Pittsburgh Steelers in the trenches: Line up for a quarter
The Pittsburgh Steelers aren’t walking out of Week 5 with a win without changes on the field, and a mental fire that needs to be relit.
It would be easy to pile on with negative comments like so many others regarding the Steelers first quarter of the season. Every area of the team has been eviscerated and for the most part, rightfully so. However, upon further examination, most of the issues relate to fixable things that if lined up properly, they will be able to win the next quarter. If both the offensive and defensive lines/Edge play consistently over the time period of these next four games…they will win the quarter!
My Uncle uses to come around when I was young while my friends and I were playing outside, he would challenge us to line up in a straight line according to height. If we did, he would give us each a quarter which at that time could buy a pocket full of candy. But we had to do it quickly before he would be off on his journey to who knows where. ( We never listened to the rumors about his drinking habits because to us he was the quarter man).
A gregarious and portly fellow he was but also astute enough to know getting a bunch of wild eight-year-old kids to follow instructions was next to impossible. He was right, there was always one or two of my friends that would line up out of order and at that point, the jolly gentlemen would be on his way strolling down the street laughing heartily.
So, I came up with this plan to practice lining up properly to make sure that the next time he came around, we would get our quarters. One day while outside playing, we heard my Uncle’s voice bellowing through the streets and we got ready. Determined to win the challenge, he came down the street counting out loud and before he passed us by, we were lined up in a straight line according to height.
That day we got it right, won our quarters and pigged out on candy all afternoon until our stomachs hurt.
You may ask, “What does this story have to do with the Steelers”? Its simple, our lines have to line up and do their jobs better for the team to win their quarters. As the old axiom says, “Games are won in the trenches.” When your running and passing game is not getting it done, then your offense will become anemic.
Run and pass blocking were prerequisites for the job, so I thought. Coach Mike Munchak gets a lot of credit for developing offensive linemen, but either technique, desire or inability have created the mess they are in.
On the other side of the ball, when the opposing team is gashing your defensive line with long runs while at the same time annihilating your secondary through the air, its time for the defensive line/edge players to man up. Where are the “nasty boys”, the Harrisons, Porters, Lloyds, Hamptons, Greens, Smiths, and the Keisels?
We need “Rush Hour” for all sixty minutes. Basic football, as Coach Noll would say, “You got to punch them in the mouth first and hard.”
Too many games the Steelers have started slow only to play catch up, then fall behind again and that has resulted in the type of record that they have presently.