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NKySteeler
07-14-2009, 05:11 PM
While the site, Bleacher Report, is not the most notable... I agree with the sentiment of this article...

The Steelers Should Run With the Idea of Mixing Play-Calling Up More
by Todd Fleming (Analyst)
July 13, 2009

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/1419/108018feature.jpg

One common complaint on message boards and blog sites throughout 2008 was that the Steelers had gotten away from “Steelers football,” at least on the offensive side of the ball.

By “Steelers football,” the writer is typically referring to an offense built around a power “between the tackles” running game.

It also could mean lining up a hulking power runner behind a fullback and plowing full throttle into the middle of a line until the opposing defense is ready to wave the white flag in surrender.

This idea of “Steelers football” is all about lining up across from the defense and smashing them right in the mouth again and again and again.

But, this style of offense only works when you have the right kind of personnel to execute it.

There have been plenty of times in their history when the Steelers had the perfect personnel to play this style of ball.

Throughout much of the 70s, the Steelers had one of the best power backs in football with Franco Harris running behind a bruising run-blocking offensive line.

But, it is worth noting that nearly all offenses during this era were oriented around a power running game. The difference with the Steelers is that they did it better than just about everyone else.

But, the Steelers’ offense had evolved by the late 1970s. The Steelers’ offense that won the last two Super Bowls of that decade was not the same offense that captured the first two.

The Steelers slew the Cowboys in round two in the 1979 Super Bowl and the Rams in 1980 with an aerial circus attack that turned John Stallworth and Lynn Swann into household names.

Terry Bradshaw overcame three interceptions in his final Super Bowl to lead the team to victory and capture the MVP trophy.

John Stallworth and Lynn Swann are in the Hall of Fame today largely on the strength of their playoff performances during those two Super Bowl runs.

This was not the same risk adverse team that believed that three yards and a cloud of dust, when backed by defense that took no prisoners, was the ultimate play, as was the case with the 1975 squad that battered the Vikings.

In the 1980s, the Steelers tried to return to their power football roots out of a sense of necessity.

Their quarterbacks, with such headliners as Cliff Stoudt and Mark Malone, were wretched. Unfortunately, their running backs weren’t a whole lot better with the highly touted Tim Worley serving as the last failure at that position of that decade.

The 1990s saw Bill Cowher take over the reigns of the team and reinstall a successful power running attack. He was able to put together the pieces that ushered in a return of “Steelers football” in the first half of the decade with running backs like Barry Foster and Bam Morris running behind very good offensive lines.

But, Cowher played to the strength of his players. The superb 1994 and 1995 Steelers’ squads relied every bit as much on its passing game, featuring Neal O’Donnell throwing to Yancey Thigpen and Andre Hastings, as it did on its running game. O’Donnell was the team MVP in 1995.

O’Donnell is arguably the most vilified player in the history of the Steelers, but we forget that he headlined some very effective passing attacks, especially when he was paired with the underrated Thigpen.

The Steelers acquired one of the best power runners in the history of the game in 1996 in Jerome Bettis in what might have been the best trade in team history, ushering in another era of power running football.

But, by the time the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2005, Bettis’ best days were behind him. The Steelers were not a power run team that year with Bettis filling a niche role on the team. It was an important role, but not central to their offense in any way.

They built their leads behind their passing game while featuring a speed back in Willie Parker that kept defenses off balance.

They primarily switched to the run game after building their leads through the air, using the run game to run the clock.

It is at best a myth and at worst an intentional slander to say that Ben Roethlisberger was along for the ride on a team that featured the run en route to the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl title, although you hear that on a regular basis, even from sportswriters who should know better.

The story was much the same in 2008. When the Steelers offense was most successful in the playoffs, it built leads through the air before shifting to a run game that was mostly stuck in neutral.

The point I’m trying to make here is that, when it comes to the offense, “Steelers football” should be a fluid term.

While the team has frequently relied on power running games throughout the last four decades, it has also shifted to a more pass oriented attacks when the personnel were better suited to that style of offense.

The problem I had with the playcalling in 2008 was that the Steelers and Bruce Arians seemed to over commit to a run game that was not working.

Sure, the fullback was scrapped. But, I’m not sure the Steelers would have been much more successful running behind a fullback.

The playcalling was predictable enough that I had a pretty good idea what was going to be called on any given down. There was little ingenuity and flexibility.

As such, the Steelers were the No. 23 ranked offense in the league in 2008. Considering the dominance of the defense, it is not unfair to say that they were one of the worst offenses in the NFL during the regular season.

