Steelers offense will determine how deep they go into January
Robinson: Steelers offense will determine how deep they go into January
By Alan Robinson
Published: Saturday, July 20, 2013
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley talk during minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
Some deep thoughts on the Steelers offense.
If numbers indeed do not lie, offensive coordinator Todd Haley's effect on Ben Roethlisberger and the way he plays was significant during their first season together. Year 2 starts Friday in Latrobe.
According to Pro Football Focus, which analyzes every play of every NFL game, Roethlisberger attempted 47 passes of 20 yards or longer last season, completing 11 for 422 yards, five touchdowns and four interceptions. Four passes were dropped.
Those 47 attempts are approximately one-third fewer than the 68 deep passes Roethlisberger attempted during a 12-4 season under former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in 2011. Roethlisberger completed 21 of those for 729 yards, six touchdowns and five interceptions. Two were dropped.
That's a significant falloff from 21 deep passes completed in 2011 to 11 last season, even as Roethlisberger fell only three places — from 26th to 29th — in leaguewide deep passing statistics. Among the quarterbacks who ranked higher than Roethlisberger in completing the deep throw were Mark Sanchez, Nick Foles and Michael Vick. Roethlisberger barely finished ahead of Brandon Weeden and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
What's intriguing is that during the Steelers' most recent non-playoff season before last year, in 2009, Roethlisberger was No. 2 in deep passing, completing 30 of 69 attempts — with seven passes dropped — for 1,028 yards, nine touchdowns and six interceptions. That's when Big Ben was truly big-play Ben.
In just three seasons, Roethlisberger has gone from completing 30 passes of 20 yards or longer to only 11.
During the Steelers' last Super Bowl season in 2010, Roethlisberger was No. 7 in deep passing, going 22 of 54 for 725 yards and four touchdowns.
The numbers support all the speculation before and during the season that Haley would dial back on the deep throws and call more high-percentage pass plays designed to keep the chains moving and Roethlisberger from absorbing the punishment that can occur as he attempts to find the time to go downfield.
Haley tinkered with the offense during the offseason — all coordinators do — but Roethlisberger didn't say if he lobbied for more deep throws, something he commonly did with Arians.
“We're going to have to wait and see what happens in Game No. 1,” Roethlisberger said. “I don't want to unveil any secrets yet.”
Among the other measurable quarterback statistics, Roethlisberger — at age 30, and in his ninth NFL season — ranked much higher. He was third in passing accuracy while under pressure (71.1 percent completion rate) and seventh in overall accuracy (75.8 percent) when dropped passes, intentional throwaways and spikes were discarded.
He is the ninth slowest quarterback in getting rid of the ball (2.88 seconds), but that time-in-the-pocket number could be as much the result of his inconsistent pass protection as it is his delivery. Aaron Rodgers and Andrew Luck were even slower than Roethlisberger, barely ranking ahead of read-option quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III and Cam Newton.
With training camp about to start amid speculation how much the loss of James Harrison and Mike Wallace will affect the Steelers, some other interesting numbers:
• Wallace finished only 58th in wide receiver rating, which factors in the number of times a receiver is targeted and the yards he produces. Wallace was targeted 116 times, catching 64 passes for 838 yards. Five passes intended for him were intercepted.
• Factoring in sacks, hits and quarterback hurries, Harrison applied pressure on about 10 percent of his pass rushes. For comparison's sack, LaMarr Woodley had 26 pressures on 234 pass rushes. Harrison rushed on 294 snaps to Woodley's 235.
• Keenan Lewis, now with the Saints, ranked 20th among NFL cornerbacks in stopping the run, something that is overlooked at a position where defenders who can't stop the pass don't last long in the league.
2009 was also the last year Santonio Holmes was on the team. Say what you will about the guy's character (and it is quite lacking), but when he was a Steeler he made the hard catches. Meanwhile, you put a ball right onto the hands of the Loose Change Gang, it's still 50/50 they would drop it.
Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel
In 2009 I remember Santonio Holmes killing a promising drive with a drop on third down against the Bears. The catch would have moved the chains and put the Steelers in pretty easy FG range at the very least. They ended up losing that game by a FG.
Originally Posted by Captain QB
The very next week I remember Holmes failing to run his "hot" route against the Bengals. Roethlisberger correctly detected the the blitz and immediately threw the ball to where Holmes was supposed to be, but the only person there was Johnanthan Joseph, who intercepted the ball and returned it for a TD in a game the Steelers lost by three.
Let's not romanticize Santonio Holmes too much. He's had one entire 1,000-yard receiving season in his career, and he's never even led the Jets in receiving yards in a season. As far as I'm concerned, Holmes is like Larry Brown, Desmond Howard and Dexter Jackson: Super Bowl MVPs whose larger bodies of work have been unexceptional.
Pittsburgh, PA: City of Champions.
It will be up to the defense to determine if the team can make it to Jan. if the offense doesn't step up the point production.
he did pretty much lead the jets to the playoffs his 1st year there. made like 3-4 game winning catches
Originally Posted by DBR96A
In that case, the offense needs to stop worrying about being the defense's nanny with time of possession. I'd rather see them score more points than try to turn every drive into some 10 minute long grind.
Originally Posted by BURGH86STEEL
Dwyer Fires Back Over Story He May Not Make The Team In 2013
July 22nd, 2013 Matt Loede
Earlier today we posted a story about the tidbit that Steelers Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette had in his Sunday notes, about back Jonathan Dwyer, and how he might just have a hard time making the roster.
Here’s what Bouchette said.
Injuries contributed to the poor showing by the runners last season. Even though he led them, Dwyer is no lock to make the roster. Bell could claim the starting job before camp is out with his main competition Isaac Redman. Baron Batch and Stephens-Howling are candidates on third downs.
Well, seems that word must have gotten back to Dwyer about the two sentences, as this evening he fired off a tweet, designed to show how fired up he was about 2013 – and about one person he wants to prove wrong.
I'm sooo ready for camp I'm prepared and excited to prove ppl wrong especially @EdBouchette
— Jonathan Dwyer (@JDwyer27) July 22, 2013
It’s good to see that Dwyer took the high road in the tweet, and didn’t just jump on Bouchette, taking a shot at him for what at the end of the day could be the truth.
Let’s be real, if Dwyer would have gotten the job done last season, there would be no reason for Ed to put the piece in the story at all.
For now, it’s all systems go for Dwyer, and with players reporting to camp in four days, let’s see if the back comes in and proves those that think he won’t be around in 2013 wrong.