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Phil03
07-10-2009, 04:49 PM
Hey guys,
I wrote an analysis of the Steelers offensive line as I did last year for my website:
http://www.ultimateffstrategy.com/2009_OLine/pittsburgh_steelers.htm

Feel free to post any comments, suggestions or corrections I should make to my article.

Thanks,
Phil

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-11-2009, 03:30 PM
Nice effort on the analysis. I just tend to disagree with several points.

- Starks is both a decent run and pass blocker, but rarely seems consistent in his focus on either. He makes great blocks and then follows them up with mistakes that a 5 year pro should not make.

-Kemo is actually very mobile for his size. He can pull rather well, but don't ask him to change direction with that 330lb frame. He looked to struggle with blitz and twist recognition is pass protection.

Hartwig is probably the most solid technically of the starting 5 O linemen. He doesnt lack strength as you say....its just he is normally outweighed by 30lbs by the big NT's in the NFL. If anything, he gets beat by quickness as he isnt overly agile.

Stapleton is actually a pretty poor run blocker as he gets pushed around. He is fairly athletic and can get to the 2nd level agains 4-3 fronts and IMO is a better pass protector than run blocker because of his athleticism and lack of strength.

Willie Colon probably has the 2nd best feet on the O line and is not slow, but rather he gets beat by edge rushers because of his lack of height and arm length. He is probably the most nasty run blocker on the team and a guy that gives the most effort of any of the starting 5. If he was 6'6" with longer arms......he would be much better than Starks.

Again, just my opinions and observations as a guy that closely watches close line play on the O and D sides of the ball. Nice effort on your site.

Riddle_Of_Steel
07-11-2009, 04:56 PM
Nice effort on the analysis. I just tend to disagree with several points.

- Starks is both a decent run and pass blocker, but rarely seems consistent in his focus on either. He makes great blocks and then follows them up with mistakes that a 5 year pro should not make.

-Kemo is actually very mobile for his size. He can pull rather well, but don't ask him to change direction with that 330lb frame. He looked to struggle with blitz and twist recognition is pass protection.

Hartwig is probably the most solid technically of the starting 5 O linemen. He doesnt lack strength as you say....its just he is normally outweighed by 30lbs by the big NT's in the NFL. If anything, he gets beat by quickness as he isnt overly agile.

Stapleton is actually a pretty poor run blocker as he gets pushed around. He is fairly athletic and can get to the 2nd level agains 4-3 fronts and IMO is a better pass protector than run blocker because of his athleticism and lack of strength.

Willie Colon probably has the 2nd best feet on the O line and is not slow, but rather he gets beat by edge rushers because of his lack of height and arm length. He is probably the most nasty run blocker on the team and a guy that gives the most effort of any of the starting 5. If he was 6'6" with longer arms......he would be much better than Starks.

Again, just my opinions and observations as a guy that closely watches close line play on the O and D sides of the ball. Nice effort on your site.

Pretty good analysis. Although I will disagree on Hartwig (just from what I have seen). He routinely gets pushed around at the point of attack, and most of the sacks in the Eagles game, if you watch, were due to the middle of the line completely collapsing, yet both guards were engaged and picking up the blitzers hitting their gaps. There were a ffew plays where Hartwig just seemed to be out of place and not able to figure out which guy he was supposed to take on (scary, since the Cis responsible for calling the blocking assignments), and by the time he figured it out, the defenders were already past him.

His performance in the Superbowl was terrible at best.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-11-2009, 06:54 PM
Pretty good analysis. Although I will disagree on Hartwig (just from what I have seen). He routinely gets pushed around at the point of attack, and most of the sacks in the Eagles game, if you watch, were due to the middle of the line completely collapsing, yet both guards were engaged and picking up the blitzers hitting their gaps. There were a ffew plays where Hartwig just seemed to be out of place and not able to figure out which guy he was supposed to take on (scary, since the Cis responsible for calling the blocking assignments), and by the time he figured it out, the defenders were already past him.

