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Old 06-14-2009, 09:14 AM   #1
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Post Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

Good article on Arians, love or hate him, God bless him in being a cancer survivor.

Steelers offensive coordinator discusses young talent, prostate cancer
By Tom Ash, June 14, 2009

Last updated: Saturday, June 13, 2009 11:31 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians was very clear on his opinion of the team’s first-round draft choice this season.

Sitting in the lobby of The Ortenzio Heart Center on the Holy Spirit Health System campus, minutes before his speech on prostate cancer prevention in an assembly of medical professionals one the next floor, Arians deferred any doubts as to which prospect the Steelers were hoping to snag in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

“That’s part of the secret of the draft,” he said with a smile. “You got the guy you wanted all the time.”

With the No. 32 pick — the final pick of the opening round this April — Pittsburgh went against most outside projections in selecting Evander “Ziggy” Hood, a 6-foot-3-inch, 300-pound defensive tackle from Missouri. Analysts felt the Steelers would draft an offensive lineman, given the team’s 46 sacks allowed last season.

That may have been the initial plan, too, until a few top lineman prospects were selected before Pittsburgh was on the clock. At that point, Arians said, it was just a matter of sticking with the age-old Steelers draft method — do it by the book.

“The one thing, you can’t reach in the draft just because of positional need,” Arians said. “The two guys we had targeted for that spot were drafted ahead of us. The next guy, it was a little rich for him to be drafted in that spot.

“Ziggy Hood is a guy we had ranked very high. That way, you never have busts. You don’t draft for need.”

The Steelers didn’t take an offensive lineman until the 79th pick, when they selected 6-5, 328-pound Wisconsin tackle Kraig Urbik. But all those sacks in ‘09 weren’t necessarily the fault of a lax O-line, as Arians pointed out.

“They only gave up 19 sacks last year of the 46,” the offensive coordinator said. “Running backs, tight ends, receivers and quarterbacks gave up most of the rest. Those guys, every time there’s a sack it has to be the offensive linemen but a lot of times it was a receiver missing the hot read, the quarterback getting himself sacked a few times, because he likes to run around. We’re not going to change that.”

Arians and his fellow coaches know the risks involved with a quarterback as gun-ho as Ben Roethlisberger. Always the playmaker, Roethlisberger tends to scramble outside the pocket and put himself in harm’s way when a play isn’t developing as needed.

It is, however, a point of endearment for his coaches.

“We don’t get caught up with how many times Ben gets hit,” Arians said. “If Ben gets hurt, that’s a different story, we need him out there. He’s the franchise. But we don’t want to change the way he plays the game. He’s a gunslinger, he likes to make plays.”

After all, it was that free spirit that led Roethlisberger to a franchise-record 32 touchdown passes in 2007, Arians’ first year as coordinator, with a solid quarterback rating of 104.1.

The veteran coach feels he and his colleagues know exactly what they’re doing when it comes to handling their staff. Two Super Bowl victories in four years is reason enough for his confidence.

So, when Arians explained the low production the team received from the draft class of ‘08 was a direct correlation with how good his team was last year, there’s little reason to doubt him.

“I do think it’s because we have a good football team,” Arians said. “When you’re playing all your rookies, you’re not very good and (the rookies) are going to get beat a lot... if your rookies aren’t playing and you’re winning, and they see what’s anticipated and expected of them, when they do play, there’s a level of expectation they know they have to live up to.

“We really didn’t get anything out of our first-, second-, third-, fourth-round picks last year... hopefully, those guys will be the depth of our football team this year. We feel we had a good draft, those guys haven’t had a chance to play yet.”

For former Illinois running back Rashard Mendenhall, it wasn’t as much a matter of warming the bench. The bruising tailback broke a bone in his shoulder early last season and missed the majority of his rookie year.

Still, Arians was confident the former first-round pick has matured beyond rookie status at this point, having stuck around and been a part of the team’s playoff run despite his lack of presence on the field.

“It was very hard for (Mendenhall),” Arians said. “For the first time in his life, he had to sit around and watch. Any rookie that goes through that for the first time, they have a tendency to step back and hide because they don’t feel like they’re part of the team anymore.

“As the season progressed, as we got into the playoffs, he was around every day.”

With the departure of reserve wideout Nate Washington, Sweed, taken with the Steelers’ second draft pick in ‘08, will have a chance to compete for regular-season playing time this year. Though the 6-4, 220-pound deep threat isn’t much of a physical equivalent to 6-0, 205-pound starter Hines Ward, the veteran has played a big role in developing Sweed into an NFL-caliber wideout.

In fact, with 11 years of experience as a member of the Steelers’ franchise, Ward has become a pseudo-wide receivers coach in his own right.

“We have great veteran leadership on this team in each position,” Arians said. “Those guys do a lot of coaching. When I was a receivers coach, Hines did most of the coaching... as far as passing knowledge on, making sure there was no relax of blocking or full-speed execution. Or taking notes in meetings. Hines would pick their notebook up (and say), ‘What, you didn’t write anything down? How are you going to make the team?’

