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Author Topic: A Handful of Random Steeler Thoughts  (Read 2361 times)
Winters in Holland
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« on: Oct 31, 2007 at 21:00 »

1.  I'm a tad concerned that a 3rd WR beyond Holmes and Ward hasn't stepped up.  In a way, it's not a bad thing, because Heath Miller has really become the #3, which means we're finally throwing to the TE more.

But still, someone else needs to step up.  Cedric Wilson is clutch and rarely drops a ball, but lacks deep threat big play ability (though he did come up big during the XL run).  Nate Washington has big play ability, but is inconsistent as hell, and always seems to drop a key pass.

I think Wilson will be the #3 in the end, but the Steelers would probably be better off if it were Washington, because otherwise, Holmes is the only big play WR threat.


2.  Holmes has been very, very good.  I'm most excited that he can do the dirty work over the middle if needed...though hopefully they avoid it at all costs.


3.  For whatever reason, the majority of our screen passes are no longer effective.  It's either an error in execution or playcalling, because over 50% of the time anymore, at least 1-2 defenders have them sniffed out.  The problem needs fixed, because the Steelers need to continue to call screens and draw plays to keep the defensive pass rush at bay.


4.  Despite their strong start, our O-line could yet be the weakness that does us in.  For the 2008 draft, I don't think it would be bad at all to use the first 2 picks on O linemen.  


5.  The areas that should be addressed in the next draft are O-line, D-line, and RB.  The secondary, LB corps, and QB should not be addressed unless someone really falls in the draft.  It wouldn't hurt to pick a WR on day 2, though I still have hopes for Dallas Baker.


6.  As amazing as Ben has been getting out of pressure, that ill-advised INT he threw in the 3rd quarter of the Cincy game really turned the momentum, and kept the Steelers from putting the game away.  There are times when a pass simply needs thrown away, or a sack taken.


7a.  Is anyone else concerned that Timmons and Woodley have been relative non-factors this year?  I haven't even seen them make any special teams plays as of late, unless I missed some.  I'm not too worried, as Timmons has been injured, and we have a veteran LB corps that may take some time to displace.  But still...successful teams usually have their day one picks contributing within the first 1-2 seasons.

7b.  They need to come up big next year, because our LB are no longer getting a fast enough pass rush.  They simply can't get to the QB in time, which is a bad, bad thing.  My guess is that our sack totals will be way down this year by the time the season ends.


8.  I was down on the Spaeth and Sepulveda picks during the draft, but I'm pretty happy now.  After researching how few mid-round picks actually make a contribution, we stand to have a pretty good coup there...especially if 6th rounder Gay continues to develop as he is.  


9.  I don't think reverses really work anymore.  We usually pull one out somewhere in the 1st or 2nd quarter, and the end result is our WR runs a good 30 yards to gain 2.  Unless a defense is really overpursuing, I think the NFL today is too fast for them to consistently work.


10.  Plays and formations I could stand to see less of:  the quick WR screen, the empty back backfield, the single back backfield where Parker needs to run a good 7 yards just to get to the line of scrimmage.


11.  Formations I'd like to see:  split back set with Willie and Carey Davis, "wishbone" formation with Parker, Davis, and Davenport.


12.  I don't like how the whole Davis/Kreider situation is playing out.  Davis has been used primarily as a blocking back, yet is probably better suited to relieve Parker and catch out of the backfield.  Kreider is probably best suited as the pure blocking back, but we haven't seen much of him at all.  I'll think we'll see more Kreider as the season wears on.


13.  I want to see Najei earlier in games.  After a lackluster preseason, he's been running like a man possessed.  He's Bam Morris to Willie's Eric Pegram, and the more we use him now, the better chance Parker has of reaching the playoffs healthy.


Thanks for reading,

.WiH.
« Last Edit: Oct 31, 2007 at 21:02 by Winters in Holland » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: Oct 31, 2007 at 21:45 »

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7a. Is anyone else concerned that Timmons and Woodley have been relative non-factors this year? I haven't even seen them make any special teams plays as of late, unless I missed some. I'm not too worried, as Timmons has been injured, and we have a veteran LB corps that may take some time to displace. But still...successful teams usually have their day one picks contributing within the first 1-2 seasons.

