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fordfixer
11-14-2008, 08:02 PM
Steelers’ issues bigger than Roethlisberger
By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
Nov 13, 1:47 pm EST
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AuW9nqjMDz5c2h6n1WPbC0VDubYF?slug=cr-steelersinjuries111308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

PITTSBURGH – When Bruce Arians woke up Wednesday morning, the zealotry of Pittsburgh Steelers nation was still pounding away like a ball-peen hammer on an iron rivet. It was inescapable – screaming from the radio, bundled between the pages of the local newspapers, etched across the dissatisfied faces of the faithful.

“There are articles on firing me today,” the Steelers offensive coordinator said with a subdued chuckle. “That’s just part of the territory. It goes with quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.”

Certainly, you can feel Arians and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger married in this latest Pittsburgh furor: Steelers fans grumbling that their team has once again lost its way on offense. It’s an anxiety that reaches back to 2003, when then-offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and quarterback Tommy Maddox rode a pass-heavy offense to a 6-10 season. The fallout from that season – which fans saw as a perversion of Pittsburgh’s trademark smash-mouth running game – left a scar that still lingers. And despite sitting at 6-3 this season and controlling their destiny in the AFC North, many fans are looking at Pittsburgh’s struggling offense and thinking it’s Mularkey and Maddox all over again.

But push aside Pittsburgh’s back-to-back losses at Heinz Field and put a microscope on the realities of the Steelers’ roster, and it smacks of the worst run of injuries to any offensive unit in the NFL. Injuries that have parlayed into a team that is 18th in the league in scoring offense, 26th in yardage per game, and 24th in rushing yardage. Those are numbers that have fans up in arms over Arians’ offensive system, which is often designed to spread the line of scrimmage for the passing game, then use space and vertical seams for the running game.

That scheme has struggled at times this season, with critics trotting out every imaginable bullet point to back up their complaints. Roethlisberger has thrown 11 interceptions in nine games, matching all of last season. There is no “heavy package” of running backs, with no hulking short-yardage specialist in consistent use. The Steelers’ brute-force rushing attempts? They’ve failed on eight of 12 third-and-one attempts this season.

Those are just a few of the more popular pieces of evidence, each pointing to a “finesse” offense that simply isn’t getting it done. And head coach Mike Tomlin has fueled the criticism by admitting he thinks the Steelers are a team without an offensive identity. And while coaches loathe the basic excuse of injuries as a reason for ineffectiveness, Arians has some strong evidence backing up why the offense has sputtered this season. Consider:

• Pittsburgh has been making do with a third-string running back in Mewelde Moore, who has both average speed and size and had never carved out a consistent starting role in his previous four seasons in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Pro Bowler Willie Parker has been dealing with knee and shoulder injuries, playing in only one of the Steelers’ past six games. His backup, first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall, was lost for the season in Week 4.

• The offensive line has been undermanned and in turn lacked continuity since Week 4 of the season. Put aside the fact that Pittsburgh lost a quality guard in Alan Faneca in the offseason (and yes, that is important). Right guard Kendall Simmons, who had been a fixture on the line for the previous three seasons, was lost for the season against the Ravens. Pro Bowl left tackle Marvel Smith hasn’t played since Pittsburgh’s 4-1 start.

• Tight end Heath Miller hasn’t played in the past two games.

• And then you have Roethlisberger, who injured his right shoulder in the season opener against Houston, then reinjured it again in the win over Washington in Week 9. Meanwhile, he has missed an assortment of practices since the start of the season, which has in turn hurt his timing and decision-making at various points.

Even in the league’s “no excuse” era, that’s a staggering amount of circumstance: A hobbled quarterback, two missing running backs, three different offensive-line starters in comparison to 2007, and a dual-responsibility tight end sidelined, too. And yet, it’s Arians who is shouldering much of the blame after Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Colts – a game ultimately scuttled by a pair of bad interceptions (three overall) by Roethlisberger.

“Going into the game, everyone was comparing us to Tennessee as the best team in the AFC,” said Steelers wideout Hines Ward. “It came down to the wire, we made a couple mistakes and now all the sudden we’re a bad team? We’re a team that could easily be 8-1 right now. Considering all the injuries that we’ve had and considering the teams that we’ve played, to be 6-3 right now, we’re very fortunate. We’re not complaining.”

That’s not to say Pittsburgh hasn’t identified the problems and figured how they will be fixed. Arians and Tomlin have fixated on three changes that they believe can transform Pittsburgh from a 6-3 team battling for wins into the AFC beast that many believed was emerging one week ago.

Tomlin has been extremely vocal about his starting quarterback taking part in practice from this point forward. Roethlisberger missed all but Friday’s practice last week, and barring another significant setback with his shoulder, it’s clearly something the coaching staff wants to avoid going forward.

“(Not practicing) is only a short-term solution,” Tomlin said. “The longer that process goes on, you see issues turn up in terms of timing and cohesion. I think that that’s really the spot that we’re at, at this point. He was able to play (against the Colts) because, quite frankly, Indianapolis is a very simple team to be prepared for schematically. They don’t try to trick you. What they do is what they do. If there is a game you can go in and play on a limited number of reps, it’s a team like that.

