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Questions about WR usage

 
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CKSteeler


Joined: 17 Mar 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:57 pm    Post subject: Questions about WR usage Reply with quote

Can anyone tell me why the team doesn't use four wides, when it was largely successful for years pre-Haley? I can sort of understand with Heath Miller on the field having 3 WR's, though I still think 4WR/1TE is better than these RB's being on the field.

With Miller gone, even on 3rd down the Steelers are basically trotting out Paulson, a RB, and Cotchery to compliment Brown/Sanders. What defense in the league is honestly going to fear that personnel grouping?

The talent on this team, especially right now, isn't at TE/RB. It's at WR. People can talk about the weak OL all they want, but having two guys who can run actual pass patterns on a given play isn't going to threaten too many teams. Did Wheaton even register an offensive snap today?

Roethlisberger is at his best in the shotgun surveying the field and throwing intermediate passes to his WR's. Everything in this offensive philosophy runs counter to this concept.

We are 17 games into the Haley era, and there is far more negative than good. Arians had a good system, but grab bag play calling. Haley has both weaknesses.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Worse yet - teams are going to blitz even more now with Pouncey out. They are going to attack this OL. The Steelers OL is going to get pushed back into Ben's face while his slow receiving targets struggle to find operating space grouped within 5 yards of the center of the field.

Press outside, clog the interior throwing lanes and let the pass rush get home. Despite the talk about the OL's poor play, and they were bad...they weren't getting beat right off the snap. It was after Ben had time to see his primary targets covered, and his outlets struggling to do anything else.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Can anyone tell me why the team doesn't use four wides, when it was largely successful for years pre-Haley? I can sort of understand with Heath Miller on the field having 3 WR's, though I still think 4WR/1TE is better than these RB's being on the field. ...


All I can do is give you my opinion. There was and continues to be unacceptable fundamental problems with this offense that no great scheming can fix, at least until the damn fundamentals are corrected somewhat. We had short yardage running issues. We had the power run scheme vs. zone blocking problems. We have had tough times with the salary cap, certain contracts and injuries. Our special teams have been mediocre. We have had redzone offense problems and we have had significant injuries to our aging qb and an aging defense and unsuccessful drafts.

Now we have an offensive coordinator and a qb with different philosophies. The coach was hired to protect the qb, who is our best and most expensive player. And, this quarterback insists on extending plays or holding onto the ball far too long, until a wr gets open instead of before the cut. Obviously, these two can't coexist unless some compromise is reached. Going 4 wide would not be a compromise. A hurry up with some spread(3 wideouts) would be. This isn't going to be a quick fix. These guys are both stubborn.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So you think the issue is that Roethlisberger won't anticipate his WR's coming open. Have you considered that maybe they just aren't open, and that he doesn't trust them to get open or to make a contested catch because they really never accomplish that task? There were a number of on time throws today where the WR was just blanketed, and they couldn't make the play.

Three WR's today meant Cotchery exclusively. Sanders and Brown have some speed. They aren't going to take the top off defenses. Paulson is not a burner. Cotchery is 30+ and was never that fast to begin with. I like him, but he's a role player. The RB's are subpar. The other TE options offer absolutely nothing as options. So, your three WR sets provided today offered little.

I don't see why compromise is necessary. Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings. I think maybe Haley needs to take a look at the personnel at his disposal (horrible RB's and TE's), mediocre OL, slightly above average WR's and a HOF QB and adjust his scheme to the reality. They aren't going to come out and pound the rock down peoples throats very often.

This offense doesn't need to be great for this team to be decent. They needed the offense to be below average today and they probably walk away with a win. That means they needed a few first downs to give the defense field position, and 2-3 scoring drives. Maybe not turn it over. In other words, just don't screw up. That's IT. That's all the Steelers will need to win 8 games minimum. Get a few great games out of Ben, and you have a playoff team.

Every week won't be as poor a showing as this, hopefully. But I have ZERO faith in Haley right now. This team going back to last year is 2-6 in their last 8 games. That's the worst stretch of the Tomlin era, I believe.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
So you think the issue is that Roethlisberger won't anticipate his WR's coming open.


