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2020 Week #10 GDT Steelers vs. Bengals


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11 hours ago, wwhickok said:

IF We win next week and Ravens lose, we could clinch the division Thanksgiving night simply by beating Baltimore again.

does this mean that we show up next week or do we play like we did vs dallas? I would think this is enough to be serious instead the way the dallas game went. 

 

1 hour ago, August4th said:

so the steelers have 9 guys who have at least one pick. that feels like a lot. I wonder what the steeler record is for a stat like that. I'm so happy to have a defense that gets turnovers.

I'm not sure but this secondary and defence is well balanced. This is the most balanced steelers team since the late 70's.  It's so much better when we have DB's that can actually cover and catch, instead of relying on blitzing and trickery and then failing vs top tier QB's.  The TO's with this defence are spread out, it not just Harrison and Troy accounting for more than half of the TO's.  

aIs anyone else expecting the defence to add to their stat line  one rthe rest of the schedule since the opponents are not really good? It would be nice to get to 45 TO's, but now we are on pace for  30 if I found the right stats.  Historic defences usually get near 40+, and then there were the very few 50+ but I will see 45 as the ceiling and 40 being a good finish to the season. 

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Re-watching the game because I wanted to see what the hell is the problem with the run game, but got a couple notes so far:

- We are back in the 2018 RPO mode on a lot of plays early and I like it. But there are a couple times where it looks like we have some room to run and Ben connects on a pass. Nothing major here, but Im pro-Ben decisions at this point especially if it keeps his arm engaged in the first quarter (spoke on that last week). Watching more of the game and coming back to this, RPO seems to be calls from Randy in huddle but not when Ben is in his muddle huddle go mode - which I especially like....because Randy sucks so give Ben more options. 

- Diontae Johnson falls more than anyone I have ever met, and he is far more athletic than everyone I have ever met. That is strange to me. 

- We are far, and I mean FAR better on simple run concepts. Its part of the reason I wanted to watch. We have capable run blockers, a capable back -- yet we fail at running. It makes me think there is a fundamental flaw to how we teach it, how we install, how we count it, or how we build it. 

- I cant get over the DJ falling thing. Im laughing because he had a fantastic double move and then slow rolled a hesitation on WJIII and walked pasted him for an extra 5 but fell down running a seam earlier. 

- Following play is a run to the right behind a pulling Decastro and Pouncey off a jet sweep motion that goes for -5 because there is no where to go for Connor. Looks like Decastro is supposed to wipe out the end man but he cant and then there was no where for pouncey to go inside of that as Chuks and Decastro are too close together so Connor has to try to bounce and there are too many people wide. Just seems like the concept is weak here. We had numbers and couldn't execute. 

- Man, I like Chase Claypool. That's the full thought.

- One puller (Feiler), we rip off 11. Connor doesnt meet a defender until +2 yards. Was wondering if Feiler had a tell, but watching more - nope, dude just likes having his chest up. 

- One puller (Gentry) off Jet mo - No one is fooled by the Jet (its no where near synced up), but it does cause the safety to drop and come (he may have been coming anyway against situation) which forced Gentry to pick him up. Just kinda unlucky as James has to change course. Had good numbers, didn't account for the Safety. 

- One puller (Watt from H-Back flex....love it) of a big set and what I am hoping wasnt Jet motion from claypool, but just motion - Straight ahead with Connor for 3 against a 9 man box, all O-Line has their guy on the right side of the line of scrimmage. I think I am onto something with simple. Its only 3 yards, but this is a good run. 

Same formation, two Pullers (Feiler and Watt) off a Claypool back and forth - Feiler and Watt both run by a defender before watt realizes someone should block him. Connor met in the backfield. It doesnt help that Gentry gets whooped (his guy doesn't impact it though), but Feiler and Watt both looking outside and not getting their heads inside is weird. If Feiler takes the first guy available and lets Watt lean up the guy he takes James probably walks for a TD. Instead, he fights for a slight loss. 

