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View Full Version : Our running game needs to improve, fast


Infamix
11-15-2007, 01:01 AM
Rightnow it's decent, but it's not what it used to be. Ben's ability to make amazing conversions on 3rd is masking that fact. I'm not going to put it on Parker either, he's excellent. Our o-line needs to open up bigger holes for him though, so we can get 4-6 yards on 1st and second down instead of 1-2. Do you guys/girls agree?

Edman
11-15-2007, 03:49 AM
I'd wish the coaches would use Najeh more instead of just on 3rd downs...but...

You do know the Steelers are 2nd in the league in total yards rushing right?

Galax Steeler
11-15-2007, 03:56 AM
You can't expect willie to get a 100 yards every game but I do think it could improve a little getting willie bigger holes to run through.

Atlanta Dan
11-15-2007, 06:10 AM
It would be nice if it impoved but it is not going to - the OL is in steep decline, with the pass blocking being just as much a cuase for concern as the run blocking.

xXTheSteelKingsXx
11-15-2007, 06:18 AM
I really would like to see a better goal line running game but our o-line dosn't seem to be able to get any kind of push. I think this really contributes to Willie having only 2 TD's thusfar.

RoethlisBURGHer
11-15-2007, 08:41 AM
Last I checked, our run game wasn't hurting that bad. Willie Parker is the leading rusher in the AFC right now.

We no longer have Jerome Bettis, who could move the pile himself when the line couldn't do it. Parker, Davenport, Davis, Kreider, they don't do that.

It also seems to me like Parker has lost some of that breakaway speed due to bulking up in muscle so he can take a 300+ carry season without wearing down. There have been runs where last year he takes it to the house, and this year a DB catches up and tackles him. I think that has hurt his rushing TD total.

Counselor
11-15-2007, 08:56 AM
FWIW, Merrill Hoge was on the DVE morning show this morning, after have looked at the Steelers-Browns tape. He said of the O-line: The pass blocking was actually pretty good, Ben hung onto the ball because the Cleveland secondary was covering really well and Ben made all good decisions---even taking the sacks.

He said he was also suprised because the real problem he saw with the o-line was their run blocking was not up to its usal quality.

I suggest that this might be a big part of the problem with the running game.

Steeldude
11-15-2007, 09:00 AM
Rightnow it's decent, but it's not what it used to be. Ben's ability to make amazing conversions on 3rd is masking that fact. I'm not going to put it on Parker either, he's excellent. Our o-line needs to open up bigger holes for him though, so we can get 4-6 yards on 1st and second down instead of 1-2. Do you guys/girls agree?

the steelers seem to be lost when it comes to the O-line. giving simmons a huge contract was almost as dumb as the kordell contract. simmons is poor at run blocking and pass protection. he offers nothing at all. he is a constant liability on each and every play.

IMO, it looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better. faneca is gone next year and there is no one to take his place.

the draft and/or free agency to needs to center around the O-line.

AFC
11-15-2007, 10:42 AM
I definitely agree.

Like you say, it is not Parker--he is an excellent RB--but rather the OL. The latter is too unstable. Blocking wise, there is much to be desired.

The OL is the biggest threat against the Steelers advancing through the playoffs, in my humble opinion.

Fire Haley
11-15-2007, 01:29 PM
Teams are still falling for that "Stop Parker and make Ben beat you" schtick.

Good for them...Willie is still getting his 100 yds and Ben is killing them.

Keep it up.

Infamix
11-15-2007, 02:02 PM
I'd wish the coaches would use Najeh more instead of just on 3rd downs...but...

You do know the Steelers are 2nd in the league in total yards rushing right?

It's really a misleading stat. Especially when analysts keep calling the Steelers a run-first team, which isn't the case this year. It's hard for me to argue against a stat like that, but if I watch the games I don't see the effiency that a run game needs to have. Maybe someone can break down the stats?

This is where my whole concern about Willie losing speed also comes in. He's clearly lost alot of his burst, and his extra weight isn't helping much with breaking tackles, IMO. His super-speed used to make up for the lack of consistant blocking.

onthebus36
11-15-2007, 02:05 PM
giving simmons a huge contract was almost as dumb as the kordell contract. simmons is poor at run blocking and pass protection. he offers nothing at all. he is a constant liability on each and every play.

I don't agree with you there. I don't think Simmons is "poor" and either and I certainly don't think he's "a liability on each and every play." He a solid O-lineman. Not spectacular, but certainly several cuts above "poor."

Teams are still falling for that "Stop Parker and make Ben beat you" schtick.

Good for them...Willie is still getting his 100 yds and Ben is killing them.

Keep it up.

Amen! They are stacking up against Willie and paying the price with Ben's accurate passing.

