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View Full Version : Frustrations With the Play Calling...


sharkweek
09-28-2009, 04:02 AM
I'm not going to pin the blame on any one individual player or coach, nor collective unit of the team.

Sure, it might be easy to look at the defense and say they blew it, but the best defense is a good offense - you can't count on your defense being impermeable 24/7. In the sport of football, its the team that has control of the football that has the most control of their own fate, it doesn't matter how good a defense is, you can't count on the other team messing up.

That being said, the blame can't be entirely on the offense either, it more than did its job for 3 quarters.

It also might being easy to single out an individual such as Holmes or Sweed, or on the coaching staff such as Arians or Tomlin. But it was what I observed as a team that I find troubling and where I will now get into the meat of my argument...

What exactly was going on with the play calling?

The offensive drives we scored on we were throwing the ball on first and second down, and after establishing some success through the air, we finally get a defense to play more honestly against the run and we actually find success running the ball.

Then we play conservative by going for the chipshot field goal instead of going for it on 4th and goal, where if we fail we pin the Bengals super deep with a D that just forced a 3 and out. I can forgive this because Reed did need a chipper to gain some confidence but still, this decision will make two instances later in the game far worse, those being:

1. Not punting with a 4th and 3ish? right before the half to pin the Bengals deep. Ok, we're up 13-0, we want to put the game away, thats great, I like it, but we already strayed from that mentality with that opening drive, so why start then?...obviously we fail and then the Bengals drive it and manage a field goal to make it 13-3 at the half.

2. making Reed attempt a 52 yarder...I wouldn't have trusted Reed to do a 52 yarder before coming off a game with two misses. The only time I try for a 50+ FG is in a game we're desperate for the points (super low scoring) and/or its safe (end of half/game) and/or desperation. We were winning... god forbid we user our prized punter to pin the Bengals deep during a time of the game where the defense wasn't yet bleeding first downs. Hell, they should have at least gone for it on 4th down again to keep some consistency in our game time M.O. Oh, that's right, we did the field goal on the opening drive. We didn't have an M.O.

This is where things start to get messy. I've been referring to an M.O. (or lack thereof rather). On the one hand we came off as relatively aggressive on offense, but then became ultra conservative near the goal line. But then we get super aggressive and make some huge gambles in the middle of the field where failure is arguably far more disastrous.

Then comes the Pick-6. Fine and dandy. Ben shakes it off and proceeds to drive the offense down the field (mostly through the air), again, often throwing on first and second downs. Touchdown. Game, set, match, right? Wrong. Apparently someone on the coaching staff thought so, however, as we receded back into the flawed run-run-pass (if not run-run-run) shut down offense when we had far from put the game away, making it incredibly easy for the Bengals' D to get the ball back to their O, twice, where they could determine their own fate with the ball in their hands.

Well, I just had to get that off my chest a bit. I don't know about you guys, but I'd rather see us fighting tooth and nail with the ball in our (Ben's) hands until the game is definitely decided. Defense wins championships, but the best defense is a good offense, and we totally blew our offense's potential with some very inconsistent/insecure play calling.

Fire Haley
09-28-2009, 04:11 AM
In the real world the game was a lock till our goat herd got loose and gave away the win.

Individual players DID lose the game - that's how all games are won and lost - on the field by players making plays....or not

revefsreleets
09-28-2009, 11:12 AM
When Arians dropped the TD pass, and Arians threw the pick 6 and Arians missed the FG and Arians gave up the 5 minute long, 16 play, 71 yard game winning drive.

THOSE are the key plays from yesterday.

Texasteel
09-28-2009, 11:18 AM
When Arians dropped the TD pass, and Arians threw the pick 6 and Arians missed the FG and Arians gave up the 5 minute long, 16 play, 71 yard game winning drive.

THOSE are the key plays from yesterday.