His performance in the Superbowl was terrible at best.

Actually, I graded the 9 sacks in the Eagles game as 4-O line, 3-QB, 2 WR/TE. Ron Jaworski of ESPN credited 3-O line, 3-QB, 3-TE/WR.

I distinctly remember LT-Marvel Smith getting beat for 1 by Trent Cole, another one Kemo blocked the defender to the left of him and let the rusher between he and Hartwig go free............So I don't know where you get blaming the Eagles game on Hartwig...especially because the Eagles run a 4-3 and Hartwig wasnt getting pushed into the backfield by the MLB.

Have a look at the Super Bowl again.(its fun). The guy getting beat in the middle most of the game was Darnell Stapleton. Dockett and Gabe Watson also split the gap between Starks and Kemo a lot. Heath Miller makes a great catch down around the 4 yard line in the 1st quarter and Ben got rocked because Starks completely wiffed on his block.

If anything, Hartwig played a solid game in the SB, but most casual fans never watch the O line unless something bad happens...like a holding call in the end zone.

I however do watch the O line and Kemo pulled well to the right(which some say he cant do) to lead parker down inside the 10, Colon busted his butt while Ben was scrambling to extend plays (like the 3rd down toss to Miller), Stapleton got pushed around and Starks was his usual inconsistent self, blocking well some plays and getting beat like a rented mule on others.

Texasteel
07-11-2009, 07:05 PM
Actually, I graded the 9 sacks in the Eagles game as 4-O line, 3-QB, 2 WR/TE. Ron Jaworski of ESPN credited 3-O line, 3-QB, 3-TE/WR.
Have a look at the Super Bowl again.(its fun). The guy getting beat in the middle most of the game was Darnell Stapleton. Dockett and Gabe Watson also split the gap between Starks and Kemo a lot. Heath Miller makes a great catch down around the 4 yard line in the 1st quarter and Ben got rocked because Starks completely wiffed on his block.


I thought the last half of the season, the interior of the line was the weak part of the line, and Stapleton was the weak part of the interior. He will probably look better this year, but I think his days as a starter are numbered.

I'm still going to watch O'Dowd closely this year.

MasterOfPuppets
07-12-2009, 12:53 AM
There’s a Hole in the Pittsburgh O-Line- And it’s at the center and left guard positions. Justin Hartwig and Chris Kemeoatu have not been doing Ben Roethlisberger many favors this year. Whereas most quarterbacks improve their passer rating during blitzes, Roethlisberger’s dropped this year from 80.3 in normal situations to 70.3 in blitzes. Considering that the average quarterback improves 5.6 ratings points with a standard deviation of 4.4, Roethlisberger’s drop during blitzes is alarming. When you watch the film, you see that teams send blitzing defenders primarily into the gap between Hartwig and Kemeoatu. As if allowing sacks weren’t enough, Steeler’s running backs’ yards per carry drop from 3.7 overall to 3.3 when running through the left side of the offensive line.

http://community.advancednflstats.com/2009/01/super-bowl-xliii-some-food-for.html

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-12-2009, 03:15 PM
http://community.advancednflstats.com/2009/01/super-bowl-xliii-some-food-for.html

Yeah, that article speaks some truth in the passing game. Stapleton has quick feet and mirrors rushers quite well. Throughout the season it was pretty obvious that if you overload or stunt to Kemo's side, he wasnt that comfortable at recognizing and picking it up. Several posters including LLT pointed that out repeatedly.

If the article considers the running game and they watched the film, they would see Darnell Stapleton getting routinely handled in the run game vs 4-3 teams, but getting to the LB vs 3-4 teams. They would also see Hartwig seal rather effectively and create rush lanes, while Kemo was dominant one play.......then missing blocks the next.

