PDA

View Full Version : Will The Steeler Go More To A Passing Game?


Lyn
07-19-2006, 04:54 AM
I always thought that unless we found another Bettis level back we should make the transition to being more of a passing team. Not the Indy Colts but we have to start seeing Ben throwing for 325 yds. etc on 35 attempts. We have a stud QB, we drafted a WR in the first round this year, a superb TE last year, we have Hines Ward and a bevy of promising receivers in the mix like Wilson and Willie Reid and Lee Mays! We seem to find a way to get our O-line to work despite the misgivings we all have about some of the talent and
untested youth we have there. Our coaching staff may well be the best we have seen in the Cowher era, with an offensive co-ordinator who is cooking up game plans that seem to register playoff wins. I like it.

Although the Steelers have always been known for their running game, I don't think a guy like Ben is going to want to stay in an offence where he is basically managing the game. Thats fine for some games. when we have a great and dominant running game going but we need to keep him loose and happy. If it means we change our focus a little it may take us to another level. and maybe more championships.

What do you think?

Prosdo
07-19-2006, 09:10 AM
I would like to see more passing from Ben, but I don't think they should get too pass happy. If they would change I would like to see them have a balanced attack.

Big D
07-19-2006, 09:16 AM
I would like to see more passing from Ben, but I don't think they should get too pass happy. If they would change I would like to see them have a balanced attack.
I agree. Ben doesnt have a very good record when he throws the ball over twenty times a game. I would too would like to see more of a balanced offense

HometownGal
07-19-2006, 09:29 AM
I am thrilled that we have such a multi-dimensional QB that the coaching staff and the team overall has so much confidence in. Ben is most times pretty accurate when throwing the ball, can get the ball down field and hit a receiver in stride, is very mobile behind center and is pretty good at reading defenses having only 2 years of pro experience under his belt. After watching last season's playoffs where they incorporated a more balanced attack, I think we are in for yet another very exciting season with the coaching staff opening up Ben a little more, as he definitely has the talent himself as well as his receiving corps to continue to accomplish some very good things.

nicesteel4life
07-19-2006, 09:38 AM
I also feel that Ben could Handle it if he had to do it more. Realize he has never been asked to throw very often over 20 times a game or needed too, he has only lost 4 games as a Starter. I truly belive that Ben is a GREAT and AWESOME qb, but he is a field general..not a slinger. His strength lies in his ability to understand the entire field. That is a special trate that cant be learned. Yes would I love to see more passing....YES it's exciting. But I dont think Ben worries about his passing stats as much as he wants the W at the end of the game. Now our running game I dont feel has suffered HUGE with the lose of the Bus, Yes I loved him, Yes he was a force, Yes at one time in the season he had 5 rushes for 2 yards and 4 touchdowns(something like that). His absence will not be missed on the field as much as it will be in the lockerroom and the sideline. Willie and Duce and Verron will get it done.Balanced would be my choice with a little razzle dazzle on top!

BlackNGold203
07-19-2006, 09:41 AM
This is part of the maturation process of an NFL quarterback...

What many understandably forget is..Ben is entering his THIRD year in the NFL. Palmer had his breakout year last year...which was his third as well. This is a huge year for Ben. If he continues to grow..which by all accounts he is...then you will see bigger numbers...which in turn...will open up the running game even more.

As we saw in the Playoffs...not only is balance important...but so is imbalance...in terms of keping the defense off balance and guessing...

i cant wait...this is going to be VERY interesting.

lamberts-lost-tooth
07-19-2006, 09:44 AM
I love the fact that we do have the versatility to be able to run the ball until teams start stacking against the run...then can hit our Wr's and TE for a nice gain. One of the "secrets" to our success last year is that everyone labeled us a running team..forgetting that we could throw the ball.
I would like us to continue that same formula...and I PRAY that we have the personnel to do it. If Duce or Humes pan out and are healthy get ready for RUN...RUN...RUN..until they THINK we are going to run and then pass !!...Then set back up in a passing alignment..and watch Willie break a long one...I loved watching Indy..Denver..Seattle, trip all over themselves last year trying to figure out our offense...and watching the ultimate chessplayer (Whisenhut) think 3 moves ahead of their Defensive Coordinators.

X-Terminator
07-19-2006, 10:35 AM
Balance is the key. You have to show opponents that you can beat them any way you want and make it difficult to game plan for your offense. If they stack the line, then they'll kill you with possession, precision passing. if they play against the pass, then Willie will run all over them all day long. It's nice to know that the Steelers have the type of offense that can win a shootout or a tough, physical game where you have to battle for every inch you gain. I think you're going to see a lot of multiple receiver sets and a lot of motion, perhaps 3 WR with Ben under center and having the ability to audible if necessary. Having a pass-catching TE like Heath Miller also gives them a ton of options out of a 2 TE set. It'll be a varied and versatile offense, and the Steelers will shed that "one-dimensional running team" image they have always had.

lilyoder6
07-19-2006, 10:38 AM
i don't think ben would get angry about not throwing that much per game.. i mean he is WINNING and that is what evry QB whats to do and he has a superbowl ring and his record so far is great.. so i think if we keep winning he'll be happy...

tony hipchest
07-19-2006, 11:02 AM
Balance is the key. You have to show opponents that you can beat them any way you want and make it difficult to game plan for your offense. If they stack the line, then they'll kill you with possession, precision passing. if they play against the pass, then Willie will run all over them all day long. It's nice to know that the Steelers have the type of offense that can win a shootout or a tough, physical game where you have to battle for every inch you gain. I think you're going to see a lot of multiple receiver sets and a lot of motion, perhaps 3 WR with Ben under center and having the ability to audible if necessary. Having a pass-catching TE like Heath Miller also gives them a ton of options out of a 2 TE set. It'll be a varied and versatile offense, and the Steelers will shed that "one-dimensional running team" image they have always had.i think you said it perfectly. its a monkey see monkey do league. our offense will start to resemble what the patriots have found success with. we will line up in a 4 wr set and run the ball. we will line up in a power run 2 te formation and pass the ball, and vice versa. no matter what we line up in the defense wont know or be able to accurately predict wether a pass or run is coming, regardless of down and distance.

instead of trying to force a running game and impose our will, the offense will just take what the defense gives us, as seen in last years playoffs. 4 out of the last 5 superbowls have been won with this method.

