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mesaSteeler
01-13-2011, 07:28 AM
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Arians speaks
January 12th, 2011

Steelers offensive coordintor Bruce Arians touched on a number of subjects today during his weekly Q&A with reporters. Among them were the change to his delivery made by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Ravens defense.

Here are excerpts from Arians' chat with reporters:

Q: Do you have to do anything special with Terrell Suggs?

A: “Yeah, you’ve got to block him. I think he’s their best player along with Haloti Ngata and Ed Reed on that team. They’re very good, they’re solid. There’s nothing you can do as far as double teaming him because the rest of the guys are pretty good. Whoever draws his number, which he flips both sides, you’ve got a job.”

Q: Why can’t you double-team him?

A: “You’re not sure what side he’s going to be on. And all the different fronts that they play, he rolls around so you’re wasting time doing that. The guy that’s assigned to him’s got to cinch it up and play hard. There really are no guys on that front that we can say ‘We’re double teaming this guy.’ ”

Q: Mike (Tomlin) said he thought their cornerback play has improved in recent week. Have you seen that?

A: “Lardarius Webb looks like he’s healthy again. He’s coming off the edge some in nickel. He looks like he did before he got hurt and we thought he was a heck of a prospect then. There’s no doubt in the last month or month in a half they’re playing really solid.”

Q: Can you talk about the balance Ben has struck between not forcing throws but also making plays outside of the pocket?

A: “Without jinxing him? Yeah, he’s playing extremely well right now. He’s really into it. The guys around him are playing solid. I think the emergence of the young wide receivers have helped him a bunch. Getting Heath (Miller) back has also helped. He’s playing at a very, very high level.”

Q: How do you explain his success against Ed Reed?

A: “Probably because I beat it into his head, ‘When the ball comes out of your hand, you better know where Ed Reed is,’ and that’s 10 years of going against this guy and the respect that we have for him. Our goal is to shut Ed Reed out because when he gets his hands on it, it’s a touchdown normally, and you cannot give them the football, especially to him.”

Q: Did you talk to Ben before he returned about not trying to do too much?

A: “No, he had such a great offseason and training camp, he was in the best position. When he came back he just played football like he knew how to play. You don’t have to do anything different. As we grow with these young wide receivers we’ll be able to do some things but right now just play the game you know how to play it. He’s been extremely solid all year.”

Q: You said he’s been playing at an extremely high level all year…

A: “As good as I’ve ever been around. I think this has been his best year.”

Q: What’s he doing to make you say that?

A: “Just continuing to grow. The ball comes out quicker. He’s still going to make plays with his feet, he’s still going to take a sack because of that. There have been times when we’ve thrown it away, there have been times when we’ve made some plays down the field. I think one of the best plays he made all year was shaking Suggs off in the game down there and throwing the ball away left-handed. That’s the type of play he can make but just his consistency, his accuracy. He worked extremely hard when he was off on his accuracy and he changed his motion a little bit and it’s paid off for him all season.”

Q: Is he playing the smartest ball of his career?

A: “I don’t think there’s any doubt and it’s something where we never try to put in new plays. We probably haven’t put in a new pass play since he’s come back. We should have plenty of them that we don’t have to change them. As long as he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.”

Q: How has he changed his motion?

A: “He’s shortened his delivery. He worked extremely hard with (personal quarterback coach) George Whitfield during that time, and George helped him out fundamentally. It’s kind of like a golfer changing his stroke. It was a minor thing, really, just to get it out of his hand faster.”

Fastandfaster17
01-13-2011, 10:01 AM
Q: Is he playing the smartest ball of his career?

A: “I don’t think there’s any doubt and it’s something where we never try to put in new plays. We probably haven’t put in a new pass play since he’s come back. We should have plenty of them that we don’t have to change them. As long as he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.”

Am I the only one that gets worried about that quote? Especially going up against a smart coach like Bill next week? Maybe it would explain some of our lack of offensive success against teams with top tier head coaches.

wnyBob
01-13-2011, 10:25 AM
Q: Is he playing the smartest ball of his career?

A: “I don’t think there’s any doubt and it’s something where we never try to put in new plays. We probably haven’t put in a new pass play since he’s come back. We should have plenty of them that we don’t have to change them. As long as he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.”

