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fordfixer
12-24-2009, 02:12 AM
Times are changing for offense, QB says
Thursday, December 24, 2009
By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09358/1023303-66.stm

Mr. 500 is so far beyond last Sunday, he already has turned back the clock to the 1970s.

That explains his thin moustache and what he considers his disco-age, wild hair. That explains the roots movement joined by center Justin Hartwig, who sports a growth underneath his nose and lower lip plus sideburns that descend an inch or two short of mutton chops. That explains the black-and-white photocopied picture on Roethlisberger's locker, a snapshot of Steelers quarterback coach Kenny Anderson back in the Cincinnati Bengals day.

In fact, Roethlisberger -- whose Steelers will wear their throwback uniforms Sunday at Heinz Field for their playoff-teeming contretemps with the Baltimore Ravens -- donned a practice jersey yesterday bearing his coach's long-ago No. 14 and a gold "Anderson" across the shoulders.

But not before the newly named AFC Offensive Player of the Week uttered publicly the words that Steelers followers can hardly seem to grasp about the past:

This isn't your father's Steelers offense anymore.

"It's probably hard for people to wrap their heads and their fingers around, but this offense is changing," Roethlisberger said yesterday, his first remarks since the aftermath last Sunday of his Steelers-record 503 yards passing, three touchdowns and no interceptions that placed him in elite company. Only Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle and Warren Moon have passed so fancily before, and only nine times in NFL history has a quarterback ever thrown for more yardage.

"This team is changing on offense," Roethlisberger said. "It's not a run-it-first team anymore. And that's not a bad thing, it really isn't. We've got two 1,000-yard receivers. We'll have a 1,000-yard rusher. It's a pretty fun thing."

The fact he was able to hang a half-thousand on Green Bay last weekend in a 37-36 victory, concluded on a 19-yard pass to rookie Mike Wallace with no time left on the clock, illustrates to Roethlisberger a complete game by this modernist offense. Protection came from the line. Performance came from the receivers such as Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes along with running back Rashard Mendenhall. Points came in droves -- by two touchdowns more than the previous norm.

"I think BA called a great game," Roethlisberger added of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"We came out and we threw the ball a bunch early. First couple of plays were passes, and I think that threw everybody for a loop. Because everybody assumed we were going to come out and run the ball, pound it. ... I've said that a thousand times: The league evolves. You have to keep up with the Indianapolises and the Saints, teams like that. Because if you don't, you're going to be left behind."

Leave it to a guy spawning a '70s look to talk about a revolution in such a staid place as the Steelers' offense.

Then again, take it from the newest fellow on the roster -- one who grew up wearing a No. 88 Lynn Swann jersey every game day Sunday across the Ohio River in Bellaire, Ohio.

A Steelers quarterback pass for 500? "I never thought I'd see that day," receiver Joey Galloway said.

Numbers, outside of victories and Super Bowls, mean nothing to Roethlisberger, so he professes. He swears he had no idea about his yardage total and still has no idea about his completion percentage (63 percent, with one throwaway). Nobody on the Steelers' sideline Sunday seemed to realize he topped a historic mark, until the notice flashed across the Heinz Field scoreboard afterward.

"We knew he had some type of yards, but we didn't know he had 500," said cornerback Willie Gay.

"That's just Ben," offensive tackle Max Starks said of Roethlisberger finishing with a 29-for-46 day and 121.9 passer rating. "We just played well as a unit. Ben made plays, receivers caught balls. We gave him some time. That's a credit to him, keeping things alive and making things happen."

"He's just, in my opinion, one of the best in the league," added defensive end Brett Keisel. "He's the real reason why we're in this position. He's one of the greats, and I'm glad he's in here with us."

He certainly made a difference last Sunday. A Steelers offense that ranks third in the NFL in time of possession, 10 seconds per game behind New England and four behind Cincinnati, averaged better than one point per minute of the 35 minutes, 22 seconds it had the football.

Possession time is a critical number for Arians' offense: The goal is for point production to equate to minutes of possession, though the Steelers' 33:18 and 22.5 averages don't quite jibe.

"That's something that we need to really strive for," Roethlisberger said of a one-for-one balance. "Because we feel we have a really good offense, that we should at least put three points on the board every time we have the ball. I mean, that's what we want to do."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09358/10 ... z0aaHa7cEF (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09358/1023303-66.stm#ixzz0aaHa7cEF)

papillon
12-26-2009, 12:07 AM
I'm not really liking the comments I'm hearing about this new fangled passing attack that the Steelers have. It seems that passing for numbers has become more important than winning games. Somehow, everyone is all giddy about this offense and I'm p1$$ed that the Steelers are fighting for their playoff lives. Something is wrong with this picture.

