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Finnegans Wake
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« on: Sep 21, 2007 at 08:35 »

Frankly, I find it odd that they didn't run things this way under Chin.

On the long pass to Holmes versus Buffalo that didn't work, there are two things to note.  First, Leonhard didn't bite, probably having just seen the play from the Browns game tape.  My suggestion to BA is to simply vary it up some, bring out some new deep play THE VERY NEXT WEEK.  I really like BA's playcalling, but surely he has more than one deep play.  

The second issue is that Ben underthrew that ball by 5-7 yards.  He gets more under that and Holmes goes in a second straight week.  Yes, the converage was better, but they weren't exactly blanketing Holmes.  SH had to slow down to try to make the play, but that wasn't happening.  Hate to say it, but Brady makes that throw a la the pass to Moss.  Not that Ben can't do it, just that he didn't.  

So for me, 50/50 on BA and Ben.

Otherwise, I like the modus operandi of Tomlin and the staff, and I think eventually we'll get it all together.  When that happens, watch out.

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« Reply #1 on: Sep 21, 2007 at 08:44 »

On both occasions, the Steelers broke the huddle determined to go to Holmes rather than to read the defense and react accordingly.

Ward, in his 10th season with the Steelers, can't remember a time when they were permitted to commit themselves in such a manner.

"No," he said. "I was wondering why (Roethlisberger) even threw that pass to Santonio, but that was Bruce. He wanted to take a shot, and he thought the safety was going to bite up on me and he said 'I want you to just throw it.' "

Arians took responsibility for the interception against Buffalo but said it won't alter his approach.

Does this part seem stupid to anyone else? I'm a big fan of taking what the defense gives you when it makes sense (i.e. - when you're not down by 3 TDs entering the 4th quarter). Seems dumb to me to stubbornly do something even though the D is set up to stop it. Imagine the NE game. We'll call a deep pass. Belechick will know that Arians won't alter the play. When he gets the information from his "scouting" department, he'll trot out 11 DBs and just guard the deep ball. Won't change to a run or underneath pass because Arians want's to take his chances deep.

I don't mind the 4-5 deep passes every game, but they should try to take them when the defense allows, not just to meet the number.

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« Reply #2 on: Sep 21, 2007 at 08:53 »

Any other situation that play probably works.  But everyone on earth knows the PS goes for the homerun shot right after midfield turnovers.  Every single time.  Buff just turned it over on downs around the PS 40.  On the replay from behind Ben, you see the safety in backpeddle at the snap.  Didn't react whatsoever to the playaction or the pumpfake, just keep dropping down the center of the field.  He was looking for that play all the way in that situation.

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« Reply #3 on: Sep 21, 2007 at 08:54 »

I would argue that it's not stupid.

I agree with Finny that Ben underthrew that ball and a deeper throw would have given Holmes a competitive shot. (I think in fact that Ben has been underthrowing deep balls all preseason and so far this season -- don't know what that's about.)

But some passing plays -- not all, probably not many -- you like to keep simple.

Also - some play calls are to set things up later. That particular play put the Bills in a bit of a difficult position -- you had two receivers, one cutting underneath (Ward), one threatening for six (Holmes) who had beaten their men, and the safety had to choose where to help.

So maybe the first time you run that type of play against the defense the Bills put out there, you throw to Holmes IN SPITE of the safety choosing to help Holmes. It's kind of the "mad man" theory -- now when that configuration presents itself again, the safety is going to concede the underneath cut and jump the post.

Just guessin'.
« Last Edit: Sep 21, 2007 at 08:55 by Hercules50 » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: Sep 21, 2007 at 14:43 »

The additional meetings weren't popular initially, but they're being embraced heading into Sunday's game against San Francisco.

"At first guys were griping about it," Ward said. "But right now we're 2-0. There's nothing to complain about."

Playing Cleveland and Buffalo in the first two and coming away with "W's" in each is making Tomlin & Co.'s indoctrination a lot easier.

Imagine the questions and internal strife this team would be dealing with if they were 0-2 right now.
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« Reply #5 on: Sep 22, 2007 at 06:23 »


Also - some play calls are to set things up later.

This is just a case of stretching the defense. Yeah, you run the risk of an INT that is deep in the opponents' end, but, god help them if they had gotten caught with 8 men in the box.

Keeping that safety back there means that we can run the ball easier.  Other than the underthrow, the explanation of why we did that makes me completely satisfied.
Before, I thought that Ben hadn't been able to read that play.

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« Reply #6 on: Sep 23, 2007 at 01:40 »

I had no problems with the play, and have even less now that I know BA told BR to throw it no matter what. I agree it was slightly underthrown and SH had both of them beat. Good sign for our resident deep threat. But it ended up being basically a punt. I like the fact that defenses have to worry about us going over the top. More room for FWP. I don't expect the honeymoon to last forever but I'm really, really liking Tomlin and the rest of the coaching staff so far.
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« Reply #7 on: Sep 23, 2007 at 08:04 »

The play is "OK" because we won and won by a wide margin.  

The second guessing comes if we lose by three points.  

I can rationalize the INT, saying it didn't matter in the whole scheme of things, that BA is trying to stretch the defense to set up something later in the game, or the INT was so far downfield that it was no different than if the Steelers had punted it.  We won, and by a wide margin, so who cares about that INT?

At the same time, there are scenarios and teams against which it's a killer.  

I hated the INT, as I do all INTs, but didn't find myself irked by the playcall.  The Bills were a crappy team (no offense to our resident Bills fan) and there was not going to be much of a hole to dig ourselves out of that day, no matter how deep we attempted to dig.

Words to live by:  "Dick LeBeau is Dick LeBeau," Tomlin said. "Everybody knows Dick."
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