Film Room: The Uniqueness Of Ladarius Green And What Pittsburgh Will Miss


By now, we’ve had 24 hours to digest the news of Ladarius Green’s release. We can, have, and will, continue to talk about the mistake that ultimately proved to be signing him. But the most relevant part is where the Pittsburgh Steelers are moving forward. What they lose with him no longer on the team, and how they can compensate.

One good point many have suggested is going to 4 WR sets, 10 personnel, or more broadly than that, suggesting JuJu Smith-Schuster can act as the next Green. It makes sense on paper. He’s a big guy who could play in the slot, physical, and dynamic enough to quench the Steelers’ thirst.

There’s one problem with assuming Smith-Schuster can essentially be that guy. And it has to do with how defenses react.

Defenses respond to the personnel you bring in. In a general sense, anytime an offense has at least three total running backs and tight ends on the field (12, 21, 13 personnel), they will stay in their base defense. Their 3-4 or 4-3 front. And if an offense is in 11 personnel, defenses will respond to coming out in sub-package. The Steelers are generally strict about this defensively.

That’s one of the benefits of having that move tight end. Offenses can come out in 12 personnel and defenses will respond by bringing in their base defense. But when one of their tight ends is a big receiver, base defenses have a tough time trying to defend him. Bigger than their safety, faster than their linebacker. And in Green’s 18 catches, we saw three examples of that advantage in action.


Week 12 – 37 Yard Gain

Steelers come out in 13 personnel with Chris Hubbard as the tackle eligible, third tight end. Run heavy look so the Giants remain in their 4-3 base.

Playaction to help suck the linebackers up and Green is able to split the safeties, making the catch before the FS can close on him. Then you see his YAC ability, spinning off the safety and getting five extra yards.

Week 13 – 35 yard gain

This might be the best example. Steelers in 12 personnel, 1 RB and 2 TEs. Playaction again to hold the linebackers. Steelers run a modified version of a sail concept. The Z vertical, the Y (Green) on a corner, with the backside X running the flat from across the field.

Green gets matched up on the Buck linebacker, separating at the top of the route and Ben Roethlisberger hits him in stride.

Week 15 – 23 yard gain

Different look. The Steelers come out of the huddle in 12 personnel but spread the field out, splitting Green out to the top of the screen and then motioning Le’veon Bell into the slot. The Bengals are in nickel on this play, it’s 3rd and 17, but splitting Green out helps tip the coverage. Generally, if a cornerback is lined up on a tight end or running back, especially the latter, it’s zone. If a LB walks out with him, it’s likely it’s man-to-man.

It’s Cover 6 and the CB does a poor job of squeezing the throw. Green makes the catch and moves the sticks.

With a guy like Smith-Schuster on the field, the defense is going to their sub-package. That obviously doesn’t mean he can’t be successful, as you know, my hopes for him remain high, but that is the pre-snap advantage you get with the flex tight ends. Jesse James simply isn’t that guy and while Xavier Grimble resembles Green more closely, he isn’t as good an athlete and offers a much lighter resume. Hard to rely on him right now.

My hope is for the team to explore finding another Green-esque player in next year’s offseason. It’s a dangerous weapon to have and in limited capacity, the Steelers reaped those benefits in 2016.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Conserv_58

    In the end, Ladarius’ uniqueness the Steelers will miss is a moot point because Ladarius’ concussion issues should have superseded his being signed in the first place. With Ladarius it’s about the “what-if”.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I’m not really sure you can miss that which you never had – at least didn’t’t have for more than a few games! But, your point about L. Green being a good, unique player is not lost on me.

    I think the Steelers decided his risk wasn’t’ worth the salary. He was participating in voluntary workouts a week ago, so I’m not so sure he is planning to hang up the cleats.

  • falconsaftey43

    The move TE that can block at least ok is the greatest mismatch guy in the NFL. No longer having that, I really think 4WR is the Steelers best mismatch.

    AB one side, Bryant the other. JuJu and Rogers in the slot. I assume defenses will match with dime, I doubt many 4th CBs could cover JuJu or Rogers. They’ll also really want to keep a safety deep over Bryant and AB, so that leave only 5 in the box, lots of room for Bell to work on shotgun hand offs or option routes vs the LB. Not to mention you can work in Coates/Hunter as a seam threat too.

