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View Full Version : offensive line woes and willie parker


tony hipchest
10-17-2005, 06:28 PM
i have read some about the steelers offensive line problems (starx and simmons particularly) yet most talking heads and analysts regard our line as the best in the nfl. they are healthy and sent 3 to the pro bowl last year. w. parker has been getting mixed signals. "slow down, wait for your blocks" and he is trying real hard to be an in between the tackles runner. he had some really good runs yesterday between the tackles. teams are gameplanning against him. and just like we were able to harness tomlinson, teams will stop parker if thats what they wish to do. thats where ben, ward, miller and our other wr's come into play. i believe if its not broke dont fix it. the steelers season to this point can be defined by 2 plays. both were unforced turn overs. el throwing the ball away against the pats and maddox putting the ball on the ground yesterday. im sure that is what cowher is preaching to the team. the wheels are not falling off. drastic changes are not needed. if every player focuses on the small things the steelers will be fine and are headed in the right direction------> detroit.

Atlanta Dan
10-17-2005, 06:56 PM
Yeah, you hear the 3 players went to the Pro Bowl last year line in the 1Q of every broadcast, but we are 1/3 of the way through this year and the O line is not performing at last year's level. Starks and Simmons are the obvious problems, but Hartings also seems to get called at least once a game for holding.

It is not 2003, but for better or worse this year's team gets away from the running game (e.g. - New England and yesterday's fiasco, which was capped off by Bettis not being in the game in OT) far earlier than was the case last year.

It may be a matter of the old cliche taking what the defense gives you, but last year's team took the run whether the defense wanted to give it to them or not. Contrast yesterday's 1Q failure to move the pile for Bettis on 3rd and 1 against last year's team blowing lines into the end zone from the 5 yard line. The Jags were horrible againt the run going into yesterday's game and blaming it all on an admittedly horrible Tommy Gun is not the complete story. My guess is a lot of teams watched films of the New England AFC championship game and have schemed accordingly.

tony hipchest
10-17-2005, 07:09 PM
great points! the pats schemed to force ben to throw the ball. i hope teams do this in "05, cause i think ben can do it. ultimately this will make the steelers a more balanced team and not rely so much on the run. this should open up running lanes where parker, bettis or duce can get a 100 yd rushing game, regardles of who is in there. i think it is a progression and an evolution that is necessary with a 2nd year qb, rb, and o-lineman. i only watch the games on tv and admittedly dont focus on the o-line but after re watching last weeks game against sd i did notice starks and tuman getting abused on several occasions so i do see where you are coming from. these things should work themselves out. i guess everybody was right. no way can the steelers go 15-1 again. dont mean 14-2 is out of the question. welcome to the boards btw.

Livinginthe past
10-17-2005, 07:14 PM
I dont think you can expect to remain dominant in any one facet of the game for too long these days - HC's and co-ords are getting much better at watching how teams gain success against a certain team and game planning accordingly.

Two examples of this I can think of would be the Pats getting beat up by ATL and S.D Tight Ends (admittedly two of the best in the league) and the fairly ineffective Colts passing game this year - on a side note there - if the Edge were to get an injury the ass would truly fall out of the Colts offensive juggernaut.

I think Fast Willie is a little over-rated and he doesnt suit the between the tackles running style preferred by the Steelers - however once you are able to add a fully fit Duce Staley back into the mix you will notice a large upturn in Willie's output - he is talented for sure but still learning the game!

The Steelers have a lot of talent spread over various parts of the team - Miller is a beast at TE and Polamalu is having a fierce year too.

On the downside Cowher is one of the worst coaches I can think of at making calls on-the-fly - when things deviate from the game plan A he seems to come up short.

To finish on a positive note I will repeat what I have said on other threads at the start of this year - Big Ben is a top notch QB already - quite scary when you consider he is still learning also - I mean...when is a QB's supposed 'peak' ????? 30 something no?

Cheers

NM

I.C. Lights
10-17-2005, 07:39 PM
I think Fast Willie is a little over-rated and he doesnt suit the between the tackles running style preferred by the Steelers - however once you are able to add a fully fit Duce Staley back into the mix you will notice a large upturn in Willie's output - he is talented for sure but still learning the game!

Sounds right to me. I totally agree on the Duce comment, but it's really getting frustrating with him always on the sidelines. I think even running Bettis a little more will help Parker. It seemed to work well in the SD game.



On the downside Cowher is one of the worst coaches I can think of at making calls on-the-fly - when things deviate from the game plan A he seems to come up short.

