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costanza2k1
12-24-2008, 01:46 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 04252.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_604252.html)

Starkey: Do Steelers need to run?
Buzz up!
By Joe Starkey, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sure, the Steelers' running game could miraculously spring to life in the playoffs, the way the Indianapolis Colts' pathetic run defense did two years ago.

Remember?

The Colts spent 16 games establishing themselves as the NFL's worst rush defense in 45 years. They were giving up 173 yards per game and 5.3 yards per carry.

Even this year's Steelers could have run wild on that group.

But something totally unforeseen happened in the playoffs.

The Colts started stuffing people. They didn't allow 100 yards rushing in any of their three AFC playoff games. They buried Kansas City's Larry Johnson and Baltimore's Jamal Lewis.

So, yeah, the Steelers could blow our minds. They could keep the ball for 37 minutes and run for 200 yards -- especially if Willie Parker finds his burst and the right opponent winds up at Heinz Field in the divisional round.

I just wouldn't bet what's left of your 401(k) on it.

Assume the Steelers still won't be able to free Willie (or anyone else) against a good defense, and the question becomes: Can this team win the Super Bowl without a prolific running game?

The answer, unequivocally, is yes.

The New England Patriots, in their three championship seasons, had two 100-yard rushers in nine playoff games.

Last year's New York Giants averaged 103.8 yards rushing and 3.5 yards per carry in four playoff games, failing twice to reach 100 yards.

The Steelers are averaging 100.8 yards rushing and 3.6 yards per carry.

So, let's not push the myth that a big-time running game is a prerequisite to winning it all. Even the Steelers of 2005 were a pass-first, run-later team in the playoffs.

Do you need to be able to gain a yard when you need one? Absolutely. The Steelers must rectify that problem.

But the top priority is to put the superb defense in position to win the game, or least keep it close until the fourth quarter, when Ben Roethlisberger normally does his best work.

And that means protecting the football as if it were a block of gold.

Last season's Giants turned it over twice all postseason. They relied on a stout defense, solid special teams and a quarterback who made sound decisions and clutch throws.

Roethlisberger needs to remember what he said after the most impressive victory of the Bill Cowher era -- the 21-18 playoff victory three years ago at Indianapolis.

"I got some good advice the other day from (TV analyst) Dan Dierdorf," Roethlisberger said. "He said, 'Every drive that ends in a kick is a good drive.' "

Amen, and peace be to Dan Dierdorf.

If a possession ends with a punt, fine.

If it ends with a field goal, great.

Field goals get a bad name.

The Colts, during the aforementioned 2006 playoffs, won in Baltimore without scoring a touchdown. The Steelers recently had a five-game winning streak in which 11 points would have been enough to win four of the five games.

Not that Roethlisberger has to be silly safe -- just smart.

If the Steelers meet Tennessee again, for example, the Titans clearly are vulnerable to the pass. The Jets and Texans shredded them, and Roethlisberger threw for 303 yards.

Pass, then.

Just don't pass it to the other team and cover the ball in critical areas of the field (like the goal line).

Roethlisberger is more than capable of playing this type of football. He attempted 177 passes during the five-game winning streak -- at least 30 in each game -- and threw only one interception.

Big Ben remains the Steelers' best bet on a flawed offense.

I agree wholeheartedly with Baltimore's Samari Rolle, who said, after Roethlisberger drove his team 92 yards to victory, "Ben moving around is their best play."

It's not exactly The Year of the Prolific Offense in the AFC. Playoff games can and likely will be won ugly.

The Steelers, if they protect the football, have as good a chance as anyone. Maybe better, with that defense.

TallyStiller
12-27-2008, 09:58 AM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

steelcityrules!!
12-27-2008, 10:22 AM
how would you compare the passing game and pass protection of the colts and patriots during their championship runs to the execution and protection of our offense right now?

sadly, we don't have the production in the passing game, or especially the protection.
I think the lack of a rushing attack is only going to make us more vulnerable to the pass-rush and will negate any sort of a play-action.

if our rushing attack is only 24th in the league, we need to be better than 16th in passing to rely primarily on that side of the offense, especially when it comes to poor weather, and playoff-caliber teams.

