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fordfixer
11-19-2010, 02:12 AM
On the Steelers: Offense faces identity crisis
Friday, November 19, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://post-gazette.com/pg/10323/1104481-66.stm

Is it time for the Steelers to abandon their running game on offense and start opening things up?

There is little doubt the coaches have strived not only to improve their running game this season, as urged to do so in January by team president Art Rooney, but to run more often as well.

The Steelers have run on nearly half their plays (49.3 percent). That compares to 42.2 percent last season. Partly as a result, their total yards on offense has dipped more than 15 percent, from 371.3 yards last season to 313.6 this season, from seventh overall last season to 24th now.

Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating of 97.1, his completion rate of 62.7 and his yards per attempt of 8.25 are all not far off what he accomplished last season, yet he is averaging only 217.3 yards per game passing compared to 288 last season.

And it's not as if the Steelers' running game has improved much. They ranked 19th in the league last season with an average of 112.1 yards per game. They rank 13th in the league today having improved by just one yard per game, to 113.1.

They run it more often, not more effectively.

"Somebody asked me what's the identity of our offense?" Hines Ward said. "We're trying to be balanced as much as we can. I don't know. We're not trying to do it to try to appease the owner and what everybody thinks we ought to do. We're just trying to find ways to win ballgames."

Yet, the pressure to run the ball more effectively did come down from the top, and coach Mike Tomlin signed off on it. And the results haven't exactly been bad because the Steelers are 6-3 and tied for first in the AFC North Division. They were 9-7 and missed the playoffs last season.

Still, they could not run Sunday against the New England Patriots after the Cleveland Browns topped 200 yards against the same defense a week earlier. When the Steelers finally opened up, Roethlisberger threw for 288 of his 387 yards passing in the fourth quarter, when the Steelers scored 23 points.

"I'm sure B.A. probably feels pressure whether it's from the fans, the media, the coaches -- wherever it comes from -- to run the ball," Roethlisberger said of his coordinator, Bruce Arians. "That probably puts him in a little bit of a bind."

Roethlisberger added that the ratio of runs and passes are right where they want them.

"I don't know any quarterbacks who want to run the ball all the time. But I've always said let's be balanced. I've never been one to say let's go out and throw the ball 60, 70 percent of the time. Let's just be balanced, 50-50."

Arians noted two problems he would like to fix: They are running an average of six fewer plays per game this season compared to last because they have converted 36 percent of their third downs, and they are not doing well on the first drive of games -- two touchdowns, one field goal and three turnovers in nine games.

"We had a couple of games where we weren't very good on third down and couldn't maintain possession," Arians said. "The points are OK, not where we want them to be but, yeah, the total yardage, we're not throwing the ball nearly as much as we did last season."

They average 22.2 points per game this season as a team after averaging 23 last season and 21.7 in their Super Bowl season of 2008.

They believe they should be doing better.

Perhaps it is the Santonio Holmes factor. Mike Wallace has done a nice job replacing Holmes and, in fact, is having a better season than Holmes. But there has been no Mike Wallace to replace Mike Wallace as the fleet-footed No. 3 receiver. Antwaan Randle El averages 12.1 yards on 17 receptions in that role.

Ward said they miss that Holmes-Wallace combination.

"You can't replace a guy like that," Ward said of Holmes, who helped the New York Jets win their past two games with big catches in overtime, one for a 37-yard touchdown against Cleveland last week on a 7-yard slant. "You put him on the backside, and he catches a slant, he's taking it. Prime example was Cleveland; he took it to the house.

"He's still a great wideout. He has that run after the catch threat that you miss. Right now, we're relying heavily on Mike going deep and making plays. He's done a wonderful job of that, but you can't score like that every time. You have to look elsewhere."

They'd like rookie Emmanuel Sanders to fill that Wallace '09 role but he's not ready.

They also have been terrible inside the 10, particularly over the past four games. They have had to settle for field goal tries six times in those four games after a series died inside the 10.

What to do about it? Keep trying.

"Get it identified why and keep your poise on the sideline," Arians said, "because there's a long way to go."
Injury updates

Chris Kemoeatu put in a full practice for the first time in two weeks and is ready to return to start at left guard after he missed the game Sunday with sprains of his knee and ankle.

Ward went through a second consecutive day of practice in full pads, but safety Will Allen still has not practiced. Both Ward and Allen left the New England game with concussions.

