PDA

View Full Version : Steelers seek answers to offensive meltdown


lamberts-lost-tooth
09-23-2008, 05:41 AM
Steelers seek answers to offensive meltdown
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Flushed out of a pocket that consistently collapsed Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger threw a pass after he had crossed the line of scrimmage. Fittingly, the pass that would not have counted even had Santonio Holmes caught it sailed behind the third-year wide receiver.

A Steelers offense that couldn't manage a touchdown in a 15-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles instead produced a comedy of errors. Nothing better illustrated how out of sync and outclassed the Steelers were than the third-quarter play in which they were twice penalized -- left guard Chris Kemoeatu was flagged for holding -- and still couldn't complete the pass.

About the only time the offensive players appeared to be together in Philadelphia was after the game when it came time to assign blame for their dismal performance.

"We all had our hand in the cookie jar," wide receiver Hines Ward said after the offense failed to score a touchdown against a defense that yielded 41 points in its previous game. "We're never going to single anybody out. We have to find a way to rectify it and get better."

And fast.

Roethlisberger is on pace to get sacked a whopping 64 times. Chances are the $100 million quarterback won't make it through the season in one piece if the Steelers don't do a better job of protecting him.

The Eagles blitzed Roethlisberger mercilessly -- he didn't finish the game after getting his hand stepped on in the fourth quarter -- and the Steelers weren't able to counter what Philadelphia did even though coach Mike Tomlin said they made adjustments.

"The only way you get people out of that mentality is you handle it, you get the ball out quickly, you get the ball in the hands of people in open spaces," Tomlin said. "We weren't able to do that consistently. Just did not have rhythm at all."

There was some disagreement over why the Steelers' offense had less rhythm than a dancer with two left feet.

Ward said the Steelers were "very confused" by what the Eagles did defensively.

"We had guys coming scot-free when they should have been blocked," he said.

Right guard Kendall Simmons said simple arithmetic told the story of the Eagles' dominating defensive effort.

"You've got five, maybe six guys (blocking). They're bringing eight," Simmons said. "There's nothing you can do, maybe double up, put two hands on another guy if you can. They weren't doing anything spectacular, but why stop it if it works?"

It worked so well that upcoming opponents figure to borrow heavily from the Eagles' philosophy of how to defend the Steelers. Next up for the Steelers are the Ravens, who don't exactly employ a bend-but-don't-break defense and sacked Roethlisberger nine times in a game two seasons ago.

"When you put a display like that out there," Tomlin said of the Eagles game, "you're going to see it again and again and again until you make the problem disappear."

The struggles the Steelers had in blocking the Eagles seemed to have a snowball effect on the offense.

Roethlisberger did not force the Eagles to abandon or at least alter their approach by finding the receivers left open when Philadelphia came with all-out blitzes. The indecision he showed at times was not helped by a receiving corps that dropped several passes.

Also, the Steelers did not make the kind of commitment to the running game -- Willie Parker carried the ball 13 times for 20 yards -- that might have slowed down the Eagles' pass rush.

When asked if the mistakes they made in Philadelphia can be corrected, Simmons said, "Ain't no ifs, ands or buts about that. If not, then we're in trouble."


http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_589579.html

Edman
09-23-2008, 09:04 AM
Just when I was willing to forget it, this article comes along.

Ben has to do a better job of making a decision and throwing the ball quickly. He did it so well against Houston. This O-Line will get him killed, but he isn't doing himself any favors. On the rare occasions he had time he had to pass, he looked indecisive with those pump fakes. I can count many times he just sat there watching the blitz and not the recievers and running into a brick wall of defenders.

Let's just say the Offense just did not have a good day. And now teams will come after Ben with blitzes now more than ever until he starts making them pay.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2008, 09:53 AM
Funny that Trent Cole of the Eagles thought the Steelers would run more.

"I was surprised they didn't run it more," Eagles defensive end Trent Cole said. "I thought they'd try to smash it down our throats."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=3601485&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2

kmsteelerwr15
09-23-2008, 10:06 AM
Funny that Trent Cole of the Eagles thought the Steelers would run more.

"I was surprised they didn't run it more," Eagles defensive end Trent Cole said. "I thought they'd try to smash it down our throats."

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?id=3601485&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2

well he wasnt the only one who thought so, the run could have helped get the pressure of Ben a little

steelpride12
09-23-2008, 10:07 AM
Im not sure how much the steelers can do other than watch alot of film on the ravens D and do there best to pick up the blitz during game time.

Tomlin said he is going to keep the line the same and hopefully Ben will be able to dump the ball off quicker.

revefsreleets
09-23-2008, 10:25 AM
They have almost 700lbs of road grading blockers on the left side of the line. They should have run at least 35 times in that game. That would set-up the play action, freeze the LB's, neutralize the blitz, etc, etc...

I rarely second guess the coaches, but this one was a no-brainer...

