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Ricco Suavez
01-28-2012, 08:33 AM
Tomlin and the Steeler offense come under a lot abuse on this board. From Tomlin can only win with Cowhers team, we have gotten away from the running game, without the defense this team could do nothing. I would like to address the Defense part first.

Defense has been the cornerstone of this Great franchise since the day they drafted Joe Greene. Defense has always been priority number one and it pains me to see a league that has de-emphasized the importance of defense by constantly altering rules that allow the offense more freedom.

Tomlin has been accused of only winning with Cowhers players and that is true, but only to a point. This team has a lot of new and younger players that are his and Colberts players. This team is more Tomlins than Cowher.

Lets do some quick comparisons of the two. Cowher took over a down team and quickly returned them to the playoffs. The first six years of his 15 year tenure yielded six straight playoff berths. By this time Cowher should of had all his player firmly in place. Now what happened the next 9 years, the Steelers made the playoffs 4 more times and won a SuperBowl (after finally getting a franchise QB) but missed the playoffs 5 times. Impressive still is 10-15 making the playoffs. BTW one year Cowhers team made the playoffs with a 9-7 record and it is odd the only year Tomlins team has not made the playoffs was an identical 9-7 record.

As far as scoring Cowhers best year was 1995 when we scored 407 points, we passed for over 4000 yards as a team and had a committee of backs that rushed for 1852 yards. Tomlins best scoring came in 2007 with 393 points the team had only 3400 yards passing but 2168 yards rushing, this did not produce a great season at 10-6 but did make the playoffs only to see us lose the Jags. In comparisons this years team had 4300 yards and 1903 yards rushing.

Historically, other than the 70's team the Steelers have always struggled to score points in droves. We bemoan the lack of scoring from this team when in reality Cowhers team scored less. Just a few of the playoff game scores from Cowhers era. In 1992 lost to Bills 3-24, 1993 lost to KC 24-27 OT, 1994 lost AFC 13-17 SD, 1995 beat Colts 20-16 lost to Dallas 17-27, 1996 NE 3-28, and 1997 Den 21-24.

The league has changed offensively and we need to change or be left behind. Cowhers early years he won with the formula that at that time was the norm, but while it yielded winning teams it failed when playoff time came, one because we did not have an X factor at QB, and second good teams eventually will limit your run game. The other X factor in any game is turnovers, whether it be you make them or cause them.

That is why I think this teams offense needs just a little "tweaking" to become much better, but to be honest the offense is basically doing what it always has.

TRH
01-28-2012, 08:41 AM
the offense desperately needs new organization and planning, which will take place with a new OC. Thats #1, easily.
Some of the tweaks that need to be done are being able to spread the offense more, utilize TE's into the game plan, and perfect the quick slant passing game.
As far as the defense, it needs tweaked a bit too....we need to be more unpredictable/disruptive, learn how to get to the QB again, and cause turnovers, among some other things.

Atlanta Dan
01-28-2012, 09:24 AM
As I have posted previously, one reason I believe Tomlin gets more grief than Cowher did for a mediocre offense is that Cowher would fire an OC if he thought there was room for improvement whereas ownership had to force the issue with Arians

Offensive rankings in points scored under Cowher's offensive coordinators and Arians were as follows

http://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/pit/

Ron Erhardt

1992 - 15
1993 - 13
1994 - 16
1995 - 5

The spike in 1995 was attributed to a shift to more passing and Chan Gailey being more involved in the play calling - when the Jets (who were taking on O'Donnell as QB) requested permission to interview Gailey for OC, - "the Steelers asked Erhardt to retire and, when he didn't, they fired him." (sound familiar?)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1996/02/02/SP12612.DTL

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19960206&id=K9RRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=eW8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6909,3261649

Chan Gailey (who was hired to be teh Cowboys HC)

1996 - 11
1997 - 7

After Gailey left voluntarily Ray Sherman was hired

1998 - 25:jawdrop:

By the end of the 1998 season Sherman was such a disaster that Cowher had taken over the play calling and Sherman was fired after one season - Ron Cook's response was that Sherman getting canned added to Cowher's "growing reputation as a madman to work for.":chuckle:

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1129&dat=19990101&id=fHQxAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xG8DAAAAIBAJ&pg=5894,181744

Kevin Gilbride

1999 - 17
2000 - 17

Cowher explained Gilbride's termination after two mediocre season as follows:

"I just wasn't comfortable with the direction we were heading in the passing game," Cowher said. "We were 29th in the league in passing when he got here and we were 29th in the league this season.".... We've given it two years to see some progress and I wasn't comfortable with where that was going."

