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Old 01-22-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Default Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...s_663651.html#
By John Harris
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, January 23, 2010

Right tackle Willie Colon watched in silence last season when running back Willie Parker told reporters about the Steelers needing to return to their roots as a running team.

Colon felt his teammate's pain when coach Mike Tomlin chastised Parker for saying aloud what other players believed privately.

"As a guy on the team trying to make a buck, you do what you're told, and you don't ask questions," Colon said. "The only reason (Parker) got reprimanded is that we wanted to keep our offense as tight-knit as possible. We were behind him, but as a team, we try to keep everything in-house.''

However, recent comments from team president Art Rooney II mandating a renewed emphasis on running in 2010 liberated Colon's vocal cords and sparked his imagination for next season's offensive possibilities.

"We haven't had an identity," Colon said. "We'll throw the ball really well, and then there will be some games where we run the ball really well. Being committed to the run will help us manage the game better.''

While the Steelers have focused more on the pass adding to a league-wide trend that featured 23 teams throwing more than 50 percent of the time this season they're still a running team at heart.

"We have the ability to pass block we have athletic guys that can get it done,'' said Colon, who has started 54 consecutive games, including the playoffs. "(But) when you look at the mind-set of a lot of our guys, running the ball probably is our suit. We have a bunch of guys that love to get after it.''

Playing devil's advocate, I presented Colon with an argument in support of the passing game. The Steelers won Super Bowl XLIII on a last-minute drive by throwing the ball, I reminded Colon, with Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes collaborating for a spectacular touchdown reception.

"That was a situation where we had no choice but to throw the ball,'' Colon said. "With the type of quarterback we have in Ben, anything's possible. If we're forced to go no-huddle or spread and throw the ball, we have that option. A lot of teams don't have that option. That's why we're so fortunate.''

The Steelers weren't so fortunate when their offense became enamored with the pass during a 13-6 loss at Cleveland that epitomized the team's five-game skid.

On back-to-back third-and-short plays to open the game, the Steelers operated from the shotgun only to have Roethlisberger get sacked both times.

"I'll be the first to say I didn't play my best ball that game,'' Colon said. "Overall, as a unit, we didn't play as well as we could have. But at the same time, throughout the year, there were a lot of instances where we didn't run the ball when we should have.

"I don't question play-calling. But sometimes you've gotta scratch your head.''

Colon and starting right guard Trai Essex last week visited former Steelers left tackle Marvel Smith, who retired before the start of the 2009 season. Together, they watched New York defeat San Diego in the AFC divisional playoffs led by a strong run game and a line featuring former Steelers guard Alan Faneca.

The Jets led the NFL in rushing while passing a league-low 41 percent of the time.

"The thing about running the ball, you're not going to break a big run on your first rip," Colon said. "You have to be committed to the run. You have to understand that come the third or fourth quarter, you start to crack a defense.

"I want a balanced offense. If you're able to run and pass, you really put teams at a big disadvantage.''

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:18 AM   #2
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

We're a passing team now, so I guess he'll just have to get over it.

Quote:
"We'll throw the ball really well, and then there will be some games where we run the ball really well. Being committed to the run will help us manage the game better.''
Hmmm, where have I heard that before.

Wow, just noticed I've been stripped of my supporter badge.
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Old 01-23-2010, 04:34 AM   #3
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

colon needs to get his head out of his colon. doesn't he know that arians does no wrong? passing in a blizzard is the ultimate game plan. running a wide sweep on 4th and 2 is a excellent play call. pushing the 3-TE set even, after if fails repeatedly, is pure genius.
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:44 AM   #4
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

This coming from the master of the holding penaties in the red zone, a couple of which negated TD's this season?
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Old 01-23-2010, 05:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

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Originally Posted by MACH1 View Post
We're a passing team now, so I guess he'll just have to get over it.


Hmmm, where have I heard that before.

Wow, just noticed I've been stripped of my supporter badge.
I don't have mine either and I just donated again a week or so ago.
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Old 01-23-2010, 09:42 AM   #6
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

Colon is right on! No one is saying run the ball 60% of the time but having an offense committed to running opens up a bunch of options. You can stil pass 55% of the time and have an offense committed to running. It's called a ton of play action. Bens stats and QB rating will be sick. Colon also cited that Ben can take over a game which alot of teams don't have that option.

I wonder what Colon will think if we draft an OT and kick him into guard? I'm starting to think we'll go Iupati at guard in the draft.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
This coming from the master of the holding penaties in the red zone, a couple of which negated TD's this season?
Actually, its coming from the guy the Steelers coaches believe to be the BEST offensive lineman on the team and one of the best in the NFL at his position.


"I think Willie Colon is as good a right tackle as there is in this league," said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians.

"He's as good a run-blocking right tackle as there is in the league," said offensive line coach Larry Zierlein. "He's an excellent drive blocker and his pass protection has improved tremendously. He's a lot better pass blocker than people want to give him credit for."

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09215...#ixzz0dTA66L7o
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

I'd agree with Willy but we need a stud back that can punish the other team. We just dont have that right now. Mendy is good....but he cant take the "run it down your face" approach. We need a big back to pair with Mendenhal. Plus they got shut down on the run or couldnt convert 3rd down all year. Red zone heavy package....just aint there. Need that big back in Black and gold. Just dont know where theres a guy like that available. Man we need another Bus.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

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Originally Posted by mesaSteeler View Post

"We haven't had an identity," Colon said. "We'll throw the ball really well, and then there will be some games where we run the ball really well. Being committed to the run will help us manage the game better.''

While the Steelers have focused more on the pass adding to a league-wide trend that featured 23 teams throwing more than 50 percent of the time this season they're still a running team at heart.

"We have the ability to pass block we have athletic guys that can get it done,'' said Colon, who has started 54 consecutive games, including the playoffs. "(But) when you look at the mind-set of a lot of our guys, running the ball probably is our suit. We have a bunch of guys that love to get after it.''.....

"I don't question play-calling. But sometimes you've gotta scratch your head.''....

"The thing about running the ball, you're not going to break a big run on your first rip," Colon said. "You have to be committed to the run. You have to understand that come the third or fourth quarter, you start to crack a defense.

"I want a balanced offense. If you're able to run and pass, you really put teams at a big disadvantage.''
Colon is basically saying what most O linemen around the NFL would say. They want to run block, beat down the guy across from him and wear down the defense by physically dominating them in the 4th quarter. But he also wants balance, so the defense cannot stack up the box against the run.
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Old 01-23-2010, 02:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Harris: Colon backs balanced Steelers offense

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I Need that big back in Black and gold. Just dont know where theres a guy like that available. Man we need another Bus.
I couldn't DISAGREE more. Mendenhall is fine as a RB. Just need another guy to take some carries from him.

Tons of fat backs around like TJ Duckett, Michael Bush, PJ Hill, Najeh Davenport,etc that are not productive. Dont need another one.
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