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fordfixer
10-14-2010, 01:33 AM
Collier: Time to turn to new page
Thursday, October 14, 2010
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10287/1095093-150.stm

Antwaan Randle El usually can feel the approach of the good ones, the big laughs, the ones that are never very far anyway from his ready smile, but a question just before Steelers practice Wednesday made a mirthful expulsion pop from his throat before he could even get his mouth open.

"Preparation?" he squawked almost involuntarily. "Yeah -- it requires a little more preparation."

We were talking about the looming reappearance in the Steelers' offense of the franchise quarterback. Maybe you've heard about it.

Since Antwaan has not caught a pass that has mattered from Ben Roethlisberger since Super Bowl 40, I was wondering if these final days of preparation for the Heinz Field appointment Sunday with Cleveland require more study by Steelers receivers than for a typical game day.

"We've had a whole lot of the total offense in place even before this week, and used a lot," said Randle El, "but the thing is, with Ben, he can come to the line and change everything completely. Even the two calls he made in the huddle, they won't matter.

"If he sees something, you'd better be sure you're on the same page. You have to maintain eye contact with him at all times."

With Roethlisberger at the trigger, Randle El, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Heath Miller, and anyone else Bruce Arians lines up with a pass-catcher's profile will be watching the Prisoner of Park Avenue for something they have not seen this season.

That's right, the football.

No, let's not pretend that Sunday will include the first forward passes of the Steelers' season. Even without No. 7, the Steelers were a passing team about 55 percent of the time. They just were not a pass-completing team, necessarily.

Ward had two catches against Baltimore in the last game. Wallace had two. Randle El had two. Miller had two. Rashard Mendenhall had two. Antonio Brown and Isaac Redman had two between them.

Had Randle El not beaten Ravens corner Fabian Washington down the seam and made a ridiculous catch for a 34-yard gain on the Steelers' second possession, none of Charlie Batch's completions would have measured more than 20 yards.

That kind of performance was fine as long as the Steelers were unbeaten, but now that they are back in the AFC North wash, some alarming pre-Ben trends have come to a harsh light.

Through a quarter of the 2010 season, Ward is on pace for 48 catches, barely half what he managed in 2009. Miller is on pace for 40. Last year, he caught 76. Wallace, who caught 39 in his rookie year, would not duplicate that at the current rate.

"I'm excited; I can't wait for Sunday," Wallace said Wednesday. "Ben's a great player, one of the best in the league, so, yeah, I think we're going to pass more, but I don't think it's going to go completely the other way."

No, I don't expect No. 7 to throw it 45 times, either, but here is what will go completely the other way: when receivers turn free out of the cuts, the football might actually be there. Wallace, for example, will now be able to score touchdowns without the football first clanging off the hands of unskilled defenders, as both his scoring catches have this season. More pressingly, however, Wallace's concentration will have to be optimal, as he is the least-experienced student of Ben-at-the-line pantomimes.

"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

The Browns are expected to watch carefully as well, particularly since every touchdown they have allowed from scrimmage this year has been via some sort of projectile. Even at that, the Browns have a chance to make Roethlisberger uncomfortable until he adjusts to the speed of a real NFL game, having not played in one in 91/2 months.

The sooner you see Roethlisberger beginning to call his own game, pointing with both hands and signaling to the perimeter, the nearer Bruce Arians' offense will be to its full personality.

"I think he enjoys that," said Miller of Roethlisberger's last-second decisions. "He's earned that kind of responsibility. B.A. has a lot of trust and confidence in him as well."

You got the distinct feeling that Miller was not worried about finishing 2010 with only 40 catches.

"It's a long season," said the great tight end. "We'll all have our opportunities."

They're thinkin' probably Sunday.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10287/10 ... z12JBGYPeG (http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10287/1095093-150.stm#ixzz12JBGYPeG)

Crash
10-14-2010, 01:49 AM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

papillon
10-14-2010, 06:37 AM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Ward has caught more hot route reads for first downs in his career than most receivers will catch 6 yard outs in their careers. Ward is a 13 year vet and is adept at picking up first downs on blitzes and on designed routes. It';s what has kept him in the game at a high level for long, long time.

