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rrage
01-16-2012, 08:17 AM
Belichick won't make mistake Steelers did vs. Tebow
By Tony Massarotti, Globe columnist

The legend of Tim Tebow grows, only fueled by the happenings on Sunday in the Mile High City. But in his private moments this week, Patriots coach Bill Belichick is likely scoffing at what the Pittsburgh Steelers did to themselves, too.
It seems impossible to think Belichick will make the same mistake.

The NFL being the NFL, there is still the chance the Broncos will stun the Patriots and the football world on Saturday night by upsetting the Patriots at Gillette Stadium. But it is not likely. If the Broncos do somehow manage to pull off the seemingly impossible - the Patriots are overwhelming favorites - they will likely have to do it in far different fashion than the manner in which they beat the Steelers, at least on the offensive side of the ball.

Belichick, after all, is not likely to leave a makeshift New England secondary in 1-on-1 coverage the way the Steelers did, even if he refuses to say so.

Photos: Why we care about Tim Tebow
Photos: Meet the other Broncos

"You know, each team plays their own defensive scheme against them, whether it’s Buffalo or Kansas City or Pittsburgh or whoever it is," Belichick told reporters yesterday when asked if Pittsburgh's defensive approach against the Broncos was at all revealing. "We have our scheme. We’ll take some things from each game that we’ve seen and try to apply it to what we do. We’re not them, they’re not us, we have different players - same thing with Kansas City, Buffalo and all that. There’s certainly a lot to be learned but at the same time, we have our own matchups and we’re different from everybody else."
Translation: We're not going to play it the way the Steelers did, but we wouldn't have done that anyway ... Oh, and the Steelers were dumb.

Check that.

The Steelers were downright astonishingly and historically stupid.

Professional football is obviously a detailed, complex game, but even in the most simplistic terms, what the Steelers did against the Broncos Sunday made no sense and reeked of arrogance. Against an inaccurate and inconsistent quarterback who sometimes looks as if he's playing pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey, the Steelers left themselves vulnerable to the big play. Rather than make Tebow surgically maneuver his way down the field - something he has not proven he can do - the Steelers allowed Tebow to play a risk-reward game that Tebow exploited to the max.

Think about it: Tebow completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes - 47.6 percent, to be precise - but still threw for 316 yards while averaging 31.6 yards per completion. In basketball parlance, the Steelers packed the paint against someone whose only chance was to hit 3-pointers, which Tebow did.

Dumb.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

As we all know, statistics can be deceiving and are easily manipulated in any argument, but they're worth discussing here. For example, on all throws that traveled more than 40 yards in the air this season, the overall completion percentage in the NFL was 23.3 percent. On 257 attempts - an average of just eight per team, or one every two games - quarterbacks threw 23 touchdowns and 25 interceptions for an overall rating of 69.4. The bottom line is that the deep ball is generally an absurdly low-percentage and inefficient throw, even for someone like Tom Brady, who was 1 for 8 on such attempts.

The only team that was better than 50 percent on long throws during the regular season? The Cleveland Browns, who went 1 for 1.

Before Sunday, during his time as a starter, Tebow was 0 for 5 on throws of more than 40 yards. Most everybody(end) has a poor percentage on the long throws, which is why they are rarely attempted. Nonetheless, Tebow went 1 for 1 on such attempts Sunday, completing a 51-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas early in the second quarter (with the Steelers holding a 6-0 edge) because the Steelers left Ike Taylor isolated against Thomas on the left sideline.

Even then, Denver still had the ball on only the Pittsburgh 31-yard line. The Steelers could have stiffened and held the Broncos to a field goal. Instead, the Steelers went right back to the same defense, allowing a 30-yard strike from Tebow to Eddie Royal (in man coverage) two plays later, giving Denver a 7-6 lead.

After that, the Steelers kept making the same mistake over and over again, particularly on the intermediate routes where only the great quarterbacks make their money. In the process, they turned Tebow from a mediocre quarterback (at best) to a world-beater.

