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View Full Version : Steelers must be able to compete at line of scrimmage



Mr Smartmonies
05-19-2008, 03:09 PM
I know some people don't want to believe this. But the Jaguars were a better team
than the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Leave statistics out of this for a second.
The Steelers just could not match the Jags at the line of scrimmage on either side
of the ball. Just like Tom Brady found out in the SB. It doesn't matter how many weapons you have (unless your cheating of course) the game is still won or lost on the line of scrimmage. The Giants overwhelmed Brady in the Superbowl. The Chargers did the same in the championship game, but their offense wasn't effective to finish them off. But it did not matter how man RB's , deep threat WR's, or slot receivers Brady had to throw to. He simply did not have the time. Neither Did Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, perhaps they could have scrapped the run game that day and allowed Ben to throw from the shotgun. But eventually the Jags would have caught up. It is INExCUSABLE for a Steeler fan to not recognize what a QB is up against when the opponents defensive line is bringing the heat and everyone else is dropping back into coverage. The Steelers won 4 SB's based off of this. They had the greatest front 4 ever! They routinely turned good QB's into garbage.
For a Steelers fan to not recognize what Jacksonville had on the line of scrimmage is flat out inexcusable.

AngryAsian
05-19-2008, 03:29 PM
Welcome, MSM.

I think you make a valid point. The game is won in the trenches, but as the draft went this year, we are all aware that this year was the year of the tackle. OL was on everybody's mind this year, so by the time it came time for the Steelers to pick there were none available that was worth the pick.... at least none that were as talented as Mendenhall. With our first two picks our offensive sets will get an upgrade this year. We have a two more very proven hands to help shoulder the burden of what happened last year.

Save for a couple of games last year, we had injuries to the receiving corps almost always and FWP couldn't catch a pass out of the backfield to save his life. Like you, I would of like to have more depth at the line, but it didn't happen. I'm hoping that the FO and the coaching staff will have a plan to address the protection, possibly more plays designed to have the dump pass in the backfield..... part of the problem too, lies with Ben because he had a tendency to hold the ball too long, but its a vicious cycle because the argument can be made that he had no one to throw to. Arians was trying to run a spread offense with two WRs. Not smart.

IMO, the engine that will make this machine go will be the playcalling of Arians.

LasVegasGuy
05-19-2008, 03:42 PM
I know some people don't want to believe this. But the Jaguars were a better team
than the Pittsburgh Steelers last year. Leave statistics out of this for a second.
The Steelers just could not match the Jags at the line of scrimmage on either side
of the ball. Just like Tom Brady found out in the SB. It doesn't matter how many weapons you have (unless your cheating of course) the game is still won or lost on the line of scrimmage. The Giants overwhelmed Brady in the Superbowl. The Chargers did the same in the championship game, but their offense wasn't effective to finish them off. But it did not matter how man RB's , deep threat WR's, or slot receivers Brady had to throw to. He simply did not have the time. Neither Did Ben Roethlisberger. Sure, perhaps they could have scrapped the run game that day and allowed Ben to throw from the shotgun. But eventually the Jags would have caught up. It is INExCUSABLE for a Steeler fan to not recognize what a QB is up against when the opponents defensive line is bringing the heat and everyone else is dropping back into coverage. The Steelers won 4 SB's based off of this. They had the greatest front 4 ever! They routinely turned good QB's into garbage.
For a Steelers fan to not recognize what Jacksonville had on the line of scrimmage is flat out inexcusable.


It's very well known that without a decent offensive and defensive line your team isn't going anywhere. But I have to agree with A.A. by the time our pick came around all the offensive line help was gone. For us to pick (reach) for an offensive lineman at #23 would have made no sense with Rashaard starring us in the face. Our mistake was in the free agency market. Our F.O. philosphy was we will pick up an offensive lineman in the draft I don't think we factored in the possibility that they would all be gone by pick #23. Our only hope now is the June 1st casualty cuts otherwise I shutter at the thought of our starting offensive line in game 1.

calmkiller
05-19-2008, 03:49 PM
June 1st cuts don't exist anymore. With the new CBA June 1st is a non factor.

LasVegasGuy
05-19-2008, 04:05 PM
June 1st cuts don't exist anymore. With the new CBA June 1st is a non factor.


Why didn't I get the memo? :lol:

Boy help us with the offensive line we are throwing out there.

Shawn
05-19-2008, 04:17 PM
We were not going to cure all those woes in one draft. There is zero way we could pass on Mendenhall or Sweed. There really wasn't any blue chip lineman left. I think we made the right choices for the most part in the draft. But MSM is right...we will struggle in the big games because of our lack luster OL...and very shallow DL.

Oviedo
05-19-2008, 04:42 PM
I think the OL will surprise veryone this years for the following reasons:

1. Ben will be getting rid of the ball quicker. Biggest problem last year.
2. We will see that Faneca isn't what his rep would have you believe. He got blown up quite a bit last year and it wasn't always Mahan's fault.
3. Another year experience in the transition to zone blocking.
4. Ben will have ayear experience calling the protections. IMO the second biggest problem last year.
5. Addition of Mendenhall will help the power running games and keep defenses back on their heels. Add Russell and we will be able to wear out defenses.


