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Thread: Is TE Our Biggest Offensive Problem?

  1. #1
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    Is TE Our Biggest Offensive Problem?

    I've been convinced forever that a TE can make or break an offense. And it's been a little maddening as a Steelers fan until we finally draft Eric Green and then many years later Heath Miller.

    A TE is the most versatile athlete in the offensive repertoire. They can block inline and help the running game. The can pull LBs and Ss out of the box to help the running game. The can open up the vertical passing game on the outside by controlling the middle of the field. They can be used as a lead blocker. They can provide extra protection on long passing downs in the backfield. They can be the ultimate safety valve for a QB to keep the chains moving. And Heath Miller is truly one of the most well rounded TEs in the game. But I think the biggest reason this offense isn't clicking is Heath isn't 100%. He's a shell of his typical self.

    And not only is Heath's subpar play hurting this offense, but having no backup TEs that belong on an NFL roster are compounding the problem. We either have to use a guy that can't block who's relatively ineffective in the passing game. Or a lineman who can't do anything in the passing game and is a relatively ineffective blocker. Our #2 and #3 TE options are pathetic. Sometimes I think how good you are at running the football is really a reflection of how good your TE play is. And we're downright awful running the ball.

    I've been an advocate for drafting another top TE to pair with Heath for years. And I don't think the Steelers and their fans should discount how valuable having 2 premiere TEs can be for an offense. NE pretty much showed the NFL that having 2 guys like Gronk/Hernandez can make an offense virtually unstoppable. But the team that laid the blueprint for how effective an offense can be with 2 premiere TEs was our very own Steelers. Pairing Heath and Hines was like having the most dynamic TE duo in the league. I know Hines was a WR, but the way he was used in the offense wasn't all that different than the way many teams use their TE. WRs don't block DEs. And Hines did. Hines worked the middle of a zone better than any TE in the game and he blocked and sealed the edge better than 90% of the glorified receiving TEs.

    With Heath not fully healthy and Hines gone, we're a mess offensively. We're a mess in the running game. Our WRs on the outside are always struggling facing cover 2 most of the time. Nothing's working and Ben's gotta hold the ball even longer for guys to come open. And we can't block so he doesn't have the extra time. It's one giant disaster.

    The quickest path to fixing everything that ails this offense is a top TE. I hope the team finally figures this out and does the right thing and either drafts a top TE or goes out and gets one via FA. Although I'm not sure we can afford the latter. If we get a top TE and Heath returns to form next year, this offense could flip from one of the worst to one of the best. We'll be able to run the ball. We'll be able to block better and take pressure off the OLine and Ben. We'll be more effective passing. Ben will be more relaxed and take less hits. Heck, even Haley should be able to call some plays that don't make us all say WTF?

    Let's do this. We've needed to do this for a long time. It's finally time to do the right thing. Bring in a new shiny TE for this offense and watch it soar!!!!

  2. #2
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    Had a chance in the past draft for the best TE in the draft and passed for an OLB who has been benched. Hopefully that works out for us.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    I agree with most of what you've said. A good TE + guys like Brown, Wheaton and Moye could be very effective. But it still all revolves around a healthy line. For whatever reason, we can't keep a unit together for more than 1/2 a game it seems.

    It bothers me to no end watching Brady sit back in a comfortable pocket for the vast majority of the time. And then you watch the jailbreaks that we allow on a regular basis.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eich View Post
    I agree with most of what you've said. A good TE + guys like Brown, Wheaton and Moye could be very effective. But it still all revolves around a healthy line. For whatever reason, we can't keep a unit together for more than 1/2 a game it seems.

    It bothers me to no end watching Brady sit back in a comfortable pocket for the vast majority of the time. And then you watch the jailbreaks that we allow on a regular basis.
    It all starts with a solid OL. Need to fix that first.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    It all starts with a solid OL. Need to fix that first.
    And by most accounts, it seemed like we were headed in the right direction. Guys like Pouncey, DeCastro, Gilbert, Adams were drafted to make this a good, solid line for once. Who knew that Gilbert and DeCastro could do as much or more damage to our line than the opposing defenses would.

  6. #6
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    It is one piece to the puzzle. The OL needs to get better as a group within & stay healthy. They more than likely will have to take a LT in the Top 5-10. The offense needs another TE & a #1 mold WR. I think that will piece the O together nicely for the last run with BB providing they get a new OC & OL coach.



  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    Had a chance in the past draft for the best TE in the draft and passed for an OLB who has been benched. Hopefully that works out for us.

    Yeah Eifert is really lighting it up for those Bengals. He is averaging 3 catches for 34 yards per game. He has one TD on the year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JUST-PLAIN-NASTY View Post
    It is one piece to the puzzle. The OL needs to get better as a group within & stay healthy. They more than likely will have to take a LT in the Top 5-10. The offense needs another TE & a #1 mold WR. I think that will piece the O together nicely for the last run with BB providing they get a new OC & OL coach.
    I know we could use some linemen and a big WR. Just saying, I think a great TE could cover up for those other deficiencies until we can fix them.

  9. #9
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    run blocking and pass blocking are our biggest weaknesses.

    Every one screamed about Eifert but he isn't really doing much this year as a #2. Not sure we would have seen much of an impact with him on our roster and I believe there is an Eifert in every draft.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn View Post
    Yeah Eifert is really lighting it up for those Bengals. He is averaging 3 catches for 34 yards per game. He has one TD on the year.

    Yea, he also is the #2 TE with most TE targets going to Jermaine Gresham...one of the best young TEs in the NFL.

    With us he probably would have gotten targeted more because Heath was out for an extended period of time. However, his 3 catches per game is still light years ahead of the production we have gotten out of J. Jones plus Eifert would have been in the system and ready to step in when an aging Heath Miller moves on.

    But hey, we gave LeBeau another toy to put on the shelf and look at for the season.
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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