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Old 01-30-2013, 05:36 PM   #51
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

Tone it down, boys. No pissing contests here, please. Makes the whole place stink. And let's get back on-topic. Thank you.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:49 PM   #52
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

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Tone it down, boys. No pissing contests here, please. Makes the whole place stink. And let's get back on-topic. Thank you.
Gotcha.

Since Bicknell is (probably) going to implement a ZBS, I wonder if that means they're looking into Beachum at LG. He's certainly athletic enough and has the right skill set to fill the role. Just something to think about.
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Old 01-30-2013, 05:51 PM   #53
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

Back to topic.

If Coughlin's recommendation sealed the deal, it probably indicates that Bicknell's a teacher and stickler for detail.
Just what a young offensive line needs.
His success vs. the AFC North can't hurt.
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Old 01-30-2013, 06:11 PM   #54
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

A Q&A with Jack Bicknell Jr.

Bob Labriola
Steelers Digest @BobLabriola




One day after being hired as the Steelers offensive line coach, Jack Bicknell Jr. already was digging into the task of replacing Sean Kugler. There were meetings with Mike Tomlin, with offensive coordinator Todd Haley, even with General Manager Kevin Colbert with the team preparing for the scouting combine and then the NFL Draft, but Bicknell still took a few minutes out of his day to talk with Bob Labriola.

Do you have a philosophy as an offensive line coach?

Itís a combination of all the things I just said. They have to be very smart, because thereís a lot going on. You have five guys who have to be able to mesh together, work together, and itís one area where you really have to be able to adjust on the fly. The opponent could start out in one defense, shift into another, guys walking around, whatever. You have to prepare, and then you have to be big enough and athletic enough to get the job done, which these days can be difficult. You have these huge three-technique defensive tackles, so you need some good size so as not to be overwhelmed, but you also have to be athletic enough and be able to move your feet to match up with those great athletes on defense.

After a game, is there a statistic that tells you the offensive line played well?

Rushing yardage. I always look to that. The protection stuff will take care of itself, but if youíre able to run the ball at people then that opens up everything else Ė you have the play-action game, youíre not in third-and-13 all day. The biggest thing I want to be able to do is run the football.

Is there a specific number thatís the dividing line between good-enough and needs-to-get-better?

You would love to get 5 yards a carry. That would be great. But whatís more important is how many yards did you gain on that team? Did you gain 250 yards? Thatís a pretty good day. Did you gain 50 yards? Thatís not good enough. Thereís a lot that goes into the stats, such as a back could have one long run and the rest of the time youíre getting your butt kicked. But if you can walk off that field and know that we just dominated the opponent physically, that is the most important stat.

What does it take to run the football successfully in the NFL?

You have to be multiple. You canít do just one thing. You have to have some different schemes. The running back, obviously, is a big part of it. You could block like crazy, and if you donít have a good back then youíre going to struggle. And then you have to have a cohesive unit Ė five guys up front all working together who really believe in being able to run the football. If you have enough in your scheme that you can present the defense with different problems, and then you have five guys working together up front Ė and then letís face it, those five guys have to be talented.

You have mentioned that the offensive line has to be made up of talented guys. Is there a skill-set you look for at each individual position Ė tackles, guards and centers?

The tackles have to have some length, and they have to be slightly better athletes than the other guys. You cannot have a tackle these days who canít move his feet. Thatís because of the guys theyíre blocking Ė you canít have Von Miller coming off the edge and not be able to move your feet. Then because the next week you might go against a player who is bigger and stronger, the tackles have to be able to match up against all types. Tackles have to have some length, long arms, be able to move their feet, almost like a basketball player out there playing football. The guards have to be more stout, wide, have some mass to them, and have toughness. Haloti Ngata comes to mind, and as a guard you have to be able to line up against him, so you have to have strength in your hips and legs, and be able to bend and squat and play with leverage. Center is similar to a guard, but he has to be a real smart guy, because heís the quarterback of the offensive line. They set the protection scheme, run and pass, for everybody. But all you need to do is look at Maurkice Pouncey and figure out what you want in a center.

What do you know about the group of offensive linemen that you will be inheriting here?

Iím just about to start looking at some real tape. When I was with some other teams, I studied and wrote up Maurkice Pouncey, and then I also traveled and worked out David DeCastro and Mike Adams. I feel pretty familiar with those guys. The rest of the guys, I really havenít delved into the tape yet. In general, I think itís a very talented group with a lot of young guys, a lot of guys who still need to develop and mature into NFL offensive linemen. Iím very excited about them. I know itís a very close-knit group. All of the things Iíve talked about earlier, I think this group has.