    Jesse James just makes it too easy matchup wise, they stay in nickle, LBs,S can cover him and he’s not a great blocker.

    NFL offense is about getting your best guys on the field, or attacking a defenses weakness. I think 4WR is clearly the Steelers most talented grouping, have to figur eout how to attach defenses out of it.

  • steelburg

    Green didn’t play much but a blind man could see that when he did the impact he had on a game was big. All in all its just a bad case of what if.

  • Matt Rippin

    Couple of things here:
    1. I think if Green played a full season, teams would have stopped keeping their base on the field as if he was an ordinary TE.
    2. You can invert this logic: now that the Steelers have JJSS, they can force the D into subpackages and use your receiver’s physicality in the run game, a la Hines Ward.

  • RickM

    It’s just tough to believe – knowing the 2016 benefits of this type of weapon – that the team gambled he would be healthy enough in 2017. He couldn’t even make it through voluntary workouts without a recurrence of the concussion symptoms.

    Okay, they made a mistake gambling on the concussions when they signed him. Stuff happens. But how can they compound the mistake by taking the very same risk in 2017 and ignoring the deep TE draft class? Hindsight is easy, but we’re talking about ‘fool me once, fool me twice’. I just don’t understand their thought process. Oh well, Ben’s going to be here for another decade (sarcasm); what does it matter.

  • Conserv_58

    Regarding your #2 comment: I’m sure that coach Haley will have sub packages designed to get JuJu involved in the offense. On the other hand, I’m sure that coach Haley would say it’s a bit premature to assume that JuJu, a rookie, would remind anyone of Hines Ward.

  • Shane Mitchell

    A name to be on the lookout for TE Kennard Backman UAB 6-3 243

    We showed interest in him prior to the 2015 NFL draft, we had him in for a pre draft visit, and he is currently a free agent. He was drafted by the Packers in the 6th round and spent last season on the Patriots practice squad. I dont know that I would consider him a Green replacement but the picking are slim and he does have 4.6 speed and it fits the way the Steelers operate.

  • Jones

    This just in – Greene worked out for the Pats, passed another physical, and signed with NE for $2MM per season.
    Didn’t happen – but seems to be the kind of FA luck the Steelers have (Blount).

  • Craig M

    And so we go on, we simply go forward searching for a more healthy player in the mold of Green. Our FO is far from perfect but I’ll keep the faith that, after seeing what Green gave us, that they’ll keep looking.

  • Conserv_58

    The question for me comes down to, what does Backman bring that they don’t already have in James, Johnson, Grimble, Phazahn and Odom? At 6’3″ and 243 lbs. that’s small for an NFL TE.

  • RickM

    I respectfully disagree. I think there’s little doubt that the voluntary workouts started his symptoms again. They dealt with his concussion symptoms the last 5 weeks of the season and there’s an unsubstantiated rumor that they dealt with them last summer. So they were well aware of the risk for three months before the draft. They made a conscious choice to not draft a TE and go with Green. And then the concussion symptoms re-appeared.

  • capehouse

    You would’ve thought Green was healthy the way the Steelers approached the TE position this offseason. I did. Looking back at the draft though there was only one option to take. Drafting a TE in rd 4. Would that really have made much difference this year? I guess. I could see arguments being made either way. I personally wasn’t much of a fan of any of those TEs. Right now it’d be nice to have the extra depth but other than that I would fully expect Jesse James as the day 1 starter and likely the rest of the season.

  • Conserv_58

    There is also the fact that the Steelers held Green under observation all off season. As far as I understand it they never released an official statement stating he was medically cleared to play.

  • RickM

    If Green gets through training camp and gets hurt in game 3, I say they rolled the dice and lost. But this is different. They had the advantage of seeing the effects of a concussion on him for multiple weeks at the end of the season. And there are rumours that they dealt with them last summer. To have him unable to get through a physical in May after some minimal voluntary workouts tells me they miscalculated again. As for saying we simply go forward, yes there’s no other choice. But their opportunity to find a quality guy has almost certainly passed.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, Green’s participating in the voluntary workouts most likely triggered his concussion symptoms thus prompting the Steelers to say, “We’ve seen enough. It’s time to admit that Ladarius is no longer fit to play.”

