Send your postgame critiques, analysis, ranting and raving about the last game as well as your predictions, smak, & insults about our upcoming opponent. Whether your message is a simple, "These guys SUCK," or a detailed, in-depth analysis, tell us what you think.
Key Stats & Facts|
Jerome Bettis 9 carries for 8 yards and a whopping 0.9 avg: As I said before the game, if we can't run, we can't win. Guess what? We can't run. Our team rushing total was a paltry 30 yards (just 2 yards in the 1st half).
Priest Holmes 119 yards rushing: Did I mention that if we can't run, we can't win? The same holds true if we can't STOP the run.
No turnovers for Baltimore: Another key: They didn't turn it over, we did. Graham's fumble at the 14 (which wasn't his fault) was costly.
Another Easy 50+ yard TD for Qadry Ismail: In my pregame coments, I said: "Don't let 'the Missle' repeatedly run unmolested down the sideline." Was it too much to ask?
Banks 18-of-32 for 199 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int: The numbers don't reflect Banks success. He was devastating early, going 7 of 9 for 85 yards & the big TD in the 1st quarter.
Graham 17-of-38 for 199 yards, 0 TD, 0 Int: The numbers don't reflect Grahams ineffectiveness. Pittsburgh netted 92 TOTAL yards through 3 quarters. Yoi.
Burress 4 rec, 77 yards: "Plex" was the lone bright spot on offense. Not mind-blowing numbers, but considering the paltry total output by our offense, impressive nonetheless.
Who got it RIGHT in their PREGAME predictions?
Tim McMillen (but not the wife), Steve Massey, Ralph Hersko, Bob Carapella, THEOMILL, & Mark Hazlett.
By McMillen & Wife
Unfortunately, you can pretty much substitute our pregame report for our postgame report, folks. This one played out exactly as we expected it would.
Pittsburgh's four first quarter possessions sum up the afternoon rather concisely:
1. 3 & out.
2. Fumble (on Graham sack inside Steeler 15 yard line).
3. 3 & out.
4. 3 & out.
While the Steelers finished the first quarter with a whopping 2 yards of total offense, Raven QB Tony Banks was 7 of 9 for 85 yards including a 53-yard TD bomb to... you guessed it... a wide-open Qadry Ismail streaking all alone down the right sideline. 10-0, game over.
As we warned in our pregame, Raven RB Priest Holmes was a-preachin', and we were a-weepin'. And while our defensive line actually played a marginally better than I expected, they were still poor by any standard and allowed Baltimore's running game to dictate the tempo.
Then there's that Raven defense... man, those guys are DAMN good. Not surprisingly, they more than lived up to their advanced billing. Predictably, so did our offense. I'm not sure which of the two units deserves more credit for the shutout. As fan THEOMILL astutely pointed out in his pregame comments, "terrible offense vs. great defense = bad television." Well said, dude... well said.
Bettis was a complete non-factor (so was Huntley). Graham was pummeled. The inexperience of our wide receivers was glaring, And above all, our offensive line play was deplorable. Let me say that last one again... above all, our offensive line play was deplorable. The good news is that Dermontti Dawson was able to play the entire game. The bad news? It didn't make a bit of difference.
Don't dispair, bruthas & sistas... this isn't the end of the world. I mean, anyone looking at this matchup realistically KNEW we were going to come up on the short end of this. Baltimore is now an elite team. We are, for the moment, bottom feeders. That's okay... the Steelers are retooling, and two years from now, this will all seem like a bad dream.
In the meantime, we have a bye week to prepare for a trip to Cleveland, who fell to the Jags 27-7. Are they a pushover? Absolutely not. I saw much of the game, and they are a MUCH improved team from last year, who stayed with the Jags for a long time. Be warned... Cleveland's defensive line is for REAL. But we'll touch more on that next week.
