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Atlanta Dan
01-15-2012, 06:53 AM
Good points by Ed.B. of the P-G

In addition to making his observations about how to improve the offense, Bouchette rips the coaches for not having a clue as to how they are selecting who plays on the O-line

The question posed for 2012 then is this: Is defense relevant anymore? If a team has a great quarterback and a high-powered offense, can it overcome just about any deficiencies on defense the way the Packers (No. 3 offense) and Patriots (No. 2 offense) have done, the way the New Orleans Saints (No. 1 offense, 24 defense) have done, the way the New York Giants (No. 8 offense, 27 defense) have done?...

The question posed for 2012 then is this: Is defense relevant anymore? If a team has a great quarterback and a high-powered offense, can it overcome just about any deficiencies on defense the way the Packers (No. 3 offense) and Patriots (No. 2 offense) have done, the way the New Orleans Saints (No. 1 offense, 24 defense) have done, the way the New York Giants (No. 8 offense, 27 defense) have done?

It is beyond time we scrap half of this cliche: "Offense sells tickets, defense wins championships." The second part does not hold true anymore in the NFL, where offense wins games, wins championships and, most importantly, turns on more television sets than ever.

This may be the time for the Steelers to rethink how they approach the makeup of their team. Instead of spending their money on defense, it might be time to build up the offense, which the NFL keeps creating rules to encourage.

They have the quarterback and seem to have the receivers and the backs. Now, they must find better talent for their offensive line and maybe a second tight end.

It's hard for many of us to keep a straight face when it's suggested the Steelers have a capable offensive line. Oh? They tried two different combinations at the most important line position, left tackle, in 2011 before they threw up their hands and reluctantly re-signed Max Starks, who has never been one of the coaches' favorites. He started a few days later in the fifth game of the season and stayed there right through his ACL injury in Denver.

They suddenly decided that Chris Kemoeatu, after 31/2 years as their starting left guard, was no longer good enough. The coaches also decided that their starting right guard from 2010, Ramon Foster, wasn't good enough to keep the job, but then he was good enough to start the final 14 games, including the playoff loss in Denver.

It's a mess, and they need to straighten it out, which they have started doing in the draft with center Maurkice Pouncey and tackle Marcus Gilbert the past two years.

Ben Roethlisberger turns 30 this year and needs to stay upright more often as he ages. His injuries this season are one reason the Steelers are home watching playoff football on television today.

Roethlisberger won't like this, but he also needs to change his approach. He has been the best quarterback at extending plays and making plays when he does. However, wouldn't it be nice if he could just complete the pass without all the drama? You know, with a quick release to one of those quick and speedy young receivers who can then do their thing after the catch?

It's not asking much. Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers do it. It is understandable that Roethlisberger resists it when the media mentions it because he has been largely successful doing it his way. He and Bruce Arians love to go deep, but with Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders and, if they use him more, Heath Miller, the Steelers have the kind of skill that can torture defenses with shorter passes, along with the deep threat that is Mike Wallace.

With those receivers, there is no excuse for only 10 teams scoring fewer points than the Steelers did last season. Another reason for that was their so-so play inside the 20, where quick decisions are mandated.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12015/1203721-66-0.stm

Good luck with any of this happening with Arians staying as OC - his response will be to further refine the package of bubble screen plays and maintain everything is just fine with a game plan that has Roethlisberger getting clobbered every game

BengalDestroyer
01-15-2012, 08:09 AM
The OL and BA, already mentioned in another thread, but can't be stressed enough....

TRH
01-15-2012, 08:57 AM
One thing is for absolute certain :

The league is pushing and encouraging the new "high powered" pass offenses. Therefore our offense does in fact, need bolstered. We have to start protecting our QB...our line is so bad that opposing defenses are all over him in 3 seconds, Denver was even doing it on 3 man rushes. That's SAD.
Old guard defense lovers will argue, but they need to get their heads out of the sand. This is what the league wants, is pushing, and what the referee's are calling. If we don't start perfecting the slant passes and protecting the QB.....we ain't winnng anything.

