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Jooser
12-12-2009, 11:01 AM
Damn, right on Florio, for once anyways....


Bulk of Pittsburgh blame rest with Arians

Posted by Mike Florio on December 12, 2009 9:14 AM ET

With the entire coaching staff returning and 19 of 22 starters in place to begin the year, the Steelers were expected to make a serious run at accomplishing the thing that the Steelers of the 1970s did twice -- win back-to-back Super Bowls.

A 6-2 start to the season only reinforced the belief that the Steelers would be right in the thick of things come January, and possibly February.

Though a return to the postseason is still not impossible, it's highly unlikely at this point.

So what's wrong with this team? We devoted Friday's PFT Daily exclusively to the subject, and there surely will be much discussion and debate in and beyond Pittsburgh regarding the things that need to be done to get the franchise back on track.

But here's the most obvious fix -- bid farewell to offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

Arians has lived by the pass and, particularly on Thursday night in Cleveland, died by it. As John Harris of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review points out, the Steelers' first two drives of the game ended with sacks of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who lined up in shotgun formation on third and short.

"You figure that is a run down," tackle Willie Colon said, per Harris. "[T]hat's usually a down for our running backs." :Clap

But not with Bruce Arians, who has turned the notion of Steeler football on its head by throwing the ball in such circumstances. Or, more accurately, by not throwing the ball because Roethlisberger again held the ball way too long.

Big Ben isn't blameless here. On third and short from shotgun formation, there's no excuse to not get rid of the ball quickly. Standing five yards back from the line, he's in great position to check the coverages, adjust a route or two if needed, and put a guy in position to have the ball in his hands before Colon or any other member of the offensive line is getting another green stain on the seat of his yellow pants.

By Week 14, however, Arians needs to factor his quarterback's tendencies into the plays that are called. And with the running game working (as it was early Thursday night), there's no reason to pass -- from shotgun -- on two straight third downs to start the game.

Coach Mike Tomlin has the ultimately responsibility for the offense and defense, but that Super Bowl trophy and a strong aversion by the franchise to changing coaches guarantees that Tomlin and "hot seat" won't be used in the same sentence until he is well into his 40s, at the earliest.

But Tomlin can, and should, hold members of his staff accountable -- especially those members of his staff that he inherited.

In order to get back to Steeler football, Arians needs to go.

steelfin
12-12-2009, 12:22 PM
Don't forget to take the ST and OL coach with you....

Scarletfire1970
12-12-2009, 02:21 PM
It's a passing league now. The rules favor the passing game. The 3 yards and a cloud of dust is not coming back. Nor should it. We hadn't won anything for 30+ years using that style of offense.

BATMAN
12-12-2009, 02:31 PM
My biggest problem with Arians is, he can't counter punch the defense. And Florio is right, there seems to be no advantage of Bens skills that Arians utilizes.

RuthlessBurgher
12-12-2009, 03:11 PM
It's a passing league now. The rules favor the passing game. The 3 yards and a cloud of dust is not coming back. Nor should it. We hadn't won anything for 30+ years using that style of offense.

No one is saying it should. However, the empty backfield set on third and short should not be coming back either.

Mister Pittsburgh
12-12-2009, 08:27 PM
I really don't think it is throwing the football that is the problem. It is the formations and predictable playcalls. It is the lack of any sort of imagination in Arians part and the lack of in game adjustments.

AngryAsian
12-12-2009, 08:52 PM
I really don't think it is throwing the football that is the problem. It is the formations and predictable playcalls. It is the lack of any sort of imagination in Arians part and the lack of in game adjustments.


BINGO!!! We have a winner!

stlrz d
12-12-2009, 09:04 PM
I really don't think it is throwing the football that is the problem. It is the formations and predictable playcalls. It is the lack of any sort of imagination in Arians part and the lack of in game adjustments.

That has been my complaint all along. Mularkey and Whiz used to catch me by surprise with regularity.

I never complained about those guys.

