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mesaSteeler
01-07-2010, 05:31 AM
We still have Arians to kick around
http://community.post-gazette.com/blogs/bobsmizik/default.aspx
By Bob Smizik | Thursday, 12:15 a.m.

Hereís the good news, Steeler Nation: Youíll have Bruce Arians to kick around for at least one more season.

The much-criticized offensive coordinator had a long meeting with Mike Tomlin yesterday and came out of it with his job. Whether he came out of it with his same offensive philosophy is something we might not know until next season.

Itís unlikely Tomlin will address what transpired in this meeting or what changes, if any, will be made in the Steelers offensive philosophy. NFL teams arenít normally given to presenting such explanations.

But my guess of what happened in that meeting is Tomlin told Arians heíd like to see more of a commitment tBruce Arianso the running game, more of a balance to the offense. Iím not suggesting he told Arians to revamp his offense. That would be foolish. But I think Arians was told to possibly consider using a fullback more often and to definitely consider the fact that Rashard Mendenhall showed in his second season that he can be a star.

Whether Arians was close to losing his job or not is something we might never know. Such secrets seldom become public.

I applaud the decision to keep Arians, who angered fans and some media members with his pass-first offense, empty-set backfields and red-zone failures. He wasnít the perfect coordinator, but he was far from the worst.

Thatís what people too often donít get. Sometimes the man you fire might turn out to be better than the man you hire. So if you have someone who is doing a good job -- and I believe Arians was doing a good job -- you keep him and make changes.

The facts are these:

* The Steelers were third in the AFC in yards gained, fifth in passing, 12th rushing and sixth in points.

* Ben Roethlisberger set a Steelers record by passing for 4,328 yards. He yards per game total of 289 were second in the AFC, ahead of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. His passer rating was second best to Philip Rivers.

* In Mendenhallís first full season, he ran for 1,108 yards, not bad for a guy who opened the season on the bench

* For the first time in team history, there were two 1,000-yard receivers -- Santonio Holmes (1,248) and Hines Ward (1,167).

* Heath Miller set a Steelers record for receptions by a tight end with 76.

Itís true, all that yardage could have produced more points. That it did not, is not totally the fault of Arians any more than all the yardage chalked up is solely responsible to his wisdom.

The Steelers showed this year that the Arians offense can produce yards. With that behind them (hopefully), maybe next year they can take the offense a step further, be more successful in red zone and produce points commensurate with those yards.

That doesnít mean the pass-first offense should be abandoned. Roethlisberger is a superstar. You donít relegate superstars to handing off the ball.

The Steelers will look somewhat different next year but play mostly the same. And thatís as it should be. This offense showed it can move the ball. It needs to be able to finish off drives. That doesnít involved blowing up the offense. It means making some changes.

Tomlin is smart enough to figure that out and Arians is smart enough to implement it.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2010, 10:07 AM
2009 Steelers.....4,148 yards passing, 1,793 yards rushing, 368 points scored ........Record 9-7

2002 Browns.....3,665 yards passing, 1,615 yards rushing, 344 points scored..........Record 9-7

I thought I had seen this movie somewhere before. :coffee:

kirklandrules
01-07-2010, 11:08 AM
Pretty good comparison El-Gonzo. I decided to see what type of efficiency our offense was able to generate for this year and compared to the 2002 Browns as well as the AFC Playoff teams. For efficiency, I decided to use Points/Yard. Basically, how many points did the team generate for each offensive yard gained (it's a fraction, but the results tell the story):

Team Points/Yard
2009 Chargers .076
2009 Colts .071
2009 Patricheats .066
2009 Ravens .066
2009 Jets .065
2002 Browns .065
2009 Steelers .062
2009 Bungles .059

I'm not an Arians hater, but it does frost my ass when I see 3 pass plays inside the 10 yard line. Maybe Arians only called the plays that gave them the best opportunities (since we had issues running inside the 10). If that's the case, the FO fired the right guy. But having said this, if I were Tomlin I would show this to Arians and tell him if this doesn't improve next season I'd make him an offer he can't refuse.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2010, 03:32 PM
It just reminds me so much of that Cleveland team with Holcombe throwing the ball around to Northcutt, Johnson, Davis, Morgan and not establishing the run without a FB. The team could produce offensively, but could not hold onto a lead with a clock eating drive or keep the chains moving on the ground.

When you watch that AFC Wildcard game again, if Northcutt catches a key 3rd down pass late in the game....the Browns can close it out. But, catching footballs in cold winter weather isnt as easy as september or as easy as running the ball.

