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Dead Team Walking

December 26, 2009 by Guest

Dead Team Walking

Dead Team Walking���� �.By Still Poz

What happened to the 2009 Stillers?

It�s the question on the minds of not only Steelers� fans, but also the so-called experts.��

Keep in mind the experts were absolutely wrong as they continued to predict the Steelers would refocus after the Kansas City game.A minor tweak here, a little refocus there, and it�s a march to the playoffs as a �dangerous� team that nobody wants to play.

If the experts were wrong, then there is no harm in a rube like me providing my thoughts why this once proud team dissipated faster than a 401K during a recession.

The losing is not the result of one reason, but a combination of factors.They all came to a head with the Kansas City loss.It is the kind of loss that is a season-killer.Like the ghosts of Christmas past, the Kansas City game raised to the surface all the problems previously explained away.

A lack of confidence. This loss transformed the Steelers from a team that played expecting to find a way win, to a team waiting to lose.It is beyond belief that no Steelers� cornerback has an interception all year.Swagger has been replaced with doubt.

Age and a lack of depth.The loss of Troy Polamalu and Aaron Smith to injury, and the departure of Bryant McFadden hurt dearly.�� I�m 57 years old, and I doubt William Gay could cover (much less tackle) me.Tyrone Carter has heart, but he cannot get it done.And it was uncomfortable to watch James Farrior attempt to stay in the same time zone with Ray Rice.

Coaching.Mike Tomlin certainly experienced early success as an NFL coach.��� The platitudes rolled from the mouth of the King of Clich�s as easy as a knife through warm butter.��

But now he faces adversity for the first time.The banalities are not resonating.They fall on deaf ears.�� This is the only plausible explanation why the Steelers play their best (a relative term with this group) against better teams while they play like zombies against lesser opponents.It takes less to �coach up� a team for a big game than it does for games a team is supposed to win.And I tell you, Coach Tomlin looked dumbfounded and without an answer during the loss to Oakland.�� For once, he had nothing to say.

This is not a call for his firing � far from it.He will coach this team for years to come.�� But it will be interesting to see how he responds as this is now his team and not one inherited with many of the pieces already in place.�� Tough decisions ahead � Coach Tomlin will be tested.

In my opinion, and in broad terms, the Steelers are failing for a number of reasons; age, lack of depth, misplaced expectations of the ability of replacements, and coaching.They all came together to create the perfect storm � a mindset that results in missed assignments, wrong coverage, and giving up big plays on 3rd down.�� It culminates in uneven play, putting up 37 against the Packers, but unable to score a TD against a woeful Browns� defense.��

Regardless of what happens the rest of the year, the Steelers are not a playoff team.

This Steelers team is arguably the second best of all time, having won two Super Bowls.But last year isn�t worth spit this year, next year and in years ahead.�� Show me a team talking about their past laurels and I�ll show you a loser - a dead team walking.Winners don�t live in the past, but possess foresight and anticipate for the future.Waiting too long to make moves leaves a team in damage control mode.

Certainly the draft will be critical in shaping the future of this team.But that is a subject better left to the draft experts here.I provide my opinion of the macro issues that plague this team and, if not addressed, could worsen and send the Steelers into greater depths of ineptitude.An interesting offseason ahead.

Closing note:Ryan Clark expressed his displeasure with fans that had the audacity to criticize a team that slept-walked through a five game losing streak.Clark talked as if fans don�t understand the pressure placed on football players to perform.

The one who doesn�t understand is Clark.

Sure, there is pressure on a multi-million dollar athlete to give his best effort once a week.But I dare say there is far more pressure on the average citizen that toils each day wondering if a strained household budget has sufficient funds to put food on the table.That�s pressure, Ryan Clark.�� Get off the fans. Man up and perform as you should, and fans will support you, as we always have.

Merry Christmas to the Stillers� nation.


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