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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2018 5:29 pm 
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What's just scary about the defense is it's been serviceable/decent as far as making the playoffs. But horribly outclassed in a championship situation.

As they say, good is the enemy of great. That's a dangerous thing. Also a balancing act - can you make that defense better for that moment without sacrificing getting to the playoffs in the first place?

I tend to think the defense could be really, really bad...and the offense would still carry us to 8-9 wins. So figure out a defense you can win with deep in the playoffs.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 1:28 am 
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I think the defense is good enough for us to win a Super Bowl.

The issue is that this defense plays better when the offense gets a lead and scores points. I now people will argue with me about this until the end of time but our offense can dictate the course of the game on defense, too.

Getting that lead is huge, and not taking your foot off of the gas pedal is just as huge. If the offense takes care of their part, scores points, gets leads, the defense will follow suit, and that is how it should be. The idea that we will play small ball, ball control, grind it out, attrition football which keeps the game close is setting up your defense for failure and making them play too uptight.

Haley's best playoff game was that Miami game, we got out to a 14-0 lead by the 6 minute mark of the 1st quarter, then Miami scored a field goal, but then we come back and score a TD to make it 20-3 early in the 2nd quarter. The defense is able to play fast, aggressive, take chances. They respond with 5 sacks and 3 turnovers, Dupree actually has a pretty impressive game, 6 total tackles, half a sack and that nasty hit on their QB Moore.

Contrast that with coming out like a limp noodle on offense, going so far as deferring kickoffs, slowly easing into scoring field goals, keeping the game a low scoring affair, that puts way more pressure on your defense.

Fix the scoring issue on offense and you make the defense look and play a lot better.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:35 am 
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That's a great post, Scunge.

But if the defense plays better with a lead - a.k.a turned loose to be aggressive and take risks - then why not just coach that way? Let the offense worry about scoring points.

I do get it, and the philosophy has it's place. Offense and defense complement each other, even protect each other. Sure. That makes perfect sense for winning football, and for making the playoffs. But it's not what wins championships.

You have a championship caliber team. The offense and defense need to be allowed to grow into the best versions of themselves with no handcuffs. After 11 years, I don't think Tomlin gets that.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:12 am 
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Yeah, Kodiak, I get your point too. I just look back at the past what?, 20 Super Bowls, how many of those teams were well balanced as a team, equally strong on both offense and defense? How many of those teams were one sided? How many of those teams had historic, all-time great defenses?

Was Philly's defense great this past Super Bowl? That Legion of Boom defense, when it was all said and done, they only won a single Super Bowl. Denver's defense carried Peyton Manning and won a Super Bowl but they also lost one as well. As much as Ed Reed and Ray Lewis may think to the contrary, it was Joe Flacco going on a historic playoff run at QB that got them that Super Bowl.

Just my opinion of course, but I believe that the offense stirs the drink. The offense has to be stronger, has to lead the way, has to make it easier for the defense, put less burden on the defense.

In terms of playing aggressive and taking risks, it isn't just about the defense deciding to play that way from the beginning. It takes two to tango, the opposing offense has to oblige. If you don't have a lead, if the other team can stay with their game plan, maybe they want to run the ball, say have a 50/50 ratio, use play action passing etc. But if our offense gets out to a quick 14-0 lead? Or up 20-3 as in that Miami playoff game? Then the other team and their OC has to shitcan their game plan, go to plan B. Suddenly they have to throw the ball a lot more, trying to play catch up. Jay Ajayi had all of 33 yards rushing, Matt Moore had to throw the ball 36 times, I am sure Miami would have much preferred the game play out like the earlier contest that year where they had 222 yard rushing, Ajayi had 204 yards himself, they had 36 carries on the day. In the rematch? They rushed the ball only 21 times.

Our offense in the rematch got out to the lead and forced Miami out of their comfort zone, they had to pretty much give up on rushing the ball to any great extent. That really helped the defense and in my mind that is the way it should always be, it is the offense's job and responsibility to get out to a lead, score quickly, and force the opposing team's offense to try and keep up.

You can even look back to 2005 that playoff run with Ben. They were coming out passing, trying to build up leads, look at the INDY game. Yeah, Ben was 14 of 24 on the day but those first two drives I believe he threw the ball 13 times in getting out to that 14 point lead. He would only throw something like 5-6 passes in the whole second half as they were turtling and trying to chew the clock, they did end the game with 42 rushing attempts.

