PDA

View Full Version : Steelers' weakness: Offensive line


mesaSteeler
06-05-2009, 11:17 AM
Steelers' weakness: Offensive line

June 5, 2009 11:00 AM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth
Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Scouts Inc.: Weaknesses

Choosing offensive line as the Steelers' weakest unit shouldn't come as a shock to anyone, even though the Steelers are returning their entire starting five from last season, when they won the Super Bowl.

It is safe to say that no one in that group of five starters is among the upper tier (or maybe even the second tier) of players in the league at their respective positions. As a unit, they do play better than the sum of their parts, and they came together as the 2008 season went along, but no one on this line should be contending for Pro Bowl honors in 2009.

Pittsburgh does not have an offensive lineman who was a first-day draft pick. The Steelers have dedicated their resources to surrounding quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with weapons and building a stout defense. When selecting their front wall, they put size at an absolute premium. Starting right guard Darnell Stapleton fell into their lap as an undrafted free agent and he is really the only starter who cannot be considered well above average in size for his position. Stapleton is expected to have to fend off recent third-round selection Kraig Urbik, another king-sized specimen who plays a rugged style.

Roethlisberger has been hit and sacked an inordinate number of times over the past two seasons. That has to change for the Steelers to better insure their long-term success with their franchise quarterback. Of course, even if Roethlisberger had Pro Bowlers at each of the five line spots in front of him, he would take more hits than guys such as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who are far quicker to get the ball out of their hands. Still, the protection hasn't been good enough of late -- Steelers quarterbacks were sacked a whopping 49 times last year.

Now if you are going to employ a big heavy line that struggles with quickness and isn't collectively light on its feet, you would think that you have the makings of a dominating power blocking scheme in the run game. But that has not been the case in Pittsburgh. Their once-vaunted rushing attack is nowhere near where it once was. The Steelers averaged a measly 3.7 yards per rush last season. Even more troubling, this is an offense that really has a tough time converting in short-yardage situations, particularly at the goal line.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

vasteeler
06-05-2009, 11:36 AM
Steelers' weakness: Offensive line

June 5, 2009 11:00 AM
http://myespn.go.com/blogs/afcnorth
Posted by Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson

Scouts Inc.: Weaknesses

Choosing offensive line as the Steelers' weakest unit shouldn't come as a shock to anyone, even though the Steelers are returning their entire starting five from last season, when they won the Super Bowl.

It is safe to say that no one in that group of five starters is among the upper tier (or maybe even the second tier) of players in the league at their respective positions. As a unit, they do play better than the sum of their parts, and they came together as the 2008 season went along, but no one on this line should be contending for Pro Bowl honors in 2009.

Pittsburgh does not have an offensive lineman who was a first-day draft pick. The Steelers have dedicated their resources to surrounding quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with weapons and building a stout defense. When selecting their front wall, they put size at an absolute premium. Starting right guard Darnell Stapleton fell into their lap as an undrafted free agent and he is really the only starter who cannot be considered well above average in size for his position. Stapleton is expected to have to fend off recent third-round selection Kraig Urbik, another king-sized specimen who plays a rugged style.

Roethlisberger has been hit and sacked an inordinate number of times over the past two seasons. That has to change for the Steelers to better insure their long-term success with their franchise quarterback. Of course, even if Roethlisberger had Pro Bowlers at each of the five line spots in front of him, he would take more hits than guys such as Peyton Manning and Drew Brees, who are far quicker to get the ball out of their hands. Still, the protection hasn't been good enough of late -- Steelers quarterbacks were sacked a whopping 49 times last year.

Now if you are going to employ a big heavy line that struggles with quickness and isn't collectively light on its feet, you would think that you have the makings of a dominating power blocking scheme in the run game. But that has not been the case in Pittsburgh. Their once-vaunted rushing attack is nowhere near where it once was. The Steelers averaged a measly 3.7 yards per rush last season. Even more troubling, this is an offense that really has a tough time converting in short-yardage situations, particularly at the goal line.

