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Old 01-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #41
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by austinfrench76 View Post
When you have a top ranked defense and a lead, you run the ball to kill the clock and play good defense. I don't think its playing scared I believe it's playing smart. IMO.
It's smart in the 4th quarter maybe. But when you get a lead in the second quarter and then try to sit on it for the rest of the game, then yes, it is playing scared.

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Cowher was worse - the original "Martyball" disciple.

There is an NFL Films clip of a verbal exchange between Ben and Cowher during SB 40 where Ben is walking towards the sidelines and says to Cowher, "Coach let's play to win; let's not play not to lose." And I think that that particular exchange sums up Bill Cowher's approach to the game when things got tight.

After Cowher and with Ben becoming a more mature player, it seemed as if things were easing a bit and the offense became more wide-open and took more risks and even the defense was more aggressive and seemed to try to cause takeaways instead of just trying to keep teams from scoring.
I give Cowher a little bit of a pass considering offenses weren't as wide open back then as they are today. He did give his fanbase unnecessary heart-attacks at times and I see where you are coming from.

Quote:
But lately, things seem to have drifted back towards Martyball and there's a strong sense of Deja vu. I don't know if it's philosophy, fear or something else, but I don't like it and it needs to change
Like I said before, the Steelers are scared shitless that if the offense "scores too quickly" then the defense will be ineffective an get suckered into a shootout. If you look back at my post about where the playoff teams rank in time of possession, then it's not unreasonable to think the Steelers can trade some possession time for some points.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:26 AM   #42
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by teegre View Post
Yea... but... uh... there was that one loss. So... obviously, it doesn't work.
LMAO... yeah good point! What was I thinking?!
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:31 AM   #43
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by GoFor7 View Post
It's mostly about their fixation with time of possession. They fear if the offense scores too quickly the defense will suck and they'll be suckered into a shootout. In reality, this close to the vest football has just put more pressure on the defense to keep the team in the game.

Lets look at where the playoff teams rank in TOP:

Houston: 1
Seattle: 4
Denver: 6
San Francisco: 8
Indianapolis: 9 (BOOOO! AIR-HEAD! BOOOOOOO!)
Atlanta: 10
Washington: 11
New England: 12
Green Bay: 13
Cincinnati: 17
Minnesota: 28
Baltimore: 30
Source: http://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat...sion-net-of-ot

Only 2 of the 12 playoff teams ranked top 5 in time of possession. Obviously, Baltimore and Minnesota are outliers in the opposite direction and most teams that rank that low aren't in the playoffs. But what this would suggest is that if you trade some possession time for some points, being anywhere from 6th to 15th in time of possession isn't the end of the world.
I don't know, I think your stats prove that TOP is important. 9 out of the 12 playoff teams finished in the top 13 in TOP. Only 3 were in the bottom half of the league and 1 of those just barely (bengals at 17).

I do agree, however, that the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. I would rather it be situational, like when we have the lead in the 4th quarter.
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Old 01-11-2013, 10:36 AM   #44
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by desertsteel View Post
I don't know, I think your stats prove that TOP is important. 9 out of the 12 playoff teams finished in the top 13 in TOP. Only 3 were in the bottom half of the league and 1 of those just barely (bengals at 17).

I do agree, however, that the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. I would rather it be situational, like when we have the lead in the 4th quarter.
I absolutely agree with your point about holding onto the ball in the 4th qtr. TOP also might be a result of trying to be more balanced on offense. That is crucial to offensive success in the long run, nobody wants to become one-sided.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:30 PM   #45
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by desertsteel View Post
I don't know, I think your stats prove that TOP is important. 9 out of the 12 playoff teams finished in the top 13 in TOP. Only 3 were in the bottom half of the league and 1 of those just barely (bengals at 17).

