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Hawaii 5-0
10-25-2012, 11:34 PM
Steelers' Roethlisberger staying upright in Haley’s new offense

By Alan Robinson
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/sites/dt.common.streams.StreamServer.cls?STREAMOID=dagsc xzVGq9SouiriMeLRs$daE2N3K4ZzOUsqbU5sYvQqj80Wnkkg_X ntIFzCw_7WCsjLu883Ygn4B49Lvm9bPe2QeMKQdVeZmXF$9l$4 uCZ8QDXhaHEp3rvzXRJFdy0KqPHLoMevcTLo3h8xh70Y6N_U_C ryOsw6FTOdKL_jpQ-&CONTENTTYPE=image/jpeg

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley talk on the sideline in Sept. 2012 at Sports Authority Colisuem.

Up-right. adj. Having the main axis or main part perpendicular or vertical.

Perhaps the best quality of Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley’s system is that’s exactly how Ben Roethlisberger is playing most of the time. Upright.

Quarterbacks are judged in many ways. How they run a team, how they throw the deep pass, how they handle pressure on and off the field. But no quarterback can successfully manage a team if he’s on his backside, or exactly where Roethlisberger found himself more than any other NFL quarterback over the previous five seasons.

The decision to allow former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to walk away and to hire Haley was made partly because of those 215 sacks from 2007-11. As Roethlisberger turned 30, the Steelers felt the need to keep their franchise player — their main axis — on the field but off the turf as much as possible.

One of Roethlisberger’s once-frequent targets suggests it was time for a change.

“Sometimes when you get so close, partiality sets in and you don’t know if Bruce Arians is doing what’s best for the Steelers or if he’s doing what’s best for Ben Roethlisberger,” said former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, now an NBC analyst. “I think that set in and they had to part ways because when you go out there and you can’t decide what’s best for the team and you’re doing what’s best for the players, that can be a problem.”

The Steelers didn’t hire Haley to be Roethlisberger’s best friend, but to bring out the best in him.

And while the two aren’t as close as Roethlisberger and Arians were, the numbers suggest the change has been good for the quarterback.

Roethlisberger has been sacked 13 times, or exactly half as many times as Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay. A year ago, Roethlisberger had been sacked five more times.

His 1,765 yards passing are the second most he’s had at this stage of any season, and he has 11 touchdown passes and only three interceptions. While under heavy pressure, the toughest conditions for throwing, Roethlisberger was 6 of 9 for 43 yards in Sunday’s win at Cincinnati.

“He is playing at a very high level,” Haley said recently. “Some of the little and newer things that he hadn’t done in a while, the quick throws and things like that, he’s been excellent at. He’s also been really good at keeping plays alive when we’ve needed it. The key with him is to just keep getting better.”

While Roethlisberger referred Friday to Haley’s approach as “dink and dunk,” the statistics shown the Steelers aren’t exactly employing a West Coast offense.

According to Pro Football Focus, Roethlisberger has thrown 26 passes of 20 yards-plus, exactly as many as Rodgers has and one more than Peyton Manning of Denver. Matt Schaub of Texas and Tony Romo of Dallas have tried just 21 such passes.

Against the Bengals, Roethlisberger had completions of 23, 20, 21, 20, 16, 31 and 30 yards, and he would have had more such yardage if so many passes hadn’t been dropped.

Until Jonathan Dwyer ran for 122 yards in Cincinnati, Roethlisberger had operated all season with barely a semblance of a running game to support him.

“We’ve had some successes and obviously there’s some things we need to improve upon that I think we’re in the midst of improving upon,” coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.

Perhaps the biggest success has been keeping Roethlisberger upright, or exactly where the Steelers need him to be.

http://triblive.com/sports/2819400-85/roethlisberger-steelers-haley-exactly-yards-passes-quarterback-arians-doing-main#ixzz2AMvN5B7V

Brett Cottrell
10-26-2012, 10:43 AM
I'd noticed that. They're getting rid of the ball a lot quicker. Not downfield as much, but as long as they win, I don't care how they do it. I think Haley's offense is coming together, and I also like his game adjustments. With a healthy line (big big big big if), their offense could be explosive.

Millers the sh!t
10-26-2012, 12:46 PM
Offense is coming together. It seems a little predictable and repetitive but then out of nowhere they pull out some trick play that has big play potential. I'd like to see a more.consistent run game though and try some different forms of screens. Either way, I'm glad bird brain is gone, and Haley is running the show. Not sure what's going on in the coaching dept. Though cause all of the dropped passes, penalties, and other fundamental errors that has been setting us back points and first downs EVERY GAME.

3rdandlong
10-26-2012, 01:03 PM
I really think Haley has helped Ben tremendously. He's having his best season in a long time. Roethlisberger would have to be considered the best quarterback in the AFC, probably.

