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2020 GDT Week #14 Steelers at Bills


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https://steelersdepot.com/2020/12/watch-how-defenses-are-adjusting-to-the-steelers-quick-passing-game/

Good breakdown by Alex here from SD looking at what defenses have picked up on. Very concerning, especially in those late down bunch formations that ends are just saying screw it, i'll just drop. 

Couple things I dont think Alex touched on that I watched for (he may have, I skip around watching the videos and don't listen the whole time) but our routes do not really work together well, we run wayyyyyyy to many one look concepts in key downs with a 15 year QB, and if we are going to continue to allow teams to play 11 in the box without some form of a check or secondary route concept downfield Ill scream. 

Randy and Ben just dont seem to have many levers to pull, at least not enough for the NFL. We really lack any sort of tangible identity and go back to the well so often in key situations. DE's are killing us right now by just understanding what we want to do. They are not letting us get to the edge in the run game and they are understanding our short passing game and how they can effect it - specifically in short down situations out of bunch. 

Randy and Ben gotta come up with a counter. What's sad to think about is that the other brain in that room's ideas have seemingly been dissolved through this stretch of offensive struggle. That's scary to think about. I think we need another offensive voice now more than ever and that voice seems to somehow have less say at this point. 

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My assumption is that James Washington will eat into DJ and Claypool's snaps. I was originally thinking he'd take Claypool's snaps because they are similar, but Claypool really isn't the main problem. I figure we'll see a lot of shuffling of the pass catchers this week. I'd really like to see some 4 WR sets, with 4 actual WRs not Ebron. 

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55 minutes ago, MOSteelers56 said:

My assumption is that James Washington will eat into DJ and Claypool's snaps. I was originally thinking he'd take Claypool's snaps because they are similar, but Claypool really isn't the main problem. I figure we'll see a lot of shuffling of the pass catchers this week. I'd really like to see some 4 WR sets, with 4 actual WRs not Ebron. 

what about the run game if Pouncey and Connor returns, will it happen?

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23 hours ago, 3rivers said:

Nelson had a knee, Haden a concussion, so CB1 and CB2 will be recovering and wait to see if they are playing. ILB Sillane too, hurt his knee. Thats all I know , so see how this goes for sunday

If you guys are hurting at CB and LB, I expect the Bills to come out throwing in 4 WR sets. 

10 hours ago, Dcash4 said:

This is where I'm interested to see what happens. Alex Smith is Captain Checkdown. Against the Steelers the last 2 seasons, living to play another day is so extremely important. Alex Smith kept the ball safe, and eventually something would happen. Check down 5 times, but the 6th would break a tackle for a big gain. He got some bigger strikes late in the game when Haden and Spillane were out and we were down our top 2 CB's and both ILB not being cover guys.  Just by virtue of health and a week of starters reps and preparation for Avery and guys like Marcus Allen/Brooks/Davis should help alleviate our late game communication problems. 

I haven't watched enough Bills game (which, sucks because they are fun), but I dont get the feeling Allen passes up chances to throw the ball down the field often. You can obviously correct me if I am wrong there. I always think you dont want to do what the other team wants you to do...and what I want the Bills to do is throw the ball down the field. I'm comfortable with our front 4-5 getting pressure and more than happy to give Minkah a few shots to make a play. We could end up getting gashed, but I would prefer you to attack our strongest position right now (if all the DBs are healthy) than work our underneath guys (Williams, Avery, Backup safeties playing LB). 

Probably a good week to see Edmunds roll up in Nickle/dime with Sutton replacing him in a deep half. 

I believe last year Allen had some ridiculously low number of check downs. Like 5 total all season. It was nuts. This year he has definitely gotten better at taking what the defense gives him. The Chargers game comes to mind. He wasn't stretching the ball the downfield but he was moving the offense and we were able to run the ball that day as well. One great thing about Brian Daboll is he is not predictable and much like the Patriots (where he came from) he changes schemes and philosophies to attack the opponents weaknesses. Like I said above, if you guys are thing at CB and LB, I expect a lot of 4 WR sets and getting Beasley the ball as much as possible underneath. 

I really think this game comes down to how successful Pittsburgh O vs the Bills D is. 

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17 hours ago, 3rivers said:

what about the run game if Pouncey and Connor returns, will it happen?

I don't think so, honestly. Our run game was bad before those guys went out. It will take a bunch to fix our running game. 

Our line isn't blocking well enough
Our backs are missing holes when they are there
Our QB doesn't like going under center
We throw short too much and defenses don't respect the intermediate stuff. That keeps them up on the LOS, crowding things up
Playcalling is predictable because of our personnel usage 

I think they're going to get it figured out. I think the most important thing is for the offense to out and throw some intermediate routes early in the game. Get JuJu involved. That won't be easy with someone as rangy as their Edmunds, but that should be the game plan. The defense has to respect all levels of the passing game for this offense to work. The Bills are a quality defense, though. I bet the offense won't be pretty in this one, but it might show some improvement. 

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4 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I don't think so, honestly. Our run game was bad before those guys went out. It will take a bunch to fix our running game. 

Our line isn't blocking well enough
Our backs are missing holes when they are there
Our QB doesn't like going under center
We throw short too much and defenses don't respect the intermediate stuff. That keeps them up on the LOS, crowding things up
Playcalling is predictable because of our personnel usage 

I think they're going to get it figured out. I think the most important thing is for the offense to out and throw some intermediate routes early in the game. Get JuJu involved. That won't be easy with someone as rangy as their Edmunds, but that should be the game plan. The defense has to respect all levels of the passing game for this offense to work. The Bills are a quality defense, though. I bet the offense won't be pretty in this one, but it might show some improvement. 

instead of a 'like' icon to click , there should be a 'dislike' icon since this sums up fichner and ben as of late. I hope Connor returns and the run game gets going. If not, the defence will have to win it. Even PK, boswell might be out so even that is a problem.

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2 minutes ago, 3rivers said:

instead of a 'like' icon to click , there should be a 'dislike' icon since this sums up fichner and ben as of late. I hope Connor returns and the run game gets going. If not, the defence will have to win it. Even PK, boswell might be out so even that is a problem.

I think Connor will help a bit. His vision is probably best on the team. I don't think he's special at it, but he's better than Snell. I was very wrong about Snell going into the year. I really thought he'd take the next step and be our best back. He didn't. So I'll take a bit of my crow. 

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4 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I

 

On 12/10/2020 at 10:59 AM, Dcash4 said:

https://steelersdepot.com/2020/12/watch-how-defenses-are-adjusting-to-the-steelers-quick-passing-game/

Good breakdown by Alex here from SD looking at what defenses have picked up on. Very concerning, especially in those late down bunch formations that ends are just saying screw it, i'll just drop. 

I am sure the team will adjust because if there is no rush then the receivers should be able to get open. I keep saying use the pump fake. We throw so many quick routes and the defense gets use to the timing and flow of those plays. Start pumping and turning receivers upfield. The first open area would be behind the bunch of Lb's and Dl's dropping and the safety. The second would be getting isolated one on one with a DL, LB or DB after pump faking. No rush, then you should have time. The routes just can't always be three yards with all the receivers colliding or rubbing.

Couple things I don't think Alex touched on that I watched for (he may have, I skip around watching the videos and don't listen the whole time) but our routes do not really work together well, we run wayyyyyyy to many one look concepts in key downs with a 15 year QB, and if we are going to continue to allow teams to play 11 in the box without some form of a check or secondary route concept downfield Ill scream. 

I don't think the issue is the 15 year QB, but the youth and inexperience of the receivers and new TE. Young Ju Ju is the veteran of the bunch. They have to start moving and learning how to better read what the defense is doing as well. The defense has adjusted and now it is time for the Steelers offense to tweak what they are doing as well. 

Randy and Ben just don't seem to have many levers to pull, at least not enough for the NFL. We really lack any sort of tangible identity and go back to the well so often in key situations. DE's are killing us right now by just understanding what we want to do. They are not letting us get to the edge in the run game and they are understanding our short passing game and how they can effect it - specifically in short down situations out of bunch. 

It is the OC's job to teach and adjust, but I think a lot of it is the youth and inexperience of the receivers. The drops certainly don't help, nor does the lack of any viable rushing attack. You put it all together and you have the results that the Steelers offense has had. I don't think this is all a lack of X's and O's. A lot of it is a lack of execution of what they are doing.

Randy and Ben gotta come up with a counter. What's sad to think about is that the other brain in that room's ideas have seemingly been dissolved through this stretch of offensive struggle. That's scary to think about. I think we need another offensive voice now more than ever and that voice seems to somehow have less say at this point. 

The communication is definitely out of sync. They need to get everyone playing and singing on the same sheet/tune. 

22 hours ago, 3rivers said:

what about the run game if Pouncey and Connor returns, will it happen?

Pouncey and Connor are now both off the list. Pouncey was just activated. Connor, I believe, actually came off either the night of the WFT game or a day or two after it. Vince Williams is now the only Steeler on the Covid-19 list. However, DE Chris Wormley and WR Chase Claypool have missed practice time due to illness. Hopefully it is just cold or flu. No word that either has tested positive, so no news is good news thus far. 

https://steelersdepot.com/2020/12/steelers-activate-c-maurkice-pouncey-from-reserve-covid-list/

4 hours ago, MOSteelers56 said:

I don't think so, honestly. Our run game was bad before those guys went out. It will take a bunch to fix our running game. 

Our line isn't blocking well enough

This is where we needed Stefan Wisniewski. Unfortunately he got hurt and a variety of different things have happened that were unfortunate for him and the team. He is I think back in KC.  I definitely think that Dotson is the team's best run blocker, but his success hurt the need to have/depend on Wiz. Wiz could play C and while JC did a solid job, I think Wiz would have been a little better from an experience standpoint. He has played against the WFT's DL.

Our backs are missing holes when they are there
Our QB doesn't like going under center
We throw short too much and defenses don't respect the intermediate stuff. That keeps them up on the LOS, crowding things up
Play-calling is predictable because of our personnel usage 

On point with everything here. I have been saying that Ben needs to use the pump fake more. This would help disrupt the defensive lineman and coverage guys timing. It will also open up the intermediate and deep passes. 

I think they're going to get it figured out. I think the most important thing is for the offense to come out and throw some intermediate routes early in the game. Get JuJu involved.

They have not been targeting their best and most consistent WR. They also need to let him open up with some more routes. Ju Ju is pretty good getting the ball in space and beating his man. He is deceptively faster than he looks.

That won't be easy with someone as rangy as their Edmunds, but that should be the game plan. The defense has to respect all levels of the passing game for this offense to work. The Bills are a quality defense, though. I bet the offense won't be pretty in this one, but it might show some improvement. 

Good post. I think you hit the nails on the head with your comments. 

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Pouncey is a bad run blocker.  Pretty much always has been.  He isnt going to fix anything.

Wanna open up the running game?    Plug Dotson in at LG and throw downfield more often, with more success.   

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