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View Full Version : Things Ben must work on to be considered "elite"...


tony hipchest
11-18-2009, 11:48 PM
...besides keep on winning championships, of course-

(keep in mind i take big ben over all but maybe 1 qb in the league, but anyone who watched the pats vs. colts on snf knows brady or manning woulda helped the steelers defeat the bungles).

granted, max starks and mike tomlin have all but said that a gameplan that included 75% pass plays vs 25% run plays vs. the bungles was a failure and that hindsight is 20-20, but ben didnt execute what i thought was something al davis cooked up and definitely expesed some areas he can improve in, to be nationally recognized with the "elite" qb's of the nfl.

1) deep ball accuracy. i always hear how manning, brady, rivers, or brees throw a beautiful deep ball. has anyone ever heard anyone ever say that about ben? anyone remember the last 40 yard bomb from ben hitting the wr in stride or where the wr wasnt wide open yet had to adjust?

2) 3 and 5 step drops. 1-2-3 *bam* ball is delivered that quick. can ben release the ball as soon as his foot hits on a 5 step drop? have we even thrown a quick slant to mike wallace this year? if not, why?

3) i have heard many complaints ben doesnt like to use the "check down receiver". i think this is false. i would say ben doesnt like to use the primary receiver. plenty of times, ben throws to miller, ward, or moore as a final option to bail him out. i think he is great at this. i think too often he abandons the primary wr, and looks for someone "more open".

4) hit the first open guy you see. there have been a ton of plays this year where all 3-4 receiving targets are open. brilliantly designed plays and most often they work. sometimes i think this leads to a bit of indecisiveness with ben looking for who is "most" open and where he can gain the biggest chunk of yardage. while it normally works, it can lead to a false sense of pocket security.

5) anticipate a wr getting open as opposed to waiting for them to get open. i think this is a big reason wallace outruns his throws and often has to adjust. holmes too.

finally, ignore those who say to "just throw the ball away". this is not his game. sure ben is getting sacked and getting tackled for a loss, but he is not taking the HITS he has in years past. there is a difference between getting tackled vs getting stuck like a duck.

this is a big improvement in bens game, and his play this year just shows he has more improvement to go and tons of upside still to be reached.

the "elite" guys like manning, brady, favre, have already reached their peak, and are already as good as they are gonna get.

manning and favre are having career years, yet ben is right there with them in comp. % and YPA. ben is doing real well cutting down his interceptions. he is steadilly improving, while those guys are just keeping pace with their league mvp, sb winning, HOF careers.

ben is not yet a finished product (as this years stats have shown) while the others are.:tt:

MasterOfPuppets
11-18-2009, 11:59 PM
the thing that really stood out for me the last game was, that when the pocket was collapsing instead of looking to leave the pocket like he normally does he just stood there looking downfield till it was too late. could this be the by product of getting extra time the last few weeks ? had he gotten "too comfortable" in the pocket ? i mean his whole carrear he's been running for his life to make plays, maybe the lpass protection lately has lulled him into a false sence of security... :noidea:
completely agree with the deep ball...he normally underthrows receivers. i really can't think of too many times he has hit guys in stride...

Steelboy84
11-19-2009, 12:00 AM
"ben is not yet a finished product (as this years stats have shown) while the others are"

I would be scared to death if I were other teams in the league.

:tt03: :tt03: :tt03: :drink: :applaudit:

MACH1
11-19-2009, 12:15 AM
5) anticipate a wr getting open as opposed to waiting for them to get open. i think this is a big reason wallace outruns his throws and often has to adjust. holmes too.

I think this is one of the biggest areas he could improve on. Which would all work together with the quick 3-5 step plays and cut down on the sacks.


1) deep ball accuracy. i always hear how manning, brady, rivers, or brees throw a beautiful deep ball. has anyone ever heard anyone ever say that about ben? anyone remember the last 40 yard bomb from ben hitting the wr in stride or where the wr wasnt wide open yet had to adjust?

Definitely needs work. The last few I can remember were thrown short. Don't know if it's the receivers out running the ball or just short? But I can't remember Ben over throwing a deep ball either.

As far as throwing the ball away, if he see's no ones open and there's no where to escape, he should try to throw it away. IMO

MasterOfPuppets
11-19-2009, 12:23 AM
I think this is one of the biggest areas he could improve on. Which would all work together with the quick 3-5 step plays and cut down on the sacks.



Definitely needs work. The last few I can remember were thrown short. Don't know if it's the receivers out running the ball or just short? But I can't remember Ben over throwing a deep ball either.

