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hawaiiansteel
11-29-2010, 02:38 AM
Monday Madden: Steelers needn't seek offensive balance

By: Mark Madden Beaver County Times
Sunday November 28, 2010 11:48 PM

http://photos.triblive.com/photos/PITT/1124941/32921405E.jpg


The 151 yards gained by Rashard Mendenhall (among 206 total posted by the Steelersí rushing attack) will be hailed as a true renaissance of the teamís ground game.

By fools, that is.

The Steelersí offensive game plan should be scribbled in crayon on old-fashioned brown-paper shopping bags. Childís play or insanity, take your pick.

Invoke The Bus all you want. Franco and Rocky, too. John Henry Johnson, if youíd like to jump in the Wayback Machine. The Steelers are minimizing their primary offensive weapon, Ben Roethlisberger, for the sake of doing things granddaddyís way.

The Steelers ran the ball on 54 percent of their offensive plays during yesterdayís 19-16 overtime win at Buffalo. They passed for 220 yards, rushed for 206.

Balance, right?

Yeah. But at what price?

The big explosion on the ground came against the NFLís worst rushing defense.

The Steelers possessed the ball for almost 25 minutes of the first half, but had only a 13-0 lead to show for it. Thereís a fine line between grinding clock and wasting time.

Thatís just not the way football is anymore. Simply isnít.

If it took nearly 73 minutes to make the Bills 2-9, what will the same approach do against an elite team in the playoffs? Against a team with a quarterback like Tom Brady who needs only minimal possession time to pick you apart and put up points?

The Steelers donít have a defense worth handing the game over to anymore. A 13-0 halftime lead wasted, two fourth-quarter leads blown. The defense fades as each game grows old, but the Steelersí strategy refuses to acknowledge that.

The Steelers got lucky yesterday. Buffalo receiver Stevie Johnson had the victory in his hands in overtime, but let an easy touchdown catch slip through his grasp.

This is no win to be proud of. Flags hurt the Steelers again as they were penalized 10 times for 107 yards. As was the case against Oakland, several calls seemed ludicrous. NFL games are being badly over-officiated. That hurts the Steelers more than most.

Roethlisberger found a way to impact the game. No team can totally stop him. Not the opposition, not the Steelers.

Roethlisberger was sacked five times and enjoyed minimal protection. Chris Kemoeatu should carry a red cape and yell, ďOle!Ē

But Roethlisberger threw no interceptions, completed some smart passes, displayed outstanding elusiveness despite the sack total and manufactured an epic 18-yard scramble on third-and-17 to prolong a fourth-quarter drive that culminated in a Shaun Suisham field goal.

Speaking of Suisham, what a debut. Four-for-four, including a 41-yarder in OT. Heíll be the toast of Sheetz menís rooms everywhere. This week.

Thereís no denying 8-3. But thereís also no denying the Steelers were somewhat shy of competitive in losses to New England and New Orleans. Thereís also no denying the road to playoff success often goes through elite quarterbacks.

The Steelers wonít beat elite teams/quarterbacks with the game plan they choose to exercise. If it boils down to the running game and the defense against, say, Brady, you have to rely on Brady having a bad day. Not very likely.

Roethlisberger could beat Brady or Brees in a shootout. He might not, but he could. Roethlisberger would overwhelm Mark Sanchez if a game against the New York Jets turned high-scoring. Any way itís sliced, Roethlisberger is the Steelersí best bet.

But philosophically, the Steelers prefer to play low stakes. Prefer to think slow and steady wins the race when thatís never been less true in NFL history.

Itís hard to believe this is what offensive coordinator Bruce Arians wants. Itís hard to believe this is what Roethlisberger wants. Itís just hard to believe, period.

Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM (105.9).

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sport ... lance.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2010/november/28/monday-madden-steelers-neednt-seek-offensive-balance.html)

Crash
11-29-2010, 02:46 AM
The defense fades as each game grows old, but the Steelersí strategy refuses to acknowledge that.

And not using Jason Worilds as a rush end with his speed when we insist on rushing 4 pass rushers is a damn joke.

Captain Lemming
11-29-2010, 04:30 AM
Monday Madden: Steelers needn't seek offensive balance

The Steelers wonít beat elite teams/quarterbacks with the game plan they choose to exercise. If it boils down to the running game and the defense against, say, Brady, you have to rely on Brady having a bad day. Not very likely.

Roethlisberger could beat Brady or Brees in a shootout. He might not, but he could. Roethlisberger would overwhelm Mark Sanchez if a game against the New York Jets turned high-scoring. Any way itís sliced, Roethlisberger is the Steelersí best bet.



49 passes in our worst loss of the season against the Pats puts this myth to death..

The Giants beat the most explosive Pats passing attack ever in the SB. How did the do it? Balance.

