PDA

View Full Version : Thou shalt not run in the NFL


mesaSteeler
09-16-2009, 05:48 PM
Thou shalt not run in the NFL
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
By Gene Collier, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09259/998258-150.stm

Tom Brady whipped 53 passes Monday night, one for each calendar week elapsed since his last pass of consequence, so it appears the New England Patriots did not have their franchise quarterback on anything approaching a rigid pitch count.

Not hardly.

Brady threw 53 times, Joe Flacco threw 43 times the day before, and Ben Roethlisberger threw 43 times three days before that.

But here's the shock value, at least to me: they all won.

The Patriots hurried back to clip the Buffalo Bills, the Baltimore Ravens held off the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Steelers toppled the Tennessee Titans in overtime, all with quarterbacks winging balls at moving targets as feverishly as a love-struck teen trying to win Jolene a kewpie doll on the last day of the Fayette County Fair.

Or something.

Used to be axiomatic in this game that the more you threw it, the more you often had to, and the more likely you were to get beat. That's real Old Testament stuff now.

More in line with ancient theocracy, David Garrard threw just 29 passes on Kickoff Weekend, Jason Campbell threw 26, Trent Edwards 25, Brodie Croyle 24 and Brett Favre 21. Those used to be winning numbers. All except Favre were losers.

Summed up, winning quarterbacks threw more than losing quarterbacks in Week 1 of this NFL season, partly because of the game's ever-accelerating offensive evolution and partly because of something that has gotten lost in the excessive fretting over the Steelers' desultory running game -- running the ball in this 21st-century NFL is, um, hard.

"I believe, particularly in September football, people make a commitment to stopping the run," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said yesterday in the first regular session of Tuesdays with Tomlin. "And it's easier to make the commitment in September when everybody feels good and you've got all the horses in the stable. I think over the course of the long haul, you see who's good at it week in and week out, but it's usually tough sledding early in the football season; that's been my experience.

"That was my intent when I was a defensive play-caller, that in order to be a good defense it starts there -- making people one dimensional, making people struggle if they're committed to running the ball."

Steelers purists wonder aloud, real loud, whether the Steelers have any such commitment, and I say they do, but it is not a commitment to run for running's sake. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians handed the ball to his own skittish stable of running backs 22 times in the prime-time opener, and, if that is not your idea of commitment, I would only say it is hard to stay committed to incompetence.

Of those 22 plays, 17 were gains of 3 yards or less (or as I like to call 'em: plays that don't work), and seven gained no yards or resulted in lost yardage.

That's fairly terrible, but what it is not is unpredictable. No one figured to find open lawn by the acre in any event involving the Titans, who beat these same Steelers handily only last December. What's more, there is not a lot of running room anywhere in this NFL.

The number of 100 plus-yard rushing performances came in at a stagnant five on the league's first weekend, with only Super Vike Adrian Peterson's 180 and the 143 carved out by New Orleans' Mike Bell posing as outstanding performances, and even those came against Cleveland and Detroit, both well-used thruways.

Only seven NFL running backs gained as much as 80 yards in Week 1.

None of this will taste like solace to the frantics who were wounded to the black-and-gold core that the Steelers gained eight times as many yards through the air as on the ground against Tennessee, nor will the fact that the Chicago Bears, who will play host to Tomlin's team Sunday, use the same kind of upfield 4-3 Tennessee brought to Pittsburgh last week.

"That [the relative unfamiliarity with the 4-3] was a factor, but I'm not going to allow it to become an excuse," Tomlin said. "We have to execute. We've got to get better in that area as a football team for one reason and one reason only, that it increases our chances of winning. That's what we're about, putting ourselves in position to win. We acknowledge that if we continue along those lines from a run-game standpoint that that doesn't help us."

In other words, you can't average 54 inches per rush attempt and expect to win regularly. That's Old Testament, too, and it still very much applies.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09259/998258-150.stm#ixzz0RJCKX5Et

BozMan
09-16-2009, 06:38 PM
Meh... it's easy to say that all you need is a passing game when it's still September and the weather is still warm. Come November and December, we're going to need at least a respectable running game to avoid being predictable and to sustain drives.

