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hawaiiansteel
12-27-2012, 11:58 AM
Starkey: The joke’s on the Steelers

By Joe Starkey
Published: Wednesday, December 26, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=A$b1n iHYToJItzdQdpHH78$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYufd9pH8Sifk1O NgF$Hhb$QWCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

This Steelers‘ offense is an abomination.

Worse, it‘s soft.

They cannot run the ball. They do not score enough (2.2 touchdowns per game if, unlike them, you‘re scoring at home). Their red-zone approach stinks, and maybe most critically, their quarterback still goes sandlot too often and is getting his brains beaten in.

Bottom line: Bruce Arians must go.

I mean, Arians called for 25 passes in the first half at Dallas! He didn‘t use a fullback on several short-yardage runs against the Chargers! His third-and-1 handoffs take an hour-and-a-half to unfold and only work when Isaac Redman performs a miracle.

The running game is laughable. Byron Leftwich, who couldn‘t steal a base off Rod Barajas, has the team‘s second-longest run of the season. Rashard Mendenhall doesn‘t even bother to show up anymore.

The Steelers have lost their two divisional home games even though the opposing offense DID NOT SCORE A TOUCHDOWN. That‘s hard to do.

Mike Wallace is now a possession receiver. Emmanuel Sanders can‘t take a hit. Antonio Brown has lost his mind.

This group needs a coordinator with a backbone.

Besides, Arians is too friendly with Big Ben. He‘s more like Ben‘s uncle than his boss. You can‘t have that. Players can‘t be friends with coaches. That‘s insane.

It‘s obvious, in watching Ben play, that Arians isn‘t tough enough on him. Did you see the ridiculous interception that lost the Bengals‘ game? Typical Ben, doing whatever he wants out there and taking silly chances.

The Steelers need a guy who‘ll get in Ben‘s face, for Ben‘s own good. The man turns 31 in March. He won‘t make 34 if this kind of punishment keeps up.

What‘s more, Ben has misplaced his clutch gene. Behold his recent history in big games:

• He was terrible in the 2010 AFC Championship.

• He air-balled the last shot of Super Bowl XLIII.

• He double-dribbled on the last regulation possession of the Denver playoff game.

• He had multiple chances to finish off the Cowboys two weeks ago and the Bengals four days ago and came up empty every time.

The magic is gone.

So here‘s my suggestion for Steelers president Art Rooney II: Let it be known to Mike Tomlin that you‘d like to see Arians jettisoned. Leave the decision up to Tomlin, of course, knowing that any intelligent employee will take a hint from his boss (I sure hope Art and Mike aren‘t friends, by the way, because we‘ve seen how poorly that has worked out with Bruce and Ben).

That‘ll be it for Arians, but the Steelers should let him down softly. Maybe disguise the firing as a “retirement.” It‘s not likely Arians would find work right away and make the Steelers look bad. Everybody knows Ben made him.

Secretly, I‘m sure Arians still wants to be a head coach. Can you imagine that? With his luck, he‘d probably wind up in charge of a no-hope, 2-14 team.

Once Arians is gone, Rooney II should tell reporters that Ben needs to “tweak” his game, even if Robert Kraft would never say anything like that about Tom Brady. The Steelers need to rock Ben‘s world. He‘s too comfortable.

Look, it‘s past time the offense carried this franchise for a bit, but that‘s hard to do when you can‘t score. This sickly unit has reached 30 points once all season. The Seahawks score that many in a quarter.

If the Steelers don‘t hit 30 against Cleveland on Sunday, it‘ll be the first time in 20 years that they failed to reach the number at least twice in a season.

The bigger picture, though, is the quarterback. Ben must be tamed. He must be spared more bodily harm. My God, the man nearly speared himself to death with his own rib. Somebody needs to put him in his place — the pocket — and maybe even blow up at him once in a while.

I don‘t know who the new guy should be, but I‘ve got a solid tip for Rooney II and Tomlin.

