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    Default offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Yea... This will probably stir some controversy... LoL... But take the time and read the article... In the following two posts I'll give info about these "indexes" and links...

    The Steelers offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired
    Kerry J. Byrne
    SI.com
    Thursday September 23, 2010

    It's safe to call the Steelers the premier NFL franchise of the Super Bowl Era. They were the first franchise to win three Super Bowls, the first to win four, and the only franchise that's won six Super Bowls.

    The fan base is the most rabid in the nation -- easily the best traveling fans in pro football. The team suffers a losing season less than once every presidency (eight presidents since 1972, seven losing seasons in the Steel City since 1972). And virtually every baby in Western Pa., is born with the quaint notion coursing through its blood that you win by playing defense and running the football.

    [IMGR]http://i52.tinypic.com/300d3xe.jpg[/IMGR]But the unprecedented success in the Super Bowl Era represents quite a paradox. Those of you who study football history know that the Steelers were easily the worst NFL franchise in the pre-Super Bowl Era. The organization was founded in 1933 and it not only failed to win a championship, but also failed to win so much as a division or conference title until 1972. That's four decades of futility without a single taste of postseason success.

    That paradox is nice, but it's also ancient history. A new Pittsburgh Paradox, a more profound Pittsburgh Paradox, has emerged in recent years, and its come to define the team, including here in 2010. Most notably, the Steelers rank No. 1 in the Defensive Hog Index and No. 32 in Offensive Hog Index, two tools used by the Cold, Hard Football Facts site to quantify the best and worst offensive and defensive lines in football.

    Sure, it's only two weeks into the season. But two weeks are also 12.5 percent of the schedule. The train has left the statistical station. Thanks to 2008 Defensive Player of the Year James Harrison, who already has three sacks in 2010, Pittsburgh's D-Hogs are shaping up as the best in the biz. The O-Hogs are shaping up as the worst in the biz.

    But it's not just the two weeks of this season that are the problem. If it were, we wouldn't have a story. Instead, it's the fact this these 2010 trends are part of the much larger Pittsburgh Paradox.

    • The Steelers are going on three straight seasons with outstanding defensive lines and terribly weak offensive lines.

    • The 2008 Steelers ranked No. 1 on the Defensive Hog Index and ranked No. 28 on the Offensive Hog Index.

    • The 2009 Steelers ranked No. 12 on the Defensive Hog Index and ranked No. 22 on the Offensive Hog Index

    It's great to field a shut-down defensive front, as Pittsburgh showed in 2008, when it parlayed the league's best Defensive Hogs and a clutch QB into a Super Bowl championship despite a really bad offensive line. But it's odd that an organization that's prided itself for so long on smash-mouth football and on winning the war in the trenches would struggle so badly on the offensive line.

    Of course, there is a place to point to find the downfall on the offensive side of the ball: Alan Faneca was an All-Pro stalwart at left guard for the Steelers from 1998 to 2007, a period during which Pittsburgh routinely ran the ball well. During Faneca's last year with the Steelers, Pittsburgh fielded the No. 14-ranked Offensive Hogs and averaged 4.24 YPA on the ground, the NFL's seventh-best ground attack in 2007.

    Faneca was so good that Pittsburgh's Offensive Hog-loving fans named him to the franchise's 75th anniversary All-Star Team. Then, at the end of 2007, he left to sign a major-bucks deal with the Jets that the Steelers would not match. Pittsburgh's Offensive Hogs immediately fell apart in his wake. Maybe it's coincidence. But the fact is that Faneca's departure coincided with the downfall of Pittsburgh's OL.

    The player who's suffered most has been quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. It was something of a miracle that he guided the team to a championship in 2008, despite playing behind guys who couldn't run block (29th with 3.68 YPA on the ground) and who couldn't pass block (28th with 11.5 percent Negative Pass Plays).

    The instinct among fans and pigskin pundits, including Cold, Hard Football Facts, was to blame Big Ben's style: he held on to the ball too long, he tried to run too much, he didn't make good decisions, etc. The fact that he consistently won and consistently delivered big plays, including one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history, should have squashed many of those criticisms. But, regardless, the criticisms existed and had statistical merit.

