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fordfixer
09-06-2009, 10:35 PM
Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Crunching the numbers
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 41816.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_641816.html)

The Steelers didn't overwhelm teams with offensive firepower on their way to a sixth Super Bowl victory last season. Here is where they finished among the 32 NFL teams in a couple of key categories:

Team avg., NFL rank

Scoring: 21.7, 20

Rushing offense: 105.6, 23

Rushing yards per carry: 3.7, 29

Passing offense: 206.3, 17

Total offense: 311.9, 22


The Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in rushing, passing and total offense.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would like to see the Steelers improve significantly in those areas, if only to take some pressure off their defense.

"We need to set our goals higher and be better because we just can't keep relying on our defense every single game to win the game for us," Roethlisberger said. "So we set our sights and the bar high this year."

The cynic might point out that the bar set by the offense last season would eliminate most people from the start in a game of limbo.

To be fair, a unit that proved to be as a lightning rod for fan criticism put together drives when the Steelers needed it most. And the eight-play, 78-yard piece de resistance at the end of Super Bowl XLIII served as the prime example of the offense and Roethlisberger's ability to come through in the clutch.

"We're not about statistics on offense," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "It's all about the scoreboard."

That mindset makes it unlikely that Arians will open up the offense this season.

A defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season returns largely intact. That coupled with Roethlisberger's flair for late-game dramatics all but dictates that the Steelers will be more conservative than not in regard to their offensive philosophy.

That is especially true with Daniel Sepulveda returning to punt he missed last season with a right knee injury and giving the Steelers an added advantage when it comes to the all-important battle for field position.

"Of course we want to make some big plays, but don't expect us to go out there and air it out 60 times a game," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We won the Super Bowl with what works best for us: running the ball, controlling the time of possession, making first downs when we have to and now and then take our shots down the field."

Running the ball didn't work out nearly as well for the Steelers last season than it has in past years.

The Steelers averaged just under 106 rushing yards per game their lowest output in the ground game since 2003 and there were myriad reasons why they proved to be so underwhelming in an area that is usually one of their strengths.

The running back position got hit hard by injuries, and the offensive line had to come together following the early losses of left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and right guard Kendall Simmons (foot).

The line should be improved, provided it can stay healthy, and the Steelers are hopeful that second-year man Rashard Mendenhall is ready to team with Willie Parker and give them a formidable tandem at running back.

"We just need to be balanced," Ward said. "If we don't turn the ball over with our great defense, more than likely we should be in the ball game."

AkronSteel
09-07-2009, 10:05 AM
Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

By Scott Brown, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Crunching the numbers
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 41816.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_641816.html)

The Steelers didn't overwhelm teams with offensive firepower on their way to a sixth Super Bowl victory last season. Here is where they finished among the 32 NFL teams in a couple of key categories:

Team avg., NFL rank

Scoring: 21.7, 20

Rushing offense: 105.6, 23

Rushing yards per carry: 3.7, 29

Passing offense: 206.3, 17

Total offense: 311.9, 22


The Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in rushing, passing and total offense.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would like to see the Steelers improve significantly in those areas, if only to take some pressure off their defense.

"We need to set our goals higher and be better because we just can't keep relying on our defense every single game to win the game for us," Roethlisberger said. "So we set our sights and the bar high this year."

The cynic might point out that the bar set by the offense last season would eliminate most people from the start in a game of limbo.

To be fair, a unit that proved to be as a lightning rod for fan criticism put together drives when the Steelers needed it most. And the eight-play, 78-yard piece de resistance at the end of Super Bowl XLIII served as the prime example of the offense and Roethlisberger's ability to come through in the clutch.

"We're not about statistics on offense," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "It's all about the scoreboard."

That mindset makes it unlikely that Arians will open up the offense this season.

A defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season returns largely intact. That coupled with Roethlisberger's flair for late-game dramatics all but dictates that the Steelers will be more conservative than not in regard to their offensive philosophy.

That is especially true with Daniel Sepulveda returning to punt he missed last season with a right knee injury and giving the Steelers an added advantage when it comes to the all-important battle for field position.

"Of course we want to make some big plays, but don't expect us to go out there and air it out 60 times a game," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We won the Super Bowl with what works best for us: running the ball, controlling the time of possession, making first downs when we have to and now and then take our shots down the field."

Running the ball didn't work out nearly as well for the Steelers last season than it has in past years.

The Steelers averaged just under 106 rushing yards per game their lowest output in the ground game since 2003 and there were myriad reasons why they proved to be so underwhelming in an area that is usually one of their strengths.

The running back position got hit hard by injuries, and the offensive line had to come together following the early losses of left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and right guard Kendall Simmons (foot).

The line should be improved, provided it can stay healthy, and the Steelers are hopeful that second-year man Rashard Mendenhall is ready to team with Willie Parker and give them a formidable tandem at running back.

"We just need to be balanced," Ward said. "If we don't turn the ball over with our great defense, more than likely we should be in the ball game."

This is the case every year!!! If the Steelers don't turn the ball over and beat themselves there are not many teams out there than can get by them. Win the turnover battle and win the game!!!