MACH1
09-23-2008, 10:55 AM
[B]"You've got five, maybe six guys (blocking). They're bringing eight," Simmons said. "There's nothing you can do, maybe double up, put two hands on another guy if you can. They weren't doing anything spectacular, but why stop it if it works?"

Yeah right.
When they rushed four, two would go unblocked. Whats the excuse for that?:shake01:

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2008, 11:21 AM
Yeah right.
When they rushed four, two would go unblocked. Whats the excuse for that?:shake01:

When they rushed 4, the Steelers handled it. I rewatched the game and saw a lot of 6 and 7 man blitzes, but I think only 1 time they sent 8.

Beauchamp
09-23-2008, 11:49 AM
You can blame the line all you want but if you have more guys blitzing than you have blocking, what do you want them to do? The guys on the defense are getting paid as well to get to the quarterback, they're not scrubs.

Having said that, the 2nd highest paid quarterback cannot make the right hot route to save his life. Offcourse they were going to blitz the house damn near every play, why did we get sacked?

How many times did you see Dawkins in Romo's face but the ball was out of his hands? They could not get to Romo because of the short passes that were going for 10 yards every play.

Cowboys- 41.
Steelers- 6.

What's the difference? The quarterback and the play calls.

May I remind you that our O coordinator got fired from the Browns. Were we running streak routes when they were blitzing 8? That ball should be out of Big Bens hands way sooner.

The line is the least of my worries.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2008, 11:55 AM
You can blame the line all you want but if you have more guys blitzing than you have blocking, what do you want them to do? The guys on the defense are getting paid as well to get to the quarterback, they're not scrubs.

Having said that, the 2nd highest paid quarterback cannot make the right hot route to save his life. Offcourse they were going to blitz the house damn near every play, why did we get sacked?

How many times did you see Dawkins in Romo's face but the ball was out of his hands? They could not get to Romo because of the short passes that were going for 10 yards every play.

Cowboys- 41.
Steelers- 6.

What's the difference? The quarterback and the play calls.

May I remind you that our O coordinator got fired from the Browns. Were we running streak routes when they were blitzing 8? That ball should be out of Big Bens hands way sooner.

The line is the least of my worries.

I agree with most of what you say. The O line is a point of concern, but not as much as the average, overreacting fan thinks. The ball does need to get out faster, the running game does need to be established and the O line needs to step its game up. The coaching needs to improve.

All pretty simple stuff that can get better. The real concern as always is health and with Hampton, Keisel, Parker out and Ben banged up the week isnt looking that great.

Dino 6 Rings
09-23-2008, 12:22 PM
They have almost 700lbs of road grading blockers on the left side of the line. They should have run at least 35 times in that game. That would set-up the play action, freeze the LB's, neutralize the blitz, etc, etc...

I rarely second guess the coaches, but this one was a no-brainer...

I agree and I think some people in the offensive meetings have lost focus and believe that setting up the run with the pass is better then setting up the pass with the run. Sometimes, even if you have a certain philosphy, you need to adjust for the game as it is going along. We should have ran more, much more, up the gut and to the outside. By the time we went to screens in the second half, the Eagles were all over them knowing that we kind of had to do that to try and get pressure off Ben. They were ready for the screens later in the game.

New Game plan for this week. I hope its adjusted accordingly to the Ravens defense and not designed to play agains the Eagles defense we just played against.

Edman
09-23-2008, 12:33 PM
I have a feeling we're gonna be in for one hell of a game next Monday. With this Offensive Line, and Ben already nursing some injuries, issues attacking blitzes, and this coaching staff, I feel we're in for a Steelers offensive slopfest.

The Steelers shown their vulnerability to a heavy blitz. Baltimore wants revenge for their MNF embarrassment last year will send the house on every down. They want Ben dead.

If the Steelers are going to win this game, it's going to be on the Offense. Makes me sick just thinking about it.

Dino 6 Rings
09-23-2008, 12:53 PM
Ravens had a shot at revenge last season when they beat us at the end of the year. They have a Rookie QB, and a very poor running game. Their defense will attempt to blitz often but they run an entirely different scheme than the Eagles. We should be able to match up well against the Ravens and should be able to move the ball more effectively then we did against the Eagles. Plus our defense should destroy the Ravens offense. They did a great job against the Eagles offense who has a lot of weapons. What weapons does baltimore have again on that side of the ball? Flacco?

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-23-2008, 12:54 PM
The Steelers shown their vulnerability to a heavy blitz. Baltimore wants revenge for their MNF embarrassment last year will send the house on every down. They want Ben dead.

.

Then we should start Leftwich.

Give Ben a week to heal up, protect him from the Ravens rush. I say we can beat the Ravens even with Leftwich playing QB.

lilyoder6
09-23-2008, 03:34 PM
i think the off needs to take a long look at this game and make the changes now.. let's see how they rebound with even a better def coming in

Steelman16
09-23-2008, 05:18 PM
I wouldn't mind seeing Lefty start this game. It's a must-win game for me, but keeping Big Ben healthy for the long term is also a must.

I'm not calling for Lefty, just sayin' I don't think it'd be a bad idea.