Am I the only one that gets worried about that quote? Especially going up against a smart coach like Bill next week? Maybe it would explain some of our lack of offensive success against teams with top tier head coaches.

lol NO you're not the only one. Good catch. What he's saying is he doesn't worry about working up an offensive scheme week to week to attack specific defenses, he just puts Ben in and hopes for the best. Truely, I swear. I've said it a hundred times, that when we open a game with a game plan and the offensive is working it's working but when a defensive coord gets his number he's cooked and can't adjust mid-game. What that quote is saying is no wonder he can't adjust, he doesn't try to adjust. He just keeps trying to cram plays down someone's throat that aren't working and hopes for the best.

What do Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and a prolific, innovative offensive scheme from Arians have in common? They're all apparitions. lol :rofl:

But we gotta keep the faith, so here's to Ben, in spite of Arians and not because of Arians clicking on all cylinders this weekend. :tt02:

madtowndrunkard
01-13-2011, 10:59 AM
How could any steeler fan not know Arians doesn't change, no matter who he's playing? We've been watching him run our offense for several years now. I think it's been a well known fact for a long time now. You guys act as if this is something new.

I think back to last season when we were in the midst of our 5 game losing streak. Arians choice to ignore the strengths and weaknesses of our opponent have cost us many wins over the past few years. Think of those games when we were playing some of the worst run defenses in the league...yet Arians put the ball in Ben's hands. It's only when our opponents weakness matches with what Arians is trying to do that we have success offensively.

This is the exact thing that separates Bill Belicheat from our coaching staff. This is exactly why the Patriots destroy us on a fairly regular basis. Brady goes after guys like Gay and McFadden. Brady is waiting for Troy to play too close to the LOS so he can go deep..... they use DL's aggressiveness against us. It was never more evident then in our last match up. No team creates and exploits bad match ups better then the Patriots.

This is also what we've been missing since Whiz left. Whiz anticipated what a defense would try to do and exploit it. Whiz threw in new wrinkles every week. Whiz only used the trick play to catch a defense by surprise. Arians use of the trick play has basically rendered the trick play useless.

plenewken
01-13-2011, 11:04 AM
Arians ranks in the bottom tier of all OCs. He's not lower only because of the talent of his players.
If Lebeau was as unprepared and as incompetent as Arians, we wouldn't be in the playoffs.
Look at the stats of the offense. Take the number of pts scored, subtract the D TDs and the ST TDs & FGs and you tell me how productive the offense has really been.

madtowndrunkard
01-13-2011, 11:52 AM
Arians ranks in the bottom tier of all OCs. He's not lower only because of the talent of his players.
If Lebeau was as unprepared and as incompetent as Arians, we wouldn't be in the playoffs.
Look at the stats of the offense. Take the number of pts scored, subtract the D TDs and the ST TDs & FGs and you tell me how productive the offense has really been.

Yea you are correct. It's nauseating listening to Arians arrogance. He's riding on the coat tails of Dick Lebeau and taking the credit for the wins our defenses have produced over the past 4 years. This is the ONLY reason Arians has a job right now. Which I don't understand. You would think the FO would see that if only our offense was better we'd be on the verge of greatness. Apparently the FO has a lesser view of the talent on the offensive side of the ball then we do.

Sixburgher
01-13-2011, 11:57 AM
This is also what we've been missing since Whiz left. Whiz anticipated what a defense would try to do and exploit it. Whiz threw in new wrinkles every week. Whiz only used the trick play to catch a defense by surprise. Arians use of the trick play has basically rendered the trick play useless.

If Whisenhunt was such an offensive mastermind, why did the offense never manage to put more than an average of 24.3 points a game up when he was here? Especially considering how much better our offensive line was then than it is now?

Arians may suck, but Whisenhunt wasn't all that either, sorry.

plenewken
01-13-2011, 12:23 PM
Yea you are correct. It's nauseating listening to Arians arrogance. He's riding on the coat tails of Dick Lebeau and taking the credit for the wins our defenses have produced over the past 4 years. This is the ONLY reason Arians has a job right now. Which I don't understand. You would think the FO would see that if only our offense was better we'd be on the verge of greatness. Apparently the FO has a lesser view of the talent on the offensive side of the ball then we do.

