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Old 12-22-2008, 08:38 AM   #1
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Default Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss
Monday, December 22, 2008
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- When Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians emerged from the training room with a bag of ice yesterday after what only can be described as a Music City massacre, a wise guy couldn't resist.

"For your head?"

"For my knees," Arians said, smiling sadly.

He probably should have considered an extra bag for his head.

This dud of a performance by the Steelers' offense in a 31-14 loss to the Tennessee Titans left everyone involved with a massive headache.

"Hold on, I've got to grab some Tylenol," wide receiver Hines Ward said before heading for the team bus.

See?

We probably shouldn't be surprised that the Steelers coughed up the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs to the Titans. They really haven't been able to run the ball since early in the season, before running back Willie Parker was hurt. Yesterday, they couldn't run it at all.

"That's not good enough," Arians said when told of Parker's numbers against the Titans: 18 carries for a sickly 29 yards, including nine carries for 0 or negative yards.

Parker and the running game were so ineffective that, if you throw out his 13-yard run in the first quarter, he had 17 carries for 16 yards.

Against a defense playing without injured starting tackle Albert Haynesworth and end Kyle Vanden Bosch.

Pass that Tylenol!

"To get to where we want to go as a team, we have to be able to run the ball," Arians said. "It's a recipe for disaster at times when you put everything on your quarterback because that brings the offensive line into it with pass protection."

Certainly, it was a disaster yesterday. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who pulled out late wins against Baltimore and Dallas the previous two weeks, had no miracle to beat the Titans. He fumbled four times and lost two, including a killer at the Titans' 1 early in the game. He also threw two interceptions, the first ending a streak of 130 passes without a pick. Just to make his day totally rotten, he was sacked five times.

As usual, Roethlisberger took the blame. "I didn't play well," he said. Members of the Steelers' proud defense sang the same sad song after looking nothing like the NFL's best defense, allowing 323 yards and not forcing a turnover. "The worst we played all year -- by far," linebacker James Farrior said.

Still, it came back to that miserable running game.

Is it Parker? Is he still not healthy after knee and shoulder injuries early in the season?

Is it the offensive line? Are those guys really as bad as they look at times?

Or is it Arians and the play-calling? Is he committed enough to the run?

I'm thinking it's all three.

Arians said Parker is "the best he's been [health-wise] since early in the season." Sorry, I don't see that. I don't see the same burst that Parker had when he rushed for 138 yards against Houston in the opener and 105 against Cleveland in Week 2. He had 47 yards against Baltimore and 25 against Dallas, making this easily his worst three-game stretch since he became a starter in 2005.

The offensive line is better than it was early in the season, but it's still ordinary, at best. Those guys made Titans backup tackle Jason Jones -- in for Haynesworth -- look like Mean Joe Greene. "Everything was just opening up," Jones said after getting 3 1/2 sacks, three quarterback hurries and forcing three of Roethlisberger's fumbles.

And Arians? Despite his claim that "no one likes to run the ball more than I do," he always has liked the pass a little better than the run, going back to his days as Cleveland's offensive coordinator. He acknowledged yesterday that we "didn't run the ball enough and didn't run it well enough."

Maybe Arians is right not to have great trust in this Steelers line and running game. Maybe he's smart to put the ball in Roethlisberger's hands.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Steelers have to be able to run the ball at least a little bit to go deep in the playoffs. They have to somehow find a way to slow opponents' pass rush because those fellas are looking to maim Roethlisberger.

"We need to get Willie Parker to be Willie Parker, and we need to block for him," Arians said.

Sounds easy.

Getting it done isn't.

No matter.

"Games like this, you've got to be able to run the ball," Parker said, flatly. "That sets up everything. Look at the formula they used today. They were real successful with it."

The Titans got 69 yards from running back Chris Johnson and 48 from LenDale White. It's no coincidence that quarterback Kerry Collins had a 102.1 passer rating and was sacked just once.

"I think we can do that, too," Parker said. "We're definitely not far off. We've just got to get it rectified. We've got three weeks [before the first playoff game]."

That might not be enough time.
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Old 12-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

Quote:
Maybe Arians is right not to have great trust in this Steelers line and running game. Maybe he's smart to put the ball in Roethlisberger's hands.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Steelers have to be able to run the ball at least a little bit to go deep in the playoffs. They have to somehow find a way to slow opponents' pass rush because those fellas are looking to maim Roethlisberger.

"We need to get Willie Parker to be Willie Parker, and we need to block for him," Arians said.
And that's about it in a nutshell.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:19 PM   #3
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

need to get the running game going!
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

Ummm Arians is the biggest douche.........Its Arians who dumped the lead blocking FB scheme we ran for so long............Screw Arians.......pathetic excuse for a knowledgeable coach.

