When the Steelers finish a season like we witnessed and the disappointment that comes with, it is bound to raise questions why, and how can the team improve. Many of us are searching for the right answers and sometimes negative remarks come into play, but thats par for the course when things don't turn out like you expect.
I would like to take a shot on a positive note from this season, and apply it as a foundation as we enter the 2013 season, there was some good things we did on the offense side of the ball before all the injuries.
1. Heath Miller was more involved in Haley's offense, utilizing his pass catching skills to the point where he was the second best in receiving yards. Early on he wan't used as much but near mid season and on he became quite a threat to balance out the offense.
Utilizing the TE makes sense, too often in the past the Steelers used their TE's for blocking, but with Heath he is good doing both so looking ahead getting the TE involved is another weapon in the arsenal they can use.
2. T.O.P. Anytime you incorporate a new system some growing pains come with it however when this offense started to click we were one of the leaders in the NFL in that period of Time Of Possesion, moving the chains and keeping our defense off the field and fresh
3. Big Ben took less sacks in this ball control type of offense than in past years, until the offensive line broke down on account of injuries.
4. Ben at a point was leading the league in third down percentage completions, and having one of his best years under this offense. If the line was able to stay injury free, the outcome of this season could of been different.
5. With the short to medium pass plays, Ben was able to release the ball sooner avoiding sacks and the O-line didn't have to sustain blocks as long. Certain issues occured like the o-line injuries, receivers dropping the ball and lack of a good run game hurt the progress. With a healthy Oline and run game this offense may be good, the receivers will grow from this and I expect them to be better in the second year.
6. Our Run game had a rough start and it continued but there was a few game where we had back to back 100 yrd. performances by our backs so it can work with a healthy O-line and a possible addition to our RB core. The only thought I had was if it would be better utilizing a feature back more instead of the two and three back system. It can work either way I guess when you have your starting offensive line healthy, New England uses two different backs in their system.
Note: Our backs had injuries too during the course of the season, first it was Redman, then Dwyer, not playing at 100% could have an effect on any offense.
There is work to do no doubt, but it would be nice to see a healthy O-line for a change in 2013 and Hopefully we get a back in the draft to be an addition to the offense. A second year in it might make a world of difference as everyone is on the same page of what to do.
I think our organization will do everything in its power to regain a good football team that can make a run, the coaches are well aware of this season and expect them to do more on their part too. The Fans? They are just disappointed, feeling this steeler team has the talent still to be a good team but it just didn't happen for us this year. Fans will moan and grown for awhile, but it will go away as the new season approaches, and they see a Steelers team with focus and as always the goal to win it all.
Good Luck Pittsburgh,