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 Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season

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LambertWardSteel



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PostSubject: Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season    Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season  EmptyMon Jan 07, 2019 11:32 pm

Good grades on offense and defensive line, but not so good for the rest of the D and coaching:

Quarterback
Ben Roethlisberger had the most productive season of his 15-year career, becoming the seventh player to pass for more than 5,000 yards in a season. Yes, he had a league-high 16 interceptions, and a costly one in Denver, but his interception ratio (2.4) was the fourth-lowest of his career because he attempted a league-high 675 passes. His ability to bring the Steelers back from 21-0, 14-0 and 16-0 deficits and continually put them in position to win was the true measure of his season.
Grade: A

Running backs
James Conner stood up to a big challenge of trying to replace Le’Veon Bell by outperforming Bell in his first season as a starter. He was leading the AFC in rushing, 100-yard games, most 20-plus yard runs and rushing TDs when he was injured after 12 games. But he had big fumbles in Cleveland and Denver that cost the team a chance at victory. When Conner was injured, rookie Jaylen Samuels showed he can be a very good backup, both running and receiving.
Grade: A-

Receivers
Antonio Brown’s final-week insubordination aside, the Steelers had two 1,000-yard receivers for only the fifth time in franchise history. JuJu Smith-Schuster (111) and Brown (104) combined for more catches and tied for most touchdowns (22) than any receiving duo in the league. But it took rookie James Washington too long to show his true ability. TE Vance McDonald had the highlight play of the year with his 75-yard stiff-arm TD vs. Tampa Bay.
Grade: A

Offensive line
The Steelers ranked 31st in the league in rushing, averaging just 90.3 yards a game, but that does not accurately reflect the success of the running game. They had a better average (4.2 to 3.8 yards), more 100-yard games (6 to 4), more 20-yard runs (10 to 6) and more rushing TDs (16 to 12) than 2017. What’s more, Roethlisberger was sacked only 24 times and his sack percentage of .034 was second-best in the league. That’s why three linemen went to the Pro Bowl.

Grade: A

Defensive line
The Steelers led the league in sacks (52) for the second year in a row and were able to generate good pressure from the line for most of the season. Cam Heyward (8), Javon Hargrave (7) and Stephon Tuitt (5½) combined for 39.4 percent of the sacks, a jump from 30.3 percent in 2017. And the run defense made some strides, allowing just three teams to rush for 100-plus yards in the final 14 games. They allowed nearly 10 yards per game (96.1) fewer than last season (105.8).
Grade: B

Linebackers
T.J. Watt made an impressive leap in year two with team-highs in sacks (12), forced fumbles (6) and quarterback pressures (21). That was the lone bright spot in a unit that is among the most worst in recent memory. The Steelers never did anything in the draft or free agency to even adequately replace Ryan Shazier and spent the entire season trying to cover up for their inside linebackers – the biggest weakness on defense. A 75 percent overhaul is needed.
Grade: D+

Secondary
While the Steelers cut their big pass plays of 40-plus yards in half from last season (13 to 7), they gave up 30 more passing yards per game, allowed seven more TDs and had a league-low eight interceptions. The further lack of development of former No. 1 pick Artie Burns forced the Steelers to shuffle personnel in the back end, causing more problems than anticipated. The positive: Rookie No. 1 pick Terrell Edmunds played more snaps than any NFL rookie.
Grade: C-


Special teams
It is easy to say Chris Boswell’s missed 42-yard field goal in the final seconds of the season opener in Cleveland cost the Steelers a playoff spot, but at the very least it set a tone for what was to follow for a kicker who had been incredibly accurate and clutch in the previous three seasons. But he did throw a nice TD in Denver. And the Steelers did block big FGs in Cleveland and New Orleans and two punts. P Jordan Berry was inconsistent all season and the return game never had any gain longer than 31 yards.
Grade: D+

Coaching
A 9-6-1 record does not look horrible on paper, but it is when you consider the Steelers were 7-2-1, blew a 2½-game lead for the division title, frittered away second-half leads of 14 and 16 points and failed to make the postseason. The inability of the defense to protect leads and come up with just one late stop in any the final four losses cost the team a playoff spot. Mike Tomlin adroitly managed the Le’Veon Bell situation. How he handles the Antonio Brown debacle will have a bigger impact.
Grade: D

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2019/01/06/Gerry-Dulac-s-report-card-Final-Steelers-grades-for-2018-season-NFL-Ben-Roethlisberger-Mike-Tomlin/stories/201901060194


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SteelerFreak58

SteelerFreak58

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PostSubject: Re: Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season    Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season  EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 10:02 am

I think his grades are a little to high for Ben, WRs, and RBs... the offense stalled an awful lot this year with multiple 3 and outs with great field position. A lot of instances they took points off the board with bonehead penalties, fumbles, interceptions, etc etc...

There was only really one complete game that both sides of the ball played well for 60 minutes and that was the Carolina game. The rest were down to the wire nail biters because either one side forgot to show up or decided to show up at halftime.

Mediocre team with mediocre coaching and it reflected in our mediocre year with no playoffs... giving As to the offense seems silly...
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solardave

solardave

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PostSubject: Re: Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season    Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season  EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 10:17 am

@SteelerFreak58 wrote:
I think his grades are a little to high for Ben, WRs, and RBs... the offense stalled an awful lot this year with multiple 3 and outs with great field position. A lot of instances they took points off the board with bonehead penalties, fumbles, interceptions, etc etc...

There was only really one complete game that both sides of the ball played well for 60 minutes and that was the Carolina game. The rest were down to the wire nail biters because either one side forgot to show up or decided to show up at halftime.

Mediocre team with mediocre coaching and it reflected in our mediocre year with no playoffs... giving As to the offense seems silly...

I agree. I also think LBer grade should be a C and DB grade should be a D-.(except for Haden and Edmunds)
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muncher



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PostSubject: Re: Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season    Gerry Dulac's report card: Final Steelers grades for 2018 season  EmptyTue Jan 08, 2019 11:51 am

@SteelerFreak58 wrote:
I think his grades are a little to high for Ben, WRs, and RBs... the offense stalled an awful lot this year with multiple 3 and outs with great field position. A lot of instances they took points off the board with bonehead penalties, fumbles, interceptions, etc etc...

There was only really one complete game that both sides of the ball played well for 60 minutes and that was the Carolina game. The rest were down to the wire nail biters because either one side forgot to show up or decided to show up at halftime.

Mediocre team with mediocre coaching and it reflected in our mediocre year with no playoffs... giving As to the offense seems silly...

i actually think the offensive grades were pretty close, maybe throw a few A- and B+. overall this offense performed well, maybe not in some key spots tho.
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