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View Full Version : More passes always seem to lead to more losses for the Steelers



Captcoolhand
08-22-2007, 03:14 PM
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Tommy Maddox threw for 3,414 yards in 2003 == third most in franchise history == and the Steelers still went 6-10.
The game of football has been a simple equation for the Steelers through the years. Run = Victory. Pass = Disaster.
That's why it makes some people, inside the organization and out, a little nervous whenever they hear about the plans for the new Steelers offense to be more wide open.
More passes often mean more defeats for the Steelers.
Start with 2003, when they became enamored with the idea that quarterback Tommy Maddox could pass them into a Super Bowl. They averaged 93.0 yards rushing that season -- the only time in the past 40 years they averaged less than 100 -- and 206.5 passing and finished 6-10.
They returned to the ground game the next two seasons and led the league with a 154.0 average and went 15-1 in 2004 and averaged 138.9 in 2005 and won a Super Bowl.
Last year, they came within 67 yards of a team record when they threw for 4,026 gross yards -- and finished 8-8.
The logical conclusion would be to pack it in and run the ball more, not open things up and practically make the fullback vanish.
Few players, however, would agree, and none believes the Steelers will return to the Tommy Gun offense where they abandon the run in favor of the pass.
"I think Pittsburgh will always be a run-oriented team," Hines Ward said. "But I think we're going to find ways to be more ball control -- we don't have to just run, run, run and then try to convert third downs. We're going to pass on first and second downs and try to pick up a first down on first and second down instead of just being predictable."
That, quarterback Charlie Batch noted, is how they reached the Super Bowl after the 2005 season. Defenses in Cincinnati, Indianapolis and Denver expected to see the usual formula from the Steelers' offense -- run, get a lead, and then run some more to protect it. Instead, Ben Roethlisberger came out throwing, and they caught defenses by surprise.
"I look at it more of how we kind of attacked teams during the playoff run in '05," Batch said. "We threw it early in the first half and then we were able to pound it out in the second half. I can kind of see that track happening this season, where you still get your attempts."

There's little doubt the Steelers' philosophy on offense will change, though. At times, they will look like the Oakland Raiders when they throw it deep. At others, they will take on a West Coast offense look, using the pass to control the ball in short spurts. A 4-yard gain, the theory goes, is the same whether it comes by run or by pass.
Even an old guard is convinced that getting away from the old tried-and-true, black-and-blue is the right way to go.
"I think we're definitely getting a step away from it," Alan Faneca said. "I don't know how many steps, but it's definitely going to be different. Teams are definitely going to have to play us differently. They can't sit on that, strictly come in and say we have to stop the run. That's going to force them to play us differently."
There will be more use of the no-huddle and quarterbacks calling their own plays, and more one-back sets with Willie Parker and four receivers. Coordinator Bruce Arians is convinced it's the best way to go, and he has convinced his players of it, too. (well, I'll remain optimistic)
"When people say 'open up the offense and we're going to pass more,' that's not the sense," Ward said. "Bruce Arians loves to run the ball, no question about it. We're going to stick to our run, but we're going to do it different ways. We're going to be more balanced this year.
"It's going to be hard for a lot of defensive coordinators to really key on us because we're coming out in four-wide personnel -- we still run the ball out of four wides and we've picked up good yardage by spreading the field out and opening holes for our running back.
"Are we going to pass 50 times a game? No, but we are going to be more ball control and we're going to take our shots down the field. That's something Bruce Arians always does as a coordinator. When we played Cleveland here in the playoff game, he took his shots. If it weren't for one guy dropping the ball, they'd beat us in the playoffs."
The Steelers came from behind in the fourth quarter to win that game in Heinz Field, 36-33, Jan. 5, 2003, when Arians was the Browns' offensive coordinator.
It's the only time the Browns have made the playoffs since their return to Cleveland in 1999. Now, Arians has brought that offense to the Steelers.
"I'm excited about our offense," Ward said. "I know Willie, the receivers, the tight ends are all excited about making plays. We can't wait until the season starts."The only good thing that I see coming out of a more passing season and Arians is, We have more weapons now than what we had in the past and what the Browns Ever had since coming back into the League.

manofsteel
08-22-2007, 04:05 PM
More passes dosent always mean more losses. It keeps things more balanced when you have a good run game. It opens up the field and keeps teams guessing. The problem before was that they threw too much and abandoned the run too early. Of course if your forcing the ball and pass you will loose games. The trick is to take what the D gives you.