I was very critical of Kemo and Starks and believe that 4 year vets like themselves should be more consistent. All I can do is hope they become consistent performers for the Steelers, rather than boom or bust like a nickel slot machine.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-12-2009, 03:20 PM
I thought the last half of the season, the interior of the line was the weak part of the line, and Stapleton was the weak part of the interior. He will probably look better this year, but I think his days as a starter are numbered.

I'm still going to watch O'Dowd closely this year.

Yeah, I still think we have not found our center of the future, but might be able to get by with several of the guys we have on the team now for another season.

O ' Dowd might be the best this season. Matt Tennant of Boston College is another that could rise up draft boards this year. O linemen from BC are solid and USC might have the best O-line coach in the NCAA.

MasterOfPuppets
07-12-2009, 04:22 PM
Yeah, I still think we have not found our center of the future, but might be able to get by with several of the guys we have on the team now for another season.

O ' Dowd might be the best this season. Matt Tennant of Boston College is another that could rise up draft boards this year. O linemen from BC are solid and USC might have the best O-line coach in the NCAA. well i thought the same thing about LT and LG , but i guess the F.O. disagrees.... :noidea:

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-12-2009, 04:30 PM
well i thought the same thing about LT and LG , but i guess the F.O. disagrees.... :noidea:
I am with you on that one. I thought that both LT and LG were suspect positions, but there has been little O line talent drafted in previous years.....so they went with the best option available(without spending on other team's prospects).

The good thing is neither of those contracts would be a big albatross around the teams neck in the next couple seasons.

MasterOfPuppets
07-12-2009, 04:41 PM
I am with you on that one. I thought that both LT and LG were suspect positions, but there has been little O line talent drafted in previous years.....so they went with the best option available(without spending on other team's prospects).

The good thing is neither of those contracts would be a big albatross around the teams neck in the next couple seasons. well i'm hoping this was just a learning, get familiar, type of year.... but i think pretty much its a what you see is what you got thing.... the thought of 4 more years of the same makes me sick..... i hope i'm wrong.....:doh:

Texasteel
07-12-2009, 05:02 PM
well i thought the same thing about LT and LG , but i guess the F.O. disagrees.... :noidea:

I've been hoping for a LT for the last 3 years, but no luck yet. I think the clock is ticking on that position. If Someone is available the can handle the LT spot, even just adequately, I think they have to grab him.

MasterOfPuppets
07-12-2009, 05:44 PM
I've been hoping for a LT for the last 3 years, but no luck yet. I think the clock is ticking on that position. If Someone is available the can handle the LT spot, even just adequately, I think they have to grab him. ummm....they just gave starks a 4 yr deal, so i'd say we're stuck with him for at least 2 yrs, no matter how bad he plays.

Texasteel
07-12-2009, 06:10 PM
ummm....they just gave starks a 4 yr deal, so i'd say we're stuck with him for at least 2 yrs, no matter how bad he plays.

You right, and I am thinking 2 years down the road. Unless they plan on signing a vet at some point in 2 or 3 years. You and I both know their not likely to do that.

Besides, its not an official draft unless I'm whining about getting a LT.

tony hipchest
07-12-2009, 07:25 PM
tomlins drafts have been pretty calculated.

year 1- fix pass rush = timmons and wodley.

year 2- fix offensive firepower with potential departure of hines and parker = sweed and mendenhall.

year 3- fix the only aspect left of the special teams that hasnt yet been fixed = look at all the rookies and fa's that have return capabilities (that also address the departure of washington and mcfadden).

year 3 also addressed the d line and o line partially. next year i think we see the timmons and woodley of the o-line drafted.

Steel Head
07-12-2009, 09:41 PM
Chemistry plays a huge part in the O-line.