Hawaii 5-0
10-26-2012, 01:38 PM
Roethlisberger says he likes the dink-and-dunk offense

Posted by Mike Florio on October 26, 2012

As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers offensive coordinator inch toward a confrontation that coach Mike Tomlin regards as inevitable, Roethlisberger is fashioning a tapestry of passive-aggressive sound bites aimed at needling Haley or building support from the fans, or both.

Over the weekend, Roethlisberger referred to Halley’s offense as a “dink-and-dunk” attack. Though the term widely is regarded in football circles as derisive, Ben now saws that he actually is a fan of dinking and dunking.

“That wasn’t meant in a negative way,” Roethlisberger said Thursday, via Jarrett Bell of USA Today. “Coach Haley and I had a laugh about it this morning. To dink and dunk, that’s moving the chains, and it will open up big plays. The Patriots dink and dunk, too.”

And when those big plays come, maybe Roethlisberger will refer to the offense as “chuck and duck.” In a positive way.

Here’s the reality. The Steelers got rid of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians in part because he and Roethlisberger were regarded as being too close, to the point where there was real concern that Arians was creating game plans with an eye toward showcasing the quarterback, which could have impacted the broader effort to win games. Right or wrong, Haley’s presence is aimed in part at enhancing the overall effort by not allowing Roethlisberger to get too reckless with the ball or his body.

The fact that Haley has yet to engage Roethlisberger via the media is a good sign. The Steelers knew that it would take time for Ben to buy in to the new approach, and they’re wisely tolerating his periodic public pissing and moaning about dinking and dunking or chucking and ducking or whatever he may publicly piss and/or moan about.

http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/10/26/roethlisberger-says-he-likes-the-dink-and-dunk-offense/

teegre
10-26-2012, 01:48 PM
Offense is coming together. It seems a little predictable and repetitive but then out of nowhere they pull out some trick play that has big play potential. I'd like to see a more.consistent run game though and try some different forms of screens. Either way, I'm glad bird brain is gone, and Haley is running the show. Not sure what's going on in the coaching dept. Though cause all of the dropped passes, penalties, and other fundamental errors that has been setting us back points and first downs EVERY GAME.

[NOTE: Miller'sthesh!t, this is not a direct response to you, but it seems fitting here.]

As far as predictable goes, I remember that DAL in the 90s was playing some team, and that other team was trash talking... and Larry Allen had had enough... and turned to the defender, and started calling out the plays, before the snap.

"Run left."
And, DAL ran left.

"Run right."
And, DAL ran right.

This continued, until the defender had gotten the point... which was: "We are so good, that you can KNOW our plays, but you still CAN"T stop them."

The element of surprise is less of a factor than one would expect; it's almost entirely about execution.

For example, on third & long, sure the occasional draw play garners a long run and/or a first down. BUT, most of the time, defense knows that the WRs are going to run route right past the yard marker. The GOOD teams execute (convert third downs); the bad teams punt.

Lastly, I agree: drops, mistakes, & penalties are killing what would otherwise be a prolific offense. At least two drives per game (4-8 points per game) are squandered by a dropped pass, a fumble, or a penalty.

FrancoLambert
10-26-2012, 05:22 PM
Quicker releases, spreading the ball round, getting hit less, incredibly efficient on 3rd down, good completion percentage, a reasonable amount of turnovers........
I'd say their work together is going very well and bound to get better.

xbroughneck
10-28-2012, 07:47 PM
Duh.

Running the ball...short passes...

The only problem I have with the offensive side of the ball is the decision, when it's 3rd and short, for Ben to throw a deep pass. Why not just convert the 3rd down with a 5 yard pass?

GoFor7
10-28-2012, 07:53 PM
I'd like to see them try the deep ball a little more often, especially since it looks like the running game is coming to life.

cubanstogie
10-28-2012, 07:53 PM
Duh.

Running the ball...short passes...

The only problem I have with the offensive side of the ball is the decision, when it's 3rd and short, for Ben to throw a deep pass. Why not just convert the 3rd down with a 5 yard pass?

sometimes you take the risk. Maybe it goes for a TD. I was whining today about the trick play in the first have when Antonio was going to throw and they lost 6 or 7 yards. They were moving the ball at will and it ruined momentum IMO. On the flip side it easily could have been a success and broke the game open. You have to think outside the box in the NFL, 2 of Bens TD passes were for a yard, you would have thought they could have pounded it in but both TE and FB were wide open. I have tried to be less critical because maybe a play sets another one up later in game.

