August 25, 2008

Jeff Reed Is A Golden God...


I'm not going to lie to you, Saturday night was kind of a stressful experience. Sure, we won. And yes, it's only preseason. But we had four chances to get six and each time we had to settle for three. If we have any hopes of beating the likes of New England, San Diego, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Dallas, and umm, pretty much any of the other teams we play this season, we'd better figure out how to put the ball in the end zone. Quick.

Nevertheless, Jeff Reed came to play. And he just may have gotten the best workout of the day. Four field goals, hitting from 35, 37, 43 and 47, the last of which being the longest, and coming with just four seconds left on the clock. So I think what I'm saying is, game ball goes to Jeff Reed. He may be quirky, outlandish, and perhaps a little out of his mind. But he's also a damn good kicker and looking to be rock solid gold going into the regular season.

Anyways, big thanks again to Tobiathan, who ripped some nasty live blogging in the comments of Saturdays gameday discussion post. I greatly appreciate him doing it. Especially because for the second straight week, the game was blacked out in NYC. Well played, Steelbiathan.

So let's now take a look at the good, the bad, and the Browns. Err...I think what I meant there was, "the ugly." But using the Browns to illustrate that point was probably pretty obvious to you then, wasn't it?

The GOOD

1. The Defense
Pressure, check! Coverage, check! Turnovers, check! Of course, they weren't flawless. But I don't really ever expect them to be. Still, despite allowing Adrian Peterson to get six on a one yard run, they held last year's Rookie standout to just 21 yards on 12 carries, amassed three out of the team's four total sacks, and Face Me Ike stepped in front of a Gus Frerotte pass for an unexpected, yet completely welcomed, interception. In other news, that may have been the most commas ever used in one sentence...

2. Willie Reid
I'm still not sure I'd rather have him on the active roster than Dallas Baker. But he definitely helped his cause Saturday night in the receiving category. 5 catches for 55 yards, including a 22 yarder. Nothing to shake a stick at. Plus, we're talking about four catches of Lord Byron's bullets (one from Big Ben). That dude throws the ball around like it's a shotput. So I'm not going to pretend like he's Hines Ward or something. But it's nice to know that Reid can perform when he knows he's on the bubble...

3. That Photoshop on the Gameday Post
I'm not one to go around touting my work as creative genius. But that image was definitely one of the cooler things I've ever done. Like, in my life. Way cooler than the time I did multiple beer bongs and jello shots and ate penne vodka with my bare hands. Which was, Saturday night...

Moving on...

The BAD

1. FWP aka Master Fly W. Large
Granted, Minnesota is definitely one of the toughest run Defenses in the league. But 18 yards on 10 carries is pretty terrible. That's an average of 1.8 yards per carry. And four of the 10 carries were for no gain or negative gain. Ouch. Nevertheless, I can't say this will have any more than a temporary impact on my opinion of the Fast one. I'd like to chalk it up to not wanting to do anything to get himself hurt. At least that'll help me sleep better at night...

2. Big Ben
A 67 passer rating? I can only think this was Ben channeling his inner Rex Grossman. Completing only 10 of 17 (59%) for just 65 yards, he threw behind the receivers and danced around the pocket like an excitable high school senior hopped up on Robitussin and Caffeine pills at the prom. Of course, the line wasn't exactly helping at all times (see below). But it definitely looked like there were a number of miscues that amounted to our own personal Super Hero's underwhelming performance. I'll probably give it another week before I call for his head, though...

3. The Offensive Line
I'd try to do something funny here. But there was nothing funny about the Offensive Line's performance on Saturday. They clearly weren't getting any push, as evidenced by FWP's stat line, and on some plays, they looked like they were tackling dummies. And if anyone knows why Willie Colon is still starting over Max Starks, please share. In case you missed it, Señor Colon was responsible for one pretty bad sack on Big Ben in which he allowed Ray Edwards to go pretty much untouched. Certainly can't crucify him for one sack, but I mean...yeah...

