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Author Topic: Blessing in Disguise  (Read 3492 times)
Preacherman0
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:12 »

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Interesting scenario....would you rather have FWP available for the playoffs or lose FWP to injury, sign Haynes for improved pass pro on 3rd down, and have Ben better protected? I dunno, maybe it's a stupid scenario.

There are no stupid questions, unless they are asked by timmons=lloyd.

Seriously, I just don't know that you could even begin to answer that.  I agree that, in the playoffs, Ben is going to have to be the man if we are to have ANY shot at all, just as he was the man last night.  The one thing that I did notice was that he had a look on his face like he was kind of pissed.  Perhaps the look of, "Uh, could you please BLOCK a little up there?"

While I can't agree with the general concept of the post--NO WAY is FWP going down a good thing--I hear what WiH is saying.  If we HAVE to lose him, what is the upside?  Najeh is actually a better every-down runner than short-yardage, so maybe he can do okay.  Not a breaker like FWP, but can do okay as an every-down runner.  I think he's better in that role than as a 3rd down back or a short-yardage guy.

Notable on the play Willie got hurt:  Miller is behind the guy he's blocking, Colon and Davis are throwing some kind of side body blocks, and Mahan is blocking no one.

I also found it interesting that, late in the game, after Woodley got a great pressure on the QB, they took him out.  Why?
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #21 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:13 »

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But let's get a real good look at Russell, finally, please.  I think he could be a tremendous asset to this team, but we need to see him in real game-time play, consistently.
 
Yes.

The main reason I'm rooting for a Cinci win against the Browns -- we could rest Ben, Hines, Harrison, Haggans, other beat-up players, and give a bunch of young guys a look against B-more:

Russell
Timmons
Woodley
Gay
Kemoteau

This isn't to say the playoffs themselves wouldn't be nice, but more as a notch on the team's belt. This team isn't going anywhere in the playoffs, and I don't mean for that to sound defeatist. I'll root my ass off for them in the second season.

But: This isn't 2005. In 2005, we were an elite-level team that was the 6th seed only by virtue of Ben missing some critical games. We weren't some fluke that got hot at the right time, like the Browns would be this year if they won the Super Bowl, or the Vikings. We were more like what the Pats or Colts would be this year if they'd lost their QBs for any length of time.

This team has big  problems (most of which are fixable in one offseason), but could win a division anyway. That's mostly damn good news for the future.
Herc, I'm gonna ditto a whole post of yours again.  I am by no means saying that the Super Bowl is out of the question, but I agree on the fundamental difference between the '05 and '07 teams.  On one hand, I want to play TO WIN THE GAME, and on the other I want to test the waters for a more realistic '08 shot.  The way you do both, IMO, is to play guys as you mentioned versus Balty, and then the ones that show something get some rotation time in the playoffs.  

If Russell is the shit, or if Woodley looks like a starter, then teams won't have much book on them.  That's a small advantage that might counter their inexperience.  In any event, I don't think we'd be sabotaging a playoff run giving a few guys some looks even in the playoffs.
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msdmnr2002
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:14 »

Davenport did exactly what a backup is supposed to do; come in and pick the team up when starters go down.  Batch has done it with regularity.  The question becomes, can the backup continue to perform for several weeks in a row once opponents have had a good look at him on tape?  Remains to be seen.

I will say that our offense looked a whole lot like the Bettis years, especially in the second half.  No big runs, but no zero or negative plays.  It was 3-7 yards just about every time.  

Another advantage to bringing Haynes back; we may actually be able to get Heath out on a pass pattern once in a while, instead of keeping him in to help out the porous Oline.

In yet another example of the idiocy of announcers, when Davenport came in for Parker, the opinion was that we'd miss Willie in the passing game.  Has FWP had an impact play on a reception?  Meanwhile, Dookie has at least 2 recieving TDs now.  I think he's actually the more effective reciever of the two.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:20 »

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Another advantage to bringing Haynes back; we may actually be able to get Heath out on a pass pattern once in a while, instead of keeping him in to help out the porous Oline.

In yet another example of the idiocy of announcers, when Davenport came in for Parker, the opinion was that we'd miss Willie in the passing game.  Has FWP had an impact play on a reception?  Meanwhile, Dookie has at least 2 recieving TDs now.  I think he's actually the more effective reciever of the two.
Excellent point on Haynes.  I would definitely consider that move.  

Missed the comment re: the passing game.  Fookin idiots.
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Hercules50.
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« Reply #24 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:50 »

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If Russell is the shit, or if Woodley looks like a starter, then teams won't have much book on them.  That's a small advantage that might counter their inexperience.  In any event, I don't think we'd be sabotaging a playoff run giving a few guys some looks even in the playoffs.
Great point.