I expect we give up less sacks because it is a number of factors that contribute to sacks not just OL blocking.

LasVegasGuy
05-19-2008, 04:47 PM
I think the OL will surprise veryone this years for the following reasons:

1. Ben will be getting rid of the ball quicker. Biggest problem last year.
2. We will see that Faneca isn't what his rep would have you believe. He got blown up quite a bit last year and it wasn't always Mahan's fault.
3. Another year experience in the transition to zone blocking.
4. Ben will have ayear experience calling the protections. IMO the second biggest problem last year.
5. Addition of Mendenhall will help the power running games and keep defenses back on their heels. Add Russell and we will be able to wear out defenses.


I expect we give up less sacks because it is a number of factors that contribute to sacks not just OL blocking.

This isn't going to be much of a reach considering Ben was on his back more then a $5 prostitute. I hope your right because this year could get ugly real fast if the offense doesn't fix the issues from last year.

Mr Smartmonies
05-19-2008, 05:14 PM
I think the OL will surprise veryone this years for the following reasons:

1. Ben will be getting rid of the ball quicker. Biggest problem last year.
2. We will see that Faneca isn't what his rep would have you believe. He got blown up quite a bit last year and it wasn't always Mahan's fault.
3. Another year experience in the transition to zone blocking.
4. Ben will have ayear experience calling the protections. IMO the second biggest problem last year.
5. Addition of Mendenhall will help the power running games and keep defenses back on their heels. Add Russell and we will be able to wear out defenses.


I expect we give up less sacks because it is a number of factors that contribute to sacks not just OL blocking.

I disagree completely. The biggest problem last year was

3RD AND LONG, 3RD AND LONG , 3RD LONG, PARKER NO GAIN, 3RD AND LONG, PARKER 2.7 YARDS UP THE MIDDLE. 3RD AND LONG, 3RD AND LONG 3RD AND LONG.

THank GOD we had a QB at mid season averaging 11 YPA and 70% completion percentage on 3rd and 8-10 yards. If it weren't for that, 6-10. YOu can't get rid of the ball quick when your stuck in third and long.

Flasteel
05-19-2008, 05:15 PM
I couldn't agree more with the sentiment that games are won and lost in the trenches. I also agree that we have ignored both lines at the top of the draft for far too long, but as others have stated, it wasn't in the cards this year. I have a couple of points which are debatable but none the less have been ignored in this conversation so far.

First, I don't believe the offensive line is going to be as horrific as many of you guys are painting it to be. Marvel Smith is one of the top tackles in the league when healthy and by all appearances he will be ready to go. The coaching staff seems to really like Kemo's chances of stepping in and playing LG for us plus we have Mahan (who was a pretty decent guard in Tampa) and maybe even Colon to compete there as well. Hartwig is more stout than Mahan and represents what will be an almost undeniable upgrade at the center spot regardless of his long-term prospects there. Many here can't stand Simmons and I admit that he looks all-world during the preseason and average at best during the regular season, but he is still a serviceable starter. Both guard spots should benefit from the upgrade at center and I think that negatively impacted both Simmons and Faneca last year. At RT, I realize I am in the minority when it comes to Max Starks, but it is my unwavering belief that he was screwed over by the offensive staff in the preseason last year (as was the whole line) and will represent noticeable upgrade over what Willie Colon gave us there last year. All in all it won't be considered one of the top lines in the game, but it will be better than last year in my opinion. I also believe that our skill players will make this line better. There is no doubt we will lean even more towards the run with Mendenhall on board and the 1-2 punch of he and Parker should be enough to slow down an opposing rush. We were also put in a lot of third down and longs situations last year due to the ineffective play-calling and running game we trotted out. I think our dual threat in the backfield will be more productive and put our quarterback in fewer positions where the defense can pin their ears back. Then there is the play-calling. Bruce Arians did almost nothing last year to compensate for the poor pass protection and he's got to step up to the plate this year. This chucklehead needs to realize the value of the three-step drop (like that first drive against the Jags) and understand that mixing that with more no-huddle, screens, or misdirection can help slow down the rush as well.

As far as Jacksonville being the better team just because they have better line play doesn't make them the better team. I realize this is debatable in the minds of many and is bolstered by the fact that they won, but for a Steelers fan to make such a blanket statement is a little disheartening. You can make a sound argument either way for who the better team was going into that game or even after it was played. We suffered far more injuries in key positions than they did and while that obviously contributes to the quality of the team, they still needed us to turtle, make bad decisions on extra points, get away with bloody murder on Garrard's run to win the game. We handed the game to them and they couldn't deal with Ben when he was on his game and getting support from his OC. We were and are the better team in my opinion.