But the point, is that they got out to the lead first, it got up to 21-3, an 18 point lead and Indy literally gave up on running the ball. Edgerrin James was not a bum, and Dominic Rhodes was no slouch either. James had all of 3 carries in the second half and had just 13 carries for the game. Maybe Indy would have liked to be more balanced, helped Peyton out more, but they were behind and they had to play catch up. Again, your offense can force the opposing offense out of their game plan, force them to catch up, to press and as a result it gives your defense a fighting chance.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 4:52 pm 
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Maybe cheating NE is never a good example....but I don't think Belicheat thinks of his offense complementing or protecting his defense. He'll throw the ball 60 times if that's the best chance of scoring points.

If you score points, everything else will take care of itself. Being able to run and throw equally well, TOP...all of that is part of maximizing your point potential. Tomlin is kind of the opposite - he thinks if you focus on TOP, everything else falls into place.

And I'd say not all TOP is created equal. If I have the ball 35 minutes, I'd rather that be a result of running 75 plays rather than milking every last second out of 60 snaps.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 6:47 pm 
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If it were up to me, TOP would disappear from team vocabulary.

I do think Tomlin has a conservative coaching nature but I'm hoping Fichtner turns out to be the real deal and I'm hoping Tomlin let's him go for it.

We shall see.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:23 pm 
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I feel like Steelers have entered a cowher like phase. They can pretty reliably win the division, even snag a home playoff game. Then their demises are also similar.

It took Ben to save this team and it going to take that same offensive spark again.

Good news is I see some signs they might officially stop fucking around. Because Ben and the O have been given mixed signals for the whole tenure. I think the road has finally been cleared.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:37 pm 
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Scunge ... the two things go had in hand. I agree it doesn't take a great D to win the SB ... look at the last one. However, this team has not shown any indication that they will do what you stated above ... they will not play the hand dealt them. They will instead play all hands the same. They will not attack on a lead ... they will not dance with the date they brung.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 8:03 pm 
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Well, I would say finally getting rid of Haley is a sign that they have indeed seen the light. We will see.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:49 pm 
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Yeah, we really can't judge until we see the offense under Fich. And for those who say "well, it's still Tomlin, so the offense will still look the same" I disagree because I don't think it was like that under Arians.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 12:59 am 
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Poltargyst wrote:
Yeah, we really can't judge until we see the offense under Fich. And for those who say "well, it's still Tomlin, so the offense will still look the same" I disagree because I don't think it was like that under Arians.


That was true in 2007. Only. Threw the ball all over with reckless abandon in the RZ. Then came the famous edict from above to run the ball better. After that, it seemed like Arians was always struggling to hit a set number or set percentage of running plays.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:31 am 
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Kodiak wrote:
Poltargyst wrote:
Yeah, we really can't judge until we see the offense under Fich. And for those who say "well, it's still Tomlin, so the offense will still look the same" I disagree because I don't think it was like that under Arians.


That was true in 2007. Only. Threw the ball all over with reckless abandon in the RZ. Then came the famous edict from above to run the ball better. After that, it seemed like Arians was always struggling to hit a set number or set percentage of running plays.

They came out in week 1 of 2008 and lit up Houston, going up 21-0 in the 1st 17 1/2 minutes.

9/10... 104yds... 1TD... QB runs 2/17... 74 yd pass called back

Then Kemo decided it would be a good idea to let Mario Williams have a free run up the middle, so that he could sack Ben and separate his throwing shoulder. After that, Ben threw only 5 short passes and they clearly were in turtle mode. Then struggled all year.

If Ben doesn't get hurt, chances are they wing it a lot that year, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:18 pm 
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As with every year I truly hope to be wrong
But IMHO ain't a chance in hell they are going to wing it around
The are going to maximise TOP, run/throw short run extension, take periodic deep shots and try to eliminate TOS and sacks. they believe in the formula.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 9:16 pm 
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Gonzo wrote:
As with every year I truly hope to be wrong
But IMHO ain't a chance in hell they are going to wing it around
The are going to maximise TOP, run/throw short run extension, take periodic deep shots and try to eliminate TOS and sacks. they believe in the formula.

This...

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:05 pm 
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Gonzo wrote:
As with every year I truly hope to be wrong
But IMHO ain't a chance in hell they are going to wing it around
The are going to maximise TOP, run/throw short run extension, take periodic deep shots and try to eliminate TOS and sacks. they believe in the formula.



Damn, I hope you’re wrong too.

