Wednesday, September 11, 2013

What the Steeler Reporters Seem to miss

Ed Bouchette is a veteran Steelers reporter. Yet he fails to see a key fact in his recent article attacking the Steeler running game. Part of the problem is Tomlin's cliches, specifically "the standard is the standard" and ignoring injuries. Yes, injuries aren't an excuse... for the TEAM; but for those who analyze cause and effect of wins and losses the injuries are a huge deal.

So our running game is (still) poor. How do you get a good running game? The components are in order of importance (reverse logarithmic importance) (a) line play, (b) play calling, (c) the back. Without an o-line, the RB won't get anywhere, and the opposite is true. In 2012, our best running games were Weeks 7-9, and Week 7 was Dwyer (122 yds) Wk 8 Dwyer (107), Wk 9 was Redman (147). And those two guys are NOT GOOD. So how did they get 100+ games? The o-line and the o-line only. And we can't forget the o-line includes Tight Ends.

So, let's see who was injured in week 1:
Heath Miller, 1st Tight End, under-rated pro-bowler
Matt Spaeth, 2nd Tight End
Will Johnson, 1st string Fullback
Le'Veon Bell, 1st string Running-back

That list means we were automatically not going to have a quality running game. Decent maybe, based on line-play, but with these best guys out, what quality could we have? And then the roof caved in: Maurkice Pouncey, all-pro center gets blown apart. Which ruins our entire O-line, just plain ruins it. And add onto it, the best blocking "TE", Beachum, needs to move to center.

This doesn't excuse the loss, according to Tomlin's Rules. But this set of facts explains why we had no running game in Week 1. Don't confuse 'is' and 'ought' - don't forget the facts when trying to understand our running game woes.

P.S. Quick point about Ndamukong Suh: if you want to see what a sociopath sounds like, watch Suh. He sounds like a reasonable, personable guy... but that's what a standard sociopath does. He's just a stone cold psycho.

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