With Ben on the bench, Ravens focus shifts to Steelers running backs

The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive system is relatively simple. The offense consists of power running plays, quick wide receiver screens, and bunch sets on passing downs. All of these plays are schematically easy to defend but there is one thing that makes the Steelers offense difficult to stop and that is the playmaking ability of Ben Roethlisberger.

There are highlights upon highlights of Big Ben running around in the backfield, breaking out of sure sacks, and finding a wide-open receiver for a backbreaking third down conversion or touchdown. He is arguably the best “backyard football” quarterback of all-time. There is literally nothing conventional about the way he plays.

But Ben is on the bench. Suffering from a sprained shoulder and rib injury incurred on a Monday Night sack, Roethlisberger will once again watch a Ravens-Steelers game from the sidelines. Byron Leftwich will be under center when the Steelers take the field on Sunday Night.

The Ravens have faced two Steelers backups in the Harbaugh era, Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch, and defeated both in close games. With Dixon at the helm in 2009, the Steelers scored 17 points and accumulated 298 total yards, and in 2010 Batch led the Steelers to 14 points and 210 total yards. These numbers are far from impressive and the Ravens can duplicate this success by focusing on one thing – whoever is lined up in the Pittsburgh backfield.

It will be either Isaac Redman orJonathan Dwyer (never mind Rashard Mendenhall, who is questionable for the game.) Redman and Dwyer are tough runners. Neither back is gifted with game breaking speed, but they are both huge guys that run hard and break tackles. The Ravens cannot allow these two to run away from them on Sunday Night.

The Ravens have not been the best tacklers this season. The focus of this week’s preparations must be wrapping up and gang tackling these Steelers running backs. The Steelers will try to keep the ball out of Leftwich’s hands as much as possible. I would expect to see low risk wide receiver screens and runs on first and second down with the hopes of setting up manageable third down situations for the Steelers offense.

The Ravens know that their job is to stifle the Steelers on early downs to force Leftwich into third and long where they will be able to heat up the blitz. The Ravens must tackle well for this to take place.

This entry was posted in Baltimore Ravens, Blog View, Featured by Kyle Purkey. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kyle Purkey

Kyle Purkey
Kyle Purkey is a Senior at James Madison University currently pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Kinesiology focusing on Exercise Science with a Minor in Coaching Education. He is an aspiring football coach and works as a videographer for the JMU Football Team. Growing up in Carroll County, Kyle's love of...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

 

Hot off the street

The 2014 NFL Draft by Position: Interior Offensive Line

With the 2014 NFL draft just a few weeks away, the interior offensive line for the Baltimore Ravens has gone from a glaring question mark to one of the most solidified units on the roster. Assuming...read more

Roger Greedell Caught in a Lie

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock somewhere you know that the NFL moved its draft back to May 8-10. For years the draft was held in late April and for the past few it’s been scheduled for t...read more

NFL Could Release 2014 Schedule on Tuesday

According to multiple sources the 2014 NFL Schedule could be released as early as Tuesday April 22 but as late as Thursday April 24. This would mark the latest date in a given calendar year that th...read more

New Deal Ngata Happening…Yet

Photo courtesy of ShawnHubbardPhoto.com   Perhaps one of the more understated needs of the Baltimore Ravens as they prepare for the 2014 NFL Draft is the position of defensive tackle. Th...read more

Ravens Should Give McClain Another Shot

So Rolando McClain showed up late for a workout in front of Ravens’ officials yesterday and then promptly failed his conditioning test. Same old Rolando? Maybe, maybe not. It’s easy to as...read more

View More