Mr Smartmonies
05-19-2008, 05:24 PM
Flashsteel

The Right tackle postion for the Steelers was graded at 31st worst in 2006 by
footballoutsiders. Starks earned his way on the bench. We won a SB with the guy.
Maybe he can bounce back. But he wasn't worth 7 million. No other team wanted him.
He didnt receive 1 offer.

JAgs were the better team. We played them twice. In the first game, Ben had
3 TD pases (if memory serves) wilie parker somehow manged to have his best day at 7.3 yards per carry and we were down 20-7 or something like that. The 2nd game , the Jags were getting a pass rush with 3 and 4 men, and dropping everyone else back. They found out after the 1st game that they did not need to rush more than 4. My power ratings were thru the roof on Jacksonville by the time they reached the playoffs.
The beat us twice at home. What more do you need?

Flasteel
05-19-2008, 06:34 PM
Flashsteel

The Right tackle postion for the Steelers was graded at 31st worst in 2006 by
footballoutsiders. Starks earned his way on the bench. We won a SB with the guy.
Maybe he can bounce back. But he wasn't worth 7 million. No other team wanted him.
He didnt receive 1 offer.

JAgs were the better team. We played them twice. In the first game, Ben had
3 TD pases (if memory serves) wilie parker somehow manged to have his best day at 7.3 yards per carry and we were down 20-7 or something like that. The 2nd game , the Jags were getting a pass rush with 3 and 4 men, and dropping everyone else back. They found out after the 1st game that they did not need to rush more than 4. My power ratings were thru the roof on Jacksonville by the time they reached the playoffs.
The beat us twice at home. What more do you need?

First of all, get the name right brother.

Secondly like I said, you can make a strong case for either team but I'd expect the body of evidence which points to the Steelers to be trumpeted by Steeler fans. Take what you said and weigh it against the brief argument I put forward and there is no clear cut winner. I can promise you that any stats or subjective material you gathered to support your argument, I could build at least as compelling of a case for the Black-n-Gold. Yes, at the end of the day scoreboard rules, but that's not the sole determinant of who the better team was or is.

I'm fully aware of the stats you've dropped from football outsiders and there is no doubt that Starks had a down year in '06 (as did the whole team) but he was playing fat and out of shape. He came back to camp in '07 in tremendous condition and clearly outplayed Colon in according to all observations but was some how shifted to LT tackle to cover for Marvel while Colon stayed put at RT. As far as playing at $6.9M...dial me up when the season starts and I'll be scratching my head right along with you if that's what he plays at.

There is clearly nothing I can type in this space which will sway you or anyone else who is down on Starks, but one side will be eventually proven correct.

The smart money says Max will be a noticible upgrade over Colon.

blacknblue80s
05-19-2008, 07:11 PM
I disagree completely. The biggest problem last year was

3RD AND LONG, 3RD AND LONG , 3RD LONG, PARKER NO GAIN, 3RD AND LONG, PARKER 2.7 YARDS UP THE MIDDLE. 3RD AND LONG, 3RD AND LONG 3RD AND LONG.

THank GOD we had a QB at mid season averaging 11 YPA and 70% completion percentage on 3rd and 8-10 yards. If it weren't for that, 6-10. YOu can't get rid of the ball quick when your stuck in third and long.

$$$

MeetJoeGreene
05-19-2008, 10:51 PM
I again echo the sentiment that the draft turned out NOTHING like I expected.

It is hard to argue with the first 2 picks, given the way things played out.

I was disappointed that we didn't go either OL or DL in the 3rd - I hope Davis proves me wrong.

I admit that I know little about the OL we did take in the 4th.

If we had take one DL in the lower 3 rounds (in place of either Mundy or Humpal), most people would be a little more satisfied. I hope one of the 2 of them proves me wrong.

Dixon is the wild card -- if he is Slash reincarnate (Slash, not the QB named Kordell) then he will have been worth it.

BigLebowski
05-20-2008, 12:11 AM
I think the OL will surprise veryone this years for the following reasons:

1. Ben will be getting rid of the ball quicker. Biggest problem last year.
2. We will see that Faneca isn't what his rep would have you believe. He got blown up quite a bit last year and it wasn't always Mahan's fault.
3. Another year experience in the transition to zone blocking.
4. Ben will have ayear experience calling the protections. IMO the second biggest problem last year.
5. Addition of Mendenhall will help the power running games and keep defenses back on their heels. Add Russell and we will be able to wear out defenses.


I expect we give up less sacks because it is a number of factors that contribute to sacks not just OL blocking.

Excellent points, but you forgot a very big factor-Let's all hope Marvel (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07291/826344-66.stm) is healthy again.

"I have a lot of confidence and a lot of faith in my blind side," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said. "A lot of guys in this league have to look over their shoulder quite a bit. I don't. I don't feel I have to. I have a lot of faith in him. He's a great tackle."

Smith has not allowed a sack this season, even though he has faced some of the better pass rushers in the NFL -- Julian Peterson led Seattle with 10 sacks last season and is tied for second in the NFL this year with six; Aaron Schobel led Buffalo last season with 14, three off the NFL lead, and Kamerion Wimbley led Cleveland last season with 11.