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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What we learned, Miami

I tried to post this Monday night at Heinz Field, but apparently, the rain delayed the posting.

© We had a Lawrence Timmons sighting on defense Monday night and the rookie replaced, of all people, Troy Polamalu in the nickel defense.

Timmons made some plays, too, picking up a couple of tackles and recovering a fumble.

That team rookie of the year award is still hanging in the balance.

© Then again, punter Daniel Sepulveda may have wrapped it up with his effort against the Dolphins.

Sepulveda punted five times and all five were downed inside the Miami 20 with no returns thanks to excellent hang time.

Considering Miami’s only real chance to score Monday night would have come on a return by Ted Ginn, that was huge.

© A win is a win is a win, but that one was as ugly as any of the Bill Cowher era.

The Pittsburgh Steelers slogged through a 3-0 win against the Miami Dolphins at Heinz Field Monday night.

Many will blame the sloppiness of the game on the turf at Heinz Field, which was re-sodded following Saturday’s Pitt game here. But the field actually held up well after the rain stopped.

The problem was that the rain didn’t stop all that much. And no matter what kind of surface you have, when you get about three inches of rain in the course of a day, the field is going to be treacherous.

Anybody remember the famous Terry Bradshaw slide against the Houston Oilers at Three Rivers Stadium during which Bradshaw spun round and round as he slid on the soaking wet turf? That was on Astroturf.

Monday night’s game could have been played on the finest surface known to man, but unless it was going to be played indoors, it wasn’t going to matter.

© Willie Parker carried the ball 24 times for 81 yards, but I didn’t see too many carries where he could have gotten more.

Parker’s game is cutting and going and in this game, that wasn’t going to be possible. He was sticking the ball up in the middle against the Dolphins defense and getting what he could, even breaking some tackles.

That was a great effort.

© Hines Ward is a mudder, pure and simple.

© If James Harrison doesn’t make the Pro Bowl this season, it’s a crime. He’s been that good.

© Larry Foote and James Farrior were also outstanding Monday night. They spent more time in the Miami backfield than Dolphins’ running back Ricky Williams, who was knocked from the game in his return from an 18-month suspension after just six carries.

© Marvel Smith’s sore back kept him out of this game and Max Starks started at left tackle in his place. Starks looked much better at left tackle in this game than he did in the preseason.

Of course he was playing for a contract in this one, showing that he can be a serviceable offensive tackle in this league.

Starks, by the way, also deflected the Dolphins’ field goal attempt in the fourth quarter, a three-pointer that would have been nullified anyway by a delay of game penalty.

© It’s hard to believe, but Ben Roethlisberger was 18 of 21 for 165 yards passing in this game, completing 15 in a row at one point to tie his own team record.

Of course none of those passes were more than 10 yards downfield as Roethlisberger’s long pass before the Steelers’ game-winning drive was a 15-yard completion to – egads – Dan Kreider.


adamg said...

That punt that landed nose down in the sod and stuck there was hilarious. I don't think I've ever seen that in a football game.

Cotter said...

Be honest, was the now-infamous Lawrence Timmons stomp intentional?

Dale Lolley said...

No. I asked him about it and I think his answer was honest. He said he was tracking the ball and that's all he saw at that point.

adamg said...

You could see from TV that Timmons' head was up all the way and he was focused squarely on the ball. Possibly he wondered why he suddenly got good traction though.

Cotter said...

Yeah, I didn't think it was intentional, I just genuinely wanted to know. And seeing as how I'm not what you'd call a "credentialed" member of the media, I thought I'd ask someone who is in the know.