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NKySteeler
09-23-2010, 07:19 PM
Yea... This will probably stir some controversy... LoL... But take the time and read the article... In the following two posts I'll give info about these "indexes" and links...

The Steelers offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired
Kerry J. Byrne
SI.com
Thursday September 23, 2010

It's safe to call the Steelers the premier NFL franchise of the Super Bowl Era. They were the first franchise to win three Super Bowls, the first to win four, and the only franchise that's won six Super Bowls.

The fan base is the most rabid in the nation -- easily the best traveling fans in pro football. The team suffers a losing season less than once every presidency (eight presidents since 1972, seven losing seasons in the Steel City since 1972). And virtually every baby in Western Pa., is born with the quaint notion coursing through its blood that you win by playing defense and running the football.

But the unprecedented success in the Super Bowl Era represents quite a paradox. Those of you who study football history know that the Steelers were easily the worst NFL franchise in the pre-Super Bowl Era. The organization was founded in 1933 and it not only failed to win a championship, but also failed to win so much as a division or conference title until 1972. That's four decades of futility without a single taste of postseason success.

That paradox is nice, but it's also ancient history. A new Pittsburgh Paradox, a more profound Pittsburgh Paradox, has emerged in recent years, and its come to define the team, including here in 2010. Most notably, the Steelers rank No. 1 in the Defensive Hog Index and No. 32 in Offensive Hog Index, two tools used by the Cold, Hard Football Facts site to quantify the best and worst offensive and defensive lines in football.

Sure, it's only two weeks into the season. But two weeks are also 12.5 percent of the schedule. The train has left the statistical station. Thanks to 2008 Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, who already has three sacks in 2010, Pittsburgh's D-Hogs are shaping up as the best in the biz. The O-Hogs are shaping up as the worst in the biz.

But it's not just the two weeks of this season that are the problem. If it were, we wouldn't have a story. Instead, it's the fact this these 2010 trends are part of the much larger Pittsburgh Paradox.

The Steelers are going on three straight seasons with outstanding defensive lines and terribly weak offensive lines.

The 2008 Steelers ranked No. 1 on the Defensive Hog Index and ranked No. 28 on the Offensive Hog Index.

The 2009 Steelers ranked No. 12 on the Defensive Hog Index and ranked No. 22 on the Offensive Hog Index

It's great to field a shut-down defensive front, as Pittsburgh showed in 2008, when it parlayed the league's best Defensive Hogs and a clutch QB into a Super Bowl championship despite a really bad offensive line. But it's odd that an organization that's prided itself for so long on smash-mouth football and on winning the war in the trenches would struggle so badly on the offensive line.

Of course, there is a place to point to find the downfall on the offensive side of the ball: Alan Faneca was an All-Pro stalwart at left guard for the Steelers from 1998 to 2007, a period during which Pittsburgh routinely ran the ball well. During Faneca's last year with the Steelers, Pittsburgh fielded the No. 14-ranked Offensive Hogs and averaged 4.24 YPA on the ground, the NFL's seventh-best ground attack in 2007.

Faneca was so good that Pittsburgh's Offensive Hog-loving fans named him to the franchise's 75th anniversary All-Star Team. Then, at the end of 2007, he left to sign a major-bucks deal with the Jets that the Steelers would not match. Pittsburgh's Offensive Hogs immediately fell apart in his wake. Maybe it's coincidence. But the fact is that Faneca's departure coincided with the downfall of Pittsburgh's OL.

The player who's suffered most has been quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It was something of a miracle that he guided the team to a championship in 2008, despite playing behind guys who couldn't run block (29th with 3.68 YPA on the ground) and who couldn't pass block (28th with 11.5 percent Negative Pass Plays).

The instinct among fans and pigskin pundits, including Cold, Hard Football Facts, was to blame Big Ben's style: he held on to the ball too long, he tried to run too much, he didn't make good decisions, etc. The fact that he consistently won and consistently delivered big plays, including one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history, should have squashed many of those criticisms. But, regardless, the criticisms existed and had statistical merit.

But Big Ben has missed the first two games of 2010, and it's already clear that the problems attributed to him are largely problems with the poor quality of player Pittsburgh puts in its front five: the Steelers after two weeks are No. 15 running the ball (3.89 YPA), No. 31 in Negative Pass Plays (16 percent of dropbacks), and dead last on third down (20.7 percent success).

And remember, the Steelers recognized their problems and devoted their No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft to the O-Hogs: center Maurkice Pouncey was taken with the No. 18 overall pick and has started both games this year. But so far, nothing has improved.

Pittsburgh has scored just one offensive touchdown in more than eight quarters of play (the winning TD in Week 1 overtime against Atlanta). Despite these weaknesses, the team is still 2-0.

