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Old 02-05-2009, 10:28 AM   #1
tony hipchest
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Default Super Education for 30 Teams

good stuff. as always, kirwan has the stats to back up the facts. as far as running out of the no huddle and shotgun, this is where the return of mendenhall is gonna help us tremendously next year, giving us an added dimension, improve the passing game, and reduce sacks on ben.

http://www.nfl.com/superbowl/story?i...s&confirm=true

The game was entertaining for fans, educational for coaches

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The NFL treated its fans to a great game Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly beat the upstart Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII. As New Orleans Saints running back Reggie Bush said to me Monday, the Cardinals' performance was inspirational to him and the rest of the league's players, who believe their team can make it to the big game just like Arizona did this year.



The Cardinals lost to the better team in Tampa, Fla., but they won a number of the battles within the game. Arizona had more first downs, more total yards, a better rushing average, better yards per pass attempt and better yards per play, and they put three punts inside the 20-yard line.
The Cardinals have lots to build upon when you consider they generated 407 yards of offense against the NFL's top-ranked defense. But other important issues were part of this great game.

Every year, the Super Bowl provides a few wrinkles that set the stage for the next season. They trigger reminders to the men running a team's draft and the coaches building offenses and defenses. Here are a couple of things that Super Bowl XLIII taught me -- things I expect to see during the 2009 regular season.

Pass out of the shotgun
Traditional West Coast-offense coaches don't like the shotgun, but it's becoming more and more apparent that the formation is here to stay and its use is growing.

The Cardinals and Steelers had a combined 48 shotgun snaps in the Super Bowl. Arizona tried one run and 32 passes from the shotgun; Pittsburgh didn't bother to run the ball once on its 15 shotgun plays. Kurt Warner and Ben Roethlisberger combined to complete 31 of the 47 passes thrown out of the shotgun for 398 yards. Imagine if they had a strong run game from the shotgun to balance the attack.
More no-huddle, less run
Both teams incorporated the no-huddle into their offensive philosophy, and they need to do more of it next season. The no-huddle puts a lot of stress on the defense.

All 14 plays from the no-huddle in the Super Bowl were passes, so here's another dimension that needs to develop a legitimate run game as a complement. Warner and Roethlisberger, who now have five Super Bowl appearances between them, completed 10 of 14 passes from the no-huddle for 167 yards. That's 16.7 yards per completion, even though the defense knows you're not running the ball. That's a fine accomplishment.

There were 38 running plays, compared to 77 passes, called in the Super Bowl. That means the Cardinals and Steelers ran the ball just 33 percent of the time, and I don't see that trend going away. In fact, when you consider that neither team could even average 3 yards per carry, it might be time to acknowledge what really got your team to the Super Bowl. The longest run in the game was 15 yards, but eight pass completions were longer than that.

Throw the ball inside the 10
Offensive approaches inside the 10-yard line are really changing, and this Super Bowl was a prime example. There were 20 plays called from inside the opponent's 10 during the game -- seven runs for a total of zero yards and one touchdown; 13 passes for 26 yards and three touchdowns. Still, the 100-yard interception return for a touchdown by Steelers linebacker James Harrison was a great reminder of how difficult it can be to execute a pass play in a confined space.

The Cardinals came into the game with seven touchdown passes from the 1-yard line. They stayed true to form in the Super Bowl with three passing attempts from the 1, resulting in two touchdowns and Harrison's interception return for a score. Neither team really had the big running back who would pile-drive the defense. Maybe they need to think about a player like the Ravens' Le'Ron McClain.



Forget about a 'caretaker QB'
In today's NFL, there's a perception that a team with a great defense just needs a quarterback who won't turn over the ball. It's naive to think a "caretaker QB" can win a Super Bowl. The Steelers had the No. 1 defense in the NFL this season, but they still needed Roethlisberger's late-game heroics to win the Super Bowl. Roethlisberger was 5-for-7 passing for 84 yards and the game-winning touchdown in that final drive.



Spread out a pressure defense
Both offenses realized that spreading out a pressure defense with a wide-open pass attack is a smart idea. By eliminating a lot of the traditional two-back sets (tight end, two wide receivers) and substituting three- and four-receiver sets, the offense takes away a defense's ability to bring the pressure it likes to apply. We'll see a lot more spread offenses next season, for sure.

Better have interchangeable parts
What came first, the chicken or the egg? I'm not sure about that one, but the Super Bowl convinced me once and for all that modern defenses need 11 athletes who are interchangeable. Defensive backs must be able to pressure the quarterback, linemen have to cover pass routes and linebackers can't be liabilities against spread sets that put them in space.

