— It's funny how much changes in just seven days.
The Pittsburgh Steelers looked absolutely horrible against Houston, but rebounded to look like the S.O.S. (Same old Steelers) against Tennessee.
Why was that?
For the most part, they followed my advice!
Last week, I advocated the Steelers recommit to the run, use someone other than Rashard Mendenhall, start Max Starks, sit Aaron Smith and tackle better.
Look what happened when the Steelers decide they want to run the ball on a consistent basis: Ben Roethlisberger throws five touchdowns and is only sacked once; Hines Ward and the rest of the receivers are constantly open; and a Steeler running back (Jonathan Dwyer) rushes for over 100 yards.
I truly believe all that happened because Mendenhall wasn’t playing and losing yardage. I liked how Isaac Redman and Dwyer ran the ball. They hit the holes hard and weren’t jitterbugging in the hole like Mendenhall.
I’d rather see Redman and Dwyer get a second shot at being the featured back this week to see if last week was just an aberration rather than have Mendenhall start as is being reported. Honestly, if Mendenhall is healthy enough to start this week, what’s the big deal of letting Redman and Dwyer have a crack at running the ball over the first half?
Speaking at getting another crack at playing a lot, I think Cameron Heyward earned increased playing time last week when he had a sack and almost had another when Matt Hasselbeck was whistled for intentional grounding. He had a much better showing than Smith has had all year.
Enough of the back patting, the one thing I didn’t mention last week but worked wonders was having Roethlisberger take 3- and 5-step drops.
I had always wondered if Big Ben was capable of taking short drops, but his performance Sunday showed he can.
But from what I’ve heard, the whole 3-step drop - and in essence the short routes - game plan will be short-lived, because offensive coordinator Bruce Arians isn’t in favor of it, so I wouldn‘t be surprised to seeSt Big Ben running for his life this weekend or next.
For the record, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette isn’t either, but the Steelers need to keep Roethlisberger upright and short drops will do that.
I’m sure most of you know what the definition of insanity is. For those that don’t know, it’s ‘doing the same thing, but expecting different results.’
In other words, having Roethlisberger take 7-step drops and throwing deep with a sub-par offensive line and expecting him to not to be under constant pressure is insane.
Yet, that’s what Arians wants to get back as soon as possible. I’ve heard reports that Arians intends to call more 7-step drops this week.
If they are true, it’s going to be a long day for the Steelers and Roethlisberger!
Maybe the Steelers should pay attention to another popular saying - ‘Those who don’t pay attention to history are doomed to repeat it’ - and do what I say in this column!
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