“He’s really teaching someone to take his job someday, that’s been the situation for a long time."



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'Take one for the team'

Bruce Arians didn’t make the trip all the way to Holy Spirit in Camp Hill just to talk about the NFL preseason. There were much more important things on the Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator’s mind Saturday.

A prostate cancer survivor, Arians spoke as part of an assembly at The Ortenzio Heart Center on prostate cancer awareness — a movement he voluntarily joined in hopes of spreading knowledge about the illness.

“It is indeed a pleasure and honor to be here and get involved in something so needed,” the coach said in front of inquisitive guests and towel-waiving Steelers fans alike.

In early 2007, Arians was diagnosed with prostate cancer. The news came on the heels of a major Steelers shake-up — Mike Tomlin had just been named the team’s new head coach and Arians slid into the vacant offensive coordinator position. It was a position Arians was familiar with, having spent time as the Cleveland Browns’ OC before arriving in Pittsburgh, but a career shift that required extra attention nonetheless.

However, according to Arians, everything came to a screeching halt when he heard the doctor say those three words: “You have cancer.”

“Nothing compares with when the doctor tells you you have cancer,” Arians said. “Everything stops.”

Now, the coach dedicates time to spreading prostate cancer awareness, donning the little blue ribbon pin that has become the movement’s symbol and developing the slogan “Take one for the team,” in reference to a man’s responsibility to undergo prostate exams for the good of his family.

“If we can just get one guy to go get himself checked, it’s well worth the time,” Arians said.

http://www.cumberlink.com/articles/2...f780921509.prt
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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 06-14-2009, 11:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

I've watched the Super Bowl twice now & while I still have issues with how he called games & his lack of in-game adjustments up until that point, Arians called a really good Super Bowl. I'm actually optimistic that if Summers can be that short yardage back we desperately need & that the o-line plays even just a little bit better that the offense will run alot smoother this year.
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:50 PM   #3
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

The Steelers started off like gangbusters in a lot of games last year but stalled after the first drive. I still think that Arians and his running Parker UP THE MIDDLE on first and second downs over and over kept too many games closer than they should have been. Granted, Ben pulled a lot of those games out in the end, but we should have been using Moore on second and third down, perhaps as a slot receiver or second back in the backfield to get some of that heat off Ben. Slamming the ball up the middle repeatedly with a one dimensional back who can't run a screen if his life depended on it is just stupid. I know, I know. We won the Super Bowl that way. BUT, the defense did most of the work, not that inconsistent mess that we called an offense.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

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Originally Posted by stillers4me View Post
[
“They only gave up 19 sacks last year of the 46,” the offensive coordinator said. “Running backs, tight ends, receivers and quarterbacks gave up most of the rest. Those guys, every time there’s a sack it has to be the offensive linemen but a lot of times it was a receiver missing the hot read, the quarterback getting himself sacked a few times, because he likes to run around. We’re not going to change that.”
Interesting remark from Arians... 27 sacks blamed on Ben and a Receiver missing reads??? Nate possibly???

Summers helps short yardage, Sweed plays better and faster than Nate, we seen Limas block. Thats solid. A better OL and the steelers will be exciting to watch this season. Smashmouth is back...
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Old 06-14-2009, 02:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

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Summers helps short yardage, Sweed plays better and faster than Nate, we seen Limas block. Thats solid. A better OL and the steelers will be exciting to watch this season. Smashmouth is back...
?

I dunno, we've never really seen him play. And one good block doesn't make him solid
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Old 06-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

just using some logic, they didnt want to pay nate for some reason.... ward seems to like sweeds play. we shall see. they drafted summers 5th instead of 7th round, they contracted him already. that sounds positive.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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?

I dunno, we've never really seen him play. And one good block doesn't make him solid
And is he even faster than Washington?
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

I did pick up on that number. . . only 20 or so sacks blamed on the O line.

Interesting. I did notice a number of times it looked like they were bringing the house on us. I REALLY want to go back to that Philly game now and watch. I wonder how many of those sacks were missed hot-reads... two steps, three steps and turn.

Hmmm. Not saying I agree with Arians... but it does give a lot of light on why they worked to keep this line together.

I still don't like the push on the run... but who knows.
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Old 06-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: Arians discusses young talent, prostate cancer

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And is he even faster than Washington?
Nate Washington 40 yard dash pre-draft = 4.53

http://pit.scout.com/2/387181.html

Limas Sweed 40 yard dash pre-draft = 4.45

http://www.associatedcontent.com/art...he.html?cat=14

Also ran a 4.5 and 4.51 at the Jet's pro day.


So yeah, Limas is 4 inches taller, 34 pounds heavier (at time of draft) and anywhere from .02 to .08 of a second faster in the 40.
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:04 PM   #10
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I still don't like the push on the run... but who knows.
We need to get those red zone first downs on short yardage and then score in short yardage. Then we need to finish and get first downs in the late 4th quarter to control the clock and win out the games without the nail biting all the time. we need the smashmouth run. with a good short yardage game this year, we will be back for Number 7
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