"I've been here seven years," Arians said, "and that's the best two practices Hines had in five of them because he hadn't practiced on Wednesday in a long time. But he wanted to prove to everybody he was healthy and, boy, he had two great practices and showed a lot of the younger guys how to do it."

Troy Polamalu (Achilles) did not practice again, Nick Eason also missed again with an illness, and Brett Keisel (hamstring) went through another limited practice.

Lawrence Timmons (hip) went through his first full practice of the week as did rookie cornerback Crezdon Butler (thigh).

For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at http://www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.


Read more: http://post-gazette.com/pg/10323/110448 ... z15hpyfz16 (http://post-gazette.com/pg/10323/1104481-66.stm#ixzz15hpyfz16)

hawaiiansteel
11-19-2010, 03:40 AM
"Somebody asked me what's the identity of our offense?" Hines Ward said. "We're trying to be balanced as much as we can. I don't know. We're not trying to do it to try to appease the owner and what everybody thinks we ought to do. We're just trying to find ways to win ballgames."



nice try Hines, but I think we all know that Bruce Arians and Mike Tomlin are trying to appease the owner. if you don't , you end up getting fired...

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-19-2010, 09:11 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!

papillon
11-19-2010, 09:38 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!

I've been neutral on the Arians as OC thing for a while now. Of course, it's hard to believe that because I do defend him when the accusations get a bit out of control and he becomes the scapegoat for everything that ails the Steelers.

The reality (at least in my feeble mind) is that to run the ball effectively you need guys that can move the guy in front of them and with the exception of Pouncey and Adams when he's healthy the Steeler offensive line hasn't been moving anyone off the ball. That coupled with Mendenhall for some reason not sticking his nose in the hole (or, at least where it should be) and trying to spin out of every other run, Moore not being much more than a good third down back and Redman still getting his feet on the ground the running game isn't getting any better soon.

Arians is going to have to put the ball in Ben's hands 60% of the time until some people get healthy. If the Steelers continue to try and be balanced they are going to face too many 3rd and long situations, any penalty will be a drive killer and Ben is going to be hit and sacked too often.

First down runs 70% of the time will not get it done with the offensive line in the current condition. Right now the Steelers are an offense that can't afford to lose the first down battle, because, they have no way of making it up on 2nd and 3rd down, they just aren't that good on offense.

They don't use the short passing game as a substitute for not being able to run the ball, lose patience if they can't hit 20 yard plays and the WRs with the exception of Wallace are struggling to get open. Ben is getting killed and it probably won't stop this weekend, even though they may win the game.

The offensive line injuries have put this team in a bad position and without at least one of the backups stepping up his play to NFL level the Steeler season may deteriorate over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Fans may find out just how important an offensive line is to a team, even one that is average, this one right now is bad, particularly on the left side.

Pappy

Mister Pittsburgh
11-19-2010, 09:53 AM
Patriots offensive identity - Tom Brady - Win at all cost - Probably don't even look at percent pass vs. run

Indy offensive identity - Peyton - Win at all cost - Throw the ball around

Saints offensive identity - Brees - Throw it around

Steelers offensive identity - have to be 50% no matter who we play - refuse to hand the offense over to Ben. Only team in the NFL with a legit franchise QB that handcuffs him.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-19-2010, 10:45 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!

I've been neutral on the Arians as OC thing for a while now. Of course, it's hard to believe that because I do defend him when the accusations get a bit out of control and he becomes the scapegoat for everything that ails the Steelers.

The reality (at least in my feeble mind) is that to run the ball effectively you need guys that can move the guy in front of them and with the exception of Pouncey and Adams when he's healthy the Steeler offensive line hasn't been moving anyone off the ball. That coupled with Mendenhall for some reason not sticking his nose in the hole (or, at least where it should be) and trying to spin out of every other run, Moore not being much more than a good third down back and Redman still getting his feet on the ground the running game isn't getting any better soon.

Arians is going to have to put the ball in Ben's hands 60% of the time until some people get healthy. If the Steelers continue to try and be balanced they are going to face too many 3rd and long situations, any penalty will be a drive killer and Ben is going to be hit and sacked too often.

First down runs 70% of the time will not get it done with the offensive line in the current condition. Right now the Steelers are an offense that can't afford to lose the first down battle, because, they have no way of making it up on 2nd and 3rd down, they just aren't that good on offense.