I thought the loss to Cleveland this year was fittingly ironic, since the same inability to run the ball the Browns had in 2002, was the same the Steelers showed on that night in Cleveland.......but I must be the only one that remembers that. :noidea:

Fire Haley
01-07-2010, 03:40 PM
Over/Under?

30 more Arians threads this week

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2010, 03:48 PM
I'll take the under......HTG will merge some at #29.

Vincent
01-07-2010, 03:54 PM
I wouldn't want to enter next season without someone firmly ensconced to kick around. :chuckle:

BA has earned that mantle and wears it well. :hatsoff:

kirklandrules
01-07-2010, 03:57 PM
I thought the loss to Cleveland this year was fittingly ironic, since the same inability to run the ball the Browns had in 2002, was the same the Steelers showed on that night in Cleveland.......but I must be the only one that remembers that. :noidea:

No, I remember that game well. Northcutt ran an out pattern and had an easy catch go right through his fingers (but as you said, nothing is easy in the cold). In fact, I told my girlfriend (now wife) the Steelers should run a draw ... which is what they did and scored the winning TD. That was back when we could run it in from the 2 yard line.

littlemac
01-07-2010, 04:07 PM
BA didnot get a new contract so i would think MT layed out what he wants and BA agreeded . Will see next season

Vincent
01-07-2010, 04:18 PM
I wouldn't want to enter next season without someone firmly ensconced to kick around. :chuckle:

BA has earned that mantle and wears it well. :hatsoff:

Florida_Steelers_Fan
01-07-2010, 05:01 PM
yeah, it's bruce arians' fault that the offensive line stinks and is NOT built to run the ball...but a smart coordinator would say, "what the hell...let's try it anyway."

...oh, and that would mean that sepulveda would be setting records this season. i'm sure that would make many of you happy...

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2010, 05:11 PM
yeah, it's bruce arians' fault that the offensive line stinks and is NOT built to run the ball...but a smart coordinator would say, "what the hell...let's try it anyway."

...oh, and that would mean that sepulveda would be setting records this season. i'm sure that would make many of you happy...

Please tell me why the O line is NOT built to run the football.

Colon, Kemo, Starks, Hartwig are all 320lbs and larger...and are better run blockers than pass protectors. Heath Miller is arguably the best blocking TE in the NFL. Essex is the only guy with better pass blocking skills than run blocking.

The simple fact is that without a true FB and no committment to running the football, there will not be a consistent ground game. Please go back to the Arians run offenses of 2000-2002 in Cleveland and see the same issue.

Florida_Steelers_Fan
01-07-2010, 05:17 PM
i don't always go by stats...i go by what i see. i watched EVERY steelers game this year (NFL package on DirecTv). this team struggled when they HAD to run the ball. they were able to put a drive together against miami, but i recall most games in which they failed to run it when they had to.

i guess they should just rehire chuck noll, make a deal for brandon jacobs and move back to three rivers...we could live in the past (and we would actually enjoy watching the pirates too).

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-07-2010, 06:44 PM
i don't always go by stats...i go by what i see. i watched EVERY steelers game this year (NFL package on DirecTv). this team struggled when they HAD to run the ball. they were able to put a drive together against miami, but i recall most games in which they failed to run it when they had to.

i guess they should just rehire chuck noll, make a deal for brandon jacobs and move back to three rivers...we could live in the past (and we would actually enjoy watching the pirates too).

I'm not going by stats. If you are so knowledgeable from watching every Steeler game on DirecTV, so as to deem the O line not built to run the ball, then you should be able to provide an opinion based upon something more than a weggie board to back that up.

Fact is from watching Steeler football and reading the reports you should be able to determine:

1-Starks struggles with speed rushers, but 345 lb man is a good run blocker
2-Kemo is a mauler in the run game, pulls well but struggles in pass protection
3-Hartwig is built to handle the large NT's in the AFCN, but feet not as quit in pass protection.
4-Essex, was deemed to be a better pass protector than Starks, that is why he got the start in 2008 when Marvel Smith went down vs JAX
5-Willie Colon is a great run blocker, but his short arms and lack of height give him trouble in pass blocking.
6-Heath Miller is the best blocking TE in the NFL

You can reference Chuck Knoll and attempt to deflect all you want.........fact is you cant suggest why this line "isnt built to run the ball". BTW......I too have Sunday Ticket and a PVR and have been breaking down games since I got the PVR 4 years ago.

