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View Full Version : Steelers OL, only NFL team



NJ-STEELER
01-11-2010, 12:12 AM
without a player drafted in the first 2 rounds

pfelix73
01-11-2010, 12:26 AM
So.........doubt they are the only one, but maybe they are... again.... so what?

skyhawk
01-11-2010, 01:08 AM
They suck.

feltdizz
01-11-2010, 01:11 AM
It would be nice if we got a guy we could plug in early and not spend 2 years coaching them up.

Chadman
01-11-2010, 01:12 AM
So they are unique? Excellent! Chadman always knew it was cool to be a Steelers fan... :stirpot

NJ-STEELER
01-11-2010, 02:08 AM
maybe its a reason why the offense struggles with the running game and has trouble in pass protection.


the top round guys on the OL are the ones with the good size-speed-movement ratios

buckeyehoppy
01-11-2010, 03:09 AM
I don't know.

I've spent a lot of time on Steelers forums over the last five years bemoaning the state of the OL and two things have remained as constant as my complaints: the fact that the FO did nothing to add anyone of greater value than a 3rd round pick to the line and that the Steelers have won two SBs in the last 5 years.

If there really is a problem, it's evident that the FO is rationalizing the state of the OL because of the success of the team as a whole. Perhaps Ben has also had the ear of the FO and said flatly that whatever is wrong it's still manageable.

The Steelers have many needs. Maybe none ring out any louder than the others. But there are areas of concern, to be sure, when the team missed the playoffs the way they did. You blow 5 4th quarter leads and there is a fairly fine line between 9-7 and 14-2.

I imagine that, as Benjamin grows longer in the tooth, perhaps the discussions start on beefing up his protection. After all, the types of injuries he has sustained over the last four years should be more than a small concern.

On the other hand, what do I know? Every time I see Benjamin running for his life, I have to wonder how much longer he'll be able to do that on his own and how much would it have mattered if the FO cared enough to protect him adequately in the first place? If it isn't a concern, however, then I'm willing to sink or swim with the line exactly as it is.

If Benjamin sees no problem, then there's no problem. Case closed.

Jooser
01-11-2010, 08:02 AM
Hoppy, Ben also used to think it's ok to ride one of the world's fastest production crotch rockets with no helmet. My point is that while he thinks he can handle pressure and abuse, perhaps he in fact cannot. Your point that the injuries are piling up has much merit. Also, Mendy's success this year was due largely to the fact that he doesn't usually go down when the first guy takes a shot at him. Rarely are there open running lanes for him. This OL will continue to struggle IMO.

steelblood
01-11-2010, 09:01 AM
This says a couple of things.

1. Colbert put this line together from the scrap heap. And, it turned out to be a useful junker. They certainly don't dominate, but they have found a way to be successful. The oline was NOT the reason we sucked this year. Sure, they didn't win it for us, but they certainly didn't lose it.

2. The Oline is an investment in Ben's health. Ben won't survive 50 sacks a season for much longer. Don't be surprised this year when we draft a guy like Trent Williams in round 1. He could play either tackle, and even if Colon stays, we desperately need some quality depth. If Starks goes down next year, so does Ben imo. In a year in which most pundits will have us taking defensive players in the first 2 or 3 rounds, we could (as we usually do) take the BPA.

feltdizz
01-11-2010, 09:49 AM
I agree Ben probably thinks he can get away with this OL for a few more years. He even reminded us how bad they were labeled during the SB victory speech. I think Ben having Faneca and Hartings and still getting sacked 46 times puts the OL upgrade in limbo. Regardless of the OL talent, Ben will take sacks. Now when it comes to the run game... who knows. I think we keep it cheap and build with the young guys.

MeetJoeGreene
01-11-2010, 10:15 AM
without a player drafted in the first 2 rounds


Interesting .. but a couple of years ago they had 3 or 4 (Faneca, Marvel, Simmons) and I think Hartwig was.

pfelix73
01-11-2010, 10:33 AM
Hartwig was drafted in the 6th round. Unless you are thinking of Hartings. He was picked in the 1st round.

:tt1

feltdizz
01-11-2010, 10:36 AM
without a player drafted in the first 2 rounds


Interesting .. but a couple of years ago they had 3 or 4 (Faneca, Marvel, Simmons) and I think Hartwig was.
We could run... but the sack total was still very high based on attempts most years with Ben.

Oviedo
01-11-2010, 10:50 AM
without a player drafted in the first 2 rounds


Interesting .. but a couple of years ago they had 3 or 4 (Faneca, Marvel, Simmons) and I think Hartwig was.
We could run... but the sack total was still very high based on attempts most years with Ben.

We could run because we had the best "big" back in the history of the NFL and who will be in the Hall Of Fame in a few years. Bettis made the OL look very good because he had a unique physical combination of quick feet and massive size.

pfelix73
01-11-2010, 10:55 AM
AND we had Jon Whitman, Tim Lester, or Dan Kreider leading the way- AND 36 would follow them!

The one year we went to a one back set with the same OL, Tommy Gun, and Famous Amos leading the way instead of Jerome and we went 6-10...

