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mesaSteeler
11-03-2009, 11:05 PM
Timing is everything with Big Ben's sacks
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/print_651338.html
By Mark Kaboly
Daily News Sports Editor
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Maybe the offensive line isn't that bad after all.

For the past four years (including this season), the Steelers offensive line has come under heavy scrutiny for allowing quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to be sacked time and time again.

The line gave up 49 sacks in 2006; 47 in 2007; 49 in 2009; and is on the pace to allow the franchise quarterback to hit the ground another 46 times this year.

Including the playoffs, Roethlisberger has been sacked 233 times since he came into the league in 2004. That's nearly three times a game over his 5 1/2-year career.

In that perspective, it is astonishing that Roethlisberger has missed only seven games in his career, including sitting out only one of the past 59 games. And that one wasn't due to injury; he sat out a meaningless Week 17 game in Baltimore in 2007.

At least for this season, Roethlisberger has nobody to blame about the sacks but himself.

As a rule, if a quarterback holds onto the ball for three seconds or less, he isn't likely to get sacked. Anything more than three seconds, and there is a good chance a quarterback will be taken to the ground.

Knowing that, very few of the 20 sacks against Roethlisberger have been the offensive line's fault.

Roethlisberger acknowledges that freely almost on a weekly basis.

"I tell them that those sacks are on me and don't worry about it," Roethlisberger said.

Based on when the ball is snapped until he is wrapped up but not necessarily on the ground, only four of Roethlisberger's 20 sacks this season have come in three seconds or less. Those sacks occurred in an average of 2.2 seconds.

The other 17 sacks have been Roethlisberger's fault almost exclusively as he had gotten 4.5 seconds to throw before being taken down.

Overall, Roethlisberger has had an average of 4.2 seconds to throw the ball before settling for a sack this season.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword," Roethlisberger always says.

That is the truth.

Roethlisberger's ability to buy himself time and make plays downfield attributes to most of the sacks. But when he doesn't make a play, it is likely a sack.

Roethlisberger held onto the ball for an astonishing 9.1 seconds in the first series of the year against Tennessee before getting sacked by Jason Jones. He tried to escape a couple of San Diego Chargers in Week 4 before getting sacked by Larry English 6.5 seconds after the snap.

Against Cleveland, Roethlisberger scrambled out of pressure and, instead of throwing the ball away, tried to make a play and was sacked by Jason Trusnick 6.1 seconds after the snap.

Holding the ball so long also may be a good thing. Roethlisberger had the ball for more than six seconds on a play against Cleveland and it resulted in a touchdown pass to Heath Miller.

The offensive line isn't totally blameless. They have allowed their share of jailbreaks that put Roethlisberger instantly in jeopardy.

Tennessee's Jevon Kearse was unblocked and hit Roethlisberger in 1.8 seconds; Chicago's Alex Brown came on a stunt and got to the quarterback in 1.9 seconds; Minnesota's Kevin Williams was credited with a sack on a broken play in which Roethlisberger faked a pass to the right then took off forward; and the Vikings' Ben Leber came untouched on a delayed blitz within 2.9 seconds of the ball being snapped.

SCOTT BROWN'S POWER POLL

TOP FIVE

Saints: Most complete team in the NFL should be 10-0 when it hosts the Patriots on Nov. 30.

Colts: Beat the 49ers last Sunday despite not getting a TD pass from Peyton Manning.

Vikings: Love him or loathe him, Brett Favre has been the MVP through the first half of the season.

Eagles: Might be the one team that can come close to matching the Saints' wealth at the skill positions.

Broncos: The Steelers will see how the Broncos respond to their first loss of the season Monday night in Denver.

BOTTOM FIVE

Raiders: It's hard to imagine embattled coach Tom Cable making it through the season.

Rams: When the coach gets a Gatorade shower for beating the Lions, it is time to administer last rites to that tired ritual.

Browns: The general manager, but not the coach, takes the fall for the sorry state of the Browns?

Lions: Larry Foote had to envision a different kind of homecoming when he signed with Detroit.

Buccaneers: The only winless team in the NFL is going with rookie Josh Freeman at QB.

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

Angus Burgher
11-05-2009, 09:57 AM
Ah, once again, a reporter takes the "Blame Ben" approach.