They don't use the short passing game as a substitute for not being able to run the ball, lose patience if they can't hit 20 yard plays and the WRs with the exception of Wallace are struggling to get open. Ben is getting killed and it probably won't stop this weekend, even though they may win the game.

The offensive line injuries have put this team in a bad position and without at least one of the backups stepping up his play to NFL level the Steeler season may deteriorate over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Fans may find out just how important an offensive line is to a team, even one that is average, this one right now is bad, particularly on the left side.

Pappy
There is no doubt the injuries on the OL have an impact on the Offenses drop in production. When they were all healthy, they were very effective moving people off the ball and getting to the second level. Out of all the starters that remain, Essex has really went downhill. Pouncey, Adams, & Kemo (When on the field) are still doing a good job in run blocking but one thing about line play...You are as only good as the weakest link. You could have every guy across the front win their individuaa battle, but Essex wiffs and his guy makes the TFL. Weakest link in chain or loose brick in wall....How ever you want to look at it.

At half way, they ran 67% of the time for over 4 yards. That's still a good number in average but very predictable. Take into account the first 4 games without BB into those stats. I couldn't imagine it got any better in light of the injuries. However, 4 yards on first down when they know it is coming is a win. 2nd & 6 is manageable in every aspect. The play call at this point can't be predictable. And by the personnel he trots on the field...It becomes predictable on to how to attack it. I agree that passing more on 1st down is in order. But if he doesn't design his play route tree any better it won't help anything. It will put us in 2nd & 10 or 8 to often.

Putting the ball in Ben's hands more behind the injured OL doesn't sound like it has a recipe for success. However, I think it could with some adjustments. But again, BA is the man, so who is to blame for this. And this SHOULD have been done when the OL was even healthy but now becomes a must.

Think about the first 9 games Pap. How many times have you seen a chip block by out TEs or RBs coming out of the backfield to help our OTs? That is a huge help to an OT against the speed rusher he faces. He can settle inside-out and let the rusher take the corner. "BANG"...Stoned at the corner and the OT has him from a dead stop.

How many times has BA went with an unbalanced front instead of 2 & 3 TEs when it is clearly a run or playaction with max protect. The extra TE(s) are staying in anyway to block. Unbalanced fronts are nothing new to this league. Many teams do it. The Ravens do it to the Steelers twice a year and are very effective.

How many shuttle passes or screens have the Steelers run over the first 9 games? These are great tools to use to slow down an upfield rush and help your OL. I can remember "0" shuttle passes and I would say a half a dozen screens. But again...These two plays have to be run in conjuction with my next point. If not, their effectiveness is minimal.

And the biggest flaw, the intermediate routes are non existent. Defend the top & bottom and BB has to hold the ball. Rush gets there. If he has a safety valve to a RB or TE relasing late...The dump goes for 2-3 yards because the LBs in man or zone covering them have no reason to make a deeper drop. He runs trip to a side...Which is fine. But all three wide receivers run patterns outside or on the hash or don't break to the middle (post) until 15-20 downfield. LBs are not dropping to the post so they are sitting 7-10 off the LOS in a zone or 5 yards of LOS because they are in man on the TE or RB. So BB's only choice to get rid of the ball is a dump to a RB or TE (which is the right read) coming out of the backfield but there is a LB shoved up his a$$ because there is no reason for them to be anywhere else but around the LOS. There is alot of "green" in BA offensive plays. He is making the DC's job easy. I harp on it all the time and sound like a broken record but it is obvious to football eyes. Hence, the DC's success against the Steelers and the lack of production of the offense....Because there are better football eyes than mine across the field. And if I can see it...They must be drooling.

steelcurtain44
11-19-2010, 11:08 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!


Sorry, but the Arians bashing just doesn't cut it anymore. It doesn't matter what play is called, whether it's run or pass. If the o-line doesn't drive block strong enough, the RB gets snuffed. If the o-line doesn't protect the passer well enought, then the QB gets sacked, or can make a throw.

The Steelers o-line is the problem, and the only problem on offense. Pouncey is the start, now they have to eliminate both guards. Kemo just doesn't know who to pick up on the blitz, and Essex, I just don't know what to say about him. If they can get to decent guards, the o-line would become markedly better.