“The reality is, as we go on, we recognize the value of practice and what the physical reps mean to us as an offense.”

At this stage, the coaching staff recognizes what it has in Roethlisberger’s shoulder. Like many injuries, unless he sits down for a sustained period, it’s going to be something that lingers in varying degrees of pain for the remainder of the season. The longer he goes without getting hit in the shoulder, the more manageable it will become as the season goes on.


“As we saw in the Washington game, (the shoulder injury) can always come back at any time,” Roethlisberger said. “Going into the Washington game, I was actually finally able to sleep on my right side again. If we can get to that point again, and not take the hits, we’ll be all right.”

To Arians, the key from this point forward is getting the pieces around Roethlisberger as close to normal as possible. Arians didn’t sound optimistic about the return of Smith, who has been sidelined with a lingering back issue. Instead, Arians identified two pieces the offense knows it will eventually get back – Parker and Miller. Parker is expected to play this week against San Diego, while Miller is more likely to come back in Week 12 or 13.

“It was totally different when Willie (Parker) was on the field in Washington,” Arians said. “Mewelde had done a heck of a job, a great job. But Willie’s speed and burst was out there – boom, there’s 5 yards and nobody was blocked, just because it’s Willie. You do have some identity back there with Willie. That linebacker focus and safety focus may head more that way. And then you can do more with the quarterback with that.

“Heath Miller’s injury was huge, too, because he’s such an integral part of the running game and the passing game. He’s probably the most – he’s part of the puzzle we couldn’t afford to lose.”

What Arians accepts is that his scheme must continue to make do with a dinged-up quarterback and a surrounding cast with less than its full complement of talent. With Smith possibly done for the season, and an identity change unlikely in the middle of the season, Pittsburgh has a limited number of options. Getting the trio of Roethlisberger, Parker and Miller healthy and practicing is essentially what is left on the table – and, in turn, the hope that timing and familiarity will ease some of the issues with the offensive line.

“We’re 6-3, we’ve gotten by, and we have not played good on offense at all – which is promising,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s disappointing as an offense to know that we haven’t played up to our potential or even close to it. But it’s reassuring in the fact that we’re still 6-3. We still have a second half of the season to go, and if we turn it on at the right time, we feel that we can be pretty dangerous.”

AngryAsian
11-15-2008, 12:05 AM
Steelers’ issues bigger than Roethlisberger
By Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports
Nov 13, 1:47 pm EST
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=A ... &type=lgns (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AuW9nqjMDz5c2h6n1WPbC0VDubYF?slug=cr-steelersinjuries111308&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

PITTSBURGH – When Bruce Arians woke up Wednesday morning, the zealotry of Pittsburgh Steelers nation was still pounding away like a ball-peen hammer on an iron rivet. It was inescapable – screaming from the radio, bundled between the pages of the local newspapers, etched across the dissatisfied faces of the faithful.

“There are articles on firing me today,” the Steelers offensive coordinator said with a subdued chuckle. “That’s just part of the territory. It goes with quarterbacks and offensive coordinators.”

Certainly, you can feel Arians and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger married in this latest Pittsburgh furor: Steelers fans grumbling that their team has once again lost its way on offense. It’s an anxiety that reaches back to 2003, when then-offensive coordinator Mike Mularkey and quarterback Tommy Maddox rode a pass-heavy offense to a 6-10 season. The fallout from that season – which fans saw as a perversion of Pittsburgh’s trademark smash-mouth running game – left a scar that still lingers. And despite sitting at 6-3 this season and controlling their destiny in the AFC North, many fans are looking at Pittsburgh’s struggling offense and thinking it’s Mularkey and Maddox all over again.

But push aside Pittsburgh’s back-to-back losses at Heinz Field and put a microscope on the realities of the Steelers’ roster, and it smacks of the worst run of injuries to any offensive unit in the NFL. Injuries that have parlayed into a team that is 18th in the league in scoring offense, 26th in yardage per game, and 24th in rushing yardage. Those are numbers that have fans up in arms over Arians’ offensive system, which is often designed to spread the line of scrimmage for the passing game, then use space and vertical seams for the running game.

That scheme has struggled at times this season, with critics trotting out every imaginable bullet point to back up their complaints. Roethlisberger has thrown 11 interceptions in nine games, matching all of last season. There is no “heavy package” of running backs, with no hulking short-yardage specialist in consistent use. The Steelers’ brute-force rushing attempts? They’ve failed on eight of 12 third-and-one attempts this season.

Those are just a few of the more popular pieces of evidence, each pointing to a “finesse” offense that simply isn’t getting it done. And head coach Mike Tomlin has fueled the criticism by admitting he thinks the Steelers are a team without an offensive identity. And while coaches loathe the basic excuse of injuries as a reason for ineffectiveness, Arians has some strong evidence backing up why the offense has sputtered this season. Consider:

• Pittsburgh has been making do with a third-string running back in Mewelde Moore, who has both average speed and size and had never carved out a consistent starting role in his previous four seasons in Minnesota. Meanwhile, Pro Bowler Willie Parker has been dealing with knee and shoulder injuries, playing in only one of the Steelers’ past six games. His backup, first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall, was lost for the season in Week 4.