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/12/27/sports/main259946.shtml
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/12020/1204704-66-0.stm

Mike Mularkey (left to become HC with Buffalo)

2001 - 7
2002 - 8
2003 - 19

Ken Whisenhunt (not hired as Steelers HC/hired asArizona HC)

2004 - 11
2005 - 9
2006 - 12

Bruce Arians

2007 - 9
2008 - 20
2009 - 12
2010 - 12
2011 - 21

No way Arians would have lasted 5 seasons under Cowher with that record

Two of the three seasons over the last 20 years in which the Steelers ranked in the 20s with regard to points scored were under Arians

While the offense may only need to be tweaked it obviously needed a new tweaker as OC

Ricco Suavez
01-28-2012, 10:17 AM
Thanks Dan for that insightful post. Its this kind of Info that I did not consider, changing OC shows he at least tried something but I also know that Cowher liked the pound it out mentality. He was quite successful if he had a lead of 10 or more. Another thought is this did changing OC really help or did it cause setbacks before showing improvements.

pittpete
01-28-2012, 10:20 AM
Nice post Dan, looks like you did a lot of work on that response.
I tend to agree with what you say.
Maybe Tomlin will get more brazen when he accumulates a little more seniority

FanSince72
01-28-2012, 11:25 AM
...
No way Arians would have lasted 5 seasons under Cowher with that record

Two of the three seasons over the last 20 years in which the Steelers ranked in the 20s with regard to points scored were under Arians

While the offense may only need to be tweaked it obviously needed a new tweaker as OC


And once again, in the 5 seasons under Arians:

55-25 in the regular season
5-3 in the playoffs
2 trips to the Super Bowl
1 Super Bowl win

Yeah, I guess that pretty much sucks. :doh:

Ricco Suavez
01-28-2012, 11:43 AM
And once again, in the 5 seasons under Arians:

55-25 in the regular season
5-3 in the playoffs
2 trips to the Super Bowl
1 Super Bowl win

Yeah, I guess that pretty much sucks. :doh:

Hey I agree. We have no reason to complain but we do. Been pretty good the last few years.

I think the fact that we did not score in relation with what this offense produces as far as yardage and even TOP was Arians downfall. Two years in a row where the offense did not produce points or better yet "wasted" opportunities on the field. As far as Arians personality I cannot attest to it, he may just have rubbed the owner the wrong way, and regardless of what the players say about him (they most seem to like him) a well liked coach can lead to lack of discipline. EX.... penalties and turnovers not to mention numerous mistakes by Ben and his mostly young receivers.

DanRooney
01-28-2012, 12:07 PM
And once again, in the 5 seasons under Arians:

55-25 in the regular season
5-3 in the playoffs
2 trips to the Super Bowl
1 Super Bowl win

Yeah, I guess that pretty much sucks. :doh:

:coffee:

Justin Hartwig with Steelers:

21-11 regular season
3-0 playoffs
1 Super Bowl

Why did we get rid of him for Pouncey?

austinfrench76
01-28-2012, 12:15 PM
One thing not being mentoned is the direction the league is heading with the rules. We SHOULD have a top 10 offense. We have an elite QB, 2 good RB's and 4 very good WR's. That's why Arians was fired (although Kevin Colbert deserves some blame for our lack of attention to the Oline in the draft). It's really hard to compare era's because of the rule changes. We sertainly have the talent but haven't produced. Some of that is on the O but alot of that is on the play calling and Arians reluctancy to run the ball (using a FB). I hope we get a good OC...

Steelerfreak58
01-28-2012, 12:17 PM
If last seasons team would have been anywhere near the top 10 say 10 to 12 for scoring we would be in the Super Bowl. This team went 12-4 with a sputtering offense 21st in scoring bring that down to 10-12 in scoring and the team is easily 15-1 14-2 and seated as the number one seed having everything coming through the Burgh. Losing to Baltimore wouldn't have even been an issue.

Arians had only to adjust to the realities that the O-Line was banged up all season long riddled with injuries and call plays accordingly. He called a great first half against the Patriots a really solid game against Seattle and the Titans. Other then that it was spurts of good fundamental football moving the chains getting the first downs and getting the ball out of BBs hands quickly.

