Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tuesday's notes and news

Running back Rashard Mendenhall was back at practice Tuesday, though he just worked in position drills.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring), guard Ramon Foster (head) and rookie guard/center Maurkice Pouncey (hamstring) were all back in action today.

Rookie Jason Worilds (hamstring) continues to sit out.

© Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians talked about a number of subjects this afternoon with several media members and was quite brazen in how good he thinks the offense can be in 2009 despite missing Ben Roethlisberger for a spell.

Arians said he believes the team can have 4,000 yards passing, two or even three 1,000-yard receivers and a 1,500-yard rusher in Mendenhall.

His caveat was Mendenhall staying healthy.

He also said that he would be open to using Dennis Dixon in a Wildcat role this season if he's not starting - something he's balked at in the past. He also wants to work in some gadget plays with Antwaan Randle El.

Arians said he'll have no problem working any of his quarterbacks behind the second-team offensive line, which he called the best backup unit the Steelers have had since he's been here.

That group includes three guys - Ramon Foster, Doug Legursky and Jonathan Scott – who have started games in the NFL, and a first-round pick in Maurkice Pouncey.

38 comments:

Tim said...

lol easy bruce. i'll just take 10 wins. when was even the last team to have three 1,000 yard receivers?

thanks for the free camp info the past few days.

Anonymous said...

God I hate him. Yards, yards, yards. Hopefully The Bruce does well in his Fantasy league. How many yards will the offense gain in the playoffs?

Anonymous said...

Tim -- Doesn't happen very often. Two that come to mind are the 2008 Cardinals with Fitzgerald, Boldin, and Breaston -- and the Colts did it in 2004 with Harrison / Wayne / Stokley.

Anonymous said...

Arians is so full of crap it's unbelievable.

Dale Lolley said...

He also said that Roethlisberger is in the best shape that he's seen him, which I have to agree with.

I actually could see them having three 1,000-yard receivers if Heath Miller becomes an even bigger part of the passing game - which is the plan.

Mike S. said...

They wern't really all that far away from 3 x 1000 yard receivers last year.

Both Heath and Wallace had between 750 and 800 yards. Is it really that unbelievable that the departure of Holmes (~1250 yards) means another 250 - 300 yards for both?

Anonymous said...

Good point Mike S...

marc said...

BA is more interested in the show and thinks that equates to wins. he didn't learn his lesson last year and these comments indicate he still has the same mindset.

marc said...

BA is more interested in the show and thinks that equates to wins. he didn't learn his lesson last year and these comments indicate he still has the same mindset.

Dale Lolley said...

I don't know that I would sat that, Marc.
I think he's very interesting in winning. And that style has equated to wins in Indianapolis.
The defense - minus two star players - let this team down heading down the stretch.
The special teams let it down as well at times.
That said, they were one play here or there from making the playoffs last season,

Anonymous said...

The defense lost two starters to FA and was ravaged by injuries. The offense was healthy last year and had plenty of talent but only managed to be 16th in the league in scoring. The defense was like 5th wasn't it?



Arians is a joke. He gets yards but no points. How on earth did we manage to have two 1000 yard recievers and a 1000 yard Rb but be totally average scoring? By having terrible redzone playcalling. Why did our great offense fail to move the ball late in games? Terrible playcalling. Maybe if the offense actually put up some points the defense wouldn't have had to hold onto so many slim leads.

The offense should have been able to take some pressure of a wounded defense and get us to the playoffs but it couldn't because its run by an idiot.

Anonymous said...

Correction...the Steelers D was 5th in yards and the O was 9th in yards. The Steelers D was 12th in points allowed and the O was also 12th in points scored. Not a big difference there. The difference between last year and the Super Bowl year in 2008 was that they defense was more inconsistant...actually, our offense was better in 2009 than it was in 2008 in just about every statistical category. Remember the game last season (Packers I think) when Tomlin onside kicked late in the game with a slim lead to try and get the ball back to his offense because he had no faith in the defense to hold onto the lead? That was the kind of season we had last year. If the offense was not so potent there are 3 games we would have lost last year (GB, Miami, SD) because the defense gave up 28, 36 and 24 points respectively in those games, but we still won. Also, how does this defense give up 27 points each to Oakland and Kansas City? Those losses are on them along with the other 4th Q leads they lost.