I think the issue isn't so much talent than mentality. We're a blue collar city with a blue collar mentality. The FO prefers continuity over change and prefers hard working guys over stars.
You don't see the Steelers run the score against an opponent, let's say put >50pts on the board. That's not our approach and I don't think we could do it anyway.
Our D has carried the team for decades and as long as we have winning seasons the FO is happy.
Hopefully their mentality adapts because the NFL favors offense more than defense now and if we don't realize it, we're in for a rude awakening.
Look at the way our D guys have been fined this year. It's going to be even worse in the future.
We're gonna have to adopt a more offensive mentality in the years to come and it will require a different staff and different players.

theplatypus
01-13-2011, 12:23 PM
Q: Is he playing the smartest ball of his career?

A: “I don’t think there’s any doubt and it’s something where we never try to put in new plays. We probably haven’t put in a new pass play since he’s come back. We should have plenty of them that we don’t have to change them. As long as he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.”

Am I the only one that gets worried about that quote? Especially going up against a smart coach like Bill next week? Maybe it would explain some of our lack of offensive success against teams with top tier head coaches.


Would you prefer that he tells the world about any new plays that are in the mix?

madtowndrunkard
01-13-2011, 12:36 PM
If Whisenhunt was such an offensive mastermind, why did the offense never manage to put more than an average of 24.3 points a game up when he was here? Especially considering how much better our offensive line was then than it is now?

Arians may suck, but Whisenhunt wasn't all that either, sorry.

Well first off all I disagree that our O-line was that much better then it is now ( a little better but not by leaps and bounds) .

2nd of all (and MOST importantly) I think Ben now is 100X better then he was during any of the 3 seasons under Whiz. (rookie year, SB year, head bounced off wind shield year)

3rd of all the offense now has more talent. Arians has had Ward, Holmes, and Wallace vs Whiz had Ward and ARE. Arians has a much improved Ben running the offense as well. Whiz had a declining Willie Parker with no depth.

4th of all Arians inflates his stats with big point out bursts on a rare occasion. (ex. Tampa, Oakland, Cleveland) Whiz was more consistent with less talent.

5th of all Arians airs is out which should produce more points but also puts more pressure on the defense. Whiz used the clock, the running game, and the element of surprise to his advantage.

6th of all if you watched the offensive units under both OC's you'd know the difference was glaring. There was a reason Whiz was highly sought after as a HC and Arians would have a tough time getting a college HC job.

SteelKnight
01-13-2011, 12:45 PM
Q: Is he playing the smartest ball of his career?

A: “I don’t think there’s any doubt and it’s something where we never try to put in new plays. We probably haven’t put in a new pass play since he’s come back. We should have plenty of them that we don’t have to change them. As long as he knows what he’s doing and he’s comfortable, I couldn’t be any more comfortable.”

Am I the only one that gets worried about that quote? Especially going up against a smart coach like Bill next week? Maybe it would explain some of our lack of offensive success against teams with top tier head coaches.

I thought the same thing and i felt the same way when Ben said he was not working on any new plays. I think they should come up with new plays towards the end of the year that they only use in practice until playoffs

Rick5895
01-13-2011, 01:14 PM
We seem to gain plenty of yards between the 20's, my beef with Arians is the situational play calling. His schemes struggle inside both 20's.
I don't buy the fact that they aren't working on anything new, I think Arians is too much like minor football and high school OCs. Panics when things don't work and calls plays that way. He seems to be alwys looking for the quick score. Sometimes it works out but most times not. That all being said, I am hopeful that the Cleveland game was the start of things to come, but with Mewelde back and Arians love for him I won't hold my breath.

kirklandrules
01-13-2011, 01:50 PM
I'm not an Arians fan by any stretch of the imagination and have bashed him for his total disregard for the FB position (that's right, the Steelers still can not run consistently ... lots of famine and very little feast under the Arians tenure). However, I'm not very concerned he and Ben have failed to come up with new pass plays during the course of the season. They have an entire book of plays (called a playbook). And they do chose specific plays for each team the face.

I would be worried if they aren't changing their formations each week. Nothing would be more telling than to run the same play from the same formation week after week. But if they change the formation, the D has no clue what the play will be until after the offense is already in motion and then it's too late.

