Steelers Chat | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Welcome to our SCU community wall. Here you will find plenty of Pittsburgh Steelers discussion on all of our site's content, ordered by most recent.

In order to join in the discussion, we require all users to register on our website. This is in order to maintain a friendly community free from spam, profanity, and trolls! If you wish to continue, you may sign up for a free SCU Black membership or you may enjoy ad-free browsing of our site and other special features by upgrading to an SCU Gold membership.

Click here to register Click here to login Click here to upgrade to SCU Gold

  1. It will be interesting to see what kind of trade offers will come for Brown. If they are unacceptable to Rooney, then he will force Brown to play. If Brown refuses to play, he’d have to pay back something like 60% of his signing bonus. None of that will happen. Either Brown will make nice and stay, or Rooney will just take the best offer.

    Big Ben will be extended at least until Rudolph’s contract is due to be extended.

    I hope Boswell can get his body and mechanics right, because he’s clutch. I expect an extra kicker will be in camp as competition and insurance.

    I don’t see the point in tagging Bell. He’s not worth the franchise tag, and the transition tag would allow him to get a better offer the Steelers wouldn’t match. If the Steelers don’t match the offer, I believe they miss out on the compensatory pick. I could be mistaken.

    Shazier has also been seen jogging. I’m very pleased that he’s able to live a normal life. If he’s somehow able to play again, that would be amazing.

  2. Joe,
    Thanks for explaining this so clearly and thoroughly for these people!

  3. As far as the specific stats for this season comparing the offense to the defense, one could argue that for turnovers, penalties and yards, they both performed similarly, although a slight edge to the offense. However; the important stat to look at is points. Points decide games. Going into the Brown fiasco game, the Steelers were 4th in offense and 15th in defense. Why? The most telling stat that answers that question is red zone TD percentage. How good are you when there are 7 points on the line? The Steelers offense was #1 and the defense was #19.

    The Steelers missed the playoffs by a half game, and there was plenty of imperfection shared (offense, defense, special teams, coaching, distractions, refs). Any little thing going just a little better would have put them in the playoffs, so you can’t put all of the blame on any one thing. The special teams were the worst performers, but they aren’t on the field nearly as much as the offense or defense.

    Obviously, the 15th ranked defense must be more at fault than the 4th ranked offense, but I can see how one could stand up for the defense by pointing out how much more talented the offense is perceived to be, thus a higher expectation.

    To make an average ranking like the defense did, they looked good at times, but bad at others. The stats that made them look bad were being a bottom dweller in penalties and takeaways, and also giving up TDs instead of FGs. But what has stood out to me since Butler has taken over from Lebeau is rampant miscommunication. Ever since Lebeau left, the defense has become keystone cops. If it were one or two players always confused, I’d say an upgrade of talent was needed at their positions, but it’s the unit as a whole. That’s a coordination problem!

    It’s being reported repeatedly that Tomlin let Lebeau go because he wanted to put his own imprint on the defense. After all, he was a DC before he came to Pittsburgh. It is being reported and there is evidence that Tomlin is somewhat of a co-coordinator of the defense, so maybe Butler is not the primary source of the miscommunication. Perhaps it’s Tomlin. I guess that’s up to Rooney to figure out. I agree that Butler was groomed for a reason, hopefully not because he would let Tomlin be a puppet master.

    In the end, I can’t figure out who is to blame for the defense being mediocre, even with the past several years drafting focus on the defense, but they are certainly more at fault for missing the playoffs than the 4th highest scoring offense.

  4. As much as I hate the idea of Brown not being a Steeler, I cannot disagree with this logic. Add to that the fact that the fissure between him and this organization AND his teammates is very wide and appears non-navigable, I concur 100%. It’s been fun AB…

  5. I, too, really like many of these players on defense. The whole DL, Watt. Love the way Williams hits. Hilton, Haden and Davis. Their individual skills and efforts stand out, and they comprise most of the defense. What I see as holding them back is communication, and one way or another, that falls to the coordinator when it’s visible throughout the defense. Tomlin has all but admitted he’s a big part of the in-game defense, but that’s a discussion for another time. What I’d like to point out here is that the offense scored an average of 4 more points per game than the average team. The defense allowed right at the average. If the defense had done as well (allowed 4 points less per game), the Steelers would have finished 13-3. They really miss Shazier, and even perhaps Lebeau.

    • The defense continued to have issues, for sure, in 2018. I have not been “sold” that Keith Butler has quite figured out what type of defense he wants to run. And if he’s not convinced, how can the players on the field comprehend the schemes. That, to me, was a glaring issue this past season. When players have to spend most of their pre-snap hand-signaling each other, yelling, shifting, or making sure someone is covering the right person – that’s a MAJOR issue in my opinion. I thought Butler would go to a hybrid 4-3, but I’m not even sure you could look at the tape and call it that. So, yes, I am on board with questioning Butler. As for LeBeau, I loved his creativity but I’m not convinced his schemes would hold up against the new juggernaut type of offense that 2018 rolled out.

