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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday news, notes

Steelers linebacker James Harrison had some interesting takes on his team being called out not only by Bill Cowher and Hines Ward, but head coach Mike Tomlin as well.

Here's what Harrison and others had to say about Tomlin saying the team wasn't tough enough mentally or physically:

@ Rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier was back at full speed at practice today for the Steelers after missing the past three games with a sprained knee.

Shazier said he saw some time with the starters while he was out there and that he felt pretty good.

@ Cornerback Brice McCain said he also worked with the starters at times Wednesday. But he slid back inside when the Steelers went to their nickel defense.

But, as McCain noted, "it was just the first day of practice."

That could certainly change. And even if McCain does play outside in the base defense, Allen would still see plenty of time in the nickel defense.

@ There were some other changes in the lineup, but due to practice reporting  requirements, I cannot report them without confirmation from the players.

It was, however, difficult to ascertain exactly what the Steelers were leaning toward at some positions since the team doesn't put out an injury report until Thursday - because it doesn't play until Monday - and Wednesday was a typical veteran's day off for a number of players, some of whom have actual injuries this week.

Suffice it to say, the Steelers are, indeed, turning over every rock to look at their options, as head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday.

@ I looked up the Steelers stats today running the ball in the red zone.

As a team, they have 19 red zone carries, not counting three Ben Roethlisberger knee downs. They have gained 57 yards on those attempts, an average of 3.0 yards per carry, well below their average of 4.9 yards per carry.

Opponents also are not blitzing the Steelers much this season, choosing instead to play coverage against quarterback Ben Roethlisberger,

Roethlisberger is 15-23 for 250 yards, one touchdown and one interception when blitzed this season. But 10 of those pass attempts came against Cleveland in the opener.


Patrick said...

Did they run the wildcat!?

Henry said...

Wait, so in 5 games this year, Ben has only been blitzed 13 times?

Is that what you're saying, Dale? Sounds like the league has figured out how to play Ben. Will he adjust? Probably not unfortunately as according to Ben "he only knows one way to play."

Anonymous said...

Teams don't need to blitz, they figured that they can get to Ben with a regular rush.. Drop the nonblitzers to cover the T.E.'s and only worry about AB, because there isn't another treat at W.R.

And when we can't punch it into the endzone, or can't convert 4 n 1, lets have our corners play 10-12 yards off the receivers.. Have an ex retired LB not hold his ground and a safety that is going to roam around and jump the snap count...

How about we start to up tempo a couple series, not wait for the play clock to click down to snap the ball. I know Bell is getting praise for waiting for the linemen to set up their blocks, but it's ok to hit a hole full speed when you only need a couple yards!!

Is it too much to ask Ben to roll out of the pocket before he is under pressure?

Ok, I'm done... I'm sorry


Dale Lolley said...

No, he has 15 completions on 23 passes when blitzed.

Have you seen Roethlisberger move this season? Looks like he has a piano on his back.

Anonymous Brian said...

Curious: Why does Mike Mitchell get veteran days off on Wednesdays? I know this week he's got the knee, but otherwise - he's what, 27 years old? Is it related to the preseason "groin" (i.e., hip?)? Wild speculation would be appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Hmm you really think Ben is slower moving?

That would be a real problem. His escapability is his best weapon.

Teams know they can play coverage cause Ben will hold onto the ball giving their guys time to get to him.

And also our wr core sucks.

Noel said...

Am I the only one who would like to see Mike Adams get another shot at starting? Lots of Left Tackles get off to a rough start against pro bowl rushers. He has the skill to dominate and really help the run game expand to both sides. I think he'd help in the red zone a great deal too. I don't have anything against Beachum but if Adams gets it together he could be very dominant.

Dale Lolley said...

Mitchell is getting time off now because of a knee issue.

It is my belief that he has gotten the past couple of Wednesdays off so that he can watch practice with Troy, who is always off Wednesdays. They stand behind the defense with Carnell Lake in the secondary and watch.

Greg Mercer said...

Dale, can you please expand on your piano comment. The times Ben has been able to escape the pocket, I thought he has looked good throwing on the run.

I just figured that the reason he hasn't escaped as much was due to the other team's DL staying in their lanes.

He doesn't look heavy or injured to me. Is it just age?

Greg Mercer said...

Also, there's another good Steelers site that I frequent that had a detailed breakdown of all of Ben's incompletions on Sunday.

I really don't think Ben has been the problem this year, and that article confirmed my beliefs.

Anonymous said...

Maybe teams aren't blitzing much because of the short passing attack the steelers have incorporated.

Also, how in the world are they going to deal with JJ watt?

Anonymous said...

Has anyone noticed that Heath Miller's blocking has really fallen off from what it used to be?

qwikdoc said...

This probably explains why we aren't seeing Heath's number called much so far. If they are keeping guys back on 3rd down and filling the creases Heath has made his money in for all these years, Ben is forced to look for Wheaton and JB. Not working out so far. Ben and Haley need to adjust.

Dale Lolley said...

What I mean by that is that anytime he tries to run out of the pocket, he looks slow. He used to be able to scramble for some yardage. Not any more.

As for blocking J.J. Watt, Houston, despite the presence of Watt, has 10 sacks as a team - Watt has 4 - and is 27th in the league in total defense.

That's one more sack than the Steelers, who are 12th in total defense.

Theosa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kelly said...

I don't think Adams should start, but why not bring him in as a TE to help the run blocking in the RZ? Can't recall seeing much of that this season.

