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View Full Version : The Undersized Playmaker!!



Dee Dub
11-28-2011, 11:21 PM
I think this Steelers offense could benefit from having a Darren Sproles type. The underszie, scatback if you will. A small back with great quickness and speed. One who can jump-cut on a dime. One who can play on 3rd downs and provide that breakaway ability that this team lacks in the backfield. It would help to keep oppossing defenses honest if they had one. On 3rd downs it would be hard to blitz as often when you know the Steelers have a game breaker who could break them down on a screen.

In this up coming draft there are a couple diminutive types that could be had in the later rounds.

Jeff Demps Florida ---proabably the fastest man on the planet. Or at least one who plays football. (10 flat 100 meters)

Andre Ellington Clemson

Rodney Stewart Colorado--solid in pass catching (45 rec. this year)

Fozzy Whittaker Texas

LaMichael James Oregon---flat out electrifying!

SteelAbility
11-28-2011, 11:51 PM
Absolutely agree. I was just thinking tonight that I'd love it if the Steelers could get Darren Sproles. It would open up a ton of offense.

WindyCitySteel
11-29-2011, 12:45 AM
He'd be wasted in this offense. Mendenhall has 12 catches in 11 games. He's no Sproles with the ball, but should get 50+ catches a year.

Shawn
11-29-2011, 10:59 AM
I would agree. It forces a D to respect the flats. We attempt to do this now with the bubble screens but we all know how those work out. Having an ultra quick scatty type back who is tough to tackle one on one open field will open up the deep game. Very tough to defend a team with a true speed threat at both WR, and RB.

rpmpit
11-29-2011, 11:53 AM
I know he was way too easy to tackle...but do you guys remember how great FWP was on screen plays?

feltdizz
11-29-2011, 11:57 AM
I know he was way too easy to tackle...but do you guys remember how great FWP was on screen plays?

what's a screen?

FWP would have been even better if he followed his blockers instead of running past them and into defenders.

rpmpit
11-29-2011, 12:00 PM
I know he was way too easy to tackle...but do you guys remember how great FWP was on screen plays?

what's a screen?

FWP would have been even better if he followed his blockers instead of running past them and into defenders.

He had his weaknesses, but I really liked him as a Steeler. He could score every time he touched the ball. Something we really don't have now except for maybe Wallace.

Oh, and here...

http://www.fortworthinjurylawyerblog.com/screen.jpg

sd steel
11-29-2011, 12:32 PM
We had that Sproles type back, Stefan Logan, and never used him in the offense. We seem to acquire the big receivers and the scatty type backs over the years, but we never seem to use them to their full potential in our offensive schemes. Sproles always looks great in primetime, but if he were on the Steelers he would look an alot like Mewelde Moore.

Dee Dub
11-29-2011, 01:12 PM
We had that Sproles type back, Stefan Logan, and never used him in the offense. We seem to acquire the big receivers and the scatty type backs over the years, but we never seem to use them to their full potential in our offensive schemes. Sproles always looks great in primetime, but if he were on the Steelers he would look an alot like Mewelde Moore.

Yeah but Logan was a receiver by trade. What I am talking about is a legit RB. A 3rd down specialist who creates major match up problems from the backfield. One who has to keep LB's honest. When you have guys like Terrell Suggs pinning his ears back and racing straight to Ben it changes things a little if you have one who can counter that.

Mister Pittsburgh
11-29-2011, 01:21 PM
I know he was way too easy to tackle...but do you guys remember how great FWP was on screen plays?

Willie was horrible as a receiver. He had to be standing dead still to even have a shot at catching the ball. We need a fluid back that can catch on the run like a WR instead of having to start running only once he catches the ball. Mendenhall is sorta like FWP in that regard where I am envisioning a Kevin Faulk catching the ball on the run and out running an OLB.

Lebsteel
11-29-2011, 01:26 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu. I would love to see a playmaker like him in our defense.

sd steel
11-29-2011, 01:30 PM
[quote="sd steel":1wbwvdlf]We had that Sproles type back, Stefan Logan, and never used him in the offense. We seem to acquire the big receivers and the scatty type backs over the years, but we never seem to use them to their full potential in our offensive schemes. Sproles always looks great in primetime, but if he were on the Steelers he would look an alot like Mewelde Moore.