What I’d like to see in 2009 is a less predictable offense that maximizes the strengths of the players while minimizing their weaknesses. If this means largely scrapping the power running game until a future date when the personnel line up better with that style of offense, it wouldn’t be the first time.

If it means more screens and misdirection plays, that is what the Steelers should emphasize.

The Steelers current offensive strength seems more weighted towards the passing game. They have an outstanding quarterback, good receivers, and an offensive line that has shown more improvement in its pass blocking than in its run blocking.

In a healthy dose of irony considering its power running reputation, the team features two wide receivers who have both captured Super Bowl MVP trophies, making it the first offense in history to feature such a tandem.

While I’m not quite sure I want to see the Steelers try and imitate the Dan Fouts’ led Chargers of old or the team never to be mentioned’s aerial circus of a couple years back, I think they would benefit from relying a bit more on the pass.

I’d love to see Ben Roethlisberger given the opportunity to run a no huddle offense more often, not just when the game is on the line.

Flexibility should be the key attribute of an offense that seeks to attack a defense’s weaknesses while playing to its strengths.

If this means we have to reevaluate what it means to play “Steelers football” on the offensive side of the ball, that is a small price to pay for overall team success.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2170 ... id-concept (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/217090-pittsburgh-steelers-football-should-be-a-fluid-concept)

Flasteel
07-14-2009, 05:55 PM
While the site, Bleacher Report, is not the most notable... I agree with the sentiment of this article...

The Steelers Should Run With the Idea of Mixing Play-Calling Up More
by Todd Fleming (Analyst)
July 13, 2009

http://img34.imageshack.us/img34/1419/108018feature.jpg

One common complaint on message boards and blog sites throughout 2008 was that the Steelers had gotten away from “Steelers football,” at least on the offensive side of the ball.

By “Steelers football,” the writer is typically referring to an offense built around a power “between the tackles” running game.

It also could mean lining up a hulking power runner behind a fullback and plowing full throttle into the middle of a line until the opposing defense is ready to wave the white flag in surrender.

This idea of “Steelers football” is all about lining up across from the defense and smashing them right in the mouth again and again and again.

But, this style of offense only works when you have the right kind of personnel to execute it.

There have been plenty of times in their history when the Steelers had the perfect personnel to play this style of ball.

Throughout much of the 70s, the Steelers had one of the best power backs in football with Franco Harris running behind a bruising run-blocking offensive line.

But, it is worth noting that nearly all offenses during this era were oriented around a power running game. The difference with the Steelers is that they did it better than just about everyone else.

But, the Steelers’ offense had evolved by the late 1970s. The Steelers’ offense that won the last two Super Bowls of that decade was not the same offense that captured the first two.

The Steelers slew the Cowboys in round two in the 1979 Super Bowl and the Rams in 1980 with an aerial circus attack that turned John Stallworth and Lynn Swann into household names.

Terry Bradshaw overcame three interceptions in his final Super Bowl to lead the team to victory and capture the MVP trophy.

John Stallworth and Lynn Swann are in the Hall of Fame today largely on the strength of their playoff performances during those two Super Bowl runs.

This was not the same risk adverse team that believed that three yards and a cloud of dust, when backed by defense that took no prisoners, was the ultimate play, as was the case with the 1975 squad that battered the Vikings.

In the 1980s, the Steelers tried to return to their power football roots out of a sense of necessity.

Their quarterbacks, with such headliners as Cliff Stoudt and Mark Malone, were wretched. Unfortunately, their running backs weren’t a whole lot better with the highly touted Tim Worley serving as the last failure at that position of that decade.

The 1990s saw Bill Cowher take over the reigns of the team and reinstall a successful power running attack. He was able to put together the pieces that ushered in a return of “Steelers football” in the first half of the decade with running backs like Barry Foster and Bam Morris running behind very good offensive lines.

But, Cowher played to the strength of his players. The superb 1994 and 1995 Steelers’ squads relied every bit as much on its passing game, featuring Neal O’Donnell throwing to Yancey Thigpen and Andre Hastings, as it did on its running game. O’Donnell was the team MVP in 1995.

O’Donnell is arguably the most vilified player in the history of the Steelers, but we forget that he headlined some very effective passing attacks, especially when he was paired with the underrated Thigpen.

The Steelers acquired one of the best power runners in the history of the game in 1996 in Jerome Bettis in what might have been the best trade in team history, ushering in another era of power running football.

But, by the time the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2005, Bettis’ best days were behind him. The Steelers were not a power run team that year with Bettis filling a niche role on the team. It was an important role, but not central to their offense in any way.