    But Big Ben has missed the first two games of 2010, and it's already clear that the problems attributed to him are largely problems with the poor quality of player Pittsburgh puts in its front five: the Steelers after two weeks are No. 15 running the ball (3.89 YPA), No. 31 in Negative Pass Plays (16 percent of dropbacks), and dead last on third down (20.7 percent success).

    And remember, the Steelers recognized their problems and devoted their No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft to the O-Hogs: center Maurkice Pouncey was taken with the No. 18 overall pick and has started both games this year. But so far, nothing has improved.

    Pittsburgh has scored just one offensive touchdown in more than eight quarters of play (the winning TD in Week 1 overtime against Atlanta). Despite these weaknesses, the team is still 2-0.

    So expect the offense to improve as Pouncey learns the pro game and when Roethlisberger returns to the lineup in October. Just don't expect Pittsburgh's Offensive Hogs to erase the memory of Russ Grimm and the 1982 Redskins anytime soon. They've been too bad for too long now.

    The bright note in the Steel City is that the Pittsburgh Paradox proved to us in 2008 that the team can win a title behind its top-rated Defensive Hogs and Big Ben, no matter how poor the unit is that pretends to protect him.

    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/201...9/23/steelers/
    Last edited by Palmetto Steel; Sep-23-2010 at 06:31 PM.
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    ABOUT THE OFFENSIVE HOG INDEX

    The Offensive Hog Index is our effort to quantify which team has the best offensive line in football.

    This isn't rocket science, folks. The Offensive Hog Index simply looks at at each team in three major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.

    The top offensive line is that which posts the highest average rating across the board. The Offensive Hog Index is based upon these criteria:

    YPA – Yards Per Attempt. So simple, even you can understand it. This rates a team's ability to run the ball effectively.

    NPP% – Negative Pass Plays, expressed as a percentage. This is how often a team's pass plays end in either a sack or interception. The theory is that teams with poor offensive lines generally surrender more sacks (duh!) and that their quarterbacks are forced into making bad throws more often. These negative pass plays are calculated as a percentage of attempts. So if a team suffers two sacks and throws two INTs in 40 pass plays, their NPP% will be 10 percent (4/40).

    3down% – Success rate on third down – the higher the percentage, the greater the offensive success and the better the offensive line.

    Pittsburgh has long provided itself on its smash-mouth style football. But that reputation has taken a major hit in recent years, at least along the offensive line, as we've chronicled here at the Cold, Hard Football Facts.

    The Steelers were No. 22 on our Offensive Hog Index in 2009. They were even No. 28 in 2008, a year in which they won the Super Bowl.

    The woes continue here in 2010: Pittsburgh enters Week 3 dead last on our Offensive Hog Index, lowlighted by a league-worst 20.7 success rate on third down. It's one big reason why the Steelers have scored just one touchdown in their first two games: yet, here they are, 2-0 thanks to their traditionally stout defense.
    Here's the link to the offensive index to view for yourself...

    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...Hog_Index.html
    Last edited by Palmetto Steel; Sep-23-2010 at 05:14 PM.
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    ABOUT THE DEFENSIVE HOG INDEX

    The Defensive Hog Index is our effort to quantify which team has the best defensive front in football. It's proven a huge indicator of success since we introduced it during the 2007 season: teams that are better in the DHI are 25-8 in the playoffs over that time, and the No. 1 team in DHI has won the Super Bowl twice (2007 Giants and 2008 Steelers).

    This isn't rocket science, folks. The Defensive Hog Index simply looks at at each team in three major, easy-to-understand categories and ranks them by average in these categories.

    The top defensive front is that which posts the highest average rating across the board. The Defensive Hog Index is based upon these criteria:

    YPA – Yards Per Attempt. So simple, even you can understand it. This rates a defense's ability to stuff an opposing ground game.

    NPP% – Negative Pass Plays, expressed as a percentage. This is how often an opponent's pass plays end in either a sack or interception. Defenses that get after the quarterback and overwhelm the opposing offensive line naturally force sacks and INTs. These negative pass plays are calculated as a percentage of attempts. So if a team foces two sacks and two INTs in 40 pass plays, their NPP% will be 10 percent (4/40).

    3down% - Opposition success rate on third down. The lower the percentage, the higher the defensive success.

    Full-pad practices in Pittsburgh must be a one-sided bloodbath. At least if our Hog Indices are any indication.

