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John Waylon

Bad Offensive Gameplan

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This is making my head hurt.

 

I'm not just looking at the stats. My criticism of our play calling and gameplanning can really be reduced to two sentences: We have a bad offensive line, but our passing game focuses on plays that take a long time to develop. We have a rookie quarterback and young receivers, but we neglect to call high percentage pass plays that also take pressure off of the substandard offensive line.

 

That's all I'm saying. I've been saying it for weeks now. Someone asked me on this board a few days ago why I didn't think we'd beat the Texans, and I said that it's because I don't believe Arians will adjust our offensive attack to neutralize Houston's defensive attack, or at least try to. They are more talented and more experienced, and in my mind, that's not an excuse, it's a good reason for the coaches to try make things easier on our players.

 

Got you, and well said.  This is a good discussion and I'm trying to give an alternate (although not popular) view.  I really don't like being an Arians apologist but I don't think he's the demon some are making him out to be.

 

You have to admit that Arians scheme was good enough to win this game.  Even with the patchwork O line.  I know you can't discount the fumble and the blocked kick, but those two things have nothing to do with the offensive scheme.  Yes, he messed up by not putting Ballard back in at the goal line.  He admits that.

 

So, bottom line, I didn't see us losing the game because of the offensive scheme.  I saw us losing the game because of a few mistakes, a horrendously bad call, and an obvious lack of talent.  It's easy to say "The Patriots neutralized Watt, we should have too".  In reality, we just don't have the talent to do something like that. 

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Gameplan was fine when it came to run and pass formations and balance. The problem was constantly leaving either McGlynn or Linkenbach blocking JJ Watt one on one. Nobody can block Watt one on one. And we lost that game more than the Texans won it. We had Wayne TD called back from a hold, then fumble on the 1yrd line, then have a blocked punt for a TD. If we didn't find a way to beat ourselves those 3 plays, We win

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Yes Arians will be O-Coorindator next season, should he?  based on past information and consistent tendencies no he should not.

 

The complaints in Pitsuburgh were not because of a weak oline.  They were because they could never have consistency and would have instances where they would see the potential of their offense but only to see it again once out of the next 4 games.

 

We scored 2 tds against this d... Jax score 5... Pats score 7... this D isn't cream of the crop it is far from and our D is far from below average this is not the Peyton Manning defense.  This D actually gets stops and changes coverage. Stop using it as a crutch.

 

Point is Luck has a lot of promise and seems to be regressing... I looked back at some of his earlier games in the year and he would be conistently looking off safeties and comprehending schemes, and now I see alot more of holding on to the ball, staring receivers down, forcing to Reggie, and most imporntantly him getting hit more and more...  I can't tell you if it is Arians or maybe Luck's true colors are showing but Ben grew the same habits in Pit and it is very disturbing to watch...

 

Also as others have said our schemes/playcalling/offensive style does not play to our current rosters strength AT ALL.  This is a problem why help others teams to beat us when we could just beat other teams without helping them.

 

As I've said in other posts, I'm not an Arians apologist, just trying to be realistic.  I'll try to be brief and respectfully answer the good points that you're making.

 

I don't think how one team does against an opponent has much bearing on how our team should do, but I understand your logic.  I'll remind you that we should have had 3 TDs against the Texans.  So the O scheme did work well enough to win.  Yes, our O Line is patchwork.  So in my mind it's kind of a miracle that we're getting this kind of production.

 

Arians isn't the QB coach, are you suggesting we need a diffent one?  I don't see regression in Luck.  I see teams putting pressure on him  (because of poor O line play) and forcing him to extend the plays.  When it works we have some great results.  The alternative, such as a WCO, still require a better O line.

 

I'd also like to see that magic O scheme that works when you have a poor O line.  I think 25 teams in the league would also be running it.  I just don't think it's realistic.   

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I cannot for the life of me see why we dont use luck on a rollout on short yards in the red.and I do agree why wasn.t Ballard in there on that short yard. We also have to stop the penalty.s on special teams!

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I was actually at this game and I came to the conclusion that I was indenial about all year. And that is, Our receivers can't get open or Get separation, texans defensive backs were draped over them all game. Avery was running all the short drag and in routes, but NOBODY (even Wayne yesterday) got separation which causes Luck to hold on to that ball and take some of those sacks and that's why you see him force so many throws. It took me to actually see it in person because I simply didn't want to believe it when I saw it on tv because you can't see the whole field but I see it now

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 Same story every week. Arians will get a grace period of a few years because of what he's done this year, but his act will get old very quick. I can't see Irsay sticking with him for more than a few years, to be honest. He won't get a head coaching gig this off-season, and it's not because he's old. It's because he encourages stupid football out of his QB's, is stubborn, and has a high demand scheme that only works when the roster is optimal. We're stuck with him, folks. Get used to Luck being no better than 2nd tier until he is gone

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I was actually at this game and I came to the conclusion that I was indenial about all year. And that is, Our receivers can't get open or Get separation, texans defensive backs were draped over them all game. Avery was running all the short drag and in routes, but NOBODY (even Wayne yesterday) got separation which causes Luck to hold on to that ball and take some of those sacks and that's why you see him force so many throws. It took me to actually see it in person because I simply didn't want to believe it when I saw it on tv because you can't see the whole field but I see it now

 

And yet, we made 3 crucial errors on plays that kept us from leading or even winning this game. 