  • D.j. Reynolds

    You may be right. I’m certainly speculating.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    That’s what I meant by risk not being worth the salary.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Well he is a move TE not an inline guy, and it wouldnt cost us anything to bring him to camp. He has the speed and is at least a threat running after the catch a weak point with our current TEs. He is more fluid and faster than James or Grimble thats for certain, and he has NFL experience.

    Search for “Kennard Backman #86 Junior Highlight Film”

    Not saying he is the answer to the problem but we should leave no stone unturned.

  • capehouse

    It’s a good article to follow up what we were talking about before, but Alex said it best. Defenses respond to the personnel you bring in. You run 4 WRs on the field and the defense brings out their Dime defense. Advantage: defense. There’s not much confusion. It’s a passing formation. Yeah, you can sneak a run on 3rd and 1 with 4WRs but, again like Alex said, there’s no presnap advantage for the offense. TEs keep LBs on the field because of an equal threat of run or pass.

  • Pack

    I think I feel like the Steeler would have drafted that TE that the browns got if they didn’t trade in from of them. Imagine how different this draft class would have looked

  • D.j. Reynolds

    Though it is speculation, I refuse to believe L. Green’s continuing symptoms were unknown to the Steelers 2 weeks ago. Heck, we ALL knew there were significant risks associated with him and knew he might not play again — they knew it too. And, with that knowledge, they did not choose a TE whether that is right or wrong.

    But, there is NO WAY the the Steelers were truly ignorant of continuing symptoms at the time of the draft — NO WAY!!!

  • Conserv_58

    Sean Mahan. His signing ended the longest streak of one NFL team having consecutive pro bowl centers. I blame Tomlin for that signing since Tomlin knew him well from his time on the Tampa bay staff.

  • RickM

    My issue is that they saw the effects of a concussion on Green first-hand. I wrongly assumed that they must be pretty confident that he can realistically be healthy for at least some of the season…otherwise they would have drafted a TE from the deep class. To have him not even get through voluntary workouts in May without a recurrence of the problem is just another major health miscalculation. Would a 4th round TE have been able to help us? Good question. But now we just lose a year and add TE to our priority list a year from now. Normally that wouldn’t matter; but time is kind of important right now.

  • Conserv_58

    My comment was not meant to imply that the Steelers were not keenly aware of his symptoms, but rather his participation in the workouts only confirmed their worst fears.

  • capehouse

    I agree it’s frustrating especially with the earlier rumors that Ben was asking for a TE. Would be interesting to see if the Steeers selected Njoku in rd 1 if the Browns hadn’t swept in to snag him the pick before.

  • RickM

    Good point. If they didn’t have a close-up look at the effects of a concussion on Green, I wouldn’t feel this way. But he just never made it back week after week at the end of the season and in the playoffs. So they had to know the effects of football-type practice drills on him. I thought they must have some well-thought out confidence in him and I was clearly wrong.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    Ahh…which is what I meant by they decided the risk wasn’t worth the salary.

    Often, though, the player is the last to decide he is done. My comment really was meant to speculate whether Green thinks he is done (obviously the Steelers do – at a $5MM per salary).

  • RickM

    Man that would have been interesting to see what name was called. Maybe it would have been Njoku. The Browns trading to 29 was really curious. We’ll be told it was always Watt, but we’ll likely never know for sure.

  • falconsaftey43

    Totally valid point, and yeah, that’s how I’d want to run my offense, but the Steelers don’t have the horses to do it. James isn’t a matchup problem for a LB, so the idea that the Steelers 11 personnel creates more matchup issues than their 10 isn’t true. It matters who the TE is in creating the matchup issue.

    So then it comes down to can you run that much more effectively out of 11 with Jesse James than you can out of 10 with JuJu. And is Jesse James vs a LB a worse match up than JuJu vs a 4th CB.

    In my eyes, JuJu over James in their respective passing game matchups is a clear win to JuJu (most teams don’t have 4 good CBs, while every team has a LB that can cover James).

    So the last question is the run game. I think JuJu blocking a CB and James blocking an LB is a pretty even split. I also think that Bell does really well at running out of the shotgun against more spread out formations (even if the blocker/defender ratio in the box is the same) because he’s so good at making guys miss in space, and he’d have a lot of space with 4 CBs spread out on the field. You don’t need to go heavy sets to run the ball if the defense is in Dime.

