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Author Topic: Heads must roll  (Read 2808 times)
Hercules50.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 09:06 »

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Playing devil's advocate on the BA burial, are we sure it's all on him?  Ben's physical skills, heart, and desire on the field aren't questionable, but isn't he supposed to be taking on a bigger role in the offensive playcalling?  Is he making the right reads pre-snap?  Is he calling for those deep patterns looking for the big play, putting himself and his O line in a bind?

I dunno, just asking.
Great questions. I sure don't have any answers but I bet these points you raise are a part of the problem -- how much of the problem is hard to know, I would guess.

Maybe there's a learning curve involved for Ben. Still, there are too many plays when Ben's running for his life as soon as he gets to his drop. That suggests to me that the line is just getting whooped.

My informal recall is that when Ben audibles, the play he goes to doesn't work. But I haven't paid real close attention to this.
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 09:07 »

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Ben's physical skills, heart, and desire on the field aren't questionable, but isn't he supposed to be taking on a bigger role in the offensive playcalling? Is he making the right reads pre-snap?

I've wondered that, especially since this is Ben's first year really doing that.  I'm especially curious about how he's doing calling the protections.  But I don't know how we can really know that.

The only tell-tale sign that I see is this:  When Ben's going no-huddle and calling the plays, we seem almost guarenteed to move the ball.  When we're running the regular offense, it's pretty hit-or-miss.  That would SEEM to indicate that he's getting it right.

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However, the guy I'm starting to wonder about is the O-line coach, Zeirlein, in that the existing linemen such as M. Smith, Simmons, and Starks have actually regressed since 2005. It may prove to be Tomlin's first real coaching mistake.

Wondered about this as well.  I know we weren't tearing it up even in 2005, but we have definitely taken a step backwards this year.  The only exception that I would make is Starks.  I think he's actually gotten better as the season has rolled on.

I remember in 2004 when our oline actually struck fear in defenses.  This year, we couldn't even scare the Dolphins.

What bothers me, and may point to a coaching/motivation issue, is a lack of effort.  Willie Colon is terrible about quitting on plays too early, not staying with his block.  Simmons just folds sometimes on pass protection, and often does not get initial movement at the POA.  Smith?  Well, maybe it's injuries, but he looks absolutely slow and sloppy.  And don't even get me started on Mahan.  Thing is, as bad as these guys are, you can be scrappy and hard-nosed and go until the whistle blows.  We don't seem to have that fire, and that's at least partially coaching.

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And one draft won't fix the OL. Gonna have to make due with what there is and hope that one of the draftees will make the starting cut. I hate to hope for the best here, but that's pretty much where we are.

I think we are two drafts away, MINIMUM, from getting the oline back to an acceptable level.  I think it's a tremendous credit to Ben and FWP that they've had the seasons that they are having, considering the amount of heat they are getting from a rather porous group up front.

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Wouldn't be a bit suprised to see a staff and roster shakeup after the season. Then again, status quo won't suprise either.

So true.  But I think we're more likely to see those two things shake up than we are to see some kind of shakeup with the head man.  It seems the Steelers want to stick with a HC, but they are willing to make some moves with assistants; and, I don't see Tomlin being as "vet-loyal" as Cowher was.



 
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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 10:08 »

I don't think BR is calling many of the plays except in the no huddle. And it doesn't seem, at least to me, that he is missing calling out blocking assignments. Guys, namely Smith amd Mahan(although everyone is culpable), are just getting beat one on one, on  a consistent basis. I haven't seen many people come in totally unblocked suggesting a missed assignment.

My problem with BA, is that he is still calling plays that take way to long to develope considering the OL's obvious shortcomings.

Lost in all this BS is Ben set the single season franchise record for TD passes on Sunday. He now has 29(Bradshaw '78- 28TD's). And has 2 games to spare. FWP still leads the league in rushing yards, albeit barely over LT. So something right is happening. Can you imagine what the O would be like with a dominant OL? Scary good...
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 10:25 »

I don't think we're two drafts away on OL, if we have a really good draft this year.  Rookies in bold, backups italicized.