 

1. Fumble at the goal line by Moore. 

2. Offense penalty that negated Reggie Wayne's TD reception; traded 7 points for three. 

3. No blocking on a McAfee punt that was returned for a TD. 

 

That's 11 points taken off the board for us and 7 added to their score because of stupid mistakes. 

 

Balance was great, 27 passes, 25 runs.  Ballard 18 - 105.  Luck 13-27 186 yd  2 TD  0 int

 

We clean things up, we can not only beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead, we can take the Texans at LOS.

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Hmmm....Am I the only one that noticed that Ballard got over 100 yards with Shipley starting?

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I cannot for the life of me see why we dont use luck on a rollout on short yards in the red.and I do agree why wasn.t Ballard in there on that short yard. We also have to stop the penalty.s on special teams!

I'm almost shocked when there's not a block in the back penalty on a punt return. Still, a guy with Moore's experience should know better.

I'd also like to see a roll out in the red zone to take advantage of Lucks speed and power. You don't want to have to do it very much in a game because it basically eliminates having them to defend half the field. But there's certainly situations where it seems like we'd have a definite advantage.

I hope someone asks Arians about that during a presser.

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I wouldn't argue that, but they also have significantly more talent and experience.

Hard Work beats Talent, when Talent fails to Work Hard

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We clean things up, we can not only beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead, we can take the Texans at LOS.

 

Agreed; and, Big Daddy (Irsay) is watching from his suite. Luck is "his" boy; so IMO, this will not continue.

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im sick of arians getting all this credit for the team. when i watch the games and see luck in 3rd and forever multiple, multiple times because of arians stupid delayed draws and screens. dont get me wrong draws and screens work great but when you run them more often then your normal plays, youre not foolin anyone. let me guess heres the gameplan for next week ballard up the middle for 7 or 8, then a draw for -4 then a screen for -5 then luck gets sacked or hurried cause our line sucks. sounds like the same situation pittsburgh had with him. AND P.S. if anyone of importance is reading VONTAE DAVIS, CASSIUS VAUGN, DARRIUS BUTLER, TOM ZIBIwhatever, AND OUR ENTIRE DEFENSIVE SECONDARY (EXCLUDING BETHEA OF COURSE)  ARE ABSOLUTLY HORRIBLE GET A CLUE PLEASE!!!!!

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im sick of arians getting all this credit for the team. when i watch the games and see luck in 3rd and forever multiple, multiple times because of arians stupid delayed draws and screens. dont get me wrong draws and screens work great but when you run them more often then your normal plays, youre not foolin anyone. let me guess heres the gameplan for next week ballard up the middle for 7 or 8, then a draw for -4 then a screen for -5 then luck gets sacked or hurried cause our line sucks. sounds like the same situation pittsburgh had with him. AND P.S. if anyone of importance is reading VONTAE DAVIS, CASSIUS VAUGN, DARRIUS BUTLER, TOM ZIBIwhatever, AND OUR ENTIRE DEFENSIVE SECONDARY (EXCLUDING BETHEA OF COURSE) ARE ABSOLUTLY HORRIBLE GET A CLUE PLEASE!!!!!

Excluding Bethea?? Bethea has looked lost all season. Its by far been his worst season as a Colt. He's missed easy tackles, completely hung out his DB's to dry by over playing the wrong reads, and has just not been the player he's been in previous years.

As for Vontae, yes he got picked on during the game yesterday, but my god how many circus catches did AJ make on him? He blanketed his receiver pretty much every play, but I just have to credit the Texan receivers for the insane amount of crazy catches they had yesterday. If I were Vontae I would have been frustrated as hell because it just seemed that no matter how well he was covering the receiver they just seemed to catch it. ALL of your greats have a DAY against them like that. When healthy and playing he's BY FAR been the best player in the secondary.

Vaughn is just bad period. The cushions he's giving receivers is ridiculous. He pretty much takes himself out of plays from the start. He will be replaced with another top flight corner next year to go with Vontae.

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Got you, and well said.  This is a good discussion and I'm trying to give an alternate (although not popular) view.  I really don't like being an Arians apologist but I don't think he's the demon some are making him out to be.

 

You have to admit that Arians scheme was good enough to win this game.  Even with the patchwork O line.  I know you can't discount the fumble and the blocked kick, but those two things have nothing to do with the offensive scheme.  Yes, he messed up by not putting Ballard back in at the goal line.  He admits that.

 

So, bottom line, I didn't see us losing the game because of the offensive scheme.  I saw us losing the game because of a few mistakes, a horrendously bad call, and an obvious lack of talent.  It's easy to say "The Patriots neutralized Watt, we should have too".  In reality, we just don't have the talent to do something like that. 

Yeah, I'm not trying to demonize Arians. I don't think it's exclusively his fault that we lost. I don't even fault him for the Moore fumble; I fault Moore for that. He's a veteran, he knows how to hold on to the football. I don't blame Arians for the blocked punt. I can't muster the will to blame Arians for a loss against a team that I sincerely believe is much better than us, that we don't match up well with.

