Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo
Quote Originally Posted by papillon
Quote Originally Posted by phillyesq
Hopefully the increased strength will help him continue developing as a blocker. With all of the other options on offense, I'd be shocked if he tops 25 catches. This isn't a dig -- I think that his size and his presence will at least force defenses to account for him, especially in the red zone. But Hines, Santonio, Sweed, Heath, Mendenhall, Moore -- lots of options in the passing game. I think that Spaeth will need to really continue his development as a blocker to contribute more, but I also look forward to him developing as another weapon in the receiving game, even if he is one that isn't used a whole lot.
His size forced teams to account for him last year, but, our offensive, offensive coordinator didn't use him enough. Spaeth had his three TDs in the first 2 or 3 games (IIRC) and then nothing. Catching them in the beginning means that Ben was looking for him. The only explanation for lack of output after that has to be the OC. I can't believe that after 2-3 games that other teams started focusing on him and he couldn't get open.

The Steelers really need Arians to do a better job this year.

I'm not so sure that it was Arians and not Ben falling into the Ben mindset of looking for a big play downfield, hence holding on to the ball and taking sacks. Before I cleared out my DVR I had the two games still on it and rewatched. I counted at least half a dozen times that Spaeth broke open against a LB and Ben held the ball and eventually either threw deep or took a sack. Ben needs to look for his TEs more often and sooner if he is going to become the QB he has the ability to be.
The corollary to that theory then is why did Ben see him in the first few games as clear as day and not later in the season? If Spaeth hadn't completely fell off the face of the earth I would be more inclined to go along with the Ben holding it to make a big play or taking sack. However, Spaeth, just disappeared without a trace after the 3rd or 4th game.

Without reviewing the game film as you have I really can't say, but, I'd like to see the packages the Steelers were using in games 1-4 in the red zone and then the packages in games 5-16 in the red zone; that would give us a bit of an answeer to this question.