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View Full Version : 2008 O-line has potential to mimic 2004 O-line


El-Gonzo Jackson
05-02-2008, 01:06 PM
Everybody's favorite topic seems to the play of the Offensive line last season. A seson where the Steelers won the AFC North, but underperformed down the stretch.

Lets think back to the 2003 season where the Offensive line took most of the blame again and the team went 6-10. Smith, Faneca, Hartings, Simmons(injured), Vincent, Ross, were the starters. Surprisingly the following season the same O-line returned and the team went 15-1 with Ben as a rookie.

The main problem was injury in 2003, Smith-neck, Hartings-knee, Simmons-ACL and the 2 new additions of Vincent and Ross.

I would make the arguement that the same can be said of the 2007 O-line. Injuries in Smith-back, Starks-knee, new starters introduced in Mahan and Colon, plus the added distraction of disgruntled Faneca....possibly playing more to avoid injury in his last contract year.

The 2008 O-line will return a hopefully healthy Marvel Smith, experienced RT contenders in Starks and Colon, but the addition of new starters at LG and C need to get accustomed to the players around them.

Will the Steelers willgo 15-1 like in 04?......not with this schedule!
Is the O-line as bad as most make it out to be??.......not by a longshot!

So cheer up pessimists, the sky is not falling. Enjoy the wait for the new season with confidence and optimism, rather than reliving each one of those 53 sacks for the entire summer. The O-line looks better than last season and will be that way as long as it stays healthy.....just like it did in 2004.

steelreserve
05-02-2008, 02:04 PM
Lets think back to the 2003 season where the Offensive line took most of the blame again and the team went 6-10. Smith, Faneca, Hartings, Simmons(injured), Vincent, Ross, were the starters. Surprisingly the following season the same O-line returned and the team went 15-1 with Ben as a rookie.

The main problem was injury in 2003, Smith-neck, Hartings-knee, Simmons-ACL and the 2 new additions of Vincent and Ross.

Hmm ... let me think what else possibly could have been wrong with our offense in 2003 that caused us to go 6-10? It doesn't jump out at you right away, but

MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK

but that probably didn't have anything to do with it.

Hammer Of The GODS
05-02-2008, 02:11 PM
Nice post! I think we will take the division again with the team that will be scrutinized from now until we win our 1st regular season game. It is the same thing every off season.

Fact is.... we are very lucky to be Steeler fans. The Rooney family has consistantly fielded competitive teams for years now.

PRAISE BE TO THE GODS OF FOOTBALL FOR BESTOWING UPON US THE ROONEY FAMILY AND FOR KICKING CLEVELAND FANS IN THE BALLS YEAR AFTER YEAR!


GO BURGH!

The Pens are back home for game 5 so the home fans can enjoy the win over NY!

Steeldude
05-02-2008, 02:27 PM
Hmm ... let me think what else possibly could have been wrong with our offense in 2003 that caused us to go 6-10? It doesn't jump out at you right away, but

MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK

but that probably didn't have anything to do with it.

no, it's was more the O-line's fault. the worst rushing attack for the steelers since 1969.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-02-2008, 02:42 PM
:chuckle:Hmm ... let me think what else possibly could have been wrong with our offense in 2003 that caused us to go 6-10? It doesn't jump out at you right away, but

MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK
MADDOX WAS THE QUARTERBACK

but that probably didn't have anything to do with it.

I'm really not sure what you are trying to say:noidea:.:chuckle:

I seem to remember that 2003, Maddox was the QB, the O line was injured and the team Rushing YDS were 1488 and Passing YDS were 3304.

In 2004, the O-line was healthy, but the same, Rookie QB Ben came in the Baltimore game and worked the rest of the season on a scaled down playbook and the team Rushing YDS were 2464 and the Passing YDS were 2720.

A healthy O line helped put up 1000 more yards with defenses knowing the Steelers would try and run more to protect their rookie QB that didnt have a grasp of the entire playbook.

steelreserve
05-02-2008, 02:48 PM
no, it's was more the O-line's fault. the worst rushing attack for the steelers since 1969.

That was part of it, but add on to that the fact Bettis had next to no help in the backfield because Zereoue was playing like crap, the defense gave up 30 points half the time, and Maddox's skills were starting to decline, and it looks more like just an overall collapse.

In 2004, besides having a healthy line, we added:

- Willie Parker AND Duce Staley (while he was still good) to help the running game;
- Heath Miller as a legitimate threat at TE;
- Polamalu on defense (OK, it wasn't technically his first year, but it was his first full-time)
- Ike Taylor and Willie Williams at CB instead of Dewayne Washington.

And, of course, that doesn't even mention the fact that we found a new franchise quarterback.

It looks to me like 2004 was just a banner year all-around, and the O-Line was just one part of that.

Yeah, 2003 probably wasn't all Maddox's fault either, but I don't see how you can expect me to pass up such an easy chance to insult him.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-02-2008, 03:07 PM
That was part of it, but add on to that the fact Bettis had next to no help in the backfield because Zereoue was playing like crap, the defense gave up 30 points half the time, and Maddox's skills were starting to decline, and it looks more like just an overall collapse.

In 2004, besides having a healthy line, we added:

- Willie Parker AND Duce Staley (while he was still good) to help the running game;
- Heath Miller as a legitimate threat at TE;
- Polamalu on defense (OK, it wasn't technically his first year, but it was his first full-time)
- Ike Taylor and Willie Williams at CB instead of Dewayne Washington.

And, of course, that doesn't even mention the fact that we found a new franchise quarterback.

It looks to me like 2004 was just a banner year all-around, and the O-Line was just one part of that.

Yeah, 2003 probably wasn't all Maddox's fault either, but I don't see how you can expect me to pass up such an easy chance to insult him.

I think you are confusing a bit of 05 with 04.

-Miller was drafted in 05
-Parker touched the ball 32 times...mostly in that reg season finale in Buffalo
-the Franchise QB was still Rookie QB in 2004, working behind a solid run game and great defense to protect him.

Yes Duce contributed in 04 until he got injured and found a comfy pair of sweats to wear all 05. Ike Taylor played well and the old man Willie Williams contributed.

Still, in 2004 there was a lot of praise being thrown around for the great Steelers O line and how Smith, Faneca and Hartings went to the Pro Bowl. Put up huge rushing stats, while protecting a rookie QB and giving up 30 sacks instead of the 42 in 2003.

Same O line both seasons, just healthy with a mobile QB instead of the lead footed Maddox, and Ben, Duce and the Bus didnt pile up all those extra rushing yards themselves.

SteelerFanInCA
05-02-2008, 03:09 PM
A new year, a fresh start, that's the way I'm looking at it.

DACEB
05-02-2008, 03:12 PM
Good post Gonzo, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks we'll be o.k.

steelreserve
05-02-2008, 04:25 PM
Same O line both seasons, just healthy with a mobile QB instead of the lead footed Maddox, and Ben, Duce and the Bus didnt pile up all those extra rushing yards themselves.

Heh, yeah, I was wrong about Miller. Duh, how would it have been possible to pick him in the first round the same year we picked Ben?

Anyway, though, the O-line was definitely better in 2004 than the year before, but just like any other position, if the people around them play well, they'll be better as well. Having two Pro Bowl-caliber running backs definitely helped the running game, which took pressure off the passing game, which helped take pressure off the line, etc., etc....

So yes, the line got better, but the whole team got better too. Kind of gets you excited about this year -- it looks like we've potentially improved in two or three key areas on offense again. The line ought to at least look better as a result, and that's not counting any actual improvement they make on their own.

The_WARDen
05-02-2008, 04:29 PM
I'll believe it when I see it...

:doh:

tony hipchest
05-02-2008, 04:32 PM
all is not lost. wayne gandy is a free agent if all else fails. point being there are options and there will be more options. even if starks and smith leave, we can cut ward and right there is $20 mil in cap space for 09.

the steelers will be fine.

TackleMeBen
05-02-2008, 04:35 PM
ben says the oline will be fine.. so we should all believe our football god, and not worry about our oline this coming season.

Galax Steeler
05-02-2008, 04:37 PM
I also think our offensive line will be ok we will pull through.

19ward86
05-02-2008, 08:01 PM
Good point.

Steeldude
05-02-2008, 10:14 PM
wasn't 2003 the year faneca moved to LT because smith was out?

Rhee Rhee
05-03-2008, 04:29 AM
i remember LLT or TonyHipchest mentioned something similar to this.

you make a very good point and i believe that focusing on the run more will benefit the team and will keep ben much healthier...

GBMelBlount
05-03-2008, 06:27 AM
Hopefully the addition of Mendenhall & Sweed will have the defenses on their heels a little more as well......

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-03-2008, 10:35 AM
wasn't 2003 the year faneca moved to LT because smith was out?

Yeah, I think you are right. That was a real mess of a season on the line....even worse than watching Mahan play C.

Steelerfreak58
05-03-2008, 12:43 PM
The O-Line will be playing better Ben will have 2 more weapons that are young fast and hungry to show their worth on the field which I think will put pressure on other players to preform at an even higher level making everything and everyone better.

St33lersguy
05-03-2008, 08:08 PM
I see virtually the same Oline as last year. The only difference is the great Faneca is gone and Justin Hartwig (a guy the Panthers didn't want) and rookie Tony Hills are in. I think the Steelers have less talent coming in. The O-line of '08 will NOT be the O-line of '04. The O-line is not fine. If Hartwig plays poorly this season Big Ben is guaranteed to get sacked at least 50 times in the regular season. You can't be sure the O-line is ok at this point

Hypocycloid
05-03-2008, 08:19 PM
It is not that Carolina didn't want the guy. They paid a lot of money to acquire him, but that was the problem. He was injured two years and they drafted Kalil who was a lot cheaper. Carolina released him for cap purposes.

Hopefully he will return to form, but if he doesn't, you are certainly right that the O-line will probably not be O.K.

Steel Buckeye
05-03-2008, 11:11 PM
I think the o-line will be better this year. Not great, but average. Mahan just can't play center, Hartwig should fix this problem for now. Legursky will eventually be a starter, he is a really good center. Kemoeatu impressed while Simmons was injured in 2006, he has something to prove and a job to fight for, unlike Alan "I care more about money than winning" Faneca who just goes through the motions and commits a bunch of penalties. The only knock on Kemo is that he is dumb as a bag of hammers. I saw Simmons and Starks play well last year and Tony Hills is talented it's just a matter of him staying healthy. Colon totally sucked at RT and is suited to play guard, I think he would do well there, and he should be replaced by Starks or Hills. Allowing 13 sacks is unacceptable.

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-04-2008, 12:02 AM
I see virtually the same Oline as last year. The only difference is the great Faneca is gone and Justin Hartwig (a guy the Panthers didn't want) and rookie Tony Hills are in. I think the Steelers have less talent coming in. The O-line of '08 will NOT be the O-line of '04. The O-line is not fine. If Hartwig plays poorly this season Big Ben is guaranteed to get sacked at least 50 times in the regular season. You can't be sure the O-line is ok at this point

Actually, the other differences are :
1. Marvel Smith doesnt have shooting pains running down his back and making his legs go numb in the middle of games.

2. The LG isnt playing out his year, trying not to get hurt so he can cash in when free agency starts.

3. the C position has been upgraded over Mahan, who got pushed around all last season.

4. The starting RT might be a guy making $7mil, but playing to secure a long term contract in free agency next season.

I always love the thought that we need pro bowl guys on the O line, when most can't name a guy on the Patriots O line (other than maybe Matt Light) or Jags O-line (maybe Khalif Barnes). Its all about staying healthy and doing your job with good technique to be a productive O lineman.

DACEB
05-04-2008, 04:04 PM
I always love the thought that we need pro bowl guys on the O line, Its all about staying healthy and doing your job with good technique to be a productive O lineman.

Staying healthy is always an underlying acheivement in a successful season. The guys need to work together as a unit, so setting the starting line-up ASAP would be prudent.