As far as throwing the ball away, if he see's no ones open and there's no where to escape, he should try to throw it away. IMO
he doesn't always play "smart" football...i mean how many times have you seen him take a sack when he had an oppurtunity to throw it away, and take them out of FG range....that drives me nuts...:banging:

tony hipchest
11-19-2009, 12:30 AM
the thing that really stood out for me the last game was, that when the pocket was collapsing instead of looking to leave the pocket like he normally does he just stood there looking downfield till it was too late. could this be the by product of getting extra time the last few weeks ? had he gotten "too comfortable" in the pocket ? i mean his whole carrear he's been running for his life to make plays, maybe the lpass protection lately has lulled him into a false sence of security... :noidea:
completely agree with the deep ball...he normally underthrows receivers. i really can't think of too many times he has hit guys in stride...just like the steelers devised a "brilliant" game plan to avoid the bungles stone wall rush defense and attack their porous pass defense (3:1 pass/run ratio), the dumb assed bungles coaches devised a plan to contain ben within the pocket. im pretty sure they accurately predicted the steelers would try to change things up from what had worked for them the past few weeks and try to trick them, (instead of sticking with the winning formula, which the steelers figured, the bengals figured, would be too predictable).

classic case of the coaches out thinking themselves as opposed to K.I.S.S.

MasterOfPuppets
11-19-2009, 12:43 AM
just like the steelers devised a "brilliant" game plan to avoid the bungles stone wall rush defense and attack their porous pass defense (3:1 pass/run ratio), the dumb assed bungles coaches devised a plan to contain ben within the pocket. im pretty sure they accurately predicted the steelers would try to change things up from what had worked for them the past few weeks and try to trick them, (instead of sticking with the winning formula, which the steelers figured, the bengals figured, would be too predictable).

classic case of the coaches out thinking themselves as opposed to K.I.S.S.

i'd say when they were putting together the game plan, they weren't thinking so much about what we have done well, than they were what the bengal HAVEN'T DONE WELL. the bengals came in 2nd against the run and 24th in passing yds aloud. common sence would lead you to believe passing was the easier yds to be had. i'm sure they never factored in that the line would revert back to the pile of suck they were in week 1 and 2.... but i would have thought they would have scrapped the plan at halftime and reviewed not what WAS working but what WASN'T working... that being the empty backfield...the bengals brought the house everytime they seen it. the steelers didn't answer with quick throws and short routes.

Angus Burgher
11-19-2009, 02:20 AM
I'm still scratching my head over that game. The offense (collectively) played pretty well against the Bungles in their first meeting. Ben was well-protected and accurate... we also scored two TDs in that game. We also got a bit of a running game going with Parker. Since Mendy is, at this point in his career, much better than Willie, and Ben has improved since that first Cincy game, we should have leveled this team.

Not sure what happened.

solardave
11-19-2009, 03:17 AM
the thing that really stood out for me the last game was, that when the pocket was collapsing instead of looking to leave the pocket like he normally does he just stood there looking downfield till it was too late. could this be the by product of getting extra time the last few weeks ? had he gotten "too comfortable" in the pocket ? i mean his whole carrear he's been running for his life to make plays, maybe the lpass protection lately has lulled him into a false sence of security... :noidea:
completely agree with the deep ball...he normally underthrows receivers. i really can't think of too many times he has hit guys in stride...

What I saw was a game plan that kept him from escaping out of the pocket. This is something other teams have tried but failed. They kept the pocket closed so he either threw it or got plenty of pressure. They also did a good job of knocking down passes.
They just executed well and we didn't have the answer. The answer I think would have been more draw plays instead of play action.

scsteeler
11-19-2009, 08:55 AM
Ben Like any QB had an off game. The Cincy game just did not go our way like the first time. Ben and the offense will be fine.

Indo
11-19-2009, 09:10 AM
Good thread
Agree with all of these points, especially that Ben is a work in progress

I have also wondered about the quick slant---seems Santo was getting a few last year and his YAC or RAC (whichever you want to call it) was always big---
Mike "The Newsman" Wallace's blazing speed could be huge in that situation

Fire Haley
11-19-2009, 09:22 AM
Ben Like any QB had an off game. The Cincy game just did not go our way like the first time. Ben and the offense will be fine.

Exactly.

Don't try to "fix" him. Be happy he's healthy and move on to the next game.

drucifer
11-19-2009, 09:27 AM
Don't make broad judgements about Ben based on this game. The Bengals contained the @#$% out of him, they deserve credit more than Ben deserves chiding. I'm not sure Manning or Brady would have done a lot better were they in his place.

