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BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 11:54 AM
Steelers line of communication

By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, September 5, 2008


Steelers left guard Chris Kemoeatu is 6-foot-3, weighs 344 pounds and apparently has a nasty streak that is considerably longer than the tuft of hair protruding from his chin these days.

"His style of play, he's real aggressive and really physical out there," Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith said. "I love it. There's certain guys that have that mind-set, 'Every single play I'm going to dawg you out, I'm going to inflict pain on you.' On the offensive line, that's what you want."

One thing an offensive line does not want is a player who doesn't say a whole lot. And Kemoeatu may be many things, but verbose is not one of them.

"I hardly talk," the first-year starter said, "but I try to communicate a little better now, especially when I'm in there."

What strides Kemoeatu has made in communicating with his linemates will become evident Sunday when the Steelers host the Texans at 1 p.m. Houston boasts a formidable front four, and it is led by defensive end Mario Williams, who ranked among the NFL leaders with 14 sacks last season.

Complicating the task of protecting Ben Roethlisberger is the fact that the Steelers have two new starters (Kemoeatu and center Justin Hartwig) on a unit where five ideally function as one. And as far as establishing the cohesion that is vital to an offensive line's success, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said, "Really, the only way that you do it is through playing together."

The Steelers have a bit of a problem there since Hartwig has only played three games -- and sparingly in those contests -- with the first-team offensive line.

"A lot of people have asked me 'How long does it take (to build cohesion)?' " said Hartwig, who is the third different starting center in as many years for the Steelers. "Really, there is no timetable."

Time is of the essence since the line is the biggest question mark on an offense that is brimming with talent at the skill positions. The challenge for Hartwig, who has to call out blocking adjustments made at the line of scrimmage, is to get to know Kemoeatu and right guard Kendall Simmons (and vice versa) almost as well as he knows himself.

Defenses have become sophisticated enough that a formation showing one thing before the snap can morph into something totally different after it. The confusion that can cause makes it imperative for offensive linemen to react quickly and know how the others around them are going to react.

"There's plays depending on how the defense is aligned where I could be double-teaming with Kendall or I could be double-teaming with Chris," Hartwig said, "and I've got to let them know. It changes everybody's footwork, so that's how we have to be on the same page. We have to anticipate what could possibly happen by the looks they're giving us."

One thing that should help Kemoeatu, who is taking over for seven-time Pro Bowler Alan Faneca: He is playing alongside two veterans in Smith and Hartwig.

Willie Colon, a first-year starter at right tackle in 2007, said lining up next to Simmons, who is entering his seventh NFL season, helped him last season.

"When I got out there," Colon said, "Kendall watched over me. He kind of guided me through it."

Still, Colon added, it took time for him and Simmons to get on the same wavelength.

"You've got to learn each other's language, kind of feel each other out and know his tendencies, know his weaknesses," Colon said. "Once we got on the same page, we were fine. He'd say one word, and I knew what he was talking about, and I'd say one thing, and he knew what I was talking about. But it takes a bit (of time), I'm not going to lie."

One thing that could help speed up that process on the left side of the line: if Kemoeatu overcomes his apparent aversion to talking.

"I give him crap pretty much every day," Hartwig said of how quiet Kemoeatu is. "He's not a real vocal guy, but at the same time, he knows what he's doing, and that's what's important but as long as I make the calls and we're all communicating, we'll be fine."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/tribunereview/sports/steelers/s_586594.html

BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 11:57 AM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

RuthlessBurgher
09-05-2008, 12:01 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

We have no problem with that...the only issue is that it is fordfixer and NKy's job to post articles from the Trib, not yours! You are outta here mister! That's the last straw!!! J/K :lol:

BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 12:08 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

We have no problem with that...the only issue is that it is fordfixer and NKy's job to post articles from the Trib, not yours! You are outta here mister! That's the last straw!!! J/K :lol:

I guess I didnt understand the "line of communication" :HeadBanger :lol: :lol:

MeetJoeGreene
09-05-2008, 12:12 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

I think our existing line can be "OK" or maybe even "Good" (if they overachieve).

They will not be a DOMINANT line.

I think cohesion will go a long way getting them to be either OK or on their (hopeful) journey to good.

I think Mahan WAS a weak, weak link. The weakest.

RuthlessBurgher
09-05-2008, 12:16 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

I think our existing line can be "OK" or maybe even "Good" (if they overachieve).

They will not be a DOMINANT line.

I think cohesion will go a long way getting them to be either OK or on their (hopeful) journey to good.

I think Mahan WAS a weak, weak link. The weakest.

Nobody expects this line to be gangbusters by any means. But many have said that if the line is simply adequate, with the weapons Ben has at his disposal, we should be a team that is very tough to beat.

BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 12:19 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

I think our existing line can be "OK" or maybe even "Good" (if they overachieve).

They will not be a DOMINANT line.

I think cohesion will go a long way getting them to be either OK or on their (hopeful) journey to good.

I think Mahan WAS a weak, weak link. The weakest.

Nobody expects this line to be gangbusters by any means. But many have said that if the line is simply adequate, with the weapons Ben has at his disposal, we should be a team that is very tough to beat.

If it falls outside of the top 5 in terms of sacks given up then we'll have a shot at a good year, especially if our sack totals increase on defense.

RuthlessBurgher
09-05-2008, 12:24 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

I think our existing line can be "OK" or maybe even "Good" (if they overachieve).

They will not be a DOMINANT line.

I think cohesion will go a long way getting them to be either OK or on their (hopeful) journey to good.

I think Mahan WAS a weak, weak link. The weakest.

Nobody expects this line to be gangbusters by any means. But many have said that if the line is simply adequate, with the weapons Ben has at his disposal, we should be a team that is very tough to beat.

If it falls outside of the top 5 in terms of sacks given up then we'll have a shot at a good year, especially if our sack totals increase on defense.

Agreed. Something is wrong when this team gives up more sacks on offense than they get on defense. If we reverse those numbers this season, say, giving up 36 sacks on offense and getting 47 sacks on defense...now we are getting somewhere! :tt2 :Steel :tt1

BigBen2112
09-05-2008, 12:25 PM
The line problems are simply cohesion issues.

That's comforting to hear. I thought it was a lack of talent. :wink: :lol: :lol:




*Note: For those of you who want the beating of dead horses on this board to stop, I sincerely apologize, but that made me laugh too much not to say anything.*

I think our existing line can be "OK" or maybe even "Good" (if they overachieve).

They will not be a DOMINANT line.

I think cohesion will go a long way getting them to be either OK or on their (hopeful) journey to good.

I think Mahan WAS a weak, weak link. The weakest.

Nobody expects this line to be gangbusters by any means. But many have said that if the line is simply adequate, with the weapons Ben has at his disposal, we should be a team that is very tough to beat.

If it falls outside of the top 5 in terms of sacks given up then we'll have a shot at a good year, especially if our sack totals increase on defense.

Agreed. Something is wrong when this team gives up more sacks on offense than they get on defense. If we reverse those numbers this season, say, giving up 36 sacks on offense and getting 47 sacks on defense...now we are getting somewhere! :tt2 :Steel :tt1

It'd also help if we could cause more turnovers...but I wont ask for TOO much.