Now that these guys have played together a lot, they should get better. Especially Kemoeatu

Hopefully Essex or Urbik take the RG spot

Steel Head
07-12-2009, 09:43 PM
tomlins drafts have been pretty calculated.

year 1- fix pass rush = timmons and wodley.

year 2- fix offensive firepower with potential departure of hines and parker = sweed and mendenhall.

year 3- fix the only aspect left of the special teams that hasnt yet been fixed = look at all the rookies and fa's that have return capabilities (that also address the departure of washington and mcfadden).

year 3 also addressed the d line and o line partially. next year i think we see the timmons and woodley of the o-line drafted.

Yeah, I like Tomlin's approach, especially the Timmons/Woodley draft.

However, when you draft near the bottom it is more difficult to address your needs. You kind of have to go BPA

Another thing i love about Tomlin is how he immediately fixed our special teams after 1 year. Now we have on of the best kick coverage units in the league IMO (an area where we struggled most years under Cowher)

tony hipchest
07-12-2009, 10:16 PM
Yeah, I like Tomlin's approach, especially the Timmons/Woodley draft.

However, when you draft near the bottom it is more difficult to address your needs. You kind of have to go BPA

Another thing i love about Tomlin is how he immediately fixed our special teams after 1 year. Now we have on of the best kick coverage units in the league IMO (an area where we struggled most years under Cowher)definitely. step 1 was hiring 2 ST coaches and giving it heavy emphasis in camp and practice. 2 was spending top dollar (draftpick) for a rookie punter, which should bear fruit this season. 3rd is our return game, which looks to have a ton of competition (something we've rarely had).

im hoping that so many teams have been drafting LT in the 1st round lately that one slips to us next season. it seems like 21 teams have taken their franchise LT in the past 3 drafts and the other 10 teams dont need one. hopefully its our turn.

colon, our center, and their back ups should consider themselves on notice this season.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-12-2009, 10:58 PM
. next year i think we see the timmons and woodley of the o-line drafted.

I'll honestly be shocked to see that happen Tony. I think there will be bigger issues with ILB depth and another D lineman needed. I think they are pretty satasfied in sticking with Starks, Kemo, Urbik and probably Hills at RT if they choose not to sign Colon.

I can still see them jumping at the best center prospect next year if one is there in the 1st.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-12-2009, 11:06 PM
Chemistry plays a huge part in the O-line.


If by Chemistry, you mean guys knowing their assignments and being aware of probable defensive schemes, yes. Chemistry with the guys on either side of you means nothing if you dont get your pads low and miss blocks on undersized Colts defenders like Kemo did.

Chemistry means nothing if you choose the outside rusher and allow the inside rusher to get a quick shot at your QB, liike Starks did in the 1st quarter of the SB.

Chemistry means even less if you pull left to lead block and stand waiting in the hole for much smaller LB's Teddy Bruschi (NE) or Steven Cooper (SD) to stuff you, like Darnell Stapleton did several times.

Performance = ability x opportunity x effort. I just think 1 of our O linemen lack the ability, while a few others lack the effort. No chemistry is gonna improve a guys effort. IMO, its even less likely if they just got a nice new contract.

Texasteel
07-13-2009, 03:17 PM
I'll honestly be shocked to see that happen Tony. I think there will be bigger issues with ILB depth and another D lineman needed. I think they are pretty satasfied in sticking with Starks, Kemo, Urbik and probably Hills at RT if they choose not to sign Colon.

I can still see them jumping at the best center prospect next year if one is there in the 1st.

I think you are most likely right, Gonzo. Personally I am hoping for that Center prospect next year. But thinks may change over the next few months.

mmalone
07-13-2009, 03:32 PM
I think you are most likely right, Gonzo. Personally I am hoping for that Center prospect next year. But thinks may change over the next few months.

I can still see them jumping at the best center prospect next year if one is there in the 1st. -----------

There are a few good ones next year too. Kristopher O’Dowd, USC

But, did the Browns really need a Center like Mack this year over all their other issues. Or was that a move to keep us from getting the player we really wanted.

