Ben Roethlisberger is fat

Sideline Reporter - Eggs, We Need Eggs!

A crazy 12 months have passed Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite bloodletting, you are now going into the race with one of the most complete AFC teams.

Since the Steelers from Freaking in January 2018 Blake Bortles Having received 45 points in the Divisional Playoffs, this time-honored franchise provided ample material for the boulevard.

A broad departure from OffCoord Todd Haley, months of theater around RB LeVeon Bell, followed by weeks of theater around QB Ben Roethlisbergerfollowed by a freaking out WR Antonio Brownfollowed by a stunned one Retirement beautiful in front the playoffs - and it all resulted in Bell's departure and Brown and the impression that you are one golden chance for the title completely thrown in the trash in a feasible AFC.

What remained were many questions. For example, whether Head coach Mike Tomlin still has the store under control. The Steelers of the end of the season and spring were too reminiscent of old comedians with the Oakland Raiders or the Rex-Ryan Jets to avoid the impression that Tomlin's situation had long since slipped away.

Tomlin was allowed to stay. But that's the only reason why he won't according to counted because the management team around the Rooney family owners and GM Kevin Colbert traditionally remained silent about all rumors and the blazing fire emerged quite inconspicuously.

In an AFC with the Eternal Patriots, with an aspiring Mahomes, with general favorites Chargers and Colts, and in a division with the Ravens and the hugely hyped Browns, it's easy to do that Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 to be overlooked. But be careful: the squad is still well staffed.

The Steelers were only 9-6-1 last season, but with one Pythagorean of 9.7 victories They were the seventh best team in the AFC in terms of performance, and it would only have a single of the six not won close-game games would have to end with a win to qualify for a post-season.

The Steelers missed the playoffs despite the second best "net success rate" the NFL and despite the 7t-best EPA / Play difference. They had one Turnover balance of -11. But they allowed themselves crazy bankruptcies like @Oakland, @Denver, failed to win against the Hue-Jackson Browns and sold a fat lead at home against the Chargers. Conclusion: A playoff qualification was easily possible.

Anyone who has been following Mathletics for a long time has long understood that RB Bell's departure is as good as no problem - downgrading to backup James Conner is mostly irrelevant. Some will even argue that in 2018 Conner was the better ones Bell had numbers in 2017. But the most important statement in this context is: The success of running backs is mainly triggered by external factors:

  • How many defenders are in the box?
  • When is the running game announced?
  • When is the running back alluded to in the passing game?
  • How good is the offensive line?

The Loss of Brown could be more serious - after all, AB84 has been in recent years the Catch machine in the slot and top 5 WR accepted in unison. Brown's departure not only tears a $ 20 million hole in the Steelers' salary budget. He also makes sure that WR Ju-ju Smith cobbler sees # 1 coverage coming autumn - which will be a significant change for the young Ju-Ju.

Positive for Pittsburgh: Whatever the reason, they have one excellent track record inDeveloping young self-made products on receivers. Brown himself had only been a 6th rounder in 2010, including people like Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders or last Smith cobbler (2018: 166 targets, 57% success rate) recently matured into top receivers in Pittsburgh without the Steelers having issued 1st or early 2nd rounders (Schuster was a late 2nd rounder as # 62).

The other two young "internally developed" receivers besides Smith-Schuster are JamesWashington (3rd Rounder 2018) and the one drawn in the 3rd round this year Diontae Johnston. To do this, they brought in via Free Agency Donte Moncrief an experienced warrior for around 50 targets. On Tight End you lose Jesse James, who is only second fiddle behind anyway Vance McDonald had played.

How to twist and turn it: QB Roethlisberger continues to have a strong corps of skill players to serve - and if the Steelers do one thing very well offensively, it is that they play a high pass ratio: last year they were one of the again throwing teams:

  • 1st Down: 62% pass rate (NFL: 53%)
  • 2nd Down: 74% pass rate (NFL: 62%)
  • 3rd Down: 88% pass rate (NFL 80%)

Because OffCoord Randy Fichtner when Roethlisberger-Spezl was allowed to stay, there is little reason to assume that something will be changed in this aggressive approach. Perhaps quite the opposite: Without the pressure of having to serve a “Star RB” like Bell with Carries, that will happen Announcements of passing moves maybe even easier. That helps the efficiency of the entire offense.

