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Steelers' offense

Postby stomperrob » Thu May 31, 2007 1:28 pm

Apparently they're experimenting with Hines Ward lining up in the slot and using Heath Miller as a wideout on some plays - should enhance Miller's value somewhat!

Steelers' Ward eager to expand playbook


By Scott Brown
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, May 31, 2007


This time of year is as good as any for NFL teams to tinker, which might explain tight end Heath Miller's lining up as a wideout and Hines Ward's lining up as a slot receiver.

But such a formation represents more than experimentation during the organized team activity practices that the Steelers have been holding at their South Side facility.

As Ward said, it is part of the offense the Steelers plan to use next season -- and part of the premise that if they spread the field, their receivers will get a favorable matchup that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can exploit.

"We're putting in the foundation of working on it now and getting a feel, getting a rhythm," Ward said Wednesday after a voluntary practice. "As training camp comes, we'll be hitting on all cylinders as far as the hurry-up offense and the no-huddle. There's no question we're going to use it. It's going to be a focal part of our packages.

"It feels comfortable, and (Roethlisberger) likes it. The more and more a quarterback feels comfortable with it, the more and more we're going to run it."
Ward certainly isn't raising any objections to the new offense, even though it will mean extra playbook study for the four-time Pro Bowler since he will move around more than in past seasons.

Ward is particularly excited about the opportunity to line up as a slot receiver, particularly when the Steelers spread the field and are in no-huddle mode. The nine-year veteran said it will make him much harder to defend than when he is on the outside and opposing teams have the option of giving their cornerback help from a safety.

"Me playing slot a lot more takes the double-team off me," said Ward, who is poised to break John Stallworth's team record for career receiving yards this season. "When you know where I'm at all the time as far as being on the outside, you can play Cover 2 to Hines all of the time. Now, Hines can play outside, inside, line up in the backfield, move around to a lot of positions. It's going to give me a lot more opportunities, but it should help open up a lot of things for other guys."

That includes running back Willie Parker.

Ward said a more wide-open offense doesn't mean the Steelers will get away from running the ball. They will, he said, take a more creative approach to moving the ball, and that includes shorter passes that should help make Roethlisberger and the offense more efficient.

The Steelers ranked sixth in the NFL last season in third-down conversions, but Ward said he expects them to improve on their conversion rate of 42.9 percent.

"You pick up 5 yards on every down, and you ought to have success on third-down conversions, and that's what we want, to go get our third-down conversion a little higher, our completion percentage a little higher," said Ward, who had four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons from 2001-04. "You don't have to go deep all of the time. You can have an effective passing game short, nitpick here and there, and then take your shots when the opportunity presents itself."



Scott Brown can be reached at mailto:sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432


source:
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 10239.html

And here's a shot of Ward modeling the new throwback helmets the Steelers will be wearing this season:

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;-7 ;-) :-b
Last edited by stomperrob on Thu May 31, 2007 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Metroid » Thu May 31, 2007 1:35 pm

I didn't read anything in there about Miller being used as a wideout. :-?

If they do it would increase his value a bit. ;-D
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Postby stomperrob » Thu May 31, 2007 1:50 pm

Metroid wrote:I didn't read anything in there about Miller being used as a wideout. :-?

If they do it would increase his value a bit. ;-D


Um, the first sentence:
which might explain tight end Heath Miller's lining up as a wideout
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Postby Munboy » Thu May 31, 2007 1:53 pm

Metroid wrote:I didn't read anything in there about Miller being used as a wideout. :-?

If they do it would increase his value a bit. ;-D


Er...the very first sentence maybe?

This time of year is as good as any for NFL teams to tinker, which might explain tight end Heath Miller's lining up as a wideout and Hines Ward's lining up as a slot receiver.



If they stick with this during training camp, it will certainly seem this is the way they want to go and raise Ward and Miller's fantasy value.


As a Steeler homer, I'm excited. All last year, I wanted there to be more to the offense. Open up the playbook a little. The offensive play calling was flat last year and I'd love to see them doing more with their players than just the gadgets they've run in the past. ;-D
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Postby Metroid » Thu May 31, 2007 1:58 pm

stomperrob wrote:
Metroid wrote:I didn't read anything in there about Miller being used as a wideout. :-?

If they do it would increase his value a bit. ;-D


Um, the first sentence:
which might explain tight end Heath Miller's lining up as a wideout

LOL!!!! And I read the whole thing twice except obviously the first sentence. I'm retarded. :-b
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Postby steelerfan513 » Thu May 31, 2007 2:37 pm

It sounds very much like the Steelers will open the playbook up a lot more this year. I like the ideas. I also love how they're trying to get Miller involved more; he's definitely the third best receiver on the team.
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Postby mrblitz » Thu May 31, 2007 2:48 pm

I think the Steelers could really have some success in opening the playbook some. I think they haven't really utilized Heath's catching skills as much as they can.
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Postby aaawall91 » Thu May 31, 2007 6:55 pm

At least the helmet Ward was wearing is more protective than the one Roethlisberger wore in his crash last off-season. :-b
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Postby petedog9 » Thu May 31, 2007 7:00 pm

That would be AWESOME to see the whole team come out on throwback night wearing those helmets.... ;-D Really going oldschool for one game.. Granted they'd all go off on a stretcher... At least for warm-ups would be cool... ;-D

My early consensus on Tomlin is ;-D ;-D ... He seems to got his stuff together and a clear direction in what he wants to do... Looks like another great coaching hire for the Rooney's....
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Postby Azrael » Thu May 31, 2007 11:45 pm

Hrm, Roethlisberger sleeper....
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