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Author Topic: Heads must roll  (Read 3268 times)
aj_law
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« Reply #30 on: Dec 19, 2007 at 10:36 »

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All season, I think I watched maybe one half of a Minnesota game earlier this year and save for the usual ESPN AP highlights, haven't seen much else of them.
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Hercules50.
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« Reply #31 on: Dec 19, 2007 at 10:43 »

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Still, it's not like Pittsburgh has a shitty running game; they're top 10, top 5, in the league.  If they were...the Jets or the Bears or the Packers, for example, I wouldn't be making the comparison.  Opposing teams do have to respect a big play player like #39 and very often, you'll see 7 or 8 in the box.  Basically, the same fronts that Minnesota sees.
 
I think you make a lot of great points, aj, but I for one don't think we have a good running game. Our "ranking" is a dumb, context-free stat -- measuring only yards. But yards say almost nothing.

Part of it is how often we run it. Aren't we "ranked" something like 29th in passing? Again, that's because the NFL ranks only yards.  No one would say our passing game is one of the worst in football though.

How often have we been able to go out and impose a consistent running game on a good defense outside of garbage time? I'd say it's been between rare and never.

So in my mind, we don't compare with what the Vikes are doing, IMO.

 
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aj_law
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« Reply #32 on: Dec 19, 2007 at 11:08 »

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Still, it's not like Pittsburgh has a shitty running game; they're top 10, top 5, in the league.  If they were...the Jets or the Bears or the Packers, for example, I wouldn't be making the comparison.  Opposing teams do have to respect a big play player like #39 and very often, you'll see 7 or 8 in the box.  Basically, the same fronts that Minnesota sees.
 
I think you make a lot of great points, aj, but I for one don't think we have a good running game. Our "ranking" is a dumb, context-free stat -- measuring only yards. But yards say almost nothing.

Part of it is how often we run it. Aren't we "ranked" something like 29th in passing? Again, that's because the NFL ranks only yards.  No one would say our passing game is one of the worst in football though.

How often have we been able to go out and impose a consistent running game on a good defense outside of garbage time? I'd say it's been between rare and never.

So in my mind, we don't compare with what the Vikes are doing, IMO.
That's fair.  

But, I'm not basing the label of "good running game" solely on stats because if that were the case, I wouldn't have said top 10, I would've said top 3 which is pretty much where they've stood, stats-wise, all year.  I'm just spouting at the mouth of where I think they stand, overall.  And, to me, I think it's around a top 10 squad.

Put it this way, when teams face Pittsburgh, do you think they come in with the mentality of "let's focus on containing their running game" or "let's focus on containing their passing game?"

As good as Ben has been this year, I think most opposing defenses still have the mindset when they face Pittsburgh of "try to control their groundgame; keep Parker from hitting the home run; and force Ben to beat you with his arm."  Same goes for teams that face Minnesota.

That's really the point I was driving at in comparing them to how Minnesota looked on MNF.  

Yes, Minnesota is better at it than Pittsburgh, but it doesn't mean that Pittsburgh can't employ a similar philosophy.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #33 on: Dec 19, 2007 at 18:02 »

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As good as Ben has been this year, I think most opposing defenses still have the mindset when they face Pittsburgh of "try to control their groundgame; keep Parker from hitting the home run; and force Ben to beat you with his arm."  Same goes for teams that face Minnesota.

 
I disagree. I think most teams have figured out that they need to attack the LOS with run blitz/ pass blitz. Serves the dual purpose of either collapsing the pocket and/or destroying the run.  

I think most defensive coordinators now fear more of Ben's mobility and big-play ability, and are willing to at least concede some running yards.  The first half of the Monday night game against the Ravens pretty much sealed that fact.  Willie got nowhere, but the Ravens got torched for TD pass after TD pass, all on national television. Think the league's defensive coordinators didn't take note?

And how has Ben and the O fared since? He's had success, but the sacks have now come fast and furious, as defensive coordinators for such crack defensive squads as the Jets have unleashed the hounds.  

Note that Parker has cracked the century mark the past few games, but it didn't matter, because we still lost. Ben has had to deal with tons of pressure, because everyone in the league knows our O-line blows. He's made plays and kept them in games, but how many times has he had a wave of defenders wash over him, leading to a major yardage loss? How many times have we seen Ben trying to operate in 3rd and +15 situations?

As for Minnesota, NO ONE fears their passing attack, everyone is selling out to stop their running attack, and NO ONE is stopping it. That's a credit to how solid that O-line is..
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« Reply #34 on: Dec 20, 2007 at 10:21 »

I think AJs point is pretty simple:  Minnesota at least LOOKS like they know what they're doing in the passing game, even with Jackson at QB.  There are plays where Minnesota looked very polished:  Drop, look throw.  Play-action, roll, throw.  Play-action, turn, throw to the spot.  Granted, at other times, they looked like a train wreck.  But what AJ is saying (and I agree):  If you can do that with Jackson, why not Ben?

