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View Full Version : The ugliest thing on TV Monday was not the field.


bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 12:27 AM
Sadly, it was once again our suddenly flacid o-line. I've been poring over some numbers Tony Hipchest style and have found a disturbing trend to report.

Only Detroit (47), St. Louis (39), and San Fran (37), have allowed more sacks than we have (35). These teams have a combined record of 11-22.

16 of our sacks allowed (almost half) have come in the last three games.

Our running game has also suffered considerably. Our in-ability to convert 3rd or 4th and 1's has been painful to watch. Scoring touchdowns via the ground game seems to be a distant memory.

We can talk all we want about coaching, Ben, the receivers, or whatever but the bottom line is if we don't find a way to improve our o-line, we are in for a very dis-appointing stretch. If you look at the numbers we have been able to achieve in spite of that, there is reason for optimism. We are a talented team that is capable of making some noise but this could very well be our achilles heel going forward. In my eyes, the entire rest of the season rests solely on the shoulders of five people. If they get it done, we can shock the world once again. If they don't, it will be just another season to ponder what we could have done "if only".

Haiku_Dirtt
11-28-2007, 01:16 AM
One could see the cracks in the armour in the Super Bowl year. Rodney King errrrrr Baby Huey errrrrr Max Starks peaked that year.

Marvel Smith is overrated. Simmons' unfortunate battle with diabetes stole his prime years. Kemo isn't getting any better ever. Okobi was as useful on a Sunday as a USPS mailtruck.

And what exactly did Cowher do to help rebuild the line before his expeditious and convenient exit? Nothing. Nothing at all. And more importantly do the Rooney's and KC have a plan to fix this calamity?

The better our record this season the harder it will be to fix.

Rhee Rhee
11-28-2007, 01:55 AM
i think the fact we are 8-3 magnifies our problems.. we need help via the draft.. i would love to get something in return if faneca leaves.... (maybe a 2nd or 3rd)

Galax Steeler
11-28-2007, 03:55 AM
i think the fact we are 8-3 magnifies our problems.. we need help via the draft.. i would love to get something in return if faneca leaves.... (maybe a 2nd or 3rd)

Agreed this is going to be one of the most important drafts in recent years.

Crushzilla
11-28-2007, 04:10 AM
i think the fact we are 8-3 magnifies our problems.. we need help via the draft.. i would love to get something in return if faneca leaves.... (maybe a 2nd or 3rd)

Unfortunately, Faneca will be an Unrestricted Free Agent so when his contract is up, it is up. He'll be free to sign with whatever team agrees to give him a ridiculous amount of money in the inflated market. Since he has more than three years of service with the francise, the Steelers will be awarded no compensation at his departure. Just a hand shake and "good luck."

steelermuzik
11-28-2007, 09:08 AM
Just wondering....

Has anyone considered the fact that (and mind you I'm not making excuses) that the fact the Steelers have played, I think, 4 straight games in the rain might have a little to do with the decline of the offensive performance? I know, in the Ravens game they exploded. But mostly because they were given a short field. Maybe they're tired of being wet and cold and aren't getting as up for the games? I don't know. The benefit I see of this stretch is that they will be battle tested come Dec. 9 (especially if the rumor for snow this Sunday is true) and therefore might still have a chance against the Patsies, given they've barely been challenged at all. One can hope, right?

revefsreleets
11-28-2007, 09:14 AM
The OL played better against the Dolphins. Nobody is going to the Pro Bowl, but they were better. A couple of those sacks were coverage sacks, Ben holding the ball too long, etc.

ShutDown24
11-28-2007, 09:19 AM
YEAH AND ONLY DETROIT, ST. LOUIS AND SAN FRAN HAVE QBS WHO HOLD THE BALL LONGER THAN BEN.

SteelFist
11-28-2007, 09:46 AM
The O-Line is clearly our biggest issue right now. But Ben has to take a small part of the blame for those sacks because he sometimes holds onto the ball too long.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 10:48 AM
The O-Line is clearly our biggest issue right now. But Ben has to take a small part of the blame for those sacks because he sometimes holds onto the ball too long.

Are you seriously trying to divert blame away from the line and put it on Ben!? BEN!?
The fact that he has been able to put up some great numbers with this line shows his talent level. Check the QB rating of the niners, lions, and rams to see how they have fared in similar situations. It's not pretty.

IMO Ben deserves nothing but kudos for his performance so far.