Complete BS and excuses: Moore's production in 4 games since becoming the starter: 116, 134, 94, 115 (total yards from scrimage). Please don't tell me that is the production of a third string RB, plus is it his call that they don't alternate Russell enough? No that's the OC's call.

• The offensive line has been undermanned and in turn lacked continuity since Week 4 of the season. Put aside the fact that Pittsburgh lost a quality guard in Alan Faneca in the offseason (and yes, that is important). Right guard Kendall Simmons, who had been a fixture on the line for the previous three seasons, was lost for the season against the Ravens. Pro Bowl left tackle Marvel Smith hasn’t played since Pittsburgh’s 4-1 start.

This point has validity. Our OL was suspect and thin when all starters were healthy. Now with a RG and LT starter out, our depth and talent is even worse, but we still continue to use 7 step drops and put Ben in harms way for a good portion of the game.

• Tight end Heath Miller hasn’t played in the past two games.

Complete BS again. Miller was being used as a third tackle when he was in there, so I don't know what offense this Robinson from Yahoo Sports has been watching.

• And then you have Roethlisberger, who injured his right shoulder in the season opener against Houston, then reinjured it again in the win over Washington in Week 9. Meanwhile, he has missed an assortment of practices since the start of the season, which has in turn hurt his timing and decision-making at various points.

Even in the league’s “no excuse” era, that’s a staggering amount of circumstance: A hobbled quarterback, two missing running backs, three different offensive-line starters in comparison to 2007, and a dual-responsibility tight end sidelined, too. And yet, it’s Arians who is shouldering much of the blame after Sunday’s 24-20 loss to the Colts – a game ultimately scuttled by a pair of bad interceptions (three overall) by Roethlisberger.

“Going into the game, everyone was comparing us to Tennessee as the best team in the AFC,” said Steelers wideout Hines Ward. “It came down to the wire, we made a couple mistakes and now all the sudden we’re a bad team? We’re a team that could easily be 8-1 right now. Considering all the injuries that we’ve had and considering the teams that we’ve played, to be 6-3 right now, we’re very fortunate. We’re not complaining.”

That’s not to say Pittsburgh hasn’t identified the problems and figured how they will be fixed. Arians and Tomlin have fixated on three changes that they believe can transform Pittsburgh from a 6-3 team battling for wins into the AFC beast that many believed was emerging one week ago.

Tomlin has been extremely vocal about his starting quarterback taking part in practice from this point forward. Roethlisberger missed all but Friday’s practice last week, and barring another significant setback with his shoulder, it’s clearly something the coaching staff wants to avoid going forward.

“(Not practicing) is only a short-term solution,” Tomlin said. “The longer that process goes on, you see issues turn up in terms of timing and cohesion. I think that that’s really the spot that we’re at, at this point. He was able to play (against the Colts) because, quite frankly, Indianapolis is a very simple team to be prepared for schematically. They don’t try to trick you. What they do is what they do. If there is a game you can go in and play on a limited number of reps, it’s a team like that.

“The reality is, as we go on, we recognize the value of practice and what the physical reps mean to us as an offense.”

At this stage, the coaching staff recognizes what it has in Roethlisberger’s shoulder. Like many injuries, unless he sits down for a sustained period, it’s going to be something that lingers in varying degrees of pain for the remainder of the season. The longer he goes without getting hit in the shoulder, the more manageable it will become as the season goes on.


“As we saw in the Washington game, (the shoulder injury) can always come back at any time,” Roethlisberger said. “Going into the Washington game, I was actually finally able to sleep on my right side again. If we can get to that point again, and not take the hits, we’ll be all right.”

To Arians, the key from this point forward is getting the pieces around Roethlisberger as close to normal as possible. Arians didn’t sound optimistic about the return of Smith, who has been sidelined with a lingering back issue. Instead, Arians identified two pieces the offense knows it will eventually get back – Parker and Miller. Parker is expected to play this week against San Diego, while Miller is more likely to come back in Week 12 or 13.

I'm sure Arians will call the usual plays between the tackles for Willie... like running up the middle has been his strong suit. And we all know he'll ride the Willie wagon until the wheels fall off.

“It was totally different when Willie (Parker) was on the field in Washington,” Arians said. “Mewelde had done a heck of a job, a great job. But Willie’s speed and burst was out there – boom, there’s 5 yards and nobody was blocked, just because it’s Willie. You do have some identity back there with Willie. That linebacker focus and safety focus may head more that way. And then you can do more with the quarterback with that.

“Heath Miller’s injury was huge, too, because he’s such an integral part of the running game and the passing game. He’s probably the most – he’s part of the puzzle we couldn’t afford to lose.”

What Arians accepts is that his scheme must continue to make do with a dinged-up quarterback and a surrounding cast with less than its full complement of talent. With Smith possibly done for the season, and an identity change unlikely in the middle of the season, Pittsburgh has a limited number of options. Getting the trio of Roethlisberger, Parker and Miller healthy and practicing is essentially what is left on the table – and, in turn, the hope that timing and familiarity will ease some of the issues with the offensive line.

