Steelers Film Room: Ladarius Green’s Big Day Over Colts

We have heard a lot of talk about Ladarius Green since the Pittsburgh Steelers tight end broke out with two big receptions in the team’s last game, which seemed to offer glimpses of what they expect him to contribute on a regular basis in the pretty near future. In fact, we have written about this a fair bit ourselves. Now it’s time to take a look at his game, in spite of the fact that it included just over a dozen snaps.

The first play of note for Green came about five minutes into the second quarter, and as you would imagine, it happens to be the first of his two receptions. In his first game as a Steeler, he caught three passes for 30 yards, making receptions of 9, 10, and 11 yards. He didn’t catch a pass in his second game, so this first catch of 32 yards more than doubled his total output on the year.

Here, the Steelers were facing a third and 13, actually. The Colts brought pressure, rushing six on the play, and on of them actually got through Le’Veon Bell. Ben Roethlisberger had to arc the ball to where he knew Green would be, beating Erik Walden down the field in coverage.

The Steelers scored a couple plays later, and Roethlisberger looked Green’s way again early on the next offensive possession. Only this time, he was off-target. The quarterback seemed to allude to this play during his radio spot that I wrote about yesterday. He was expecting Green to be earlier on his route because his first seven steps are so quick. This is a timing pattern that will come by trial and error, given how much he missed up to now.

It turned out to be a bad sequence of plays for Green, as on the next snap, he was flagged for an illegal hands to the face penalty working in pass protection on what was a third and 10 play. The penalty negated a 17-yard completion for a first down, and the Steelers ended up punting instead of having first and 10 from their 40.

He was also on the field for two rushing plays, though his execution on both seemed to be dubious at best. On this one, he acted as the lone tight end on the play side of a run off right end. I’m not entirely sure what his assignment was here, but David DeCastro ended up being flagged for a hold on the man Green made first contact with.

That penalty negated a first-down run on third and short and the Steelers ended up punting again. So that’s two penalties that wiped out third-down conversions and resulted in them punting. Anyway, Roethlisberger came back to Green on the first play of the next drive.

As you can see, on this one, as with his first reception, he started with his hand in the dirt, only this time he started off with a chip block for good measure. His footing was slow at first before turning up the speed after getting even with the linebacker in coverage and he showed wonderfully soft hands bringing in the arcing ball.

About the Author

Matthew Marczi

Passionate Steelers fan with a bit of writing ability. Connoisseur of loud music. Follow me on Twitter @mmarczi.

  • treeher

    On the earlier play described as off target, his route was a very lazy curved cut instead of a sharp plant and cut. If he had been sharper, he’d have had his head turned in time. He needs to clean up that kind of pattern. He needs to watch AB run a pattern.

  • Steelerfan4lifeinAZ

    I think he is still worried about his ankle.. planting on the hard surface with all your body weight on turf which doesnt give can be dangerous especially if he is still rehabing the ankle. I think he is still playing timid. Even his route running off of the line he doesnt show any acceleration off of the line of scrimmage… Hopefully…. he will feel comfortable and we can see why we payed 20 mill for him

  • cencalsteeler

    He just pulled out of the garage, so it will take some time for him to get warmed up. But, I’ll tell you this, Ben now knows what it’s like for Tom Brady to have a big target he can find down field in those soft spots of coverage.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    As soon as I saw him play I noticed he is much slower than last year. That’s understandable given the injury. I remember it did not take me long before getting back to 100%. So I hope it won’t take him long. But he can already help this offense and those hands seem so soft and sticky. He will make plays and be able to occupy safeties when going down the middle. This might open up the outside for the speedsters.

    So he is not running past DBs like last year, but he can beat most LBs. fantastic. Work on blocking angles please.

  • treeher

    Which one is the bad anjkle?

  • PapaJuju

    I love when people compare themselves to professional athletes. His level of muscle and explosiveness puts way more pressure and torque on his joints than an average joe.

  • Douglas Andrews

    That still shot shows he has some good hands. It’s obvious he’s still not fully recovered from his injury. But even where he is right now he got behind two good LB’s. If Haley can keep exposing that matchup Green can win that one every time until he gets up to full speed. Excited to see Green get better and better in this offense.

  • blackandgoldBullion

    Hey, Papa. So you have assumed I am nowhere near a world class athlete or an athlete at all. I was always faster than Green and still faster after several injuries and operations right into middle age. I still competed with guys half my age up until I was rear ended in a car accident. I am no expert but know experts in various fields such as nutrition, elite training methods and rehab specialists . I truly hope he can get back to full speed, but am worried that Green may never be able to do so. We shall see.