PDA

View Full Version : Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution


mesaSteeler
11-20-2009, 07:44 AM
Rip Arians? It still boils down to execution
Friday, November 20, 2009
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Bruce Arians, doesn't mind taking the heat

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09324/1014930-87.stm

Some days, you walk into Giant Eagle and want to shout to the world: "I'm here!" Other days ...

"You wear a hat and sunglasses at night so no one recognizes you," Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said, fairly giggling.

It was a hat-and-sunglasses week for Arians.

That's hardly surprising. The Steelers were beaten by the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday on a day when the Steelers' offense repeatedly got lost on its way to the end zone. Of course, it was Arians' fault, if you listen to the masses. Isn't it always?

A few people blamed Ben Roethlisberger, but it's pretty hard to hold a grudge against one of the NFL's great quarterbacks and a two-time Super Bowl winner, to boot. A few more blamed kicker Jeff Reed, which is ridiculous. His lame effort to tackle the Bengals' Bernard Scott on Scott's 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was pathetic, but he hardly was the reason the Steelers lost.

That left Arians as the easy target. The animosity toward him always amazes me. I love the myopic fools who insist the Steelers never will win with him calling the plays. What's frightening is they truly seem to believe it. It's as if Super Bowl XLIII never happened.

I know the argument to that. Please, hold the e-mails. The Steelers won despite Arians. They went 88 yards in the final 2 1/2 minutes to beat the Arizona Cardinals because Roethlisberger and the offense made great plays. That's how the Steelers always win, right? Yet, when the offense struggles in a loss, it's because of Arians' lousy play-calling. I must be really obtuse because I'll never figure that one out.

"I'd rather have it that way," Arians said. "I'd rather have it on me than on our guys. I know Ben feels the same way. He's got big shoulders, too."

Roethlisberger said again yesterday that he deserves much of the blame for the loss Sunday. I agree. Usually, he plays lights out, and his performance always has a lot more to do with the wins than Arians' play-calling. But Roethlisberger had an off day Sunday. It wasn't bad plays. It was bad execution. Big Ben and his offense were especially poor on third down and in the red zone. They were 3 for 15 on third downs, 0 for 7 in the second half. They had to settle for field goals on four drives despite having first downs on the Bengals' 15, 5, 8 and 11.

"That was the frustrating part," Arians said. "The red-zone offense was a major point of emphasis all week. That's where we lost the first game in Cincinnati."

Arians talked about at least three Roethlisberger passes that skipped off fingertips. "Probably the biggest one was to Santonio [Holmes]," Arians said.

Late in the first half, Arians called the same play that won the Super Bowl. "Their guy got just enough of the ball to knock it out of whack," he said.

Arians admitted the Steelers' pass-run ratio -- 41 pass plays (counting one Roethlisberger scramble) to 17 runs -- wasn't quite what he wanted. He blamed the third-down failures. "We didn't snap it enough. We should have easily been able to convert 50 percent of those third downs. Now, you're talking about maybe another 18 or 20 snaps. Instead of running the ball 18 times for a 4.4 [-yard] average, maybe you run it 28 times for 4.4."

The Steelers tried their no-huddle offense three different times to get Roethlisberger into a rhythm. "It didn't work this time," Arians said. "It's not always the cure-all that everyone thinks."

Roethlisberger calls the plays in the no-huddle, but Arians called the final four after the Steelers, trailing by 18-12, took over at their 33 with one timeout and 1:50 to play. Arians was widely criticized for having Roethlisberger throw deep on each down. Arians said there were plays there.

Wide receiver Hines Ward was open over the middle near the 50 on first down, but Bengals linebacker Brandon Johnson fought through running back Mewelde Moore's block and pulled on Roethlisberger's jersey as he threw, forcing an incompletion.

Wide receiver Mike Wallace got behind the secondary on second down but was so far down the field that Roethlisberger couldn't heave the ball to him.

The Bengals brought heavy pressure and made great plays to force incompletions on third and fourth down.

"Very seldom," Arians said when asked if he second-guesses his play calls.

"You always evaluate what you do. 'Was the game plan bad?' But if you put in the time and the preparation and you like the matchups, you don't look back. If you start thinking you should have called another play every time a play doesn't work, you might as well put a gun to your head."

The good news for Roethlisberger and the offense is there's another game -- Sunday at Kansas City. "Ben bounces back," Arians said. "He takes it personally, like we all do. He can't wait to play the next one."

Arians is the same way.

"Man, I love calling the plays," he said.

I'm thinking Roethlisberger is going to make Arians look pretty smart Sunday. Not that Arians' critics will give him any credit. Not that he cares.

