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mesaSteeler
01-15-2010, 06:08 AM
New coach in a better spot with Steelers
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_662293.html#
By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 15, 2010

Things are looking up for new Steelers offensive line coach Sean Kugler, who experienced a nightmarish 2009 season with the Buffalo Bills.

Kugler is joining a team whose offensive line was relatively intact all season. Right guard Darnell Stapleton missed the year with a knee injury, but the other four starters lined up nearly every week.

At Buffalo, Kugler was in charge of a unit that didn't return a single offensive lineman who played the same position from the previous season. Center Geoff Hangartner, a newcomer, was the only lineman to play every game at the same spot. Four linemen who started during the season finished on injured reserve, forcing Kugler to come up with more than a half-dozen starting combinations.

During one game, the Bills committed eight false starts.

"This has been extreme," Kugler told reporters during the season. "I tell these guys, 'You're going to look back on it and laugh. That's all you can do. You just can't sit there and dwell on it. You have to keep grinding.' "

Buffalo ranked No. 30 in offense this season, averaging 273.9 yards a game. The Bills were No. 16 in rushing and No. 30 in passing. Despite the rash of injuries, they featured a 1,000-yard rusher in Fred Jackson.

Buffalo's quarterbacks were sacked 46 times in 441 passing attempts. By comparison, Steelers quarterbacks were sacked 50 times in 536 attempts.

In 2008, when Kugler had Pro Bowl left tackle Jason Peters (who was later traded to Philadelphia), Buffalo was No. 25 in offense (305.1 yards) but ranked in the top half of the NFL in rushing (No. 14).

After former line coach Larry Zierlein was fired last week, starting left guard Chris Kemoeatu said the players have an obligation to pull together for their new coach.

"Seeing that Coach Z got fired, we're going to have to go back to the drawing board and see how good we communicate with who whoever the new coach is. That's a priority,'' Kemoeatu said.

Kugler has been an NFL assistant for eight seasons. He coached three seasons in Buffalo, the last two as offensive line coach. He was assistant head coach at Boise State in 2006 when the Broncos were 13-0 and finished No. 5 in the country. From 2001-2005, Kugler was an assistant with the Detroit Lions.

Note: Bobby April, who interviewed for the Steelers' special-teams coordinator vacancy, signed with the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday.

solardave
01-15-2010, 06:21 AM
Great! No April but we get a guy who on paper looks even worse than what we had? Hope this is not the case.

Steelers>NFL
01-15-2010, 07:00 AM
He is in a better spot. Not sure the Steelers are in better spot!
We shall see.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-15-2010, 09:56 AM
I dont remember watching much of the Bills this year, because they were the Bills. I do think that Kugler zone blocks more than we do and that could be a big change for some fans to get used to. Nothing wrong with it if you can do it well, but I think he is gonna have to evaluate his personel first before deciding how much zone he is gonna do.

My guess is he may zone 30% of the time, which is still more than we did this year.

Angus Burgher
01-15-2010, 10:24 AM
Great... so my guess is, the Steelers think that this guy can fix all of their O-Line issues and we're still stuck with the same awful unit that allows multiple sacks and can't run-block worth a damn.

I can feel a 9-7 record already.

Indo
01-15-2010, 10:29 AM
Give the guy a chance

He was dealt a crappy hand last year...

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-15-2010, 10:32 AM
Great... so my guess is, the Steelers think that this guy can fix all of their O-Line issues and we're still stuck with the same awful unit that allows multiple sacks and can't run-block worth a damn.

I can feel a 9-7 record already.

Mendenhall had 1,100 yards this season and a 4.6 ypc average. This unit CAN run block, but they are not given the chance to establish the run. Its just not who this team is.

Sure Zeirline kind of got scapegoated as this year was better than the previous, but if Kugler can bring back a nasty finishing attitude to the unit, it will be a step forward.

Angus Burgher
01-15-2010, 11:19 AM
I'll believe it when I see it.