PisnNapalm
07-19-2006, 12:32 PM
I want to see the Steelers pound the ball for 4.5 yards per carry. They can strike through the air when needed, but I do not want to go back to 3 years ago.

83-Steelers-43
07-19-2006, 12:42 PM
While I feel balance is key, I would like to see the team open up the passing game to a larger extent. Many are concerned with Holmes, but I feel Quincy Morgan and Nate Washington are capable of stepping it up for this team. I've heard on numerous occasions that the Steelers are very high on Nate Washington and to this day I still have more faith in Quincy Morgan than I do Cedrick Wilson and even Randle El when he was here. Good speed and good height with Quincy. We also have Hands Miller as an option. The more experience Ben get's the more potent this teams passing game will be. We've always complained (and for good reason) that we never had the option of opening up our passing game, now we have the QB and the tools in order to make that change. Why not use it?

For the record, by no means am I stating that we become a complete air-it-out ball team. We learned our lesson in 2003 with that little experiment. But at the same time there is a difference between doing what we did in 2003 and what I would like to see done. Also, we didn't have Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller at the time. I would love to see us open up a few games throwing the rock more often (Colts playoff game comes to mind).

X-Terminator
07-19-2006, 12:58 PM
While I feel balance is key, I would like to see the team open up the passing game to a larger extent. Many are concerned with Holmes, but I feel Quincy Morgan and Nate Washington are capable of stepping it up for this team. I've heard on numerous occasions that the Steelers are very high on Nate Washington and to this day I still have more faith in Quincy Morgan than I do Cedrick Wilson and even Randle El when he was here. Good speed and good height with Quincy. We also have Hands Miller as an option. The more experience Ben get's the more potent this teams passing game will be. We've always complained (and for good reason) that we never had the option of opening up our passing game, now we have the QB and the tools in order to make that change. Why not use it?

For the record, by no means am I stating that we become a complete air-it-out ball team. We learned our lesson in 2003 with that little experiment. But at the same time there is a difference between doing what we did in 2003 and what I would like to see done. Also, we didn't have Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller at the time. I would love to see us open up a few games throwing the rock more often (Colts playoff game comes to mind).

You can open up the passing game more and still have a balanced offense. The ability to throw the football, especially downfield, keeps defenses honest, allowing you to have a more effective rushing game. I think people see "balance" and think "conservative" - that is not what I advocate. I think Whisenhunt is going to take the chains off Ben and let him go for more big plays, which in turn will give Willie Parker plenty of opportunities to use his speed and break off a lot of long runs of his own as defenses attempt to adjust. Balance and big plays - the perfect combo.

SteelerMurf
07-19-2006, 01:03 PM
I think we will need to go to more of a passing game. I think we will miss Jerome most when we need to milk the clock at the end of the game. I think we will need to pass more in the 4th quarter than we did the past 2 years.

83-Steelers-43
07-19-2006, 01:03 PM
I think people see "balance" and think "conservative" - that is not what I advocate. I think Whisenhunt is going to take the chains off Ben and let him go for more big plays, which in turn will give Willie Parker plenty of opportunities to use his speed and break off a lot of long runs of his own. Balance and big plays - the perfect combo.

At the same time, I think when people hear "open up the passing game to a larger degree" they automatically think " air-it-out type of offense/2003 season/6-10 record".

I agree completely with you that Whisenhunt will let Ben have a little fun this year. As the kid learns more and more I think you almost have to.

RoethlisBURGHer
07-19-2006, 01:06 PM
I think we'll be more balanced than we have been in the past...well until we get that nice lead...then it's run the clock down.

But if we get into a situation where we need to pass more,I think Ben can handle it and I think Cowher & Company will have enough faith in him to let him pass away if need be.

83-Steelers-43
07-19-2006, 01:07 PM
I think we will need to go to more of a passing game. I think we will miss Jerome most when we need to milk the clock at the end of the game. I think we will need to pass more in the 4th quarter than we did the past 2 years.

I'll buy that. Good point.

lamberts-lost-tooth
07-19-2006, 01:18 PM
I think we will need to go to more of a passing game. I think we will miss Jerome most when we need to milk the clock at the end of the game. I think we will need to pass more in the 4th quarter than we did the past 2 years.



If we are passing in the fourth quarter..things have gone VERY BAD...if you have a nice lead,you want to run the ball to run down the clock....Passing late generally means that you are behind...even without bettis..we had BETTER be able to run at the end of the game, or it will be a very short season

SteelerFanInCA
07-19-2006, 01:44 PM
I have to agree with keeping the offense balanced. Although I am a big fan of Big Ben and the passing game, there will be times when we will still need to run the ball.

Mosca
07-19-2006, 01:46 PM
Honestly, I think that we WON'T become a passing team. Here's why.

A successful team is really a "take what they give us" team. So, the Steelers don't have Bus, and I don't think Parker has the respect of the rest of the league yet. What I see happening is teams lining up to defend the pass, and the Steelers forcing them to respect Parker (and whomever else, Staley, Haynes, etc). THEN, when they have to respect the run, the Steelers will pass. And then, at the end of the game, you'll see more of those 3rd and 7s become passes to Miller rather than 5 yard runs and punt.

