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BlitzburghRockCity
07-23-2007, 01:04 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_518394.html

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, July 23, 2007

The Steelers may have hired a new coach, but the team is essentially the same.

The 2007 Steelers will resemble the 2006 Steelers, with coach Mike Tomlin being the biggest difference.

But delve deeper, and Tomlin's Steelers won't have much in common with Bill Cowher's Steelers. Philosophically, these Steelers aren't the same.

Some players will be utilized in different ways. They will be asked to do new things.

This year, the Steelers offense will feature the same quarterback, the same running back, the same wide receivers and much of the same offensive line as last year.

But expect those players to be utilized so differently that they may actually resemble new players.

Take quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, for instance.

This year, thanks to first-year offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger will be less of a system quarterback and more of a take-charge quarterback. Not only will he receive the opportunity to make offensive line calls for the first time as a pro -- a move that will involve him more play-calling -- he should have the chance to pass more on first down.

It's a move that could improve Roethlisberger's numbers, helping him become a more confident passer, since he will be put in position to make more throws when the defense is geared toward stopping the run.

So, instead of Roethlisberger throwing a career-high 23 interceptions as he did in 2006, he's likely to have more success this season -- more like he did in 2005, when the Steelers won the Super Bowl.

Willie Parker remains the starter at running back, but that position won't be his exclusively. He'll still receive the majority of the carries, but the Steelers purposely acquired two other running backs who may not have Parker's breakaway speed but do a few things differently.

Najeh Davenport is bigger than Parker and a superior receiver out of the backfield. He has the ability to replace Verron Haynes as the third-down back, if Haynes doesn't bounce back from a serious knee injury.

Former Pitt star Kevan Barlow is a better runner inside the tackles than Parker. Moreover, he has experience as a starter.

Barlow may not be good enough to replace Parker on the depth chart, but he's good enough to make Parker look over his shoulder and not become complacent.

At receiver, veteran Hines Ward will line up at times in the slot, opening the door for youngsters Santonio Holmes and Nate Washington to use their speed and athleticism to make big plays.

Third-round draft pick Matt Spaeth gives Roethlisberger another big target with speed at tight end.

The offensive line is in transition. Marvel Smith and Alan Faneca are the only mainstays, at left tackle and left guard, respectively.

That means the other three positions -- center, right tackle and right guard -- are wide open. And not even left guard is a sure thing, given that Faneca is likely entering his last season with the Steelers.

Tomlin will likely audition other players at that position for the future.

Defensively, the Steelers don't figure to change much.

Technically, they're still a 3-4 team

However, versatile defensive end Brett Keisel may rise from his three-point stance every now and then and play linebacker during passing downs. And the Steelers may break with tradition and rest veteran outside linebackers Clark Haggans and James Harrison, replacing them with rookies Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley.

The idea is that infusing the lineup with youth isn't a bad thing, especially if those young players can rush the passer while gaining valuable experience. And especially if one of those young players, possibly Timmons, has the versatility to drop back and play a rover position, a la safety Troy Polamalu, allowing Polamalu to create havoc elsewhere on the field.

What makes Tomlin's Steelers different? Everything.

This will be the first year that we're a completely different team even though most of the faces are the same. There's already a new, fresh attitude that we've seen so far and if that's any indication it's about to head into overdrive !

Ambridge
07-23-2007, 08:06 AM
"This year, thanks to first-year offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger will be less of a system quarterback and more of a take-charge quarterback. Not only will he receive the opportunity to make offensive line calls for the first time as a pro -- a move that will involve him more play-calling -- he should have the chance to pass more on first down".

More passes on first down!! I've never liked that idea.....IMO if you start off a posession with an incompletion you might as well just hang-up that particular series of downs because you're now 2nd and 10 and more than likely will be looking at 3rd and long as well!! I think we know what happened when the Steelers tried to open it up a few seasons ago......it's just not Steelers football.

"Former Pitt star Kevan Barlow is a better runner inside the tackles than Parker. Moreover, he has experience as a starter.
Barlow may not be good enough to replace Parker on the depth chart, but he's good enough to make Parker look over his shoulder and not become complacent".

This joker is talking as if Barlow is a lock to make the final roster!! Barlow is a BUM and a locker-room problem as well and I will be honestly surprised if he's still on the team when the Steelers leave Latrobe.

Iron City South
07-23-2007, 09:36 AM
Big year for Najeh Davenport ......bet it.