“We’re 6-3, we’ve gotten by, and we have not played good on offense at all – which is promising,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s disappointing as an offense to know that we haven’t played up to our potential or even close to it. But it’s reassuring in the fact that we’re still 6-3. We still have a second half of the season to go, and if we turn it on at the right time, we feel that we can be pretty dangerous.”

RuthlessBurgher
11-15-2008, 12:30 AM
“Going into the Washington game, I was actually finally able to sleep on my right side again."

I suggest that no matter how good his shoulder feels, Ben should not sleep on his right side again until mid-February at the earliest. Deal?

Flasteel
11-15-2008, 03:17 AM
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

BURGH86STEEL
11-15-2008, 07:56 AM
d
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

For some reason people have it out for Arians. Arians calls a lot of good plays. Is he perfect? Who is? He can work on some things to get better. Some of the things that people post proves the point the he calls good plays. AS posted Moore's production as a starter. What does that say? He is giving Moore a chance to be successful. Moore's done a nice job but he is not a starter. Injuries had an impact. Something you stated yourself.

The team usually had very good first offensive drives. They scored 17 points in the 1st half against the Colts. Those points were undone by mistakes by players. The defense could've held the Colts to 3 points after the turnover. I am sure the defense felt the should had. Why no complaints about Lebeau? I know it is difficult to over come turnovers.

Ben is banged up because of Arians? Ben's been hurt every year he's been in the league. Some of you do not realize it, the short passing game is part of the offense. I see it every week. They mix up with the short passes, ,intermediate, and long. It appears the QB does not like the short passing game either. Do you suggest they go to west coast type of offense in the middle of the season? Ultimately it is up for the QB to decide who gets the football.

Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.

Discipline of Steel
11-15-2008, 08:31 AM
Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.


All you say is true but I am officially off the Arians bandwagon. Under his two year reign, we have not been able to run the ball in short yardage/goal line situations. Last year, Big Ben throws a record number of TDs and FWP gets 2. This year we are next to last in the league in yards per rush and have converted 3rd/1, 3rd/2 only 5 out of 24 times using the run!?! His overall performance MAY be debatable but this is most definately not the identity of the Pittsburgh Steelers. We are no longer anywhere near being a power running team.

Flasteel
11-15-2008, 11:26 AM
d
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

For some reason people have it out for Arians. Arians calls a lot of good plays. Is he perfect? Who is? He can work on some things to get better. Some of the things that people post proves the point the he calls good plays. AS posted Moore's production as a starter. What does that say? He is giving Moore a chance to be successful. Moore's done a nice job but he is not a starter. Injuries had an impact. Something you stated yourself.

The team usually had very good first offensive drives. They scored 17 points in the 1st half against the Colts. Those points were undone by mistakes by players. The defense could've held the Colts to 3 points after the turnover. I am sure the defense felt the should had. Why no complaints about Lebeau? I know it is difficult to over come turnovers.

Ben is banged up because of Arians? Ben's been hurt every year he's been in the league. Some of you do not realize it, the short passing game is part of the offense. I see it every week. They mix up with the short passes, ,intermediate, and long. It appears the QB does not like the short passing game either. Do you suggest they go to west coast type of offense in the middle of the season? Ultimately it is up for the QB to decide who gets the football.

Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.

Burgh, sorry man but you just don't get it. We have an offensive line that is weak in pass protection, Arians knows this...we all know this. The offense needs to be geared to hide this deficiency as much as possible, yet Arians continues to drop the quarterback straight back in the pocket on long-developing plays for a majority of his calls. The short passing game is something we only see sporadically and based on the results, it's obviously something we don't practice a whole lot. We have abandoned the run despite the production of Moore and despite the fact that our line's strengths lie in knocking people off the line of scrimmage. Then there are the decisions to get rid of our blocking back and utilize the tight ends for more than just max protection on deep drops.

To say that Arians has set our offensive players up to be successful is beyond laughable and you cannot point to any numbers to back that up or to cover the stench from what he does that is completely inane. And yes we do need to go to an offense which utilizes quick short passes with only a few 5-step drops sprinkled in to hit the defense long on occasion (or roll the pocket). This is not the West coast offense dude. The WC replaces the bulk of the running game with with the short passes...we need to get back to power football and mix in the passing game to keep the defense honest and strike for the big play. To throw 41 passes in a game you are leading throughout is insane and shows you this guys mentality.

Wake up Burgh, you are the last one still on Arians wagon.

BURGH86STEEL
11-16-2008, 08:31 AM
d
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

For some reason people have it out for Arians. Arians calls a lot of good plays. Is he perfect? Who is? He can work on some things to get better. Some of the things that people post proves the point the he calls good plays. AS posted Moore's production as a starter. What does that say? He is giving Moore a chance to be successful. Moore's done a nice job but he is not a starter. Injuries had an impact. Something you stated yourself.