Look, I know that he does bring it on himself at times. I won't deny that. But I have also seen him get NO time to throw in certain games. 3 seconds? Please. There have been times when the O-Line hasn't give him 1.

That's not to say that they haven't improved, because they have. A lot. So far this year, they haven't allowed a game like that horrible one in Philly last season. But there have been a few times where Ben got sacked, and it was absolutely their fault. And when the O-Line allows a sack, I would argue that it reflects worse on them than it does on the QB when he allows one. When Ben is running around in the backfield, he's trying to make a big play. He has a lot on his mind. For the O-Line, it's far less complex. All they need to do is block. That's it. If they can't do that, then what good are they?

But like I said, they have improved, which I'm happy to see. I just have a problem with people constantly pointing the finger at the QB when I see guys like Brady or Manning sit in the pocket for 10 minutes until the find a receiver.

SteelGhost
11-05-2009, 10:52 AM
"I tell them that those sacks are on me and don't worry about it," Roethlisberger said.


"Live by the sword, die by the sword," Roethlisberger always says.



If Big Ben isn't complaining ... why should we ? :noidea: IMHO The OL is doing a great job so far this season :thumbsup:

:tt02:

SteelCityMom
11-05-2009, 11:04 AM
Ah, once again, a reporter takes the "Blame Ben" approach.

Look, I know that he does bring it on himself at times. I won't deny that. But I have also seen him get NO time to throw in certain games. 3 seconds? Please. There have been times when the O-Line hasn't give him 1.

That's not to say that they haven't improved, because they have. A lot. So far this year, they haven't allowed a game like that horrible one in Philly last season. But there have been a few times where Ben got sacked, and it was absolutely their fault. And when the O-Line allows a sack, I would argue that it reflects worse on them than it does on the QB when he allows one. When Ben is running around in the backfield, he's trying to make a big play. He has a lot on his mind. For the O-Line, it's far less complex. All they need to do is block. That's it. If they can't do that, then what good are they?

But like I said, they have improved, which I'm happy to see. I just have a problem with people constantly pointing the finger at the QB when I see guys like Brady or Manning sit in the pocket for 10 minutes until the find a receiver.

Read this article yesterday and found it pretty interesting.

You need to read the whole article though, it clearly states that there have been times where Ben was given less than 3 seconds to throw the ball, but that the majority of the time he was given much more. And it's not about reporters blaming Ben for the sacks he takes...Ben blames Ben for the majority of the sacks he takes lol.

As Steelers fans though, I think we've come to expect that of him and have come to terms with it (I know I have).

What I thought was interesting (that I just noticed by the numbers, it wasn't brought up in the article) was that in the 2 games they lost this year, Ben was only sacked once and twice in those games respectively. In the games they won, he was sacked more than 3 times in all of them lol. So I guess he plays better when he's being pressured more...I'm ok with that!

SteelGhost
11-05-2009, 11:16 AM
As Steelers fans though, I think we've come to expect that of him and have come to terms with it (I know I have).

Me too SCM :thumbsup:

OX1947
11-05-2009, 12:24 PM
The only thing I worry about with Ben's sacks is his wear and tear. 10 years of 50 sack a year abuse, is what will end his career early.

HometownGal
11-05-2009, 01:25 PM
If Big Ben isn't complaining ... why should we ? :noidea: IMHO The OL is doing a great job so far this season :thumbsup:

:tt02:

I have to agree here. I've ragged on the OL in prior seasons and this year, they seem to be gelling very well as a unit and giving Ben more time to make a play back there. The only concern I have is that while Ben is scrambling back there to make a play, there is a greater chance that he could be injured which would NOT be a good thing.

Angus Burgher
11-05-2009, 01:28 PM
Yeah, that is my main fear here. I wasn't trying to tear the O-Line a new one with my comments... it's just that whoever's fault the sacks and late hits are, it could seriously hurt Ben in the longrun if it keeps up. The guy has already had multiple concussions and other injuries. I know he's the toughest QB in the NFL, but he's not indestructible.

California-Steel
11-05-2009, 01:29 PM
Ah, once again, a reporter takes the "Blame Ben" approach.

