View Full Version : Steelers won't be conservative vs Falcons; what's your gameplan?

09-10-2010, 06:38 PM

Art Rooney II said a few months back that the Steelers need to get back to running the ball more.
So, with Dennis Dixon getting only his second start Sunday when the Steelers open the season against visiting Atlanta, what better time is there to appease the boss and run the ball more?
Well, you might not want to erase the team record of 60 attempts out of the media guide quite yet.
"To go out and say we have to run the ball to win the game, put a number of runs on it, I don't believe that," offensive coordinator Bruce Arians said. "You have to score points."
If that means abandoning the run and putting the game into Dixon's hands, Arians said he is comfortable doing such a thing.
"We're going to do whatever it takes to win the game," Arians said.
Last year, the Steelers threw the ball much more than they handed off. They ran only 42.2 percent of the time in 2009, although their 112.1 yards a game were nearly seven more than their Super Bowl season of 2008.
Despite throwing the ball a record number of times, during Dixon's one start against the Ravens last year, Arians called more run plays than he did in any game all season with 38.
"He is just going to call what he has to call as the game goes on," receiver Hines Ward said. "We are going to try to run the ball. But at the same time, we aren't going to run it 40 times and pass it twice."
Only five times did Arians call more running plays than passing plays last year, and the Steelers went 3-2 in those games.
"People can speculate on how the game should be played," Ward said. "Nobody is going to know until the game unfolds. If they load up and take the run away, then we aren't going to be dumb and keep running the ball if there is nothing there."
It is very possible that Atlanta will load up the line of scrimmage against the Steelers and running back Rashard Mendenhall.
That would put the pressure on Dixon, who showed throughout the majority of the preseason that his accuracy has greatly improved. Despite a hiccup against Denver in the third preseason game when he completed 9-of-16 passes, Dixon has been accurate, completing 14 of 16 passes in the other three games combined.
"Dennis is capable of doing everything," tight end Heath Miller said. "This is his third year in this offense, and he proved throughout the preseason that he is more than capable of running the show."
Arians said he will be able to open the playbook a lot more this time around with Dixon because he has an experienced backup quarterback at his disposal. Last year, Tyler Palko was signed earlier in the week to fill that role.
"I've got all the confidence in the world in (Dixon)," Arians said. "It's night and day from Baltimore last year to this game. He's more than ready to score enough points to win the game."

What's your take on how the Steelers offense should be run? Do you just run it and try to let Dixon not "lose" the game for you or do you let it all hang out and tell him to go for it?

09-10-2010, 07:10 PM
I'm for half run, half pass with a few trick or unexpected plays thrown in. That is what has worked and should continue to work well no matter who is the QB.

09-10-2010, 07:33 PM
At this point I don't care how they get it done or if it looks pretty on TV just win games! :cope:

09-10-2010, 07:40 PM

Black@Gold Forever32
09-10-2010, 08:05 PM
Well on offense I think the running game should be the focal point.......I would like to see Mendenhall with 20+ carries and sprinkle in some Redman.........I doubt we see Dixon throw more then 20 times in this game..........But BA needs to use Dixon to his full strengths and that means call bootlegs and let Dixon use his legs at times........

On defense the Steelers will take the run away and even though Mike Turner is a very good RB the Falcons don't have the hogs up front to dominate the Steelers front 7.........Then LeBeau needs to blitz, blitz, blitz, and then blitz Matt Ryan some more.........I don't think Matty Ice can take the pressure........But the Steelers DB's must take Roddy White out of the game.....Really when White has a big day the Falcons are tough to beat........

Memo to special teams no big returns please..........Don't make things easier for the Falcons offense or don't give up any TDs on returns.....

09-10-2010, 08:36 PM
Well I have no idea what the Falcons did in the off season but seeing last year the Falcons were 10th against the run and about 28th against the pass I'm not sure I would think a running game plan would make a lot of sense. I'd probably call the first 3 plays passes. A couple quick short safe things with a high chance of completions and a deeper play. Hoping that if DD completes a couple throws it will build his confidence also it will let the Falcons know we aren't afraid to throw it.

That being said my guess is they will run it 2 times for 3 yards total on the 1st 2 plays an 3rd and 7 DD will get chased from the pocket run about 18 yards...get pumped up and take over the game! :):cope:

09-10-2010, 11:05 PM
On defense we will definitely key on Turner. The rule of thumb in a Lebeau defense is always stop the run first. If the Falcons are going to beat us, it will be Ryan doing the throwing to win and with our secondary which in theory is improved from last year I like our chances against most QB's.

It all remains to be seen though how we perform on Sunday. I like our chances overall but I certainly wouldn't call this one easy by any stretch, for either team.

If BA tries to harness Dixon we're in trouble. Let him do this thing, roll outs, bootlegs, sneaks, anything to get him moving and away from pressure. Lets see how he can throw on the run. Also by rolling out you minimize the potential for mistakes because you're using 50% of the field so it should help him see his WR's better and also any holes he can use to run.

09-11-2010, 01:12 AM
I think they'll start off conservatively. A lot of runs and Dixon's first pass will probably be a WR screen. Get some short throws in to build the confidence, then open it up as the game progresses. Definitely run heavy in first half. :imho:

09-11-2010, 09:49 AM
I think they'll start off conservatively. A lot of runs and Dixon's first pass will probably be a WR screen. Get some short throws in to build the confidence, then open it up as the game progresses. Definitely run heavy in first half. :imho:

I think you're right and that's exactly whats going to happen. Which is why I would like to see the first two plays be long passes to set up the run. If their defense is better against the run than the pass then this idea might gain large yardage if the plays are complete.

The Big Z
09-11-2010, 09:52 AM
I would like to see DD air it out the first 3 plays to stretch the field. This does 2 things it keeps them from loading up the box and shows DD that we trust him. Go 5 wide - The first 3 plays should have been run all week at practice and everyone knows what to do, plus do it without any huddles. Atl will not know what to expect for the rest of the game - theyll be guessing. Or will BA be conservative.

We know what DD can do, but nobody else does and we need to use it to our advantage.

09-11-2010, 10:27 AM
hopefully they steal some plays from Cunningham's 80's play book from his 4 pro bowl years. you know the 4 time pro bowl running QB..