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Author Topic: I think I get it now  (Read 2499 times)
aj_law
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« on: Jan 08, 2008 at 13:45 »

For the life of me, I couldn't figure out why more people aren't as pissed at Arians as I am.  But, after reading through what a lot of people have written in the last 3 or 4 days, I think I know why.

IMO, a lot of people here (and I think it might be the case for many Steeler fans, in general) looked at this season/postseason as "playing with house money" because (1) they would've likely had to play N.E. in the next round and the odds are they would've lost again; or (2) looking back, they outperformed pretty much everyone's preseason expectations, so build on things from here and go deeper next year, blah, blah, blah; or (3) their inconsistency would've cost them at some point down the line.  If it wasn't this week, it would've happened next week at N.E. or the CC game, etc., etc.  Or, maybe it was a combination of all or several of the above.

That's the only way I can see people swallowing what we saw from the playcalling again on Saturday.

I'm sorry, but to me, that's a very defeatist/complacent attitude to take towards a team that was 2 and a half wins from the fricking Super Bowl.  Sure, they were inconsistent and drove you nuts a bunch, but so what?  So fucking what?  Who cares what happened in the last 17 weeks?  Going into this one, everyone's 0-0.  You win, you move on.  Period.  And, they were there...they were right...fucking...there.  Now?  Who knows.  Who knows when they'll be in that situation again.  Regardless of personnel, schedule, etc., the playoffs are not a given.  They could go the next one, two, five years and not get back to that spot again.  It's not inconceivable.

That's why they need to make the most out of every opportunity.  And, when one person is a big reason for fucking up an opportunity, that person needs to step up and take fucking responsibility for it.  If you put the rest of the negative shit from this game (Tomlin's decision to go for 2 early in the 4th; Ben's INTs; the defense giving it up on the final drive) aside for a second, you can boil this game down to one simple sentence.

Arians' fucking horseshit playcalling cost them the playoffs.

Prior to the game, I thought that Ben would be able to overcome most of this team's deficiencies.  Unfortunately, I wrongly assumed that he would be able to overcome his inept OC.  Sure, he didn't help himself with his own play early on, but I think some of that poor play was the direct result of OC's mismanagement.  Besides, Ben managed to get his shit together, overcome it and get it done.  The same cannot be said for Arians.  In fact, when the going got tough, he didn't just fold, he fucking crumbled.  Crumbled

This fool's list of idiot plays this year reads like the Mitchell Report.  Every...single...game he's good for a bunch of boneheaded calls.  Every fucking one.  All season I just shook my head with a little sigh of disgust whenever it happened, but when it costs them the chance to advance in the playoffs??

FUCK.  HIM.

The QB Sweep bullshit is just icing on the cake.  It was also the final straw for me.  I don't care what this team does in the coming years, they won't win anything with him running this offense.  He will not make this unit better.  They'll do what they do in spite of him, not because of him.

To help put this point in further perspective, when Kevin Motherfucking GILBRIDE does a better job of playcalling in his game, you know you really laid an egg.

Unfortunately, in the end though, as several have already said, he probably won't lose his job.  It's not Pittsburgh's way of doing business.  He'll be back.  

I can't wait.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 14:17 »

Quote
Tunch diagramed this play on the Savrin show with his "Tunchistrator" and it was indeed wide open.....

Based on the defensive look given by the Jags, it was not only a very safe call but also had a high percentage of success if blocked correctly...

Hines had a killer crackback on the DE and Heath blew up the linebacker....All Essex has to do is block the corner and it's a first down and more....Everyone else was caught in the wash of the other great blocks.....

Ben cut back inside because the corner was outside of Essex, but came up and made the tackle without being touched....Even if Fat Ass just gets in his way it's a first down....


That being said, the shitty punt to follow hurt just as much.....
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 14:28 »

Gene Collier article.
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aj_law
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 14:40 »

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Quote
Tunch diagramed this play on the Savrin show with his "Tunchistrator" and it was indeed wide open.....

Based on the defensive look given by the Jags, it was not only a very safe call but also had a high percentage of success if blocked correctly...

Hines had a killer crackback on the DE and Heath blew up the linebacker....All Essex has to do is block the corner and it's a first down and more....Everyone else was caught in the wash of the other great blocks.....

Ben cut back inside because the corner was outside of Essex, but came up and made the tackle without being touched....Even if Fat Ass just gets in his way it's a first down....


That being said, the shitty punt to follow hurt just as much.....
A good OC wouldn't expect his franchise QB with a golden arm to make a play like this with his feet with the season on the line.

Tomlin?  He'll be fine.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 15:20 »

AJ, I can't say I disagree with you, although my bitterness and vitriol (I like that word now) have subsided since Sat. and Sun.

However, your final line sums it up:  He won't be fired.

Because of that, I think we just have to hope that he'll somehow, some way improve for next season.  I still believe this team has a ton of upside, and I don't care what Tunch said, that wasn't the call for that situation.  However, to quote a badly overused cliche, "It is what it is" so we might as well get used to it at least for one more season.

