Originally Posted by steelfury02
FanSince72 - agree to disagree
For me, Bruce is was equally responsible next to o-line injuries for the demise of the run game. I will never forgive him for not putting Mendy and co. in better positions to succeed. He blatantly and to his own admission would set them up to fail by putting them in a catch 22. He knew damn well that first, he was going to throw the ball on 3rd and short rather than run it, limiting opportunities to succeed, gain confidence, and help move the chains - he was going to limit the number of reps they got in practice - again, putting them behind the 8-ball. Even when the O-line was injured, magically, it was the RBs fault for not producing and then, he wasn't going to get more opportunities until they proved they could do better otherwise (even though Bruce was putting them in positions to fail).
Not once did he ever take responsibility for the offensive failures. It was always someone not running a route correctly, missing a block, or the players just not making the plays. God forbid he play to any strengths or switch things up when the situation called for it - even when the other team adjusted, and, after a period of time - all the good defenses figured them out, hence the offense going backwards in spite of supposedly gaining talent (arrival of Wallace, Brown, Sanders). It is no surprise he got shit canned. In the face of terrible red zone efficiency, he did absolutely nothing to change things up - it was simply "up to the players to execute." Also - why was Heath Miller so under utilized. One of the top 5 TEs in the league, and he is regulated to blocking duty so David Johnson can drop another pass in the flat.
Sorry. You can have 9 wins in a first season with a QB. Ben carried Bruce to a SB title. The only games I saw that it seems he put some thought into were the 07 Blowout of the Ravens at home where Ben had one of the best games of his career, the 10 AFC champ game where they emphasized the run, and found unique ways to run it (off balance, counters, and even a naked bootleg!) and absolutely dominated the line of scrimmage, and last season's Patriots game - where Ben threw quick strikes all game long. And then magically, that game plan was never found again.
You make some valid points and for the record, I never said the man was perfect.
What I DID see in BA was a guy who had this freakishly mobile, tackle-shedding QB who loved to improvise and I think he tried to somehow work with that rather than try to restrict Ben to something specific. I'll be the first to admit that he had limited success in doing that but I always gave him credit for trying to allow Ben to be Ben.
He got carried away with it sometimes - often to the detriment of other aspects of a good offense (like under-utilizing running backs) and I also think that as much as he wanted to go in a more "West Coast" direction, he was still more of a traditionalist than he probably cared to admit, so he was always conflicted about committing to something that wouldn't be "Steeler Football" (whatever that is).
I've always likened it to someone who comes up with some great gadget that does some really neat things, but can't quite figure out just what it's really good for.
But for all his faults, he was willing to try different things and though his overall success can be debated, he still managed to help put together five winning seasons and two trips to the Super Bowl.
I know that many people want to say that the defense had a lot to do with that (and it did), but no one ever says that that was because of the players rather than LeBeau. I'm sure that there were many instances where a team gained yards or scored on us because someone missed a read or blew a coverage, yet no one blamed LeBeau for that. Instead, most people say that LeBeau's defense was very good even when it clearly wasn't because they know that in an overall sense it was good. So in fairness, you'd have to say the same thing about BA because we DID win all those games and we DID go to two SB's and we DID win one of them and BA WAS the OC just as LeBeau was the DC.
The defense may have done some good things but it was the offense that put up the lion's share of the points all those years and if LeBeau gets the props for keeping the other team out of the end zone, then it's only fair that BA gets some props for getting us INTO it.
Like I've said before, BA will probably never be a Hall of Fame coach, but he is certainly a good coach and I don't care how much raw talent the players may have, the coach is still the one that manages that talent and if that talent is successful, then the coach has to be included in that success.