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Author Topic: Running team or passing team?  (Read 891 times)
busboy36
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« on: Jan 23, 2008 at 20:05 »

There is a lot of talk about the Steelers becoming more of a passing team next year and beyond.  Now, that may not be a bad idea.  Ben had a career year last year, as did Santonio and Heath.

However, I believe we should build the offense around Willie and the running game.  Yes, our o-line is in shambles, but most of them run-block better than they pass-block.  O-line is still the number 1 priority in the draft.

I think we should build our offense to look more like the offense we had in 2004 and 2005.  After all, those are the years we have had the most success in with Ben under center.

And let's face it.  Ben isn't great at reading defenses.  I don't think he could run the Colts or Patriots offense with the same amount of success.  Even with great pass protection, Ben doesn't always make the correct read.  He tends to jump out of the pocket when his first read is covered, instead of going to his second and third reads.  Ben already answered his critics who said he couldn't win with his arm.

So let's build up our running game some.  Get Ben throwing some play-action passes that might actually work.  Ben's 2007 stats were pretty to look at, but they won't be prettier than another ring.
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DCSteelers
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« Reply #1 on: Jan 23, 2008 at 22:19 »

Ride in the vehicle you have.  This case, the mustang is Big Ben.  Now we need to get hime someone to through the ball to.

Unfortunately, Ben has a LTBE earned bonus of around 3 million due this year.  So we owe him some change whether we extend him or not.

Cutting Ced can save us the difference, I think. Seems like a no brainer, I think he's due nearly 3 mil this year?

But 19 Mil under should be enought to SING Roy Williams and Max Starks, plus have plenty left over for other stuff.

I personally hope to see more of Gary Russell.  He's only 21 and might be the heir to Parker- something we need to think of for 2010 and beyond, or at lease a 2 back system near term.
« Last Edit: Jan 23, 2008 at 22:20 by DCSteelers » Logged
LambertsFrontTeeth
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« Reply #2 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 08:25 »

I think that this argument is kind of a moot point if we don't have better O-line play in 2008.

I don't know how well we will do either with the current group of stiffs.

That being said, I think that recent history shows that, with the current rules tilted toward aiding the passing game, you damn well better be efficient as a passing team if you wish to contend.

I'm not sure that running the ball wins championships any more. I think you need to have a really special, elite defense to contend without a star QB (see last year's Bears). Even then, I'm not sure you can run the table in the playoffs without having a QB who can threaten downfield. We have a good, maybe very good defense (on paper for 2008, anyhow), but I don't think it's on the elite level .

Luckily, we are one of a few teams that DOES have a star QB. I think we need to put him in position to win games. That means protecting him, and giving him maybe one more receiver. Right now, the protection issue looms largest for me.

So, I think I have moved over to the "passing team" side of the argument.  
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #3 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 10:13 »

I think much of this really does boil down to improving the line.  

Quote
And let's face it. Ben isn't great at reading defenses. I don't think he could run the Colts or Patriots offense with the same amount of success. Even with great pass protection, Ben doesn't always make the correct read. He tends to jump out of the pocket when his first read is covered, instead of going to his second and third reads.

Ben's had issues reading defenses, but IMO he's shown improvement, last year notwithstanding.  I think 2007 proved that.  Look at his rating, TD-to-INT ratio.  Does he sometimes miss the open guy?  Well, yeah, who doesn't.  

You mention that Ben jumps out of the pocket when the first read is covered: that's because Ben's line only gives him about a tenth as much time as Brady, Peyton, or Rivers.  You give him any of those lines, and he's seeing guys he doesn't see now, he's making checkdowns without flittering out of the pocket.  That he CAN make plays on the fly is just a bonus that you don't necessarily get with anyone this side of Favre.  Brady looked very mortal against a good Bolts pass rush in the first half.

But back to the original question, I think you have to have both.  You can't be too far to one side of the equation, much as I've advocated putting more of the offensive load on Ben and the passing game.  When one part falters, as the Patriots' pass game did against the Bolts last week, the other needs to step in, as Maroney did.  

Now, again, with better line play, maybe FWP doesn't get caught in the backfield as often.  But I understand what Colbert's saying about effective rushing tandems, and frankly, if a guy like Mendenhall is sitting there at 1.23, I'm looking at him.  If we can still fix the line, and add a solid 1b. runner, then that makes Ben's job as passer easier.  The word I've always used for the offense is ssymbiotic.  Sooner or later, a pass-only or rush-only offense gets stopped.

The other thing about offenses is, per our Arians discussion, you need to be able to keep defenses guessing.  Predictability is fine if you are pounding Bettis behind a good line to burn off the clock and secure the lead, but here again, you need that line play.  And with a solid line, even a Najeh Davenport could run out the clock.  But if we can add a substantial RB to improve on Najeh, sure, that's fine.

And unpredictability aside, I think we need diversity of gameplanning.  I think the Arians-Roethlisberger book was a good idea, get Ben invested in  the offense, cut out the deadwood, simplify it.  Great.  But at some point, you have to add some more back in.  We just seemed to get caught in the same sorts of plays too often.  We don't need 8 dozen fancy Nancy gadget plays, but let's mix it up a bit more.  