Florida_Steelers_Fan
01-07-2010, 07:33 PM
you seem to paint this picture of a line that is dominating and should have a top 5 statistical running game... well, ben spent most of the season lying on his back and this team struggled to run. and the offensive line coach just got a raise...

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-08-2010, 12:06 AM
you seem to paint this picture of a line that is dominating and should have a top 5 statistical running game... well, ben spent most of the season lying on his back and this team struggled to run. and the offensive line coach just got a raise...

And you seem to state that the O line isnt built to run the football....but have no idea of what an O line suited to run the football should look like.

I think there are several fans on this board that would note if you want to build an offensive line that is best suited to pass protect, than you do so with guys that are more agile and smaller.....Like the Colts Tony Ugoh, Jeff Saturday, Ryan Lilja. Starks, Kemo, Hartwig, Colon are not those kind of linemen, but rather large men that are best suited to block inline.

If you want to keep Ben off the ground, you build a line around him that has 300-310lb guys (maximum) that have quick feet and good hand placement for pass blocking. The problem is the Steelers have an O line of big maulers, that are better suited to run block than pass block, but the Steelers are a pass first team.

pepsyman1
01-08-2010, 01:03 AM
you seem to paint this picture of a line that is dominating and should have a top 5 statistical running game... well, ben spent most of the season lying on his back and this team struggled to run. and the offensive line coach just got a raise...

A large part of the problem is zone blocking schemes the Zierlein and Arians have been using. Gonzo is right, these guys are better suited to to man up and drive people off the ball, but that isn't what they are asked to do most of the time when they do try to run. And it's been a problem the entire time Zierlein and Arians have been at it. Let these guys do some pushing and add a real fullback and you might see a more balanced offense that still puts up big yards AND points and doesn't watch their QB getting sacked better than 3 times every single game.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-08-2010, 09:02 AM
A large part of the problem is zone blocking schemes the Zierlein and Arians have been using. Gonzo is right, these guys are better suited to to man up and drive people off the ball, but that isn't what they are asked to do most of the time when they do try to run. And it's been a problem the entire time Zierlein and Arians have been at it. Let these guys do some pushing and add a real fullback and you might see a more balanced offense that still puts up big yards AND points and doesn't watch their QB getting sacked better than 3 times every single game.

Sorry, you are incorrect in the Zone blocking assumption. The Steelers Zone at times and I already went around with Preacher on this early in the year. I even charted an entire 2 games in a row and the Steelers only "zone blocked" 5 times total in those 2 games.

The Steelers were not and never have been a zone blocking team.

Prok
01-08-2010, 09:13 AM
I think it was a big mistake keeping Arians. It probably will set us back another year too. It's not that his scheme sucks, his play-calling is our downfall. No way in hell I see him making changes either. His ego won't allow for that. ugh...

revefsreleets
01-08-2010, 09:18 AM
The bottom line here is this: A lot of the fans wanted Arians gone, and they are going to have their say and voice their displeasure indefinitely. Those of us who were right have no choice but to either quit the board or let them cry and whine for awhile.

Florida_Steelers_Fan
01-08-2010, 09:57 AM
until you put a FULLBACK in the backfield (and not these "h-backs" that can't block for crap) then they won't be able to run the ball. spaeth should never make it on the field, and johnson is not a very good blocker when put in motion and blocking out of the backfield. davis is a "combo back" but i've never felt he was a good blocker.

i'm guessing that 15 sacks (just throwing out a number) could be attested to ben and not the o-line. and i'm okay with that because ben is a playmaker (if he stopped doing then then people here would complain about that too). but this line is going to have to undergo some changes in personnel and schemes. they are not very good and this is the worst line that i've seen in many years.

i'm going to put the blame here on tomlin...i love the guy but if this is his idea of smash-mouth football then he's misguided. i think it's time for him to put his foot down and get back to the kind of toughness that he proclaimed would be a part of this team when named coach.

steel9guy
01-08-2010, 10:14 AM
I think it will be fun watching the anger outleash on BA over the next year on this forum.

revefsreleets
01-08-2010, 10:20 AM
I think it will be fun watching the anger outleash on BA over the next year on this forum.


It's not going to be much different than 2008 or 2009...and it wouldn't be much different if we hired a new OC in 2010.

stb_steeler
01-08-2010, 10:39 AM
It's not going to be much different than 2008 or 2009...and it wouldn't be much different if we hired a new OC in 2010.

U got that right. If we hired a new OC this year and we lost more, then what? same ole same ole. Fire the whole damn team, it never ends.