I hear Todd Haley‘s available.

http://triblive.com/sports/joestarkey/3188457-74/ben-steelers-arians#ixzz2GGR6oTIQ

Shawn
12-27-2012, 12:25 PM
Maybe the writer is just so intelligent that his wit is above me, but what is his point?

feltdizz
12-27-2012, 12:31 PM
Arians wasn't the problem?

That's my guess Shawn... Not sure though...b

hawaiiansteel
12-27-2012, 12:35 PM
Maybe the writer is just so intelligent that his wit is above me, but what is his point?

I think the article was written with a huge dose of sarcasm...

NorthCoast
12-27-2012, 01:02 PM
Arians wasn't the problem?

That's my guess Shawn... Not sure though...b

apparently so. And if you look at the trail of evidence for the season, a reasonable person would likely conclude the same.
Wow, were most of us BA haters THAT wrong in our assessment of him as an OC? or was there something else going on with the offense this season?

NorthCoast
12-27-2012, 01:10 PM
apparently so. And if you look at the trail of evidence for the season, a reasonable person would likely conclude the same.
Wow, were most of us BA haters THAT wrong in our assessment of him as an OC? or was there something else going on with the offense this season?

I'll give one explanation; the Colts played a total of 5 games against teams with winning records this season. And in those 5 games they were 2-3. So at least BA continued the trend of beating up on bad teams, which even Haley was unable to do this season.

flippy
12-27-2012, 01:10 PM
Maybe he's saying Ben's the problem. Or nothing's changed.

This wasn't the most eloquent article. But there does seem to be a common theme with Tomlin teams. Nothing changes. There are certain units on the team that perform poorly year in and year out. It's almost like a curse. You can swap out players or coaches, yet the curse continues.

The Tomlin curse could be our own Curse of the Bambino or something.

I'm just typing gibberish because I have no idea what that writer meant. He probably shouldn't get paid for that kind of work. Maybe he was drunk or in the midst of a stroke when he wrote that?

NorthCoast
12-27-2012, 02:16 PM
Maybe he's saying Ben's the problem. Or nothing's changed.

This wasn't the most eloquent article. But there does seem to be a common theme with Tomlin teams. Nothing changes. There are certain units on the team that perform poorly year in and year out. It's almost like a curse. You can swap out players or coaches, yet the curse continues.

The Tomlin curse could be our own Curse of the Bambino or something.

I'm just typing gibberish because I have no idea what that writer meant. He probably shouldn't get paid for that kind of work. Maybe he was drunk or in the midst of a stroke when he wrote that?

Maybe true, but it's not like Tomlin is ignoring or hasn't tried making changes. canning the ST coach, bringing in a new OL coach. It just seems that his changes haven't panned out and maybe it is his lack of experience in evaluating coaching talent. Maybe he doesn't really know what a winning assistant coach looks like?

Ghost
12-27-2012, 02:16 PM
I don't think Arians leaving made one lick of difference.

Was Arians involved in injuring 2 out of our first 3 draft picks? Making Hampton play horrible for 2/3rd's of the season? Having Troy's calf hit with a pipe between games? Was he involved in Wallace not reporting for camp and then sulking like a little girl who lost her candy the rest of the season? Did he coordinate Hood being a work out warrior off the field but a mediocre at best player on it? The O-line being a revolving door? The list goes on and on. I'm so sick of hearing about a coach that's not even a part of the team anymore. Who gives a f#ck what he's up to now.

The Owners of the team said it was time for him to go. And they were right. He was staler than month old bread. Good riddance. His time here had come and gone. And Tomlin, the head coach, got to pick the new coordinator. He picked Haley. Maybe Ben was mad from the start that Mike didn't consult with him on the choice. I never heard Haley putting Ben down. Saying Ben wasn't following the game plan, criticizing Ben for ridiculous sacks and even more ridiculous interceptions. Didn't hear haley ripping the WR's fro dropped balls or the RB's for countless fumbles. Haley has been nothing but professional since he arrived. It's Ben that's been the pouting douche bag about the O coordinator change since last March. The whole "I'm not Big Ben" thing was just a lie. He's not Big Ben in the bars but he's certainly still a diva when it comes to this team.