Scouts Inc. watches games, breaks down film and studies football from all angles for ESPN.com.

super bowl winning offensive line:coffee:

Steel Head
06-05-2009, 11:41 AM
Steelers' weakness: Offensive line - sounds accurate to me

SteelCityMan786
06-05-2009, 12:18 PM
Matt Williamson
http://www.hollow-hill.com/sabina/images/thx-captain-obvious.jpg

revefsreleets
06-05-2009, 12:31 PM
Hopefully with another year under their belt, and a hopeful upgrade at RG with Urbik, as well as a true power runner (even Mendy will be a big upgrade in that dept if for some reason Summers doesn't make the grade) this unit is vastly improved.

Steely McSmash
06-05-2009, 12:39 PM
More or less obvious I agree.

Which is an improvement over 30% false, 30% obvious and 40% speculation that constitutes most sports journalism.

If BA was calling the plays for Drew Brees wouldn't he have to wait for these routes to develop? Wouldn't the same reveivers be on the hot routes?

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-05-2009, 12:41 PM
Steelers' weakness: Offensive line - sounds accurate to me

As much as I hate to hack on the o line coach, I really think Zeirline doesnt get the most out of these guys.

While I think Colon is out of position, he is adequate at RT and I am a believer in the potential of Urbik and solid play of Hartwig. Investement was made in Kemo and Coach Z needs to make him more consistent.

Despite what this article says, I think we have the makings of a steady O line that can just maul in the run game and be average in the pass game....but the coach isnt getting the most out of his players. If the O line underperforms this year again, I think Coach Z will move on.

19ward86
06-05-2009, 02:22 PM
I think our o-line will be good for some reason this year, they are gaining a lot of chemistry together

atlsteelers
06-05-2009, 03:05 PM
As much as I hate to hack on the o line coach, I really think Zeirline doesnt get the most out of these guys.

While I think Colon is out of position, he is adequate at RT and I am a believer in the potential of Urbik and solid play of Hartwig. Investement was made in Kemo and Coach Z needs to make him more consistent.

Despite what this article says, I think we have the makings of a steady O line that can just maul in the run game and be average in the pass game....but the coach isnt getting the most out of his players. If the O line underperforms this year again, I think Coach Z will move on.

i agree completly - plus i am still bitter that he did not forward his porn stash to me

mmalone
06-05-2009, 03:52 PM
if the O line is no good. Arians and Zierline should move on... its not the O-line that is the problem. Summers short yardage potential and some deceptive play calling will help the O line more than some ol rookies.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-05-2009, 04:19 PM
if the O line is no good. Arians and Zierline should move on... its not the O-line that is the problem. Summers short yardage potential and some deceptive play calling will help the O line more than some ol rookies.

So you believe that a rookie 5th round pick is gonna immediately help......and some all Big 10 rookie O lineman will not? Ok,,,,,, :screwy:

Bruce Arians does not call a vanilla game. Besides, if the O line is solid(I hope Urbik replaces Stapleton) they can tell the defense we are gonna run "boss right" and there is nothing the D can do about it, but accept a 2-3 yard gain.

I just think that against the blitz the O line sometimes looks scared. Fear is something that occurs when you don't know what to do. I dont think Zeirline has them prepared well enough to know what to do. The lack of commitment to establish the run doesnt instill confidence, then getting blitzed to death in passing situations utterly destroys what confidence was left.

MongoSteeler
06-06-2009, 02:20 AM
IMHO the play calling was not the problem. The running game being diminished by FWP being hurt and no back to pick up 3rd and short hurt. But the biggest problem on the O line was a lack of communication between each other and protections being missed. The Philly game pointed that out more than any other game last year.
The line was getting better late in the season. With someone stepping up to be the groups leader [Hartwig] and an off season to continue to gel, they should be an improved unit.

Galax Steeler
06-06-2009, 06:29 AM
I would like to see what Urbik can do from what I have heard he could be a starter on the line this year. I just hope they can keep Ben off of his back this year.

GBMelBlount
06-06-2009, 07:09 AM
Despite what this article says, I think we have the makings of a steady O line that can just maul in the run game and be average in the pass game....but the coach isnt getting the most out of his players. If the O line underperforms this year again, I think Coach Z will move on.

idk El-Gonzo. What do you think will change that much that will vastly improve the run (& pass) game over last year?

I do think we will improve, barring major injuries. But if our line was to catapult themselves to "almost average" I would be ECSTATIC, quite honestly.

Texasteel
06-06-2009, 07:53 AM
I think that the interior of the line was the largest problem last year, and thats where we like to run. Use to anyway.