The great The crux of the matter is the offensive line. You lost there RT Marcus GilbertBut most of all, you lost O-Line Coach Mike Munchak. Munchak is one of the best line coaches in the business, which can be seen in the performance before and since he started the 2014 season:

  • OL Ranking 2009-2013: only once in the top 20
  • OL Ranking 2014-2018: Top-5 twice, never worse than # 10

How stable the protective wall in front of Roethlisberger is becomes one of the wildcards. How long it has to last, but also: Roethlisberger had at 90 "long" Dropsbacks (5-step / 7-step drops) are with most of the league, but on the other hand, his average "time-to-throw" has now reached 2.55 seconds. This means: Roethlisbergerthrows fastest on averageof all QBs in the NFL the ball out of their pocket! You wouldn't have thought, would you?

Where in the offense the big question is concentrated on protection, much more is questionable in defense. For example DefCoord Keith Butlerthat was allowed to stay, but has been criticized for its often hair-raising game plans.

The raw numbers do not necessarily provide food for such criticism: # 13 according to DVOA, # 17 against the pass and # 6 against the run - and that against one of the most difficult offense schedules. But there are situations in many games in which Butler's Defense affords inexplicable bolts and suddenly a receiver 20 yards openly runs down the field.

The big new signing is LB Devin Bush, the "New Ryan Shazier", which was drawn at # 10 in the draft after an expensive trade-up. Bush is supposed to counteract the coverage collapses that came to light again and again last season and the indisposed ones LB Jon Bostic replace. But caution is advised: Just that correct reading of moves was still considered Bush's weakness in the scouting process.

After all, he can operate behind one of the best defensive lines in the NFL: The DTsTuitt / Heyward as well as that EDGE couple TJ Watt / Bud Dupree belongs to the finest what the NFL has to offer. In 2018, this Steelers front was not only one of the most sack-happy in the NFL (# 3 with 8.4% sack rate), but above all it had highest QB pressure rate in the NFL: 36.7% of the snaps ended in QB pressure.

But the secondary is a weak point: behind the budgetary CB1 Haden must wobble candidates like Stevie Nelson (came from Kansas City) Hilton or the former 1st round flop Artie Burns run up - and have to be on safety FS Terrell Edmunds already play a major role in its second year.

Another thing I notice about the Steelers roster is that it is in a few positions behind the first suit very thin relatively quickly. Behind Conner there is only Jaylen Samuels as an athletic running back. McDonald is the only tight end of stature. In the offensive line it is better not to get a starter injured, and there is still very little linebacker behind Bush, Williams and newcomer Alex Barron. But you will have noted it: RB, TE or LB are not the "critical" positions of the NFL.

Advantage Steelers: The schedule is much easier than last year. After the opening game in New England, there are now only two more games in which Pittsburgh competes as an underdog: Week 6 @Chargers and Week 11 @Cleveland. This joins the aforementioned "Positive regression statistics".

The AFC North threatens to become a contested division without a proper barley team, and Pittsburgh loses one of the NFL's best offensive skill players in Brown. But then again, the Steelers have with hers uncompromising “pass-first” mentality a huge trump card up their sleeves that removes a lot of problems - because even without a Brown, passing is still a far better option than running, and the Steelers exploit such inefficiency better than most other NFL teams.

The Steelers still have that, despite Baker Mayfield best QB in the division. Ravens and Browns will face tough opponents and a 12-4 season and associated bye in round 1 of the playoffs will be extremely difficult, if not to say utopian. But let's be honest: It should be the playoffs. Ideally by winning the AFC North, not just with the last wildcard.

Posted in NFL, Dissection Lesson

Tagged Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger, NFL, NFL 2019, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dissection Lesson, Dissection Lesson 2019

Jul 17