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I-Want-Troy's-Hair
02-07-2007, 12:23 AM
Arians warms to task in a hurry
New coordinator cuts playbook's size

Wednesday, February 07, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Bruce Arians, the Steelers' new offensive coordinator, knows how to keep warm in his new office these frigid February days. He has thrown the thick, old, patchwork playbook on the fire.

He promises the new model to be sleek, trimmed down and easy to understand for his players, particularly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Yet he will add some personal touches, such as playing four receivers on first and second downs without putting the quarterback in a shotgun formation.

The old playbook dates to 1992, when Ron Erhardt conceived it as Bill Cowher's first offensive coordinator. As coordinators changed, they did not scrap the original but added their own stuff until it grew to become almost unwieldy.

"Bill had six or seven coordinators; the playbook is six or seven languages hodge-podged together," said Arians, promoted by new coach Mike Tomlin from his previous post as wide receivers coach. "They just kept adding because Bill kept it that way. We're going to streamline it into one language, and I hope to simplify it for our players."

Fans won't necessarily see the adjustments he makes to the offense, Arians said, but they will notice one of them. Previous offenses under Cowher rarely used more than two or three wide receivers on first and second downs, preferring to use them mostly on obvious third-down passing situations with the quarterback dropping into the shotgun.

The new offense under Arians will sometimes start with four wide receivers on first-and-10 with the quarterback under center.

"The butt part of it won't change, as is the case with most generic NFL teams," Arians said. "But I love four wideouts. I like a better running game out of four wideouts where we can utilize them on first and second down, rather than just being in a shotgun and throwing it all the time. That will be an area we want to develop."

Arians took note of the offense of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. He was Peyton Manning's quarterbacks coach with the Colts his first three years.

"When you think of the Colts, you think of a finesse offense, but, when they came down the stretch in the playoffs, they had 100 to 150 yards rushing in every game. It's just a different style.

"You don't have to line up with two tight ends and two backs to run the football. Rushing yards are rushing yards."

Tomlin said he is a proponent of running the ball and stopping the run, and Arians acknowledged that he advocates that as well, back to when he was head coach at Temple in the 1980s.

"I think, to the naked eye, it will look very similar," Arians said of his offense compared to Ken Whisenhunt's. "You strive for balance. I'm not a guy who's going to beat my head against the wall to run it; I love to run the football.

"I think people who check my history when I was the head coach at Temple, I had a little running back who led the nation in rushing, Paul Palmer. He was runner-up for the Heisman, and that's hard to do at Temple.

"I love to run the football and I like the play-action passing game, and there are games that's not to your advantage."

Arians was the coordinator in Cleveland from 2001-03, including the Jan. 5, 2003 playoff game between the Browns and Steelers at Heinz Field. Cleveland scored 33 points through the first 50 minutes of the game and held a 12-point lead with a little more than three minutes left, but lost, 36-33.

Browns quarterback Kelly Holcomb threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns, but the Browns rushed for just 38 yards (the Steelers were held to 89 yards rushing).

"We knew coming down it was going to be really tough sledding running the ball," Arians said.

"But we had a good matchup in the passing game. It was a muddy field, our quarterback didn't mind the elements. That's to your advantage -- there's no pass rush on that field. He threw for 429, and we should have won the game."

It's a game of adjustments, and that's what Arians promises to adhere to as the Steelers' coordinator.

"You have to scratch where it itches," he said.

"When it's all said and done, you'd like to be balanced. One of the best stats I've ever seen was about Joe Gibbs, in his heyday. I think he called 20-some thousand plays -- 10 thousand, 50 something passes and 10 thousand runs."

Bruce Arians -- You strive for balance. I'm not a guy who's going to beat my head against the wall to run it; I love to run the football."

And, most important of all, three Super Bowl victories.

NOTES -- When the Steelers hire a new quality control coach on offense, he will have other duties as well, Arians said. He also will serve as the assistant offensive line coach to new line coach Larry Zierlein. Arians said he believes in two offensive line coaches. The Steelers have an opening for a quality control coach after Matt Raich was permitted to resign to join Whisenhunt's staff as quality control coach of Arizona's defense and also assistant linebackers coach. Plum native Mike Miller, the Steelers' former quality control coach who was on the staff at Robert Morris after joining the Bills' staff under Mike Mularkey, might have been a candidate here, but Whisenhunt recently hired him for that job in Arizona.

augustashark
02-07-2007, 12:39 AM
You go back and watch some of those early 90's games and you will see that Erhardt did run 4 and 5 wides with O'Donnel.