Im not worried at all.. if you remember back a few years. Mostly every Steeler fan was saying the SAME shit about Polamalu. Dick LeBeau's D isnt all that easy to learn either. Normally takes guys ATLEAST 1 year to get the timing and understanding down of it.

So yeah Im not to worried about where any rookie D players stands right now...
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Hercules50
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« Reply #2 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 08:07 »

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Quote
7a. Is anyone else concerned that Timmons and Woodley have been relative non-factors this year? I haven't even seen them make any special teams plays as of late, unless I missed some. I'm not too worried, as Timmons has been injured, and we have a veteran LB corps that may take some time to displace. But still...successful teams usually have their day one picks contributing within the first 1-2 seasons.

Im not worried at all.. if you remember back a few years. Mostly every Steeler fan was saying the SAME shit about Polamalu. Dick LeBeau's D isnt all that easy to learn either. Normally takes guys ATLEAST 1 year to get the timing and understanding down of it.

So yeah Im not to worried about where any rookie D players stands right now...
I wonder, too, if this is planned?

In the sense that, once we get to December, we might have some very healthy, very fresh pass rushers to unleash on Brady and in the playoffs, when every key player on every other team will be tired or beat-up?

Woodley and Timmons rushing the passer in January as though it's September for them could be a big edge.
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« Reply #3 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 09:06 »

I thought Woodley looked pretty good playing that rollout by Palmer on Sunday...or was that last week?  Or both?

In response to WIH:

#1:  Not a real concern.  Few teams have a legit 3, outside of the Pats and Colts.  Using a 3 by committee is okay w/ me.

#2:  Yes

#3:  We simply don't time them or execute them well, and Ben is horrible at them.  Doesn't sell the fake nearly enough.

#4:  Clearly, the oline is our weakest link.

#6:  That's been a problem for a while, but he's improved about as much as I expect him to at this point.  I suspect we will have to deal with this throughout Ben's career, as he'll always believe he can put the ball somewhere that he can't.

#10:  Why?  The WR screen worked great in the second half vs. Denver.

#11/12:  Formations I'd like to see:  Willie Parker and Dan Kreider.

#13:  I see your point, but FWP is twice the back that Peagram ever thought about being.
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« Reply #4 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 09:35 »

One thing I'd like to see more of is Ben on designed runs.  He can pick up 10 yards pretty easily when the coverage is right.  (Uhhh, Ben... NOT head first, thanks.)  If Ben ran more, I think that would help sell some of the screen plays that haven't worked, as teams would over-pursue: throw it back to Davis or Reid or Parker or whoever, with lots of bodies cleared.

As far as reverses and end-arounds, I think they can work, but not with the OL play we've been getting.  DEs and LBs are RIGHT THERE when the ball is handed off.  With better OL play (the tired mantra), we'd be more effective.
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Hercules50
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« Reply #5 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 09:43 »

I'd like to see more of the pass plays we run in the red zone.

Ben dropping back, and firing a slant, quickly.

Between the 20s, too many of our pass plays are slow-developing summbitches. Not only does this result in Ben taking too many hits, but calling plays with different tempos could keep the defense off balance.
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« Reply #6 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 09:58 »

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Between the 20s, too many of our pass plays are slow-developing summbitches. Not only does this result in Ben taking too many hits, but calling plays with different tempos could keep the defense off balance.

I've never really understood our ongoing reluctance--over the YEARS, not just this season--to use the quick-hitters in the passing game.  Hate to beat the dead horse, but they worked extremely well in the 2nd half at Denver, and won the game for us in the finale vs. Cincy last year.
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #7 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 10:02 »

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One thing I'd like to see more of is Ben on designed runs.  He can pick up 10 yards pretty easily when the coverage is right.  (Uhhh, Ben... NOT head first, thanks.)  If Ben ran more, I think that would help sell some of the screen plays that haven't worked, as teams would over-pursue: throw it back to Davis or Reid or Parker or whoever, with lots of bodies cleared.
I agree with this 100%

When Ben is scrambling, he has by far the highest passer rating in the entire NFL.

Yet EVERY SINGLE PASS PLAY Arians has called this year has been a straight 3- to 5-step dropback.  