- Backups in, no Pullers - Snell for 2, but everyone on the right side of the line. 

- Next play is a nice 8 yard draw called back for holding and Tomlin is LIVIIIID. 4 minutes left, up 26...you love to see it!

- Next play one-puller (Feiler) Snell tries to bounce but nothing there, but does dive head for 2. This, to me, looks like Gentry messes up. He either disengaged to go further down the line or just blew the block. The guy he starts with Feiler has to pick up and Gentry is left inside (for some reason) chasing the next defender. Im not watching coaches film to see from behind, but IMO, Gentry has leverage on the end to keep him and allow Feiler to go get the next guy for a nice pop (provided the blitzing backside corner doesnt get him). Without knowing how they want this, its either Gentry messing up or the scheme being flawed. 

- Tomlin STILL jawing. Nothing else worth looking at after this point. 

Summary: I think its the concept and the way we teach guys to hunt that is flawed. But I ultimately dont know without being in the headset or at practice so who knows. The only thing I feel pretty good about opinion wise is that its not the running backs. When we get too fancy (multiple moving parts, duel pullers) we just dont seem to have any idea how to block defenders. Id like to see us keep the 4/5 wide, RPO style and simplify the running game. Surprised me to not see Decastro on the move more though.

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I will through in some thoughts on the run game.

#1 running Conner outside the box is a mistake.

#2 They need another roadgrader in there.  The run game was better with Dotson in but Dotson is worst in pass blocking

#3 they got away from using the motion of the sweep to delay the actions of the LBs.  When Claypool is flashing past you can see the LBs hesitate for a second.  That generally gives Conner the gap he needs.

#4 The current Oline has 4 technical blockers and one roadgrader( Feiler).  They might try more zone blocking schemes because they are having a hard time really moving people.  Problem with that is Conner is not a zone runner.

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8 hours ago, jebrick said:

I will through in some thoughts on the run game.

#1 running Conner outside the box is a mistake.

#2 They need another roadgrader in there.  The run game was better with Dotson in but Dotson is worst in pass blocking

#3 they got away from using the motion of the sweep to delay the actions of the LBs.  When Claypool is flashing past you can see the LBs hesitate for a second.  That generally gives Conner the gap he needs.

#4 The current Oline has 4 technical blockers and one roadgrader( Feiler).  They might try more zone blocking schemes because they are having a hard time really moving people.  Problem with that is Conner is not a zone runner.

They need to give McFarland more touches.  Maybe even give McCloud some looks at RB.

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2 minutes ago, 43M said:

They need to give McFarland more touches.  Maybe even give McCloud some looks at RB.

I agree with the need to give McFarland more touches. Conner is hitting occasional 14 yard carries after strings of losses. If McFarland is in there, those 14 yarders become 60 yard TDs. If our run game is going to be so feast or famine, may as well make the feasts all that much better, right?

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I do just want to reiterate something from the end of my text wall: I do NOT think its the running backs. Pick any player you wish in the NFL right now and they are not going to have success with multiple OL clogging up their space before they even get to the line of scrimmage. 

And I don't necessarily think its the OL either, but there is an issue in execution/concept that seems to be amplified when we have multiple guys on the move. There have been so many times this year when 2 OL pull 3-5 yards downfield with no one to block because they are all in the backfield terrorizing the run game. We have issues speed doesn't help. 

I dont know what the fix is (though, I think simplifying the scheme is the short term answer). Maybe its getting away from pin and pull concepts, maybe its less power runs, maybe its more zone (I think Connor would be fine in a one cut), maybe its revisiting how we hunt or how we set the edge...but I would fix that before we start thinking "insert XXX back" fixes anything. 

Edited by Dcash4
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18 hours ago, jebrick said:

#2 They need another roadgrader in there.  The run game was better with Dotson in but Dotson is worst in pass blocking

Grain of salt but Dotson was rated by PFF the best pass blocker on the OL in every game he started. 