What really bothers me is that Arians is making a living because of Ben improvisation. He doesn't seem to coach Ben to throw the hot routes when a blitz is imminent because of the success his QB and receivers have had. If Ben somehow eludes the sack, the success is based on uncoached results ... and that is how this guy makes his living. The biggest of plays are not a result of work put in by Arians ... it's the natural result of a secondary unable to maintain coverage when the QB is on the move and the receivers have adjusted their routes.

kirklandrules
01-13-2011, 02:02 PM
That all being said, I am hopeful that the Cleveland game was the start of things to come, but with Mewelde back and Arians love for him I won't hold my breath.

That Cleveland game indicates nothing. Cleveland quit before the game began and Arians ran up the score on his former team. Calling a WR, fake reverse throw from the 3 yard line when the game was already out of reach was quite Belichick-like. Seeing that play made me realize how insecure Arians really is ... think about how embarrassed he was after last year's loss in Cleveland. He got up on that same team this year and couldn't help but to show how much better they were this time around. Maybe running out the clock would have been good practice for a team that seems unable to do just that. :noidea:

Sixburgher
01-13-2011, 02:07 PM
6th of all if you watched the offensive units under both OC's you'd know the difference was glaring. There was a reason Whiz was highly sought after as a HC and Arians would have a tough time getting a college HC job.

Tell you what, go visit a Cardinals board and see how highly his playcalling is thought of. I'm not saying Arians doesn't suck, what I'm saying is that Whisenhunt was not a be all and end all as an offensive coordinator.

plenewken
01-13-2011, 02:32 PM
Tell you what, go visit a Cardinals board and see how highly his playcalling is thought of. I'm not saying Arians doesn't suck, what I'm saying is that Whisenhunt was not a be all and end all as an offensive coordinator.

Arians would have never taken the Cardinals to the Superbowl.

Sixburgher
01-13-2011, 02:38 PM
Arians would have never taken the Cardinals to the Superbowl.

It was Warner and Fitzgerald, well, mostly Fitzgerald, that took the Cardinals to that Super Bowl. Besides that, if the 2008 Cardinals played in the AFC North, or just about any other division besides the NFC Worst, they wouldn't have even qualified for the postseason that year. Fluke.

Curtain_of_Steel
01-13-2011, 02:47 PM
Couldn't they ask:

Are you interviewing for any other coaching jobs?lol

plenewken
01-13-2011, 03:23 PM
It was Warner and Fitzgerald, well, mostly Fitzgerald, that took the Cardinals to that Super Bowl. Besides that, if the 2008 Cardinals played in the AFC North, or just about any other division besides the NFC Worst, they wouldn't have even qualified for the postseason that year. Fluke.

Making it to the Superbowl is a collective achievement, not individual players. I agree that they've been lucky that most top seeded teams in the AFC lost in the playoffs this year, with the exception of Carolina (#2 seed)., but they still beat Atlanta, Carolina and the Eagles.
And they lost to the Steelers by only 4 pts so they were a pretty good team with a good coaching staff.

SteelKnight
01-13-2011, 03:25 PM
Arians ranks in the bottom tier of all OCs. He's not lower only because of the talent of his players.
If Lebeau was as unprepared and as incompetent as Arians, we wouldn't be in the playoffs.
Look at the stats of the offense. Take the number of pts scored, subtract the D TDs and the ST TDs & FGs and you tell me how productive the offense has really been.

When it comes to yards, the Steelers are in the top half and that is amazing after not having Ben for the first 4 games. They are 14th in passing and total offense and still 11th rushing despite all the whining. If ben didn't sit out, they would have been much better.

They just need to work on Red Zone closing. I say they throw out their red zone playbook plays and copy a team that is successful.

SteelKnight
01-13-2011, 03:27 PM
Tell you what, go visit a Cardinals board and see how highly his playcalling is thought of. I'm not saying Arians doesn't suck, what I'm saying is that Whisenhunt was not a be all and end all as an offensive coordinator.

My prediction is Whiz will be available after next season ...lol

kirklandrules
01-13-2011, 04:44 PM
When it comes to yards, the Steelers are in the top half and that is amazing after not having Ben for the first 4 games. They are 14th in passing and total offense and still 11th rushing despite all the whining. If ben didn't sit out, they would have been much better.

