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hawaiiansteel
10-11-2010, 01:23 AM
Steelers hope to stick with run game

By F. Dale Lolley, Staff writer dlolley@observer-reporter.com


Rashard Mendenhall entered the weekend with 411 yards rushing, the second best total in the NFL.

Yet nobody on the Steelers' roster was happier to see quarterback Ben Roethlisberger back in the locker room than Mendenhall.

With the return of Roethlisberger from a four-game suspension for violation of the NFL's personal conduct policy, Mendenhall is less likely to see many of the eight and nine-man fronts he's faced in the first four weeks.

"Probably, but that depends on the teams we're playing and what they're trying to do," said Mendenhall, whose 89 carries are second only to Tennessee's Chris Johnson.

"The more balance you can have, the more it opens up some different things. If we can improve our passing offense, it will improve our rushing offense as well."

Without Roethlisberger, the Steelers (3-1) were 31st in the NFL, averaging 136 yards passing per game. Considering Roethlisberger threw for a team-record 4,328 yards - eclipsing the old mark by 604 yards - opponents would be foolish not to respect his ability.

But the Steelers wanted to re-emphasize their rushing attack whether Roethlisberger was on the field or not after ranking in the bottom half of the league running the ball in each of the previous two seasons.

Roethlisberger's had an extra week of practice thanks to Pittsburgh's bye week, but there may be some thought to continue to lean on that running game while he gets back up to game speed, particularly next Sunday against Cleveland at Heinz Field.

"I'm not overly concerned about that, and mostly because of the position he plays," said coach Mike Tomlin. "If he was a running back or a cornerback it would probably be more of an issue. There is a level of concern, but not an extraordinary level of concern."

The Steelers also don't want to give up on Mendenhall and a rushing attack that's averaging 133.5 yards per game.

"We've got to realize that our all-world quarterback is an all-world quarterback, but what we have established is great," wide receiver Antwaan Randle El said. "We're going to add him to what has been established. That's one thing we've got to realize, how much the run is going to complement the pass and how we can just grind it if we need to. We're not going to get away from the things we've been doing well."

So while there will be some obvious differences with the return of a two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback back in the lineup, the Steelers don't expect drastic changes.

"The offense is definitely going to go in another direction," wide receiver Mike Wallace said. "It won't change too much, but at the same time we're going to throw the ball because we've got one of the best guys back. So I'm excited."

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/loc ... -moving-on (http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/localsports/10-10-2010-Steelers-offense-moving-on)

skyhawk
10-11-2010, 01:49 AM
The goal is to score points. How it's done shouldn't matter.

The steelers had major trouble scoring TDs last year, thanks mainly to a poor running game and BA predictability.

Sugar
10-11-2010, 07:55 AM
As long as the Steelers can run in short yardage and goal-line situations and be successful, I'm happy.

papillon
10-11-2010, 09:22 AM
As long as the Steelers can run in short yardage and goal-line situations and be successful, I'm happy.

Well, they managed to run the ball consistently with an average to below average NFL quarterback running the team. Running the ball should become a bit easier with Ben and should also cause teams to have to guess in short yardage, run or pass. With Batch and Dixon it was almost a certainty that a running play was coming (and, this is the right call considering the quarterback).

Pappy

Djfan
10-11-2010, 09:26 AM
Here's hoping for the return of the play action and air outs to Wallace!!!

:tt2 :tt2

feltdizz
10-11-2010, 09:41 AM
I hope we don't run as much as we have... it would be crazy too.

I just want us to be more effective when we do :stirpot

papillon
10-11-2010, 10:14 AM
I hope we don't run as much as we have... it would be crazy too.

I just want us to be more effective when we do :stirpot

Unfortunately, running the football really is a mindset and trying to run the football only in certain situations can lead to ineffective running. The Steelers of Noll and Cowher were good at running the football, because, that was their primary mode of offense. With the current Steelers the primary mode of offense is passing the football (as it should be). This makes running the ball a bit more difficult (IMO), because you're asking the linemen to move a defender off the ball physically after having been retreating into a pass blocking stance.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Steelers trying to establish the run with Ben under center and then air it out after they have to move defenders closer to the LOS. It will be interesting to see how the Steelers play offense now.

