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View Full Version : Offensive Personnel: Keys for the Rest of the Season!



AngryAsian
11-21-2008, 07:11 AM
I am at a a loss for comment (a positive one, mind you) if we're talking about play calling. But if the discussion is pertaining to personnel... then this is my take.

Ben- If he wants to have pass plays to succeed let him keep throwing to players within 30 yards of the LOS. As we saw last night, the plays that worked well weren't the bombs. His receiving corps and TEs are excellent with gains after the catch because the downfield blocking is there. Also, spreading the wealth (6 different receivers not one of them with over 5 receptions)... with to several different players kept the defense on their heels and yielded him drives that not only chewed up clock, ate up yardage but gave the league's number one rated defense rest to wear they stayed fresh, and thus predatorial when it was time for them to take the field.

Moore- As I said in a thread last week. I think that FWP will be more valuable to the team when he isn't in there for every down. Sure last week he gained 100+, but were we able to score points? IMO, the offensive game plan is better executed when the distribution of plays isn't at the focal point of the RB position. Last night we distributed the ball to various RBs on the ground and Moore had 97 collective rush/rec. yards in a limited capacity. He's our version of Marshall Faulk and is very dangerous coming out of the backfield in passing plays. Whether he's the primary target or the dump off relief valve for Ben, the guy commands coverage which will help spread the field. I think his involvement in what we do on the offensive side of the ball is the missing piece in our ability to find this O's "identity."

Russell- Throwback smash mouth fans, look no further than this guy. He's tough and extremely physical. Was there any doubt from all you Big Ten fans that this guy could be a solid contributor to getting points on the board? Minnesota's Golden Gopher's offensive system has yielded Marion Barber, Lawrence Maroney and now Gary Russell.... all at one point having 1K rushing seasons at their alma mater. This guy got lost in the shuffle and it only took reps to find where his talent lies within our system. The number one thing I like about his style of running are his feet. Watch his feet... those treads remind me of the BUS! Big guy but extremely fast chugging dogs that help with his momentum when battering through the line. That one kickoff return he had for 45 yards show cased his "Big Guy Speed" and showed me that this guy can break one if given the blocking.

Heath- The only reason this guy has not gotten the accolades he's deserved for his talent is because for some unknown reason, he's not been integrated into the passing plays. Trouble with the LINE? Fix it by keeping him as the third Tackle to help block. LUNACY!!! This guy's ability to run routes, catch with the softest hands, absorb bone jarring hits from LBs and safeties while still retaining the ball, and yield some serious yardage after the catch.... yes folks, this is not a homer statement: The guy is in the top tier of passing catching TEs like Witten, Gates, Gonzalez, Clarke... I think Heath will be the X-factor that we need against tenacious defenses and will help us keep drives alive when before we weren't able to.

Santonio- 84 yards in 5 catches. Clearly our number 1 receiver, with no disrespect to Hines. Nate and Hines had two catches between them last night and several balls dropped. Off night for both? Possibly. But I say let Hines and Nate decoy the rest of the way and give the major plays to our number one consistent guy who has the speed and route running capabilities. Sweed had some great catches in limited action, but just like Russell, give #14 some reps and involvement and he'll contribute.


Just my observations... and hope that we continue to flourish on offense. We all know that the talent is there, but just like CHESS... wins are often generated when the game plan is executed using several pieces on the board. Notable stat last night... 0 sacks, props to the line, but more importantly props to the type of plays we were using to help our QB stay on his feet and "manage the game."

MeetJoeGreene
11-21-2008, 09:39 AM
I agree with all of your points..

I really hope that we have found our short yardage back in Russell the Muscle!!

Jooser
11-21-2008, 10:32 AM
Russell is the next Barry 'Bananas' Foster! He's a bowling ball out there and has some good, not great, speed. I like what I see so far, but he needs more carries in the games to develop.

ANPSTEEL
11-21-2008, 12:50 PM
good observations-

a few additions..

on Ben... whether the play calling or ben's decsision making- he is becoming more willing to check down, all though still tends to pre-determine where the pass is going to go. (as evidenced by three dropped interceptions)

on Moore... I really liked the energy and spark moore provided the offense in the second half. He hit the holes much more decisively and was much more effective than parker.

In fairness, aside from any injury, i think part of fwp's problem is, when he is in the game- and in the backfield- you can count on two things-
1. it is 70% chance a run
2. it is 98% certain- if it is a pass, it is not going to fwp

much like the offense when bettis was in the game- but unlike bettis & that offensive line- FWP can not make positive yards consistently when the opposing D is specifically trying to stop him.

on Russell... i was so glad to see him in on short yardage. on the 4th & 1 inside the 10, he was stopped but kept his feet moving, and made it on second effort. I also loved the short yardage play with davis in as FB- the TE came in and Russell followed the TE- but the handoff went to Davis.

