Insanity. The Best Way to Describe the Steelers’ Gameplan

I don’t need to tell you the definition of insanity. You likely know what it is or you saw the Pittsburgh Steelers get beat in the AFC Championship by New England. For whatever reason, the Steelers’ coaching staff has learned nothing since Tom Brady and Bill Belichick took ownership of them well more than a decade ago. 

Keith Butler may as well have been Dick LeBeau this evening. The defense looked eerily similar to past Steelers’ defenses that got torched by the Patriots. How many times in fact do we need to see Brady tear up the Steelers’ zone coverage? It doesn’t work! Especially when you have no pressure on Brady. At some point don’t you have to try and use some man to man coverage no matter how badly you don’t want to? Doesn’t that sound insane?

It’s fair to ask if the Steelers have guys capable of playing man to man. In Artie Burns, I see a guy that can. William Gay when necessary too. But Ross Cockrell is a ‘no’ and Sean Davis can handle tight ends but not slot receivers. Butler clearly felt he couldn’t go to man but I don’t understand why he couldn’t have at least tried it when things were getting out of hand.

As for the offense, Todd Haley continues to be Todd Haley’s biggest problem. I’m the one becoming insane though because I write the same damn thing every week. 

Haley constantly tries to show us all how he smart he is. Here’s how smart he is. At the one-foot line he called back to back runs into the teeth of the Pats’ defense. You have a 240 pound QB… Was a sneak ever considered? Better yet, why not play-action pass? 

On the Steelers’ opening drive they faced a third and one already trailing 3-0. Rather than keep the drive going Ben Roethlisberger threw deep to Sammie Coates who alligator-armed it forcing the Steelers to punt. If Big Ben audibled to that then my question is why even give him the option? Sometimes you have to just keep the sticks moving or is that insane? 

Later, Haley called two run plays back-to-back where DeAngelo Williams beat Alejandro Villanueva to the actual hole. Did Haley not learn anything from the first one? This is the type of stuff that drives people like me crazy. Do what works and avoid what doesn’t. Is it that difficult?

The Steelers’ have been the Patriots’ whipping boys now for nearly two decades yet they’ve continued to do the same things every time they play them and expect different results. As you could see this evening, the insanity continues. 

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3 comments on “Insanity. The Best Way to Describe the Steelers’ Gameplan

  1. You hit the nail smack on the head,. Call it what you will, out-coached, out-schemed, out-played. It appeared to me down the stretch of season that Ben had lost a little something on his throws, all me crazy but he just wasn’t as sharp on his intermediate to deep routes consistently.As the season wore on the defense slowly improved but as you said if N.E. is standing between us ad the Super Bowl. Our coaching staff has to do something different to get this team ready. I will be honest we have talent to match anybody in the NFL but it is obvious we don’t have the best coaching. I believe i was around 5 years old when i first heard “if you need 5 yards throw it 5 yards” This shouldn’t take away from what the Steelers have accomplished. I am just saying to win it all this won’t do it.

    • The Steelers played a very conservative, safe defensive gameplan and it blew up on them. Why Butler played zone knowing how good Brady had been against them is beyond me. I thought Ben threw the ball pretty well. His receivers had almost 100 yards in dropped passes.

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