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Monday, November 01, 2010

Post-New Orleans thoughts

Sorry this is so late, but I didn't get in until 5 a.m. and I wanted to collect my thoughts before writing them.

I'm sure many fans are lamenting a wasted opportunity of first-and-goal from the 1. I'm sure offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is being lambasted. But Arians didn't miss any blocks at the goal line.

And I liked his play calling a lot better than that of New Orleans in the same situation later in the game.

The Saints, who had absolutely no success running the ball all night, attempted a pass on first down - to an offensive lineman.

They then ran the ball on back-to-back plays for losses.

© The Saints attempted to spread the Steelers out and beat them throwing the ball.

It didn't work all that well.

I know a loss is a loss. But the Saints attempted 44 passes and score 20 points - at home.

The Steelers struggled offensively in a very loud environment with a rookie center making the line calls.

That was a learning experience for Maurkice Pouncey that will pay dividends down the road.

© Brett Keisel should be back this week, which will help the Steelers moving forward. Nick Eason played well in Keisel's absence, but having Keisel in the lineup will help the pass rush.

© Is James Harrison a marked man?

That roughing the passer call on him in the fourth quarter was pretty borderline.


ch3 said...

Dale, does Arians have a play to beat a blitz? This same crap happened against Philly in '08, and the Browns and Bengals last year. Why is it that when teams blitz the Steelers all day they have NO answer for it. None. No adjustments, no shorter routes, no 3 step drops, just run the WRs downfield.

How about a screen pass? But not one while running a fake reverse. What the Hell was that?

This offense faced a team with NO CBs and could not pass the ball. Horrible game all around. The coaches should be ashamed of themselves.

kelly said...

I agree with ch3; I had no problem with the goaline play calling, but the third down calls were terrible. Why can't Arians adjust to these all out blitzes? If you put a brick wall in front of Arians and told him he could easily walk around it, but he had already made up his mind that he was going to go through it, he would bang his head against it until he passed out. Unreal.

Patrick said...

Dale, any thoughts on what the hell happened on the Steelers sideline/people in the box/someone with a clue on the Lance Moore challenge? Who thought that was a good challenge? Some replay guy for the team or Tomlin?

That has to be one of the worst challenges I've ever seen and if Mike "sharp as a tack" Tomlin doesn't challenge that, I bet he challenges the Mendenhall goal line run and likely wins it.

and agree with ch3 above mostly. The cushion Wallace was getting was so ridiculous that I was beggining for a screen to him. It was a garunteed 7 yards, at least. If he makes a move, he might score.

Adam said...

What I appreciated on the replay of the roughing the passer was the LTs arm all the way around his neck.

They really just have stopped calling holding against him, haven't they?

Greg Mercer said...

if you liked that hold, you must have really loved the hold against Woodley on the third down conversion right before the Saints last touchdown.

why don't our tackles hold like that?

kelly said...

GregMercer - They do; Scott did and got a flag for it.

Totally brutal.

ch3 said...

Perhaps the plays to beat the blitz were thrown out when Arians and Ben revamped the playbook? Haven't been able to beat it since.

Anonymous said...

My guess is Brucey & Ben thought they were going to shred the Saints' backup secondary. When the Saints front seven said "No, you're not," Brucey & Ben just stood around looking bewildered for 3 quarters before throwing some quick passes over the middle to tight ends.

If Brady goes 34/44, do the Pats get held to only 17 points or so, Mr. LeBeau?

Cincy is a must win.

Anonymous said...

So our secondary has deficiencies and our linebackers are held

Something's gotta give

Vaflyer said...

Ben and the receivers looked out of sync a lot last night. He threw a bunch short that might have been caught. I don't think either side of the ball played particularly well.

That being said, if Heath doesn't fumble that ball, we might drive for a TD and a win. I don't think the Final Score necessarily reflects just how winable the game was. Both games we have lost were there for the taking. Those are the breaks.

You don't want to underestimate anyone else on the schedule, but @Cinn, NE, @Balt, and the Jets are the 4 really tough games left on the schedule. Even if we lose all 4, and I don't think we do, we end up 10-6. I think we end up 12-4. That will be a really good year and make us an option for the Super Bowl.

John Kang said...

Ditto ch3. I kept on thinking of the Eagles game in '08 and the Browns game last year.

Ditto Patrick, what the heck was up with that challenge? It was so clearly NOT a fumble, whereas the 2nd-and-Goal Mendy run probably WAS a TD.

Ditto Vaflyer, Ben looked out of sync. Maybe hit his head hard when he lost his helmet on the sack?

