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mesaSteeler
09-13-2009, 08:30 PM
Bires: To air is Steelers' way
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/sports_details/article/1424/2009/september/13/bires-to-air-is-steelers-way.html
By: Mike Bires -
Beaver County Times

PITTSBURGH — Gone are the days when the Steelers prided themselves on running the football with power and authority.

No longer do the Steelers have what it takes to impose their will on an opponent like they once did with a physical ground game that could demoralize opponents.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. That philosophical change has simply come about because the Steelers’ best offensive players thrive when the ball is in the air.

Obviously, it starts with the man throwing the ball.

But Ben Roethlisberger wouldn’t be able to wing it 43 times as he did Thursday night in a 13-10 opening night win against Tennessee without a talented corps of receivers. Collectively, the Steelers’ pass catchers are that good.

Santonio Holmes picked up right where he left off in Super Bowl XLIII — nine catches for 131 yards and a TD, the same numbers he racked up when earning MVP honors against Arizona in February. His late-fourth quarter fumble against the Titans aside, Hines Ward came up huge with eight catches for 103 yards.

For the first time since Holmes came to Pittsburgh in the first round of the 2006 draft, he and Ward each had over 100 receiving yards in the same game.

And how about the debut of Mike Wallace, who got far more reps than Limas Sweed, a second-round draft pick last year?

In overtime, it was Wallace who caught a 22-yard pass that set up Jeff Reed’s game-winning field goal. The speedster is going to be the Steelers’ rookie of the year.
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Throw in an excellent tight end like Heath Miller, a quality third-down back in Mewelde Moore and Sweed — yes, don’t forget about him even though he hardly played against the Titans — the Steelers have one of the most promising sets of pass catchers in the league.

That brings me to another key part of the “Air Tomlin” equation. That’s the offensive line and the fullback, or lack of a fullback.

This just may be an O-line better suited to pass blocking than run blocking. But, in fairness to Willie Parker and Rashard Mendenhall — who both averaged a measly 1.5 yards per rush against Tennessee — there was no room to run. The line didn’t open any holes, and rookie fullback Frank “The Tank” Summers was disappointing in the few snaps he got.

Yet, the pass protection was encouraging. Roethlisberger was sacked four times, but the first sack happened because Roethlisberger tried, unsuccessfully, biding time by scrambling. In the second half and in OT, Roethlisberger threw 22 times and was only sacked once.

So as the Steelers begin preparing for their next game in Chicago, expect more of the same.

Their smashmouth days of jamming the football down an opponent’s throat are over.

Indeed, this Steelers offense clicks best when the ball is in the air.

Mike Bires can be reached at mbires@timesonline.com



Sunday September 13, 2009 12:39 AM

OX1947
09-13-2009, 09:11 PM
My god, it was one freakin game for Christ sake. Are all these writers just copying everyone elses crap and mixing the words around so they don't officially plagiarize?

The titans dedicated the entire night to stop the run. And they had the horses to do so. Enough already.

SteelC7
09-14-2009, 02:51 AM
god damn im so sick of hearing they cant run, theyre gonna be the pass happy steelers, leave it alone, the game is over, maybe we should talk about the steelers being 1-0

JackHammer
09-14-2009, 03:39 AM
My god, it was one freakin game for Christ sake. Are all these writers just copying everyone elses crap and mixing the words around so they don't officially plagiarize?

The titans dedicated the entire night to stop the run. And they had the horses to do so. Enough already.

I couldn't agree more. We just took what they gave us and it was enough to win. If people think Big Ben is gonna throw the ball 35+ times per game, and that the Steelers are resigned to the fact that we can't run the ball, they're nuts. As soon as a team takes guys out of the box to try to defend against Big Ben and the pass, our running game will make them pay.

Galax Steeler
09-14-2009, 04:50 AM
I think you will see more passing but in the same sense we are not going to go away from the run game. We will try and run the ball but if we are not able to do it then you will see Ben airing it out again.

markymarc
09-14-2009, 06:41 PM
We will not abandon the run game, but things tend to change and IMO offensively we are a more finesse team right now. At this point I believe that our passing must be used to set up the running game. Let's not forget that teams are daring us to run right now because you see a lot of stacked boxes with 8 players on running downs. Most importantly they just need to do what wins games.

I-Want-Troy's-Hair
09-14-2009, 08:15 PM
Whatever it takes to get us to the promised land.....again. :tt02:

SteelCityMan786
09-14-2009, 08:18 PM
My god, it was one freakin game for Christ sake. Are all these writers just copying everyone elses crap and mixing the words around so they don't officially plagiarize?

The titans dedicated the entire night to stop the run. And they had the horses to do so. Enough already.

Probably a whole lot of plagiarism.

1 Game. If the Run stinks one game, it don't mean a thing.