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mesaSteeler
12-17-2010, 07:14 AM
On The Seelers: Arians, Roethlisberger agree on red-zone changes
Friday, December 17, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10351/1111431-66.stm


Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on his team's red zone play: "We're trying to take the mentality of not trying to score every time."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and coordinator Bruce Arians discussed the Steelers' red-zone problems on offense this week, and both came to the same conclusion: They are held back by their eagerness to reach the end zone.

Could the key to scoring six points instead of three actually lie in the philosophy of trying too hard? Might they reach their goal by settling for less on first down?

The Steelers rank 27th in the NFL, scoring touchdowns just 44.4 percent of the time once they pull inside the opponent's 20.

"B.A. and I talked about it a little bit the other day," Roethlisberger said. "I think we both had the same mindset; you get down there and it's 'how can we score on this play?' "

Instead of trying to get it all on first down, they plan to take a different approach.

"We're trying to take the mentality of not trying to score every time," Roethlisberger said. "You know, you get down there and you almost get greedy -- score, score, score, score -- where maybe it's better to take the 5-yard route, put yourself in second-and-5 and now you can run the ball, and, if you get 1 or 2 yards, you're in third-and-short."

Against Cincinnati, the Steelers had first downs at the Bengals' 5 once and at the 9 another time and settled for field goals. They reached the Bengals' 15 on another occasion and punted after going backward. In Baltimore the previous week, they had a first down at the 2 and wound up kicking a field goal.

"Our first-and-10 passing has not been very good," Arians noted. "It's probably a little bit of my fault going for the end zone too much instead of going for a couple short ones."

That was one of two areas Arians mentioned that have failed the Steelers in the red zone. He called the team's running game inside the 20 "poor."

"We're averaging about 1.5 a carry from the 20 down," Arians said. "Actually in our goal-line offense, we've been very, very good; it's just we don't get in there often."

Arians blamed the blocking and not halfback Rashard Mendenhall for the inability to run effectively in the red zone.

"It's not him. We have to block better. It's normal this time of the year. About everything you do is on tape; you're not going to surprise anybody with very many new things. You got to block 'em and make people miss."

The Steelers have cracked the 20 36 times and come away with 16 touchdowns and 16 field goals. It has become exasperating for them recently because the offense has managed just one touchdown in the past 11 quarters, on a 9-yard drive to beat Baltimore after Troy Polamalu created a turnover.

"We want to score touchdowns,'' coach Mike Tomlin proclaimed this week. "In the recent past, we haven't done as well as we'd like. There are a myriad of reasons, usually centered around execution and detail. We're going to work toward getting better this week ... we're not executing in that area to our liking because we're not executing in that area to our liking."
Miller' status in doubt again

Steelers tight end Heath Miller suffered a setback with his concussion and did not practice Thursday, which leaves his status for the game Sunday against the New York Jets in doubt.

Miller missed the game against Cincinnati because of a concussion he sustained Dec. 5 at Baltimore. Matt Spaeth replaced him in the lineup.

Miller practiced for the first time since then Wednesday, but sat out today when he experienced a mild headache.

"He experienced a little headache," said Arians. "Very cautious. We're not going to take any chances with him."

Arians hopes Miller can practice Friday and play Sunday, but the team will not take any chances.

"I sure have my fingers crossed, I hope so, but we're going to do what's in his best interests, his family's," Arians said. "We're not going to force anything. He's smart enough to make the right decision."
Polamalu on Sanchez

Safety Troy Polamalu believes fellow Southern California product Mark Sanchez landed in an ideal spot for a young quarterback when he was drafted by the New York Jets.

"Honestly, he's surrounded by a lot of great talent, that's the obvious thing," said Polamalu, who said he met Sanchez once briefly. "He doesn't have the pressure that any other quarterback has, given that he plays with a solid defense and an awesome running game, which is nice as a quarterback. And he makes plays whenever they call upon him to make plays, at least he was doing that earlier in the season."
Injury updates

Offensive tackle Flozell Adams, 35, returned to practice Thursday and, despite lingering effects from a sprained ankle, appears ready to make his 14th consecutive start with the Steelers. It would be the 78th consecutive start (82nd including playoffs) for Adams, who played with the Dallas Cowboys until he signed with this summer as a free agent.

