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Hawaii 5-0 10-25-2012 11:34 PM

Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
Steelers' Roethlisberger staying upright in Haley’s new offense

By Alan Robinson
Wednesday, October 24, 2012

http://triblive.com/csp/mediapool/si...YPE=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/2819400-8...#ixzz2AMvN5B7V

Brett Cottrell 10-26-2012 10:43 AM

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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...-dunk-offense/

teegre 10-26-2012 01:48 PM

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Millers the sh!t (Post 1041415)
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
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

Re: Ben staying upright in Haley’s new offense
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by xbroughneck (Post 1042053)
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.


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