JCPsteelers
01-15-2012, 09:00 AM
The offensive line needs to be fixed the most

stb_steeler
01-15-2012, 09:42 AM
All this stated by Bouchette is nothing new, its what their gonna do to make it happen?

plenewken
01-15-2012, 09:52 AM
It starts at the top so from top to bottom:

1) Arians needs to go. He will not be the guy to steer our offense in the right direction
2) Ben needs to make faster/ better decisions. Oh and being in better shape wouldn't hurt.
3) the OL must create better protection for our QB
4) the rest of the O needs to be more pass oriented (TEs particularly)

kirklandrules
01-15-2012, 11:18 AM
Bouchette's point is only valid because one of the top corners in the league took a sh!t against Denver. Had Ike played one of his usual games, the Steelers win. I turn his argument around. The best defense in the league was more responsible for the 12-4 record than the offense. Bouchette didn't put out an article on this subject after this Steelers defense shut down the Pats offense in the regular season. At that point, defense was the name of our game and something to be prized.

The Steelers offense just looked castrated at times this year. With football being a game of momentum, it really sucked seeing just 6 points on the board at halftime of a road playoff game. What would have been the outcome of the game had the Steelers been up 10 - 0 or 14 - 0 instead of 6-0 after their first 2 possessions?

It seems Arians is so focused on the big play, he doesn't really have a scheme for methodically moving the ball down the field and punching it in when in the red zone. The mindset was such that if they didn't chuck a 50 yard bomb to Wallace, things dried up. Half way through the year teams wised up to this, dropped their safeties and prevented the big play ... scoring for the Steelers became harder. You want to torch defenses with long pass plays? Then you first torch them underneath and running. If you are moving the chains by running and throwing underneath the coverage, then play-action and pump-fakes will help fool safeties on deep passes. Wallace isn't the only one-trick-poney on the team ... Arians is as well.

I agree with Bouchette that the Steelers need to become better on offense and the line needs upgrading. I joked in another thread that if Ben had more time to throw the ball, he'd just use it all and take just as many sacks. But there is some truth to that. He hurt his ankle on a very long, extend pass play ... hell, he seemed to hold the ball for about 10 seconds on that play.

Until the Steelers (Arians & Ben) show that they can move the ball using short, controlled passes, running effectively and score in the redzone better, I don't think I'd sacrifice the one side of the ball that has kept them in the "W" column (defense) on a consistent basis.

Oh, and he totally underestimates Wesley Saunders. I think this guy will be an excellent #2 TE for the Steelers. He's great catching the ball and I think can develop into a very good blocker (he's bigger and stronger than Miller). Miller had to work at blocking to become good and I think the coaches should take the same stance with Saunders.

So, Bouchette is right that the o-line should be upgraded. But he's wrong in thinking it should be at the expense of the best defense in the league.

AgentGold007
01-15-2012, 11:23 AM
In the majority of those top offenses the tight end plays a more prominent role in the offense, which will never happen in Arians offense. I have absolutely 0 faith that offense will look any different next year than it did this year. We're going to be in for another season of predictable play calling, bubble screens, 7-step drops, and settling for field goals inside the redzone. Watching Arians play calling inside the redzone is like watching Wile E Coyote trying to catch the Roadrunner.

OX1947
01-15-2012, 12:11 PM
Horrible play calling and a qb who needs to reevaluate whether he wants a long career. Big ben playing jungle ball cost the steelers this year.

Rockonsteel
01-15-2012, 01:44 PM
In the majority of those top offenses the tight end plays a more prominent role in the offense, which will never happen in Arians offense. I have absolutely 0 faith that offense will look any different next year than it did this year. We're going to be in for another season of predictable play calling, bubble screens, 7-step drops, and settling for field goals inside the redzone. Watching Arians play calling inside the redzone is like watching Wile E Coyote trying to catch the Roadrunner.