The advantage of a QB rollout pass- especially for a larger QB like Ben- is that it provides him with two options, and forces the defense to choose which one to take away quickly.  If the LBs dropped back in coverage decide to break their assignment to stop Ben, it leaves men open underneath.  If they decide to stick with their coverage, it provides Ben with an easy 7-10 yard running lane.

The normal disadvantage of rollouts is that it takes the QB out of his pocket of protection.  But lately, that pocket has been collapsing so quickly that rolling out may actually buy him more time.


.WiH.
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I don't care if Lovie Smith and Tony Dungy are black. Good for them. But that doesn't change the way I feel about them. The longer we keep looking at guys like Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith as "BLACK HEAD COACHES" as opposed to just "coaches" the longer race will continue to be a problem. --DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #8 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 11:04 »

I agree, too, with Winter's point about using Najeh earlier in the game.

Among other advantages, staggering Willie's series in odd sequences could put Willie on the field when the opponent has their backup defensive line in there, or at least some backups.

But also, I think that Najeh is just plain productive. Granted, he's as boom or bust as Willie, if not more so, so playing him isn't a recipe for consistency. But, still.  
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« Reply #9 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 11:21 »

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I'd like to see more of the pass plays we run in the red zone.

Ben dropping back, and firing a slant, quickly.

Between the 20s, too many of our pass plays are slow-developing summbitches. Not only does this result in Ben taking too many hits, but calling plays with different tempos could keep the defense off balance.
Great point.  We could really exploit some mismatches in coverage, too, using a guy like Willie Reid as a 4th WR.  Short slants, I guarantee Reid will burn their DB.
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« Reply #10 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 12:02 »

I'm not going to add much to the good comments and responses here, but one thing I do wonder about Willie Reid:  Is he still a 4.3 guy after the injury?  When he came to the Steelers, he was allegedly faster than Fast Willie.  In his limited action, I have yet to see that kind of burst.
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« Reply #11 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 13:30 »

Willie Reid hasn't had much of a chance to play to show his speed.  Still, I like the little I have seen of him.  

I agree with the group that the failure of screens is Ben's lack of sale of them to the D. I also concur that he should be rolling out more.

I'd like to see some attempt to use pass plays that move the pocket -- maybe that would help the O-line protect better. Ben would certainly be comfortable moving, and it would put more pressure on the opponent's D-line -- especially later in the game.  
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« Reply #12 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 16:46 »

The incredible thing about Woodley is, despite not playing at all, he's second on the team in sacks. Seriously. I didn't expect much from Timmons outside of special teams this season. I think he's going to get the NFL's answer to a redshirt, which like others have said above, isn't all that uncommon in Big Dick's defense.

Also, I think the Dan Krieder/Carey Davis thing is the most overblown story line of the season.  
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« Reply #13 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 17:26 »

The problem with more roll-outs is that it automatically cuts the potential plays in  half; you're working with a smaller, more crowded window.  Or else you end up with a quarterback consistently throwing back against the grain.  I love it when ben does this (and it succeeds) in improv, but I'd hate to see it as an ongoing procedure.

While the rollout does buy time, I don't see it as a panacea to our protection problems.  
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« Reply #14 on: Nov 01, 2007 at 22:30 »

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10. Plays and formations I could stand to see less of: the quick WR screen, the empty back backfield, the single back backfield where Parker needs to run a good 7 yards just to get to the line of scrimmage.

I would like to see more of Wr screens...especially against a team like Baltimore and every other team that crowds in 8 players at the line of scrimmage.  Guarantee a few 7-8 yard gainers on on WR screens will drop that saftey back into coverage in no time.
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 08:03 »

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The incredible thing about Woodley is, despite not playing at all, he's second on the team in sacks. Seriously. I didn't expect much from Timmons outside of special teams this season. I think he's going to get the NFL's answer to a redshirt, which like others have said above, isn't all that uncommon in Big Dick's defense.

Also, I think the Dan Krieder/Carey Davis thing is the most overblown story line of the season.
What Doctor Jenny Favre is say very agreement.  There are facts that are available, from intern nets, is telling that other footballs rookie get hurt for entire yearling, like: Paula Poszulskney, off the Buufalo Biles.  And also! Recent, Jarves Moose, he is off the John Denver's Bornco, has broken his fibberla.  So whiole this bastards are weeping, we silently laugh for good fortunate!