Until then, Steeler faithful,
Webmaster, McMillen & Wife
Fan Smak & Analysis|
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Bob Carapella|
MY DADDY ALWAYS SAID WHEN YOU NEED GOOD RELIABLE TRANSPORTATION BUY A NEW CAR... DON'T BUY A USED CAR YOU ARE BUYING SOMEBODY ELSE PROBLEMS... QUESS WHAT? WE WENT OUT INTO FREE AGENCY AND GOT SOMEBODY ELSE PROBLEMS. YOU KNOW WERE OUR CAR IS NOW, IN THE GARAGE NEEDING REPAIRS AND THOSE REPAIRS ARE NOT GOING TO BE CHEAP. HAD WE SPENT MONEY ON A NEW CAR IN THE FIRST PLACE WE WOULD'T HAVE HAD THESE PROBLEMS.. BROTHERS AND SISTERS ARE YOU GETTING MY DRIFT.... THE REASON WHY WE ARE WERE WE ARE TODAY IS WE DIDNT SPEND MONEY ON A NEW CAR. JUST LOOK AT THE STEELER ROSTER AND SEE WERE WE COULD HAVE BETTER SPENT OUR MONEY (IE) ORPHEUS ROYE,YANCEY THIGPEN AND LEON SEARCY... REMEMBER WHEN YOU BUY SOMETHING CHEAP YOU HAVE SOMETHING CHEAP... BOB
Submitted by Carroll L. Martin
I didn't have an opportunity to see the game. Living here in blasted Ohio, only the Browns game was televised. But, I did see highlights and heard a lot. What is this 30 yards rushing? And why the hell can't we score from the one yard line. Folks, this whole team is stinking up the place. It seems everyone on the offense is failing to execute. For the first time in 35 years, I truly am disappointed in our team. I was satisfied that the Ravens only scored one touchdown, considering the time and situation our defense was in. This poor showing goes from the top on down. Kordell says that the team will be O.K. No, it will not! This team had better realize that they aren't very good and they need to find out why. I think they have the players to be at least decent. Someone better get mad and get mad in a hurry.
Carroll L. Martin
Submitted by Keith Thomas
The Steelers home opener as expected – for me it yielded few suprises, and the questions which were present at the beginning of the game remain.
The score might only have been 16-0, but lets face it, in this case that means we got squashed. Yesterday saw a home team that finished the first quarter with two net yards of offense. This is a team that didn’t get a first down for its first five possessions, and a team that didn’t convert a third down until the third quarter.
And, the running game, which is supposed to be the bread and butter of this offense was held to 30 yards.
As I said, this is about what I expected. The Baltimore Ravens are certainly one of the up and coming teams in the NFL, and I think they quite possibly a contender in a true sense of the word.
The Ravens legitimately have the best defense in the NFL. Their defensive performance reminded me of Steeler’s defensive performances in 1994/95.
But what of the Steelers?
This, is going to be a long season.
It is clear that the offense has yet to congeal. Things just aren’t clicking. For what is now the fourth straight year, we have no offensive rhythm.
After watching NFL PrimeTime last night, I shudder to think of what Courtney Brown will do to Kent Graham behind the our line of scrimmage.
Jerome Betties was totally shut down. I still don’t agree with the “bench the Bus” crowd, because I don’t think Richard Huntley could do any better as the starter. To those of you who disagree, well, how many can honestly say that had Huntley been given Bettis’ carries that the outcome on the score board would be different?
The receivers looked good, (when they caught the ball) and Graham was able to hit seven different ones but when you QB and your receivers are so infrequently on the same page what does it matter? (And why while we’re on this matter, are they still calling 3rd down pass plays which won’t result in a first downs even if the ball is caught?)
This offense needs some serious work. I have to question the play calling. Why were we trying to run up the middle when clearly, we couldn’t. Why was no attempt made to get Amos into the game? I don’t know that Amos would have been a difference maker, but clearly, a smaller, faster runner should have been tried against the Raven’s front seven.