The team usually had very good first offensive drives. They scored 17 points in the 1st half against the Colts. Those points were undone by mistakes by players. The defense could've held the Colts to 3 points after the turnover. I am sure the defense felt the should had. Why no complaints about Lebeau? I know it is difficult to over come turnovers.

Ben is banged up because of Arians? Ben's been hurt every year he's been in the league. Some of you do not realize it, the short passing game is part of the offense. I see it every week. They mix up with the short passes, ,intermediate, and long. It appears the QB does not like the short passing game either. Do you suggest they go to west coast type of offense in the middle of the season? Ultimately it is up for the QB to decide who gets the football.

Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.

Burgh, sorry man but you just don't get it. We have an offensive line that is weak in pass protection, Arians knows this...we all know this. The offense needs to be geared to hide this deficiency as much as possible, yet Arians continues to drop the quarterback straight back in the pocket on long-developing plays for a majority of his calls. The short passing game is something we only see sporadically and based on the results, it's obviously something we don't practice a whole lot. We have abandoned the run despite the production of Moore and despite the fact that our line's strengths lie in knocking people off the line of scrimmage. Then there are the decisions to get rid of our blocking back and utilize the tight ends for more than just max protection on deep drops.

To say that Arians has set our offensive players up to be successful is beyond laughable and you cannot point to any numbers to back that up or to cover the stench from what he does that is completely inane. And yes we do need to go to an offense which utilizes quick short passes with only a few 5-step drops sprinkled in to hit the defense long on occasion (or roll the pocket). This is not the West coast offense dude. The WC replaces the bulk of the running game with with the short passes...we need to get back to power football and mix in the passing game to keep the defense honest and strike for the big play. To throw 41 passes in a game you are leading throughout is insane and shows you this guys mentality.

Wake up Burgh, you are the last one still on Arians wagon.

I do get it? I am not on any wagon. There are short pass plays within the offense. Some successful and some not. The offensive line has been better in pass protection this season. IMO, the Oline had one horrible game. Again, do you suggest they change the whole offense to West Coast offense now? There were games where this offense was successful. Why do you deny this fact?

I do not get your logic. How can you state they do not practice plays based on the results? Especially when you do not know how much they practice. There were some short passing plays that were successful. Some where Ben does not look towards the short passing game or is inaccurate with passes (timing). Some where the WRs are not on the same page or are not open. Plays where WRs drop passes. Some where the defenses do a good job in coverage and blitzing. There are a lot of factors.

The run game has been inconsistant due to injuries. Losses of Faneca, Smith, Simmons, Parker, and Mendenhall are the injuries I refer. Faneca's loss speaks for itself. When healthy, Smith is the best Olineman on the team. People may not like Simmons but he is a more powerful run blocker than Stapleton. People do not like Parker but he is a good RB. Mendenhall was supposed to add the dimesion of power to the RB position. Cannot get back to a power run game when all the pieces are not there. We do not know how the protections are designed for the TEs. We do not know when Ben audibles to keep the TEs or RBs into block based on what he perceives as a blitz. Alot of what happens on the field happens on the fly. Do you have any idea why they prefer 2 TE sets in the offense?

It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.

The team was up 17-7 against the Colts when a poorly executated play changed the momentum of the game. The run game was very ineffective against the Colts. Even then, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. Up until half time the run pass ratio was almost even. They had the lead at that point. Colts tied the game in the 3rd QT. Would you suggest they continue to run the ball when it was ineffective with the game tied? They felt the need to pass more because the run game was ineffective and they were tied in the 2nd half. You make it sound so simple without looking at other things that contributed to the run vs pass ratio.

When the team does not pass, they get accused of going to turtle ball. When they do pass, people are critical of that. How can any play caller win under those circumstances? People will never be happy with the play calling. In my mind, it is mostly about execution. That is all I am concerned with. If they do not commit turnovers against the Colts, a good chance the team wins that game. Same can be said for the Giant's game. If you and others want to continue to put most of the blame on Arians, so be it. I do not see it as simply as that. There are a lot of factors to consider. Execution is probably the biggest factor in 2 of the 3 losses.

stlrz d
11-16-2008, 10:21 AM
For the record, I don't think anyone is suggesting a move towards the West Coast Offense.

Oviedo
11-16-2008, 12:23 PM
d
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

For some reason people have it out for Arians. Arians calls a lot of good plays. Is he perfect? Who is? He can work on some things to get better. Some of the things that people post proves the point the he calls good plays. AS posted Moore's production as a starter. What does that say? He is giving Moore a chance to be successful. Moore's done a nice job but he is not a starter. Injuries had an impact. Something you stated yourself.

The team usually had very good first offensive drives. They scored 17 points in the 1st half against the Colts. Those points were undone by mistakes by players. The defense could've held the Colts to 3 points after the turnover. I am sure the defense felt the should had. Why no complaints about Lebeau? I know it is difficult to over come turnovers.

Ben is banged up because of Arians? Ben's been hurt every year he's been in the league. Some of you do not realize it, the short passing game is part of the offense. I see it every week. They mix up with the short passes, ,intermediate, and long. It appears the QB does not like the short passing game either. Do you suggest they go to west coast type of offense in the middle of the season? Ultimately it is up for the QB to decide who gets the football.

Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.

Burgh, sorry man but you just don't get it. We have an offensive line that is weak in pass protection, Arians knows this...we all know this. The offense needs to be geared to hide this deficiency as much as possible, yet Arians continues to drop the quarterback straight back in the pocket on long-developing plays for a majority of his calls. The short passing game is something we only see sporadically and based on the results, it's obviously something we don't practice a whole lot. We have abandoned the run despite the production of Moore and despite the fact that our line's strengths lie in knocking people off the line of scrimmage. Then there are the decisions to get rid of our blocking back and utilize the tight ends for more than just max protection on deep drops.

To say that Arians has set our offensive players up to be successful is beyond laughable and you cannot point to any numbers to back that up or to cover the stench from what he does that is completely inane. And yes we do need to go to an offense which utilizes quick short passes with only a few 5-step drops sprinkled in to hit the defense long on occasion (or roll the pocket). This is not the West coast offense dude. The WC replaces the bulk of the running game with with the short passes...we need to get back to power football and mix in the passing game to keep the defense honest and strike for the big play. To throw 41 passes in a game you are leading throughout is insane and shows you this guys mentality.

Wake up Burgh, you are the last one still on Arians wagon.

I do get it? I am not on any wagon. There are short pass plays within the offense. Some successful and some not. The offensive line has been better in pass protection this season. IMO, the Oline had one horrible game. Again, do you suggest they change the whole offense to West Coast offense now? There were games where this offense was successful. Why do you deny this fact?

I do not get your logic. How can you state they do not practice plays based on the results? Especially when you do not know how much they practice. There were some short passing plays that were successful. Some where Ben does not look towards the short passing game or is inaccurate with passes (timing). Some where the WRs are not on the same page or are not open. Plays where WRs drop passes. Some where the defenses do a good job in coverage and blitzing. There are a lot of factors.

The run game has been inconsistant due to injuries. Losses of Faneca, Smith, Simmons, Parker, and Mendenhall are the injuries I refer. Faneca's loss speaks for itself. When healthy, Smith is the best Olineman on the team. People may not like Simmons but he is a more powerful run blocker than Stapleton. People do not like Parker but he is a good RB. Mendenhall was supposed to add the dimesion of power to the RB position. Cannot get back to a power run game when all the pieces are not there. We do not know how the protections are designed for the TEs. We do not know when Ben audibles to keep the TEs or RBs into block based on what he perceives as a blitz. Alot of what happens on the field happens on the fly. Do you have any idea why they prefer 2 TE sets in the offense?

It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.

The team was up 17-7 against the Colts when a poorly executated play changed the momentum of the game. The run game was very ineffective against the Colts. Even then, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. Up until half time the run pass ratio was almost even. They had the lead at that point. Colts tied the game in the 3rd QT. Would you suggest they continue to run the ball when it was ineffective with the game tied? They felt the need to pass more because the run game was ineffective and they were tied in the 2nd half. You make it sound so simple without looking at other things that contributed to the run vs pass ratio.

When the team does not pass, they get accused of going to turtle ball. When they do pass, people are critical of that. How can any play caller win under those circumstances? People will never be happy with the play calling. In my mind, it is mostly about execution. That is all I am concerned with. If they do not commit turnovers against the Colts, a good chance the team wins that game. Same can be said for the Giant's game. If you and others want to continue to put most of the blame on Arians, so be it. I do not see it as simply as that. There are a lot of factors to consider. Execution is probably the biggest factor in 2 of the 3 losses.

Agree with most of your response. There is no way you can assess play calling watching TV because you have no idea what play was called and what the QB did to audible out of that play.

Blame Arians all you want, but one thing that Arains has done is started to transition the offense to an offense that takes full advanatge of the current NFL rules which grossly favor a passing attack. As correctly pointed out by B86S there are a number of factors that have limited the OC's ability to implement what he ideally would like to call. Injuries have been a huge factor particularly FWP and Mendehall.
Talk all you want about a power running game but what successful NFL team is doing that right now. The most successful teams are either pass happy or balanced. It is hard to be balanced when your top two RBs are out let alone trying to run a power running game.

Arians hasn't been the problem as much as player execution. Execution has been lacking, particulary Ben's interceptions, and that did directly effect the outcome of the losses except for Philadelphia where we still had a chance to win up until the very end. My only complaint with Arians is that the TEs and RB don't see the ball even more in the passing game.

Flasteel
11-16-2008, 12:29 PM
d
What a load of crap. The injuries suck and have played a role in our struggles to some degree, but nothing can mitigate the unbelievable lack of intelligence behind Arians play calling. The reason Ben is so banged up in the first place is because this knucklehead doesn't believe in the short passing game and can't figure out how to call plays that will slow down the defensive rush. He's a moron plain and simple. I can only pray that he is not safe from any excuses that might be made after the season.

For some reason people have it out for Arians. Arians calls a lot of good plays. Is he perfect? Who is? He can work on some things to get better. Some of the things that people post proves the point the he calls good plays. AS posted Moore's production as a starter. What does that say? He is giving Moore a chance to be successful. Moore's done a nice job but he is not a starter. Injuries had an impact. Something you stated yourself.