A win is enough for the man.

That and being able to go to his Giant Eagle without his hat and sunglasses.

Ron Cook can be reached at rcook@post-gazette.com. More articles by this aut

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09324/1014930-87.stm#ixzz0XP3AbHFN

markymarc
11-20-2009, 02:45 PM
So can we add Ron Cook to the Arians bandwagon :chuckle:

California-Steel
11-20-2009, 02:58 PM
Look execution is a way of saying you can do something if you are better than the guy in front of you at what it is you are doing. But if you are not then you need to change up and find what it is that you are better at to execute that. So you need to plan and when that plan does not work you need to adjust.

To simply say we need to execute better is fine, but when you can't your bag better have an adjustment plan in it. And guess what? BA's bag does not.

Steelerfreak58
11-20-2009, 03:19 PM
Ben was off the entire day. I went back and watched the game over and bottom line his passing last Sunday was just not there. KC is going to hate it come Sunday.

revefsreleets
11-20-2009, 03:51 PM
Cook is a hack! He knows nothing! Fire Cook!

How dare this third rate, no-nothing talent question the infinitely more football-wise fans? Ben threw bad balls because Arians TOLD him to! Ben could have audibled to run more but Arians TOLD HIM NOT TO!

Arians dropped that TD pass in the endzone!
Arians gave up the KR for a TD!
Arians had breakdowns all along the line all day!
Arians held the ball too long!
Arians gave the Bengals defense our plays!
Arians Arians Arians!!!!!!!!!!

Preacher
11-20-2009, 03:53 PM
Look execution is a way of saying you can do something if you are better than the guy in front of you at what it is you are doing. But if you are not then you need to change up and find what it is that you are better at to execute that. So you need to plan and when that plan does not work you need to adjust.

To simply say we need to execute better is fine, but when you can't your bag better have an adjustment plan in it. And guess what? BA's bag does not.

:rolleyes:

Let's see. Running the ball. Our starter had under 3 yards a carry. Pass the ball, our QB had a horrible completion percentage.

Keep the TE in and give the QB more time. Didn't work. Go to no-huddle, no rhythm there. Go deep to work the seems, no shot there.

Seems to me, you can only do so many adjustments... before bad execution takes its toll. I guess its BA's fault for not having infinite options too. Maybe even his fault for not wiping Ben's nose and patting Mendy on the head right?

This BA scapegoating is hilarious.

MasterOfPuppets
11-20-2009, 04:32 PM
Cook is a hack! He knows nothing! Fire Cook!

How dare this third rate, no-nothing talent question the infinitely more football-wise fans? Ben threw bad balls because Arians TOLD him to! Ben could have audibled to run more but Arians TOLD HIM NOT TO!

Arians dropped that TD pass in the endzone!
Arians gave up the KR for a TD!
Arians had breakdowns all along the line all day!
Arians held the ball too long!
Arians gave the Bengals defense our plays!
Arians Arians Arians!!!!!!!!!!
you forgot about arians bouncing the ball off wards head that resulted in a pick :chuckle:

revefsreleets
11-20-2009, 04:48 PM
you forgot about arians bouncing the ball off wards head that resulted in a pick :chuckle:

Bruce Arians psychically WILLED that ball into the Bengals DB's hands...he's evil like that!

California-Steel
11-20-2009, 04:48 PM
:rolleyes:

Let's see. Running the ball. Our starter had under 3 yards a carry. Pass the ball, our QB had a horrible completion percentage.

Keep the TE in and give the QB more time. Didn't work. Go to no-huddle, no rhythm there. Go deep to work the seems, no shot there.

Seems to me, you can only do so many adjustments... before bad execution takes its toll. I guess its BA's fault for not having infinite options too. Maybe even his fault for not wiping Ben's nose and patting Mendy on the head right?

This BA scapegoating is hilarious.You are correct, but you still need to find other ways to win if what you are doing does not work for that day. If the team is in a funk and recievers are dropping balls then mix it up. Move receivers around, maybe put you 1 in the slot or your slot as a 2. Maybe use the TE more or as a WO. Not every play but a couple of times to try and shake off the funk. I am just saying.

HometownGal
11-20-2009, 05:01 PM
Bu, bu, but Arians.

Face it - the Steelers O pooped the bed on Sunday and just weren't in sync. Though it came at a very inopportune time, it happens. Get over it - move on to KC.

