December 4, 2007

What, Me Worry?

"I like this defense. I like this team, so we're ready to take on everybody."
- Larry Foote

"This season, to borrow from the late John Facenda when speaking of the Steelers dynasty in the 1970s, there are 31 teams in the NFL, and then there are the New England Patriots."
- Ed Bouchette
You know, some days I wonder to myself - what the hell (ok I use a less savory word than hell) am I going to write about today? Today is not one of those days.

I've held off all season talking about the Patriots, refusing to look that far ahead. Because let's be honest, if we couldn't make it past the Cardinals, Broncos or Jets, how could we beat the Patriots...uh, shit. Well anyways, I kid, but today I break the silence. So for all you people asking - But Cotter, what about the Patriots? It's your lucky day.

You wanted it Steeler fans, you got it. The Patriots came back from a near-defeat to hold off the nasty Ravens and Kyle Boller Field General. Which of course leaves them still undefeated and ripe for a loss courtesy of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

If any of you thought that game last night looked awfully familiar, you're not crazy. The only material differences between last night's game and the Steelers-Bengals game on Sunday is that the Patriots don't quit, and Tom Brady is just, oh, a tad better than Carson Palmer. Nonetheless, the Ravens strategies were understandably similar to that which the Steelers have used to beat teams all season.

So having watched that game, my thoughts remain the same. We've known all along how we're going to approach the Patriots. I have not a doubt in my mind about that. You wanna know how this game is going to go? Blitz on 1st Down, Blitz on 2nd Down, Blitz on 3rd down, Patriots punt. Lather, rinse, repeat. Showing them different looks each time. This is prime time for Steelers football. We didn't need to see the Eagles game, or the Ravens game, to know that the way to beat Tom Brady, Randy Moss and friends is PRESSURE. Cover Moss. Cover Stallworth. Cover Welker. Send at least 5 rushers. And if you don't get Brady, hope you at least disrupt his concentration and make him do something he doesn't want to do.

On the other side of the ball, the key is to stay balanced. If we're going to have any success against this team we need to be able to sustain long drives, run time off the clock and wear them down with a good mixture of FWP, high percentage pass plays and play action. I imagine the game plan we've been relying on over the past couple of games will carry over into this game. I'm watching FWP, Hines Ward, and Heath Miller in particular. I've been saying it all year. This type of game plan is the equivalent of a good combo in a heavyweight fight. Hit them with jabs and body blows, then go for the knock out blows when they give them to you.

However, having said all this, do not take my untempered enthusiasm to mean I think we're a lock to win this game. I'll get to more substantive, statistical, balanced analysis of this matchup later in the week. But I wanted to break the ice right. Let's get fired up! Who says you can't start it up on Tuesday when the game's not 'til Sunday. I'm counting the minutes, starting NOW.

So what do you guys think? Blitz? Cover? Give Tom Brady the royal flush? Run? Pass? Statue of liberty play? Let's hear it.

PS - I urge you all to go over to Believe Merch and get yourself a "Your Perfect Season Ends 12-9-07" t-shirt approximately right NOW.

Steelers Kept Patriots In Mind [Post-Gazette]
Steelers Could Be The One [Fox Sports]

Ballhype: hype it up!


Anonymous said...

the one prob is that were on the road.if its at home i give the steelers an even chance. but the way the steelers have played outside the rust belt is atrocious

Anonymous said...

The only question I have right now is this -- do we get Holmes back for this game? God, I hope so...

Cotter said...

Anon 1 - Yep, that is definitely something to be concerned with. My hope is that the magnitude of this game negates any tendencies to play like shit.

Anon 2 - Same question I have. I hope so too. We could really use his speed.

Tobiathan said...

Cotter knows I've been waiting all season for this game too. I hate the Patricheats as much as i've ever hated any team in professional football. They represent everything i despise in "winners": arrogance, poor ethical and moral foundations,no class,no dignity, too much talk on-field and off-, not to mention the cheating and various other trashy behaviors(ie Harrison's virtualy un-mentioned steroid suspension).

In fact, MOST people forget(or didn't know) that the "little-old-lady" who almost killed Ben in that motorcycle accident blatantly cut him off in her car WITH MASSACHUSETTS PLATES! Yup. Mass. plates. A "coincidence", i'm sure. 'Cause those guys in Foxboro are too good to cheat, huh???

I could go on, but i'll save it.

Let me just say this:

Personally, i don't care if we win or lose. All i care about is that the Steelers go in there and knock the living dog-shit out of those over-blown, pompous, whiny c*nts. Hit hard, and often. Make them bleed. Just f*cking plow them. Use the old "in-play uppercut" move. Call Joe Greene, ask him how to hurt your opponent. Literally.

This team, it's coach, staff, or fanbase, do NOT deserve to join the ranks of the unbeaten. Period.

And i pray some re-tah-did Cheatriot fan is fool enough to talk some trash.

