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Old 06-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #1
alittlejazzbird
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Default Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

What I think of Mark Madden is not fit for printing in a civilized forum such as ours....but I have to give credit where it is due, and I think he makes some good observations in this column from the Beaver County Times. One particularly interesting nugget:

Quote:
What Roethlisberger didn't say is that Cowher spent a long time making sure that he, the head coach, was the biggest star the Steelers had, and wasn't about to cede that to Roethlisberger.
Don't get me wrong, I was a Cowher fan throughout his tenure, and I'll remain one as long as he's not coaching an AFC North team. But it does make you think....


Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense
By Mark Madden

When Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians appeared on my radio show to espouse the virtues of his new offense, his plans actually seemed believable.

A tight end lining up at fullback? Believable. Spreading out the defense to give Willie Parker more gaps to work with? Believable. A base formation that uses two receivers, two tight ends and one back? Believable. The tight end position totaling 90 catches? Believable. The talents of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being maximized? Believable. Being less predictable? Believable.

Yes, Arians' blueprint seemed believable. Not because Arians is an offensive genius. But because Bill Cowher is no longer around.

Cowher accomplished a lot (although probably not as much as he should have). But, with few exceptions, Cowher was ultraconservative, unconditionally wed to smashmouth football. He pounded the ball vertically even if it meant hammering square pegs into round holes. Cowher opened things up with Tommy Maddox at quarterback in 2003. The Steelers went 6-10, which made Cowher even more rigid thereafter.

Arians admits he would have had trouble making drastic changes under Cowher. Cowher's departure is thus fortunate, because it's long past time for the Steelers' offense to modernize. To do what other teams have been doing for years. Arians can (and might) still base his offense primarily on the run. But the offense promises to be much less predictable, something Roethlisberger cited on my show as being a problem.

Being loyal to certain concepts is fine. But you need to use your weapons.

Under Cowher, Heath Miller would have disappeared statistically, just like Mark Bruener, a talented tight end who was coached into mediocrity. Parker would have been used as a power runner, which contradicts his strengths. Santonio Holmes would have been either underused or turned into yet another possession receiver. It's an indictment of the Steelers offense under Cowher that stiffs like Nate Washington and Cedrick Wilson had better chances to excel than Miller.

Most significantly, Cowher would have never used Roethlisberger properly. The relationship between Cowher and Roethlisberger was strained from day one, and it was never going to get any better. Roethlisberger recently told Sports Illustrated that Cowher treated him like a "young kid," and that it was always going to be that way with Cowher.

What Roethlisberger didn't say is that Cowher spent a long time making sure that he, the head coach, was the biggest star the Steelers had, and wasn't about to cede that to Roethlisberger.

Smashmouth football dilutes individual glory. That might not have been Cowher's main goal philosophically, but he probably considered it a nifty side effect.

Under Mike Tomlin and Arians, Roethlisberger will blossom. Without Cowher, Roethlisberger will blossom.

Considering that, Cowher's departure was an absolute necessity.

Arians isn't reinventing the wheel, or even offensive football. He'll seem like Mouse Davis to the locals, but he's merely making the Steelers catch up to the rest of the NFL.

Roethlisberger is the biggest talent the Steelers have, and easily the team's most important player. Maximizing what he can do is the only way the team can contend for the playoffs in 2007.

The Steelers' veterans would have preferred that Ken Whisenhunt or Russ Grimm had replaced Cowher, something Alan Faneca figures to remind us a couple hundred times during training camp. But elevating a Cowher assistant would have made keeping the status quo more likely. Not the status quo of 2005's Super Bowl season, but the status quo of 2006's 8-8 campaign.

The Steelers needed change, and not minimal change. The Steelers got one for the thumb despite their ancient approach, not because of it.

Bill Cowher did a lot for the Steelers. History will someday note that one of the biggest favors Cowher did the franchise was quitting when he did.

http://www.timesonline.com/site/news...d=478568&rfi=6
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Old 06-06-2007, 12:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

Cowher accomplished a lot (although probably not as much as he should have). But, with few exceptions, Cowher was ultraconservative, unconditionally wed to smashmouth football. He pounded the ball vertically even if it meant hammering square pegs into round holes. Under Cowher, Heath Miller would have disappeared statistically, just like Mark Bruener, a talented tight end who was coached into mediocrity. Parker would have been used as a power runner, which contradicts his strengths. Santonio Holmes would have been either underused or turned into yet another possession receiver. It's an indictment of the Steelers offense under Cowher that stiffs like Nate Washington and Cedrick Wilson had better chances to excel than Miller.

Mark Madden or not this all sounds pretty accurate does'nt it.

The first line says it all for me. Cowher was a good coach BUT......