I think that is A problem. I don't think it is the only issue here. There certainly is something going on because you don't see the best quarterbacks with the most of the money being devoted to the O operating in this fashion, or holding onto the ball for 5 seconds too often. Their back foot hits and the ball is out of there pretty quick.

Quote:
So, your three WR sets provided today offered little.


Nothing would have worked well today. And they do need wheaton in there. Maybe sub cotch in for sanders on third downs or redzones. Our center got destroyed first series. This is like when our long snapper got injured against the giants a few years back and harrison had to do it and immediately snapped the ball over the punter's head. Look, I'm not defending Haley. This offense sucks. Any offense we have is gonna suck because we don't have a 5 guys or so needed to block pass rushers at the same time or get running lanes on the same play. Do you think running the run and shoot is gonna bring a lombardi trophy here or a division title here or something? It won't.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I don't see why compromise is necessary. Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings.


Well, the Rooney family has 6, and they are the owners and they are the most successful owners since the superbowl was invented, and they pay the bills. They should have some say in how their investments conduct themselves professionally. They have hired good football people and they should be allowed to protect their investment. A professional should understand and respect this, or at least just be a pro.
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Last edited by SMashMouthMike on Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
A professional should understand and respect this, or at least just be a pro.


He has been a professional. Should we compare him to Peyton Manning? If Roethlisberger were a FA he could go to a team that would, you know, actually cater the offense to him.

Quote:
Their back foot hits and the ball is out of there pretty quick.


Wait, who are we talking about here? How did Tom Brady look today without most of his targets from last year? What if you put the Steelers line in front of him?

Quote:
Nothing would have worked well today


They didn't need anything to work all that well. They needed to not SUCK. These excuses are ridiculous. Roethlisberger, even on days when he's had pressure, has frequently been able to get into a rhythm with his WR's from the no-huddle. The one scoring drive came when? They needed 2-3 scoring drives, a few more first downs and to not turn the ball over. Two of those things can be attributed to Haley.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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He has been a professional. Should we compare him to Peyton Manning? If Roethlisberger were a FA he could go to a team that would, you know, actually cater the offense to him.


Debatable. They gave him a huge contract. They are trying to keep him from hurting himself from holding onto the ball a little too long behind a young and weak o line, and they would like to extend his career to make more super bowl runs. He could help himself out here.
Quote:

Wait, who are we talking about here? How did Tom Brady look today without most of his targets from last year? What if you put the Steelers line in front of him?


Like I said, the fundamentals of the position do not change that much for the "the best quarterbacks" in the NFL. Look at Brees, rogers, manning, Brady. how does their average drop back differ from Ben's...? Ben's way can work too, just not for perpetuity. But do you know what absolutely won't work? Ben being injured.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Debatable. They gave him a huge contract. They are trying to keep him from hurting himself from holding onto the ball a little too long behind a young and weak o line, and they would like to extend his career to make more super bowl runs. He could help himself out here.


Again, you are making an assumption that there are all these guys getting open. Can you point any specific plays where Ben missed? How about the deep throw to Cotchery, where Ben released the ball perfectly on time but his WR couldn't make it. Or the later fade to Sanders, where he was out muscled for the football. Or the one earlier that he just let pass right through his arms. Or the sideline route he dropped falling to the ground.

In other words, Ben can throw before his guys break out of their routes as you ask. If they don't have separation, it's going to be an incomplete or worse. Because usually the reason he doesn't throw before they break is THEY AREN'T OPEN and they can't make plays on the football.

Quote:

Like I said, the fundamentals of the position do not change that much for the "the best quarterbacks" in the NFL. Look at Brees, rogers, manning, Brady. how does their average drop back differ from Ben's...? Ben's way can work too, just not for perpetuity. But do you know what absolutely won't work? Ben being injured.


Roethlisberger's top passing option would be the 4th or 5th receiving option in Denver. About the same in Green Bay or New Orleans. Even once NE gets Gronkowski back, they have a physical freak who can take over games. All of these teams have MUCH better offensive lines.

