November 23, 2007

That's Just Joey Being Joey...


"We're 0-9. I'd welcome Bin Laden if he could run the ball like Ricky did."
- Joey Porter
Here we are, it's Friday (Editor's Note: This post was written and posted on Friday, 11/23...if you're just reading it now shame on you...but I'm happy you are, smiley face). Joey Porter week rolls on and we inch closer to Monday night's battle with Miami. I have no doubt that Peezy is doing his best to rally the troops in South Florida, in the hope that he can compel them to achieve an unprecented victory. Though with the recent movement down there, I'm not sure he will even have to. Fact is, they've got a new QB starting, Ted Ginn Jr. got his first offensive score a few weeks ago in London, and there's a potential for a Ricky Williams return to action. If you think about it, the offense we'll be facing Monday is completely different from what it has been all season...Ok, maybe that's a stretch...

Of course, that doesn't mean the Steelers are ready to run and hide. Far from it. Still, neither are we already counting Monday night in the win column. Either way, just like me, the Steelers had plenty to say on Wednesday about Joey's impending return to Heinz Field. Here are some of the highlights (gathered from Ed Bouchette's Turkey Day column):
"Knowing Joey, Joey's going to be Joey."
- Aaron Smith

"The first thing I'm going to try is to hit him in his mouth because he thinks I'm going to cut him."
- Willie Parker

"On a scale of one out of 10, he'll be a 10 1/2...Joey hates to lose. They haven't gotten on that side this whole year yet, so he's going to come in here with everything he's got. I'm sure he's going to try to give them all our secrets and things like that."
- Brett Keisel

"It's Joey, man, let's not kid ourselves...He's been thinking about this since he signed with Miami and saw it on the schedule."
- Willie Colon
But enough of this meaningless crap. It's Friday - Let's talk about what the Steelers should do in order to prevail over the Dolphins...and I'd say I'm going to try not to make these obvious, but if I did that I'd be lying...so just read and enjoy.

OFFENSE:
  • Hello, Running Game? ~ Are you there? It's me, Cotter. Could you please get going this week? This is like the 10th time this season we've faced the league's worst run defense. You think you could maybe move the ball on the ground? With Willie Parker? I mean nothing against Najeh Davenport, but Dump is the #2 for a reason. Help us fans out and establish yourself so we can be effective throwing the ball and keep Ben off the ground as much as possible. That'd be super. Thanks...

  • Arians, Let's Talk ~ Hey man, I dig your style from a philosophical standpoint and agree with you that some more 5 step drops might help Ben. But let's not forget the quick slants and outs. Maybe encourage Ben to take off if he's got nothing going? I applaud your rapport with our Godsend and that you've allowed him to become intimately involved in game planning. But let's also not forget he's only in his 4th year. Sometimes he needs you to guide him. Anyways, look at it this way, if you can get the small ball going, the long ball will be all that much more effective. Oh yeah, and speaking of the long ball - without Santonio, we're going to have to rely a lot more on Nate Washington. But let's not ignore Willie Reid and Cedrick Wilson completely. They've both been non-factors this season, so maybe they'll be further off the defense's radar? Then again, who knows if they can catch the ball...

  • See The Rush, Be The Rush ~ Jason Taylor, Joey Porter, Channing Crowder, Vonnie Holiday - the rush is going to be there. If Miami has anything, it's strong pass rushers. We know the Offensive Line isn't exactly an impenetrable force. So be ready. You have 3 seconds. Ben - get rid of the ball quicker. Receivers - understand Ben's predicament. He can't spend 60 minutes scrambling around with little help. I'm just thinking, and maybe I'm wrong, the majority of the rush will be coming from the edges. So Ben may have to step up in the pocket for once. Maybe that's not a bad thing. Just know that time is at a premium. 3 seconds, remember...
DEFENSE:
  • I'm So Over The Prevent ~ Noting irritates me more than to see us playing soft, hoping not to give up a big play. Especially in the final minutes of close games (ahem ahem). Let's just play Steeler Defense. Rush the QB. Ike and Deshea, stick to Ginn and Marty Booker like glue. Casey Hampton and Aaron Smith eat up the Offensive Line. Assert yourselves like you were the #1 Defense categorically in the league last week. Don't make me come over there...

  • Keep Your Eyes On Ted Ginn ~ Sure, we all laughed our asses off when the Dolphins picked him #9 overall but that doesn't mean he can't torch a defense. He hasn't really had the chance to get going yet, and a change to the younger, more prototypical John Beck might be just what he needs. Earlier in the season, there was Trent Green and Chris Chambers, then Cleo Lemon and Chris Chambers, now it's John Beck and Ted Ginn (and of course Marty Booker). I'm just saying, two rookies - they might be looking to establish themselves as a tandem. Hey, I'm really reaching to find things here...just go with it.