So I'm on the side with those that say it won't go all passing, but it will go more balanced, which is good. We'll need it; all the teams in our division improved over the offseason, at least on paper.


Tom

X-Terminator
07-19-2006, 01:48 PM
At the same time, I think when people hear "open up the passing game to a larger degree" they automatically think " air-it-out type of offense/2003 season/6-10 record".

I agree. We have the personnel to open up the offense and score with anyone now, which is something we haven't had around here in a long, long time. But we certainly will not abandon the running game, not with a guy like Parker carrying the rock who can give you a 70 yard TD in a blink of an eye. You don't keep a weapon like that in your gun.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-19-2006, 02:22 PM
I have wanted the Steelers to become a more balanced offensive team for years. I would like to see a 50/50 pass/run ratio. But I don't think that will happen I see more a 45/55 this year. The Steelers have the talent on offense to be a very good and dangerous passing team. But with all the success the team has had the last two years. Its hard to argue at not running the ball at the rate of the past two years.

About Ben passing the ball more then 20 times in the game and not having success. Thats so silly hearing that. Ben threw the ball a whole lot in college. True it was at the college level. But Ben put up monster numbers in college. Also the times he has more then 20 attempts in his pro career have been good as well. The AFC title game against the Broncos Ben had 29 attempts and had a very good game. In the loss to the Bengals during the regular season....Ben's 386 yards through the air was third most in a game for a Steelers QB. Plus he also completed 72 percent of his passes that day. True Ben also had 3 INT's. But hey every QB from Johnny Unitas to Joe Montana threw INT's from time to time. If Ben has to pass more. He will be fine.

Livinginthe past
07-19-2006, 04:13 PM
What will be real interesting will be to see if Ben can handle the load if the running game doesnt pan out for the Steelers this year.

Its all very well saying balanced offense, but you have to have proven commodities in both departments before you can take it for granted that it is, at least, possible in a successful sense.

I would put the 2006 Steelers in the same category as the 2003 patriots, the one featuring Antowain Smith at RB.

Of course, Antowain and Willie are vastly differnt RBs in terms of style, but neither can be seriously regarded as a legitimate 1600 yard back.

This meant that the Patriots were having to concede drives, by running on 3rd and 5's that they knew they weren't going to make, in order to keep the 'balance' of run attempts to passing attempts.

Our passing was vastly more succesful than the running game, and people wanted to know why the Patriots weren't sticking with the method that brought them the most success.

The answer, I would guess to be, was that the Patriots needed to consistently pose the threat of the power running game in order that the passing game succeed - even if the running game was not hugely efficient.

I think the Steelers will find their running game shut down on a fairly consistent basis, and because Willie is the RB and not Bettis, Ben will find himself in alot of 3rd and long situations, rather than 3rd and short.

As I say, it will be interesting to see of Ben is capable of consistently carrying his team with big passing performances if and when they are needed.

NM

BBC
07-19-2006, 04:24 PM
What will be real interesting will be to see if Ben can handle the load if the running game doesnt pan out for the Steelers this year.

Its all very well saying balanced offense, but you have to have proven commodities in both departments before you can take it for granted that it is, at least, possible in a successful sense.

I would put the 2006 Steelers in the same category as the 2003 patriots, the one featuring Antowain Smith at RB.

Of course, Antowain and Willie are vastly differnt RBs in terms of style, but neither can be seriously regarded as a legitimate 1600 yard back.

This meant that the Patriots were having to concede drives, by running on 3rd and 5's that they knew they weren't going to make, in order to keep the 'balance' of run attempts to passing attempts.

Our passing was vastly more succesful than the running game, and people wanted to know why the Patriots weren't sticking with the method that brought them the most success.

The answer, I would guess to be, was that the Patriots needed to consistently pose the threat of the power running game in order that the passing game succeed - even if the running game was not hugely efficient.

I think the Steelers will find their running game shut down on a fairly consistent basis, and because Willie is the RB and not Bettis, Ben will find himself in alot of 3rd and long situations, rather than 3rd and short.

As I say, it will be interesting to see of Ben is capable of consistently carrying his team with big passing performances if and when they are needed.

NM

This was actually a rather good post until you mentioned the portion in bold. What exactly did Jerome do for us last season? He sure as hell didn't put us in any 3rd and short situations. He may have gotten the one or two yards needed in those 3rd and short situations that Ben and Willie put the Steelers into, but he had nothing to do with getting to that 3rd and short.

Livinginthe past
07-19-2006, 04:32 PM
This was actually a rather good post until you mentioned the portion in bold. What exactly did Jerome do for us last season? He sure as hell didn't put us in any 3rd and short situations. He may have gotten the one or two yards needed in those 3rd and short situations that Ben and Willie put the Steelers into, but he had nothing to do with getting to that 3rd and short.


I was thinking about the Steelers, historically, over the length of Bettis' career rather than just last year.

Of course, Ben wasn't the QB for a large percentage of Bettis' career but he was present for Bens first, and best, regular season.

I am of the opinion that, the high risk/high reward nature of Willies game compared to Bettis' game will lead to alot more 10 yard runs on first down, but similarly more 3rd and 8-12's rather than 3rd and 4's.

Ben stepped it up great in the playoffs, which is the most intense pressure atmosphere, but im wonering how he will cope through a long regular season if his effective run game is taken away from him.

NM

Lyn
07-19-2006, 05:04 PM
I'd rather see the Steelers throw early and establish a rhythm for Ben, than run early and count on him to manage the game and deliver when the pressure is on to keep drives alive because that's when problems occurred with Ben late in the season. Recently I have had more doubts about Ben performing well on this level when he is in the controlled offense he ran last year than when he can drop back, read the defense and air it out as he did in college.

