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Steelers President Art Rooney II Mostly Concerned About Turnover Differential In 2012


For those of you that follow the Pittsburgh Steelers closely you probably realize by now that team president Art Rooney II didn\’t drop any earth shattering nuggets on Wednesday when he gave his year-end interviews to the members of the Pittsburgh media. In fact, this was probably one of the worst question and answer sessions we have seen following a season in several years as no real hints were given in relation to their own priority free agents that they want to re-sign and things of the sort.

Rooney did, however, have one interesting quote while dismissing fans\’ complaints that centered around the team not being disciplined enough in 2012.

“If I had to point to one thing that was a concern,” Rooney said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “it was our (minus-10) turnover ratio.”

The Steelers president also said in so many words that teams with a negative turnover differential are usually not in the playoffs.

“If you look at the playoffs, teams that are on the negative side of the turnover ratio are not in the playoffs,” said Rooney, via the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. “Really, it is simple as that. … I. think focus is probably part of it. But it is hard to say.”

Earth shattering? No. Simplistic and on point? Yes.

As many of you already know, I love tracking the TOX stat. It is a stat that tracks both explosive play and turnover differentials for each and every game in the league throughout the season. Teams that have a plus two TOX stat in a game won roughly 80% of the time. Half of that stat is of course turnovers and we have all heard several times over the years how important it is to win the turnover battle in a game.

Below is a year-by-year look at the Steelers turnover differential dating back to 1993. In 14 of those years the Steelers had an even or positive turnover differential and made the playoffs 12 times. The 6 times that they ended the season with a negative turnover differential they made the playoffs only once and that of course was just one year ago as they were a Wild Card team with a -13 differential. That should probably be considered an abnormality, don\’t you think?

3 out of the past 4 seasons the Steelers have had a negative turnover differential and it is obvious that this has to turnaround next season. When the Steelers are getting turnovers it is usually a result of them getting pressure on the opposing quarterback and we certainly haven\’t seen that consistently over the course of the last two seasons from the outside linebacker position.

The offense is in no way off the hook as they have to do a better job at holding up their end of the differential as well. In 2012 they had 30 total giveaways which is the most dating back to the 2006 season. Their 16 total fumbles is the most the team has had in 20 years, and both the running backs and wide receivers share blame in that. Because of that, you can certainly see why both Scottie Montgomery or Kirby Wilson might very well be walking around on eggshells down on the Southside right now.

In closing, there are certainly many other reasons as to why the Steelers finished 8-8 in 2012, but it is easy to see why Rooney is so focused in on just the turnover differential.

* TAKEAWAYS GIVEAWAYS DIFF RESULTS
YEAR INT FUM TOT INT FUM TOT DIFF WIN LOSS TIE FINISH
1993 24 14 38 12 15 27 11 9 7 0 AFC Wild Card
1994 17 14 31 9 8 17 14 12 4 0 AFC Central Champs
1995 22 12 34 21 13 34 0 11 5 0 AFC Central Champs
1996 23 17 40 19 14 33 7 10 6 0 AFC Central Champs
1997 20 13 33 19 14 33 0 11 5 0 AFC Wild Card
1998 16 13 29 20 12 32 -3 7 9 0
1999 14 14 28 18 7 25 3 6 10 0
2000 17 17 34 10 11 21 13 9 7 0
2001 16 12 28 12 9 21 7 13 3 0 AFC Central Champs
2002 19 17 36 22 14 36 0 10 5 1 AFC North Champs
2003 14 11 25 17 11 28 -3 6 10 0
2004 19 13 32 13 8 21 11 15 1 0 AFC North Champs
2005 15 15 30 14 9 23 7 11 5 0 AFC Wild Card
2006 20 9 29 23 14 37 -8 8 8 0
2007 11 14 25 14 8 22 3 10 6 0 AFC North Champs
2008 20 9 29 15 10 25 4 12 4 0 AFC North Champs
2009 12 10 22 14 11 25 -3 9 7 0
2010 21 14 35 9 9 18 17 12 4 0 AFC North Champs
2011 11 4 15 15 13 28 -13 12 4 0 AFC Wild Card
2012 10 10 20 14 16 30 -10 8 8 0

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About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • Robert Truax

    Perhaps Kirby is the reason the RBs haven’t produced on a consistent basis? How long has he been with the team?

  • steeltown

    He was brought on when Tomlin was hired in ’07.. surprisingly 2007 was probably the best (post Bettis) rushing season we’ve had. I believe that was Willie Parker’s break out season. Anyway ’10 and ’11 were not bad either, but overall during his tenure it has been just about mediocre, with ’12 being abysmal

  • Robert Truax

    And no one has done anything since then.

  • steeltown

    I think I’d place blame on the OL and OL Coach as well

  • Robert Truax

    Agree

  • Mike Carroll

    OUCH! In the last 20 seasons, the Steelers have been negative in the turnover differential just 6 times, but 3 of those have come in the last 4 years?!?! That’s not very encouraging.

  • steeltown

    It is pretty amazing how important the turnover differential is to a successful season (save the 3yr lows with Cowher 98 – 00) it has always majorly contributed to the downfall of a given season

  • steeltown

    I know. Fundamentals. I believe the Steelers have a chance every year, as long as they play sound Football (minimize penalties and dont turn the ball over) But those two things have come in abundance these last few years

  • Maurice_hill_district

    Rooney finally became aware of the not enuff discipline, after the season ended & too late. Sure the coach of receivers & coach of runners shuld now be nervous. But its too bad the HC & off coordinator scated free in this. They could hav done more coaching of our WRs during the year. The lack of planning & coaching our WRs during the season was so painfully obvious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wilkes420 Christopher Wilkes

    How on Earth do the Steelers go from +17 in 2010 to -23 the last two years???

  • http://www.facebook.com/Wilkes420 Christopher Wilkes

    How about the fact the O line has been injuried and underperformed, and besides the disappointing Mendenhall the Steelers have average running backs.

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