Haley was a guy who could not wait to come here. He grew up around this team with family ties to it. He was getting away from that debacle of a team in KC and getting a chance to start over. I'm sure he was beyond excited to get a cailber of player as Ben. But from the start Ben was d!ck about it. It's time for him to mature and realize that when Haley is successful, Ben is succesful, and then the whole team is a success. Everyone, including the D, feeds off that. It's not that hard to understand unless you are purposefully being obtuse (Shawshank reference...).

flippy
12-27-2012, 03:08 PM
I don't think Arians leaving made one lick of difference.

Was Arians involved in injuring 2 out of our first 3 draft picks? Making Hampton play horrible for 2/3rd's of the season? Having Troy's calf hit with a pipe between games? Was he involved in Wallace not reporting for camp and then sulking like a little girl who lost her candy the rest of the season? Did he coordinate Hood being a work out warrior off the field but a mediocre at best player on it? The O-line being a revolving door? The list goes on and on. I'm so sick of hearing about a coach that's not even a part of the team anymore. Who gives a f#ck what he's up to now.

The Owners of the team said it was time for him to go. And they were right. He was staler than month old bread. Good riddance. His time here had come and gone. And Tomlin, the head coach, got to pick the new coordinator. He picked Haley. Maybe Ben was mad from the start that Mike didn't consult with him on the choice. I never heard Haley putting Ben down. Saying Ben wasn't following the game plan, criticizing Ben for ridiculous sacks and even more ridiculous interceptions. Didn't hear haley ripping the WR's fro dropped balls or the RB's for countless fumbles. Haley has been nothing but professional since he arrived. It's Ben that's been the pouting douche bag about the O coordinator change since last March. The whole "I'm not Big Ben" thing was just a lie. He's not Big Ben in the bars but he's certainly still a diva when it comes to this team.

Haley was a guy who could not wait to come here. He grew up around this team with family ties to it. He was getting away from that debacle of a team in KC and getting a chance to start over. I'm sure he was beyond excited to get a cailber of player as Ben. But from the start Ben was d!ck about it. It's time for him to mature and realize that when Haley is successful, Ben is succesful, and then the whole team is a success. Everyone, including the D, feeds off that. It's not that hard to understand unless you are purposefully being obtuse (Shawshank reference...).

You make some interesting observations. I haven't really looked back and thought about it, but Haley's been a choirboy. Maybe he's allowed Ben to walk all over him a bit. I was kinda hoping for some sorta outburst from Todd.

NorthCoast
12-27-2012, 04:59 PM
You make some interesting observations. I haven't really looked back and thought about it, but Haley's been a choirboy. Maybe he's allowed Ben to walk all over him a bit. I was kinda hoping for some sorta outburst from Todd.

I think Haley is trying to walk a fine line with Ben in this first season together. It could be very easy to disintegrate into acrimony between the two of them if they let it. Perhaps Haley felt taking a silent role this first season was the best approach, sorta feel each other out, see how each responds. No doubt Haley has a lot of respect for the organization and I think he may take this role very seriously. If Ben continues his in-game gaffes with flippant "it's on me" response, I think the nature of the relationship will definitely turn.

steelz09
12-27-2012, 06:40 PM
apparently so. And if you look at the trail of evidence for the season, a reasonable person would likely conclude the same.
Wow, were most of us BA haters THAT wrong in our assessment of him as an OC? or was there something else going on with the offense this season?

Arians still sucks as a OC but Ben is a big part of the problem as well.

If you listen closely, Ben is probably taking another sack and taking us out of field goal range.

hawaiiansteel
12-28-2012, 02:13 AM
The Hollow Man Ben Roethlisberger casts shadow over Steelers lost season

By PaVaSteeler on Dec 27

http://cdn0.sbnation.com/uploads/chorus_image/image/5643305/20121222_ter_sh5_430.0_standard_500.0.jpg

The last game of the season doesn’t matter to the future of the Steelers success unless either Ben Roethlisberger fully and publicly accepts and embraces Todd Haley and the offensive scheme the Steelers are trying to implement, or Haley is fired.

