24 Jan 2017
Peter Rowand
Marketing and Business Development

After watching last Sunday’s debacle in the AFC Championship game, I realized that the Steelers got schooled by the Patriots for a number of reasons. Not only were the Steelers badly outcoached, but they also had some key injuries and, from what I could see, awful game planning for the Pats that ultimately led to their exit from this year’s NFL playoffs.

And this got me thinking. If the Steelers had used Helm CONNECT for their preparation, they’d probably still be in it and they’d be headed to Super Bowl LI, saving us all from the Tom Brady “F-You Goodell” tour.

Anyone who watched that game likely noticed two things that killed the Steelers chances.

  1. Le’Veon Bell’s groin injury
  2. The Steelers lack of press coverage against the Patriots receivers (leading to a 374-yard day from Tom Brady)

So, let’s start with Le’Veon Bell.

The picture of health all season long, Bell’s untimely groin injury in the first half is easily the biggest reason why the Steelers didn’t have a whiff of a chance against the Pats. The drop off between Bell and Deangelo Williams is, um, stark. He’s just that good. And if you buy into Bellichick’s strategy of taking away a team’s best player, the Steelers executed on his game plan for him. So could this have been avoided? Hell yeah, it could have.

If the Steelers had been using Helm CONNECT, the easily could have added Bell into the system as an ‘Asset’, much like vessel owners do with their boats. Every major body part could also have been entered as a ‘Component’. With Bell’s total physiology entered into Helm CONNECT, coaches, physios, trainers and therapists could have used the system to gauge when exactly certain components required rest, repair or extra maintenance in order to get back to optimal performance. Any readings taken during the season that were ‘Out of Scope’ like “Hey man, my groin feels tight,” would have automatically triggered ‘Action Items’ that couldn’t be ignored and would have to be addressed by the Steelers. ‘Corrective Actions’ would have been created, which would have been followed up on by Bell and any of his team to assist him in getting back into game shape.

Helm Connect Dashboard - If Steelers used Helm CONNECT

For instance, as an NFL player, Bell would be responsible for logging into Helm CONNECT as the ‘Asset’. On his dashboard, he, and his team (physios, nutritionists, masseurs, trainers, etc.) could all have a role with our new ‘Customizable Spaces’ functionality and would all have ‘Tasks’ to complete in the system to get Bell to his optimal health. Any tasks that were overdue, or just plain forgotten in the real world would have come up as “Overdue” in Helm CONNECT and the folks onshore (er, the team headquarters) would be made aware of it. No one would be allowed to skip out on their duties. Helm CONNECT gives you total transparency into what’s been scheduled and what’s been completed. And if Bell wasn’t feeling good, like say, his groin was a little tight, he could have logged that as an ‘Unscheduled Task’, which would have put his pending injury on the radar, instead of tying to stay silent about it and hoping for the best, which is the culture of football.

Even if the Steelers had used Helm CONNECT in its most basic form, which is to trigger hours-based maintenance on Bell for time spent doing certain drills, they could have gotten ahead of that groin pull.

So, with any performance issues noticed by his team (and by Bell), plus the system to deliver a regular ‘Checklists’ to ensure peak health of the player, as well as the transparency to ensure every task was completed (and approved by a higher authority), I’ll bet Bell’s groin injury probably wouldn’t have even occurred, and considering that Bell had already set the best two game rushing mark for a playoff performance (337 yards), I’ll bet that might have tipped the scales in the Steelers favor a little bit.

Alright, now let’s deal with that porous defense that played zone most of the game and couldn’t do squat to stop a 39-year-old Tom Brady and a virtual unknown, named Chris Hogan.

Clearly, the Steelers preparation was terrible. Anyone who plays the Patriots knows that, if given enough time, especially against a zone, Tom and the Patriots are going to cut you up. So I was pretty surprised when the vaunted Steel Curtain D came out and played right into their hands. A no pressure, 3-man rush and zone coverage. I mean c’mon, Tomlin. You’re just begging to get beat with that plan.

So how could have Helm CONNECT helped? Easy. If every player and coach had proved (i.e. logged and gotten that approved) that they had watched a certain amount of game film, they never would have been lulled into such a terrible defensive formation. All you have to do is watch tape of Tom’s last AFC Championship, where he got steamrolled by the Broncos (who ultimately won SB 50), to understand that man / press coverage and carefully designed blitzing is what throws him off. In fact, he got so rattled last year he threw a touchdown pass to Von Miller. Remember? Clearly Tomlin and his team don’t. With Helm CONNECT the Steelers would have been able to get clear visibility into their historical records against the Patriots and a deep dive analysis of their tendencies through Helm’s reporting engine.

So in terms of drills and reviewing procedural policy, the Steelers totally lack accountability in their organization, which is something any casual fan (or worse – any auditor) would notice. But with Helm CONNECT this wouldn’t have happened, because you can’t fake attendance records, preparation or drills or any changes to policies. Everything gets captured in the system. You need to log that you’ve done something and it needs to be approved by a Captain, or someone on shore before it goes into history.

So, you want to get better as an NFL team, or better yet, a commercial maritime company? You might want to think about trying out Helm CONNECT. Because whatever your Super Bowl is, we can help you get there.

PS – Now for those of you wondering why the Packers got a pass in this article, I only had 20 minutes to write this article. But rest assured, if we were going to sell Helm CONNECT to an NFL team, we’d probably call Ted Thompson and Mike McCarthy first.

To find out how Helm CONNECT can help your Team, click the link below for more information.