I saw the Cardinals line up with two men with a hand on the ground, and the Steelers had some looks where just one player had a hand on the ground. The Super Bowl taught us that it's critical to never let the quarterback or the center get a real picture of what's coming. A field full of "jokers" or "wild cards" is what's needed to play against these modern pass attacks. In Super Bowl XLIII, the Cardinals and Steelers did it as well as any team in the league.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

Good read Tony.

As you mentioned, Mendy will be huge for us once he gets himself acclimated to the pros. I believe the offense is in transition, with a strong group of TEs and a RB like Mendy as the 'jokers'.

The real bright spot comes from the LBing core, where we have THE perfect 'joker' in Timmons and although superior in pass rushing S'back and Wood have proven to be solid in space.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:53 AM   #3
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

Is there becoming less of a need for the huge space eating NTs that we are used to.

When offenses start to spread us out, Hampton becomes a little obsolete.
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Old 02-05-2009, 10:55 AM   #4
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

You DO realize that Kirwan is pretty much putting his stamp of approval on BRUCE ARIANS OFFENSE here?

Passing out of the empty backfield spread, passing inside the 10, passing out of the gun, etc, etc...
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:17 AM   #5
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
You DO realize that Kirwan is pretty much putting his stamp of approval on BRUCE ARIANS OFFENSE here?

Passing out of the empty backfield spread, passing inside the 10, passing out of the gun, etc, etc...
That's interesting, he never once mentioned BA. He did mention numerous times that a legitimate run game is needed out of those formations, not an empty backfield.

But as I stated previously, BA does run a 'joker' type offense. The TEs are expected to block and catch equally well, as with the H-back, and the RB must be able to catch out of the backfield. This is where I see young guys like Mendy and Sherrod shining.

FWIW, I never want to see us run an empty backfield spread offense like the Patsies, unless we're down and in need of a quick comeback.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

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That's interesting, he never once mentioned BA.
No he didn't, but he DID mentioned all the things that BA did this year that made him a marked and hated man amongst many Steelers prognosticators. The things Kirwan mentioned are all the tenets of an Arians offense. It's a copycat league. Both offenses had a lot of similiar traits. So expect people to start emulating Bruce Arians offensive schemes next year.

Fire Arians indeed!
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

As good as the article is, there is still a need to have a decent running game. Look at the Titans for instance. With the emergence of Chris Johnson and Lendale White as a big time 1-2 punch and the Giants with their 2 and sometimes 3 headed running attack. If having a prolific passing attack is the "wave" of the 2009 season then look for the Bengals, Browns, Saints, Rams, Packers and of course the Patsies to be the dominate teams next season.

In all seriousness though, you notice I didnt include the Colts and Bolts in there because both those clubs need a running game to thrive. I say let teams get pass happy while teams like the Steelers () bolster their O-line and find their running game again to compete for another championship.
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Old 02-05-2009, 11:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

Nice article i hope with mendys help next yr we have akick ass run game again!
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

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Originally Posted by revefsreleets View Post
No he didn't, but he DID mentioned all the things that BA did this year that made him a marked and hated man amongst many Steelers prognosticators.
Really, like what?
*Totally abandon throwing to the TEs at the goal line. (when we have giants with great hands)
*Consistently run the dive off LG at the goal line. (or maybe a counter with our backs pinned to our own goal line)
*Empty the backfield on 2nd and 5. (instead of going play-action)
*Or my personal favorite; Put FWP in motion, split wide leaving an empty backfield and in essence playing 10 on 11 because Willie can't catch the ball.

None of those things were mentioned in the article.

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The things Kirwan mentioned are all the tenets of an Arians offense. It's a copycat league. Both offenses had a lot of similar traits.
Did you see how often Arizona threw to the RB, how often do we do that? Are screens not included in BAs offense?

Do you really want to toss the ball around when we get inside the ten, or would you rather we be able to pound it in?

It's all about balance, which Kirwan states quite often. Arians offense is a balance type offense, as I stated, but the key is disguise. In his offense the same personnel can be used for multiple formations (a theme of the article), which again we haven't seen much of throughout his tenure.

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So expect people to start emulating Bruce Arians offensive schemes next year.

Fire Arians indeed!
Well we already know Tomlin is retaining all the coaches. I have no problem with Arians offensive philosophy, it's his play-calling and game-planning I have a problem with. Familiarity and continuity breeds success in this league, and I'm confident that the coordinators will continue to move toward Tomlin's vision of the future.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:11 PM   #10
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Default Re: Super Education for 30 Teams

Does anyone think we won't draft another LBer this draft?

Does that type of defensive personnel lend itself better to the 4-3?
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