SteelersWoman
07-24-2007, 01:49 AM
I loved readin that story--it has me chompin at the bit even more than I was! :D

Anytime there's change, it's a bit scary--but I'm just too excited about all the new enthusiasm amongst the team as a whole right now to think that anything at all could go wrong. I think if you have the right players at the right positions doin the right things, this could be AWESOME.

Koopa
07-24-2007, 02:15 AM
More passes on first down!! I've never liked that idea.....IMO if you start off a posession with an incompletion you might as well just hang-up that particular series of downs because you're now 2nd and 10 and more than likely will be looking at 3rd and long as well!! I think we know what happened when the Steelers tried to open it up a few seasons ago......it's just not Steelers football.

don't compare what happened in the past to now, totally different situations, and get over that steeler football, ppl love it so much but it hasn't won us ****, sure we have five super bowls, but 4 were in the 70s and it wasn't untill 2005 when cowher finally let ken open it up on first downs that we won it again.............. in 2003 that year was just a mess we pretty much had to throw all the time and it turned out to be bad........... but we now have all the right weapons to open it up, we got two huge tight end targets with great hands, we got the very reliable wr in hines, we got speed in holmes who on offense had a very good rookie year, and then you have washington who is pretty much in his second year playing, and then wilson can be of some use i guess, then you got willie ****ing parker who i think we'll have a great year catching the ball out of the back field, and dookie proved to be a good catcher last year......................so again don't compare what happened with bitch *** cowher to what's gonna happen with tomlin who will finally utilize all the talent we have the right way

TEEMONT
07-24-2007, 02:29 AM
and then wilson can be of some use i guess,

you lost all credibility when you said that...

Koopa
07-24-2007, 02:40 AM
you lost all credibility when you said that...

i put a i guess at the end for a reason, i was trying to be nice lol...... i'm sure he can catch every now and then, just because he doesn't score td's everytime doesn't mean he's totally worthless, i'm sure he can distract someone lol

DIESELMAN
07-24-2007, 06:46 AM
Former Pitt star Kevan Barlow is a better runner inside the tackles than Parker. Moreover, he has experience as a starter.

Barlow may not be good enough to replace Parker on the depth chart, but he's good enough to make Parker look over his shoulder and not become complacent.



Barlow might have "experience", but considering he got the majority of it at SF isn't saying much. No way he makes FWP look over his shoulder, Willie is just starting to come into his own as a RB and still has a lot to learn, he will only get better and Barlow will be left on the sideline wondering why his career went south.

Ambridge
07-24-2007, 12:09 PM
don't compare what happened in the past to now, totally different situations, and get over that steeler football, ppl love it so much but it hasn't won us shiat, sure we have five super bowls, but 4 were in the 70s and it wasn't untill 2005 when cowher finally let ken open it up on first downs that we won it again.............. in 2003 that year was just a mess we pretty much had to throw all the time and it turned out to be bad........... but we now have all the right weapons to open it up, we got two huge tight end targets with great hands, we got the very reliable wr in hines, we got speed in holmes who on offense had a very good rookie year, and then you have washington who is pretty much in his second year playing, and then wilson can be of some use i guess, then you got willie ****ing parker who i think we'll have a great year catching the ball out of the back field, and dookie proved to be a good catcher last year......................so again don't compare what happened with bitch *** cowher to what's gonna happen with tomlin who will finally utilize all the talent we have the right way

Steelers Football hasn't won anything???
You mean running the ball down the other teams throat with clock killing drives. You can't deny the success that brand of football has brought to the Steelers.

I'm all for Bruce Arians balancing out the offensive attack and utilizing the TE's more and putting some new wrinkles in the mix but if he tries to make the Steelers a Pass-first offense it's not going to work.

The Colts finally got their championship when they stopped relying on Peyton Manning and Co. and started taking over games with pounding Joseph Addai and Dominique Rhodes in the playoffs last year.

IMO a balanced attack predicated on the power run wins ball games.

I agree with you 100% that if the Steelers/Cowher had a more imaginative passing attack in the past maybe there would be 6 or 7 Lombardi's in the trophy case instead of 5??

Koopa
07-24-2007, 02:42 PM
Steelers Football hasn't won anything???
You mean running the ball down the other teams throat with clock killing drives. You can't deny the success that brand of football has brought to the Steelers.

I'm all for Bruce Arians balancing out the offensive attack and utilizing the TE's more and putting some new wrinkles in the mix but if he tries to make the Steelers a Pass-first offense it's not going to work.

The Colts finally got their championship when they stopped relying on Peyton Manning and Co. and started taking over games with pounding Joseph Addai and Dominique Rhodes in the playoffs last year.