You forget his missed tackle on the Benson TD run, and the fact that he gave up back to back 1st downs on 4th and long.

revefsreleets
09-28-2009, 11:31 AM
You forget his missed tackle on the Benson TD run, and the fact that he gave up back to back 1st downs on 4th and long.

Let me fix that...

When Arians missed tackle on the Benson TD run, and the fact that he gave up back to back 1st downs on 4th and long and Arians dropped the TD pass, and Arians threw the pick 6 and Arians missed the FG and Arians gave up the 5 minute long, 16 play, 71 yard game winning drive.

THOSE are the key plays where Arians lost the game for us.

sharkweek
09-28-2009, 01:48 PM
In the real world the game was a lock till our goat herd got loose and gave away the win.

Individual players DID lose the game - that's how all games are won and lost - on the field by players making plays....or not

Even if those individual goats hadn't messed up, we still scored fewer points and allowed more points than we should have strictly due to play calling. If players would perform perfectly every time there would be no need for punting or field goals.

Am I upset that Sweed dropped a TD catch that would have given us the game? Yes. Am I upset that Holmes ran the wrong route that lead to a pick 6? Yes. I'm just not as upset as the inconsistency in our coaching staff.

The good news is that there were several instances where we did throw on 1st and 2nd down as well as did have several instances of extremely aggressive play calling by going for it on 4th. I like that, we just need to be more consistent at it and smarter about when we do it. So there's hope that at least change is being looked at and strongly considered.

cubanstogie
09-28-2009, 07:51 PM
We dominated the first half but settled for FG's. We had no takeaways and gave them a gift touchdown. Our D shut them down in first half but everyone knows how hard it is to shut down a team for 60 minutes. This loss is impossible to blame on Arians, O line or any individual. It was a complete team loss.

SteelerEmpire
09-28-2009, 11:59 PM
It has been a 2nd half melt down. Something has been happening during half time that throws the team off.... Last year we were the 2nd half team in games. Coming into the 2nd half " with the same " offensive and defensive plays is not wise strategy. We should come back onto the field with even more aggressive defensive and offensive play calling because our opponent has had time to analyze us and adjust their strategy accordingly.... Its basic battlefield stratego....

ricksteelers55
09-29-2009, 12:52 AM
The only thing I blame Arians for yesterday's game is the way he used his Running Backs again.

what 26 carries for FWP ?
1 for Memo ?
0 for Rashard....

Mendy was apparently getting benched for his poor week of practice.

then why activating him ? we should have activated Summers instead.Then you want to use David Johnson as a FB ? Fine then use the tank as a RB at least he can play special teams too.

the running game was good til the middle of the 2nd half.Then they started to pick up our running game.

Id like to see more change of pace.That is the only thing im asking,but overall i thought the playcalling was good.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-29-2009, 01:40 AM
David Johnson is a WAY better lead blocker than Summers. The run game slowed when he got hurt.

As for "change of pace". Could somebody please explain how that is strategically productive??? What would having a different pace do to a defense that would be more productive?? I mean, why dont we put in bigger and slower WR sets as a "change of pace" for the opposing CB's??

If there is a hole to run in, the RB needs to hit it(regardless of his "pace"). This whole notion of change of pace is just throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks. :banging:

SteelerFanInTX210
09-29-2009, 03:28 PM
I personally cant stand Arians and his philosophy. I believe we run better with a TRU fullback not a damn TE/ H back. and in my opinion the offense is 100% better when Ben calls the shots in the no huddle. Fire Arians and just let Ben be Peyton Manning.

steelreserve
09-29-2009, 04:39 PM
David Johnson is a WAY better lead blocker than Summers. The run game slowed when he got hurt.

As for "change of pace". Could somebody please explain how that is strategically productive??? What would having a different pace do to a defense that would be more productive?? I mean, why dont we put in bigger and slower WR sets as a "change of pace" for the opposing CB's??

