With Sundays loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, there are a few things that have become abundantly clear to me.
1—There is too much talent on this Steelers offense to not be putting at least 30 points per game on the score board.
2—As long as Bruce Arians is calling the plays, this team will never accomplish that feat.
In over time, when Charlie Batch came in for the injured Ben Roethlisberger, the first play called was a pass play,which made me think, WOW—Arians must be finally getting it.
Now, I think Batch heard a different play than the one Arians called.
On third and two from the 35 yard line, instead of running Rashard Mendenhall up the middle, or even a QB sneak, Arians made the all time bone headed call of the year. A sweep right.
On the play, sweep right? Instead of having the powerful Rashard Mendenhall take the ball, or the fast Willie Parker (I know he is not that fast anymore, but he is faster than Mewelde Moore), the Steelers put in Mewelde Moore.
Putting Moore in would have been a great call if the play was a run up the middle, or a short pass, not a sweep.
So, Arians calls for the sweep, and Moore looses three yards, pushing the potential field goal from 52 yards to 55 yards, and out of Jeff Reeds range.
Regardless of what happened after that point, the loss has to be put on the shoulders again of Bruce Arians.
Though the season is not over for the Steelers, if they are going to be successful one of two things is going to have to happen.
1—Arians is going to have to be stripped of his play calling.
2—Ben Roethlisberger is going to have to be calling a LOT of audibles.
With the talent the Pittsburgh Steelers have, they should be dominating the better teams in the league, let alone the Chiefs.
So, here is my short list of potential offensive coordinators, that the Steelers should consider hiring when they fire Bruce Arians at the end of the season.
1—Charlie Weis. Though he faltered heavily with Notre Dame, there is little speculation that he has an amazing ability at calling plays. Since Weis left the New England Patriots, the Pats have not won the Super Bowl. They won three titles while Weis was calling the plays. Weis is one of the reasons Tom Brady is known as he is today.
2—Brian Billick. Since being fired by the Baltimore Ravens after the 2007 season, Billick has worked in TV. Many people do not want to give Billick credit as an amazing offensive coordinator, but forget about the time with the Ravens. Billick led the Minnesota Vikings to post the most points ever put on the score board (556 points with 41 TD Passes) with Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss in his rookie season. With a quarterback that is considerably better than Culpepper, and more offensive weapons (I would take Holmes, Ward and Wallace over Moss), Billick could do wonders with this team.
3—Mike Martz. I took a lot of heat on suggesting Martz previously, but I think it just might work. Martz flopped as a head coach, even with the "greatest show on turf". If he would be willing to focus more on running the ball, he would be a great addition. Pittsburgh has turned into a pass first team, and with the weapons the Steelers have, even Martz would be able to do an amazing job.
4—ME! I know, I know, what have I ever done to warrant an NFL coordinator gig? My answer is simply, nothing. Nothing at all. I guarantee that I would not have the problems that Arians is having. I would be willing to mix up the plays, and I would allow the no huddle offense a lot more than Arians does. The no huddle keeps defenses on their toes, and wears them out because they can not freely substitute. I would run the no huddle at least once per quarter, putting the ball in Ben Roethlisbergers hand, and let him work his magic. Not only that, I would be cheap. I mean VERY cheap. I would do the job for like, $100K per year, which would make me the lowest paid coordinator in the NFL.
For years, the Steelers were only one piece away from being a dynasty. During the Neil O'Donnell days it was no receiver. During the Kordell Stewart days, it was no QB. For the Steelers to let this opportunity go because of loyalty to Arians, that would be a shame.