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Ahh...I might be amending my comment about it not being the OLine. Watching the coaches film and whoa....there's some roughness. Enjoyed a good power to the right where Decastro and Chuks are doubling, but have their lunch eaten and pushed back into the backfield so neither can clear the lane and get next level while "Roadgrading" Feiler pulls and runs into the DE like my 2 year old runs into a wall (the wall wins), and even if Connor could sneak into the 2 inch lane they have "created" the ILB would be right there because Ebron also had his lunch eaten on the play. 

The way Decastro plays it, it seems that Chuks is supposed to engage and pass to the next level, but stays with the man for some reason and David has no where to slide to but into his own RT. 

Next Series a little zone run off a jet sweep picks up 16. 

Ughhhh. Alright, I'm totally leaning OL. Play right before the end of the 1st Q. 1 of 2 things happen: 1) This play is designed to go outside LT and Al gets bullied and pushed back too far that he runs into Pouncey, clogging everything and giving Connor no where to go or 2) Pouncey decides to take it outside instead of cutting inside LT with Al sealing it but then runs into Al clogging everything and giving Connor no where to go. Either way....its clogged and Connor has nowhere to go. -6

Going back to early stages of the Cowboys game  I'm done soon, I'm sure you guys hate this live blog stuff), its a bit of a mixed bag. Connor seems like he misses come clear lanes, but they also develop late after he has already made his decision so watching a couple times I kinda understand -- but that's a lack of trust in your blockers which, from watching other plays seems to be warranted. The 4th and 1 with Snell later I think every OL moved laterally before forward (4th and 1!) and only Decastro moves to the other side of the line while Chuks gets beat inside and its a turnover on downs. 

Went back to the Texans game and it just really seems like the OL was playing better. When they block it, we pop it -- Connor, McFadden, Snell, whoever. 

The one thing I will note that @jebrickalluded to -- we oddly almost WANT everything to be run horizontally and get off tackle. Its a theme in the Bengals game, the cowboys game, and the Texans game. This could just be a fundamental shift that defenses are seeing and reacting to in their gameplanning. We got the edge against the Texans, we couldnt touch it against the Bengals/Cowboys. 

Last thing, I promise: Lotta one on one scenarios off that jet motion with the opposite safteys crashing....looooootta one on one (Hints strongly at Pistol Jet PA deep overs)

 

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58 minutes ago, jebrick said:

I wonder if they do not trust Pouncey to move his man inside.  But in the Bengals game they looked like the insane man trying the same thing over and over even though it failed almost all the time with a RB

Interesting thought, I will have to check out Pouncey if I get the chance to dive into more games later today. 

In terms of the bold, that's very honestly what their season of running the football feels like the more I watch. They wanna run pin/pull, double power concepts and only, and I mean ONLY, get outside. It worked earlier in the year, its not working now, but we keep slamming out heads against the wall figuring it will work. They are running some of these concepts to the letter of the law, but I dont know, sometimes I think you gotta get together and say we are adjustments to how the rules are written.

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1 hour ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I think missing Vance really hurts on those double pulls. He's really good leading the way and scooping out edge defenders. I doubt that's the crux of the problem, but I just thought I'd add it in. 

Definitely get a boost from Vance at the POA setting the edge and helping to seal second level defenders. I have been impressed with Ebron's willingness to block get in the way, but he really struggles staying engaged with defenders head up (which isn't a surprise really). So when you dont have the option to have Vance on edge and you run at Ebron -- its not gonna be pretty all the time. 

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I defense of Feiler as a roadgrader.  Coming out of his stance he is a roadgrader.  He can move people.  Pulling is another matter.  Most of the other Oline get position and shift the dline for gaps.  If they NEED to move someone they double with one lineman coming off to move to the 3nd level.  Dotson and Feiler can move ( most) dlinemen.

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