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fordfixer
10-03-2009, 02:51 AM
Jim Wexell | Steelers’ offense is failing to put teams away
By JIM WEXELL
FOR?THE?TRIBUNE-DEMOCRAT
http://www.tribune-democrat.com/prospor ... 04234.html (http://www.tribune-democrat.com/prosports/local_story_276004234.html)

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger might be the king of the comeback – as he repeatedly shows against some of the toughest defenses in the league.

But, with a lead, Roethlisberger’s just another robot taking orders from a coach who wants to kill the clock with the running game.

In the past two games, the Steelers have not killed the clock, and they’ve squandered leads and lost both games.

So, why can’t the Steelers attack with Roethlisberger as if he’s trying to come from behind?

“I guess you could,” Roethlisberger said. “When we’re behind we’re pressing the issue, we’re passing, we’re really hurrying things up, and when you get the lead you tend to slow things down and run the ball and try to use up as much clock as you can. So, I guess you could, but the smart play is to use the clock and count on your defense.”

But, it hasn’t been so smart lately, has it?

“Two games,” Roethlisberger said, emphasizing the shallow pool of statistical evidence.

Problem is, it hasn’t only been two games for the Steelers. Before letting fourth-quarter leads slip in Chicago and Cincinnati, the Steelers lost a fourth-quarter lead in the Super Bowl. In fact, the past six times the Steelers have sent out their offense for a series (that didn’t include a kneeldown) with a lead of eight points or fewer, they’ve lost that short lead five times.

The Steelers lost late leads, and games, to the Bears, Bengals, Colts and Giants. Fortunately, they had enough time to rally for wins after blowing late leads against the Cardinals in the Super Bowl and the Ravens in the first meeting last season.

The only short fourth-quarter lead they haven’t squandered since hosting the Ravens early last season was the AFC championship game, in which the Steelers went three-and-out with a two-point fourth-quarter lead. Troy Polamalu’s interception return for a touchdown ended Baltimore’s chance to rally in that game.

Want to blame the defense for the recent problems? Fine.

But, the offense isn’t helping.

While playing with short fourth-quarter leads since the start of the 2008 season, the Steelers have run 15 first-down plays. Eleven of those have been running plays for 23 yards, with four passes (two completions) for a total of 0 yards. Inevitably, the Steelers stall, punt and blow the lead.

Can’t the Steelers keep their foot on the accelerator with a lead?

“Oh, yeah, sure,” said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

“We kind of did that in Chicago.”

Only, they didn’t. In Chicago, with a 14-7 fourth-quarter lead, the Steelers handed off to Parker on one first down and threw Parker a 3-yard pass on the other. The drive stalled, Jeff Reed missed a kick, the Bears tied the game, and later won it.

“We were successful on first down in Cincinnati and not as successful on seconds,” Arians continued. “It set up a couple third downs where we were outside of a makeable third down when they all-out blitzed and tackled the hot receiver.”

With a five-point fourth-quarter lead in Cincinnati, Parker ran for no gain on one first down and for 3 yards on the other. The Steelers punted and the Bengals drove for the winning touchdown.

“If you feel you can take the time off the clock, and make first downs, you can run the ball,” Arians said. “If not, you’ve got to continue to throw it and mix it up and make first downs. The key thing is making first downs and gaining possession of the football.”

Maybe that’s the problem.

Maybe the key is not “making first downs,” but instead scoring, adding to the lead, and driving a spike into the heart of the opponent. The Steelers have the quarterback and the receivers to do it. Maybe they just need to change the way they look at it.

And why not? It couldn’t be worse than the current course of action.



Jim Wexell covers the Pittsburgh Steelers for The?Tribune-Democrat.

bostonsteeler
10-03-2009, 08:43 AM
Why does Arians come across repeatedly as a somewhat stodgy and dumb person?

Does he really believe he was stepping on the gas in Chicago? He's delusional, and seems to be irrepairably so.

Jooser
10-03-2009, 10:05 AM
To quote Larry the Cable Guy: "You can't fix Stupid." :lol:

Mister Pittsburgh
10-03-2009, 10:26 AM
Why does Arians come across repeatedly as a somewhat stodgy and dumb person?

Does he really believe he was stepping on the gas in Chicago? He's delusional, and seems to be irrepairably so.

Exactly. He does. Putting the throttle wide open would be lining up with 4 wides and Moore and running the no huddle to put that last TD on the board to break their backs. Instead we run it and punt it and keep teams in the game.

DukieBoy
10-03-2009, 09:13 PM
Oh

schillah
10-03-2009, 10:24 PM
Arians is very stubborn.

RuthlessBurgher
10-03-2009, 11:58 PM
To quote Larry the Cable Guy: "You can't fix Stupid." :lol:

I think that was Rex Ryan...I mean Ron White, who said "You can't fix Stupid"...D@mn it! I keep mixing those two up!

JDSteeler
10-04-2009, 10:45 AM
Where has Wexell been, under a friggin rock??? Does he think this
is something new!!

I've been on Ari-anus since he became the OC. I was the one who called
him "THE MOLE"!!!!

Arians is a Stubborn, Old, Fat, Idiot!!!!

I knew this guy was stupid, but I didn't realize just how stupid until
now!!!

WTF is Tomlin doing with a meat-head like this on his staff???

That must make Tomlin an Old, Fat, Idiot, meat-head loving fool!!!!! :wft

Arians says trying to get first downs, and run the clock....what happened
to scoring some friggin points??? :loser

He's not only delusional, he's comatose!!!!!

