A Noticeable Loss nobody is mentioning
Pretty well documented that Hines Ward was a good if not exceptional blocker. Our current crop of WRs don't seem to be getting the job done either on designed runs or on downfield blocking. Have you seen Wallace or Brown throw a jaw-breaking block on a LBer? I haven't. Why can't the Steelers seem to be able to run sweeps with the speed of Rainey?
I don't think our lack of yardage on the ground right now has anything to do with WR blocking and everything to do with Redman being pedestrian and Dwyer not really getting enough looks. We need Mendenhall. Hines had lost a few steps and while i loved the guy and he's very clearly forever a Steeler I'd much rather have ANY of the other guys we have on the field over Hines.
I will agree that Redman and Dwyer have missed some holes that were there. But it's not like Mendenhall has the greatest vision at the line either. Hopefully he will follow the FB that the Steelers seem to be using on a more regular basis. But I hope there is no mass hysteria if Mendenhall averages a pedestrian 2.5 yds/att next game.
Originally Posted by Snatch98
Is it possible people are starting to see the value of Mendenhall a bit now? Redman is an average RB, with really no upside to feel overly confident he'll ever reach. He is what he is, and will never really be more than that.
Dwyer looks promising, but there seems to be some equally bad runs to go with his good ones. There is 'something' there, but with RB's having a very limited shelf life, and this being season 3 for Dwyer- starting to wonder if we'll ever see that talent materialise.
Baron Batch looks equally average. Maybe it's the coming back from the knee thing. Maybe it's just that he's a 7th round draft pick for a reason.
Rainey could be an effective RB if there was something resembling run blocking going on in Pittsburgh. Right now, not convinced we see that mythical beast in action ever. Starting to wonder if on our sweep plays the Steelers might be best served sending not only the pulling OG but the TE too.
It would be reminise (spell check) of Chadman to overlook the run blocking & their responsibility in the running games failure. Colon is struggling. Foster is struggling. Gilbert is struggling. Pouncey doesn't look overly dominant. Starks looks OK. Maybe adding DeCastro fixes everything & we turn from below average...or just plain bad... to All-Pro with his addition. There's a whole lot of beef on that OL. You would think they could simply stumble forward & create a hole. Apparently that is beyond this group as well.
For all his apparent faults, Mendenhall finds holes better than Dwyer, and makes something of the hole better than Redman through his speed. Steelers have missed him.
Hopefully Haley can use Mendy's hands too, and have him catching passes out of the backfield & putting him in space.
Schiavone's Race Career:
I don't think that the problem in the running game is the lack of WR blocking. A WR block will turn a 10 yard run into a 35 yarder. It won't turn a -5 into anything more.
Agreed 99.9% of the time. I think it was Noll that used to preach WR blocking was the difference between short gains and TDs or something along those line? The .01% of the time, I've seen Hines throw a few blocks on DEs to just help get the RB past the LOS.
Originally Posted by steeler_fan_in_t.o.
Fixed that for you.
Originally Posted by Snatch98
Yeah, I never thought I'd say this, but I think Mendenhall returning should help the Steelers run game. Redman is fine as a complimentary player, but doesn't seem to have the talent to get it done as the full time back.
During all the hoopla about the signing of Wallace I was looking at stats to compare him to the other top WR's. I stumbled on a site called advancedstats.com that went into depth on these WR's.
They had a stat that kept track of the % of completions to how many times a WR was targeted. This seemed like a meaningful stat to me. I really was surprised when I saw that Hines Ward was always at or near the top in this category. He was #2 at a 70% targeted completion rate his last year.
Frankly, I really figured the Steelers had phased Ward out really good, but then I did start worrying that maybe his leaving would affect the 3rd down completions of the Steelers. Obviously it has not.
Chadman has made some of casual fans [me for one] take off the rose colored glasses and dreams of a devastating two or three pronged unstoppable running attack with the group available. Obviously that did not happen either. Mendy certainly should help. Sometimes it just takes something like that split second quickness over the others he has that makes a huge difference. The glasses are back on.
As far as Hines blocking goes enough posts have covered that.
Hall of Famer
I really don't see Mendy helping the running game. Mendy can be a great runner if there are holes or cutback lanes but like most runners he is bad if we can't open even a crease. It seems like most plays at least one or two lineman get pushed into the backfield and then guys come from the outside and make the tackle from behind.
You could have Jim Brown in his prime running behind this line and he wouldn't get very many yards. I was really hopeful that this year would be different ... and it may if the lineman can form some sort of chemistry as time goes on.
or maybe this loss is the one causing us problems?
Are the Steelers missing their leaders?
October, 3, 2012
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
The Steelers have struggled on the road this season and won their only home game with ease. Pittsburgh safety Troy Polamalu noted that this is different from the 2005 team, which thrived on playing away from home by taking the "11 guys against everyone else" mindset.
Why doesn't this Steelers team have that personality? "We don't have Hines [Ward], we don't have James Farrior, we don't have Aaron Smith," Polamalu told 105.9 the X in Pittsburgh. "That's the core leadership that we've had since I've been here."
In my assessment, the Steelers aren't missing their leaders. They're missing their playmakers.
When Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison played in the same game, the Steelers are 23-7 (.766) since the start of the 2009 season. When one is sidelined or both are out, Pittsburgh is 11-10 (.523). Not surprisingly, Pittsburgh is better when the two former NFL Defensive Players of the Year are on the field together.
Asked about the impact of the return of himself and Harrison, Polamalu told the radio station: "I don't know. We'll see. There's some other new faces who have become permanent starters. So it's all about how all 11 players can mesh together."