Look, I know that he does bring it on himself at times. I won't deny that. But I have also seen him get NO time to throw in certain games. 3 seconds? Please. There have been times when the O-Line hasn't give him 1.

That's not to say that they haven't improved, because they have. A lot. So far this year, they haven't allowed a game like that horrible one in Philly last season. But there have been a few times where Ben got sacked, and it was absolutely their fault. And when the O-Line allows a sack, I would argue that it reflects worse on them than it does on the QB when he allows one. When Ben is running around in the backfield, he's trying to make a big play. He has a lot on his mind. For the O-Line, it's far less complex. All they need to do is block. That's it. If they can't do that, then what good are they?

But like I said, they have improved, which I'm happy to see. I just have a problem with people constantly pointing the finger at the QB when I see guys like Brady or Manning sit in the pocket for 10 minutes until the find a receiver.Wow!!! You got to read more than just the first sentance of the article.

kirklandrules
11-05-2009, 02:02 PM
For the O-Line, it's far less complex. All they need to do is block. That's it. If they can't do that, then what good are they?

This reminds me of the movie Airplane when the kid is ribbing Kareem Abdul Jabbar when he says "My dad says you're lazy and you don't play defense". Then Jabbar grabs the kid by the shirt and says "I'd like to see your old man hustle up and down the court with Walton all over his back!". I'd like to see Willie Colon grab you and tell you what it's like being an offensive lineman in the NFL. I get what you're saying, Angus, but blocking isn't all that easy given complex blitzing schemes, +300 lbs men banging against you, etc. Pass blocking is not a battle of wills, like run blocking. There's 101 things these guys have to know on each pass play. And every time Ben gets dumped you have to remember that the guy doing the dumping is paid a ton of cash and is highly motivated to do that ... and has a highly paid coach to tell him how to beat the lineman across from him. Just my opinion. :noidea:

SteelGhost
11-05-2009, 02:05 PM
I have to agree here. I've ragged on the OL in prior seasons and this year, they seem to be gelling very well as a unit and giving Ben more time to make a play back there. The only concern I have is that while Ben is scrambling back there to make a play, there is a greater chance that he could be injured which would NOT be a good thing.

Excellent observation HTG, :thumbsup: maybe Mr. Anderson has to work with BB about getting rid of the pigskin sooner to avoid sacks, just a thought :noidea:

:tt02:

solardave
11-05-2009, 02:28 PM
Yeah, that is my main fear here. I wasn't trying to tear the O-Line a new one with my comments... it's just that whoever's fault the sacks and late hits are, it could seriously hurt Ben in the longrun if it keeps up. The guy has already had multiple concussions and other injuries. I know he's the toughest QB in the NFL, but he's not indestructible.

Sacks happen,and the line is playing much better.Ben does at times hold on to long, but the late hits are strictly on the officials. There are other QB's that can escape like Mcnabb or Cutler and they call late hits when they come. They seem to miss an awful lot of them when it comes to Ben. I'm not talking about the guy trying to drag him down as he's throwing. I'm talking about the cheap shot after he's already thrown the ball.

SCSTILLER
11-05-2009, 02:39 PM
Sacks happen,and the line is playing much better.Ben does at times hold on to long, but the late hits are strictly on the officials. There are other QB's that can escape like Mcnabb or Cutler and they call late hits when they come. They seem to miss an awful lot of them when it comes to Ben. I'm not talking about the guy trying to drag him down as he's throwing. I'm talking about the cheap shot after he's already thrown the ball.

As for the holding on to the ball too long, yes he does that alot. I am one that is saying "throw it away, throw it away" but more than not he has made me eat my words. You cannot, as was explained earlier, blame the OL for Ben holding onto the ball too long or running around back there.

