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Author Topic: Questions for Arians and LeBeau  (Read 752 times)
Winters in Holland
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« on: Jan 01, 2008 at 18:27 »

For Bruce first...

1.  You probably deserve some credit for Roethlisberger having the best statistical year of his career, but the offense still seemed totally out of sync in every game over the latter third of the season, outside of St. Louis.  What's the deal?

2.  Part of your answer to #1 might be "because our O-line sucks".  If that's the case, why is almost EVERY pass play a 5-step drop?  Why no 3-step drops or TE jump passes?  Watching the Patriots whoop up on us in person should've given you some ideas.

3.  Along with that, in the past two games, you have run by my count two (2) (dos) quick slant passes.  One went for nearly 20 yards, and the other went for a 50+ yard TD.  Why don't you throw them more, especially with the fierce pass rushes we've been seeing?

4.  Why is the screen play, a staple of early 2000's Steeler offenses that we ran to perfection, so diabolically shitty anymore?  Does Ben just not sell the fake well, or do defenses know these plays are coming?

5.  This one may be more on the O-line coach than you, but...  Along with Ben, Willie Parker had the best statistical year of his career, let alone any NFL RB in 2007 until his injury.  Why is our line apparently above average at run blocking, yet putrid in the pass block?  Is it simply a matter of technique, or are our linemen just slow?

6.  Why do you insist on running slowly developing 5-step drop pass plays on 1st down when the rushing attack is doing so well?  

7.  Along with 6, why have you shied away from letting the running game take over in the Jacksonville and New England games, when Parker was averaging 5+ to 6+ YPC?  Those sacks on 1st downs were killer.


Now for Dicky L....

1.  Off the top of my head, I remember the defense getting one (1) (uno) sack over the past four games, and that was this past week against Baltimore.  What happened to Blitzburgh?  Are other teams recognizing your blitz packages earlier, or are our LB's simply aging and getting slower?

2.  As someone (jonzr?) pointed out in another thread, why are you blitzing all of your LB's to stop the run as soon as the ball is snapped?  Rather than letting the DL engage the blockers and allow them to clean up the RB when he makes it through, you're eliminating 2 lines of defense in favor of 1 "thicker" line.  If the RB breaks through, he's going to get big yards, which is exactly what's happened over the past 4 games.

3.  Along with 2, is this decision the reason our defense has looked totally inept against the run, is it Aaron Smith's injury, or are teams simply exploiting the gaps in our 3-4 defense?  Even during our 6-10 year, I don't remember teams running on us as freely as they have over the past third of the season.  It's like as soon as the 100-yard RB streak was broken in the Jets game, we stopped trying.

4.  Can you not have anyone shadow the QB/RB on 3rd downs?  The Patriots killed us with draw plays, and Jacksonville killed us when Garrard scrambled for big yards on 3rd down when no one was open.

5.  I miss the delayed outside CB blitzes.  What happened to them?  It seems like all of our blitzes come up between the tackles.

6.  Why were you unable to stop the Patriots' quick throw attack when they did it 34 times in a row?  I understand that they're pretty much awesome this year, but why couldn't you make the in-game adjustments needed, even if it meant being less effective against the run?  ANY defense in the NFL should be able to stop one type of play if it's run on them that 34 times in a row.

7.  What happened to all of the new defensive wrinkles that made you so legendary throughout your career, especially during our playoff run of '05?  It seems like we've been seeing the same exact defensive schemes game in and game out.


Both of these guys need to have a creative, well-timed and executed game plan ready if we intend to be anything other than one-and-done.

.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
Winters in Holland
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 19:50 »

One more for Arians...

8.  For gosh sake man, scrap that shitty timed-fade-to-the-corner-of-the-endzone pass immediately.  

Not only does it require a perfect throw on Ben's part, a perfect jump on the WR's part, but it also needs the exact timing between both.

On top of that, ever since we lost Burress, we don't have a single WR tall enough to have a distinct height advantage over the CB's of the league.


Running that shitty play during the NE game cost us a chance to get back into that contest, and running it during the Baltimore game would've cost us a TD, were it not for an amazing catch by Cedric Wilson on 4th down.

Scrap that fucking play immediately.


.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 #2 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 19:55 »

On the TD pass to Holmes, it looked to me like it was some sort of quick slant.  

Seemed like a good call considering some of the pressure that was coming Batch's way.
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 19:57 »

I recall someone writing an article (may have been one of the SCI guys, Wexell or Wilson maybe?) commenting on the number of three step drops the Steelers run. The result, as I recall, was actually more than one might think.

I'm trying to find it.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 20:01 »

Okay, So It Was A Blog Post, And It Was Only On One Game

I'm a day late with this, so my bad on that, but here's a breakdown of the 28 pass attempts (including sacks) from the Monday night Dolphins' game.