As for Mendy's 1,100 yards... it sounds impressive, but he only had three 100+ yard games. And considering he struggled against horrid run defenses like CLEVELAND, I have a lot of trouble calling this a good unit. I want them to be good... but I have very little faith in the run right now.

Hotrodder07
01-15-2010, 11:41 AM
Man, everyone's already going after this guy. Gotta at least give him a chance! It will be interesting if he can make a noticeable difference in the offensive line play. Honestly, I thought our offensive line actually improved last year over our superbowl season, so hopefully that trend continues.

scsteeler
01-15-2010, 11:44 AM
WOW he sounds like a bust before the season even gets here. Give the guy a chance and lets see what happens.

SteelGhost
01-15-2010, 11:53 AM
Of course Coach Kugler is in a better spot than Bills'. 6 times SB winner franchise can't be compared to Buffalo IMO. Let's hope the guy does a decent job in B & G

X-Terminator
01-15-2010, 12:08 PM
Man, everyone's already going after this guy. Gotta at least give him a chance! It will be interesting if he can make a noticeable difference in the offensive line play. Honestly, I thought our offensive line actually improved last year over our superbowl season, so hopefully that trend continues.

He's going to get his chance, but speaking only for myself, they could have done much better. Solari, Tice, even Alex Gibbs would have been better choices, IMO. I'm hoping Kugler proves me wrong, believe me.

Angus Burgher
01-15-2010, 12:34 PM
WOW he sounds like a bust before the season even gets here. Give the guy a chance and lets see what happens.

I'm not calling him a bust yet... I just think they need to consider adding some more talent to the O-Line itself. This article makes it sound like they're not planning on doing that at all, though.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-15-2010, 12:50 PM
I'm not calling him a bust yet... I just think they need to consider adding some more talent to the O-Line itself. This article makes it sound like they're not planning on doing that at all, though.

They should likely add some OT depth since Essex is on the final year of his contract and Hills is the only backup OT on the roster. I do think that with Starks, Kemo, Hartwig all having 3 years left on their contracts....that they are set to return.

Colon IMO is the best O lineman they have for the purpose of run blocking and will try to retain him.

Mendenhall got 1100 yards and a 4.6 YPC on a team that admittedly DID NOT run the football enough. I still maintain that this O line is better built to run block than pass block, but they are not given the chance.

I am curious if Kugler will get a FB, or just have to work without one as Zeirline did.??

SteelGhost
01-15-2010, 01:16 PM
They should likely add some OT depth since Essex is on the final year of his contract and Hills is the only backup OT on the roster. I do think that with Starks, Kemo, Hartwig all having 3 years left on their contracts....that they are set to return.

Colon IMO is the best O lineman they have for the purpose of run blocking and will try to retain him.

Mendenhall got 1100 yards and a 4.6 YPC on a team that admittedly DID NOT run the football enough. I still maintain that this O line is better built to run block than pass block, but they are not given the chance.

I am curious if Kugler will get a FB, or just have to work without one as Zeirline did.??

I'm curious too El Gonzo, if McHugh and Summers are healthy, coach Kugler may try to use a FB but ... :noidea:

Rotorhead
01-15-2010, 01:19 PM
Did you all even read the article? He did almost as well with the crap he had last season and almost did as well as our line:
We had a sack every 10.7 times we dropped back, with a line that was mostly healthy all season.
They had a sack every 9.6 times with a dozen Oline changes, some with just a couple of days practice together . . .
Sounds like he already matched our Oline play with a patchwork line.

Angus Burgher
01-15-2010, 02:19 PM
Yeah, I'd really like to see a fullback implemented as well. I'm also curious to see Logan get some carries and short dump off passes and see what he can do. I seriously think he could be our Darren Sproles if we used him in that capacity.

Glace
01-15-2010, 02:51 PM
I'm not excited about this hiring at all. But yeah, we'll see what he can do with this roster of players before we snap to any irrational judgements.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-15-2010, 03:45 PM
Did you all even read the article? He did almost as well with the crap he had last season and almost did as well as our line:
We had a sack every 10.7 times we dropped back, with a line that was mostly healthy all season.
They had a sack every 9.6 times with a dozen Oline changes, some with just a couple of days practice together . . .
Sounds like he already matched our Oline play with a patchwork line.