That said, it's like dw49 said: We needed to limit mistakes and outcoach the Texans. The mistakes fall on the players, the coaching falls on Arians, particularly with regard to the offensive gameplan. I don't agree that his scheme was good enough in this game, and I think the constant harassment Luck dealt with is evidence of that. And this is the same harassment he's dealt with against lesser defensive fronts.

I think Arians has been a better head coach than offensive coordinator this season, and that being the case, I hope he gets his shot somewhere else. Not because I don't like him; I do like him. And I like a lot of the things his offense features: speedy receivers, vertical routes, tight end options, etc. But I feel his system would be more balanced if he did two things: include the backs in the passing game more (middle screens, flat outs, etc.), and reduce the personnel packages and formations by about 25%. I think those two adjustments would make the offense more multiple, and less chartable(?). Since I don't think Arians is suddenly going to change the offensive system he's run for the last decade-plus, and since I don't think his system is conducive to long term succes, I'd prefer to see him move on.

I'm not trying to run him out of town or make him into a scapegoat, but I do think certain aspects of his approach are problematic, short term and long term.

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im sick of arians getting all this credit for the team. when i watch the games and see luck in 3rd and forever multiple, multiple times because of arians stupid delayed draws and screens. dont get me wrong draws and screens work great but when you run them more often then your normal plays, youre not foolin anyone. let me guess heres the gameplan for next week ballard up the middle for 7 or 8, then a draw for -4 then a screen for -5 then luck gets sacked or hurried cause our line sucks. sounds like the same situation pittsburgh had with him. AND P.S. if anyone of importance is reading VONTAE DAVIS, CASSIUS VAUGN, DARRIUS BUTLER, TOM ZIBIwhatever, AND OUR ENTIRE DEFENSIVE SECONDARY (EXCLUDING BETHEA OF COURSE)  ARE ABSOLUTLY HORRIBLE GET A CLUE PLEASE!!!!!

 

What happened to all those deep shots Arians' calls every play? Basically, if our players don't execute the play that is called, it is a bad scheme.  Deep, short, runs, screens, draws, all just a bad scheme. Hmmmm...  27 passes, 25 runs. Ballard 105 rushing.  Luck 13/27  186 yds  2 TD  0 Int.

Looks like good balance.  Just poor O-line execution and huge mistakes at critical times to me.

 

Anyway, the grass is always greener, right?  Well, Big Ben isn't impressed-

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/10/21/roethlisberger-criticizes-haley-offense/1647279/

 

http://www.timesonline.com/blogs/steel_crazy/big-ben-takes-shots-at-todd-haley/article_9a20b020-4866-11e2-a881-0019bb30f31a.html

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And yet, we made 3 crucial errors on plays that kept us from leading or even winning this game. 

 

1. Fumble at the goal line by Moore. 

2. Offense penalty that negated Reggie Wayne's TD reception; traded 7 points for three. 

3. No blocking on a McAfee punt that was returned for a TD. 

 

That's 11 points taken off the board for us and 7 added to their score because of stupid mistakes. 

 

Balance was great, 27 passes, 25 runs.  Ballard 18 - 105.  Luck 13-27 186 yd  2 TD  0 int

 

We clean things up, we can not only beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead, we can take the Texans at LOS.

And in Houston

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Neither of those things happened. That's kind of what we're talking about.

I blame 3 huge mistakes that snatched defeat from the jaws of vistory-

 

Fumble at the goal line

Penalty on TD pass

blocked punt returned for TD

 

If just the 1st and 3rd of those didn't happen, we have enough points to win.  And momentum and feelings about the game would have been more in our favor.

 

We need to clean these up for the next few games.

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I blame 3 huge mistakes that snatched defeat from the jaws of vistory-

 

Fumble at the goal line

Penalty on TD pass

blocked punt returned for TD

 

If just the 1st and 3rd of those didn't happen, we have enough points to win.  And momentum and feelings about the game would have been more in our favor.

 

We need to clean these up for the next few games.

Those mistakes changed the complexion of the game, absolutely. I don't know that the Texans don't make plays to win at the end, but we would have been in much better position.

 

However, if you have noticed any of my posts about Arians' gameplanning and play calling over the course of the season, you'll see that my criticisms have been virtually the same, through wins and losses. I'm not working myself into a rage because we lost. Even if the plays you mention had all gone our way, and we wound up winning, I'd still have the same criticisms. I brought these very things up before the game.

 

It could be said that Arians' positives are outweighing his negatives; that's arguable, but I could go with it. But that's as the head coach, when he's making decisions on 4th down and two point conversions and other game management stuff, on top of the motivational stuff that the head coach does. Those positives aren't nearly as significant if he's not the one making the decisions. But all the negatives are still there.

 

Again, I'm not trying to run him out of town. I like HIM. I just think an effective NFL offense has certain focuses that Arians' offense does not, and I don't think he's going to change his offense. So I'd like to see a different coordinator who will run an offense that focuses on those things I think are important. And, at the end of the day, I'm just a fan on a message board, so none of this is even relevant.