Anonymous said...

Or how about the defense was 28th in the league in Percentage Of Third Downs Converted allowing 42.3% of 3rd downs to be converted...yikes. An hey if the opponent didn't get it on 3rd down, the Steelers D was 30th in Percentage Of Fourth Downs Converted allowing 70% of 4th downs to be converted...Cough*JamesFarrior*Cough

marc said...

dale,
let me re-phrase that. i believe arians thinks the offense did well last year because of the yards they racked up and that by gaining more yards this year they will win more games. i did not mean to imply he is not trying to win.

however, i would say the offense last year earned an average grade because of their failure to capitalize on red zone possesions and their failure to maintain possesions in the 4th quarter. the play calling was horrible at critical points, in my opinion.

the defense was struggling because of injuries and the game planning did not attempt to adjust for that at all.

additionally, how many teams can do what indianapolis does and be successful on a consistent basis?

you are correct, the defensive inuries, special teams, and a play here or there were all drags on the final outcome. just imagine how good this team could be if we had an OC who was more adept at play calling and in-game adjustments.

also, BA decided to get rid of the fullback, but oh look, we're expirementing with it again. BA said no way to the wild cat, but oh look, we might do some things for dixon. i won't go so far as to say he is bad, because obviously he can run an offense. but i will say i don't think his ideas have fit the team well.

Anonymous said...

I didn't say the defense was great last year, I am saying their poor game were due to injuries. What excuse did the offense have?

By the end of the year the defense had lost 4 starters from 2008 (Foote, Troy, Aaron Smith and Mcfadden). Anyone who didn't expect a dropoff is crazy.

What I am trying to point out is the defense played poorly because of injuries and lost personell.
The offense played poorly because of terrible coaching/playcalling. Unless you really want to argue with me that our offense has a lack of talent.

Anonymous said...

marc's the only one who knows what the hell he's talking about here. the rest are fantasy geeks or media apologists for a guy who'll tell them anything. blaming the KC loss on the d instead of that tragic pitch to memo? what a joke!

Anonymous said...

The offense was better in every way last year than it has been for a few years and defense and special teams had down years due to several reasons including injuries and general bad play...thats all I am saying

Anonymous said...

I am not sure why people want to bring the FB back into the offense. The last 3 seasons our running offense has been way more effective running out of 3 wide sets and multiple TE sets than any sets with a Fullback. Arians didn't want to use Dixon in the wildcat because he was the primary backup at QB last year so he couldn't risk injury to him like that. This year, with Leftwich here, Batch healthy their are other options if a starting QB goes down so he can risk Dixon in the wildcat.

Anonymous said...

There was only 1 play in the KC game?...the defense didn't yield 27 points to all world KC offense let by Jamaal Charles, Matt Cassel and Chris Chambers? Thats news to me.

Patrick said...

KC also returned a Kick, and an interception to the 1 if I'm not mistaken.

marc said...

the offense was not better in every way last year than in the last few years.

points are how you grade an offense. the last 4 years in offensive points scored are:

2009 - 344
2008 - 326
2007 - 370
2006 - 333

there's no great improvement there. i don't care how many yards you rack up, points are what matter's most. the steeler's fg-to-td ratio was 18th in the league last year. yep, couldn't score in the redzone like a playoff team needs to do. maybe a fullback wouldn've helped punch the ball in? or some creativity with the wild cat? no, never mind, ben drop back, scramble around and see if one of the wr's can get open. yeah, that should work. especially on a short field when you're in the red zone.

Anonymous said...

Yes I remember the KO return, that was Jamaal Charles...special teams didn't help but neither did the defense when we had a 10 point lead and a 7 point lead in the 2nd an 4th quarters respectively...or when Ike dropped a pick in OT (big surprise)then the D gave up a 61 yard catch and run to Chambers to setup the over time winner

Anonymous said...

2009 - 344
2008 - 326
2007 - 370
2006 - 333

So it was better every year recently except 2007...sorry. So happens that Points per game is how I judge a defense too

2009 - 324
2008 - 223
2007 - 269
2006 - 315

So what was the big difference between 2008 and 2009 again...yeah defense and special teams...Last year was the worst year for a few years on D

Anonymous said...