League-wide, do you think offensive linemen are too big?

You can get too big. Then again, itís not about being too big, itís about not being able to move. I donít necessarily like those guys who get huge and then they canít bend and move. And mainly it comes down to the run game, because sometimes those real big guys can stay in front of people and make them run around you, but if you cannot cut off on the back side of a run play, or you donít have the quickness to go and reach somebody, you start to get limited in the run game. I want to be able to have guys who can move, run, and have some quickness off the ball to be able to get into people.

There are zone-blocking teams, cut-blocking teams, different styles for different teams. Do you have a style?

You have to be able to be multiple. It depends on what you have offensively and what youíre facing defensively. Each game plan, each week, is different. With the Giants, we were more of a gap-scheme with big physical guys running power, and then when I got to Kansas City, we were more athletic, could move better and we had a running back who loved the outside-zone plays. A couple of things factor into this: what type of guys do you have up front, and also what type of running back do you have? If you have a big, physical back, you might tend more toward inside-zone and gap-scheme stuff, but if you have a back who can threaten the edge, that would open up more zone-scheme stuff. There are a lot of ways to go about it, but you have to know what you have on your team personnel-wise while also looking at the particular defense youíll be playing. Then you figure out whatís going to work.

Ben Roethlisberger is a franchise quarterback, which is a good thing, but it also means that he absolutely must be kept healthy for the team to have any chance at real success. Does that create a different mind-set for the offensive linemen?

Itís that mind-set everywhere. If youíre an offensive lineman, your job is to protect that guy. I always talk about how important the run game is, but protecting that quarterback is our No. 1 job. Thatís what we have to take deadly serious. I will tell my guys that if youíre going to mess something up in the run game, I donít want that, but at least the running back is used to trying to make a play and might be able to make a guy miss. But we canít mess anything up in pass protection. You canít make a mistake. You canít use poor technique and get beat right now. Thatís something you have to ingrain in the offensive line. We take pride in making sure that guy stays upright, and weíre going to do everything we can, scheme-wise and technique-wise, to make sure that happens.

http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-976205dc383c
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:38 PM   #55
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

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Tone it down, boys. No pissing contests here, please. Makes the whole place stink. And let's get back on-topic. Thank you.
Aww, man... I missed out on the pissing contest. Why didn't anyone call me???
Sincerely,
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:44 PM   #56
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

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Aww, man... I missed out on the pissing contest. Why didn't anyone call me???
Sincerely,
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Well played
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Old 01-30-2013, 07:48 PM   #57
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

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Originally Posted by SteelersCanada View Post
A Q&A with Jack Bicknell Jr.

After a game, is there a statistic that tells you the offensive line played well?

Rushing yardage. I always look to that. The protection stuff will take care of itself, but if youíre able to run the ball at people then that opens up everything else Ė you have the play-action game, youíre not in third-and-13 all day. The biggest thing I want to be able to do is run the football.


http://www.steelers.com/news/article...4-976205dc383c
Good to hear.

Now the only thing about this guy is mendy would prob work in his system, but no one knows where he will be. Can't wait for free agency so we can all stop assuming on positional needs in draft.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:27 AM   #58
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

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Good to hear.

Now the only thing about this guy is mendy would prob work in his system, but no one knows where he will be. Can't wait for free agency so we can all stop assuming on positional needs in draft.
this - can't wait to hear who is gone, who is staying so we can focus on something else
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Old 02-10-2013, 01:26 AM   #59
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

Steelers Sunday Spotlight: The Offensive Line ... changes in store

February 10, 2013
By Gerry Dulac / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Like center Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro -- last season's first-round draft pick -- epitomizes the long, lean body type the Steelers seek to employ on the offensive line.

The Steelers offensive line will have a different look in 2013, not just in personnel but also in execution.

At least, that is the intent of offensive coordinator Todd Haley and the team's new offensive line coach, Jack Bicknell Jr.

And for good reason.

If the Steelers are interested in running the ball more effectively -- something that didn't happen in 2012 -- they might have to do more than change the people who are blocking up front. They might have to change how they are blocking, too.

And that also would mean finding the right type of running back to fit the schemes that are being employed.

Despite a change in roster makeup to emphasize running the ball better, the Steelers went the other way last season, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry on the ground after averaging 4.4 yards per pop with basically the same personnel in 2011.

Offensive lines are sometimes graded on the protection they afford their quarterback, and, at times, that was much better in 2012 than it has been, especially in two of the games when Charlie Batch had to replace Ben Roethlisberger.

