MIke Tomlin was quoted saying this after a week one loss to the Ravens.
"I think that people that know and compete in this league understand there's a fine line between drinking wine and squashing grapes.
As some of you may know I have been writing post game analysis about the games since the Colts game. I have also been experimenting with the title. So I will explain the good in the game, the bad in the game and the injuries. This time by identifying them as either wine drinking or grape squashing.
After a week of many Steelers fans across the internet calling for the benching of Rashard Mendenhall, he answered back. Mendenhall looked great with 23 rushes for 146 yards and a TD. That TD ment that Rashard Mendenhall has 11 TDs in his last 11 games including the post season. He averaged 6.3 a carry and looked very decisive today. Good for Mendy cause today he was drinking wine.
The Offensive Line:
I know you are going to say, "But Steel34D the O-line allowed 3 sacks today and was shut down in the second half. Yes that is true but they dominated in the first half in both aspects of the game. They gave Ben plenty of time the routes were just to slow in developing or the coverage just was good. This was a much better performance by the group than the stats indicated, and becuase of the time Ben had and that first quarter running game I say the O-line was drinking wine.
You'll say "WHAT?!! He only had one catch. Yes but on more than couple of deep bombs( I think 3 of them) Sanders was open and either split the safeties or was pass the secondary Ben just over threw him. That one reception was also a pretty good one by Manny so he is drinking the wine.
The "Beard" and Brett Keisel:
The two of them together combined for 2 sacks, 2 tackles a pass defensed and pressured both the run game and the pass. Keisel looked very good today and since he has been back I dare to call him the Aaron Smith of this D-line when he is health he changes the way the defense plays. Brett Keisel was dominant and played like a wine drinker today.
Bringing the Wood:been critical of LaMarr Woodley.
You all know I had been very critical of Woodley's play. However it looks like he is back into playing shape finally. He dominated the Jaguars lesser talent at RT in ever y aspect of the game. He finished the game with 4 tackles and 2 sacks. Woodley has 3.5 sacks in the last two games (since Harrison has left) and 5 on the year now. Yes it was against a rookie QB but you can only play who on your schedule. Last week he dominated a pretty good RT for the Titans and this week he still dominated. I have a feeling he can't wait to see Arizona's horrific line next week. Wine Drinking to the fullest.
Wine Drinking honorable mentions: Troy Polamalu (there is a surprise huh?) Wiliam Gay (What?! My screen was a little "pixely" but Gay had some nice coverage and solid tackles) Daniel Sepulveda ( A PUNTER?!!! yeah Robot Puter had 6 pints a 42.7 yard average and 1 in the 20. Solid game for him but don't want to see him have another punt all year.)
You know after the first quarter Arians was thinking, "Shit Ben's got time, Mendy's tearing it up, my wide receivers are burning the secondary. Going deep all day." Yeah I think he may got a little excited in the pants after that first quarter play. However Ben cooled down, the Jags adjusted but did BA change his game to that short game that was working so good last week? No. He kept going deep with Ben who over threw his wideouts or got hit even though he had time. Ben couldn't get his rythmn back and Arians play calling didn't help. BA here what your formula should be. Short Passes open up the running game, the running game will then open the deep play action passes. Not your formula which seems to be deep passes, more deep passes, okay now run, no wait go back to passing deep. Arian seemed to get a little too excited that his WRs were doing so good. He was squashing grapes today.
I kow I just blamed Bruce Arians but not all the blame can be put on him. Ben started the game on fire completing his first 11 of 15 for 2 TDs. It was a good continuation of last week. However he cooled off. He missed a wide open Emmanuel Sanders deep several times. After the cool off Bne completed just 1 pass. Part of this was BA fault for not calling plays to get Bens rythm back and sustain drives but you can't blame BA all the way. The WRs were running open easily and the O-line gave Ben enough time but Ben just could hit them. Then he also didn't get rid of the ball when he needed to those three sack were much more coverage sacks then usual. Ben started the game like he would be drinking wine instead he ended up squashing grapes.
The Pass Coverage:
I know we held the Jags to only 76 net yards passing and had five sack but it was against a poor offense with a rookie QB. The statistics lied in this game as some of the Jags receivers had some seperation but Gabbert couldn't hit them. What really bothered me was how open Marcedes Lewis was this game. Gabbert just missed him a lot. If I am an OC of a team going against the Steelers I look at this film, the Ravens film and the Patriots from last year and realize "Hey I can get my TE some easy receptions, once he gets open the ILB while have to vacate the middle of the field so them I can get a running game going than a PA game going." The pass coverage today in my opinion was squashing grapes.
Penalties are you kidding me:
I could narrow this down to one person but the team has a whole had 8 penalties for 65 yards. This included 2 back to back penalties on the O-line that moved the Steelers from the 20 yard line to out of Suisham's FG range. Then Ryan Mundy ran into the punter allowing the Jaguars drive that was 3-and out to get the ball back and moved down the field to score a TD. Mentally the Team was squashing grapes today.
Another Week another O-line injury, Doug Legursky left the game with a dislocated toe. Chris Hoke left the game early with a stinger. Ryan Clark has a shoulder injury and Troy left the game with concussion like symptoms. Trai Essex didn't look good at LG I can only guess that Gilbert may be looked at if Kemo isn't healthy and Legursky can go. The Troy injury could be big this defense can't afford to lose him as he does so much more then what the stats indicate.
The Steelers are 4-2 and at this juncture they are a team that doesn't always come to play. It was good enough to win today and thus the Steelers were wine drinkers but they need to become a team that always shows up in order to beat the more elite teams. At this time I predict the Steelers will finish 10-6 this season with a Wild Card in the playoffs. They can change that but they need to play smart not shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and show up as the dominant team they know they can be. A perfect illustration was today against the run, the team either stuff the run or let it go for like 7-10. They need to step it up and fix the issues in order to beat elite teams.
A win is a win, I'll finish with MIke Tomlin opening statement in post game press conference
" It was great to get a win. It wasn’t the kind of finish we were looking for but obviously we will take it. The way we played, we will evaluate it and move on. That’s what we will do. We acknowledge that we didn’t play the style of football that we like to play in the second half. We didn’t get off the field enough. We gave them an extra possession on special teams, with the roughing of the punter. We weren’t good enough on third downs, offensively, to sustain drives. All that being said, it’s great to talk about those things and learn lessons that will make us successful. We made the necessary plays there at the end. We got a first down offensively but we weren’t able to kill the clock. We had a nice punt, and then we applied enough pressure at the end to preserve victory. So for that, we are excited. "