My point is, that for a second straight year, Gilbride/Cowher seems to be unwilling to modify the offensive game plan until it is too late to do anything good. (Indeed, we picked things up in the 4th quarter. Had we been more willing to open things up earlier, well, then perhaps the 4th quarter might not have been garbage time.)
I agree with my buddy Todd that it is too easy to Monday morning quarterback Cowher’s decision to use Kordell in the goal line situation.
I’ll refrain from comment on that at this point. (Remember, M. Vogrin, I was the one who said that this whole “Slash thing” was foolish back when it first began in ’95.)
The defensive play was generally good. Really, most times in the NFL if you hold the opposing team to 16 points, you’ve got a chance to win the game. Our defensive line is still weak, and that has a lot to do with Priest Holmes performance. (Lets face it, Holmes isn’t Terrell Davis.)
Chad Scott’s blown coverage disturbs me. After looking so good in preseason, he made a huge mental error that allowed Baltimore to get on the board, and really, put the game away (yes, in a game of field goals a big TD puts the game away.) It can be said that Scott should have had help from a safety, but quality corner doesn’t make the kind of mistake that Scott made.
From here, where do we go?
Well, this is the way I expected thing to start. I still think that this is a team that can improve as the year progresses.
How does that happen?
The offense needs to be modified, simplified, and Gilbride/Cowher needs to be more flexible, more willing to make adjustments during the game. The offensive coaches need to realize that the running game is not working before the 4th quarter.
And Cowher needs to keep the guys positive, keep them hustling, keep them hungry. Cowher needs to find a way to get this team to win at home again. He needs to keep the players from quitting.
Can he? The next 15 games will tell.
Random thoughts while watching Monday Night Football: How does Kurt Warner make it look so easy? I was open to Dennis Miller coming on MNF, but I must say, he is already getting on my nerves.
Submitted by Tommy "Fleetwood 'N' Julio" Coleman
This can be used for all upcoming pre-post comments (Quote me!)
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As for this past Weak [sic] or week [sick]...
Bill Cowher said Kordell would be used for "certain situations." Hmmm...
I get it. A starting QB struggles but finally locks on and leads the team to the 3 yard line and you yank him to put in a great athlete capable of....HANDING IT OFF. HUH? HELLO!!! Are they so inside of their inner circle they can't see the lack of all logic that plan and the offensive game plan in general? Forget it.
Just miss a deep pass... I know, run it up the middle behind a weak line and with a "FAT & SLOW" RB that couldn't get squat last year and can't get SQUAT this year with that line! Everyone in the place could call the plays before they BROKE the huddle. It was the worst I have ever seen... worse than being beaten by 51 points... EVER!
However, I think I am catching on to the "New Steeler Logic."
1. Promote the last season at Three Rivers Stadium all around the town with the 1970-2000 logo. Hmmmm... foresight. Hats off to the fans at the game Sunday who took exception to this and had a 1970-2001 banner to include the playoffs. Of course, as usual, the Steelers are right; there will NOT be a Steeler game played in TRS in 2001.
2.Continue to let all your coaches & scouts go on to Bigger (?) and Better (?) things. Even if they are more suited as a Off./Def. Coordinator because, after all, it's the NFL way (coaches don't count against the cap ,Mr. Rooney). It's nice that the new GM? director of Player Personnel went to North Catholic High, but even more important that he brings the laughable Lions REJECTS with him.
3. Always carry a extra late round QB or two or three for a few years to fill up the cap room.Then refuse too play any of them, even when IT IS OBVIOUS that the season is over for you, then cut them and draft some more.This can also be applied to WRs that are 6-5, rookies who can't be kept on in favor of an 8 year vet who won't be here or in the NFL when you can compete and is at best a utility player or. in this case, your starter last year. And we know that went well, don't we? NO NAMES
Company Line "We owe it to the veteran players to"... to WHAT??? Continue to dig that grave!!*&*@!#***
4.Draft 1st round Skill (?) players when your Offensive and Defensive lines are WEAK and then continue to throw 3-4 yard out-passes to them when you need 7-8+ yards. And if you should attempt a long pass, make sure you NEVER try it up the middle of the field, always the sidelines and of course follow it up with the run up the middle for a 1 yard gain or loss if you do it EVERY TIME!
