I saw this article on the team page at nfl.com. This is of course a topic that has really been talked about a lot this off season but there were some surprising facts thrown in that might be of interest to some fans. I especially liked the one about Mr. [not quite as accurate as Kordell Stewart]'s team leading the league in RZ scoring.
Pittsburgh Steelers could use red-zone makeover
- By Dan Hanzus
- Published: July 8, 2012 at 08:28 p.m.
- Updated: July 9, 2012 at 02:14 p.m.
The [URL="http://www.nfl.com/teams/pittsburghsteelers/profile?team=PIT"]Pittsburgh Steelers[/URL] have great tools on offense. It's the execution that wasn't always stellar in 2011.
In an NFL season defined by explosive offensive production, the Steelers were merely adequate, averaging 20.3 points per game (21st in the league) and scoring more than 30 points on just three occasions.
This can be explained, at least partly, by struggles in the red zone. As Jamison Hensley at [URL="http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/50577/line-can-improve-steelers-in-red-zone"]ESPN's AFC North blog[/URL] points out, Pittsburgh ranked 18th in red-zone efficiency last season. The Steelers recorded 27 touchdowns on 53 red-zone possessions, a 50.9 percent success rate. With talented players like [URL="http://www.nfl.com/players/benroethlisberger/profile?id=ROE750381"]Ben Roethlisberger[/URL], Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and [URL="http://www.nfl.com/players/rashardmendenhall/profile?id=MEN393702"]Rashard Mendenhall[/URL], that wasn't nearly good enough.
Cosell: Big Ben's evolution
From a sandlot QB to an intuitive field general, Ben Roethlisberger has come a long way, Greg Cosell says. [URL="http://nflfilms.nfl.com/2012/06/19/cosell-talks-the-ever-improving-ben-roethlisberger/"]More ...[/URL]
Improved play from Roethlisberger inside the 20 would help. Last season, the quarterback's completion percentage dropped nearly 15 percentage points once he got inside the 20 (64.7 to 50). Roethlisberger was sacked 22 times in the red zone, second-most in the NFL. The Steelers are counting on a revamped offensive line to help matters in this department.
It's worth noting some oddities in the above statistics as well. The Jets -- 8-8 last season and nobody's example of an offense to envy -- led the league in red-zone efficiency at 65.5 percent. And the man who took the most red-zone sacks in 2011? [URL="http://www.nfl.com/players/aaronrodgers/profile?id=ROD339293"]Aaron Rodgers[/URL], who might have produced the greatest season ever for a quarterback.
What does it mean? We're not entirely sure, but perhaps new Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley has a theory of his own. We know he won't be afraid to share it.
----Usually, I have been ragging on that site, but I must admit that the Steeler team pages are really loaded with a compilation of informative articles. Plus the site now seems to have added dozens of newer writers and it is not such a bad idea to see how some outsiders view the home club.