The team usually had very good first offensive drives. They scored 17 points in the 1st half against the Colts. Those points were undone by mistakes by players. The defense could've held the Colts to 3 points after the turnover. I am sure the defense felt the should had. Why no complaints about Lebeau? I know it is difficult to over come turnovers.

Ben is banged up because of Arians? Ben's been hurt every year he's been in the league. Some of you do not realize it, the short passing game is part of the offense. I see it every week. They mix up with the short passes, ,intermediate, and long. It appears the QB does not like the short passing game either. Do you suggest they go to west coast type of offense in the middle of the season? Ultimately it is up for the QB to decide who gets the football.

Arians may not be perfect but he is not as bad as some of you make him.

Burgh, sorry man but you just don't get it. We have an offensive line that is weak in pass protection, Arians knows this...we all know this. The offense needs to be geared to hide this deficiency as much as possible, yet Arians continues to drop the quarterback straight back in the pocket on long-developing plays for a majority of his calls. The short passing game is something we only see sporadically and based on the results, it's obviously something we don't practice a whole lot. We have abandoned the run despite the production of Moore and despite the fact that our line's strengths lie in knocking people off the line of scrimmage. Then there are the decisions to get rid of our blocking back and utilize the tight ends for more than just max protection on deep drops.

To say that Arians has set our offensive players up to be successful is beyond laughable and you cannot point to any numbers to back that up or to cover the stench from what he does that is completely inane. And yes we do need to go to an offense which utilizes quick short passes with only a few 5-step drops sprinkled in to hit the defense long on occasion (or roll the pocket). This is not the West coast offense dude. The WC replaces the bulk of the running game with with the short passes...we need to get back to power football and mix in the passing game to keep the defense honest and strike for the big play. To throw 41 passes in a game you are leading throughout is insane and shows you this guys mentality.

Wake up Burgh, you are the last one still on Arians wagon.

I do get it? I am not on any wagon. There are short pass plays within the offense. Some successful and some not. The offensive line has been better in pass protection this season. IMO, the Oline had one horrible game. Again, do you suggest they change the whole offense to West Coast offense now? There were games where this offense was successful. Why do you deny this fact?

I do not get your logic. How can you state they do not practice plays based on the results? Especially when you do not know how much they practice. There were some short passing plays that were successful. Some where Ben does not look towards the short passing game or is inaccurate with passes (timing). Some where the WRs are not on the same page or are not open. Plays where WRs drop passes. Some where the defenses do a good job in coverage and blitzing. There are a lot of factors.

The run game has been inconsistant due to injuries. Losses of Faneca, Smith, Simmons, Parker, and Mendenhall are the injuries I refer. Faneca's loss speaks for itself. When healthy, Smith is the best Olineman on the team. People may not like Simmons but he is a more powerful run blocker than Stapleton. People do not like Parker but he is a good RB. Mendenhall was supposed to add the dimesion of power to the RB position. Cannot get back to a power run game when all the pieces are not there. We do not know how the protections are designed for the TEs. We do not know when Ben audibles to keep the TEs or RBs into block based on what he perceives as a blitz. Alot of what happens on the field happens on the fly. Do you have any idea why they prefer 2 TE sets in the offense?

It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.

The team was up 17-7 against the Colts when a poorly executated play changed the momentum of the game. The run game was very ineffective against the Colts. Even then, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. Up until half time the run pass ratio was almost even. They had the lead at that point. Colts tied the game in the 3rd QT. Would you suggest they continue to run the ball when it was ineffective with the game tied? They felt the need to pass more because the run game was ineffective and they were tied in the 2nd half. You make it sound so simple without looking at other things that contributed to the run vs pass ratio.

When the team does not pass, they get accused of going to turtle ball. When they do pass, people are critical of that. How can any play caller win under those circumstances? People will never be happy with the play calling. In my mind, it is mostly about execution. That is all I am concerned with. If they do not commit turnovers against the Colts, a good chance the team wins that game. Same can be said for the Giant's game. If you and others want to continue to put most of the blame on Arians, so be it. I do not see it as simply as that. There are a lot of factors to consider. Execution is probably the biggest factor in 2 of the 3 losses.

The execution has been poor and I'm not trying to deny that. There have been some short passes mixed and I have agreed with that. Your assertion that the protection is adequate however is way off base in my opinion, or probably anyone else that has two eyeballs. What you fail to understand is the continual propensity for us to call long-developing pass plays behind that poor protection. We are not calling screens, there is no misdirection, no rolling the pocket, the no-huddle is completely absent, and we are not committed to running the ball. Moore has done an effective job in Parker's stead and we needed to lean on him and on Russell more. Indy has one of the worst run defenses in the league, especially up the gut where they are small and can be knocked off the ball. We did not even try to hammer them. Running the football is something that takes a mind-set and commitment to do...we don't have it. We don't have an offensive identity or any offensive rhythm.