Oddly enough, this has me thinking of Terry Bradshaw. In the earlier part of the Steelers success, say '72 through '76, the Steelers achieved their success through running in a day when running was the thing to do (before the days of the "Mel Blount" rule on contact came about). In the later stages, '78 and '79, Terry was the prototypical gunslinger QB, calling pass plays more often than his contemporaries. Maybe he was in the early days of throwing early and often to establish a rhythm before anyone put the idea into formal
thought? Something to think about...

BBC
07-19-2006, 05:26 PM
I was thinking about the Steelers, historically, over the length of Bettis' career rather than just last year.

Of course, Ben wasn't the QB for a large percentage of Bettis' career but he was present for Bens first, and best, regular season.

I am of the opinion that, the high risk/high reward nature of Willies game compared to Bettis' game will lead to alot more 10 yard runs on first down, but similarly more 3rd and 8-12's rather than 3rd and 4's.

Ben stepped it up great in the playoffs, which is the most intense pressure atmosphere, but im wonering how he will cope through a long regular season if his effective run game is taken away from him.

NM

I agree that Willie is better for a couple of long runs, rather than every run being 3 or 4 yards, but Ben played with Willie as his RB all of last season, and didn't seem to skip a beat on 3rd down, I don't see why that would change this season, as they each have another year of experience under their belts.

Livinginthe past
07-19-2006, 05:58 PM
I agree that Willie is better for a couple of long runs, rather than every run being 3 or 4 yards, but Ben played with Willie as his RB all of last season, and didn't seem to skip a beat on 3rd down, I don't see why that would change this season, as they each have another year of experience under their belts.

I would disagree strongly with your assesment of Bens performance on 3rd downs in 2005 compared to 2004, when he had an effective Bettis in his armoury.

Here is a statistical breakdown.

Atts/ Comps 2004 - 67/105 - 63.8%
Atts/ Comps 2005 - 47/83 - 56.6%

Yards per att 2004 - 8.51
Yards per att 2005 - 7.00

TD/INT 2004 - 7/3 (70% TD Ratio)
TD/INT 2005 - 4/4 (50% TD Ratio)

Comps 20+ Yards 2004 - 14
Comps 20+ Yards 2005 - 7

3rd Down Passer Rating 2004 - 101.1
3rd Down Passer Rating 2005 - 74.4

In just about every 3rd down measureable Ben was a good deal less impressive last year compared to his rookie year.

Im not going to say Bens 3rd down performance was reliant upon a single factor, that being Bettis' input, but i'd deduce he had a very large impact.

NM

BBC
07-19-2006, 06:05 PM
Skip a beat was bad wording on my part. When I used that phrase, I meant skip a beat from 1st and 2nd down. It wasn't as if Ben was having trouble playing on third down because he was set up in a long yardage situation, he played just fine on 3rd down (obviously not as well as last season, but still not exactly numbers to be sneezed at).

Livinginthe past
07-19-2006, 06:14 PM
Skip a beat was bad wording on my part. When I used that phrase, I meant skip a beat from 1st and 2nd down. It wasn't as if Ben was having trouble playing on third down because he was set up in a long yardage situation, he played just fine on 3rd down (obviously not as well as last season, but still not exactly numbers to be sneezed at).

Unfortuately I dont have the stats to back this one up, but I would hazard a guess that Bens main struggle with with 3rd down conversion and passer rating would have been the distance he needed to go to convert it.

This would be a direct result of less consistent play on 1st and 2nd downs.

Of course, there is a possibility that his thumb injury played some part in lowering his numbers, but I think his Wr corps was as strong as it ever was last year, and as you say, he was another year wiser.

NM

tony hipchest
07-19-2006, 06:17 PM
I would disagree strongly with your assesment of Bens performance on 3rd downs in 2005 compared to 2004, when he had an effective Bettis in his armoury.

Here is a statistical breakdown.

Atts/ Comps 2004 - 67/105 - 63.8%
Atts/ Comps 2005 - 47/83 - 56.6%

Yards per att 2004 - 8.51
Yards per att 2005 - 7.00

TD/INT 2004 - 7/3 (70% TD Ratio)
TD/INT 2005 - 4/4 (50% TD Ratio)

Comps 20+ Yards 2004 - 14
Comps 20+ Yards 2005 - 7

3rd Down Passer Rating 2004 - 101.1
3rd Down Passer Rating 2005 - 74.4

In just about every 3rd down measureable Ben was a good deal less impressive last year compared to his rookie year.

Im not going to say Bens 3rd down performance was reliant upon a single factor, that being Bettis' input, but i'd deduce he had a very large impact.

NMthats interresting what you put in bold. that was his rookie season. a year that manning and culpepper had record breaking career years, along with mcnabb, and brady having career seasons and reaching the superbowl. yet ben led the league in every 3rd down statistic you posted in bold. ben was out of the stratosphere. he didnt get worse last year because of willie, he just came back down to earth a bit.

you left out the part about ben having duce staley in the backfield for half of that 2004 season. so throw the jerome argument out the window.

and bens 7.00 yds/ attempt on 3rd down is still beetter or as good as what all other qb's averaged on all 4 downs combined. he still lead the league in yards/ attempt last season.

a qb like terry bradshaw will always have a lower completion % than someone like joe montana because they play in a go deep offense.

if ben isnt playing on a bum knee (3 games he couldnt fully step into his throws) and if he can fully grip the ball (3 games he was fluttering passes until his thumb healed and he got used to the brace in his glove), i expect his numbers to go up across the board. i expect the bogus int.s he threw in the sb and 2nd cinci game to go down too.

