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Thread: Arians warms to task in a hurry

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    Arians warms to task in a hurry

    New coordinator cuts playbook's size

    Wednesday, February 07, 2007
    By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

    Bruce Arians, the Steelers' new offensive coordinator, knows how to keep warm in his new office these frigid February days. He has thrown the thick, old, patchwork playbook on the fire.

    He promises the new model to be sleek, trimmed down and easy to understand for his players, particularly quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Yet he will add some personal touches, such as playing four receivers on first and second downs without putting the quarterback in a shotgun formation.

    The old playbook dates to 1992, when Ron Erhardt conceived it as Bill Cowher's first offensive coordinator. As coordinators changed, they did not scrap the original but added their own stuff until it grew to become almost unwieldy.

    "Bill had six or seven coordinators; the playbook is six or seven languages hodge-podged together," said Arians, promoted by new coach Mike Tomlin from his previous post as wide receivers coach. "They just kept adding because Bill kept it that way. We're going to streamline it into one language, and I hope to simplify it for our players."

    Fans won't necessarily see the adjustments he makes to the offense, Arians said, but they will notice one of them. Previous offenses under Cowher rarely used more than two or three wide receivers on first and second downs, preferring to use them mostly on obvious third-down passing situations with the quarterback dropping into the shotgun.

    The new offense under Arians will sometimes start with four wide receivers on first-and-10 with the quarterback under center.

    "The butt part of it won't change, as is the case with most generic NFL teams," Arians said. "But I love four wideouts. I like a better running game out of four wideouts where we can utilize them on first and second down, rather than just being in a shotgun and throwing it all the time. That will be an area we want to develop."

    Arians took note of the offense of the Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts. He was Peyton Manning's quarterbacks coach with the Colts his first three years.

    "When you think of the Colts, you think of a finesse offense, but, when they came down the stretch in the playoffs, they had 100 to 150 yards rushing in every game. It's just a different style.

    "You don't have to line up with two tight ends and two backs to run the football. Rushing yards are rushing yards."

    Tomlin said he is a proponent of running the ball and stopping the run, and Arians acknowledged that he advocates that as well, back to when he was head coach at Temple in the 1980s.

    "I think, to the naked eye, it will look very similar," Arians said of his offense compared to Ken Whisenhunt's. "You strive for balance. I'm not a guy who's going to beat my head against the wall to run it; I love to run the football.

    "I think people who check my history when I was the head coach at Temple, I had a little running back who led the nation in rushing, Paul Palmer. He was runner-up for the Heisman, and that's hard to do at Temple.

    "I love to run the football and I like the play-action passing game, and there are games that's not to your advantage."

    Arians was the coordinator in Cleveland from 2001-03, including the Jan. 5, 2003 playoff game between the Browns and Steelers at Heinz Field. Cleveland scored 33 points through the first 50 minutes of the game and held a 12-point lead with a little more than three minutes left, but lost, 36-33.

    Browns quarterback Kelly Holcomb threw for 429 yards and three touchdowns, but the Browns rushed for just 38 yards (the Steelers were held to 89 yards rushing).

    "We knew coming down it was going to be really tough sledding running the ball," Arians said.

    "But we had a good matchup in the passing game. It was a muddy field, our quarterback didn't mind the elements. That's to your advantage -- there's no pass rush on that field. He threw for 429, and we should have won the game."

    It's a game of adjustments, and that's what Arians promises to adhere to as the Steelers' coordinator.

    "You have to scratch where it itches," he said.

    "When it's all said and done, you'd like to be balanced. One of the best stats I've ever seen was about Joe Gibbs, in his heyday. I think he called 20-some thousand plays -- 10 thousand, 50 something passes and 10 thousand runs."

    And, most important of all, three Super Bowl victories.

    NOTES -- When the Steelers hire a new quality control coach on offense, he will have other duties as well, Arians said. He also will serve as the assistant offensive line coach to new line coach Larry Zierlein. Arians said he believes in two offensive line coaches. The Steelers have an opening for a quality control coach after Matt Raich was permitted to resign to join Whisenhunt's staff as quality control coach of Arizona's defense and also assistant linebackers coach. Plum native Mike Miller, the Steelers' former quality control coach who was on the staff at Robert Morris after joining the Bills' staff under Mike Mularkey, might have been a candidate here, but Whisenhunt recently hired him for that job in Arizona.
    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07038/759984-66.stm
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    K Train's Avatar
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    im not to sure about this guy but i have no reason not to trust tomlins judgment....i just dont wanna see anymore 3rd and 10 screens

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    BlitzburghNation's Avatar
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    Great read KOOP I've been wanting them to start passing more
    on 1st down looks like they might do that this year

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    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    If we start passing early and do it well watch out for Parker to put up some big numbers. That will really open things up for us.

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    Rookie Free Agent augustashark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K-Train View Post
    im not to sure about this guy but i have no reason not to trust tomlins judgment....i just dont wanna see anymore 3rd and 10 screens
    I agree, but I also have no reason to trust his judgment either. This could be good or could go very bad. I'm not a big fan of Arains and he needs to prove himself to the fans of Pittsburgh!
    aushqf4

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    The Absolute Truth Koopa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelersfan View Post
    If we start passing early and do it well watch out for Parker to put up some big numbers. That will really open things up for us.
    yup, just like in last years playoffs, we came out throwing and with success and it opened it up for willie so much, i was hoping we'd see that again this season but with ben's face getting smashed and ****, cowher went back to his old boring self...........damn i can't wait for next season
    "SA, it's more than a FEVER it's an ADDICTION" -BlacknGold Bleeder

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    Dayton Steel BB2W's Avatar
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    Willie could be very dangerous running out of the spread.



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    Quote Originally Posted by augustashark View Post
    I agree, but I also have no reason to trust his judgment either. This could be good or could go very bad. I'm not a big fan of Arains and he needs to prove himself to the fans of Pittsburgh!
    Man, I hear Arians, I think Browns Being from Cleveland, you didn't hear nothing good about Him. I just hope He can walk the talk because at this point, I have NO faith in him.
    "It is hard to wait around for something that you know may never happen;but it's even harder to let go when it's everything you want"
    -unknown

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    2nd String steelcurtaingal's Avatar
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    it is going to be interesting seeing new plays, and a new look. i am looking forward to it. it brings something new, something fresh to the field, and i like the sound of that. I konw very little about adians, but we'll see how he does. he will have to earn his respect out here parts. but that said, i hope he does.
    black and gold born, black and gold bred
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    thanks HOS for the sig!

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    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Looks like Dan Krieders role is going to be dimished. I would hope Ariens plans on incorporating Heath Miller into this 3 and 4 WR sets because the numbers don't add up if he doesn't on first and second down.

    4 WR's
    5 OL
    1 QB
    1 RB

    This could be good or it could be bad. I like the idea of a more simple playbook in terminology and such, that will be good for everyone but he does have alot of proving to do so we'll see how his line of thinking works. Running out of a 3-4 WR sets is not something we do often so I look for our offense to have some struggles and adjustments, including Willie who's been using to running behind Dan as a lead blocker the majority of the time.

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