The thing I don't like hearing is running the ball out of 4 wides. I guess I like having a lead FB when running the ball. Just like with Tomlin, I will give all this new stuff a chance and hope it all goes well.

sumo
02-07-2007, 01:36 AM
You go back and watch some of those early 90's games and you will see that Erhardt did run 4 and 5 wides with O'Donnel.

The thing I don't like hearing is running the ball out of 4 wides. I guess I like having a lead FB when running the ball. Just like with Tomlin, I will give all this new stuff a chance and hope it all goes well.

yep - a lot of it in the Super Bowl even with John L Williams as the sole runningback - yeah I wonder what they will do with Williams back there? - he's such a big run threat - I used to freakin yell at the tv every time Earhardt did that shit - I actually think it could work ok with a back like Parker or even Najeh - but only as a change up - he sounds like he's aiming for the Indy Pittsburgh Steelers..

ChronoCross
02-07-2007, 02:28 AM
This last season was so poorly called the defenses new what we were going to do 90% of the time. So coming out in a 4 wr set to spread the defense out, not only gives 1st priority to the run but gives ben that chance to audible off to a pass if he sees the defense in a position to take advantage of. A little change here to make the other teams think more before they play us and keep them guessing is a good thing.

Hines0wnz
02-07-2007, 02:52 AM
I like what I read. Cut away some of the old stuff and breathe life into some successful play calling from the past. Should make Ben a better QB and the offense wont seem so predictable for the most part.

Livinginthe past
02-07-2007, 03:04 AM
Should be interesting to see how the 4 wide looks in application - its a look that New England have favored over the last few years...at certain times.

I would presume that the Steelers will be looking at another WR in the draft.

NM

stlrtruck
02-07-2007, 08:01 AM
I wouldn't presume they're looking for a WR in the draft. They've got a nice collection in-house already.

But I like what Arian's is saying. He's not putting down the old regime but instead he's looking to build on his own understanding, recognizing the talent he has, and putting it to good use. I'm excited to see what he does with the slimmed down model!!!

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
02-07-2007, 08:07 AM
Im not sure they have a nice collection
Hines, Holmes........and from there they are questionable...
Hopefully Ried could be somethin this year

Livinginthe past
02-07-2007, 08:26 AM
Yup Hines is a good receiver, Holmes come along in leaps and bounds in the last half of his rookie year.

As for the rest, I dont think much of them - Ben will have to discover new levels of accuracy to find those lot on a regular basis.

Also, if they are going 4 WR and 1 RB where exactly does that leave Mr Heath Miller?

Will he be one of the '4 wide'?

It would also put alot of emphasis on a struggling O-line if he weren't in there to help out.

I would also expect Ben's ypa to come down - with 4 wide and less blocking you are probably going to have to take the underneath option a little more often.

We'll get to see how good Ben is at checking down.

NM

DACEB
02-07-2007, 08:27 AM
I like the idea of 4 wide alot in the sense that like many have stated we were a tad predictible. I believe this is a good set for FWP to bust some big runs and for Ben in playaction. It will help us spread defenses out, possibly a game plan for the Ravens. It is great to be versatile and it does not mean that we are abandoning the run. Simplifying the playbook language should help everyone get on the same page quicker in this time of transition.

JDB in N.C.
02-07-2007, 08:49 AM
I like what Arians is saying!!!!! With the capabilities we have in the passing game PLEASE USE THEM!!!!! Mix up the play calling and simplify for the players, AWESOME!!!!

We can do more than just line up and RUN IT EVERY FIRST DOWN. Ben is the man and he can handle it!! I know he can. ROCK ON!!!!!

:helmet:

Atlanta Dan
02-07-2007, 09:17 AM
With all the changes it is good that the Steelers get the extra HOF exhibition game and additional practice time.

In addition to recovering from the appendectomy and the crash, IMHO a big reason Ben and the offense did not get in sync until the KC game was teh lack of preseason game reps.