Why don't teams in the playoffs break out the lesser known stuff on their rosters?

When I think back to the 2004 AFCC, I often wonder why the Steelers didn't break out Willie Parker in that game. The Pats would have been completely unprepared. Yeah, he was green, and I'm not saying he should've been given the ball 20 times, but I bet his speed would have been a shock to New England.

They came out gunning for Bettis in that game -- just like they did in '01. Cowher didn't learn his lesson, I guess.
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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #25 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 08:56 »

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I know people don't like looking back at '05 as a comparison because it was such an improbable - AND AWESOME! - run, but here's what the Steelers did rushing in each game:

Cincy: 144 (204 passing)
Indy:  112 (183 passing)
Denver: 90 (268 passing)
Seattle 181 (158 passing) - Keep in mind, 76 of those yards came on one run from Willie.

So, I think it's all going to come down to how far Ben takes us, or, more accurately, how far the offensive line allows him to take us.
1.  I still think that's a significant amount of running yards.  Anytime you can get over 100 yards in the playoffs, you significantly boost your chances of winning.


2.  Our passing game during the '05 run would not have been nearly as effective were it not for the effectiveness of our running game.  That's what made our play actions so damn good.


3.  You also have to admit that even the Colts' '05 offense was not what the Patriots' is now.  They are just on a freakish level.  Controlling the running game is key to keeping their offense off of the field as much as possible.


4.  We simply aren't going to out-pass the Patriots.  We aren't.  We need to have an effective running game against them to open up the pass, which they are best at defending.


Hercules and SCalacki have pretty much hit the nail on the head that I was trying to drive in.  It's not that I don't want Parker here- I'd love to have him back- but Arians/Tomlin/etc. misused the RB resources they had when he was healthy.

Rather than running him on almost every rushing play, I think they would've been most effective if they aimed for an Eric Pegram/Bam Morris type distribution this year.


.WiH.
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SCacalaki
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« Reply #26 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 09:10 »

I won't plagarize, but Hannibal over at BSG has a thread going on the # of carries Parker is/was up to this year.

So while he was leading the league in total rushing yards, he was well ahead in the # of carries.  

And that's troublesome from the standpoint of wearing a RB down.  Not that the # of carries contributed to last night's injury but it could down the road.  

Maybe not as worrisome as I am in the camp that RBs are easily replaceable, sans the LT/Barry Sanders types.  

Would have been nice to share the carries better.  Maybe next year.
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Hercules50.
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« Reply #27 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 09:14 »

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I know people don't like looking back at '05 as a comparison because it was such an improbable - AND AWESOME! - run, but here's what the Steelers did rushing in each game:

Cincy: 144 (204 passing)
Indy:  112 (183 passing)
Denver: 90 (268 passing)
Seattle 181 (158 passing) - Keep in mind, 76 of those yards came on one run from Willie.

So, I think it's all going to come down to how far Ben takes us, or, more accurately, how far the offensive line allows him to take us.
1.  I still think that's a significant amount of running yards.  Anytime you can get over 100 yards in the playoffs, you significantly boost your chances of winning.

 
I see it differently -- there are exceptions, but usually, it's the winning that comes first, and the large rushing total is an effect of that.

A lot our yards -- definitely during the AFC playoffs -- came when we were running out the clock and pounding the defense.
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aj_law
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« Reply #28 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 09:45 »

I see the point that WiH is trying to make in the OP.  However, I don't think I would classify losing one of your best offensive weapons as a "blessing."  

Pittsburgh was crazy thin at RB to begin with and now they've got one, single guy on the roster with any significant NFL experience as they head into the playoffs.  And, oh, BTW, that guy is a little nicked up and has a history of getting injured when he's relied on to carry the load.  Behind him, you've got a hybrid RB/FB rook in Davis and a player that's totally green in Russell.  

Haynes?  I don't know about the rest of you, but I don't feel supremely confident that a guy that's been sittin' around waiting for a phone call from some team is going to hit the ground running and be in NFL shape late in December.  Don't expect #34 to just put on the uniform and be what he was before he was cut.

So, long and short of it, it's #44 and #38 for the remainder.  Regardless of whether those guys match up better against teams they might face in the playoffs, I would prefer to have every offensive weapon at my disposal.  Not having #39 available definitely puts them at a disadvantage.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #29 on: Dec 21, 2007 at 10:16 »

SING CORNY DYLAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
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