Ben Roethlisberger can either step up and embrace Todd Haley's offense, or continue being the Hollow Man in T.S. Eliot's poem of the same name.

The Steelers will end the 2012 season not with a bang, but a whimper. At the root of it all, it doesn't matter whether the Steelers win or lose against the Cleveland Browns come this last football Sunday of the regular season, nor does it matter in the end how well the wide receivers perform, or how balanced the running game is in the overall game plan.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first: The revolving door of injuries to the offensive line was a material contributor to the Steelers' uneven offensive performance throughout the season. For yet another year the Steelers were forced to use ten or eleven different configurations on the O line as one player after another fell to injury. Even center Maurkice Pouncey was replaced for a couple of games and started at left guard in another. At various points throughout the season, one if not two rookies found themselves starting. Rookie RT Mike Adams started in place of injured Marcus Gilbert, and then was himself replaced by rookie Kelvin Beachum. Rookie David DeCastro started at RG alongside Beachum at one point.

Rookies starting games, and starting players filling in at unfamiliar positions is a recipe for trouble for any team; rookies play like rookies as DeCastro proved against the Bengals, where he was repeatedly manhandled and otherwise looking quite lost on many plays.

But injuries strike all teams to one degree or another and compensating for them is part of the game. Every team has a variation of "the standard" or a "next man up" mentality; they have to because it is part of the nature of professional football.

A decision was made after last season to retire Bruce Arians (or let him go, take your pick) and bring someone in who had a track record of utilizing the skill sets already in place with the team, and to devise an offensive philosophy that would best suit those skills while protecting and enhancing the qualities of the franchise's quarterback. Roethlisberger is getting older and all the sacks and beatings he has taken were seen as likely to shorten his career.

And yet, the single overarching theme surrounding the selection of Todd Haley to replace Arians, given Roethlisberger's public support in keeping Arians and his expressed concerns over the selection of Haley, was whether the "temperamental Todd Haley" and the "prickly" franchise QB would get along or do battle. Everything revolved around Roethlisberger, or as T.S. Eliot wrote in his poem "The Hollow Men":

"Here we go round the prickly pear

Prickly pear prickly pear

Here we go round the prickly pear..."

From day one the media and the fans waited with baited breath, asking: "Have they spoken yet? - Why not? - What did they talk about? - Are they getting along? - How will Ben perform under the new scheme? - What did Ben mean by that statement? - Is there discord between the two? - Is Ben questioning the new scheme? - Does Ben stick to the new scheme? - Did Ben question the play calling? - Who will prevail, Haley or Ben?" And on, and on, and round and round it went.

The signs are there that Roethlisberger has never fully committed himself to the offensive scheme Haley was hired to produce, and that Mike Tomlin has approved (otherwise, why was Haley hired and the scheme implemented in the first place?). And by failing to fully embrace the new offense, Roethlisberger has cast a shadow that has permeated the entire offensive unit; or, as Eliot wrote:

Between the conception

And the creation

Between the emotion

And the response

Falls the Shadow

Ben Roethlisberger was elected to be one of the captains of this team, and rightfully so; he is a franchise quarterback on whose shoulders the team's success depends. But for all the maturation Roethlisberger has shown this past year, after all the acceptance of "blame" for the losses and poor performance the offensive unit has suffered, it is quite apparent the underlying issues affecting this offense are still unresolved.

...Between the idea

And the reality

Between the motion

And the act

Falls the Shadow

The signs have been plentiful: not one, not two, but all three wide receivers not being fully engaged throughout the game, almost every game, by their own admissions and thus not quite being where they were supposed to be or dropping passes or fumbling at the most inopportune times. And why was this happening? Was it just the petulance of a "I just wanna get paid" Mike Wallace, or the big-contract hangover of Antonio Brown? Or could it be that they sensed that their quarterback was not fully on board with the new offensive scheme and its requirements for quick reads and check downs to get rid of the ball as opposed to the QB scrambling and trying to create plays that aren't there? Were they trying to hedge the running of their assignments under that new scheme because they thought their QB may revert back to how they "used to do it"?