We are looking into the Din Kreder/Corey Dovis blowing over, this is phrase that translation functionabls does not carry goodly.  Is good post, Doctor Jenny Favre, may your pot be full of good root vegetables and your neighbors, never stealing the fresh milk.
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« Reply #16 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 09:15 »

Can one of the admin's do anything about the Nigerian phisherman that have apparently hijacked Finny's username? Preferably before they ask for our credit card numbers.

Although, in fairness, they made about as much sense as the Finster usually does.  
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 09:34 »

Bill Lambeers's Front Tooths is idioticy!  None of writers is fishering man, and nones is Niger.  Mahmet's father's mother is from Niger, only.  

If you are likeable to contribute very much money as you want to poor families in Indonesia, is not toerror active, is also tax off-write:  http://www.thenewfinnywriterfamilyfund.org.
 
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #18 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:05 »

Here's what I don't like about the WR screen:


1.  Throwing a lateral is always risky, as it could be ruled a fumble if dropped, or could cost the team yardage if it goes OB.

2.  If the corners are in a jam coverage, or even give a 4-yard cushion, they can still pick it off and return it for 6 the other way if they're anticipating it.

3.  It risks injury to some of your skill players by having one WR catch the ball when he's standing still, and forcing some of the others to be the primary blockers on the play, which they rarely are.

4.  Because of the nature of the play, there is a very slim chance we can gain large yardage off of it, or score from outside the redzone.  The defense has a better chance of scoring a TD on it than we do, IMO.


I can understand why some of you like it, but personally, I think the risks involved in the play far outweigh the positive outcomes we can garner from it.  I'm fine with it once a game, but Arians has been running it far too much for my liking.


.WiH.
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« Reply #19 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:23 »

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Here's what I don't like about the WR screen:


1.  Throwing a lateral is always risky, as it could be ruled a fumble if dropped, or could cost the team yardage if it goes OB.

2.  If the corners are in a jam coverage, or even give a 4-yard cushion, they can still pick it off and return it for 6 the other way if they're anticipating it.

3.  It risks injury to some of your skill players by having one WR catch the ball when he's standing still, and forcing some of the others to be the primary blockers on the play, which they rarely are.

4.  Because of the nature of the play, there is a very slim chance we can gain large yardage off of it, or score from outside the redzone.  The defense has a better chance of scoring a TD on it than we do, IMO.


I can understand why some of you like it, but personally, I think the risks involved in the play far outweigh the positive outcomes we can garner from it.  I'm fine with it once a game, but Arians has been running it far too much for my liking.


.WiH.
1. Run it out of shotgun, pass is automatically forward

2. you adjust for this by spacing of wide receivers, or by formation

3. anyone risks injuries evry play, and most wide receiver screens involve two linemen coming out on DBs and LBs to the play side, similar to running the counter trey or trap

4. 4yd gain is good regardless of run vs. pass, you throw that away from a trips formation, and you have a wr 1 on 1 with a db, possible big gain (think TO)

I don't think we should run it every series, but it is an extremely effective play if executed properly from a players, and coaches standpoint
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« Reply #20 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:24 »

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2.  If the corners are in a jam coverage, or even give a 4-yard cushion, they can still pick it off and return it for 6 the other way if they're anticipating it.

 
Wouldn't Ben be expected to change the play at the line if this is the case?
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« Reply #21 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:32 »

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Is good post, Doctor Jenny Favre, may your pot be full of good root vegetables and your neighbors, never stealing the fresh milk.

 
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« Reply #22 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:33 »

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« Reply #23 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:34 »

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« Reply #24 on: Nov 02, 2007 at 10:46 »

after the success of the WR screen in the Denver game, i dont know how anyone could be against it.  most of them were either thrown out of shotgun, or the WR stepped up a yard or two.  we were getting 5-8 yards at the very worst on every one of those plays.  i agree with most of your other points WiH, but IMHO, the WR screens should be a mainstay in the gameplan when teams are stacking the box, which Balty is sure to do.
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