My hope is that Tomlin > Arians, and that he'll flex his head coach muscles in the offseason and say, "That call blows, dude.  You better have something more than that next year."  

And something more than a draw play on 3 and 14.  

And something more than run-run-pass.

And something more than screens executed like a JV high school team running one for the first time.

And something more than four straight fade patterns inside the 5 (incl. 2-pt. conversions).

I have to hope that the staff will gel and Tomlin will insert some common sense and some guts into the equation.  He doesn't impress me as a "play it safe with a one-point lead" type of guy.  Hopefully he'll keep his Ocoordinator from choking on that bone again.

I still have to be hopeful for next year.  We have another draft and another offseason to get better, and I think we can elevate rather than falter.  I still believe that we're going to get better, in spite of Arians, and make a run at it again next year.
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LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 15:33 »

A lot of Arian's warts could be hidden by a few good lineman.  
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aj_law
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 15:51 »

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I have to hope that the staff will gel and Tomlin will insert some common sense and some guts into the equation.  He doesn't impress me as a "play it safe with a one-point lead" type of guy.  Hopefully he'll keep his Ocoordinator from choking on that bone again.

I still have to be hopeful for next year.  We have another draft and another offseason to get better, and I think we can elevate rather than falter.  I still believe that we're going to get better, in spite of Arians, and make a run at it again next year.
I don't see this leopard ever changing it's stripes, Preach.

Maybe Tomlin eventually takes over the OC duties...
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 17:46 »

I think I get it now, too.

It doesn't matter if you limp into the postseason.  The fans expect miracles by the clean slate rule, and when miracles fall short it's time to get out the guillotines.

We criticized Whisenhunt for not opening the offense up more, and for not trying to surprise defenses with unexpected plays.  Now that Arians actually incorporates a more Ben-centered offense that did take a chance, but failed, we want guaranteed success, we want an offense that only does what works.  

Whisenhunt called not just a few bad plays in the AFCC '04, but a whole stinking pile of shit game.  But we grow fonder of him in retrospect, since Arians had a flawed but much more effective '07 WC game.  Apparently, if you have one or two stinkers they really stand out more than a whole unmitigated failure game.  

And when Whisenhunt was given the opportunity to come back and learn, and did so, calling one of the finest series of games down the stretch in '05, that luxury should not be accorded Arians.  Even though Whiz had a better OL, and no HC turnover issues.  

We know that Arians doesn't deserve more because he had a whole season of ups and downs.  Not that that can be blamed on player execution, or lack of talent in key areas.  No, Arians should anticipate exactly which players will fuck up on exactly which plays and abandon said plays accordingly.  Because he's Edgar fucking Cayce or something.

We can shitcan Arians because he has had previous unsuccessful OC experience, contra Whiz or Mularkey.  Both Whiz and Mularkey were also fitfully successful, too often mundane in their run-centered playcalling, predictable as night following day, reliant on cutesy gadgets.  But Arians' cutesiness is more galling, because, well just because.  And Arians' failure with the Browns as OC featured such a fabulous array of talent to execute anything.  

We can all agree that the penultimate series was ploddingly ill-considered, and when we punted I felt the game slip away.  But it's not like we're shocked by late-game conservatism, from the Cowher era.  

I asked folks what they would have run in lieu of the sweep, and to a man everyone returned some variation of the three formations and about 7-10 plays I anticipated.  No onswer to the idea that what works between the 20s doesn't always, or even often, work in the RZ, but who the fuck cares.  No answer to the idea that a play called that the defense anticipates is easier to defend.  No answer to the idea that Ben has shown success in scripted runs in the past, despite what such sources of optimism as stillers.com say about Ben's footspeed.  Would I have run Arians's play there?  No, I wouldn't have.  But it was gutsy, and it would have had a good chance of succeeding had one guy picked up one blocking assignment.  But again, Arians should have anticipated that.  Just as, if he had called for a pass to Washington that was dropped, he should have anticipated that.  Or if he had called for a pass to Holmes that Mathis stepped in front of for a fourth INT on the day, he should have anticipated that.  And so on.

Well, there's always Mike Martz.  Boy, he sure turned around that Detroit offense.

There's always anyone besides who you have here.  Because having a guy with several years of experience with this team and its players is less appealing than bringing in some guy who had success elsewhere, with different players, in a different division, and different assistants.  It's as easy as plug and chug.  

I'm certainly not saying Arians, or Tomlin, is above reproach, or that they have nothing to learn from or build upon.  But these continuous whines that coaches can't change their stripes, can't learn, can't build from year to year, are simply bitchy without being reasonable.  To ignore issues of personnel and execution that are front and center in our discussions all year long is screamingly ignorant.  To think that there are multiple alternatives guaranteed to be better, or that there are alternatives who even want to come here if the OC were shown the door, is myopic.  