They just need to work on Red Zone closing. I say they throw out their red zone playbook plays and copy a team that is successful.

It's not just the red zone. They are a feast or famine run team. Most often they run for either no or negative yards. Every now and then they break a long run. I do believe Arians stated that his mandate from the Rooneys after last season was not to run more, but to run more consistently. I'd say he hasn't done that. Funny how Arians took over an offense that could get a lead (even a very small lead) and just run out an entire quarter. Once Arians arrived on scene, that aspect has disappeared.

SteelKnight
01-13-2011, 07:27 PM
It's not just the red zone. They are a feast or famine run team. Most often they run for either no or negative yards. Every now and then they break a long run. I do believe Arians stated that his mandate from the Rooneys after last season was not to run more, but to run more consistently. I'd say he hasn't done that. Funny how Arians took over an offense that could get a lead (even a very small lead) and just run out an entire quarter. Once Arians arrived on scene, that aspect has disappeared.

It wasn't "consistently" it was "effectively". I'd say the running has improved and we are 11th in the league. We'll do better with a better line but I like what Flozelle and Kugs have done. In addition, they improved their short runs.

I watch the games and I see they are trying to run. In fact, they run too much on 2nd and long for my liking. They can be having an awesome drive and something bad happens on 1st down (incomplete or run for no gain). next, they think they are being tricky by running with Moore on second down. boo. Now the whole fun successful drive comes down to completing a 3rd and 8. Sometimes i would have rather Ben had 2 tries (2nd and 3rd down). JMO. Now...if you can get 3 yards on first down, that makes it better because if you can get 2-3 more yards, that makes a 3rd and 4 or 5.

I'd like to see more screens or quick slants on second down and long.

Rockonsteel
01-14-2011, 10:34 AM
Well first off all I disagree that our O-line was that much better then it is now ( a little better but not by leaps and bounds) .

2nd of all (and MOST importantly) I think Ben now is 100X better then he was during any of the 3 seasons under Whiz. (rookie year, SB year, head bounced off wind shield year)

3rd of all the offense now has more talent. Arians has had Ward, Holmes, and Wallace vs Whiz had Ward and ARE. Arians has a much improved Ben running the offense as well. Whiz had a declining Willie Parker with no depth.

4th of all Arians inflates his stats with big point out bursts on a rare occasion. (ex. Tampa, Oakland, Cleveland) Whiz was more consistent with less talent.

5th of all Arians airs is out which should produce more points but also puts more pressure on the defense. Whiz used the clock, the running game, and the element of surprise to his advantage.

6th of all if you watched the offensive units under both OC's you'd know the difference was glaring. There was a reason Whiz was highly sought after as a HC and Arians would have a tough time getting a college HC job.


Best post I've read in a long time. I couldn't agree more. With pretty much everything you've said. I've said all along, the talent on this team masks BA's many, many warts.


Rockon

kirklandrules
01-14-2011, 11:49 AM
It wasn't "consistently" it was "effectively". I'd say the running has improved and we are 11th in the league. We'll do better with a better line but I like what Flozelle and Kugs have done. In addition, they improved their short runs.

I watch the games and I see they are trying to run. In fact, they run too much on 2nd and long for my liking. They can be having an awesome drive and something bad happens on 1st down (incomplete or run for no gain). next, they think they are being tricky by running with Moore on second down. boo. Now the whole fun successful drive comes down to completing a 3rd and 8. Sometimes i would have rather Ben had 2 tries (2nd and 3rd down). JMO. Now...if you can get 3 yards on first down, that makes it better because if you can get 2-3 more yards, that makes a 3rd and 4 or 5.

I'd like to see more screens or quick slants on second down and long.

I'm with you on everything you said here except that they have improved their run game. Their average per run has dropped since last year and I'm not sure anyone really has faith in their ability to pick up 3 yards in any situation. It really is a feast or famine run attack. They don't just gain 3-5 yards on their runs. They either go for nothing (or a loss) or on a rare occassion they are picking up 20 yards. My complaints about Arians are mostly centered on his opinion that the FB is a wasted position. We are one of the few teams that doesn't have a true blocking FB on the roster and seem to have difficulty getting the tough yardage. I worry when it comes to games like this Ravens game. They have no respect for our run game and can basically take the mindset that they can stop the run on their way to Ben on every play.