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Author Topic: Ward absence  (Read 1611 times)
oblongatta
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« on: Oct 01, 2007 at 17:03 »

I know I mentioned it in the other thread but I think it needs to be said in it's own thread because I think many Steelers fans take Ward for granted.

Ward's absence was a killer to the Steeler's offense.  This isn't to take away from complaints about the O-line or crticism of the play calling, because they're valid, but I think the Steelres win if they had Ward.

As bad as the O-line blocked for the running game yesterday, it was made even worse by horrible blocking on the corners and safties that were coming up to stop the run. Occasionally, Parker did make it outside past the defenders that were bleeding through the offensive line only to be met by corners and safeties that were completely unblocked. Besides being the best receiver, Holmes was the only WR who held a block.  You can't tell me that if Ward was in there he wouldn't nailed the safties once or twice.  Holt and Wilson had 5 and 4 tackles, many of runing plays.

Then there was the fact that Ben held on to the ball for what seemed like a long time. The reason that happened was because Wilson and Washington did shit out there. I think the loss of Ward hurt the offense much more than most people realize. I'm telling you, Ward is open on so many plays it's amazing they don't throw to him more.

Ried actually looked decent on his two catches and he wasn't in there all that much, but his blocking might have been the worst of the bunch.

At least we got to see that Holmes is good.
 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 01, 2007 at 17:48 »

I'll agree, but I do think that most of Parker's issues running were due to OL mismatches.  After all, games where Parker was shut down last year (e.g., Jax), we had Ward.  He can clear guys downfield, and help make sure his particular guy doesn't get to the LOS... but Parker was too often stopped at or before the LOS.  IMO, the rushing issues started before the Ward absence exacerbated them.

That said, if Parker could make the edge, that's where he'd get met by guys like Green and Wilson and Holt, unable to turn it upfield.  And without Ward, I think the Cards were able to commit more men to the box.  

Aside from Hines, Holmes is the only other complete WR, it's true, and he is still very much a work in progress.  Damned good player, IMO.  Might be a better pure receiver, but never the tank that Hines is.  Hines's mentoring is apparent.  

Ced and Nate were huge disappointments.  You get one shot on the stage and you shit it up like this?  Fuck you.  Reid, he was OK.  Caught the damned ball.  Didn't key in on his blocking, but I think he could develop into a nice little receiver, key word little.  Dude is tiny.  Good toughness, though.

Bottom line, yeah, having Hines out hurt, but we still should have won.  They gave it to us pretty good, and our faults were even more evident.  
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 01, 2007 at 19:51 »

I'm already on record as saying I screwed the pooch on that one (re: Ward's value).  

Not that he would necessarily be much better, but whatever happened to Walter Young?  He's been hanging around for years, having great camps, never getting a shot.  Perhaps that was a mistake.  After watching parts of the game today (I'm a glutton for punishment) he could hardly be worse.
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 01, 2007 at 20:35 »

I agree that Hines was missed. As Finny pointed out, his absence wasn't the major factor in FWP getting shutdown, but he is the best dam blocking WR in the league. Holmes can hold a block, and I definately think he is very good. Almost underrated at this point. But after him..Well, no use repeating what we all know. I think Hines was missed on third down and in the EZ. If Hines is also running a slant, Wilson would have been shadowing him, not Miller, and Heat did have his man beat. Hines is also very good at getting open for Ben when things break down(ie. BR running for his life) He goes 100%, 100% of the time and is a master at getting open for the 3rd and 4, 3rd and 5 type of plays. He looked bummed on the sideline....Willie Reid? Seemed OK on his 2 catches, but I really didn't like his little dance to the Zona players after coming up 10 yards short on 3rd down while losing. Even the missus noticed that. But I guess since Ced and Nate shat the bed, put the little guy in. Maybe he can surprise some people. Can't do any worse.......well, except if he fumbles...
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dcity21
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 01, 2007 at 23:56 »

i agree with wanting to see Reid more if we have to continue without Ward..

He looked to be extremely explosive the two times he got the ball..

The first time he got the pass on a third and long and was at about the line of scrimmage and then all of a sudden (and i mean in the blink of an eye) he was rolling over ppl close to the 1st down.. which led to that intense 4th and inches sneak..

if nothing else i was excited to see that b/c it seemed to me that the injury has not destroyed his return abilities..  
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DCSteelers
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 19:39 »

Yup,  I think we give Reid a longer look this week.  Maybe Nate sits or we dress all 5 WR?

Some points:  

1) We need to figure out if we have a viable (post Ward) #2 this year.  Ward is 31 and has a couple years at most in the tank. 35 is ancient at the position. He has come up gimpy several times these past years too.  I presume SanAntonio will be the eventual #1, and that leaves a gaping hole between the WR talent level on the field.  We need to give Reid a longer look real soon.

2) Washington will never amount to anything more than a #3 or #4.  No instinct. We saw that big time as the #2 on Sunday. Reminds me a little of Ashlie Lelie.

3) Wilson is as good as gone next year, or if we need the depth next year, he plays out his contract and is gone.  

4) If Reid is not the #2 answer, our draft plan includes a day 1 WR pick again.  Now is the year to do it and allow the pick to develop nicely while Ward is still around.
« Last Edit: Oct 02, 2007 at 19:41 by DCSteelers » Logged
blurjose
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 00:30 »

I think we missed Ward as a pass catcher last week not a blocker.

Ward is so good at finding holes in the zone. He is an intelligent receiver.

I know his blocking is invaluable but when Arizona gets the kind of penetration they did, it doesn't matter who is blocking downfield or around the corners because the plays don't get there. Parker was a sitting duck because of awful OL play. I can't believe that Tomlin gave them the "ok" in today's press conference. I loved everything else he said but to be satisfied with that is absurd.  
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 06:54 »

Quote
...our draft plan includes a day 1 WR pick again.  Now is the year to do it and allow the pick to develop nicely while Ward is still around.
I am afraid that you are right. Terrified, actually. Mainly because that means we won't be able to just draft OL after OL with those first 7 picks....

...sigh....
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otismalibu
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 07:43 »

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I think we missed Ward as a pass catcher last week not a blocker.

There was one play when Ben pulled an escape or two and rolled to his right. He ended up throwing a high one to Dookie. That's where Hines would find a seam and make the difficult catch if need be.

The other thing with Hines is that he can have nothing thrown his way for a half, then make the big 3rd down catch in the 3rd or 4th. Ced is like Plax. If he doesn't get things going early, he's just a sleepy mofo that really doesn't seem into the game.

We need TD Spaeth to get back into the lineup.

All he does is...
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 10:10 »

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I can't believe that Tomlin gave them the "ok" in today's press conference. I loved everything else he said but to be satisfied with that is absurd.
Could be a case of dishing out public criticism to those who can take it, and maybe handling a tender (and sensitive, in the person of Ellen Faneca) unit with care.  I'm sure he had lots to say to the OL in the film room.

:tenderunit:
« Last Edit: Oct 03, 2007 at 10:10 by pensodyssey » Logged

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