Why register with the Steelers Fever Forums?
 • Intelligent and friendly discussions.
 • It's free and it's quick. Always.
 • Enter events in the forums calendar.
 • Very user friendly software.
 • Exclusive contests and giveaways.

 Donate to Steelers Fever, Click here
 Our 2014 Goal: $450.00 - To Date: $450.00 (100.00%)
 Home | Forums | Editorials | Shop | Tickets | Downloads | Contact Pittsburgh Steelers Forum Feed Not Just Fans. Hardcore Fans.

Go Back   Steelers Fever Forums > Steelers Football > Pittsburgh Steelers


Steelers Fever Fan Shop

Doc's Sports Get FREE NFL Picks and College Football picks as well as Football Lines like live NFL Lines and updated NFL Power Rankings all at Doc's Sports Service.

Steelers

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-03-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
A Son of Martha
Supporter
 

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Mesa, Arizona
Posts: 7,976
Gender: Male
Member Number: 10438
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood
Posted on November 3, 2010 by JJ
http://www.steelerslounge.com/2010/1...ne-hold-flood/

Former Eagles’ defensive coordinator Jim Johnson used to be the Steelers’ offensive line’s worst nightmare. He’d dial up the most aggressive series of blitzes anyone would ever see, filled with eight-man tidal waves of pressure that forced offensive linemen to think quickly or be washed away by bodies exploding through every gap.

Johnson sadly passed away due to cancer last summer. But the Steelers have another blitz-happy coordinator to worry about. Saints’ defensive coordinator Greg Williams decided to send the house against the Steelers, and Pittsburgh struggled to find an answer.

By my count, Ben Roethlisberger was pressured on 12 of his 32 pass plays. But Williams’ approach also dictated what the Steelers could do. In the second half, Pittsburgh finally adjusted to Williams’ pressure, but they did so by limiting Roethlisberger to quick three step drops and short passes. Roethlisberger had averaged 9.5 and 11.2 yards per attempt in his first two games back. He averaged 7.0 against the Saints. His long pass of the game was the 25-yarder that Heath Miller fumbled, and even that was a short pass with a long run after the catch.

With the exception of Rashard Mendenhall’s excellent 38-yard touchdown run, Pittsburgh also struggled to get its running game going. Mendenhall averaged 2.4 yards per carry on his other 14 rushes. There the problem, as it was last week in Miami, appeared largely to be the Steelers’ offensive line’s inability to block linebackers. If a running play goes as designed, usually Mendenhall will have to figure out a way to dodge or break the tackle of a defensive back — you can’t account for blocking everyone on any play, obviously. But in the last two weeks, Mendenhall hasn’t gotten the chance to get to that third level as Jonathan Vilma did a good job of anticipating plays and getting there before Maurkice Pouncey, Trai Essex or Chris Kemoeatu could block him.

When the Steelers did block a play like it was drawn up, the result was Mendenhall’s 38-yard touchdown.

With that preamble out of the way, here’s a look at how the Steelers’ offensive line looked in the running game.

Run Blocking
Player Good Blocks Total Pct.
Spaeth 7 8 87.50%
Miller 27 32 84.38%
Adams 14 17 82.35%
Essex 15 19 78.95%
Kemoeatu 15 19 78.95%
Starks 15 19 78.95%
Johnson 6 8 75.00%
Pouncey 13 19 68.42%
Legursky 1 2 50.00%
Scott 1 2 50.00%
Redman 1 2 50.00%

There are a lot of bad grades here. Flozell Adams was the only offensive linemen to top 80 percent. As we mentioned above, the big problem was not players being physically beaten. It was a problem of getting caught up in traffic, or being too slow to reach and block the assigned man. For the guards and center, it was a struggle to block linebackers. For Max Starks it was a difficulty with reach blocks. If Starks was asked to drive the man lined up heads-up on him, he did well. When Starks was asked to block a man lined up to his inside on a run the other way, he had plenty of problems.

As you can tell from the grades, the tight ends had a very solid day. David Johnson may have graded out at 75 percent, but he had a crucial block on Mendenhall’s touchdown run, as did Heath Miller. Interestingly Matt Spaeth played less of a role in the run game than normal. He did catch two passes for 21 yards — his first two catches of the year and his best day since 2008.