Steeldude
11-28-2007, 11:12 AM
Sadly, it was once again our suddenly flacid o-line. I've been poring over some numbers Tony Hipchest style and have found a disturbing trend to report.

Only Detroit (47), St. Louis (39), and San Fran (37), have allowed more sacks than we have (35). These teams have a combined record of 11-22.

16 of our sacks allowed (almost half) have come in the last three games.

Our running game has also suffered considerably. Our in-ability to convert 3rd or 4th and 1's has been painful to watch. Scoring touchdowns via the ground game seems to be a distant memory.

We can talk all we want about coaching, Ben, the receivers, or whatever but the bottom line is if we don't find a way to improve our o-line, we are in for a very dis-appointing stretch. If you look at the numbers we have been able to achieve in spite of that, there is reason for optimism. We are a talented team that is capable of making some noise but this could very well be our achilles heel going forward. In my eyes, the entire rest of the season rests solely on the shoulders of five people. If they get it done, we can shock the world once again. If they don't, it will be just another season to ponder what we could have done "if only".

i too am very critical of the steelers' poor O-line, but don't blame them entirely for the sacks.

BR shares in the blame also. he has a tendency to hold the ball too long. his ability to make quick reads has always been average or below. he also needs to do a better job of securing the ball.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 11:48 AM
i too am very critical of the steelers' poor O-line, but don't blame them entirely for the sacks.

BR shares in the blame also. he has a tendency to hold the ball too long. his ability to make quick reads has always been average or below. he also needs to do a better job of securing the ball.

:confused::confused: Laughable.

alittlejazzbird
11-28-2007, 12:51 PM
Are you seriously trying to divert blame away from the line and put it on Ben!? BEN!?
The fact that he has been able to put up some great numbers with this line shows his talent level. Check the QB rating of the niners, lions, and rams to see how they have fared in similar situations. It's not pretty.

IMO Ben deserves nothing but kudos for his performance so far.

You're correct that Ben deserves kudos for his play this year. He is light years removed from last year's physical problems, and he's shown by his passer rating, completion efficiency, and response in clutch situations that he is a true franchise quarterback who's on the verge of elite status. He's already thrown for five more touchdowns than he had all of last season, and has reduced his interception rate by something like 70% (I'm just guessing at that amount...).

That said, it is undeniable to anyone carefully watching his play that he is frequently the cause of sacks because he holds the ball too long. As I posted elsewhere, it's easy to see why it happens; Ben is always trying so hard to make a play, and he knows he can scramble and make things happen, so instead of just throwing the ball away once he's out of the pocket and there's no one open, he trys to buy time by moving. Often it works out for him, but that level of risk carries the constant threat of sacks.

Our offensive line has issues, and they are absolutely responsible for some of the sacks, but it's equally unfair to place all the responsibility on them. At some point during every play, the pocket is going to break down, and the ball had better be gone by then or the QB is a sitting duck.

Not that Monday night's game was an accurate barometer of anything, but I focused on Ben and the O-line through the entire game. I definitely saw Ben have more time to stand in the pocket and throw (hence the 18 of 21 excellent completion percentage), so to my mind that means improved play on passing downs by the line. I also saw only two sacks that were going to be unavoidable from the moment the ball was snapped, and one of them was when Ben got hit as he was throwing and had to recover his own fumble. The other three sacks, in my opinion, happened because Ben was holding the ball, then decided to try to scramble, and they got him.

I have nothing but respect and admiration for the way Ben has developed and matured this year, and I believe he will play the rest of his career as a Pittsburgh Steeler and that we will be in the hunt for years to come. But I call it like I see it, and in my opinion Ben's reluctance to throw the ball away is causing more of his sack problems than is the play of the offensive line. You want to call the O-line out for something, I'd say their biggest problem right now is consistent run blocking.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 01:26 PM
I call it like I see it, and in my opinion Ben's reluctance to throw the ball away is causing more of his sack problems than is the play of the offensive line.

To me that is just crazy! I mean no dis-respect by that, but to say that Ben is MORE responsible for the sacks than is the o-line is just preposterous.

I will agree with you wholeheartedly on one point. The run blocking has also been pathetic.