Both, Mendenhall and Roethlisberger, are premier NFL players and other teams are going to have to defend both.

Pappy

sentinel33
10-11-2010, 12:11 PM
we are missing well over 100 yards of passing offense per game when compared to last year at this time. we are also about 5 points below the average we had at the end of the year last season from an offensive production standpoint. we stick with the game plan that we've been using while upgrading the offense with Ben and a better choice of plays at BA's disposal. Cant wait for the game. havent been this excited for a game all season. My nerves were runnin the show for the first four games. No more nerves with ben back there. Go Steelers!

Sugar
10-11-2010, 12:39 PM
Hopefully the OL will be able to deal with the additional passing to go along with the running game. There is a different mindset that goes with it and a guy like Hotel will be interesting to see now that we will probably be passing at least 10 more times per game.

hawaiiansteel
10-11-2010, 04:58 PM
Steelers should be better with Ben, but it may take change of philosophy

By Alan Robinson (CP)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. Maybe the Pittsburgh Steelers didn't exceed their own expectations by going 3-1 without Ben Roethlisberger. They certainly surprised a league that figured any team forced to start its No. 3 and No. 4 quarterbacks in September was in trouble.
Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon didn't play up to Roethlisberger's level, but they kept the Steelers atop the AFC North and made certain their season wasn't ruined by the time Roethlisberger returned from his four-game suspension.

"If you had told us we'd be 3-1 at the beginning of the year without Ben, no one outside of this locker room would have given us a chance," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "But it's definitely great to have Ben back on our side."

Now comes the question everyone in the AFC North is asking: How much better can the Steelers be now that their franchise quarterback is back?

The answer: Perhaps only as good as Roethlisberger allows them to be. And it may require a few concessions by a player who always wants the ball in his hands when the clock is winding down and games are being decided.

During their month without Roethlisberger, the longest stretch they've played without him since his NFL career began in 2004, the Steelers returned to their roots by winning with the running game. A season after Roethlisberger threw for a club-record 4,328 yards, or 604 yards more than any other quarterback in team history, Rashard Mendenhall is second in the league with 411 yards rushing.

Predictably, the Steelers are next to last in passing with a 136 yards per game, or 200 yards per game fewer than the Broncos.

While consistency in the passing game is lacking, re-emphasizing the run has improved the Steelers' ability to extend drives and preserve leads, two notable deficiencies when they missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record a season ago.

What could change everything, including the newfound offensive balance, is if Roethlisberger returns Oct. 17 against Cleveland with a determination to show off his rested passing arm. Roethlisberger spent his month away from the team polishing his mechanics with a private quarterbacks coach.

"We've got to realize that our all-world quarterback is an all-world quarterback, but what we have established is great," wide receiver Antwaan Randle El said. "We're going to add him to what has been established. That's one thing we've got to realize, how much the run is going to complement the pass and how we can just grind it if we need to. We're not going to get away from the things we've been doing well."

The Steelers are off this weekend before beginning a stretch in which they play five of eight on the road, including games at Miami, New Orleans, Cincinnati and Baltimore and a home game against New England.

While Roethlisberger always talks about the necessity of being balanced, the Steelers' rushing attempts per season have declined from 618 during his rookie season to 428 last year. As a result, they became increasingly one-dimensional offensively, an abrupt change of direction for a franchise that has outrushed every NFL team by at least 5,113 yards since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

The Steelers are the only team with more than 20,000 rushing attempts since then; they have 20,831, with the Bears ranking second with 19,755 attempts, according to STATS LLC.