And what of the running game component of Haley's new offensive playbook? Yes, injuries to the offensive line directly impacted the effectiveness of the running game, as did injuries to the various backs. But no running back is going to be effective if the Steelers only run the ball 17 times in a game, and employ a revolving platoon of backs to share those 17 carries. It has long been axiomatic that a running back needs a substantial number of carries in a game to establish a rhythm in order to be effective.

Why then was the running game relegated to such an insignificant role in seven of the Steelers' eight losses? The Steelers' average rushing ratio in their eight losses was 36.6 percent; in their seven wins it was 47.8 percent.

Out of the six Steeler wins with Roethlisberger playing, the Steelers never ran less than 44 percent of the time, and Roethlisberger's quarterback rating was over 92 in four out of those six wins (the Eagles game and the game he was injured against the Chiefs being the exception). His rating for the year is currently 95.5.

Before his injury, Roethlisberger had a cumulative quarterback rating of 100. In the three games since his recovery, his cumulative rating is 82.5. A logical expectation would be that upon Roethlisberger's return from injury, the Steelers would emphasize the run in order to ease their quarterback back into his rhythm. And yet that didn't happen. Only one of the three post-injury games saw the Steelers run the ball more than 30 percent, and that was the last Bengals' game at 53 percent.

Of the six losses that Roethlisberger played in, only one game saw the Steelers rushing ratio exceed 40 percent; two games in a row the Steelers ran the ball only 29 percent of the time (against the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys). Out of those six losses, Roethlisberger's quarterback rating failed to break 90 four times, with the second Bengals game being the nadir at a paltry 58.6.

Could it be that upon his return, the offensive game plan was changed back to what Roethlisberger really wanted it to be, rather than sticking to the style Haley was brought in to implement? Could it be that the offensive game plans became Arians-esque in order to make Roethlisberger "happy"?

Was it a coincidence that in the week leading up to the Chargers game, Roethlisberger's first game back from injury, Mike Wallace is quoted in an interview that "When I don‘t get the ball for a certain amount of time, I lose focus sometimes," he said. "It hurts me when it‘s time for me to make a play."

And was it a coincidence that in that game the very first Steeler offensive play from scrimmage is a 10 yard pass to Wallace?

And was it a coincidence that after the Chargers' game, when asked by reporters about the lateral pass intended for Antonio Brown that was called when the Steelers were on their own 5 yard line, Roethlisberger's response was "...ask the Coach"?

And was it a coincidence that after the loss to the Cowboys, there was enough substance to the implications Roethlisberger raised in the answer he gave about the play calling that he felt compelled to meet with the coaches and apologize?

Until such a time as an offensive strategy that is equally and completely embraced by the Steelers franchise quarterback, his receivers, and the Steelers' coaching staff; until such equilibrium is reached, the Steelers' offense will not shine, and neither Roethlisberger nor the offense will emerge from the shadow of this discord.

All of the potential embodied by Roethlisberger, Wallace, Brown, Sanders, Heath Miller, Jonathan Dwyer, Isaac Redman and the rest of the Steelers' offensive unit will remain unrealized potential lost in the shadows of Roethlisberger's hollow platitudes uttered for reporters, the shadows of all of the hollow apologies he issues for letting slip a true glimpse of his frame of mind, and the shadows of all of the hollow acceptance of blame for the Steelers' losses. For if Roethlisberger continues to be The Hollow Man then, as Eliot writes:

Between the desire

And the spasm

Between the potency

And the existence

Between the essence

And the descent

Falls the Shadow

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/12/27/3808390/ben-roethlisberger-steelers-2012-season-todd-haley