So expect the offense to improve as Pouncey learns the pro game and when Roethlisberger returns to the lineup in October. Just don't expect Pittsburgh's Offensive Hogs to erase the memory of Russ Grimm and the 1982 Redskins anytime soon. They've been too bad for too long now.

The bright note in the Steel City is that the Pittsburgh Paradox proved to us in 2008 that the team can win a title behind its top-rated Defensive Hogs and Big Ben, no matter how poor the unit is that pretends to protect him.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...9/23/steelers/

NKySteeler
09-23-2010, 07:21 PM
ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE HOG INDEX

The Offensive Hog Index is our effort to quantify which team has the best offensive line in football.

This isn't rocket science, folks. The Offensive Hog Index simply looks at at each team in three major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.

The top offensive line is that which posts the highest average rating across the board. The Offensive Hog Index is based upon these criteria:

YPA Yards Per Attempt. So simple, even you can understand it. This rates a team's ability to run the ball effectively.

NPP% Negative Pass Plays, expressed as a percentage. This is how often a team's pass plays end in either a sack or interception. The theory is that teams with poor offensive lines generally surrender more sacks (duh!) and that their quarterbacks are forced into making bad throws more often. These negative pass plays are calculated as a percentage of attempts. So if a team suffers two sacks and throws two INTs in 40 pass plays, their NPP% will be 10 percent (4/40).

3down% Success rate on third down the higher the percentage, the greater the offensive success and the better the offensive line.


Pittsburgh has long provided itself on its smash-mouth style football. But that reputation has taken a major hit in recent years, at least along the offensive line, as we've chronicled here at the Cold, Hard Football Facts.

The Steelers were No. 22 on our Offensive Hog Index in 2009. They were even No. 28 in 2008, a year in which they won the Super Bowl.

The woes continue here in 2010: Pittsburgh enters Week 3 dead last on our Offensive Hog Index, lowlighted by a league-worst 20.7 success rate on third down. It's one big reason why the Steelers have scored just one touchdown in their first two games: yet, here they are, 2-0 thanks to their traditionally stout defense.

Here's the link to the offensive index to view for yourself...

http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...Hog_Index.html

NKySteeler
09-23-2010, 07:23 PM
ABOUT THE DEFENSIVE HOG INDEX

The Defensive Hog Index is our effort to quantify which team has the best defensive front in football. It's proven a huge indicator of success since we introduced it during the 2007 season: teams that are better in the DHI are 25-8 in the playoffs over that time, and the No. 1 team in DHI has won the Super Bowl twice (2007 Giants and 2008 Steelers).

This isn't rocket science, folks. The Defensive Hog Index simply looks at at each team in three major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.

The top defensive front is that which posts the highest average rating across the board. The Defensive Hog Index is based upon these criteria:

YPA Yards Per Attempt. So simple, even you can understand it. This rates a defense's ability to stuff an opposing ground game.

NPP% Negative Pass Plays, expressed as a percentage. This is how often an opponent's pass plays end in either a sack or interception. Defenses that get after the quarterback and overwhelm the opposing offensive line naturally force sacks and INTs. These negative pass plays are calculated as a percentage of attempts. So if a team foces two sacks and two INTs in 40 pass plays, their NPP% will be 10 percent (4/40).

3down% - Opposition success rate on third down. The lower the percentage, the higher the defensive success.


Full-pad practices in Pittsburgh must be a one-sided bloodbath. At least if our Hog Indices are any indication.

Pittsburgh is No. 1 on our Defensive Hog Index through two weeks; it's the same position the Steelers found themselves in during the 2008 season, when the D-Hogs led them to a Super Bowl title.

But Pittsburgh is dead last right now on our Offensive Hog Index. Interesting because, as we noted this week, it's similar to the situation the Steelers were in back in that championship season of 2008: Pittsburgh's O-Hogs were a meager No. 28 that year.

We'll see if 2010 unfolds the same way.

The Steelers D-Hogs certainly proved themselves this week, when they held Tennessee superstar running back Chris Johnson to a meager 34 yards on 16 carries. That's 2.12 YPA, just about what Pittsburgh has allowed all ball carriers through two games.

Here's the link to the defensive index to view it for yourself...

http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...Hog_Index.html

SteelTorch
09-23-2010, 09:19 PM
Oh puh-lease! The O-line is fine. Obviously these people know nothing.

:stirpot

steelsnis
09-23-2010, 10:29 PM
Obviously the offensive line hasn't looked so good this season.

But maybe, JUST maybe they should have mentioned the fact that at one point during the the Titans game, the starting right guard went out of the game with an injury, the starting right tackle (signed after the incumbent was lost for the season) went out of the game dehydrated, the backup left tackle (playing for the injured starting left tackle) had to move over to play right tackle, and the 3rd string left tackle came in to replace him.

Oh, and WE WERE USING OUR 4TH STRING QB who did nothing but handoff over and over again in the 2nd half.

