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Thread: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

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    Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution
    Friday, November 20, 2009
    By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09324/1014930-87.stm


    Bruce Arians, doesn't mind taking the heat


    Some days, you walk into Giant Eagle and want to shout to the world: "I'm here!" Other days ...

    "You wear a hat and sunglasses at night so no one recognizes you," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said, fairly giggling.

    It was a hat-and-sunglasses week for Arians.

    That's hardly surprising. The Steelers were beaten by the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday on a day when the Steelers' offense repeatedly got lost on its way to the end zone. Of course, it was Arians' fault, if you listen to the masses. Isn't it always?

    A few people blamed Ben Roethlisberger, but it's pretty hard to hold a grudge against one of the NFL's great quarterbacks and a two-time Super Bowl winner, to boot. A few more blamed kicker Jeff Reed, which is ridiculous. His lame effort to tackle the Bengals' Bernard Scott on Scott's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was pathetic, but he hardly was the reason the Steelers lost.

    That left Arians as the easy target. The animosity toward him always amazes me. I love the myopic fools who insist the Steelers never will win with him calling the plays. What's frightening is they truly seem to believe it. It's as if Super Bowl XLIII never happened.

    I know the argument to that. Please, hold the e-mails. The Steelers won despite Arians. They went 88 yards in the final 2 1/2 minutes to beat the Arizona Cardinals because Roethlisberger and the offense made great plays. That's how the Steelers always win, right? Yet, when the offense struggles in a loss, it's because of Arians' lousy play-calling. I must be really obtuse because I'll never figure that one out.

    "I'd rather have it that way," Arians said. "I'd rather have it on me than on our guys. I know Ben feels the same way. He's got big shoulders, too."

    Roethlisberger said again yesterday that he deserves much of the blame for the loss Sunday. I agree. Usually, he plays lights out, and his performance always has a lot more to do with the wins than Arians' play-calling. But Roethlisberger had an off day Sunday. It wasn't bad plays. It was bad execution. Big Ben and his offense were especially poor on third down and in the red zone. They were 3 for 15 on third downs, 0 for 7 in the second half. They had to settle for field goals on four drives despite having first downs on the Bengals' 15, 5, 8 and 11.

    "That was the frustrating part," Arians said. "The red-zone offense was a major point of emphasis all week. That's where we lost the first game in Cincinnati."

    Arians talked about at least three Roethlisberger passes that skipped off fingertips. "Probably the biggest one was to Santonio [Holmes]," Arians said.

    Late in the first half, Arians called the same play that won the Super Bowl. "Their guy got just enough of the ball to knock it out of whack," he said.

    Arians admitted the Steelers' pass-run ratio -- 41 pass plays (counting one Roethlisberger scramble) to 17 runs -- wasn't quite what he wanted. He blamed the third-down failures. "We didn't snap it enough. We should have easily been able to convert 50 percent of those third downs. Now, you're talking about maybe another 18 or 20 snaps. Instead of running the ball 18 times for a 4.4 [-yard] average, maybe you run it 28 times for 4.4."

    The Steelers tried their no-huddle offense three different times to get Roethlisberger into a rhythm. "It didn't work this time," Arians said. "It's not always the cure-all that everyone thinks."

    Roethlisberger calls the plays in the no-huddle, but Arians called the final four after the Steelers, trailing by 18-12, took over at their 33 with one timeout and 1:50 to play. Arians was widely criticized for having Roethlisberger throw deep on each down. Arians said there were plays there.

    Wide receiver Hines Ward was open over the middle near the 50 on first down, but Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson fought through running back Mewelde Moore's block and pulled on Roethlisberger's jersey as he threw, forcing an incompletion.

    Wide receiver Mike Wallace got behind the secondary on second down but was so far down the field that Roethlisberger couldn't heave the ball to him.

    The Bengals brought heavy pressure and made great plays to force incompletions on third and fourth down.

    "Very seldom," Arians said when asked if he second-guesses his play calls.

    "You always evaluate what you do. 'Was the game plan bad?' But if you put in the time and the preparation and you like the matchups, you don't look back. If you start thinking you should have called another play every time a play doesn't work, you might as well put a gun to your head."