I believe we fall somewhere in the middle. Won’t be huck it chuck it football like Arians to get Ben Sacked/hurt. I think we’ll see a different spin than Haley’s grab bag of shit play calling with no rhyme or rythem. Somewhere between these two offenses but we’ll see a difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 11:24 pm 
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I think that is the more realistic hope
The aren't going to change the overall philosophy
But perhaps fichtner can call a better game to achieve it and score more points


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 7:25 am 
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Exactly. The play calling will be different, the philosophy will remain the same.
Haley wasn’t fired because they want to change the way they do business or because Ben demanded a change be made( :lol: ). He was fired because he sucked at his job...

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2018 12:16 pm 
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Hmmm. Ben had the 3rd most pass attempts of his career last season, in just 15 games played, 561 pass attempts. Yeah, he was inactive for the last game against Cleveland but if he had played that game, going by his 37.4 pass attempts per game average he would have had 598 pass attempts. That would have put him at over 4,500 yards passing.

His career high was 608 attempts in 2014.

Bryant as a deep threat last season pales in comparison to the player he was as a rookie in 2014. You look at how Ben was dealing with underachieving WRs like Bryant and Eli Rogers, how McDonald was dealing with various nagging injuries and being behind with learning the offense, and now look at what Ben has in 2018.

JuJu with a year under his belt, a very productive rookie WR in Washington, another versatile rookie in Jaylin Samuels that can line up everywhere, and McDonald with a full offseason and training camp, preseason to get fully up to speed, comfortable, ready to make an impact. With all of this new talent, the yards per attempt is going to most likely significantly increase.

Last season Ben averaged 7.6 yards per pass attempt, but this season I could see that increase to the mid-8s, say 8.5 yards per attempt. Why? Because the talent at the skill positions has been fortified, has been improved. You look at how Eli Rogers averaged 8.3 yards per catch, then look at how JuJu averaged 15.8 yards per catch. You look at how Jesse James averaged 8.7 yards per catch, and then how McDonald in a small sample size admittedly, but still he averaged 13.4 yards per catch. Bryant averaged a whopping 12.1 yards per catch.

Now imagine that Rogers and James are further phased out and JuJu and McDonald combine for 120-130 catches this season, and their yards per catch totals continue to be stellar. Imagine James Washington comes in and is able to be like Wallace and Bryant as rookies and average over 18-19 yards per catch. Ben could throw for the same amount of pass attempts this year but the surrounding talent has been improved to the point where the passing game is going to be more explosive.

I can see Ben having a 5,000 yard season this year, not because he is going to throw the ball more than he did in 2014, but because the skill position players as a group, might be the most talented that he has ever had across the board. A 10 yard completion to Jesse James last season could very well be a 50 yard TD reception for Vance McDonald this season. They will be able to be creative with a player like Samuels and who knows maybe he will develop into a redzone nightmare for defenses.

One of my daydreams this past week was thinking about Ben being on the sideline and the Steelers bring back the Wildcat and they use it like this:

McDonald and JuJu are lined up inside as TEs, Washington and Brown are lined up outside. Samuels and Bell are lined up in the backfield, Pouncey can snap it to either. They (Jaylin/Bell) can tuck the ball and run with JuJu and McDonald able to use their outstanding blocking to help the O-line, or they can throw the ball. Samuels was 2 of 3 for 84 yards and a TD in college. Bell is 0 for 1 in the NFL but was 1 for 1 for 29 yards in college. I am not saying that either would be a real threat to pass the ball, but hell, they could even have one of them lined up at WR and bring in Brown at RB, who is 3 of 5 and has a TD pass. This is not something you would see all the time, like every game, but I just wish they would use the Wildcat more at times in the redzone, in 2 point attempts, etc. Do a little outside the box thinking. Anyway, just a daydream I had. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:21 pm 
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My feeling is Ben has two seasons left at 100%, give or take one.

I see Ben like the master thief in the movie that comes back for ...one...last...job.

Nobody is in his way now. Colbert, tomlin, even the deuce realizes some of their legacy is riding on this last run.

Fitchner will design a very friendly week to week and Ben will audible at will. We may even see override tomlin on 4th downs and 2PT.

Bell will get his too. But I see Ben pushing the ball downfield like we’ve never seen before. And that’s saying something.


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 Post subject: Re: Bell: Talks closer than prior negotiations
PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2018 1:53 pm 
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All that passing % stuff is useless without context. So many WR/TE screens.

BEN ROETHLISBERGER
21.2% Pass Thrown Behind Line of Scrimmage
97/119... 712yds... 81.5%... 5TD/1int... 5.98 YPA
78.8% everything else
263/442... 3539... 59.5%... 23TD/13int... 8.01 YPA
Overall offense runs+behind the LOS pass %: 51.6%

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