BURGH86STEEL
12-27-2008, 10:26 AM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

As of right now, Ben is not that type of QB. He cannot carry this offense without the aid of a run game. I hope he can improve in areas of his game because the organization is stuck with him for at least the next 5 years. Not only that but we will have to hear fans complain about how Ben never had this or never had that. The simple fact is that he played a huge part in this offense failing this season.

stlrz d
12-27-2008, 10:38 AM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

As of right now, Ben is not that type of QB. He cannot carry this offense without the aid of a run game. I hope he can improve in areas of his game because the organization is stuck with him for at least the next 5 years. Not only that but we will have to hear fans complain about how Ben never had this or never had that. The simple fact is that he played a huge part in this offense failing this season.

This is really what it's all about for you, isn't it?

Perhaps someday when he's long retired and we are suffering through another string of nobodies you'll appreciate what we had in Ben. He may not be perfect, but tell me...who really is?

BURGH86STEEL
12-27-2008, 11:31 AM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

As of right now, Ben is not that type of QB. He cannot carry this offense without the aid of a run game. I hope he can improve in areas of his game because the organization is stuck with him for at least the next 5 years. Not only that but we will have to hear fans complain about how Ben never had this or never had that. The simple fact is that he played a huge part in this offense failing this season.

This is really what it's all about for you, isn't it?

Perhaps someday when he's long retired and we are suffering through another string of nobodies you'll appreciate what we had in Ben. He may not be perfect, but tell me...who really is?

I was not bashing Ben. I stated an observation. Is there anything wrong with that?
Is the offensive failings all about Ben? No, they are not. He takes a huge part of the blame. What is it that we really have in Ben right now? Is he playing up to his capabilities or like a QB that signed a huge deal in the off season? I do not think he is playing at a high level.

I hope and wish the best for Ben. When Ben plays well, it is usually good for the team. I do not think he has grown much as a QB since his rookie season. I thought he would be playing better up to this point.

What if Ben never improves as a QB past this point? How long will he be with the organization if he does not improve? Was signing him worth the money if he is a not a QB that can carry this offense without a consistent run game?

This organization had a lot of success with the "nobodies" at QB.

TallyStiller
12-27-2008, 11:40 AM
The '74 Steelers, '85 Bears, and 2000 Ravens won with less offensively than we have. If our D is of that caliber, we can, too.

I'm not convinced that anybody else in the league has fewer holes or smaller warts than we do. We may win ugly, but I think we can win 3 in a row in January and February... we've played 10 games against 9 of the top 12 defenses in football the last 13 weeks. We won 6 of them, and gave the others away by turning the ball over REPEATEDLY, killing scoring drives or giving the opposition golden field position.

If this offense can just possess the ball, limit the opponent's opportunities, and score one more point than our #1 in the league D allows, we walk away with the Lombardi. I don't care if it's Willie, Mewelde and Gary who get it done, or if it's Ben, Hines, Heath, Nate, and 'Stonio. On winning teams, SOMEBODY steps up.

Steeler Shades
12-27-2008, 11:43 AM
Still the best evaluation on Ben that I've ever read. 8)

By Greg Cosell - SportingNews

....I really struggle with Roethlisberger’s maddening tendency to play sandlot football. After five years in the NFL, he still is not comfortable in the pocket. When the coverage dictates the throw before the snap, Roethlisberger can look very good, delivering with rhythm, timing and accuracy. When the throw is not evident right away, his predisposition is to rely purely on instincts, not a refined sense of reading progressions.

And that leads to a problem I see with Roethlisberger when I study him. He struggles with blitz recognition before the snap. Every blitz, no matter how well disguised, has a pre-snap indicator, and Roethlisberger too often fails to identify those keys.

As a result, Roethlisberger does not handle pressure well, both mentally and physically. He doesn’t recognize it; therefore, he doesn’t react to it with controlled, decisive responses. He’s apt to be a little frantic and hyperactive. He’s reactive rather than proactive, and that just reinforces his sandlot tendencies.

However, there are times Roethlisberger executes efficiently against pressure. Last week, in the big road win over the Ravens, he took another step in his development. On the second play of the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, Baltimore blitzed. Roethlisberger read it, and he threw a 13-yard pass to Hines Ward. The Ravens then backed off, often rushing only three and playing soft zone coverages. It was pitch and catch for Big Ben on a beautifully orchestrated, 12-play touchdown drive.

Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

But there are instances when that schoolyard inclination produces big plays at critical moments. Remember the Sunday night game against Jacksonville in early October? An 18-yard pass to Ward on the game-winning touchdown drive was classic Roethlisberger: He was frenetic in his drop, never really setting his feet. Then he left the pocket for no reason and stepped up into pressure. Finally, he used his incredible strength and downfield vision to make an unbelievable throw with a defender hanging off him. One play encapsulated the bad and the good of Big Ben.

Better than any other quarterback, Roethlisberger maintains downfield clarity while he’s on the move. Most quarterbacks, when they leave the pocket, do not have the same vision as they do when they are standing in a secure cradle. On the run, they tend to throw the ball short, usually within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Not Roethlisberger. He makes outstanding intermediate and deep throws when he leaves the pocket.

Roethlisberger makes so many good plays outside the offensive framework that you tend to lose sight of how many plays he leaves on the field. Misreads of coverages before the snap, leaving the pocket when there’s no pressure, breaking down the rhythm and continuity of the passing game—it’s a constant balancing act with one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the league.

Think of the victory over the Patriots** at the end of November. Roethlisberger played an outstanding game. He was poised, disciplined and decisive. He threw with timing, anticipation and accuracy. It was a four-quarter performance, not a series of individual snapshots. I would like to see more complete games like that.

Roethlisberger remains an instinctive, intuitive playmaker much more than a refined, precision passer who dissects defenses with consistent execution. He’s a quarterback capable of spectacular individual moments. But part of the Big Ben package is erratic, variable play that can be exasperating to watch.

Improvisation, by definition, is unpredictable and random, and therefore risky. It is not always a positive. Yet, there are very few times Roethlisberger’s uneven play hurts the Steelers on the scoreboard, because their defense keeps every game close enough that Roethlisberger’s numerous flashes of brilliance often make a difference."

Greg Cosell of NFL Films analyzes coaching tape and is executive producer of State Farm NFL Matchup. He is a frequent contributor to Sporting News.

BURGH86STEEL
12-27-2008, 11:49 AM
Still the best evaluation on Ben that I've ever read. 8)

By Greg Cosell - SportingNews

....I really struggle with Roethlisberger’s maddening tendency to play sandlot football. After five years in the NFL, he still is not comfortable in the pocket. When the coverage dictates the throw before the snap, Roethlisberger can look very good, delivering with rhythm, timing and accuracy. When the throw is not evident right away, his predisposition is to rely purely on instincts, not a refined sense of reading progressions.

And that leads to a problem I see with Roethlisberger when I study him. He struggles with blitz recognition before the snap. Every blitz, no matter how well disguised, has a pre-snap indicator, and Roethlisberger too often fails to identify those keys.

As a result, Roethlisberger does not handle pressure well, both mentally and physically. He doesn’t recognize it; therefore, he doesn’t react to it with controlled, decisive responses. He’s apt to be a little frantic and hyperactive. He’s reactive rather than proactive, and that just reinforces his sandlot tendencies.

However, there are times Roethlisberger executes efficiently against pressure. Last week, in the big road win over the Ravens, he took another step in his development. On the second play of the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, Baltimore blitzed. Roethlisberger read it, and he threw a 13-yard pass to Hines Ward. The Ravens then backed off, often rushing only three and playing soft zone coverages. It was pitch and catch for Big Ben on a beautifully orchestrated, 12-play touchdown drive.

Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

But there are instances when that schoolyard inclination produces big plays at critical moments. Remember the Sunday night game against Jacksonville in early October? An 18-yard pass to Ward on the game-winning touchdown drive was classic Roethlisberger: He was frenetic in his drop, never really setting his feet. Then he left the pocket for no reason and stepped up into pressure. Finally, he used his incredible strength and downfield vision to make an unbelievable throw with a defender hanging off him. One play encapsulated the bad and the good of Big Ben.

Better than any other quarterback, Roethlisberger maintains downfield clarity while he’s on the move. Most quarterbacks, when they leave the pocket, do not have the same vision as they do when they are standing in a secure cradle. On the run, they tend to throw the ball short, usually within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Not Roethlisberger. He makes outstanding intermediate and deep throws when he leaves the pocket.

Roethlisberger makes so many good plays outside the offensive framework that you tend to lose sight of how many plays he leaves on the field. Misreads of coverages before the snap, leaving the pocket when there’s no pressure, breaking down the rhythm and continuity of the passing game—it’s a constant balancing act with one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the league.

