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lamberts-lost-tooth
11-12-2008, 09:46 AM
Steelers' offense softening
By Joe Starkey
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hard to say whether the following statistic speaks to the Steelers' mentality, to their depleted backfield or to a simple lack of ability and/or attitude up front, but it's an eye-opener:

They are the NFL's worst team in converting third-and-1 situations.

That's right, the big, bad, go-ahead-and-try-to-stop-us Steelers have converted just 4 of 12 such situations.

That's embarrassing.

The 33.3-percent success rate, according to Elias Sports Bureau, ranks just behind San Francisco at the bottom of the league. Whether it's short-yardage offense or coaches dropping trow in the locker room, you really don't want to be keeping company with the 49ers.

Not surprisingly, the best third-and-1 team is the unbeaten and ultra-physical Tennessee Titans, who have converted 12-of-13 chances.

The Steelers' offense, ranked an unheard-of 24th in the NFL in rushing, has grown softer and softer under second-year coordinator Bruce Arians, less and less able to implement the hardcore mentality coach Mike Tomlin desires.

Tomlin's term is "smash the run."

A better one to describe this offense might be, "The Longest Yard."

But forget third-and-1. What does it say that the Steelers are treating third-and-2 as if it were third-and-20?

Maybe Arians is just being logical, given his personnel, but the Steelers have attempted passes on 11-of-12 third-and-2s. Four of those resulted in sacks. On another, late in the first half Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger threw a game-changing interception.

Tomlin spoke Tuesday to his offense's identity crisis. This was two days after it averaged 2.1 yards per carry against the undersized and previously ineffective Colts rush defense.

"When you're not being successful, you're probably lacking an identity - and that's us at this point," Tomlin said. "But that's not going to be our story. We won't allow it to be."

Aside from Roethlisberger's gaffes, the paltry running game was the story Sunday. It reached a graphic conclusion in the fourth quarter, on third-and-goal from the 1-yard line, when a 265-pound, undrafted rookie defensive tackle named Eric Foster submarined guard Chris Kemoeatu, slipped tackle Trai Essex and body-slammed tailback Mewelde Moore.

So what if the Colts knew what was coming?

A yard is a yard.

Again, Tomlin spoke truthfully about his team's failure to exert its will, saying, "I think if you're going to have the personality we desire offensively, than in those instances you have to be committed to and capable of running the football over people."

The Steelers' offense can be a tricky topic. The temptation is to say, "They need to stuff it down people's throats the way they did three years ago."

Actually, the Steelers reached the Super Bowl largely because they abandoned their predictable ways and unleashed Roethlisberger early in each playoff game.

Then again, they did run effectively to protect leads, something this offense has struggled with under Arians.

Only the Titans ran more often than the Steelers last season, but the Steelers often did not run efficiently, especially against quality opponents.

That trend has continued, likely for many reasons.

Those could include the lack of a prototypical short-yardage back, the phasing out of a blocking fullback, a lack of pedigree on the line, injuries to Willie Parker and the inability, of late, to make defenses honest with a quality downfield passing game.

A soft offense doesn't bode well for a Super Bowl run, but here's the thing: A mistake-free offense might.

The Steelers' defense is built in the mold of the 2000 Ravens, good enough to win games by itself. In a year when the AFC isn't exactly rife with explosive attacks, simply taking care of the football and depending on the defense and the improved special teams might be enough to win tight, low-scoring playoff games.

In other words, the mandate for a banged-up Steelers' offense couldn't be more clear going into Sunday's game against San Diego: Don't screw it up.

And if you can make a yard when you need one, well, that would be nice.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_597965.html

Edman
11-12-2008, 10:01 AM
Yep, that "go ahead and try to stop us" mentality brought us a lot of championships, didn't it? When teams could stop the Steelers' run game, we couldn't counter it, and we wound up being in dogfights, and eventually losing or winning in close finishes throughout the Cowher era.

The Steelers have not lost their physical edge, physical edge has nothing to do with it. They've lost their execution on offense. When the offense starts executing, and that means good blocking, stop dropping passes, and stop committing boneheaded turnovers, we'll see something different.

tony hipchest
11-12-2008, 10:07 AM
losing mendenhall sucks. i think he woulda been just fine on 3rd and 2 runs.

passing on every 3rd and 2 (or shorter) sucks even worse.

if ben were healthy i think we'd see some more sneaks (maybe fakes and rollouts).

what about heath miller or carey davis? oh, hurt. what about max starks? oh, filling in for somebody who is hurt.

these conversions are the plays where the rb used to follow faneca through the hole.

passing it almost seems like our best option. :noidea:

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-12-2008, 01:01 PM
This was my issue with the new Steeler offense. No true FB to convert in short yardage and less emphasis on power football.

