Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Forget Arians' play calling, here's a real issue

In the wake of the Jets loss and Dolphins win there has been considerable hand-wringing among fans, bloggers and beat writers alike about the problems with Bruce Arians' play calling. Personally, I don't see any problem with the plays being called; the issue is that the offensive line hasn't played very well in the past few weeks. And when the OL struggles the plays--no matter what they are--don't work.

Meanwhile, a true worry that no one talks about has to do with Mike Tomlin's decision making on fourth down. In the Dolphins game, there were two fourth down plays in which Tomlin made the wrong decision. First, the Steelers should never have attempted the 44-yard field goal that Jeff Reed missed. In those conditions it would have made more sense to go for it or punt. Second, the Steelers also failed to convert on a fourth and 3 just inside Dolphins' territory; it would have been prudent to punt in that situation, thereby pinning Miami deep in its own territory.

The decision making on fourth down has been an issue on several other occasions this season. So far it hasn't come back to bite the Steelers, but sooner or later Tomlin's over-aggressiveness is going to cost them a game.

In terms of predictions ... with the win over the Dolphins "What are the Chances...?" is now 9-2 on the season and 22-5 all-time.

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Anonymous Mark said...

I agree with you on the 4th and 3 conversion attempt. On the field goal attempt, I believe Tomlin was thinking that they might not get another chance to score points, Reed is a good kicker in poor conditions, and if he did miss the defense was playing well in the slop.

7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I disagree. The play calling is an issue. Yes, the OL is not playing well, but you have to make an adjustment. How about some quick slants, 3 step drops, etc. to get the ball out quicker. Also, where is our trap game?? Why are we pounding a speed back up the middle?? FWP is similiar to what faulk used to be, get FWP in space by any means possible and his speed will take over from there. Furthermore, I much prefer overagressive versus playing not to lose, we all remember those days.

8:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that we should use some slants. Remember the Cincy game last year in overtime? Holmes took that slant to the House!!!!
Parker should be running outside where he could really make people miss and use his speed. The tough running is for the tough runner which Parker is not.

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The play calling is a issue, when you run the ball on first and second down, and leave your 3rd and 7 all the time, your going see alot of blitzes which will make the ol look terrible, i agree the ol could play alot better, but some first or second down passes would help as well

6:41 PM  
Anonymous steveco52 said...

I have not liked some of Arians play calling lately. Like the previous posts have pointed out, get Parker out in space where he can utilize his speed better, and run more play action, traps, quick slants etc. We've become too predictable lately. The Bengals will be ready for us this time around, so Arians better come up with a better game plan than what he's shown in recent games.

7:03 PM  

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