Atlanta Dan
11-15-2007, 02:29 PM
It's really a misleading stat. Especially when analysts keep calling the Steelers a run-first team, which isn't the case this year. It's hard for me to argue against a stat like that, but if I watch the games I don't see the effiency that a run game needs to have. Maybe someone can break down the stats?

This is where my whole concern about Willie losing speed also comes in. He's clearly lost alot of his burst, and his extra weight isn't helping much with breaking tackles, IMO. His super-speed used to make up for the lack of consistant blocking.

Nobody is going to get a burst in that cow pasture of a home field (Like Christmas decorations appearing at the mall, Novmber is the annual start of the season for me to complain the Rooneys need to get over the "old school" nonsense and install FieldTurf :smile:).

Parker is still one of the leading rushers in the league but I agree it is now more than ever an occasional 15-25 yard run + a lot of 0-2 yard carries - I blame the OL.

Infamix
11-15-2007, 02:41 PM
Nobody is going to get a burst in that cow pasture of a home field (Like Christmas decorations appearing at the mall, Novmber is the annual start of the season for me to complain the Rooneys need to get over the "old school" nonsense and install FieldTurf :smile:).

Parker is still one of the leading rushers in the league but I agree it is now more than ever an occasional 15-25 yard run + a lot of 0-2 yard carries - I blame the OL.

:sofunny: along with the offensive line, our field definitely needs an upgrade, ill join you with those complains

Jman
11-15-2007, 02:41 PM
OL is a huge area of concern for the team. Keeping that in mind, the team is 2nd in rushing. Why? Because this franchise is committed to running the football. :helmet: While the offense has opened up, the run is still a highly important factor in Steelers football.

Having said that, is it not a well known fact that this team runs the football? Most defenses expect the Steelers to run. I guess I'm surprised some were expecting HUGE things out of Parker this year. The secret is out! The man can play. Thus, the box gets stacked.

I would place some blame on the play calling too. Dan Krieder is still missing, and these Singleback formations do not reap benefits.

My :twocents:

ShutDown24
11-15-2007, 02:55 PM
100 yards for Willie almost every game is enough for me.

GeneralRobinson
11-15-2007, 03:16 PM
Nobody is going to get a burst in that cow pasture of a home field (Like Christmas decorations appearing at the mall, Novmber is the annual start of the season for me to complain the Rooneys need to get over the "old school" nonsense and install FieldTurf :smile:).

Playing conditions worsen in rainy, snowy, and wintery conditions no matter what the surface. There is no guarantee that field turf will result in a more effective running game. One can make the argument that a sloppier field gives our running game an advantage. An offensive line coming off the ball in run blocking in slippery conditions should be able to open holes against a defense that has to respect a run or pass play. As Coach Tomlin said:

In regards to the field, as long as we deal with it better than our opponent, I like it.

Infamix
11-15-2007, 03:16 PM
100 yards for Willie almost every game is enough for me.

I was trying to emphasize that the running game lacks consistancy because of the offensive line. 1 yard here, 0 yards, 2 yards here, then a 30 yard run. With Ben's ability to convert, if we get a consistant running game, this team will be hard to stop.

steelermuzik
11-15-2007, 03:44 PM
"100 yards for Willie almost every game is enough for me."
:iagree:

And a 7-2 record sits well with me too.

Rhee Rhee
11-15-2007, 03:47 PM
i hate to say it but i think the only reason we're second in the league in rushing is cause we give it to willie 25+ times a game... idk how long ben can pull out these amazing third and longs.. especially against new england and jax

lotas
11-15-2007, 03:53 PM
I was trying to emphasize that the running game lacks consistancy because of the offensive line. 1 yard here, 0 yards, 2 yards here, then a 30 yard run. With Ben's ability to convert, if we get a consistant running game, this team will be hard to stop.

I know exactly what you mean, I'm completely empathetic. I feel like the last 5 games or so Willie has just been plugged up at the line. Even his biggest running play last week was a play where the line was completely plugged up, and he just spins off of a unified mass of blockers and takes off.

He's not being used to his full potential, as a result of the OL lack of making holes. If Willie gets some holes to work with, and the running game opens up, this team will have a SCARY amount of potential.

The Duke
11-15-2007, 03:53 PM
Tomlin's philosophy seems to be reaching the fans. we're second in the nfl in rushing but we still want more, and that's good, there's always room for improvement.

to me the running game is great, not perfect, but solid and helping us win, next year though ,as we all know, we need to draft good linemen not just to pass protect but to run block, without Faneca....that's when we'll take a hit

Preacher
11-15-2007, 04:22 PM
Nobody is going to get a burst in that cow pasture of a home field (Like Christmas decorations appearing at the mall, Novmber is the annual start of the season for me to complain the Rooneys need to get over the "old school" nonsense and install FieldTurf :smile:).

