View Full Version : Cowher says OL is solid...

08-30-2005, 11:46 PM

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt were quick to praise the work of the offensive line in the wake of the Steelers' 17-10 preseason loss at Washington.

On Tuesday afternoon it was coach Bill Cowher's turn to voice his approval of the unit.

"They've been pretty solid," Cowher said at his news conference in advance of Thursday night's preseason finale at Carolina. "I've been very pleased with that."

All-Pro guard Alan Faneca appreciated the kind words, but maintains the line is capable of attaining an even higher level of play.

"We've got some adjustments to make, some smaller things," Faneca said. "It's nothing major, but the small things kind of add up when you play 80 plays in an in-season game where we're playing the whole game.

"If we tighten up a few things here and there, the plays will run a little smoother. Instead of 3 yards, we'll get 5 yards, and so on."

The Steelers have averaged 3.5 yards per rush on 84 attempts through three preseason games.

Running back Willie Parker has been the most effective of the Steelers' nine ball-carriers, averaging an almost absurd 10.2 yards on 11 carries.

Quarterbacks Roethlisberger, Tommy Maddox, Charlie Batch and Brian St. Pierre have been sacked a combined four times (Batch three times and St. Pierre once).

"Protection-wise, blocking-wise we've missed a couple of assignments here and there," Cowher said. "We haven't truly game-planned from that perspective, so some looks have come up that we've had to work through.

"I think part of the (value of the) preseason is the ability to adjust on the sideline, the ability to adjust to something you haven't prepared for, because that's going to happen during the season."

One of the challenges the Steelers faced heading into training camp was re-acquainting Kendall Simmons with the starting right guard position (he missed 2004 with a knee injury) and incorporating Max Starks as the starting right tackle in place of Oliver Ross (a free-agent defection to Arizona).

That challenge has been met, almost.

"Still working on some things," Simmons said. "We're not where we need to be at by any means. We're still trying to get better each game.

"The more reps we get in game-time situations, the better we'll get, because that's when you see the real stuff."

With Parker the best bet to start the regular-season opener at running back in the wake of injuries sustained by Duce Staley (knee) and Jerome Bettis (knee), the offensive line is destined to remain under the microscope beyond the conclusion of the preseason.

"Definitely, it's sitting on our shoulders," Faneca said. "You just can't turn around and hand the ball off the Duce or Jerome or Willie or Verron (Haynes) and just say 'go at it.' We have to go out there and do our job and give them a hole and give them something to work with."

08-30-2005, 11:51 PM
Our O-line is gonna be really good this season. We've got pretty good backups at G and C with Okobi and Kemoeatu, and Faneca can always jump to Tackle in a pinch.

08-31-2005, 12:01 AM
we were all worried about our depth on the OL in minicamps but during TC and in the preseason, u can see them starting to come together. It wouldnt surprise me to see Marvel make the pro bowl this year, and we're also getting nice nastiness too w/ Kemoeatu and Simmons coming back !!

08-31-2005, 09:26 AM
In reference to the OL being solid and only giving up 4 sacks, none on Ben, then why are his passes going long or over his recievers? He has the time and skills. What the h*ll! Get your feet set and send out a frozen rope! I guess it doesn't make sense to me.

08-31-2005, 09:31 AM
I agree our OL has been solid. This should help Ben he just needs to get his timing down with the recievers and Parker also needs to take advantage of this. I really have to believe everything will start clicking for our offense and they will pop out of this preseason slump!

08-31-2005, 09:35 AM
OL is doing a good job. I have to agree Wyo his passes are quite a bit off. I think he will work that out though. Hopefully in the Panthers we will see Ben the way we know he can play.