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Old 09-05-2009, 11:11 PM   #1
mesaSteeler
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Default Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_641816.html
By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in rushing, passing and total offense.


Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would like to see the Steelers improve significantly in those areas, if only to take some pressure off their defense.

"We need to set our goals higher and be better because we just can't keep relying on our defense every single game to win the game for us," Roethlisberger said. "So we set our sights and the bar high this year."

The cynic might point out that the bar set by the offense last season would eliminate most people from the start in a game of limbo.

To be fair, a unit that proved to be as a lightning rod for fan criticism put together drives when the Steelers needed it most. And the eight-play, 78-yard piece de resistance at the end of Super Bowl XLIII served as the prime example of the offense and Roethlisberger's ability to come through in the clutch.

"We're not about statistics on offense," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "It's all about the scoreboard."

That mindset makes it unlikely that Arians will open up the offense this season.

A defense that allowed the fewest points in the NFL last season returns largely intact. That coupled with Roethlisberger's flair for late-game dramatics all but dictates that the Steelers will be more conservative than not in regard to their offensive philosophy.

That is especially true with Daniel Sepulveda returning to punt he missed last season with a right knee injury and giving the Steelers an added advantage when it comes to the all-important battle for field position.

"Of course we want to make some big plays, but don't expect us to go out there and air it out 60 times a game," wide receiver Hines Ward said. "We won the Super Bowl with what works best for us: running the ball, controlling the time of possession, making first downs when we have to and now and then take our shots down the field."

Running the ball didn't work out nearly as well for the Steelers last season than it has in past years.

The Steelers averaged just under 106 rushing yards per game
their lowest output in the ground game since 2003 and there were myriad reasons why they proved to be so underwhelming in an area that is usually one of their strengths.

The running back position got hit hard by injuries, and the offensive line had to come together following the early losses of left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and right guard Kendall Simmons (foot).

The line should be improved, provided it can stay healthy, and the Steelers are hopeful that second-year man Rashard Mendenhall is ready to team with Willie Parker and give them a formidable tandem at running back.

"We just need to be balanced," Ward said. "If we don't turn the ball over with our great defense, more than likely we should be in the ball game."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

The Steelers averaged just under 106 rushing yards per game — their lowest output in the ground game since 2003 — and there were myriad reasons why they proved to be so underwhelming in an area that is usually one of their strengths.

The running back position got hit hard by injuries, and the offensive line had to come together following the early losses of left tackle Marvel Smith (back) and right guard Kendall Simmons (foot).


Why does nobody else realize the biggest factor contributing to our offense's disappointing numbers last year was the fact we had to play 10 of the league's top12 defenses, and we had to play the #2 defense 3 times.

No offense performs well against that kind of competition on a weekly basis.
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Old 09-06-2009, 04:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

Quote:
Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post
The Steelers ranked in the bottom half of the NFL last season in rushing, passing and total offense.[/B]

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger would like to see the Steelers improve significantly in those areas, if only to take some pressure off their defense.

"We need to set our goals higher and be better because we just can't keep relying on our defense every single game to win the game for us," Roethlisberger said.

"So we set our sights and the bar high this year."

"We're not about statistics on offense," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "It's all about the scoreboard."

That mindset makes it unlikely that Arians will open up the offense this season.

Running the ball didn't work out nearly as well for the Steelers last season than it has in past years.
With these quotes are we sure Ben and his Boss are on the same page?

i like bens idea.... not sure about the bosses idea....

im glad the defensive boss doesnt think like the offensive boss...

names held to protect the insane....

dont open up the offense? wow, we are loaded for the Bear(s) with our offensive players...

i keep seeing Steelers 11 and San Diego 10 and the Steelers 10 Browns 6.......... and the boss wants to repeat that.... the defense needs a bit more working room i would think.

lucky it sounds like ben is gunning for steelers 35 browns 6... lets help the D out.

i know last year the steelers 31 the browns 0 but the browns were already wrapping the xmas packages at that point.. but they did crack bens head that day too. could have ruined the super bowl shot with a little harder hit.

Wow.. i think the O boss needs a PR guy for his news quotes.....
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

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Originally Posted by Riddle_Of_Steel View Post
Why does nobody else realize the biggest factor contributing to our offense's disappointing numbers last year was the fact we had to play 10 of the league's top12 defenses, and we had to play the #2 defense 3 times.
Because it's just too easy for a lot of fans to pick a scapegoat to toss the blame at instead of taking the time to look at the big picture.

I agree with what you are saying wholeheartedly and as a matter of fact, XT and I were talking about this last week and I said the same thing to him.
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Old 09-06-2009, 06:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

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"We're not about statistics on offense," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "It's all about the scoreboard."
All this says is that the Steelers aren't concerned with running up the score, however it doesn't suggest they won't strive to produce better, more efficient offense.
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Old 09-06-2009, 07:25 AM   #6
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Default Re: Steelers offense tries to improve while sticking to basics

This year's team is better than last years- FACT. Field position will be a comfortable advantage not felt in many years. It will be as effective as a big play by #43 or #92.

Expect the offense to score more just because they will have a shorter field statistically. The O will also speed up with Wallace and Logan in needed situations.

Expect more passing this season with Ben calling a few audibles since he has the targets.

The only glaring weakness is lack of depth at OL at this time. Hard to believe we pick somebody off waivers when the 53 man cut was difficult enough. Barring injuries the OL will be talked about again and maybe, finally addressed in the nest offseason.
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