Now that he's back, Roethlisberger should be able to open up an offence in which Ward has 12 receptions, a total surpassed by 67 other NFL receivers. Roethlisberger's ability to throw the deep ball should help wide receiver Mike Wallace, who has two TD catches of more than 40 yards but isn't consistently making catches of 20 yards-plus.
"I think Mike's gotten faster since I've been gone," Roethlisberger said.

While the Steelers will throw the ball more, left tackle Max Starks is convinced Roethlisberger won't want to alter the offence's rediscovered versatility.

"I hope people aren't expecting us to light it up, because we just want to play consistently, control the line of scrimmage and control the time of possession," Starks said. "That's the best way for us to be successful. We had that the first three games, but we lost that a little bit in the last game. And it cost us."

The Steelers were less than a minute away from beating Baltimore last weekend. But the offence couldn't run out the clock and the Ravens drove 40 yards in a few seconds for the winning score and a 17-14 victory. If they had won, the Steelers would have been 4-0 for the first time in 31 years.

Pittsburgh's defence was superb during most of Roethlisberger's absence, allowing only 25 points in the first, second and third quarters.

Defensive end Brett Keisel insisted there won't be a letup just because Roethlisberger is expected to give the defence more points to work with.

"We're going to go out there with the same approach that we've had all along, and that's to keep other teams out of the end zone," he said. "That gives us the best chance to win games. It's great to have him back and what he brings to our offence, but it's not going to change our mentality on the defensive side of the ball."

Whether Roethlisberger is willing to alter his mentality after all, he is 68-28 as an NFL starter might factor into how the Steelers do in their next 12 games.

"The offence is definitely going to go in another direction," Wallace said. "It won't change too much, but at the same time we're going to throw the ball because we've got one of the best guys back. So I'm excited."

Copyright 2010 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadi ... Id=4786138 (http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5gGjQ28U55wM0Yu187Ep7iGWtj8Vw?docId=4786138)

Crash
10-11-2010, 05:52 PM
During their month without Roethlisberger, the longest stretch they've played without him since his NFL career began in 2004, the Steelers returned to their roots by winning with the running game.

:Blah


While consistency in the passing game is lacking, re-emphasizing the run has improved the Steelers' ability to extend drives and preserve leads

Utter garbage.

The Steelers had a 4th quarter lead against the Falcons.

The defense gave it right back.

The Steelers had a 7-0 lead against the Ravens.

The defense gave it right back.

The Steelers needed one stop after the running game failed to ice the game.

The defense gave up a touchdown.

One game out of four, the running game was dominant. And Mendenhall still got 103 of his 143 yards AFTER the Steelers had a 28-6 lead when Batch threw for three scores in a half.

But old school media hacks like Robinson are too worried about protecting the Steelers "image".


While Roethlisberger always talks about the necessity of being balanced, the Steelers' rushing attempts per season have declined from 618 during his rookie season to 428 last year. As a result, they became increasingly one-dimensional offensively, an abrupt change of direction for a franchise that has outrushed every NFL team by at least 5,113 yards since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

I rest my case. Notice how he didn't mention the Super Bowl wins Ben has.

I thought that was the objective here?

If they aren't going to use Ben? Trade him. Load up on running backs and defense, and play 2000 Ravens football and try to win 13-10 every week.

You'll win games sure.

You won't win Super Bowls.

feltdizz
10-12-2010, 09:43 AM
I think everyone knows Ben has 2 SB rings... I don't think this guy is protecting our Steeler image either..

what the hell is our image anyway?

ikestops85
10-12-2010, 10:22 AM
I think everyone knows Ben has 2 SB rings... I don't think this guy is protecting our Steeler image either..

what the hell is our image anyway?