Do any of your truely believe that a new o-corrindator could come in here, and call different plays, and then the offense will be better? Hell no! It doesn't matter who is calling the plays. If they don't upgrade this o-line, this is what we are going to see.

Fans on other teams are complaining about the same thing. The o-coorindator sucks, he doesn't put the in a position to win, he needs to pass more and run less, he needs run more and pass less. Run inside, run outside, call a slant, throw to the TE. It happens everywhere, to almost every team in the NFL. I guess head coaches are not trying to save their jobs, they are just stupid and don't make adjustments. Listen to the media and us fans, and every team will win every game. :lol:

Oviedo
11-19-2010, 11:14 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!


Sorry, but the Arians bashing just doesn't cut it anymore. It doesn't matter what play is called, whether it's run or pass. If the o-line doesn't drive block strong enough, the RB gets snuffed. If the o-line doesn't protect the passer well enought, then the QB gets sacked, or can make a throw.

The Steelers o-line is the problem, and the only problem on offense. Pouncey is the start, now they have to eliminate both guards. Kemo just doesn't know who to pick up on the blitz, and Essex, I just don't know what to say about him. If they can get to decent guards, the o-line would become markedly better.

Do any of your truely believe that a new o-corrindator could come in here, and call different plays, and then the offense will be better? Hell no! It doesn't matter who is calling the plays. If they don't upgrade this o-line, this is what we are going to see.

Fans on other teams are complaining about the same thing. The o-coorindator sucks, he doesn't put the in a position to win, he needs to pass more and run less, he needs run more and pass less. Run inside, run outside, call a slant, throw to the TE. It happens everywhere, to almost every team in the NFL. I guess head coaches are not trying to save their jobs, they are just stupid and don't make adjustments. Listen to the media and us fans, and every team will win every game. :lol:

Like I said the other day, the weakness of the OL is a dark shadow that has hung over the offense since Arians got here. We will really never know how good he or his offense could be and won't for any other new OC until that is fixed.

Look at the formations that the Pats used. They are almost identical to what we used. The difference is they have a significantly better OL. Their WRs aren't better, their RB aren't better. The have a better QB and OL. All the difference is right there.

msp26505
11-19-2010, 11:21 AM
Patriots offensive identity - Tom Brady - Win at all cost - Probably don't even look at percent pass vs. run

Indy offensive identity - Peyton - Win at all cost - Throw the ball around

Saints offensive identity - Brees - Throw it around

Steelers offensive identity - have to be 50% no matter who we play - refuse to hand the offense over to Ben. Only team in the NFL with a legit franchise QB that handcuffs him.

I think the run/pass ratio thing is a big deal to the Steelers because 1) it has been the Steelers trademark for the last 40 years, and 2) it helps keep the ball out of the hands of the opposing offense, helping the defense.

All three of the QB's you listed also get rid of the ball quickly and don't take the beating that Ben does. If the Steelers don't limit Ben or Ben doesn't start trying to get rid of the ball sooner, his career will be cut short.

Those who advocate throwing the ball around aren't taking into account that the Steelers (until the last two years) have been the best franchise in the league based PRIMARILY on defense and physicality.

That may no longer be the case, and rules changes and B.S. "enforcement" have made it more difficult for the Steelers to play their brand of football, and to not take advantage of Ben's talents is just foolish, but one of the reasons the Steelers have been successful for so long is because they don't change with the fads that sweep through the league. Their approach has always been "slow and steady wins the race".

Folks can whine about it all they want, but no franchise has been better.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-19-2010, 11:26 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!


Sorry, but the Arians bashing just doesn't cut it anymore. It doesn't matter what play is called, whether it's run or pass. If the o-line doesn't drive block strong enough, the RB gets snuffed. If the o-line doesn't protect the passer well enought, then the QB gets sacked, or can make a throw.

The Steelers o-line is the problem, and the only problem on offense. Pouncey is the start, now they have to eliminate both guards. Kemo just doesn't know who to pick up on the blitz, and Essex, I just don't know what to say about him. If they can get to decent guards, the o-line would become markedly better.

Do any of your truely believe that a new o-corrindator could come in here, and call different plays, and then the offense will be better? Hell no! It doesn't matter who is calling the plays. If they don't upgrade this o-line, this is what we are going to see.

