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Monday, December 04, 2006

Mediocrity rewarded

© Tampa Bay had no respect whatsoever for the Steelers’ receivers and looked to have eight or sometimes even nine men up at the line of scrimmage at times.

Get used to that as long as Hines Ward isn’t around to occupy opposing defenders.

© Sean Morey did his best Cedrick Wilson impersonation on the only pass thrown his way, calling for a pass interference penalty before the ball had even hit the ground. The only difference was that Morey did, indeed, get mugged.

Then again, the officials probably figured that the receiver has to get some kind of separation before they’ll call pass interference. Morey got none.

Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t especially sharp against the Bucs, but he didn’t have much to work with, either. And that was before Wilson limped off the field following his second catch.

© Speaking of Wilson, what was with that celebration for after his first reception?

Coaches used to tell players to act like you’ve been there before after scoring a touchdown. Has the time come for them to now remind players to act like they’ve caught a 13-yard pass before?

© Was there anybody in the stadium who didn’t know the Bucs were going to try a fade pass to Maurice Stovall when they brought him into the game in the third quarter?

Bryant McFadden certainly knew it was coming.

A good pass may have beaten McFadden. The one Bruce Gradkowski threw was not a good one as it was thrown more to the inside than the outside.

Still, McFadden did what you are supposed to do and played the football.

© Porter has begun his late-season Pro Bowl push. I’m sure he’ll follow up Sunday’s two-sack performance with a couple more Thursday night at Cleveland and suddenly he’ll have nine sacks. Happens every year.

© How about that dive Gradkowski took when Deshea Townsend came in unblocked?

Gradkowski hasn’t gone down that easily since Washington High School beat his Seton-LaSalle team by 60 points.

He must have thought Casey Hampton was storming through that hole instead of Townsend.

© I overheard Ryan Clark telling Anthony Smith to be ready to play Thursday against the Browns. His reasoning?

Clark was told that head coach Bill Cowher said during his post-game press conference that his groin injury was serious. That’s all Clark knew about it. Apparently, nobody told Clark it was serious.

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