Mister Pittsburgh
12-12-2009, 09:30 PM
They say that with the competitive balance in todays NFL that the line between winning and losing is very close. The Steelers have lost 7 games by a combined 28 points, or 4 points per game. Just as one small example of Arians not utilizing all of his talents available to him, I throw the following out there....

Dennis Dixon lined up at WR in a 4 wide scenario......

Hines Ward, motioning from his slot position nears the QB. Ben snaps the ball and pitches to Ward. Dixon comes around and it is a reverse........

A) Dixon keeps the ball and runs the reverse......
B) Dixon looks like he is going to run the reverse but instead throws a bomb down the sideline to a wide open WR.
C) Hines never hands it to Dixon, it is a fake reverse.
D) Dixon actually goes out for a pass and Hines is the one throwing the ball since he was also a QB before.

Now I know that playing Dixon with Batch down risks our backup....but before Batch was down this seemed like something that would be relatively easy to throw in as a wrinkle but Arians huffs and puffs in interviews that Dixon would be broken in half, etc. Dennis Dixon is 6'3" 195......Mike Wallace is 6' 199.....why isn't Wallace broken in half?

Now this is just one example. I think Spaeth should be used more. I think McDonald could have been used in 4 wide scenarios. The guy had nearly 80 grabs one season for 970 yds or so. I think Sweed could be used in a shorter passing game. He excelled at this in the preseason. Caught the ball, took a lot of hard hits and held on over the middle. Try designing plays to get him going over the middle around 5 to 15 yds downfield. He is a HUGE target. Same with Spaeth. Could have had 5 wide packages with Hines, Holmes, Wallace, Sweed, and McDonald. Could have tried to get Logan involved more. Instead of any of this it honestly seemed like we ran the same dozen plays all season long.

feltdizz
12-12-2009, 09:43 PM
It's a passing league now. The rules favor the passing game. The 3 yards and a cloud of dust is not coming back. Nor should it. We hadn't won anything for 30+ years using that style of offense.

on 3rd and 1 you run the ball for a 1st down.

Mister Pittsburgh
12-12-2009, 09:53 PM
It's a passing league now. The rules favor the passing game. The 3 yards and a cloud of dust is not coming back. Nor should it. We hadn't won anything for 30+ years using that style of offense.

on 3rd and 1 you run the ball for a 1st down.
I will agree on this unless it is apparently obvious they are loaded up to stop the run. We have tried, and failed, to run for one yard many times the past couple years and been stuffed. I would bring in Carey Davis at RB, Johnson at FB, and pull Kemo out and let the bulls bull for 1 yd. I wouldn't line Mendenhall, Parker, Moore up in a single back set and try it.

Jooser
12-13-2009, 09:43 AM
...and that's another good point. Schematically, Arians' run game sucks. The single back set running him up the gut is flawed, unless you're handing off to Bettis trying to pick up a yard or two, it sucks. 3rd and 1 should be a running down, but you need a decent blocking FB leading the RB, and you don't necessarily have to hit the A or B gap every time. It's frustrating as hell. And even if you want to try and mix it once and a while and throw for it, at least put a RB in the backfield and play-action off of him to freeze the backers or the blitz. Teams see Ben in the shot gun and the blitz is now a given. They know his tendency to hold the ball and they also see how slow our routes are to develop. Arians has no answers for this. Send his ass packing MIKE!

buckeyehoppy
12-13-2009, 04:42 PM
...it honestly seemed like we ran the same dozen plays all season long.

Don't mean to truncate almost your entire quote here, MP. But the last line is EXACTLY what has happened with the offense this season. That quote is EXACTLY why BA should be launched ASAP. That's a Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!!!

buckeyehoppy
12-13-2009, 04:52 PM
I really don't think it is throwing the football that is the problem. It is the formations and predictable playcalls. It is the lack of any sort of imagination in Arians part and the lack of in game adjustments.


BINGO!!! We have a winner!

So, it ANGRY ASIAN again. Damned anger management relapses! :HeadBanger :HeadBanger :HeadBanger

BTW...BINGO!!! We have a winner! x2