      Call it a conspiracy, but after the issues the NFL had with the anthem issues/protests, it felt like the rules all changed to favor big shoot-outs and offensive production in 2018. Get the fans to forget about boycotting stuff by giving them huge scores, tight games or offensive fireworks?

      I think defenses across the league (look at the Denver Broncos) that should have been major competitors were stymied by the rules, by the way offenses opened things up, and the lack of adjustments made by many DC’s. Butler needed help, whether from Tomlin or the assistants. I think even the coaching staff was not on the same page and that translated to what happened on the field.

      the Steelers should have been better than they were on defense based on talent. Unfortunately, talent does not always convert to success. And I think we all saw that this season.

  6. The Steelers defense blew 4th quarter leads that cost the team wins against Cleveland, Denver, San Diego, Oakland and New Orleans. And even though they didn’t blow a lead to KC, 42 points at home was disgusting! They were also awful against flacco, who has been reduced to backup level. This defense was fortunate to face a ton of backups last season. Otherwise, they’d have been just as bad back then. I will acknowledge that they played well overall against New England and New Orleans, but so did the offense. Like I said in my original post, there is plenty of blame to go around. The special teams were the worst of the three phases, but the most fingers would be pointed at the middling defense.

  7. I, too, like the idea of a corner and linebacker in the first two rounds, but I’d prefer the other order, if the value is on the board. Pittsburgh should be picking 20th, instead of 19th, as they had a better record than Tennessee.

  8. I love your list of positive stats that stood out on offense, but I’d also like to see a follow up list of negative stats that stood out on offense. Defense and special teams are more to blame for missing the playoffs, but everyone had a hand in it. I’m thinking turnovers, penalties, pass/run ratio….

    • Jamie,
      Stats that Stood Out has always been a feature that pointed at positives and records (team & individual) that went on the books.

      I know we are all well aware of the negatives, but that would not fall under this feature. So, I stayed true to form for the feature. We discuss the negatives in many other articles, including post-game coverage, that to not balance things would be counter to my intentions, at least, to show that there were positives that stood out as well.

      Most fans of this feature are records people, stats nerds, or statistics driven – fans who are curious about how players have impacted the franchise record books.

      I appreciate your insights and hope that you’ll continue reading all of our material so that you see we aren’t just hyping things, but are presenting the good and not so good.

      • Tina,
        I definitely did Not mean to come across as complaining that this article was implying that the offense had no negatives, or that the negatives should have been included. As always, I loved the stats! I wasn’t aware that the turnovers and penalties stats and such were being presented in other features, so I was just ignorantly requesting it. Saul Good (wo)man!

        • You’ll find that I rarely get too riled up and am not easy to “offend”. When I do, I go off like a firecracker. Blame my heritage. LOL

          Anyway, turnovers and penalty stats are never a good thing… and yeah, we don’t necessarily highlight them in their own article. Usually, it’s a side note as we bemoan the performance of someone or the team in general.

          IF you are specifically wanting those numbers, I’d love to cover them in a post so that people can look at them. I guess I figured people that were not happy about those numbers already had them practically memorized. Ha. Whereas the stats that we put in these STSO articles are often things that you can only find via the Steelers record books or NFL record books.

          I appreciate you even spending the time to look at my article. It’s not one of the most popular features, perhaps, but I try hard to look for things that I think fans might be surprised by as well.

    • Sorry Jamie, but I’m not going to pin this season on the D. The one “bad” game they had was the fourth quarter against the Raiders, which is also pinned on the offense not driving and having the ball for about four total minutes. That’s also due to going conservative and not having Ben in the game too.

      Aside from the first 2-3 games, the D played pretty darn well this year IMO. Will probably write more on this topic in the coming weeks, but just look at the points allowed plus where they gave up points because the offense turned the ball over (several times giving the opponent favorable field position).

      • I agree about the turnovers, but the defense was just as bad for not taking the ball away. Fewest interceptions in the league. Turnovers and takeaways being equivalent, the offense ranked much higher in scoring than the defense. You could make the point that the offense is higher paid, so maybe the defense pulled their weight, dollar for dollar. Since, we’re not going to blame turnovers and takeaways, we can list how many fourth quarter leads the defense blew. Special teams were largely at fault. If we’re leaving the refs out of it, the return for TD and countless missed FG cost a few wins. Being objective, you can also acknowledge that countless fans and media are calling for Butler’s head, but no one is calling for the OC to be fired. The offense was 4th in scoring before Brown bowed out. If the defense were even close to that, the Steelers would be favored to win the SB!

  9. Zach, I concur wholeheartedly with James Johnson here. This is an extraordinarily well written piece. I think it’s fair and you went above and beyond to remain in the middle ground. I also 100% agree with your logical conclusion. I love AB as much as the next guy, but I have no idea how it’s possible to repair this breach with both the organization and more importantly, with his teammates.

    Great article. Thank you!

