Prior to this game and dating back to last season, it had been the offense that had been much maligned for the ineptness which led to the 8-8 season.
Something has become as clear as day with this offense and if I can see it, why can’t the coaches of the Steelers?
Maybe it’s because they aren’t supposed to notice and that’s the problem.
As was the case in the opening day loss to Tennessee, the losses to Cincy and Chicago and then again today, this offense works best when it uses three wide receivers, a tight end named Heath Miller and one running back. I know you have noticed this and if you haven’t then you are still seeing Franco and Rocky rumbling through the line.
Except this time there is no Franco and there is no Rocky and whoever is running the ball gets stopped for a two-yard gain.
The paradigm is all too real and ridiculous for this offense. They start the game with multiple tight ends and a fullback and struggle to do much offensively then when they fall behind they go to the three-wide, one tight end, one-back concept (known to many as ’11’) and suddenly things start working better. Don’t tell me it’s’ because the defense goes into the prevent mode either because that isn’t always the case.
In essence what the Pittsburgh Steelers have is a bi-polar offense. They have one personality that attempts to be the traditional running team that certain members of the organization want and then the other personality is the one that the personnel actually fits. The chances that Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley haven’t had this register with them are slim to none.
The question must then be asked, “Why don’t the Steelers run the offense this way all the time?” Perhaps because they aren’t supposed to that’s why.
Regardless of what you believe regarding who canned Bruce Arians or who hired Todd Haley, the fact of the matter is that Ben Roethlisberger and this offense have a hell of a lot more success when they can spread things out than when they are forced to pack it in. The poor offensive line play doesn’t help in either case but there has to be a conflict within the organization about what this offense is supposed to look like.
We may never know the truth but all of us have our suspicions. Frankly it doesn’t matter because at 0-4, personality disorders are bound to happen.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.