PDA

View Full Version : Long pass key factor in Steelers' new offense


83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:03 AM
Long pass key factor in Steelers' new offense
New coordinator Bruce Arians is not keeping it a secret that he will make the long pass a staple of the offense
Saturday, August 18, 2007

By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Ben Roethlisberger has played 15 snaps in the first two preseason games, a number he expects to exceed in one game tonight.

Charlie Batch has appeared for 24 snaps in two games, a number he might not exceed when the Steelers (1-1) play the Washington Redskins (1-0) at 8 p.m. in a preseason game at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.

But, when they have played, Roethlisberger and Batch -- even No. 3 Brian St. Pierre -- have not wasted any time demonstrating what the offense might look like this season under new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

It isn't that the Steelers are throwing the ball more. In fact, they have run the ball more times (65) than they have thrown (55) in two preseason games. But, when they throw the ball, they haven't been shy about throwing deep, deep, deep.

"It makes us eager to know we're finally using the weapons we have on the outside," Roethlisberger said.

In two games, the Steelers have produced four passing plays of 41 yards or longer and another of 26 yards. That does not include passes of 33 yards to running back Carey Davis and 24 yards to running back Gary Russell -- short passes that resulted in long gains.

And it does not include several other deep passes that were attempted and not completed, including a diving attempt by Nate Washington against the Green Bay Packers.

"We have a lot of guys who can make plays," said Roethlisberger, who has completed 4 of 5 passes for 87 yards in two games. "I threw one to Ced [Wilson], Santonio [Holmes] got one last week, and we all know Hines [Ward] can do it, and Nate. It's exciting to see those guys in action."

It's no accident.

Arians not only likes to throw the ball, but he also likes to throw it deep. And he believes he has the players to do it, beginning with his quarterback and a stable of receivers that also could include Willie Reid, a third-round pick in 2006 who missed most of last season with a foot injury.

It is also the reason Arians likes to use three tight ends on occasion -- to open the seams and create deep throws down the middle.

"We have to go downtown at least five times a game, whether it's play action or long passes," Arians said. "We have too much speed not to take our shots downfield. You have to get big chunks of yardage in this league to score points."

Arians has tried to set the tone in the preseason, and it will likely continue tonight against the Redskins when Roethlisberger and the rest of the first-team offense will get more playing time.

Roethlisberger is expected to play approximately 20 plays against the Redskins. Batch will replace him and could play into the third quarter, depending on the amount of plays he receives.

But each has used their playing time to throw deep passes, particularly Batch, who threw a 49-yard pass to Holmes and a 41-yard touchdown to Walter Young in the loss to the Packers.

"We've been calling them," Batch said. "We've been practicing it a lot. By us showing we're able to do that, hopefully, it will soften up defenses and create more room for Willie Parker."

It remains to be seen if the Steelers will carry this big-play approach into the regular season, when play-calling tends to be more conservative. But, for now, Arians has not been hesitant to let his quarterbacks throw the ball down the field -- a trend he established on the second play of the first preseason game when Roethlisberger threw a 55-yard pass to Wilson to set up a touchdown.

"We used them to block so much in the past," Roethlisberger said of his receivers. "Hines is the best blocking receiver in the game, but people forget he's one of the best receiving wide receivers in the game. We're using him, and we're using them, wisely."

This year, Roethlisberger does not have to go far to get the plays from his coordinator. Arians is on the sideline and does not need a middle man to relay the plays. Last season, offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt sat in the press box and gave the plays to quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple, who relayed them to Roethlisberger.

"It's great," Roethlisberger said. "Last year, we played the phone game -- Whiz tells the play to coach Whipple and coach Whipple tells me. About the time I get the play there's about 15 seconds left on the play clock. Having Bruce on the sidelines to talk straight to me is great because we have more time on the play clock to make changes and make adjustments and make audibles."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07230/810438-66.stm

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 12:07 AM
"It makes us eager to know we're finally using the weapons we have on the outside," Roethlisberger said.

To save folks the trouble:

He's taking another swipe at Cowher! The kid needs to grow up! :rolleyes:

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:14 AM
"and Nate."

I wonder if he paused before he said that?

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:25 AM
To save folks the trouble:

He's taking another swipe at Cowher! The kid needs to grow up! :rolleyes:

Oddly enough, I haven't heard anybody bring up Ben's mouth since he decided to cool it down when it came to taking shots at the past regime. Interesting how that works. Then again, it was just that damn media putting words in his mouth. It's Ron Cooks fault. :wink02:

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 12:27 AM
Oddly enough, I haven't heard anybody bring up Ben's mouth since he decided to cool it down when it came to taking shots at the past regime. Interesting how that works. Then again, it was just that damn media putting words in his mouth.