Of course this time of year everything is I think and I hope, but Colon should be getting more comfortable at RT. He still has some short falls, but I think will at lest play better than last years. I also have a lot of faith in Urbik to solidify the interior of the line. ( I don't think everyone here knows what we got in that kid ) I would also expect Hill to start to produce some.

Will this be the best line in football? Naa, don't think so, but I believe we will see quite a bit of improvment.:thumbsup:

Steeldude
06-06-2009, 08:23 AM
the morons at Scouts Inc are finally seeing that the O-line isn't good?

But if our line was to catapult themselves to "almost average" I would be ECSTATIC, quite honestly

lmao

Steeldude
06-06-2009, 08:24 AM
The running game being diminished by FWP being hurt

a healthy parker wouldn't have made a difference. no holes = no yards

revefsreleets
06-06-2009, 08:50 AM
There will be 3 key differences this year:

1) Mendy will be back. He's more powerful than Parker
2) Urbik will probably win the job and be an automatic run blocking upgrade
3) Provided Summers wins a spot, we have a big bruiser, a specialty back. Russell was NOT that, or else the lowly Bungals would not be cutting him.

The fact that the FO committed two of their top 5 picks to an interior lineman and a power back should tell you all you need to know as far as the Steelers committment to upgrade the running game.

scsteeler
06-06-2009, 10:07 AM
In evaluating the Steelers this past season if you had to pick a weakness then Offensive Line would be it. Before the special teams made improvements this O-line was not the main thing to be fixed, I do think after this upcoming year this O-line will be much improved.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-06-2009, 07:15 PM
idk El-Gonzo. What do you think will change that much that will vastly improve the run (& pass) game over last year?

I do think we will improve, barring major injuries. But if our line was to catapult themselves to "almost average" I would be ECSTATIC, quite honestly.

I dont know that things will vastly improve. I believe we have the makings of a good line and believe that a stronger RG in Urbik will make a solid right side, especially with Miller at TE blocking.

My real concern is becoming Larry Zeirline and his ability to help cultivate the young talent and get the most out of the players on the O line. He hasnt had a solid record in his 2 seasons in Pittsburgh, nor his previous stop in Buffalo, nor Cleveland before that. Zeirline's last good offensive line was at the U of Cincinatti.

I think the starting 5 should be an average line that a coach should be able to prepare well. A great coach should be able to get them to over achieve and be a top 10 O line, but I dont see that happening.

STEELAMANIA
06-06-2009, 08:51 PM
Take away the 9 sack game vs the Eagles and it doesnt look as bad for a team that had ????? carryover starters on their OLine from 2007......They had to learn how to play together and they got better doing so as the season progressed. I already put Frank Summers on my fantasy team because I don't see anyone else (maybe Mende) who is gonna get it done on 3rd and goal. Summers might score over 10 tds in the 1st half of the season.

GBMelBlount
06-08-2009, 09:59 AM
I dont know that things will vastly improve. I believe we have the makings of a good line and believe that a stronger RG in Urbik will make a solid right side, especially with Miller at TE blocking.

I think the starting 5 should be an average line that a coach should be able to prepare well. A great coach should be able to get them to over achieve and be a top 10 O line, but I dont see that happening.

I couldn't imagine them being a top 10 line, regardless of coaching, but I respect your positive attitude, especially knowing you are NOT a kool aid drinker.

I do agree with some of your (and Revs) points and do feel that the O-line has the potential to improve a good bit. I guess you could say that I am "cautiously optimistic".

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-08-2009, 10:57 AM
Mel, I definately think the Steelers O line could be coached up to middle of the road (15th best in the NFL) easily. Think of this potential breakdown of the starters.

Max Starks- both a solid run blocker and pass protector, when giving effort, but often lapses and gets lazy with effort and technique.

Kemo-powerful inline blocker, agile enough to pull, sometimes misses blitz pickup and doesnt get low enough in run blocking

Hartwig-strong run blocker, average pass protector that sometimes gets too high, but a solid veteran anchor in the middle.

Urbik (I know its premature) large powerful inline blocker, nasty attitude, has size and strength to excel inside.

Colon- nasty inline blocker, quick feet, high motor guy. short arms hamper in pass blocking.

Those IMO, are all the tools......now if somebody can put them together and get Starks and Kemo to perform more consistently, there is no reason to think they cant be a top 10-15 line.