Angus Burgher
11-19-2009, 09:35 AM
Good point. Look what happened to Brady when he played the Jets earlier in the season. For him to walk away with 0 TDs is an odd thing, but it happened due to the right application of defensive pressure. The same thing happened to Peyton a couple weeks ago when they played San Fran (I think it was them, anyway) when Peyton was ineffective in the red zone and they had to go with a halfback option pass to win the game.

It was just a bad day for the offense. I think they'll look on it and learn.

madtowndrunkard
11-19-2009, 09:39 AM
I can't disagree with the points made in the O.P but I think what you are describing would create the best QB to ever play the game.

Most QB's have weaknesses. Ben's been in the league for a while now. He's not going to get dramatically better then he is now. In fact what we are seeing right now is typically the "PRIME" years of an NFL QB. It's usually about a 3 - 5 year window for the very best of QB's....like Farve, Manning, or Brady. Some HOF'ers do it longer....that's what makes them HOF'ers.

I'm guessing Ben is always going to have issues holding on to the ball too long. He's going to take sacks when the smart thing to do would be throw it away. He's going to struggle throwing the very deep balls. He's never been able to hit a WR in stride 40 yards down field....I doubt he ever will.

Many consider Favre to be among the top 10 best QB's ever. No one remembers the stinkers he had over his career. I'm in Wisconsin so I've probably seen more of them then the average Steeler fan. Favre often killed his teams w/ bad INT's and passes into double coverage. I think that is a big reason why Favre only has one ring. He's now playing a conservative game and he's off to the best start of his career at the age of 40. IMO it's just further proof that a balanced offense wins in the NFL. Pass happy offenses will die by the pass come playoff time. We've seen it so many times over the past 10 years.

Unless Ben gets better we will not win a SB w/ a pass happy offense. Arians is taking us down a dead end. We have to take some burden off Ben's shoulders and balance this offense. Ben is not Tom Brady...He's not Manning. He's much more like Favre...he's a risk taker and he makes mistakes. He needs a balanced offense to win SB's. Ben has two rings already and they weren't achieved by throwing 60% of the time.

Ben plays with more emotion then Brady or Manning. It makes him more fun to watch some times but it also creates some inconsistency w/ this game. Brady and Manning are like robots running their offense....they do the smart thing most of the time. Ben's competitive drive and emotion make him a better QB then he should be.

Rick5895
11-19-2009, 09:47 AM
I agree Ben is still a work in progress, however he is almost there. He had a bad game, all elite QB's do (remember Manning in the 05 playoffs vs Steelers).
I think we are like the coaches here, overthinking. The Bengals had a great game plan, and we did not adjust to what they were doing. Whether it be running the ball more (slow down the rush with play action) or sliding the protection and rolling Ben out of the pocket. IMO we have one of the top 5 QB's in the league, he proved it last season and he has proven it time and again this season. To be honest this loss was the best thing that could have happened to us right now. There is no doubt the bad taste left in the mouths of Ben and the rest of the team will propel them to a 13-3 or 12-4 record.

madtowndrunkard
11-19-2009, 09:56 AM
I agree Ben is still a work in progress, however he is almost there. He had a bad game, all elite QB's do (remember Manning in the 05 playoffs vs Steelers).
I think we are like the coaches here, overthinking. The Bengals had a great game plan, and we did not adjust to what they were doing. Whether it be running the ball more (slow down the rush with play action) or sliding the protection and rolling Ben out of the pocket. IMO we have one of the top 5 QB's in the league, he proved it last season and he has proven it time and again this season. To be honest this loss was the best thing that could have happened to us right now. There is no doubt the bad taste left in the mouths of Ben and the rest of the team will propel them to a 13-3 or 12-4 record.

Call me a sore loser....or what ever...but I don't accept the notion that the Bengals are better then we are. I don't mean that in a "steeler pride" sort of way. I watched both games... Cinci beat us and in both games we should have won. Cinci did not score an offensive TD yet they still won. We made more mistakes then they did. That is what the difference was. They ran back a kick and Ben threw Int's. The ST's issues have been consistent...the other miss ques are not the norm. I guess you can say they figured out a way to confuse Ben....so I'll give them that. But over all I think we are the more talented team and if we can just figure out a way to get out of our own way we'll beat the Bengals every time.

Both losses to the Bengals were very similar to the Chicago loss. It never should have happened. Poor game plan, Bad special teams, and lack of focus were the reasons we lost all 3 of those games.

madtowndrunkard
11-19-2009, 10:00 AM
This is Tomlin's 3rd season....he needs to step it up as much as any player we have does. By Tomlin I mean him and his entire staff.