none of this has anything to do with jerome or willie

Livinginthe past
07-19-2006, 06:29 PM
thats interresting what you put in bold. that was his rookie season. a year that manning and culpepper had record breaking career years, along with mcnabb, and brady having career seasons and reaching the superbowl. yet ben led the league in every 3rd down statistic you posted in bold. ben was out of the stratosphere. he didnt get worse last year because of willie, he just came back down to earth a bit.

you left out the part about ben having duce staley in the backfield for half of that 2004 season. so throw the jerome argument out the window.

and bens 7.00 yds/ attempt on 3rd down is still beetter or as good as what all other qb's averaged on all 4 downs combined. he still lead the league in yards/ attempt last season.

a qb like terry bradshaw will always have a lower completion % than someone like joe montana because they play in a go deep offense.

if ben isnt playing on a bum knee (3 games he couldnt fully step into his throws) and if he can fully grip the ball (3 games he was fluttering passes until his thumb healed and he got used to the brace in his glove), i expect his numbers to go up across the board. i expect the bogus int.s he threw in the sb and 2nd cinci game to go down too.

none of this has anything to do with jerome or willie

Ok, so Staley played some games that year along with Bettis - that gives you a great 1-2 punch when running the ball.

My argument, is that now you have Willie as your number 1 - Staley is hugely injury prone and a couple of years older to boot - you cannot realistically predict the RB corps will be as consistent at picking up 6-8 yards on the first two downs this year.

Seeing as Ben has had only two seasons in the league - the first with Bettis as a major factor and the second without him as a major factor you can't help but deduce that his presence must logically play some part.

I would argue that Bens numbers were stratospheric because of the factors I have mentioned earlier - Bettis powerful presence was not incidental.

Sure, I agree that even on his poorer season Ben still had elite 3rd down stats - but I dont remember the topic being a comparison between his stats and other NFL QB's.

Oh, and QB's play with injury niggles all the time - don't you ever look at BB's injury reports? -

Brady - Right Arm Amputated - Probable :cool:

NM

Mosca
07-19-2006, 07:43 PM
Man, anyone who doesn't remember how much trouble the Steelers had on 3rd downs last year is looking backwards through rose colored glasses.

I'm thinking that this year we WILL see more 3rd and 7s converted with passes to the tight end. But you can only do that by establishing that it's possible you might try to run it on that down (like LITP said). The difference will be actually thinking of that short pass as a high percentage/drive maintaining/clock eating play rather than a turnover possibility/drive killing/clock stopping play. THAT will be the difference this year.

Tom

tony hipchest
07-19-2006, 08:05 PM
My argument, is that now you have Willie as your number 1 - Staley is hugely injury prone and a couple of years older to boot - you cannot realistically predict the RB corps will be as consistent at picking up 6-8 yards on the first two downs this year.

NM im realistically basing my predictions on the past 15 years of the steelers rushing game. you must remember when erric pegram and bam morris led the steelers to a superbowl. the steelers are a running team. they run the ball. that is and has been what they do. with much success. unfortunately there was one year famous amos proved to not be what we thought (didnt the patriots learn the same thing last year)?

youre acting like its 2003 and we are going into this with maddox and zeroue all over again. this year is different. we have a 3rd year offensive coordinator calling the shots. (practically a record in the cowher era.)

also being discounted is every starting member of our pro bowl offensive line. the one constant that has been there since every one of them joined the steelers has been jerome bettis. last year was a classic case of teaching old dogs new tricks. they, along with willie, will be better this year.

SteelerMurf
07-19-2006, 11:24 PM
If we are passing in the fourth quarter..things have gone VERY BAD...if you have a nice lead,you want to run the ball to run down the clock....Passing late generally means that you are behind...even without bettis..we had BETTER be able to run at the end of the game, or it will be a very short season

Passing in the 4th quarter does not mean things have gone very bad. It may just mean that instead of being 3rd and 2 when we are trying to milk the clock, we will be 3rd and 6 which is a passing situation.

Most teams don't get away with what we do and just run for an entire quarter without passing. How much was Bettis and how much was the line? Well I do know that when Verron was in there late in games he did a tremendous job...so maybe it is the line dominating late in games and Bettis benefited????

BigDude66687
07-20-2006, 12:25 AM
Lee mays isnt promising, but we have to be willing to air it out more, this year

Lyn
07-20-2006, 10:36 AM
Duckett is a Bettis level back but he is not playing up to his fullest potential behing Dunn. When will we know for sure if TJ is seriously coming to the Steelers or has that been put under the category of "another rumor?"

Big D
07-20-2006, 10:44 AM
Duckett is a Bettis level back but he is not playing up to his fullest potential behing Dunn. When will we know for sure if TJ is seriously coming to the Steelers or has that been put under the category of "another rumor?"
I think ducket would be perfect under cowhers system. I think we will see this trade between training camp and the trade deadline. I dont see parker being the answer. And once he starts really showing the flaws I think we will get duckett

nicesteel4life
07-20-2006, 01:15 PM
UGHHHHHH. Why are we I dont see saying Parker being the answer??????
Listen it's simple. In the next generation of the NFL, teams will be using a tandem system for running backs. The featured single back days are gone....period. You can see the shift in it yearly. Look at in the perspective of a Coach. I can have 2 or 3 diffrent style guys, this way i am prepared. As long as you got a line. We are seeing the end of many records from falling in the running back position across the league. YES Parker is a fast breakaway runner who fits, Staley and/or Haynes is a BIG BACK grind it out players, They fit. I sure am glad to see teams going to multiple depth in backs instead of having one feature back. What if he goes down. Your running game is dead in the water. I salute the change and cant wait to see all the crazy combinations.

Lyn
07-20-2006, 02:15 PM
Couldn't you pretty much say that about any position? Willie needs to do some weight ligting, he is not "meaty" enough. Duce is but fragile. TJ is the perfect answer but we will all find out soon enough.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2006, 02:30 PM
Ok this is crazy. Willie Parker had the 6th most rushing yards in a season for a Steelers RB with the 1202 he rushed for last year. What else does this guy have to do? He also averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Can he carry the load like Bettis did in his prime. I would say no. But you know what. He doesn't have to since we have a very good young QB thats still growing and also have the weapons in the passing game to take the heat of our RB's. Also don't you think Willie will only improve since that was his first year as a starter last year. Factor in the kid hardly played at North Carolina...Willie is really still learning the position. Go ahead a keep doubting Willie. This kid is the real deal and will have a better year this year then he did last year.

I kind of like the fact that Willie can score at anytime or anywhere on the field. Lets face it there are going to games were the Steelers offense will struggle to make plays. But Willie has the ability to make one of those big and special plays like he did in the Super Bowl. The Steelers offense struggled that day but Willie made one of the few big plays that day and helped win that Super Bowl.

stlrtruck
07-20-2006, 03:30 PM
I don't know if Willie can sustain a full season of beatings. In my opinion, last year he started to slide, dive, or whatever else he could do to avoid hits.

I would like to see Willie and Verron share the running duties but also let Ben open up the offense a little more. With his mobility and passing skills, there is no reason why we can't confuse people a little more with how the offense operates.

BBC
07-20-2006, 04:18 PM
Ok this is crazy. Willie Parker had the 6th most rushing yards in a season for a Steelers RB with the 1202 he rushed for last year. What else does this guy have to do? He also averaged 4.7 yards per carry. Can he carry the load like Bettis did in his prime. I would say no. But you know what. He doesn't have to since we have a very good young QB thats still growing and also have the weapons in the passing game to take the heat of our RB's. Also don't you think Willie will only improve since that was his first year as a starter last year. Factor in the kid hardly played at North Carolina...Willie is really still learning the position. Go ahead a keep doubting Willie. This kid is the real deal and will have a better year this year then he did last year.

I kind of like the fact that Willie can score at anytime or anywhere on the field. Lets face it there are going to games were the Steelers offense will struggle to make plays. But Willie has the ability to make one of those big and special plays like he did in the Super Bowl. The Steelers offense struggled that day but Willie made one of the few big plays that day and helped win that Super Bowl.

I know you and I have gone back and forth on this a couple of times, but I'd like to see him do it against capable defenses before I get too sold on the kid. He seems to do a very good job of beating up on teams like the Titans and Texans, but was all but non-existent when he had to play real defenses.

BIGBENFASTWILLIE
07-20-2006, 04:28 PM
I think we will see twice as many passes this year than last year but that will still be under 30 attempts per game.......But yes we will open up the air game some this year.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2006, 04:34 PM
I know you and I have gone back and forth on this a couple of times, but I'd like to see him do it against capable defenses before I get too sold on the kid. He seems to do a very good job of beating up on teams like the Titans and Texans, but was all but non-existent when he had to play real defenses.

I understand that concern. His numbers against the tougher run defenses and his playoff numbers (besides the 75 yard TD run in the Super Bowl) were not that impressive. But I think with that year of experience under his belt that Willie will improve this year. I think at times he was following the orginal hole and trying to prove he could be a tough runner instead of maybe cutting it back for a big gain. I see Willie letting his natural instincts take over this year and he now he should know how to keep his weight on this year. There were reports last year that by the end fo the year Willie was down to 180 or 190 pounds. Willie Parker really has came out of nowhere to become the starting tailback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Its a great story that is far from ending.

brsteelers
07-20-2006, 05:21 PM
I think the offense will open up some because we don't have the ability to grind it out to the same extent we did with Bettis (running the ball will wear a defense down, particularly if we do it by committee, but Bettis is not going to be replaced). We have the talent to pass more with Ben (he's already been great and now has another year under his belt), Hines, Heath Miller (I think Heath is going to have a great year), and others, even though I think losing Randle El will hurt for a period of time. Willie Parker is a good running back with a great knockout punch, but he's not a bruising wear you down type. So, although I think we'll keep it balanced- because Cowher wants, we have some rb depth, and we'll have to if we want to be good- I think there will be more passing at the end of games because the defenses we play won't be as beat up as they used to be and we'll have to throw.

Livinginthe past
07-20-2006, 05:33 PM
It occurs to me that the Steelers may not require a starting RB who is of the grind 'em down type.

It is possible that Cowher will allow the offense to evolve.

Maybe he will be looking to build an offensive strategy based upon the raw materials at hand, rather than the other way round.

You have a very high quality QB, and it is clear that the Steelers main priority in the draft was to give him another viable weapon.

I think Ben elevates the play of what is a very average corps of receivers (Hines aside, of course) and as so many people have pointed out Heath Miller could put up some nice numbers this year.

The problem of course is injuries.

Losing Hines or Heath for any amount of time, and Cowher will have to find a plan B, or perhaps a plan C.

Tony H and I have both suggested that we may see alot more wrinkles in the offensive bases this year - 2/3 TE's, 4 WR's, and a single back could all see alot more playbook action.

NM

tony hipchest
07-20-2006, 06:04 PM
It occurs to me that the Steelers may not require a starting RB who is of the grind 'em down type.

It is possible that Cowher will allow the offense to evolve.

Maybe he will be looking to build an offensive strategy based upon the raw materials at hand, rather than the other way round.