Theosa said...

Dale, I hope I’m not breaking any Blog rules by posting this.
CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora on Big Ben and Haley;

"It's funny. Everybody used to be all over them because they're not buddy-buddy enough, the year that Ben got hurt a few years ago, before he got hurt, he was on pace to have his best season by far, and they looked like they were going to turn into an incredibly prolific offense, and that's when he and Haley were at odds.

"Now that they've become much closer, and there's a whole lot of trust there, some people around the league are like, ‘Is there too much trust? Is Todd deferring too much to Ben?' And too many decisions are being made at the huddle or right at the line of scrimmage, and that has something to do with the lack of offense. I think those are valid questions to ask. But again, if it comes down to Ben or Todd Haley, who's getting the massive extension and whose job is on the line?"

Dale Lolley said...

That's nothing new from LaCanfora. I can tell you that Haley and Roethlisberger were never "at odds." That's tripe.

But there is a feeling that Roethlisberger isn't necessarily making the best decisions. His pre-snap reads haven't been great. That could be because teams are dropping into coverage more against him instead of blitzing.

Anonymous said...

teams aren't blitzing because they don't need to blitz. steelers are on pace to give up 45 sacks this year. most times ben has ever been sacked in a season is 50.

they didn't "figure ben out" they just figured out that they can get after the QB while rushing 4.

adamg said...

Ben is similar to guys like Rod Woodson who depended on pure athletic talent rather than being a great students of the game.

Ben's passed the age where he should have started being a student of the game rather than just a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants qb. IMHO, that's now coming back to haunt him.

BTW, Dale, good stuff about not changing the blocking near the goal-line contributing to their RZ woes.

Dale Lolley said...

And a number of those sacks are coverage sacks because the Steelers don't have enough guys winning their one-on-one matchups and getting open. And the quarterback, as has always been the case, refuses to throw the ball away.
The offensive line has played well. On the second of the two sacks allowed in Cleveland last week, Roethlisberger optioned into a pass play but didn't let the offensive line know. So they were blocking for a run and he was dropping back to pass. Whose fault is that?

Anonymous said...

Ben looks old and he's a terrible leader to boot. He holds on to the ball way too long and makes his O-line work way harder than they should. His magic is completely gone. After Haley is shown the door and Tomlin apologizes to steeler nation for being all talk, i think its offically time for the Landry Jones era to start in Pittsburgh

Anonymous said...

^____ your joking,,,, right?

Ben just worked with Wheaton to get on the same page with the young lad.

Ben had a couple WR's in SoCal during the summer working with them..

Terrible leader?

As far as hanging onto the ball too long, that's Ben being Ben and your never going to change that. I yell at the TV every Sunday (thinking he can hear me, say throw the damn ball) then all of a sudden he makes a throw that only he could of made.

Only reason Jones is getting paid by the Steelers is because he has too much information about the team to watch him walk into another AFC North teams front doors..


Eric T said...

i think its offically time for the Landry Jones era to start in Pittsburgh

Thanks for the laugh mister anonymous blog commenter.

Steeler43 said...

I agree that the wr's aren't winning their one on one matchups. A few times on reply you could see the Browns cbs right on the Steelers wr's. No separation.

Fire Colbert. Bring in a new GM with final say on the draft. Cut more veterans. Maybe give Tomlin another year.

Anonymous said...

On the second of the two sacks allowed in Cleveland last week, Roethlisberger optioned into a pass play but didn't let the offensive line know. So they were blocking for a run and he was dropping back to pass. Whose fault is that?

Maybe you meant the first of the two sacks. Cuz the second was a pass set all the way.

The first one maybe. Nobody really fires off the ball, but Roethlisberger takes a deep drop out of the shotgun, equivolent to a 7 step drop depth. But the line looks like they're either short setting or maybe setting up a screen. No idea. But his depth didn't match the lines depth. So it's evident there was miscommunication somewhere. Receivers all ran deepish routes, consistent with a deep drop by the QB. So they all appear on the same page with the QB, but not the OL.

Whose fault? No idea. But they were using their silent snap where Foster was looking back at Roethlisberger, turned forward, then turned back toward #7 when he appeared to change the play. If #7 changed the play, I'd think Foster had to be aware of that. And I'd think he would be responsible for alerting the rest of the OL. But I'm not familiar enough with their communication process to say. One of those two though.

Steeler43 said...

There may be a mistake or two but I agree with the general gist of this article. People would like to believe that Haley is the sole reason our offense is struggling. The truth is the problems are more than that. Ben has never been known as a cerebral QB or a guy who spends extra time working. Perhaps it wasn't wise to give such a QB too much say in the offense.

Anyone notice Ben has now had a bad relationship with 2 of his 3 OCs? I'm thinking Ben is horrible to coach.

Snarky said...

Anyone who wants to get rid of Roethlisberger needs to watch tape of Mark Malone, Bubby Brister, Neil O'donnel, Mike Tomczack, Kent Graham, Kordell Stewart, and Tommy Maddox. I don't want to wait another 30 years to find another qb.

Unknown said...

Still Ben has to play better. If he wants to be labled a franchise QB he has to be better. He has to consistently be the best QB if not player on the field every sunday. How often is he. Unless playing another franchise QB he should be the best QB on the field and he should win some of those too. Franchise guys dont miss some of the plays he does. Martavis Bryant is open for a TD first drive of the game that has to he completed. Period no if and or buts. Ben has to play better.