But the true measure of how a line performs is often determined by how effectively a team runs the ball. And that is something the Steelers did not do very well in 2012, other than a three-game span in the middle of the season when they had three consecutive games with a 100-yard rusher -- something the team had not done in five years.

Haley and Bicknell would like to change that. And they will start with injecting more youth, more athleticism and less girth in the offensive line.

When Haley was the head coach in Kansas City, the Chiefs had the league's No. 1 rushing attack with an offensive line that averaged less than 300 pounds. And, in an interview last week on the Steelers website, Bicknell said he doesn't like offensive linemen "who get huge and then they can't bend and move." He said he wants players who can move, run and have the quickness off the ball "to get into people."

That's one of the reasons the Steelers are expected to part ways with Max Starks, who was arguably the team's best lineman in 2012 and the only one to play every snap.

Tackles are responsible for allowing running backs to get to the edge and bounce outside, and how many times did you see a Steelers running back do that last season?

That is also not a good fit for guard Willie Colon, who was too thick to move at the team's top pulling spot. Colon, though, is not expected back because of his repeated injury problems.

Their expected departure will pave the way for the Steelers to start an offensive line that could have four, and possibly five, starters under the age of 26.

Marcus Gilbert, who missed 12 games last season with an ankle ligament tear, will likely replace Starks at left tackle. He will be 25 on Friday. Mike Adams, last year's No. 2 pick who missed the final five games with an ankle injury, is expected to start at right tackle. The Steelers do not want to use him at left tackle because Adams has had problems in pass protection -- something the Steelers cannot afford on Roethlisberger's blind side. Adams, though, is a very good run blocker and was the starter at right tackle when the Steelers had three consecutive 100-yard rushers. He is 22.

The team is set with Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, 23, and right guard David DeCastro, 23, who missed most of the 2012 season with a knee injury. Pouncey (6-4, 304) and DeCastro (6-5, 316) epitomize the long, lean body type the Steelers seek to employ on the offensive line.

The only question is at left guard, where 330-pound Ramon Foster finished the season as the starter.

Foster, though, does not run very well and is not an ideal fit for the team's primary pulling position. Plus, like Starks, he is an unrestricted free agent and might not be re-signed. That could pave the way for tackle Kelvin Beachum, last year's seventh-round pick, to be moved there.

In a season of injuries to many of their draft choices, Beachum was one of the team's most pleasant surprises. Not only did he impress the coaches with his ability to pass protect, he also showed an ability to get out of the edge and run block -- something the coaches want to see more of in 2013.

Beachum, 23, fits in perfectly with the team's desire to have lighter, more agile offensive lineman, and he could be moved to guard and given a chance to play there.

Doug Legurksy, who has started 17 games in his four-year career, would be re-signed to be the backup at center and guard. Legursky is also an unrestricted free agent.
But it might not just be a change in personnel that will affect the look of the offensive line.

The Steelers have been a man-blocking team almost exclusively since Chuck Noll ran the tackle-trap play in the 1970s. But Noll did that with smaller, quicker linemen who could move off the ball and use their quickness to execute blocks.

Today, most of the top running teams in the NFL use a zone-blocking scheme that requires the offensive lineman to block an area, not a specific man. Among them are Kansas City, Washington, Denver and Houston.

Bicknell used a zone-blocking scheme last season with the Chiefs, who finished fifth in the league in rushing after leading the NFL in 2011. Bicknell said the Chiefs used a zone-blocking scheme because they had a running back, Jamaal Charles, who liked to run outside-zone plays.

If the Steelers change to a zone-blocking scheme, then it will be imperative to find the type of running back who is patient, stretches the play and has good cutback instincts.

Right now, the Steelers' top running backs, Jonathan Dwyer and Isaac Redman, are physical backs who run inside and are more tailored to gap runs in a man-blocking scheme. Rashard Mendenhall and Chris Rainey are examples of running backs who can threaten the edge and are more suited to zone-blocking schemes. But Rainey is already gone and Mendenhall is expected to follow.

That will either force the Steelers to find a back to fit a zone-scheme style or continue with a man-blocking attack that suits Redman and Dwyer.

It will all be part of the change that is due to come on the offensive line.

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2KTGByS00
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Old 02-10-2013, 04:37 AM   #60
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Default Re: Steelers Hire Jack Bicknell Jr. As OLine Coach

I agree that now the Steelers change to zone blocking scheme, Foster and Starks are likely gone. Beachum will likely be the starting LG and it also means that they will pick a OL in the draft for depth purpose.

I also want the Steelers to re-sign Mendenhall. It's a perfect time for the Steelers to buy low. He can be great under zone blocking.
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