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hawaiiansteel
10-07-2010, 03:30 PM
you can tell by this picture just how much Hines Ward loves Big Ben! :stirpot


On the Steelers: Offense primed for an outburst

Thursday, October 07, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/images/201010/20101007steelers_330.jpg

Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward on the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger: "We definitely can open up our playbook and run a lot of different things. I can't wait to see him on the field competing."


Now that Ben Roethlisberger has returned, the Steelers will take on a new look and maybe even an improvement over the record-breaking offense he directed last season.

That offense Roethlisberger will lead onto the field Oct. 17 has already taken on a different appearance and philosophy since he last played in a real game Jan. 3 in Miami to close out the 2009 season.

The starting line has changed by 60 percent, he has new receivers, and they have found something they nearly abandoned in 2009, a running game. The Steelers are tied for seventh in the NFL with an average of 133.5 yards rushing per game. They ranked 19th last season with an average of 112.1 yards per game.

Roethlisberger's return should aid the one area in which the offense has lagged, passing.

"We definitely can open up our playbook and run a lot of different things," Hines Ward said. "I can't wait to see him on the field competing."

Without Roethlisberger, the passing game ranks next-to-last in the NFL with an average of 136 yards per game. Last season, they ranked ninth with a 259.2-yard average.

Even before they knew Roethlisberger would miss the first four games, the Steelers decided they must run the ball more effectively this season and they have worked on that since last spring. With their quarterback's return, they should be more productive through the air, and that can only help their ground game, too.

"It's going to be more balanced," said Mike Wallace, who has moved into the starting split end job vacated by Santonio Holmes. "I'm pretty sure we're going to stay close to our game plan because it got us to 3-1 and could be 4-0. But at the same time, we have a unique guy in there. This isn't just any guy returning, this is one of the top five guys in the league."

Roethlisberger obliterated Terry Bradshaw's 30-year-old passing record (3,724 yards in 1979) when he threw for 4,328 yards last season. However, the Steelers did not run well. They not only ranked 19th, they had trouble in short yardage and near the goal line.

Rashard Mendenhall, though, has rushed for 411 yards and a 4.6-yard average per carry even though defenses have aligned more to stop the run than the pass because of the absence of Roethlisberger. They more than likely will loosen up with Roethlisberger's presence in the pocket, and that could open things up more for Mendenhall.

"Yeah, I'm sure they're going to have to play things kind of differently," Mendenhall said. "With Ben coming back, it adds another dynamic to our offense."

Said Wallace: "I think it just opens up longer runs for him and more for our team as a whole. If Rashard can continue what he's been doing or even better, I think he can shoot up to one or two [in the league] with the defenses sitting back in coverage."

Steelers receivers, who flourished under Roethlisberger last season, are all off to slow starts. Wallace does have two touchdown receptions of 41 and 46 yards from Charlie Batch against Tampa Bay, but he has only caught nine passes. Heath Miller, who set the team's record for tight ends with 76 receptions in 2009, has just 10 or on a pace for 40. Ward, who led the Steelers with 95 receptions last season, leads them with 12 after four games, or on pace for half of what he caught in 2009.

That, though, should all change starting Oct. 17.

"He really understands the offense," Ward said. "He had a phenomenal camp. He was going down to his second and third reads. He looks good."

A primed Roethlisberger in the pocket should lift all boats on the offense.

"I know we're going to run the ball because it's effective and we have to," Wallace said. "But at the same time, hey, we have 7 back there. Our whole team is excited and I feel we can put up some points.

"We tried to keep them honest [by throwing deep through the first four games] but we weren't throwing too many passes, so it's kind of hard for us to keep them honest when they're not respecting our passing games. Now they're going to have to. I think our offense is going to explode."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10280/10 ... z11hdIsjua (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10280/1093242-66.stm#ixzz11hdIsjua)

feltdizz
10-07-2010, 04:27 PM
according to one poster our OL sucks and this whole production thing will not improve.

