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Oviedo
05-28-2008, 07:41 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 69622.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_569622.html)

Steelers' Spaeth gains strength, confidence
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Buzz up!


Matt Spaeth is a lot more confident, and not just because the second-year tight end has a better grasp of the Steelers' playbook.
At this time last year, Spaeth was not only learning a new offense, he also was trying to regain the strength he had lost after undergoing reconstructive shoulder surgery after his senior season at the University of Minnesota.

"This is probably the best I've felt in a long time," Spaeth said Tuesday after a Steelers' OTA practice at their South Side facility.

Spaeth, a third-round pick in 2007, started six games as a rookie, but the Steelers used the 6-foot-7, 270-pounder primarily as a blocking tight end.

He finished the season with just six catches (though three of them were for touchdowns) for 41 yards, and he is hoping to become a bigger part of the passing game this season.
"I'm just going out here every day and trying to prove myself and show them I can do different things," Spaeth said, "and do them well so, hopefully, my role will be expanded."

I think if Ben would use Mille5r and Spaeth more, the number of sacks would drop significantly. I didn't know Spaeth had surgery before the season last year. Hopefully he is dominant this year.

calmkiller
05-28-2008, 07:45 AM
Nice read. I dunno how you can't be excited about our offense this season. The only problem I see is we have so many weapons we can't get them all on the field at the same time. Well the OL is a problem too but hopefully that won't be an issue this year...

phillyesq
05-28-2008, 07:51 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

Oviedo
05-28-2008, 08:37 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

I'm hoping he gets 20-22 catches and 6TDs.

papillon
05-28-2008, 08:48 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

His size forced teams to account for him last year, but, our offensive, offensive coordinator didn't use him enough. Spaeth had his three TDs in the first 2 or 3 games (IIRC) and then nothing. Catching them in the beginning means that Ben was looking for him. The only explanation for lack of output after that has to be the OC. I can't believe that after 2-3 games that other teams started focusing on him and he couldn't get open.

The Steelers really need Arians to do a better job this year.

Pappy

Les 74
05-28-2008, 08:51 AM
I didn't know Spaeth had surgery before the season last year.

Me either.This could explain why he was so terrible at blocking last season.

AngryAsian
05-28-2008, 08:59 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

His size forced teams to account for him last year, but, our offensive, offensive coordinator didn't use him enough. Spaeth had his three TDs in the first 2 or 3 games (IIRC) and then nothing. Catching them in the beginning means that Ben was looking for him. The only explanation for lack of output after that has to be the OC. I can't believe that after 2-3 games that other teams started focusing on him and he couldn't get open.

The Steelers really need Arians to do a better job this year.

Pappy

I agree on the Arians sentiments and lord knows he's not noted for being the best in-game strategist for making adjustments. But if memory serves me correctly, Spaeth pulled that hammy that had him sidelined for a bit. Just seemed to nag him all year.... like Timmons, absorption of playbook+rookie year+nagging injury = limited play time.

J_C_Steel
05-28-2008, 09:39 AM
He's ridiculously slow, so we can never expect a lot of yards after the catch with Spaeth, but he can certainly use his big body and long arms to present a nice target in the red zone and at the chains.

papillon
05-28-2008, 09:43 AM
He's ridiculously slow, so we can never expect a lot of yards after the catch with Spaeth, but he can certainly use his big body and long arms to present a nice target in the red zone and at the chains.

As long as he catches what's thrown his way I'm fine with no YAC,we have other WRs that will provide the YAC. Spaeth's biggest role will be a chain mover and TD maker and there isn't anything wrong with that.

By the way, your sig is the absolute best so far. I wish I had thought of it.

Pappy

Oviedo
05-28-2008, 10:00 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

His size forced teams to account for him last year, but, our offensive, offensive coordinator didn't use him enough. Spaeth had his three TDs in the first 2 or 3 games (IIRC) and then nothing. Catching them in the beginning means that Ben was looking for him. The only explanation for lack of output after that has to be the OC. I can't believe that after 2-3 games that other teams started focusing on him and he couldn't get open.

The Steelers really need Arians to do a better job this year.

