No, that's not an exaggeration. An overreaction to one game? Maybe, but there are a lot more questions than answers about the Steelers right now.
Throughout his career, Ben Roethlisberger has compensated for deficiencies in the Steeler offense, particularly along the offensive line. Now, there are questions about whether or not Roethlisberger still has the ability to do the same job after nine years of getting pounded by defenses (or other substances). The front office really has done little to protect Ben or empower him with weapons to continue his success.
Aside from puzzling, failed draft choices, the biggest question might be why the Steelers hired Todd Haley as offensive coordinator. Roethlisberger and Haley had a strained relationship from day 1, and their sideline interactions during the Titans game didn't demonstrate much improvement. As columnist Jason Whitlock tweeted during the preseason, "Todd Haley is going to get Mike Tomlin fired".
The bigger question is this: Why would a team hire a coordinator without considering the thoughts of its franchise quarterback? Coordinators are a dime a dozen. Good QBs are not. Can you imagine ignoring Peyton, Eli, or Tom Brady in such a decision?
You can't do anything about injuries. But if the Steelers stay the course they started on Sunday, they could be looking at a very high draft pick in 2014. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of confidence that they can do anything wise with it.
Some random thoughts from our first full football weekend:
-The Chip Kelly Hurry-up Works, for Now: During the first half of Monday Night Football, twitter blew up with the news that Chip Kelly is a raging NFL success. Even I was guilty:
Yeah I think this Chip Kelly offense MIGHT be ok. #Eagles #NFL
— Tom LeGrand (@TheRev78) September 10, 2013
But then someone reminded me not to be "Overreaction Jackson", as most NFL commentators are:
@TheRev78 let's reevaluate in 10 weeks or so. Plus I think Shanahan is a terrible coach. He looks as confused as Lou Holtz.
— Brendan Buttimer (@brenb67) September 10, 2013
Kelly's offense slowed down--significantly--in the second half. And they had a very hard time getting cranked back up after they tried to slow it down and let some air out of the ball with a big lead. It was fun and entertaining, but it remains to be seen how this is going to play out long term.
An even bigger question: Can it be sustained if Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, or DeSean Jackson get hurt at any point?
-RGIII had a nice preseason performance: Also from Monday Night Football, where we still have to listen to John Gruden...
For all the talk and all the emotion, Mike Shanahan was (gulp, snarl, *eyeroll*) was right. Robert Griffin III was not ready to play. And we were foolish if we thought he was going to roll out and play just like he did last season in the first game.
I'm not nearly as disturbed as some seemed to be by Griffin's performance. As bad as he looked during a fiasco of a first half, he began to look very comfortable by the end of the game. Hopefully, he'll get two or three more quarters of preseason work and begin to look like RGIII again.
-Wait for it...Wait for it... : Since Furman is now 0-2 against the Big South, we can expect that there will be a chorus of grumbles that the Paladins should get rid of Coach Bruce Fowler. There are some questions about the recruiting, play-calling, and general approach of the team.
But are we really at the point where Furman fires coaches after less than three years? Fowler is starting freshmen on defense and a sophomore at quarterback. Can we at least give him a couple more years to develop his players and recruits, while looking for the positive impact of stadium improvements?
While we're on the subject, I heard a Citadel alum the other calling for Kevin Higgins' head on a platter. As disappointing--and shocking--as the Bulldogs' start has been, let's slow the roll a little. We forget that Furman and The Citadel are not exactly recruiting carnivals. Higgins has had more time than Fowler, but a change seems premature for either school at this point.
Maybe one of them could lure Mike Ayers away from Wofford, as I'm convinced that the man could coach another 30 years (seriously, he's got to retire sometime, doesn't he?).
Cock-Fighting: It's illegal in this state, unless it's on the sidelines of a Carolina game.
Coaches were fighting during the game, and Jadeveon Clowney was complaining after it. Everyone in Gamecock Nation needs to calm down, take a step back, and realize that last Saturday was somewhat inevitable. First off, Carolina lost a ton of players off that defense from last season, and they're still trying to replace those guys.
Second, you didn't think you were going to beat Georgia forever, did you? The Dawgs defense isn't much, but there is no question about the power of their offense. They have over 1000 yards in two games against top-10 opponents.
Third, we've blown up Clowney into a cartoon character. he was never going to be what we have made him out to be, so let's come back to reality and let the kid just be a football player. And the coaching staff needs to get him into position to do some things this season.
Finally, you've got Vanderbilt coming to town on Saturday, and they ain't coming for the barbecue. There are no cakewalks in the SEC, and you don't have time to fight or let frustrations spill over from the last game. You better make the adjustments and figure out what you need to do to win the next one.