Here is what I posted back in July.

The fact that the only FB's on the roster are Carey Davis and Billy Latsko means the Steelers are willing to "Accept Mediocrity" at a position vitally important to convert on 3rd and short running the ball.

The Bruce Arians school of short yardage is spread the field and either run a single back or throw for the first down. The higher percentage play is bring in your goal line offense and line up in the "I formation".

Billy Latsko or Carey Davis as FB dont allow the Steelers to run a short yardage offense and thus dont give the best chances to convert on those downs.

Its what I still believe.

The other side of the coin is that you can say we should be able to convert 3rd and short by passing, but just arent executing. I think its lower percentage.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-12-2008, 01:12 PM
This was my issue with the new Steeler offense. No true FB to convert in short yardage and less emphasis on power football.

The fact that the only FB's on the roster are Carey Davis and Billy Latsko means the Steelers are willing to "Accept Mediocrity" at a position vitally important to convert on 3rd and short running the ball.

The Bruce Arians school of short yardage is spread the field and either run a single back or throw for the first down. The higher percentage play is bring in your goal line offense and line up in the "I formation".

Billy Latsko or Carey Davis as FB dont allow the Steelers to run a short yardage offense and thus dont give the best chances to convert on those downs.[/COLOR]



Have you seen Jorvorskie Lane from Texas A&M?..... 6'0 275 lbs!!!!!!! He not only blocks but in 2007 he had 780 yards, a 4.6 average and 16 TD's.

XxKnightxX
11-12-2008, 01:31 PM
Have you seen Jorvorskie Lane from Texas A&M?..... 6'0 275 lbs!!!!!!! He not only blocks but in 2007 he had 780 yards, a 4.6 average and 16 TD's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaDTBQfngL0
LaDTBQfngL0

Wow I like this guy, Hes got Jerome Bettis written all over it lol, not quite but very similar.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-12-2008, 01:44 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaDTBQfngL0
LaDTBQfngL0

Wow I like this guy, Hes got Jerome Bettis written all over it lol, not quite but very similar.

:jawdrop:

That isnt right!! Those nimble feet and size remind me of Bettis, but he doesnt have the big legs like the old #6 from Notre Dame. I like him, but still think we need a FB that can block and catch. A William Henderson kind of guy.

XxKnightxX
11-12-2008, 01:49 PM
Hes currently in a system at A&M in which the FB does that, catch and run and block for his back, DUE TO THE INEXPERIENCED LINE(familiar to us?). Anyways this guy looks great man I wouldnt be surprised if the coaches will be eying him next year, Id say hes about 4rd to 5th round type of guy, unless someone else puts eyes on him.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-12-2008, 01:55 PM
Hes currently in a system at A&M in which the FB does that, catch and run and block for his back, DUE TO THE INEXPERIENCED LINE(familiar to us?). Anyways this guy looks great man I wouldnt be surprised if the coaches will be eying him next year, Id say hes about 4rd to 5th round type of guy, unless someone else puts eyes on him.

If he would replace Carey Davis ......great!!

This reminds me of years ago when Brandon Jacobs transferred from Auburn to Southern Illinois because Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams were already there. Lots of Steeler fans wanting a big back were screaming to draft him and instead took .....Trai Essex.

XxKnightxX
11-12-2008, 02:05 PM
If he would replace Carey Davis ......great!!

This reminds me of years ago when Brandon Jacobs transferred from Auburn to Southern Illinois because Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams were already there. Lots of Steeler fans wanting a big back were screaming to draft him and instead took .....Trai Essex.

Pffffttt dont remind me, please.....And i actually got to meet Jacobs in person, this guy is unreal man he walks as if he had shoulder pads on, met him at a high school football game in clifton. My coach even mentioned how he reminded him of Ironhead when he coached him, obviously ironhead being much smaller in height, but with the same punishing power and speed.

Blonde Bomber
11-12-2008, 02:46 PM
While watching the Pitt/NYG game, I thought now there is a guy that we could have used as a third down back. Yes, Droughns would have fit that bill, even if the Clowns made him look bad. At the very least, he has experience and we can not say that we already had enough RB, as the Giants have more capable back than we do.

