Monday, August 25, 2008

It's the dog days.

As the Doors' Jim Morrison once sang, "Summer's almost gone."

Only two weeks remain to make roster decisions and fix all that is broken.

Like the offensive line.

Sean Mahan, Willy Colon and company got manhandled by the Minnesota Vikings on Saturday night. No matter that the Steelers "won" the game. No touchdowns. That showing was awful, and it's going to be a long season if the offensive line doesn't get fixed.

Never mind the upcoming final exhibition game against Julius Peppers and the Carolina Panthers. The starters might see two series. The opener against the Hooyouston Texans could be problematic, even though on paper the Houston game, at home, looks like it might be the easiest game on the schedule.

The Texans feature former overall first round choice Mario Williams, who had 14 sacks last season for Houston, which may be "poised to have a breakthrough season." Whatever. If the Steelers don't fix the offensive line, it's going to be a long season for the Black 'n Gold.

Except for adding journeyman center Justin Hartwig (but losing Pro Bowl guard Alan Faneca), the team has done little that we can see to address the offensive line issues we saw Saturday night and the last half of last season.

Schemes? Coaching? Dunno. Let's keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.


Cotter said...

Wait, you mean Justin Hartwig isn't going to be our savior?

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

No. The only thing we can hope for may be this: The skill position players break an inordinate number of big plays on a regular basis. That is not a prescription for success. That's just hoping for the best. Unless they get their act together, forget time of possession. They're going to have to do it with big plays. And THAT is going to be tough without pass protection. Which, before LAST season, I thought we would see more swing passes, short drops, quick outs, etc., so as not to put Big Ben at risk. We didn't see much of that, actually. I think Big Ben could have an awesome year, IF he gets adequate protection. I just don't see any evidence that he's going to get it. And if he doesn't, we're looking at 4&12. Not to be overly pessimistic, but their schedule is brutal. They've got to be able to (1) Establish the Run; (2) Protect Ben; and (3) Stop the Run. They do all three, they could be 12&4. Santonio is getting better and better, Heath Miller is quality; FWP will show up, and Mendenhall is going to be great. Still, unless they fix the offensive line, they are not giving their skill players their best chance for success.

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

The Texans, by the way, hired former Broncos offensive line coach Alex Gibbs. Granted, he has a history (in Denver) of having worked with Texans head coach Gary Kubiak, who was Denver's offensive coordinator before taking over in Houston. Having said that, Gibbs would look good on the Steelers sideline about now. I'm actually worried about the Houston game. But then I worry about pretty much every game.