Steps  AvgYds Front Rush Sacks Freq
1     3.3     3.0  4.3    0    3
3     1.6     3.4  4.1    4   10
5     8.9     3.9  4.2    0   13
7    -0.5     4.0  5.0    0    2

A few things to note: 'Steps' is the number of steps Ben took in his dropback; 'Front' is how many down rushers Miami showed pre-snap; 'Rush' is how many Miami defenders rushed on the play; 'Freq' is how often the Steelers ran a pass play using a specific-step drop.

Interestingly, Roethlisberger was sacked all four times on three-step drops, primarily because four rushers beat five Steelers' pass-blockers. Also, the five-steppers weren't as issue because Ben got the ball out when he planted his back foot on step No. 5. Hmm. (Oh, and the one-step drops were slip screens/shovel passes).

Okay, have at it.
« Last Edit: Jan 01, 2008 at 20:01 by DoctorJohnnyFever » Logged

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Winters in Holland
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 20:18 »

Quote
On the TD pass to Holmes, it looked to me like it was some sort of quick slant.  

Seemed like a good call considering some of the pressure that was coming Batch's way.
Yup, that's one of the two that I was referring to.

The reason I LOVE quick slants when there's a blitz on is because...

A)  If it's completed, you're guaranteed at least 7 yards.

B)  If your WR can break one tackle, he's usually going to be off to the races.


I figure there are 3 ways to keep a defense honest when they are blitzing like crazy:

1.  Screen passes
2.  Draw plays
3.  Quick slants

For whatever reason, screen passes have blown up in our faces horribly this year.  We haven't had anyone "good" at running the draw this year, although Arians hasn't run it much, sans a horribly-timed one in OT against the Jets that cost us any chance of winning.  (Maybe now that Verron is back, we'll see 1 or 2 against JAX.)

Quick slants are the way to go.


.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
Winters in Holland
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 20:22 »

Quote
Okay, So It Was A Blog Post, And It Was Only On One Game


Steps  AvgYds Front Rush Sacks Freq
1     3.3     3.0  4.3    0    3
3     1.6     3.4  4.1    4   10
5     8.9     3.9  4.2    0   13
7    -0.5     4.0  5.0    0    2

 

 Thanks for posting this.  It would be interesting to see the season totals.

Mayyyyyyyybe sometimes plays are designed to be 3-step drops, but the pass blocking breaks down so quickly that Ben takes a few more, making it look like a deeper drop.

...Still, most of our pressure has come from outside the tackles, as teams seem to be trying hard to form a pocket around Ben to keep him from effectively scrambling.  That would seem to make him step up more than anything.

Hrm...


.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 #7 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 22:39 »

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Why no 3-step drops or TE jump passes?

fuckin eh, agree 100%.  eventhough Heat had his best statistical year ever as a steeler...he should have had almost double the 47 grabs he had this year.  Not so much an increase in his RZ catches, but those 7-8 yard grabs right off the LOS.  the steelers faced so many stacked fronts, it would have been almost like shooting fish in a barrel.  Heat should have numbers that reflect 70 recepts. for about 800 yards and maybe an additional TD.

as for tricky dicky...i just think the New England game has put the defensive unit into a downward spiral.  the front 7 look completely lost at times since.  and the very lack of pressure has exposed the poor coverage skills of the existing DBs.  sure clark is out as well as troy at times, but FFS, make some adjustments already.

But TBH...i think the real reason why the run D is so weak ATM...solely lands on the shoulders of Clark being out more than it does Aaron Smith.  Anthony SMith, ever since his guarantee, has been horrid in both coverage AND run support.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 23:13 »

Agree, JS, Ant Smith may well be in the same funk as Ike Taylor last year, trying to read rather than react.  That'll put him out of just about every D-side package except for maybe a Cover 3 dime or quarter, neither of which is not likely to be used against Jax unless the PS get up big.

A lot of the D-side collapse is probably injury related, especially if you want to include Ant Smith in there with a bad head.  Clark and Aaron Smith are IR'd.  Maul hasn't been 100% for much of the last half.  McFadden's been trying to get through a high ankle sprain.  Same for Woodley.  

It's not a complete disappointment, in that you'd have to wonder whether the PS had enough firepower without Parker to go to the SB anyway.
 
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 01, 2008 at 23:32 »

I would have to say that Anthony Smith is probably THEEE most undiscipline steeler of the bunch on Defense.  I cant even recall any specific play where he actually wrapped and tackled a guy.  he can be likened to just some dude out trying to make a highlight real hit...not occasionally, but EVERY damn time.  I think his coverage skills or lack there of, is a direct result from trying to hit a dude rather than playing his man or the ball.  He has been PATHETIC ever since the NE game that I cannot believe he is still starting.

myself, i never really thought Clark being out would be such a big deal.  Took the guy for granted way too much.

 
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