:rofl:

Rockon

ricardisimo
01-15-2012, 01:53 PM
I like Ed, but he's ignoring the distinct possibility that the #4 defense will meet either the #2 or #3 defense in the big game. He's taking it as a foregone conclusion that the Pats are meeting the Pack in the Super Bowl, which is iffy. I'd like to see how he and others backtrack if The Ravens meet the 49ers.

I'm a little disappointed with this editorial. The Steelers have been doing things their way and doing it well for a long time, in terms of team-building. Ed should know better. Furthermore, it's not as though they have ignored offense in the draft. Most of Colbert's 1st round picks have been on offense, and all of them have been very good.

As far as our offense, I don't see what the problem is. Ben and Bruce have reassured us that the the sky's the limit. If only Hines would execute his bubble screens better... :noidea:

60_MINUTES
01-15-2012, 02:00 PM
Im sick of talking about something that makes me depressed... I dont like Ed bullshit very much but he is right.. and by the way we Steeler Nation already know it.. Everyone one in the Football world knows it but yet for some reason Tomlin and the Front Office dont see it.. they think everyone is wrong I guess.. why in the world would we not look as good if not better then the pats, saints on the O side of the ball??? we have more talent then they do.. Its two simple things.. O line which I do agree we look like we are trying to address lets hope we cont to address it this draft.. and the number one reason in the world BA..It blows my mind why the Steelers would ruin a team like this.. there is no one else in football that would leave a O coord on a team with this much talent that finishes in the 20's in Offense.. the Only Coord that may be doing worse then BA is Cam Cameron... he lost just about every game he played with the Dolphins and now has the Ravens laying eggs on Offense... but I would still take him over BA

Rockonsteel
01-15-2012, 02:01 PM
As far as our offense, I don't see what the problem is. Ben and Bruce have reassured us that the the sky's the limit. If only Hines would execute his bubble screens better... :noidea:

:smack:

Nothing personal, but somebody had to smack you back into reality. Wlecome back.

Rockon

60_MINUTES
01-15-2012, 02:04 PM
Yes BEN does need to look at himself as well.. I know how great he has been... 3 SB for GOD sake 2 Win.. WOW... for real I love the guy.. but that doesnt mean he cant get even better.. You would think he would want to. I just invision quick crossing patterns in which guys like wallace and brown take 80 yards.. just get the ball in their hands. please stop all the 25 yard flag and post patterns.

Either that or we need to just give in.. if we gonna keep calling plays that take 3 hours to develop then you better draft O line Olin O line... and have the best line in football

plenewken
01-15-2012, 02:04 PM
In the majority of those top offenses the tight end plays a more prominent role in the offense, which will never happen in Arians offense. I have absolutely 0 faith that offense will look any different next year than it did this year. We're going to be in for another season of predictable play calling, bubble screens, 7-step drops, and settling for field goals inside the redzone. Watching Arians play calling inside the redzone is like watching Wile E Coyote trying to catch the Roadrunner.

Good analogy
Baltimore is not considered a top offense, yet Todd Heap was our nemesis every time we faced the Ravens.
The Steelers don't use their TEs effectively, they never did. Ben being average in accuracy would have a much higher probability of hitting a 6'5" target 10 or 15yds from him than a smaller one 30yds away.

therooster45
01-15-2012, 02:16 PM
Ben is the best at extending plays because he has to. For some reason the Pgh Steelers have a different mindset than the est of the league. They believe if it works change it. Remember when Ben was making a living that rookie year throwing quick slants and outs to receivers less talented as a group than the receivers hes got now. Well what happened?
[B] Brady does this all the time it workd. Rodgers does it all the time. but not Ben why because it works. And with the athletic receivers we have now it would be real hard to stop. We need an Offensive Line but i bet we dont take an Olineman in the first or second round. Get rid of the big fat guy that can not stay healthy Hampton trade him or cut him not worth 8.5 million.

