Haley finally Gone! Thank you! > ESPN

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01-21-2018, 12:06 AM

(01-20-2018, 09:37 PM)Rollers Wrote:
(01-20-2018, 06:29 PM)mcmillenandwife Wrote: Well, first... let's be clear, Ben threw some flippin' AMAZING borderline miracle 4th down passes (36 yds on 4th and 11 to Bryant, 43 yds to Brown on 4th and 5), so Haley gets ZERO credit for those 14 points because they came after his play calls on downs 1 through 3 had FAILED. The final TD came in garbage time and was frankly STUPID... we should've kicked a FG the moment we got in range and it was evident a quick TD wasn't going to happen, then tried another onside kick. I'm also not giving Haley credit for Ben's improvisational lateral to Bell. That was CLASSIC Big Ben improv and the exact thing Haley has been trying to choke out of Ben since he's been here. 

The guy was an asshole who couldn't work well with other assistant coaches (many of whom quit for that very reason) or key players like Ben and AB. He did bring down Ben's sack numbers and reduced the number of hits Ben took, and for that, I'll give him credit. But he also took the QB sneak away from our monster 6'5", 240 lbs QB who I don't EVER recall being stuffed on a sneak, so... no soup for you, Haley. Buh-bye.

Regarding the defense, I'm not necessarily surprised that Butler is staying because the defense was actually pretty solid for much of the year, especially early when the offense was struggling. Also #1 in sacks despite fielding a lot of young players. I am a little surprised at NO coaching changes on defense in terms of assistants because our linebackers were a MESS once Shazier went down. We'll see what happens, I guess.

I couldn't disagree with you more Tim.  The defense was solid against some pretty bad teams on offense usually.  That defense was completely undisciplined. They were garbage wen it mattered the most.  That is on Butler.  Tomlin had a chance to improve the whole mess on defense and stood pat.  Burns is not developing.  Dupree is not developing.  The D line regressed.  Safeties were NEVER in position.  See the Browns game where that defense gave up 350 yards to the Brown's QB that SUCKED.  I firmly believe if that Brown's receiver doesn't drop that fourth down pass where NO ONE was near him on the sidelines they probably win that game.  That defense was garbage when we needed them to step up.  Yeah Butler did a great job

I think you have short-term memory loss, rollers. Down the stretch, the defense struggled, yes... especially once Shazier went down. And it got especially bad when we were missing both Shazier and Haden. You and I agree in that respect.

But the defense is why we were winning during the first half of the season. They weren't great... but they were pretty damn good. In 9 out of the first 10 games, that defense held opponents to 18 points or less (including the J-Ville game, in which 2 of the Jags' TDs were defensive) which was important, because our supposedly explosive offense was NOT scoring points. Not coincidentally, our record during that time was 8-2. You can say, "They were pretty bad opponents." Well, they were NFL teams, every one of them... 4 of the teams we played during that stretch made the playoffs, we beat 3 of them and 2 of them are still playing

Therefore, I think what's "pretty bad" is your memory. Pi_wink1  The defense from the first 10 games was good enough, if paired with our offense from the last 8 games or so, to win the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, we never quite got things lined up.

I do agree with you that Butler and Tomlin failed with the defense down the stretch. You are right when you say they were "garbage" when it mattered most, particularly in that disgusting playoff game. 

So the question is: What do we need to do to get back to the defense of those first 10 games? #1, the young linebackers MUST progress and we need someone to fill the void left by Shazier (God bless him). There's lots of secondary bashing, but our defensive problems late in the year were front 7-related and really, it was the linebackers. Not bad players necessarily, but definitely poor communication, players out of position, guys either not knowing what to do or just failing to fill their gaps. Our style of defense needs a Polamalu. Not necessarily at safety, but we need that guy who flies around and makes instinctual plays, and Ryan Shazier was our Polamalu. Barring a miracle (never say never), Shazier won't be back.

So I guess we know where a lot of our draft focus should go. We need an impact linebacker (multiple impact linebackers, actually) and some safety help. Maybe a solid vet at LB or DB via free agency? We "should" still be in a position to make a run next year. Offensively, we're incredibly stacked if Bell behaves like an adult (big if, but it could happen). Even without Bell, we'll be formidable on offense. 

My gut is that Tomlin views starting over with a new D-coordinator costs us time. He's betting that they can right the ship enough to get us over the hump next year. Didn't work this year, so... we'll see. And while Butler is secure this year, I do expect some assistant coach changes before next season.
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01-21-2018, 02:34 AM

Coach Butler, Coach Peezy, Coach Lake... more of the same equals more of the same. Their unit has had "communication" issues for 2+ years now, blaming same for everything from big plays given up to lost games. That responsibility falls squarely on them. They consistently fail to develop young talent, and we end up talking about how this guy or that is a "bust". Cowher, for all his faults, was outstanding at developing young talent, he had to be with all the free-agent losses. This group has shown little such ability.

As for the sacks record: a quarter of the sacks total came against the Clowns... take those away and the total is really rather pedestrian.
(This post was last modified: 01-21-2018, 02:37 AM by bbbooger.)

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