They built their leads behind their passing game while featuring a speed back in Willie Parker that kept defenses off balance.

They primarily switched to the run game after building their leads through the air, using the run game to run the clock.

It is at best a myth and at worst an intentional slander to say that Ben Roethlisberger was along for the ride on a team that featured the run en route to the Steelers' 2005 Super Bowl title, although you hear that on a regular basis, even from sportswriters who should know better.

The story was much the same in 2008. When the Steelers offense was most successful in the playoffs, it built leads through the air before shifting to a run game that was mostly stuck in neutral.

The point I’m trying to make here is that, when it comes to the offense, “Steelers football” should be a fluid term.

While the team has frequently relied on power running games throughout the last four decades, it has also shifted to a more pass oriented attacks when the personnel were better suited to that style of offense.

The problem I had with the playcalling in 2008 was that the Steelers and Bruce Arians seemed to over commit to a run game that was not working.

Sure, the fullback was scrapped. But, I’m not sure the Steelers would have been much more successful running behind a fullback.

The playcalling was predictable enough that I had a pretty good idea what was going to be called on any given down. There was little ingenuity and flexibility.

As such, the Steelers were the No. 23 ranked offense in the league in 2008. Considering the dominance of the defense, it is not unfair to say that they were one of the worst offenses in the NFL during the regular season.

What I’d like to see in 2009 is a less predictable offense that maximizes the strengths of the players while minimizing their weaknesses. If this means largely scrapping the power running game until a future date when the personnel line up better with that style of offense, it wouldn’t be the first time.

If it means more screens and misdirection plays, that is what the Steelers should emphasize.

The Steelers current offensive strength seems more weighted towards the passing game. They have an outstanding quarterback, good receivers, and an offensive line that has shown more improvement in its pass blocking than in its run blocking.

In a healthy dose of irony considering its power running reputation, the team features two wide receivers who have both captured Super Bowl MVP trophies, making it the first offense in history to feature such a tandem.

While I’m not quite sure I want to see the Steelers try and imitate the Dan Fouts’ led Chargers of old or the team never to be mentioned’s aerial circus of a couple years back, I think they would benefit from relying a bit more on the pass.

I’d love to see Ben Roethlisberger given the opportunity to run a no huddle offense more often, not just when the game is on the line.

Flexibility should be the key attribute of an offense that seeks to attack a defense’s weaknesses while playing to its strengths.

If this means we have to reevaluate what it means to play “Steelers football” on the offensive side of the ball, that is a small price to pay for overall team success.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2170 ... id-concept (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/217090-pittsburgh-steelers-football-should-be-a-fluid-concept)

This is pretty much what I've been saying all along...we don't run an offense that maximizes our players strengths. I'm not sure how much better our line pass protects vs run blocking but as long as we have this kind of quality among our quarterback and receivers, passing should be our primary mode of attack.

The cog in this of course is Rashard Mendenhall. I'm hoping that he shows enough power to attack the middle of the line and allow Parker to be used more exclusively on the edge. A more potent running game will do wonders in slowing down the pass rush and what this author stated about the no huddle needs to be pasted on Bruce Arians office door. A balanced offense is the key, but with Roethlisberger pulling the trigger we need to take advantage of his skill set.

Great article.

NKySteeler
07-14-2009, 06:10 PM
This is pretty much what I've been saying all along...we don't run an offense that maximizes our players strengths. I'm not sure how much better our line pass protects vs run blocking but as long as we have this kind of quality among our quarterback and receivers, passing should be our primary mode of attack.

The cog in this of course is Rashard Mendenhall. I'm hoping that he shows enough power to attack the middle of the line and allow Parker to be used more exclusively on the edge. A more potent running game will do wonders in slowing down the pass rush and what this author stated about the no huddle needs to be pasted on Bruce Arians office door. A balanced offense is the key, but with Roethlisberger pulling the trigger we need to take advantage of his skill set.

Great article.

I also am not sure about the quality of the pass versus run blocking, but it definitely seems as if we have the offensive talent to open it up a bit more IMO... I'm still not sold on Mendy going up the middle, but combined with Parker, and possibly our new bruiser-back Summers, it could be a formidable group.... I hope we see just this... A balanced, mixed-up playcalling offense that is much less predictable.

Not sure about you, but I could almost predict some of the play calls last year... And if an idiot like me can do it, it stands to reason that those across the line did as well.

dirt
07-14-2009, 09:38 PM
The problem I had with the playcalling in 2008 was that the Steelers and Bruce Arians seemed to over commit to a run game that was not working.