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Honestly if you look at the two keys plays that cost us yesterday it was the fumble and blocked punt.  That's not play design that's players not making plays.  If we score there on the one and don't give up a blocked punt for a touchdown we win this game.  I don't think the game plan was a major issue yesterday.  I think those two keys plays were and the o-line which I have spelled out in my other comments in this thread. 

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Honestly if you look at the two keys plays that cost us yesterday it was the fumble and blocked punt.  That's not play design that's players not making plays.  If we score there on the one and don't give up a blocked punt for a touchdown we win this game.  I don't think the game plan was a major issue yesterday.  I think those two keys plays were and the o-line which I have spelled out in my other comments in this thread. 

Am I the guy who comes on the board after a loss complaining about whose fault it is, who we should cut, who we should fire?

 

Arians' gameplan and play calling were essentially the same yesterday as they are in most games, and the results were reflective of the better competition we had to face. Five sacks, 148 net passing yards, 1/8 on third down, a bunch of holding penalties, an intentional grounding penalty, and constant harassment for the quarterback. It was worse yesterday, more pronounced, because the Texans are the best defense we've played all year, but this isn't the first time we've seen this. And it's not the first time anyone has complained about it.

 

You're probably right: if those big plays go our way instead of theirs, we probably win the game. But that wouldn't erase these criticisms of Arians, because these criticisms are not unique to this game.

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As I've said in other posts, I'm not an Arians apologist, just trying to be realistic.  I'll try to be brief and respectfully answer the good points that you're making.

 

I don't think how one team does against an opponent has much bearing on how our team should do, but I understand your logic.  I'll remind you that we should have had 3 TDs against the Texans.  So the O scheme did work well enough to win.  Yes, our O Line is patchwork.  So in my mind it's kind of a miracle that we're getting this kind of production.

 

Arians isn't the QB coach, are you suggesting we need a diffent one?  I don't see regression in Luck.  I see teams putting pressure on him  (because of poor O line play) and forcing him to extend the plays.  When it works we have some great results.  The alternative, such as a WCO, still require a better O line.

 

I'd also like to see that magic O scheme that works when you have a poor O line.  I think 25 teams in the league would also be running it.  I just don't think it's realistic.   

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Posted · Hidden by Superman, December 18, 2012 - No reason given

As I've said in other posts, I'm not an Arians apologist, just trying to be realistic.  I'll try to be brief and respectfully answer the good points that you're making.

 

I don't think how one team does against an opponent has much bearing on how our team should do, but I understand your logic.  I'll remind you that we should have had 3 TDs against the Texans.  So the O scheme did work well enough to win.  Yes, our O Line is patchwork.  So in my mind it's kind of a miracle that we're getting this kind of production.

 

Arians isn't the QB coach, are you suggesting we need a diffent one?  I don't see regression in Luck.  I see teams putting pressure on him  (because of poor O line play) and forcing him to extend the plays.  When it works we have some great results.  The alternative, such as a WCO, still require a better O line.

 

I'd also like to see that magic O scheme that works when you have a poor O line.  I think 25 teams in the league would also be running it.  I just don't think it's realistic.   

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Posted · Hidden by Superman, December 18, 2012 - No reason given

As I've said in other posts, I'm not an Arians apologist, just trying to be realistic.  I'll try to be brief and respectfully answer the good points that you're making.

 

I don't think how one team does against an opponent has much bearing on how our team should do, but I understand your logic.  I'll remind you that we should have had 3 TDs against the Texans.  So the O scheme did work well enough to win.  Yes, our O Line is patchwork.  So in my mind it's kind of a miracle that we're getting this kind of production.

 

Arians isn't the QB coach, are you suggesting we need a diffent one?  I don't see regression in Luck.  I see teams putting pressure on him  (because of poor O line play) and forcing him to extend the plays.  When it works we have some great results.  The alternative, such as a WCO, still require a better O line.

 

I'd also like to see that magic O scheme that works when you have a poor O line.  I think 25 teams in the league would also be running it.  I just don't think it's realistic.   

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Just to clarify I wasn't using it as a sole comparison of the different teams but just to show that the defense we just played isn't exactly elite anymore.  Our production in comparison is low but I do know that circumstance can affect some of that.  

 

Sorry I think i needed to spit out what I'm trying to say lol.  I know Arians isn't the QB coach but the situations he is forcing Luck into via play calling and scheme is starting to make Luck react differently leading to habitual behavior that was worse than what habitual behavior he had coming into the NFL.  Interesting take on the different QB coach though... maybe that could help some things?  On Luck's regression I think it is a compilation of factors but its hard to argue that play calling and some misguided ideas have direct effect on the outcome.

 

I know this oline is bad... but scheme and play calling doesn't shed this oline in half the light it should be.  It would still be below average but barely instead of high school performances.  Most of these olineman aren't even playing the scheme they had years of experience in when it comes to blocking assignments... and if we have a * poor oline we still call 4 and 5 second plays... thats a bit much when you haven't even attempted to get the d to back off with some running. GOOD POST!

 

This was meant to be put on the my quote... lol  

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Am I the guy who comes on the board after a loss complaining about whose fault it is, who we should cut, who we should fire?

I never said you were and in fact didn't say my quote to you at all so no need to take it personal. 

