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Author Topic: Is Ben done?  (Read 1866 times)
SCacalaki
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« Reply #10 on: Oct 28, 2013 at 14:41 »

UM LAUNDRY JONES HALO RINGSZ
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Manimal
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« Reply #11 on: Oct 28, 2013 at 15:45 »

Nothing in that plan would have addressed the biggest problem that you mentioned in the first quote above though.

Very true, and if I can expand briefly: I didn't want to look back with 20/20 hindsight and say I knew the O-Line would be the disaster it's been and therefore we should have invested prime resources in additional offensive linemen. (Getting more backups is another story.)

Even so, I think it was clear that the cupboard was woefully bare at every skill position except QB, and it's possible to think that if the Steelers had been more aggressive at addressing needs at WR, RB, and TE, that could have provided some cover for the offensive line problems. But when you combine a poor performance upfront with receivers who can't scare anyone, you're just giving defenses too many good options for attacking you.

There are plenty of NFL teams who run that model of offense, successfully enough, it seems to me: not very good upfront, but with enough weapons to throw to that teams have to back off a bit.
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aj_law
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« Reply #12 on: Oct 28, 2013 at 15:51 »

The real problems with this offense is that the offensive line is a nightmare and the receivers are terrible. Ben's had several TD passes dropped this season. He's still got very good awareness of the pass rush, and the ability to make plays when they breakdown.

I definitely agree on the O-line.  When healthy, they were borderline, at best.  The good group up the middle was overshadowed by crappy tackle play.  Injuries have only amplified the problem.  Lack of quality depth has pushed it over the edge.  

I disagree with the assessment of the skill positions.  Bell, Miller and AB are solid.  Sanders is extremely athletic, but annoyingly immature.  Wheaton looks like a promising prospect and Cotchery is a pretty good #4.  Could they use more talent here?  Sure.  Are they the best group in the league?  N'way.  Plenty of damn good teams make due with much worse, tho.  Look at the group in Indy, GB, NE, Washington, Seattle...they're all top 10 offenses.  IMO, the difference in quality at the WR/RB/TE positions on those teams as compared to Pittsburgh's is negligible.

I think the question you have to ask yourself is, does #7 make the players around him better?  I think he still does...at times.

Todd Haley is another problem, although even with him, I'd say it's hard to run any offense when the blocking and protection are this ridiculously terrible. Keep in mind, not only do teams beat our line play after play, but they can expect to do so, which means they can also, when situations call for it, take risks that they wouldn't against other teams. I know everyone complains about all the screens and draw plays, but I can understand the logic behind it, too. Every play that requires more than 2 seconds of blocking turns into a Chinese fire drill. I seriously doubt that a committee of the top 5 offensive minds in football, if they suddenly worked for us, would see appreciably better results.

Honestly, if I had to rank culpability of their 2-5 season, I'd start with some football operations guys like Colbert and/or Khan.  Then, I'd move to Tomlin, then to Haley and LeBeau.  And, it might be blasphemous to say, but LeBeau might be ranked right next or just a shade higher than Haley.  The only reason I'm putting those guys at the bottom is because I think they're doing a decent job considering what they're working with.  When you consider the amount of injuries Haley has had to deal with along the O-line and being without a real running back for the first quarter of the season, I think he's done an OK job.

Ben has his flaws, to be sure, and if you watch the all-22 on game rewind you'll observe that he doesn't see open guys from time to time. He also doesn't manage the game as much as he perhaps should, such as taking off and running for 3 yards or just throwing the ball away.

While he wasn't the main reason they lost, Ben made some horribad decisions yesterday.  He needs to stop always looking for the home run and settle for what the defense is giving him.  It'll keep them out of 2nd/3rd and long due to a sack or loss of yardage play.  There is absolutely no rhythm to this offense, ATM.  A big reason for that is what BR is doing with the ball.

I believed that in the offseason we should have invested as much as we could in skill position players on offense. I would have liked to see use all of our first three picks on WRs, RBs, and/or TEs, depending on whoever was highest on our board at those positions. We are woeful in all three places, and depth is particularly embarrassing. David Paulson is our second TE, and he should not be on any NFL team's practice squad. Our RBs after Bell would not be on a roster if not for us. We have one competent WR.

Wait, I thought you were happy with the Jones selection?  I seem to recall you liking it.

As to the bolded part, that's pretty much what they did, no?  They went OLB, RB and WR.  And IIRC, if Haley had his way, they would've taken Eifert in R1 instead of Jones so they would've ended up with your TE/RB/WR triumverate.  In retrospect, an Eifert/Miller combo at TE would've probably been better than the 2013 version of 'Zo Jackson, but I don't know how much better that would've made the offense.