Yep, but it seems to me that just about everything that came out of Ben's mouth for several months during the offseason was construed as a swipe at the old regime. It got redundant after Ben's "maturity issues" were brought to the fore after the thousandth time or so.

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:28 AM
Yep, but it seems to me that just about everything that came out of Ben's mouth for several months during the offseason was construed as a swipe at the old regime. It got redundant after Ben's "maturity issues" were brought to the fore about 1000 times.

It seems to me, since he stopped, "it" stopped. The last time I heard about Ben, his mouth and Cowher in the same sentence was well..........today in this thread.

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 12:32 AM
It seems to me, since he stopped, "it" stopped. The last time I heard about Ben, his mouth and Cowher in the same sentence was well..........today in this thread.

I think it had more to do with TC and and the preseason getting closer and closer as time went on, and people stopped parsing every sentence that came out of his mouth as there were more things to talk about. Or did he all of a sudden just find maturity overnight?

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:35 AM
I think it had more to do with TC and and the preseason getting closer and closer as time went on, and people stopped parsing every sentence that came out of his mouth as there were more things to talk about. Or did he all of a sudden just find maturity overnight?

I wouldn't be shocked to learn that somebody came up to him and told him to cool it down during the interviews. But there is no way of knowing that for sure obviously.

Eitherway, you can keep bringing it up if you would like, I'm just simply pointing out that nobody has even brought up Roethlisberger and his past comments towards Cowher and Whisenhunt for over a month now.

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 12:39 AM
IEitherway, you can keep bringing it up if you would like, I'm just simply pointing out that nobody has even brought up Roethlisberger and his past comments towards Cowher and Whisenhunt for over a month now.

No, I'm done. But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if someone else brought it up. Coincidentally, didn't TC start just about a month ago now?

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 12:40 AM
No, I'm done. But I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if someone else brought it up.

lol, okay. You keep an eye out fansince'76, I'm counting on you..................no...........Steeler Nation is counting on you.

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 01:00 AM
You keep an eye out fansince'76, I'm counting on you..................no...........Steeler Nation is counting on you.

I'm on it, boss. :mg: :chuckle:

tony hipchest
08-18-2007, 01:09 AM
for some reason, i just had a flashback of the 2 sideline clips in the SB highlight dvd of ben telling cowher not to sit on the ball, and cowher almost acquiescing as he "ordered" over the headphones to wisenhunt to not be conservative and "suggest" a trick play (el to ward).

it was always a big mystery to steelerfans if cowher micromanaged too much or if he gave his coordinators too much free will with the play calling.

tomlin has made it no secret he is going to let the coordinators do their thing and i think the steelers are definitely gonna benefit from it.

as a huge cowher apologist for years, i would hate to see my impression diminished. but i definitely like the new direction i see the team taking.

if im wrong, we may only win 1 sb in the next 15 years (whats new?)

"We used them to block so much in the past," Roethlisberger said of his receivers. "Hines is the best blocking receiver in the game, but people forget he's one of the best receiving wide receivers in the game. We're using him, and we're using them, wisely."


ben is showing great progress. in the past, he wouldve said:

"We used them to block so much in the past," Roethlisberger said of his receivers. "Hines is the best blocking receiver in the game, but people forget he's one of the best receiving wide receivers in the game. We're using him, and NOW we're using them, wisely."

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 01:11 AM
I'm on it, boss. :mg: :chuckle:

Keep me updated. I will be waiting anxiously. To hell with regular season, I need to read the first post talking about Ben and his comments on Cowher. I need to know......because it really grinds my gears. You know what also grinds my gears?....

_zIzciYwGHM

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 01:20 AM
"We used them to block so much in the past," Roethlisberger said of his receivers. "Hines is the best blocking receiver in the game, but people forget he's one of the best receiving wide receivers in the game. We're using him, and we're using them, wisely."


ben is showing great progress. in the past, he wouldve said:

"We used them to block so much in the past," Roethlisberger said of his receivers. "Hines is the best blocking receiver in the game, but people forget he's one of the best receiving wide receivers in the game. We're using him, and NOW we're using them, wisely."