If there is a hole to run in, the RB needs to hit it(regardless of his "pace"). This whole notion of change of pace is just throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks. :banging:

Well, duh, you put another RB in there to change the way they have to play defense. It's pretty easy for the defense to come up with a scheme that exploits Parker's weaknesses -- I mean, he's not going to get yards up the middle, and if you blitz an OLB or even have them hang around up close to the line, you can take the outside away from him too, and good teams have figured this out. If the defense starts catching on and doing that, attack them somewhere else. You might call that "throwing things at the wall to see what sticks," but if one RB has different skills from another, there's not reason not to change up your plans.

Having said that, Summers definitely wasn't the answer, but I would've liked to see more of the other two guys. I really don't think Summers is ready yet.

Also, I don't think the playcalling in general was the issue. We could've easily scored 30 points with the plays we did call, but we just f***ed up at all the wrong times. RB, QB, WR, K ... each of those positions had at least one huge missed opportunity.

revefsreleets
09-29-2009, 05:10 PM
Sigh...yet ANOTHER retarded "I don't understand football therefore I must fall back on hating Bruce Arians" thread...

Tedious.

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-29-2009, 05:12 PM
Well, duh, you put another RB in there to change the way they have to play defense. .

Well Duh, do you really think the Steelers play defense differently whether LenDale White or Chris Johnson was in the backfield against Tennesee??

How about whether its Ray Rice or LeRon Mclain??? Change of pace back is almost as over used and over rated as the term"shut down corner".

StylCurtainXL
09-29-2009, 05:23 PM
Sigh...yet ANOTHER retarded "I don't understand football therefore I must fall back on hating Bruce Arians" thread...

Tedious.

Don't hate Arians, don't want anyone fired, but wish we'd be up more than 2 scores before going into the 'prevent offense'

steelreserve
09-29-2009, 05:43 PM
Well Duh, do you really think the Steelers play defense differently whether LenDale White or Chris Johnson was in the backfield against Tennesee??

How about whether its Ray Rice or LeRon Mclain??? Change of pace back is almost as over used and over rated as the term"shut down corner".

Yes, I do think that can have an effect. You're going to expect Brian Westbrook to do different things than Brandon Jacobs. Maybe you'll be a little quicker to think a screen play is coming in one case, or maybe you'll bite a little easier on a play fake up the middle on the other. So maybe it's not affecting how you line up initially, as much as what you're looking for and how you react. It can make a difference; Moore's past success, and the way our offense looks completely different with him in the game, proves that.

Also, change of pace has a lot to do with just individual effort. Sometimes the first guy really is just having a bad day and someone else might do better. Not so much last game, but overall there are a lot of those.

ricksteelers55
09-29-2009, 07:02 PM
Well Duh, do you really think the Steelers play defense differently whether LenDale White or Chris Johnson was in the backfield against Tennesee??

How about whether its Ray Rice or LeRon Mclain??? Change of pace back is almost as over used and over rated as the term"shut down corner".

I dont think it's about the defense preparation.I do think it's more about different style that will help you exploit the other D weaknesses.

for example you use your fast and agile RB in the 1st half.

then in the 2nd half when they are more tired,you pound the rock with a bigger RB,bruiser who's totally fresh.

If you dont believe that thing...then tell me my friend how come that all the successful running teams use a running by commitee approach?(Titans,Giants,Panthers,Ravens) and dont tell me it's because of the line because if it was because of the line they could still be running only one runner and it wouldnt change their productivity

Of course good run D will be effective no matter who's running the football but it doesnt hurt to ''change the pace'' sometimes

El-Gonzo Jackson
09-29-2009, 07:57 PM
If you dont believe that thing...then tell me my friend how come that all the successful running teams use a running by commitee approach?(Titans,Giants,Panthers,Ravens)

Its about injuries. Running a feature RB all the time like Larry Johnson, Willie Parker (2006-2007), Shaun Alexander, Edggerin James, etc. without a guy to take some carries, often gets them injured.

Most teams recognize the value of using a couple of good RB's to keep guys healthy instead of putting the entire load on 1 RB. Its nothing to do with change of pace.