I don't think Arians is perfect, but what coach is?  That doesn't cheat?  I don't think Arians is all that much worse than Mularkey or Whiz.  In fact, I think in many ways he was better, but like the team as a whole, needed more consistency, and as padg has noted, needs better decision-making in certain critical situations.  Perhaps he's relying on players who are not or cannot execute.  But I think most folks will agree that an improved OL will help the offense immeasurably, and adding a talent player at WR or possibly RB will give Arians one of the best offensive groups in the AFC.  

Were were really one of the best 6 teams offensively in the AFC?  With Ward and Holmes alternately gimpy?  With an OL that couldn't block my grandmother?  With one true TE, one spotty rookie, and one crudder?  Could the case be made that, despite the sometimes horrible playcalling, we had a record-setting QB, one of the league's best RBs, and an offense that could put up points on anyone, and thus over-achieved?  

Well, then fire the OC.  Because if you're pissed about losing, and there were a couple of bad play calls, then it's justified.
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 18:01 »

You know, I think you gotta give the whole staff another year.  Yes, as fans, we all demand excellence, fanatically so.

But I liked what I saw from the offense this year.  Anyone think that Arians isn't watching film right now?  The offseason will afford he and Ben time to review and add or remove plays from the book.

Maybe next year they can head into the postseason with a full complement of weapons and a healthier roster and a QB who hasn't endured a record-setting amount of sacks.  Maybe they'll allow Ben to run the offense more often such as in the 4th Q of the Jax loss.

And maybe Tomlin will toss that idiotic 2pt conversion chart.
 
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aj_law
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 08, 2008 at 23:32 »

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It doesn't matter if you limp into the postseason. The fans expect miracles by the clean slate rule, and when miracles fall short it's time to get out the guillotines.

I can't speak for anyone else, but I didn't expect a miracle.  Would beating Jacksonville really be classified as a "miracle," anyway?

Regardless, my personal dislike for Arians didn't just sprout from any one single play or even the entire game.  It's been building all year, shitty game here, shitty half there.  That last series on Saturday was just the last straw.  I was against his getting the position from the getgo simply because I'm not a big believer in his scheme/philosophy.  I believed then (and still do now) that it's not the right fit for this team.  Frankly, I'm not convinced that it would work for any team.  Let me rephrase that, I'm not convinced that any team would be a top offensive squad utilizing his approach.

What's more, to me, it's not that they lost, it's how and why they lost.  Save for the first drive and most of the fourth quarter, the playcalling was C+, at best.  The last series was a big fat F.  I would've had more respect and likely wouldn't have been as vehement towards him if he went out swinging.  Be aggressive.  Sack up.  Let Ben do what he did at least a dozen times in the prior two drives.  Dance with who brung ya and shit.  Pick your cliche.  How many fucking times are we going to have to see this team play not to lose only to ultimately lose it?

I also don't recall ever outright advocating for Whiz being shown the door.  Sure, we suffered a lot of the same mindnumbing predictability and there were times when he'd make you want to kick the dog, but in general, every coach does that.  A couple things about the Whisenhunt/Arians comparisons though.  One, Whiz was a rookie OC (at least I'm pretty sure he was...at the moment, I can't remember what the hell he did before he became OC) and probably most importantly, Ben was a rook being thrown to the wolves.  IMO, he got more of a pass for those factors than Arians gets now as a veteran coach with a top 5 or so QB, even with a rookie HC.

Quote
I asked folks what they would have run in lieu of the sweep, and to a man everyone returned some variation of the three formations and about 7-10 plays I anticipated. No onswer to the idea that what works between the 20s doesn't always, or even often, work in the RZ, but who the fuck cares. No answer to the idea that a play called that the defense anticipates is easier to defend. No answer to the idea that Ben has shown success in scripted runs in the past, despite what such sources of optimism as stillers.com say about Ben's footspeed. Would I have run Arians's play there? No, I wouldn't have. But it was gutsy, and it would have had a good chance of succeeding had one guy picked up one blocking assignment. But again, Arians should have anticipated that. Just as, if he had called for a pass to Washington that was dropped, he should have anticipated that. Or if he had called for a pass to Holmes that Mathis stepped in front of for a fourth INT on the day, he should have anticipated that. And so on.

I don't get this part at all.  Because it's a play that the defense could and maybe even does anticipate, it automatically doesn't work?  Sorry, doesn't work that way.  How many times do opposing teams know that Manning/Brady are going to throw it, but can't do shit to stop it?  How many times do opposing teams defend a play perfectly, but the offense still gets it done?  Uh, every game, every week?

I'll tell you what.  I'll take my chances every single time running a high percentage pass play to whoever over the play they called.  Somebody drops it; Ben gets picked; it comes up short, whatever, are all outcomes that I'm willing to risk.
« Last Edit: Jan 08, 2008 at 23:43 by aj_law » Logged

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