There was a play against San Francisco today where Rodgers had about 6 seconds to survey the field. Cobb, originally covered, was able to circle back around in the middle of the field on an intermediate route for the catch. Again, something else Roethlisberger doesn't have the luxury of.

If the option is having a neutered Roethlisberger who looks absolutely DEFEATED as he did today during and after the game, or a shorter career...I'm taking the shorter career at this point. I think he'd agree.

After Howling dropped that 3rd down pass, you could look at the dudes face and see absolute disgust. Did you see him talking to Gradkowski on the sidelines? I don't like to read body language or faces, but it was pretty damn obvious.

And for the record, I don't think I've ever seen Tomlin more flustered and lost after a game, either. That was just about as angry as I've ever seen him. I can't think of him ever yelling at a coach on the sideline. He's not happy with Haley. I don't think he's blaming Ben.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To reiterate...Look, I'm not defending Haley. This offense sucks. Any offense we have is gonna suck because we don't have a 5 guys or so needed to block pass rushers at the same time or get running lanes on the same play. Do you think running the run and shoot is gonna bring a lombardi trophy here or a division title here or something? It won't.


Quote:
Again, you are making an assumption that there are all these guys getting open.


And you are making the assumptions that with super expensive awesome wideouts that Ben would not have the habit of holding onto the ball very long.
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CKSteeler


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This offense is no less talented than what Arians worked with. I wasn't even a big Arians fan, but Haley is making him look like Bill Walsh. Arians had a system that, for the most part, was design to the talent. It needed TWEAKING. I would have settled for a guy who didn't make boneheaded calls at awkward times in the game, frankly.

Haley calls boneheaded plays, and has a system completely ill-suited to the talent available.

I didn't say install the run and shoot. I said they need to try and get speed onto the field more often and do something to even the numbers out in the box. They have smurf WR's and mediocre TE's. Making it easy for the defense to stack the box is dumb.

Did you notice how often the TE's had their WR's lined out wide today, as opposed to bunching them in? Did you notice the tempo they used with Jake Locker at QB?

If this team is going to run the ball, it needs to have favorable numbers in the box. If this team is going to pass, they need to limit how often teams can press and how many blitzers they have available. Right now, the offense does the opposite. It makes the opposition's job easier.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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And for the record, I don't think I've ever seen Tomlin more flustered and lost after a game, either. That was just about as angry as I've ever seen him. I can't think of him ever yelling at a coach on the sideline. He's not happy with Haley. I don't think he's blaming Ben.



Quote:
I don't like to read body language or faces...


Then don't.
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SMashMouthMike


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I didn't say install the run and shoot. I said they need to try and get speed onto the field more often and do something to even the numbers out in the box. They have smurf WR's and mediocre TE's. Making it easy for the defense to stack the box is dumb.


Agree.

Quote:

If this team is going to run the ball, it needs to have favorable numbers in the box. If this team is going to pass, they need to limit how often teams can press and how many blitzers they have available. Right now, the offense does the opposite.


Agree somewhat, or for the most part.
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DudeWhat??


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah It's pretty plain and simple ....our OC is just not the guy...But he has done some things in this league..i just wish he would use more common sense and play to Ben's strengths..and also like you said..go 4 Wides..use the speed you have ...I mean..its common sense really. This also would have the Oline grow and develop their pass blocking skills.
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turtle28


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DudeWhat?? wrote:
Yeah It's pretty plain and simple ....our OC is just not the guy...But he has done some things in this league..i just wish he would use more common sense and play to Ben's strengths..and also like you said..go 4 Wides..use the speed you have ...I mean..its common sense really. This also would have the Oline grow and develop their pass blocking skills.
Kurt Warner made Todd Haley money. Plain and simple, he's just not that good.

For as much as I disliked Arians' pass happiness sometimes, look at his track record vs. Haley's?

It's obvious who is the better OC and even HC as Arians was last year most if the year for the colts and he seems to be doing a good job for the cardinals.
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