December 28, 2007

You're A Good Man Charlie Batch...

"I felt good about this football team, and the more I got to work with them I started to feel better and better. I am not surprised by any stretch. I am not satisfied, either. We have more work to do."
- Mike Tomlin
Alright ladies (that's right, you heard me), here's the deal - Cotter had to get a haircut and drink a couple of well deserved beers last night, so he had less time for things like, oh, you know, editing this post and shit. So bear with me if this thing ends up making little to no sense. It's been a long season, I'm trying to make time for the important things in life. Like scoring severe style points, and well, drinking beer.

Moving on...

First things first - if you're a serious Steeler fan, you may already know this, but...guess who just signed Chidi Iwuoma? No, not the Steelers...The Tennessee Titans. Interesting that they sign a former Steeler on the eve of the playoffs in which they just might be playing the Steelers. Ok, let's face it, we know they really signed him because he's a solid Special Teams performer and you can never have enough of those (ahem ahem, Bob Ligashesky...). But I guess this means he's probably not coming back to Pittsburgh anytime soon...damn.

Next, by now you should be aware that it was all but made official yesterday - Big Ben shall not play this Sunday, nor shall Marvell Smith. Ben is still a little less than 100%. However, the move to sit him is more a precautionary measure than anything else. Marvell's exclusion, on the other hand, is just a bit more serious. Marvell underwent surgery yesterday to repair a disc problem in his back. And while the team is saying they're "cautiously optimistic" that he could return by the AFC Divisional Round, I wouldn't put any money on it.

Now here's where normally on a Friday I would talk about what the Steelers SHOULD do to win Sunday's game. However, being that this game is effectively meaningless, I strongly considered not doing that this week...and then after about 5 seconds I reconsidered. So without further ado, here are some things the Steelers SHOULD do this weekend. And keep in mind, we're seriously compromising the integrity of the exercise here...so lower your expectations...

OFFENSE
  • Show Us Some Future Potential ~ And by this I mean show ME what #3 RB Gary Russell can do. In case you missed it in the comments section of yesterday's post - I'm pretty interested in seeing how Russell can perform in a regular season game. At Minnesota, he was poised to become the starter after an 1100 yard, 18 TD season (12 games at least) in which he shared ball carrying duties with Laurence Maroney. Then he failed out or some dumb shit like that, thus never getting a chance to prove what he was fully capable of as the undisputed #1. All I'm saying is he looked good in preseason and I like his college record (playing, not studying), so he could just inject some added interest into this otherwise marginal game. Hear that Tomlin - Gary. Russell. Sort it out...

  • Try and Find a Rhythm ~ As of late, the Steelers Offense has really come together. Last week, albeit against the Rams, the Steelers only punted twice. That's two times out of 10 drives. And of our 41 points, 35 were off touchdowns. That's what I call being effective, and that's the kind of rhythm I'd like to see going into the post season. Of course this is probably a moot point since the majority of our starters will be spending a significant portion of this game on the bench. But I gotta write something...I guess...

  • That's All I Got... ~ No, just kidding. Um, last point -- Offensive Line, I know this is a lot to ask and there's little to no chance of it happening, but could you please try and maybe pass block, like even a little bit. Especially you Sean Mahan and Willie Colon, we'll all be watching. Larry Zierling, put Shiteaters.com away and do some coaching. Tell these assholes to use that size for something other than making dents in the turf with their backs. Sort it out.
DEFENSE
  • Show Us Some Future Potential ~ Remember Lawrence Timmons? LaMarr Woodley? They were our top 2 picks in last years draft. But while other 1st and 2nd round picks like Patrick Willis are out making the pro bowl and creating nightmares for opposing offenses, these guys have been gathering splinters from riding the bench. No, it's not their fault they haven't been starting or getting large chunks of playing time (nor should they be with Silverback, Foote and Farrior around). But so far, Timmons' claim to fame has been the infamous Ricky Williams stomp and Woodley has been promising yet restrained. I'd like to see one or both of these guys get some decent time Sunday and maybe see if they can generate a pass rush. Because we all know Clark Haggans ain't taking care of business.