Just a thought, but in the absence of the Bus, I always thought we could use a true big back.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-12-2008, 03:14 PM
If he would replace Carey Davis ......great!!

This reminds me of years ago when Brandon Jacobs transferred from Auburn to Southern Illinois because Ronnie Brown and Cadillac Williams were already there. Lots of Steeler fans wanting a big back were screaming to draft him and instead took .....Trai Essex.

Ugh....


How do you like these for stats?

Career Stats:
481 attempts 2,181 yds 4.6 ypc 47 TD's

Steel_Bus_24
11-12-2008, 06:08 PM
Yeah ever since the Bus left we've been steadily getting worse.

When we couldn't get in on Sunday I was pulling my hair out...it drove me crazy. I can not stand the thought of another team being more physical than us......No One should out muscle us

Turnovers/and a lack of physicality is just disgusting.

As someone said the other day "1700 pounds of worthlessness". They need a major kick in the ass this season.......and the FO needs to bring in some new talent in the off

Steeldude
11-12-2008, 06:18 PM
losing mendenhall sucks. i think he woulda been just fine on 3rd and 2 runs.

IMO, mendenhall isn't a power back.

revefsreleets
11-12-2008, 07:05 PM
Brandon Jacobs MAY be the real deal. Big backs usually just don't last, which is what makes Jerome Bettis so remarkable.

Mendy IS a power back. He's the exact same size as LT.

geo123
11-12-2008, 07:14 PM
No question Bettis is missed. He will be hard to replace, but J Lane did look like he could do it.

Steeldude
11-12-2008, 08:30 PM
Mendy IS a power back. He's the exact same size as LT.

size(it helps of course) isn't what makes you a power back. mendenhall's short ncaa career was in a spread option offense. in pre-season mendenhall looked very timid and tentative when trying to run between mid-guard. he rarely lowered his shoulders. it pretty much looked like he was afraid to get hit. which is probably how he got injured from that weak hit from lewis.

IMO, he looks like another worley.

El-Gonzo Jackson
11-12-2008, 09:30 PM
Mendenhall ran well between the tackles. The only daring/dumb thing he did so far this season was spin in the hole and leave himself open for a big hit a few times.

The hit from Lewis was one where they both lowered their shoulders and finished hard. It wasnt a weak hit and Mendy just got the worst of it. At 5'11", 225lbs, with a 33" vertical and did 26 reps on the bench press....I would say he is powerful and explosive.

Sure he played in a spread offense, but he gets north-south very well. He may end up being Worley, but I think I will give him more than 19 carries in the NFL before I judge him as a bust.

tony hipchest
11-12-2008, 09:38 PM
mendenhalls only mistake was trying to get into a "big dick" contest with a known killer who had a bounty on him. he tried to plow him over as if he were jerome bettis.

probably just a rookie mistake of being young, dumb, and full of spooge. gotta commend the effort and balls to try it though.

Galax Steeler
11-13-2008, 04:58 AM
mendenhalls only mistake was trying to get into a "big dick" contest with a known killer who had a bounty on him. he tried to plow him over as if he were jerome bettis.

probably just a rookie mistake of being young, dumb, and full of spooge. gotta commend the effort and balls to try it though.

Agreed hopefully he can stay healthy next year and get some playing time and we can see what he has.

revefsreleets
11-13-2008, 10:43 AM
I saw him run in college a lot. He definitely runs for speed AND power.

Again, nothing I'm going to post will dissuade a hater.

T.Richardson
11-13-2008, 12:16 PM
The funny thing is, the Steelers offense might be soft (I disagree) but the defensive players have to look all over the place because Hines Ward is going to knock them out.

lamberts-lost-tooth
11-14-2008, 07:20 AM
http://aggies.fandome.com/video/78570/Texas-AM-Aggie-Jorvorskie-Lane/

Here is another link to Lane....

I was laughing my butt off at some of the hits ...take a look at how many times he leaves a player laying on the ground behind him....This dude is CRAZY!!!

SteelMember
11-14-2008, 07:55 AM
IMO, he looks like another worley.

I thought Holmes looked more like Worley a couple weeks ago?:wink02::smoker:

Steeldude
11-15-2008, 04:55 PM
I saw him run in college a lot. He definitely runs for speed AND power.

Again, nothing I'm going to post will dissuade a hater.


and nothing i'm going to post will dissuade a lover.