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Dead Men Walking

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This One's For You, Tomlin... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
November 24, 2009 11:38

"Redemption Sunday is coming for us in the form of the Baltimore Ravens."

- Mike Tomlin

Let me just say at the outset - I'm not exactly in what I'd call an "approachable" mood today.

Having the hard drive of your only two-year-old laptop fail harder than the Bengals on Sunday will do that to you.

I'm entering day three without a usable laptop...and I feel like I might as well join the God damned Peace Corps at this point...

Either way, please pass the Xanax.

Now, both Steve and I have noted unreal levels of negativity from Steeler nation over the past 24 hours or so.

We lost to the Chiefs. How unfortunate.

Big Ben may have received a concussion on Sunday (doubtful). How unfortunate.

Chuck Batch hurt his wrist, jerking off to the idea that he might start against the Ravens. How unfortunate.

Polamalu's out for another three or four weeks. How unfortunate.

As a wise, ancient Chinese philosopher once said - "Shit happens."

And as Tomlin always says - "All men experience adversity."

But if the season ended today, the Steelers would still be the six seed in the AFC playoff race.

Of course, the season isn't ending today.

The Steelers still have six games in which they play the Ravens twice, the Raiders, the Browns, the Packers and the Dolphins.

So let's address the woes.

And let me say right now, if your only contribution to this discussion is "Fire Mike Tomlin," or "Fire Bruce Arians," this isn't the blog for you. However, as Domski said to me the other day, "I could see firing the special teams coach." But we'll get to that...

Big Ben first...The only way anyone will ever keep Big Ben off the field is a sledge hammer to the face. But it doesn't really matter, because we already know he'll be playing on Sunday...

Chuck Batch...By virtue of CB's injured wrist, the Steelers backup QB is now Dennis Dixon, and the Steelers are expected to add former Pitt Panther, Tyler Palko to the practice squad either today or tomorrow (I've heard conflicting reports). All I can say is - let's just hope we don't have to worry about who our backup is...

Troy Polamalu...At this point, it's hard to dispute that the Steelers aren't the same defense without Troy. They're certainly still better than 85% of the rest of the NFL defenses, but Troy's clearly the glue that binds it all together. Over the next month, assuming Troy returns for the Packers game, the Steelers play the Ravens, the Raiders and the Browns. These should all be winnable games if the Steelers respond to the situation they've put themselves in.

And then, there's the Special Teams. I have no words for this unit that you could say on TV before 10 PM. Domski's all for putting starters in to cover kicks, and I can't disagree. What else do you want me to say?

Here's your update on the Ravens. They're 5-5, Terrell Suggs is out for six weeks, and starting Corner Fabian Washington is out for the year (they'll be starting a rookie in his place), among other things. But no matter what's going on with the Ravens, the Steelers need to focus on themselves. This is THE must win game of the season. Only fitting that it's against the Ravens. In Baltimore. In prime time.

If the Steelers have any hopes of making the playoffs, a loss would be unacceptable.

So, guys, let's have it...what are your thoughts on the current state of affairs?

Oh, and PS - Sorry for the lack of time I've got more than 10 minutes to write a post I'll be sure to include some pretty pictures.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, join the blog network and follow Cotter and Steve on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Comments (9)
  • Anonymous
    Ben is fine and as long as we have Ben we'll get intot he post season.
    Steeler Nation seems to be in a panic, as usual. We're 6-4...NOT 4-6!
    Steelers will be fine and they'll get into the post season! I still say they'll finish 12-4. Hell, if the Bungles keep tanking 12-4 will win the division!
    Once they're in the playoffs, all bets are off and they KNOW what it takes to get to the Big Dance.
    We're fine. Come off of the ledge now.
  • Cotter
    Damn right. I'm sure Lions fans would kill to be 6-4 and in the playoff hunt right now. We should be thankful that we've got a solid winning squad!
  • Ben
    Well said. No reason to freak out. Sure the Chiefs suck, but our Special Teams coverage sucks more. Also, I get that Mewelde was a huge boost last year, but do we still need him to be our 3rd down back? He came in because FWP got hurt and also because FWP has hands made of stone. Mendenhall can catch, block, and run. This is just my opinion, but am I missing something? Once again, I think we're fine but this is definitely a big game Sunday night.
  • Grumpy
    This week will tell the tale. MUST win on the road. The injuries are taking a toll; Smith, Kirschke, Troy, Kemo. Huge losses. Ben maybe not 100%. The Bengals are not done losing. People need to step up and get it done. I'm talking to you, defensive secondary. And the special team's coach has to go after the season.
  • Emily DeArdo
    Special teams coach--need a new one, stat.
    But hey, at least Tomlin got some love on House last night.
  • Cotter
    Well said! Somebody's gotta give the guy some love (besides us, of course).
  • matt
    We look like we did during mid-season of '05. We aren't cohesive as a whole...leave a lot of plays out there on both sides not including the sp teams (who need not be mentioned). I have no doubt that we are better than any team in the NFL, it's just a matter of execution.

    I respectfully disagree w/ Ben. Mewelde Moore is one of the best Steelers in my book. He does everything well. A sweep on 3rd & 2 was awful, I don't think AP could've gotten that 1st down.

    Sunday will be huge.
  • Cotter
    I gotta agree with you on MeMo. The dude is about as reliable as it gets. If that play call was a run off tackle or even just a dive, I bet he gets the 1st. He's a machine. AND he can return kicks, which as we know is invaluable.
  • dr_gooch
    As one of the thousands of Steeler fans that were forced to bear witness to that game live there were three things I noticed.

    We were two plays (Ike's completely tragic lack of hands in OT and Ben's flailing INT into the endzone) from owning that game. Both purely bad breaks. You can't blame coaches for bad breaks. (You can, however, blame them for not pounding Mendenhall on 3rd and 2 in OT and going with that off tackle sweep.)

    Several players (notably Timmons and Woodley) didn't run out the Chris Chambers catch (Law had the angle, stopped running, wtf?). Tomlin and LeBeau will fix that. They always tend to fix those mistakes.

    That must've been the first rodeo for a bunch of Steeler fans, as they were deadly quiet when the Burgh was on defense and loud as hell when they were on offense. Seriously? That was embarrassing.
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