Texasteel
07-13-2009, 06:11 PM
I can still see them jumping at the best center prospect next year if one is there in the 1st. -----------

There are a few good ones next year too. Kristopher O’Dowd, USC

But, did the Browns really need a Center like Mack this year over all their other issues. Or was that a move to keep us from getting the player we really wanted.

Last year I wanted Mack badly. This year I'm pimping pushing O'Dowd.

As far as the Brown's are concerned? I just think they don't know what they are doing.

El-Gonzo Jackson
07-13-2009, 11:43 PM
Last year I wanted Mack badly. This year I'm pimping pushing O'Dowd.

As far as the Brown's are concerned? I just think they don't know what they are doing.

I think the Browns had lots of holes and decided to go BPA with Mack. Put him in with Thomas, Steinbach, and they have some real players on the O line.

I question if Buffalo needed Wood instead of an OT, but again they went BPA. Still intrigued by Matt Tennant next year in the draft.

Preacher
07-14-2009, 01:01 AM
IMO its way to early to start talking draft for next year.

This time next year, we MAY be saying that the line is unnecessary to draft for. It just depends on the year they have and how well they play together. I know many thing this guy sucks and that guy isn't good enough (Yes, I am one of those as well), but I also know that at some point, teams can come to a point where the whole equals much much more than the sum of the parts.

So I am waiting until the end of this year to talk about fixing the O line. We have been dealt this hand, its time to play with it.

MasterOfPuppets
07-14-2009, 01:14 AM
IMO its way to early to start talking draft for next year.

This time next year, we MAY be saying that the line is unnecessary to draft for. It just depends on the year they have and how well they play together. I know many thing this guy sucks and that guy isn't good enough (Yes, I am one of those as well), but I also know that at some point, teams can come to a point where the whole equals much much more than the sum of the parts.

So I am waiting until the end of this year to talk about fixing the O line. We have been dealt this hand, its time to play with it.
even if they do "get it together", then they still would have hartwig and colon contracts to deal with along with several others.... :popcorn:

Texasteel
07-14-2009, 03:56 AM
IMO its way to early to start talking draft for next year.

This time next year, we MAY be saying that the line is unnecessary to draft for. It just depends on the year they have and how well they play together. I know many thing this guy sucks and that guy isn't good enough (Yes, I am one of those as well), but I also know that at some point, teams can come to a point where the whole equals much much more than the sum of the parts.

So I am waiting until the end of this year to talk about fixing the O line. We have been dealt this hand, its time to play with it.

Keep in mind that draft season never stops for a few of us. I already have a list of OT I want to watch, I have THE player I am most intrigued with, and just about to finish my list of ILBs to watch. The best thing about following the draft is, you can change you mind right up till you hear the words

With the 32nd pick in this years draft, Pittsburgh selects-----------.

BKAnthem
07-14-2009, 09:41 AM
This is what happens when you pair a below average coach(Zierlein) with an average line...

revefsreleets
07-14-2009, 09:47 AM
This is what happens when you pair a below average coach(Zierlein) with an average line...

So, either the Steelers FO knows this and is stupid and purposely trying to hurt their own chances, or they DON'T know this and you are smarter than them?

Please...NEXT!

mmalone
07-14-2009, 10:39 AM
With the 32nd pick in this years draft, Pittsburgh selects-----------.

Kristopher O'Dowd if available.

BKAnthem
07-15-2009, 12:37 AM
So, either the Steelers FO knows this and is stupid and purposely trying to hurt their own chances, or they DON'T know this and you are smarter than them?

Please...NEXT!

No...it's more along the lines of arrogance and denial....they are starting to believe the hype about drafting well so they think there is nothing wrong with their inferior line....If they went line heavy in the draft (which they needed to do)that would prove everyone right and they can't have that......everyone can't be wrong that this line is weak... Do you really think this is one of their better O lines? Please....NEXT!

revefsreleets
07-15-2009, 11:51 AM
Nonsense. That's one of the worst pieces of "analysis" I've seen on the subject. You need to try a LOT harder before you'll be taken seriously on this board.