I want him OUT on the first thing smokin heading outbound from Pittsburgh Superbowl or otherwise.
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Old 12-22-2008, 02:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

We need a Fb to help out Willie Memo and Russell.
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

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Ummm Arians is the biggest douche.........Its Arians who dumped the lead blocking FB scheme we ran for so long............Screw Arians.......pathetic excuse for a knowledgeable coach.

I want him OUT on the first thing smokin heading outbound from Pittsburgh Superbowl or otherwise.
If Arians wonders where our running game went, he needs to look in the mirror first.

"We need Willie to be Willie.". BS. Did he hear what Wilie was saying last week? Just who is responsible for dismanteling that running game, there, Brucie?
No wonder Ben has to air it out so much. There's really no choice left.
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 12-22-2008, 07:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

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Originally Posted by XxKnightxX View Post
"That's not good enough," Arians said when told of Parker's numbers against the Titans: 18 carries for a sickly 29 yards, including nine carries for 0 or negative yards.

Parker and the running game were so ineffective that, if you throw out his 13-yard run in the first quarter, he had 17 carries for 16 yards.

Against a defense playing without injured starting tackle Albert Haynesworth and end Kyle Vanden Bosch.
OMG NOW ARIANS & TEH MEDIA IS DOING IT TOO? WHY ARE WE STILL BEATING THIS DEAD HORSE ITS BEEN TALKED ABOUT JUST LET IT DIE
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Old 12-22-2008, 09:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

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OMG NOW ARIANS & TEH MEDIA IS DOING IT TOO? WHY ARE WE STILL BEATING THIS DEAD HORSE ITS BEEN TALKED ABOUT JUST LET IT DIE

Oh no. Maybe Arians doesn't know that Arians knows what he's doing so Arians shouldn't complain about Arians play calling.

I'd be laughing at everyone that said i shouldn't beat a dead horse if i wasn't so pissed at the Steelers commitment to the run.
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Old 12-23-2008, 01:27 AM   #9
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

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Originally Posted by XxKnightxX View Post
"We need to get Willie Parker to be Willie Parker, and we need to block for him, and I need to be fired" Arians said..
Exactly
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Old 12-23-2008, 02:06 AM   #10
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Default Re: Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss

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Originally Posted by XxKnightxX View Post
Run game ran Steelers to 31-14 loss
Monday, December 22, 2008
By Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"That's not good enough," Arians said when told of Parker's numbers against the Titans: 18 carries for a sickly 29 yards, including nine carries for 0 or negative yards.

Parker and the running game were so ineffective that, if you throw out his 13-yard run in the first quarter, he had 17 carries for 16 yards.

"To get to where we want to go as a team, we have to be able to run the ball," Arians said. "It's a recipe for disaster at times when you put everything on your quarterback because that brings the offensive line into it with pass protection."

Is it Parker? Is he still not healthy after knee and shoulder injuries early in the season?

Is it the offensive line? Are those guys really as bad as they look at times?

Or is it Arians and the play-calling? Is he committed enough to the run?

I'm thinking it's all three.

Arians said Parker is "the best he's been [health-wise] since early in the season." Sorry, I don't see that. I don't see the same burst that Parker had when he rushed for 138 yards against Houston in the opener and 105 against Cleveland in Week 2. He had 47 yards against Baltimore and 25 against Dallas, making this easily his worst three-game stretch since he became a starter in 2005.

The offensive line is better than it was early in the season, but it's still ordinary, at best. Those guys made Titans backup tackle Jason Jones -- in for Haynesworth -- look like Mean Joe Greene. "Everything was just opening up," Jones said after getting 3 1/2 sacks, three quarterback hurries and forcing three of Roethlisberger's fumbles.

And Arians? Despite his claim that "no one likes to run the ball more than I do," he always has liked the pass a little better than the run, going back to his days as Cleveland's offensive coordinator. He acknowledged yesterday that we "didn't run the ball enough and didn't run it well enough."

Maybe Arians is right not to have great trust in this Steelers line and running game. Maybe he's smart to put the ball in Roethlisberger's hands.

But that doesn't change the fact that the Steelers have to be able to run the ball at least a little bit to go deep in the playoffs. They have to somehow find a way to slow opponents' pass rush because those fellas are looking to maim Roethlisberger.

"We need to get Willie Parker to be Willie Parker, and we need to block for him," Arians said.
Horse meet stick, stick meet horse. I'm really getting sick of all these negative threads. All these fair weather fans coming here to complain after every loss.

Hey Ron Cook and Bruce Arian's, we're 11-3 man! 11 and F'ing 3! Did you ever think we would be 11-3 witht he toughest schedule. Who cares if we can't rush football. Who cares is our offensive rush scheme has been reduced to the Arizona Cardinals rush scheme. Who cares if our entire offensive system is a complete and useless disaster as a direct result. We're 11-3! Stop complaining!

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