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Author Topic: Hate To Say It...  (Read 1983 times)
otismalibu
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« on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:24 »

I'm starting to think that Lefty might work better with the tools this team currently has. I know, I know...Ben is the multi-million dollar man, blah, blah, blah. That won't mean shit if we go one and done.
A shit pass like that one to Heath will absolutely kill us in the post season. And that was against the Browns.
Lefty just lasers it out there and doesn't fuck around. His misses seems to go thru the back wall or 3 feet into the turf...not into the hands of defenders.
Thing is, Tomlin seems reluctant to give Ben the hook, because he might win the game late in the 4th. How 'bout winning it in the first half and then let the dogs loose.
And that looked like a little more than a concussion to me. Most guys walk off and sit on the bench with the woozies (medical term). Dude could barely get his thumb up.
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:31 »

It may be sacrilege but one must wonder.  Was that Lefty I saw footing it into the end zone?

Nah, only if Ben is hurt.  But if he's too hurt to be effective then yes, start the BFL.
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:34 »

Let Lefty run the BA offense, and then alternate him with Ben running the no-huddle.

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« Reply #3 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:36 »

And you're right.  On the replay I saw it looked like Ben barely got that thumb up there.  It wasn't an emphatic thumbs up but an elbow resting slowly rising thumbs up - hardly encouraging.
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otismalibu
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:40 »

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Let Lefty run the BA offense, and then alternate him with Ben running the no-huddle.

Why not?

Fuck all this Wild Cat shit. We'll run Ebony & Ivory all the way to Tampa!
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:46 »

If Ben can't get a full week of practice in before their first playoff game, they might not even go one and done.

I cringe to think what would happen if opposing defenses have a week to gameplan for Leftwich.  Coming off the bench, yeah, sure, he's the QB equivalent of a "change of pace" RB.  The dude gets rid of it quicker and appears to be more decisive.  But man, I don't want my team's playoff hopes riding on his shoulders.
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otismalibu
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 09:53 »

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If Ben can't get a full week of practice in before their first playoff game, they might not even go one and done.

I meant one game and their season is over. As in an opening round loss.

Ben ain't exactly playing lights out right now. Can't see the head smack helping his game.

I hope he comes back and is great in the post season. But if it starts looking like the Titans game, I'll welcome the change of pace guy.

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« Reply #7 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 16:10 »

I've been advocating for this since BL won the Skins game. I'm not permanently against BR, but his head is so far up his ass right now (and has been all season, IMO) and BL looks great when he plays. Fuck the money. BL can pass the ball (and avoid sacks, fumbles, INTs, etc.).
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 16:23 »

I've been advocating for this since BL won the Skins game. I'm not permanently against BR, but his head is so far up his ass right now (and has been all season, IMO) and BL looks great when he plays. Fuck the money. BL can pass the ball (and avoid sacks, fumbles, INTs, etc.).

I really don't know how anyone can rate how Leftwich will do in the playoffs off 36 pass attempts.  I agree that he's looked pretty good when in there.  But I also tend to agree with aj's assessment.

Hey, whatever works is good for me.  And if Ben's not healthy, do what we gotta do.  But for better or worse, it's Ben that got us here, not Gary Coleman.
Maybe Gary Coleman woulda been 14-2 or 16-0.  Then again, maybe he woulda broken his damn leg again and been out for the season.

Like I said, go with what works.  But let's not throw Ben on the FA market just yet.
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« Reply #9 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 18:18 »

agreed on all accounts where Coleman looks great the 2 times he's come in and would start on probably 75% of the teams out there right now but i can't see him rocking us the Super Bowl.  The fact that Big Ben has had 2 concussions in 2 weeks is not good obviously and this week's was really more than they're letting us know - that thumbs up really seemed like a strain - the motorcycle accident is rearing it's head in this backhanded way i think.  I don't want him to get permanently hurt obviously but he got us to where we are, not Coleman so we should ride him out to the end.  Hopefully, this week off will do him some good...
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 18:22 »

If Ben can't get a full week of practice in before their first playoff game, they might not even go one and done.

I cringe to think what would happen if opposing defenses have a week to gameplan for Leftwich.  Coming off the bench, yeah, sure, he's the QB equivalent of a "change of pace" RB.  The dude gets rid of it quicker and appears to be more decisive.  But man, I don't want my team's playoff hopes riding on his shoulders.

I agree, Lefty hasn't made a start yet. Meaning no defense has planned for him. I wont say it's easy to be successful off the the bench, but I will say it's easier to play well against a defense that hasn't planned for you then a defense that has. Look at all the guys who have been great off the bench, but could never hack it as a starter: Dave Kreig, Gus Frerotte, Jason Garret, Frank Reich, and even Charlie Batch. All these guys play very well filling in, but never as starters.

