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BlitzburghRockCity
10-24-2007, 07:11 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07297/827915-66.stm


Wednesday, October 24, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Regrets? Unlike Frank Sinatra, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has none.

If he had it to do again, Tomlin said he would deploy the same offensive game plan against the Broncos that failed so miserably in the first half of the Steelers' 31-28 loss Sunday night in Denver.

The Steelers, playing against the worst run defense in the NFL, abandoned their No. 2-ranked ground game in favor of throwing 10 passes in their first 13 plays.

They tried to pass 24 times in the first half (including three sacks) and run just 12 with a ruinous outcome: Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions, one of which started a Denver touchdown drive, and lost a fumble on a sack that was returned 50 yards for another score. The Steelers trailed, 21-7, at halftime.

"Sometimes when you are unsuccessful and lose, you look for reasons why," Tomlin said when asked yesterday if he had any regrets about his game plan. "The reality is that our game plan was really kind of no different than what our personality has been all year.

"We evaluated that. Willie Parker had 10 carries for 48 yards at the half. With Seattle, he had 10 or 11 carries for 18 yards. I think the Seattle game was characterized as a great running game because of how we finished, because we won the football game."

The statistics against Seattle, though, tell a different story. The Steelers ran five times and passed five times in the first quarter against the Seahawks.

In the first half, they ran 12 times and tried to pass 15 (including two sacks) on way to a 7-0 halftime lead.

So, against Seattle, the Steelers ran 44.4 percent of the time in the first half; in Denver, it was just 33 percent.

It has been much the same throughout the first halves of their games with their run ratio much higher than it was in Denver. The only other exception came against Buffalo when Roethlisberger passed 29 times with no sacks in the first half and the team ran 15 times.

In the other games, the run-pass split (including sacks) for the Steelers in the first halves is as follows: Arizona 12-14, San Francisco 14-7 and Cleveland 14-17.

The Steelers had not trailed at halftime this season until the Broncos became the first team to score three touchdowns in the first half against them.

Tomlin saw nothing wrong with trying to throw more often against Denver. The Broncos had the No. 1-rated pass defense in the league, but were without injured cornerback Champ Bailey. He said they strive to mix things up on offense and will continue to follow that philosophy.

"We always come out with a plan that we are going to spread the football around and explore what we are capable of doing to a team, making them defend the entire field vertically and horizontally," Tomlin said.

"I know we threw the ball some, some of it was quick screens, some were run plays where we audible at the line of scrimmage and throw the ball on the perimeter. It is a run game alternative, if you will; when they pack the box, you can throw the ball quickly out to Santonio [Holmes] and he can get 5 or 6 yards and you are looking at second and 4; it is a run game alternative for when people pack the box with you. Really, the game was no different than what we have done in the past from a personality standpoint."

Tomlin said there was one way to explain the loss in Denver: The Broncos -- playing without two Pro Bowlers, Bailey and center Tom Nalen -- outplayed them.

I think many Steeler fans were questioning why we threw the ball so much in the first half but it all comes back to what the new look of this offense is. We're not going to come out and run, run, pass anymore. The days of run to set up the play action pass. This is a team that is going to pass early on and try to get up on the opponenet and then run to to kill the clock and break their will in the 2nd half. Obviously some things can be changed up during the game if the running backs are doing exceptionally well but for the most part we are a pass first to set up the run team now.

portcityblackandgold
10-24-2007, 11:52 AM
We got outplayed by a team that had just gotten blown out by an even weaker team. The Broncos were in a must win situation to salvage a season, just like the week before the Chargers were in the same situation.

AZ_Steeler
10-24-2007, 12:43 PM
IMO... I think Tomlin has been watching that AFCC game tape to much! I know he's been watching a lot of tape just to putting himself in certain situations to try and decide what he would do... I don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing but I hope he's not trying to model himself after Cowher!

Oh well though... the game has been played, the outcome has been determined and it's Bengal week! :D

BBG7
10-24-2007, 12:58 PM
Oh well though... the game has been played, the outcome has been determined and it's Bengal week! :D

That's right...time to move on!

SteelerFan87
10-24-2007, 10:22 PM
No Tomlin, it's not the same gameplan we always use. On the first 2 drives, I think we only ran TWICE. This was a game that called for the balance to be tipped a little more towards the run, not the pass. Denver had the worst run D in the league. You have to attack that until they prove they can stop somebody, especially when you're a team like the Steelers that runs the ball so well. Who cares if the Broncos were putting 8 men in the box, or if they prepared to stop the run? You don't think they prepare to stop the run every week? You don't think they tried 8 men in the box against the Chargers? Of course they did! But they just weren't good enough to execute and stop the run! You can put 20 guys in the box, it won't matter if none of them can stop the run. There is no excuse for the Steelers passing as much as they did in that game, and neglecting the running game until it was too late. Willie had almost 50 yards on just 10 carries?? DUDE! Keep giving him the rock, and he'll be over 100 yards in no time! When your RB is having that much success, getting almost 5 yards per carry, why the hell would you pass instead?
The Steelers outsmarted themselves in this game. Bill Cowher wouldn't have done that. He'd have pounded it right down Denver's throat until they proved they could stop it.

black an gold 4 life
10-24-2007, 10:28 PM
one thing i can say is that when the steelers win they look good an when they lose they look bad,tomlin is an better coach than bill coward because he's not letting his ego get n the way, he doesn't get 2 high with an win an he doesn't gets 2 low after an loss,very even kiel kind of guy tomlin is,i look 4ward 2 seeing how he bounces back against an team that throws the ball much like denver, because the defense played like coward was the coach n denver an the offense played liked bill coward n the arizona game, i hope tomiln learned from both i look 4 them 2 comme out an put an nice old school azzzzzzz whooping on them bungirls sunday!!!!!!!!

BlitzburghRockCity
10-24-2007, 10:43 PM
I wish we would have tried to run more myself but with the way our OL has been playing and the fact that Denver was hell bent on stopping the run come hell or high water Im not sure we'd have been successful with it. I liked how we drove right down the field and scored right away but then everything just went to **** after that. The Broncos stacked the line and blitzed all day which afforded us no room to run. Normally we could block against the blitz and force them to back off by breaking some runs and using the play action pass but they just kept coming and coming because we never proved we could stop it.

Ambridge
10-25-2007, 12:28 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07297/827915-66.stm



I think many Steeler fans were questioning why we threw the ball so much in the first half but it all comes back to what the new look of this offense is. We're not going to come out and run, run, pass anymore. The days of run to set up the play action pass. This is a team that is going to pass early on and try to get up on the opponenet and then run to to kill the clock and break their will in the 2nd half. Obviously some things can be changed up during the game if the running backs are doing exceptionally well but for the most part we are a pass first to set up the run team now.

I remember before the pre-season that some fans and media were predicting and concerned that the Steelers offense would come out with 5 wides and start chucking the ball all over the place and pretty much finding a way to cut the testicles off our traditionally hard nosed running attack.

Well Bruce Arians offense isn't a wide open aerial attack that puts the running game on the back burner but this offense is the same Leopard but with different spots.
The only time the running game will work is when the passing game is working first and when that doesn't happen it's going to be pass, pass and pass some more.