Lemme see here. Tomlin supports BA, Ben supports BA, all of the players support BA. Guess they're all just delusional. :coffee: As for Cook's assessment on BA - hallelujah! :applaudit: :thumbsup:

LVSteelersfan
11-20-2009, 06:06 PM
I gave up on bashing Arians earlier this season. I have actually been ok with a lot of what he has done. The last game was a combination of poor play calling, bad execution, and Ben being in his funk. The Bungles had a surprisingly good defense that kept Ben in the pocket and knocked down the passes he was trying to get out of there. The defense was solid as usual not allowing a TD. The special teams. Not so good. Need to get better.

ricardisimo
11-20-2009, 06:29 PM
Although I think Arians is turning out to be a very good offensive coordinator, he leaves much to be desired as a game manager. I'd like to see Tomlin calling the plays. I still say Arians has a responsibility to, among others, the defensive players. Running the ball more tends to keep your defenders off the field and helps them stay fresh. That helps you avoid late-game swoons and lets you win games, which I believe is still the primary focus of football, and not having a 300-yard passer. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, and Fantasy has completely taken over while I wasn't looking.

I also think there's something to what many coaches and players say about dominating your opponent psychologically by winning the line battle and running the ball at will.

groundhogday
11-20-2009, 11:07 PM
yes it does boil down to execution but perhaps had there been more commitment to a run game it would have paid dividends. When you have a stud RB like Mendenhall, he needs to get the ball more than a dozen times a game. I think we ran one off-tackle trap play. When the defense is running cover 2 keeping everything up front and the defense is loading up on delayed blitz you need to run the ball to keep them honest. Against Denver I think Mendenhall had similar touches in the first half but went crazy in the second half with a handful of 10 to 30 yard runs. Commiting to the run would have made the Bengals change up pressure packages and coverage. But our offense played into the Bengals scheme. Poor gameplaning and stubborness for not changing up. Several players seemed to gripe about the lack of balnce focus.

Texasteel
11-21-2009, 12:04 PM
You are correct, but you still need to find other ways to win if what you are doing does not work for that day. If the team is in a funk and recievers are dropping balls then mix it up. Move receivers around, maybe put you 1 in the slot or your slot as a 2. Maybe use the TE more or as a WO. Not every play but a couple of times to try and shake off the funk. I am just saying.


Sorry, but some times you just don't win.

#1 Big Ben Fan
11-21-2009, 12:36 PM
BA isn't the next Bill Walsh. But he has done a very good job as Steelers OC. He has had a huge part in Ben's growth as an NFL QB. This current offensive system has only been in place for 2.5 seasons and the offensive unit is still growing as a unit. I want this current core to stay together so one day they could have an offense like the Colts. The execution by the Steelers is more to blame then BA's play calling this year.

HometownGal
11-21-2009, 02:36 PM
BA isn't the next Bill Walsh. But he has done a very good job as Steelers OC. He has had a huge part in Ben's growth as an NFL QB. This current offensive system has only been in place for 2.5 seasons and the offensive unit is still growing as a unit. I want this current core to stay together so one day they could have an offense like the Colts. The execution by the Steelers is more to blame then BA's play calling this year.

:applaudit::thumbsup::applaudit:

Couldn't agree more.

Sorry, but some times you just don't win.

How dare you make sense! :jawdrop:

markymarc
11-22-2009, 10:53 AM
The coaches and players deserve all the credit when we win. Of course the blame should also go to the players and coaches when we lose.

tmacsteelerfan
11-22-2009, 11:18 AM
It doesn't matter who's fault it is we lost, we still lost, Arians doesn't suit up and play so it's not all on him.

ricardisimo
11-22-2009, 03:45 PM
He we are in the middle of another 4th quarter meltdown, against the Chiefs of all teams, with another pass-happy attack from Arians that any high school coach can tell you does two things: increases the odds of interceptions (check) and lowers your offense's time of possession, putting your defense on the field longer (check again). Now these old men are exhausted in the 4th and giving up huge chunks of yards.

These are not questions of execution. This is the numbers game of football, and basic strategy going all the way back. This is bad game management. Let's see if Ben's arm is feeling better this week and he can get us out of this.

HometownGal
11-22-2009, 04:18 PM
He we are in the middle of another 4th quarter meltdown, against the Chiefs of all teams, with another pass-happy attack from Arians that any high school coach can tell you does two things: increases the odds of interceptions (check) and lowers your offense's time of possession, putting your defense on the field longer (check again). Now these old men are exhausted in the 4th and giving up huge chunks of yards.

These are not questions of execution. This is the numbers game of football, and basic strategy going all the way back. This is bad game management. Let's see if Ben's arm is feeling better this week and he can get us out of this.