Our offense has so much talent it is ridiculous. I would argue we have more talent offensively then any team in the league...yet our offense struggles. Arians and our ST's coach need to be replaced.

Nadroj 20
11-19-2009, 10:04 AM
This is Tomlin's 3rd season....he needs to step it up as much as any player we have does. By Tomlin I mean him and his entire staff.

Our offense has so much talent it is ridiculous. I would argue we have more talent offensively then any team in the league...yet our offense struggles. Arians and our ST's coach need to be replaced.

:doh:

SteelGhost
11-19-2009, 10:22 AM
Nice read Tony, thanks for posting. I agree with your comments.

Just forgot to add Ben needs his own Dallas Clark/Wes Welker kind of WR :chuckle:

SteelMember
11-19-2009, 11:19 AM
My personal take would include many of the points you listed, and categorized them under something like, mental clock.

Going along with your point #4.
4) hit the first open guy you see. there have been a ton of plays this year where all 3-4 receiving targets are open. brilliantly designed plays and most often they work. sometimes i think this leads to a bit of indecisiveness with ben looking for who is "most" open and where he can gain the biggest chunk of yardage. while it normally works, it can lead to a false sense of pocket security.


He seems to take longer in some games processing what he sees before he pulls, or doesn't pull the trigger. Yes, of course you have to credit defensive schemes that force this, but after a while you'd think there would be a point he can look at coverages and know where he's going before he releases the ball. That is something I think the "elite" QB's have. Quick recognition... Read and react... Whatever you want to call it.

But this again IS Ben's game. He's always looking for something more in a play. The problem is that time is of the essence in most cases.

Taking me to your point #1.
1) deep ball accuracy. i always hear how manning, brady, rivers, or brees throw a beautiful deep ball. has anyone ever heard anyone ever say that about ben? anyone remember the last 40 yard bomb from ben hitting the wr in stride or where the wr wasnt wide open yet had to adjust?

To begin with, I think Ben has a very strong arm, but he still has a limit to his distance. Now, whether that is 50 or 60 yards... I don't know. The thing here is, if the receiver is running a go, post or anything that is taking him down field with any speed, Ben must made the decision quickly. By the time he releases the ball, the WR could be 20 yards down field. And with a guy like Wallace, a 20 yard headstart is tough to makeup with the throw at that point. He's got to to be more decisive, trust his WR's and let them run under the ball instead of stopping and waiting. All the work they did to get that separation is all for not when that happens.

He is one of the best when he is playing relaxed, and trusts his instincts. No doubt about it.

LVSteelersfan
11-19-2009, 01:47 PM
What drives me crazy is that empty backfield play in the red zone. How many times has Ben been sacked on that formation? KEEP SOMEBODY in to BLOCK. Mendenhall is a pretty good blocker. Moore does a decent job. Why do they insist on running that formation? We should have scored at least two or three TDs in that game. 12 points from inside the redzone is pathetic.

OX1947
11-19-2009, 03:07 PM
Steelers should look into the Denver Broncos offense in 1997-98. That offense was a run first, play off to the pass offense. Nice quick passing and long ball availability because of the amazing run game. Big Ben can still have his numbers and 25 throws if they did that. I say this simply for health reasons. If Big Ben continues to get 45 sacks a season, he will not play more then 10 or 11 years in a healthy way.

iloveben7
11-19-2009, 03:48 PM
Can you all just be thankful for the type of QB that we have? Ben and any other QB will never be perfect. Everyone QB has their own weaknesses and strengths.

steel striker
11-19-2009, 03:57 PM
Look Ben and the offense had a bad day last week against the bungals simple as that. Let it go and, get ready for KC this week. Ben was off and the line could not protect him and, we gave up on the running game. Still I believe in Ben and our offense will click for a strong super bowl run. Bungals kept Ben in the pocket so, he could not turn them into big plays like we are used to seeing. Every good or great qb has bad days and, our guys had a few this year hopefully that was the last loss for the season.

TackleMeBen
11-19-2009, 04:10 PM
we all know what a diva ben can be, so maybe he threw a temper tantrum and said he wasnt handing off the ball, he wanted to be more of throwing offense??? (dont get mad, i am kidding)

he must work on getting rid of the ball when everything is shut down. i understand about wanting to make big plays, but sometimes that cost you when you are sacked for a loss of a million yards(being sacrastic).

willie_district
11-19-2009, 05:02 PM
1) deep ball accuracy. i always hear how manning, brady, rivers, or brees throw a beautiful deep ball. has anyone ever heard anyone ever say that about ben? anyone remember the last 40 yard bomb from ben hitting the wr in stride or where the wr wasnt wide open yet had to adjust?