Arians' gameplan and play calling were essentially the same yesterday as they are in most games, and the results were reflective of the better competition we had to face. Five sacks, 148 net passing yards, 1/8 on third down, a bunch of holding penalties, an intentional grounding penalty, and constant harassment for the quarterback. It was worse yesterday, more pronounced, because the Texans are the best defense we've played all year, but this isn't the first time we've seen this. And it's not the first time anyone has complained about it.

To me that says more about just how bad the line is than it does the play calling.  Honestly the line is so bad right now I don't think the game plan matters much it's hard to run any game plan behind it.  I did see them try to run a couple of screen and get blown up and roll Luck out of the pocket at least twice that Watt blew up.  Honestly I think if we fixed the line we would be much less harsh on the game plan because it would be letting Luck set up to go deep down the field which is where the Texans weakness on defense. 

 

Also with that said I did see us run the ball a lot yesterday which is something people have been begging for us to do.  Yet we still lost the game even though they did go a running game plan that people have been pleading for.

You're probably right: if those big plays go our way instead of theirs, we probably win the game. But that wouldn't erase these criticisms of Arians, because these criticisms are not unique to this game.

Exactly which is why I don't have a major issue with the game plan.  Again I don't think Arians has been perfect but I don't think he's the big issue people make him out to be out at times and I mean people not just you.  At the end of the day it was mistakes by the players on the field that cost us this game not the game plan.  To me the game plan argument works better for a game like the Jets game where we were just never in the game and we were kicking field goals in the second half even though we were down more than one touchdown. 

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I never said you were and in fact didn't say my quote to you at all so no need to take it personal. 

I'm just highlighting the point that this is not a reactionary stance. I don't feel this way because we lost. I felt this way before the game, and said as much.

To me that says more about just how bad the line is than it does the play calling.  Honestly the line is so bad right now I don't think the game plan matters much it's hard to run any game plan behind it.  I did see them try to run a couple of screen and get blown up and roll Luck out of the pocket at least twice that Watt blew up.  Honestly I think if we fixed the line we would be much less harsh on the game plan because it would be letting Luck set up to go deep down the field which is where the Texans weakness on defense. 

There isn't a line in the NFL that can handle JJ Watt or the Texans front. Even if we improve, the smart gameplan will still be to get rid of the ball quickly and keep their pass rush away from the quarterback. It's what good teams do to Freeney and Mathis all the time. I'm critical of the gameplan and play calling because we don't do enough to make up for the poor line play.

 

Also with that said I did see us run the ball a lot yesterday which is something people have been begging for us to do.  Yet we still lost the game even though they did go a running game plan that people have been pleading for.

We did a decent job running the ball. Credit for that. But you haven't seen me complaining very much about how frequently we run the ball. Situationally, maybe, but I don't think our gameplan necessarily needs to feature the rushing attack in order to be more effective. My criticisms are mostly specific to the kind of pass plays Arians calls, particularly against a fearsome defense like the Texans.

Exactly which is why I don't have a major issue with the game plan.  Again I don't think Arians has been perfect but I don't think he's the big issue people make him out to be out at times and I mean people not just you.  At the end of the day it was mistakes by the players on the field that cost us this game not the game plan.  To me the game plan argument works better for a game like the Jets game where we were just never in the game and we were kicking field goals in the second half even though we were down more than one touchdown. 

You probably won't be surprised to find out that I feel the opposite about the Jets game. Our protections were poor, the quarterback was sluggish and slow to recognize pressures, we were sloppy with the ball, we couldn't run block, etc. I think the faults in the Jets game were mostly with execution.

That's not to say that we didn't fail to execute yesterday. As has been mentioned, there were three big plays that we blew it on, mostly routine plays that we should be able to handle in our sleep. There were execution issues. But in addition, we didn't do enough schematically to try to counter the Texans strengths. If we suffered from a bunch of dropped passes, or if the quarterback was erratic with his throws, etc., then I'd be harping on execution.

My whole point though, is not that the players played perfectly and Arians blew it, and we should take him out back and beat the snot out of him. I just don't think he did enough -- yesterday, or throughout the season -- to make up for our deficiencies in pass protection or to make things a little easier on our rookie quarterback. That's the whole sum of my criticism of Arians (aside from his game management, which is up and down). That was the case before the Texans game, and it would have been the case even if we had won.

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I'm just highlighting the point that this is not a reactionary stance. I don't feel this way because we lost. I felt this way before the game, and said as much.

There isn't a line in the NFL that can handle JJ Watt or the Texans front. Even if we improve, the smart gameplan will still be to get rid of the ball quickly and keep their pass rush away from the quarterback. It's what good teams do to Freeney and Mathis all the time. I'm critical of the gameplan and play calling because we don't do enough to make up for the poor line play.

 

We did a decent job running the ball. Credit for that. But you haven't seen me complaining very much about how frequently we run the ball. Situationally, maybe, but I don't think our gameplan necessarily needs to feature the rushing attack in order to be more effective. My criticisms are mostly specific to the kind of pass plays Arians calls, particularly against a fearsome defense like the Texans.

You probably won't be surprised to find out that I feel the opposite about the Jets game. Our protections were poor, the quarterback was sluggish and slow to recognize pressures, we were sloppy with the ball, we couldn't run block, etc. I think the faults in the Jets game were mostly with execution.