Oviedo
10-07-2010, 04:50 PM
according to one poster our OL sucks and this whole production thing will not improve.


According to numerous "expert" posters our OL really sucked the year we won the Super Bowl. I hope they are that bad again this year.

sentinel33
10-07-2010, 04:53 PM
all things point up. there is no where to go but up. ben gets a couple weeks and a couple games before we get the saints bengals and patriots. this offense should be in sync by then. let the juggernaut roll!!!

SteelTorch
10-09-2010, 10:31 AM
according to one poster our OL sucks and this whole production thing will not improve.
Our production will improve. Our OL will still suck.

:stirpot




According to numerous "expert" posters our OL really sucked the year we won the Super Bowl. I hope they are that bad again this year.
Football is a team sport. Just because we won the Lombardi doesn't mean our OL was great. Fact is, our OL sucked that year too. We only had Ben Roethlisberger and phenomenal defense to thank for getting that trophy. :nono

sentinel33
10-09-2010, 12:20 PM
I dont get this OL bashing. We have only given up 9 sacks in 4 games. 3 of those games were against quality competition. Projected for the season, that is only 36 sacks. Way down from the 50 we gave up last season. Pouncey is a bigtime difference maker in the middle. He stands out when he's not going up against upper echelon players like freakin haloti ngata. Flozell is solid on the right side. havent heard his name much and that is a good thing. max and chris hold down the left side. the position in flux may be rg. legursky played well for essex. it will be interesting to see who wins that spot after the bye as long as essex is healthy. while i dont see the team giving up only 36 sacks this year, i think 40 is possible. If we can take it down in increments of 10 every year i am cool with that. I think we averaged 24 pts per game last year on offense. I see no reason to fire below that number against any team. If we can score 14 pts against the ravens with charlie batch and 2 missed field goals by reed, we can put points on any team with todd returning to the mix. it should be time to roll.

SteelTorch
10-09-2010, 03:05 PM
I dont get this OL bashing. We have only given up 9 sacks in 4 games. 3 of those games were against quality competition. Projected for the season, that is only 36 sacks. Way down from the 50 we gave up last season.
That sounds good on the surface, but you're forgetting that the Steelers have attempted roughly 20 passes per game - the lowest in the entire league.

When judging the OL's effectiveness, you really want to look at the sack% - how many of those pass attempts end in a sack. So far this year, the Steelers' have the third-highest sack rate in the league (11.1%). Only the Bears and the Cardinals are worse. By comparison, our sack% last year was 9.3% (not sure about the ranking).

They've shown promise in run blocking thus far, but the pass protection still appears to be woefully inept. We'll see if they improve or not once Big Ben returns.

NorthCoast
10-09-2010, 03:38 PM
I dont get this OL bashing. We have only given up 9 sacks in 4 games. 3 of those games were against quality competition. Projected for the season, that is only 36 sacks. Way down from the 50 we gave up last season. Pouncey is a bigtime difference maker in the middle. He stands out when he's not going up against upper echelon players like freakin haloti ngata. Flozell is solid on the right side. havent heard his name much and that is a good thing. max and chris hold down the left side. the position in flux may be rg. legursky played well for essex. it will be interesting to see who wins that spot after the bye as long as essex is healthy. while i dont see the team giving up only 36 sacks this year, i think 40 is possible. If we can take it down in increments of 10 every year i am cool with that. I think we averaged 24 pts per game last year on offense. I see no reason to fire below that number against any team. If we can score 14 pts against the ravens with charlie batch and 2 missed field goals by reed, we can put points on any team with todd returning to the mix. it should be time to roll.

