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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Wednesday news, notes

Jarvis Jones practiced fully today and said he felt like he could have played Sunday against Baltimore.

But, Jones hadn't practiced fully all week, something head coach Mike Tomlin wants his young players to do to get a feel for the game plan.

Jones should be a full go this week.

@ It appears that the Wildcat is here to stay in some form or fashion, whether Ben Roethlisberger cares for it or not.

Roethlisberger said Tuesday on his radio show that he wasn't a big fan of it because it gives defenders a chance to take a free shot at him.

But Wednesday, while saying he's not a huge fan of it, he added that he's willing to do whatever it takes to win.

Again, it's not something the Steelers might run every week, but throwing it out there every once in a while does give opponents something to gameplan for.

@ The Steelers are just 6-16 scoring touchdowns in the red zone. That number has to get better.

The most surprising part of that is their lack of a running game inside the 20. Pittsburgh as 14 carries for 27 yards in the red zone, with Le'Veon Bell having 12 of those for 20 yards.

That number includes his 8-yard TD run against Minnesota, which means he's produced 12 yards on his other 11 carries.

That has to get better.

It was against the Ravens, when Bell produced 14 yards on four red zone carries, so there is some hope.

But all three of the Ravens' sacks in the game came with the Steelers in the red zone. Roethlisberger can't take sacks down close.

@ The Steelers are reportedly showing an interest in former Kansas City tight end Tony Moeacki, who was placed on waivers by Kansas City Wednesday.

Moeacki has had injury issues since his breakout rookie season, but could certainly help the Steelers, if healthy.

The waiver claims go in order of current record.

@ According to capologist Ian Whetstone, Ike Taylor restructured his contract to give the Steelers some cap space this year.

Taylor dropped his base salary to the minimum and took the rest in signing bonus. That lowers his cap hit from $9.45 million this year to $7.965 million.

But his salary next year jumps from $10.454 million to $11.92 million.


adamg said...

BR was quoted in one of the game stories that he threw a block on one of the wildcat runs even as the coaches were yelling at him to get out of harm's way.

And when was the last time he went down in a slide after running past the line of scrimmage?

Anonymous said...

Isn't Spaeth 'designated to return' Monday? Is this an indication that that lone designation was misplaced on Spaeth, and that they'll be putting him on permanent IR soon?

Anonymous said...

I wasn't aware that Tony Moeaki was on injured reserve:

And DeCastro is getting praise for his play, so it's a real positive for a line that could use it:

Dale Lolley said...

He slides all the time, Adam. Doesn't run as much as he used to, so it's been less common. But I've consistently said that for a guy who played baseball in high school, he doesn't slide very well.

As for Spaeth, I believe they have some time built in there before he actually counts on the roster. He can be activated but doesn't count against the 53.

Spaeth was hanging around the facility last week, but haven't seen him here this week.

DD said...

The play calling inside the 20 is atrocious quite frankly. Not sure if that is BR or Haley making those calls. But despite their lack of running, going empty backfield with 5 wide on 3rd and 1 or 2 from the 10 is just plain stupid. And they have done it for yrs so it leads me to believe that is on Ben. Same with the reverses when down around the 10. How dumb can you be with the traffic so bucnhed up?? Ridiculous really. Neither work.

Dale Lolley said...

They ran one reverse down there two weeks ago and it was supposed to be a pass against an overpursuing Jets D. Didn't work.
So to say "reverses" isn't right.

Didn't have a problem with that call. I will agree on the three and four wides down close, but that's today's NFL.

Anonymous said...

Ben is the problem in the red zone. His style of running around until coverage breaks down is less effective in a small area because the wr don't have space to shake defenders.

Good redzone QB's can read coverages before the snap and make tight throws. Ben sucks at that.

It also doesn't help that Heath Miller is our only decent sized player. Brown and Sanders are terrible redzone targets. There is a reason bigger WR's usually dominate the TD stats.

marc said...

good points.

i've always felt the best way to approach the redzone is to get the QB out of the pocket. roll him out, effectively eliminating a rush from the other side and make the defense move sideways. should almost always open something up. if nothing is there he can run it or easily dump it out of bounds. of course, you need a RB in the backfield for this to work.

man do i hate empty set backfields - hey everyone, we're gonna pass and i promise there won't be a RB to pick up your blitz!!

Anonymous said...

I agree, there's a right and wrong time for everything, but every time they run empty backfield over and over - I think about that 2011 loss to the Browns where BA kept at it all game and Ben was wrecked.

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that we are bemoaning the loss of the potency in the redzone when we have just let Mr. "Redzone" himself go.

Mrs. Isaac Redman

Anonymous said...

I've got nothing against Redman - I think he was the best player on the team in the loss to Tebow Broncos, but he was obviously not the answer at RB this year; he had multiple chances. Dwyer looks to have found his niche as a bruiser / short yardage runner.