I am not wild about the receiving corps behind Hines & Holmes, but this team has bigger needs to address (OL & LB) than WR in the draft.

coachspeak33
02-07-2007, 09:18 AM
4 wides on first down.... not a bad idea if you have Marvin H., Reggie W, Dallas Clark, brandon stoakley, etc....

We need to add another weapon on the offensive side of the ball if they are gonna play that style of offense...IMO

Big D
02-07-2007, 09:26 AM
I have concerns about arians since he did fail here in cleveland. I like the fact he is changing the playbook though. I love the idea of having 4 wideouts. I'm assuming they will be Ward, Holmes, Washington and probably reid. I wish training camp started tommorow.

DACEB
02-07-2007, 09:57 AM
I think as LITP stated we can use Heath as a 4th WR in the 4 WR set. Does anyone think Dallas Clark is a better TE or better siuted for that than Heath?(hell no) You can line up in a 3 WR set then shift to 4 wide. I don't believe there are many LB's that can cover Heath, and if an additional CB is brought in we spring FWP. I really like this idea and believe we have the WR's in Ward, Holmes, Washington and Wilson or Reid (you notice I put Nate 3rd and not Wilson) or as stated above Heath. Imagine the blocking with Ward and Heath on run plays out of that set. We all have stated we need Heath more involved in the passing game, this could be one way to do that.

tony hipchest
02-07-2007, 10:01 AM
during the erhardt era, odonnell had

thigpen
graham
mills
johnson
stewart
and TE green to throw to.

odonnell still holds the record for fewest int / passing attempts over a career. im sure this is the goal in mind with ben.

when arians was in cleveland they were thought to have a very good and deep wr corps 1-4 (northcutt, morgan, johnson, davis)

the routes and the scheme are gonna get players open so we dont need 5 great wr's.
hines, holmes, washington, heath, and wilson (if still around) could succeed in these formations. theres still w. reid who has potential.

theres the catch phrases "less is more" and "keep it simple stupid", and in this case stramlining what has proven to be a successful yet complex playbook is gonna be good for everybody, especially the rookies. more than any team the steelers have seemed more hesitant to let rookies crack the starting line up in recent years. we need to give are young players as much of a chance to succeed as possible.

stlrtruck
02-07-2007, 10:20 AM
I like our younger receivers in Washington and Wilson (although he's middle age for a WR). But I also think that Reid can come out of the wood works this year. I think Young has some potential to take over a 4th WR spot.

But hey, I'm a little more optimistic I guess.

I also agree that this formation could open up big holes for FWP.

Atlanta Dan
02-07-2007, 11:04 AM
I think as LITP stated we can use Heath as a 4th WR in the 4 WR set. Does anyone think Dallas Clark is a better TE or better siuted for that than Heath?(hell no) You can line up in a 3 WR set then shift to 4 wide. I don't believe there are many LB's that can cover Heath, and if an additional CB is brought in we spring FWP. I really like this idea and believe we have the WR's in Ward, Holmes, Washington and Wilson or Reid (you notice I put Nate 3rd and not Wilson) or as stated above Heath. Imagine the blocking with Ward and Heath on run plays out of that set. We all have stated we need Heath more involved in the passing game, this could be one way to do that.

Going back to Eric Green, a hardy perennial to start every season is that the Steelers are going to throw more to the TE, after which they never do. I will wait until November or so before I conclude 2007 will be any different.

With Willie Parker's style of running, the Foster/Morris/Bettis model of ball control running was broken. Since Parker certainly is not (and should not) be going anywhere, something has to change, although since Arians cannot block his edited playbook will be of little value unless the OL steps up.

Steeldude
02-07-2007, 11:16 AM
You go back and watch some of those early 90's games and you will see that Erhardt did run 4 and 5 wides with O'Donnel.

big difference between o'donnell and BR. i can't see BR ever getting the hang of seeing 4 to 5 WRs on the field. he has enough trouble with 2.

Big D
02-07-2007, 11:19 AM
big difference between o'donnell and BR. i can't see BR ever getting the hang of seeing 4 to 5 WRs on the field. he has enough trouble with 2.

what are you talking about?

tony hipchest
02-07-2007, 11:36 AM
Going back to Eric Green, a hardy perennial to start every season is that the Steelers are going to throw more to the TE, after which they never do. I will wait until November or so before I conclude 2007 will be any different.