Just about every play ever drawn up is designed to work. What makes an offensive coordinator good at his job is when he can use those plays to attack the right defense (or defensive weaknesses) and maximize the talent he has on offense. Arians does neither of those with any consistency. An OC also needs to be creative from time to time and mix things up to keep a defense on their heels. That means a proper run-pass mix as well as attacking a defense both horizontally and vertically...Arians only understands the vertical it seems. A good OC also needs to adjust to what a defense is doing and exploit that adjustment. Have you noticed that on our scripted plays to begin a game we usually go right down the field and score a TD? I think we have scored more points on our first drive than any other team in the league. Then all of the sudden, we go into the tank...no adjustments.

Then there is his philosophy. He doesn't believe in a blocking fullback, yet his running back openly campaigns for one and he never utilizes his fullback in the passing game to begin with. Arians talked about going to a three tight formation and while that has happened, he has virtually ignored the tight end in the passing game. We have a very good weapon in Heath Miller who is being wasted by staying in on max protection schemes while Arians drops Ben back in the pocket. Arians has also publically stated his disdain for the three-step drop. Yes he has utilized it from time to time, but it is far from being a staple of this offense when it clearly needs to be due to the protection issues. These short routes are all about timing and we have seen our receivers and quarterback out of sync on a good percentage of those plays (as well as hot reads) when they are called. This is what I meant by an apparent lack of practice time dedicated to them.

We obviously disagree on this, but all I can do is ask you to look at the overall offensive output and then consider the talent we have. Then I want you to consider the comments being made by our own players concerning the direction of the offense as well as the comments emanating from every corner of the Steeler Nation.

You stand on a very sparsely populated island my friend. Now that alone doesn't make you wrong. What makes you wrong is believing the poor execution we are seeing mitigates the poor play calling or that the poor play calling doesn't exacerbate the poor execution.

buckeyehoppy
11-16-2008, 12:47 PM
Defending Bruce Arians is completely indefensible. He has not found a way to take his offense and tailor it to the talent that he has at his disposal. He keeps running between the tackles and shooting for long bombs.

There is hardly any outside running and no sweeps. There's virtually no play action or anything over the middle inside ten yards. That's hardly the type of diverse offensive attack that sets defenses on their heels. And the overall numbers are showing that that is the case.

I would love to see the Steelers overall talent overcome their systemic issues. But we will see whether the talent can perform past the ineptitude of the offensive coaching staff.

Discipline of Steel
11-16-2008, 01:25 PM
It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.



Ben had his best season and most TDs because we were not smashing the run. How many rushing TDS last year? 7 or 8? Arians has omitted an important component of this STEELER offense and that is road grading, goal to go rushing attack. STEELER offenses traditionally do this very well. BA is not drinking his kool-aid.

Flasteel
11-16-2008, 01:30 PM
It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.



Ben had his best season and most TDs because we were not smashing the run. How many rushing TDS last year? 7 or 8? Arians has omitted an important component of this STEELER offense and that is road grading, goal to go rushing attack. STEELER offenses traditionally do this very well. BA is not drinking his kool-aid.

Hey man, I didn't wite that..it was Burghsteel! :lol:

Discipline of Steel
11-16-2008, 01:35 PM
It maybe beyond laughable to you. Especially when you do not want to see the success. Team was 10-6 and made playoffs last season. Ben had his best statistical season under Arians. Team is scoring enough to win this season. Take away the turnovers(something OC cannot control) against the Colts and Giants and this team might be 8-1.



Ben had his best season and most TDs because we were not smashing the run. How many rushing TDS last year? 7 or 8? Arians has omitted an important component of this STEELER offense and that is road grading, goal to go rushing attack. STEELER offenses traditionally do this very well. BA is not drinking his kool-aid.

Hey man, I didn't wite that..it was Burghsteel! :lol:

Sorry! I was trying to cut out most of the thread as it was getting long. Saved the wrong quote markers...

Djfan
11-17-2008, 12:01 AM
Flasteel nailed it.

RuthlessBurgher
11-17-2008, 02:44 PM
Talk all you want about a power running game but what successful NFL team is doing that right now. The most successful teams are either pass happy or balanced.

Well, the two teams that are a combined 19-1 this season both are primarily power running teams. They each feature two backs that are on pace for over 2000 rushing yards between them, with at least one bruising type (Jacobs and White) and one speedier type (Johnson and Ward). Both teams are in the lower half of the league when it comes to passing yardage. Of the top 9 rushing teams in the league (Giants, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, Redskins, Panthers, Titans, Jets), none of them has a losing record.

Discipline of Steel
11-17-2008, 03:51 PM
Talk all you want about a power running game but what successful NFL team is doing that right now. The most successful teams are either pass happy or balanced.

Well, the two teams that are a combined 19-1 this season both are primarily power running teams. They each feature two backs that are on pace for over 2000 rushing yards between them, with at least one bruising type (Jacobs and White) and one speedier type (Johnson and Ward). Both teams are in the lower half of the league when it comes to passing yardage. Of the top 9 rushing teams in the league (Giants, Falcons, Ravens, Vikings, Redskins, Panthers, Titans, Jets), none of them has a losing record.

Yes, and the Steelers, who have traditionally been on that list, need to return there next season.