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Old 11-03-2009, 10:53 PM   #1
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Default Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s'
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/footb...n_N.htm?csp=34

PITTSBURGH (AP) Franco Dok Harris, the son of Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris, took part in a different form of running as an independent candidate in Pittsburgh's mayoral race. At least someone linked to the Steelers mounted a ground game this fall.

From Byron "Whizzer" White to Bill Dudley, John Henry Johnson to Harris, Jerome Bettis (FSY) to Willie Parker (FSY), the Steelers and a strong running game have been synonymous. Two of the top 12 rushers in NFL history played for them (Harris and Bettis), as did the Super Bowl career rushing leader (Harris) and the player with the longest run in Super Bowl history (Parker).

Since the present-day NFL emerged from the 1970 merger, the Steelers have rushed for 4,845 yards more than any other team or about as many yards as Parker has gained during his career. Only the Cowboys and Broncos are within 7,000 yards of them.

But as fast as someone can say "Big Ben," the Steelers are shunning the run. They're altering seven decades of tradition behind Ben Roethlisberger's (FSY) strong throwing arm, a talented group of receivers and the mindset that winning football doesn't always translate into running off tackle 20 times a game.

Not even during Terry Bradshaw's best seasons in 1978 and 1979 did the Steelers throw as much, and as effectively, as they are now. Or run so little. They are averaging only 26.4 rushing attempts per game, the second-fewest in team history to the 24.6 attempts in 1991, Chuck Noll's final season as coach.

It's not that they can't run the ball Rashard Mendenhall (FSY) ran for 165 yards against San Diego on Oct. 4 but Roethlisberger is throwing so accurately, the Steelers are staying and staying with the pass. Roethlisberger's 70.4 completion percentage would easily be a team record, and he has 11 touchdown passes and only six interceptions.

Twice this season, the Steelers (5-2) have rushed for fewer than 100 yards and won (36 yards against Tennessee, 82 against the Lions), something they once did infrequently.

"It's really how the season has unfolded," coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday. "We're trying to do what's required for us to win. At the same time, we're interested in maintaining some semblance of balance so people can respect all the elements of our game, the ways we can attack them."

With Parker in the final year of his contract and Mendenhall in his first season as a starter, the Steelers' running game is going through a transition as it averages 106.9 yards rushing per game, or nearly 30 yards fewer than in 2005. That's put a greater burden on Roethlisberger to carry the offense and he's done it, helped by the deepest receiving corps he's had during his six seasons in Pittsburgh.

Hines Ward (FSY), at 33, is having one of his best seasons with 42 catches, or only two more than tight end Heath Miller (FSY). Rookie Mike Wallace (FSY) (17.5 yards per catch average) is providing a downfield threat to go with Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes (FSY) (30 catches, 16.6 average).

"I think it's just having everybody healthy," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "The continuity, knock on wood, has been good and if we can maintain it, we'll sustain being good."

Roethlisberger is third in the league with 2,062 yards passing even though the Steelers were off last weekend no Pittsburgh quarterback has led the NFL and is second to Peyton Manning (FSY) in completion percentage. Roethlisberger also is tied for the lead in yards per attempt (8.8) and tied for second with eight completions of 40 yards or longer.

He is on pace to break Bradshaw's 1979 team record of 3,724 yards passing by nearly 1,000 yards.

"I think it's sort of been in the works the last year or two," Roethlisberger said. "We've really worked on becoming more balanced, being able to spread the ball around. ... We needed to be more balanced, and that's what we're doing."

Arians also is allowing Roethlisberger to work more often out of the no-huddle system the quarterback has long lobbied to use. The Steelers' only touchdown during their 27-17 victory over the Vikings on Oct. 25 resulted from Roethlisberger driving them 91 yards in barely a minute's time late in the first half.

"It's 100% up to me," what to call out of the no-huddle, Roethlisberger said.

Coincidentally or not, the no-huddle often is a no-run offense with Roethlisberger in charge. Obviously, this isn't the Steelers offense (FSY) from the days of the Bus (Bettis) or Ground Chuck (Harris running the ball for Noll).

"We're not the Steelers of the '70s," Roethlisberger said.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Old 11-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #2
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

I like that we're creating our own identity, especially when we have an amazing QB
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Old 11-04-2009, 07:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

They can call themselves whatever they want as long as they continue to win....although inheriting the 70's Steelers winning percentage and 4 Lombardis wouldn't suck either. They're halfway there!
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

I disagree with one thing..."It's not that we cant run".

We can't.

They point to the San Diego game...great, but how have we done otherwise? Not good. We're having trouble running and that's leading to a gassed defense late in games.

I realize the game has changed somewhat, and I realize that some people like Ward are tired of throwing only when they're in a throwing postition, but we're pass heavy now and it's hurting our defense IMHO.

He's quick to say we're not the Steelers of the 70's and I'd ask: Why not? They won 4 SB titles, I would think that would be a good think to emmulate.

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Old 11-04-2009, 08:53 AM   #5
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

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I disagree with one thing..."It's not that we cant run".

We can't.

They point to the San Diego game...great, but how have we done otherwise? Not good. We're having trouble running and that's leading to a gassed defense late in games.

I realize the game has changed somewhat, and I realize that some people like Ward are tired of throwing only when they're in a throwing postition, but we're pass heavy now and it's hurting our defense IMHO.

He's quick to say we're not the Steelers of the 70's and I'd ask: Why not? They won 4 SB titles, I would think that would be a good think to emmulate.

Rayne
I think your going a little overboard saying "we cant". I take that as you dont think we can AT ALL. We showed good signs of a running game against the vikings but they quit giving mendy the ball for some reason, and that was before the fumble so it wasnt like they quit giving it to him because of that.

With mendy our run game is better, still not amazing by any means, but i have seen some improvement and think we will continue to see improvement throughtout the rest of the season
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:10 AM   #6
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

I think the bottom line is this.

The Steelers have evolved a modern-era offense. We're no longer smashmouth, crumbling when someone stops our running game. We run a simple, balanced offense with scatbacks that can catch the ball out of the backfield and actually utilize the TE now.

It's sometimes, but not always the case that we can't run the ball, but rather we choose not to. That's not who the Steelers are anymore. It helps to have someone not named Kordell Stewart or Tommy Maddox under center either.

This offense lives and dies on the arm of Ben R. and until he retires, the days of smashmouth are just about done. The Steelers can run any offense they want. As long as they do their job, and bring home more trophies.
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Old 11-04-2009, 11:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

I think that this year the Steelers are just sticking with what is working at a particular time in a particular game. I think that if mendy didnt fumble he would have gotten more carries against minnesota cuz they were not stoppin it at all
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:00 PM   #8
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

No...you aren't the Steelers of the 70s Ben...they won 4 times. Twice Back to Back.

So get to work, study more film and beat the Fcking Broncos this Monday!
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

Throwing the ball more now maybe linked to the idea that we have a great receiving core, and maybe the idea is that we can gain more yardage that way. We havent exactly got alot of yards running the ball. Who knows what goes thru their heads these days.
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Old 11-04-2009, 03:41 PM   #10
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Default Re: Big Ben Roethlisberger: 'We are not the Steelers of the '70s

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No...you aren't the Steelers of the 70s Ben...they won 4 times. Twice Back to Back.

So get to work, study more film and beat the Fcking Broncos this Monday!
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