Pappy

I'm not so sure that it was Arians and not Ben falling into the Ben mindset of looking for a big play downfield, hence holding on to the ball and taking sacks. Before I cleared out my DVR I had the two games still on it and rewatched. I counted at least half a dozen times that Spaeth broke open against a LB and Ben held the ball and eventually either threw deep or took a sack. Ben needs to look for his TEs more often and sooner if he is going to become the QB he has the ability to be.

papillon
05-28-2008, 10:36 AM
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.

His size forced teams to account for him last year, but, our offensive, offensive coordinator didn't use him enough. Spaeth had his three TDs in the first 2 or 3 games (IIRC) and then nothing. Catching them in the beginning means that Ben was looking for him. The only explanation for lack of output after that has to be the OC. I can't believe that after 2-3 games that other teams started focusing on him and he couldn't get open.

The Steelers really need Arians to do a better job this year.

Pappy

I'm not so sure that it was Arians and not Ben falling into the Ben mindset of looking for a big play downfield, hence holding on to the ball and taking sacks. Before I cleared out my DVR I had the two games still on it and rewatched. I counted at least half a dozen times that Spaeth broke open against a LB and Ben held the ball and eventually either threw deep or took a sack. Ben needs to look for his TEs more often and sooner if he is going to become the QB he has the ability to be.

The corollary to that theory then is why did Ben see him in the first few games as clear as day and not later in the season? If Spaeth hadn't completely fell off the face of the earth I would be more inclined to go along with the Ben holding it to make a big play or taking sack. However, Spaeth, just disappeared without a trace after the 3rd or 4th game.

Without reviewing the game film as you have I really can't say, but, I'd like to see the packages the Steelers were using in games 1-4 in the red zone and then the packages in games 5-16 in the red zone; that would give us a bit of an answeer to this question.

Pappy

Oviedo
05-28-2008, 10:41 AM
Don't forget that Spaeth missed two or three games with an injury and after that Ben never looked his way.

Shawn
05-28-2008, 11:34 AM
Too many weapons is a great problem to have.

papillon
05-28-2008, 12:07 PM
Too many weapons is a great problem to have.

Good point. Just trying to figure out how Spaeth went from being a target to nothing after a few games.

Pappy

MeetJoeGreene
05-28-2008, 12:16 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.

AngryAsian
05-28-2008, 12:36 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.


I'm fine with the instances that we generate plays that use 3 WRs and 2 TEs..... so long as we chip away yards. Spaeth is what he is, a big body with above average hands, he's by no means an option if you want to stretch the field. I would rather have 3/2 sets rather than use our 4 WRs sets... because IMO they weren't very productive last year. Last year I was more confident in throwing a pass to a rookie like Spaeth, rather than seeing the ball go Ced's way. Until we get very competent #3 and #4 WRs that are going to be consistent, I would hope we don't try and execute these feeble attempts at stretching the field using a "spread offense." Like any DC last year said...."Oooh Nate Washington and Ced Wilson need attention because they're dangerous receivers." I think that Spaeth could be an asset as long as we don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole. He'll be great for short staggered curl routes that are 4-5 yards off the line or used in the redzone package.

MeetJoeGreene
05-28-2008, 12:46 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.


I'm fine with the instances that we generate plays that use 3 WRs and 2 TEs..... so long as we chip away yards. Spaeth is what he is, a big body with above average hands, he's by no means an option if you want to stretch the field. I would rather have 3/2 sets rather than use our 4 WRs sets... because IMO they weren't very productive last year. Last year I was more confident in throwing a pass to a rookie like Spaeth, rather than seeing the ball go Ced's way. Until we get very competent #3 and #4 WRs that are going to be consistent, I would hope we don't try and execute these feeble attempts at stretching the field using a "spread offense." Like any DC last year said...."Oooh Nate Washington and Ced Wilson need attention because they're dangerous receivers." I think that Spaeth could be an asset as long as we don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole. He'll be great for short staggered curl routes that are 4-5 yards off the line or used in the redzone package.

Yes. That is why my premise is "Sweed is good". Then it becomes a question of the 4th WR (I assume Washington) or Spaeth.

AngryAsian
05-28-2008, 12:50 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.


