View Full Version : One Key for Sunday - Beating 8 in the Box......but how?

09-10-2010, 10:47 AM
So, as I was thinking about Sunday's game, one thing is obvious to us and the Falcons.

The Steelers will be 're-commiting' to the run game. For whatever that means, the real point here is this, we need to run better situationally, and a large part in doing that is being able to dictate to the defense. With BB, no problem. Without BB, this is a huge ?.

I have no doubt that the Falcons will present us with 8-9 in the box on 1st and 2nd downs unless the distance is just ridiculous due to penalty or whatever. So, if you are Arians, how do you use Dixon and what plays in general do we use to force Atlanta out of the box.

Here are some options I would like to see, because giving it to Mendenhall on power sweeps and dives, even if Redman is blocking, is not going to force Atlanta out of the box. The run will only become effective after Atlanta respects DD....at least a little bit.

1. Play Action with medium distance crossing routes in the middle of the field to Ward, ARE and the deep in to Heath. I think Dixon will be able to expose that middle area between Weatherspoon and Perterson while staying if front of McCourd and Coleman. None of these guys really scare me. The occaisonal shot deep to Wallace to test Dunta's readiness out is also prudent, and don't overlook this being a plan in the first series. MAJOR CONCERN: Deep out routes, ie. anything over 12 yards....I just don't see DD having the confidence or accuracy to be messing with this right now, but make no mistake, Atlanta will temp him.

2. Smoke and traditional screens. I think we'll see plenty of this, if nothing else, but to help DD get his legs underneath him quickly and because the 'smokes' seem to be such a big part of Arian's playbook. We won't get any big gainers out of these, but they'll be relatively safe and will pick up 4-6 yards. Plenty to move the chains. However, I thought I actually saw us try some more traditional screens this preseason, and not look half bad doing it. Granted it was with the 2nd and 3rd stringers, but get Mendenhall out in some space behind Pouncey and Kemo, and we coudl see some big gainers. MAJOR CONCERN: will DD have the right rhythm and timing to do this...he'll need to be calm and patient for it to work, or it could be real ugly with big losses.

3. Last, but not least, the PA rollout, with tight end drags. I think this will be where DD shines, because it will put him in open space with Miller or Spaeth coming from the far side of the field and really give DD some options and safety valves he's comfortable with. MAJOR CONCERN: He'll be tempted to take off if his first look isn't open, and lose the opportunity for some nice chunks to his #2,#3 if he's tunnel visioned. Then, the Falcons will look to T-off on him.

Here's the surprise I would love to see!! If DD can stop on either an escape up the middle or rollout halfway through it's development, he could really (bad word)er the Falcons secondary into thinking he's running and let it fly for some deep big gainers....but he'll have to be thinking pass first in the most chaotic of moments for this to work.

OVERALL POINT: If we don't find a way to break the Falcons out the 8 man box, it's going to be a long and frustrating day for everyone on offense.

What would you do?

09-10-2010, 12:48 PM
Playaction is only effective if the run is working. I think what we run well with Dixon (Based on Preseason) are bubble screens. He also executes his fakes and mechanics well. He is very fundamentally sound. We need to get runners on the edges with effective seal blocks to beat 8men in the box. Lastly, you will have to spread them out and create running lanes. You also have to prove you can pass against it. Once Dixon makes them respect his arm, then and only then will they get out of it. We should be used to this scheme as teams do it to Ben often. The Eagles, Titans, Giants, Cowboys,Bengals(2), Ravens(2) of 08 and the Bengals, Ravens (2), Browns (2nd game), Titans all did it in 09.

09-10-2010, 12:58 PM
I think it's pretty obvious that early on we have to go deep to show the falcons that we are not affraid of putting the ball in the air.I could see a deep pass to Wallace or Sanders.Then a playaction pass or a bubble screen.Should get some space.Dont forget that even if they do intercept our deep pass they will still be wondering at any time if we will go deep again.Then as someone mentionned the middle length pass could be effective but we have to take care of the guys that will be in the box that will drop in coverage.Overall I think we will be ok.

09-10-2010, 01:02 PM
Once Dixon makes them respect his arm,

Here lies the problem