Yeah but Logan was a receiver by trade. What I am talking about is a legit RB. A 3rd down specialist who creates major match up problems from the backfield. One who has to keep LB's honest. When you have guys like Terrell Suggs pinning his ears back and racing straight to Ben it changes things a little if you have one who can counter that.[/quote:1wbwvdlf]

By using different personnel groupings with the players that we currently have you can create those mismatches. When Sproles is in the backfield no one expects him to block Suggs, so wouldn't we be able to use A Brown or Manny Sanders in a similar role out of the backfield? I think that you are comparing a difference in a scheme that uses Sproles as opposed to what a little scat back like Sproles would be able to do in our scheme. We have personnnel that could be used effectively by taking advantage of mismatches, but we don't run a scheme that does it effectively.

steelblood
11-29-2011, 01:57 PM
[quote="sd steel":z8fi4b5n]We had that Sproles type back, Stefan Logan, and never used him in the offense. We seem to acquire the big receivers and the scatty type backs over the years, but we never seem to use them to their full potential in our offensive schemes. Sproles always looks great in primetime, but if he were on the Steelers he would look an alot like Mewelde Moore.

Yeah but Logan was a receiver by trade. What I am talking about is a legit RB. A 3rd down specialist who creates major match up problems from the backfield. One who has to keep LB's honest. When you have guys like Terrell Suggs pinning his ears back and racing straight to Ben it changes things a little if you have one who can counter that.[/quote:z8fi4b5n]

Logan was a RB in college and for BC in the CFL.

I'm okay with this sort of player if he can still pick up the blitz. Some of the players you listed may not be able to.

Dee Dub
11-29-2011, 02:21 PM
I thought this thread was going to be about Tyrann "Honey Badger" Mathieu. I would love to see a playmaker like him in our defense.

Not me. He likes to smoke weed. And as we know with Santonio Holmes...this is a problem.

Me personally, I would prefer Oklahoma's Tony Jefferson. A very similar player without the off field issues. Jefferson is all over the place. Sacks, forced fumbles, tackles for loss, INT's pass break ups. He's too is a sophomore.

WindyCitySteel
11-29-2011, 02:34 PM
Mendenhall is the perfect 3rd down back...get him with the ball in space and he can make things happen.

It's just not part of our offense, sadly. I'd trade the lion's share of the WR screens for designed flares and leak outs by Mendy.

MeetJoeGreene
11-29-2011, 02:43 PM
I thought Barron Batch could fulfill that role until he got hurt

phillyesq
11-29-2011, 03:01 PM
I thought Barron Batch could fulfill that role until he got hurt

Good point. I almost forgot about him.

I agree with Dub. I think a smaller, quick back with good receiving skills could be a nice asset for the offense.

Given the structure of the team, that is an easy way to get a lot of bang for your buck. Going into the draft next year, the Steelers are going to need to focus on OG, DT, ILB, and perhaps a FS. Luckily, you can find fast, undersized backs in the middle rounds of the draft, without having to invest a premium pick.

pittpete
11-29-2011, 03:08 PM
Ba wouldnt use a back like that.
Hed rather have his mancrush Johnson in there as much as possible.

Dee Dub
11-29-2011, 04:33 PM
Ba wouldnt use a back like that.
Hed rather have his mancrush Johnson in there as much as possible.

That's funny. I am hoping that the Steelers draft a guy like Rhett Ellison of USC. He can play both FB and TE. He is a solid blocker and a solid pass catcher. And he could spell the end of Johnson. 3 birds with one stone. Now that's value from a mid round draft pick. :lol:

Keyplay1
11-30-2011, 08:12 AM
I thought Barron Batch could fulfill that role until he got hurt

Good point. I almost forgot about him.

I agree with Dub. I think a smaller, quick back with good receiving skills could be a nice asset for the offense.

Given the structure of the team, that is an easy way to get a lot of bang for your buck. Going into the draft next year, the Steelers are going to need to focus on OG, DT, ILB, and perhaps a FS. Luckily, you can find fast, undersized backs in the middle rounds of the draft, without having to invest a premium pick.

I was wondering when someone would bring him up. He was the talk of the camp til he got hurt. Everyone , camp regulars, coaches, writers, readers , trainers, groundskeepers, like I said just about everyone was smiling. The impression I got was it was just a matter of time when even the alleged #1 guy might be out on the street . And why not? There is nothing there that even remotely resembles a halfa-s-s running game. Is there?