IMO, the team should be using Russell a lot more in games where you have these types of conditions.

anyway- the offense showed some progress this week. Arians didn't go empty backfield on short yardage, or in the red zone.

ramblinjim
11-21-2008, 10:14 PM
Russell is the next Barry 'Bananas' Foster! He's a bowling ball out there and has some good, not great, speed. I like what I see so far, but he needs more carries in the games to develop.

Jooser if it works out like this I will be ecstatic.

Djfan
11-22-2008, 03:01 AM
Very solid post A! (Don't know if you're angry or steel, so you can just be an A!)

We have the tools. It's up to the craftsman to use them correctly. Also, the drops need to stop.

We can do this! It's all there, and the rest of the league is cooperating. Dear God, we REALLY want the 6th!

Steel Life
11-22-2008, 12:10 PM
Regarding your points...
TEs - I agree with your assessment of Heath, but regardless of who's in there, the TEs have to be included. Spaeth did a good job while Heath was out, but Heath is more of a threat in finding spots & running after the catch. Spaeth is an option, Heath is a weapon.
Russell - I like what I've seen too, but I want to see him him running the ball consistently on drives before I anoint him. I was hoping that he would've gotten the bulk of the carries on one of the drives late in the game, just so we could see what he could do given the chance to run behind the first line & get some momentum.
Ben & the WRs - First, Ben would've had another 300 yd. game if there weren't so many drops & penalties...he was better than the stats showed. While he continues to give teams too many chances on risky throws, he is seeing the field better & checked down great last night. With the WRs, I still feel that Arians' routes take too long to develop & as a result we're not seeing the kind of separation that creates the openings Ben needs. That said, we need to keep throwing deep to Santonio & Nate. Those routes give other teams something to think about & it opens up the routes underneath.
Moore - What a find...the guy has been clutch in every aspect of the game. I loved when he took that dump-off & juked that Bengal DB off his feet. I don't know if he's a better pure runner than Willie, but he does have better vision, is consistent & is threat in the passing game. We're going to have problem next year when all four are healthy & biding for time.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
11-24-2008, 12:39 AM
I think that the keys for the offense are a little simpler than that.....don't make mistakes. With our offensive talent, and our D, I am comfortable playing field position football with any team.

We have lost three games this year. In those losses our TO +/- is:

Week 3 @ Philly: 3-3 (even) but we gave up 9 sacks, a safety, and two of our TOs were sack/fumbles

Week 8 vs. NYG: 4-0 (-4) and the Giants required a fourth Q comeback which included injured punters and long snappers. Take away a TO or two and this game is vastly different and we still could be -2 TO differential

Week 10 vs. Indy: 3-0 (-3) one QB 21/40 240 yards, other one 29/41 280 yards. Guess which one wins? Right, the one with 3 TDs and no picks, not the one with 0 TDs and 3 picks. This is not a Ben bashing post, it is a simple 'take care of the ball' post.

Lets see...we have three losses, and are a -7 TO differential in those three. Factor in that we had fourth Q leads in two of those, despite the horrible TOs. Our O can do a decent job of moving the ball, they just can't do the things that are harder to overcome and our D will dominate.

papillon
11-24-2008, 09:23 AM
I am at a a loss for comment (a positive one, mind you) if we're talking about play calling. But if the discussion is pertaining to personnel... then this is my take.

Ben- If he wants to have pass plays to succeed let him keep throwing to players within 30 yards of the LOS. As we saw last night, the plays that worked well weren't the bombs. His receiving corps and TEs are excellent with gains after the catch because the downfield blocking is there. Also, spreading the wealth (6 different receivers not one of them with over 5 receptions)... with to several different players kept the defense on their heels and yielded him drives that not only chewed up clock, ate up yardage but gave the league's number one rated defense rest to wear they stayed fresh, and thus predatorial when it was time for them to take the field.

I've been saying for years that Ben is at his best when he controls the game rather than trying to make ESPN highlight reels. He is a great game manager and play maker; there isn't another quarterback in the league that can do the things that he's capable of doing. He needs to continue to use the short passing game as the running game until Parker gets healthy.

Moore- As I said in a thread last week. I think that FWP will be more valuable to the team when he isn't in there for every down. Sure last week he gained 100+, but were we able to score points? IMO, the offensive game plan is better executed when the distribution of plays isn't at the focal point of the RB position. Last night we distributed the ball to various RBs on the ground and Moore had 97 collective rush/rec. yards in a limited capacity. He's our version of Marshall Faulk and is very dangerous coming out of the backfield in passing plays. Whether he's the primary target or the dump off relief valve for Ben, the guy commands coverage which will help spread the field. I think his involvement in what we do on the offensive side of the ball is the missing piece in our ability to find this O's "identity."