With Willie Parker's style of running, the Foster/Morris/Bettis model of ball control running was broken. Since Parker certainly is not (and should not) be going anywhere, something has to change, although since Arians cannot block his edited playbook will be of little value unless the OL steps up.teams like the chargers, eagles, and patriots seem to have no problem plugging in offensive linemen and not missing a beat. hell, even indy had that rookie step in for diem when he went down in the sb and he did fine. im hoping a trimmed down playbook could make it easier to rotate and replace lineman and not have them eat up such a large portion of our salary cap in the coming years. Being former TE's and TE coaches, mularkey and whiz seemed to have a certain philosophy of what a te's role should be in the offense (seen with miller, but especially with breuner).

with a former wr and qb coach calling the plays i hope the philosophy changes a bit and the te is looked at i bit more of a pass catcher/wr, and less of a blocker/ol.

if i were the rooneys, when interviewing for a HC, 2 things i would want to hear from the candidates is "i will make heath miller and ike taylor more productive, and i will get more production from the rookies". hopefully this is what tomlin aims to do.

Atlanta Dan
02-07-2007, 12:32 PM
For better or worse the common thread in the Steelers use (or non-use) of the TE was Cowher. Brueuner was turned into a third tackle at least going back to when he blew out his knee in a 1996 Monday night game, so add Gailey, Sherman, and Gilbride to the list of OCs that ignored the tight end as a passing threat even though post-Erhardt the stated mission of the OC was to open up the offense.

After 2003 I know Cowher wanted to return to basics and pound the ball, but the early big plays in the Colts playoff win were to Miller, whom the Colts justifiably ignored.

The plan may have been to use Miller more in 2006, but last season was such a complete cluster of miscues that it is no surprise Miller was left out of the mix.

The more I think about it the more distressing it is that in hindsight the 2006 team clearly was not ready to play most of the time on both sides of the ball - that goes back to the coaches in general and the HC in particular, who had other things on his mind.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-07-2007, 02:41 PM
I like what I'm hearing from Ariens and changing the language in the play-book is the best move. I think Ben will thrive in this offense and so will Willie Parker. I would love to see on first down the defense spread out and handing off to Willie Parker.

As for the Steelers adding another WR. No WR isn't a big need but lets say that Dwayne Bowe from LSU or Ted Ginn JR are the best players available at the 15 spot I would trade down as a first option but if there is no takers then draft Bowe or Ginn.

Bowe is an excellent route runner and would give the Steelers some height at WR. Plus Bowe can block which is important in being a Steelers WR. As for Ginn. Teaming him with Holmes would give the Steelers some serious speed.

Then there is the wild card in Willie Reid. I mainly hope he becomes the return guy we all were hoping he would be become. But if he can improve as a WR then that would add to the Steelers WR core also.

memphissteelergirl
02-07-2007, 02:53 PM
I wouldn't presume they're looking for a WR in the draft. They've got a nice collection in-house already.

But I like what Arian's is saying. He's not putting down the old regime but instead he's looking to build on his own understanding, recognizing the talent he has, and putting it to good use. I'm excited to see what he does with the slimmed down model!!!


:iagree: That's all you can ask an OC to do!

Haiku_Dirtt
02-07-2007, 03:15 PM
I like what I'm hearing from Ariens and changing the language in the play-book is the best move. I think Ben will thrive in this offense and so will Willie Parker. I would love to see on first down the defense spread out and handing off to Willie Parker.

As for the Steelers adding another WR. No WR isn't a big need but lets say that Dwayne Bowe from LSU or Ted Ginn JR are the best players available at the 15 spot I would trade down as a first option but if there is no takers then draft Bowe or Ginn.

Bowe is an excellent route runner and would give the Steelers some height at WR. Plus Bowe can block which is important in being a Steelers WR. As for Ginn. Teaming him with Holmes would give the Steelers some serious speed.

Then there is the wild card in Willie Reid. I mainly hope he becomes the return guy we all were hoping he would be become. But if he can improve as a WR then that would add to the Steelers WR core also.

I like Willie Reid too. He had flashes last pre-season that showed he can play much bigger than his size and he seems unafraid. Also interesting read on Cowher's multi-volume playbook. I wonder if this new insight into the Cowher regime is just the beginning.