NorthCoast
12-28-2012, 09:45 AM
Am I sensing a growing sentiment that perhaps it's none other than Ben Roethlisberger that has held back this offense and not the OC? Hmmm.... I am willing to withhold judgement for the moment. But if Ben doesn't come back strong with a good season next year I may have to think about joining that chorus. 2005 and 2007 were the offenses best scoring seasons since Ben arrived, what was magic back then? Perhaps the fact that the rush offense was #5 in the NFL both seasons? Perhaps an OL with M Smith, Faneca, Starks and Simmons? It is interesting that Ben's best seasons are linked closely with outstanding running games.

flippy
12-28-2012, 09:51 AM
That Hollow Man comparison is really deep. I'm surprised someone so cultured is a Steelers fan. I thought the average fan was a knucklehead like me. Next thing I know I'm gonna learn some Rhodes Scholar is a Steelers fan.

D Rock
12-28-2012, 10:15 AM
I actually thought the original sarcastic article was great. Because it was all true.

Did anyone really notice that much of a difference between this years offense and past years? I didn't.

Did we ever once get a glimpse of the fire Todd Haley had when he coached on other teams? I didn't.


We all saw Ben get beat up, miss a few games, and come back and instantly revert to the same QB he had been for 8 years before the beginning of this season. We like to talk about Mike Wallace disappearing the 2nd half of last season, but unfortunately Big Ben as we knew him re-appeared the 2nd half of this season. He got off his game physically and instantly reverted to his old style, when the new style seemed to be working much more efficiently. The an offense that just wasn't great became sloppy and terrible.

Shawn
12-28-2012, 10:19 AM
There is no reason this O shouldn't be a top 5 O in the NFL. I want to see Haley's system for more than one season. I also want to see a Ben who hasn't packed it in.

NorthCoast
12-28-2012, 11:09 AM
There is no reason this O shouldn't be a top 5 O in the NFL. I want to see Haley's system for more than one season. I also want to see a Ben who hasn't packed it in.

With you on that one Shawn. Ben's leadership will surely be tested next season. It's OK to run your own version of the offense if you can be successful, but if things go south you had better have a plan to deal with it.

Ghost
12-28-2012, 11:18 AM
At least Haley got one of the Steelers best weapons involved in the O. Miller had his 2nd highest receptions (and possibly highest if playing this week), he was targeted more times than ever in his career, most TD's, most yards and had 4 times as many TD's this season as either of the last two years under BA. If Ben would be a mature, hard working football player and spend this offseason ensuring he and Haley are on the same page; this O could be close to unstoppable (and thats with or without Wallace).

NorthCoast
12-28-2012, 11:43 AM
At least Haley got one of the Steelers best weapons involved in the O. Miller had his 2nd highest receptions (and possibly highest if playing this week), he was targeted more times than ever in his career, most TD's, most yards and had 4 times as many TD's this season as either of the last two years under BA. If Ben would be a mature, hard working football player and spend this offseason ensuring he and Haley are on the same page; this O could be close to unstoppable (and thats with or without Wallace).

Simply tragic how Heath languished under BA. Everyone knew his true talents, but so frustrating he was paid so little attention in the offense until now.

feltdizz
12-28-2012, 12:05 PM
Blame Ben for Miller being ignored under BA. When Ben goes sandlot he isn't thinking about Heath.

BATMAN
12-28-2012, 10:30 PM
How many seasons was Arians the receivers coach and then the offensive cord for the Steelers ? He showed no improvement in my opinion and with the talent he had, more than Haley has had Arian was and is still a joke. I'll give Haley more than 15 games before I toss him out or start bad mouthing him.

Arians is in the right spot as always, another future hof qb that is making him look good.

If Haley doesn't turn out to be the guy we hope for, that doesn't mean Arian was or is now a good oc. Arian is proof to everyone that, strive for things you do not deserve, sometimes you can fool the people around you.

lloydroid
12-29-2012, 07:20 PM
Arians still sucks as a OC but Ben is a big part of the problem as well.

If you listen closely, Ben is probably taking another sack and taking us out of field goal range.

OUCH, that hurts. Truth can. I hate when Ben does idiotic things. It's so embarrassing.