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BlitzburghRockCity 09-02-2005 11:42 PM

Defense comes to defense of the offense

The Steelers' offense, innocent until proven guilty?

Representatives for the defense of the Steelers' offense made some good arguments in the locker room Thursday night in Carolina to explain yet another misdemeanor committed by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his crew.

Some might call it an insanity defense, but testimony from witnesses and participants was, at least, credible.

Their summation:

They have not used a game plan all summer, which is normal for teams in exhibition football, but something they regard as their Good Book during the regular season.

The first-team offense did not have much chance to get into a rhythm, having played no more than a half and little more than one full game spread over four preseason games.

Their top three halfbacks did not play Thursday night in Carolina and the Panthers opened in a Cover-2 defense to frustrate deep passes and beg the Steelers to run.

Even though he ran six times for 47 yards this summer, including twice for 20 in the finale, Roethlisberger tried to avoid running, and when he did, he conservatively downed the ball to avoid injury.

With Hines Ward out of the first game and playing but briefly in the next two, the top three wide receivers were not in their proper spots for much of the preseason.

Preseason football, feel the power outage: Few veterans take these games seriously and just want to get through them without injury and get on to the real season.

"What team is at their peak right now?" asked Ward, who had a rare, for him, dropped pass Friday. "I don't think most teams are where they want to be right now.

Coach Bill Cowher said the Steelers' offense isn't as far along this season as he'd like.

"It's a process. Keep working out, learn from our mistakes and continue to grow. When we start game-planning and sitting down and figuring out different coverages and stuff, we'll be all right."

Ward mentioned the game plan, as did coordinator Ken Whisenhunt, and Roethlisberger has talked about it all summer as if it the game plans were one of the dead sea scrolls and will provide all the answers when one is delivered to him next Wednesday.

"For the first time this week, we'll be able to game plan," Roethlisberger said. "We haven't game-planned at all. We haven't done lot of plays I think fit me -- a lot of getting out of the pocket and stuff. Once we game plan, that's to our strength, that's to our advantage. I think we'll do that and we'll be pretty good."

The benefit of the doubt ends Sept. 11 for the Steelers when they open the regular season against Tennessee at Heinz Field. And Bill Cowher will serve as judge and jury until then.

"I'd like to see us further along where we are right now," Cowher said, "but we aren't and we'll see how we respond."

clevestinks 09-03-2005 07:49 AM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
sounds good to me! Now its time to get it on!

BlitzburghRockCity 09-03-2005 08:55 AM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
Reading that ALMOST :rolleyes: makes you feel better after that dismal showing in preseason by the starting Offense.

Suitanim 09-03-2005 10:12 AM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
I was never worried. There have been preseason's where the offense looked awesome, and then was completely lethargic for the regular season, and vice-versa. It's just not fair to base any opinions on preseason performance, especially for the offense which typically takes a little longer to get in sync.

We will be fine...

Prosdo 09-03-2005 10:34 AM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
I agree Suit. I think the main objective and things you can take away from the preseason are how the young guys do.

tootalltoscore 09-03-2005 11:32 AM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
that certainly mirrors the feeling over here in England with preseason soccer games

SteelerSal 09-03-2005 01:28 PM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
Preseason games are not intended for our enjoyment anyways. The coaches aren't concerned with a gameplan to make the fans happy, they are concerned with evaluating players to see who they will cut and keep, period.

SteelR1 09-03-2005 03:14 PM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
We can talk all day long about this, truth is we'll find out on Sep 11th... I certainly hoping we can score about 40 points and hold them to 0 and about -50 yards!!!!!!!!!!!!

Come on Steelers,,,,,,

clevestinks 09-04-2005 12:07 PM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
Well we are exactly one week away from opening kick off. Lets see what unravels now. It sounds like the defense is ready to roll.

rowedf 09-04-2005 02:26 PM

Re: Defense comes to defense of the offense
I hate to single one person out but it sticks out like a sore thumb to me. Ben doesn't look right, he looks hesitant, unsure, confused....... He lacks confience big time. When Batch, Maddox, and even St. Pierre were in there, they dropped back, stepped up, and released the ball. Ben drops backs, pats the ball, steps up or rolls out, pats the ball, then fires off balance, high, or behind the target. He did this in EVERY game this year, dont' you think he'd "get in synch" a little by game four? Something is up with him mentally....I think its more than just a coincidence that the 2nd and 3rd string qb's looke in synch, but he doesn't.

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