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View Full Version : Steelers Offense: Play calling is the trouble



NHStlrfan
12-17-2008, 10:04 PM
As the season wraps up the Steelers need to look long at their game plans and how they play call. Using play action, running back screens, draws and quick slants will slow down the rush and help a less than seasoned line get on the same page. We have seen the line come a long way this year and they are certainly playing better now than early in the season.

As we head into the playoffs, play calling will be a much larger key to to winning and going deep into the playoffs. The offensive coordinator who can understand what his opponent is doing to stop him will prevail. At this point Bruce has yet to prove he can adapt and overcome. The defense has kept them in all their games.

Lets look to see in this key matchup with Tennessee this weekend if Bruce Arians can mix it up a bit better, get the tight ends more involved and please give up on the spread formation.

HUNT4SEVEN
12-17-2008, 10:52 PM
The bigger Question is if we win an Super bowl does the Steelers keep Arians?

NHStlrfan
12-17-2008, 10:56 PM
We can only hope not. At this point though who knows, the Steelers look to be one of a few who are playing well now and looking good for th playoffs. It may all depend on what kind of defense they see. If they win it all Arians likely stays.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-17-2008, 11:09 PM
This is a topic that is brought up regularly around here; Arians is entirely too predictable and the Steeler offense has no identity. If it were not for Ben and his ability to put this team on his back and make the clutch plays he's made we wouldn't be sitting here with a chance at the #2 seed this coming weekend.

I don't know how this offense is going to do in the post season yet, suffice it to say we are going to ride our Defense as far as we can along with solid coverage in the ST area and hope that the offense can do just enough, and not turn the ball over, to help out.

steelcitysfinestXL
12-17-2008, 11:10 PM
The bigger Question is if we win an Super bowl does the Steelers keep Arians?

Ha, i wonder how many teams have fired their O.C. after a Super Bowl appearance!?!?

NHStlrfan
12-17-2008, 11:15 PM
Ha, i wonder how many teams have fired their O.C. after a Super Bowl appearance!?!?

Better yet, Steelers bring home title #6 and Arians gets nod in Detroit!

Black@Gold Forever32
12-17-2008, 11:18 PM
Ok if the Steelers go on and win the Super Bowl there is no chance that BA is fired.....I think there is no chance he is fired after the team winning two straight AFC North titles with him as OC....I'm not a huge fan of Arians at all but he isn't going anywhere and just deal with it.......

Improve the OL and the whole offense will be better and BA will be a better OC also....We are somewhat limited on offense due to the OL....I'm not saying Bruce Arians is a great offensive mind by any means but he deserves another shot with the team winning and if the OL is improved in the off-season....

Steelersfan
12-17-2008, 11:20 PM
There are more problems with this offense than just the OC.........

Below average OL
Merry-go-round at RB
WR's not getting open consistantly and/or dropping too many passes
And yes, some of the play calling.

I just don't think the offense would be nearly as bad if they had a decent OL and the WR's and RB's were more consistant. The OL is actually better at pass blocking than run blocking IMO. They get no push in the run game at all but they can do ok getting in a defensive players way on pass plays........lol

Black@Gold Forever32
12-17-2008, 11:24 PM
There are more problems with this offense than just the OC.........

Below average OL
Merry-go-round at RB
WR's not getting open consistantly and/or dropping too many passes
And yes, some of the play calling.

I just don't think the offense would be nearly as bad if they had a decent OL and the WR's and RB's were more consistant. The OL is actually better at pass blocking than run blocking IMO. They get no push in the run game at all but they can do ok getting in a defensive players way on pass plays........lol

I agree with your post except I don't think the OL isn't even good in pass protection....Remember Ben and BA both like to go deep....We really have had to go to the short passing game due to the OL's inability to sustain their pass blocking to allow the WR's time to get open deep....Some of that is also on the WR's but I mainly its the OL....

Fix the OL and the whole offense will improve......But I don't like BA and I even didn't like him last year.....But he isn't going anywhere so I'm willing to see what he can do with a better OL if the Steelers even improve their OL...lol

I think they need to but me thinking it and they actually doing it or two different things...lol

BlitzburghRockCity
12-17-2008, 11:25 PM
Those are all valid points and really bring to light exactly the things that are wrong with this offense. Im not sold on Arians by any stretch, I think he's entirely too predictable especially in the red zone and if Ben wasn't as adept at making plays in the clutch we'd be barely a .500 team right now. Ben makes Arians looks atleast semi ok.

Our defense is fine; overall we are solid all around and if we bring back some key players, get some good depth on the DL, etc. they will be set for the long haul but even so right now they are as good as anything out there ever so need to tinker with what works.

As far as the offense goes, scrap the entire OL if you must but for God sakes do something about our Tackles atleast. I can deal with Kemo (if we can re-sign him) at RG, Stapleton is a solid LG, Hartwig is fine at Center but we have ZERO depth to speak of. Marvel, Colon, and Starks are not Tackles that are going to be able to be a staple there for the next several years and we all know it. Tomlin has got to retool that line.