Fans on other teams are complaining about the same thing. The o-coorindator sucks, he doesn't put the in a position to win, he needs to pass more and run less, he needs run more and pass less. Run inside, run outside, call a slant, throw to the TE. It happens everywhere, to almost every team in the NFL. I guess head coaches are not trying to save their jobs, they are just stupid and don't make adjustments. Listen to the media and us fans, and every team will win every game. :lol:
The problems exist when the OL was healthy and playing very well. If you can't understand how it works as a whole, your comments are hollow.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-19-2010, 11:36 AM
I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!


Sorry, but the Arians bashing just doesn't cut it anymore. It doesn't matter what play is called, whether it's run or pass. If the o-line doesn't drive block strong enough, the RB gets snuffed. If the o-line doesn't protect the passer well enought, then the QB gets sacked, or can make a throw.

The Steelers o-line is the problem, and the only problem on offense. Pouncey is the start, now they have to eliminate both guards. Kemo just doesn't know who to pick up on the blitz, and Essex, I just don't know what to say about him. If they can get to decent guards, the o-line would become markedly better.

Do any of your truely believe that a new o-corrindator could come in here, and call different plays, and then the offense will be better? Hell no! It doesn't matter who is calling the plays. If they don't upgrade this o-line, this is what we are going to see.

Fans on other teams are complaining about the same thing. The o-coorindator sucks, he doesn't put the in a position to win, he needs to pass more and run less, he needs run more and pass less. Run inside, run outside, call a slant, throw to the TE. It happens everywhere, to almost every team in the NFL. I guess head coaches are not trying to save their jobs, they are just stupid and don't make adjustments. Listen to the media and us fans, and every team will win every game. :lol:

Like I said the other day, the weakness of the OL is a dark shadow that has hung over the offense since Arians got here. We will really never know how good he or his offense could be and won't for any other new OC until that is fixed.

Look at the formations that the Pats used. They are almost identical to what we used. The difference is they have a significantly better OL. Their WRs aren't better, their RB aren't better. The have a better QB and OL. All the difference is right there.

I don't think the Pats OL is great but I don't think that is the factor. The biggest difference is the Pats attack the entire field and have an excellent design to their offense. Did you notice how many short patterns were thrown to WRs & RBs underneath while the TEs were the ones stretching the field? Did you notice that at times the Pats had 3 receivers underneath our LBs? Did you see how deep the drops were and all the green the Pats had underneath when the turned around after catching the ball? The Pats are famous for "fattening" or "widdening" the field. That is the main reason Welker is so effective and that offense can work with average WRs. That design and scheme is brilliant and looks unstoppable when you have a guy like Brady who reads and sees defense so well. That offense is a perfect example of coaching up the players.

papillon
11-19-2010, 01:16 PM
[quote="JUST-PLAIN-NASTY":31ga3gg8]I don't think that is a fair assesment to blame the focus on the run as the decline in yardage compared to last season. I'm sure BB being out the first four games has a little impact on that stat. Chunks come in the passing game and the Steelers were almost dead last in passing while he was away.


There is no identity crisis. This offense just needs to be more productive. It needs to be a balanced offense that isn't presictable and attacks the whole field. If you go back since BB came back and look at personnel versus plays called against down & distance...Many of us on here could make a good living game planning against the Steelers offense as DC. That shouldn't be the case. BA designs negate talent. BA designs are predictable. BA designs should not have to be modifed after a non productive game. The problem surfaced in 2009 and BA had a whole year to figure it out. There is no excuses not to have the adjustements installed for in game sitautions. When BA figures out that there is more ways to design an offnese than either "two feet on the throttle" or "two feet on the brake" it will be a beautiful thing. But...My patience is running out!!!

I've been neutral on the Arians as OC thing for a while now. Of course, it's hard to believe that because I do defend him when the accusations get a bit out of control and he becomes the scapegoat for everything that ails the Steelers.

The reality (at least in my feeble mind) is that to run the ball effectively you need guys that can move the guy in front of them and with the exception of Pouncey and Adams when he's healthy the Steeler offensive line hasn't been moving anyone off the ball. That coupled with Mendenhall for some reason not sticking his nose in the hole (or, at least where it should be) and trying to spin out of every other run, Moore not being much more than a good third down back and Redman still getting his feet on the ground the running game isn't getting any better soon.

Arians is going to have to put the ball in Ben's hands 60% of the time until some people get healthy. If the Steelers continue to try and be balanced they are going to face too many 3rd and long situations, any penalty will be a drive killer and Ben is going to be hit and sacked too often.