Ben is a winner. He's been doing that pretty damn consistently since he's came into the league. That's why we pay him the big bucks. Why bench the guy for playing poorly in two games that didn't even fucking matter anyway? He was playing solid before the last two games, and he's 5-2 in the postseason for fuck sake.

If he's hurt and can't go, then fine. Lefty can hold his own,  but if Ben can go, he's gotta be the guy.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 19:32 »


If he's hurt and can't go, then fine. Lefty can hold his own,  but if Ben can go, he's gotta be the guy.


 iagree
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 29, 2008 at 23:30 »

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I cringe to think what would happen if opposing defenses have a week to gameplan for Leftwich.  Coming off the bench, yeah, sure, he's the QB equivalent of a "change of pace" RB.  The dude gets rid of it quicker and appears to be more decisive.  But man, I don't want my team's playoff hopes riding on his shoulders.

The one thing I don't want to see is Ben making the decision about how "ready" he is.  If Cowher had made him sit a few times in 2006, that season may have turned out much different.  I love the fact that Ben is a gamer and wants to play, but for heavens' sake, he was out cold on the field (or so it appeared).  If he needs to sit, then play Gary and keep a lid on it until right before game time.  And if Ben is mucking it up, yank him.

Let's keep in mind that there is a reason BL lost his job in Jax, in Atl, etc.; and there is a reason why he wasn't signed by anyone until we called him up.  I think he's a good guy, good backup, and a great asset to this team, but I'm not ready to hand him the reins for the rest of the season.  Let's not forget that the windup throw and slow feet (yeah, he ran one in Sun...the slowest 8 yards in nfl history) are still there.

And really, I don't believe that we need to throw in the towel on BR at this point.  Come on, people, do you honestly think Gary C would have put up any more points against the Ravens?  Or suddenly given us a win vs. the Titans?  I doubt that.

Ben has gotten his head bashed in all year--what, 48 sacks?--and he's hung in and led us to 12-4.  Now we want to make Byron Leftwich the starter?  What is up with that? 

I don't know what the deal is and why BR and Arians don't seem to click, but I know that I am not in any way prepared to kick Ben to the curb.  I still think he is one of the best in the NFL and can only name a handful of guys that I'd take over him.  BL beat the friggin' Redskins and Browns for half a game, let's not slobber all over him just yet.  And, if I remember correctly, we were leading both of those games when Ben left.
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 11:03 »

Just to reiterate, I'm not selling out BR for good; I'm not advocating for trading him/putting him on the FA market. However, with him, it seems like his funks are long-lasting. He has the ability to do complete 180s from season to season. Next year he'll probably be stellar. But this year, he's been pretty much terrible. I don't think any player in the league should play just because he's being paid well.

Here are the Steelers problems: shitty OL leads to no run game and too many sacks. OC that calls shitty plays. QB that holds onto the ball for an eternity on every. single. play. The Steelers cannot address the OL at this point in the season. So, what are the adjustments they could make? Run the hurry-up more often and call virtually only 3-step-drop pass plays to get the ball out of his hands. However, BA and BR refuse to do either. The "big-play" argument is null and void this year. BR holds onto the fucking ball too long and seldom does it result in anything worth creaming pants over. More often it results in a sack, fumble or INT (or all three if possible).

BR and BA know the OL sucks. They both have to make adjustments to account for this. BA could help BR by calling better plays, but ultimately, BR is the guy on the field and the one who has the most influence over how things shake out. Maybe the Steelers should get a taser so that when BR practices, he automatically gets tased when he holds onto the ball longer than 2.5 - 3 seconds.

All that to say this: maybe BL wouldn't do so well if foes game planned for him, but he doesn't do the things that have gotten the Steelers into trouble thus far - take sacks and turn the ball over.

If anyone from the Steelers organization is listening (and I have no doubt that some of you are front office personnel), please insert the 1980s gem "We don't need another hero" next time BR is suiting up. All we need is someone who plays smart.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 11:08 »

I wonder if BR has any more smart-@ss quips for the media about holdiong the ball too long after getting his head smashed yet again?
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« Reply #15 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 11:29 »

I guess it's a moot point anyway, because BR will only get the hook if he's hurt. I just hope he's sharp in a few weeks, but after a concussion, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's not. Of course, like any athlete, he's going to say he's 100%, even if he's not. We'll see.