  • There Will Be Someone Running The Ball ~ Or at least I think there will...Whether that is going to be Jesse Chatman, Ricky Williams or Patrick Cobbs is far beyond my knowledge at this point. If I had to bet I'd put my money on Chatman (will depend on his injury), who is actually the RB I fear more. Ricky's been out of the NFL for what? 2 years or something. Out of football altogether for at least a year? I have no doubt that he's in good condition, but the NFL is a whole different animal from the CFL and if he were to play I imagine he'd have some trouble readjusting, to the Steelers benefit. Nonetheless, if it is Ricky - Tackle! After watching Thomas Jones run all over us last week I'd be remiss if I didn't say it. Stop the run, let's leave it at that...should be easy enough, right?...uh...
"SPECIAL" TEAMS:
For the record, the word "Special" will continue to show up in quotes on One For The Other Thumb until they convince me they're able to cover and return kicks effectively. Right now, I think we all know what the objective is here. Ted Ginn is another dangerous return man - and already has one TD on the year (87 yards last week vs. Eagles for the 'Phins only score). So I don't know, maybe we short/squib kick it again this week? I don't really care how they do it but they can't give up big returns. In my mind, that's the equivalent of a turnover - free yards/potential points for the opposing Offense. Get the message -- Quit jaggin' around you jaggers...

So come on guys, let's respond to all the doubters. Show everyone that the Jets were just a bump in the road and that the REAL 2007 Steelers are able to bounce back from embarrassment and assert themselves on both sides of the ball once again. As toned down as this post may be, the Dolpins are still 0-10. Let's just settle down and get the job done. After all, we need a couple good weeks running up to December 9.

Now - What do you guys think about this game? Will Silverback have another multiple sack game? Will Big Ben stay upright for more than two plays at a time? What are the odds you'll find Ricky Williams under the stands lighting up a spliff? I really wanna know...let's have it!

Oh yeah and PS - Miami also has cheerleaders...


REFERENCE MATERIAL:
Miami Stats [Pro-football-reference]
More Miami Stats [ESPN]
Cameron Handling Tough Season Well [Miami Herald]
NFL Preview - Miami at Pittsburgh [Miami Herald]
Ex-Steeler Porter Out To Get Last Word [Miami Herald]
Dolphins at Steelers [Fox Sports]
Ricky's First Practice [Dolphin Digest]
Williams Takes Part In First Full Practice, Status For Monday Unclear [CBSSportsline]

Ballhype: hype it up!

2 comments:

Tobiathan said...

Tough game this week. I hate seeing us play teams with absolutely nothing to lose. It scares the shit outta me.

On the other hand after last week's embarassment i'm hoping for a rebounding performance from our guys. In all, i still say we should have won last week, and would have if the GD officials weren't wearing Green-n-White. F*ck. F*ckers. Still can't believe all those unbelievable, devastating, untimely penalties.

AAAAAAAAAGGHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

OK. That's outta my system. Mostly. F*ckers.

So yeah: Miami, and Peezy, are a real threat. We stand to get guys hurt, to get embarrassed, to lose to an "inferior" team etc. All things considered a crappy sitch.

I don't have any real outlook on this game. I'm still not confident that we'll be allowed to win by the referees. Seriously. I'm sure Micheal Peraira up at the NFL HQ has told them to make MNF exciting, and we'll probably pay for it. Again.

But who knows?

OK- it wasn't *really* outta my system. I'm still pissed. Just let me remind everyone that almost every single year Cowher coached here he got a compensatory draft pick in the either the regular or supplemental draft to make up for...wait for it...bad officiating!

Seriously. Look it up. Pittsburgh has more compensatory picks than any other team in the last twenty years. Go figure.

It makes sense though. The NFL can't let a small-market team like the Steelers be so totally dominant over the League. They HAVE to rob us of games subtly, in order to allow teams in other markets to pretend to be successful and dominant. I mean it. I bet if we went back and looked at the last twenty years of Pittsburgh Steelers football we'd see that almost every game we lost was hinged on some kind of penalty call(not counting our obviously bad games and seasons. believe it or not, i AM a realist! dammit.)

Go Steelers. Beat the Fins. Yay.

PS- this is where the real championship-caliber teams of the world unite, buckle down and win in spite of it all. hint hint....

Tobiathan said...

Some food for thought on this Thanksgiving weekend:

It has NEVER been the Steelers i'm down on- it's the League.

After Belichud got caught cheating, admitted it and openly spoke about it the League confiscated his tapes and launched a self-regulated investigation into the whole affair. The NFL ended up destroying all the evidence in just five days, fined the Pats, slapped Belichump on the wrist and took away 1 of their 2 top draft picks.

It was in that moment i could no longer take the NFL too very seriously. They serve their own best interests and will do whatever is necessary to make more and more money. Even cheat(by encouraging officials to over-officiate games) and/or condone cheating(SpyGate et al).

So, until i see the Pittsburgh Steelers be "permitted" to play football the same way every other team in the league is and not get called for those totally insane, untimely and devastating, obscure, unclear infractions i'll have a hard time taking football seriously. I don't mind seeing the Steelers get beat, just not by the officials. Let THE OTHER TEAM beat them. There is no way Denver or NYJ shoulda beat Pittsburgh. None.

Arizona kicked our asses that day. Period.

IMHO the Senate should conduct competition and ethics inquiries into NFL policies and actions.

Ever notice how the Rooneys don't say much about the game anymore?

The problem with the NFL is that it's gotten to be too big, too valuable. If you look at the SB winners the last ten years you'll see it's been all the teams with the biggest fan-bases BEFORE they won SB's...look it up.

PS- New England/Boston has THE highest population density(hence largest potential fanbase) in America. And they just "happen" to be the "dynasty" of the 21st century?

Hmmmm.....

If i remember correctly, Allegheny County and Pittsburgh was one of the richest neighborhoods in America in the 1970's...


This concludes my holiday rant. Thank you for your attention. I've clearly needed it :-)

Go Steelers, beat the Refs!