Flasteel
11-29-2010, 07:15 AM
Wow...Madden truly is an idiot. He's more interested in stroking Roethlisberger than he is in gaining an understanding of the game.

aggiebones
11-29-2010, 08:43 AM
Wow, he calls other people fools. What a joke.

We have to run at the minimum for protection to Ben.
That OL is a shell of its recently mediocre self.
The Steelers have a rash of very bad injuries to its OL and DL. Not a good formula for winning a Super Bowl. Their only chance is to shorten the game and keep the ball away from the enemy.
Sorry Mark, but who are these weapons you speak of that we are wasting? Miler is a real good TE, partly because he is a very good blocker. We cobble together some solid WRs, but some of their strength is their blocking. Wallace is developing nicely, but we can't have him run 30 fly patterns a game. Ward is old, but still ticking. Plus a couple rookie WRs that are going to develop, but can't be relied on yet. Yea, STJohnson dropped a potential game winner for Buffalo, but for us Sanders dropped a game icer too. You can't rely on rookies.

So he complains that we ran a bunch against one of the worst rush defending team in the league? That is asinine. When someone is bad at something, you exploit it!
Wow, he's pretty much opposite from correct. To all those that agree with him, get you lunch box and hurry to the bus stop, you need some more schoolin.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-29-2010, 09:03 AM
Bills adjusted at halftime to stop the run. We didn't adjust, thus one TD vs. the worst D in football.

proudpittsburgher
11-29-2010, 10:36 AM
I may not agree with him completely, but this offense seems disjointed because they are trying to force the run. We don't need a 50/50 split fellas. We have a franchise quarterback and quite possibly a hall of famer. Let's use him to his full capacity.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-29-2010, 10:49 AM
I may not agree with him completely, but this offense seems disjointed because they are trying to force the run. We don't need a 50/50 split fellas. We have a franchise quarterback and quite possibly a hall of famer. Let's use him to his full capacity.

Yeah, I think it is pretty funny that people think all passes are created equal. How many times did you see the Patriots come out against our D and run, run, and then on 3rd down sit there and let us swap out our personel, only to have Brady line up under center, take a 5 step drop, have his WR all run patterns 20 yards downfield?

Against the rush with a crap line time is a premium and the time it takes Ben to drop back, and then wait till our WR come open far downfield, is a complete waste. The only time we consistently move the ball on any team, is our 2 minute offense. Our full time offense should be designed around this sort of mentality. Sorry boys, but even if every single one of our starting offensive linemen was healthy, we aren't running on playoff teams.

feltdizz
11-29-2010, 11:04 AM
nothing wrong with running against a bad run defense....

I knew this game would be a problem because the Bills are not as bad as there record and I don't think we play as well as our record against this type of team.

We just aren't a good team when up by 10+ points... we find ways to make most games entertaining but also frustrating.

Props to Sushi.. I doubt skippy would have made 4 FG's yesterday.

SteelTorch
11-29-2010, 11:15 AM
Hate to play devil's advocate, but I agree with most of what he says.

Our offense has too many problems to be counted on against the best teams. As for our running game, far too many want to see us run the ball just to run it, because they think it will magically make us better. No. We need to run the ball effectively, and when it will help us win. Not just because the old timers want to see us go smashmouth.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-29-2010, 11:21 AM
Monday Madden: Steelers needn't seek offensive balance

The Steelers wonít beat elite teams/quarterbacks with the game plan they choose to exercise. If it boils down to the running game and the defense against, say, Brady, you have to rely on Brady having a bad day. Not very likely.

Roethlisberger could beat Brady or Brees in a shootout. He might not, but he could. Roethlisberger would overwhelm Mark Sanchez if a game against the New York Jets turned high-scoring. Any way itís sliced, Roethlisberger is the Steelersí best bet.



49 passes in our worst loss of the season against the Pats puts this myth to death..

The Giants beat the most explosive Pats passing attack ever in the SB. How did the do it? Balance.

We were passing our balls off in the 4th quarter when we put up 23 points. Sure, they were in prevent, but we scored by passing. When we were mostly 50-50, against a good team, we put up 3.

steelblood
11-29-2010, 11:22 AM
Bills adjusted at halftime to stop the run. We didn't adjust, thus one TD vs. the worst D in football.

We had a simple game plan. Attack the other team's weakness. It was a good gameplan, but we should have used play action more effectively.

And Kemo was truly terrible yesterday. I really hope it was injury related. If he plays like that against the ravens and Gregg, Cody, and Ngata, we'll be in a lot of trouble.

aggiebones
11-29-2010, 01:50 PM
FIRST point:
Ugh, you guys do know the weather is going to turn ugly soon. Places that we may have to play in the playoffs:
New York, New England, Baltimore!
Do these seem like great places to HAVE to throw the ball in December/January?

We BETTER learn how to run the ball 25+/- times a game come playoff time.



SECOND point:
We have ALOT of replacement OL, most of which are better suited to run the ball. They have little chemistry, which makes pass blocking harder.