    The good news for Roethlisberger and the offense is there's another game -- Sunday at Kansas City. "Ben bounces back," Arians said. "He takes it personally, like we all do. He can't wait to play the next one."

    Arians is the same way.

    "Man, I love calling the plays," he said.

    I'm thinking Roethlisberger is going to make Arians look pretty smart Sunday. Not that Arians' critics will give him any credit. Not that he cares.

    A win is enough for the man.

    That and being able to go to his Giant Eagle without his hat and sunglasses.


    Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this author
    First published on November 20, 2009 at 12:00 am


    Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09324/10 ... z0XXajpqFN

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  2. #2
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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Who's that guy talking to Ben? I can't tell. He's wearing a hat and sunglasses.


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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    It basically boils down to execution as I and a few others have tried to point out.
    It appears Tomlin agrees, "I believe the game is played between the white lines. Itís a technique-oriented game, an execution-oriented game. Although at times, information or the ability to gather information is helpful, I never think itís significant enough to determine the outcome of a game."

    The article sheds more light onto why they did not run the ball more often. Any how, there are so many factors that go into it besides just running the ball. Fans see the skewed numbers and reach a conclusion.

    They ran the no huddle 3 times. I did not realize that by simply watching the game. There is so much that the cameras do not shed light on. No huddle or huddle, I guess Ben was having a bad all around game. It happens. It was not the first time it won't be the last.

    I am with Cook on this one, "The Steelers won despite Arians. They went 88 yards in the final 2 1/2 minutes to beat the Arizona Cardinals because Roethlisberger and the offense made great plays. That's how the Steelers always win, right? Yet, when the offense struggles in a loss, it's because of Arians' lousy play-calling. I must be really obtuse because I'll never figure that one out."

    Players get all the glory when the win and Arians gets most of the blame when they lose. I will never figure that one out myself.

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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Not too long ago I sent an email to Cook praising him on an article. He responded with a kind "thanks" and a brief message.

    I sent him an email on this one yesterday morning...no response. I wasn't praising him though...go figure. *shrugs*

    Anyway, he's guilty of what the BA defenders here do...taking his POV of the other side to the extreme.

    That left Arians as the easy target. The animosity toward him always amazes me. I love the myopic fools who insist the Steelers never will win with him calling the plays. What's frightening is they truly seem to believe it. It's as if Super Bowl XLIII never happened.
    Most reasonable fans do not believe this. What they believe is that BA lacks something in the creativity and imagination department...and he has a tendency to want to stick to his game plan regardless of what the defense is dictating.

    I can play his game too...I love the myopic fools who can't see the flaws in BA's approach to game planning and play calling and instead insist it's all on the players.

    Btw, Tomlin's comments are what any NFL coach would say. Of course they'll never concede publicly that poor play calling or game planning cost them a game. The closest they'll come is "we had a game plan we believed would work". It's also worth noting that Tomlin's comments were in response to the "Are you paranoid there will be a guy in a hi-rise across the street with binoculars?" question. Of course he's going to give his team credit and say that no matter what someone sees if the team executes it won't matter. What's he supposed to say? "Yeah, that terrifies me because there's no question what kind of impact that could have on us".

    Child please.

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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Not too long ago I sent an email to Cook praising him on an article. He responded with a kind "thanks" and a brief message.

    I sent him an email on this one yesterday morning...no response. I wasn't praising him though...go figure. *shrugs*

    Anyway, he's guilty of what the BA defenders here do...taking his POV of the other side to the extreme.

    That left Arians as the easy target. The animosity toward him always amazes me. I love the myopic fools who insist the Steelers never will win with him calling the plays. What's frightening is they truly seem to believe it. It's as if Super Bowl XLIII never happened.
    Most reasonable fans do not believe this. What they believe is that BA lacks something in the creativity and imagination department...and he has a tendency to want to stick to his game plan regardless of what the defense is dictating.

    I can play his game too...I love the myopic fools who can't see the flaws in BA's approach to game planning and play calling and instead insist it's all on the players.

