Mark Kaboly | Tribune-Review
Todd Haley’s offense has been solid through three games — possessing the ball 36 minutes a game, converting 56 percent on third downs, averaging 350 yards per game and 25 points per game.
But Haley isn’t happy with three stats that he feels that has hindered his offense through three games — offensive penalties, sacks and minus runs.
According to Haley’s count, the Steelers’ offense lost a little more than 200 yards of field position when you add up those three stats.
“To me, yards translates to points,” Haley said. “A 100 yards equals seven. That is 14 points we have given back to the defense. If you add those 14 points on top of the points we scored, maybe the results would be a little different. We try to focus on eliminating those minus plays. They are all easily remedied. Some of them are bad calls, some of them are scheme, some of them are individual breakdown or mental breakdowns.”
So, during the two bye week practices, Haley focused on getting those things fixed.
“When we come back Monday the guys need to make sure they keep that in mind and work on it,” Haley said.
Here is the rest of the Haley media scrum from Wednesday:
Re: Use of old hand signals against the Raiders
“Everybody has to understand that the ability to go to no-huddle you have to rely on hand signals. A lot of our work through the offseason, the OTAs and that in training camp is coming up with the signals. We have a lot of plays with a lot of different hand signals that go along with it. It is a complicated process. If there is something that relates in the past that everybody knows that can be used that’s what we do. It is a complicated but very simple deal. The plays are the plays and attached to them is a hand signal that you physically tell everybody without any verbal communication.”
Re: How much will Rashard Mendenhall help the running game
“I hope that it helps us a bunch. Last game you look at it statistically and say we are not running the ball. But we went into that game knowing what type of game it would be that they would have a hard time stopping us throwing the football so it was important that we ran efficiently. When you broke that game down third-and-ones, fourth-and-ones, second-and-ones, we converted the first downs running. The averages isn’t where you would like it to be. You would like to see some of those come out to be bigger runs but they were efficient runs. To get another difference-maker back hopefully will be a big deal for us. Our goal is to win each and every game we go out and play, to possess the football, control the clock – which we done a good job of – but we haven’t done a good job on winning the games so that’s what we need to work on.”
Re: Personnel groups similar to what you had in Arizona
“I said from the start that the group we have here and especially with the receivers and Rashard coming back we have a pretty complete group. You would like to have them all involved and like to move the ball, control the clock, score points. We are doing a lot of things pretty good. We are doing a good job in the red zone to this point and we are obviously doing a good job in the red zone up to this point and on third down. But it has been too many third downs which tells me that we are bottom of the league on first downs. We have to be a more efficient team on first down whether we are throwing or running. If we continue to do that we will see progress.”
Re: Concerned of the lack of big plays down the field?
“No, not really because I know we will make them. We have the people to do it, we have the quarterback to do it and those tend to come in bunches. Right now, I am happy with the way we are moving the football and moving the chains. The big plays will come but when the big plays come then you are not possessing the ball for 35 minutes a game and the defense is out there potentially longer. They will come. We are not forcing the issue.”
Re: Is that a function of more teams playing zone
“In most plays that we have designed, there is a shot aspect of it. If you are not getting to the shots that just means Ben is getting to the reads properly and he doesn’t feel good about the shot and gets the ball to the second and third receiver. I think that is why you are seeing the ball spread around a good deal. A lot of it is what we are seeing on defense. If it is not there then the quarterback is taught to get to the next guys and he has done a good job of doing that.”
Re: Is the run game a concern?
“I would like to have balance. The name of the game is to win games and right now we are throwing it more efficiently than we are running it. And it is only three games. The last game we weren’t going to hand the ball off a million times unless that game got into a position where we got the lead. It is a small sample right now. I feel good about the guys up front and feel good about the guys carrying the ball. You will see the run game come along and it needs to.
Re: Important with balance
“It is not critical moving the chains, scoring points. Where the run game helps you is that it has the tendency to wear defenses out a little bit. We are wearing them out by being up-tempo and keep them on the field. What we focused on this bye week as a staff even though it is only three days is minus plays. We have had a little over 200 yards whether it was an offensive penalty, a sack, a minus run. To me, yards translates to points. A 100 yards equals seven. That is 14 points we have given back to the defense. If you add those 14 points on top of the points we scored, maybe the results would be a little different. We try to focus on eliminating those minus plays. They are all easily remedied. Some of them are bad calls, some of them are scheme, some of them are individual breakdown or mental breakdowns.”
Re: Roethlisberger’s play
“He is playing at a very high level. He is very efficient in the operation of no huddle. He is very good with his decisions. When you see us in quick mode where the ball is coming out in three-step timimg he has been tremendous. There are going to be some situations that we are going to rely on Ben to keep the play alive long enough to convert. The key now is to continue to get better.”