Maybe it's just me, but do ya think there were some extenuating circumstances here???

papillon
09-23-2010, 10:54 PM
Oh puh-lease! The O-line is fine. Obviously these people know nothing.

:stirpot

Well, if Ben would get rid of it quicker and Arians would start calling a better game the Steelers would move up the Hog Index. :stirpot :stirpot :stirpot

Pappy

stlrz d
09-23-2010, 11:11 PM
There's only one stat in football that means anything. It's indicated with either a W or an L.

SteelTorch
09-24-2010, 08:27 AM
There's only one stat in football that means anything. It's indicated with either a W or an L.
How well your team plays determines your chances of winning and losing, stlrzd. And, believe it or not, some stats matter more than others. :wink:

SanAntonioSteelerFan
09-24-2010, 08:53 AM
Does this mean Kugler doesn't reach his performance incentives these 1st two games? :lol: :lol:

SteelAbility
09-24-2010, 08:59 AM
The OL "problems" so far are really QB problems. We lost our top 2 QBs for the first two games. Now all of a sudden you're super thin at QB, you know, the guy who handles the ball just about every snap? A ton of the "QB Risk" has already been incurred. Now your QB play has to be super-conservative to prevent further injury or you're stuck with ARE under center and with complete inability to move the chains, which will eventually ripple into exhaustion, risk, injury on your D that gets absolutely no break all game.

So, you not only have to have super conservative QB play, but you're getting it from 3rd and 4th string QBs. It makes the opposing Ds job much easier taking at least half of the guessing out of their game. So, their percentage on "guessing right" doubles or even triples.

When Ben gets back and the with bye week helping get Dixon and Lefty healthy, we will be back to not only having a better QB, but having the depth the allow more play options, etc. etc. yatta yatta. The only question looming in my mind is effectiveness of RZ offense. :stirpot

SteelTorch
09-24-2010, 09:11 AM
The OL "problems" so far are really QB problems. We lost our top 2 QBs for the first two games. Now all of a sudden you're super thin at QB, you know, the guy who handles the ball just about every snap? A ton of the "QB Risk" has already been incurred. Now your QB play has to be super-conservative to prevent further injury or you're stuck with ARE under center and with complete inability to move the chains, which will eventually ripple into exhaustion, risk, injury on your D that gets absolutely no break all game.

So, you not only have to have super conservative QB play, but you're getting it from 3rd and 4th string QBs. It makes the opposing Ds job much easier taking at least half of the guessing out of their game. So, their percentage on "guessing right" doubles or even triples.

When Ben gets back and the with bye week helping get Dixon and Lefty healthy, we will be back to not only having a better QB, but having the depth the allow more play options, etc. etc. yatta yatta. The only question looming in my mind is effectiveness of RZ offense. :stirpot
More excuses. When Ben was playing, the excuse was "he holds on too long". Now it's "our offense is being conservative". As if that even makes any sense. I guess the OL must be so happy they're not held accountable for anything. :nono

steelblood
09-24-2010, 10:17 AM
This is not a great O-line, but there is hope.

Kugler-his influence will show up more as the season progresses. I believe he is highly motivated, intelligent coach who already has more respect than Larry Porno every had.

C-Pouncey will continue to improve. He will be a good to great center in this league.
LT-Starks is an average LT with a ton of big game experience. He has had some bad games (Clay Matthews gave him nightmares) and some great ones (Super Bowl 43! and last season against Jared Allen). He is not going to be elite, but decent left tackles are a valuable commodity and necessary to a successful line. Max is signed for the next few years and is in the prime of his career.
RT-Adams is not the long term answer and Colon is a UFA after the season. The good news is that Colon could be retained (if he's reasonable) and if not, finding a RT (vet or rookie) is a hell of a lot easier than finding a LT.
RG-Essex is not the answer. He is very inconsistent. Legursky will get his shot. I'm not sure what happened to Ramon Foster, I liked the way he played last season when called upon. If we don't spend big money on a RT, we should consider signing a UFA RG. They are not terribly expensive and a solid technician would allow Pouncey to shine.
LG-Kemo is very good at pulling and okay at drive blocking. He is a poor pass blocker, but his inadequacies here will improve. He is now between two good and highly intelligent pass blockers and we now have an offensive line coach who can improve his technique. If he can become an average or slightly above average LG, then we are really one or two pieces away from assembling a good offensive line.

RuthlessBurgher
09-24-2010, 10:41 AM
When Russ Grimm was our OL coach, our offensive line Hog Index was 1.

When Russ Grimm left for Arizona, our offensive line Hog Index dropped to 0.

http://www.thehogs.net/The_Hogs/images/hogs250.jpg
http://wai.redskins.com/redskinsFile/images/tickets/hoggettes.jpg

Slapstick
09-24-2010, 10:43 AM
Grimm also had Faneca, Hatrwig and Smith...