Tag Archives: Will Allen

Developing the Talent: Carnell Lake, Part II

image.jpegThe previous post was getting unwieldy, because there is a great deal to talk about in terms of both Lake and the coaching job he has done so far. In the first post we looked at Lake’s first season (2011) which represented a high point for the secondary. It’s been mostly downhill since. According to Football Outsiders, the 2012 team dropped to No. 15 in the league, the 2013 team was No. 19, and the 2014 team was No. 30.

But guess what? Last season they finished at No. 13, despite not starting a single defensive back who ranked higher than No. 24, according to Pro Football Focus, among players with enough snaps to be ranked. The highest-ranked corner was Ross Cockrell, at No. 27. The highest-ranked safety was Mike Mitchell, at the afore-mentioned No. 24. They considered Antwon Blake to be essentially the worst corner in the league (and much of Steeler Nation would agree with them, I expect.)

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“The Standard is the Standard”—a Foreshadowing of Mike Tomlin’s 2015 Season

via Steelers.com

One of the things which was so impressive about the coaching job Mike Tomlin did, at least for those who were noticing, was how he managed to not only SAY things like “The Standard is the Standard” but actually get the team to believe it and play like it.

No, Landry Jones did not play like Ben Roethlisberger, mostly. Oh, he made a few really nice throws and a few boneheaded interceptions, which had a familiar feel, but it wasn’t like having Roethlisberger on the field, other than on a hellishly bad day for Ben. Which is only to be expected, because he is, after all, a backup quarterback, a fourth-round pick who had never thrown a pass in an NFL game until coming on the field in relief of an injured Michael Vick.

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The Pittsburgh Steelers All ‘Bust’ Team: Defense

ike-taylor by Ivan Cole

If you missed Part One, let me review some of the ground rules.

‘Bust’ vs. Bust. This is an exercise in irony. So if you are expecting to see the Limas Sweed Story in this piece you will be deeply disappointed. To qualify for this team you have to be a success who is declared a failure before or during the time you are succeeding.

We in Steelers Nation are masters of this sort of thing. There are a number of ways this gets done. The criteria which will receive the greatest focus here will be:

  1. declared a failure before putting on a uniform or playing a game,
  2. not developing in a timely enough fashion,
  3. being fragile, injured too often, having personal conduct issues that supposedly disqualifies a player from receiving our support, or
  4. being declared washed up (old or otherwise done).

There will be something of a bias in favor of the Super Bowl era (some would say that everything Steelers prior to then is by definition a bust), and skewed even further toward the latter years of this period.

Part One detailed the offense and included two players and one coach who would end up in the HOF—Terry Bradshaw, Mike Webster and Chuck Noll. It also included a few others who have a pretty good shot of ending up there as well. Here we will take a look at the defense, which includes at least one HOF player among their ranks. Read more

Game Recap: Steelers at Rams, Pas de Trois

AP photo/Billy Hurst: The Fire Heard Around the NFL…

I write this with the sort of heavy heart I usually have when chronicling a Steelers loss. In fact, I didn’t feel this bad when they lost to the Patriots.

2015 was supposed to be the year the offense carried the defense. And make no mistake, there are still a lot of playmakers on this team. But part of the “playmakerliness”, if I may be allowed to coin a term, is predicated on the chemistry between Roethlisberger and his receivers.

It was heartening to see Bell ripping off a few good runs against a very good defensive front. And all of a sudden we might be seeing the sort of two-back look a lot of people were hoping for but Tomlin nixed. But given that everyone is going to key in on the run, it might not be a successful strategy.

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The Case for the 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers, Part Two

via Steelers.com

  by Ivan Cole

[Part 1, which is the introduction and the Offense, can be found here. Part 2 should have gone up before the Patriots game, but I forgot to post it. My apologies to Ivan. But his predictions have held up remarkably well so far, I think you will agree!

 

The Defense

Okay. If you recall, I did say that this would be an optimistic look at the 2015 Pittsburgh Steelers. So now it’s time to really get optimistic and talk about the defense. Actually this is not as difficult a task as you might imagine. There are three factors at play here which, when thoughtfully considered, would allow you to believe that what was on display in the preseason was not nearly as bad as it appeared. Read more