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Regular Season Grades / Last Night’s Grades

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by 08SteelCurtain, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. 08SteelCurtain

    08SteelCurtain Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Please add your thoughts on my grades, AND your own if you can. I get long winded, but feel free to just skim through or read grades. The explanations are there for those who want it. I have watched every game at least a couple times.

    Offensive Line:

    Regular Season C- / Playoffs D-

    Maurkice Pouncey was almost solely responsible for them being down 0-14 last night. The first pick Ben threw, they showed the replay and Pouncey got pushed back from the line of scrimmage absolutely immediately. It definitely startled Ben, and the resulting throw happend. He was good until about 2018. Time to go, Pounce. Great career, very good Steeler.
    Villanueva - hopefully he was injured or something this year. What a backwards step in play.
    DeCastro - he’s the best offensive lineman we’ve had since Faneca. The bad year from all could be explained by OL coach? The dropoff from Munchak has been steep.
    Kevin Dotson was the reason this season grade is not a D. Nice work Dot.

    Wide Receivers:
    Regular Season: C+ / Playoffs: C-

    James and JuJu are inflating the postseason grade here, but there’s a lot of young talent from 1-4, and Ray Ray shows flashes on returns. JuJu is not going to get 15 million a year from us, so a 3rd round pick may be used to fill this.
    Anyhow, the first 12 weeks or so these guys were B+ grade. Drops after that were frequent, and talent merely flashed.
    JuJu - this year’s performance was muddied by his role in the scheme. His hands were less the issue.
    Chase - hopefully he watches tape on his 50/50 deep balls. Too much fading away from the ball in the air - go up strong! Don’t try and draw the flag, try and catch.
    Diontae - steps forwards, steps backwards. An asset going forward, but he’ll have some soul searching to do.
    James - the most consistent performer. The most consistent hands. Least consistent role. His upside isn’t as high as the others, but he is steady.

    Tight Ends:
    Regular Season: C+ / Playoffs C-

    Two years ago, stock on Vance was quite high. He can block better than average, and he wasn’t always slow and plodding. In fact, he was once fast, swaggering and possessing of a useful stiff arm.
    What exists now is a shadow of a once really underrated tight end. In expression, demeanor, everything.
    Eric Ebron? Ready for that experiment to be over. He’s an above average receiving tight end that simply can’t block. When he isn’t catching (nice catch last night for the TD) he isn’t useful.

    Running Backs:
    Regular Season: D+ / Playoffs: C

    I don’t know if it is the O-Line deteriorating. I dont’t know if it’s the O-Line coach. But this was flat out bad. James Conner in 2018 looked like a franchise piece. Afterwards, a backup. He is okay at everything, elite at nothing. In 2018, he was good at everything and great at nothing. Benny Snell is, at least, a decisive runner. If he had better pass catching ability, that’d be helpful. There were times he needed a yard and didnt get it. That’s low grade. We’ll see how next year looks, but he’s not terrible. McFarland is explosive as hell, but is not seeing the field yet. He is a very typical rookie, finding his place mentally. I am excited for year 2.

    Regular Season (until week 12): A- / Rest of Season: C-

    This was the hardest. Until the Dallas game, he was lights out. That smack into his knees (both) that game was a partial derailing. Whatever hyperextension happened during Washington was the nail.

    I’m going to say this as succinctly as I can, and better than any media member has - ready? So: when you are a 38 year old quarterback with bad knees, you have a tougher time stepping into throws. When your offensive line is getting pushed back where you want to step in to, it’s worse. When you have no run game, it compounds everything already said. When every defense knows all this and knows all passes will happen within 25 yards, THE LAST 6 WEEKS IS WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE.

    Defensive Line:
    Regular Season: A / Playoffs: F-

    This one is the LEAST excusable performance out of any (outside of Pouncey) in any playoff failure I have EVER seen. How are you going to get blown off the ball like that by backups and less-than-100% starters who have never played in the postseason?

    These guys, from Hey/Tuitt/Alualu/Watt/Bud all year were A/A+. They made me proud to be a fan. Where was the fire, Cam? Where was the effort Tuitt? This is up there with Butler’s failure in the playoffs vs Patriots and Jaguars as worst meltdown. Other than Pouncey.

    Regular Season (until week 12): B+ / After: INC

    Injuries derailed this group hard. Real shame. The universe takes away Devin Bush. Not good, but Spillane was a revelation who was playing even a bit better than Bush had at times. We lose him. Avery and Vince had coverage issues, but did as well as they could. You could run on them better than expected surprisingly, but not horrible. It’s hard to grade this position group past week 12. I can say last night’s game featured a rusty Spillane and a slow as molasses Vince. I want to give them a D-.

    Defensive Backs:
    Regular Season: A- / Playoffs: C-

    Nelson and Haden weren’t what they were in 2019. That’s cool, they didn’t need to be when the pass rush was getting there in 2 seconds. When that stopped after Bud got hurt and Cam’s quad deteriorated after the Dallas game? Not as good.

    I will say - Cam Sutton and Mike Hilton were fantastic. Cam Sutton revealed himself as starting caliber, and I sure hope we pay Hilton. Both of them were superior to Nelson and Haden this year.

    Minkah was Minkah. That’s all that needs to be said there. Edmunds progressed to a better place, but still isn’t much of a playmaker. He’s a solid starter who is big (6’1 217) but not much of a hitter, and has some man coverage skills for his position. But again, not a playmaker.

    Regular Season until Week 12: A / Playoffs:

    This was the Jaguars game all over again. Your player(s) talked ****, you got rocked early off the run game and poor QB play, and by the time you entered through the front door with a pulse it was 21-0. This time, 28-0. The game does not start in the 3rd quarter.

    The problem until week 12 was “nice start! But why do we allow them to battle back? Why do we not step on their necks?”

    The problem after? “The third quarter is too late of a time to start the game. I don’t care if you ‘bravely battle back’, it’s lazy to start the game later than your opponent.”

    Randy Fichtner is terrible. Keith Butler is average, with the tendency to be ****ING TERRIBLE in the playoffs. He is a liability when it counts. Mike Tomlin hasn’t been a good playoff coach since the game vs KC in 2016. He won’t get fired, but if this game were to be deemed “let’s clean house” it wouldn’t be as stupid as it once was. He is still not even 50 - I say hold and see how he handles a rebuild. That will be telling.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2021
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  2. 08SteelCurtain

    08SteelCurtain Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2015
    Forgot to mention an important one:

    Special Teams:
    Regular Season: B- / Playoffs: D+

    Boswell was shaky at times during the regular season, but overall is graded as solid. Berry improved, until he didn’t. And Ray Ray McCloud showed an electric play and then followed it with gifting the Ravens a touchdown by doing what he does sometimes, putting it on the turf.

    Now for the playoffs... Other than Boswell, my goodness. Jordan Berry could not have had a worse punt than he did on that 4th and 1 punt from the 40. Blast Tomlin for punting. But 35-23 is a two score game, and with 11:20 left, plenty of possessions.

    Giving faith to your top ranked defense to keep the momentum, optimally with the Browns backed up within the 5, is a good way to get the ball back in short order. They must play conservatively, and that usually leads to a 3rd and long. However Jordan Berry quickly botched the opportunity, with players audibly yelling as the ball touched the end zone.

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