But I'd be livid to say the least if we take a WR in the first two rounds or even at all. IMHO we have more fundamental issues to resolve. If we don't give Ben more time then it won't matter who wearing Black and Gold is supposed to be catching the ball.

The question I pose to the idea that we can't win a Super Bowl without better receivers is "Who won XL?" Let's fold the ARE card before that is even played because I don't buy it.
We wouldn't have won XL without the play of our offensive line though.

Preacher
02-07-2007, 03:20 PM
I think this may be the best thing for Ben and comp.

1. They will not have to work themselves through what seems like hundreds of plays in 5 different types of schemes.

2. They will be able to make more/different adjustments. Go to Baltimore... they keeping sacking Ben after 3 seconds? Great. Throw 2 yard patterns out of 4 wide. When they back off into a zone, give it to willie. Line up 4 wide and run willie down the middle as a 5th receiver. etc. etc. So many more adjustments. Furthermore, we have BLOCKING RECEIVERS. So you can line up 5 wide, with Heath as a Wide out. Then bring him in motion, and have him go up the middle as a Full back with Willie behind him. Run Hines out of the slot, on a cross, to pick up the LB. This kind of thinking leaves SO MANY OPTIONS.

3. Lining up 4 and 5 wide takes pressure off of our O Line... cause either Ben has an open man to throw to, or the line only has 3 or 4 men to block.

4. JEROME BETTIS IS GONE. So let's scheme for the future... not the past.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-07-2007, 03:21 PM
I like Willie Reid too. He had flashes last pre-season that showed he can play much bigger than his size and he seems unafraid. Also interesting read on Cowher's multi-volume playbook. I wonder if this new insight into the Cowher regime is just the beginning.

But I'd be livid to say the least if we take a WR in the first two rounds or even at all. IMHO we have more fundamental issues to resolve. If we don't give Ben more time then it won't matter who wearing Black and Gold is supposed to be catching the ball.

The question I pose to the idea that we can't win a Super Bowl without better receivers is "Who won XL?" Let's fold the ARE card before that is even played because I don't buy it.
We wouldn't have won XL without the play of our offensive line though.

Haiku, I agree Oline and OLB are bigger needs then WR. I'm just saying if the best available at 15 is a WR like Bowe or Ginn. I think that would be a wise move from a value stand point. But I think trading down would be the best option if there were no Olineman or OLB worth taking at the 15th spot.

Black@Gold Forever32
02-07-2007, 03:22 PM
I think this may be the best thing for Ben and comp.

1. They will not have to work themselves through what seems like hundreds of plays in 5 different types of schemes.

2. They will be able to make more/different adjustments. Go to Baltimore... they keeping sacking Ben after 3 seconds? Great. Throw 2 yard patterns out of 4 wide. When they back off into a zone, give it to willie. Line up 4 wide and run willie down the middle as a 5th receiver. etc. etc. So many more adjustments. Furthermore, we have BLOCKING RECEIVERS. So you can line up 5 wide, with Heath as a Wide out. Then bring him in motion, and have him go up the middle as a Full back with Willie behind him. Run Hines out of the slot, on a cross, to pick up the LB. This kind of thinking leaves SO MANY OPTIONS.

3. Lining up 4 and 5 wide takes pressure off of our O Line... cause either Ben has an open man to throw to, or the line only has 3 or 4 men to block.

4. JEROME BETTIS IS GONE. So let's scheme for the future... not the past.

Great post Preacher. Preach on preach on.

yinzer-inseattle
02-07-2007, 03:43 PM
I think as LITP stated we can use Heath as a 4th WR in the 4 WR set. Does anyone think Dallas Clark is a better TE or better siuted for that than Heath?(hell no) You can line up in a 3 WR set then shift to 4 wide. I don't believe there are many LB's that can cover Heath, and if an additional CB is brought in we spring FWP. I really like this idea and believe we have the WR's in Ward, Holmes, Washington and Wilson or Reid (you notice I put Nate 3rd and not Wilson) or as stated above Heath. Imagine the blocking with Ward and Heath on run plays out of that set. We all have stated we need Heath more involved in the passing game, this could be one way to do that.