Pappy

BURGH86STEEL
10-14-2010, 07:16 AM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Ward has caught more hot route reads for first downs in his career than most receivers will catch 6 yard outs in their careers. Ward is a 13 year vet and is adept at picking up first downs on blitzes and on designed routes. It';s what has kept him in the game at a high level for long, long time.

Pappy

Careful, Ward is the devil. :lol:

BURGH86STEEL
10-14-2010, 07:30 AM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Trying to figure out how you know that, "Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz." Care to enlighten me on that one? Do you know the signals that Ben sends out for the adjustments? What did Ben mean when he said, "alert, alert" Could it be Ben changed the play and made the wrong adjustment? I believe the responsibility falls on the QB when adjusting or changing plays. One way or another, all we have is speculation. Don't know how you reached that conclusion about Ward.

I believe most teams have situations when and who they will blitz. I believe Ben needs to get a better feel for when teams will blitz him. Recognizing where those blitzes will come from could save him from being hit a few times.

stlrz d
10-14-2010, 01:26 PM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Trying to figure out how you know that, "Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz." Care to enlighten me on that one? Do you know the signals that Ben sends out for the adjustments? What did Ben mean when he said, "alert, alert" Could it be Ben changed the play and made the wrong adjustment? I believe the responsibility falls on the QB when adjusting or changing plays. One way or another, all we have is speculation. Don't know how you reached that conclusion about Ward.

I believe most teams have situations when and who they will blitz. I believe Ben needs to get a better feel for when teams will blitz him. Recognizing where those blitzes will come from could save him from being hit a few times.

I guess the same could be asked of you.

The bottom line is neither of you is on the field, sees what those players are seeing from their perspectives, knows what plays are called or what the signals mean.

proudpittsburgher
10-14-2010, 01:31 PM
Getting back on topic, because I am certainly not going to fall into the Ward debate, but I personally am most excited to see how the pieces of the puzzle on offense are going to come together now that Ben is back. I have been of the opinion that I won't judge El, Moore and a couple of other guys' performences untin Ben gets back, so the time is now to figure out if these guys are going to work out or if it is time to move on.

Crash
10-14-2010, 02:39 PM
A glaring example is the Bears game last season. Bears were showing blitz, Ben peaks over at Ward TWICE before he takes the snap.

Takes the snap, tries to hit Ward with a quick hitter, Ward keeps going, sack.

And it's happened more with him, than any other wide out. On 3rd and longs Ward never reads blitz, he just keeps running his route. Ward makes his cut and Ben's already on the turf.

Like Wallace said, you have to pay attention to Ben when he's back there.

I don't think Ward does, and Holmes followed his lead.

Ben's "signal" is usually a quick look over to the wide/TE before the snap.

Another example, is the Dallas game. The Cowboys showed blitz, Ben gives Miller a quick peak, takes the snap. Quick hit to Miller, 6 points. Miller obviously was paying attention.

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 02:46 PM
Getting back on topic, because I am certainly not going to fall into the Ward debate, but I personally am most excited to see how the pieces of the puzzle on offense are going to come together now that Ben is back. I have been of the opinion that I won't judge El, Moore and a couple of other guys' performences untin Ben gets back, so the time is now to figure out if these guys are going to work out or if it is time to move on.

I can see waiting to judge the WR's but I think Moore is done. This was his time to step up and make a play or two to help our struggling QB's and I felt like he wasn't on his game. Maybe Redman's presence has distracted Moore but he isn't doing the little things that he used to do.

I think it was week 1 and Dixon hit Moore in stride on 2nd down and Moore had space but he bobbled the ball and gained nothing.. that drive stalled. I think the 2008 Moore would have turned that into a 15 yard gain.

BURGH86STEEL
10-14-2010, 02:56 PM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Trying to figure out how you know that, "Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz." Care to enlighten me on that one? Do you know the signals that Ben sends out for the adjustments? What did Ben mean when he said, "alert, alert" Could it be Ben changed the play and made the wrong adjustment? I believe the responsibility falls on the QB when adjusting or changing plays. One way or another, all we have is speculation. Don't know how you reached that conclusion about Ward.

I believe most teams have situations when and who they will blitz. I believe Ben needs to get a better feel for when teams will blitz him. Recognizing where those blitzes will come from could save him from being hit a few times.

I guess the same could be asked of you.

The bottom line is neither of you is on the field, sees what those players are seeing from their perspectives, knows what plays are called or what the signals mean.