When this offense starts winning games I'll like it a whole lot better. Right now, it's just a stat machine, big deal.

Pappy

msp26505
12-26-2009, 12:11 AM
When I read "Mr. 500" I immediately assumed the writer meant the Steelers record.

I eventually figured out it was Ben's passing yards.

To paraphrase Pappy, whoopteedoo about putting up yards.

Oviedo
12-26-2009, 09:26 AM
The offense isn't the issue for 7 losses. That is the result of the almighty defense under St. Lebeau of the 4th Quarter Collapse.

If not for this offense add a couple more losses to the ledger. Sorry to upset anyone during the holiday season but a high powered offense is necessary to compete with the top teams in the AFC and the NFL overall. This isn't the 70s.

Scarletfire1970
12-26-2009, 09:36 AM
Last year the defense played lights out and kept the team in games. But the offense made the plays it had to to win games. This year the defense stinks and unlike the offense of last year, they are not making plays to win games. They are actually stinking it up worse at the worst possible moments in games.

That is why our record is what it is.

NorthCoast
12-26-2009, 09:36 AM
The offense isn't the issue for 7 losses. That is the result of the almighty defense under St. Lebeau of the 4th Quarter Collapse.

If not for this offense add a couple more losses to the ledger. Sorry to upset anyone during the holiday season but a high powered offense is necessary to compete with the top teams in the AFC and the NFL overall. This isn't the 70s.

Yes and no. If the offense held the ball for one series longer instead of going 3 and out at least 3 of those games could have been out of reach for a comeback by the opponent. (But yes, the defense has the most culpability).

Oviedo
12-26-2009, 10:15 AM
The offense isn't the issue for 7 losses. That is the result of the almighty defense under St. Lebeau of the 4th Quarter Collapse.

If not for this offense add a couple more losses to the ledger. Sorry to upset anyone during the holiday season but a high powered offense is necessary to compete with the top teams in the AFC and the NFL overall. This isn't the 70s.

Yes and no. If the offense held the ball for one series longer instead of going 3 and out at least 3 of those games could have been out of reach for a comeback by the opponent. (But yes, the defense has the most culpability).

How did the Titans offense with the best RB in the NFL match up against the Chargers and their passing attack last night? While perfect balance is optimal it is also highly unrealistic in a salary cap era where you can't keep all your elite players for any length of time. I is easier to shut down a running attack than a passing attack when you have multiple weapons like we do. The league has legislated that the passing attack will have all the advantages, e.g. no touching receivers, no holding calls on the OL, no touching the QB.

We just have to admit the defense has been horrible. When we as Steelers fans have to blame the offense for not "protecting" a Steelers' defense enough by maintaining ball control that in itself should tell you how far they have regressed.

papillon
12-26-2009, 11:38 AM
The offense isn't the issue for 7 losses. That is the result of the almighty defense under St. Lebeau of the 4th Quarter Collapse.

If not for this offense add a couple more losses to the ledger. Sorry to upset anyone during the holiday season but a high powered offense is necessary to compete with the top teams in the AFC and the NFL overall. This isn't the 70s.

The offense is as much to blame as the defense. They never put games away like the Chargers did last night. When the Chargers had the ball early they put up points and made playing defense easier.

Had the Steeler offense not failed in the red zone the same thing would have happened. The defensive linemen would pin their ears back, the LBers the same and the secondary would just play cover-2 or zone.

The fact that they had to play honest against the run and the pass didn't allow the Steeler defense to be one dimensional and just rush the passer.

The offense failed early and the defense failed late, same culpability all around.

Pappy

msp26505
12-26-2009, 12:08 PM
The offense isn't the issue for 7 losses. That is the result of the almighty defense under St. Lebeau of the 4th Quarter Collapse.

If not for this offense add a couple more losses to the ledger. Sorry to upset anyone during the holiday season but a high powered offense is necessary to compete with the top teams in the AFC and the NFL overall. This isn't the 70s.

The offense is as much to blame as the defense. They never put games away like the Chargers did last night. When the Chargers had the ball early they put up points and made playing defense easier.

Had the Steeler offense not failed in the red zone the same thing would have happened. The defensive linemen would pin their ears back, the LBers the same and the secondary would just play cover-2 or zone.

The fact that they had to play honest against the run and the pass didn't allow the Steeler defense to be one dimensional and just rush the passer.

The offense failed early and the defense failed late, same culpability all around.

Pappy

This^

With more of a commitment to the run, this team could be a juggernaut.

Imagine being able to hit for the quick strike early, then milk the clock with short passes and runs between the tackles.

By itself, being able to convert 3rd and 2 with some consistency would have probably won us at least two or three more games.

Add to that the ability to score in the red zone and you can win a SB with a mediocre defense, which, with #43 back is the WORST this D could be, IMO.