NMkinda like the last time the steelers were in the sb in 95. a strong qb. a solid wr corps 1-5 (6 if you count kordell stewart) and 2 running backs splitting carries. it wasnt until neil odonnel left that cowher went and jumped on a great draft day deal for jerome. he probably knew he would have to use a ball controll/ power back to compensate for tomzac, stewart or k. graham being the qb.

jerome was so succesful it can be argued that pounding the ball with jerome became a crutch and the lack of solid qb play prevented the steelers from evolving, even though they still maintained a pretty good level of success.

kicking a gem like willie to the curb, just to hope to find jeromes replacement is not the answer. just remember the last 2 times we made it to the sb were with a 2 pronged running attack. not 1 30 carry / game back. the tandem of blier and franco wasnt to bad back in the day either. dick hoak knows what works. why do you think we passed on lendale white?

i say trust the coaches and the organization and the decisions theyve made. chances are it is the right decision. it will lead to a more balanced attack and a more productive qb who will see his share of opportunities to go deep. we will have players stay healthy and fresh and be prepared for deep playoff runs.

SteelCzar76
07-20-2006, 07:17 PM
I agree with ToneHip,...... in that i think we'll be high powered and balanced like the 95 squad. I really think Willie will be ready to go,... the kid hardly played at UNC and last year was his first as a starter in the league. He's got alot of "tread on the tires",...and crazy upside. But i do think we need an effective Power Back to spell him and impose our will.
That's why i think Duce staying healthy is a major X-factor. I like the young'nz with speed we brought in to help Ben stretch the field,....IF coach gives them the reps and playing time,.... we could be almost unstoppable in regards to scoring. That's alot for defenses to account for with our line, Hines, Heath, an effective running game and big play speed,....be it Santonio or Willie Reid. Not to mention i think this could Ben's "Numbers" year,....his focus will be unreal in light of recent event's and srutiny. Long story,....i'm more pressed about linebacker depth and the Free/Safety spot.



"Hail Caesar,.......Hail the Black and Gold"

tony hipchest
07-20-2006, 08:55 PM
Long story,....i'm more pressed about linebacker depth and the Free/Safety spot.

im hoping kudla could be the next m. vrabel or frazier or wallace be the next foote or harrison. steelers have always had an unknown lb ready to step in and displcae numerous pro bowl veterans in the cowher era so im not too worried there. with the f. safety i was hoping we might land j. allen in the 1st round but i am really looking forward to seeing what r. clark, and a. smith have to offer. t. carter was one of my favorite bit players of last season. i think we are pretty good at both positions, along with rb, qb, and ol. dl looks good. losing 2 cc's could hurt (j. allen could play fs or cb)

BBC
07-20-2006, 08:57 PM
I understand that concern. His numbers against the tougher run defenses and his playoff numbers (besides the 75 yard TD run in the Super Bowl) were not that impressive. But I think with that year of experience under his belt that Willie will improve this year. I think at times he was following the orginal hole and trying to prove he could be a tough runner instead of maybe cutting it back for a big gain. I see Willie letting his natural instincts take over this year and he now he should know how to keep his weight on this year. There were reports last year that by the end fo the year Willie was down to 180 or 190 pounds. Willie Parker really has came out of nowhere to become the starting tailback for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Its a great story that is far from ending.

I hope you're right about having another year under his belt, but I wouldn't call it crazy to think that he can't get the job done.

BBC
07-20-2006, 08:59 PM
I think we will see twice as many passes this year than last year but that will still be under 30 attempts per game.......But yes we will open up the air game some this year.

Ben had 22.3 pass attempts per game last season...twice that would be 44.6. Call me crazy, but last time I checked 44.6 > 30.

tony hipchest
07-20-2006, 09:04 PM
I hope you're right about having another year under his belt, but I wouldn't call it crazy to think that he can't get the job done. the great thing is he dont have to. duce verron and humes is a great supporting cast. and if not you will see the steelers go out and trade for duckett. i dont think that is necessary. as ive stated before, it seems all the steelers sb teams have had a 2 pronged rushing attack. id say its a proven method.

BBC
07-20-2006, 09:10 PM
the great thing is he dont have to. duce verron and humes is a great supporting cast. and if not you will see the steelers go out and trade for duckett. i dont think that is necessary. as ive stated before, it seems all the steelers sb teams have had a 2 pronged rushing attack. id say its a proven method.

Couldn?t agree more. I've actually been under the belief that Verron will take the starting role sometime down the road this season. We don't need one premier back to get us 1600 yards every season, we've never needed that. We just need a couple of capable backs to get the job done, which we've got.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2006, 09:11 PM
I hope you're right about having another year under his belt, but I wouldn't call it crazy to think that he can't get the job done.

Dude you have to understand I'm a homer to a fault. I always think the best and don't think about the worst of things. So I'm always high on the Steelers and their players. All I'm saying Willie had a very nice year as a first time starter. He has something to build on. Sure he really is still an unknown and he has to show he can do it again. But I'm confident that he can.

BBC
07-20-2006, 09:20 PM
Dude you have to understand I'm a homer to a fault. I always think the best and don't think about the worst of things. So I'm always high on the Steelers and their players. All I'm saying Willie had a very nice year as a first time starter. He has something to build on. Sure he really is still an unknown and he has to show he can do it again. But I'm confident that he can.

You're right, there's a lot of promise in the kid without a doubt. I'm not saying that I want his head, I just don't know if he can do it. I really hope he can, but I'm a bit of a pessimist when it comes to the Steelers. The whole hope for the best, expect the worst kind of deal, especially in the offseason, when all we can do is speculate.

Black@Gold Forever32
07-20-2006, 09:34 PM
You're right, there's a lot of promise in the kid without a doubt. I'm not saying that I want his head, I just don't know if he can do it. I really hope he can, but I'm a bit of a pessimist when it comes to the Steelers. The whole hope for the best, expect the worst kind of deal, especially in the offseason, when all we can do is speculate.