LT - [Williams/Oher/Otah]; M. Smith.
LG - Best of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan; the other of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan.
C - Pollak; Mahan or Stapleton.
RG - Colon; one of Simmons, Kemo, and Mahan.
RT - Starks.

I think you do that, you have a line.  A pretty good line.  And next year, you plug in a new LG and draft some RT depth, R2 and R4-5.
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DoctorJohnnyFever
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 11:48 »

I seem to recall the Browns offense being quite good the one year Arians was their offensive coordinator with a pretty shoddy group of players. I mean, Kelly Holcomb, Kevin Johnson, Dennis Northcut, Quincy Morgan and Andre Davis put up almost 600 (or something insane like that) yards of offense in a playoff game at Heinz Field.


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randylwood
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 12:20 »

I am not an Arians apologist, but the line play is crippling some play calling.

I have not been a fan of his offensive game plans many times this year, but you can't deny that BR is playing great and thriving in the system.

It seems to me that the o-line is getting beat one-on-one and even one-on-two way to often.

I have not see many guys come free and clear which means he is making the right line calls, but the linemen are not making the blocks.

Nothing seems smooth and crisp. Everything seems to be a struggle.
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 12:29 »

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Nothing seems smooth and crisp. Everything seems to be a struggle.

That's a good way to put it.  We seem to be "stumbling" into plays, even successful ones, rather than executing them.
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Preacherman0
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 12:32 »

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I don't think we're two drafts away on OL, if we have a really good draft this year. Rookies in bold, backups italicized.

LT - [Williams/Oher/Otah]; M. Smith.
LG - Best of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan; the other of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan.
C - Pollak; Mahan or Stapleton.
RG - Colon; one of Simmons, Kemo, and Mahan.
RT - Starks.

I think you do that, you have a line. A pretty good line. And next year, you plug in a new LG and draft some RT depth, R2 and R4-5.

If we end up with your mock draft, it could happen.  
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 12:40 »

Agree, DJF, and though the Browns went south the year afterward, it does reflect on Arians understanding of the passing game.  Which presumably landed him the WR Coach job with the Steelers.  It does look like he'd really prefer to run an updated version of the Rams offense, with vertical offense and Fast Willie doing an impression of Faulk.  You can get a lot of rush yards out of that type of offense, but it's not something that's familiar to the fans at Heinz.

Here's a less-than-flattering assessment of Zierlein:

http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/2007/02/07/...larry-zierlein/

I assume he came to the 'Burgh on Arians' recommendation from their pairing with the Browns and on relatively short notice.  Interesting that he's been an OL coach for virtually his entire 30 year career.  To be fair, and noted earlier, the PSO were already getting away from pure power football after 2004.

If Faneca leaves after this year, maybe the PSO bites the bullet and goes with a ZBS.  If so, they are going to need a TE that can actually block some.
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aj_law
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 18, 2007 at 12:58 »

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I don't think we're two drafts away on OL, if we have a really good draft this year.  Rookies in bold, backups italicized.

LT - [Williams/Oher/Otah]; M. Smith.
LG - Best of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan; the other of: Simmons, Kemo, Mahan.
C - Pollak; Mahan or Stapleton.
RG - Colon; one of Simmons, Kemo, and Mahan.
RT - Starks.
 
Yeah, that's pretty much what I said over on ESPN in some draft talk thread.

The only caveat I added was that they snag a FA OG who would be brought in to compete (unseat) somebody and I was kinda pulling for an OC with a mean streak like Wallace.  Other than that, pretty much the same.

Oher > FA/Mahan/Simmons/Colon > Wallace > FA/Mahan/Simmons/Colon >  Starks (extended) or Smith (restructured)

If they make the right moves, they can certainly turn that group around in one season.  As long as they don't do what Cowher did for the last 3 or 4 seasons in Pittsburgh, anything should be an improvement.
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