.com

steelers.com

I’ve really enjoyed the feature “Asked and Answered” on steelers.com. In it Bob Labriola fields an astonishing variety of questions. This question from October 29th got the normally phlegmatic Labriola a little fired up:

PAUL CUZ FROM FRANKLIN SQUARE, N.Y.:
Bill Cowher won with average quarterbacks. Mike Tomlin has a franchise quarterback. Tomlin is a defensive coach like Cowher and the Steelers defense is below average. Do you think Tomlin deserved a contract extension?

[Bob Labriola answers:]

I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess you don’t believe Mike Tomlin deserved a contract extension, but let me ask you a few things: Exactly what did Bill Cowher win with an average quarterback? Not the Super Bowl, because the Lombardi Trophy won during his tenure came after Ben Roethlisberger was drafted. Certainly not the AFC Championship games – at home – in 1994, 1997, and 2001. And let me take this discussion in a different direction and ask you: What did Bill Belichick ever win, either in Cleveland or in New England, without Tom Brady? What did Chuck Noll ever win without Terry Bradshaw? Tom Landry never won anything until the Cowboys went with Roger Staubach. Read more