Please stop saying we need to throw to this 'great' WR corp. I like them, but Ward is old, Wallace is learning to be complete and we have 2 rookies or Randle El. This is not some uber talented corp. Its solid, barely.

Ben is very good, but with that OL, he better have the play action to succeed for 3 AFC playoff games. And for those that don't understand, the play action pass doesn't work if you aren't successful running the ball.

Crash
11-29-2010, 02:25 PM
Forcing balance is only half the problem.

It's the predictability based off the formation.

You know whats coming as soon as the formation is on the field.

proudpittsburgher
11-29-2010, 03:06 PM
And for those that don't understand, the play action pass doesn't work if you aren't successful running the ball.

I guess you can count me in as one of those who doesn't understand. See Manning, Peyton.

feltdizz
11-29-2010, 04:27 PM
Are we the only team that runs JUST to run? :stirpot

Crash
11-29-2010, 04:32 PM
And for those that don't understand, the play action pass doesn't work if you aren't successful running the ball.

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz....

Our success with Ben is passing to set up the run.

Not vice versa.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-29-2010, 05:05 PM
Absolutely. When a QB is in the gun, and you run shorter, high percentage passes, it negates a good pass rush by the QB simply not having the ball very long. Once the pass rush is not working, you gotta drop the LB's back into coverage. This is when you gouge them with draws, pitches, etc. You get Wallace running the CB's off only to stop on a dime for a comebacker enough times, then a good pump fake is just as good as play action and a lot easier to acheive than running into playoff caliber front 7's. Most of Arians short game is out in the flats so Ben gets picked for 6 more than most QB's. He needs to get some stuff designed a little more over the middle.

BURGH86STEEL
11-29-2010, 05:28 PM
Absolutely. When a QB is in the gun, and you run shorter, high percentage passes, it negates a good pass rush by the QB simply not having the ball very long. Once the pass rush is not working, you gotta drop the LB's back into coverage. This is when you gouge them with draws, pitches, etc. You get Wallace running the CB's off only to stop on a dime for a comebacker enough times, then a good pump fake is just as good as play action and a lot easier to acheive than running into playoff caliber front 7's. Most of Arians short game is out in the flats so Ben gets picked for 6 more than most QB's. He needs to get some stuff designed a little more over the middle.

I am not sure if most of the short game is designed out in the flats. I do know they run quick slants, crossing patterns, and have options as short dump offs in the middle of the field. It's up to the QB to make the right decision with the football.

Most QB's, including Ben, get picked because they make the wrong decision, late with the pass, throw a poor pass, or WR tips the ball. When QB's get picked, it's usually their fault.

BradshawsHairdresser
11-29-2010, 07:50 PM
Forcing balance is only half the problem.

It's the predictability based off the formation.

You know whats coming as soon as the formation is on the field.


Our success with Ben is passing to set up the run.

Not vice versa.


When a QB is in the gun, and you run shorter, high percentage passes, it negates a good pass rush by the QB simply not having the ball very long. Once the pass rush is not working, you gotta drop the LB's back into coverage. This is when you gouge them with draws, pitches, etc. You get Wallace running the CB's off only to stop on a dime for a comebacker enough times, then a good pump fake is just as good as play action and a lot easier to acheive than running into playoff caliber front 7's.

:Clap :Clap :Clap

I vote you two as OC over Arians :lol:

NorthCoast
11-29-2010, 10:25 PM
We are ranked 16th in the league in scoring offense with 23 pts/gm. This is with the NEW and IMPROVED run game focus. Guess where we were ranked last season with the "pass happy" offense? 16th at 23 pts/gm....pretty amazing, no?

The point is that even with a reshuffled OL and a couple of rookie WRs we have managed to remain competitive in most games. I think this is all we can ask of this team at this point. We don't have the talent to blow away top 10 teams, only hold our own and hope to get by. We need youth on both lines.

Captain Lemming
11-29-2010, 11:21 PM
We were passing our balls off in the 4th quarter when we put up 23 points. Sure, they were in prevent, but we scored by passing. When we were mostly 50-50, against a good team, we put up 3.

Pittsburgh Steelers
1st and 10 on PIT26 (15:00) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Guard to Pit29 for 3 yards
2nd and 7 on PIT29 (14:12) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Rashard Mendenhall
3rd and 7 on PIT29 (14:08) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Mike Wallace
4th and 7 on PIT29 (14:03) Daniel Sepulveda punts 41 yards to NE30, Julian Edelman

Drive 1: 1 Run 2 passes called

Pittsburgh Steelers
1st and 10 on PIT36 (09:41) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to Pit39 for 3 yards
2nd and 7 on PIT39 (09:04) Rashard Mendenhall up the Middle to Pit36 for -3 yards
3rd and 10 on PIT36 (08:24) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Heath Miller to NE48 for 16 yards
1st and 10 on NE48 (07:42) Pit-Trai Essex PENALIZED -10 yards for Holding (called pass play)
1st and 20 on PIT42 (07:38) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Mike Wallace
2nd and 20 on PIT42 (07:33) Ben Roethlisberger sacked at Pit32 for -10 yards
3rd and 30 on PIT32 (07:01) Ben Roethlisberger sacked at Pit25 for -7 yards
4th and 37 on PIT25 (07:01) Daniel Sepulveda punts 50 yards to NE25, Julian Edelman returns to NE37 for 12 yards

Drive 2: 2 runs followed by 5 straight pass plays.