Sure, the fullback was scrapped. But, I’m not sure the Steelers would have been much more successful running behind a fullback.

The playcalling was predictable enough that I had a pretty good idea what was going to be called on any given down. There was little ingenuity and flexibility.

As such, the Steelers were the No. 23 ranked offense in the league in 2008. Considering the dominance of the defense, it is not unfair to say that they were one of the worst offenses in the NFL during the regular season.


Wait, I thought anyone who blames the offensive coordinator was stupid. :roll:

NKySteeler
07-14-2009, 09:51 PM
Wait, I thought anyone who blames the offensive coordinator was stupid. :roll:

Not by me.... I'm apparently one of the "stupid" ones for not liking our OC.... :lol:

Oviedo
07-15-2009, 08:05 AM
I hate any reference to "Steelers football." It should be about winning not how you do it. Besides if there was anything about "Steelers football" it would start and end with defense not running.

The league rules have been changed to greatly favor passing offenses. Of course we should ignore that and not take advanatage of it because it isn't "Steelers football." We just paid a QB $102M to be "the guy." Of course now we should have him hand off the ball more to RBs instead of passing the ball. :?

MeetJoeGreene
07-15-2009, 08:12 AM
The playcalling was predictable enough that I had a pretty good idea what was going to be called on any given down. There was little ingenuity and flexibility.


What I’d like to see in 2009 is a less predictable offense that maximizes the strengths of the players while minimizing their weaknesses. If this means largely scrapping the power running game until a future date when the personnel line up better with that style of offense, it wouldn’t be the first time.

If it means more screens and misdirection plays, that is what the Steelers should emphasize.

$$$$$$$

AngryAsian
07-15-2009, 08:24 AM
This is pretty much what I've been saying all along...we don't run an offense that maximizes our players strengths. I'm not sure how much better our line pass protects vs run blocking but as long as we have this kind of quality among our quarterback and receivers, passing should be our primary mode of attack.

The cog in this of course is Rashard Mendenhall. I'm hoping that he shows enough power to attack the middle of the line and allow Parker to be used more exclusively on the edge. A more potent running game will do wonders in slowing down the pass rush and what this author stated about the no huddle needs to be pasted on Bruce Arians office door. A balanced offense is the key, but with Roethlisberger pulling the trigger we need to take advantage of his skill set.

Great article.

I also am not sure about the quality of the pass versus run blocking, but it definitely seems as if we have the offensive talent to open it up a bit more IMO... I'm still not sold on Mendy going up the middle, but combined with Parker, and possibly our new bruiser-back Summers, it could be a formidable group.... I hope we see just this... A balanced, mixed-up playcalling offense that is much less predictable.

Not sure about you, but I could almost predict some of the play calls last year... And if an idiot like me can do it, it stands to reason that those across the line did as well.


How many countless of venting sessions we had last year regarding this fact. Like you said, the predictability of the plays were often too glaring. A lot has been said about the critical nature of some the posts generated by you, me, Flasteel and some others regarding our OC, with supporting statements from the other side of the coin being, "Ya, he sucks... that's why we won the Superbowl." I make this statement regarding that fact. If your out grilling BBQ and you spill some BBQ sauce on your white apron, do you say "well 90% of my apron is untarnished." Nope, your eye is drawn to that on part of the apron with the appauling stain. That's my logic on the subject.

Our team has superb areas that I know will garnish us another SB title. Surely there's nothing wrong to want an area of our team that was lacklustered to improve.

Mister Pittsburgh
07-16-2009, 03:41 AM
I have been saying, and getting ripped on for saying, exactly what that article says.

Bruce Arians sucks. :twisted:

Slapstick
07-16-2009, 10:35 AM
If your out grilling BBQ and you spill some BBQ sauce on your white apron, do you say "well 90% of my apron is untarnished." Nope, your eye is drawn to that on part of the apron with the appauling stain. That's my logic on the subject.

My grilling apron is black with a hypocycloid in the middle, so, you generally can't tell when I've spilled BBQ sauce on it...

That's my logic on the subject... :lol:

ikestops85
07-16-2009, 10:56 AM
C'mon, like you guys could tell if Willie was running over right guard or left guard on first down. Jeesh. :roll: BA was an expert at disguising that.


(we really need a sarcasm smilie on this site) :lol:

pfelix73
07-16-2009, 11:17 AM
I too am one of those folks who does not like the way BA calls a game. Just because I'm of the old school too that running the ball wins games.

But if he wants to open it up every game and Ben keeps playing well, then so be it. I'll continue to enjoy the air assault.

Sometime, though, they are gonna have to run more..... IMO.

:2c