Think of the victory over the Patriots** at the end of November. Roethlisberger played an outstanding game. He was poised, disciplined and decisive. He threw with timing, anticipation and accuracy. It was a four-quarter performance, not a series of individual snapshots. I would like to see more complete games like that.

Roethlisberger remains an instinctive, intuitive playmaker much more than a refined, precision passer who dissects defenses with consistent execution. He’s a quarterback capable of spectacular individual moments. But part of the Big Ben package is erratic, variable play that can be exasperating to watch.

Improvisation, by definition, is unpredictable and random, and therefore risky. It is not always a positive. Yet, there are very few times Roethlisberger’s uneven play hurts the Steelers on the scoreboard, because their defense keeps every game close enough that Roethlisberger’s numerous flashes of brilliance often make a difference."

Greg Cosell of NFL Films analyzes coaching tape and is executive producer of State Farm NFL Matchup. He is a frequent contributor to Sporting News.

Cosell is usually pretty good with his analysis. Sometimes I listen to him on the radio in Philly. I would still like to see more consistency from Ben. If Ben adds more consistency to his game, he will be the best QB in the league. Right now, areas of his game are lacking consistency.

feltdizz
12-27-2008, 02:30 PM
there is no reason Willie should have 18 carries at halftime. Seriously... and we wonder why he doesn't have that burst. we need to run to keep the D honest but the 20 runs up the middle are ridiculous

stlrz d
12-27-2008, 08:16 PM
How many championships did we win with those "nobodies" at QB?

Ben may not have lit it up in the big game, but if not for his play in the playoffs we don't even get there.

grotonsteel
12-27-2008, 08:57 PM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

As of right now, Ben is not that type of QB. He cannot carry this offense without the aid of a run game. I hope he can improve in areas of his game because the organization is stuck with him for at least the next 5 years. Not only that but we will have to hear fans complain about how Ben never had this or never had that. The simple fact is that he played a huge part in this offense failing this season.

This is really what it's all about for you, isn't it?

Perhaps someday when he's long retired and we are suffering through another string of nobodies you'll appreciate what we had in Ben. He may not be perfect, but tell me...who really is?

I was not bashing Ben. I stated an observation. Is there anything wrong with that?
Is the offensive failings all about Ben? No, they are not. He takes a huge part of the blame. What is it that we really have in Ben right now? Is he playing up to his capabilities or like a QB that signed a huge deal in the off season? I do not think he is playing at a high level.

I hope and wish the best for Ben. When Ben plays well, it is usually good for the team. I do not think he has grown much as a QB since his rookie season. I thought he would be playing better up to this point.

What if Ben never improves as a QB past this point? How long will he be with the organization if he does not improve? Was signing him worth the money if he is a not a QB that can carry this offense without a consistent run game?

This organization had a lot of success with the "nobodies" at QB.

Just wanted to know few things:
Do you believe Peyton Manning goes to Pro Bowl with this O-Line and WRs Steelers have??

How does Peyton Manning perform in cold weather and slow field ??

Steeler Shades
12-27-2008, 09:26 PM
Just wanted to know few things:
Do you believe Peyton Manning goes to Pro Bowl with this O-Line and WRs Steelers have??

How does Peyton Manning perform in cold weather and slow field ??
Can't speculate on the first one, but I think there is a good possibility we'll have the answer to the second question in two weeks. 8)

BURGH86STEEL
12-28-2008, 02:53 AM
Amen! I'm tired of all the hand wringing about the running game. Ben is getting paid $15 mil a year to win games for us, not to hand the ball off. Just because we've always won with the run in the past doesn't mean it must always be so. Safe turnover free passing, with just enough running to keep them honest has served New England, St Louis, and San Fran for a total of 8 titles in the last quarter century. We can do the same.

As of right now, Ben is not that type of QB. He cannot carry this offense without the aid of a run game. I hope he can improve in areas of his game because the organization is stuck with him for at least the next 5 years. Not only that but we will have to hear fans complain about how Ben never had this or never had that. The simple fact is that he played a huge part in this offense failing this season.

This is really what it's all about for you, isn't it?

Perhaps someday when he's long retired and we are suffering through another string of nobodies you'll appreciate what we had in Ben. He may not be perfect, but tell me...who really is?

