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Dear Mr. Arians,


Dear Mr. Arians,

I am writing you on Wednesday, the day before the 2009 season starts to ask a few favors of you. No, I do not want an autograph to sell on eBay and am not looking to be hooked up with a player interview. I am merely writing you as a fan. You see Mr. Arians, I am a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, not just any fan though, as I have been following the Steelers since before the first Super Bowl win. I have been through the highs of the 70\'s, the lows of the 80\'s and the highs and lows of both the 90\'s and 2000\'s.

Now do not get me wrong, Mr. Arians, I am super happy with being the defending Super Bowl champions headed into 2009, but I wonder if you made some kind of deal with the devil to make that happen. We finished 23rd in the league in rushing yardage in 2009, but yet ranked 9th in the league in attempts. We also ranked 17th in the league in passing yardage, while ranking 20th in attempts. Now I can defend you only so much as far as the personnel goes, sure the offensive line did not play up to it\'s full potential in 2008, but the further I dig into the stats, the more predictable it seemed the offensive play calling was. I am afraid if it was not for Mr. Lebeau, the 6th Lombardi Trophy would be elsewhere.

You see Mr. Arians, it hurts to watch both physically and mentally every week, when I know by looking at the formations, player package and down and distance, exactly what play you are calling. I am afraid that if I know, the opposition knows as well. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Last year I chalked it up to huge coincidences and the play of the offensive line as I was not entirely convinced it was all of your doing. I hope you can prove it otherwise in 2009. You see Mr. Arians, I believe Steeler football is to run to set up the pass, not pass to set up the pass or pass to set up the 3rd and 8 run off tackle. We need to run the ball, the line was built to run the ball. If we can not run the ball, we run the ball until we can run the ball. Nothing does my heart more good than to watch a tired Ray Lewis try to tackle a running back in the fourth quarter, when he has been run on successfully the whole game. Can you get a mental picture of that?

Mr. Arians, I remember that January 29th Monday in 2007 very vividly when you were promoted from the wide receiver coach position to offensive coordinator. I remember thinking and hoping that you would not be a coordinator that put the passing game in higher regard to a good running game. Although the numbers tell me one thing, I am certainly ready to forgive and forget starting on Thursday night versus Tennessee. You see Mr. Arians, what they did to us last season in Tennessee needs a punishment. Nobody treats the Steelers or Steeler Nation the way they did on December 21st. Let\'s make every bone in their body hurt from being made to tackle a ball carrier 35-40 times a game. When we have a huge lead in the fourth quarter, please put in Frank Summers and run even more at the defensive line and linebacking core. I want them to suffer and suffer bad.

In closing, I would like to say I fully support every decision that you make in 2009 as long as it includes running the football and not being so predictable in the play calling. If we do not finish in the top 5 in rushing and rushing attempts, I am afraid I will no longer be able to defend or support you or call you my friend. I also think the next letter I write will not be as nice as this one. I wish you much success in 2009 and still consider you part of the family.

Your Biggest Fan,

Steelers Depot

About Dave Bryan

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • notjustasteelerfan

    Amen, Amen, Amen..
    I see, we both have a little bit of history with this team.
    I have a question that I really would like your opinion.
    With 1 roster spot left open would you keep, A the best short-yardage running back in training camp or B Keep an aging, mis-tackleing strong safety (T.Carter)?

    I mean if the Steelers wants to smash-mouth type of RB, welling the games I saw Mendenhall seen to go backwards on impact and goes down WAY TOO easy on first contact was well. Redman seems to always falling forward. One bad play on a 4 and 1 in the Bill’s game otherwise I saw a young #36 running like a bowling ball.
    Why keep T.Carter when K.Ratliff can play either safety or corner as well as D.Townsend. Besides R.Mundy maybe better fitted as the #1 safety backup than the rest.

    Who would you keep? Eason or Harris?
    Did Nick have a QB sack? How about a QB pressure?
    He had One good Tackle and that’s it..

    Last thing, Did the Steelers cut Dallas Baker or was he placed in IR?
    Reason why I asked on CBSSports’s website they have him listed as IR

    Thanks for your time.

  • Philbert

    An open letter…very inventive. You forgot to admonish him for that damnedable empty backfield set he likes to run, even on third & short. He’s got to 86 that formation. It’s a Ben killer.

  • Martin

    Look, I agree that the offense was a little simple. But Arians kept Defenses honest by trying to air the ball out….often. The offensive line could not get it done on short yardage situations. look at the Cowboy, Ravens and San Diego games last year. The guys on the field could not get the job done for smash-mouth running. How many times were we stopped on fourth and inches/goal.

    Also, if Arians goes run, run and a cloud of dust, would he not be predictable. Look at the MVPs from all the Steeler Superbowls: Franco, Swann, Bradshaw, Bradshaw, Ward, and Santonio. Only Franco is a power running icon. The power running game won us the first one, the rest have been because of passing. There have been six wide receivers to win the Superbowl MVP and the Steelers have three of them!!! Heck you could make the argument that Stallworth should have been MVP of SB XIV.

    Do not get me wrong, I love power running and think Bettis is the best big back of all time, but the Steelers did not win a superbowl for 25 seasons until Fast Willie became the feature back. In other words, in the ‘Big Ben Era’, the Pittsburgh Steelers are a pass efficiently and speed running team. Seriously, do you think opposing defenses are more scared of our back field or receiving corps?

    Arians and et al won the superbowl because of the receivers not the o-line and a supposed power running game. We got number six and should get number seven this year. If you are seriously telling Arians to be a power running team when we do not have the personnel to support that game plan, I would have to quote Rumsfeld: “You go to war with the army you have—not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time.”

    I enjoyed the ride on the ‘Bus’, fly the friendly skies of United Arians. [Okay that was a horrible ending, but you get my point.]

  • zeke hunter

    Um, they were ineffective running with a number of attempts last year. What makes you think more carries will result in better outcomes? You don’t esthablish the run, by getting two yards on two runnoing attempts on first and second. Plus that’s prediactable. The numbers you showed argue for more passing, less running. You inverted it.

  • admin

    The fact I am conveying is how predictable it was, more than anything. Look at the down and distance reports versus play selection and packages used. We all knew what was coming in almost any situation, admit it. Besides if you run well on first down, 3.5 or more yards, it really opens up the options. I think most of you are thinking I am wanting to run on every down, which I am not. The aggravation is the predictability we display in the offense. It is tongue and cheek, folks.

  • admin

    Also just because the number of attempts were there does not mean the play selection was good. If you look at this directional report:
    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2009/08/2008-regular-season-play-direction-rushing-offense-report/

    There was good success running left, yet we ran that way the least. Sure some was the line, some was Parker giving up on the direction, but if you re-watch the games it was very rarely the case. Teams knew which way we were running and when. You can not deny no matter what side of the fence you are on, how predictable the offense was. I would even watch replays with my wife and 9 out of every 10 plays, EVEN she could predict pass, run and direction.

  • steven pilla

    First you need a big strong full back a.k.a. Dan Krider; thats the only time you will be able to run Parker up the middle

  • anthony vitello

    ya use issac redman 4 goaline

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