Wake up and smell the coffee hater. The D shit the bed in the 4th quarter (again) even though that fumble recovery led to a TD. If you want to blame anyone for Christ's sake, blame the DEFENSE.

Steeldude
11-22-2009, 04:19 PM
the slow developing wide run around the end on 3rd and 2 was a horrible decision.

but hey it's not arians fault for picking the play. it's always the players fault for failing to execute. coaches really aren't needed. just pick a play out of a hat. if the players can't execute it then it's their fault. :thumbsup:

Edman
11-22-2009, 04:20 PM
The O is not to blame.

How about shifting some blame to the Defense? These are the Chiefs, people.

HometownGal
11-22-2009, 04:23 PM
it's always the players fault for failing to execute.

Finally - we agree on something. :flap: 99% of the time - it IS the players' fault for not executing. The Chiefs were given momentum in the 4th Q by the Steelers D and that momentum continued to roll with the end result being a big L.

UF-Steeler
11-22-2009, 04:23 PM
Every part of the team is to blame on that one. The turnovers, the crappy defense in the 4th quarter, the horrible special teams play.

Rick5895
11-22-2009, 04:23 PM
It's a whole team humiliation. The D shit the bed in the 4th yes, but throwing pics uin the red zone, fumbles, another kick return against for a TD all kills us. Offensively the play selction isn't the best, but losng to a bad KC team is just embarrasing at all levels. Losong here and having to go to Baltimore next Monday gives me great cause for concern.

HometownGal
11-22-2009, 04:26 PM
It's a whole team humiliation. The D shit the bed in the 4th yes, but throwing pics uin the red zone, fumbles, another kick return against for a TD all kills us. Offensively the play selction isn't the best, but losng to a bad KC team is just embarrasing at all levels. Losong here and having to go to Baltimore next Monday gives me great cause for concern.

That "play selection that wasn't the best" put up 24 points which should have been MORE THAN ENOUGH to beat the freakin' Chiefs! :doh:

steel9guy
11-22-2009, 04:31 PM
WHO THE HECK CALLED THE FRICKEN MORE PITCH ON 3RD DOWN. WHAT THE HECK RUN MENDENHALL.

Raw Steel
11-22-2009, 04:34 PM
WHO THE HECK CALLED THE FRICKEN MORE PITCH ON 3RD DOWN. WHAT THE HECK RUN MENDENHALL.

Arians was better today, but that call was really bad considering the circumstances. And I am not talking about a running play, but they ran a high-risk running play. I think if they run off-tackle play and gain nothing, Reed gets a shot, but let's face it, this game is on the players more than the coaches today. Turnovers, penalties. Things that make you 6-10.

Sharkissle29
11-22-2009, 04:36 PM
Great play calling bruce, loved the screens on 3rd down after the chiefs brought all out blitzes, you countered them nicely...wait, i forgot, i dont think you know what a screen is

SteelMusic
11-22-2009, 04:44 PM
...but that call was really bad considering the circumstances. And I am not talking about a running play, but they ran a high-risk running play.

/\
This. Yes we put up 24 points but why the hell try to run a high risk running play with your slowest back in that situation? This loss was on the whole team including BA.

Rick5895
11-22-2009, 04:46 PM
That "play selection that wasn't the best" put up 24 points which should have been MORE THAN ENOUGH to beat the freakin' Chiefs! :doh:

Over 500 yards of O and all we got was 24 points, 7 as a result of a turnover created by Timmons. , I stand by what I said earlier, this is a team loss, but in critical times play selection wasn't the best, yes players have to execute, but the play calling needs to improve, Last years Title covered up some short comings but as a team (coaches and players) they have to get there collective heads out of there asses.

ricardisimo
11-22-2009, 04:55 PM
That "play selection that wasn't the best" put up 24 points which should have been MORE THAN ENOUGH to beat the freakin' Chiefs! :doh:

The crappy Chiefs' D is averaging 24 points allowed per game, so I don't think putting up 24 on them should be highlighted on Arians' resume. As has already been pointed out, 7 of those points should go to Timmons, also.

Once again, I don't think he's a bad coordinator (What's with the "hater" comment? Uncalled for, dude). I think he's quite good, as the yardage totals would suggest. He just also happens to be a very bad game manager. When you're up 17-7 at the half, what aspect of the game do you start to emphasize? That is, if you are anyone other than Bruce Arians...

Edman
11-22-2009, 05:30 PM
Arians is simply a decent O coordinator, not a good one. He has his days of brilliance, but when he's bad, he's bad.

The Steelers can drive the ball and put up the yardage, but they can't seem to score a whole lot. That has been an ongoing issue during his tenure.