IMO a balanced attack predicated on the power run wins ball games.

I agree with you 100% that if the Steelers/Cowher had a more imaginative passing attack in the past maybe there would be 6 or 7 Lombardi's in the trophy case instead of 5??

hell yeah there would be 6 or 7 trophies but "steeler football" kept us from doing it, sure it won us plenty of regular season games, but when it's all said and done, the regular season means jack **** if you are at home when the big game is being played....... like Reese bobby told ricky bobby, if you ain't first, you're last......... i hope with a new coach, we will get over this "steeler football" and start a new brand of "steeler football" that is what you said a nice balance, and i think throwing more on first downs will be good, cause you can run a few times on first down making the team think you are running then, and then bam throw three times in a row for nice first down completions, and if ben plays smart on first down and uses his tight end for sort gains instead of trying for the big play all the time then they'll be just as successful as willies 4 yard gains on a first down....... damn i can't wait till september......... screw preseason lets skip all this crap lol

Stlrs4Life
07-24-2007, 10:51 PM
Steelers Football hasn't won anything???
You mean running the ball down the other teams throat with clock killing drives. You can't deny the success that brand of football has brought to the Steelers.

I'm all for Bruce Arians balancing out the offensive attack and utilizing the TE's more and putting some new wrinkles in the mix but if he tries to make the Steelers a Pass-first offense it's not going to work.

The Colts finally got their championship when they stopped relying on Peyton Manning and Co. and started taking over games with pounding Joseph Addai and Dominique Rhodes in the playoffs last year.

IMO a balanced attack predicated on the power run wins ball games.

I agree with you 100% that if the Steelers/Cowher had a more imaginative passing attack in the past maybe there would be 6 or 7 Lombardi's in the trophy case instead of 5??



Preach on Ambridge, totally agree!

DBR96A
07-25-2007, 10:14 AM
IMO a balanced attack predicated on the power run wins ball games.

We all know that a 61/39 pass/run ratio is unbalanced; there's no questioning that. But guess what? A 39/61 pass/run ratio is just as unbalanced. Whether you're running or passing, if you do either on 60 percent or more of your downs, you become predictable. That's why Mike Martz is a joke (he stupidly opts to throw the ball most of the time), but that's also why Bill Cowher has a losing record in the AFC Championship Game: lack of balance on offense. Now don't get me wrong; he was a great coach, but even great coaches have flaws. Cowher's flaws centered around offensive philosophy and QB development, I believe.

When automotive designers and engineers want to create a high-performance car, do they put 60 percent of the car's weight over the front wheels? No. Doing that would negatively affect the car's handling ability, due to too much inertia affecting the wheels that steer. Do they put 60 percent of the car's weight over the rear wheels? Again, no. They might be tempted to to give the wheels that drive extra traction, but again, it'd negatively affect the car's handling ability since the wheels that steer wouldn't have enough traction during either hard acceleration or a loss of control from the back of the car. So what do the engineers do? They BALANCE the weight of the car to get ultimate performance from it.

An offense is like a high-performance car. (There's a reason you hear people refer to the best offenses as "high-octane" offenses.) The same way a high-performance car works best with an even weight balance, an offense works best with an even balance of attack. Thankfully, though, unlike a high-performance car, an offense doesn't have to be perfectly split right down the middle, with a 50/50 pass-run ratio. To me, the sweet spot is anywhere from 45 to 50 percent passing, and 50 to 55 percent running. That way, the running game remains the bedrock of the offense without becoming predictable; the ball can be moved through the air, and defenses have a harder time figuring out what comes next. Isn't that what a good offense is supposed to do to a defense? Make them guess? Well, if you run the ball 60 percent or more of the time, and a defense guesses that you're going to run, then they're correct more often than not --- and that makes it much easier for a team to beat you.

Just because we're going to throw the ball more doesn't mean that we're going to throw it more often than we run it. That's what a lot of Steeler fans don't seem to understand, and it puzzles me. We can throw it a lot more and still run it more often than we throw it; that's how much more often we ran than we threw. I want a balanced attack with a slight emphasis on the run; say 46/54 pass/run. Perfect.

SteelerSal
07-25-2007, 10:18 AM
Just because we're going to throw the ball more doesn't mean that we're going to throw it more often than we run it. That's what a lot of Steeler fans don't seem to understand, and it puzzles me. We can throw it a lot more and still run it more often than we throw it; that's how much more often we ran than we threw. I want a balanced attack with a slight emphasis on the run; say 46/54 pass/run. Perfect.


:plus1: Great first post.