That's not to say that we didn't fail to execute yesterday. As has been mentioned, there were three big plays that we blew it on, mostly routine plays that we should be able to handle in our sleep. There were execution issues. But in addition, we didn't do enough schematically to try to counter the Texans strengths. If we suffered from a bunch of dropped passes, or if the quarterback was erratic with his throws, etc., then I'd be harping on execution.

My whole point though, is not that the players played perfectly and Arians blew it, and we should take him out back and beat the snot out of him. I just don't think he did enough -- yesterday, or throughout the season -- to make up for our deficiencies in pass protection or to make things a little easier on our rookie quarterback. That's the whole sum of my criticism of Arians (aside from his game management, which is up and down). That was the case before the Texans game, and it would have been the case even if we had won.

I don't think I said that you thought it was all Arians fault.  Like I keep saying I think Arians has had his mistakes but some PEOPLE (IE more than just you) like to cover up all of the players faults and blame it on the play calling. I don't think you can say it's all one things fault.  If I was going to blame one thing though I would point most of it at the line.  Till we fix the line it's going to make it extremely hard to run any game plan effectively.  I also think if we fixed the line I think you would see that Arians game plans can be very effective.  Honestly the few times this year when we have gotten decent protection for Luck we have moved the ball very well.  If we want to make things easier on Luck we need to protect him.  There isn't a QB in the league that would do well with the kind of heat he has been facing game in and game out.  There were several plays yesterday that Luck was getting hit almost at the snap.  There isn't a passing pattern you can run against that. 

 

Again the point I was making about yesterday is that people can complain about the game plan all the want but if you look back to the plays that decided yesterdays game it was decided by mistakes the Colts players made not bad play calling from the coaches. 

 

Is Arians offense the best offense in the league?  Probably not.  With that said I don't think it's our biggest problem on offense.  I think that is the line and if we fix that the game planning and Luck will look much better.  I think Luck and our players can handle his game planning if we fix the line.  Arians is putting in his offense he is going to run for years to come and while it might not be the most ideal for right this second I think it will pay off in years to come once we do improve the line and we aren't changing the offense on him. 

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I'm just highlighting the point that this is not a reactionary stance. I don't feel this way because we lost. I felt this way before the game, and said as much.

There isn't a line in the NFL that can handle JJ Watt or the Texans front. Even if we improve, the smart gameplan will still be to get rid of the ball quickly and keep their pass rush away from the quarterback. It's what good teams do to Freeney and Mathis all the time. I'm critical of the gameplan and play calling because we don't do enough to make up for the poor line play.

 

We did a decent job running the ball. Credit for that. But you haven't seen me complaining very much about how frequently we run the ball. Situationally, maybe, but I don't think our gameplan necessarily needs to feature the rushing attack in order to be more effective. My criticisms are mostly specific to the kind of pass plays Arians calls, particularly against a fearsome defense like the Texans.

You probably won't be surprised to find out that I feel the opposite about the Jets game. Our protections were poor, the quarterback was sluggish and slow to recognize pressures, we were sloppy with the ball, we couldn't run block, etc. I think the faults in the Jets game were mostly with execution.

That's not to say that we didn't fail to execute yesterday. As has been mentioned, there were three big plays that we blew it on, mostly routine plays that we should be able to handle in our sleep. There were execution issues. But in addition, we didn't do enough schematically to try to counter the Texans strengths. If we suffered from a bunch of dropped passes, or if the quarterback was erratic with his throws, etc., then I'd be harping on execution.

My whole point though, is not that the players played perfectly and Arians blew it, and we should take him out back and beat the snot out of him. I just don't think he did enough -- yesterday, or throughout the season -- to make up for our deficiencies in pass protection or to make things a little easier on our rookie quarterback. That's the whole sum of my criticism of Arians (aside from his game management, which is up and down). That was the case before the Texans game, and it would have been the case even if we had won.

 Yeah? Well, Ben Roethlisburger begs to differ with you and a lot of Colts  WCO fans here-

 

http://www.heraldstandard.com/sports/steelers/big-ben-takes-blames-points-fingers/article_a27eb2b2-5e68-5d5b-8242-fd1ce51c2019.html

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Man the Texans boo Kubiak three to four times a game due to his lack of aggressiveness. You can always find something to complain about with any coach in the NFL. Big Ben is complaining about the playcalling in Pitt. with the dink and dunk stuff. It's all about your preference and what you like in an offense because there is always something to complain about when it comes to a coach.