5 SB rings: No Cheating.

The Steelers are ALREADY better than them in every way that counts.

Tobiathan said...


These chumps have only played three teams who currently have a winning schedule:

Cleveland(ha!), Indy(who damn near beat them), and Dallas

So, it ain't like they've been beating the best-of-the-best every week...

troubledjew said...

tobiathan-dallas and indy are the #2 and 3 team in the nfl right now.furthermore the steelers have come up short against the worst. from the last 2 games weve seen the patriots slowed down. if the pats had trouble with the ravens the steelers should be double the trouble.this reminds me of the playoff game against the pats.....on the road against the sb pick. i think tomlin should examine that gametabe

troubledjew said...
must read! this is how the steelers lost to the Jets and broncos and almost lost to the browns

Cotter said...

Wow, that really is how we lost those games. Thanks for the link TJ! I'm all for keeping the heat on Brady all game. Shit, even after the game - sack him in the tunnel. Sack him while he's walking to his car. Sack him during the post-game press conference.

PS - For anyone who wants to give that a read, SI is a bunch of dicks and the direct link won't work (gives you a 404 error). Just got to and it should be on the front page (find Dr. Z's column-middle of page).

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

That photo ... interesting observation made here locally by one of the media pundits, which was to say, essetnially (paraphrasing here):

"Tom Brady seems to never get much pressure, let alone get hit, but when he does get hit, he sure does hit the turf pretty fast."

Yeah, I've noticed that.

Seems like arm tackles will take him down. A bit more easily than most QBs. Not to say that he's not a tough guy. He's been around more than long enough, that he must be tough enough.

Still, very unlike Big Ben.

And I don't wanna hear the typical mainstream media observations that says, "So and so doesn't like to get hit."

What quarterback DOES like to get hit?

Football Brainiac said...

I think our defense, playing the way it has this season, will match up pretty well overall with NE so I'm not too worried about the D. It's our offense. There's no comparing the Steelers offense to PHI or BAL. When we're firing on all cylinders we're much better than those two. If we can play turnover-free ball and run better than we have the last three games, I think we're in this one til the end.

Tobiathan said...

Welcome to OFTOT new guys! Always great to see new folks! Cotter's a great host.

After the Ravens game i had the distinct impression that the Cheatritw*ts are starting to wear down.

Moss has NEVER played well when he got hit hard and often. If he doesn't lose his ytemper, he'll at least alligator-arm inside passes to avoid big blows.

Brady isn't tough. Not at all. Sure, he's smart, and brave enough to complete passes in tight situations. But he will, and does, start having lots of trouble when he gets hit a lot. Maybe he's not used to it. Maybe he's a big, spoiled brat. I vote for the latter.

Cheatriot defense is grossly over-rated and has benefitted greatly from the fact that they haven't really been tested much in the deep passing game thanks to the fact that

A- they're usually up fast in a game


B- most QBs don't have the arm to make deep throws, or the accuracy to complete them

Add to that the fact that they looked noticbly slower and less energetic against Balti and the fact that they are the oldest average-aged team in the league and i say they're looking at probably a couple of losses before the end of regular-season.

Our losses to losing teams DO bother me. I admit it. But remember- like i said about our losses to them- teams like NYJ and Miami have zero to lose and EVERYTHING to gain by playing all-out crazy football. Especially those two teams anainst NE, being divisional play. Miami is pretty good at upsetting them late in the year. And the Jets win over us might have encouraged them to play harder aganst Pew Stinkland. I honestly see one or both of them winning a game against the Cheats.

If we hit them hard on every play and can avoid mistakes and ridiculous calls by officials sympathetic to "Tom Terrific"(puke.) we'll beat them.

As always: i pray to the Football Gods that the MFing officials call a decent game, penalize Moss for pushing off in the end-zone and get disgusted at being screamed at by Tom "You should do what I say, ref" Brady.

PS- Belichump sucks for always looking mean, angry, miserable and constipated. Like every jagoff bully from high school. He's been handed 3 SBs. Maybe lighten up and act effing human? Douchebag.

Go Stillers! Beat Patricheats! And bad calls!

Cotter said...

It's a game of attrition, and when the cumulative age of your defense is about 8,000 you might lose a little steam around Week 14...or not, because you are a bunch of crazy super humans...maybe Belichick rebuilt those guys in a lab, like he did Troy Brown. They defy all known theories of aging.

Tobiathan said...

Yeah, or they're all 'roiding like mad and not getting busted because a blatantly corrupt organization is protecting them.

Who do you think administers those "drug tests"?

Vrabel was a slug in Pittsburgh, no he's "one of the best LBers in the league"??????


The truth will come out ten years down the road when all those guys start getting sick like Lyle Alzado(R.I.P.) did..

The NFLs main priority IS NOT justice or fair-play. It's covering it's own ass....