Fire Arians
10-28-2012, 08:00 PM
heath miller is also making a case to be a pro bowler this season. nice to have an OC who knows how to use him

OX1947
10-28-2012, 08:06 PM
Best season for Big Ben, and he seems to get better every week. I can not wait when we have some momentum going into the playoffs and Big Ben is on fire. This could be huge.

btaylor179
10-28-2012, 08:52 PM
alot of screen passes again.....grrrrrrrr

tony hipchest
10-28-2012, 10:24 PM
because of the coaching change, teams cant pin back their ears and tee off on ben any more (or atleast w/o as much success, because they fear getting burnt with a short quick pass.

think of how many times last year when the steelers were approaching the red zone between the 25-35 yard markers already in FG range. i can think of atleast 5 sacks or fumbles that took us out of fg range and we punted as another long drive fizzled. the play calling was the same every time.

1st down- run into a wall
2nd down- pass for 3-5 yd gain or take shot at endzone.
3rd down- 4 second developing play for a shot at endzone= sack fumble.

teams had no problem rushing 5-6 defenders every 2nd and 3rd down in those situations, because all history and scouting showed it was a shot at the endzone that was coming, not a quick pass.

arians HATED calling plays inside the 10 yard line because it shortens the field and limits his pea brain.

while everybody was sleeping, we quietly replaced hines ward with a fullback. our passing game hasnt suffered and it looks like our run game is improving. lo and behold, that fullback caught a TD pass today.

so what are the giants going to focus on this week? our run game with our new found hammer? oh wait, we threw 3 td's to our tight ends and fullbacks.

oh wait... we still have the fastest, most complete wr corp in the game.

defending the steelers has become a tall order. we will see that bear fruit when we start playing our divisional opponents. if they gameplan for arians predictability and ineptitude like they did in the past, they will get burn.

last year the opponents gamplan was simple. cover wallace and tee off on ben. let the chips fall where they may with the other players.

now you have to defend against brown, miller, wallace AND our running game (anyone notice today that for the first time all year the announcers commented on our great RB depth. before the season it was called our greatest weakness and achilles heel.

PhantomJB93
10-29-2012, 01:12 AM
Haley has been an even bigger improvement over Arians than I thought he would. There's still the occasional headbanging play-call, but it happens like once a game now instead of once every series. It's funny how the offense and defense have been swapped to me; 2 years ago I had full confidence and faith in the defense to come up with a stop or turnover and force a 3-and out, and no confidence in the offense to move the chains for a first down or score; now it's the complete opposite and I expect nothing less than an offensive touchdown every drive.

steelfury02
10-29-2012, 08:13 AM
anyone think Miller is going to have a huge game, or is he going to have to stay in to help protect more in this one?

He could always roll off the block and Ben can check down to him, same with our FB, I thought the Cowboys game plan looked all too much like an Arians' gameplan: I saw a couple of 3rd and 1s, and going for 25-30 yds. Plus it didn't help that Romo decides to heave it into double and triple coverage, in the middle of the field

Edman
10-29-2012, 12:10 PM
Defending the Steelers Offense under Bruce Arians.

1st Down: Stack the box. Hey diddle diddle. Mendy up the middle.
2nd Down: 3 Tight Ends. Tackle the quick screen.
3rd Down: Send a heavy blitz/stunt. Forced throw. Sack, Misfire or Interception.

There. Instant 3 and out.

By the way, the Steelers have improved to 11th in yardage, 13th in scoring. The Colts Offense? 9th in Yardage, 24th in Scoring.

Yeah, I think you're seeing the improvement.

tony hipchest
10-29-2012, 12:24 PM
anyone think Miller is going to have a huge game, or is he going to have to stay in to help protect more in this one?

He could always roll off the block and Ben can check down to him, same with our FB, I thought the Cowboys game plan looked all too much like an Arians' gameplan: I saw a couple of 3rd and 1s, and going for 25-30 yds. Plus it didn't help that Romo decides to heave it into double and triple coverage, in the middle of the field

the giants made it a focus to take cowboys jason witten out of yesterdays game. he was high priority as im sure heath miller will be. our receivers and qb are much better than dallas' though.

By the way, the Steelers have improved to 11th in yardage, 13th in scoring. The Colts Offense? 9th in Yardage, 24th in Scoring.

Yeah, I think you're seeing the improvement. nice stat. last years team woulda given teh redskins the ball back with 3 minutes left and opportunity to score and try an onside kick.

maddog78
10-29-2012, 12:54 PM
Defending the Steelers Offense under Bruce Arians.

1st Down: Stack the box. Hey diddle diddle. Mendy up the middle.
2nd Down: 3 Tight Ends. Tackle the quick screen.
3rd Down: Send a heavy blitz/stunt. Forced throw. Sack, Misfire or Interception.

There. Instant 3 and out.

By the way, the Steelers have improved to 11th in yardage, 13th in scoring. The Colts Offense? 9th in Yardage, 24th in Scoring.

Yeah, I think you're seeing the improvement.

I'm hoping to see a top ten finish in both points and yards, both of which very possible if the OL stays healthy.