PDA

View Full Version : Yes, Steelers saying it again: They will throw to tight ends


Stlrs4Life
08-23-2007, 11:49 PM
http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_yl...v=ap&type=lgns (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news;_ylt=AkFMdrF9xBL6jdWKw5Uft5QdsLYF?slug=ap-steelers-tightends&prov=ap&type=lgns)


Yes, Steelers saying it again: They will throw to tight ends


By ALAN ROBINSON, AP Sports Writer
August 23, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- With every change in offensive coordinator, the message sent to the tight ends is the same: You'll be more involved in the offense, catch more passes, figure in more big plays.
Almost always, it's a ruse. The Steelers, as usual, will pound the ball with their running game, throw to their wide receivers on third down -- and use their tight ends mostly as blockers.
Heath Miller, for example, was supposed to be the exception when the Steelers used a first-round draft pick on him in 2005.
So far, he's caught it an average of two times per game, hardly the kind of payoff expected from a first-rounder. While he was a valuable receiver during Pittsburgh's Super Bowl run at the end of the 2005 season, making seven catches in four games, he's done what most Steelers tight ends do.
Block, then block some more. Something Steelers tight ends learn to do in a hurry.
"It's one of the things I had to learn pretty early -- you got to get low (to block)," Miller said Thursday. "I have a ton of respect for the guys who play fullback. We're asked to do some of their responsibilities from time to time, but to do it on a consistent basis like they do is a challenging job."
A lot more challenging, it seems, is catching passes as a tight end in the Steelers' offense.
After making 39 catches as a rookie, six for touchdowns, Miller's production dropped a season ago, even though the Steelers threw the ball a lot more times in 2006 (523) than they did in 2005 (379). The rest of the offense was tied up mostly with Willie Parker's 337 carries.
Miller ended with 39 catches and five touchdowns, with the highlight of his season coming when he made an 87-yard TD catch against Miami in the season opener.
During this training camp, it's been more of the same for Miller and fellow tight ends Jermane Tuman and rookie Matt Spaeth. They keep hearing they're going to get the ball more -- new offensive coordinator Bruce Arians all but promised it -- but, so far, they're not.
Throughout training camp, Arians showed off alignments with three tight ends, a running back, one receiver and no fullback. Whether it's just a cover for something else remains to be seen.
Even after the Steelers used a third-round pick on Spaeth, a surprise given how little they traditionally use the tight end as a receiver, their tight ends have two receptions in three exhibition games.
"We don't really get concerned with that, it's the preseason and we stick to kind of basic stuff," Miller said. "It's kind of the same thing every year. We're not really worried about it."
This isn't a recent trend, either. The Steelers' reluctance to throw to their tight ends, except immediately after they drafted Eric Green in 1990, has been a standing joke in their locker room since Chuck Noll's days as coach.
"We'll have our fair share of opportunities," an undeterred Miller said. "I think we've had our fair share our first couple of years here. I think as a group we just prepare ourselves that when we get an opportunity, we want to make the most of it."
Arians is remaking the Steelers' offense by giving more freedom to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the line of scrimmage. Whether that results in the tight ends being more than very-tall replacements for fullback and ace blocker Dan Kreider is uncertain.
"I like having three tight ends on the field a lot," Arians said.
With the 6-7 Spaeth and the 6-5 Miller, the Steelers would seemingly have two very distinctive end zone targets when they get around the goal line.
"I think Matt's a good receiver and he's proven he's got good hands and he's obviously a big guy," Miller said. "He's coming along really well and we'll see how that shakes out." Notes Roethlisberger's hometown of Findlay, Ohio, was flooded this week, but the QB said his parents' home was not damaged other than getting some water in the basement. ... After using second-year RT Willie Colon (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/7880/;_ylt=Al7fjW9dsRH4R1zWJI9kY3IdsLYF) all week with the starters, coach Mike Tomlin unexpectedly put Max Starks (http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/players/6834/;_ylt=AkFGNbUbom.DlDFDcAuR.s4dsLYF) back with the starters on Thursday. Starks started the last two seasons With the season opener a little more than two weeks away, Tomlin has yet to name a starting offensive line.

The Duke
08-24-2007, 12:21 AM
More and more talk....show it on the field!!at least on preseason.

Livinginthe past
08-24-2007, 12:32 AM
I'd personally be shocked of they didn't find a way to utilise the talent of a top 3 rated TE corps - Tomlin is hiding all his plans and will unleash their full force upon an unsuspecting Browns first game up.