The Problem with Cowher, in my opinion, is more stubbornness than anything else...sometimes it's almost as if he doesn't see the deviation when it's happening! Like against JAX everyone knew that Tommy was having a rough day but Cowher let him stay in there to our demise. He's still a great coach though ... I just worry about the inflexibility thing now and then.

tony hipchest
10-17-2005, 07:47 PM
in all fairness to cowher defense is his specialty. and he has loose reigns on his o-coordinaters making the calls.

r. erhardt
c. gailey
r. sherman
m mularkey
k. gilbride
k wisenhunt....am i missing anyone?

not only does cowher develop alot of players who go on to lucrative contracts, but coaches too.
3 of the afformentionned have been head coaches (wisenhunt will be plucked soon- but he is going through a sophmore jinx just like ben-SARCASM) r. grimm is the one weve been lucky enough to keep

while were at it lets look at the defensive coaches under cowher who have moved on and became head coaches:

lebeau
lewis
capers
hasslett
r. zook made it too in the college ranks but barely worth mention

i dont think cowher is one of the worst coaches at anything. (except coaching multiple teams)

Livinginthe past
10-17-2005, 07:56 PM
in all fairness to cowher defense is his specialty. and he has loose reigns on his o-coordinaters making the calls.

r. erhardt
c. gailey
r. sherman
m mularkey
k. gilbride
k wisenhunt....am i missing anyone?

not only does cowher develop alot of players who go on to lucrative contracts, but coaches too.
3 of the afformentionned have been head coaches (wisenhunt will be plucked soon- but he is going through a sophmore jinx just like ben-SARCASM) r. grimm is the one weve been lucky enough to keep

while were at it lets look at the defensive coaches under cowher who have moved on and became head coaches:

lebeau
lewis
capers
hasslett
r. zook made it too in the college ranks but barely worth mention

i dont think cowher is one of the worst coaches at anything. (except coaching multiple teams)

I think Cowher's 'eye for talent' is unquestionable - you cant be as consistently competitive as the Steelers without having a talented team.

If the game was played on the chalk board I would back him to win most games - but im afraid when it comes to using a little improvisation - he is all at sea.

Solid game planning allied with a talented, well drilled team is going to get you regular season success more often than not - the problem is - when you get to the playoffs (esp. in the AFC) all the teams have this and you need a little something extra to make it to the big game - either that or get a transfer to the NFC!

Cheers

NM

tony hipchest
10-17-2005, 08:08 PM
I think Cowher's 'eye for talent' is unquestionable - you cant be as consistently competitive as the Steelers without having a talented team.

If the game was played on the chalk board I would back him to win most games - but im afraid when it comes to using a little improvisation - he is all at sea.

Solid game planning allied with a talented, well drilled team is going to get you regular season success more often than not - the problem is - when you get to the playoffs (esp. in the AFC) all the teams have this and you need a little something extra to make it to the big game - either that or get a transfer to the NFC!

Cheers

NM
cowhers lack of success in the sb is an undeniable fact. to call him the worst at anything is a bit extreme. i will always believe that marv levy was a great coach. same with cowher. i will always take a cowher coached team over a billick, holmgren, or shanahan coached team any day. i think gruden and vermiel and reid are better than the 3 i mentionned. (just to show i am not biased)

I.C. Lights
10-17-2005, 08:14 PM
I don't question anything about Cowher but the stubbornness. I'd still rather have him than any other coach in the league. But I think Living makes a good point that it takes a little more come the playoffs. I wonder if those loose reigns get tighter during the playoffs because then the calling is always so conservative regardless of who the coordinators have been.

One thing I love about Cowher is that we are consistently contenders with him. I'm hope that we'll get one before he's done because in the long run I think I'll be happier with that kind of trend than, say, a Tampa Bay or Ratbirds type team. Steelers are a life-long experience.

Livinginthe past
10-17-2005, 08:17 PM
cowhers lack of success in the sb is an undeniable fact. to call him the worst at anything is a bit extreme. i will always believe that marv levy was a great coach. same with cowher. i will always take a cowher coached team over a billick, holmgren, or shanahan coached team any day. i think gruden and vermiel and reid are better than the 3 i mentionned. (just to show i am not biased)

I didnt call him the worst - I said he was 'one of the worst' in the league - but even this may or may not be an exaggeration.

The thing is due to the fact that they are one of the more talented, well drilled teams in the league - the Steelers are playing alot of 'big games' both in the regular season and in the playoffs - this is when people scruitinise coaches and players with great intensity.

