Arians’ offense put up great numbers ... in the sunshine of Miami. But back in Cleveland, where the season was lost, Arians had called 42 pass plays and only 20 runs in zero-degree weather with 30-35 mph winds gusting over 40 mph. The protective Pittsburgh media blasted the effort of the Steelers instead of Arians’ ridiculous game plan as the season died on the vine.I posted this two years ago.
The Steelers still need a fullback and an interior lineman or two, but those have always been easy positions to fill, nothing like the FS-CB-MLB-NT quartet looming on defense. The other position to fill should be offensive coordinator.
Does Tomlin have the courage to fire a man with whom he won a ring?
Fear and dread in Steeler NationThe same problems that bedeviled the team in 2007 and 2009 were also present in 2008 when we won the SuperBowl. As this blogger noted, there was a razon thin difference between winning it all and sitting out the playoffs.
I think the larger reason is that the team that wins does not look like the Steelers teams we are used to watching. No longer do we pound the ball on the ground and play suffocating defense. Now our victories are keyed to big plays in the passing game and a desperate hope that the defense can make a couple of stops. Classic Steerlers football was a 20-7 game that never felt close. This years version is perfectly captured by the second Cleveland game and the win over the Rams. No lead felt safe because no lead was safe.
The 2009 Steelers have played 13 games this year; 9 of those games have been decided by one possession (they’ve only won 2 of these “close games”).
Last year the team only lost 2 of their close games and won 7 of them.
The sad thing is, many of those games should not have been close. The offense frittered away opportunities with Arians's wicky-wacky play-calling. The symbol for the season should be the third-and-one in Cleveland.
And it wasn’t just the mental errors, it was the alignments and the playcalling and the poor timing of each. A third-and-one shotgun snap to start the game, deep in your own territory, on the road in gale-force December winds, is not what Art Rooney II wanted to see in THE game of his very first season alone at the helm.
Do you think he missed the stark contrast that in those conditions, in his division, his Steelers played finesse ball and the Browns came right at them with a beastly wildcat quarterback and a couple of young, mobile, strong and highly-drafted linemen?