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Old 05-13-2005, 02:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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As the new season approaches, I struggle to put the disgust of our bi-annual Home AFCC *** beating behind me. It hasn’t been easy, with a nation of excuse makers holding me back.

After much thought and consideration, I have come to two conclusions:

1. There is no excuse for losing. We should have been better than the Pats.
2. There was no way in hell Roethlisberger could have gotten it done.

Before the apologists slither up and start making childish inferences, let’s all just relax and listen.

I’m not blaming Ben for this, not now anyway. I know that I have laid a lot of responsibility at his feet. But I’m wrong as often as I’m right so why stop at BR? No, no, no, I’m not resorting to the “Rookie” BS. The fact is, the blame belongs where it has for a decade now. So why did it happen? It’s a simple case of Cowheritis. That’s the inability of a Coach to ask himself: “What would Chuck Noll do?”

Truth is the AFCC was lost around week 8. That was the time when Cowher should have started putting the game in Ben’s hands, instead of continuing with 61% running plays and being satisfied with squeaking out wins against non-playoff caliber opponents. As the season wore on, and Ben became less effective against defenses stacked against him, Cowher just went into the shell and let the kid flounder.

Was Ben ever prepared for a game when the run wasn’t working? No. Was he ever asked to use the whole field or exercise the entire playbook? No. Did he ever have to prepare for every contingency against a 14-2 opponent? No. The two blowouts against NE and Philly were decided before the first quarter ended. But for those games, how many decent teams did Roethlisberger really have to work against? Ad-libbing squeakers against Jacksonville and Dallas hardly measures up.

What would Chuck Noll do? Rookie or no rookie, he’d do what he always did. He’d get his players ready to make all the plays when it counted. That included letting his QB call his own plays, and sitting him down if he wasn’t ready to execute whatever was necessary. Remember, Chuck Noll was the guy who came into the league and said: There are three things that can happen when you pass and two of them are bad”, but then trusted his QB to throw the winning TD pass in all 4 SB’s.

I’m not quite saying that Neil O’Donnell and Kordell Stewart were great QB’s ruined by Cowher. But when you’re asked to do only the minimum at regular season speed, how can you be expected to suddenly rise up and play Championship ball at playoff speed. Roethlisberger was more ready to pick two consecutive winning Lotto tickets on consecutive days than he was to face the Pats in January.

The sad fact is, Cowher won’t learn from this. He’s working on his fifth AFCC pasting and his third QB. After a dozen years, he is what he is. Ben, on the other hand, needs to find some adversity and be benched. It’s the best thing that could ever happen to him. My guess is that Cowher is already both jealous of the fact that Ben’s the big story now, and losing faith in him because of the playoffs. The likelihood is Cowher will play more scared than ever and Ben will have a harder time. Then Cowher will sit him.

I hope it happens sooner than later. Because Ben needs to stew enough that he doesn’t just say “yes, Koach” when he’s put in a position to fail. If he has the spirit he portrays to the media, he’ll come back a better leader. And by the way, the Steelers have already bet their future on him, so he’s the one guy who could win a battle with Koacher. Heck, he could even get him fired if it gets bad enough. I just hope he learns to ask himself in the huddle: “What would Chuck Noll do?’ If he can do that, we’ll have some great years ahead.
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Old 05-13-2005, 02:05 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I agree with everything except benching Ben. If he isn't getting it done yes, but just for the sake of it, no. If he doesn't warrant it, he doesn't need it.

Very well thought out read CR1.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I think Ben has already been through some adversity but he'll likely go through more at some point. Almost every great, even good, QB has had to fight through some adversity at some point. It's not the worst thing that can happen.

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Old 05-13-2005, 03:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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CR, you won't be happy until Ben gets benched.

I agree with the part about Cowher should have put the ball in Bens hands more after game 8.

I disagree with the rest. Ben learned more from playing under adversity and losing in the playoffs than he ever would have learned from being on the bench.
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Old 05-13-2005, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You keep saying your team "should" have beat New England. Well, I'm saying they shouldn't have. NE was better than your team and just flat-out outplayed your team. You could have beaten New England, but that is very difficult for any team in the POs.
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jmat@May 13th '05 @ 5:33 pm
CR, you won't be happy until Ben gets benched.

I agree with the part about Cowher should have put the ball in Bens hands more after game 8.