Actually 23 pt/gm in '09 ranking us EXACTLY where we are today 12th in the league. should be good enough for a playoff if the D holds up, otherwise, no guarantees.

hawaiiansteel
10-09-2010, 11:13 PM
let the juggernaut roll!!!


there's still a potential obstacle holding back our juggernaut from rolling, and it ain't the guy on the left...


http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/266182/Arians.jpg

feltdizz
10-11-2010, 08:55 AM
I dont get this OL bashing. We have only given up 9 sacks in 4 games. 3 of those games were against quality competition. Projected for the season, that is only 36 sacks. Way down from the 50 we gave up last season.
That sounds good on the surface, but you're forgetting that the Steelers have attempted roughly 20 passes per game - the lowest in the entire league.

When judging the OL's effectiveness, you really want to look at the sack% - how many of those pass attempts end in a sack. So far this year, the Steelers' have the third-highest sack rate in the league (11.1%). Only the Bears and the Cardinals are worse. By comparison, our sack% last year was 9.3% (not sure about the ranking).

They've shown promise in run blocking thus far, but the pass protection still appears to be woefully inept. We'll see if they improve or not once Big Ben returns.

:nono actually.... most rational fans would take into account who the QB was at the time, his ability to recognize the D and his game day experience.

Then.... you would take the time to look at the plays that resulted in sacks on film and place the blame where it belongs. If the OL looks woefully inept on all of the sacks, you worry. If the OL gave the QB more than enough time on a pass play, it's called a coverage sack. If the D blitzed and the RB didn't pick up the blitzer... you blame the RB and not the OL.

When you are finished using common sense and your 2 eyes in your skull... you may not feel the OL is as bad as the percentages in the first 4 freaking games portray. :wink:

but you know... coaches don't look at film or break that stuff down, they just look at sack percentages and make adjustments based on that one specific stat.

hawaiiansteel
10-11-2010, 02:55 PM
Armed and ready in Pittsburgh

Posted Oct. 11, 2010 @ 3:33 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

http://www.profootballweekly.com/media/photologue/photos/cache/Roethlisberger_420_display.jpg

Not only does it appear the Pittsburgh Steelers have survived the suspension of two-time Super Bowl-winning QB Ben Roethlisberger with flying colors.

The pro football experts around the league whom PFW talked to this past week, in advance of Roethlisberger's return to action from his four-game hiatus for violating the league's personal-conduct policy, agree that, because the Steelers' organization remains in a league of its own, the odds that Roethlisberger will be sporting a third Super Bowl ring four months from now are looking more than a little favorable.

There were many leaguewide observers who had predicted that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin would have a hard time keeping the Steelers ship on a steady course with Roethlisberger's off-the-field indiscretions creating a bad vibe in Steelers Nation that would linger well into the season.

In the tough AFC North with a Ravens team predicted by many to be a legitimate Super Bowl contender and the defending division champion Bengals having appeared to be poised to take advantage of Roethlisberger's absence the loss of Big Ben for a quarter of the season had created what looked like a potentially insurmountable hurdle.

But lo and behold, there were the Steelers, a mere half-minute away from going 4-0 without Roethlisberger before losing to the Ravens 17-14 in Week Four.

Credit the "Steelers Way" for keeping the curtain from closing prematurely on Pittsburgh's 2010 season.

"How many teams do you think could be 3-1 against a tough schedule without their starting quarterback?" one envious NFL team executive told PFW. "They are one of the few. It all starts with the Rooney family. They are so consistent in their approach.

"They adjust so well to what they have. Whether it's the quarterback or (star SS Troy) Polamalu or the linebackers, they plug and play.

"(Director of football operations) Kevin Colbert does a great job of building championship teams. He is very underrated. They fill needs as well as anyone in the league. That is why they are so competitive, year in and year out."

Especially on defense, where recent Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Dick LeBeau continues to work his magic at the age of 73 as the Steelers' stellar defensive coordinator. After five weeks, the Steelers rank fifth in total yards allowed, rank first in both rushing yards allowed and average gain per rush and with Polamalu contributing a pair of interceptions and feeling fully healthy again after an injury-plagued 2009 campaign are tied for second in turnover differential with a plus-7, behind the Jets at plus-8.

