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Sunday, January 02, 2011

Post-Cleveland thoughts

The Steelers played Sunday like a veteran team that new what it wanted and knew how to get it.

That first offensive play to Mike Wallace off of play-action was a message to the Browns: "What happened last year isn't going to happen again this time around."

© After a while, I started to feel a little bad for Colt McCoy in this game.

I wonder why McCoy's dad didn't call somebody on the Cleveland sidelines and tell them he wasn't going back out there?

For those of you who don't remember, that's what McCoy's dad did last year in his final game at Texas.

© I would have loved to have been in Baltimore when they kept showing the Steelers-Browns score.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he and the players would be keeping an eye on the scoreboard Sunday.

I can only imagine the reaction as the the scoreboard showed 14-0 at about 1:10 p.m.

© I think the Steelers like where they're at right now.

Though Pittsburgh is the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs, they will be about the last team that everyone talks about heading into the postseason.

New England will get a lot of hype and rightfully so. But Baltimore, Indianpolis, the Jets and even the Chiefs will be sexier stories.

The national media will forget all about the most recent AFC team to win a Super Bowl.

© I like the way the offensive line is protecting in front of Ben Roethlisberger right now.

Roethlisberger was not sacked on Sunday and did pretty much whatever he wanted to in the pocket.

© My Marvin Lewis-to-Pitt tip on this blog well over a month ago is starting to get some legs again.

A bigger surprise is this. Word has it that Tom Bradley is so fed up with things in State College that he would leave Penn State to come to Pittsburgh as Lewis' defensive coordinator.

© Here's the final fallout on who the Steelers will play in 2011 – assuming there is a season:

Home: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Tennessee, New England, Arizona and St. Louis

Away: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, San Francisco and Seattle.

That's six playoff opponents - including Baltimore twice – with four of those games coming on the road.

Of course, the Steelers were 7-1 on the road this season.


Ron in Michigan said...

Watching the offense evolve under BA, scratch that, watching Bruce Ariens evolve as an offenses coordinator is one of the best pleasure's I am enjoying about this Drive For 7. Ben was virtually untouched today. That kind of play calling will result in a win every time. And Mr. Kugler deserves just as much credit.

What else can you say about Troy? every adjective has already been used.

Does Timmons have a nickname yet?

And thank God for Coach Tomlin!

joe said...

ron, it is great to finally see ba get a clue with the play calling. about time they started letting wallace run something beside the deep route
pouncey had no business being in the game second half.
seeing heath plow that dude ten yards straight back was nice. especially considering we thought he was paralalized a few weeks ago after we saw that hit.

wallace did just fine filling in for holmes this season, sanders looks like he will be just fine next year too.

fouts is an excellent announcer

BoJangles said...

How about that complete game we've been calling for? The boys looked sharp in all facets of the game. That's a well coached, motivated team at it's best. If we can manage to score 25 or so points per in the playoffs I don't see why we can't win 7 this year. It was good to see some consistency from the offense. Not only in the play calling, but the execution.

Dale Lolley said...

Tomlin calls Timmons Law Dog. Has since his rookie year.

adamg said...

Dale, I thought I saw Foote, in for Timmons, after Timmons blew the second of 2 easy tackles for loss by grabbing for the head and shoulders instead of wrapping up. Or was I seeing things?

Otherwise, agree the Steelers played a complete game on both offense and defense. The OL has looked much better recently, but perhaps that's a result of them playing together as unit for about a month now, too.

Gotta give my unsung hero award to Flozell Adams. No one was too thrilled or excited when he was signed, but he's gotten the job done very well all year at RT.

keevin said...

missed the game because I was travelling home from the Winter Classic

How did Troy look? do u think he will be 100% the next game?

will Aaron Smith play next game?

Anonymous said...

Great game Ben and (yes, it's true) Brucie! Here's to putting up 20-plus in the playoffs!

emac2 said...

It's hard to see how we could lose more then 4 games with that schedule next year.

Josh said...

I've complained about Bruce Arians here in the past - so just want to say he deserves all the kudos for calling a great game. The addition of the quick-hitters to our speedster WRs kept the pressure off Ben and may be the wrinkle that makes the difference going forward.

Red zone play calling was also spot on (i.e., not trying to force it in from 10 yards out and adding Legursky as a lead blocker).

Anonymous said...

The more I watch Mendenhall run the more I think we need to address the running back position in the upcoming draft. This guy is looking very ordinary as the season goes on.

Dale Lolley said...

Remember the offensive line he's running behind when you are critical of Mendenhall. Still, the 3.7 yards per carry he averaged in the second half is not great.
But that was also when Starks went down.

Yes, they are cautiously optimistic that Aaron Smith will be back. But Ziggy Hood has played his best football over the past month.

Homegrown Misanthropist said...

I agree about Ziggy Hood, he just keeps getting better with every game. I am really optimistic about the DL after watching him the last month. He will be a very good replacement for Aaron Smith after he retires. I do not agree about Mendenhall, he caught a couple of good screen passes and pounded his way on a couple of runs which seemed to be for losses. I wasn't able to see Dwyer run because CBS switched to the KC-OAK game.

marc said...

mendy is fine and he does very well on the swing passes.

the OL is protecting better, but keep in mind the browns couldn't sack their grandma if they wanted to.

the play calling was nice, but once again, take into consideration who they were playing.

the steelers beat up on a team they should beat up on. it won't be all roses in 2 weeks against a good playoff team, whoever that may be.

the OL must improve their run blocking for the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Mendenhall appears to avoid contact as much as possible. From running out of bounds to that grievous spin move. He just needs to lower his head and bowl some dudes over like Heath did with that cornerback.

Anonymous said...

who do you think the Steelers will draft with the 32nd pick in April?

adamg said...

I have to give some credit to Everest and the STs. They made sure Cribbs did not hurt them in the return game even if it meant sacrificing a bit of field position.

Mendenhall is fine. The run game is something you have to keep after with many short runs often coming before the back breaking one comes (see Atl OT win). With BR back at qb, Arians doesn't feel the need to just keep pounding the ball.

I like BR's play the past few games. He's becoming less of a sandlot qb and a more polished pro.

Agree that Sanders and Brown are adding more and more to the passing game.

This is the time of year when teams want to be playing their best football and it looks like the Steelers are doing just that.

Mizou said...

I was miffed at first when I saw Mendy run out of bounds after that long run.. but remember: The game is already in hand, so why risk getting an injury to an important player in that situation? Let him run out of bounds and avoid some contact to keep him fresher for whoever we face in the playoffs.

Anonymous said...

Don't you remember Jerome Bettis told Willie Parker to avoid the unnecessary hits to prolong his career? Battering rams don't last long.

keevin said...

FYI, the Steelers game is set for Saturday at 4:30 on January 14th

kelly said...

It's actually the 15th.