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Old 11-11-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes
By Mike Bires, Times Sports Staff
Published: Monday, November 10, 2008 11:59 PM EST


There’s plenty of blame to go around for the Steelers’ latest loss. But I don’t find much fault with offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

On Monday, radio talk-show callers took turns blasting Arians’ play calling.

For the most part, I think Arians’ decisions were right on the mark.

Going against a defense that ranked 25th in the NFL in stopping the run, Arians tried to establish a running game. Unfortunately for the Steelers, their much-maligned offensive line could not block well enough to get Mewelde Moore untracked.

Not counting their last possession when they had to throw on almost every snap in a two-minute offense, the Steelers ran 20 first-down plays against the Colts. They ran the football on 13 of them.

The problem was that they didn’t run with much success. Of those 13 runs, 10 gained 2 yards or less.

The Colts’ defense came into the game allowing 4.2 yards per carry.

On those 13 first-down runs, the Steelers averaged 1.4 yards per carry.

That is not Arians’ fault. Blame goes to the Steelers’ assigned to block on those plays. They simply failed to execute their blocks.

-- Arians is getting ripped for calling that ill-fated pass late in the first half that the Colts intercepted deep in Steelers’ territory.

The Steelers, leading 17-7, had the ball on their own 16-yard line. It was third-and-2 with 1:30 left to play. The Colts had just called a timeout.

So why not run?

Even if the Steelers failed to run for the first down, they would have forced Indy to use its last time out.

But instead, Ben Roethlisberger’s misdirected pass was picked off and moments later, the Colts scored a touchdown.

I would have preferred to see the Steelers run the ball. But keep in mind, that pass play was called during a Colts’ timeout. So there was plenty of time for coach Mike Tomlin, Arians, other offensive assistants and Roethlisberger to discuss what play they wanted to call.

Tomlin had the right to veto the call. But he didn’t.

-- Not counting his two short TD runs, Moore had 13 carries in the game of 2 yards or less.

-- If I said it once, I’ve said it 1,000 times. The Steelers made a serious mistake by not finding a way to keep All-Pro guard Alan Faneca in Pittsburgh.

-- FYI: The Steelers rank 25th in the NFL with an average of 96.7 rushing yards per game. The New York Jets, the team Faneca now plays for, ranks ninth at 123.4

Last year, the Steelers ranked third in the league with 135.5 rushing yards per game while the Jets were 19th at 106.3.

I point that out because the Jets, who are 6-3 after a 4-12 disaster last year, made a serious commitment to bolster their offensive line by signing Faneca and tackle Damien Woody during free agency.

Meanwhile, the Steelers’ O-line continues to struggle.

-- One of the things I admire most about Roethlisberger is his accountability. After every win, he deflects praise by always crediting his teammates.

After a loss like Sunday’s, he never points a finger at any one.

“I lost this game,” he said. “I take it on myself. I let the guys down.”

With three interceptions, including two in Pittsburgh territory, Roethlisberger made his share of mistakes against the Colts. But he had plenty of accomplices.

-- Of all the Steelers’ games this year, Sunday’s may have been the one I enjoyed least.

Combined, the two offenses ran 131 plays. But only 45 of them were runs.

Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I don’t care to watch teams throwing the football 86 times.
http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...2948058730.txt
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Old 11-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

lol I thinnk we established this here. The Steelers need to run the ball and the FO refuses to go and get any of better players in FA. True the o-line could've gotten a better push but oh well. We'll see what happens against another poor and struggling team, the Chargers
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

I've said this before...a coach can only coach...the players have to execute!!!
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

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The Steelers need to run the ball and the FO refuses to go and get any of better players in FA.
How's going after high-priced FAs this past offseason working for the Browns now?
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

Draft an O-lineman.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

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How's going after high-priced FAs this past offseason working for the Browns now?
Yep.

I wouldn't mind us going out and getting 1 OL. We did that last year and it worked out OK. Hartwig isn't the best, but he is playing decently.

If we can just pick up one more, and draft a good one, I think we will have a decent line next year. I really am ok with our center 3 players right now. If you notice, all our sacks are coming because of edge rushers.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

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I've said this before...a coach can only coach...the players have to execute!!!
What about those last three or four exact same running plays? I mean, I understand we want to run, but the same exact play, with the same motion, and not even an attempt to disguise it?

That shows a serious lack of imagination by whoever was calling the plays.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

This is a real simple question for the off season. Is Bruce Arians one of the best offensive coordinators in the NFL? If he is , keep him. If he is not, hire one of the very best. Colbert and Tomlin must make this decision. I have my opinion .

Last edited by Michael Keller; 11-11-2008 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 11-11-2008, 03:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

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What about those last three or four exact same running plays? I mean, I understand we want to run, but the same exact play, with the same motion, and not even an attempt to disguise it?

That shows a serious lack of imagination by whoever was calling the plays.
We should be able to blow a team that allows 4+ yards per rush off the ball enough to ram it down their throats from a yard out regardless.
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Old 11-11-2008, 04:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Column: Don't blame Arians for Steelers' mistakes

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We should be able to blow a team that allows 4+ yards per rush off the ball enough to ram it down their throats from a yard out regardless.
Yes, that's true. But a different running play would have helped achieve that goal. Not the same exact play.
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