Requests and responses: December 10

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JAY DRAGERT OF WEST DES MOINES, IA: When broadcasting Steelers games, commentators will mention the winning percentages of Coaches Mike Tomlin, Bill Cowher and Chuck Noll, Tomlin having the best. I think that’s a great statistic for what a winning franchise the Steelers have been since 1969. Do you think the statistic on these coaches’ winning percentages compares apples to apples? Which coaching tenure had the most challenges? The reason I’m asking the question is that there seems to be a bunch of NFL teams that are now losers but have been winners over the past few decades.
ANSWER: Here’s how I see it: Chuck Noll is the greatest coach in Steelers history and deserves to be considered closer to the top of the coaches listed as the greatest in NFL history, regardless win percentages or any other statistics that can be unearthed. or created.

That’s because Noll had to change a culture of loss, a culture that took root and developed unchecked for almost 40 years. Before Chuck Noll was hired in 1969, the Steelers franchise had been in the NFL for 36 seasons, and in those 36 seasons they had finished with a record winning eight times. Additionally, in the NFL 10 Drafts before Noll was hired, the Steelers traded their first-round pick five times, their second-round pick five times, and their third-round pick seven times. The state of the franchise’s “personnel department” was such that it cut John Unitas, traded Len Dawson, and traded the Chicago draft pick the Bears were using to pick Dick Butkus.

And as a coach, Noll turned a franchise that did that sort of thing into one that won its first Super Bowl, and he accomplished that resurrection from the dead in just six seasons. As for Cowher and Tomlin, neither of them had to overcome what Noll had to overcome, and the basis of their success was Dan Rooney, the man who first identified Noll and then got him. introduced to his father as the man the Steelers should hire. in 1969. Dan Rooney built the organization and then kept it going in a way that made Cowher and Tomlin successful, and both men have shown themselves capable of doing it. All three of these coaches won the Super Bowls, and when it’s all over, I think Tomlin will join Noll and Cowher in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

JACK FOSTER OF ROUNDUP, MT: I heard on Steelers.com from Missi Mathews and the guys that the Steelers have to play three games in 12 days. Can you tell me where it is? I have three games in 16 days.
ANSWER: The Steelers faced the Ravens in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, December 2; then they played in Washington on Monday December 7th and their next game will be in Buffalo against the Bills on Sunday December 13th. That’s three games in 12 days.

BRIAN MORELLA FROM POLAND, OH: As far as the Steelers’ offensive line issues go, maybe putting Matt Feiler back on right tackle and inserting Kevin Dotson on left guard could help? The status quo is not working. Do you think any personnel adjustments can be made this year to help this team, or is that just something that needs to be addressed in next year’s draft?
ANSWER: I don’t disagree with the idea that Matt Feiler is better at tackle than guard, especially in the racing game, but I do not believe that the correction of the racing game can be accomplished by bringing this one change on the offensive line. . I could see the Steelers using more than one draft pick on the offensive linemen in 2021, but right now the best path is to try and perform better with what they have, because making several changes to try. to fix something could ruin something. other.

MICHAEL WOLOZYN FROM OIL CITY, PA: Here’s a really stupid question for Mike Tomlin, Randy Fichtner or you: please try to explain how we can have seven blockers for a running game between tackles against five defensive players and yet can’t always seem to make a hole for the runner to go through to gain a modest 4-7 yards?
ANSWER: That’s a question for the seven blockers, as they obviously don’t and haven’t done their job.

LUKE OTT OF PEACHTREE CITY, GA: Your article on the loss of Washington was exceptional. Thank you. You’ve identified the critical issues and what the Steelers need to do in the future. It’s not a question to ask and answer, but I didn’t know how to send you a message. Thanks again for your great job and I wish you a Merry Christmas.
RESPONSE: I appreciate the kind words and a Merry Christmas to you and your family as well.

RONALD WINTERS FROM LEARY, PA: Do you think we’ll see James Washington and Vance McDonald targeted for more passes in the coming weeks? It seems to me that they are consistent in catching the ball.
ANSWERS: Coach Mike Tomlin hit the end of his rope with the drops, I can tell you for sure. When asked if there was something to be done about the sudden increase in dropped passes, Tomlin replied, “Yes, they can catch the ball or they can be replaced by whoever catches it. It’s as simple as that. oftentimes said, I expect guys to do routine games on a regular basis. When there is a tendency for that not to happen, we have to watch who we are throwing the ball to. at this level, it’s not something that I have a lot of patience for, it’s not something that neither of us have a lot of patience for. The job of these guys is to catch football, especially the routine ones. Where there is a pattern, you should expect to see to see fewer opportunities. It’s just fair, it’s just part of this activity and what this game is about. ”

WILLIAM PALAICH DE CLERMONT, PA: In the game against Washington, should there have been a penalty when quarterback Alex Smith ran off to the sidelines with the football after a third game down when the goal unit on the field was rushing to the field at the end of the first half? This is what forced the “administrative” timeout eight seconds from the end and allowed Washington to throw a basket.
ANSWER: No penalty was necessary, but stopping the clock is against the rules. Here’s what former NFL official Terry McAulay, who is a FOX rules analyst, tweeted about the streak: “My take on the end of the half (Washington vs. Pittsburgh): Teams know that in a last second FG situation, officials will use the ball from the previous play. When Smith got the ball out of the field, any delay in bringing in another ball is on Washington. The referee called for the ball at the end of play. He then stopped the clock at: 08 when he attempted to get a new ball from the sideline. He shouldn’t have done it. Washington caused the delay and should not have taken advantage of it. This is no different from a normal 2 minute drill when the same ball is used and the players get the ball to the nearest referee to help spot the ball. If they force the umpires to get a new one, the time it takes to get it is on them. ”

When coach Mike Tomlin was asked if he ever got an explanation from the officials, he replied, “I didn’t need an explanation. I knew they were wrong. I was trying to help them get it right. I’m not looking for explanations. ”

To sum it all up: Referee John Hussey did not know the rule, and his incorrect interpretation / application of the game allowed Washington to throw a basket and score three runs he didn’t deserve and shouldn’t have. . Let’s call it the official version of running five games from the one-yard line without scoring a touchdown. This shouldn’t happen in an NFL game, and it’s unacceptable.

WAYNE D. SNYDER OF MIFFLINTOWN, PA: Since the NFL is an imitating league, what protocols does the NFL need to prevent players like Alex Smith from leaving the playing field with the ball? It was a neat way to add extra time.
ANSWER: The only protocol needed is for the NFL to make sure their referee KNOWS THE RULES. And if the referee doesn’t know the rules, he shouldn’t WORK THE GAME.

DOUGLAS PORTER OF COVINGTON, KY: With Bud Dupree and Devin Bush for the rest of the season, and now Robert Spillane for a while, why wouldn’t the Steelers see James Harrison’s interest in returning?
ANSWER: I am thinking of Greg Lloyd because he would be better on cover. By the way, what is the address of the fountain of youth? I seem to have misplaced it, and since you think a 42-year-old who hasn’t played since 2017 can come back into an NFL season in December and make an impact, you must have this skill.

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