But what is really puzzling me and probably some other casual fans is how is it that everytime Mewelde Moore is in for a series or two the offensive line suddenly looks like there are 3 all pros and 2 hall of fame candidates out there. Can someone explain this? Are these other teams putting in the 2nd and 3rd stringers or bringing in there practice squad players? I don't get it. And it's nothing new. MM saved the Steelers butt in 2008 and it looks like he's going to have to do it again with several years and a lot of miles on him.

It seems to me that just about every game the Steelers have lost in the past few years, has been because they absolutely cannot eat up those final 6-8 minutes because of the running game failure. Not only that, but there have been numerous games they held on by a thread or needed a lucky break at the end to save the game. This is also the reason why the Steelers are not having too much success in the Redzone. Teams that cannot run the ball always have trouble in the RZ. Can anyone remember the last time the Steelers ran the ball 3 consecutive plays and got a 1st down? If the Steeler QB's over the years had not been superb in converting those critical 3rd down keep the clock moving 1st downs -----well, I just don't want to imagine how disastrous the results would have been.

But no one would disagree with you about drafting a Sproles type back. How could it hurt? Personally, I would prefer picking up an Adrian Foster, actually I would settle for a Barry Foster.

Now, while it's obvious this is one casual fan who is not too thrilled with the Steelers running game, I will not be surprised if the Steelers come out and do a number on the Bengals Sunday. As a matter of fact I really expect this. But it would also be nice to get a little help from the run game.

Talking about Batch: This is info from nfldraftscout.com --You can compare the two.

Baron Batch, DS #36 RB, Texas Tech Bookmark and Share
Selected: Round 7, Pick 29, Overall Pick 232 by Steelers

Name: Baron Batch (+) Coming off elbow injury
College: Texas Tech Number: 25
Height: 5-10 Weight: 207
Position: RB Pos2: KR
Class/Draft Year: rSr/2011
40 Time: 4.50 40 Low: 4.45 40 High: 4.58
Projected Round: Stock: High: 6-7 Low: PFA
Rated number 36 out of 160 RB's 408 / 2083 TOTAL


Dates: 03/10/11
Height: 5095
Weight: 207
40 Yrd Dash: 4.50
20 Yrd Dash: 2.61
10 Yrd Dash: 1.50 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 24
Vertical Jump: 39
Broad Jump: 10'06"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 4.32
3-Cone Drill: 7.03

40 time range: 4.50-4.54

Darren Sproles, DS #14 RB, Kansas State Bookmark and Share
Selected: Round 4, Pick 29, Overall Pick 130 by Chargers

Name: Darren Sproles
College: Kansas State Number: 43
Height: 5-06 Weight: 187
Position: RB Pos2:
Class/Draft Year: Sr/2005
40 Time: 4.47 40 Low: 40 High:
Projected Round: 4 Stock:
Rated number 14 out of 108 RB's 128 / 1451 TOTAL

Combine Results

Pro Day Results
Combine Invite: yes
Height: 5061
Weight: 187
40 Yrd Dash: 4.47
20 Yrd Dash: 2.62
10 Yrd Dash: 1.55 225 Lb. Bench Reps: 23
Vertical Jump: 33
Broad Jump: 08'09"
20 Yrd Shuttle: 3.96
3-Cone Drill: 6.96

How do you think they stack up --at least on paper?

WindyCitySteel
11-30-2011, 08:57 AM
I don't recall Mewelde Moore saving us in 2008. As far as this year, he has 17 carries in 11 games. Pretty small sample size.

If we need Mewelde Moore to save the season, it's already lost.

Slapstick
11-30-2011, 09:41 AM
I don't recall Mewelde Moore saving us in 2008. As far as this year, he has 17 carries in 11 games. Pretty small sample size.

If we need Mewelde Moore to save the season, it's already lost.

Mewelde Moore took significant snaps in 6 games in 2008 with the Steelers winning four of those games...one of the losses was the Giants game where James Harrison long snapped the ball out of the end zone and Ben threw 4 INTs...in that game, Moore had 19 carries for 84 yards and a TD, so I think he did his part in that game...

In those 6 games, Moore put up these numbers:

107 carries - 483 yards - 4.5 YpC - 5 TDs

22 catches - 139 yards - 6.3 YpC - 1 TD

I was glad to have him then, I am glad to have him now...

WindyCitySteel
11-30-2011, 10:14 AM
Glad we had Moore, too, but the OP made it sound like he rode in on a white horse to save the day. He did the job he was asked to do - fill in at RB. Willie had as many or more big games in wins when healthy.