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Steelers-Ravens: Arians Tries To Fit Square Peg Into Round Hole

BALTIMORE - NOVEMBER 29:  Dennis Dixon #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers hands off against the  Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on November 29, 2009 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images
Lee HeislerCorrespondent INovember 30, 2009

Well, the Steelers gave the Ravens a better game than most people thought they would.

The defense made a few big plays, yet gave up a few big plays. The worst part was, once again, Bruce Arians and his play-calling. Several calls puzzled me, but what else would you expect from Arians?

The thing that upset me the most was that Arians tried to make Dennis Dixon into a pocket-passer. The Ravens are a tough enough defense to go up against, but even tougher when your offensive coordinator tries to make you into something that you're not.

Why didn't Arians use some more moving pockets and bootlegs to give Dixon a pass/run option, enabling him to use his athletic ability? The one time that they did it, it resulted in a big play touchdown.

Arians makes the players fit into his system, instead of forming his offense around the strengths of the players. That is a sign of a poor coach. All Arians had to do was take a look at how the Titans changed their offense while transitioning from Kerry Collins to Vince Young.

Granted the Steelers didn't have a whole week knowing that Dixon was going to be the QB, but "good" coaches should always be prepared and have their teams prepared.

There should have been an offensive package put in to utilize Dixon's strengths "just in case," but the Steelers didn't.

Thus far this season Arians has stuck with the empty backfield set that has failed much, much more than it has succeeded. It's really done nothing but hurt the Steelers and their franchise QB.

Arians has made the Steelers a one-dimensional team numerous times this season by becoming pass happy. He's made poor play-calls in the redzone or short yardage situations all season, which takes points off the board.

He's become enamored with calling the long pass, even when that's what teams are protecting against. He refuses to max protect when needed, see the games against the Bengals this year and the game against the Eagles last season.

And tonight he refused to maximize Dixon's talents by using rollouts, moving pockets, or any plays with pass/run options.

It's to the point now where I'm losing respect for Mike Tomlin. He has to step in and do what's best for the team, even if it means stepping on peoples toes.

If Tomlin continues to stand by and do nothing but talk and cut fringe players on the roster I've got one word for you...spineless !

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