BTW, I'm sure that most of you see the point or agree with it.  I THINK I can say that AJ and I just feel that it's as much coaching/gameplanning as it is personnel, moreso than others on the board.

When Ben goes back, I'm just hoping he doesn't get killed.  I think he's starting to feel the same way.  Looks like he's developing happy feet.  It's usually a case of waiting for him to break loose and run or buy time to throw it to someone.  It all looks very "choppy," as if they're just depending on Ben to make plays rather than providing him a game plan to help him succeed.  I think that we need to make some serious improvments in personnel, but also in the coaching staff if we want the Franchise (as in Ben) to keep progressing.

It also raises another question:  Do we have guys on the roster who can actually get OPEN?
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aj_law
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« Reply #35 on: Dec 20, 2007 at 11:48 »

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I think AJs point is pretty simple:  Minnesota at least LOOKS like they know what they're doing in the passing game, even with Jackson at QB.  There are plays where Minnesota looked very polished:  Drop, look throw.  Play-action, roll, throw.  Play-action, turn, throw to the spot.  Granted, at other times, they looked like a train wreck.  But what AJ is saying (and I agree):  If you can do that with Jackson, why not Ben?

BTW, I'm sure that most of you see the point or agree with it.  I THINK I can say that AJ and I just feel that it's as much coaching/gameplanning as it is personnel, moreso than others on the board.

When Ben goes back, I'm just hoping he doesn't get killed.  I think he's starting to feel the same way.  Looks like he's developing happy feet.  It's usually a case of waiting for him to break loose and run or buy time to throw it to someone.  It all looks very "choppy," as if they're just depending on Ben to make plays rather than providing him a game plan to help him succeed.  I think that we need to make some serious improvments in personnel, but also in the coaching staff if we want the Franchise (as in Ben) to keep progressing.

It also raises another question:  Do we have guys on the roster who can actually get OPEN?
Bin-go.

You pretty much summed up nicely in one post what I've failed miserably to get across in multiple babble filled posts.

Yeah, the fact that Minnesota's ground game is probably best in the league takes some pressure off their passing attack, but I find it hard to believe that with Pittsburgh's running attack, the Steelers can't manage to put together any sort of rhythm/timing passing attack.  As you intimated, everything (save for a hanful of exceptions per game) looks like it was drawn up in the dirt with a branch and a twig.  Lastly, when in doubt, go deep.  Horrible prescription for a leaky front five.  

I think tonight will be another opportunity to further illustrate my point.  The Rams are down what, 3 starting offensive linemen?  Should be a field day for the defense.  But, because their passing offense is based on a lot of timing, precision routes and quick developing plays, I'm willing to bet that the Rams will have a decent amount of success through the air.  They'll put the ball in the hands of their playmakers and ask them to make plays in space.

Plus, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if Pittsburgh continues to struggle throwing the ball (short of maybe some broken, big play bombs downfield) against a very mediocre defensive squad.  

I like Pittsburgh FTW tonight, but it'll be closer than it should be.  In case you haven't figured it out by now, I like the Rams (+7.5).
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Hercules50.
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« Reply #36 on: Dec 20, 2007 at 12:12 »

I think both perspectives in the thread are basically right:

1.) I don't think our running game is particularly effective or fearful.

2.) Our offense would benefit GREATLY from timing plays, quick slants, short passes in general where Ben drops back, sets his feet, and throws the ball.

As I've said elsewhere, that I like Arians's aggressive down-the-field mentality, and I think this plays to Ben's strengths, but it seems like #1, it's all we do, and #2 our O-Line stinks and is ill-equipped to handle the slow development that these long passes require.

I wonder if part of the problem is this: Maybe Ben's not that accurate a short passer? He seems at his best throwing a 15-yard strike. Seems like his bombs tend to be toss-ups and his short passes just plain inaccurate. But again, could be all about what he's asked to do.

And while I'm not as down on Arians as others are, he sometimes seems like he would be Mike Martz if the head coach didn't reign him in.
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kluisi61
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« Reply #37 on: Dec 20, 2007 at 15:48 »

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In case you haven't figured it out by now, I like the Rams (+7.5).
Good...Bet big AJ. ;)
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« Reply #38 on: Dec 20, 2007 at 23:19 »

Better play calling tonight, aided by run push from the OL.  Willie would have had 200+ with those holes, not to take anything away from Noodgie.

Liked the play action, liked the subtle misdirection.  First possession of the second half was beautiful; I don't think we faced a third down that entire drive.

Ben was locked in from the get go, obviously.  
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aj_law
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« Reply #39 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:57 »

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In case you haven't figured it out by now, I like the Rams (+7.5).
Good...Bet big AJ. ;)
Your welcome, folks.
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