    Btw, Tomlin's comments are what any NFL coach would say. Of course they'll never concede publicly that poor play calling or game planning cost them a game. The closest they'll come is "we had a game plan we believed would work". It's also worth noting that Tomlin's comments were in response to the "Are you paranoid there will be a guy in a hi-rise across the street with binoculars?" question. Of course he's going to give his team credit and say that no matter what someone sees if the team executes it won't matter. What's he supposed to say? "Yeah, that terrifies me because there's no question what kind of impact that could have on us".

    Child please.
    Creativity and imagination do not win football games. Execution wins football games. Football is not rocket science or engineering.

    You don't know how often he sticks with the game plan. You don't know when it changes. Can you honestly sit here and say you know the game plan or when it changes? Child please.

    You can play the game but MOST of it is on the players. Coaching plays a small role in the grand scheme. No one is saying Arians is perfect. He has his flaws like every OC around the league. Show me a perfectly called game? All OC's make questionable decisions and calls. I don't think BA deserves the amount of criticism he has gotten. The organization knows it and that is why he still has a job.

    Tomlin is known as a straight shooter. Of course there can't be any truth to what Tomlin stated. But, we have the people that take what Arians had to say as gospel, go figure. You are one that loves the Tomlinisms. Why question that statement all of a sudden?

    Tomlin's comments are basically true. Coaches contribute but they don't play the games. The games are won inside the white lines by the players executing. When the players don't execute they lose.

  6. #6
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    So if BA called a run off of left tackle every play it's the team's fault if it doesn't work?

    Strategy plays just as big a part as execution.
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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Will the Arians bashing ever end? I guess anything to keep focus off of the real culprit, BR #7....

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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Is it really worth developing carpal tunnel to re-hash the same exact argument from the same exact posters on thread after thread after thread? We know where you all stand by now. Burgh86Steel leads the arguments for the execution side, and stlrz_d leads the arguments on the gameplan side. Others join in. Lather, rinse, repeat. But there is nothing new here that hasn't been discussed over and over already. No one is going to change their mind on the topic. We get it.

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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    In the article he said the loss was on Ben having a bad day. But read Ben's quote in the middle of the piece. Ben was clearly second guessing the play selection of 40-17 pass run ratio. When Ben is struggling we need Arians to step up with plays that will help him restore confidence. How do 4 deeps balls (which everyone knows Ben is not the best at) restore confidence?

    The lost can be very easily split between Ben and Arians. Neither one seemed to come up with a solution last Sunday.

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    Re: Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Not too long ago I sent an email to Cook praising him on an article. He responded with a kind "thanks" and a brief message.

    I sent him an email on this one yesterday morning...no response. I wasn't praising him though...go figure. *shrugs*

    Anyway, he's guilty of what the BA defenders here do...taking his POV of the other side to the extreme.

    That left Arians as the easy target. The animosity toward him always amazes me. I love the myopic fools who insist the Steelers never will win with him calling the plays. What's frightening is they truly seem to believe it. It's as if Super Bowl XLIII never happened.
    Most reasonable fans do not believe this. What they believe is that BA lacks something in the creativity and imagination department...and he has a tendency to want to stick to his game plan regardless of what the defense is dictating.

    I can play his game too...I love the myopic fools who can't see the flaws in BA's approach to game planning and play calling and instead insist it's all on the players.

    Btw, Tomlin's comments are what any NFL coach would say. Of course they'll never concede publicly that poor play calling or game planning cost them a game. The closest they'll come is "we had a game plan we believed would work". It's also worth noting that Tomlin's comments were in response to the "Are you paranoid there will be a guy in a hi-rise across the street with binoculars?" question. Of course he's going to give his team credit and say that no matter what someone sees if the team executes it won't matter. What's he supposed to say? "Yeah, that terrifies me because there's no question what kind of impact that could have on us".

    Child please.




    And not to mention how many forgot, our defense allowed the offense to join the ride to the Super Bowl. If we wouldn't of had a lights out defense last season, there would be no debate about Arians as a lack luster OC and he is a lack luster OC.
    I'm waiting to hear all the offers this genius gets this off season to be head coach with some other team.
    Heck, I'm waiting to hear his name ever come up as a possible canidate.

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