It may be fair to say that the Arizona Cardinals or the 49ers have staff that is worse at thinking on-the-fly - but its just thats its not highlighted as much due to their teams consistent lack of recent success - they dont get involved in many tight games that mean anything.

Cheers

NM

Suitanim
10-17-2005, 09:32 PM
Jack Del Rio was outcoached by a mile in this last game...and Cowher was nowhere near at his best.

tony hipchest
10-17-2005, 09:49 PM
I didnt call him the worst - I said he was 'one of the worst' in the league - but even this may or may not be an exaggeration.

The thing is due to the fact that they are one of the more talented, well drilled teams in the league - the Steelers are playing alot of 'big games' both in the regular season and in the playoffs - this is when people scruitinise coaches and players with great intensity.

It may be fair to say that the Arizona Cardinals or the 49ers have staff that is worse at thinking on-the-fly - but its just thats its not highlighted as much due to their teams consistent lack of recent success - they dont get involved in many tight games that mean anything.

Cheers

NM
there you go again...splitting hairs for the sake of debate. let me rephrase my statement to patsfanology: calling cowher ONE OF THE WORST AT ANYTHING IS A BIT EXTREME. i never accused you of calling cowher the worst. it may be fair to say that 31 out of 32 coaches are the worst every year for not winning the superbowl but i wont go to that extreme cause i recognize the great jobs many people do all across the nfl. ultimately football is about entertainment and even though barry sanders never won a ring doesnt mean i cant appreciate all the great things he done and call him one of the best. (dont worry .... we all know kevin faulk was/is better)

Livinginthe past
10-17-2005, 10:26 PM
there you go again...splitting hairs for the sake of debate. let me rephrase my statement to patsfanology: calling cowher ONE OF THE WORST AT ANYTHING IS A BIT EXTREME. i never accused you of calling cowher the worst. it may be fair to say that 31 out of 32 coaches are the worst every year for not winning the superbowl but i wont go to that extreme cause i recognize the great jobs many people do all across the nfl. ultimately football is about entertainment and even though barry sanders never won a ring doesnt mean i cant appreciate all the great things he done and call him one of the best. (dont worry .... we all know kevin faulk was/is better)

Ok - dont want to get caught up in semantics on this one.

We can all go back and read the posts made in this thread.

My stance is that considering the talent at his disposal - and yes he has a big part in getting that talent in the first place - he lets his team down in the clutch moments of big games with his over reliance on dominating run.

We all know what he is going to do before he does it - its great fun to run all over average competition during the regular season - but come the playoffs you need to have a plan B because teams WILL take away your plan A.

Luckily if Cowher opens his eyes he will notice he has a player very capable of Quarterbacking his team to success by regularly passing on first and second down, to make teams second guess before stacking up against the run every 1st down.

Cheers

NM

BlitzburghRockCity
10-17-2005, 10:47 PM
Fortunately we have good RB's and a good OL to carry out our running game philosphy...

I wouldnt call cowher the worst or one of the worst or whatever at anything..but I do see your point in that there is something to be said for dancing w/ what brought ya here, but u also have to be flexible and game plan alittle more on offense.

Dick lebeau game plans like crazy on defense.. and we dominate more often than not.. perhaps seeing the offense game plan more would be something to look forward too.

Rotorhead
10-18-2005, 01:16 AM
I seem to recall the year we let the Off Coord change the regular gameplan to open up the offense. We went 6-10 that year. Cowher has built a team (O-line, runners, receivers) based on running, and it would take a complete rebuild to change the dynamics of how the offense is run. The steelers (like the broncos) are built to be a running team first. Whether we run to open up opportunities in passing with the run, or pass a little to open up the running game a little more (which I think is what we need to do to utilize Willie) we still are going to run more often than not. Maddox can be a good QB in a different system, one that emphasizes a passing attack more. I think Ben and Parker will be a good combination in the future because with Ben, teams can not stack the line like in years past. We needed punishing runners to move the ball against the "8 in the box" mentality. With Heath, Ward, Wilson, ARE out there, teams will get burned trying that. That plays very well into Willie's style of play as our O-line will be able to open up holes for Willie to get big yardage through. Willie still has to get some comfort level with how the line works and vice-versa. It was good that Cowher stuck with Willie in the running game, he needs the repititions. I think we will see this really pay off later in the year when Duce is killing defenses with fresh legs and when teams try to counter that Ben will be killing them through the air. Sorry that turned out to be a little more longwinded that I intended haha