Some people act like we have a full team already when we are lacking talent all over the place. Pro Football Focus said our offensive line gave up multiple sacks and pressures in 2 seconds(Mike McGlynn and Linkenbach was the example). 2 SECONDS, Luck didn't even have a chance. It doesn't matter what offensive scheme you have if your getting sacked or pressured in 2 seconds,keep Castonzo but we have to get actual NFL caliber lineman that can at least hold a block for more than 2 seconds. At some point it has to come on the players(oline) rather than it on Arians all the time. But you can't be effective consistently when you have somebody bearing down on you in 2 SECONDS. I mean there was a reason why McGlynn, Justice, Olsen were third string players last year, and we all know about Linkenbach at tackle

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I don't think I said that you thought it was all Arians fault.  Like I keep saying I think Arians has had his mistakes but some PEOPLE (IE more than just you) like to cover up all of the players faults and blame it on the play calling. I don't think you can say it's all one things fault.  If I was going to blame one thing though I would point most of it at the line.  Till we fix the line it's going to make it extremely hard to run any game plan effectively.  I also think if we fixed the line I think you would see that Arians game plans can be very effective.  Honestly the few times this year when we have gotten decent protection for Luck we have moved the ball very well.  If we want to make things easier on Luck we need to protect him.  There isn't a QB in the league that would do well with the kind of heat he has been facing game in and game out.  There were several plays yesterday that Luck was getting hit almost at the snap.  There isn't a passing pattern you can run against that. 

 

Again the point I was making about yesterday is that people can complain about the game plan all the want but if you look back to the plays that decided yesterdays game it was decided by mistakes the Colts players made not bad play calling from the coaches. 

 

Is Arians offense the best offense in the league?  Probably not.  With that said I don't think it's our biggest problem on offense.  I think that is the line and if we fix that the game planning and Luck will look much better.  I think Luck and our players can handle his game planning if we fix the line.  Arians is putting in his offense he is going to run for years to come and while it might not be the most ideal for right this second I think it will pay off in years to come once we do improve the line and we aren't changing the offense on him. 

 

Okay, you're arguing against a straw man. You make some good points, and in general I agree with a lot of it. But I don't think that defense of Arians -- whether specifically with the Texans game or in general -- changes the fact that his gameplan and play calling are lacking in certain areas. Nor do I think the weaknesses of our offensive line excuse what's lacking in Arians' gameplan and play calling. As a matter of fact, I think his shortcomings make our roster weaknesses more pronounced.

 

I know there's this contingent out there that thinks Arians is the worst, never wanted him, hopes he leaves, etc. Much of what you say applies to them. I'm just saying that I think he should do more with his offensive gameplan and his play calling to make up for the weaknesses on the roster. We'd still be outmatched against teams like Houston, and the players might still have made the same mistakes. I'm not laying the loss at his feet. But I do think he could have done a better job, and I've said that practically all season long.

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 Yeah? Well, Ben Roethlisburger begs to differ with you and a lot of Colts  WCO fans here-

 

http://www.heraldstandard.com/sports/steelers/big-ben-takes-blames-points-fingers/article_a27eb2b2-5e68-5d5b-8242-fd1ce51c2019.html

 

This article has nothing to do with Bruce Arians.

 

And despite how Roethlisberger feels about him, I don't think anyone would argue that Arians is above reproach as a play caller.

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Some short/quick routes would still give the QB a chance at more completions.

Yea I noticed that dink and dunk offense worked wonders with Jim Caldwell and the Ravens last sunday.

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Yea I noticed that dink and dunk offense worked wonders with Jim Caldwell and the Ravens last sunday.

 

If you don't understand the relevance of the comment then I can't help you.

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{Snip}... his gameplan and play calling are lacking in certain areas. Nor do I think the weaknesses of our offensive line excuse what's lacking in Arians' gameplan and play calling. As a matter of fact, I think his shortcomings make our roster weaknesses more pronounced.

 

{Snip}  I'm just saying that I think he should do more with his offensive gameplan and his play calling to make up for the weaknesses on the roster. We'd still be outmatched against teams like Houston, and the players might still have made the same mistakes. I'm not laying the loss at his feet. But I do think he could have done a better job, and I've said that practically all season long.

 

OK, what, exactly, is lacking in the play calling?  What more can be done with the offensive gameplan?  I'm ready to be convinced, if someone can.

 

I saw a 100 yard rusher (how often do we do that?) on 18 carries, and all ball carriers combine at 25 attempts. And we have186 yards on 13 completions for 2 TD's (should have been 3) and no interceptions; in 27 attempts.  25 running plays, 27 passing plays. I see 5 sacks, multiple hurries and knockdowns. I see receivers covered like blankets for > 3+ seconds, and D linemen sacking the QB in <3  I see a QB that doesn't even have time to target his check down options at times.  I see a fumble and blocked punt ruined our chance at victory.  Forget the penalty that knocked out the TD pas to Reggie Wayne.  If Morre runs the ball in for a TD like he should, we wouldn't have even had that opportunity.  A fumble and special team blunder lost it for a balanced offense that did enough to succeed.  And yet, we are still 9-5.

 

I refuse to adjust our play to the weakness, the least athletic players on the team.  We need to exploit the talent of our skill position players, not handcuff them.

 

Now, Luck has to make reads faster and make quicker and better decisions.  No other way right now. He's hurting himself at the present.  But the o-line gets payed.  They get coached.  They are tasked to do a job.  Every once in a while they need to win their one on one battles.  For the most part, they are not. Luck will be great if we can ever give him 3-4 seconds or more of a clean pocket on a consistent basis.  Too bad we don't have the talent to do that.

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nevermind.,

 

Arians is god.  Put him in the hall of fame. Best coach ever. Re-name the Lombardi after him.