I'm fine with the instances that we generate plays that use 3 WRs and 2 TEs..... so long as we chip away yards. Spaeth is what he is, a big body with above average hands, he's by no means an option if you want to stretch the field. I would rather have 3/2 sets rather than use our 4 WRs sets... because IMO they weren't very productive last year. Last year I was more confident in throwing a pass to a rookie like Spaeth, rather than seeing the ball go Ced's way. Until we get very competent #3 and #4 WRs that are going to be consistent, I would hope we don't try and execute these feeble attempts at stretching the field using a "spread offense." Like any DC last year said...."Oooh Nate Washington and Ced Wilson need attention because they're dangerous receivers." I think that Spaeth could be an asset as long as we don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole. He'll be great for short staggered curl routes that are 4-5 yards off the line or used in the redzone package.

Yes. That is why my premise is "Sweed is good". Then it becomes a question of the 4th WR (I assume Washington) or Spaeth.


Agreed. If Sweed is everything that's advertised, we won't need to rely on the 4th option.

Oviedo
05-28-2008, 12:57 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.


I'm fine with the instances that we generate plays that use 3 WRs and 2 TEs..... so long as we chip away yards. Spaeth is what he is, a big body with above average hands, he's by no means an option if you want to stretch the field. I would rather have 3/2 sets rather than use our 4 WRs sets... because IMO they weren't very productive last year. Last year I was more confident in throwing a pass to a rookie like Spaeth, rather than seeing the ball go Ced's way. Until we get very competent #3 and #4 WRs that are going to be consistent, I would hope we don't try and execute these feeble attempts at stretching the field using a "spread offense." Like any DC last year said...."Oooh Nate Washington and Ced Wilson need attention because they're dangerous receivers." I think that Spaeth could be an asset as long as we don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole. He'll be great for short staggered curl routes that are 4-5 yards off the line or used in the redzone package.

Yes. That is why my premise is "Sweed is good". Then it becomes a question of the 4th WR (I assume Washington) or Spaeth.

Spaeth can actually catch unlike the 4th WR.

MeetJoeGreene
05-28-2008, 01:00 PM
Assuming that Sweed is ready to play and is working out, I want to see a lot more 3 wr sets. I would rather have a lot more of Hines, Holmes, and Sweed than Hine, Holmes, and Spaeth.


Now, I can see running a lot more 3 WR 2TE sets as opposed to 4WR sets.

Or have him present in short yardage and redzone. But if Spaeth is regularly on the field, then I won't be happy.


I'm fine with the instances that we generate plays that use 3 WRs and 2 TEs..... so long as we chip away yards. Spaeth is what he is, a big body with above average hands, he's by no means an option if you want to stretch the field. I would rather have 3/2 sets rather than use our 4 WRs sets... because IMO they weren't very productive last year. Last year I was more confident in throwing a pass to a rookie like Spaeth, rather than seeing the ball go Ced's way. Until we get very competent #3 and #4 WRs that are going to be consistent, I would hope we don't try and execute these feeble attempts at stretching the field using a "spread offense." Like any DC last year said...."Oooh Nate Washington and Ced Wilson need attention because they're dangerous receivers." I think that Spaeth could be an asset as long as we don't try and fit a square peg in a round hole. He'll be great for short staggered curl routes that are 4-5 yards off the line or used in the redzone package.

Yes. That is why my premise is "Sweed is good". Then it becomes a question of the 4th WR (I assume Washington) or Spaeth.

Spaeth can actually catch unlike the 4th WR.

Spaeth dropped at least one easy catch (I think against Cleveland or Jax). He was wide open and it would have moved the chains.

J_C_Steel
05-28-2008, 01:32 PM
He's ridiculously slow, so we can never expect a lot of yards after the catch with Spaeth, but he can certainly use his big body and long arms to present a nice target in the red zone and at the chains.

As long as he catches what's thrown his way I'm fine with no YAC,we have other WRs that will provide the YAC. Spaeth's biggest role will be a chain mover and TD maker and there isn't anything wrong with that.

By the way, your sig is the absolute best so far. I wish I had thought of it.

Pappy

Thanks. AS is definitely the best.