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Author Topic: Run Game: Feast or Famine  (Read 1411 times)
Finnegans Wake
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« on: Oct 02, 2007 at 10:53 »

Given the recurrence of "famine" in Zona last Sunday, there are a number of issues I think the coaching staff should consider.

1. Against good run defenses, especially those with big D-linemen and a shown commitment to stacking 8 in the box against the run, our OL is unable to clear holes for Parker.
2. Parker needs to get to at least LOS+1 to make anything happen.  Most backs will not be able to get away from getting hit in the backfield, and won't get much if hit right at the line, but Parker's ability is to use speed (and an underrated strength) to separate once a hole is there.  No hole, no yardage.
3. Against finesse defenses, Parker rightly needs to start the game and be spelled late.  Against beefier Ds, the opposite would seem true: wear them down, then outrun them late.

That indicates to me that maybe we should consider bringing in someone else to be the battering ram.  I don't know that any free agents fit the bill, so here are my thoughts.

1. Davenport.  Runs great as the garbage time cleanup kid.  In the first half, I don't think he can deliver the punishment.  
2. Carey Davis.  If Davis and Kreider are both going to be active anyway, why not keep defenses guessing.  Keeping both FBs in as blockers would indicate pass; then you let Kreider clear the way and hand off to Davis.  Davis looked good in the preseason, and if he can lower the boom 10-15 times, with Kreider lead blocking, might be a good tandem.
3. Gary Russell.  When Spaeth returns, I'd consider de-activating Tuman (or when Ward is back, sit Ced).  Russell is built about the same as Parker, but he's shown some nice ability to use a little shake while dodging tacklers at the LOS, and then using power to run over guys.  Consider alternating Davis and Kreider to keep them twice as fresh as LBs.  Again, 10-15; then bring in Parker.

I'd definitely consider this against the Ravens, Patriots, and Jags.  
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SCacalaki
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« Reply #1 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 11:04 »

Wasn't there talk in the off-season about speading the D out with multi-WR sets, thereby reducing the # of D close to the LOS, and running the football?  Reducing some of this feast or famine stuff that goes back to 5-6 games last year????

Or am I imagining I read Arians say that?
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #2 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 11:18 »

Yeah, I don't know what's up with that.  I'd have considered that Sunday... Of course, without Ward...
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Hercules50
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« Reply #3 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 12:36 »

Good points.

I think our offense is going to be plagued with lots of negative plays all year, because the O-Line stinks. Lots of plays where Willie is stuffed (and then Ben has to pass out of 2nd-and-11s, 3rd-and-longs), lots of sacks, lots of plays of Ben throwing under pressure.

We're capable of being a big-play offense, and that will mask and cover-up our fundamental problems, but in a lot of ways we've got the same problems we had last year.
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« Reply #4 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 14:17 »

Quote
2. Carey Davis.  If Davis and Kreider are both going to be active anyway, why not keep defenses guessing.  Keeping both FBs in as blockers would indicate pass; then you let Kreider clear the way and hand off to Davis.  Davis looked good in the preseason, and if he can lower the boom 10-15 times, with Kreider lead blocking, might be a good tandem.
I don't know if you guys caught it or not, but on one play, the Steelers lined up in a "reverse wishbone" formation, where they had 2 full backs split on either side of Ben (Davis and Kreider?), and a single tailback between them set back further (Parker).

I was totally pumped to see the formation, but then some friggin' linemen false started, and they didn't bring it back out.  I wonder if that's what they had in mind...


.WiH.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 14:43 »

Quote
Quote
2. Carey Davis.  If Davis and Kreider are both going to be active anyway, why not keep defenses guessing.  Keeping both FBs in as blockers would indicate pass; then you let Kreider clear the way and hand off to Davis.  Davis looked good in the preseason, and if he can lower the boom 10-15 times, with Kreider lead blocking, might be a good tandem.
I don't know if you guys caught it or not, but on one play, the Steelers lined up in a "reverse wishbone" formation, where they had 2 full backs split on either side of Ben (Davis and Kreider?), and a single tailback between them set back further (Parker).

I was totally pumped to see the formation, but then some friggin' linemen false started, and they didn't bring it back out.  I wonder if that's what they had in mind...


.WiH.
Remember down and distance by any chance?  Or quarter and approx. time that I can look it up?
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oblongatta
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« Reply #6 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 18:08 »

I remember the lineup too.  I think Hillgrove called it some kind of power i formation but I don't think that's accurate.  But I guess they were lucky Hilgrove knew the Steelers were on offense.

I don't remember the down and distance or time in the game though.  I was curious what they were going to run out of it.  Oh and I think the other "FB" was one of the TEs.
 