1st and 10 on PIT31 (00:57) Mewelde Moore Off Right Tackle to Pit34 for 3 yards
2nd and 7 on PIT34 (00:14) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Hines Ward. Replay challenge - ruling reversed.
3rd and 7 on PIT34 (00:10) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Mike Wallace to Pit41 for 7 yards
2nd Quarter
1st and 10 on PIT41 (15:00) Mewelde Moore Off Right Tackle to Pit44 for 3 yards
2nd and 7 on PIT44 (14:23) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Mewelde Moore to NE50 for 6 yards
3rd and 1 on NE50 (13:53) Mewelde Moore up the Middle to NE45 for 5 yards
1st and 10 on NE45 (13:10) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Emmanuel Sanders
2nd and 10 on NE45 (13:06) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Emmanuel Sanders
3rd and 10 on NE45 (13:01) Ben Roethlisberger sacked at Pit47 for -8 yards
4th and 18 on PIT47 (12:55) Daniel Sepulveda punts 53 yards to NE0, TOUCHBACK

Drive 3: 3 Runs 6 Passes

1st and 10 on PIT20 (10:30) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Rashard Mendenhall to Pit22 for 2 yards
2nd and 8 on PIT22 (09:52) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to Pit24 for 2 yards
3rd and 6 on PIT24 (09:08) Ben Roethlisberger up the Middle to Pit36 for 12 yards
1st and 10 on PIT36 (08:26) Rashard Mendenhall up the Middle to Pit37 for 1 yard
2nd and 9 on PIT37 (07:47) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to NE29 for 34 yards
1st and 10 on NE29 (06:58) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Heath Miller to NE11 for 18 yards
1st and 10 on NE11 (06:12) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to NE8 for 3 yards
2nd and 7 on NE8 (05:28) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Mike Wallace
3rd and 7 on NE8 (05:22) Pittsburgh Steelers timeout.
(05:22) NE-Jermaine Cunningham PENALIZED 4 yards for Offside
3rd and 3 on NE4 (05:18) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Antwaan Randle El
4th and 3 on NE4 (05:12) Jeff Reed 22 yard field goal is GOOD.

Drive 4: 4 runs 5 passes- We score

Pittsburgh Steelers
1st and 10 on PIT18 (02:52) Mewelde Moore Off Right End to Pit21 for 3 yards
(02:19) Pit-Jonathan Scott PENALIZED -5 yards for Illegal Formation
2nd and 12 on PIT16 (02:00) Two-Minute Warning
2nd and 12 on PIT16 (02:00) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Antwaan Randle El
3rd and 12 on PIT16 (01:54) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Heath Miller
4th and 12 on PIT16 (01:47) Daniel Sepulveda punts 40 yards to NE44, Out of Bounds

Drive 5: 1 Run, 2 passes

1st and 10 on PIT14 (00:42) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Mewelde Moore to Pit26 for 12 yards
1st and 10 on PIT26 (00:28) Pittsburgh Steelers timeout.
1st and 10 on PIT26 (00:28) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Heath Miller
2nd and 10 on PIT26 (00:20) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Mewelde Moore to NE45 for 29 yards
1st and 10 on NE45 (00:08) New England Patriots timeout.
1st and 10 on NE45 (00:08) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Heath Miller
2nd and 10 on NE45 (00:01) Pittsburgh Steelers timeout.
2nd and 10 on NE45 (00:01) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Arnaz Battle

Drive 6: 6 straight Passes

Conclusion?
Even discounting the last desperation drive of the half (all passes), we passed twice as much as we ran in the first half.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-30-2010, 10:03 AM
We are ranked 16th in the league in scoring offense with 23 pts/gm. This is with the NEW and IMPROVED run game focus. Guess where we were ranked last season with the "pass happy" offense? 16th at 23 pts/gm....pretty amazing, no?

The point is that even with a reshuffled OL and a couple of rookie WRs we have managed to remain competitive in most games. I think this is all we can ask of this team at this point. We don't have the talent to blow away top 10 teams, only hold our own and hope to get by. We need youth on both lines.

ALL pass play and ALL run plays are not created equal.

Djfan
11-30-2010, 10:42 AM
To me it's not about the number of passes vs the number of runs. It's the play chosen and the execution.