Where are you getting the #'s for the offense!?!?! Here are the real #'s

2009 - 368
2008 - 347
2007 - 393
2006 - 353

Anonymous said...

Sometimes when I look back on the SB season of 2008, I like to think about it like this...the defense bailed out the offense with its great play all year that year. BUT when it came down to it, the most important and critical offensive possesion in recent Steelers history - when the defense needed bailed out after giving up that long play to Fitzgerald - the offense came through with a SB winning TD drive. That dosn't necessarily make up for what most consider bad situational play calling over the last few years but it should help the Bruce Arians haters sleep a little better at night.

Anonymous said...

so. much. anonymous.

Anonymous said...

Colts Training Camp Coverage
http://www.youtube.com/user/lcmayer32#p/a/u/1/HUNQVe735IE

Patrick said...

this is off topic and random, but nothing does it more for me than BA talk and Colts Training Camp coverage (???).

Dale, is there any plan to take Farrior off the field some this year? Especially on 3rd downs where Timmons speed could be used. I know theres an article with Butler praising Farrior, but what else would he say, "oh yeh one of the leaders of the team has lost a step" ? Of course not.

One of the reasons I ask is because I'm curious if there is any plan to change who wears the headset helmet on D. If they planned to change it to someone else this year I think that would be a telling sign that Farrior won't be on the field as much this year.

Anonymous said...

Just one thing about those defense numbers, I am almost 100 percent certain that those points include special teams touchdowns too, and they gave up like four last year.

"Dale, is there any plan to take Farrior off the field some this year? Especially on 3rd downs where Timmons speed could be used."

I would like that so much! A lot of training camp tidbits I've read mention Timmons covering the runnning back in the flats and doing so nicely. Hopefully it carries on to the season....

Anonymous said...

I third that motion...I love me some Potsie but the guy is getting up there in years and we have better depth at ILB with Fox and Foote/Timmons than we have had in years.

marc said...

my numbers are only offensive scores which include passing TD's, rushing TD's, and FG's.

it wouldn't be accurate to include defensive or special teams TD's.

marc said...

"So it was better every year recently except 2007...sorry."

really? you call that better? a couple TD's and a FG more? almost 1,000 more yards of offense in 2009 than 2008 and we get 18 more points. that's just over 1 point per game. if BA approaches this year like last we'll get tons of yards and frustrated trips to the red zone.

and for those that think yards matter for an offense, consider that in 2006 the steelers had 5,725 yards of offense and scored 333 offensive points. in 2007 they had 5,239 yards of offense and scored 370 offensive points. almost 500 yards less and 37 more points.

consider, that in 2007 the steelers ran the ball 54% of the time while also having 34 passing TD's and a FG-to-TD ratio that was 7th in the league. that's the way it should be.

Anonymous said...

" my numbers are only offensive scores which include passing TD's, rushing TD's, and FG's.

it wouldn't be accurate to include defensive or special teams TD's."

oh if they are your numbers cool. All I was saying is many websites with stats, the usual espn.com nfl .com, used special teams points in their points allowed

carry on...

Dale Lolley said...

Wow, a lot of stuff here to touch on.

I agree you have to look at just the offensive production. Those point totals can be skewed by defensive and special teams returns. The Steelers didn't have many last year.

The lack of points production in some of those games can be attributed to the lack of being able to convert third-and-shorts. That's attributable to the offensive line play.

The Kansas City game is on the offense? The offense scored 24 points and if Roethlisberger doesn't get hurt, they win that one in overtime. But, whatever. The return to start the game hurt them there.

As for Farrior on third downs and being spelled, I think you could definitely see that at times.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

If 2007 was good balance...who was it that ran the offense in 2007?

marc said...

i believe that was BA's first year and i think we would all agree their offense was great that year.

however, since then they have eliminated the fullback and gone to more empty set formations. the play calling has also shifted towards a more "west coast" type style.

and by the way, when i say "my numbers" i mean the numbers i got off of ESPN and then did some math to get the actual offensive points scored.

Anonymous said...
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