Asked of me in what sense?

I understand I am not on the field and I don't know what they see. That's why I wrote a better feel, understanding, or whatever you want to call it when teams blitz him. Not holding onto the ball to long in certain situations will probably save him from taking a few hits.

feltdizz
10-14-2010, 03:03 PM
why the hell should a guy have to explain that he isn't on the field. It's a message board... some things are obvious.

Are you an owner? Coach? Trainer? Player? Ref? Commish?

Guess we should just shut this board down and call it a day. :wink:

sd steel
10-14-2010, 03:18 PM
A glaring example is the Bears game last season. Bears were showing blitz, Ben peaks over at Ward TWICE before he takes the snap.

Takes the snap, tries to hit Ward with a quick hitter, Ward keeps going, sack.

And it's happened more with him, than any other wide out. On 3rd and longs Ward never reads blitz, he just keeps running his route. Ward makes his cut and Ben's already on the turf.

Like Wallace said, you have to pay attention to Ben when he's back there.

I don't think Ward does, and Holmes followed his lead.

Ben's "signal" is usually a quick look over to the wide/TE before the snap.

Another example, is the Dallas game. The Cowboys showed blitz, Ben gives Miller a quick peak, takes the snap. Quick hit to Miller, 6 points. Miller obviously was paying attention.

I think the example you give with Ward in the Bears game was easy to see because it was caught on film because Ward was in the slot, which is why you noticed it. But we probably miss a majority of the communication failures by the WR and TE and RB, because we can't see it.

As far as Ben's "signal", I hope it ie more than just a "quick look" over to the wide/TE, that would be pretty easy for a defender to study Ben before the play and jump the quick route after stepping into the box and disquising blitz.

AngryAsian
10-14-2010, 03:35 PM
Getting back on topic, because I am certainly not going to fall into the Ward debate, but I personally am most excited to see how the pieces of the puzzle on offense are going to come together now that Ben is back. I have been of the opinion that I won't judge El, Moore and a couple of other guys' performences untin Ben gets back, so the time is now to figure out if these guys are going to work out or if it is time to move on.

I can see waiting to judge the WR's but I think Moore is done. This was his time to step up and make a play or two to help our struggling QB's and I felt like he wasn't on his game. Maybe Redman's presence has distracted Moore but he isn't doing the little things that he used to do.

I think it was week 1 and Dixon hit Moore in stride on 2nd down and Moore had space but he bobbled the ball and gained nothing.. that drive stalled. I think the 2008 Moore would have turned that into a 15 yard gain.

Two season's ago when Mendy busted up his shoulder in the Raven's game and Moore stepped up with catches and runs (something like 150+ yards from scrimmage, if memory serves me correctly) that would of made Marshall Faulk proud, I thought we have found us a great utility back. He showed some flashes last year... but it seems his skillset has drastically diminished both the passing game, and definitely with his inability to pick key blocks in blitzing situations. I think he is done.

Relentless7
10-14-2010, 03:36 PM
"I think Ben will change at a lot of plays at the line," Wallace said. "He'll give you a hot route at the line, some kind of adjustment. You have to keep your eye on him because Ben is so slick. You've got to pay attention."

Wallace has been preaching this since mini-camp. He was actively pointing out blitzers in camp drills.

Going to be interesting to see how many non hot route reads we see with Ben by the WRs now that Holmes is no longer here. Ward of the two was the most guilty on the team of not reading blitz but it seems as if Wallace has embraced learning the coverages.

Ward has caught more hot route reads for first downs in his career than most receivers will catch 6 yard outs in their careers. Ward is a 13 year vet and is adept at picking up first downs on blitzes and on designed routes. It';s what has kept him in the game at a high level for long, long time.

Pappy


Yeah but you are failing to take into account Ward is divorced.

DIVORCED for God's Sake!!!!!!!!

Crash
10-14-2010, 03:58 PM
Ward is a 13 year vet and is adept at picking up first downs on blitzes

Then why doesn't he?

skyhawk
10-14-2010, 04:11 PM
Getting back on topic, because I am certainly not going to fall into the Ward debate, but I personally am most excited to see how the pieces of the puzzle on offense are going to come together now that Ben is back. I have been of the opinion that I won't judge El, Moore and a couple of other guys' performences untin Ben gets back, so the time is now to figure out if these guys are going to work out or if it is time to move on.