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mod edit

That's a normal play action play that every team has. Play actions are meant to take a shot downfield and normally the RB the last option in the flat which looks like to be here. I have yet to see a play action play that's not meant to take a shot and look for a 4-5 yard gain, besides spider 2 y banana but that's more of a redzone play action. If your facing pressure right after the action then that's a sack props to the defense for getting pressure that quick or boo the o line for giving up the pressure that quick

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OK, what, exactly, is lacking in the play calling?  What more can be done with the offensive gameplan?  I'm ready to be convinced, if someone can.

 

I've done this before, but if you really want to know what I think we should do, specifically, here's a few of ideas:

 

1) Reduce the number of formations and personnel packages.

2) Reduce the amount of pre-snap motion.

 

Those two go hand in hand, in my mind. The number of formations we use reduces the number of plays we run per formation. Same thing for personnel packages. (If we run 65 plays a game, out of 25 different looks, that's 2.6 plays per look. Just random numbers; I haven't charted this since Week 2.) I believe this makes it easier for defenses to recognize the nature of the play we're going to run.

 

Same thing for the pre-snap motion. There was a play in the 4th quarter on Sunday, we were backed up in our own end zone. We had big personnel in a heavy formation. We moved Allen(?) in motion from the left to the right, and ran to the right. A half second before we snapped the ball, the Texans entire front shifted in unison to the offensive right, and the back had nowhere to go. These wrinkles we use have started to tip our plays off.

 

I'm not suggesting we severely restrict our formations and packages, nor am I suggesting we get rid of motion. We've all noticed how effective Reggie Wayne has been, now that he's lining up all over the field more frequently. But I think the wrinkles are sometimes too cute for their own good. You asked what more we can do; I think we should do less. Simplify, and -- ironically -- the offense becomes less predictable.

 

3) Use the backs in the passing game more often, by design.

 

And I don't mean lining Ballard up in the slot out of an empty formation. I mean calling middle screens, flat outs, etc. Some plays designed to get our hardest runners the ball in space more often. It would also have the effect of slowing down the pass rush and making the defense account for the receiving threat of our backs. This would have been a very effective use of Donald Brown's speed. We all know how dangerous he can be in the passing game. Now that he's on IR, it's a moot point, but it's a sin that he only has 9 receptions on the season.

 

4) Use more route combinations that are designed to get receivers open quickly.

 

This would take pressure off of the offensive line, especially on early downs, and help the quarterback get into a rhythm. Luck's completion percentage has been sub 50% for three weeks in a row. We ignore it in wins, especially comeback wins, but against the Titans and the Lions, he had long stretches of ineffectiveness throwing the ball. If we work in more quick hitters, it would reduce the incompletions and force defenders to play a little tighter on our receivers, which then sets them up for big plays.

 

I'm not suggesting that Arians doesn't do any of the above. I'm suggesting that we focus on those things more than we have been.

 

I saw a 100 yard rusher (how often do we do that?) on 18 carries, and all ball carriers combine at 25 attempts. And we have186 yards on 13 completions for 2 TD's (should have been 3) and no interceptions; in 27 attempts.  25 running plays, 27 passing plays. I see 5 sacks, multiple hurries and knockdowns. I see receivers covered like blankets for > 3+ seconds, and D linemen sacking the QB in <3  I see a QB that doesn't even have time to target his check down options at times.  I see a fumble and blocked punt ruined our chance at victory.  Forget the penalty that knocked out the TD pas to Reggie Wayne.  If Morre runs the ball in for a TD like he should, we wouldn't have even had that opportunity.  A fumble and special team blunder lost it for a balanced offense that did enough to succeed.  And yet, we are still 9-5.

 

As I said, these criticisms exist independently of the Houston game. But the level of competition in that game just exacerbates them.

 

I refuse to adjust our play to the weakness, the least athletic players on the team.  We need to exploit the talent of our skill position players, not handcuff them.

 

That's smart. I'm not sure why you think I don't want us to exploit our talents and minimize our weaknesses. That's kind of what my whole point is.

 

I'm saying that we can make certain schematic adjustments to minimize the impact of our weaknesses. I think the adjustments I mentioned above would take pressure off of our offensive line, which is by far the weakest unit on our offense, and probably our entire team.

 

Now, Luck has to make reads faster and make quicker and better decisions.  No other way right now. He's hurting himself at the present.  But the o-line gets payed.  They get coached.  They are tasked to do a job.  Every once in a while they need to win their one on one battles.  For the most part, they are not. Luck will be great if we can ever give him 3-4 seconds or more of a clean pocket on a consistent basis.  Too bad we don't have the talent to do that.

 

The idea of a line that gives 3-4 seconds consistently is sexy, but unreasonable. No quarterback gets that much time on a regular basis. If you take the time to clock even the best offensive lines, you'll see that the quarterback usually gets rid of the ball in around three seconds. That's a long time for a play to develop in the NFL. You'll see teams go max protect and let the quarterback wait on routes to develop, but that's a specialty play, and it's still not a high percentage play. It has it's place, but it's not the standard.

 

I agree that Luck needs to get better, and I think he will. The line desperately needs to improve, but no one is walking through the locker room door to save the day. The line is what it is at this point, and our offensive scheme should be more tailored to the fact that our line play is substandard, and take some pressure off of the line.

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