I do agree, however, that the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. I would rather it be situational, like when we have the lead in the 4th quarter.
I did point out teams on the opposite side of the spectrum like Baltimore and Minnesota are rare to make the playoffs. The point is, like you said, the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. Being top 5 in TOP is not important. If the Steelers can trade some possession time for points, then what's wrong with being ranked somewhere between 6th and 15th?
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #46
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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I did point out teams on the opposite side of the spectrum like Baltimore and Minnesota are rare to make the playoffs. The point is, like you said, the Steelers are too preoccupied with TOP. Being top 5 in TOP is not important. If the Steelers can trade some possession time for points, then what's wrong with being ranked somewhere between 6th and 15th?
I think you are just as fixated with TOP as Tomlin is. TOP doesn't win games just like TOP doesn't lose games. TOP is a by-product of an offense that stays on the field and a defense that gets off the field.

I don't agree with you on much but I do agree that the offense should be more aggressive early in games and early in downs. What you are seeing is Tomlin's influence. Haley is one of the most aggressive playcallers in the NFL.

"RUTM, RUTM, BEN HELP!" has been around since Arians and continues with Haley- the constant is Tomlin. It is what it is and this will continue to the next offensive coordinator. If you were honest to yourself you would see that Haley trusts Roethlisberger more than Arians did.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #47
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Originally Posted by austinfrench76 View Post
When you have a top ranked defense and a lead, you run the ball to kill the clock and play good defense. I don't think its playing scared I believe it's playing smart. IMO.
Fixed:

When you have a top-ranked D and a >8 point lead then you run the ball, kill the clock and [hope to] play good D.

---

The Steelers, far too often, follow the 'protect the lead' strategy when they hold <7 point lead or even in tie situations.

That's a problem.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:47 PM   #48
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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I absolutely agree with your point about holding onto the ball in the 4th qtr. TOP also might be a result of trying to be more balanced on offense. That is crucial to offensive success in the long run, nobody wants to become one-sided.
I heard Trent Dilfer talking about TOP recently... specifically, talking about playing against the Broncos. [I think Dilfer is a great analyst. He watches a LOT of film, and is very savvy about offense.]

Simply, Dilfer said that the best way to stop Peyton Manning is to keep him on the side-lines.

Dilfer pointed specifically to the Steelers-Broncos game from earlier in the season, and said that the Steelers did it right... except, they had to settle for FGs instead of TDs.

Likewise, on a personal level, I do not necessarily need to see drastic changes to this offense. What I would like to see is what Dilfer said: scoring TDs instead of FGs.

I know that some do not like what Haley was doing, but IMO, this offense was on the right track towards that change (TDs instead of FGs). Were they there yet? No. Were they on the right track? Yes. Remember, if BB converts two more third downs, at the end of the Oakland game & the end of Tennessee game, the Steelers would have made them 8-1.

Speaking of third downs, before this season, when trying to convert third down (e.g. 4 yards), I would see BB drop back, and he has a RB open for the first down (5 yards), but BB would routinely throw it 20 yards down field. Now, a lot of those times, we would all cheer the long completion, but not always... sometimes, the ball would fall incomplete, and the drive would stall: no third-down conversion, with a FG... or, worse: no third down, with a sack taking them out of FG range.

For the first nine games (pre-injury), BB was keeping scoring opportunities alive: he had the best third-down conversion rate in the entire league.

Then the injury occurred...

...and, the third downs stopped being converted. In turn, the offense had multiple three-&-outs (and/or drives that ended in FGs as opposed ot TDs).

Like Dilfer said, the thing (maybe the only thing) that the Steelers need to work on is converting third downs in the red-zone, in order to increase their opportunities for scoring FGs (not getting knocked out fo FG range) and/or increase their opportunities for scoring TDs (coverting third downs, as opposed to always going for the TD on every down inside of the 30, in order to get three (or six) more downs to try & score).
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:59 PM   #49
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

Well if Trent Dilfer said it then who am I to argue?

It was sad when he retired, but when you play for that long your arm gets tired after handing off so much.
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:04 PM   #50
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Default Re: The Steelers play scared

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Well if Trent Dilfer said it then who am I to argue?

It was sad when he retired, but when you play for that long your arm gets tired after handing off so much.
Dude, do you really think that you know more than Trent Dilfer?


Trent is the next up & coming guy in ESPN. They all love him, because he us smart & great at analysis. He is the next "Tom Jackson" type of player-turned-analyst. He is "the man."

But... well... he's not you.
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