Once again for the third consecutive season the Pittsburgh Steelers are in the thick of the playoff hunt. With a 7-5 record once again there is little margin for errror. This season the Steelers have an abundance of talent but the question remains, can the coaches step up their game?
Head coach Mike Tomlin was heavily criticised for his decisions in last weeks game vs the Seattle Seahawks. His aggressive style has led to turnovers and blown leads. A positive though is the two point conversion plays have been mostly successful. Considering the injuries to the offensive line,quarterback,and running back positions it will be crucial that Tomlin find the right backups to play efficient minutes down the stretch. Players such as running Fitzgerald Toussaint,more snaps for wide receiver Markus Wheaton who is coming on strong, tight end Jesse James as Health Miller deals with a rib injury just to name a few. Tomlin made a great decision last night by playing cornerback Brandon Boykin more last night and reducing the playing time of Ross Cockrell,and Antwon Blake.
It’s no secret that defensive coordinator Keith Butler loves to blitz. The problem has been the secondary struggles to handle man and zone coverage. With the creativity of his blitzes Butler must develop at least one pass rusher who will command a extra blocker. All signs point to either Bud Dupree or James Harrison who looked like the James Harrison from five years ago. As scary as this sounds Butler must also find one cornerback who can cover the other teams best receiver. He doesn’t have to be a shut down corner but he must be able to hold his own in preventing the big play.
Todd Haley once hated by some for his play calling may very well be at this moment the best offensive coordinator in the game. Since there are no major errors on offense all you can really do is nitpick. It will helpful down the stress to give running back Delangelo Williams more of a breather.
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