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Old 07-23-2008, 05:28 AM   #1
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Default Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

Our offensive line went from a pretty stout line with good rythym to a line that just cant block anyone.
Who is really to blame?


Larry Zierlein is in his first season coaching the Steelers' offensive line.

Mr. Zierlein is now in his 2nd season in pittsburgh and they have really regressed as a whole in my opinion. Now, I know that we had a pretty darn good coach in Russ Grimm here for a few years that really pulled his linemen together well. I just dont know if this guy is the answer or not. I think that Tomlin needs to set an offensive line and let them play together and gel with one another. You cant expect players to learn what their next door neighbor on the line can do if it is someone different every other day. You would think that I am not smarter than an offensive line coach in the NFL, but come on people....!!!!
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

I agree to some extent that it makes your job easier when you know what the guy next to you is doing. However, I also feel that regardless of who is next to you, each person should know their job without hesitation and without fail. Therefore, if everyone knows their job then there shouldn't be a reason for decline in OL play.

While it would be nice to have the OL gel during training camp and have consistency, players have to recognize that injuries occur and one day that 2nd stringer is going to be a 1st stringer - learn to play with them too.
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Old 07-23-2008, 07:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

While I agree with not having our OL playing musical chairs game in and game out, Tomlin seems to be the kind of guy who has faith in his coaches and will let Zierlein work out the kinks. The players bear a lot of the responsibility for their poor play last season imho, but this is a new season so let's see what develops!
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

I like Zeirlein's approach, but not sure of his track record.

Coach Z emphasizes teaching the fundamentals and technique. Grimm reportedly wasnt that much of a detail guy and just preferred to get a guy blocked, which showed in some of the undisciplined O line play that was erratic at times.

I think like every other sport(baseball, golf, boxing, basketball, track, etc.) you have to work on technique and be fundamentally sound in order to give yourself the best chance to perform.

The average fan liked Grimm because he was a common guy that didnt focus on the little things and just wanted results. The fact is that the more you concentrate on making the little things automatic, the more likely you are to get results. I think that Coach Z is a better technician, but Grimm gets more respect because he is an ex Hog.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

I'll say one thing about Larry Zierlein over Russ, I would rather have Larry as an e-mail buddy.
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Old 07-23-2008, 08:56 AM   #6
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
I think that Tomlin needs to set an offensive line and let them play together and gel with one another. You cant expect players to learn what their next door neighbor on the line can do if it is someone different every other day.
Funny, I remember saying this at one time in the recent past, and got slammed for it. It's pretty obvious that you can't have continuity if you are constantly shuffling guys around, but we have those that insist on placing blame on the player/players.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:09 AM   #7
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

A coach is only as good as his players are receptive.
You can coach fundamentals, but you can't coach talent.

Often times, when injuries do occur, lesser talented guys step in. There's only so much a coach can do when the talent isn't there.

Want proof, look at the Browns. Last season was the most talented team we've fielded since before Art Modell moved to Baltimore. Didn't matter who came in to coach, we were going to suck.

Last seasons team was far from perfect, but the additional talent (especially in the O-line) led to a pretty productive offense. Take away Joe T and Eric S (LT/LG) and the team tanks again.

Same can be applied to the Steelers. Starters get injured, "lesser guys" are walking into a starting role (instead of earning it by beating the guy out that was ahead of them) and suddenly your O-line is considered a flop.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:19 AM   #8
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

Fundamentals are the key to almost anything----even reading, math, etc....When you go back and do a little a research on what Noll did- it was all about tackling, blocking properly and footwork, same as John Wooden at UCLA or Morgan Wooten at the High School level in basketball.

Its all basics, I think even in the NFL.

I realzie those guys were all 70's icons, and things change, but the basic techniques dont.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:32 AM   #9
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

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Fundamentals are the key to almost anything----even reading, math, etc....When you go back and do a little a research on what Noll did- it was all about tackling, blocking properly and footwork, same as John Wooden at UCLA or Morgan Wooten at the High School level in basketball.

Its all basics, I think even in the NFL.

I realzie those guys were all 70's icons, and things change, but the basic techniques dont.
No argument. Wasn't trying to imply that I was going against that (if that's how you interpreted my post.) The thing is, if your talent level is significantly less than the guy you are lining up across, then you're already at a disadvantage. If the guy is as fundamentally sound (or unsound) as you are, he still holds the advantage based on talent alone.

That was my biggest problem in HS. I wasn't nearly athletic enough to be a star player. I worked hard on doing the little things right, tried to make myself versatile, but at the end of the day, I wasn't even close to being a #1 or #2 receiving option for our team. There were other guys on the team who were much more athletic than I was (and the same for our opponents.) I had my various roles to fill and I knew what those roles were. But that's the best that I could ever hope for.

You see this in the NFL too. Though the guys are much more athletic (and fundamentally sound) there are still limitations that each player has. Typically, the back up players are the guys who are less athletic, because most NFL players have decent-good fundamentals.
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Old 07-23-2008, 09:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Offensive Line Coach To Blame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
Our offensive line went from a pretty stout line with good rythym to a line that just cant block anyone.
Who is really to blame?

Unfortuntately, you can't really blame Zierlein, since the transformation from good to bad, for whatever reason, started in the 2006 season----when Russ Grimm was still the coach.

Then to make matters worse we lost Hartings---a pro bowl center. The loss of Hartings made a huge impact last year.

Count me among the few people who believe our O-line will be better this year. Hartwig has to be an improvement over Mahan at center. With a better center---and hopefully a healthy Marvel Smith, everyone else can focus on their own jobs a little better. And, Ben will have more targets to dump the ball to, putting less pressure on the line.

I understand what you are all saying regarding putting a group together and letting them gel, but the center situation last year caused a lot of problems-----and made it hard to get a good group of five----Okobi under performed and it caused major issues in camp. (add to that Tomlin's and Zierlein's "unfamiliarity" with the players and its bound to lead to uncertainty in the top 5.)

In the end, we benfited from some of that "moving around" since Starks was able to take over admirably for Smith when he went down with his back problems.
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