I want to be clear that my point is not to sit here and bash the o-line. I'm not one to constantly focus on the negatives. I know these guys are working hard and probably take these stats a helluva lot more personally than any of us ever will. My point is actually that if we can fix this main problem area, then we have reason for some serious optimism. It's just hard for me to get real pumped up about the rest of the season when I know that we have this obvious weakness that other teams are starting to exploit.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-28-2007, 02:00 PM
I think that Ben holding on to the ball and taking the sack is by design and not by bad judgement. Last year he had a bad tendency to throw the ball into coverage when he began to fell the pocket collapsing or when he felt the heat from a potential sack....This year he is pulling the ball back in and taqcking the hit, thereby changing an opponants 1st and 10 into a Steeler 3rd and 15. No contest as to which one is preferred.

SteelDogFan
11-28-2007, 02:08 PM
I'll sum it up in a nut-shell. NO RUSS GRIMM. The o-line did not just get stupid or sorry. We have good talent across the board. But with this position you cant do it by talent alone you need a good coach to teach them the ins and outs and to keep them fundamentally intact. I saw plays where the basic spin move worked and Ben was on his back.

This is also hurting the running game from time to time. I don't know maybe they even change they way they prepare. But you can tell that at times they just get beat at the snap.

Lets hope that they can get it together before the Pats and the Ravens or it could be a long day for Ben.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 02:13 PM
Definitely agree that our offensive line needs help... immediately, BUT... to address the title of your post, IMO the ugliest thing on TV monday night was Tony Cornhole's comb-over!!

:sofunny::sofunny: You are absolutely right and I stand corrected. I don't know what it is about that thing, but the MNF cameras seem to accentuate it and bring it right into my living room. Its clearly the worst comb-over of all time and it makes me look the other way every time I see it.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 02:17 PM
I'll sum it up in a nut-shell. NO RUSS GRIMM. The o-line did not just get stupid or sorry. We have good talent across the board. But with this position you cant do it by talent alone you need a good coach to teach them the ins and outs and to keep them fundamentally intact. I saw plays where the basic spin move worked and Ben was on his back.

This is also hurting the running game from time to time. I don't know maybe they even change they way they prepare. But you can tell that at times they just get beat at the snap.

Lets hope that they can get it together before the Pats and the Ravens or it could be a long day for Ben.

Grimms presence is definitely missed. We all know how Faneca felt about him. I'm sure the others are probably having to adjust a little bit as well.

Blitzburgh_Fever
11-28-2007, 02:24 PM
I understand the "Ben holds onto the ball too long" argument, but it doesn't really change anything in my opinion.

Be honest, we've watched countless times he could've just thrown it away instead of eat a sack. You also have to realize that he throws it away, it's a dead play. We're not magically gaining yards, we're just not losing three or four. So could Ben get rid of it quicker and throw it away? Sure. But he shouldn't be getting pressured as much as he is.

Now, if he had a solid five or six seconds to throw the ball due to the O-Line's play and NOT him scrambling around, and still somehow got sacked, there'd be an argument for him holding onto the ball too long. But if he had thrown it away first chance, we'd probably have a lot less first downs, a lot less touchdowns, and a lot less wins.

BR is fine. His holding onto the ball is a result of him having to scramble so much and not being able to make reads while shrugging off 250 lbs linebackers. Get better O-Line, end of story.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-28-2007, 02:39 PM
:sofunny::sofunny: You are absolutely right and I stand corrected. I don't know what it is about that thing, but the MNF cameras seem to accentuate it and bring it right into my living room. Its clearly the worst comb-over of all time and it makes me look the other way every time I see it.

:sofunny::sofunny:I keep looking to see if his facial hair is part of the comb over....ala the Beard-comb over!!!!

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 03:06 PM
http://cache.viewimages.com/xc/71853911.jpg?v=1&c=ViewImages&k=2&d=17A4AD9FDB9CF193875DCB1DD8387ABBE2EC2FFC35EC2930 A40A659CEC4C8CB6


Have a look if you dare! :toofunny::toofunny:

fansince'76
11-28-2007, 03:21 PM
So big benny lucky elusiveness streak ends and now you start talking about the O-line.

If they let the bengals get to benny this sunday night. It could be a massacre.

If I were you, I'd be more concerned about Captain Cornhole, buddy. :coffee:

TackleMeBen
11-28-2007, 03:25 PM
If I were you, I'd be more concerned about Captain Cornhole, buddy. :coffee:

thanks '76 now i am hearing beavis and butthead...lol...

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 03:27 PM
So big benny lucky elusiveness streak ends and now you start talking about the O-line.

If they let the bengals get to benny this sunday night. It could be a massacre.