If we run up the middle 95% of the time on first down that is a lot of runs, but you tell the other team how to prepare their defense on first down. Probably a low percentage run play. If you only use 5-7 second pass plays ("hold the ball too long") you allow their pass defense too much opportunity.

How about some quick slants, MORE play action, off-tackle runs, delay hand offs, delay passes to Mendy, some timing plays to Wallace, something different. We have effective running numbers, mostly because Ben bails us out of the third and long situations very well. Not because we are a dominant run team.

Each game should have it's own game plan, from running all the time on bad teams, to deception plays for the better defenses. Not this 50/50 plan each game.

Captain Lemming
11-30-2010, 11:21 AM
To me it's not about the number of passes vs the number of runs. It's the play chosen and the execution.

If we run up the middle 95% of the time on first down that is a lot of runs, but you tell the other team how to prepare their defense on first down. Probably a low percentage run play. If you only use 5-7 second pass plays ("hold the ball too long") you allow their pass defense too much opportunity.

How about some quick slants, MORE play action, off-tackle runs, delay hand offs, delay passes to Mendy, some timing plays to Wallace, something different. We have effective running numbers, mostly because Ben bails us out of the third and long situations very well. Not because we are a dominant run team.

Each game should have it's own game plan, from running all the time on bad teams, to deception plays for the better defenses. Not this 50/50 plan each game.

Lets see what happened daring our half of futility during the NE Game.
I have already shown that we passed twice as often as we ran in that half contrary to some stated opinions.

Lets look at 1st downs exclusively.
95 percent up the middle?
Passing rare? No off tackle?
Those rare Passes constantly effective?

Or were we just ineffective regardless.


Pittsburgh Steelers
1st and 10 on PIT26 (15:00) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Guard to Pit29 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on PIT36 (09:41) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to Pit39 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on NE48 (07:42) Pit-Trai Essex PENALIZED -10 yards for Holding (called pass play)
1st and 20 on PIT42 (07:38) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Mike Wallace
1st and 10 on PIT31 (00:57) Mewelde Moore Off Right Tackle to Pit34 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on PIT41 (15:00) Mewelde Moore Off Right Tackle to Pit44 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on NE45 (13:10) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Emmanuel Sanders
1st and 10 on PIT20 (10:30) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Rashard Mendenhall to Pit22 for 2 yards
1st and 10 on PIT36 (08:26) Rashard Mendenhall up the Middle to Pit37 for 1 yard
1st and 10 on NE29 (06:58) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Heath Miller to NE11 for 18 yards
1st and 10 on NE11 (06:12) Rashard Mendenhall Off Right Tackle to NE8 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on PIT18 (02:52) Mewelde Moore Off Right End to Pit21 for 3 yards
1st and 10 on PIT14 (00:42) Ben Roethlisberger Pass to Mewelde Moore to Pit26 for 12 yards
1st and 10 on PIT26 (00:28) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Heath Miller
1st and 10 on NE45 (00:08) Ben Roethlisberger Pass Incomplete to Heath Miller

ikestops85
11-30-2010, 11:23 AM
Until we prove that we can consistently beat the blitz our offense is going to be inconsistent. Teams run blitz us and pass blitz us.

When they run blitz us we have to hope that everybody realizes it and somebody can create a seem for Mendy to run through. I have to give Mendy credit because he has been very patient waiting for that seem to appear. Far too often though someone misses their assignment or reaches out and grabs on to a defender drawing a flag. We don't ever seem to run a play which gets us outside of the blitz where Mendy can be one vs. one on a defender.

When they pass blitz us we have to depend on Ben's escapability to allow our receivers to run routes which seem to take a long time. Often the receivers don't recognize the blitz and run the "hot" route. We don't ever try and hit the big one against the all out blitz. Why we don't throw it long and get some pass interference calls or throw it back shoulder? Also, why don't we run more of the short crossing routes that everybody burns us with?

RuthlessBurgher
11-30-2010, 11:24 AM
Not this 50/50 plan each game.

The first column are Mendenhall's carries in each game. The second column in our QB's passes (Dixon/Batch/Roethlisberger) in each game.

22, 23, 19, 25, 27, 15, 15, 22, 11, 23, 36

26, 17, 17, 21, 27, 27, 28, 27, 49, 29, 33

In the first month without our starting QB, we ran more than we passed in 3 out of those 4 games. This strategy made sense with Dixon and Batch in there.

Then in Ben's first game back, it was a 50-50 run-pass ratio. No problem with that in 28-10 win.

Since then, though, Ben has thrown the ball significantly more than Mendenhall has run it, except for this past week (when he happened to be facing off against the worst rush defense in the league, so the decision to run more this past week made sense).

Ben threw the ball 12 times more than Mendy ran it against Miami, 13 times more against New Orleans, 5 more against Cincinnati, 38 more against New England, and 6 more against Oakland, before Mendy finally had 3 more rushes than Ben had passes against Buffalo. That's hardly a 50-50 plan every week.

