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fordfixer
10-09-2012, 01:11 AM
UPDATED: OCTOBER 8, 2012 11:48 PM
Steelers' passing game shortens up under Haley

http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20121009/FOOTBALL04/310099948/Steelers%27-passing-game-shortens-up-under-Haley&template=mobile

By JOHN DUDLEY, Erie Times-News
john.dudley@timesnews.com

PITTSBURGH -- After four games, new coordinator Todd Haley's stamp on the Steelers' offense is becoming clear. Ben Roethlisberger is throwing fewer deep balls and the Steelers are getting fewer big plays. In Sunday's 16-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles, the Steelers' longest gain from scrimmage was 20 yards.

In their four games, the Steelers have had 12 plays covering 20 or more yards, putting them on pace for 48. They had 60 plays that long in 2011.

Roethlisberger is averaging 7.1 yards-per-pass attempt, nearly a full yard lower than in 2011, and his receivers are averaging 10.8 yards per catch, nearly two full yards below last season.

His 65.6 completion percentage is his highest since 2009.

One by-product of the shorter passing game is that receiver Mike Wallace has been less a focal point of the offense. Although Wallace has three touchdown catches, he caught only two passes for 17 yards Sunday and is averaging 13.2 yards per catch, five yards below his career average.

Wallace didn't speak with reporters after Sunday's game but said last week that he is "excited about the opportunities we're getting in the short passing game, but I'm ready to turn it up a little bit."

Roethlisberger said he understands Wallace's frustration and added that he hopes he remains patient as the new offense evolves.

"It's a frustrating day when you get a great defense because you want to do so much and there are so many plays you feel that you've left out there," Roethlisberger said. "That's what I just told him. We can be frustrated right now, but let's move on. And he'll move on. He'll be fine.

"He's frustrated because he holds himself to a high expectation, high standards. And that's good. You want that."

A more positive by-product of Haley's system is that Roethlisberger seems to be getting better protection. He wasn't sacked at all Sunday and has gone down nine times this season, putting him on pace for 36 sacks, which would be the second-lowest total since his rookie season and only the second time in the past six seasons in which he hasn't been sacked at least 40 times.

"We protected the quarterback," coach Mike Tomlin said.

Keeping Roethlisberger upright was a focal point of the decision to bring in Haley, whose system would allow Roethlisberger to dump off the ball more quickly to receivers on screens and quick outs and let them make plays in space.

A prime example was two plays to Rashard Mendenhall on quick outs, one a designed screen and one a checkdown, that resulted in a touchdown and another in a first down.

Both times Roethlisberger made a quick drop and got rid of the ball right away, never giving the Eagles' pass rush time to clamp down.

The 13-yard touchdown was ruled a lateral because the pass went backward, costing Roethlisberger what could have been one of his longer completions of the game.

"Yeah, I'm going to protest that," Roethlisberger said. "We're in Pittsburgh, so we call it a run."

JOHN DUDLEY can be reached at 870-1677 or by e-mail. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNdudley.

stopplayn
10-09-2012, 01:47 AM
Until Leftwich plays then its bombs away. Wallace was doubled most of the day. He needs to learn how to beat the double team. Period. Ben threw good deep balls. Wallace dropped one and so did AB (TD). Wallace should blame Wallace

Oviedo
10-09-2012, 07:56 AM
I always said Ben would thrive in a passing attack that emphasized short to medium routes. He is doing exactly that. It's not a coincidence that he only has one INT since he isn't forcing balls downfield. IMO by the end of the regular season this offense will be putting up some great numbers.

Djfan
10-09-2012, 08:16 AM
I am REALLY happy with what Haley brings as opposed to BA. Looking forward to this coach for years to come.

Shawn
10-09-2012, 08:53 AM
I suspect Haley will get another shot in the near future at HC. Wait until this O really starts taking off. I don't think we have seen anything yet. Haley has given us a glimpse of what is coming. This O will continue to get better...Mendy will open up other things not just in the run game but the passing game. Haley will figure out how to get Rainey more involved...and the guys will begin to read each others minds when it comes to plays breaking down...and timing. While we struggled against Philly...I see an O fully capable of putting 30+ against any team...any game.

feltdizz
10-09-2012, 09:20 AM
The best thing about this offense is the low sack numbers and Ben staying pretty clean.

SidSmythe
10-09-2012, 09:21 AM
I really doubt teams will be kickin' in Haley's door for a HC Job anytime soon. Not for at least 3 blowup free years as an OC.

Although he should get a look from up here in Buffalo.

Oviedo
10-09-2012, 10:48 AM
I really doubt teams will be kickin' in Haley's door for a HC Job anytime soon. Not for at least 3 blowup free years as an OC.

Although he should get a look from up here in Buffalo.

Buffalo needs a HC who can build a defense not an offense. Their defense is probably the worst in the NFL. Hiring an offensive minded HC would be just another stupid decision by them.

stopplayn
10-09-2012, 10:56 AM
I always said Ben would thrive in a passing attack that emphasized short to medium routes. He is doing exactly that. It's not a coincidence that he only has one INT since he isn't forcing balls downfield. IMO by the end of the regular season this offense will be putting up some great numbers.

He has had FOUR dropped picks. Dropped balls by the receivers matter so do dropped picks. Ask Ike Taylor

stopplayn
10-09-2012, 10:58 AM
I really doubt teams will be kickin' in Haley's door for a HC Job anytime soon. Not for at least 3 blowup free years as an OC.

Although he should get a look from up here in Buffalo.

Bill Parcells, Coughlin, they blow up. I like Haley. I would prefer him to Tomlin