Yeah... but didn't Willie's two 200 yard games come on that field last year... towards the end?

Parker is still one of the leading rushers in the league but I agree it is now more than ever an occasional 15-25 yard run + a lot of 0-2 yard carries - I blame the OL.

Yep, yep and yep!

He had NO holes to run through last week.

iupdauber
11-15-2007, 04:39 PM
Well, I think the fact that Willie is only getting 1, 2, or 0 yards here and there is due to the fact that they insist on running him up the gut. Throw a few tosses to the outside or run him off tackle more often, stretch out the D, so that he can run up the gut.

Atlanta Dan
11-15-2007, 05:23 PM
Playing conditions worsen in rainy, snowy, and wintery conditions no matter what the surface. There is no guarantee that field turf will result in a more effective running game. One can make the argument that a sloppier field gives our running game an advantage. An offensive line coming off the ball in run blocking in slippery conditions should be able to open holes against a defense that has to respect a run or pass play. As Coach Tomlin said:

Playing conditions are not as favorable anywhere in the Northeast & Midwest in December compared to September, but the Steelers' field conditions have a greater deterioration than elsewhere.

Cincinnati and Pittsburgh have comparable climates with fields next to the Ohio River. The Bengals tried grass when their new stadium opened, gave up, and converted to Field Turf. A look at the field for the Steelers last home game at Heinz last December and the season ending game the following week at Cincinnati illustrated the difference as to which field was more playable at the end of the season.

As for giving the running game an advantage, I did not see many holes being opened but did see Parker slipping constantly. When you watch the game in HD, the disgraceful condition of the field is even more obvious - every commentator who does a Heinz Field game in November or December points out the field's universal rep of being among the worst in the league.

I am not arguing for FieldTurf specifically benefiting the running game. I am arguing it improves the quality of the entire game. Playing on fields like that went out of style with black & white TV.

polamalufan43
11-15-2007, 05:31 PM
Imo, Willie is better than he was last year, but the oppertunites to run have gotten worse. I'm not blaming it on one person or group of people. Willie right now seems to be running straight up the middle, trying to run over guys instead of around them, which good for him, it'll make him a better back in the end. But as always, if the O-line can make holes, you can be sure Willie will find them.

~Pf43:tt02:

Rotorhead
11-15-2007, 05:31 PM
I think the fact that FWP STILL gets 100+ yards for most games is a sign of how good the OL is doing. Bettis almost always had a lead blocker, FWP rarely does. This added to the fact that alot of teams stack the box against the run is another testament to how well things are working for us. I really wish we would get FWP a lead blocker for the earlier runs to help break him through and punish the Def, then later, when they are tired, let him do it himself.

Stlrs4Life
11-15-2007, 06:18 PM
Well like said already, I blame the OL, it's been our achilles heal all season. And our not so special teams are putrid.

jjpro11
11-15-2007, 08:19 PM
jerome bettis really spoiled us.

Atlanta Dan
11-15-2007, 09:04 PM
jerome bettis really spoiled us.

The Bus had the great good fortune to go out on top in 2004-05.

By the end of 2002 he had a frankly well deserved rep of being overpaid, undermotivated, and out of shape - he was not regarded as spoiling many of us then - it was nice to see a career recover from what looked like a downhill slide to end up being one of the legendary Steelers.

Infamix
11-15-2007, 09:27 PM
jerome bettis really spoiled us.

Hey this wasn't a thread criticizing Willie at all...we're complaining about the offensive line :sissies:

SteelDogFan
11-16-2007, 11:50 AM
Win the Steelers are up and trying to run out the clock is the only time I have a problem with the O. When a defense puts eight in the box you are not going to get any yards running out of a three wide receiver, single back formation. Put a fullback in the game a remove a wide out. or motion the TE to the fullback position.

Also did anyone notice Willie has 20-30 more carries than anyone in league.

ytsan2q
11-16-2007, 11:01 PM
Teams are still puttin 8 in the box. As Ben continues to destroy teams, they'll have to respect our passing game more and play honest D. When that happens watch out. It's on.

Boomerang
11-17-2007, 01:09 AM
Teams are still puttin 8 in the box. As Ben continues to destroy teams, they'll have to respect our passing game more and play honest D. When that happens watch out. It's on.

Agree now that Ben has the pass going great, the run will benefit even more.

Infamix
11-18-2007, 08:36 PM
BUMP to all the fans who said they were happy with Willie's stats. Hey, stats don't tell the whole story guys. It was evident in today's loss, that our running is poor because of our offensive line. I'm not trying to be an *******, so I apologize if I come across as one, but we all saw what happens as soon as Ben isn't able to convert those 3rd downs.

ChronoCross
11-18-2007, 08:42 PM
Fix the O Line.