Believing for some reason that Mewelde Moore is the panacea for our running is folly. He is an excellent option on some third downs and other situational times during a football game. Russell is looking like a nice option at the goal line, but, Willie Parker is the man who will make the running game a threat and not anyone else on this roster. The last game not included (clearly, Parker was less than 100% and shouldn't have been playing) when Parker is in the game he makes the offense better, not worse.

Russell- Throwback smash mouth fans, look no further than this guy. He's tough and extremely physical. Was there any doubt from all you Big Ten fans that this guy could be a solid contributor to getting points on the board? Minnesota's Golden Gopher's offensive system has yielded Marion Barber, Lawrence Maroney and now Gary Russell.... all at one point having 1K rushing seasons at their alma mater. This guy got lost in the shuffle and it only took reps to find where his talent lies within our system. The number one thing I like about his style of running are his feet. Watch his feet... those treads remind me of the BUS! Big guy but extremely fast chugging dogs that help with his momentum when battering through the line. That one kickoff return he had for 45 yards show cased his "Big Guy Speed" and showed me that this guy can break one if given the blocking.

Short yardage back and not an answer to anything else in the Steeler offense. I know the Big Ten homers love him, but, he's proven to be an excellent short yardage back and that's how he should be used going forward. I could see giving him 1 or 2 series during a game just to show the defense that every time he enters the game he isn't getting the football handed to him to gain 2 yards.

Heath- The only reason this guy has not gotten the accolades he's deserved for his talent is because for some unknown reason, he's not been integrated into the passing plays. Trouble with the LINE? Fix it by keeping him as the third Tackle to help block. LUNACY!!! This guy's ability to run routes, catch with the softest hands, absorb bone jarring hits from LBs and safeties while still retaining the ball, and yield some serious yardage after the catch.... yes folks, this is not a homer statement: The guy is in the top tier of passing catching TEs like Witten, Gates, Gonzalez, Clarke... I think Heath will be the X-factor that we need against tenacious defenses and will help us keep drives alive when before we weren't able to.

:Agree

Santonio- 84 yards in 5 catches. Clearly our number 1 receiver, with no disrespect to Hines. Nate and Hines had two catches between them last night and several balls dropped. Off night for both? Possibly. But I say let Hines and Nate decoy the rest of the way and give the major plays to our number one consistent guy who has the speed and route running capabilities. Sweed had some great catches in limited action, but just like Russell, give #14 some reps and involvement and he'll contribute.

A down year so far for Holmes and the suspension didn't help. If he can contribute in the last 5 games the way he was contributing in the Bengal game until his untimely demise the Steelers will become difficult to defend. Holmes can make big plays for the Steelers and they don't have to be 30 yards down field. Ward is still Ben's go to guy in tight situations and I don't blame him, Ward has come up with more big catches than most of us care to count. Washington is having a solid year for a #3 and isn't afraid of traffic, unfortunately, he tends to lose focus on easy catches (rarely, but, he does) in an attempt to make a big play. Sweed, simply, needs to see the field and get live game speed reps, the Steelers will be happy to have him beginning now and into the future. He may be the X-factor down the stretch, we'll see.

Just my observations... and hope that we continue to flourish on offense. We all know that the talent is there, but just like CHESS... wins are often generated when the game plan is executed using several pieces on the board. Notable stat last night... 0 sacks, props to the line, but more importantly props to the type of plays we were using to help our QB stay on his feet and "manage the game."

The Steelers simply need the offense to protect the football and be methodical in their approach, burn clock and put points on the board. The defense is going to carry this team as far as it will go this year. The offense is simialr to the first two Super Bowl teams under Terry Bradshaw, occasional big plays, but, just don't lose the game and let the defense play. The current offense won't do it with a running game, but, with a short passing game if they can stay patient, third and long (7 or greater) is not a situation that this offense wants to have to convert regularly, that's when bad decisions and mistakes happen.



Pappy

SteelerOfDeVille
11-24-2008, 08:07 PM
Is this offseason the time to unload FWP?

Moore and Russell have done fine in his absense. Furthermore, Mendenhall will return and get thrown into the mix.

What if it meant getting a veteran stop-gap OT? Would that trade be worth it?

I figure it prevents re-signing Max to another stupid contract AND it allows the team to cut Marvel who is the team's highest paid player - per game he actually plays.

RuthlessBurgher
11-24-2008, 09:04 PM
Is this offseason the time to unload FWP?

Moore and Russell have done fine in his absense. Furthermore, Mendenhall will return and get thrown into the mix.

What if it meant getting a veteran stop-gap OT? Would that trade be worth it?

I figure it prevents re-signing Max to another stupid contract AND it allows the team to cut Marvel who is the team's highest paid player - per game he actually plays.

Not if you could sign a quality FA tackle like Jordan Gross without having to trade anyone...

I would only consider trading him for a first day draft choice...then we might be able draft 2 o-lineman and a d-lineman on the first day...or it would give us the ammo to move up to get a truly elite guy that we thought we'd never have a shot at.