Good Tuesday to you Steelers’ fans.
As if being 0-3 wasn’t bad enough the Steelers are now looking for answers with seemingly nowhere to turn. One of the major problems we’ve been hammering away at was building better depth at tight end and now with Vance McDonald banged up Pittsburgh potentially has to turn to Xavier Grimble and rookie Zach Gentry. Grimble was one of my focuses yesterday while watching film and it wasn’t pretty. He struggled with both inline and on the move blocking… James Conner has suddenly created doubt in the minds of Steeler Nation. His fumbles in the opener last year and on Sunday cost the Steelers potential victory. He’s not running as effectively either… Then there’s the coordinators who couldn’t find a supporter right now anywhere they looked in the Steel City. Keith Butler is absolutely out of his league and is out of answers with this defense. It’s time for change and it can’t come soon enough. Randy Fichtner stuck to a tried and true ‘road’ gameplan of ultra conservatism rather than letting Mason Rudolph let it fly. And it cost him dearly. If the Steelers drop a fourth straight loss at home on Monday night to the Bengals then at that point it’s time to blow things up… If it isn’t already.
It was confirmed yesterday by several media outlets that Ben Roethlisberger had surgery on his elbow Monday morning and this explains why he wasn’t in San Francisco. I expect to see him on the sidelines going forward to assist Rudolph. No disrespect to Devlin Hodges, Rudolph’s backup, but having Big Ben there is much more support than anything the rookie could offer.
Tweet of the Day… This is a pattern that CANNOT continue.
Through 3 Games:#Steelers: 176 offensive snaps
Opponents: 227 offensive snaps
Steelers: 75:24 time of possession
Opponents: 104:36 time of possession
Opposing offenses have been on the field for 51 more snaps and 29 minutes 12 seconds longer than the Steelers offense.
— The Steelers n'at (@thesteelersnat) September 23, 2019
Finding an Identity
Great Steelers’ defense of the past always had an identity even if they didn’t have a flashy nickname to go with it. From the flowing locks of Kevin Greene’s era to the flowing locks of Troy Polamalu’s era there was always something identifiable about the defense. Right now, the current defense lacks an identity. Based on what I saw Sunday there might be some hope. Minkah Fitzpatrick brought a renewed sense of energy that has been absent. While that energy flamed out much to the credit of the tweet above, it was still refreshing to see something new and positive on this unit. What that means going forward I don’t know.
It’s Tuesday So….
That means it’s time for another Mike Tomlin Press Conference and it’s the players’ day off. There isn’t much Tomlin can say that we don’t already know when it comes to the status of this team but that doesn’t mean there won’t be a plethora of cliches and metaphors. As for the players’ day off… We all deserve days off regardless of we are performing but I’m guessing there will be more guys around the facility than normal.
Now that I’ve had a chance to go through the tape a couple of times it should come as no surprise that Mason Rudolph had some good moments and some not so good moments. He got through his progressions too quickly in the early going which is understandable given his first start. He will settle down and let routes develop with more experience. The one interception he threw was exactly what he doesn’t do well which is throw on the move like that. The ball clearly sails because he doesn’t have enough zip on it. His two touchdown throws were excellent. The first of course was short to JuJu Smith-Schuster but the important thing there was that he got it out in front of JuJu which isn’t always easy on crossing routes. His TD to Diontae Johnson was also a really nice throw. I expect to see big improvement in his overall game this week.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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I have had a good feeling about Mason since we drafted him. I can’t explain it….it’s just a feeling I have. Did I expect him to come out of the gate like Patrick Mahomes? No. I was HOPING, but NOT expecting….lol. Anyway, my approach to the rest of this season is to just sit back and watch what develops. ANY hopes I had for a playoff run are gone now, so if we DO make the postseason, it will be a BONUS! We have talent on both sides of the ball, but sadly, none of our coaches seem to know how to USE it. Will the Steelers make mid-season changes? Highly unlikely. Then again, the moves we made to get Devin Bush and Minkah Fitzpatrick are also not “Steeler-y,” so, who knows? I’m just going to sit back, watch them play, and see where our future is headed.
I think that approach is one that more Steelers’ fans need to take especially if things go south on Monday Night. Everyone likes to win and everyone likes to be in the playoffs every year but the reality is that sometimes it just doesn’t happen. This is a good time to just let things happen and see who steps up and who doesn’t.