:tt1

MeetJoeGreene
01-11-2010, 11:10 AM
Hartwig was drafted in the 6th round. Unless you are thinking of Hartings. He was picked in the 1st round.

:tt1

Correct - brain fart - I meant Hartings

RuthlessBurgher
01-11-2010, 11:11 AM
Perhaps Colbert realizes that even if Ben had the best 5 o-lineman in the league in front of him, he would still hold the ball too long and take 40-something sacks per year.

Slapstick
01-11-2010, 11:26 AM
Denver won 2 SBs with late round/undrafted linemen...

The Patriots "won" three, IIRC...Mankins was drafted in 2005...

Expending first round picks on o-linemen does not necessarily equal guaranteed success...

papillon
01-11-2010, 11:27 AM
Hoppy, Ben also used to think it's ok to ride one of the world's fastest production crotch rockets with no helmet. My point is that while he thinks he can handle pressure and abuse, perhaps he in fact cannot. Your point that the injuries are piling up has much merit. Also, Mendy's success this year was due largely to the fact that he doesn't usually go down when the first guy takes a shot at him. Rarely are there open running lanes for him. This OL will continue to struggle IMO.

I don't agree that there weren't running lanes for Mendnhall. I think that Mendenhall is a very good back and doesn't need a huge running lane. He also runs through arm tackles very well, in other words, he's an NFL caliber back that doesn't need much room to be successful. A brief crease, a nice seal, etc and Mendenhall can do the rest. This line with a slight refocus on the running game will produce a 1400 - 1500 yard back next year provided Mendenhall doesn't get injured. I'm also certain that part of the deal with Tomlin retaining Arians will be for Arians to refocus on running the ball better in short yardage and the red zone. The new oline coach will be put to task in a similar fashion. Just a hunch, but with this being Arians last year of his contract, they are willing to see if he can make the necessary adjustments to the offense that puts them in the unstoppable caliber.

Realize too that Starks, Kemo and Hartwig are all signed through 2012 with extensions. MY guss is that Colon will get extended this year and there will be a battle royale for the other guard position in training camp.

Pappy

aggiebones
01-11-2010, 12:31 PM
So we were the only team to win a Super Bowl with a starting OL drafted in the first 2 rounds.
That's GOOOD drafting boys.

frankthetank1
01-11-2010, 12:46 PM
Perhaps Colbert realizes that even if Ben had the best 5 o-lineman in the league in front of him, he would still hold the ball too long and take 40-something sacks per year.

i think your right. it doesnt matter who is blocking for ben he will take a lot of sacks no matter what. its pretty impressive there is not one 1st round pick on the o-line. they are still pretty young except for hartwig. they could improve with run blocking i think but i wonder how much better they would be with a fb

feltdizz
01-11-2010, 12:52 PM
Perhaps Colbert realizes that even if Ben had the best 5 o-lineman in the league in front of him, he would still hold the ball too long and take 40-something sacks per year.

i think your right. it doesnt matter who is blocking for ben he will take a lot of sacks no matter what. its pretty impressive there is not one 1st round pick on the o-line. they are still pretty young except for hartwig. they could improve with run blocking i think but i wonder how much better they would be with a fb

we protected Ben pretty well last SB run.... regardless Ben will take sacks and the OL will have breakdowns.. all OL's do. However, besides Aaron Rodgers, most QB's throw the ball away.

Jooser
01-11-2010, 01:15 PM
Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

feltdizz
01-11-2010, 01:22 PM
Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

I used to think that.. but then I watched the other OL's who were said to be the best and they blew assignments too.. but most QB's aren't Ben's size and prefer to throw it away.

Ben guy could easily be a 25 sack guy if he was a Brady/Manning/Warner type... but he isn't. Most QB's throw the ball or move when a DB is running at them but Ben just brushes them off. Dude is huge but lately players have smartened up and grabbed his arm.

ikestops85
01-11-2010, 01:53 PM
Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

I used to think that.. but then I watched the other OL's who were said to be the best and they blew assignments too.. but most QB's aren't Ben's size and prefer to throw it away.

Ben guy could easily be a 25 sack guy if he was a Brady/Manning/Warner type... but he isn't. Most QB's throw the ball or move when a DB is running at them but Ben just brushes them off. Dude is huge but lately players have smartened up and grabbed his arm.

I agree with you and Ruthless. I don't care what line we put in front of Ben he will still get sacked a lot. It's just his style. Yes, he does have amazing escapability and he does save some sack there but he also hold the ball far longer than almost any NFL QB. Ben just likes to go out there and "wing it". He might not be perfect but he is a winner and I don't think I would trade him.

As for the offensive line ... I think the pass blocking from last year to this year improved tremendously. I do think they were one of the better pass blocking lines in the league this year. They also improved the run blocking to be about average. The biggest problem the offensive line had this year was the number of penalties. I'm not sure if it was the volume or timing of the penalties but we certainly had many at crucial times in the game and when in the red zone. That is the responsibility of the line coach to help eliminate those types of mistakes and I think we are working to correct that by hiring a new line coach.