:blah::blah::blah::blah::blah:

The bung-holes are one of the teams that our line has actually dominated this year. I look forward to a little more of that. This game will be one in which we re-assert our dominance in this division.

fansince'76
11-28-2007, 03:31 PM
My point exactly.

The bengals from here on out Will be dominant. And yes it will carry on into next year. The bengals comeback era will return.

You guys just make sure you have that Shit field of yours ready for sunday. :flap:

:troll:

Yeah, right. Your D still sucks, your HC is an incompetent oaf, your franchise QB is a whiny-ass crybaby, and your best WR is a selfish assclown. Keep dreaming.

fansince'76
11-28-2007, 03:36 PM
Time to take out the trash....

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 03:40 PM
Time to take out the trash....

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

revefsreleets
11-28-2007, 04:22 PM
I'm not sure if there is a reading comprehension problem, or if my keyboard is typing in a foreign language, but I'll try this again:

Bruce Arian's offense is based on the WR's running crossing routes. This confuses the DB's and creates picks and mismatches, BUT IT REQUIRES SLIGHTLY LONGER FOR THE WR'S TO GET OPEN!

That makes it necessary for Ben to hold the ball a little longer than most QB's. That doesn't excuse our oline, but it does compound the problem. People, please understand the rudiments of the offense we run before you critique it.

Dino 6 Rings
11-28-2007, 04:29 PM
I'll take a sack and a loss of down and yardage and a punt with our defense getting back out onto the field over a Pick 6 EVERY TIME.

There have been a couple times though where Ben has had the opportunity, while out of the pocket to just chuck the ball out of bounds. He needs to watch a little more film of himself and recognize the times he is outside the tackles and can heave it over to the sidelines into the 8th row. Sometimes, the best play, is an incomplete pass.

Steel_Bus_24
11-28-2007, 05:38 PM
Im more worried about our run blocking, with not just the line but the crap job the TEs have been doing as well. It used to be automatic for us when we got those 3rd and shorts, now we barely convert any.

MasterOfPuppets
11-28-2007, 06:06 PM
I'm not sure if there is a reading comprehension problem, or if my keyboard is typing in a foreign language, but I'll try this again:

Bruce Arian's offense is based on the WR's running crossing routes. This confuses the DB's and creates picks and mismatches, BUT IT REQUIRES SLIGHTLY LONGER FOR THE WR'S TO GET OPEN!

That makes it necessary for Ben to hold the ball a little longer than most QB's. That doesn't excuse our oline, but it does compound the problem. People, please understand the rudiments of the offense we run before you critique it.then perhaps Arians, needs to adjust his system , to fit the personel. asking this particular line to hold blocks for 2 seconds ,seems to be beyond thier capabilitys on .... 80 %, of pass plays. so wouldn't the obvious thing to do, be to adjust routes, and maybe mix in more 3 step drops, and designed rollouts ? your system has to fit the personel !!!! :banging:

Petesburgh66
11-28-2007, 06:49 PM
I'll sum it up in a nut-shell. NO RUSS GRIMM. The o-line did not just get stupid or sorry. We have good talent across the board. But with this position you cant do it by talent alone you need a good coach to teach them the ins and outs and to keep them fundamentally intact. I saw plays where the basic spin move worked and Ben was on his back.

The OL was a problem last year with Grimm. Steelers need to re-build it in the off season through the draft and maybe a free agent signing.

revefsreleets
11-28-2007, 07:33 PM
then perhaps Arians, needs to adjust his system , to fit the personel. asking this particular line to hold blocks for 2 seconds ,seems to be beyond thier capabilitys on .... 80 %, of pass plays. so wouldn't the obvious thing to do, be to adjust routes, and maybe mix in more 3 step drops, and designed rollouts ? your system has to fit the personel !!!! :banging:

There is evidence that this is happening, but you can't install an offense then uninstall it like a shitty program on your PC. I use the 3-4 to 4-3 example again. It takes time to adjust. NFL offenses are as complex as higher order mathematical problems now. You can't just solve the problem in 2 minutes with a calculator.

That's why I ignore 95% of what I read on message boards when it comes to questioning play calling. It's like second guessing Garry Kasparov AFTER he loses (extremely rare) a chess match, saying "Aw, he should have moved his pawn to c5 with his 4th move! If he'd have done that, he'd have won". As if we know better.

bratsinmybelly
11-28-2007, 11:25 PM
There is evidence that this is happening, but you can't install an offense then uninstall it like a shitty program on your PC. I use the 3-4 to 4-3 example again. It takes time to adjust. NFL offenses are as complex as higher order mathematical problems now. You can't just solve the problem in 2 minutes with a calculator.

That's why I ignore 95% of what I read on message boards when it comes to questioning play calling. It's like second guessing Garry Kasparov AFTER he loses (extremely rare) a chess match, saying "Aw, he should have moved his pawn to c5 with his 4th move! If he'd have done that, he'd have won". As if we know better.

I'm not questioning the play calling. I'm questioning the fact that Ben gets sacked more than all but three QB's in the league and that we can't seem to convert short yardage 1st downs or touchdowns on the ground. This seems to point strongly to an inept o-line. If by that assumption, I display a deficiency in my rudimentary knowledge of our offensive scheme then by all means enlighten me. Otherwise, I say that a scheme that involves the risk of getting your QB sacked all the time and not being effective on the ground doesn't make any sense. Lastly I say that it's not that at all. It's the fact that our line is playing like crap. As you stated, it's not a problem that can be fixed this week or maybe even this season. I guess it's shaping up to be a real challenge for Tomlin to try and win a championship with a line that can't seem to block anyone.

revefsreleets
11-29-2007, 08:52 AM
I'm not questioning the play calling. I'm questioning the fact that Ben gets sacked more than all but three QB's in the league and that we can't seem to convert short yardage 1st downs or touchdowns on the ground. This seems to point strongly to an inept o-line. If by that assumption, I display a deficiency in my rudimentary knowledge of our offensive scheme then by all means enlighten me. Otherwise, I say that a scheme that involves the risk of getting your QB sacked all the time and not being effective on the ground doesn't make any sense. Lastly I say that it's not that at all. It's the fact that our line is playing like crap. As you stated, it's not a problem that can be fixed this week or maybe even this season. I guess it's shaping up to be a real challenge for Tomlin to try and win a championship with a line that can't seem to block anyone.

Again, I thought the line improved against the Dolphins, and I also think there is a problem with them not picking up a new blocking scheme. But it's undeniable that Ben is a bit of a gunslinger. Combine a not great line with a QB who doesn't like to throw the ball away and has a tendency to hang on to the ball a little longer than most, along with an offense that is predicated upon a lot of pass plays taking slightly longer to develop and you are going to have some problems. My frustration lies with people who want to lay all the blame at the feet of one particular entity when it's just not that simple. It's a "perfect storm", a culmination of problems, and it's not something you can just wave a magic wand at and fix.

Paul Pyrch
11-29-2007, 09:59 AM
I agree with Steel Fist totally. The OL just doesn't cut it no matter how much you rationalize it. Also, Ben needs to get rid of the ball quicker like Favre, Manning and Brady do. And maybe the receivers need to run better patterns as well.

jjpro11
11-29-2007, 10:25 AM
maybe if we would start throwing shorter routes, teams wouldnt be bringing as much pressure always. i dont know, it just seems like all of our plays are designed for medium-long range throws.. other than the WR screens we run.

X-Terminator
11-29-2007, 10:45 AM
I agree with Steel Fist totally. The OL just doesn't cut it no matter how much you rationalize it. Also, Ben needs to get rid of the ball quicker like Favre, Manning and Brady do. And maybe the receivers need to run better patterns as well.

Actually Manning (Peyton) is in a similar offense that the Steelers run. The Colts run a lot of crossing routes and medium-range patterns. He just has the benefit of a better OL, which of course is why he has more time to throw.

Both Brady and Favre run totally different schemes that require them to get rid of the ball quickly. They both take their shots deep and do so with success, but how many slants do the Pats and Packers run? A ton. The Steelers can incorporate more slants into their scheme with Santonio Holmes, especially since he has the speed to take that slant to the house.

fansince'76
11-29-2007, 11:08 AM
Actually Manning (Peyton) is in a similar offense that the Steelers run. The Colts run a lot of crossing routes and medium-range patterns. He just has the benefit of a better OL, which of course is why he has more time to throw.

Good point - Manning the mannequin would get killed behind our current OL.

TackleMeBen
11-29-2007, 11:13 AM
Good point - Manning the mannequin would get killed behind our current OL.

:sofunny::sofunny::sofunny: manning the mannequin.. that is a good one '76. thanks for making spit my coke all over my keyboard.