  • RickM

    I don’t think they were able to run him through workouts before the draft, were they? Correctly me if I’m wrong. They likely made their judgement based on the last 4 to 5 weeks of the season when he remained in protocol.

  • Conserv_58

    You can count on the fact that after seeing what the Steelers have gone through with Green his opinion doesn’t amount to a hill of beans to the rest of the teams in the league. There’s no way they’re going to bring him in unless he receives a 100% clean bill of health and that’s not likely to happen.

  • RickM

    I don’t blame Green for selling himself in the interview, and I genuinely wish him well long-term whatever that entails. But frankly his statements like ‘I could have played in the SB’ weren’t worth much.

  • capehouse

    I think you’re looking at matchups too linear. Look at what the Pats did to us in the champ game. They kept a RB and TE on the field which kept our LBs on the field. Seemed like we matched up well. They spread us out though and sometimes put their RB and TE out wide, which we covered with a CB and that left our LBs covering the slot WRs. That’s how you create matchup problems.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I guarantee you they knew he still had problems! I think it is naive to think otherwise. And, it would mean they were incompetent.

    You also assume Green is lying to them if they ask (because they surely at least did that). His concussion issues have been ongoing for more than a year. I don’t assume that he has a history of lying about them as I think he would have been cut a long time ago if that truly was an issue.

  • RASTA

    I believe that to be a solid argument, but as they already knew that Ben is now currently more serious when it comes to him thinking about calling it a day (especially if he no longer believes the coaches and team can get it together against the Cheatriots); and they already knew that their old, obviously-lost-a-step LS was toast (imho see William Gay in this same spot come end of preseason); then one would have to assume they pretty much knew this about Green, and opted for what they drafted and signed as UDFA’s. There are however numerous scenarios that could be in play by the FO:

    1) They see more in Grimble’s potential jump this year then us on the outside…and James’ for that matter
    2) We know they like Jesse James (awesome name btw), and if we run to our actual strength right now and set up more 3 and 4 WR sets, he and Johnson and Grimble/Odom(on PS) are all we should need
    3) They see the almost Green in size, 6’5 230-lb Martavis Bryant, with 4.3 vs 4.5 speed, as the new physically-gifted pass-catching TE for the team (especially if Coates can finally play catch again), and with Ju-Ju now also out on the field cracking defenders, Bryant will have those two extra steps to be in full afterburner mode that much sooner
    4) They already have a list of potential future TE cuts that they like as well
    5) They think they did dive into the “deepest pool of TE’s in decades” draft, with their two post-draft TE contracts who will be in camp
    5) Many more that I am sure I have not bothered conceiving of or dedicating to this response ;~)

    Steelers going to the Super Bowl! (this season will be memorialized by this team of ours for Dan Rooney forever)….who else can see the Steelers vs the cheatriots as an undefeated showdown towards the end of this season?

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I don’t know that his opinion has ever been wrong. But, to the point of the article (that he is a good player), if he wants to play and IF he can pass a physical, someone would sign him for sure.

  • RickM

    We’ll agree to disagree. There’s no way they wouldn’t have drafted a TE if they knew he was still experiencing concussion-like symptoms 4 1/2 months after a football hit. Further, he wouldn’t have been allowed to participate in the voluntary workouts. Not trying to pre-empt your response but you cannot participate in voluntary workouts when you are experiencing concussion symptoms.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    We definitely disagree then. I think that is exactly what they did. They knew (or t least very strongly suspected) they would release Green and chose not to draft a TE. To think otherwise is to assume the FO (collectively) is incompetent or at the very least blindly uninformed. I do not assume either.

  • falconsaftey43

    That’s true, but the TE was Bennett who’s a legit receiving threat. The reason we had LBs covering WRs is because they ran WR crossing routes vs our spot drop zone, but yeah we had LBs on the field because they had a duel threat TE out there. That does create potential match up issues. We can do that with 11 too if the other team plays zone. Against man, the problem doesn’t exist though because you can have the LB follow the TE. Then they don’t have a mismatch because that’s relatively easy coverage assignment for a LB against James.

    I’m not saying use 10 all the time, but I do think it’d be a dangerous package to use strictly because of the talent we have at WR, relative lack of talent at TE, and how good and versatile a RB Bell is. No matter who is blocking, do you really want to have to try to tackle Bell with 6 DBs on the field? I don’t think it’s as predictable of a package as you’re suggesting, I think they can run very effectively out of that formation.