The UGLY

1. Wreckingball's Concrete Hands
If you're Rashard Mendenhall, there's one thing you can't do. And that's cough up the football. You've been brought in to run between the tackles and get those tough yards that a smaller, quicker back (read: FWP) can't get. It's pretty tough to do that if you can't keep the ball in your hands. That said, one exhibition game does not a season make. And I'm certainly not expecting this trend to continue. Plus, he did gain 79 yards on 15 carries. So overall, I'm still encouraged by the young blood.

2. The NFL
Honestly, if you're going to make us play these preseason games, the least you could do is make sure people can see them. This was the second straight week that I found the game blacked out in the NYC region. Of course, had I been a couple of hours further South in Jersey, I'd have been able to see it. But oh no, not in Hoboken. Not when both NY teams were playing each other. And that's understandable. But couldn't you make it a little easier for those of us who live in the biggest TV market in the country to choose which game we want to watch? Help a brotha out!

3. This Beer Bonging
Lest you assume no one was drinking this weekend, let this video of Tecmo and I bonging beers serve as evidence to the contrary...


All this said, if you're concerned about our shortcomings this weekend, just gander at how our AFC North Rivals fared...

Browns

It's ok, Sean Rogers changes everything...

Bengals

Defense is overrated anyhow...

Ravens

"Viral illness," sounds like a case of not-wanting-to-play-preseason-itis...

And finally, can we get a moment of silence for the impending death of the Browns poopy-pants? It seems their days are marked...


Ok, your turn. What did you guys think? What encouraged you? What discouraged you? And did you see those Vikings cheerleaders? [Insert witty remark here]

PS - Apologies for the excessively long post. What can I say? I love the Steelers...

GAME RECAPS:
Gigs' Live Blog [Blog 'N' Gold]
Reed the Only Kick in Offense [Post-Gazette]
Reed, Steelers "D" Boot Vikings [Trib]
Vikings 'D' Shines in Last Second Loss to Steelers [Associated Press]
Steelers Pull Out Victory Over Vikings, 12-10 [KDKA]
Steelers vs. Vikings Box Score [ESPN]

17 comments:

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

Without question, the best part of Saturday's game: The Vikings cheerleaders.

Favorite headlines: (1) "Palmer leaves bloodied." (I think that's going to happen a lot this year); and (2) "Cleveland fans say down with brown pants." (At first, it's funny, then it paints a couple of visuals I wish I hadn't had ... did Najeh Davenport join their team?)

marc said...

Didn't see tha game, but I expected the O-line to struggle with the Vikings Pro-Bowl studded D-line. I hope Foote's knee isn't too busted up, but I do think this might push Timmons to start sooner than was predicted.

domski43 said...

I was real impressed w/ the run defense, especially against the run tandem of peterson/taylor. D-line and linebackers looked good.

Allowing Gus Ferotte to march down the field on our first team defense is unacceptable

And dare i say, the special teams coverages looked solid.

Cotter said...

jppb ~ Here's what I don't get - no Browns fans like the Brown pants, so they're considering axing them. Yet, I don't know very many Steelers fans who like Steely McBeam but he continues to exist. What gives?

marc ~ Yeah, that's probably the worst thing that could happen to Larry Foote. He was already feeling the heat from Timmons. Now, if he's out for any extended period of time (haven't read any reports yet), well, it may be The InTimmonator's game.

domski ~ Dare you say? I thank you for saying, actually. Though, I don't know about you guys. But I was again wondering why the hell we signed Eddie Drummond? I mean, I guess I don't want to put anyone back there who we'd miss on Offense/Defense if they got hurt (ala Santonio). But still...that's a valuable roster spot we're talking about...

Get Fresh Designs said...

Beer Bonging? I can't remember the last time I saw/heard someone doing that, maybe it just shows my age.

Best part about the game, with 19 seconds left and Steelers in FG range and enough downs to spike, they choose to run their kicking unit onto the field, Danny boy in the booth was amazed by this, baffled that the steelers would do something like this in the preseason. Hey finally realized that they were merely running a drill. Thanks Dan.

Blackmailerman said...