I think this is the Steeler image

http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/UserFiles/Image/Events/Steelers/Trophies%20with%20background_web.jpg

sentinel33
10-12-2010, 10:40 AM
I want to blow teams out of the water with this offense. It's high time we see a pittsburgh offense that can score 30-35 points per game. This team has the weapons on offense to do it. We have the RB's to get the job done. The QB is top 5 in the league and the stable of WR's will allow us to implement any type of passing attack we want. The only holdup is the offensive line. But they are looking better this year. This offense has the ability to be top 5. That is what i want to see. Between what we've seen this year with the running game and what we saw last year with the passing game, it should be fireworks every week.

feltdizz
10-12-2010, 11:22 AM
I think everyone knows Ben has 2 SB rings... I don't think this guy is protecting our Steeler image either..

what the hell is our image anyway?

I think this is the Steeler image

http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/UserFiles/Image/Events/Steelers/Trophies%20with%20background_web.jpg

:Agree and it doesn't matter how we get them...

Crash
10-12-2010, 11:40 AM
Agree and it doesn't matter how we get them...

To the intelligent fan it doesn't.

But to idiots who are obsessed with HAVING to run the ball 45 times a game? It does.

Robinson's whole point of that article was a joke. He doesn't watch the games. But he's already planting the "Ben came back and they changed what was working" seed into the minds of the reader while not accurately reporting why they've been winning anyway.

hawaiiansteel
10-13-2010, 04:49 PM
Updated: October 13, 2010

Ben Roethlisberger ready for debut

By James Walker
ESPN.com


PITTSBURGH -- Coming off a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says he has a mix of emotions heading into Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

"I'm excited. But I'm not to the peak of my excitement yet, that will probably come later," Roethlisberger said before Wednesday's practice. "I'm anxious, excited, a lot of emotions. But, like I said, a lot of it is under wraps right now because we're focusing on practice."

Walker: Balancing Act

The Steelers must be careful not to abandon their successful running attack just because quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is back, ESPN.com's James Walker writes.

The Steelers (3-1) are off to a fast start even without their No. 1 quarterback. Pittsburgh used great defense and a power running game with tailback Rashard Mendenhall to record wins over the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Their one defeat came against the Baltimore Ravens.

It is now Roethlisberger's job to keep Pittsburgh's momentum going. The Steelers need his arm because they are last in the NFL in passing, but they have to be wary not to sway too far in that direction.

"I think we will be very balanced, and we're going to take what they give us," Roethlisberger said of the Browns. "If they're loading up the box, we will try to throw it. If they're sitting back, we will run the ball."

Last year Roethlisberger threw for a career-high 4,328 yards along with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He was chosen as an alternate for the Pro Bowl but turned it down to rest his shoulder.

Roethlisberger hopes he gets a warm reception in his first game back this year in Heinz Field. Many Steelers fans were upset with Roethlisberger's off-field conduct and subsequent suspension. But the city of Pittsburgh is feeling good about its football team, and even more optimistic now that Roethlisberger is returning.

"Hopefully a lot of cheers," Roethlisberger said when asked about the fans. "In the preseason there was a lot of it. So I hope nothing will change."

James Walker covers the AFC North for ESPN.com

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5681334

BURGH86STEEL
10-13-2010, 05:22 PM
I want to blow teams out of the water with this offense. It's high time we see a pittsburgh offense that can score 30-35 points per game. This team has the weapons on offense to do it. We have the RB's to get the job done. The QB is top 5 in the league and the stable of WR's will allow us to implement any type of passing attack we want. The only holdup is the offensive line. But they are looking better this year. This offense has the ability to be top 5. That is what i want to see. Between what we've seen this year with the running game and what we saw last year with the passing game, it should be fireworks every week.

I don't believe they have the weapons on offense to score 30-35 points per game.

Crash
10-13-2010, 05:49 PM
"Successful" running attack.

WTF ever.

hawaiiansteel
10-13-2010, 08:47 PM
"Successful" running attack.

WTF ever.



Mendy has averaged over 100 yds/game and 4.6YPC so far with other defenses stacked against the run.

Crash
10-13-2010, 11:09 PM
Mendy has averaged over 100 yds/game and 4.6YPC so far with other defenses stacked against the run.

Watch the games. Don't read stat sheets.