Survey says...Madden is just attempting to forward his own agenda as usual.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-30-2010, 11:29 AM
All I know is I am all for going shotgun, no huddle, from the start against the Rats.

hawaiiansteel
11-30-2010, 03:00 PM
All I know is I am all for going shotgun, no huddle, from the start against the Rats.


I certainly hope that we spread the field out against the Ravens and expose their secondary instead of trying to force the run against Ngata and Co.

go no huddle and if we run, run from the spread sets...

Djfan
11-30-2010, 03:20 PM
Not this 50/50 plan each game.

The first column are Mendenhall's carries in each game. The second column in our QB's passes (Dixon/Batch/Roethlisberger) in each game.

22, 23, 19, 25, 27, 15, 15, 22, 11, 23, 36

26, 17, 17, 21, 27, 27, 28, 27, 49, 29, 33

In the first month without our starting QB, we ran more than we passed in 3 out of those 4 games. This strategy made sense with Dixon and Batch in there.

Then in Ben's first game back, it was a 50-50 run-pass ratio. No problem with that in 28-10 win.

Since then, though, Ben has thrown the ball significantly more than Mendenhall has run it, except for this past week (when he happened to be facing off against the worst rush defense in the league, so the decision to run more this past week made sense).

Ben threw the ball 12 times more than Mendy ran it against Miami, 13 times more against New Orleans, 5 more against Cincinnati, 38 more against New England, and 6 more against Oakland, before Mendy finally had 3 more rushes than Ben had passes against Buffalo. That's hardly a 50-50 plan every week.

Survey says...Madden is just attempting to forward his own agenda as usual.


Stats.

Wrong approach.

Game plan for the opponent of the week. Not 50/50 stuff, unless it fits that opponent.

feltdizz
11-30-2010, 03:34 PM
Not this 50/50 plan each game.

The first column are Mendenhall's carries in each game. The second column in our QB's passes (Dixon/Batch/Roethlisberger) in each game.

22, 23, 19, 25, 27, 15, 15, 22, 11, 23, 36

26, 17, 17, 21, 27, 27, 28, 27, 49, 29, 33

In the first month without our starting QB, we ran more than we passed in 3 out of those 4 games. This strategy made sense with Dixon and Batch in there.

Then in Ben's first game back, it was a 50-50 run-pass ratio. No problem with that in 28-10 win.

Since then, though, Ben has thrown the ball significantly more than Mendenhall has run it, except for this past week (when he happened to be facing off against the worst rush defense in the league, so the decision to run more this past week made sense).

Ben threw the ball 12 times more than Mendy ran it against Miami, 13 times more against New Orleans, 5 more against Cincinnati, 38 more against New England, and 6 more against Oakland, before Mendy finally had 3 more rushes than Ben had passes against Buffalo. That's hardly a 50-50 plan every week.

Survey says...Madden is just attempting to forward his own agenda as usual.


Stats.

Wrong approach.

Game plan for the opponent of the week. Not 50/50 stuff, unless it fits that opponent.

I think he is pointing out the obvious.. the whole running more than passing with Ben isn't true. People just like to blame everyone but the players on the field.

Shawn
11-30-2010, 03:54 PM
Hate to play devil's advocate, but I agree with most of what he says.

Our offense has too many problems to be counted on against the best teams. As for our running game, far too many want to see us run the ball just to run it, because they think it will magically make us better. No. We need to run the ball effectively, and when it will help us win. Not just because the old timers want to see us go smashmouth.


I agree. I see zero problems with anything he said. The fact is that OL is bad no matter how you slice it. It's bad in pass protection. It's bad in run blocking. I give Ben a greater chance of being able to play without any help from his OL than I do Mendenhall. Running against the Ravens with this OL? Silliness.

feltdizz
11-30-2010, 03:58 PM
Hate to play devil's advocate, but I agree with most of what he says.

Our offense has too many problems to be counted on against the best teams. As for our running game, far too many want to see us run the ball just to run it, because they think it will magically make us better. No. We need to run the ball effectively, and when it will help us win. Not just because the old timers want to see us go smashmouth.


I agree. I see zero problems with anything he said. The fact is that OL is bad no matter how you slice it. It's bad in pass protection. It's bad in run blocking. I give Ben a greater chance of being able to play without any help from his OL than I do Mendenhall. Running against the Ravens with this OL? Silliness.

we should actually watch the game play out before talking like it has...

ikestops85
11-30-2010, 06:08 PM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Shawn
11-30-2010, 06:50 PM
Hate to play devil's advocate, but I agree with most of what he says.

Our offense has too many problems to be counted on against the best teams. As for our running game, far too many want to see us run the ball just to run it, because they think it will magically make us better. No. We need to run the ball effectively, and when it will help us win. Not just because the old timers want to see us go smashmouth.