I disagree with the rest. Ben learned more from playing under adversity and losing in the playoffs than he ever would have learned from being on the bench.
Jhat,

I agree that you're wrong. Multiple causation is a law of history. Single events do not bring about significant changes. Ben's meltdown in the AFCC means nothing when he starts the next season, and Cowher is afraid to open it up and develop the kid. This isn't the 70's, and Ben isn't able to call his own plays. So if nothing changes, nothing changes.

Ben will suffer more in the long run from Cowher's mollycoddling approach than he will benefit. The good is the enemy of the great, and Cowher is the enemy of excellence.

Roethlisberger is a football player, not an interior decorator. Why you guys want to treat him like a ballerina is beyond me. Bradshaw got benched, you know. He won his 1st SB that year. Losing huge games and then being thrown back on the field is what we did with Kordell. And we all know how that turned out.

Until Ben is champing at the bit, he will not see the necessity to challenge Koacher. That was one of two points I made.

You don't learn how to play well by playing terribly in January. If that were the case, Marty Schottenheimer would have won SB's in both Cleveland and KC.

The fact is, Ben already needs a wake up call, and Cowher does too. Unless Roethlisberger takes responsibility for this team, we'll hang in mediccrity for another dozen years.

Jesus christ, nobody remembers the handful of games Bradshaw sat in '74. They remember the 4 rings.

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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After week 8?

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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You make some very good points but when it comes right down to it, I just think you're wrong. The NFL is a lot more complicated than "Cowher should have done more than run 61% of the time" and "Ben should have been benched cause he needs adversity".

Quote:
I’m not blaming Ben for this, not now anyway. I know that I have laid a lot of responsibility at his feet. But I’m wrong as often as I’m right so why stop at BR? No, no, no, I’m not resorting to the “Rookie” BS. The fact is, the blame belongs where it has for a decade now. So why did it happen? It’s a simple case of Cowheritis. That’s the inability of a Coach to ask himself: “What would Chuck Noll do?”
Cowheritis is to blame for Polamalu biting on play fakes? Williams falling down on the goal line? A bad INT to Harrison? The O-line being TOTALLY dominated? And if you define "Cowheritis" as "What would Noll do?" (which apparantly you do) then Cowher might just well be doing exactly that...seeing as how Noll stunk it up pretty close to his last decade in the league, only he's concentrating it in the AFCC...course we don't remember that part of Noll's career.

Quote:
Was Ben ever prepared for a game when the run wasn’t working? No. Was he ever asked to use the whole field or exercise the entire playbook? No. Did he ever have to prepare for every contingency against a 14-2 opponent? No. The two blowouts against NE and Philly were decided before the first quarter ended. But for those games, how many decent teams did Roethlisberger really have to work against? Ad-libbing squeakers against Jacksonville and Dallas hardly measures up.
Simple question...what rookie in the history of the league has been asked to do this? The simple fact is he had a lot to learn about his position coming into this league (as evidenced by a number of drafting sources) and that is on top of the standard stuff every roookie needs to learn (terminology, playbooks, etc.). It kind of amazing he was able to to even pull out those "squeakers" when the game was put on his shoulders (and it WAS put on his shoulders). Now if he evidences similar play this year, I have no choise but to agree with you.

Quote:
What would Chuck Noll do? Rookie or no rookie, he’d do what he always did. He’d get his players ready to make all the plays when it counted. That included letting his QB call his own plays, and sitting him down if he wasn’t ready to execute whatever was necessary. Remember, Chuck Noll was the guy who came into the league and said: There are three things that can happen when you pass and two of them are bad”, but then trusted his QB to throw the winning TD pass in all 4 SB’s.
Noll sat Bradshaw down when he went 83/218 (38.1%) and put up 24 INT's? News to me. Course then you go on to say Noll got his players ready to make plays, but fail to mention that didn't start happening until years after his rookie season and even then, the player actually MADE those plays...not just "ready" for them. Something no coach can get a player to do. BTW - You rail against 61% running to protect a young QB then go off about how Noll didn't like throwing the ball (three things can happen...)???

Quote:
I’m not quite saying that Neil O’Donnell and Kordell Stewart were great QB’s ruined by Cowher. But when you’re asked to do only the minimum at regular season speed, how can you be expected to suddenly rise up and play Championship ball at playoff speed.
I'll agree with this with Kordell only. He should have had the pressure put on him more during the season though to be honest, maybe Cowher new Kordell would crack then too and was trying to hide him. O'Donnell though played the same exact same way in the first game (for the most part) as he did in the SB...INT's to ****ing Brown aside.