    There is a reason that college football has largely shifted to the spread offense. Removes defenders from the box making it easy to run with fewer blockers. And if your receiving core is talented, it’s hard for a defense to field that many quality DBs. Obviously this hasn’t been done much in the NFL to this point.

  • RickM

    You are just too big a loyalist to admit they blew this one. They’re entitled to make mistakes. The biggest mistake is not acknowledging and learning from them.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    You may recall that he (and apparently doctors) thought his issues were sinus related (as opposed to concussion) and he even had sinus surgery. Other than our own speculation, there has never been anything to evidence he was lying in the interview (at least not to my knowledge).

    Instead, the Steelers chose to keep him on the roster and eventually play him rather than cut him and file a grievance/lawsuit related to some type of misrepresentation by him.

    To me, the evidence I know makes me assume he was never dishonest with them in the interview.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I’m certainly not shy about criticizing where I think it is deserved (i.e., my initial opinions on Holba and even the drafting of JJSS-both of which make a lot more sense now).

    They blew the Green thing last year when the doctors missed the issue.

    I refuse to believe, with this issue under the microscope it has been under, that they blew it a 2nd time.

    I think it is more likely they think Jesse James is plenty good and they can go 4-wide with JJSS to make up for the middle-of-the-field receiving option lost.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    Now, the rumors that Ben was demanding another TE or offensive weapon prior to the draft from Aditi K., seem much more plausible and maybe even likely. Could just be that her sources were not wrong.

    It all (JJSS/Holba) makes more sense now.

  • RickM

    I expect any injured player looking for a FA contract to shade the truth. They are not going to walk in there and sell their faults. And I don’t blame a player for that as it’s human nature. That’s why teams do their own due diligence.

    The only facts that I know are real are the three concussion protocols in 9 months in San Diego, the ankle injury in San Diego and the concussion in Pittsburgh. All the rest (sinus discussions, concussion symptoms at the Steelers’ training camp, etc.) are just speculation. I just found Green’s statement that he would have played in the SB to be ill-timed and unnecessary. It wasn’t a biggie; I just didn’t put much stock in it.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I think the sinus surgery was just as public as the other injuries you note and reported by the same people, so I’m not sure why we would believe some and not others. My thinking was all of the above was public, so its kind of hard to (convincingly) lie about it.

    Steelers’ doctors definitely blew that assessment!

    But, I know the same stuff you do. Any conclusions we reach on Green’s mindset are mere speculation, and you are just as likely to be right as I am.

  • capehouse

    4 WRs works in college because of the talent level of the defense. It is predictable too. The NFL would use it more than 1% of the time if it wasn’t. I’m pretty sure the Pats used it against us in the champ game too, and were successful with it, but the reason it worked is because the Steelers were dumb and kept their LBs on the field. That says more about Butler having the defense unprepared than it does about the effectiveness of the 4WR formation though.

  • RickM

    Concussion protocols and ankle injuries are verified by teams through official injury reports to the NFL. A report that a player said ‘it was a sinus condition and it was fixed’ doesn’t meet the same standard of verification. I have to be honest with you D.J. You saw him unable to return from the concussion for the last 4 to 5 weeks of the 2016 season, and you now see that he has been released. Do you seriously buy his reported statement that it was all related to sinuses and it’s been fixed? I kind of think it has been proven that it was far more than that. The last word is yours and thanks for the chat.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Yep, and when you go 4 wide, the defense can relax, pin their ears back and come after the QB with the pass rush up front.

  • falconsaftey43

    I don’t get why you think it’s so predictable. Do you not think they can run out of it? Because I really think they can. Only 5 in the box, DBs far removed from the formation with our great OL, you’ll be opening holes for Bell with no one in sight to tackle him.

    And again I know it’s not used in the NFL much, but at some point 3 WR sets weren’t used much, things change, not doing it in the past doesn’t meant it doesn’t work, simply that it wasn’t done before. And I’m looking specifically to it’s application as related to the Steelers current roster situation, not the NFL in general. I’m also not asking to use it 70% of the time or anything. But I think it could be used around 20% of the time at least and be very effective.

