Adam Schein: Ravens Defense Better Than Steelers, Even Without Suggs

By Jeremy Hritz

Add columnist and Sirius XM Radio host Adam Schein to the list of members of the national media who are not buying the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2012. Schein joined Sports Illustrated writer Chris Burke, when he stated what he believes is a myth about this year’s Steelers: “Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh, and will be a top-tier contender.” He also asserted what he believes is the truth: “The Steelers have issues and look like a third place team.”

Schein offers little more than a superficial analysis in his article titled “Preseason Myths… Busted!”

The first pillar of his argument questions the ability of Ben Roethlisberger and Todd Haley to get along, providing a hypothetical of Roethlisberger holding on to the ball too long and the cameras capturing a moment of volatility between player and coach. Schein then goes on to call both Haley and Roethlisberger “combustible.” While Haley’s sideline antics are well documented, Schein would be hard-pressed to find a moment from Roethlisberger’s career where he lost his mind on the sidelines. Schein’s label is not only undocumented, but also unfair.

Schein is in need of an update when it comes to the relationship between the 30-year old quarterback and new coordinator, as over the last couple of days, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Alan Robinson of the Tribune Review, and even Roethlisberger himself have pointed out that the relationship has been nothing but positive. While there may be obstacles that Roethlisberger and Haley will face as the season progresses, that is to be expected, but to believe that that will impact the win/loss column is illogical, as there are several other factors that will influence the success of the team.

Schein also beats the Wallace drum and argues that his absence will impede his understanding to a new offensive system, though he agrees that the Steelers are justified in not overspending on the receiver.

He takes another shot by listing off other perceived weaknesses of the team, including the running back position, “Do you trust Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer?” and the offensive line, “can you bank on two rookie offensive lineman?,” and he even interprets the departures of Hines Ward and James Farrior, players that earned the team the “old” label in 2011, as signs of coming black and gold decline.

Most ridiculous of all of Schein’s statements is the following: “The Baltimore Ravens are the team to beat in the AFC North. Baltimore has a more imposing defense (even with the injury to Terrell Suggs) and a better running attack than its arch rivals in Pittsburgh.” Let me clarify just in case you missed it, Baltimore has a better defense than Pittsburgh without Terrell Suggs. Apparently Schein believes in addition by subtraction, but only when discussing teams other than the Steelers.

Schein does excellent work on Sirius XM Radio, but his article is an ill-informed, outdated take on the 2012 Steelers, as he simply recycles arguments that emerged back in February and March of this year. He also fails to point out any of the challenges that have befallen the Ravens, and even believes that one of them is not an issue at all (Suggs), which more than indicates a bias.

While the team doesn’t pay much attention at all to the media, it sure would be nice to bring Schein’s statement about the Baltimore Ravens defense to the Steelers attention.

Something tells me they would take exception to his declaration.

  • Geoffrey Benedict

    While I don’t buy the Steelers being dislodged as the team to beat in the AFC North, I do agree that the Steelers must decline from their reign of dominance we’ve seen the last 8 seasons.

    The Defensive Core of Farrior, Hampton, Polomalu, and Taylor have been a major part of that. Add to them A. Smith, Kimo and Keisel, Porter and Harrison, Ryan Clark (and a little bit of C. Hope) and it’s not hard to see that the new group of players have ridiculous shoes to fill. We had a top notch defense with Pro-Bowl caliber players all over, and they were in their primes together.

    I think Timmons can replace Farrior, Woodley has one side covered, hopefully Brown is our guy on the other side. At CB I can see talent, but since Ike and Troy came we have been #1 in ypa defense in the league almost every year. That will be a hard task to replicate. Troy and Casey Hampton will be the hardest shoes to fill, and rightfully so (they are the two legit HoF caliber players on this defense) The young NT’s look good, but good and Casey Hampton in his prime good are two very different things. With Troy, well there has been one Troy Polomalu in NFL history, I don’t see another coming for us soon.