X-Terminator
01-08-2010, 12:17 PM
It's not going to be much different than 2008 or 2009...and it wouldn't be much different if we hired a new OC in 2010.

Yep. Because no matter what, Steelers fans are never, ever happy. Even when they won the Super Bowl last year, we STILL had fans on here complaining not long after the last piece of confetti hit the turf. It never ends.

We have a QB capable of being the best in the league. Why in the world do so many of the fans want to take the ball out of his hands and run it 40 times a game just so they can say they're playing "Steeler Football?" The Steelers didn't pay the guy $102 million to just hand the ball off, for crying out loud. Dennis Dixon can do that for 10% of Ben's salary.

T.Richardson
01-08-2010, 12:38 PM
These fans are mad because the offense doesnt run the ball enough. Running the ball 40 times NEVER got this team anywhere.. Morris, Foster, Bettis, ect.. they never got the city a lombardi trophy.. im tired of this stupid "Steelers Football" crap because Steelers Football is not freaking running the ball 30+ times a game, its about winning.. not running the ball people.

and this stupid pity for LeBeau.. just because smith, and Polomalu were injured doesnt mean the team has to give up a lead to the Oakland freaking Raiders twice, and allow a journeyman QB to drive down the field for a game winning TD, no matter how many points the Offense would have scored, the Raiders would have won anyways (just an example people...dont fire me).. LeBeau deserves just as much criticism as Arians..

plenewken
01-08-2010, 01:35 PM
These fans are mad because the offense doesnt run the ball enough. Running the ball 40 times NEVER got this team anywhere.. Morris, Foster, Bettis, ect.. they never got the city a lombardi trophy.. im tired of this stupid "Steelers Football" crap because Steelers Football is not freaking running the ball 30+ times a game, its about winning.. not running the ball people.

and this stupid pity for LeBeau.. just because smith, and Polomalu were injured doesnt mean the team has to give up a lead to the Oakland freaking Raiders twice, and allow a journeyman QB to drive down the field for a game winning TD, no matter how many points the Offense would have scored, the Raiders would have won anyways (just an example people...dont fire me).. LeBeau deserves just as much criticism as Arians..

Yeah let's talk about Oakland and how we got there.

1st Q: 3-3 1 FG on each side.
Brilliant! Especially after Logan returned the KO for 83 yds.

2nd Q: 7-3 1TD -1FG. Great!
Finally 1 TD for the Steelers after 7 possessions in the 1st half. By the way, Ben threw an INT.

So we lead the Raiders by 4 friggin' points at 1/2 time.

3rd Q: 0-0 Awful! 2 possessions for the Steelers 1 Punt and 1 missed FG of 53yds by Reed. When the f* has Reed ever made a 50 yds FG???

Still lead the Raiders by 4 friggin' points after 3 Qs

4th Q: 14-21 2 TDs-3TDs

Raiders scored 3 TDs, we scored 2 TDs. Basically neither team could stop the other in the 4th Q.

I could add that us missing a 53 yds FG at the end of the 3rd Q gave the Raiders the ball almost at 1/2 field, making their first TD a much easier task than if we had punted.

In terms of TOP in the 4th Q, the Raiders had the ball 10:10 and the Steelers 4:50.

Never in the game did the Steelers have more than a 4pts lead.

My conclusions?
Both sloppy offense and sloppy defense are to be blamed for this game

Prok
01-08-2010, 01:44 PM
These fans are mad because the offense doesnt run the ball enough. Running the ball 40 times NEVER got this team anywhere.. Morris, Foster, Bettis, ect.. they never got the city a lombardi trophy.. im tired of this stupid "Steelers Football" crap because Steelers Football is not freaking running the ball 30+ times a game, its about winning.. not running the ball people.

and this stupid pity for LeBeau.. just because smith, and Polomalu were injured doesnt mean the team has to give up a lead to the Oakland freaking Raiders twice, and allow a journeyman QB to drive down the field for a game winning TD, no matter how many points the Offense would have scored, the Raiders would have won anyways (just an example people...dont fire me).. LeBeau deserves just as much criticism as Arians..

I would agree with that as well. I've never been a big LeBeau supporter. I've always viewed his defense as more smoke and mirrors than attacking style. Blitz's can't be that effective when you play prevent zone behind them 99% of the time.

X-Terminator
01-08-2010, 05:54 PM
I would agree with that as well. I've never been a big LeBeau supporter. I've always viewed his defense as more smoke and mirrors than attacking style. Blitz's can't be that effective when you play prevent zone behind them 99% of the time.