I agree. I see zero problems with anything he said. The fact is that OL is bad no matter how you slice it. It's bad in pass protection. It's bad in run blocking. I give Ben a greater chance of being able to play without any help from his OL than I do Mendenhall. Running against the Ravens with this OL? Silliness.

we should actually watch the game play out before talking like it has...

Talking like what? That our OL is bad? We already know that. That we can't run on the Ravens well even with a healthy OL...we already know that as well.

Shawn
11-30-2010, 06:51 PM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Yup.

hawaiiansteel
12-02-2010, 02:27 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers: Gameplan for Baltimore Depends on QB Health, Mike Wallace

By Nick DeWitt (Steelers Featured Columnist) on November 30, 2010

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Rick Stewart/Getty Images

After surviving a tougher-than-expected test in windy, freezing Buffalo, the Pittsburgh Steelers head to Baltimore for a season-defining game with the rival Ravens.

The formula is simple: win at Baltimore and likely win the AFC North. Cleveland and Cincinnati are out of the race and, barring a falloff by either team, the winner of this Sunday night's contest will take home the division crown and a chance at a first round bye in the playoffs.

The loser is still very much alive for a wild card spot, but Pittsburgh would undoubtedly like to be home in the postseason.

Here's a look at the best game plan for Bruce Arians to use as the Steelers try to lock up their division in Baltimore.

Play Selection

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Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Run the Ball

Rashard Mendenhall had a great day against the Buffalo Bills, carrying 36 times for 151 yards and a touchdown. Mendenhall found holes all day against a suspect Buffalo front seven, but did have a worrisome fumble in the second half that could have cost the Steelers a needed victory.

Against Baltimore, the Steelers would be wise to lean heavy on their star back. Pittsburgh dominated in the first half against the Bills by keeping Buffalo's dangerous offense off the field. Mendenhall and his backups were a big part of that.

There's also the injury to Ben Roethlisberger to consider. Ben will be limited this week in practice and is rumored to be in a walking boot. If he can't play up to his usual elusiveness on Sunday, the Steelers will need to be even more run-oriented to limit the hits to Roethlisberger.

Deep Passes

Absent against Buffalo, the Steelers need to loosen up the Baltimore defense and test the team's secondary with some deep shots to Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders. Wallace had a pedestrian day on Sunday, but should be more effective against the Baltimore corners, who haven't covered consistently all year and don't have the speed to break deep with Wallace.

A few deep passes will also set up the running game and some short play action and help to neutralize the vicious Baltimore blitz scheme.

Some Passing Thoughts

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Rick Stewart/Getty Images

Ben Roethlisberger was efficient against Buffalo, standing tall against a vicious pass rush and recovering from several blown plays with effective scrambles. It will likely get tougher in Baltimore, where the Ravens are much better at blitzing.

With Roethlisberger injured as well, the best scenario for the Steelers will be to run early and then use play action. It would be hard to imagine Ben scrambling a great deal, so the receivers will have to be precise and elusive.

Short slants have been effective for the Steelers and should be useful again in Baltimore. Working tight end Heath Miller into the game will be essential as well. Sending Mike Wallace deep regularly could open up the field for Miller and Emmanuel Sanders.

Hines Ward had a big game against the Bills and will be needed again in Baltimore. His ability to find holes in the short middle will be important as Roethlisberger will need to unload quickly and avoid too many hits.

Perhaps the biggest key to the passing game will be using play action to get Baltimore off balance. The Steelers often seem to ignore this tool, but if Rashard Mendenhall gets loose, they'll have no reason to do so on Sunday night.

Tricky Plays

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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Here are a few trick play ideas for Bruce Arians to try as the Steelers pull out all the stops to win this division contest with their fiercest rivals.

Halfback Pass

It's been missing since Jerome Bettis retired and Ken Whisenhunt moved on to Arizona's heat, but it's possibly time to bring it back to the forefront. Rashard Mendenhall has never attempted a pass in his NFL career. Time to see what he's got. If the Steelers need a play call deep in enemy territory, there's no need to look further than this play. I'd target Heath Miller on the pass. He's likely to be open if Baltimore reads run.


The Randle El Special

It's becoming a weekly feature and still surprises teams. The reason is because Mike Wallace is so effective and fast that teams have to protect against a reverse. Baltimore is crafty, so the best idea would be to run an actual reverse and then set up the same play later but send Randle El out for a pass attempt. Another idea would be to allow Ben Roethlisberger to keep the ball and throw deep himself. Since Wallace is the decoy, targeting Hines Ward or Emmanuel Sanders would be best.

Lateral Pass

The play that beat Cincinnati in the 2005 NFL Playoffs needs to be dusted off one more time. With the amount of speed Pittsburgh has, there's no reason to not use it against a suspect set of corners. Sending Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders deep from the outside receiver positions and then using some trickery to cut them loose from coverage would be a perfect way to set up a quick (possibly early) score.