  10. This is a well written article sir! I must say, some of the incidents you mentioned were a bit shocking to me as I never knew they occurred. Bell was an unfortunate headache off-field last year so getting to the bottom of what is causing these issues with Brown should be a TOP priority during the offseason.

  11. McCrane can’t even reach the end zone on his kickoffs, so let’s hope Boswell can get straight by August!

  12. Tomlin supporters anywhere yoohoo. Anyone anyone.

  13. Great article, Joe! And you probably could’ve even added Burns and Butler as dishonorable mentions. Ha! At least they didn’t exhibit any dishonorable behavior, though.

    P.S. It is quite the coincidence that the major malfunctions all were B’s! I should consider changing my name…

  14. My opinion is that the only probable excuse Brown could have for not game preparing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday is because of injury. However; he knows that it’s being reported by many credible sources that he didn’t work those days because he feels underappreciated by Roethlisberger and Tomlin. If that report were untrue, he could easily go on social media and tell everyone that he knee was hurting until Sunday morning, but he didn’t, so we can pretty safely assume that the reports are correct. No one finds that behavior acceptable. So, the only real question of importance for us is what to do about it. The team has plenty of time to figure it out. I figure if they decide they can get along, they will, because the talent is so high, but I don’t feel like hurt feelings is a good enough excuse for not preparing for the game. I’d be out of a job if I didn’t return calls from the owner, and I don’t want someone like that to have one on the team I’m a fan of.

  15. I don’t know whether or not Tomlin should go, but I do know that AB needs to go. We’ve debated before what a cancer he is, and now we’re learning for sure that Tomlin has been making sure to cover that fact. At least one player admitted that it’s hard to get up for game day with his me first cancer affecting the team. It’s no wonder the team collapsed. Maybe all the team needs is a little radiation and chemo.

  16. Hmmm silence from tomlin supporters. Well it now comes out that brown was benched the locker room has had enough. Fire tomlin

    • I’m not even a Tomlin supporter. I’m very middle of the road and wouldn’t be upset at all if he is shown the exit. Hell, I’d even close the door behind him. But, I’m also not blind enough to think he’s been bad for this team. In fact, when all chips fall where they may, then we may find out that the job he’s done to keep the egos on this team in check, is far better than we’ve even given him credit for (this is a point made by Mike Golic this morning post-Brown meltdown info leak. So, to be clear, this was a point made by Golic, not me. I don’t know the answer, but Brown sure as hell seems to be a challenge to handle on & off the field). He (Tomlin) certainly has plenty of warts that piss me off. However, overall he also has plenty to offer as well. I find myself vascillating between “Fire Tomlin” & “Keep him.”

      All that said, your attitude on this board since your first post in this thread has been “below the line”. If you were offended by Joe putting, “You’re a fool if…” then you don’t understand the simple idea of Joe making an argument for one side. His article was followed up the next day by another writer offering an argument for the other side — Tomlin has to go. But, by that time, you’d already insulted Joe and his site and basically his entire team. I don’t want to drive traffic from this site because I think they offer great insights and content, but I’m confused by why, if you have such a low opinion of the intelligence of this site, you’re still here? Maybe just because you enjoy this argument in this article? Not sure, but you do you.

      Final point, I don’t even know you, so I have no idea what your purpose was in coming on so strongly to the content of this article. If you disagreed with the points Joe made (and agree/like them or not, he DID make his points clear), then your aggressive diatribe from post #1 weren’t necessary. Just make your counterpoints and go from there. You have seemed incapable.

    • Maybe, must maybe (like last week) there’s holidays going on and we have better things to do than jump on a website, even our own website, to continue picking fights with you. Especially since I’ve already beaten the dead horse on this topic.

  17. Finally someone making sense. Thank God. Your right Dave I was so wrong about Tomlin. How about that performance yesterday against a team with nothing to play for an 16 guys on IT. We needed a late field goal to win. Very inspiring. Just think about this Dave. We couldn’t win a division with Jeff Driscoll and 2 rookie qbs. Well done Tomlin.

  18. I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t believe the league is out to get the Steelers. The incompetency of the refs is bad for the game, every game.

    • There’s enough tin foil hat material, after all, they’re responsible for the Rooney Rule and were the lone team to not approve the last CBA. Kind of an outlier, just like Jerry Jones and the Cowboys in some instances.

      That said, I don’t feel like it’s an all-out “Get the Steelers” type of conspiracy based on what I witness in other games. However, that doesn’t mean I’d be surprised to find out certain games were part of a match fixing scheme years from now, not much unlike that crooked NBA referee or the FIFA scandals in Italy, etc. It’s not impossible and with the way Vegas and sports betting is going, anything is possible.

      Then again, could all be chalked up to coincidence! LOL

  19. Ok guys tell me how I’m foolish for wanting a change after watching the Steelers barely get by a bungles team with just about everybody out. A 14.5 favorite at home season on the line and you need a late field goal to win. Very inspiring