View Full Version : Another good article in NY Times

10-16-2010, 05:25 PM
Link: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/16/roethlisberger-returns-to-offense-that-may-rely-on-him-less

Roethlisberger Returns to Offense That May Rely on Him Less

Long before Milledgeville, Ga., became the center of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ off-season universe, the team had begun the move to a more run-based offense. Within days after the Steelers failed to make the playoffs as the defending Super Bowl champions last season, the team president Art Rooney II talked to Coach Mike Tomlin about reverting to a style that looked more like the Steelers teams of the 1970s and less like the pass-happy version that had emerged in recent years.

Last season, the Steelers ran the ball 42 percent of the time and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger attempted 506 passes. Roethlisberger, right, returns from his four-game suspension against Cleveland on Sunday to a decidedly different team from the one he last led. Relying on a run-first attack (the Steelers have run 57.7 percent of the time in their first four games) and a suffocating defense, Pittsburgh was far more successful managing without him than almost anyone expected.

The Steelers are 3-1 despite being last in the league in passing after losing two backup quarterbacks to injury and settling on Charlie Batch. Maybe Roethlisberger, who has seemed intent on repairing his relationship with his teammates and fans since the spring investigation into his conduct toward a woman at a Georgia bar, will view that as a warning. Although the Steelers are surely better with him, they can win without him, too.

But even Rooney would prefer better balance than what Roethlisberger’s suspension forced on the Steelers. So Roethlisberger’s return is the point from which the Steelers’ commitment to the run will truly be tested, when they will hand off by choice, not by necessity.

10-16-2010, 06:18 PM
Rooney said the Steelers need to run more 'effectively' not run the ball 'more'. Arians pointed that out in training camp.

I highly doubt they'll maintain their 60-40 run-to-pass ratio with Ben at quarterback, although it probably won't go back to 40-60 either. With their franchise quarterback returning, Tomlin will have to find a way to incorporate all his offensive weapons. They'll probably find a happy medium of 50-50 or 55-45 pass-to-run.

Atlanta Dan
10-16-2010, 06:22 PM
The New York Times Fifth Down blog is a great read on the NFL. In addition to the article you cite, whomever is writing their weekly predictions on the games has some amusing lines. By way of example, this is the summary for Steelers-Browns

Ben Roethlisberger is back, so we can look forward to all of the Big Ben staples: 15-second intermezzos in the pocket, pump-fakes into the face of oblivion and penitence-on-display sit-down interviews during the pregame and halftime shows. As if on cue, all of the Browns quarterbacks got injured last week, leaving the rookie Colt McCoy (who was so bad in preseason that the team considered cutting him) to face the Steelers’ defense. Browns quarterbacks may not have much skill, but they do have self-preservation instincts. Pick: Steelers:chuckle: