Ok, i must admit I gave this post a sensationalist title to get a bit more traffic but I have no shame. In my life, no f*%$s are given on a daily basis.
Time to get into the meat of this post though. Our beloved Steelers are 0-2 (jeebus christo, hard to take)...Let that sink in, as I'm sure you already have. Good lord, it was the days of Kordell and Tommy gun the last time we could say that. Other than feeling old, I take 3 things from this:
1. Tommy Maddox used to be our solution, got to feel some sense of hope that we are far removed from the days of counting on an XFL superstar (!) and have a legit franchise QB. *Quick tangent, the only live Steelers game I been to was quarterbacked by THE Tommy Maddox. As I left the stadium, a man on a cellphone uttered the words "Tommy Maddox is the most unathletic quarterback that I have ever seen." I suddenly feel very unfulfilled as a fan.
2. As has been pointed out about 50 'leven times, they made the playoffs that year.
3. They only have 1 meaningful loss (Cincinnati), and let's face it, no one is going 6-0 vs. the division this year. The Clowns are a bad team. The Ravens, Bengals and (sigh) Steelers are GOOD bad teams Let me expound:
In today's NFL, there are 6 games that matter. If a team can win their division, they're in there like swimwear. In any given season, there will be approximately 2-4 gimme games that the only excuse for not winning is SARS (what? that's not a thing anymore?). There will be 1-3 unexpected wins that a team had no business winning but did anyway because football fire like that. AND one-two games that will be decided on an improbable, remarkable, entirely un-duplicatable play. Scrape together 4-5 division wins and 5-6 of those other games, you're in the playoffs.
The landscape of football today is such that all you have to do is make the playoffs to have a legitimate chance at a ring. Think about it...Who wins the Super Bowl? (doo doo doo da do da doo doo #jeopardy) It's the team that catches fire in late December that is able to ride a tidal wave of momentum to a title in February. Someone, with a straight face please, tell me the Giants (the 9-7 Giants!) were the best team in 2011-12. The Super Bowl champion is rarely the best team. The Super Bowl champion is the team that catches fire like Richard Prior in the dead of winter.
I said that to say this: The loss to the Bungholes hurts (very very VERY badly), but it's not a death sentence. The loss to the OilTitans sucks, but its negligible. As long as the Steelers can scrape together a 2-2 record vs. the ratbirds and bungholes, they WILL be playoff bound (fearless prediction).
I believe very (VERY!) strongly that the reason for the Steelers' abysmal performance is a lack of offensive identity. I also believe in my heart of hearts that there once was one, back in August. 3 of their biggest personality traits were set to be L'Veon (his parents are WINNING for that name) Bell, Heath (HEEEEEEAAAATH) Miller, and Maurkice (parents losing for the spelling of this name) Pouncey.
Well, Bell and Miller will be back soon. This certainly won't be a cure all, but it will be a cure some.
Redman running into Ramon Foster's back and generally closing his eyes makes me sick. I hope and expect that Bell will keep his eyes open when he runs.
And as for Miller, he is the best thing that could happen to the passing game. Brown and co. (sound like a landscaping company, huh?) lack the ability to create their own passing lanes without a gimmick. Miller manufactures catches like he work on the completions assembly line. I haven't even mentioned yet that Miller's blocking makes Paulson's blocking look like a starving 12 year old orphan trying to stop a rabid bison from charging. THINGS WILL GET BETTER, soon.
One thing I will say about Arians (and I hated Arians) is that he knew how to utilize his lil, shifty WR's. His use of bunch formations created confusion and space for this quick SOB's to get a step. And he had Hines (I miss Hines. If anyone can create a time machine to transport me back to '05 to see Hines and #36 play together again, I will spare no expense). We need to have more natural picks in our rout combinations because these receivers are not creating their own separation. AND we need Heath to be our new Hines (easy, right?).
I said that stuff to say this: Todd Haley is not trustworthy to me (and people call me Shifty). "The only man to make Kurt warner curse" has had fairly public (yet media mediated) conflicts with our franchise player and our #1 receiver (I'd be lying if I said I believed Brown was a true #1). That ain't a good look bruh.
I understand that he's dealing w/ a porous O-line, no franchise back (please Bell, please), negative points at TE, an injured FB, an average receiving core (for the love of god play MOYE and WHEATON, they can't be worse than the Cotch and Paulson combo they love so much), and a QB who don't trust him (I don't care what u say, Roethlisberger is still bitter over BA being pushed out),, but what do we see in this guy?
He was beast mode in KC (noooooo, he handicapped that offense like none other. look at KC w/ Reid n co.). He DID have success w/ a once in a lifetime talent at QB (if Warner doesn't make the HOF, it's a TRAVISHAMOCKERY) and 2 historical status WR's (look at Boldin's career stats if u don't believe me), but it would be hard to screw that one up. Is there some type of weird, under the table contract between the Steelers and Cards that requires that we exchange personnel constantly? (you can miss me w/ any justification of Willie Gay, literally one of my least favorite Steelers ever) I'm REALLY asking, what are this man's qualifications?
From where I'm sitting, Haley appears to be an egomaniacal hothead lacking offensive creativity, with 0 respect for our 3 time Super Bowl QB, who likes to run draws on 3rd and long, negative WR screens on 1st down about 5 times/game, end arounds w/ one of the slowest receivers in the league, avoid our best (healthy) run blocking OL (Adams, to me) on running plays, and run spread sets even though we lack the physicality at receiver necessary for these sets.
As harsh as that sounds, I'm still reserving judgement on the man because he's in a terrible position. I WILL judge him like Mathis when Bell and Miller come back though. All I'm saying is, in this 0-2 start, he has not inspired confidence.
If I can leave you with one thought, it is please don't overreact to the 0-2 record. There is hope. The season is long. 2-2 vs. the flying mice and kitty kats likely means playoffs. And getting back pillars of our offensive identity can only be positive. T.Haley, u on watch brolo!