Go STEELERS! See yah at Gallagher's in two weeks for some Pumpkin Pie, Y'all!
P.S.---Tim, here is a honeymoon shot from Niagra... if you want, cut Amy and I out and insert the 2000 team photo into the barrell.
Submitted by Jimmy Grant
To be honest the Steelers played about as well as I expected. First off, I
don't think we were that bad defensively. Outside of one coverage break
down... we held Baltimore to 3 FGS. Priest Holmes went over 100 but the
Defense I thought played hard. I also feel Graham wasn't that bad first off
all he got battered all day. The OLine is HORRIBLE. I thought Graham was
gutty and at least mounted one good drive that he wasn't able to finish.
Also, we missed a field goal try. I think this team will still be decent.
If Baltimore is truly elite... that loss wasn't that bad. Granted
8-8... 7-9 is still the best case scenario. I'm not sure about Gilbride
either... however this offense hasn't looked good since Gailey left. First
it was Ray Sherman and now everyone wants to jump on Gilbride. It can't keep
being the coaches at some point blame has to fall on the players. Looking
forward to seeing the Steelers pound Clevland in two weeks.
Submitted by Petrie
This game reflects on Bill Cower's ability to coach,i have been a fan of
his ability to motivate but the man cannot prepare a game plan,he has to
many issues concerning his team on what player to play to what play to
run.How many times have we heard (i just have to go with my gut!)when i
would like to see him use his mind!Say what you want but playing the so
called first string one quater throughout the preseason comes into
play.Their is no unity on this team and maybe most glaring no Leader!The
season is young but this team has alot of work ahead and the coaching
staff much more.
Submitted by Jim "J.C." Patterson
Wow--that sure was ugly. It is time for a Kordell Stewart trade to
get some O-line help, and a major QB change. I have been tellin'
everybody who will listen that Tee Martin has that on-field presence
that will make him a perennial All-Pro. I was REALLY scared that
the Steelers were gonna keep Wright over him!! Whew!!
No, this is not just another desperate move to try to get somethin' goin'!
Whatever "IT" is that Joe Montana had, well, Tee has the same.
We just gotta get him out there and hope he doesn't get killed with
our porous O-line! I just hope all you great fans back there in the 'Burgh
can convince the Steeler leadership to go to the young QB!!
Jim "J.C." Patterson
(Grew up in East Liverpool, OH)
Submitted by Steve Pavlik
Dear Friends; God, I hate it when I am right... Shortly after the draft when the Steeler's brass stupidly
refused to draft Chad Pennington, I made my very unpopular prediction for my
beloved Steelers: 6 -10 for the year, 2 - 8 in the division - we will be
swept by the Jags, the Titans, and yes, the Ravens; we will split with the
Browns and the Bengals. After watching Sunday's game, I fear I might have
been too optimistic, 6 wins might be a stretch. I said it before, and I will
say it again, drafting Burris was a waste. Having all of the great receivers
in the world means absolutely nothing unless you have someone to get the ball
to them. It all begins with the QB and the Steelers don't have one.
Actually it all begins with an intelligent, knowlegeable, and caring owner -
and we don't have one of those either. In the end, the best that we can hope
for is that Rooney sells the team and the new owner is willing to do what it
takes to put the Steelers back on top.
Submitted by Christy Ward
if this is a preview of things to come we are in for a long season. get a new coaching staff the play calling was as bad as i have ever seen it. WAKE UP COWER!
Submitted by Convictwatcher
I cant for the life of me understand why Cowher will not let T.Martin play
the game. Kordell is only good at one thing...."Slash", and Trent Green as we
have seen, isnt going to get the job done. Let the kid that to a college team
to a bowl game attempt to take a pro team to THE bowl game. What could it
Submitted by Steve Massey
What a disaster...