As far as RB's go, with Mendenhall back next year there just needs to be an open tryout in camp and preseason and let them all fight it out for roster spots.

As long as you fix the OL everything else will fall into place on offense.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-17-2008, 11:30 PM
Those are all valid points and really bring to light exactly the things that are wrong with this offense. Im not sold on Arians by any stretch, I think he's entirely too predictable especially in the red zone and if Ben wasn't as adept at making plays in the clutch we'd be barely a .500 team right now. Ben makes Arians looks atleast semi ok.

Our defense is fine; overall we are solid all around and if we bring back some key players, get some good depth on the DL, etc. they will be set for the long haul but even so right now they are as good as anything out there ever so need to tinker with what works.

As far as the offense goes, scrap the entire OL if you must but for God sakes do something about our Tackles atleast. I can deal with Kemo (if we can re-sign him) at RG, Stapleton is a solid LG, Hartwig is fine at Center but we have ZERO depth to speak of. Marvel, Colon, and Starks are not Tackles that are going to be able to be a staple there for the next several years and we all know it. Tomlin has got to retool that line.

As far as RB's go, with Mendenhall back next year there just needs to be an open tryout in camp and preseason and let them all fight it out for roster spots.

As long as you fix the OL everything else will fall into place on offense.

I agree BA is predictable especially in the red zone....But last year he did throw the ball a ton in the red zone....That is one of the reasons Ben went on to even throw 32 TD passes....I don't why this year most of the time we just run the ball in the red zone especially from the 5 yard line and in.....

But he isn't going anywhere and deserves another shot especially with an OL that is actually worth a damn.....

Call me crazy but I wouldn't mind the entire draft being OL and 1 or 2 kick returners since I think those are the biggest needs on the team....I know this won't happen and it would be troubling to have mostly rookies starting on the OL.....But its not like there is any elite talent or potential elite talent currently on this current offensive line....

Steelersfan
12-17-2008, 11:33 PM
I agree with your post except I don't think the OL isn't even good in pass protection....Remember Ben and BA both like to go deep....We really have had to go to the short passing game due to the OL's inability to sustain their pass blocking to allow the WR's time to get open deep....Some of that is also on the WR's but I mainly its the OL....

Fix the OL and the whole offense will improve......But I don't like BA and I even didn't like him last year.....But he isn't going anywhere so I'm willing to see what he can do with a better OL if the Steelers even improve their OL...lol

I think they need to but me thinking it and they actually doing it or two different things...lol


I wasn't saying they were good at it by any means.........lol Just that right now they are doing a better job at that than run blocking which is the exact opposite of the way the year started.
I agree with you on the deep ball. Although I like that is has forced them to look more at the short, quick passing game.
If they can get the OL fixed, get a decent run game again plus the addition of the short passing game this offense could be good all around. Not great at one thing but good at all parts which would make them dangerous all the time.
Just think, the Steelers could actually have a well rounded offense for once......lol

BlitzburghRockCity
12-17-2008, 11:34 PM
That's my whole major complaint about him; I know our redzone offense is not that bad but that's thanks in large part to Ben and his making big plays when he has too. We can't do **** on 3rd and short, we are dead last in the league. If it wasn't for Russel coming in and atleast doing something we'd be in the negatives..lol.

Last year Arians threw all year, now he's trying to run all year, maybe next year he'll find a happy medium. I agree though if we do anything in the playoffs this year he'll be brought back for sure.

I don't know that our OL can be fixed in just 1 year, I think it can if we get the right people in there. There really needs to be atleast 1, day one pick for the OL this year and maybe 2. Find us a kick returner, some depth at the DL and we'd be set. This is all contingent of course if Sweed is ready to step up to the 3rd WR spot behind Ward and Holmes because Nate is a UFA I believe.

NHStlrfan
12-17-2008, 11:36 PM
I agree BA is predictable especially in the red zone....But last year he did throw the ball a ton in the red zone....That is one of the reasons Ben went on to even throw 32 TD passes....I don't why this year most of the time we just run the ball in the red zone especially from the 5 yard line and in.....

But he isn't going anywhere and deserves another shot especially with an OL that is actually worth a damn.....

Call me crazy but I wouldn't mind the entire draft being OL and 1 or 2 kick returners since I think those are the biggest needs on the team....I know this won't happen and it would be troubling to have mostly rookies starting on the OL.....But its not like there is any elite talent or potential elite talent currently on this current offensive line....

Even with a bad OL good play calling will still get you there. This line isn't as bad as the stats show. A quality QB behind a decent line with creative play calling still wins championships. Just look to NE and what BB and his staff can do with just that. Why does the NE line look bad this year. Isn's Matt Light a Pro Bowler? Qualtiy QB, creative play calling.

I agree though, the only way out of the Arians era is him leaving voluntarily. They still win in spite of him. Mainly due to the will to win from Ben and a few others.