  • falconsaftey43

    Until you run it up the middle with Bell. DEs flying up the field with only 5 guys in the box? Our great OL opens a hole and there is 10 yards of grass before Bell even has to make a move.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I absolutely do not believe it was related to the sinuses. But, the question I thought we were talking about is whether he believed that to be the truth at the time of his interview.

    I really think the Steelers messed up by not filing a grievance if they believed he lied. And, they know more about what he did or didn’t’t say in his interview than either of us.

    I admit that he could be a liar. But, I choose not to believe that based on what I know at this point.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    I get your valid point about more verification through injury reports too.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Yeah, not going to happen in the NFL, its not that simple, it doesnt work for the same reasons the run and shoot was destroyed by the zone blitz. I will show blitz at the line and force your RB into protection presnap and drop back into zone and if you hand it off there wont be 10 yards of grass in front of you, too much speed in the NFL.

  • falconsaftey43

    As you say, it’s not that simple…
    if you show blitz, you have guys in the box, I’m throwing screens or deep to my WRs that are split out wide. I like my odds with MB and AB out wide.

  • falconsaftey43

    And I’m not looking to make this the base offense or anything, just a package to run. I think they could easily incorporate this and be very successful, glean a little from the college game. RPOs are very effective from spread formations as you just key on a guy and throw it/run it where he isn’t.

  • capehouse

    Because it’s a passing formation. The only reason it’s a threat to run in college is because of dual threat QBs. You don’t have that for the most part in the NFL, because NFL teams can’t risk franchise QBs taking that much contact.

  • Conserv_58

    Of course no one can blame him for attempting to position himself as being what the Steelers envisioned him as being. It’s just that given his having had experienced multiple concussions while with the chargers should have still raised a red flag with the Steelers. I would have thought that it would prompt the Steelers to take a more indepth and precautionary approach by putting him through a battery of tests beyond what he may have already endured to gain additional information as to his viability as an investment.

  • falconsaftey43

    So you don’t think with only 4 DL and 1 LB in the box, that we can run out of that? 5 blockers vs 5 defenders seems like a pretty good match up for Bell. If they bring another guy in the box, it means either AB or MB’s side doesn’t have safety coverage (or they’re trying to run single high), and you can target that in the passing game. I think it works because we have two #1 type WRs that almost demand to be double covered, keeping them from having more than 5 in the box.

    You make a lot of good points, but I hope to see it tried. I think they will at least try it, because they’re going to want to get their WRs on the field. I guess we’ll see.

  • falconsaftey43

    Looked this up and found it interesting. Steelers run out of shotgun a ton. (I was just trying to see the difference between today and early 2000’s).

    % of career runs out of shotgun.

    Tomlinson 2.8%
    Curtis Martin 0.1%
    Priest Holmes 2.3%
    Eddie George 1.0%
    Emmitt Smith 0.4%
    Adrian Peterson 5.3%

    David Johnson 10.7%
    Devonta Freeman 14.9%
    Bell 32.3%

  • Shane Mitchell

    As a change up once in a while sure, but doing it a lot I dont like the idea, because it turns Bell into a glorified pass protector and allows defensive coordinators to get very creative with blitzes and trap coverages.

    We have to remember who our QB is and how he plays the game, Ben’s idea of a read pass option or spread offense is this, makes the read on the unblocked defender doesnt care, pulls the ball back and decides he wants to pass instead ,option 2 dumpoff pass is open short underneath(completely ignored) as he scrambles around motioning his receivers to run deep. Next thing you know he takes a huge hit from the unblocked defender he ignored and his shoulder is drooping and he is holding his throwing hand like it is broken or something. Next play same thing but this time he gets up limping and dragging his foot. Eventually we connect on a 50 or 60 yard pass outside, after many three and outs,We narrowly win the game and Ben goes home and starts complaining to his wife that he might have a concussion from taking so many hits.

    Thats a spread offense in Ben’s world, he isnt a take what the defense gives you QB, he is bull headed.

  • falconsaftey43

    Haha, good point about Ben. He’s not that bad, but yeah, he likes to go deep. I can’t forget that RPO INT he threw right into the guy cover Jesse James.

    Bell can go out on routes too, he’d still be one on one vs a LB. it just all has to be relatively quick passing game because you are counting on your OL to block the 4 DL without any help (maybe Bell chipping, but nothing more). I can see where it’s a bad with with Ben’s preferred style of play.