For some reason he would consistently throw a wrench into it all by calling for long bombs and trying to force the long developing pass plays. Teams that could keep us to 3rd and long ate us alive. Look at the 49er game absolutely ZERO adjustments in his play calling when he knew BB was immobile and the 49ers have a tremendously fast pass rush.

He never adjusted and never adapted to the realities at hand. The short passing game when he called it worked ridiculously well mixed with the running game and some PA this team can move down field like any of the other elite offenses.

Ricco Suavez
01-28-2012, 12:34 PM
SteelerFreak I agree if we score more we are in a BETTER position to win come playoff time. But we had so many walking wounded at the end I just have to believe it was not in the cards for us this year. Look a t the Giants they were injured most of the year and now they are helathy and hot at the right time. We do not know what could of happened but between the injuries, an impotent scoring offense, and the lack of game changing turnovers this team may have gone as far as they were able this year.

Atlanta Dan
01-28-2012, 01:30 PM
And once again, in the 5 seasons under Arians:

55-25 in the regular season
5-3 in the playoffs
2 trips to the Super Bowl
1 Super Bowl win

Yeah, I guess that pretty much sucks. :doh:

I watched all the games for the past 5 seasons - using your logic i guess I also should claim credit for the record

Or maybe the record is due to Charlie Batch being the backup QB:noidea:

Atlanta Dan
01-28-2012, 01:31 PM
:coffee:

Justin Hartwig with Steelers:

21-11 regular season
3-0 playoffs
1 Super Bowl

Why did we get rid of him for Pouncey?

Art Rooney did not want Hartwig to get credit then owner thought should only go to the Rooney family so Hartwig was unfairly run off
:thumbsup::drink:

zcoop
01-28-2012, 01:31 PM
I personally think it's obvious as to why Tomlin is under constant attack. I just hope that he contunues to do his job and not let the petty BS get to him.

StainlessStill
01-28-2012, 01:42 PM
:coffee:

Justin Hartwig with Steelers:

21-11 regular season
3-0 playoffs
1 Super Bowl

Why did we get rid of him for Pouncey?

LOL, nice comeback. Hartwig was also responsible for that Phantom holding call too that put us in the predicament in XLIII as well.

FanSince72
01-28-2012, 02:44 PM
I have no agenda here.

All I'm pointing out is that numbers can be used to support or attack any position one may have and it's the number one reason why I don't care about statistics.
Someone pulls out some statistics that make Arians look bad, others (like me) can scrounge up some statistics that make him look good.

Actually, my favorite "statistics argument" around here is the "#1 Defense" argument that everyone falls back on so that they don't have to actually look hard at LeBeau.
You can hold onto that stat all you want, but anyone who really thinks we actually had a defense that was REALLY a number one defense needs to have their head examined.

But the "statistics" say it's true, so no one has to go beyond that.

The word, "Statistics" is just "bullshit" with an extra syllable.

Steelerfreak58
01-28-2012, 04:14 PM
SteelerFreak I agree if we score more we are in a BETTER position to win come playoff time. But we had so many walking wounded at the end I just have to believe it was not in the cards for us this year. Look a t the Giants they were injured most of the year and now they are helathy and hot at the right time. We do not know what could of happened but between the injuries, an impotent scoring offense, and the lack of game changing turnovers this team may have gone as far as they were able this year.

Very true we limped into the playoffs. Just goes to show you the strength of this team. Healthy the Steelers will be unbeatable next year.

ricardisimo
01-28-2012, 04:37 PM
I have no agenda here.

All I'm pointing out is that numbers can be used to support or attack any position one may have and it's the number one reason why I don't care about statistics.
Someone pulls out some statistics that make Arians look bad, others (like me) can scrounge up some statistics that make him look good.

Actually, my favorite "statistics argument" around here is the "#1 Defense" argument that everyone falls back on so that they don't have to actually look hard at LeBeau.
You can hold onto that stat all you want, but anyone who really thinks we actually had a defense that was REALLY a number one defense needs to have their head examined.

But the "statistics" say it's true, so no one has to go beyond that.

The word, "Statistics" is just "bullshit" with an extra syllable.
No, it's pretty clear whose head needs shrunk. I suspect, as you have stated elsewhere, that you are just a professional pot-stirrer, in which case we're all just wasting our time here. Pretending for a moment that we're not just pissing in the wind...