We absolutely can't have one or more of those "what the fuck was he thinking" picks that puts us in a first half hole like last year's brief post season.
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« Reply #16 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 11:38 »

We absolutely cannot have that.  I hope he rests through next Sunday and then is cleared to resume preparation for the next enemy, hopefully the Fish.
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« Reply #17 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 13:13 »

You guys remember in SB XL when it was 3rd and forever and Ben held on to the ball entirely too long and even stopped to make sure he was  behind the line, then chucked it for 30 some odd yards to Hines to set up a crucial TD? Did anyone bitch about him holding on to the ball for too long then? How bout earlier in the year against Jax, when he fluttered a 15 yard pass to Hines with 3 guys hanging on to him for a vital third down conversion. Anyone bitch then? Or against Baltimore, when he threw the game winner to Holmes. Anyone bitch? You take the good and you take the bad with Ben. Because we've all seen him when he's good, and that good outweighs the bad by a long shot. We're friggin' 12-4 and the 2 seed in the better conference.

Yes, he needs to be smarter with the football, no doubt about it. But one of the major reasons why he's been so successful is because of his skill to improvise. He's won us many games playing that way. Ben is 51-17(?) as a starter, 5-2 in the post season, and the youngest QB to have won a SB. Why throw him under the bus? Especially for Byron Fuckin' Leftwich. Not sure who pointed it out earlier, but they were right when they said there is a reason the guy lost his job in Jax and Atl. You give a defense a week to a plan for the slow-footed Gary Colemen and he'll look like fucking Tommy Maddox.

Not buying the idea that he will be gun shy or whatever after the concussion either. Dude hit is head on a wind shield and almost died. He's been knocked around more than any other QB since he's came into the league. I hardly think that this last hit is going to be the one that does it. Especially since he has a good two weeks to recover from it.
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« Reply #18 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 13:14 »

All that to say this: maybe BL wouldn't do so well if foes game planned for him, but he doesn't do the things that have gotten the Steelers into trouble thus far - take sacks and turn the ball over.

Ben - 60 quarters played, 46 sacks = .766 sacks per quarter
Gary - 4 quarters played, 3 sacks = .75 sacks per quarter

I'm just sayin'...
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« Reply #19 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 13:39 »

I don't think Ben holding onto the ball too long is as divisive as some fans are making it.  Does he sometimes take a sack we wish he wouldn't?  Sure.  Do we sometimes see him turn chicken shit into chicken salad?  Yup.

IMO, the problem still goes back to the line and the OC play-calling.  You can say "Oh, Starks is playing better than I thought he would," on down the line, left to right, rationalizing away, but the facts remain: Ben is getting clanged at a David Carr-like rate, and our YPC rushing is pretty fucking weak.  There's not a week where I sit back and say, "Hey, Ben really had all the time in the world to get it done for a change."  There is always a breakdown; sometimes it's at the edge, sometimes up the gut, but most often it's all over the damned line.  My general impression is that before, Ben had some time/space to get outside the pocket and make something happen, whereas now you see the pocket collapsing around him and containing him.  Defenders sandwiching him as he looks like a dog paddling down the river, sticking his head up for air, no chance to throw the ball away.  His own linemen thrown back into him.  Edge rushers coming in from both sides.

So maybe DCs are figuring out that they can contain Ben and get the sacks, or force him to throw off-balance, since he can't scramble out for throws.  (He also hasn't run as much this year, if you'll notice, and I think it's because he just hasn't had those lanes to run it, again because he's sandwiched rather than chased.)

Another part of the blame has to be the OC, who cannot design plays to counter the pass-rush, who cannot find a way to get running plays outside of the tackles, who cannot get quick-developing pass plays for intermediate yardage, and who rarely seems to have a designed pressure valve receiver.  Granted, Ben does sometimes loom for the kill shot rather than a short dumper that would save the play (missing a wide open MM for 2 yards on that one INT at Tenn, which would have been an easy first down). 

Point is, you fix the essentials (OL, OC), and Ben's style of play becomes a moot issue. 
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« Reply #20 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 13:59 »

I don't think Ben holding onto the ball too long is as divisive as some fans are making it.  Does he sometimes take a sack we wish he wouldn't?  Sure.  Do we sometimes see him turn chicken shit into chicken salad?  Yup.

IMO, the problem still goes back to the line and the OC play-calling.  You can say "Oh, Starks is playing better than I thought he would," on down the line, left to right, rationalizing away, but the facts remain: Ben is getting clanged at a David Carr-like rate, and our YPC rushing is pretty fucking weak.  There's not a week where I sit back and say, "Hey, Ben really had all the time in the world to get it done for a change."  There is always a breakdown; sometimes it's at the edge, sometimes up the gut, but most often it's all over the damned line.  My general impression is that before, Ben had some time/space to get outside the pocket and make something happen, whereas now you see the pocket collapsing around him and containing him.  Defenders sandwiching him as he looks like a dog paddling down the river, sticking his head up for air, no chance to throw the ball away.  His own linemen thrown back into him.  Edge rushers coming in from both sides.

So maybe DCs are figuring out that they can contain Ben and get the sacks, or force him to throw off-balance, since he can't scramble out for throws.  (He also hasn't run as much this year, if you'll notice, and I think it's because he just hasn't had those lanes to run it, again because he's sandwiched rather than chased.)

Another part of the blame has to be the OC, who cannot design plays to counter the pass-rush, who cannot find a way to get running plays outside of the tackles, who cannot get quick-developing pass plays for intermediate yardage, and who rarely seems to have a designed pressure valve receiver.  Granted, Ben does sometimes loom for the kill shot rather than a short dumper that would save the play (missing a wide open MM for 2 yards on that one INT at Tenn, which would have been an easy first down). 

Point is, you fix the essentials (OL, OC), and Ben's style of play becomes a moot issue. 

Great post. Leftwich ain't the cure for this offense. Put him behind this line for 30+ pass plays against a playoff caliber defense and his sack total will be at least equal to if not greater than Ben's.

And they can't runblock against anyone not wearing orange jerseys.

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« Reply #21 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 14:04 »

And they can't runblock against anyone not wearing orange jerseys.


That is the sad truth.   cussing
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« Reply #22 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 14:14 »

Don't get me wrong, I like Leftwich a lot, and think he'd do fine for us.  Ben's just the better long-term option.  Kinda like in FF when you have that impulse to sit an underperforming key player and then he comes back and kills for you the next week...  IMO, a lot of teams were being overly cautious in not signing Lefty (Bears, Lions, Vikes, to name a few).  He has a renowned fastball, funky windup notwithstanding.  He can read defenses and deliver to a spot.  But part of what we're seeing is defenses caught off guard.  Call it the Maddox Effect... you wonder if Lefty were handed the starting job, how long would it be until he looked like Ben, with less scrambling and a different throwing motion?  Once you're taking snaps for all four quarters, it's sort of a different game.
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« Reply #23 on: Dec 30, 2008 at 20:39 »

Great posts, Finny.  I'm not saying that Ben isn't part of the problem.  But benching him (unless he's hurt) isn't the solution.
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« Reply #24 on: Jan 02, 2009 at 09:41 »

If Ben's close to right,he has to play.  However, he tends to not play well the first game back from an injury.  Whether it's because he rushes back before he's ready, I don't know.  I would be extremely surprised if he doesn't play, but I'm not sure he'll play particularly well.  I like BFL, but over 4 quarters I think the pass rush would get to him, especially if we can't establish the running game.

Defense is going to have to step up big - again.
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« Reply #25 on: Jan 02, 2009 at 11:12 »

If Ben's close to right,he has to play.  However, he tends to not play well the first game back from an injury.  Whether it's because he rushes back before he's ready, I don't know.  I would be extremely surprised if he doesn't play, but I'm not sure he'll play particularly well.  I like BFL, but over 4 quarters I think the pass rush would get to him, especially if we can't establish the running game.

Defense is going to have to step up big - again.

I think that's about right.  But...  I'm hoping the bye does give him some time to heal up various dings, and that a full week of practice will allow him to get into the rhythm. 

If BA weren't such an obvious cock, he could insert a bunch of plays that would help Ben out, too.  Like, uh, getting Moore into the passing game?  Running plays that don't involve a neon sign blaring "DELAYED DRAW, PLEASE TACKLE FOR A LOSS."  Etc.
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« Reply #26 on: Jan 02, 2009 at 11:25 »

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Like, uh, getting Moore into the passing game?

No shit!

Could we really have too many dump off passes to MM? He always seems to make something out of it.

Lefty doesn't seem to have much for touch on these dump offs. He just likes the bullets.

I don't think anyone would suggest that Lefty should start. But Tomlin may want to consider putting him in, if BR shits the bed. Hopefully it's not an issue and Ben has a solid game.

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« Reply #27 on: Jan 02, 2009 at 12:10 »

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Like, uh, getting Moore into the passing game?
I don't think anyone would suggest that Lefty should start. But Tomlin may want to consider putting him in, if BR shits the bed. Hopefully it's not an issue and Ben has a solid game.

I'm hoping that Ben has that solid game.  More than solid, I hope he returns to Jan. 2006 form.  I loved that Ben.  Didn't like the way that guy didn't show up in the SB, but hopefully that was just first time nerves.

And not doubt about MoMo.  Why that man isn't involved significantly more in every aspect is beyond me.  I love FWP, but MoMo gives us an added dimension when he's there.
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