Cheap shots, he takes a ton of them and they don't get called. The one I remember most is the AFC Champ. game when Leonhard hit been about 2-3 seconds after the ball was gone, and hit him low in the back none the less. The refs don't seem to want to call them, but that better change.

iloveben7
11-05-2009, 03:20 PM
"Live by the sword, die by the sword," Roethlisberger always says.
if you can't put up with his sacks, then find a new team to root for. It's the way Ben plays and he's never going to change

fansince'76
11-05-2009, 04:25 PM
High risk/high reward. I don't know how many times I've watched Ben hold the ball much longer during a play than just about any other QB would, only to make a BIG play out of it, where the ball would have simply been thrown out of bounds/into the turf if it were any other QB. Many other times, he'll get sacked doing that. It is what it is. The guy is simply loath to give up on a play - any play..

tony hipchest
11-05-2009, 07:11 PM
What I thought was interesting (that I just noticed by the numbers, it wasn't brought up in the article) was that in the 2 games they lost this year, Ben was only sacked once and twice in those games respectively. In the games they won, he was sacked more than 3 times in all of them lol. So I guess he plays better when he's being pressured more...I'm ok with that!

wow. i never even thought of that. great tidbit of info.

we may actually blow a team out if ben gets sacked more than 5 times. :tt02:

TackleMeBen
11-05-2009, 07:21 PM
wow. i never even thought of that. great tidbit of info.

we may actually blow a team out if ben gets sacked more than 5 times. :tt02:
but do we really want ben to be sacked more than 5 times a game? i know i dont.

Edman
11-05-2009, 08:22 PM
Ben said it himself in many interviews. His playstyle is a double-edged sword. Extending the play may result in more sacks, but how many times in the past have we seen Ben make spectacular plays with the game is on the line?

Ben is a gamer QB. He never gives up. Ben is the type of QB that would give the Steelers fits. Tough, gritty, gamer QBs who play to the whistle. Thank God Ben is donning B&G and not any other colors.

iloveben7
11-05-2009, 09:13 PM
I think if Ben was on any other team, his efforts and style of play wouldn't be appreciated like they are here. He just fits so well with the city and the team and I wouldn't want him anywhere else or could I imagine him anywhere else.

devilsdancefloor
11-05-2009, 09:28 PM
Ah, once again, a reporter takes the "Blame Ben" approach.

Look, I know that he does bring it on himself at times. I won't deny that. But I have also seen him get NO time to throw in certain games. 3 seconds? Please. There have been times when the O-Line hasn't give him 1.

That's not to say that they haven't improved, because they have. A lot. So far this year, they haven't allowed a game like that horrible one in Philly last season. But there have been a few times where Ben got sacked, and it was absolutely their fault. And when the O-Line allows a sack, I would argue that it reflects worse on them than it does on the QB when he allows one. When Ben is running around in the backfield, he's trying to make a big play. He has a lot on his mind. For the O-Line, it's far less complex. All they need to do is block. That's it. If they can't do that, then what good are they?

But like I said, they have improved, which I'm happy to see. I just have a problem with people constantly pointing the finger at the QB when I see guys like Brady or Manning sit in the pocket for 10 minutes until the find a receiver.

the Oline do more than block they have to know who is coming who isnt. plus at times it is just hard to block when you have no idea where the QB is. He could get pressure on the right side and fade left and the left side rof the oline has no idea and ends up pushing their guy to ben. It is more complex then just lining up and blocking the guy in front of you. But there have been times where im yelling throw the ball and he gets sack and the next time i am yelling it is a 30 yard completion. I have noticed a few times he has checked down to the short route which he really didnt do last year. I can live with the holding on to the ball he normally ends up with the W.

tony hipchest
11-07-2009, 03:21 PM
The line gave up 49 sacks in 2006; 47 in 2007; 49 in 2009; and is on the pace to allow the franchise quarterback to hit the ground another 46 times this year.

Including the playoffs, Roethlisberger has been sacked 233 times since he came into the league in 2004. That's nearly three times a game over his 5 1/2-year career.
.

even if ben is on pace to be sacked 46 times, the line has improved and in a sense the sacks have been cut in half.

last year he was sacked once every 13 passing attempts (an amazing number being that they were able to win the sb).

the year before, he was sacked once every 10 passing attempts. :jawdrop: a horrible stat.

this year bens passing attempts have gone up big time and even though hes still getting sacked, its once every 20 passing attempts.

this is a great improvement. :thumbsup:

markymarc
11-08-2009, 11:05 AM
IMO the OL has been playing at a high level compared to years past. This is Ben's game. Let's not forget if he doesn't hold it so long at times we are missing out on a lot of big plays too. Ben isn't going to change and he shouldn't.