You keep stating this opinion of yours regarding Dick Lebeau and this year's defense, and stating it as if it is fact. And yet whenever pressed, you hit us with rhetorical zingers (http://www.steelersfever.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83293&page=4) like "Look, I'm probably not explaining myself as well as I could and right now I really don't feel like trying to figure that out." You have this bizarre contention that stats can be made to say anything, they're just there to lie to us, as if someone could invert this year's rankings, and easily make the case that Green Bay and New England were really the best defenses, while Pittsburgh and the Texans just flat-out sucked. These sorts of claims suggest that you are delusional, and should indeed get your head examined.

I'll ask you for the fourteenth time: other than the second Ravens game, which regular season game did our "paper defense" shit the bed, or give away a game that the offense had won for us? And for the fortieth time that I've asked you and everyone else on this board: Can you find me a two- or three-game stretch anywhere in Arians' tenure where the offense was dominant? I could possibly even find two games that Ray Sherman or Kevin Gilbride put together that were truly solid. Arians? No.

4xSBChamps
01-29-2012, 05:36 AM
Thanks Dan for that insightful post.

:thumbsup:

FanSince72
01-29-2012, 09:08 AM
No, it's pretty clear whose head needs shrunk. I suspect, as you have stated elsewhere, that you are just a professional pot-stirrer, in which case we're all just wasting our time here. Pretending for a moment that we're not just pissing in the wind...

You keep stating this opinion of yours regarding Dick Lebeau and this year's defense, and stating it as if it is fact. And yet whenever pressed, you hit us with rhetorical zingers (http://www.steelersfever.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83293&page=4) like "Look, I'm probably not explaining myself as well as I could and right now I really don't feel like trying to figure that out." You have this bizarre contention that stats can be made to say anything, they're just there to lie to us, as if someone could invert this year's rankings, and easily make the case that Green Bay and New England were really the best defenses, while Pittsburgh and the Texans just flat-out sucked. These sorts of claims suggest that you are delusional, and should indeed get your head examined.

I'll ask you for the fourteenth time: other than the second Ravens game, which regular season game did our "paper defense" shit the bed, or give away a game that the offense had won for us? And for the fortieth time that I've asked you and everyone else on this board: Can you find me a two- or three-game stretch anywhere in Arians' tenure where the offense was dominant? I could possibly even find two games that Ray Sherman or Kevin Gilbride put together that were truly solid. Arians? No.

It's not that we "give the game away" but rather that we never (lately - in the last couple of seasons) seem to put the game away and we seem to allow way too many teams to "hang around".

My personal beef with this defense is third down. There was a time when we'd have a team in a third and long situation and I'd be sure that we'd be getting the ball back very soon. But lately, third and long seems to be a lucky charm for other teams and I can't count how many times, when a team needs 10 or 11 yards, we let them gain 11 or 12. It's gotten to the point where whenever I see a third and long, I just roll my eyes and think, "Oh well, maybe we can stop them on the next series".

The defense isn't bad, it's just sloppy and it seems to allow teams to continue when that didn't happen in the past (or at least not nearly as much). It's sort of like a slow leak rather than a gaping hole and through the course of a game we seem to be defending against red zone or near red zone situations far more often than we should. This doesn't always end up with other teams scoring TD's, but rather nibbling away with FG's or by simply running the clock and it's turned way too many games that we should have put away into late-game nail-biters.

Staistically (my favorite word) we don't turn up looking bad, but functionally we have the tendency to keep another team's hopes alive and that eventually comes back to haunt us. We have a secondary that I feel is basically talented, but seems to be out of position more often than it should be for a #1 defense. Troy, for example, is often shown arriving at a ballcarrier with great speed and from seemingly out of nowhere and the talking heads always marvel at his quickness, but my question is always: "Why was he so far out of position in the first place?"

I can't point to any specific thing or specific person or package but rather I just see the defense as a whole playing sloppy and allowing other teams to do things that I believe we're more than capable of preventing. I think this whole Dick LeBeau / #1 Defense thing serves as a cover of sorts and that we tend to see ourselves as great when we're really just "OK".

Whether LeBeau needs to leave or not is debatable, but I think that his defense needs to be scrutinized at least as much as Arians' offense and that he's being given a pass because of his godlike status. If we're in the process of taking a hard look at things, I think we need to drop this #1 Defense crap and pop the hood on that defense and take a serious look around because that #1 status is - in my opinion - more smoke and mirrors than real.