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #7 on: Oct 02, 2007 at 18:56 »

Quote
Quote
2. Carey Davis.  If Davis and Kreider are both going to be active anyway, why not keep defenses guessing.  Keeping both FBs in as blockers would indicate pass; then you let Kreider clear the way and hand off to Davis.  Davis looked good in the preseason, and if he can lower the boom 10-15 times, with Kreider lead blocking, might be a good tandem.
I don't know if you guys caught it or not, but on one play, the Steelers lined up in a "reverse wishbone" formation, where they had 2 full backs split on either side of Ben (Davis and Kreider?), and a single tailback between them set back further (Parker).

I was totally pumped to see the formation, but then some friggin' linemen false started, and they didn't bring it back out.  I wonder if that's what they had in mind...


.WiH.
It was Miller with Kreider in the backfield with Willie on that play. I believe it was early 4th quarter.
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kluisi61
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« Reply #8 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 09:26 »

Quote
Quote
2. Carey Davis.  If Davis and Kreider are both going to be active anyway, why not keep defenses guessing.  Keeping both FBs in as blockers would indicate pass; then you let Kreider clear the way and hand off to Davis.  Davis looked good in the preseason, and if he can lower the boom 10-15 times, with Kreider lead blocking, might be a good tandem.
I don't know if you guys caught it or not, but on one play, the Steelers lined up in a "reverse wishbone" formation, where they had 2 full backs split on either side of Ben (Davis and Kreider?), and a single tailback between them set back further (Parker).

I was totally pumped to see the formation, but then some friggin' linemen false started, and they didn't bring it back out.  I wonder if that's what they had in mind...


.WiH.
I remember it and I liked it, but I'd also consider trying it with Kreider and Davis as the Fullbacks. Lots of options there since both Davis and Kreider are actually pretty good at catching the ball out of the backfield (as little used as they are).

Two lead blockers through the hole, each fullback to the flats to clear out linebackers and run the draw up the middle, play action to Heath or Ward, etc., etc.
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Big Virgil
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« Reply #9 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 10:46 »

I don't remember seeing that formation but maybe I did, because I was thinking, before Ben threw the pick, about a little wishbone action with FWP, Kreider and Big Snacks.  Put Miller in motion, and between the three of them, surely FWP could find a hole for a score.  

I would love to see that.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 11:03 »

I do remember seeing that formation, but couldn't remember the outcome.  Well, forgot about the penalty.  There were two early 4Q penalties on offense.  First was: 2-10-PIT24 (14:49) PENALTY on PIT-W.Colon, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 24 - No Play. That led to 3rd and 15, incomplete to Heat, punt, re-punt, Arizona PR for TD, loss of game.

Second was: 3-18-PIT33 (12:45) (Shotgun)
PENALTY on PIT-M.Smith, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 33 - No Play.
 I'm thinking this was the down and distance for the package discussed.

Does this formation work for a 3rd and 18 play?  What's the playcall?  

Side note: when Tomlin talked about false starts killing us, I brushed it off as coachspeak.  But looking at the first series in the 4Q where Colon jumped, hey, that led to a bad turn of events that killed it for us.  Colon maintains composure and we get the first down, maybe they don't get that PR for a score.  It's the little things.
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ajv148
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 03, 2007 at 11:22 »

It's a fine line...
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kluisi61
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 04, 2007 at 09:49 »

Quote
I do remember seeing that formation, but couldn't remember the outcome.  Well, forgot about the penalty.  There were two early 4Q penalties on offense.  First was: 2-10-PIT24 (14:49) PENALTY on PIT-W.Colon, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 24 - No Play. That led to 3rd and 15, incomplete to Heat, punt, re-punt, Arizona PR for TD, loss of game.

Second was: 3-18-PIT33 (12:45) (Shotgun)
PENALTY on PIT-M.Smith, False Start, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 33 - No Play.
 I'm thinking this was the down and distance for the package discussed.

Does this formation work for a 3rd and 18 play?  What's the playcall?  

Side note: when Tomlin talked about false starts killing us, I brushed it off as coachspeak.  But looking at the first series in the 4Q where Colon jumped, hey, that led to a bad turn of events that killed it for us.  Colon maintains composure and we get the first down, maybe they don't get that PR for a score.  It's the little things.
I don't remember it being 3-18, because I think I would have liked the formation a lot less in that case. Maybe I was just overjoyed to see something different, that I disregarded the down and distance. I agree it wouldn't work for 3rd and long. Very good on 3rd and short though.

Quote
I don't remember seeing that formation but maybe I did, because I was thinking, before Ben threw the pick, about a little wishbone action with FWP, Kreider and Big Snacks. Put Miller in motion, and between the three of them, surely FWP could find a hole for a score.

I thought they tried Hampton in the backfield in the pre-season one time. Some LB lit up Hampton and he gave up the thoughts of playing offense. Maybe I'm just making shit up though.
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 05, 2007 at 01:49 »

FWIW, the Steelers should have better luck running this week.  The Seahawks front is nowhere near as stout, and if the LB's don't guess right, Willie will have a few opportunities.

I'd also like to see a spread against some of the bigger D-lines, but not without Ward at full bore.  There is no other WR on the Steelers that can handle the hot receiver role.  Holmes looks to be a year away from that.
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