Cotter-

I have saved your beer-bong video to my super-secret-squirel bomb-proof flash drive. It will remain in an undisclosed location for the next twenty-five years, until you either break the million-dollar-year mark as an attorney or are elected to public office at which time i will be demanding cash on the order of $50-75K per annum in order to keep this embarrassment from the public eye.

Simcerely-
Blackmailerman

Tobiathan said...

At NFL Fanhouse one of the bloggers(Ryan Wilson?) made a good point in that Pittsburgh did very little in the way of creative defense. In fact, they didn't really do much beyond line up in standard formations and run straigh read-and-react defense.

Tricky Dicky L ain't about to give away any tricks in the games that don't count. And it could have been our coaching staff's way of examing the player's fundamentals by keeping them in base defenses, maybe?

The fact that Gus F. had some success doesn't worry me too much; he's always been a solid QB, should probably be starting on some weaker team somewhere. And our defensive backfield appeared to be playing straight zone coverages. The NFL these days will pretty much destroy any kind of vanilla scheme, especially experienced QBs.


And thanks for the props, Cotter....i enjoy doing the play-by-play. I like being able to review it later...i'll probably keep it up in the season too, since not everybody will get every game, or have time to go elsewhere to watch it. Hopefully my technic improves tho- i wanted to give more details but couldn't keep up. Any suggestions appreciated.

Cotter said...

get fresh ~ Dude, beer bonging isn't just for kids anymore. That's a law, actually. At least in PA.

blackmailerman ~ Good thing I have that picture of you with tobiathan's black leather thong in your teeth. I knew that'd come in handy one day. Fight fire with fire, isn't that what they say?

tobiathan ~ The only suggestion I have is keep up the good work! It's definitely a difficult task but your commentary was spot on. I loved it.

Cotter said...

PS - blackmailerman ~ I'll drop the $50-$75k in unmarked, non-consecutive 20's, behind the Shartlesville municipal building at approximately 21:07.

At that time, please relinquish the super-secret-squirel bomb-proof flash drive in return.

The Raven flies at midnight...Seacrest, out!

Anonymous said...

I'll share why colon is still starting cause zerlein is a friggin idiot.And who not only hires these idiots but retains them(see also the special teams coaches) the biggest moron of them all tomlin at least he will be till he starts making some changes

Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls said...

First game of the year, against the Texans, we'll see the offensive line coach the Steelers should have hired this past offseason: Alex Gibbs.

As for Bob Ligashesky, you're right, he's the biggest moron of them all.

Get Fresh Designs said...

cotter, I'll stick to chugging the pony bottles.

Cotter said...

anon ~ Thanks for the comment! I can't say I agree with you on Tomlin. But I'm right there with you on Zierling and Ligashesky.

jppb ~ Alex Gibbs? You mean the same Alex Gibbs from Denver? Didn't they shoot Joey Porter in Denver?

get fresh ~ Excellent comment. PONY bottles. Up here some of these savages call them "nips." Like I'm ever going to drink a beer referred to as a, "nip." Pony bottle case race sometime?

Get Fresh Designs said...

Whoa, slow down there, a case? I'll pass out. I'm only trained for 6 ponies.

Nips? That's just freaky.

random asshole said...

Pony beer bottles are "nips?" Fuck that. Nips are those little one-shot liquor bottles you can apparently buy in gas stations.

I recommend picking up the Mr. Boston blackberry brandy nips, which are apparently really popular in Vermont.

Cotter said...

get fresh ~ I like how you used "trained" and "ponies" in the same sentence. Nice touch.

random asshole ~ I don't know about all that one shot liquor bottle business. If I'm drinking liquor, I'm drinking liquor...if you know what I mean. Plus, "Nips" is a total puss term anyhow. If I'm ever drinking anything and someone calls it a nip, I'm going to immediately punch them in the face. Mark it, dude.

PS - Speaking of Marks...Where the hell is our Marc? Weird...

tobiathan said...

Why did my name get caught up in this blackmail thingy?

And Cotter: you leave my black leather thong out of this! Don't make me publish those pics of you and Barky Obama lurking in ass-less chaps and ball-gags outside the back door(ha!) of the '04 Republican National Convention...yeah, i saw ya!

The nerve of some people...