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fordfixer
01-10-2010, 03:43 AM
Bires: Arians isn't the only target of criticism

Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... icism.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/january/10/bires-arians-isnt-the-only-target-of-criticism.html)

Sunday January 10, 2010 01:41 AM

For those who want to keep on criticizing Bruce Arians for throwing the ball so much, make sure to include Mike Tomlin in your criticism.

The head coach is every bit to blame as the offensive coordinator.

For the record, Tomlin claims that he’s responsible for every decision that goes into a game plan, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. But truth be known, he’s a hands-off kind of guy.

He lets his coordinators run their shows.

Seldom, if ever, has Tomlin ordered Arians what to call.

Yes, it is Arians’ choice to throw more. It’s his opinion that the offense is suited to pass often because he has three No. 1 draft picks (Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller and Santonio Holmes) plus Hines Ward to work with.

Apparently, Tomlin agrees.

Therein lies one of the fundamental differences between Tomlin and his predecessor, Bill Cowher.

Cowher was never shy about vetoing a coordinator’s decision. If Cowher wanted more runs, he’d yell it out, “Run the ball!”

Tomlin has yet to do that.

———

How come no one is criticizing Dick LeBeau? Does his outstanding track record as a defensive coordinator give him a free pass?

In virtually every key defensive statistic, the Steelers’ defense fell short of last year’s figures.

They recorded 47 sacks compared to 51 last year, allowed 5.1 yards per play compared to 3.9, intercepted 12 passes compared to 20 and created only 22 turnovers compared to 29.

Most importantly, they allowed 29 touchdowns to only 19 last year.

———

One of the anti-Arians arguments is that the offense could have spared the defense the embarrassment of so many fourth-quarter collapses by possessing the ball longer.

That’s a major misconception.

The Steelers won the time of possession battle in 12 of their 16 games. In the Sept. 23 loss at Cincinnati, the Steelers had close to a 10-minute edge in time of possession. In the Nov. 17 loss at Kansas City, they had a whopping 22-minute edge in time of possession.

For the season, the Steelers had the ball on average more than five minutes per game longer than their opponents.

The bottom line is that the defense just didn’t get the job done when it mattered most.

———

It’s too early to predict who the Steelers will pick in the 2010 draft. They must decide on which of their free agents they’ll keep and which free agents they’ll go after on the open market.

But with the 18th overall pick of the draft, why not take a defensive back? It could be either a cover cornerback or a free safety … depending on who’s available.

———

I would imagine that Charlie Batch isn’t quite ready to call it a career. But he is 35, and he’s definitely injury prone. He’s missed two of the past six seasons with injuries (a knee in 2004 and a shoulder last year). In the only game he played this year, he broke his wrist.

With Dennis Dixon entrenched as Ben Roethlisberger’s back-up, Batch might never play another down if he stays in Pittsburgh as a player.

But might he remain in town as a coach? After all, the Steelers are looking for a new QB coach now that Ken Anderson has retired.

———

Here’s hoping that Limas Sweed makes a full recovery from whatever is ailing him and that he bounces back with a confidence that will allow him to get his game in order.

Sweed’s struggles as a pass receiver the past two years have been well-documented.

It’s mysterious that the Steelers refuse to say why Sweed was put on the non-football illness list late in the season.

There’s no doubt Sweed has the physical skills to play in the NFL. He’s big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), strong and fast. That’s why the Steelers used a second-round pick on him.

He certainly works hard at practice. And he’s really a nice kid.

But for some reason, it just seems that Sweed lacks the concentration and mental toughness necessary to play pro football

He’ll probably get just one more chance to prove he can do it.

Oviedo
01-10-2010, 09:36 AM
Interesting facts in Tribune Review today. Folks need to accept that this is a passing league and that is what wins. Run first teams are those with no talent at QB and they are typically losing teams. Bill Cowher football won't get us back to the Super Bowl.


Passing interest

Top passing teams are also among the best teams in the NFL this season. Here is a look at such teams compared with teams that were the most successful running the ball:

Combined record of top 10 passing teams: 113-47

Combined record of top 10 running teams: 87-73


Playoff teams among top 10 passing teams: 8

Playoff teams among the top 10 running teams: 5


Teams with a winning record among top 10 passing teams: 10

Teams with a winning record among top 10 running teams: 5

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-10-2010, 09:40 AM
The Steelers can run a lot more, and a lot better, and still not be a "run first" team.

