Pittsburgh Steelers: “Offensive” game-planner is out of excuses

Jul 29, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley talks with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during practice at St. Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports

Jul 29, 2013; Latrobe, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley talks with Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin during practice at St. Vincent College. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Pugliese-USA TODAY Sports

The delirious frenzy for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ home opener quickly turned into a sobering cry for reality as the Steelers suffered an epic embarrassment at the hands of the lowly Tennessee Titans. It was a defeat reminiscent of last year’s failure to cover up an offense that still seems to be running in reverse.

Sure, the loss of an All-Pro center and team captain early in the opener would affect any team, but to the tune of just 195 yards of net offense after four quarters of professional football? Or a quarterback stat line of 21 of 33 for 191 yards, one touchdown, one pick and five sacks?

Let’s not spend another season giving excuses to the Steelers offense.

We all fell for the “new offensive coordinator/scheme….not on the same page…injuries producing poor play” reasons as to why the Steelers offense was just 23rd in the league in 2012. But a year later, we are to choke down another dish of lame excuses regarding new system, new players, new injuries as the reason why the Steelers had 32 TOTAL rushing yards for the entire game?

Look around the league. The Steelers aren’t the only group with young players on the offensive line protecting their mobile star quarterback. In fact, one of the league’s top offensive teams, the San Francisco 49ers, also field an O-line with a couple of recent first-round draft picks, an undrafted guard and a fifth round center.

Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) is sacked by Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Moise Fokou (rear) and defensive tackle Mike Martin (93) during the third quarter at Heinz Field. The Tennessee Titans won 16-9. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick didn’t seem to have too many issues in Week 1, hitting for three TDs and 412 yards (with just six more throws than Ben Roethlisberger) against the mighty Green Bay Packers — a defense far more dangerous than the Tennessee Titans. The 49ers’ run game may have struggled; yet, they were still went 34 carries for 90 rushing yards. Oh, and the 49ers also won.

Or did you happen to watch the Steelers’ upcoming Monday Night Football opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, lose to the Chicago Bears? What you didn’t see was the Bears having difficulties executing a brand-new offensive scheme instituted by their new head coach Marc Trestman, a scheme that was played out by a couple holdover lineman from the one of 2012′s worst O-lines – and a right side made in this year’s draft (RG Kyle Long, first round and RT Jordan Mills, fifth round).

Quarterback Jay Cutler, who is not in the same sphere as Steelers mega-star Roethlisberger, beat the Bengals by completing 21 of 33 for 242 yards, two touchdowns, one interception and zero sacks. The Bengals were No. 3 in sacks last season. How can the Steelers continue to provide “we just need time to gel” statements while other teams are getting it done with less system experience?

It’s time to stop the excuse buffet and cut the fat: the vanilla formations, repetition of the dink-and-dunk screens, too many plays executed in front of the end zone rather than in it, no running game, no running back, no play action, poor blocking execution whatever the scheme, and utilizing all of the talent at WR.

It’s time for Mike Tomlin to get what he saw from offensive coordinator Todd Haley in Arizona or his mega-star QB is going to be watching the season standing next to Maurkice Pouncey.

It’s also time for Haley’s sidekick, offensive line coach Jack Bicknell, Jr., to get to work or get out the way. A line made of two second-round picks, a first-round pick and a two-year starter can’t really be as awful as they played on Sunday. No more excuses.

Topics: Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers, Todd Haley

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  • bk

    Let’s face it, Haley is the worst OC in the league.. We sit and call the plays he is going to run before each snap… if we know it, the D sure does.. we are rolling on the floor when we all say at the same time “bubble screen” always on third and 9.. or on first down… run to the left.. 2nd down and 10… draw… LOL

  • Jeff Johnson

    It’s the o-line play. Their offense will not click or work until Colbert, Tomlin and crew fix the o-line or put a good one together. The o-line play affects the entire offense.

  • Jeff Johnson

    Even other OC’s would not do good with that o-line not blocking for the RB’s or for the QB

  • Matt Likehart

    the “lowly” titans? we weren’t so low to big ben who was laying flat on his back lol. Steelers were out played, and out coached by the clearly better team. Did you see our backup’s backup RB make your LB corps. look silly on 4th and 1? We deserve the respect from that game, and not fed the crap play of your lowly steelers.

    • Erin McDowell

      TItans were 6-10 last year and power polls had them in the bottom tenth. SO ‘lowly’ was in reference to how they were perceived coming into this match-up. Jurrell Casey may be the best DT in the AFC. And 2nd-year LB Zach Brown would be welcome on the Steelers anyday. We could actually use him this week!!!!

      • Matt Likehart

        Fair enough. I just get aggravated, anytime the titans win a game, the media talks about how bad the other team played instead of titans doing good. It’s hard out here for a titans fan. :’(

  • nj

    Haley needs to go.