The problem is that we'd have to miss the playoffs for this bone-head to be
fired. And that's a MAYBE, at best!!

I'm not sure how we can win the SB, and have Arians fired?? I wanna have my
cake and EAT it too!!!!

JD

bostonsteeler
10-05-2009, 01:02 AM
bump :-)

Who's dumping on Arians now?

Whatta game!

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 10:13 AM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know

feltdizz
10-05-2009, 11:42 AM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know
Shouldn't this thread be called D fails to put teams away? :HeadBanger

drprwnap
10-05-2009, 12:07 PM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know
Shouldn't this thread be called D fails to put teams away? :HeadBanger

:Agree

I asked last week-how many points do we need to be ahead in the 4th Qtr. Last night, 28 WASN"T ENOUGH! This defense has more problems that Troy being out........

JTP53609
10-05-2009, 12:11 PM
well last week the offense did not look bad, if santonio runs the right route we are 3-1 right now, but oh well...the dfense is bad, i would not say okay. i would say bad, i have faith they will get better though, they are awesome to start games thoughl

frankthetank1
10-05-2009, 12:29 PM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know
Shouldn't this thread be called D fails to put teams away? :HeadBanger

:Agree

I asked last week-how many points do we need to be ahead in the 4th Qtr. Last night, 28 WASN"T ENOUGH! This defense has more problems that Troy being out........

i agree. i think the board should complain more about the defense than the offense and if any cordinator should be criticized its Lebeau not arians. the defense is now the weak link. last season 14 points would be enough in most games to get a W, not this season. the defense does have a lot more problems than just troy missing time.

grotonsteel
10-05-2009, 05:26 PM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know
Shouldn't this thread be called D fails to put teams away? :HeadBanger

:Agree

I asked last week-how many points do we need to be ahead in the 4th Qtr. Last night, 28 WASN"T ENOUGH! This defense has more problems that Troy being out........

i agree. i think the board should complain more about the defense than the offense and if any cordinator should be criticized its Lebeau not arians. the defense is now the weak link. last season 14 points would be enough in most games to get a W, not this season. the defense does have a lot more problems than just troy missing time.

:Agree


Another question i have though is lot of sackmaster are MIA. Ware is yet to register a sack...Peppers is MIA so is Porter....i am not sure how Allen is doing for Minn..

Is this because of new rules or Offense have adapted well to negate the sacks....quick release/dink and dunk/screen/blitz pickup by O-line?

RuthlessBurgher
10-05-2009, 07:31 PM
i have never seen big ben look so good, flawless last night, glad they put it in his hands with under 6 minutes to go nursing a 7 pt lead......we have an outstanding qb in case you dont know
Shouldn't this thread be called D fails to put teams away? :HeadBanger

:Agree

I asked last week-how many points do we need to be ahead in the 4th Qtr. Last night, 28 WASN"T ENOUGH! This defense has more problems that Troy being out........

i agree. i think the board should complain more about the defense than the offense and if any cordinator should be criticized its Lebeau not arians. the defense is now the weak link. last season 14 points would be enough in most games to get a W, not this season. the defense does have a lot more problems than just troy missing time.

:Agree


Another question i have though is lot of sackmaster are MIA. Ware is yet to register a sack...Peppers is MIA so is Porter....i am not sure how Allen is doing for Minn..

Is this because of new rules or Offense have adapted well to negate the sacks....quick release/dink and dunk/screen/blitz pickup by O-line?

Then again, you have guys like Elvis Dumervil and Antwan Odom having career years so far sack-wise. But we are only at the quarter pole right now. With such a small sample size of games played, a huge game by one guy can make him look incredible, while Harrison, Ware, Porter, Peppers, Woodley, etc. have not had their big game(s) yet, but there is still plenty of football to be played. Success sustained over a season is more impressive than just one hot or cold month. I expect the cream to rise to the top by the time 16 games are played.

Discipline of Steel
10-05-2009, 07:40 PM
:Agree


Another question i have though is lot of sackmaster are MIA. Ware is yet to register a sack...Peppers is MIA so is Porter....i am not sure how Allen is doing for Minn..

Is this because of new rules or Offense have adapted well to negate the sacks....quick release/dink and dunk/screen/blitz pickup by O-line?

Then again, you have guys like Elvis Dumervil and Antwan Odom having career years so far sack-wise. But we are only at the quarter pole right now. With such a small sample size of games played, a huge game by one guy can make him look incredible, while Harrison, Ware, Porter, Peppers, Woodley, etc. have not had their big game(s) yet, but there is still plenty of football to be played. Success sustained over a season is more impressive than just one hot or cold month. I expect the cream to rise to the top by the time 16 games are played.

Meanwhile James Harrison IS consistantly building his stats with 3 sacks and 3 forced fumbles. 7 forced fumbles by Mr. Harrison was enough to lead the NFL last year. Jason Taylor has the record with 9 in 2006. At this rate Mr. Harrison will finish with 12. He is violent.

fezziwig
10-05-2009, 07:52 PM
Good point about one man with a good game at the start of the season can make all others look bad. I still don't understand how we are not getting the pressure by Woodley and Harrison. You would think they would or could even get their hands on the QB or push a lineman back into them but, that isn't even happening.

I would have liked to seen some corner blitzing but, Rivers was getting the ball to Gates so quickly, it wouldn't of helped. Also, with the quick passes, I seem to remember Kiesel or Smith getting their hands up more in the past when offenses had taken that approach.

Why does the tightends or underneath guys always seem to torch our defense ? I realize we don't give up the big pass that way but, what we do give up is a steady march down the field on our defense.