  • ATL96STEELER

    They cut bait pretty quickly Rick…that tells me they were already on their last straw with Green. With all the scrutiny this guy was reportedly under most of the offseason even, they had to know this day was coming to act so swiftly.

  • ATL96STEELER

    With him never being able to return LY after his concussion, and all of the offseason monitoring, the Steelers Drs knew it was probably 50/50 at best that he would be ready to play again this season. I agree…regardless of what Green said in interviews, the Steelers knew he was on shaky ground that’s why they cut bait so quickly.

    Why they chose not to pick a TE, only they can answer, but it’s very doubtful they felt Green would be 100% and ready to go.

  • ATL96STEELER

    No question they blew it with Green, but they blew it by not doing their due diligence on the front end.

    We can certainly say they blew it again by not drafting a TE, but it wasn’t because they had their faith in him being 100%…not after the ordeal they went through last season.

  • RickM

    I initially thought Green would be back given the $20 M investment. Sort of a ‘how many games can we get out of him’ scenario. I never anticipated that it was so bad that he couldn’t get through voluntary workouts without a recurrence. It sure does make you wonder whether that rumor last summer about concussion symptoms was true. Hopefully he will realize that he must pack it in. I guarantee that no team is going to risk much money on him.

  • RickM

    I agree. But why no TE in the draft? I just don’t understand that. They will say that they didn’t anticipate this, but they had to have some idea how bad the situation was. Strange.

  • D.j. Reynolds

    Rick, I agree last summer was about the concussions rather than the ankle. But, the “ankle” cover was the Steelers trying not to admit their gaffe in signing him initially – at least that is the way I saw it.

    I also hope he doesn’t risk further injury and agree he can’t get much from another team if he can even pass their physical.

  • Darth Blount 47

    Ha, I believe the apropos phrase/word to describe our draft this year would likely be a bit… “Strange.”

    2 different double-dips.
    No Safety. No TE. Possibly reached 2 rounds early for Conner. A QB that to me, was relatively pointless. And yes, the infamous Holba in the 6th. In a draft with more defensive depth than I’ve seen in a very long time, we take Offense with 4 out of our 8 picks.

  • ATL96STEELER

    You said it best…strange.

    I have my theories at least early in the draft. I thought Takk was their top pick, ATL moved up for him…I’m now starting to believe Njoku was in play at 30 realizing there would be 4 or 5 edge guys on the board…at least one they could land at 62.

    Taking Conner and Dobbs (particularly Dobbs and I’m a Dobbs guy) with several TE options on the board was baffling.

    I think James is what he is going to be in terms of an athlete, hopefully he gets a little more consistent. Hopefully they struck gold with this kid they just picked up, Odom….I lot of hoping.

  • ATL96STEELER

    I was surprised as I thought a hit would take him out this season…but not shocked…sitting out as many games as he did and still not be deemed healthy to play was a sign that he wasn’t long for football.

  • Conserv_58

    Your last sentence goes to the heart of the issue. The issue of determining what concussion symptoms are is still fraught with ambiguity. It’s still not an exact science and therefore is subject to players being misdiagnosed, either way.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, you both have a point, but I agree more with D.j.’s point because common sense dictates that the Steelers had to have been very aware of Green’s having had received concussions while playing for the chargers. It was reported by multiple news outlets that Green suffered more than one concussion during his time with the chargers.

    What I find most perplexing about the issue is, did they let Green’s claim that his cronic headaches were the result of his sinus issues be the determining factor? Did they have their team doctors conduct comprehensive tests or did the doctors simply run a finger back and forth in front of his eyes to check for symptoms and then clear him?

    Based on the information we’ve been provided it’s easy to conclude that the Steelers did not do their due diligence in checking Green for concussion related symptoms before signing him. I wouldn’t call it incompetence, but rather gross negligence.

  • Conserv_58

    There were actually fans in here that were dead set against the Steelers drafting a TE because they didn’t think it was necessary.

  • Conserv_58

    IMO, there is no question that Green’s having failed his physical proves, beyond the shadow of doubt, that his health issue is not the result of bad sinuses.

  • capehouse

    No, I don’t think, in the NFL, if you don’t have a TE, FB or HB on the field, you can run very effectively out of a spread formation without an option QB.

  • capehouse

    But Shotgun isn’t the same thing as 4 WRs. You can have 2 TEs in a shotgun formation.