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Old 01-01-2009, 01:44 AM   #1
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Default Arians discounts running game theory

Arians discounts running game theory
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...ce=rss&feed=9#
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Steelers have become so associated with a dominant running game, it has created the perception that they cannot succeed offensively without one.

That is not reality, said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who pointed to the Super Bowl run the Steelers made during the 2005 season as evidence. In winning three games to get to the Super Bowl, Arians said, the Steelers used the pass to set up the run.

"It's different in Pittsburgh because people believe if you run it 30 times (a game) you automatically win, but when I was here we didn't win any Super Bowls that way," Arians said Wednesday. "I know how we won them, and No. 7 (quarterback Ben Roethlisberger) won them for us offensively."

Roethlisberger, who led the Steelers to their last Super Bowl title, is recovering from a concussion he sustained in a 31-0 win over the Browns on Sunday. He is expected to be OK, and a running game that has been suspect this season might have to carry more of the load as the Steelers prepare for an AFC divisional playoff game on Jan. 11.

Arians has been criticized for moving the Steelers away from what is considered their roots: a power running game. And the second-guessing of Arians only intensified this season, as the Steelers finished 23rd in the NFL in rushing (105.6 yards per game).

"It's always easy when you're an armchair quarterback," left tackle Max Starks said. "Fans are going to look at it differently, and the media is always going to look at it differently. But if we have confidence in (the running game), that's all that really matters."

Arians said the running game is merely different from the one to which Steelers fans had become accustomed. Personnel has partly dictated that, he said, as the Steelers haven't had a big, bruising back such as Jerome Bettis since he retired following the 2005 season.

The Steelers have run more out of a one-back set since Arians started calling the plays, and the use of the traditional fullback as well as the I-formation has been de-emphasized.

A different approach

Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said the Steelers used the pass to set up the run in the three playoff games they won in 2006 to get to the Super Bowl. Here is a breakdown of the yards the Steelers gained in those games.

Opponent Result Passing yards Rushing yards
Bengals W, 31-17 202 144
Colts W, 21-18 183 112
Broncos W, 34-17 268 90

"We do something a little different without him," Arians said of Bettis, "but we do have Willie (Parker), we do have Mewelde (Moore) so we have good backs and we've run the ball satisfactorily, but not great."

The Steelers rushed for 176 yards Sunday against the Browns, and they ran Parker out of the I-formation more than usual. Parker rushed for 116 yards on 23 carries and scored on a 34-yard run.

Arians, however, dismissed the notion that the I-formation is some sort of elixir for the running game and said the Steelers will use it in the playoffs as circumstances dictate.

"Willie's touchdown run (against the Browns) was the same run he had in the Super Bowl," Arians said, "one back, the exact same play, so no, I don't put any stock in that (stuff)."

Parker said recently that he prefers to run behind a fullback and questioned the approach the Steelers had taken in regard to running the ball. His criticism drew a pointed rebuttal from coach Mike Tomlin. Parker has since refused to get drawn into any discussions about the Steelers' philosophy of running the ball.

"I'm not getting into that, if we have a fullback or not," Parker said. "If we run it, I'm happy."


Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:49 AM   #2
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

This time though, I think we gotta switch it.

I hope I'm wrong, but I don't think Ben is gonna be as flaming hot as he was in those playoff games.

Run to set up the run.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

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"It's always easy when you're an armchair quarterback," left tackle Max Starks said. "Fans are going to look at it differently, and the media is always going to look at it differently.


I would like to see more of a rushing attack in the playoffs, but as Arians so correctly states - only "as circumstances dictate".
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

I don't think Arians play calling is going to be much different in the playoffs he will use what got us here so I don't think we will run the ball anymore.
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Old 01-01-2009, 07:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

I REALLY hope they have been saving some offensive "surprises" for the playoffs....
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Old 01-01-2009, 09:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

I don't care at this point. Just win
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:19 AM   #7
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

i think that BA had some confidence booster in the browns game and hoepfully that carries over..

i think the first play of the game we should go deep w/ tone or nate...
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

Earlier in the season Parker says he wants a FB and gets scolded by Tomlin for going public. Now he says "I'm not getting into that, if we have a FB or not." You can tell Willie wants one, but doesnt want to take any more heat.

Sometimes circumstances dictate that you must abandon the run and throw the ball, like when you get behind. The Steelers rarely get too far behind with their defense.

I would rather see the Steelers look to Dictate the Circumstances with the running game, than have the Circumstances Dictate that they cant use the running game.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:25 AM   #9
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

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I would rather see the Steelers look to Dictate the Circumstances with the running game, than have the Circumstances Dictate that they cant use the running game.


Control the ball.......manage the clock.......win the game.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Arians discounts running game theory

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Originally Posted by El-Gonzo Jackson View Post
Earlier in the season Parker says he wants a FB and gets scolded by Tomlin for going public. Now he says "I'm not getting into that, if we have a FB or not." You can tell Willie wants one, but doesnt want to take any more heat.

Sometimes circumstances dictate that you must abandon the run and throw the ball, like when you get behind. The Steelers rarely get too far behind with their defense.

I would rather see the Steelers look to Dictate the Circumstances with the running game, than have the Circumstances Dictate that they cant use the running game.
Well said. However I do find it interesting that BA feels the need to come out in the press and defend his approach. He must be feeling some heat. I find it hard to believe that BA did this with out Tomlin's permission.
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