First down runs 70% of the time will not get it done with the offensive line in the current condition. Right now the Steelers are an offense that can't afford to lose the first down battle, because, they have no way of making it up on 2nd and 3rd down, they just aren't that good on offense.

They don't use the short passing game as a substitute for not being able to run the ball, lose patience if they can't hit 20 yard plays and the WRs with the exception of Wallace are struggling to get open. Ben is getting killed and it probably won't stop this weekend, even though they may win the game.

The offensive line injuries have put this team in a bad position and without at least one of the backups stepping up his play to NFL level the Steeler season may deteriorate over the next 3 or 4 weeks. Fans may find out just how important an offensive line is to a team, even one that is average, this one right now is bad, particularly on the left side.

Pappy
There is no doubt the injuries on the OL have an impact on the Offenses drop in production. When they were all healthy, they were very effective moving people off the ball and getting to the second level. Out of all the starters that remain, Essex has really went downhill. Pouncey, Adams, & Kemo (When on the field) are still doing a good job in run blocking but one thing about line play...You are as only good as the weakest link. You could have every guy across the front win their individuaa battle, but Essex wiffs and his guy makes the TFL. Weakest link in chain or loose brick in wall....How ever you want to look at it.

At half way, they ran 67% of the time for over 4 yards. That's still a good number in average but very predictable. Take into account the first 4 games without BB into those stats. I couldn't imagine it got any better in light of the injuries. However, 4 yards on first down when they know it is coming is a win. 2nd & 6 is manageable in every aspect. The play call at this point can't be predictable. And by the personnel he trots on the field...It becomes predictable on to how to attack it. I agree that passing more on 1st down is in order. But if he doesn't design his play route tree any better it won't help anything. It will put us in 2nd & 10 or 8 to often.

I don't doubt your numbers but my eyes have been telling me that over the past 3 or 4 games that the Steelers haven't been winning the first down battle in a significant enough manner to put the offense in a positive situation on 2nd and 3rd down.

Putting the ball in Ben's hands more behind the injured OL doesn't sound like it has a recipe for success. However, I think it could with some adjustments. But again, BA is the man, so who is to blame for this. And this SHOULD have been done when the OL was even healthy but now becomes a must.

I meant to say to put the ball in Ben's hands more, but in situations that are amenable to the Steeler offense dictating play and not the defense, ie, first down and short yardage situations lend themselves to Ben getting some time. Obvious passing scenarios are going to be a problem with the current state of the O-line.

Think about the first 9 games Pap. How many times have you seen a chip block by out TEs or RBs coming out of the backfield to help our OTs? That is a huge help to an OT against the speed rusher he faces. He can settle inside-out and let the rusher take the corner. "BANG"...Stoned at the corner and the OT has him from a dead stop.

It seems to me anyhow that defensive line stunts and twists seem to confuse our offensive line and the back ends up having to pick up a pass rusher that is right in Ben's face rather than being able to chip the outside rusher to help the OT.

How many times has BA went with an unbalanced front instead of 2 & 3 TEs when it is clearly a run or playaction with max protect. The extra TE(s) are staying in anyway to block. Unbalanced fronts are nothing new to this league. Many teams do it. The Ravens do it to the Steelers twice a year and are very effective.

How many shuttle passes or screens have the Steelers run over the first 9 games? These are great tools to use to slow down an upfield rush and help your OL. I can remember "0" shuttle passes and I would say a half a dozen screens. But again...These two plays have to be run in conjuction with my next point. If not, their effectiveness is minimal.

The Steelers just plain old suck at these types of plays. They are poor actors when it comes to draws, screens and shuttle passes. The backs and linemen must do something that gives the play away immediately or the offense simply doesn't set them up for the screen, draw or shuttle.