:tt:

The last one I can remember Sweed dropped in the AFC championship game last year. It must have traumatized Ben.

43Hitman
11-19-2009, 05:21 PM
This is Tomlin's 3rd season....he needs to step it up as much as any player we have does. By Tomlin I mean him and his entire staff.

Our offense has so much talent it is ridiculous. I would argue we have more talent offensively then any team in the league...yet our offense struggles. Arians and our ST's coach need to be replaced.

What?!!? Are you new or something? The guy did just win a SB in only his SECOND year as a head coach!! And that is not enough for you? Talk about being a spoiled fan that needs a swift kick in the ass.. You need to come back to reality and realize that everyone on the team is human and they make mistakes and we can't win it all every year. Didn't you're father teach you that you can't have it all?

Ricco Suavez
11-19-2009, 05:27 PM
You know last year about this time there was talk about replacing Ben with Leftwich. I know we would like Ben to be better but I think he is pretty dang good right now, and yes I can accept the fact that our players and coaches have bad games. Guys as much as we would like it to be we are not going to win every game even against the Bengals or Browns. I do believe we are better than the Bengals and at the very least have split with them, but they had a better game plan than us last game and/or we had a very poor plan and/or our players did not perform as expected take your pick. As far as Peyton or Brady being what we would like Ben to be, imo, Ben is much better in clutch than Peyton. Has everyone forgotten how in Peytons career at Bens stage he was known as "could not win the big one" or how many times has Brady won the big one since :spygate". Granted both are talented QB's, Both will be talked up for HOF consideration, but I for one am happy with our "second tier" winner of a QB.

Nadroj 20
11-19-2009, 06:00 PM
What?!!? Are you new or something? The guy did just win a SB in only his SECOND year as a head coach!! And that is not enough for you? Talk about being a spoiled fan that needs a swift kick in the ass.. You need to come back to reality and realize that everyone on the team is human and they make mistakes and we can't win it all every year. Didn't you're father teach you that you can't have it all?

His post shocked me as well, i was at a loss of words so i reponded with a :doh: :chuckle:

iloveben7
11-19-2009, 06:09 PM
You know last year about this time there was talk about replacing Ben with Leftwich. I know we would like Ben to be better but I think he is pretty dang good right now, and yes I can accept the fact that our players and coaches have bad games. Guys as much as we would like it to be we are not going to win every game even against the Bengals or Browns. I do believe we are better than the Bengals and at the very least have split with them, but they had a better game plan than us last game and/or we had a very poor plan and/or our players did not perform as expected take your pick. As far as Peyton or Brady being what we would like Ben to be, imo, Ben is much better in clutch than Peyton. Has everyone forgotten how in Peytons career at Bens stage he was known as "could not win the big one" or how many times has Brady won the big one since :spygate". Granted both are talented QB's, Both will be talked up for HOF consideration, but I for one am happy with our "second tier" winner of a QB.

:tt03:
Ben can't be perfect everyday and he's had a few bad games and one just happened to be in a game we needed to win, but it's all good. Just put it behind you and move one

Edman
11-19-2009, 06:13 PM
Ben had a bad game. Geez people. It happens. The Bengals played a great defensive scheme and flustered Ben. Give them credit.

Now if Ben was having a subpar season with several subpar games in a row, then yeah. The dude deserves to be ripped, but Ben's earned his mulligan.

tony hipchest
11-19-2009, 06:13 PM
listen, the OP isnt about ben, the team, or the coaches having a bad game therefore the areas of improvements should just be dismissed. these are things ben can work on even when we are on 5 game winning streaks or winning superbowls.

to further illustrate this, think of how many times youve heard that we should run more no huddle/ hurry up offense and how productive we are in this set.

hundreds! why are we so productive? because ben gets the ball out of his hands quickly. he usually knows which receiver the ball is going to before he even takes the snap. as soon as his back foot is planted, the ball comes out.

when we are not running the hurry up, alot of times you will see him plant the back foot in his drop THEN survey the field to see who is most open. if nobody is open, he buys more time. this is a great part of his game for big plays, but can also lead to sacks when he coulda made a quick decisive pass for 5-7 yds.

i dont think anyone would suggest he change his game. only continue to improve on it.

guys like brady, favre, manning, rivers, were raised by coaches or ex nfl qb's. they were born and bred for the last 25 years to be a college (and hopefully nfl) quarterback.

ben was just an atheletic high school jock who was excellent at all sports. he has played qb for less than 10 years. he can and will improve.