I can see waiting to judge the WR's but I think Moore is done. This was his time to step up and make a play or two to help our struggling QB's and I felt like he wasn't on his game. Maybe Redman's presence has distracted Moore but he isn't doing the little things that he used to do.

I think it was week 1 and Dixon hit Moore in stride on 2nd down and Moore had space but he bobbled the ball and gained nothing.. that drive stalled. I think the 2008 Moore would have turned that into a 15 yard gain.

Two season's ago when Mendy busted up his shoulder in the Raven's game and Moore stepped up with catches and runs (something like 150+ yards from scrimmage, if memory serves me correctly) that would of made Marshall Faulk proud, I thought we have found us a great utility back. He showed some flashes last year... but it seems his skillset has drastically diminished both the passing game, and definitely with his inability to pick key blocks in blitzing situations. I think he is done.

Moore will be back and be better once Ben steps on the field and teams don't have 9 guys up on the line of scrimmage.

ikestops85
10-14-2010, 05:39 PM
Getting back on topic, because I am certainly not going to fall into the Ward debate, but I personally am most excited to see how the pieces of the puzzle on offense are going to come together now that Ben is back. I have been of the opinion that I won't judge El, Moore and a couple of other guys' performences untin Ben gets back, so the time is now to figure out if these guys are going to work out or if it is time to move on.

I can see waiting to judge the WR's but I think Moore is done. This was his time to step up and make a play or two to help our struggling QB's and I felt like he wasn't on his game. Maybe Redman's presence has distracted Moore but he isn't doing the little things that he used to do.

I think it was week 1 and Dixon hit Moore in stride on 2nd down and Moore had space but he bobbled the ball and gained nothing.. that drive stalled. I think the 2008 Moore would have turned that into a 15 yard gain.

Two season's ago when Mendy busted up his shoulder in the Raven's game and Moore stepped up with catches and runs (something like 150+ yards from scrimmage, if memory serves me correctly) that would of made Marshall Faulk proud, I thought we have found us a great utility back. He showed some flashes last year... but it seems his skillset has drastically diminished both the passing game, and definitely with his inability to pick key blocks in blitzing situations. I think he is done.

Moore will be back and be better once Ben steps on the field and teams don't have 9 guys up on the line of scrimmage.

I hope you are right skyhawk but I'm tending to side with AA on this. I've always been a big MM supporter but he hasn't been making the plays this year. I'm more worried about his dropped passes and poor open field running when he does make the catch this year than his ability to tote the rock. I hope he does start making the plays but as of now I'm ready to see more of Redmen and Dwyer.

On a side note I do laugh when someone says "you don't know" about the play calls or anything else dealing with the team's on field activities. I hope everybody realizes that nobody on this board "KNOWS" anything. We don't know play calls, we don't know audibles, we don't know what Ben's looks mean, we don't know blocking schemes, we don't know route trees, we don't know coverage responsibilities, we just don't know anything. What we have is a lot of opinions. I don't care what type of football experience you have unless you are a player or coach of the team you don't know jacksh!t.

I thought all this was a given but apparently some think they actually know? Say it ain't so.

Crash
10-14-2010, 05:47 PM
I think Moore is done except when he lines up in the slot.

RuthlessBurgher
10-14-2010, 09:19 PM
No, let's not pretend that Sunday will include the first forward passes of the Steelers' season. Even without No. 7, the Steelers were a passing team about 55 percent of the time. They just were not a pass-completing team, necessarily.

Ummm...a quick glance at the stat sheet shows that we have run the ball 123 times and passed the ball 81 times so far this season. How exactly is that a passing team about 55 percent of the time? Is this new math, Collier?


No, I don't expect No. 7 to throw it 45 times, either, but here is what will go completely the other way: when receivers turn free out of the cuts, the football might actually be there. Wallace, for example, will now be able to score touchdowns without the football first clanging off the hands of unskilled defenders, as both his scoring catches have this season. More pressingly, however, Wallace's concentration will have to be optimal, as he is the least-experienced student of Ben-at-the-line pantomimes.

His second TD clanged off Aqib Talib's hands first, but the first TD against Cody Grimm did not hit anyone else on it's way into Wallace's hands. Does Collier actually watch these games?