And the biggest flaw, the intermediate routes are non existent. Defend the top & bottom and BB has to hold the ball. Rush gets there. If he has a safety valve to a RB or TE relasing late...The dump goes for 2-3 yards because the LBs in man or zone covering them have no reason to make a deeper drop. He runs trip to a side...Which is fine. But all three wide receivers run patterns outside or on the hash or don't break to the middle (post) until 15-20 downfield. LBs are not dropping to the post so they are sitting 7-10 off the LOS in a zone or 5 yards of LOS because they are in man on the TE or RB. So BB's only choice to get rid of the ball is a dump to a RB or TE (which is the right read) coming out of the backfield but there is a LB shoved up his a$$ because there is no reason for them to be anywhere else but around the LOS. There is alot of "green" in BA offensive plays. He is making the DC's job easy. I harp on it all the time and sound like a broken record but it is obvious to football eyes. Hence, the DC's success against the Steelers and the lack of production of the offense....Because there are better football eyes than mine across the field. And if I can see it...They must be drooling.

I think this is more a function of the WRs just not being that good with the exception of Wallace who is still learning. Ward and El are struggling to get open, Wallace is a deep threat and against the Pats had some success with intermediate routes, Sanders and Brown are rookies. These two guys need to see the field, they are more explosive than El and Ward and can at least shake a defender.

[/quote:31ga3gg8]

The offense just isn't that good right now, they need to find some answers or what started as a season with great anticipation could spiral out of control.

Pappy

Mister Pittsburgh
11-19-2010, 01:42 PM
Patriots offensive identity - Tom Brady - Win at all cost - Probably don't even look at percent pass vs. run

Indy offensive identity - Peyton - Win at all cost - Throw the ball around

Saints offensive identity - Brees - Throw it around

Steelers offensive identity - have to be 50% no matter who we play - refuse to hand the offense over to Ben. Only team in the NFL with a legit franchise QB that handcuffs him.

I think the run/pass ratio thing is a big deal to the Steelers because 1) it has been the Steelers trademark for the last 40 years, and 2) it helps keep the ball out of the hands of the opposing offense, helping the defense.

Those two are meaningless to me. The league itself has evolved a long way from the way it used to be and your defense has to be ready to play for 60 minutes. How about instead of worrying about the defense and eating as much clock up as possible, how about we wish there were 8 more minutes on the clock to get two more drives to score more points.

All three of the QB's you listed also get rid of the ball quickly and don't take the beating that Ben does. If the Steelers don't limit Ben or Ben doesn't start trying to get rid of the ball sooner, his career will be cut short.

Put Ben in shotgun instead of taking 5 step drops before he is set to view the field and throw. That way he is already set at the snap, reading the field. And get your WR/TE/RB running shorter, higher percentage routes. Like normal offenses do!

Those who advocate throwing the ball around aren't taking into account that the Steelers (until the last two years) have been the best franchise in the league based PRIMARILY on defense and physicality.

Defense is going to take a hit when you have a franchise QB eating up your cap money. This is why it is important to have young guys ready to go early on, very unsteelerlike. But look at the Pats and Colts defenses. Young guys all over. The secondary that just shut us down till they went prevent consisted of a rookie CB, second year CB, second year FS, and 4th year SS. Those two teams didn't go cheap on their offensive lines the way the Steelers have, they just had their D's loaded with youngsters and smart vets in teh Pats case. But with a franchise QB, some parts of your team take a big hit.

That may no longer be the case, and rules changes and B.S. "enforcement" have made it more difficult for the Steelers to play their brand of football, and to not take advantage of Ben's talents is just foolish, but one of the reasons the Steelers have been successful for so long is because they don't change with the fads that sweep through the league. Their approach has always been "slow and steady wins the race".

Steelers have never had a franchise QB before. If they want to keep with the philosphy they had when they had korkie in there, then they better rebuild the offensive line. The other dominant teams this decade have kept their offensive lines intact and fairly dominant to protect their QB's. They have loaded up on weapons for their QB. The steelers have the offensive skill players, but their line is crap even if they are all healthy. The other dominant teams have learned to coach up their younger players and fill in voids through free agency on their defenses. The defenses have taken a back seat so the offenses can be loaded. With this, they plan on putting up points each week. The Steelers want the best of all worlds, stud offense and defense. Problem is you can't run when you have to like we could before cause our line is garbage cause the money is on teh skill players, Ben, and the defense, not on the line. If they want to get back to physical great defense, and a great running game to control the game, they need to trade Ben, go out and get some mediocre QB like a Derek Anderson or some other scrap heaper to just hand the ball off and attempt the occasional 3rd down pass.

Folks can whine about it all they want, but no franchise has been better.

