Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 10:08 am
If an offense can't move the ball on first down in a football game, it sets the stage for a long night offensively, and it puts more pressure on the quarterback to convert 3rd and long situations. That is exactly what happened to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night in their 31-19 loss to the Denver Broncos in the Sunday night opener.
While the game plan was to possess the football and keep it away from Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, they were only able to do so thanks to Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ability to convert several 3rd and longs, as the offense was atrocious on 1st Read more [...]
Monday, September 10th, 2012 at 8:08 am
We will not get to hear from defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau until Thursday to get his thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-19 loss Sunday night to the Denver Broncos, but he will probably point to tackling the catch as one area that his unit needs to improve at moving forward.
You have undoubtedly heard LeBeau use that phrase before as his defense is one that is predicated on not allowing yards after the catch. In the game Sunday night, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning completed 19 passes for 253 yards, with the ball only traveling 127 of those yards in the air as the defense allowed Read more [...]
Thursday, September 6th, 2012 at 11:07 am
There is one player on the Pittsburgh Steelers offense that has flown way under the radar this offseason and that is tight end Heath Miller.
Upon his arrival to the Steel City, new offensive coordinator Todd Haley mentioned Miller by name first during his introductory press conference when he called Miller "one of my favorite players."
Head coach Mike Tomlin would also add after the hiring, "Haley is excited about what Heath Miller is capable of. He's been very clear about that, his excitement to work with Miller. I would imagine that the tight end is going to be a part of our plan."
If Read more [...]
Friday, August 31st, 2012 at 8:07 am
Stats in the preseason are worthless, but they sure are fun to look at nonetheless. One thing that sticks out above everything else, both in the stats and on the field, was the play of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterbacks during the preseason.
Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and Jerrod Johnson combined to lead the league during the preseason in the passer rating (118.2) and completion percentage (69.7) categories. The four quarterbacks also tied for the league with the Houston Texans for the least amount of interceptions thrown (1) during the preseason.
What also jumps out statistically Read more [...]
Tuesday, August 28th, 2012 at 8:17 am
Below are my offensive line grades and breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-7 preseason game win Saturday night against the Buffalo Bills. I always like to disclaimer that not knowing the exact play call and assignments on each play makes it tough, especially with the normal TV angles. The All-22 look is not available until the regular season begins and that will make grading the offensive line and every other position much easier at that point. Each lineman on each and every play is watched 5 times at least and sometimes more.
Overall I thought it was another good night for the offensive Read more [...]
Friday, August 24th, 2012 at 8:09 am
The Pittsburgh Steelers fired special teams coach Al Everest on Thursday and replaced him with assistant special teams coach Amos Jones. While we don't know the real reason as to why Everest was let go, we can only assume that it might have been performance related until we hear otherwise.
Everest was hired by the Steelers after Bob Ligashesky was fired following the 2009 season that saw the Steelers rank 23rd in punt return average allowed (9.8) and 27th in kickoff return average allowed (24.3). That season also saw the Steelers allow an NFL-high four kickoff return touchdowns in a five-game Read more [...]
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 9:07 am
Below are my offensive line grades and breakdown of the Pittsburgh Steelers 26-24 preseason game win Sunday night against the Indianapolis Colts. I always like to disclaimer that not knowing the exact play call and assignments on each play makes it tough, especially with the normal TV angles. The All-22 look is not available until the regular season begins and that will make grading the offensive line and every other position much easier at that point. Each lineman on each and every play is watched 5 times at least and sometimes more.
I am working on an new grading system that I hope to debut Read more [...]
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 at 8:14 am
Through the first two preseason games the Pittsburgh Steelers have run the ball 58.6% of the time and immediately fans jump to the conclusion that this is the type of run heavy play calling balance that we will see once the regular season begins.
The first thing to keep in mind is that Todd Haley more than likely could care less about run/pass balance during the preseason. The goal is to look at several players in different situations and with several young running backs on the roster coupled with two rookie offensive linemen, it is not too surprising that a running back or fullback has touched Read more [...]
Tuesday, August 14th, 2012 at 11:07 am
Below are the defensive player play counts and participation chart for the Pittsburgh Steelers week 1 preseason game loss on Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles along with a few observations I made.
The first thing to note is that LaMarr Woodley, Larry Foote, Troy Polamalu, Ryan Clark, Ike Taylor, Lawrence Timmons and Ziggy Hood played just the first series which consisted of three plays. No real surprise there.
When Taylor exited, Cortez Allen took his place outside and slid inside to the nickel spot when the Steelers went into nickel. When that happened, Curtis Brown Read more [...]
Monday, August 13th, 2012 at 11:08 am
Below are the coverage stats for the Pittsburgh Steelers following their Thursday night preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
I always like to warn with these stats that Steelers play a whole lot of zone coverage so don't get so caught up in completion percentages. The best thing to look at is the length of the completions and the yards after catch number in my opinion. The Steelers defense prides itself on wrapping up quickly after the catch and not allowing a lot of YAC.
Of course the two big plays against cornerback Curtis Brown hurt as those two both went for touchdowns and Read more [...]