DACEB

You hit the nail on the head! This maybe a big assumption but I too hope this means Heath will take on a bigger role in the passing game as the 4th receiver. Based on the Indy model, I think this is a gain for the running attack as well. If you don't remember take a look at SB XLI again; Dallas Clark was extremely effective blocking as the inside receiver. Similar to Clark, Heath (candy bars :wink02:) would pose a big problem for most LB's to cover. I think we'll see him exploit the soft areas in zone coverage and force defenses to keep honest and not throw 8 or nine in the box. Which means more space for fast Willie too.

I like it, I like it a lot!

SteelerFanInCA
02-07-2007, 05:00 PM
I like this move. We have just been too predictable the last few years. It will be interesting to see which 4 WRs line up.

Hines
Holmes
Washington
Miller or Draft Pick?

slashsteel
02-07-2007, 05:14 PM
I would think it would be.

Hines
Holmes
Miller
Wilson

Sure Washington might get his opportunity but he disappeared at times last year, along with Wilson. I would like to see a WR drafted in 2 or 3 if we do plan on using this scheme more often than not..........

Stainless Steel
02-07-2007, 07:01 PM
I like this. It opens up the opponent's "D". I am tired of seeing 8-9 in a box. Parker's skills are best used this way too. He will have more open field running with this type of offense. It wouldn't have worked with Bettis because of the fact he was never a threat in open field beyond the off tackle runs. Remember when they tried to have Bettis sweep? UGH!

Steeldude
02-07-2007, 10:00 PM
what are you talking about?

football :dang:

tony hipchest
02-08-2007, 12:10 AM
big difference between o'donnell and BR. i can't see BR ever getting the hang of seeing 4 to 5 WRs on the field. he has enough trouble with 2.

"big difference" between o'donnell and 9/10ths of the qbs in the league. o'donnel was great (just ask the jets) :rolleyes:

X-Terminator
02-08-2007, 12:39 AM
big difference between o'donnell and BR. i can't see BR ever getting the hang of seeing 4 to 5 WRs on the field. he has enough trouble with 2.

Sorry, but you would be wrong. Ben last season was very effective when running 4 wide in a shotgun. He ran an offense in college that used a lot of multiple-receiver sets, and I'd say he ran it pretty well if he was drafted high. So I believe he will be just fine running that style of offense. Where he got into trouble was when he tried to do too much and force balls into coverage - that is what needs to be fixed for him to take the next step.

OneForTheToe
02-08-2007, 01:16 AM
Also, if they are going 4 WR and 1 RB where exactly does that leave Mr Heath Miller?

Will he be one of the '4 wide'?



NM

Exactly what I was thinking. I would think that Heath would be in that mix. Also, I always wondered how Willie would do split out at wideout once and a while. Of course, that would reqiure someone else at RB, but willie's speed couldcreate matchup problems for other teams.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
02-08-2007, 01:30 AM
New coaching staff must get Big Ben back in high gear

Thursday, February 08, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The primary job of the Steelers' new coaching staff? Resurrect the Ben Roethlisberger of 2004 and '05, when he was the best young quarterback in the NFL.

Roethlisberger will have a new center and perhaps as many as three different offensive linemen since last season. What he needs most is the kind of protection even the best of blockers cannot bring him -- one that prevents traffic accidents and emergency surgeries.

"We have an elite quarterback -- or someone who can be elite -- and we need to get him to that level," said Bruce Arians, who was promoted to replace Ken Whisenhunt as offensive coordinator.

It's the most important job that Arians and new quarterbacks coach Ken Anderson have, and it starts in March when the players begin their offseason program.

Roethlisberger has some big shoes to fill -- his own. He broke Dan Marino's rookie records in 2004, when he compiled the best starting record of any quarterback in the game's history by going 13-0. All he did his second season was become the youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl. His combined passer rating in his first two seasons was a lofty 98.3.

He hit the ground with a thud last year, starting with his June 12 motorcycle accident and continuing with his appendectomy five days before the start of the regular season. His misfortune continued on the field, as he led the NFL with 23 interceptions -- more than his first two seasons combined -- and ranked in the bottom half of the league with a 74.8 passer rating.

The first remedy for what ails Roethlisberger is rest, said Arians, who believes his preseason trauma set the tone for a tough 2006.

"For him to even play after that was amazing. And to play as well as he did [at times], and one thing after the other. He needs to get back to being healthy and relaxed."

After that, Arians and Anderson will work on other procedures with Roethlisberger.