"They knew how important LeBeau was," the executive said. "They lost (Ken) Whisenhunt and (Russ) Grimm, but they were not going to lose LeBeau. He carries them.

"Philosophically, (LeBeau) runs a very different defense than Tomlin was running in Tampa Bay and Minnesota. The base is very different, but Tomlin has not looked to change anything. That was the best move he made, and I don't think he had a lot of choice in the matter.

"There is no one better at creating matchup havoc with overloaded gaps (than LeBeau). They disguise their blitz packages so well it's very difficult to maintain protection."

On the offensive side of the ball, an old-school commitment to the run also reaped big-time dividends. With third-year pro Rashard Mendenhall averaging 102.8 yards per game the third-best average in league behind Minnesota's Adrian Peterson and Houston's Arian Foster the Steelers rank ninth in rushing yards and 17th in time of possession despite being last in passing yards.

"Without Ben, the Steelers got back to Steelers football establish the run first and play great defense," said one pro scout. "They have had to scale back the offense. They have not been playing with a quarterback they could trust. He (Roethlisberger) might have done the team a big favor. I thought he was solely winning games with his arm last year."

Now once again armed and ready, an understandably humbled Roethlisberger returns to action Sunday against the lowly Browns a 2010 debut that figures to fortify his confidence moving forward.

By all accounts, Roethlisberger has worked diligently during his suspension to retain the form that led to a team-record 4,328 passing yards last year. During his suspension, he worked almost daily with his personal QB coach, George Whitfield, on his footwork, timing and throwing.

After having to separate from the team on Sept. 2 under the terms of the suspension, Roethlisberger threw almost daily to a collection of receivers at high school stadiums. In his first practice back with the Steelers last Tuesday, Roethlisberger looked sharp and showed no rustiness or lack of rhythm.

Clearly, the stage is set for Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to open up his entire playbook again.

"Big Ben creates plays," said the pro scout. "He is a little bit of a bonehead and he hangs on to (the ball) too much, but he can wing it now. The guy has won two Super Bowls. Having him back will be a huge boost to their offense.

"He'll beat you with his arm. He is tough. He gets the (crap) knocked out of him behind that line. It is not very good. But he still finds a way. Remember the TD he threw last year to beat Green Bay? He is clutch. It was a perfect back-shoulder throw, just like the one he threw to Santonio Holmes in the Super Bowl."

After the Browns game, Roethlisberger and the Steelers face a pivotal four-game stretch, with three straight road games at Miami, New Orleans and Cincinnati and a Nov. 14 home game against the always-tough Patriots.

With three-quarters of their season left and their big gun back in action, the Steelers' shot at Super Bowl glory is as good as any team's. Taking into account the Steelers' pedigree, it really was foolish to have thought otherwise.

http://www.profootballweekly.com/2010/1 ... pittsburgh (http://www.profootballweekly.com/2010/10/11/armed-and-ready-in-pittsburgh)

SteelTorch
10-12-2010, 08:46 AM
Armed and ready in Pittsburgh

Posted Oct. 11, 2010 @ 3:33 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Clearly, the stage is set for Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to open up his entire playbook again.

All five pages of it? :lol:

ikestops85
10-12-2010, 10:36 AM
Armed and ready in Pittsburgh

Posted Oct. 11, 2010 @ 3:33 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Clearly, the stage is set for Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to open up his entire playbook again.

All five pages of it? :lol:

Do you really need 5 pages to RUTFM? :lol:

fordfixer
10-13-2010, 12:45 AM
Armed and ready in Pittsburgh

Posted Oct. 11, 2010 @ 3:33 a.m. ET
By Dan Arkush

Clearly, the stage is set for Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to open up his entire playbook again.

All five pages of it? :lol:

Do you really need 5 pages to RUTFM? :lol:


Yes
Page 1
R
page 2
U
page 3
T
Page 4
F
Page 5
M
:lol: :lol: