View Full Version : Steelers dive into playbook against Browns

09-15-2008, 03:20 AM
Steelers dive into playbook against Browns
By Mike Prisuta
Monday, September 15, 2008

CLEVELAND -- Amid weather conditions that suggested keep it simple, Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians instead threw the book at the Browns on Sunday night at Cleveland Browns Stadium.

Arians' willingness to delve deep into the Steelers' playbook was eventually rewarded via an 11-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Hines Ward with 6:21 left in the second quarter. It was an all-important first strike on a night when playing offense was complicated by winds of 20-40 mph, with anticipated gusts expected to reach 60 mph.

It also was the only touchdown of the game in a 10-6 Steelers' victory.

The Steelers' 12-play, 70-yard drive in 6:29 late in the second quarter allowed them to take a 7-0 lead into the half.

Although it rained sporadically in the first half, potential thunderstorms weren't as much of a factor as the wind throughout the opening 30 minutes.

The swirling winds had an impact from the opening kickoff, as cornerback Ike Taylor was forced to hold for kicker Jeff Reed after the Steelers won the coin toss and elected to defer until the second half.

Announcements from referee Tony Corrente's field mic were almost inaudible because of the wind-induced static.

At one point, the game had to be delayed because a yard marker blew from the sideline onto the field of play.

At another juncture, a penalty flag thrown by side judge Allen Baynes sailed out of bounds, far from its intended destination.

The Steelers coped with a variety of formations and personnel groups, changing things up as they would on a calm afternoon.

They worked with two tight ends, two wide receivers and a running back.

They lined up with three wide receivers, a tight end and a running back; with Willie Parker and Carey Davis serving as the back.

They operated with three tight ends, a back and a tight end.

They featured a "bunch" formation, with a tight end-wide receiver trio grouped together on one side of the line.

And that was just on their first five offensive snaps.

When they ran out of different personnel groups and different looks from which to deploy them, the Steelers altered what they'd been doing.

One of the biggest plays on their second-quarter touchdown march was a 13-yard gain by Parker on fourth-and-1 from the Cleveland 40-yard line.

Tight ends Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth were in the game, as were Parker, Davis and Ward.

Prior to the snap, Ward went into motion to the left of the formation.

After Ward set himself, Miller motioned to the right.

Parker found daylight around right end and kept the drive alive.

The touchdown pass came off of a "bunch left" set (wide receiver Nate Washington, Miller and Ward). Wide receiver Santonio Holmes was split right and running back Mewelde Moore was in the backfield with Roethlisberger, who waited patiently for Ward to extricate himself from the "bunch" and find a seam in the end zone.

With the lead established, the Steelers stayed aggressive in the second half and were rewarded once again, this time on a 48-yard hookup from Roethlisberger to Holmes on first-and-10 from their 16.

The big play helped set up a 48-yard field goal by Reed that increased the Steelers' lead to 10-0 midway through the third quarter


Galax Steeler
09-15-2008, 03:44 AM
Bruce Arians called a great game last night with the weather conditons he mixed it up and got us some points in that nasty weather.

09-15-2008, 03:07 PM
Bruce Arians called a great game last night with the weather conditons he mixed it up and got us some points in that nasty weather.

Haven't heard any Arians praise in awhile. :chuckle: But I do agree with you. He called a good game.