If we'd gotten just one of those red zone TDs, or one extra 1st down in the 1st quarter in any of those 5 games, we would be playing this weekend.

When the other guys know we are going to pass, it makes it much harder on us.

feltdizz
01-10-2010, 12:02 PM
The Steelers can run a lot more, and a lot better, and still not be a "run first" team.

If we'd gotten just one of those red zone TDs, or one extra 1st down in the 1st quarter in any of those 5 games, we would be playing this weekend.

When the other guys know we are going to pass, it makes it much harder on us.
It's much easier to say "one more score" when looking back. I think it's more realistic to blame the D in this sense... regardless of points left on the field the D's job is to make sure they protect leads we had. Maybe that's why the D failed... They were thinking about the offense not scoring more instead of doing their job.

I really don't understand the logic of "if we scored one more time" vs. "the lead is 10 points, I wish it was more but oh well, do your damn job D". Its not realistic to expect your offense to know exactly how many points your D will blow late in a game and plan accordingly. I bet most fans would say 20+ points would be enough to beat KC and Oakland. I also bet if we were told we would have leads of 28, 17, 14 and 11 points no one would have thought we lose those leads and damn near everyone of those games.

stlrz d
01-10-2010, 12:15 PM
One of the anti-Arians arguments is that the offense could have spared the defense the embarrassment of so many fourth-quarter collapses by possessing the ball longer.

That’s a major misconception.

The Steelers won the time of possession battle in 12 of their 16 games. In the Sept. 23 loss at Cincinnati, the Steelers had close to a 10-minute edge in time of possession. In the Nov. 17 loss at Kansas City, they had a whopping 22-minute edge in time of possession.

For the season, the Steelers had the ball on average more than five minutes per game longer than their opponents.

The bottom line is that the defense just didn’t get the job done when it mattered most.

Yet another person who just doesn't understand situational football.

Now that we're into the Steelers off season and there isn't as much to focus on...perhaps I should look at the Steelers' 4th quarter ToP to see how that compares since that's the quarter where we lost so many games.

It's wonderful that we have an offense that can get down the field and score in a hurry...but sometimes the situation dictates that you take your time moving the ball and scoring. You know, like when your D is clearly struggling to hold leads?

I agree fully that this is a passing league. It's what the NFL wants. But we need more balance, if anything, just to be less predictable. More creativity in the passing game would help with that too.

feltdizz
01-10-2010, 12:33 PM
Just because the rules favor the pass it doesn't mean it's a passing league. The playoffs will prove this once again... Funny thng is Big Ben became the legend when he was a game manager.

NorthCoast
01-10-2010, 05:46 PM
I know I miss the days when opponents would say 'man you really know when you just played the Steelers cause every bone and muscle in your body just aches'. I don't think we had too many of those kinds of games this season. Physical football ( on both sides) wins games and Championships.

rockonsteel
01-10-2010, 07:06 PM
Bires: Arians isn't the only target of criticism

Beaver County Times
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... icism.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1501/2010/january/10/bires-arians-isnt-the-only-target-of-criticism.html)

Sunday January 10, 2010 01:41 AM

For those who want to keep on criticizing Bruce Arians for throwing the ball so much, make sure to include Mike Tomlin in your criticism.

The head coach is every bit to blame as the offensive coordinator.

For the record, Tomlin claims that he’s responsible for every decision that goes into a game plan, whether it’s offense, defense or special teams. But truth be known, he’s a hands-off kind of guy.

He lets his coordinators run their shows.

Seldom, if ever, has Tomlin ordered Arians what to call.

Yes, it is Arians’ choice to throw more. It’s his opinion that the offense is suited to pass often because he has three No. 1 draft picks (Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller and Santonio Holmes) plus Hines Ward to work with.

Apparently, Tomlin agrees.

Therein lies one of the fundamental differences between Tomlin and his predecessor, Bill Cowher.

Cowher was never shy about vetoing a coordinator’s decision. If Cowher wanted more runs, he’d yell it out, “Run the ball!”