Pass Blocking
Player Good Blocks Total Pct.
Spaeth 3 3 100.00%
Moore 7 7 100.00%
Starks 32 33 96.97%
Pouncey 31 33 93.94%
Miller 11 13 84.62%
Essex 27 33 81.82%
Scott 4 5 80.00%
Mendenhall 4 5 80.00%
Kemoeatu 26 33 78.79%
Adams 21 28 75.00%
Redman 0 1 0.00%

The grades here could have been uglier if not for the Steelers’ decision to go to more quick passes and the Saints decision to blitz less in the second half. But as it is, it’s bad enough. As good as Adams was in the running game, he was that bad in the passing game. Adams’ problem was blocking speedier defensive ends on artificial turf. By my count, he was beaten either to the inside or outside on a man he recognized as the one he was supposed to block on four different plays. His other three poor pass plays came on an unsuccessful cut block, confusion over who to block on one blitz, and a play where he failed to sustain his block.
Player Pressures Sacks
Adams 4 1
Kemoeatu 3 1
Essex 2 0
Pouncey 1 0
Mendenhall 1 0

You’ll notice that I only have accounted for two sacks — one of them appeared to be Roethlisberger’s fault as he held onto the ball on a play where a delayed linebacker blitz came free.

Chris Kemoeatu‘s problems were more of figuring out who to block (Kemoeatu’s normal problem). But he also was beaten by a nice spin move by Will Smith and by getting off the snap too slowly. You name it, Kemoeatu had a problem with it in pass blocking. At one stretch Kemoeatu had four poor plays in a row.

Trai Essex‘s return was troublesome in the run game, but he was a little better (emphasis on little) in pass blocking. He saved the worst for last however, as he was beaten on each of the Steelers’ final two plays.

Maurkice Pouncey‘s play in the passing game was much more impressive. The only negative play he had was a questionable one — he stayed focus on watching for someone looping from his left on a play where the Saints sent a blitz from the right. It’s possible the line call called for him to do that, but it’s hard to say.

And Max Starks‘ performance in the passing game was pretty good. He gave up some ground, but he did a good job of ensuring that he stayed between the defensive ends and Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger had a couple of plays where he had to step up slightly, but that was no big deal — it was the times Roethlisberger had to dodge rushers coming free up the middle.

It’s also worth mentioning the solid play of Rashard Mendenhall in blitz pickup. He is a very willing blocker who lays some crushing licks on linebackers. The only problem came on when he was late getting over to pick up a blitzer, but even then he managed to lay a decent block.
mesaSteeler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-03-2010, 11:19 PM   #2
zulater
Team Owner
 
zulater's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,883
Member Number: 5296
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

I don't know but it looked to me as if Flozell blocked nothing but air on the Steelers first two third down conversion attempts, both of which failed miserably due to what appeared to me as defender coming in untouched from Flozell's side of the line. I was thinking there might have been a connection?
__________________
"A man's got to know his limitations."
zulater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 12:45 PM   #3
truesteelerfan
Team Captain
 
truesteelerfan's Avatar
 

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northern CO
Posts: 698
Gender: Male
Member Number: 11218
Thanks: 49
Thanked 40 Times in 22 Posts
My Mood: Yeehaw
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

Great job and quite an analysis. Thank you.
My comment is this....I recall the Eagles game a couple years ago...and I thought the same thing you probably did....Uh-oh...if other teams see this, we're in trouble....

However...how many teams CAN effectively block 8 rushers with 5 OL players? Not many I don't believe...I don't think our flaw lies with our OL (in this case), but with our OC making the play calls. He needs to adjust and get more creative...If I saw a team having success, such as Philly did, dang right I'd do the exact same thing...Until we can prove we can move the ball in the face of a rush like this...they should keep coming at us...But its not feasible that our OL can block 8 ppl with our 5..can't knock someone down and then make another block within 3 seconds...So OC needs to do what he attempted to do in NO...more 3 step drops (with HOT reads paying attention), screens and draws to offset aggressive blitzes...IMO
truesteelerfan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
Fire Arians
Anti-Spammer Mod
 