For what it's worth, here are Tebow's passer ratings on throws of different lengths both for his time as a starter and Sunday's win over the Steelers:

Season Sunday
1-10 yards 68.7 28.6
11-20 yards 74.5 129.5
21-30 yards 84.1 156.3
31-40 yards 78.9 39.6
Staggering, right? On throws from 11-30 yards against the Steelers on Sunday, Tebow performed (at least statistically) like Peyton Manning. So was that because Tebow learned to read defenses and developed uncanny accuracy between Week 17 and the playoffs? Or was it because the Steelers played illogically aggressive defense that left their corners on an island (especially Taylor) and allowed Denver receivers to run wild after the catch?

Go back and look at Tebow's 80-yard, game-winning throw to Thomas in overtime. The line of scrimmage is the Denver 20-yard line. Thomas catches the ball at about the 38- or 39-yard line. By leaving Taylor in 1-on-1 coverage - with no help in the middle of the field - all Tebow had to do was complete an 18- or 19-yard pass (against man coverage) to get an 80-yard touchdown. Had the Steelers just played zone, they likely would have given up an incompletion - or maybe a 5-yard run.

During the regular season, after all, Tebow's overall completion percentage of 46.5 ranked 34th among 34 qualifying NFL quarterbacks. Nice move, Mike Tomlin. You too, Dick LeBeau. Instead of letting Tebow fire the ball into the ground (or at your defenders) by playing a more crowded zone - particularly in an age when man-to-man defense is becoming virtually impossible - you opted to reward him with big gains for easier throws.

Knuckleheads.

Say this for Belichick: seemingly settled on playing a more aggressive, attacking defense this season that was intent on getting after the quarterback and relying on the coverage skills of Devin McCourty, he scrapped the plan early. Belichick decided right then and there that his defensive backs couldn't cover. The Patriots may not win a championship this year because their defense remains suspect against above-average quarterback play, but they also weren't going to win 13 games during the regular season with McCourty repeatedly getting beaten over the top.

So Belichick went to Plan B, in which he asked the Patriots to sit back against a succession of second-rate quarterbacks from Tyler Palko, Vince Young and Dan Orlovsky to Rex Grossman, Matt Moore and, yes, Tebow.

Which is why Belichick will do the same thing Saturday night, sacrificing the run and challenging Tebow to keep up with Brady by staying on the ground.

Even with a hobbled Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback, that is something the Steelers should have been able to figure out.

Ricco Suavez
01-16-2012, 08:42 AM
Hind sight is a wonderful thing, a person can appear to be smarter than others by examining their mistakes. LeBeau has more knowledge about defense than Belichek has in his entire body. Dick had either the wrong game plan or his personnel did not perform or simply had too many injuries to starters and a backup. While I agree now in hindsight that our gameplan was faulty i still give LeBeau some slack. A bigger concern for me as far as the D is our lack of putting any pressure on other teams QB. Secondary will always be at risk if opposing QBs have the time we have allowed lately.

zsheik22
01-16-2012, 09:03 AM
Hind sight is a wonderful thing, a person can appear to be smarter than others by examining their mistakes. LeBeau has more knowledge about defense than Belichek has in his entire body. Dick had either the wrong game plan or his personnel did not perform or simply had too many injuries to starters and a backup. While I agree now in hindsight that our gameplan was faulty i still give LeBeau some slack. A bigger concern for me as far as the D is our lack of putting any pressure on other teams QB. Secondary will always be at risk if opposing QBs have the time we have allowed lately.




Lebeau didnt make the right matchups. It happens. To make excuses for him is ridiculous, though. He is good enough and has done a lot for this franchise... I am dumbfounded by the people that want him gone. That said, he still had a seemingly bad game plan and didnt adjust well enough after Thomas had 100 yards at the half.


I dont even want to get on Arians.... just bad. The worst.

TRH
01-16-2012, 09:07 AM
alot of good points in the article...
-Steelers arrogance
-poor coaching
-staying "the course" and not adjusting for Tebow
-Belichik being much smarter and would not allow that to happen
all true points.

On the other hand, he mentions that we had an "aggressive" defensive scheme that put our corners on an island. We may have put the corners on an "island", but where was the aggressiveness??? It certainly didn't show up any more.