    Pittsburgh is No. 1 on our Defensive Hog Index through two weeks; it's the same position the Steelers found themselves in during the 2008 season, when the D-Hogs led them to a Super Bowl title.

    But Pittsburgh is dead last right now on our Offensive Hog Index. Interesting because, as we noted this week, it's similar to the situation the Steelers were in back in that championship season of 2008: Pittsburgh's O-Hogs were a meager No. 28 that year.

    We'll see if 2010 unfolds the same way.

    The Steelers D-Hogs certainly proved themselves this week, when they held Tennessee superstar running back Chris Johnson to a meager 34 yards on 16 carries. That's 2.12 YPA, just about what Pittsburgh has allowed all ball carriers through two games.
    Here's the link to the defensive index to view it for yourself...

    http://www.coldhardfootballfacts.com...Hog_Index.html
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    the unit that pretends to protect him.....keep it comin more fuel for when the O gets back together

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    wow, great read!

    thanks for posting NKy...

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    wow, great read!

    thanks for posting NKy...
    Glad you liked it... Not sure too many would agree with the info, but this was one post I had to share "in multiple places"...

    ... Either way, I agree with the premise stated, and at least there are some "somewhat logical" facts to back it up... Yea, it's not a science and not perfect, but it's better than just plain here-say and opinion IMO.
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Line statistics are always going to be hard to quantify.It's also a fair point about the O-line. It might not fold as easily in the middle at the moment but the edges... It was never going to be a one-draft fix.
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteeler View Post
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    wow, great read!

    thanks for posting NKy...
    x2

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Quote Originally Posted by War Machine View Post
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    Line statistics are always going to be hard to quantify.It's also a fair point about the O-line. It might not fold as easily in the middle at the moment but the edges... It was never going to be a one-draft fix.
    Yes, they are extremely hard to quantify... And no, it won't be a "one draft" fix... It will take several years IMO to re-install the O-line that many of us grew-up with.

    ... I've tried to find some sort of "stats" for the OL over the past few years, and this isn't any worse/better than others... Like I said, it's a bit better than just saying "the O-line sucks", or "the O-line is better than last year"... It adds a certain level of comparability to the mix IMO.

    I've been on the "Hater" list for the most part for the O-line the last few years... Yea, there have been a few bright spots, and Pouncey is still a "shining star" in my opinion, but for the most part I think our line has been putrid over the years, and this adds a bit of backing to the statement.
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    I'm the 1st guy that will argue (and does) that you can't base anything solely on stats, but the more that point one way, the more it helps to support a LOGICAL conclusion.

    If we would fix these issue rather than blow shiny "Coach Speak" up everyones ***, we'd have an unstoppable juggernaut for a team. And these issue are persistent and obvious, and still not PROPERLY addressed.

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    You shouldn't need stats to tell you our OL "leaves a lot to be desired".

    Good read though.

    Hopefully taking Pouncey this year is just the start of trying to strengthen this line back up.

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    The fan base is the most rabid in the nation -- easily the best traveling fans in pro football. The team suffers a losing season less than once every presidency (eight presidents since 1972, seven losing seasons in the Steel City since 1972). And virtually every baby in Western Pa., is born with the quaint notion coursing through its blood that you win by playing defense and running the football.
    And I love this line too. **** those Cowgirl turds. The Steelers are the REAL America's team. I'll be one of those traveling fans down in Tampa this week. I'll be in my 43 whites, waving my TT and the one giving the finger to any Cowgirl or Raven fan I see.

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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    This is good and fun information. I usually goto - www.footballoutsiders.com for Offensive Line information. they do a nice job breaking down YPA and percentage of runs behind Ends, Tackles and Center/Guard along with sacks and other things.

    Only problem I have right now wuith these stats is that it's not only early but we've also been trotting out a 3rd string QB with an overly conservative offensive game play.

    To start off, the Steelers have run the ball the 4th most in the entire NFL and have attempted the fewest passes in the NFL. We've seen it through the first 2 games, teams are rightfully stacking the box and forcing us to throw the ball and we're running anyways. so logically the Offensive Line stats should look bad.