In any of the above cases, I would use these ideas early in the game or at the beginning of the second half to generate some momentum and/or put Baltimore away.

The X Factors

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Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Every game has players besides the stars who need to step up big for their team to claim victory. Here are the potential players who need to step up this week:

Emmanuel Sanders, WR

Sanders had a big drop in the Buffalo game on a play that could have put the Steelers up big and put Buffalo away for the afternoon. Instead, the Steelers had to suffer through a long overtime period and a tense contest. Sanders needs to continue to disrupt the middle of the field and help in the deep passing game with his speed and usually-good hands.

The Offensive Line

Is there ever a game when the five guys up front are not essential? The Steelers' line is even more important in this game. They need to protect Ben Roethlisberger, who's got a sprained foot. If they can't and he gets more seriously injured, the Steelers' season could be in jeopardy. This is the time for the maligned and banged up line to put together an inspired effort.

Isaac Redman, RB

Redman has been quite effective this season, but it's time for him to raise his game as a blocker. In an offense without a prototypical fullback, Redman does most of the blocking along with David Johnson, a tight end. Redman plays more often in passing situations, so I'd expect to see him a lot as a pass blocker. As with the line, he needs to be good. Baltimore sends a lot of blitzes off the edges and his presence and game will help the Steelers' tackles.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/5304 ... ke-wallace (http://bleacherreport.com/articles/530407-pittsburgh-steelers-gameplan-for-baltimore-depends-on-qb-health-mike-wallace)

BURGH86STEEL
12-02-2010, 08:41 AM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Dink and dunk will need Ben to read the defense quickly and make quick decisions. Can he execute that style of offense consistently?

ikestops85
12-02-2010, 11:55 AM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Dink and dunk will need Ben to read the defense quickly and make quick decisions. Can he execute that style of offense consistently?

I think he can. I know Ben likes to look for the big play but he has shown more patience lately and done a good job checking down to the backs/TEs. He is also excellent at not staring down receivers and moving the safety away from where he is throwing. Ben can do this but Arians has to call those types of plays.

Oviedo
12-02-2010, 12:15 PM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Dink and dunk will need Ben to read the defense quickly and make quick decisions. Can he execute that style of offense consistently?

The reality is that Byron Leftwich actually does the quick decision and throw better than Ben. So IMO it is win-win if Ben can't go on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I want Ben out there but Ben is going to have to play out of character against the defense of the Ravens. If his foot is really hurt as bad as indicated his escapability will be severely limited so he won't be able to extend plays.

I agree with previous comments. Do to the Ravens exactly what the Saints and Pats did to us. Like us, their secondary is the Achilles Heel of their defense.

Mister Pittsburgh
12-02-2010, 01:11 PM
If we head into this game trying to do what that guy says, that would be absolutley stupid.

feltdizz
12-02-2010, 01:14 PM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Dink and dunk will need Ben to read the defense quickly and make quick decisions. Can he execute that style of offense consistently?

The reality is that Byron Leftwich actually does the quick decision and throw better than Ben. So IMO it is win-win if Ben can't go on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I want Ben out there but Ben is going to have to play out of character against the defense of the Ravens. If his foot is really hurt as bad as indicated his escapability will be severely limited so he won't be able to extend plays.

I agree with previous comments. Do to the Ravens exactly what the Saints and Pats did to us. Like us, their secondary is the Achilles Heel of their defense.


Is the Ravens secondary weak at covering deep or underneath? With the rush they get I'm sure they press and play closer to the LOS than we do... I don't think dink and dunk is the way to beat the Ravens. It's usually RUTFM and play action over to top that beats them.

We can't dink and dunk if they aren't giving 10 yard cushions... they aren't playing our scheme at CB.

ikestops85
12-02-2010, 01:31 PM
I think we should go out and attack the Ravens just like the *'s attack us. Spread the field and dink and dunk with a few draws thrown in for good measure. Then when their safeties get tired of that and move up we hit Miller deep down the middle.

Dink and dunk will need Ben to read the defense quickly and make quick decisions. Can he execute that style of offense consistently?

The reality is that Byron Leftwich actually does the quick decision and throw better than Ben. So IMO it is win-win if Ben can't go on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, I want Ben out there but Ben is going to have to play out of character against the defense of the Ravens. If his foot is really hurt as bad as indicated his escapability will be severely limited so he won't be able to extend plays.

I agree with previous comments. Do to the Ravens exactly what the Saints and Pats did to us. Like us, their secondary is the Achilles Heel of their defense.


Is the Ravens secondary weak at covering deep or underneath? With the rush they get I'm sure they press and play closer to the LOS than we do... I don't think dink and dunk is the way to beat the Ravens. It's usually RUTFM and play action over to top that beats them.

We can't dink and dunk if they aren't giving 10 yard cushions... they aren't playing our scheme at CB.

I think they do play a scheme similar to ours. Their corners aren't that good in press coverage.