Bottom line, I think the question is an artificial one, one that really shouldn't apply unless you're discussing the Martz Rams or the '07 Pats or the Eagles of late, who passed a very high percentage, or the Cowher Steelers, who ran more than almost anyone else.  The new offense needs to run when it needs to, pass when it needs to, and just win.  Some games, maybe we pass 70% of the time, or rush 70% of the time, but I think most games you're going to be close to 50% balance, +/-5%.
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« Reply #4 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 10:18 »

Quote
I think much of this really does boil down to improving the line.  

Quote
And let's face it. Ben isn't great at reading defenses. I don't think he could run the Colts or Patriots offense with the same amount of success. Even with great pass protection, Ben doesn't always make the correct read. He tends to jump out of the pocket when his first read is covered, instead of going to his second and third reads.

Ben's had issues reading defenses, but IMO he's shown improvement, last year notwithstanding.  I think 2007 proved that.  Look at his rating, TD-to-INT ratio.  Does he sometimes miss the open guy?  Well, yeah, who doesn't.  

You mention that Ben jumps out of the pocket when the first read is covered: that's because Ben's line only gives him about a tenth as much time as Brady, Peyton, or Rivers.  You give him any of those lines, and he's seeing guys he doesn't see now, he's making checkdowns without flittering out of the pocket.  That he CAN make plays on the fly is just a bonus that you don't necessarily get with anyone this side of Favre.  Brady looked very mortal against a good Bolts pass rush in the first half.

But back to the original question, I think you have to have both.  You can't be too far to one side of the equation, much as I've advocated putting more of the offensive load on Ben and the passing game.  When one part falters, as the Patriots' pass game did against the Bolts last week, the other needs to step in, as Maroney did.  

Now, again, with better line play, maybe FWP doesn't get caught in the backfield as often.  But I understand what Colbert's saying about effective rushing tandems, and frankly, if a guy like Mendenhall is sitting there at 1.23, I'm looking at him.  If we can still fix the line, and add a solid 1b. runner, then that makes Ben's job as passer easier.  The word I've always used for the offense is ssymbiotic.  Sooner or later, a pass-only or rush-only offense gets stopped.

The other thing about offenses is, per our Arians discussion, you need to be able to keep defenses guessing.  Predictability is fine if you are pounding Bettis behind a good line to burn off the clock and secure the lead, but here again, you need that line play.  And with a solid line, even a Najeh Davenport could run out the clock.  But if we can add a substantial RB to improve on Najeh, sure, that's fine.

And unpredictability aside, I think we need diversity of gameplanning.  I think the Arians-Roethlisberger book was a good idea, get Ben invested in  the offense, cut out the deadwood, simplify it.  Great.  But at some point, you have to add some more back in.  We just seemed to get caught in the same sorts of plays too often.  We don't need 8 dozen fancy Nancy gadget plays, but let's mix it up a bit more.  

Bottom line, I think the question is an artificial one, one that really shouldn't apply unless you're discussing the Martz Rams or the '07 Pats or the Eagles of late, who passed a very high percentage, or the Cowher Steelers, who ran more than almost anyone else.  The new offense needs to run when it needs to, pass when it needs to, and just win.  Some games, maybe we pass 70% of the time, or rush 70% of the time, but I think most games you're going to be close to 50% balance, +/-5%.
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #5 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 10:36 »

One play we discussed before was breaking out FWP as a receiver.  If he's lined up in the slot, maybe he's running an end-around, or maybe he's running a go route with that speed of his.  He had a nice EZ catch improvised with Ben, so we know he can catch, I just don't know if he has over-the-shoulder receiving hands.  So maybe not a go, maybe he stops and plants, catches and jukes.

Again, if we'd take a guy like Mendenhall, who could be there at 1.23, he's got size (5'11", 225#), and was able to grab 34 passes for 318 yards.  So there you have a dual threat guy.
« Last Edit: Jan 24, 2008 at 10:38 by Finnegans Wake » Logged

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steelerfaninCO
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« Reply #6 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 10:45 »

Quote

Bottom line, I think the question is an artificial one, one that really shouldn't apply unless you're discussing the Martz Rams or the '07 Pats or the Eagles of late, who passed a very high percentage, or the Cowher Steelers, who ran more than almost anyone else.  The new offense needs to run when it needs to, pass when it needs to, and just win.  Some games, maybe we pass 70% of the time, or rush 70% of the time, but I think most games you're going to be close to 50% balance, +/-5%.
Bingo...... The team needs to be able to win in a myriad of ways. Some games it will be passing, others it will be running, but a balanced offense able to do both when needed would be ideal.
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Gobo Fraggle
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« Reply #7 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 11:21 »

So, all we need is a team that can both pass and run the ball well and play good defense to win........ BRILLIANT.





 
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #8 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 11:28 »

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So, all we need is a team that can both pass and run the ball well and play good defense to win........ BRILLIANT.
Pretty much.
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give'emthaboot
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« Reply #9 on: Jan 24, 2008 at 13:52 »

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Quote
So, all we need is a team that can both pass and run the ball well and play good defense to win........ BRILLIANT.
Pretty much.
Don't forget special teams!!!
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