You make alot of good and solid points and I can't say that your wrong. We won't know until after this season if Willie Parker is really the real deal. I just think in my opinion in what I seen of him that I think he can be the starter for this team for the next five or so years. Trust me I never see Willie getting 25-30 carries a game. Thats not is style or game. But I think he can a be a very good starting NFL RB. Plus its such a good story. A unknown really to come out of nowhere and to start for the Steelers.

Stlrs4Life
07-20-2006, 10:10 PM
I would like to see more passing from Ben, but I don't think they should get too pass happy. If they would change I would like to see them have a balanced attack.


Exactly, let's not forget what happened the last time we felt like we needed to pass alot more!

tony hipchest
07-20-2006, 10:30 PM
You make alot of good and solid points and I can't say that your wrong. We won't know until after this season if Willie Parker is really the real deal. I just think in my opinion in what I seen of him that I think he can be the starter for this team for the next five or so years. Trust me I never see Willie getting 25-30 carries a game. Thats not is style or game. But I think he can a be a very good starting NFL RB. Plus its such a good story. A unknown really to come out of nowhere and to start for the Steelers.i heard a recent tiki barber interview where he was actually asking for some of the load being taken offa him for the sake of the team and for winning.

now i will stop comparing willie to barry, emmitt, or ladainian, but he fits the mold of a tiki, warric, or cadillac. you dont see any of their teams rushing out to replace them. as much as i thought lendale white was a commodity too tuff to pass on, i also thought drafting him would hurt the development of w. parker. the grass is not always greener on the other side. jerome will not be replaced. many teams would love a willie parker on their team. duce and verron are good. humes has a ton of potential.

we do not need 1 runner to carry the rock like jerome did in his heyday. look at all the sb winners in this century. none of them had that. even the 04 pats relied on kevin faulk. i dare anyone to name the top 5 back the bucs used.

as a team we can live on old philosophies that have failed in getting to the big game in the past. or we can stick to whats working, open up the offense a little more, and win another ring.

after all, what is more important? winning another championship? or upholding our image of a "pound the rock" dominant single back, running team?

i chose winning it all.

Elvis
07-21-2006, 09:32 AM
I hope that Santonio Holmes make the Steelers look smart by Not taking Lendale White. I think that Willie is a great guy and cant help but pull for him since he is here from my home state NC. He Wasnt even a starter on our UNC team that went like 3-8 that year he graduated.. thats sad.. As far as us passing more.. I hope we dont.. The year that Maddox was supposed to be our Man, you see what happened to us that year.. Bill will Not let that happen again I Dont Think.. I love Big Ben but we need our running game to be potent for us to win.. I just dont think that Willie will have as big a year this upcoming season as he did last season. We will have to depend on Big Ben more this year unless Duce Staley can come back injury free to give us that physical toughness we need.

Elvis

Black@Gold Forever32
07-21-2006, 10:32 AM
i heard a recent tiki barber interview where he was actually asking for some of the load being taken offa him for the sake of the team and for winning.

now i will stop comparing willie to barry, emmitt, or ladainian, but he fits the mold of a tiki, warric, or cadillac. you dont see any of their teams rushing out to replace them. as much as i thought lendale white was a commodity too tuff to pass on, i also thought drafting him would hurt the development of w. parker. the grass is not always greener on the other side. jerome will not be replaced. many teams would love a willie parker on their team. duce and verron are good. humes has a ton of potential.

we do not need 1 runner to carry the rock like jerome did in his heyday. look at all the sb winners in this century. none of them had that. even the 04 pats relied on kevin faulk. i dare anyone to name the top 5 back the bucs used.

as a team we can live on old philosophies that have failed in getting to the big game in the past. or we can stick to whats working, open up the offense a little more, and win another ring.

after all, what is more important? winning another championship? or upholding our image of a "pound the rock" dominant single back, running team?

i chose winning it all.

I agree with what you said in that post Tony. I'm all for Willie Parker being the starting tailback on this team. Thats why I wanted Santonio Holmes more then LenDale White. I just can see where some Steelers fans have some doubts ans concerns about Willie.

I'm a big Willie Parker fan and I expect him to have really good year. I like the comparison of Tiki Barber. I could see Willie developing into a Tiki Barber one day. People forget Tiki really was a superstar at first. He has just went on this great run of his the last 3 or 4 years really. So it took some time for Tiki. Willie will only get better with more experiene just like Tiki did.

Allan
08-01-2006, 03:01 PM
If Staley or Haynes can produce the type of goal line relyability that The Bus had I dont see any change in play. Although we are a running team we have a legitmate pass threat. You have to keep Ward covered and double in pass plays. Not to mention ward will block to unlike some ex-recievers. Our TE's have some real sticky hands to. This is the way we played last year moving the ball down the field then we gave it to The Bus or passed it in.

If Staley or Haynes cant get the goal line numbers Bussy did then we will see more quick outs and passes to the corner end zone to Washington and Holmes. I think the TE's and ward will get just as many short yardage TD's as last year.

Also now with Washington's hight and Holmes speed watch out for a few more long bombs. I dont think this will detrace from our run/pass ratios but now that ben might have some more fast and tall targets out there watch out for a few big plays.

After cower got stung with the pass and went 6-10 I dont see him ever going back to that game. But we did get some new pass play players and lost our most dependiable running back. Only time will tell.

Haveing a legitmate passing game that we have had the past couple years and will contineu to have this year will let Cower play the way he likes to. That is to rack up a quick big lead then chew clock by running the ball 90% of the time. How many times have we seen Big Bed get most of his stats in the first half.