DIESELMAN
08-22-2007, 09:08 PM
Tommy Maddox threw for 3,414 yards in 2003 == third most in franchise history == and the Steelers still went 6-10.
The big thing to remember here is Ben is a hell of a lot more talented then Maddox. In 2003, Maddox also only threw 18 TD's and had 17 INT's while averaging little over 6 yds per pass. Ben is averaging over 8 yds for his career and thats better then Brady and Manning.

SteelerSteve
08-22-2007, 11:06 PM
The big thing to remember here is Ben is a hell of a lot more talented then Maddox. In 2003, Maddox also only threw 18 TD's and had 17 INT's while averaging little over 6 yds per pass. Ben is averaging over 8 yds for his career and thats better then Brady and Manning.You better believe hes more talented than Maddox, an XFL outcast. Ben is top five talent when he is healthy:2cents:

me24503
08-22-2007, 11:37 PM
I like Ed Bouchette, he's pretty reasonable in regard to finding fault without blaming. Generally, he is much malign for not being a rabid Burgh talking head. It was an interesting piece, but as clearly as represented in this thread, many things are different today than in 2003. I would like to think EB was merely cautioning against an all out return to the days of Tommy Gun. A more balanced approach is necessary. Let us, however, look at what the coaching staff has to deal with realistically. Willie Parker has had 2 stand out years, time for a minor letdown. This may be the unintended consequences of an off year for the line. While Russell and Haynes look good, an all out running attack this year may not be in the cards. On the other side of the offensive scheme, Pittsburgh is deep at Wideout and Tight End, with the possiblity of some great Double TE looks. A balanced approach, as was talked about already, seems the logical course of action. I don't think anyone is suggesting that Pittsburgh switch over to the West Coast. I would, however, like to see the ability to keep Defenses off guard by passing early.

WildBillSteel
08-22-2007, 11:59 PM
dont see what all the fuss is about........evryone is so scard of passing the ball but u need to score points to win........teams are to good today to be predictible on offense

TEEMONT
08-23-2007, 12:02 AM
I see no issue with passing more....maybe average about 25-27 passes a game. I know I dog Ben a lot, but our top 4-5 ball-catchers (not WR) are very reliable in my mind. I do think he could average around 6 per attempt again, which would be nice.

He just needs to get over himself, and understand its not all about Ben roethlisberger, and things will work out.

Steelersfan
08-23-2007, 03:54 AM
If I recall right the Steelers win a lot of games when they pass 20-25 times a game. But that means we are running the ball well too. I'd just like us to take what the D gives us. Be able to do both well when we need to. When we control the ball it gives our D an advantage that I think is the key to winning.
Run the ball to control the clock when in the lead.
Pass the ball to be able to come back when behind.
How we get to those really depends on a lot of things. We just need to be able to adapt!

BLACKNGOLD4LIFE
08-23-2007, 02:55 PM
first of all let me say this tommy maddox is no big ben 2nd it's time 4 change ben ran the no huddle all through college he became sucessful n the nfl doing what the steelers asked him 2 do my comrads don't worry we will b find it's time 2 change.

ARKIESTEEL
08-23-2007, 03:24 PM
first of all let me say this tommy maddox is no big ben 2nd it's time 4 change ben ran the no huddle all through college he became sucessful n the nfl doing what the steelers asked him 2 do my comrads don't worry we will b find it's time 2 change.



The no huddle works with the pass and the run plus it does not give time for the D to get set or make player changes hell lets go for it.. cause run run pass crap we been doing aint going to get it:scratch:

BlitzburghRockCity
08-24-2007, 11:05 PM
If I recall right the Steelers win a lot of games when they pass 20-25 times a game. But that means we are running the ball well too. I'd just like us to take what the D gives us. Be able to do both well when we need to. When we control the ball it gives our D an advantage that I think is the key to winning.
Run the ball to control the clock when in the lead.
Pass the ball to be able to come back when behind.
How we get to those really depends on a lot of things. We just need to be able to adapt!

I think a good thing about this new mindset on offense is that we'll have the ability to be able to come back better if we're down because we'll have more confidence in the passing game.

We'll be able to control the clock better because not only can we run to do that but we can also use the controlled short passing game to march down the field.

That's what makes me so excited to see how this offense will function once it's firing on all cylinders. If the players can make it work like its' drawn up we can be lethal in every facet of the game !