Slab said...

I don't agree with the Philly game comparison- Ben only got sacked 3 times last night, not 9. I think one big factor in last night's game was the WR corps. A year ago it would have been Ward, Holmes and Wallace. Holmes knew what to do with a hot route, I don't think Wallace or Sanders do yet.

Anonymous said...

Concerning Santonio and hot routes, do you remember the game in Cincinnati last year?

This is year four of Bruce Arians, and the offense still can't score from the one, still can't beat a blitz, still can't run the ball consistently, still doesn't know what a hot route is, still knocks itself out of FG range at least once a game, etc.

marc said...

everyone here is right on.

hopefully, something that may come out of this is that these guys start to get a chip on their shoulder regarding the horse crap ref calls and their pass defense being questioned.

and dale, i'm not sure what your point is regarding the saint's passing game. it was near perfect in the second half and resulted in 17 points. they might not have had any deep passes, but what they did worked very well. hard to knock that.

Anonymous said...

Also, think of the short passes as the Saints' run game, which is basically what it was. It goes "sideways" all the way down the field for touchdowns.

Steve-O said...

This was a game that either team could've won. As was mentioned earlier, if Heath Miller hadn't fumbled we wouldn't even be having this discussion.

Let's keep some perspective shall we. We have 2 losses in 7 games. Not bad by any stretch of the imagination. We lost a game to the defending Superbowl Champion and another to the team who was expected to win the division and represent the AFC in the next Superbowl.

We're in good shape for a title run and we haven't peaked yet. Relax fellas the season is not over.

rvaccare said...

I am completely against all the anti-roughing B.S. of late, but I disagree about the Harrison penalty. It was close, but that has to be called roughing the passer every time. I don't think it was intentional or malicious by any stretch, but it was definitely late.

keevin said...

WTF, Harrison is getting fined for that hit?

What about the helmet-to-helmet hit on Ward????

ibygeorge said...

Cowher said it took the first 5 games to find your identity. The Steeler identity;
The defense will give you the ball down the field in front of them, but it will be brutal and a struggle. You better have your A game passing game to get just 20 points. The defense is a hall of fame execution. The offensive is not fooling anyone with that offensive line that it is a running offense, even when they try to run down the clock. They cannot punch the ball through 8 in the box or hold the ball until someone is open. But they can keep the defenses guessing when they mix up their play calling to setup the run, especially with the hurry up. The Steelers offense is not tiring out the right defense. The defense is playing to their strengths, now its time for the offense.

marc said...

harrison's hit was late and will draw a fine like every other late hit on a QB.

however, they better fine the guy for the helmet to helmet on ward. does anyone know if there is video of that hit? are the steelers contacting the league regarding why the penalty wasn't called?

also, to illustrate how pathetic the NFL has become, i read that albert haynesworth was fined $7,500 last week for hitting a player away from the play.

absolutely pathetic.

Dale Lolley said...

They have blitz stuff in place, but for whatever reason, some of the hot receivers didn't pick up on Ben throwing his hot routes. I can recall at least four times when Ben threw his hot and the receiver wasn't looking for the ball yet - or the throw was nowhere close.

As for the challenge, the replay they showed immediately after the play at the stadium looked like the ball could have come out early. But the second angle they showed on TV clearly showed it wasn't.

Patrick said...

did Tomlin realize he was in the opposing team's stadium and they probably weren't going to show the replay favorable to the Steelers? There has to be someone else in a booth, etc. who can tell him that its a worthless challenge. Especially on road games.

If not, thats mind boggling.

marc said...


Dale Lolley said...

The coaches were seeing the same replay that was on the scoreboard. They didn't see what you saw on TV.

Patrick said...

you're kinda making my point for me Dale. I know the horse and buggy trip down to the Bayou must have been really exhausting, but they couldn't get a groundbreaking TV on the trip too?

There isn't someone in a booth with access to replays? Or a tv/computer? I mean the NBC games online actually let you pick the camera you want to watch.

Anonymous said...

when i watched it live, i could clearly read tomlins lips when he began discussing the challenge with the refs - he said, "my guys upstairs said..."

if you have it recorded, go back and watch. he was influenced buy the guys upstairs to throw the red flag.

Dale Lolley said...

As I said, the coaches were seeing the stadium feed - as was I on three of the four TVs in front of me.
I also agree that they should have somebody monitoring the network feed. Maybe from now on, they will be.

deljzc said...

Maybe they should hire you Dale. You're at all the games. Give you a headset and a red button.