Quote:
The sad fact is, Cowher won’t learn from this. He’s working on his fifth AFCC pasting and his third QB. After a dozen years, he is what he is. Ben, on the other hand, needs to find some adversity and be benched. It’s the best thing that could ever happen to him.
And the one time he had a quarterback who didn't make a mistake in a AFCC game he went to the SB (**** Green for lying down at the 3 against SD or we'd have gone to that one too). It is what it is. As for Ben "needing" adversity...you don't think coming into another players team (this WAS Tommy's team last year), trying to proove he was worth the 11th pick, and then when Tommy went down being able to proove to all those vets that you are worthy of their extra effort (remember Faneca's comment?) isn't adversity? Forget about just being a rookie QB in this league that eats them up. BTW - Apparantly you didn't hear, Cowher was going to bench Ben after the halftime in the AFCC, but decided to give him one last drive...the drive he scored a TD on. You gonna pull a guy out after that? As for benching...that worked real well for Kordell now didn't it? Fact is QB's should sit their first year. If they can't then they need to play every snap and the team has to hope he doesn't get killed.

Quote:
I hope it happens sooner than later. Because Ben needs to stew enough that he doesn’t just say “yes, Koach” when he’s put in a position to fail.
You did a good job of disguising you're Cowher hatred all this time...no coach, no matter how incompetent, puts their players in a position to fail. Besides, "stewing" (I can only imagine you mean benching) will more than likely make him MORE willing to follow a coaches "poor" decisions in order to play.

Quote:
If he has the spirit he portrays to the media, he’ll come back a better leader. And by the way, the Steelers have already bet their future on him, so he’s the one guy who could win a battle with Koacher. Heck, he could even get him fired if it gets bad enough.*
Keep wishing man...Cowher won't be going anywhere for the next 5 years at least. And BTW, Ben's already a pretty darn good leader...that's not his problem. He needs to work on reading D's, footwork, and hitting his quick slants and intermediate throws better...which I hear he is already working on.

Quote:
I just hope he learns to ask himself in the huddle: “What would Chuck Noll do?’ If he can do that, we’ll have some great years ahead.
Again, Noll was an awful big genius when he had a team of HoFers with him, not so much when he didn't. I think Ben should just worry about being Ben (God I hate that phrase).

I know that was kind disjointed and I'm probably coming off as a fanboy, but I really think people think the Steelers are the focal point of the NFL a bit too much. Did Roeth make bad throws/decisions in the second half of the season and the playoffs? Did Cowher make some bad calls this past season? You bet your ***. But to totally ignore the fact that with Hampton out our D was sucsceptible to the run (without specifically scheming against it) and thus a team COULD get back into the game, opposing D's figured out the best way to pressure Ben was a slow, collapsing pocket, and a host of other issues (like Brady being a HoF QB IMO) is overly simplistic. The opposing teams did some damned good things to try and counter the 2004 Steelers and couple that with the simple fact the Pats had experienced playmakers at every position the Steelers had youth you can't help but just know the Steelers didn't look good to get to the SB (and yes I thought that at the time).
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Old 05-13-2005, 04:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Bradshaw got benched, you know. He won his 1st SB that year.
He was 4 years into his career and had only posted one season above 50% for passing completion at that point! This is Ben's first friggin year man.

Quote:
Until Ben is champing at the bit, he will not see the necessity to challenge Koacher. That was one of two points I made.
You just want him that way so you can have some slim hope the Rooney's will have to choose between Roeth and Cowher...and they'd pick Roeth (which I'm not even sure they'd do). He needs to stop throwing picks in the playoffs is what he needs to do. Besides, everything I see from the kid is he's already "champing at the bit"...just not to overthrow Cowher.

Quote:
The fact is, Ben already needs a wake up call, and Cowher does too. Unless Roethlisberger takes responsibility for this team, we'll hang in mediccrity for another dozen years.
Again with Cowher...he is what he is and he isn't going away. As for Ben... You're much vaunted Bradshaw reference has his "wake-up" call after numerous years in the league and Ben already shows he needs one? Please. Back off the kid till next year, THEN you'd have cause to gripe (at him at least).

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Old 05-13-2005, 04:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Mr. All Knowing wrote:
Quote:
Remember, Chuck Noll was the guy who came into the league and said: There are three things that can happen when you pass and two of them are bad
Noll didn't say that ***.....Woody Hayes did.

Here's a link I found for you because you'll no doubt try to spin your way out of your own stupidity.

http://homepage.mac.com/kentoncanderson/pr.../Sunukjian.html
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