Also, an ulterior motive for the writer here it the fact that they REALLY wanted to beat Pittsburgh and didn't get their chance. In New England, its similar to the Browns and Raven's territory....it's one of their "super bowls" to beat Pittsburgh.
Still, Tomlin and his staff have to be thoroughly embarrassed to the hilt.

Goldsteel86
01-16-2012, 10:15 AM
Lebeau didnt make the right matchups. It happens. To make excuses for him is ridiculous, though. He is good enough and has done a lot for this franchise... I am dumbfounded by the people that want him gone. That said, he still had a seemingly bad game plan and didnt adjust well enough after Thomas had 100 yards at the half.


I dont even want to get on Arians.... just bad. The worst.

The bottom line, the players didn't execute, no pressure on Tebow, NE proved, get pressure on Tebow and it is all over. Don't blame LeBeau, it isn't him, it is a failure to execute!

BKAnthem
01-16-2012, 10:28 AM
The bottom line, the players didn't execute, no pressure on Tebow, NE proved, get pressure on Tebow and it is all over. Don't blame LeBeau, it isn't him, it is a failure to execute!

It is partially Lebaus fault, he's been around long enough to know there is more that one way to get to a QB...safety Blitz, CB blitz, or help over the top for Ike something to slow Tebow down...bottom line...he should have known better every Steeler fan in America knows less football than Lebau and we saw how terrible that game plan was...Ike had a bad game...but Lebau had a far worse one...and Injuries are no excuse everyone that was on that field gets playing time so they all know their Jobs and responsibilities .....Lets hope they all learned something and make the necessary adjustments next season Starting with a New OC and upgrades on the Oline

madtowndrunkard
01-16-2012, 10:48 AM
This article says exactly what everyone was thinking while watching the game. It was so blatantly obvious what we were trying to do was not working.

I agree with the writer, what we were trying to do in the first place was beyond stupid. how we took the week to come up with that game plan is just unfathomable. But as someone said, hind sight is 20/20.

So lets for a second assume DL and Tomlin had a sound game plan. For that plan to work we had to get pressure on Tebow and force him to hurry or run. By the 2nd quarter it was pretty obvious none of it was working. Our LB's were not getting pressure. Our secondary was not holding up 1 on 1. Tebow was making throws good enough to beat us deep....he was actually looking down field, something he never did. To add to the bad situation our offense was struggling.

So what really makes no sense is the fact we stuck with this plan, even in OT. It appears to me that we were so deathly afraid of their ability to run that we just threw all common sense out the window and stuck with the idea, if we stop their run there is no way Tebow beats us. After getting burnt time and time again I just don't understand why we stuck with it.

If this was all on DL, where the heck was Mike Tomlin? After all he is our HC..and he has defensive experience. How do you not tell your assistants to change things up? There is no way to defend what happened. The coaches and players have to be wondering why on earth they did what they did. If there ever was a loss you can pin 100% on the coaching staff, this was it.

Danny136200
01-16-2012, 10:56 AM
Hind sight is a wonderful thing, a person can appear to be smarter than others by examining their mistakes. LeBeau has more knowledge about defense than Belichek has in his entire body. Dick had either the wrong game plan or his personnel did not perform or simply had too many injuries to starters and a backup. While I agree now in hindsight that our gameplan was faulty i still give LeBeau some slack. A bigger concern for me as far as the D is our lack of putting any pressure on other teams QB. Secondary will always be at risk if opposing QBs have the time we have allowed lately.
We played the same way against the patriots. The difference was that woodley and the dline was getting pressure to Brady constantly, the steelers didn't even have a sack or even a qb pressure against the broncos

madtowndrunkard
01-16-2012, 11:28 AM
We played the same way against the patriots. The difference was that woodley and the dline was getting pressure to Brady constantly, the steelers didn't even have a sack or even a qb pressure against the broncos


We did not use the same defensive strategy. We played man coverage but we kept the safeties back and we were able to pressure Brady because he couldn't hit his short timing routes because of the bump coverage...and the deep passes were taken away by our safeties. They were taken by surprise....they were expecting the usual steeler 5-10 yard cushion...so I think their plan was probably to beat us with short passes w/ plenty of YAC....like how they always beat us.