Adams moved into the Cowboys' starting lineup as a rookie in 1998, when he started 12 games between guard and tackle. The only time he has missed a start since then was in 2005 when he missed the final 10 games with a torn ACL.

Cornerback Bryant McFadden (hamstring) returned to practice. And linebacker James Harrison was ill and did not practice.
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com.


Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10351/1111431-66.stm#ixzz18N1w6DfB

madtowndrunkard
12-17-2010, 10:24 AM
Arians is so bad. How can the FO and Tomlin not see this?

If your OC takes till December to decide to change something as simple as running shorter routes in the redzone then he's clearly in over his head. Considering how bad our offense has been most of the last 2 seasons it shouldn't take till now to decide to run shorter / quicker routes.

I wonder what clued Arians in? The dozens of sacks in the redzone? The failure game after game against some of the worst defenses in the league? I can only hope and pray that the FO makes a change in the offseason. I just don't see any way we can win 2-3 games in the playoffs with Arians running our offense.

fer522
12-17-2010, 10:30 AM
Arians sucks ass

FanSince72
12-17-2010, 11:15 AM
First of all, I'm not a big Arians fan (but I'm also not a hater either) and I know that what he said seems overly simplistic, but in all fairness - he's right.

The play-calling is one thing, but as far as Ben goes he DOES have an annoying habit of stretching everything out because he's looking for "THE BIG PLAY" and he tends to overlook the meat-and-potatoes stuff. There's no shame in dumping a short pass that only gains three or four yards or settling for some un-glamorous running plays. He sometimes tries to be Terry Bradshaw too much and though he certainly has had many such moments, he doesn't seem to be able to content himself with anything less than highlight-reel stuff and that hurts everything.

I agree that Arians could use a shot of both reality and some imagination in designing plays overall, but the two of them are both overlooking the more obvious things in favor of going for the brass ring all the time and both Ben and Arians need to come down from the clouds and get back to something more basic more often.

I just hope that if they throttle back they don't end up going too far in the opposite direction towards Martyball like Cowher did. They just need to find the balance point and take the big shots when they present themselves while keeping things moving forward at a steady pace. I'd much rather see a boring offense that's productive and gets the job done than to have this "go for it" attitude that may be fun to watch but has no real consistency.

ricardisimo
12-17-2010, 04:01 PM
"...we're not executing in that area to our liking because we're not executing in that area to our liking."
:noidea:
Not one of his snappier quotes. I know that steel hardens steel, if you will, but this quote just seems kind of soft and squishy.

tanda10506
12-17-2010, 04:34 PM
I think it's good that they are going to change there approach, but I'm not sure that's the real reason why they aren't scoring. The refs screwing them on penalties has hurt in the redzone and the receivers drop a lot of passes in the redzone and endzone. There's been a good amount of times where it's 3rd and goal or 3rd and 10 in the redzone and we throw a 3 yard pass or a pass a few yards out of the endzone, that has to stop.

Riddle_Of_Steel
12-17-2010, 05:33 PM
The drops in the endzone (mostly by our rookie receivers) should improve as they become more familar with our offense and the routes they have to run. Once those things become second nature, that's when we'll see Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown shine.

Wallace had an advantage last year as a rookie-- he was not given many complicated routes to run. He was put in the slot to run straight forward as fast as he can to stretch the opposing defenses, and it worked GREAT.

Losing Holmes DID have an effect on our offense. Sure, Wallace will be a good replacment for Holmes (and I expect him to exceed Holmes), but there is no denying that:

Ward + Holmes + Wallace >>>> Ward + Wallace

SH-Rock
12-17-2010, 05:36 PM
The drops in the endzone (mostly by our rookie receivers) should improve as they become more familar with our offense and the routes they have to run. Once those things become second nature, that's when we'll see Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown shine.

Wallace had an advantage last year as a rookie-- he was not given many complicated routes to run. He was put in the slot to run straight forward as fast as he can to stretch the opposing defenses, and it worked GREAT.

Losing Holmes DID have an effect on our offense. Sure, Wallace will be a good replacment for Holmes (and I expect him to exceed Holmes), but there is no denying that:

Ward + Holmes + Wallace >>>> Ward + Wallace

But I do hope in the future

Ward+Wallace+Sanders+Brown or even Wallace+Sanders+Brown>>>Ward+Wallace+Holmes