Unfortunately, based on what I've seen in his first 6 games, most of those predraft concerns many of us had about JJ were valid.  Think I remember his 40 being somewhere in the 4.9-5.0 range and goddamned if it doesn't look like he's running around out there with ankle weights.  Slow, OLB pass rushers generally don't play on Sunday for long.  He might've gotten by with that in the SEC, but when you've got OTs that hit those numbers, well, the only splash plays you're gonna make are when someone makes a mistake and he's left unblocked.  In the meantime, Eifert and Gresham are a solid 1,2 TE combo for Red in Cincy.
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msdmnr2002
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« Reply #13 on: Oct 28, 2013 at 20:01 »

Manimal, I agree that Ben is still an upper eschelon QB - not sure I'd go so far as elite at this point, but that depends on how far down the list you want to go.  It's not specifically his play that led me to start the thread, although I do question his decision making.  The problem is that due to whatever combination of poor drafting/development/gameplanning/game day management you choose, this team is going nowhere fast, and it looks like wholesale changes will be needed to get back to glory.  It's obvious how Ben feels about change; and I'm afraid that by the time other things turn around, Ben will be to old/broken/disenchanted to take advantage.  And right now he is an expensive component, and if we extend him it will stay that way for years.

So do you A: take your lumps all at once and move him, possibly falling to the 2-4 win range, take the money to improve the roster, or

B:  do you try to rebuild with him keeping us hanging around the 5-8 win range until (hopefully) other pieces are in place, at which point you have to replace him and go through the growing pains of a new QB?

Are those really the two options  sad4 puke emoticon-suicide
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Manimal
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« Reply #14 on: Oct 30, 2013 at 11:57 »

Good points, all.

AJ, you asked about the Jarvis pick, which I've played both ways in the sense that, before the draft, I thought they should go heavy on skill position guys, but after the draft, I thought the pick of Jones made sense. I mean, it would be hard to say it was a crazy pick, right? If you're a GM, and you have this guy ranked as a top 4 player, and he falls 14 or whatever spots to you, you have to pick him. The rest of the draft, in my view, is to fill needs, the first round is to take a gamble on finding a star.

Now, after the draft, I found a youtube clip of all of Jones's sacks, and while there were a staggering number of them, I wasn't as overwhelmed as I expected to be. Basically I saw a lot of gaping holes opened in the protection that he ran through. Not to say that even that's easy: plenty of guys can get into the backfield and whiff at putting the QB on the ground. (None of this is to say I've given up on Jones, as I'm not going to consider anything this year as being relevant. Next year? Different story.)

True enough, too, that it is certainly time to be thinking about the QB after Ben. But the bottom line for me is that his performance is so hard to evaluate from the armchair because I can't tell what the hell this offense is *trying* to achieve, and because of the ineptitude around him. What with all the injuries on top of the lack of depth, in the Raiders game, it's hard to find a passing play where Ben gets to the deepest part of his drop before having to evade the rush, bubble screens excluded. Ok, sorry for rambling...
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Finnegans Wake
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« Reply #15 on: Nov 14, 2013 at 14:07 »

Ben has over 2500 yards in 9 games this season.  If he continues this pace, he will pass Ken Anderson, Troy Aikman, Y.A. Tittle, Steve Young, Phil Simms, John Hadl, and Steve DeBerg to reach 22nd on the all-time passing yardage list, reaching about 34,350 yards. 

He has 13 TDs this season, and at this rate should get about 10 more by year's end, which would push him to 214 TDs, or tied for 25th place, passing Randall Cunningham, Kurt Warner, Kerry Collins, Jim Hart, and Terry Bradshaw along the way.

Ben is averaging almost 4 sacks per game this year, and is already the active leader in career sacks taken with 379, ranking him 15th all-time.  (Cf. David Carr, still technically "active," with 267.  By year's end he should be moving up to 10th overall, reaching 406 sacks and passing Chris Chandler, Jim Plunkett, Mark Brunell, Archie Manning, and Ken Anderson.

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« Reply #16 on: Nov 14, 2013 at 19:00 »

According to NFL.com's Mike Silver, some of Ben Roethlisberger's teammates believe he needs to "upgrade his preparation (and) film study away from the facility," and become "more cerebral."
"More cerebral" isn't something people become overnight, but this isn't the first time we've heard Roethlisberger's work ethic questioned. He's always been more of a spitballer/gunslinger than technician. Going on 32, Big Ben is an old dog unlikely to learn new tricks, but he's going to soon have to if he wants to remain an effective quarterback. He can't keep taking hits the way he has to this point in his career. Nov 14 - 6:52 PM
Source: Ian Rapoport on Twitter
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pensodyssey
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« Reply #17 on: Nov 14, 2013 at 20:25 »

"We'll see," Roethlisberger said. "It depends on how much work he wants to put in. How much does he want to be here? Is he going to be here all weekend?"
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