That is likely to get you flogged around here. Stick with the anti-BA sentiment - you'll be loved more! :thumbsup:

(For the record, I strongly disagree that his defense is "smoke and mirrors." It, like any other scheme, has its weaknesses, but overall it's a very solid system and a proven winner.)

T.Richardson
01-08-2010, 05:57 PM
That is likely to get you flogged around here. Stick with the anti-BA sentiment - you'll be loved more! :thumbsup:

(For the record, I strongly disagree that his defense is "smoke and mirrors." It, like any other scheme, has its weaknesses, but overall it's a very solid system and a proven winner.)

The pass defense has been a big weakness for years..

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-08-2010, 06:02 PM
That is likely to get you flogged around here. Stick with the anti-BA sentiment - you'll be loved more! :thumbsup:

(For the record, I strongly disagree that his defense is "smoke and mirrors." It, like any other scheme, has its weaknesses, but overall it's a very solid system and a proven winner.)

I agree. The notion that the "zone blitz" is smoke and mirrors is like saying "the West Coast Offense is just a bunch of smoke and mirrors". Time tested systems.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-08-2010, 06:04 PM
The pass defense has been a big weakness for years..

2008 NFL Passing Defense

Rank Team YPG
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 156.9
2. Baltimore Ravens 179.7
3. Philadelphia Eagles 182.1
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 187.3
5. Dallas Cowboys 187.7

:rofl: Oh......except for a year ago when they were the best in the NFL. :sofunny:

http://www.nfl.com/stats/team?seasonId=2008&seasonType=REG&Submit=Go

T.Richardson
01-08-2010, 06:12 PM
2008 NFL Passing Defense

Rank Team YPG
1. Pittsburgh Steelers 156.9
2. Baltimore Ravens 179.7
3. Philadelphia Eagles 182.1
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 187.3
5. Dallas Cowboys 187.7

:rofl: Oh......except for a year ago when they were the best in the NFL. :sofunny:

2002: Ranked 20th, 216 ypg
2003: Ranked 11th, 190 ypg
2005: Ranked 16th, 198 ypg
2006: Ranked 20th, 212 ypg
2009: Ranked 16th, 215 ypg

Either the pass defense is really good, or average the next year..

Prok
01-08-2010, 06:50 PM
That is likely to get you flogged around here. Stick with the anti-BA sentiment - you'll be loved more! :thumbsup:

(For the record, I strongly disagree that his defense is "smoke and mirrors." It, like any other scheme, has its weaknesses, but overall it's a very solid system and a proven winner.)

Ha I get flogged everywhere by Steelers fans for my views on LeBeau's scheme. But I stand by it. It's basically prevent zone masked by disguised blitz's. Conservative, masking as attack style imo. Hence, the smoke and mirrors i stated. I'm just not a big fan of alot of zone coverage. I'd rather us have a DC preaching getting after the QB and get athletes that can jam and cover WR's and force the QB to beat you with great throws under heavy duress. Just my opinion, but i've always felt too many Steelers fans hold LeBeau in too high reguard.

Prok
01-08-2010, 06:53 PM
Another point I should add on my LeBeau theory is that it seems he's out to "confuse" the opposing QB rather than tell him "deal with THIS".

xfl2001fan
01-08-2010, 06:58 PM
The pass defense has been a big weakness for years..

Just a random thought...when you play with the lead (which the Steelers do more often than not over the past 5+ years)...teams tend to throw the ball more anyways...thus making the pass defense look worse than it really is.

Just like when you're a bad team...you tend to play from behind, so your passing game (which must be used to get back in the game) tends to look better than what it really is.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-09-2010, 01:44 AM
Another point I should add on my LeBeau theory is that it seems he's out to "confuse" the opposing QB rather than tell him "deal with THIS".

Yeah, I guess he is the only Defensive coordinator in the NFL that tries to "disguise coverages". The rest of the NFL is just saying "deal with this". :sofunny:

I think its stuff like this that drove Revs to being as bitter as he is. :banging:

MasterOfPuppets
01-09-2010, 02:57 AM
Another point I should add on my LeBeau theory is that it seems he's out to "confuse" the opposing QB rather than tell him "deal with THIS".

:pde: ......:uhh: .....:pde:

Fire Haley
01-09-2010, 10:08 AM
Over/Under?

30 more Arians threads this week

I'll take the under......HTG will merge some at #29.

I do believe you're losing that bet