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Old 09-11-2007, 09:42 AM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

kirwan just gave a great breakdown how the steelers ran the ball 8 times on 3rd down against the browns. c. wilson picked up 37 yards on 3rd and 7. najeh converted 3 times (once from 3rd and 6). his greatest run of the day was the one where he bounced off 5 defenders. unfortunately he only picked up 6 yards but it was on a 3rd and 7. no way ken or bill would call more than 1 run from 3rd and 6+ in a single game, and everyone knew that 1 play would be a draw to verron.

with the past regime anything above 3rd and 2 was a passing down from shotgun formation it seemed. its pretty evident these 3rd down running lanes on sunday were open because the browns were playing past tendencies and expecting the pass. this unpredictability is going to do wonders for the offense down the line.

kirwan also made a great statement that many come away from that game thinking the steelers "opened it up". not true. they ran the ball 42 times and were very selective and calculating when they threw the ball. with no interceptions and a third of the completions going for touchdowns i have to agree.
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Old 09-11-2007, 10:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
kirwan also made a great statement that many come away from that game thinking the steelers "opened it up". not true. they ran the ball 42 times and were very selective and calculating when they threw the ball. with no interceptions and a third of the completions going for touchdowns i have to agree.
I agree with that. The analysts who only watch highlights are all talking about the open offense. Collinsworth did that in the preseason completely missing that the Steelers ran over 40 times.
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Old 09-11-2007, 11:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

Most of those 3rd down runs where in the 4th quarter when the steelers weren't passing anymore. I think the reason we converted those thrid downs was that the browns were exhausted and beaten up.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

Its definitely taking a few lost 3rd down conversions by doing something unexpected to keep teams guessing down the road.

Predictablilty is a real 3rd down conversion killer.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

The Steelers ended the game with 18 straight running plays.

Successful football is successful football. In TMQ, Easterbrook does an analysis of the evolution of the spread formation; he points out that teams now run more than half the time they line up in shotgun/spread.


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Old 09-11-2007, 09:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

thats a great point tony, i must have missed kirwan saying that today. i am very impressed with tomlins approach so far, he seems very agressive, and i don't expect him to get conservative in big games.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

I believe Tomlin's approach will be, open it up, score points, allow the defense to dominate the other team and get them off the field as quick as possible. Build a lead by whatever means possible, then punish the other team into submission. Case in point, 18 straight running plays to Punish the Browns defense. That was awesome. I just sat back and watched with a grin, if that's what the future, I'm all about it.

Plus, the deep shot down field after a turnover is a an old Chuck Noll Terry Bradshaw tactic. Cowher never took that deep shot for fear of turning it right back over to the other team. I'm all about taking that chance and going for a knock out punch right away.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

I know that this is a little offtopic but did anyone else notice the number of screens we were throwing on second and long in the first half? Maybe I'm just overreacting but I recall a few second and long screens that got sniffed out early and were unseccesful.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

Steelers are well known for their screens, so other teams will be game planning for them. They are tough to get off in this league already, and if its part of your known habits and other teams prep for them, they will be even tougher to get off. The thing about running screens now, is the fake screens we will be able to attack with later on. Ben will fake a screen left, then all of sudden pull the ball back and launch a deep ball on a corner that bit up on the screen and down the sidelines will be Holmes or Wilson just waiting with a grin as Hines Ward is sitting there laughing at the corner back who bit up.
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Old 09-11-2007, 09:40 PM   #10
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Default Re: Steelers Running the Ball on 3rd Down

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Originally Posted by tony hipchest View Post
with the past regime anything above 3rd and 2 was a passing down from shotgun formation it seemed. its pretty evident these 3rd down running lanes on sunday were open because the browns were playing past tendencies and expecting the pass. this unpredictability is going to do wonders for the offense down the line.
Yep. In the past, our offense was so generically predictable. With the new offensive schemes that Arians and Tomlin are cooking up, i.e. running the ball on 3rd down - we are going to keep opposing D's off balance not knowing what to expect. Even though we were playing the Browns this past Sunday, the O was very exciting once they got their engines revved up.
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