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Thread: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

  1. #1
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    Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    One of the best assessments of Ben that I've ever read.


    Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win
    By Greg Cosell - SportingNews


    "The best unit in the NFL is the Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense. It includes a base 3-4 front that smothers the run game in normal and distance situations. Then, in long yardage, it morphs into a 2-4-5 personnel package that often bewilders both pass protection schemes and quarterbacks.

    Dick LeBeau is the NFL’s best defensive coordinator when it comes to pressuring quarterbacks without compromising coverage. That’s the underlying foundation of LeBeau’s blitz concepts—attack the quarterback while playing safe but sophisticated zone coverage schemes to avoid giving up big plays. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen the Steelers rush only four against six- and seven-man protections, yet one of those four rushers gets in clean, with no one accounting for him.

    It’s the fastest, most explosive group in the league, capable of breaking down offenses with both scheme and individual dominance. An example: James Harrison beating Patriots** LT Matt Light on consecutive second-half possessions three weeks ago, each time sacking QB Matt Cassel and forcing a fumble.

    The bottom line is that the Steelers have allowed the fewest points in the NFL, less than 14 per game. The beneficiary of this dominant defense is Ben Roethlisberger, one of the most frustrating quarterbacks to evaluate on film. His inconsistency drives me crazy, particularly since his physical gifts are so special. He’s a power thrower with a strong arm who can expand the field vertically, but he can also deliver with touch in the shorter-to-intermediate areas.

    I really struggle with Roethlisberger’s maddening tendency to play sandlot football. After five years in the NFL, he still is not comfortable in the pocket. When the coverage dictates the throw before the snap, Roethlisberger can look very good, delivering with rhythm, timing and accuracy. When the throw is not evident right away, his predisposition is to rely purely on instincts, not a refined sense of reading progressions.

    And that leads to a problem I see with Roethlisberger when I study him. He struggles with blitz recognition before the snap. Every blitz, no matter how well disguised, has a pre-snap indicator, and Roethlisberger too often fails to identify those keys.

    As a result, Roethlisberger does not handle pressure well, both mentally and physically. He doesn’t recognize it; therefore, he doesn’t react to it with controlled, decisive responses. He’s apt to be a little frantic and hyperactive. He’s reactive rather than proactive, and that just reinforces his sandlot tendencies.

    However, there are times Roethlisberger executes efficiently against pressure. Last week, in the big road win over the Ravens, he took another step in his development. On the second play of the game-winning drive in the fourth quarter, Baltimore blitzed. Roethlisberger read it, and he threw a 13-yard pass to Hines Ward. The Ravens then backed off, often rushing only three and playing soft zone coverages. It was pitch and catch for Big Ben on a beautifully orchestrated, 12-play touchdown drive.

    Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

    But there are instances when that schoolyard inclination produces big plays at critical moments. Remember the Sunday night game against Jacksonville in early October? An 18-yard pass to Ward on the game-winning touchdown drive was classic Roethlisberger: He was frenetic in his drop, never really setting his feet. Then he left the pocket for no reason and stepped up into pressure. Finally, he used his incredible strength and downfield vision to make an unbelievable throw with a defender hanging off him. One play encapsulated the bad and the good of Big Ben.

    Better than any other quarterback, Roethlisberger maintains downfield clarity while he’s on the move. Most quarterbacks, when they leave the pocket, do not have the same vision as they do when they are standing in a secure cradle. On the run, they tend to throw the ball short, usually within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Not Roethlisberger. He makes outstanding intermediate and deep throws when he leaves the pocket.

    Roethlisberger makes so many good plays outside the offensive framework that you tend to lose sight of how many plays he leaves on the field. Misreads of coverages before the snap, leaving the pocket when there’s no pressure, breaking down the rhythm and continuity of the passing game—it’s a constant balancing act with one of the most gifted quarterbacks in the league.

    Think of the victory over the Patriots** at the end of November. Roethlisberger played an outstanding game. He was poised, disciplined and decisive. He threw with timing, anticipation and accuracy. It was a four-quarter performance, not a series of individual snapshots. I would like to see more complete games like that.

    Roethlisberger remains an instinctive, intuitive playmaker much more than a refined, precision passer who dissects defenses with consistent execution. He’s a quarterback capable of spectacular individual moments. But part of the Big Ben package is erratic, variable play that can be exasperating to watch.

    Improvisation, by definition, is unpredictable and random, and therefore risky. It is not always a positive. Yet, there are very few times Roethlisberger’s uneven play hurts the Steelers on the scoreboard, because their defense keeps every game close enough that Roethlisberger’s numerous flashes of brilliance often make a difference."

    Greg Cosell of NFL Films analyzes coaching tape and is executive producer of State Farm NFL Matchup. He is a frequent contributor to Sporting News.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

  2. #2
    TonyRomo
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler Shades
    One of the best assessments of Ben that I've ever read.



    Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

    .
    Maybe that has something to do with 150 sacks in 3 years eh?
    He isn't Montana. But Montana never got Pressured like BigBen. I saw it
    in the Dallas Game and the Jaguars game on the MNF game. He just
    doesn't have adequate protection. Most outside of Pittsburgh can see that.
    Except this writer of course.

  3. #3
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler Shades
    One of the best assessments of Ben that I've ever read.


    Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

    .
    Maybe that has something to do with 150 sacks in 3 years eh?
    He isn't Montana. But Montana never got Pressured like BigBen. I saw it
    in the Dallas Game and the Jaguars game on the MNF game. He just
    doesn't have adequate protection. Most outside of Pittsburgh can see that.
    Except this writer of course.
    What came first the chicken or the egg? Why does Ben have 150 sacks in three years? Are ALL of those 150 sacks because of a "lack of protection" or are ANY of them for other reasons? Do you remember when Ben was a "patient pocket passer? Which year was that?
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

  4. #4
    TonyRomo
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    [quote=Steeler Shades]
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    Quote Originally Posted by "Steeler Shades":2fs8l2te
    One of the best assessments of Ben that I've ever read.


    Yet, when I analyze Roethlisberger’s overall body of work, I do not see a patient pocket quarterback. He often moves when he does not need to, when he’s not being pressured. He has a very quick clock in his head, with a penchant for hurrying himself and playing a little fast and undisciplined.

    .
    Maybe that has something to do with 150 sacks in 3 years eh?
    He isn't Montana. But Montana never got Pressured like BigBen. I saw it
    in the Dallas Game and the Jaguars game on the MNF game. He just
    doesn't have adequate protection. Most outside of Pittsburgh can see that.
    Except this writer of course.
    What came first the chicken or the egg? Why does Ben have 150 sacks in three years? Are ALL of those 150 sacks because of a "lack of protection" or are ANY of them for other reasons? Do you remember when Ben was a "patient pocket passer? Which year was that? [/quote:2fs8l2te]

    In 2007, Tom brady had the highest Passer rating in the league when facing the blitz.

    #2 was Your idiot Quarterback with a 118 passer rating against the blitz.

  5. #5
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    Quote Originally Posted by Steeler Shades
    What came first the chicken or the egg? Why does Ben have 150 sacks in three years? Are ALL of those 150 sacks because of a "lack of protection" or are ANY of them for other reasons? Do you remember when Ben was a "patient pocket passer? Which year was that?
    In 2007, Tom brady had the highest Passer rating in the league when facing the blitz.

    #2 was Your idiot Quarterback with a 118 passer rating against the blitz.
    Which of the above questions were you addressing?
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

  6. #6
    TonyRomo
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    [quote=Steeler Shades]
    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    Quote Originally Posted by "Steeler Shades":15sxa4aw
    What came first the chicken or the egg? Why does Ben have 150 sacks in three years? Are ALL of those 150 sacks because of a "lack of protection" or are ANY of them for other reasons? Do you remember when Ben was a "patient pocket passer? Which year was that?
    In 2007, Tom brady had the highest Passer rating in the league when facing the blitz.

    #2 was Your idiot Quarterback with a 118 passer rating against the blitz.
    Which of the above questions were you addressing? [/quote:15sxa4aw]

    Considering your decline in your running game. I think Willie per carry stats go down every year. I would think your line sux. You can see that if you just watch the games.

  7. #7
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    You can see that if you just watch the games.
    Nice try troll. Good-bye, I am not playing with you.
    Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity

  8. #8
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    I hate to agree, but I think Homo is right. The above assessment holds primarily true for most of this year and not in any of Roethlisberger's other seasons outside of maybe '06. It seems to me that the cumulative pounding he takes in the pocket has made him a little skittish back there at times. There's no way anyone would have said that about him last year until the last few games (when Parker was hurt) and certainly not in his first couple of seasons when the guy routinely made plays out of the pocket, escaping from the rush. I think he is starting to adjust to the pressure better by getting the ball out quicker as well as making some plays with his legs. There's still some happy feet at times or feeling the phantom rush, but overall, I'd say Roethlisberger is far less frenetic now than this writer paints him to be.


  9. #9
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyRomo
    #2 was Your idiot Quarterback with a 118 passer rating against the blitz.
    I am getting confused. Are you talking about the idiot quarterback that has this?



    Or the idiot quarterback that did this?



    Or possibly the idiot quarterback that threw an interception to this guy?




  10. #10
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    Re: Steelers’ defense puts Big Ben in position to win

    Honestly,

    I will always admit that I'm a little hard on Ben due to my high expectations but I agree 110% of that assessment of Ben. I believe its abosolutely RIGHT ON and that's why the past several weeks frustrate me so much when watching the offense.

    I really enjoy watching our defense, but I will admit that watching our offense isn't just boring, but its FREAKIN' painful. The blocking still isn't very good, there's penalties and turnovers at are not necessary and "drive killers", and the play calling just isn't good. Oh, and when the play calling IS GOOD then Ben misses a lot of his reads and gets sacked because of it.

    What I fear the most is that we DON'T win the SB this year because I think our defense is that good and deserves it. If our offense was just consistently "average" then I think we'll win the whole thing and get our 6th ring. I really don't think our offense is average though. We have well above average as far as talent goes, but we're playing well below average offensively IMO. We've played poorly on offense against the ravens, cowboys, and patriots. Even though we put up 31 points against the patriots most of those came off of turnovers with EXCELLENT field position. When we had a make a drive over 50+ yards, our offense couldn't do it. And don't get me started on the running game either ......

    Think about it... all those years and people say it all the time... come playoff time you have to stop the run and run the ball to be a true playoff contender. We can stop the run obviously, but we surely can't run the ball consistently. Heck, I would give this a free pass if we were able to throw the ball but we can't do that either ...
    Tomlin: Let's unleash hell and "mop the floor" with the competition.

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