While watching the game, I looked at my wife on one 2nd and 10 and said, "Watch, they'll try to run a draw." Two seconds later the steelers are at the line and a field mike picks up one of the Ravens yelling "Watch the Draw! Watch the draw!" Graham gives to Huntley and he is stuffed.
Kordell?? What was that? Just what the heck was that? You mean Graham goes down the field all that way, finally showing us all something, and then they put Kordell in? Give me a break. What about Tee Martin? Why not? Remember that Payton was 3-13 to start out. He played a lot that year. look at them now.
The defense didnt play that well. Stop kidding yourselves. This team is disintegrating before we even get the season going. Priest Holmes ran at will. Billick went for it on fourth and inches at midfield because he knew he had the muscle and even if he didnt the Steelers wouldnt move the ball on a turnover in downs.
If they are going to play like this, I would just like to see some of the younger guys, thats all I ask. Please....Fu, Amos, Tee. Lets see some young people for a change.
This is the worst I have seen our guys since the late 80's.
Submitted by Dave "D.C.U.P.P.S" Clifford
Let's not talk Steelers for now. I do' wanna. And you can't make me.
Submitted by Scott Duda
It's gonna be a long,long, long season. The offense still looks bad ,but the bend don't break defense is sad.At least in the 1980's we had Gary Anderson(get inside the 50 - 3 pts). At least we have a good punter, WHO CARES?
Submitted by Art Lyon
Well guys, for the first time I have a friend who has a dish and now I can watch Steeler football every Sunday. Problem.....don't know if I want to! As advertised we have no offensive line which highlights the fact that we don't have a quarterback and even if Bettis wanted to run, there aren't any holes. The defensive line is also in need of some players. Add the fact that Kevin G. doesn't know a thing about schemes and you aren't going to win many football games. When you can sit at home and guess the plays we're going to run, it's almost a given that the other teams defensive coach "knows" it too. We've got a long way to go! Did anyone notice that we only threw to P.B. once or twice in the first half? Things have got to change! I'll NEVER quit on them but I'm a realist too. It's going to be a long season.
Submitted by THEOMILL
Gee, that went well. Watching this mess made me realize 3 things: next year must be the year of 1.
new stadium 2. new coach & 3. new Qb (pref. a 1st rd draft pick). The new
stadium & new coach will be immediate reason for optimism... Bill Cowher, who
I have loved since day 1, has to be removed. His 2 great errors are obvious.
Kordell & Kevin Gilbride.. Gilbride does not run a Steeler style
Offense...since when are we a complicated finesse team? It's disgraceful..We
try to fool teams instead of ramming the ball down their throats! .We need a
creative offensive mind who will restore the run game & a new defensive
scheme. Today vs. Baltimore, we got physically pushed around on both sides of
the ball... manhandled. We were fortunate thst the score was not worse...On
the bright side, Plax & Shaw looked good, Chad Scott looked like himself, &
Joey Porter is the real thing.....& Michael Vick looked great....I just want
to be the first to throw his name out there.....Michael Vick, Michael
Vick.......Hopefully the buy week will be useful...the Browns will not be
Submitted by Rick Jones
I saw the whole thing, i taped the whole thing, i will watch it once (using
fast forward), I will not enjoy it all, But I will enjoy Plexis catch and
Huntleys run, and (laugh when Dirt triped Hunt -bummer), I will wonder why
on earth Cowher put Stewy in on that play (waz Ken winded or hurt) or waz it
to use shock attack....it didn't work!!! I have hope, I have patience, I am
a ture Steeler Fan!! Its gonna be a long season my friends. Tee Martin is a
thought.....wonder when Mike Vick is gonna be available??? Just a laugh?
GO STEELERS use the bye for a re-group and come out kicking in two weeks!!
Back to McMillen & Wife's
'99 total 78-59
'98 total 117-69