Tomlin has yet to do that.


This bothers me a great deal. This is a guy, who took the job, proclaiming football to be a game of attrition won in the trenches. It disturbs me that he either fails to recognize the flaws in BA's system, or if he does, he stands by and lets it happen, and seems willing to do so for another season.

———

How come no one is criticizing bad word LeBeau? Does his outstanding track record as a defensive coordinator give him a free pass?

In virtually every key defensive statistic, the Steelers’ defense fell short of last year’s figures.

They recorded 47 sacks compared to 51 last year, allowed 5.1 yards per play compared to 3.9, intercepted 12 passes compared to 20 and created only 22 turnovers compared to 29.

Most importantly, they allowed 29 touchdowns to only 19 last year.


It has been stated numerous times. While the defense does not get a complete free pass, they did have to contend with losing their two best players for the majority of the season. Add in the loss of BMac, and their depth was badly exposed. That needs to be, and will be addressed.

———

One of the anti-Arians arguments is that the offense could have spared the defense the embarrassment of so many fourth-quarter collapses by possessing the ball longer.

That’s a major misconception.

The Steelers won the time of possession battle in 12 of their 16 games. In the Sept. 23 loss at Cincinnati, the Steelers had close to a 10-minute edge in time of possession. In the Nov. 17 loss at Kansas City, they had a whopping 22-minute edge in time of possession.

For the season, the Steelers had the ball on average more than five minutes per game longer than their opponents.

The bottom line is that the defense just didn’t get the job done when it mattered most.


Talk about your major misconceptions. The Steelers built a lot of those large time of possession advantages in the first half of games on long drives that too often ended with FGs or worses. This is part of what caused the problem of teams still being within striking distance of the Steelers in games they dominated on the stat sheet. Conversely, in the second half of games, the Steelers went 3 and out way too much,usually passing the ball, using little clock, allowing teams more possessions and time to comeback. somebody should try and find the Steelers time of possession in the second half of games, and particularly in the fourth quarter. Bet it paints an entirely different picture than the shiny numbers do.

———


Here’s hoping that Limas Sweed makes a full recovery from whatever is ailing him and that he bounces back with a confidence that will allow him to get his game in order.

Sweed’s struggles as a pass receiver the past two years have been well-documented.

It’s mysterious that the Steelers refuse to say why Sweed was put on the non-football illness list late in the season.

There’s no doubt Sweed has the physical skills to play in the NFL. He’s big (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), strong and fast. That’s why the Steelers used a second-round pick on him.

He certainly works hard at practice. And he’s really a nice kid.

But for some reason, it just seems that Sweed lacks the concentration and mental toughness necessary to play pro football.

He’ll probably get just one more chance to prove he can do it.




I hope so too. The only thing that scares me about that, is it would just give BA another excuse to throw the ball even more.





Rockon

feltdizz
01-10-2010, 08:37 PM
Watching this AZ vs GB game is funny.. It's the same exact thing with Whiz. Big lead... bad pass defense and although AZ ran early and haven't abandoned the run it became clear that passing on GB is easier to do. Knowing your D can't stop GB do you risk a 2 yard gain vs a much higher percentage of completion and yardage?

Hmm....

MaxAMillion
01-10-2010, 08:45 PM
I am so glad the article points out the Steelers winning time of possession in most games. The offense was not the reason that the defense could not stop anyone. The Miami game was a perfect example. The Steelers control the ball for most of the third quarter and yet as soon as Thigpen comes in, the Dolphins start going up and down the field.

If you combine this year's offense with the defense from either of the last two years, the Steelers win the division and probably have a two seed. Defense and special teams were much bigger problems this year.

BURGH86STEEL
01-10-2010, 08:54 PM
I am so glad the article points out the Steelers winning time of possession in most games. The offense was not the reason that the defense could not stop anyone. The Miami game was a perfect example. The Steelers control the ball for most of the third quarter and yet as soon as Thigpen comes in, the Dolphins start going up and down the field.

If you combine this year's offense with the defense from either of the last two years, the Steelers win the division and probably have a two seed. Defense and special teams were much bigger problems this year.

I agree. It appears the defense and special teams coverage took bigger steps back.