Sunday, August 12th, 2012 at 1:35 pm
With multiple viewings of the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game now out of the way, here are my grades of the offensive linemen for the game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a little breakdown note on each player.
Overall it was not a good showing by several starters or those fighting for roster spots, but there were a few positives to take away nonetheless.
PLAYER# TOT+-TOT %# RUN
+-RUN %# PASS+-PASS %SPHF
00 David DeCastro
0 Ryan Lee28
Read more [...]
Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 at 8:05 am
There is one thing that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger loves to run and that's the no-huddle. Under former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger wasn't often given that ability, but under new offensive coordinator Todd Haley, it appears he will.
Haley talked to the media Tuesday before practice to tell them his plans for not only the practice that lied ahead him, but for the season as well, in regard to the no-huddle. “To this point, today’s a big day," said Haley. We have a lot of no huddle, running and passing out there today. So this will be a big day for Read more [...]
Monday, July 23rd, 2012 at 12:09 pm
By Jeremy Hritz
Without question, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most storied teams in the history of the NFL, with several legendary players and coaches. With current head coach Mike Tomlin entering his sixth season with the Steelers, it is impressive to consider the performances of the teams he has led. To gain a true understanding of the Steelers success under Tomlin, it is first helpful to take a look at some statistics that stand out when analyzing the year-by-year record of the team since 1970.
Since 1970, the Steelers have claimed 20 division championships, six Super Bowl victories, Read more [...]
Monday, July 9th, 2012 at 7:06 am
Stats and rankings certainly do not tell the whole story when it comes to football, but some of them will paint a pretty good picture for you at least.
Does Pittsburgh Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau look at the stats and rankings of his defense? Sure he does, and he has admitted to such many times in the past.
In this post I intend to show some key stats and rankings that lend themselves to the makings of a solid Steelers defense. Some are of course obvious, while a few others not as much.
First off, LeBeau, and any defensive coordinator for that matter, will tell you is that stopping Read more [...]
Thursday, July 5th, 2012 at 2:27 pm
On Monday, ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski revealed his ninth-ranked quarterback entering the 2012 season: Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. And while praising the fifth-year Ravens quarterback, Jaworski said that Flacco has the strongest arm in the league.
"That's Flacco's No. 1 attribute," said Jaworski. "I get so tired of hearing how arm strength is overrated. It's far more important than people think. He has the strongest arm in the NFL."
During his breakdown Jaworski said that Flacco gives the Ravens "the ability to attack all areas of the field at any point in the game."
While Jaworski Read more [...]
Friday, June 29th, 2012 at 1:21 pm
By Jeremy Hritz
It’s the end of June and Mike Wallace still has yet to sign a contract with the Steelers. Although teammate Ike Taylor has now said on two occasions that Wallace will be in camp, there have not been any formal updates on the progress of a new contract.
Back on March 21st, 49ers beat writer Matt Barrows reported that a 49er’s team source said they inquired about Wallace but were turned off because "he reportedly wanted" a contract that exceeded the one of Larry Fitzgerald, which is worth $128.5 million over eight years. Whether or not that is true we just don't know. The Read more [...]
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 at 9:27 am
Note: Long time reader Nik Greene sent the piece below to me and asked me to post his cursory thoughts on turnover statistics. - Dave
By Nik Greene
I'm really fascinated by how much a defense can control turnovers, and Dave's article about Dick LeBeau and turnovers, and it inspired me to look into the matter more closely.
Let's look at fumbles. For the statistic of opponent fumbles, the San Francisco 49ers led the league as their opponents fumbled 1.9 times per game. The 49ers then recovered about 50% of those fumbles (middle of the pack statistically). On the other hand, the Steelers opponents Read more [...]
Sunday, June 10th, 2012 at 12:46 am
In 2011 the defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers was good, if not great, in several statistical categories as they led the league in pass defense and scoring defense. While the run defense finished eighth, a category defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau admits that he wants to lead the league in every year, the biggest improvement he would like to see his unit make in 2012 is in the turnover category, and he is confident they will.
"Well I would say upping the turnovers is definitely number one," said LeBeau on Thursday when asked if improving turnovers was more important than improving against the Read more [...]
Saturday, June 2nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm
When Todd Haley was introduced as the new offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers back in early February, one of the first Steelers players that he mentioned by name during his introductory press conference was tight end Heath Miller. Haley said at that time that Miller is one of his favorite players that he has studied and prepared for during his coaching career. That is pretty high praise for Miller and well deserved as well.
Miller is a consummate professional and one of, if not the best, well rounded tight ends currently in the league. Heading into the 2012 season it appears that Read more [...]
Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 at 12:09 pm
I was asked by a reader in the post I did on Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman directional rushes last season as to what the number of times the Pittsburgh Steelers rushed versus passed on third and short last year. The premise of the question I gather was to claim that the offense did not run enough on third down with three yards or less to go.
Instead of just pulling those down and distance numbers, I went ahead and pulled the down analysis report from the regular season and posted the entire thing below in case anyone was looking for a particular down and distance.
Keep in mind that Read more [...]