Yeah, but he did it with a 1st round pick (Eric Wood) at one guard and a 2nd round pick (Andy Levitre) at the other guard. You could say he already had more talent on the Bills O line than he has here.

Plus, Trent Edwards throws the ball away quick for self preservation, Ben doesnt. No arguing that the most impressive thing on his resume was 1 season at Boise St in a spread offense.......but I am ready to move on and hope for the best from Coach Kruger :freddy:

acumen
01-15-2010, 04:13 PM
I see it as Tomlin (maybe with a little bit of pride) trying to create his own legacy, tapping younger coaches getting their feet wet and building on it. They talked to a bunch of people and came away impressed with him.

I'm excited. Give buddy a chance to coach before you throw him under the bus. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Give It To Abercrombie
01-15-2010, 09:00 PM
Yeah, but he did it with a 1st round pick (Eric Wood) at one guard and a 2nd round pick (Andy Levitre) at the other guard. You could say he already had more talent on the Bills O line than he has here.

Plus, Trent Edwards throws the ball away quick for self preservation, Ben doesnt. No arguing that the most impressive thing on his resume was 1 season at Boise St in a spread offense.......but I am ready to move on and hope for the best from Coach Kruger :freddy:

Nope. :drink: Most impressive thing on his resume wasn't presented in this article. In 2008, when he had a healthy line and Jason Peters at tackle (which helps), they only gave up 25 sacks,a Buffalo team record. I remember some pretty good lines in front of Jim Kelly, they gave up more than this guy did. Hey, maybe he'll make no improvements, but I was surprised that fact wasn't included in the article.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-15-2010, 10:57 PM
Nope. :drink: Most impressive thing on his resume wasn't presented in this article. In 2008, when he had a healthy line and Jason Peters at tackle (which helps), they only gave up 25 sacks,a Buffalo team record. I remember some pretty good lines in front of Jim Kelly, they gave up more than this guy did. Hey, maybe he'll make no improvements, but I was surprised that fact wasn't included in the article.

Yeah, he had the #14 rushing team in 08 I think. I guess I am just comparing it to Mike Solari who had the KC chiefs ranked in the top 10 in rushing.....5 of the 9 years he was there. Solari also learned his trade under the legendary Bobb McKitrick of the 49ers.

I just dont know why we never even talked to Solari, who is getting pushed out of Seattle by the Pete Carroll hiring:confused:

MasterOfPuppets
01-15-2010, 11:14 PM
Did you all even read the article? He did almost as well with the crap he had last season and almost did as well as our line:
We had a sack every 10.7 times we dropped back, with a line that was mostly healthy all season.
They had a sack every 9.6 times with a dozen Oline changes, some with just a couple of days practice together . . .
Sounds like he already matched our Oline play with a patchwork line.

if your trying to pin 50 sacks on the oline, then you haven't been paying attention to the games. if the line gives the qb 5 or 6 seconds to look down field, then they did thier job, which they did more often than not. half of those sacks easily are on ben for not throwing it away, or on arians for not providing a formation that can block the blitz. 6 rushers vs 5 blockers usually fails.

Rotorhead
01-16-2010, 08:31 AM
Um, I didnt pin all the sacks on the Oline, I watched the games I could watch very well and also understand how Ben works. I was just proving a point (one which you actually helped prove) by saying the # of sacks given up are not necessarily on the oline coach. Most that posted looked at that one stat, # of sacks, and automatically say he wont be an improvement without reading (or just not understanding) what the article said. I just stated facts, we had a sack for 10 passes, they had one for every 9 passes. Our Oline was mostly healthy, they had no less then 12 different Olines this season. I was generalizing because going into specifics on this board (lately anyway) causes 2 things, a pissing contest about who is more knowledgable about football and arguments about Arians playcalling.

SMR
01-16-2010, 08:58 AM
Sheesh, just give this guy a chance. EVERYONE should be given a second chance if they really want to prove something.
:helmet: