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 Post subject: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:48 pm 
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The offense is getting close to scoring more points.

After 7 weeks, I believe its 13 TD's and 16 FGs.

To score more TD's than Fg's we need two things to happen. Become a better balanced offense and have better play calling.
And I think better play calling will help create the better balance.

1. Tomlin is in all out "Run the Wheels Off" mode. And it has started earlier this year than normal as typically the colder it gets the more you run the ball. We have not even had bad weather games that dictated running Bell so much. Lev Bell leads the league with 169 carries thru 7 weeks. 24 more carries than any other back, which is a full games worth of carries in itself. Only three other backs have more than 130 carries.
He can not be 50+% of this offense and expect this offense to still perform if he is taken away. Have we not learned from previous years what this team looks like without a healthy Bell. The donkey is asking permission to kick Tomlin in the head a third or fourth time.

Don't get me wrong. I love watching Bell run...and loved watching him run like crazy the last two week. He has shaken off the rust and now looks like he has picked up a little burst thru the holes and seams. Has stopped dancing as much and plunges straight ahead when needing 4-5 yards. He is punishing defenders. Punishing his body as well.

To put it into perspective of how reliant this offense has become on Bell...........in his last 15 games ( not including the 5 play, NE Championship game ) Lev Bell has 389 carries and 75 catches. Throw a sixteenth game into that mix ( this Sunday night ) and he will be at a record pace for carries in 16 games with close to 415 carries. Throw in 75 catches over the last 15 games and he is at 464 touches in his last 15 games.

Now that's spread over 2 seasons, but he is on pace for 386 carries this year. Only been 5 times in NFL history with a RB over 400 carries in a season.
Only 3 active players have ever carried more than 335 times in a season.
For all the running Dallas did last year. Elliot only pounded out 322 carries.

He could easily reach 500 touches in his last 16 games by next Sunday evening. That's Insane. That's Running the Wheels Off. That's asking for the donkey to come calling again.

There is no reason Connor could not take 5-8 carries a game. Mixing in more PA passing will also create balance and take some of the load off Bell.

2. Play Action
Smart offensive play calling builds on the success of a strong running game. Taking advantage of a defense creeping up to stop the run game is not happening enough.
First half some nice success came from early down pass plays.........Including the JuJu TD and the AB TD. The 42 yard catch and run by Bell was 2nd and 2.

It was the second half that got predictable and into run on first and second down mode. Almost play it safe with a lead mode.


Some Good play yesterday.

Zero sacks given up. Yes Ben got hit a few times. Hubbard was a little slow out of the gate, but settled down.

Solid OL play again.
Week after week this OL does not allow much quick penetration into the backfield on run plays.
Very rarely get a run play blown up.

Zero INT's by Ben. and Zero turnovers.
If this team does not turn over the ball, it does not lose ............or will be hard pressed to beat.

Ju Ju
Catches everything thrown his way.
Catches in traffic......with guys on his back.
Works the middle of the field.
Shed a defender after catch, showed balance and got out of bounds during last minute of half.

Smart enough in working the middle of the field............to lose defenders and break open like yesterday.
Will finish the season with 40-45 for 550-600 with 5 or 6 TD's
Doing most of his work in the middle of the field.

He does something to impress us every game.

Rogers
Had a catch to get back into the offense a bit. Seemed like he had a good number of snaps. He did have 48 catches in 13 games last year. Thats a 60 catch pace and he did develop a chemistry with Ben last year.
Still need to have MB more involved in this offense over guys like Rogers, DHB or Hunter.

Ben threw some bullets yesterday. The 2nd and 17 close line of a throw to AB by the left sideline was some throw. If that ball is not completed ( 3rd and 17), we probably don't score points before the half.

Defense is growing each week.

Getting contributions from all parts of the defense.

Hilton is a handful and spark plug. Smart football player who becomes very fast due to quick play recognition. Punishes the opponent. What a find.

Dupree is hopefully coming alive. Looked fast around the edge.

Vince Williams made some plays again.

Alau matched Heyward with 4 tackles and a sack.

Watt and Shaz all over the field. Watt brings an edge to his game. This kid has IT.

Haden has been better than expected. And yes, as mentioned, his smarts make up for any lost speed.
Good to have that Vet CB to provide a little leadership for Burns, Hilton, Sutton and Allen.

Boswell. Money. What a find.

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Last edited by Stosh-67 on Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:59 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Tomlin has Bell in his FF league. Colbert has the Steelers D.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:35 pm 
Its always damned if you do damned if you dont with most of you.

If the Steelers run Bell its why dont they pass more or why dont the spread it around.

If they sub in someone else or pass its just the opposite.

And thats pretty much every play every player.

Im fine with a dominating win


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:40 pm 
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SteelerChef wrote:
Its always damned if you do damned if you dont with most of you.

If the Steelers run Bell its why dont they pass more or why dont the spread it around.

If they sub in someone else or pass its just the opposite.

And thats pretty much every play every player.

Im fine with a dominating win


Why is it always you to start a million threads then get all pissy when people complain about your concern trolling?

This is a message board, where dissident reigns supreme. Now get to that corn fat boy 8-)

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:40 pm 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
The offense is getting close to scoring more points.

After 7 weeks, I believe its 13 TD's and 16 FGs.

To score more TD's than Fg's we need two things to happen. Become a better balanced offense and have better play calling.
And I think better play calling will help create the better balance.

1. Tomlin is in all out "Run the Wheels Off" mode. And it has started earlier this year than normal as typically the colder it gets the more you run the ball. We have not even had bad weather games that dictated running Bell so much. Lev Bell leads the league with 169 carries thru 7 weeks. 24 more carries than any other back, which is a full games worth of carries in itself. Only three other backs have more than 130 carries.
He can not be 50+% of this offense and expect this offense to still perform if he is taken away. Have we not learned from previous years what this team looks like without a healthy Bell. The donkey is asking permission to kick Tomlin in the head a third or fourth time.

Don't get me wrong. I love watching Bell run...and loved watching him run like crazy the last two week. He has shaken off the rust and now looks like he has picked up a little burst thru the holes and seams. Has stopped dancing as much and plunges straight ahead when needing 4-5 yards. He is punishing defenders. Punishing his body as well.

To put it into perspective of how reliant this offense has become on Bell...........in his last 15 games ( not including the 5 play, NE Championship game ) Lev Bell has 389 carries and 75 catches. Throw a sixteenth game into that mix ( this Sunday night ) and he will be at a record pace for carries in 16 games with close to 415 carries. Throw in 75 catches over the last 15 games and he is at 464 touches in his last 15 games.

Now that's spread over 2 seasons, but he is on pace for 386 carries this year. Only been 5 times in NFL history with a RB over 400 carries in a season.
Only 3 active players have ever carried more than 335 times in a season.
For all the running Dallas did last year. Elliot only pounded out 322 carries.

He could easily reach 500 touches in his last 16 games by next Sunday evening. That's Insane. That's Running the Wheels Off. That's asking for the donkey to come calling again.

There is no reason Connor could not take 5-8 carries a game. Mixing in more PA passing will also create balance and take some of the load off Bell.

2. Play Action
Smart offensive play calling builds on the success of a strong running game. Taking advantage of a defense creeping up to stop the run game is not happening enough.
First half some nice success came from early down pass plays.........Including the JuJu TD and the AB TD. The 42 yard catch and run by Bell was 2nd and 2.

It was the second half that got predictable and into run on first and second down mode. Almost play it safe with a lead mode.


Some Good play yesterday.

Zero sacks given up. Yes Ben got hit a few times. Hubbard was a little slow out of the gate, but settled down.

Solid OL play again.
Week after week this OL does not allow much quick penetration into the backfield on run plays.
Very rarely get a run play blown up.

Zero INT's by Ben. and Zero turnovers.
If this team does not turn over the ball, it does not lose ............or will be hard pressed to beat.

Ju Ju
Catches everything thrown his way.
Catches in traffic......with guys on his back.
Works the middle of the field.
Shed a defender after catch, showed balance and got out of bounds during last minute of half.

Smart enough in working the middle of the field............to lose defenders and break open like yesterday.
Will finish the season with 40-45 for 550-600 with 5 or 6 TD's
Doing most of his work in the middle of the field.

He does something to impress us every game.

Rogers
Had a catch to get back into the offense a bit. Seemed like he had a good number of snaps. He did have 48 catches in 13 games last year. Thats a 60 catch pace and he did develop a chemistry with Ben last year.
Still need to have MB more involved in this offense over guys like Rogers, DHB or Hunter.

Ben threw some bullets yesterday. The 2nd and 17 close line of a throw to AB by the left sideline was some throw. If that ball is not completed ( 3rd and 17), we probably don't score points before the half.

Defense is growing each week.

Getting contributions from all parts of the defense.

Hilton is a handful and spark plug. Smart football player who becomes very fast due to quick play recognition. Punishes the opponent. What a find.

Dupree is hopefully coming alive. Looked fast around the edge.

Vince Williams made some plays again.

Alau matched Heyward with 4 tackles and a sack.

Watt and Shaz all over the field. Watt brings an edge to his game. This kid has IT.

Haden has been better than expected. And yes, as mentioned, his smarts make up for any lost speed.
Good to have that Vet CB to provide a little leadership for Burns, Hilton, Sutton and Allen.

Boswell. Money. What a find.



Well put Stosh

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:53 pm 
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Man, I hope he stays healthy. Blows my mind that Bell WANTS the workload (not sure what else he could say, though).

But that kind of workload has ruined a lot of backs. Steelers offered him $12M a year....two tags is $26.5M. They might be content to run the wheels off 2 years and say "thank you for your service". All fine and dandy if he isn't hurt come playoff time.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:04 pm 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
Haden has been better than expected. And yes, as mentioned, his smarts make up for any lost speed.
Good to have that Vet CB to provide a little leadership for Burns, Hilton, Sutton and Allen.

You have to think that the change in scenery has done wonders for Haden. He could have been playing for an 0-7 Browns team that's going to clean house once again.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Pabst wrote:
Stosh-67 wrote:
Haden has been better than expected. And yes, as mentioned, his smarts make up for any lost speed.
Good to have that Vet CB to provide a little leadership for Burns, Hilton, Sutton and Allen.

You have to think that the change in scenery has done wonders for Haden. He could have been playing for an 0-7 Browns team that's going to clean house once again.

Certainly.

And playing from behind all the time will take INT numbers down for DB's
As the loses pile up on perennial bottom feeders, I Have to believe many a player takes it down a notch on the intensity level, not to mention becoming more aware to self preservation, injury, next contract etc.

The more this offense can provide leads for this defense.........the more sacks will pile up and the more INTs for Haden and the secondary.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Some more good stuff from yesterday.
Something that goes with out notice until its noticed.

ONE PENALTY.

Cant even remember what it was.

Cut out pre-snap penalties, illegal formations and procedure, etc.

No Drive killers = 7 scoring drives.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:02 am 
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Stosh-67 wrote:
Some more good stuff from yesterday.
Something that goes with out notice until its noticed.

ONE PENALTY.

Cant even remember what it was.

Cut out pre-snap penalties, illegal formations and procedure, etc.

No Drive killers = 7 scoring drives.

LT Walton held an OL on an outside zone run play

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:40 am 
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Nice write up. Great points.

I think Connor needs to be in the mix a little more, although he has been error prone and his pass pro is not Bell’s. Run the FB several times a game too, whoever that may be.

Everyone talks about 30 points a game, but fails to mention the problems that can create or seems to create.

It is counter-intuitive, but somehow getting to the sweet spot seems to be low twenties for the Steelers. There is something about time of possession and execution that is more consistent with the team when you are in that low to mid twenties area. You score too quickly and the time of possession I suspect goes down and the defense is on the field too long. We all want the big throws to AB and MB, but it is at the expense of the defense being put right back on the field.

I don’t know the exact answer or the breaking point for time of possession for the D, but there is one. Propensity for injuries would go up as well. Would be an interesting stat...more offensive injuries or defensive injuries, and is there a correlation between time of possession and injuries on either side of the ball?

The key seems to be score first, match the opposing team’s scores and then embrace the struggle between the twenty yard lines. Execute the hell out of the offense and eat the clock. Maybe the secret is getting Boswell 30 yard field goals instead of 40 yard FGs. If you get the team to the 20, you have done your job for the defense, and time of possession. We joke about the Todd Haley TD, but sometimes there is gold in the short field goal if you are out in front and your play count is in the correct spectrum. Executing the hell out of the offense and coming away with a FG, does wonders for TOP.

My post might be full of It, but deep down I believe there is something negative about getting over 30 points a game for the Steelers, their attitude, aggressiveness and identity.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 8:29 am 
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Nice break down(s) folks. Now if they'd just get away from the "turtle ball" when it's not applicable and Score consistently from the Redzone. 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:00 am 
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bradshaw2ben wrote:
Stosh-67 wrote:
Some more good stuff from yesterday.
Something that goes with out notice until its noticed.

ONE PENALTY.

Cant even remember what it was.

Cut out pre-snap penalties, illegal formations and procedure, etc.

No Drive killers = 7 scoring drives.

LT Walton held an OL on an outside zone run play


Right.
Thanks
So the one penalty they had was the rarely called defensive linemen holding penalty.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:07 am 
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Interesting points but I disagree with most of it. You look at this offense over the past 10 years and we usually are at 31-32 minutes of time of possession This season we are at 32:45. A passing offense does not mean that it has to be lower in time of possession, in fact most years the top offenses, the top passing offenses are tops in time of possession.

So, we are averaging 32:45 a game in TOP and we have an offense that is scoring 21 points a game (not really, take away a safety and special teams block for a TD and that number is really 19.7 points a game).

Is our offense really helping our defense out? Are they converting a good number of 3rd downs? Nope. 36% is pretty bad, that is 24th overall. You would think that a run first mentality with this great RB like Bell would mean that they are more willing to go for it on 4th downs. Do they? Nope. Tied for 26th in fourth down attempts, they have gone for it on 4th down 3 times and converted just one.

Does the offense play their part in turnover differential, meaning do they turn the ball over less? Our defense is doing a great job this year so far of getting turnovers and yet we have a TO of 0.

Look at Philly this year, they average 28.4 points a game on offense, they convert 50% of their 3rd downs, 80% of their 4th downs, have a turnover differential of +4 and they are 6-1. Oh, and they have a time of possession that is almost a full minute more than ours, 33:43. They have just 3 more plays from scrimmage, 466 to our 463. Interesting that they have passed the ball 13 times fewer than the Steelers but this is where Haley and his horizontal offense comes into play. Philly, they are more well rounded in the passing game, their game is more efficient, productive.

I get the arguments that people make that passing more leads to more injuries, but I don't know if I buy that. I always hear that offensive linemen like to run the ball, be aggressive, play smash mouth, and yet this year and last year with such an emphasis on riding Bell, of powering the offense through Bell, well, that didn't stop injuries from happening to our offensive linemen did it? Ramon Foster missed time last year and has missed time this year. Marcus Gilbert missed time this year and missed time last year. And of course Bell himself couldn't finish the season as he wanted by getting hurt in the playoffs.

Also, what good is time of possession if you turtle things on offense so much that you are excessively punting in the second half? It is frustrating to see teams get out to a lead and then in the second half they are content to just 3 and out and punt over and over again. The opposing offense gets so many opportunities to stage comebacks in those scenarios. How is that protecting your defense?

I don't know, I would rather have an offense that scores 30 points a game AND has time of possession in the 31-32 minute range. I don't see how it has to be an either or proposition. Much is being made of how New Orleans this year is making a comeback after a poor start and talking of how their defense is making strides. Of course I don't think anybody is saying that New Orleans offense is helping them out by keeping them fresh with time of possession. Drew Brees will get his 4500+ yards this year, they will average close to 30 points a game (currently at 28.5) and their time of possession is currently at 31:24. That time of possession isn't any different than it has been in previous years when New Orleans defense has been awful.

So, why the improvement for their defense? Talent and players trump all. Doesn't matter what the offense is doing with TOP if you have the studs on defense. It is almost a slap in the face to the defensive players to think that the reason for our defense's improvement is that our offense TOP is 30 seconds to a minute better than usual. Huh?

Like Shazier fulfilling his potential has nothing to do with it. Or Mike Hilton, perhaps one of the top 3 slot CBs in the game, has nothing to do with it. Or that the continued improvement of Tuitt, Hargrave, has nothing to do with it. TJ Watt playing like a 3 year veteran, or Vince Williams doing what I thought was impossible, making me forget about Timmons so easily.

I have seen this team lose or nearly lose many games over the years where the offense had the ball, 35-40 minutes, just this extreme TOP and it didn't matter. Some of these high powered offenses only need 20 minutes to gouge you and if you have a 20-10 lead or 21-18 lead like in 2005, it doesn't take much to mount a comeback. You look at that 2005 playoff game against INDY, we had the ball 35 minutes to their 25 minutes, Dick LeBeau had his defense play 10 minutes less than the offense and yet with a 21-3 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter it quickly became a contest. Then is it 21-18 just like that and they miss a 46 yard FG with 21 seconds remaining to tie the game.

I never forgot that game and it is for me, why TOP is a myth. On offense you pass as much as you run, well balanced but you have as your goal, as your mission to score as much points as possible. 20 points isn't good enough, 30+ points is the goal. There is no such thing as scoring too quickly or too often, those are great problems to have and the defense shouldn't use those as an excuse for poor play.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:31 am 
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OC Reich and HC Pedersen have that Eagles offense clicking with Wentz. Did you notice when Gruden pointed out the short yardage play that they ran for a touchdown was the Exact play that Wentz ran at NDSU. QB installing plays he likes...Who'da thunk it?


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 9:52 am 
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Nice thoughts Scunge.

Lets apply this time of possession theory to this past Sundays game.

Steelers held the ball a little over 35 minutes.

In the first half they held the ball for 16 minutes

Ran the ball 19 times and passed 16 times.Run heavy, but efficient passing on run downs.
Ben was 12 for 16 for 193 yards with 2 TDs
8 of his first 11 passes were either on 1st or 2nd down, as they did not wait until they were in predictable third down passing situations.
Last 5 passes of first half were in the 2 minute offense.....so not going to add those in as part of their regular offense.

We scored 20 points in the first half with 16 minutes of possession. The dumb run play before the half along with poor clock management may have cost them a chance at 4 more points.



In the second half they possessed the ball for 19 minutes.

Ran the ball 24 times and passed only 8 times.
18 second half carries for Bell. Many pile-up runs, with bodies falling all over the place.
Holding my breath that all would get up. Just waiting for Burfict to twist some ankles at the bottom of the pile.
And calling for them to mix in Connor for Bell....if the plan was to hand the ball off for the final 2 quarters.
Ben was 2 for 8 for 31 yards. A 3 to 1 run pass ratio will take a passing game out of sync.
5 of those passes were on third downs, with only 1 first down pass attempt.

We kicked 3 FGs and score 9 points in the second half as they possessed the ball for 19 minutes.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 10:00 am 
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I hate TOP with a passion. If I were Steelers king, I would remove it from team vocabulary. Just run the offense trying to score as many points as you can and TOP will take care of itself.

Tomlin wants to "possess the football".

I want to put the football into the EZ as often as possible.


Last edited by Havoc on Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:13 am 
LakecrestSteeler wrote:
Nice write up. Great points.

I think Connor needs to be in the mix a little more, although he has been error prone and his pass pro is not Bell’s. Run the FB several times a game too, whoever that may be.

Everyone talks about 30 points a game, but fails to mention the problems that can create or seems to create.

It is counter-intuitive, but somehow getting to the sweet spot seems to be low twenties for the Steelers. There is something about time of possession and execution that is more consistent with the team when you are in that low to mid twenties area. You score too quickly and the time of possession I suspect goes down and the defense is on the field too long. We all want the big throws to AB and MB, but it is at the expense of the defense being put right back on the field.

I don’t know the exact answer or the breaking point for time of possession for the D, but there is one. Propensity for injuries would go up as well. Would be an interesting stat...more offensive injuries or defensive injuries, and is there a correlation between time of possession and injuries on either side of the ball?

The key seems to be score first, match the opposing team’s scores and then embrace the struggle between the twenty yard lines. Execute the hell out of the offense and eat the clock. Maybe the secret is getting Boswell 30 yard field goals instead of 40 yard FGs. If you get the team to the 20, you have done your job for the defense, and time of possession. We joke about the Todd Haley TD, but sometimes there is gold in the short field goal if you are out in front and your play count is in the correct spectrum. Executing the hell out of the offense and coming away with a FG, does wonders for TOP.

My post might be full of It, but deep down I believe there is something negative about getting over 30 points a game for the Steelers, their attitude, aggressiveness and identity.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:40 pm 
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Nice write up Scunge. You have some great points and have persuaded me.

One point that you did not mention is high value TOP. If you can run out 5 minutes at the end of the half and end of the game, it has to make life simple for an NFL team. Even demoralizing if you get the ball to open the half.

I get the score as much as possible, but stats are stats, and at some point your stats say who you are and you need to operate within that framework and make changes to manage possessions and the clock and keep the ball away from the opposition to short circuit their TOP in key areas.

The other team has a scoring average and a TOP average and I suspect they are heavily correlated.

And let’s not forget that there is TOP and quality TOP. If both teams are 3 and out and punting back and forth your TOP will rack up accordingly and evenly.


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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:49 pm 
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Havoc wrote:
I hate TOP with a passion. If I were Steelers king, I would remove it from team vocabulary. Just run the offense trying to score as many points as you can and TOP will take care of itself.


Yep. I bet the defense would rather be playing with a a couple more TD's, than a couple more minute of TOP, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Balance and Play Calling = More Points
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 4:44 pm 
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You know what else helps limit the opponents TOP?
Three and outs....

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