Case in point - the past, Tony? You mean June of this year or July? :chuckle:

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 01:26 AM
ben is showing great progress. in the past, he wouldve said:


Ben insult alert!!!!! Ben insult alert!!! You are stating that he's "just" showing great progress? Just showing?!?!?!?! How dare you!?!?!?! He has no more progress to show! God does not need to progress. He's already 'there'!!!!

OMG. Forgive TH me Lord. He's confused. Quick TH, tell God that it was the media's fault!!!

I'm now going to go back to the Ben shrine I have in my closet. I will pray for you Tony.

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 01:32 AM
ben is showing great progress. in the past, he wouldve said:

Well, not everybody can have their shit together like Sid Crosby now, can they?

83-Steelers-43
08-18-2007, 01:33 AM
Well, not everybody can have their shit together like Sid Crosby now, can they?

Excellent point!!!! :toofunny:

:busted: Another Ben insult alert!!!! Ben insult alert!!!! Stating me Lord doesn't have his Davenport together like Sidney Crosby!!!! :busted:

tony hipchest
08-18-2007, 02:35 AM
I'm now going to go back to the Ben shrine I have in my closet. I will pray for you Tony. lol. i hear davenport has a similar shrine in his closet.... although its really just a simple throne....

:yawn:------------NOT! :sofunny:

Haiku_Dirtt
08-18-2007, 03:12 AM
To save folks the trouble:

He's taking another swipe at Cowher! The kid needs to grow up! :rolleyes:

Yeah kinda! But it's not just Ben.

Even Hines bottled up his opinion about spending hours upon hours running plays that Cowher had no intention of calling. Almost chronic.

"Long pass the key" is all crap. When has Steeler football lived and died by the pass?

Or is it crap? Tomlin is in a unique situation. They can TALK about the long pass because they showed it in the preseason. As far as I'm concerned let them talk about the passing game because it's alot easier than pretending we have a dominate running game.

But the problem in talking up the passing game is the fact that even Marvel Smith is starting to blow rivets. Our offensive line is alot like the credit markets. The fix is equally as hard. And not quick.

Galax Steeler
08-18-2007, 05:25 AM
I think walter young may be a dark horse for us this year if he makes the team he has exelent speed and good hands.

Steeldude
08-18-2007, 07:13 AM
the key factor for the steelers is their O-line. BR's long passes are bad enough, but when he is under pressure the long passes look like stewart's.

Livinginthe past
08-18-2007, 08:03 AM
So did any catch Ben's dig at the previous administration...or was it just me? :toofunny:

Anyhoo...

Some nice specifics from Arians - "you have to go downtown at least 5 times a game"

I was slightly puzzled by Dulacs insistence that the Steelers 'weren't passing more' because they had more runs than passes.

Surely you can be passing alot more in compariosn to the past (especially when you are the Steelers) and still call more runs than passes in a game!

65 runs and 55 passes works out at passing the ball about 45% of the time - which I reckon is actually a pretty big leap from a 'typical' Cowher Steelers offense (ie not last year).

Its pretty difficult to 'pass alot' and also 'pass deep' - unless you have the Colts offense (and even they specialise in well run medium length routes rather than deep bombs)

I haven't got time to look it up, but I seem to remember Bens ypa being one of the highest in the league through his first two years - this is probably because its easier to 'pass long' when you don't 'pass often'.

We'll see.

Atlanta Dan
08-18-2007, 08:59 AM
To save folks the trouble:

He's taking another swipe at Cowher! The kid needs to grow up! :rolleyes:

Actually, the swipe was here:

"It's great," Roethlisberger said. "Last year, we played the phone game -- Whiz tells the play to coach Whipple and coach Whipple tells me. About the time I get the play there's about 15 seconds left on the play clock. Having Bruce on the sidelines to talk straight to me is great because we have more time on the play clock to make changes and make adjustments and make audibles."

I agree with Ben - only allowing him 15 seconds to look over the playbook he has strapped on his forearm to figure out what the play is simply does not allow enough time.

Amazing how so many other QBs manage to get it done with their O-coordinator in the booth upstairs.

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 11:20 AM
....when he is under pressure the long passes look like stewart's.

Yeah, that pretty much happens to every QB when they're pressured. Kinda funny how that works, huh?

Steeldude
08-18-2007, 02:03 PM
Yeah, that pretty much happens to every QB when they're pressured. Kinda funny how that works, huh?

more so than others. ever notice?

fansince'76
08-18-2007, 02:21 PM
more so than others. ever notice?

You're right, he sucks. Cut the bum!

Steeldude
08-19-2007, 07:42 AM
You're right, he sucks. Cut the bum!

why? who implied that he sucks?