Fire Arians's Avatar
 

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 11,275
Member Number: 16570
Thanks: 2,135
Thanked 8,294 Times in 3,476 Posts
My Mood: Yeehaw
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

5 people can't block 8 rushers, i don't care if you have an all-HOF squad in there. if they're rushing 8 that means at least 1 or 2 WR's will be free. it's the qb's responsibility from there to identify it and the WR's responsibility to adjust their routes.

they seem to never do this, lack of preparation. arians is to blame

the same arians who balked at the idea of 3 step drop passes, and somehow thinks the OL can block a jailhouse blitz long enough for long developing routes to happen, lol. it's no wonder why we give up so many sacks
Fire Arians is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 04:44 PM   #5
jjpro11
Living Legend
 
jjpro11's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Near Cleveland
Posts: 4,171
Member Number: 3559
Thanks: 0
Thanked 211 Times in 103 Posts
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

i still don't know why teams don't do this to us more often.. it seems like we are always caught off guard when a team all-out blitzes us.. Cleveland did it last year and for whatever reason didn't do it again this season. we'll definitely see it again against the Jets in December. having home field should help.. but blitzes like that are defeated in the film room more so than on the field.
jjpro11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 04:45 PM   #6
jjpro11
Living Legend
 
jjpro11's Avatar
 

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Near Cleveland
Posts: 4,171
Member Number: 3559
Thanks: 0
Thanked 211 Times in 103 Posts
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fire Arians View Post
5 people can't block 8 rushers, i don't care if you have an all-HOF squad in there. if they're rushing 8 that means at least 1 or 2 WR's will be free. it's the qb's responsibility from there to identify it and the WR's responsibility to adjust their routes.

they seem to never do this, lack of preparation. arians is to blame

the same arians who balked at the idea of 3 step drop passes, and somehow thinks the OL can block a jailhouse blitz long enough for long developing routes to happen, lol. it's no wonder why we give up so many sacks
the problem is Ben was finding the hot route receiver, but for whatever reason the receivers and Ben just weren't on the same page all night and the timing was off.
jjpro11 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-04-2010, 05:04 PM   #7
Riddle_Of_Steel
Head Coach
 
Riddle_Of_Steel's Avatar
 

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 1,952
Gender: Male
Member Number: 13727
Thanks: 2
Thanked 879 Times in 439 Posts
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjpro11 View Post
the problem is Ben was finding the hot route receiver, but for whatever reason the receivers and Ben just weren't on the same page all night and the timing was off.
Yeah, I noticed that too. Our ball-handlers left their gloves at home Sunday night, or something-- Heath's fumble, all the drops (heck, Ward even dropped 2 passes that bounced right off his hands or his #86). Wallace was the only one who seemed to show up, but Arians kept having our WR's run 15 to 20 yard routes (as usual), so he was not even available for the most part, as Ben was seeing defenders almost as soon as the ball was snapped.

I personally think it is embarassing though, when we get to see another team blizting like that, and knowing that even as fans, we could call a better offensive plan than what is being brought out on the field every play.

No, there is no way for 5 guys to block 8-- that is where SCHEME is supposed to come into the picture. Some 3 step drops, some halfback counters/screens, some draws plays, some quick slants, and better hot-reads would have caused the defense to back off.
__________________
GO STEELERS!!
"On the S-2-7 train"
Riddle_Of_Steel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-06-2010, 03:58 PM   #8
markymarc
Team Owner
Supporter
 
markymarc's Avatar
 

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,589
Member Number: 2292
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Re: Analyzing the O-Line: Can’t Hold Back the Flood

Great read and thanks for sharing Mesa. Like others have stated my biggest concern was Ben and the wide receivers not being on the same page for "hot" reads and unfortunately it taking until after halftime to come up with adjustments to stop the pressure.

That Eagles game was ugly and the Browns did the same thing to us last year. Let's just hope we are better prepared going forward because you know other teams will use this type of defense until we prove it won't work anymore.
markymarc is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:40 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Shoutbox provided by vBShout v6.2.1 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.0.8 (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Navbar with Avatar by Motorradforum
no new posts