You might want to start slower...the official board might be a good place for you. There's literally an abundance of nonsensical statements being bandied around there...your ridiculous conspiracy theory would go over well, I think.

"Believe the hype"! Ha, I've heard it all now!:rofl:

fansince'76
07-15-2009, 12:00 PM
No...it's more along the lines of arrogance and denial....they are starting to believe the hype about drafting well so they think there is nothing wrong with their inferior line....If they went line heavy in the draft (which they needed to do)that would prove everyone right and they can't have that......everyone can't be wrong that this line is weak... Do you really think this is one of their better O lines? Please....NEXT!

So, they've "intentionally ignored" the OL due to "arrogance" and to "save face?" Hoo, boy.

mmalone
07-15-2009, 01:34 PM
I've been hoping for a LT for the last 3 years, but no luck yet. I think the clock is ticking on that position. If Someone is available the can handle the LT spot, even just adequately, I think they have to grab him.

do you know anything of this LT beast... dont know if he was a high 2nd rounder or low ...


the pats signed him today...

Report: Patriots Agree to Terms with 2nd Round OT Sebastian Vollmer
Christopher Price of WEEI.com is reporting that the New England Patriots have reached preliminary agreement on a contract with second-round offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

Born and raised in Germany, Vollmer (6-7, 312) is the first European-born player to be drafted by the National Football League.

A two-year starter at left tackle for the University of Houston, Vollmer was named first-team All-Conference USA after the 2008 season.

LVSteelersfan
07-15-2009, 01:35 PM
There were a lot of holes to shore up. It looks like this year it was kick returners who can also play defense, WR, etc. Those will be holes in the future as well. I know the Oline sucks but they are banking on that they will get at least a little better. Could be suicide. Could be brilliant. Only time will tell. If the Oline gets just a little better, Ben won't get sacked as much which will translate into more completed passes (as long as Ben quits it with the duck passes occasionally that get picked off) I like the job Tomlin has done. They did address the Oline this year with Urbik and T-Rex, so don't say they didn't look at it at all. You can't build a complete Oline in a draft in one year. I like the picks they made this year a lot. Frank the Tank. Make us proud and give us back our smash mouth. If not this year, in the future.

mmalone
07-15-2009, 04:43 PM
KC gave up a top second round pick.

this LT vollmer is probably from the cassell trade..

Texasteel
07-15-2009, 07:22 PM
do you know anything of this LT beast... dont know if he was a high 2nd rounder or low ...


the pats signed him today...

Report: Patriots Agree to Terms with 2nd Round OT Sebastian Vollmer
Christopher Price of WEEI.com is reporting that the New England Patriots have reached preliminary agreement on a contract with second-round offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer.

Born and raised in Germany, Vollmer (6-7, 312) is the first European-born player to be drafted by the National Football League.

A two-year starter at left tackle for the University of Houston, Vollmer was named first-team All-Conference USA after the 2008 season.

Don't watch Houston much, but I do know that he was good size, but couldn't be classified as huge by OT standard. He is fairly quick, and very strong. I believe he had over 30 reps at the combine, 32, 33, something like that. Most everything I read had him as a mid round selection. Could be comparable to Joel Bell that some of us would like to see us pick up.

BKAnthem
08-28-2009, 04:10 PM
With the way the O line is looking this pre season this thread needs a bump.....

Preacher
08-28-2009, 04:28 PM
With the way the O line is looking this pre season this thread needs a bump.....


Not sure what you mean by that... this preseason, our O line has looked really good in the pass game.

In the run game, it hasn't opened up any holes, but also has not been penetrated.

So there is a tremendous increase in the pass game, and a bit of an increase in the run game. I would like to see the O line get a good push in the run game as well. But the increase over last year is noticeable.