Overall I think the line is going to be fine. While I don't think we are going to see many pro bowlers from this line it appears they have figured out how to work together. Hartwig got blown up too many times this year for my tastes but we have a couple of young guys (Legursky and Shipley) who show some promise as replacement.

Just as an aside ... did anyone else notice how well FWP ran the last part of the year? What I want to know is was this some magical rejuvenation of his running ability or could it be an improved offensive line? Now I'm not saying he should replace Mendy but I am saying it's funny how his vision and speed suddenly returned. :stirpot We need to keep Willie. He is still valuable to us.

NJ-STEELER
01-11-2010, 02:03 PM
Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

$$

there are way too many times a free man comes in on Ben and its getting pretty tiring having the front of the pocket collapse causing Ben to hold onto the ball and /or take off to scramble.

harwig is like a turnstyle out there. kemo lets guys blow by him all the time too, not picking up the right DL

NJ-STEELER
01-11-2010, 02:12 PM
without a player drafted in the first 2 rounds


Interesting .. but a couple of years ago they had 3 or 4 (Faneca, Marvel, Simmons) and I think Hartwig was.

correct, and in no way am i advocating getting to that same level. i just think 1 or 2 elite level guys can turn this OL into one of the better ones in the league. plus those guys were more known for their run blocking, i think thats why there were still a lot of sacks. i'm looking for better pass protectors...then coach them up in run blocking

a center and LT would be my choice, then sprinkle in the guys we have to get a more formidable unit

buckeyehoppy
01-11-2010, 02:35 PM
Hoppy, Ben also used to think it's ok to ride one of the world's fastest production crotch rockets with no helmet. My point is that while he thinks he can handle pressure and abuse, perhaps he in fact cannot. Your point that the injuries are piling up has much merit. Also, Mendy's success this year was due largely to the fact that he doesn't usually go down when the first guy takes a shot at him. Rarely are there open running lanes for him. This OL will continue to struggle IMO.

One question this opens up, Joos, is "how much longer will Benjamin be able to take this much abuse"? Next year will be his 7th in the NFL and he has 3 years remaining on his present deal. Those aren't horrible numbers in the grand scheme. But he has had three head injuries of varying degrees of severity. This is NOT good. Especially when...


Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

...he is going to take a lot of sacks simply because of the way he plays.

Now, I think our OL only does certain things well and not always consistently. Only some of our OLers pass block well and the same can be said of our surge on the run. I don't know how much of this can be equated to personnel, or coaching, or scheme, or whatever.

But the one thing I am sure is going to need to happen is that whoever is on our OL is going to have to improve their overall consistency. Maintaining the same core of players only will help to the degree that they will be able to get with the program and wrap themselves around the concept of consistent execution of the game plan.

This can be done with the OL guys we have (possibly). We're just going to find out how embarrassing this last season was to them and how badly they want to change the fortunes of the offense since so much of that is predicated on how well the OL executes.

Oviedo
01-11-2010, 02:39 PM
AND we had Jon Whitman, Tim Lester, or Dan Kreider leading the way- AND 36 would follow them!

The one year we went to a one back set with the same OL, Tommy Gun, and Famous Amos leading the way instead of Jerome and we went 6-10...

:tt1

Again, Bettis made a legend out of Kreider who has been nothing but a bit player since Bettis left.

papillon
01-11-2010, 03:09 PM
AND we had Jon Whitman, Tim Lester, or Dan Kreider leading the way- AND 36 would follow them!

The one year we went to a one back set with the same OL, Tommy Gun, and Famous Amos leading the way instead of Jerome and we went 6-10...

:tt1

Again, Bettis made a legend out of Kreider who has been nothing but a bit player since Bettis left.

Kreider was a bit player for the Steelers as well; it's just that his bit was important to the offense and Jerome Bettis. He's hardly a legendary Steeler, but, you had to love what he did.

Pappy

frankthetank1
01-11-2010, 06:43 PM
Everyone wants to lay this on Ben "taking" sacks. How many sacks does he avoid because he's so freaking hard to tackle? That 50 number could be MUCH higher. Think about it a second, how many fast blitz types fail to bring Ben down after they've smoked one of our Olinemen? There are so many times when Ben makes a guy who has a straight shot at him either miss completely or he shakes him off. Then we all sit back and say, wow, that's vintage Big Ben. The point though is that there are still a lot of blown assignments or Olinemen who are flat out getting beaten routinely. I'm not saying that they don't occasionally play a good game, but they are hardly a dominant unit.

I used to think that.. but then I watched the other OL's who were said to be the best and they blew assignments too.. but most QB's aren't Ben's size and prefer to throw it away.

Ben guy could easily be a 25 sack guy if he was a Brady/Manning/Warner type... but he isn't. Most QB's throw the ball or move when a DB is running at them but Ben just brushes them off. Dude is huge but lately players have smartened up and grabbed his arm.

yeah but how well does brady, manning or warner handle pressure? those are three great qb's that can easily be beat by getting pressure on them. thats why we beat the colts in 2005 and thats why brady looked like trash yesterday. those guys fold just as easily as the scrub qb's in nfl if you pressure them. thats what makes ben so good, his style of play makes it so hard to bring him down and it makes it even harder for a secondary to have to cover for 8+ seconds.