Preacher
08-24-2007, 12:37 AM
I'd personally be shocked of they didn't find a way to utilise the talent of a top 3 rated TE corps - Tomlin is hiding all his plans and will unleash their full force upon an unsuspecting Browns first game up.

Don't you learn anything on this board?

The Browns are not worthy of our TE set!

tony hipchest
08-24-2007, 01:00 AM
Don't you learn anything on this board?

The Browns are not worthy of our TE set!exactly. we can beat the browns with just a qb, willie, 5 linemen, and a wr = 8 vs 11.

im pretty sure most teams wont waste too much time game planning for or practicing defending our tight ends. why should they? if they do, thats just less time they will have practicing for plays we will actually use. im sure most teams (and their fans) are convinced our te's just suck anyways....

Preacher
08-24-2007, 02:19 AM
exactly. we can beat the browns with just a qb, willie, 5 linemen, and a wr = 8 vs 11.

im pretty sure most teams wont waste too much time game planning for or practicing defending our tight ends. why should they? if they do, thats just less time they will have practicing for plays we will actually use. im sure most teams (and their fans) are convinced our te's just suck anyways....

Yep. However,

In all honesty, I hope we don't take the Browns lightly. They have done some significant upgrades over the last couple of years. When Quinn comes in, I think they are going to once again be a tough team, and any team that comes has to play against the AFCN is going to be VERY upset.

Galax Steeler
08-24-2007, 03:29 AM
Quinns first nfl game against the steelers deffense that is going to be tuff.
I would love to see woodley level him.

PisnNapalm
08-24-2007, 08:32 AM
Hallelujah! As I stated in another thread just now. They damn well better use Heath Miller to his full potential.

HometownGal
08-24-2007, 08:47 AM
I, too, would love to see the Steelers use Heath more than they do as an offensive weapon instead of a blocker. I dunno - I believe Mr. Arians has some tricks up his sleeve utilizing not only Miller, but Tuman and Spaeth as well. Of course we're not going to see what those tricks are in preseason games - he doesn't want to tip his hand, which is smart football. :thumbsup:

Dlat4
08-25-2007, 10:56 PM
THROW TO HEATH HES OUR 3RD BEST RECEVIER

MasterOfPuppets
08-26-2007, 02:38 AM
i'll believe it when i see it.....:coffee:

Preacher
08-26-2007, 02:48 AM
i'll believe it when i see it.....:coffee:


WHile I want to agree with HTG... I think I have to agree with MOP. I have been excited too many times about the possiblity of using our TE's, just to wonder if the coaches even know a person in that position is considered an eligible receiver.

Galax Steeler
08-26-2007, 08:49 AM
I think when regular season begins is when you will see our tight ends in action.

83-Steelers-43
08-26-2007, 08:55 AM
While I'm not completely doubting that we will throw to our TE's more often, I would like to take the wait and see approach before I decide to believe it. The same was said the year Heath Miller was drafted. Then the same was said in the years following Heath being drafted. It never happened.

Having a new HC gives me hope. If Cowher were still in charge and this article was posted, I would not be nearly as confident as I am right now when it comes to utilizing our TE's and giving Roethlisberger all options available. Much like with Roethlisberger bouncing back to past form, Ike bouncing back and proving he's worth that nice pay day and "it's only preseason, our o-line will be fine", I would like to see proof before I claim that this team will go 16-0, clean house in the playoffs and win #6.

Livinginthe past
08-26-2007, 10:28 AM
I don't see how the Steelers can be expected to make this new 'wrinkle' to their offensive playcalling work if they don't pratice it live.

Seriously, the TE's have been under utilised as pass catchers for years and now they are going to change all that based on what they are doing in secret in practice?

Teams do hold some stuff back for sure, but bearing in mind we have heard so much about the 3 TE set as a viable formation for something other than the run they really need to see it work in a live situation against players who aren't playing for the same team.

Atlanta Dan
08-26-2007, 11:29 AM
I agree the whole "saving it for the regular season" explanation wears a bit thin on offense ( I can see saving blitz packages for the defense). It is not as if Spaeth has any track record on which to base an assumption he will be there when the games count.

Manning (the real & not the cubic zirconia version), Brady & Rivers (w/o LT) all came up big in their 3rd exhibition game tune-ups for the regular season - the idea that the Steelers are saving it all for the opener against the mighty Browns is not entirely credible for me. If the starters play for a half tonight and are not effective I do not agree with any contention they will just flip the switch in 2 weeks.