Atlanta Dan
01-15-2012, 04:40 PM
Furthermore, it's not as though they have ignored offense in the draft. Most of Colbert's 1st round picks have been on offense, and all of them have been very good.

As far as our offense, I don't see what the problem is. Ben and Bruce have reassured us that the the sky's the limit. If only Hines would execute his bubble screens better... :noidea:

Ed's best point was the random nature of who is selected to start on the OL. The Steelers finally are devoting high draft picks to selecting Pouncey and Gilbert (and IMO will use their #1 pick in 2012 for the OL). That having been said the Steelers would have been completely screwed at LT if Starks had not come back and played decently for the minimum salary after Starks was released (while a washed up Aaron Smith was not even asked to renegotiate his contract in training camp) and Scott was the disaster at LT most expected.

Such events as keeping Aaron Smith at full pay and drafting 2 OLB candidates out of the top 5 picks seemingly every draft reflect a defense first mindset

Lord of Lombardi
01-15-2012, 07:54 PM
Protect Ben and our team will win and be Great year in and year out. It is that simple. We see what he does when he is healthy and protected. Will never know why the Rooney's won't invest more to protect our QB. This year proves what his scrambling will earn us. A lineman or two like Pouncy will bring more Lombardi's. We have the Young WR's to make Ben one of the greatest ever, do we have the GM and ownership to be smart enough to get LINEMAN!!!???

austinfrench76
01-15-2012, 08:51 PM
I said this a while ago but I belive that Ben WON'T change his style because it is how he is most effective. Without going extremely deep, he plays BETTER outside of the pocket while extending the play. He's not super accurate from the pocket so suggesting he "cut down the drama" CAN'T happen or we don't have the same QB. I love the way he plays and some of it may be by force due to the fact he has played behind some awful Oline's but he is better playing playground ball versus Tom Brady or Manning pocket QB.

I agree we need to change the Offense but BA is coming back so that won't happen either. This won't be a popular suggestion but what we should do is to draft a TE in the 1st round to pair with Heath, Could you imagine our offense with the 3 WR's we have, Redman and Mendenhall and 2 pro bowl level TE's??? Thats pretty damn unstoppable. Go Oline the rest of the draft and trust some of the young DB's we've drafted over the past couple of years. I'd also say we need a true FB but that aint happening either so I'll go back to dreamin...

Fire Arians
01-15-2012, 08:54 PM
^^ agree to some point but I think he needs to stop going for the homerun so much. his long ball is not very accurate, but he's money with those intermediate routes. he should stick to that. especially when he has an ankle injury that hampers his accuracy so much, that the long ball is only going to succeed 10% of the time.

VictoryFormation
01-16-2012, 06:24 AM
I can not agree with Bouchette regarding defense becoming irrelevant. We all know that statistics don't tell the whole story.

The best way for to protect Roethlisberger is to mix up the passing game, throwing more to the backs, and tight ends. And of course, focus more on the run.

ricardisimo
01-16-2012, 07:34 AM
Good analogy
Baltimore is not considered a top offense, yet Todd Heap was our nemesis every time we faced the Ravens.
The Steelers don't use their TEs effectively, they never did. Ben being average in accuracy would have a much higher probability of hitting a 6'5" target 10 or 15yds from him than a smaller one 30yds away.
Average in accuracy? He's #12 all-time (http://www.pro-football-reference.com/leaders/pass_cmp_perc_career.htm) in completion percentage. Given his love of the long ball that's really saying something.

So, the Saints and the Packers are already out of it. Meanwhile the 49ers and Ravens are still in it. Like I said before, this article of his was at a bare minimum premature, and possibly just flat wrong. We'll see as soon as next week whether defense still wins championships.