"We want to see him improve from the minute details of footwork all the way through his completion percentage and his touchdown/interception ratio, to get back to where he's one of the three or four elite guys in this league, because he has that ability."

Roethlisberger ranked 19th in the NFL by completing 59.7 percent of his passes last season (compared to 62.9 his first two seasons). He was minus-five in his TD/interception ratio after having a plus-14 in his first two seasons.

Arians and his offensive coaches are updating a playbook that became cumbersome over the past 15 years as six different coordinators added their own particulars to the original. It should help Roethlisberger calling plays and checking out of them.

"We'll streamline things that can come out of his mouth easier, that he can see more pictures with words [rather than] call exotic formations and not know where everybody's at," Arians said.

Now, for the rest of the players on offense.

"I think our personnel is more than adequate," Arians pronounced. "We've built some depth at some spots."

An overhaul could take place in the offensive line, with possibly three new starters -- at center, right guard and right tackle.

A new center will replace the retired Jeff Hartings from among the group of longtime backup Chukky Okobi, 2006 rookie Marvin Philip or starting right guard Kendall Simmons. Chris Kemoeatu will compete to become the starter at right guard and Willie Colon, who started the final two games of last season as a rookie, will compete with Max Starks at right tackle.

Simmons played two games at center for the first time in his life when Okobi was hurt last preseason.

"He looked good," Arians said. "It's an option that I like and I would like to explore more. He's a powerful, fast guy. We've got some guys in here at guard, where the competition will be real good. You just want to get as much competition at every spot as possible and find the five best."

Hartings made the switch from guard with the Detroit Lions to center when he signed with the Steelers in 2001 and replaced the retired Dermontti Dawson.

"Some guys can play with the ball between their legs, and some can't," Arians explained. "Kendall walked in there and looked natural at it. He could step and snap and go; that's the No. 1 hurdle. It's a viable option."

Marvel Smith will remain at left tackle and Alan Faneca at left guard.

"From the center through the right side, there's a lot of competition," Arians said. "We want to build some depth on that left side."

OneForTheToe
02-08-2007, 01:31 AM
Also wanted to add, that if my memory serves me, the Redskins in the 80's used three receiver sets, while maintaining a physical running game with John Riggens(sp).

Stillers43
02-08-2007, 08:24 AM
Good idea! I hope he keeps the stuff that works, and gets rid of the crappy plays. HeHe! It all comes down to execution no matter what plays we do!

Stlrs4Life
02-08-2007, 11:49 AM
Well let's hope it all works out. Making it easier is a good move. I'm just the kind that, if it isn't broke don't fix it.

Steeldude
02-09-2007, 07:38 PM
Sorry, but you would be wrong. Ben last season was very effective when running 4 wide in a shotgun. He ran an offense in college that used a lot of multiple-receiver sets, and I'd say he ran it pretty well if he was drafted high. So I believe he will be just fine running that style of offense. Where he got into trouble was when he tried to do too much and force balls into coverage - that is what needs to be fixed for him to take the next step.


BR has difficulty reading WR sets of 4 or more. ever notice him hanging on to the ball too long? BR played in a weak conference in a pass happy offense. you can tell by BR's poor mechanics that he was a beneficiary of that poor conference and offensive scheme. you are right, he forced balls into coverage. that's because he was focusing on the primary WR. this is not to say BR can't become better. i am hoping ariens works with him more closely than whipple did.

klingler was drafted high too and ran the houston cougars' offense with ease.

Preacher
02-09-2007, 07:47 PM
You all know what I would love to see?

First play of the season...

65 yard bomb... right over the shoulder, just to shut everyone up.

Steeldude
02-09-2007, 07:53 PM
You all know what I would love to see?

First play of the season...

65 yard bomb... right over the shoulder, just to shut everyone up.

that would be great. unfortunately, i don't see it happening if BR doesn't stop throwing off his back foot. i hope ariens and ken anderson can correct it.

Stainless Steel
02-09-2007, 08:25 PM
that would be great. unfortunately, i don't see it happening if BR doesn't stop throwing off his back foot. i hope ariens and ken anderson can correct it.
Not having to dodge two pass rushers would certainly help this, wouldn't it? :smile:

Steeldude
02-09-2007, 10:28 PM
Not having to dodge two pass rushers would certainly help this, wouldn't it? :smile:

yep, that too :smile:

Preacher
02-10-2007, 03:05 AM
Absolutely

jjpro11
02-10-2007, 04:16 AM
its about time we mix up our 3rd down plays a bit.

Elvis
02-10-2007, 05:09 PM
:tt02: :tt02: :tt02:
Remember what happened to Tommy Gunn?
I dont want to see those days again in Pittsburgh... thank you.
This team does not need all that pass happy stuff... not in my opinion.. I think that a balanced attack is great, but to be 60% pass I dont like that style and it isnt Steelers football:jawdrop:

JDTFever84
02-11-2007, 10:41 AM
As far as 4 wideouts, anything is worth a shot, but if you are trying to establish the run game, my opinion is that you at least need one of the TEs in there. I mean Tuman is one heck of a blocker and Miller has the size to contain people.

What I am most concerned about is wasting draft picks like they did last year....drafting a TE was stupid, you know they have #1 and #2 in place and they always end up cutting that draft pick, WR too, going into this draft we have a great recieving line.

They honestly need to look for depth on special teams and the secondary....as far as I am concerned signing Ike Taylor and letting Chis Hope go was a huge mistake Even though one is a CB and one a safty....Look for the Steelers to probably at least use two picks on an a center and CB.

Preacher
02-11-2007, 10:46 AM
The problem here is not that we are going to a pass offense, but that we are SO stuck on the run offense, that other teams know EXACTLY what we are going to feed them. 1st down, run. 2nd down, run. 3rd down and short? Run. 3rd and long? Pass.

It really makes it easy to defend against us. It also makes it easy to start tee-ing off on the qb.

So come out 4 wide. Put run plays in with it. Come out 2 wide and throw a bomb. the more the other team has to guess, the better off we are.

paw-n-maul-u
02-11-2007, 04:37 PM
Was he thier coord when Holcomb tore our secondary up? I don't remember the year.

he was indeed. He was also mannings QB coach the first three years he was in the league. I think it's safe to say that those are probably the three most crucial years in a young QB's development ... his stats went something like this:

1998 Colts ATT. 575 COMP. 326 %. 56.7 YRDS. 3739 TD 26 INT 28 RATE. 71.2
1999 Colts 533 331 62.1 4135 26 15 90.7
2000 Colts 571 357 62.5 4413 33 15 94.7

Petesburgh66
02-11-2007, 06:25 PM
If they are going to play four wideouts, the OL better be improved.

steeler614
02-12-2007, 12:28 PM
I think it's great that the playbook has been streamlined, Arians has the right idea.

MasterOfPuppets
02-12-2007, 01:50 PM
hmmmmm.......4 wideouts....1 back...:huh: ...didn't that used to be called the run and shoot?????:hunch:

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-12-2007, 02:13 PM
If they are going to play four wideouts, the OL better be improved.

We dont HAVE 4 good wideouts!!!!!!!!

Petesburgh66
02-12-2007, 10:08 PM
We dont HAVE 4 good wideouts!!!!!!!!

??? What happened to Ward. Wilson, Holmes and Washington? They are capable.

rags1336
02-15-2007, 04:53 AM
I questioned the Ariens promotion at first considering his history in cleveland, but he definatly sounds like he is making some good moves and he is saying all the right things, im actually excited about 4 wides on 1st down now!

yinzer-inseattle
02-18-2007, 02:57 PM
The problem here is not that we are going to a pass offense, but that we are SO stuck on the run offense, that other teams know EXACTLY what we are going to feed them. 1st down, run. 2nd down, run. 3rd down and short? Run. 3rd and long? Pass.

It really makes it easy to defend against us. It also makes it easy to start tee-ing off on the qb.

So come out 4 wide. Put run plays in with it. Come out 2 wide and throw a bomb. the more the other team has to guess, the better off we are.


I remember feeling the same air of predictability toward the end of Noll's reign. Cowher came in and in one year that all seemed to change. Hopefully, we can get out of that rut and put defenses on their heels for a change.

lamberts-lost-tooth
02-18-2007, 03:22 PM
??? What happened to Ward. Wilson, Holmes and Washington? They are capable.

Wilson is farrrr from capable...he is average at best...one of the most telling stats about him is that in his career with the steelers ..he has dropped as many passes as he has caught....and Washington has been in the system long enough that people shouldnt still be using the "potential" label when talking about him