Christian Snyder
09-16-2009, 07:56 PM
Meh... it's easy to say that all you need is a passing game when it's still September and the weather is still warm. Come November and December, we're going to need at least a respectable running game to avoid being predictable and to sustain drives.
Well said.

tony hipchest
09-16-2009, 09:26 PM
funny how no critisizm was laid at the feet of the patriots line or running game. they simply "took what the defense gave them" and let brady do his magic.

steelers do the EXACT same thing against a stiffer defense with a supposed lesser running back corps and they are slammed for having a weak o-line and shitty run game.

:tap: things that make you go hmmmm....

Steelers & I
09-17-2009, 02:04 AM
If the Steelers are going to pass then pass away. I trust Roethlisberger 100%. But as someone has already mentioned, when the weather gets bad they're going to need some type of run game.

sharkweek
09-17-2009, 06:21 AM
Trends come and go in the NFL, defenses playing dishonest against the run is one of them. This trend will end when teams that relied on the run in the past find success through the air.

stlrtruck
09-17-2009, 09:25 AM
funny how no critisizm was laid at the feet of the patriots line or running game. they simply "took what the defense gave them" and let brady do his magic.

steelers do the EXACT same thing against a stiffer defense with a supposed lesser running back corps and they are slammed for having a weak o-line and shitty run game.

:tap: things that make you go hmmmm....

HOW DARE YOU CRITICIZE THE HOLIER THAN THOU PATRIOTS*! According to new NFL policies, they will now receive another first round pick immediately following their first pick in the first round. If it continues, Commissioner Goodell will then reward them with all 31 other team's picks!

Don't you know Belicheat is the best at changing game plans and that's how they won!?

PeckerWood
09-17-2009, 01:51 PM
All I know is if the opposing defense is stacked to stop the running game the throw the ball then throw it some more. Throw the ball until that defense backs up and starts playing the pass. Then start mixing in the run to keep the defense honest. Its called using the pass to set up the run.

If an opposing defense comes in wanting to shout down your passing game you run the ball until the defense comes up to stop the run. Then you mix some passes in to keep the defense honest. Its called using the run to set up the pass.

Over the course of a season you'll come out as a balanced offense.

Alway wondered teams would use the RBs to run into a brick wall play after play when it would be easier to throw the ball over that brick wall.:laughing:

revefsreleets
09-17-2009, 03:39 PM
They failed to mention that all these teams that threw so much are DOOOMED! Oh, and they all have shitty OC's, too...

markymarc
09-17-2009, 07:25 PM
funny how no critisizm was laid at the feet of the patriots line or running game. they simply "took what the defense gave them" and let brady do his magic.

steelers do the EXACT same thing against a stiffer defense with a supposed lesser running back corps and they are slammed for having a weak o-line and shitty run game.

:tap: things that make you go hmmmm....

Great point! But of course we all know that Brady and the Pats can do no wrong in the NFL :laughing:

Steely McSmash
09-19-2009, 12:19 PM
funny how no critisizm was laid at the feet of the patriots line or running game. they simply "took what the defense gave them" and let brady do his magic.

steelers do the EXACT same thing against a stiffer defense with a supposed lesser running back corps and they are slammed for having a weak o-line and shitty run game.

:tap: things that make you go hmmmm....

How could the commentators to be bothered to draw their eyes away from Brady's heavenly form to analyze the rest of the team.

Did you hear them clammering all over each other about how St. Brady was "snapping his hips" They even re-played this heavenly hip-snap multiple times . maybe they're angling for a Kleenex sponsorship?

steel striker
09-19-2009, 02:27 PM
funny how no critisizm was laid at the feet of the patriots line or running game. they simply "took what the defense gave them" and let brady do his magic.

steelers do the EXACT same thing against a stiffer defense with a supposed lesser running back corps and they are slammed for having a weak o-line and shitty run game.

:tap: things that make you go hmmmm....

I was thinking the samething but, the I realized we are talking about the cheats. We all know what media darlings they are and, how dare we talk bad about them even if it is the truth. I would not be surprised if Marsha threw for five picks the media would somehow put a positive spin on it. Brady has four scacks and, pick six what a job for the master that is Brady. It makes me sick! If our o-line gives more than two sacks the media says we are a bad team with no chance. Plus this is after we won a close game. Not to mention we did not need some bone head special teams fubmle to win a game that we had no business winning.