  • SteelerDave

    I must disagree with you on a number of points.

    Yes, only one Troy but in all fairness Troy had one of his worst seasons last year. He is slowly entering his decline years and was certainly not a game changer last season. Still a 90% Troy of old is still better than 90% of the other players in the league at his position.

    Farrior was a liability last season. He had the heart and leadership still but age caught up to him. We will be better with Foote and Spence taking his place. I will even go so far as to say that the hybrid Spence has superior instincts than Farrior and will make Foote expendable after this season.

    Hines realized he no longer had the great ability which made him a HOF’er. Even without Wallace I am confident in Brown and Sanders and Crotchery is a very solid 3rd. Still look for us to take a WR no later than round 3 next season unless Wallace signs long term.

    Along those lines I also expect us to draft, or even trade up for, a safety in next years draft early.

    No we are not the Steelers of the Bettis era but we still out-draft and out-evaluate any other team in the NFL over any given span of time and do things the Steelers way. 12-4 would be a disappointment. 13-3 or 14-2 is most realistic. Key games being Denver and our two against Baltimore. The Bengals are the Bengals lol.

  • Clint Martin

    Year after year the Steelers find a way to fill positions who is Adam Shein?
    Has he even been to a camp to see this for himself,,NO!
    Just another blow hard dumb ass media guy not even qualified to evaluate football players or play football. I LOVE these media guys they kill me!

  • Brendon Glad

    I love it!!! Keep sleeping on the Steelers! That’s just the way they like it.

  • I actually like when guys like Schein and Warren Sapp write off the Steelers. Let them keep it up. I personally hate when we become the center of attention and folks crowning us champs in the media. I’ll say it again. The media and a ton of the fans are all fantasy, stats and metrics junkies. They have their place but their not the answer.

    That’s why they can’t understand why a team like the Giants that was one regular season loss away from not making the playoffs, being swept by the Redskins could beat a 15-1 current Superbowl champ and beat the Patsies in the Superbowl.

    The Ravens has many issues as do the Steelers. I wouldn’t be surprise if Cincy won the division. We are beyond that. Its all about getting to the post season…which is when football really starts for us.

  • Jason White

    Yeah I agree you 100% Earlier this offseason I predicted a 14-2 finish with losses to the Bengals @Cincy and dropping one to the Cowboys. I am going look over the schedule and make a final prediction as we get closer to the start of the regular season. I dont see us dropping below 12-4 though. Ive picked our record correctly the last two seasons and was pretty close on the actual opponents we’d lose to.Part of me wants to change the Cowboys game to a win for us.

  • zyzak

    I don’t even know who this Shein guy is, must be a newbe on the scene. I do think that Baltimore will not play as well this season and Cincy will regress terribly with QB issues

  • Geoffrey Benedict

    Definitely, I’m not preaching doom and gloom by any stretch, we’ve had great defenses between the Curtain and this group. We’ve won a ton of games as well. But the truth is this group has been nearly on the level of the Curtain. We aren’t replacing that. The team will still be a top team and I don’t see drop off this season from last season, because last season really wasn’t that great.

    Our hope is that the offense can step up and the defense can solidify. At that point we can be as good as 2011 or even 2008, but our defense is not going to be as good as it was in 2008 again. Not for a long time.

  • SteelerDave

    Nearly on the level of the Curtain? No. Those days have been gone since at least ’81. However we have always had solid defense and we shall continue to do so.

    Call me old school but the ability to keep the defense off the field (clock control) is a huge part of making a defense great. What we have lacked in recent seasons – or since Bettis retired – is the key ability to run for a 1st down on 2nd and 3rd and short. Rooney wants a team which can do that yet at the same time the league itself and the rules favor a passing league. I view the past few years and likely the next two as a transition for us into the new age. Does our HOF DC have what it takes? Only if Haley can keep our guys fresh.