    I'd be more interested in taking the Offensive Line stats after Game 4 and then revisiting them after Game 8 and see where we then stand. It would be nice if there were a way to just look at game 1-4 and then say 5-8 but there isn't, but I think in any caswe it'll give you a better idea of the Line since we'll have Ben back and also a balanced game plan as well. That balance should make the running numbers of the OL better since we'll be backing teams off the line..
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    While I'm sure that there can be instances due to our qb situation, I doubt that it can be blamed for the last three seasons, which is mentioned with this article... I still say that "what" they are doing, they are doing poorly. Sure, these stats are not science, but they provide a bit more of an analysis than we usually get.

    Yea, the other teams are stacking the box, but to be ranked #30 in pass protection and #29 in run blocking with 6 sacks is pathetic.... Interesting that our left tackle was ranked #29th while the right tackle position was ranked #12th.

    I agree that looking at the numbers down the road will be more telling, and hopefully I can remember to pull this back up then...
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    Default Re: offensive line still leaves a lot to be desired

    Quote Originally Posted by NKySteeler View Post
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    While I'm sure that there can be instances due to our qb situation, I doubt that it can be blamed for the last three seasons, which is mentioned with this article... I still say that "what" they are doing, they are doing poorly. Sure, these stats are not science, but they provide a bit more of an analysis than we usually get.
    We also had an O-Line coach those other seasons that was pretty terrible as well. The guy should never have been hired in the first place (Zierlein) not to mention that through all of this we were switching from a man blocking scheme to a zone blocking scheme while changing personnel (Faneca to Kemo, Hartings to Mahan to Hartwig, Simmons to Stampleton to Essex, Starks to Colon, Smith to Starks) and that's not even including this season which has seen to more changes, 3 of you add Legursky playing for Essex in Week 3 (Hartwig to Pouncey, Colon to Adams).

    That's A LOT of turnover for a unit that depends on chemistry, a lot of chemistry. We haven't fielded the same Offensive Line 2 seasons in a row in the Tomlin era either because of Free Agency, retirement, cuts or injuries. It's tough to really expect miracles when a unit that is dependent on chemistry can't get any

    Yea, the other teams are stacking the box, but to be ranked #30 in pass protection and #29 in run blocking with 6 sacks is pathetic.... Interesting that our left tackle was ranked #29th while the right tackle position was ranked #12th.
    The Steelers will probably always be ranked low in Pass Protection because Ben will try to buy some extra time and hold on too long and, Bruce Arians designs a majority of pass plays that are 5-7 drop 15 yards down field routes that require a good deal of protection. The plays themself won't help the pass protection stats. Watch the Indianapolis Colts passing game. Manning gets rid of the ball quick. They have a lot of short routes, the use their TE a lot, throw a bunch of screens, slants etc... and Manning doesn't get sacked more than 20 times a season. There's also recognizing defenses, calling the proper protection too that is on the QB's shoulders with the Steelers since Faneca left.

    Alsio look at those Week 2 stats... The Steelers had the 15th best YPA for their running game DESPITE dragging out Dennis Dixon and an overly conservative passing game and facing 8-9 man fronts all game. If the line was bad, we'd be dead last in YPA but we're ranked 15th with nothing resembling a Passing game to back off the opposing defense.

    I won't play much with 3rd down rates for Offensive Line judgment since a lot of thatv effectiveness comes at the heels of the play calling itself. The fact that we had no passing game through 2 weeks can't help the 3rd% numbers. Same goes for negative pass plays. We were trotting out a 3rd string QB, realistically you have to expect negative pass play numbers to be higher than other teams

    I agree that looking at the numbers down the road will be more telling, and hopefully I can remember to pull this back up then...
    I'll be curious to see the new numbers after this past week. Mendenhall had a huge day rushing both yardage and YPA wise and that was created by a passing game that was forcing Tampa Bay to drop guys from their 8-9 man fronts or risk getting burnt by Air Batch Things we didn't get in Weeks 1 and 2 not because of the Offensive Line but because we had an overly conservative run heavy game that simply couldn't and wouldn't throw the ball

    Here's the Week 2 numbers in case they disappear ...

    3.89 YPA (15)
    16.0 NRP (31)
    20.69 Third Down % (32)
    #9 Power Ranking
    30th Pass Protection
    13.0% Sack Rate

    (I can already tell you that our YPA went up big time. We are now averaging about 4.7 YPA which is good for 6th best in the NFL)
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