  • Calling All Pass Rushers ~ Jonathan Ogden or not, the Ravens O-line ain't exactly awful. They're at least half decent, I'd say. So this just might be some good practice for the likes of Silverback, Farrior and Foote (maybe even los Rookies, see above). IF the aforementioned, any of them, see decent playing time, I'd like to see them spend it in the Ravens backfield, chasing down and tackling Troy Smith. Smith is neither fast like Vince Young, nor strong like Big Ben. So this shouldn't be quite the tall order it might normally be. Bottom line - we got ONE sack last week. This week let's try and build on that. Let's go for...uh, two sacks. Hey, lack of success = modest goals.

  • Stop. The. Run. ~ I'm not trying to mask this with any clever language, just, stop the god damned run. The Ravens are starting their #3, Musa Smith. He's no slouch, but he's certainly no Fred Taylor or MJD. The Steelers ought to be able to shut him down. OUGHT TO be able to...This is the last chance Kirschke, and Eason will get to exhibit their best Aaron Smith impressions before the playoffs. So I expect them to use it accordingly. Or Ryan McBean, whoever. Hey, maybe McBean might even do the job well. Maybe we SHOULD give him a shot. Anyways, the run - stop it. Thanks.
Well that was borderline painful. Hopefully you're still with me and not cursing me for wasting your valuable time.

Look, if we can gain anything from this game - I say it's that we take Bart Scott up on his offer to give Larry Foote the key to beating the Patriots. We all might know what that key is, but judging by what we saw three weeks ago in Foxborough, the Steelers don't.

Let's face it, we just have to get through this game, hope for a win, try not to get anyone hurt, maybe try and establish a little rhythm and generally make sure our team is in good shape for next week's Wild Card game against either the Jags, Brownies or Titans. That's all.

So guys, what do you think we SHOULD be looking for Sunday? Who will you be watching? Are any of you planning on going to this game? And of course, the real question - Will the Browns put Brady Quinn in for the season finale? I, for one, will be waiting on the edge of my seat to find out...

PS - We WILL be doing the weekly gameday discussion session this Sunday, despite the fact that this game is pretty lackluster. Come join us as we discuss the game, the playoffs and maybe even Mini Ponies...if Tec shows up that is.

PPS - Just because I can, here's a picture of Brian Billick as Robocop...


REFERENCE MATERIAL:
Arians Won't Change Plan for New Players [SteelCityInsider]
Big Ben Expected to Sit Sunday [Post-Gazette]
Smith Has Back Surgery - Return Unknown [Post-Gazette]
Ravens' Scott Changes Tune [Tribune-Review]
Some Ravens Fans Throwing In Towel [Baltimore Sun]
Buy Ravens Tix [Craigslist - Baltimore]
Troy Smith: Bring on The 3-4 [Baltimore Sun]
Davenport Focused On Chance As Starter [Post-Gazette]


Ballhype: hype it up!

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Couldn't you have done a breakdown on the Titans/Colts game instead?

Just kidding...

Cotter said...

I strongly considered either that or Chargers-Raiders, but then, what reason would I have to post a picture of Brian Billick as Robocop?

Anonymous said...

Point taken -- the picture was worth it!

domski43 said...

this game might be unwatchable...bring on the jaguars!

domski43 said...

and go patricheats!!! i've officially switched favorite teams....the pats are unstoppable!

Cotter said...

you really are an eagles fan. E-A...

domski43 said...

at least brian westbrook is not hurt right now

go steelers!!! dont get big ben seriously hurt in the playoffs!!

domski43 said...

SWORD SPREE!!!

Cotter said...

TRIPLE KILL!!!

Tobiathan said...

I'll be curious to see what our bench looks like on the field. And i hope coach keeps Hines out of this game. I seriously doubt Bart Scott would miss an oppurtunity to drill him and i don't want to go into the post-season without Hines.

Yeah, this game doesn't look to be too exciting. But it will be good to know if our #2s have any talent....

See yinz guys tomorry....