Steelersfan
12-17-2008, 11:43 PM
Even with a bad OL good play calling will still get you there. This line isn't as bad as the stats show. A quality QB behind a decent line with creative play calling still wins championships. Just look to NE and what BB and his staff can do with just that. Why does the NE line look bad this year. Isn's Matt Light a Pro Bowler? Qualtiy QB, creative play calling.

I agree though, the only way out of the Arians era is him leaving voluntarily. They still win in spite of him. Mainly due to the will to win from Ben and a few others.

You could have the best play calling in the world but if the players can't or don't execute then it doesn't matter. Too many times this year plays were screwed before they started because of the OL, or WR's dropping balls, or nobody being open, or Ben having a brain fart, etc.........lol
And NE's line isn't that bad. Not as good as it has been but still not bad.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-17-2008, 11:46 PM
NE has a good OL but they have faltered this year at times, and Harrison had a field day against them. You have to be creative in your play calling when your front 5 can't consistently block so hence the reasons for the short passing game, draws, screens, roll outs, things to slow down the pressure. If we had an OL like say Dallas, NY Giants, etc. then just think of the possibilities that would exist...your playbook would be wide open every week.

NHStlrfan
12-17-2008, 11:51 PM
NE has a good OL but they have faltered this year at times, and Harrison had a field day against them. You have to be creative in your play calling when your front 5 can't consistently block so hence the reasons for the short passing game, draws, screens, roll outs, things to slow down the pressure. If we had an OL like say Dallas, NY Giants, etc. then just think of the possibilities that would exist...your playbook would be wide open every week.

Agreed. This is pretty much my point when I started this thread. Arians seems to play call as though he has a great OL. Poor performance by some at times is a problem but when they keep calling what isn't working for whatever reason one has to wonder what the thought process is. Most of the sacks are coming from long developing plays. If the OL is having trouble stop calling pass plays downfield predominantly. Mix in more of the short game. When was the last draw play called? I don't get to see all the games so this is a legitimate question.

Black@Gold Forever32
12-17-2008, 11:53 PM
Even with a bad OL good play calling will still get you there. This line isn't as bad as the stats show. A quality QB behind a decent line with creative play calling still wins championships. Just look to NE and what BB and his staff can do with just that. Why does the NE line look bad this year. Isn's Matt Light a Pro Bowler? Qualtiy QB, creative play calling.

I agree though, the only way out of the Arians era is him leaving voluntarily. They still win in spite of him. Mainly due to the will to win from Ben and a few others.

The Steelers OL stinks and with BA/Ben getting away from throwing deep and not using play action as much is due to the OL.......I'm glad Ben is using the short game to but he is still best when he is 100 percent throwing the deeper routes and using the play action.....

Fix the OL and the entire offense from Bruce Arians to the skill players will be better.....

greennick
12-17-2008, 11:55 PM
Im not sold on Arians by any stretch, I think he's entirely too predictable especially in the red zone and if Ben wasn't as adept at making plays in the clutch we'd be barely a .500 team right now. Ben makes Arians looks atleast semi ok.


That is not far off the truth. If you take out Ben's 4 game winning drives, we are not a 11-3 team, we are a 7-7 team!

Gettysburgh_Steel
12-18-2008, 01:06 AM
I love the offensive play calling,but i do hate the execution. What ever that problem may be , needs to be addressed right freakin now. Attrition is how we have been winning games. We surely can not stop that now. We have a chance to do something special, i just hope we carry it out!

Mike Tomlin
12-18-2008, 01:39 AM
You could have the best play calling in the world but if the players can't or don't execute then it doesn't matter. Too many times this year plays were screwed before they started because of the OL, or WR's dropping balls, or nobody being open, or Ben having a brain fart, etc.........lol
And NE's line isn't that bad. Not as good as it has been but still not bad.


Bruh i'm with you on Arians a 100% he's not the one going out there dropping wide open touchdowns and would be 3rd down conversions and killing drives. I've actually seen times when the O-line gives Ben time and our receivers just don't seperate. Just pay attention to when our receivers come off the line, alot of times there is no explosiveness. That's why Johnson from the Texans is so good,this cat is violent and very fast off the line. Alot of times cats are beat at the snap, where as with our receivers they don't show seperation some times until their well down the filed in full stride. By that time Ben is sacked lol! One of the reasons the slant is our best pass.

I also think Rashard would be killing right about now with him Willie and Moore sharing carries. I mean he's big and low to the ground, you take that and Willies outside speed and Moores hands and you've got something. For some reason I wish the steelers could find that big back that always seems to come out of nowhere Hillis,Mcclain, even Jacobs.

When it's all said and done it's the unit as a whole thats not on track each group on the offense is doing something to cause our drives to stall. Bottom line you could call anyone you'd like to be the OC and it wouldn't make a difference if they don't work together. Take it from the number one defense last year when Clark went down, the wheels fell off that side of the ball too.