The really sad thing is that if the Ravens and Niners do make the Super Bowl, we can expect another flurry of rule changes to make sure it never, ever happens again.

Atlanta Dan
01-16-2012, 08:26 AM
So, the Saints and the Packers are already out of it. Meanwhile the 49ers and Ravens are still in it. Like I said before, this article of his was at a bare minimum premature, and possibly just flat wrong. We'll see as soon as next week whether defense still wins championships.

The really sad thing is that if the Ravens and Niners do make the Super Bowl, we can expect another flurry of rule changes to make sure it never, ever happens again.

Good call (which you first posted before the Packers crashed yesterday) that Ed. B. should have waited until after the season ended before proclaiming the end of the "defense wins championships" era.

Of course the defensively challenged Patriots probably are now the favorites to win it all and the 49ers needing to put up 36 points while "limiting" a Saints team that committed 5 turnovers to 32 points does indicate that teams need to score a lot more than in days past. The Ravens were the only winner this weekend to score less than 36 points and they had the benefit of playing against a rookie third string QB.

As for further rules changes if a high scoring Super Bowl does not occur, there is no need for that as long as the officials can protect the offense by rulings such as not calling the clear fumble in the first half by Green Bay and the nonsensical penalty for the alleged blow to the head of Aaron Rodgers in the 4th quarter yesterday that kept Green Bay's faint comeback hopes alive

Ricco Suavez
01-16-2012, 08:59 AM
I posted in some other forums how I think Defense will always have a place in this game. I think the best teams are those who show a balance, both on defense and offense, both passing and run. The Saints have had success with ratios of 80-20 pass to run. But in the playoffs this scenario rarely works and the reason why is the opponents defense. The turnovers caused by the 49ers set the tone and when the Saints did mount a comeback their defense could not close the deal against a not very good offense. BTW the days of 50-50 pass run is over, with the rules leaning toward a passing offense a more accurate balanced run these days would be more like 60-40.

Whodis
01-16-2012, 09:58 AM
I can not agree with Bouchette regarding defense becoming irrelevant. We all know that statistics don't tell the whole story.

The best way for to protect Roethlisberger is to mix up the passing game, throwing more to the backs, and tight ends. And of course, focus more on the run.

That would question play calling and Bouchette doesn't want to lose his locker room pass

tanda10506
01-16-2012, 04:59 PM
All year it looked like the big offensive teams were going to mow everybody down, but in the end that's not what happened. As much as Goodell was pushing it, and as successful as it started out, as the season progressed the "big passing" teams got worse. Ultimately every big passing team except for the Patriots, whose defense stepped up against Denver, are watching the playoffs at home. So yes, defense matters. The fact that the offense is garbage 75% of the season is from shear stupidity and nothing else. Look at the game we played against the Titans and then Patriots, both offensive gameplans were the same, quick and moderately short passing to keep the opposing offense off the field and score points. We did exactly both of those, IT WORKS, and this team is capable of executing it because they did twice. Problem is Bruce rarely gameplans, he admits to not planning based on matchups. This team could execute on offense like they did against the Titans and NE all year, and as the year went on they would become even better at it. I'm not for changing our style of play, our style of passing as it is now will always end up having to be used against teams like the Ratbirds, but most teams we could just disect as it stands right now, but Arians just doesn't want to do it, it's as if he's mentally ill. Bottom line is the O line is the main focus right now as he mentioned, but we probably need a NT and ILB, and if Wallace and leaves, or if Cotchery and Ward leave, then we will need to be looking for a receiver also.

Atlanta Dan
01-16-2012, 05:10 PM
Ed.B. is not backing down:chuckle:

Atlanta Dan: With the Saints and Packers now departed from the playoffs is it possible that teams still need to play at least some defense to be successful in the playoffs

Ed Bouchette: What kind of defense was that being played by San Francisco at the end?

http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/chats/ed-bouchettes-chat/114418-ed-bouchettes-steelers-chat-transcript-11611