His regulation numbers STINK in three of the four games we've played. And the one game it didn't stink, he had 40 yards, and the Steelers were ahead 28-6, THEN he ran for 103 yards in the second half of his 143 total.

Another gem from Robinson's article below:


While consistency in the passing game is lacking, re-emphasizing the run has improved the Steelers' ability to extend drives

What drives are we extending when we are one of the worst teams in the NFL in first downs per game (13)? If anything the Titans game showed just how bad the offense has been for the most part.

SteelTorch
10-14-2010, 11:16 AM
This article is just more proof that people want to see us run the ball just for the sake of running it. The whole "ToP problem" we supposedly had last year is a complete myth - we were 3rd highest last year in time of possession, and NOBODY seems to remember that! And it's driving me crazy! :HeadBanger

Big Ben is our best player on the offense. Why wouldn't we want to utilize him the most? If we want to continue winning, we'll run the ball effectively, not necessarily more, and our defense won't continue blowing 4th quarter leads this year.

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 12:14 PM
This article is just more proof that people want to see us run the ball just for the sake of running it. The whole "ToP problem" we supposedly had last year is a complete myth - we were 3rd highest last year in time of possession, and NOBODY seems to remember that! And it's driving me crazy! :HeadBanger

Big Ben is our best player on the offense. Why wouldn't we want to utilize him the most? If we want to continue winning, we'll run the ball effectively, not necessarily more, and our defense won't continue blowing 4th quarter leads this year.


No one wants to run just to run... people who understand football realize without Ben teams stacked the box and we were still able to get good yards on the ground.

With Ben in the line up the D can't do that which should open better running lanes and extend drives and grind clock.

I don't think anyone thinks we should run more once Ben returns. Most are stating they don't want to see us abandon the run and pass just to pass. Our interior blocking has improved with Pouncey and anyone who thinks getting Ben back won't change the opponents defensive philosophy are nuts.

Not sure what the ToP has to do with anything... we lost 7 games. People also forget that 50 sacks burn clock... ToP means nothing if you can't stop the other team from scoring late in games.

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 12:19 PM
[quote]Mendy has averaged over 100 yds/game and 4.6YPC so far with other defenses stacked against the run.

Watch the games. Don't read stat sheets.

His regulation numbers STINK in three of the four games we've played. And the one game it didn't stink, he had 40 yards, and the Steelers were ahead 28-6, THEN he ran for 103 yards in the second half of his 143 total.

Another gem from Robinson's article below:


While consistency in the passing game is lacking, re-emphasizing the run has improved the Steelers' ability to extend drives

What drives are we extending when we are one of the worst teams in the NFL in first downs per game (13)? If anything the Titans game showed just how bad the offense has been for the most part.[/quote:1dh19lan]

Mendenhall stinks... we will see in the next few weeks if our running game really does stink.

SteelTorch
10-14-2010, 12:39 PM
No one wants to run just to run... people who understand football realize without Ben teams stacked the box and we were still able to get good yards on the ground.

So how do you realize it, then? :lol:

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 03:04 PM
No one wants to run just to run... people who understand football realize without Ben teams stacked the box and we were still able to get good yards on the ground.

So how do you realize it, then? :lol:

:wink: yuk yuk!

Crash
10-14-2010, 03:08 PM
No one wants to run just to run... people who understand football realize without Ben teams stacked the box and we were still able to get good yards on the ground.

Once in four games in regulation.

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 03:18 PM
No one wants to run just to run... people who understand football realize without Ben teams stacked the box and we were still able to get good yards on the ground.

Once in four games in regulation.

Mendenhall fell forward a lot these first 4 games and I saw a lot of nice 3 and 4 yard gains that will turn into 5 to 7 yard gains once Ben softens up the D.

Oviedo
10-14-2010, 03:23 PM
Mendy has been solid as has the running game. I just hope they don't run the wheeels off of Mendy because we don't have a competent option on the roster behind him. If we lose Mendy we lose the running game.