SteelTorch
11-19-2010, 01:57 PM
How about we simply pass when we need to, and run when we need to, and forget all about the stupid ratios? Seems pretty obvious to me. :roll:

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
11-19-2010, 02:01 PM
I think this is more a function of the WRs just not being that good with the exception of Wallace who is still learning. Ward and El are struggling to get open, Wallace is a deep threat and against the Pats had some success with intermediate routes, Sanders and Brown are rookies. These two guys need to see the field, they are more explosive than El and Ward and can at least shake a defender.



1,000,000% AGREE Pap. I'm sure it won't make FO people happy but I think it is time to de-activate Battle and have Sanders & Brown on the field for BB. Has to be either Battle or Madison...Take your pick. If the ST continues to be solid and not give up any returns, I think they should leave it that way.

feltdizz
11-19-2010, 02:26 PM
It's not ratio's... even when we win the play calling gets bashed...

when the D stinks.. the play calling gets bashed.

it's not ratio.. it's stinky players who aren't as good as we want to believe.

Oviedo
11-19-2010, 02:28 PM
How about we simply pass when we need to, and run when we need to, and forget all about the stupid ratios? Seems pretty obvious to me. :roll:

but if the OL doesn't block and the WR's drop TD's... who do you blame?

That's an easy one! You blame Arians because you don't own a jersey with his name on it so you don't have to replace one if he is fired.

Crash
11-19-2010, 02:30 PM
The Steelers have run on nearly half their plays (49.3 percent). That compares to 42.2 percent last season. Partly as a result, their total yards on offense has dipped more than 15 percent, from 371.3 yards last season to 313.6 this season, from seventh overall last season to 24th now.

That's why I don't blame BA. He's giving them what they wanted.

I DO blame him for one thing, the FORMATION he uses.

If we are going to start passing more? Put the wideouts on the field and take Spaeth and Johnson off.

Passing the ball more with tight ends on the field is pointless.

Oviedo
11-19-2010, 02:38 PM
The Steelers have run on nearly half their plays (49.3 percent). That compares to 42.2 percent last season. Partly as a result, their total yards on offense has dipped more than 15 percent, from 371.3 yards last season to 313.6 this season, from seventh overall last season to 24th now.

That's why I don't blame BA. He's giving them what they wanted.

I DO blame him for one thing, the FORMATION he uses.

If we are going to start passing more? Put the wideouts on the field and take Spaeth and Johnson off.

Passing the ball more with tight ends on the field is pointless.

Spaeth and Johnson are there because you can't trust the OL. It's a catch-22.

Djfan
11-19-2010, 04:00 PM
YES I THINK ANOTHER OC WOULD BE BETTER!!

It's like this: If I have a sucky QB I use the run more. If I have a sucky O-line I use moving pockets or quick plays a lot. If I have bad luck with RUTM on first down, I do something else. If I had a weakness, I would play to a strength.

Also, if I had an opponent that has a weakness I play to that weakness. If I had an opponent that keeps stacking 8 in the box on first down because I run up the middle on first down all the time, I would do something else to keep them from stacking 8 in the box.

Why would another OC be better? Because BA won't do these basic things and other ones might.

feltdizz
11-19-2010, 04:10 PM
YES I THINK ANOTHER OC WOULD BE BETTER!!

It's like this: If I have a sucky QB I use the run more. If I have a sucky O-line I use moving pockets or quick plays a lot. If I have bad luck with RUTM on first down, I do something else. If I had a weakness, I would play to a strength.

Also, if I had an opponent that has a weakness I play to that weakness. If I had an opponent that keeps stacking 8 in the box on first down because I run up the middle on first down all the time, I would do something else to keep them from stacking 8 in the box.

Why would another OC be better? Because BA won't do these basic things and other ones might.

another OC would not be better with our OL injuries, drops and frustrating mistakes.

we put up more than enough points most weeks with our terrible OC/offense and it's still a struggle.

We don't have the guy who made stacking the box a mistake.. we gave him up for a 5th.. some of the things you suggest may work... but the players still have to execute it and at this point in the season it's starting to smell like our vets are too old and the younger players are a year from getting up to NFL speed.

You can draw up the perfect game plan but guess what? If Legursky misses a block or Sanders runs the wrong route the fans would call you an idiot if you were the OC.

I'm not giving BA a pass.. I think we should pass to set up the run more but I also can understand his frustration. You draw up a perfect draw, slant, out and one guys whif or drop effes up a perfect opportunity.