Welcome to a new era of Steeler football!!!!
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

Why is a former wrestling announcer writing anything about a real sport like pro football? Madden follows true to his form by taking several cheap shots at Cowher now that he's gone. He's a whiny piece of trash who doesn't deserve the attention he gets.
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

Quote:
He's a whiny piece of trash who doesn't deserve the attention he gets.
that may be true but this article is still pretty much spot on.

i thought i would miss the stability and the chance to always contend that cowher provided. however, just like a player, there was no upside. what we saw is what we get. it was time, and with tomlin there is now upside added to our great talent. this article is well done with alot of great point.

russ or ken would not have brought any upside.

smashing square pegs in a round hole. (especially with willie)

holmes woulda been turned into another possession wr. (he probably woulda got bored and wanted out)

heath was being turned into another breuner. (watching winslow and heap, im sure he would get pissed and eventually want to leave via free agency)

roethlisberger was regressing, not progressing. (its a shame a qb gets a label as someone who can only manage a game and not win it after only their 1st year in the league, especially after what he did in miami of ohio)
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

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Originally Posted by Jeremy View Post
Why is a former wrestling announcer writing anything about a real sport like pro football? Madden follows true to his form by taking several cheap shots at Cowher now that he's gone. He's a whiny piece of trash who doesn't deserve the attention he gets.
Nevermind Madden, I am curious to know Jeremy if you find any truth to the article.

Are there any valid points in your opinion?
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Old 06-06-2007, 01:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

Im not Cowhers biggest fan (I still think he was a very good coach though) but to accuse him of playing a Steelers 'smashmouth' style in order to further his own profile is the talk of a mad man.

As far as I am aware the smashmouth style was popular in Pittsburgh before Cowher arrived - it what he was comfortable with and what he seemed to resort to in times of pressure.

The criticism hardly seems logical when you consider that a more balanced or QB friendly offense (or whatever style of play this article is advocating as an alternative) may have resulted in a couple more rings and therefore more personal glory for Cowher.

From what I remember the Steelers managed ok relying on a smothering D and a powerful running game in 2004 - yet the authors memory seems to only recall the 2006 Steelers team.

Its a lousy article for a number of reasons - losing a coach of Cowhers caliber and replacing him with a guy who is unproven at HC (outside of press conferences) is far from a sign of nailed on future success.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

Quote:
Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
Im not Cowhers biggest fan (I still think he was a very good coach though) but to accuse him of playing a Steelers 'smashmouth' style in order to further his own profile is the talk of a mad man.
As far as I am aware the smashmouth style was popular in Pittsburgh before Cowher arrived.
I think the majority of people here, myself included, love the tough Steelers 'smashmouth' style. The point to be made here is the fact of Cohwer not coaching to the players strengths, the square peg in the round hole discussion (or did you miss that part).

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Originally Posted by Livinginthe past View Post
- it was what he was comfortable with and what he seemed to resort to in times of pressure.
That my friend is called 'puckering up' where I come from, or 'choking' or as the article pointed out 'being far to predictable'.

The article clearly is taking a shot at Cowher, but nevertheless brings up valid points that any Steelers fan would recognize.
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Old 06-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

I think Cowher was a really good coach, but he was definately not a great one. This is partially because of some of the reasons Madden brings up.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

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Originally Posted by DACEB View Post
Nevermind Madden, I am curious to know Jeremy if you find any truth to the article.

Are there any valid points in your opinion?
No. Smashmouth football wins championships. If Madden thinks that Ben is on the level of Manning or Brady, he should be tested for drugs. The team was built to run a certain style of offense. Besides, anyone who's played the game knows that players who chase individual glory often end up hurting their teams.

Like I said, Madden is just another pathetic wannabe piece of trash who talks about people when they're not around to defend themselves. His article has no valid points and should be filed under fat piece of trash hates more succesful people.
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Old 06-06-2007, 03:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Column: Time To Modernize Steelers' Offense

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Like I said, Madden is just another pathetic wannabe piece of trash who talks about people when they're not around to defend themselves. His article has no valid points and should be filed under fat piece of trash hates more succesful people.
kinda like youre doing, right? lol. seriously, once you sift through what seems like some personal issues madden may have cowher there are some "valid point".

what would you say invalidates these:

Quote:
Being loyal to certain concepts is fine. But you need to use your weapons.

Under Cowher, Heath Miller would have disappeared statistically, just like Mark Bruener, a talented tight end who was coached into mediocrity. Parker would have been used as a power runner, which contradicts his strengths. Santonio Holmes would have been either underused or turned into yet another possession receiver. It's an indictment of the Steelers offense under Cowher that stiffs like Nate Washington and Cedrick Wilson had better chances to excel than Miller.
are you saying you dont need to use your weapons? power running is willies strength? mark bruener wasnt talented? stiffs like wilson and cedric werent given more chances to excel?
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