I was not bashing Ben. I stated an observation. Is there anything wrong with that?
Is the offensive failings all about Ben? No, they are not. He takes a huge part of the blame. What is it that we really have in Ben right now? Is he playing up to his capabilities or like a QB that signed a huge deal in the off season? I do not think he is playing at a high level.

I hope and wish the best for Ben. When Ben plays well, it is usually good for the team. I do not think he has grown much as a QB since his rookie season. I thought he would be playing better up to this point.

What if Ben never improves as a QB past this point? How long will he be with the organization if he does not improve? Was signing him worth the money if he is a not a QB that can carry this offense without a consistent run game?

This organization had a lot of success with the "nobodies" at QB.

Just wanted to know few things:
Do you believe Peyton Manning goes to Pro Bowl with this O-Line and WRs Steelers have??

How does Peyton Manning perform in cold weather and slow field ??

Yes, I believe that Manning could get the job done on this team. Cold weather, slow field, or whatever else. The Colts had a patch work Oline this season. Their running game is worse than the Steelers. Manning continues to play at a high level.

grotonsteel
12-28-2008, 04:03 AM
Fair enough.....

I believe Colts makeshift O-Line is far better than Steelers O-line.I would take Ugoh-Johnson-Saturday-Pollack-Diem over Steelers O-Line anytime..


Football is won in trenches and with this pathetic O-Line Peyton ain't gonna throw for 26 TDs that too against top 10 Pass Defense Ben had to face this year...


When Saturday was injured i think Peyton was leading the league in INTs...

grotonsteel
12-28-2008, 04:04 AM
Just wanted to know few things:
Do you believe Peyton Manning goes to Pro Bowl with this O-Line and WRs Steelers have??

How does Peyton Manning perform in cold weather and slow field ??
Can't speculate on the first one, but I think there is a good possibility we'll have the answer to the second question in two weeks. 8)

We will be facing the Chargers... 8)

BURGH86STEEL
12-28-2008, 10:11 AM
Fair enough.....

I believe Colts makeshift O-Line is far better than Steelers O-line.I would take Ugoh-Johnson-Saturday-Pollack-Diem over Steelers O-Line anytime..


Football is won in trenches and with this pathetic O-Line Peyton ain't gonna throw for 26 TDs that too against top 10 Pass Defense Ben had to face this year...


When Saturday was injured i think Peyton was leading the league in INTs...

It can be debated that the Colts Oline is just as bad or worse than the Steelers. The thing that off sets the Colt's Oline is Manning. Manning has faced some top 10 defenses this season with a patch work Oline. He makes the Oline better with his quick decision making. He's played at a high level without solid run game (31st in the league) and without a top defense. At first, I thought it was crazy that Manning was being talked about being MVP of the league. When I looked at the factors involved, the Colts don't make the playoffs without him.

Manning was coming off double knee surgery and missed the preseason. That had a lot to do with his slow start.

grotonsteel
12-28-2008, 01:45 PM
Fair enough.....

I believe Colts makeshift O-Line is far better than Steelers O-line.I would take Ugoh-Johnson-Saturday-Pollack-Diem over Steelers O-Line anytime..


Football is won in trenches and with this pathetic O-Line Peyton ain't gonna throw for 26 TDs that too against top 10 Pass Defense Ben had to face this year...


When Saturday was injured i think Peyton was leading the league in INTs...

It can be debated that the Colts Oline is just as bad or worse than the Steelers. The thing that off sets the Colt's Oline is Manning. Manning has faced some top 10 defenses this season with a patch work Oline. He makes the Oline better with his quick decision making. He's played at a high level without solid run game (31st in the league) and without a top defense. At first, I thought it was crazy that Manning was being talked about being MVP of the league. When I looked at the factors involved, the Colts don't make the playoffs without him.

Manning was coming off double knee surgery and missed the preseason. That had a lot to do with his slow start.

Well i am not trying to suggest Ben is better than Peyton but my whole point is Peyton will struggle on Steelers Offense...With this OC, O-line and WRs he will struggle....He won't have 26 TD..

How many top10 defense manning faced? Colts defense is not that bad (11th ranked in YPG).....Do you believe Manning won the Steelers game?? Do you believe if we have QB like Peyton or Drew Brees who believe in quick strike Steelers "Defense" will be top-3??

Also why is Ben's shoulder injury not taken into account? And can you tell me why did this Dunk and Dump Offense did not work for Tom Brady against G-Men or for that matter Peyton always struggled in Foxboro until they had good running game...