By the time they could change things up we already had a pretty big lead so it made them one dimensional....and they still made it interesting in the end. The reason we won mostly because of Ben and the offense actually scoring points early.

Curtain_of_Steel
01-16-2012, 12:29 PM
That says it all, the word STUPID. They played that way several times this years. STUPID!. Let Flacco drive 92 yards in a prevent def all the way till he scored. Played off the line. Stupid. We do it constantly, play off th eline because we are afraid on a 3 and 2 they might throw a bomb. 2nd a 2 you go bomb, 3 and 2, you go 3 yard pass. Every time whoeever played us, nailed us. With exception of 1 game, against the Pats we played tight.

Stupid, stupid stupid. Its like Alzhiemers sets in on Dick during the games some times.

kirklandrules
01-16-2012, 12:59 PM
What everyone is forgetting is that this article is written by a douche from Boston and he's a real genius telling us what the problem was. Except he's wrong. The Steelers had a game plan that took away Tebow's strengths and made him play to his weaknesses. Unfortunately, Tebow had the game of his life ... hitting passes he has yet to complete this year. Ike Taylor allowed over 200 yards and a critical TD. How often does that happen? Hell, I'd take my chances on Ike shutting down a receiver. I don't recall Ike giving up 75 yards to a receiver this year, let alone 200. I've said this in other posts: If Ike played his usual game, no one would be complaining about a poor scheme. But the guy had a bad game. Troy had a bad game as well ... he was late on a few of the plays he was supposed to provide deep coverage. When the 2 best DBs on your team have a crappy day, it really doesn't matter what scheme you're going to play.

BKAnthem
01-16-2012, 01:30 PM
What everyone is forgetting is that this article is written by a douche from Boston and he's a real genius telling us what the problem was. Except he's wrong. The Steelers had a game plan that took away Tebow's strengths and made him play to his weaknesses. Unfortunately, Tebow had the game of his life ... hitting passes he has yet to complete this year. Ike Taylor allowed over 200 yards and a critical TD. How often does that happen? Hell, I'd take my chances on Ike shutting down a receiver. I don't recall Ike giving up 75 yards to a receiver this year, let alone 200. I've said this in other posts: If Ike played his usual game, no one would be complaining about a poor scheme. But the guy had a bad game. Troy had a bad game as well ... he was late on a few of the plays he was supposed to provide deep coverage. When the 2 best DBs on your team have a crappy day, it really doesn't matter what scheme you're going to play.

Yeah but you have to adjust to Ike having crappy game or there being little to no pressure on Tebow...some help for Ike wouldn't have hurt anything and that's where DL failed...it's just inexplicable to me that DC of his stature would not do ANYTHING about that

kirklandrules
01-16-2012, 04:27 PM
Yeah but you have to adjust to Ike having crappy game or there being little to no pressure on Tebow...some help for Ike wouldn't have hurt anything and that's where DL failed...it's just inexplicable to me that DC of his stature would not do ANYTHING about that

And when you roll the coverage over to help Ike, you open another spot on the field (ie: the d-line with a rookie right DE and a practice squad NT). There were times Troy wasn't getting over in time either ... so you had Ike and Troy both failing on a given play. Sooner or later you have to expect your studs to produce. Hopefully next year when an Ike or another DB is having a bad game, they have the luxury of replacing them with a decent back up. With the injuries they had going into this game, that wasn't an option.

rrage
01-17-2012, 09:30 AM
The article does pose many interesting tidbits albeit from a douche but i dont think anyone can argue that the zero in game adjustments is beyond STUPID. The first half alone says Ike couldnt cover Thomas 1 on 1 so double him & fuk Ike's pride. As for the threat of the run, well let the d-line prove they cant stop em before u sell out to it. This game was so sickening & our injuries didnt help either. I blame this loss more on the coaching than the players & this zero in game adjustments is what hinders the team.