More Incompetence in Clock Mismanagement
I forgot to mention this one in my post-game report.
Near the end of the 1st half, Titan DT Salavea injured his neck while smashing into Graham. Salavea ended up lying motionless on the turf of 3 Rivers stadium.
Obviously, EXTREME care was taken....they had 14 paramedics on the field, an ambulance, 5 trainers, 2 doctors, a state trooper, and so forth.
This whole ordeal to cart off Salavea took at LEAST 12 minutes of real-world time. AT LEAST. It probably was closer to 15 or 20. No medical employee hurries when a player's neck is potentially injured.
When play resumed, Graham, on a 3rd & 20, scrambled to his right and completed a clutch pass to Troy, for a 27-yard 1st down in the middle of the field at the Titan 47.
ONCE AGAIN, rather than running a SECOND PLAY, Graham had to call a TIMEOUT at the 1:05 mark. Given the freebie injury timeout, which was excessively long due to the neck injury, this is sheer asininity for a PRO team to not be able to run 2 consecutive plays with over 10 minutes to chew on it and chat about it, as Billy Cowher likes to do.
As it was, the offense emerged from that TO, so energized and refreshed that they threw a piddly 7-yard curl to Shaw into TRIPLE coverage, which was incomplete.
Shaw ended up fumbling the ball away on the big gainer 2 plays later...but suppose he doesn't --- there are 34 seconds on the clock. The timeout that we WASTED after the Edwards reception would have been MOST USEFUL on the 1st & goal from the 8, especially with Billy and Gaypride's penchant for running draw plays that close to the goal line.
Remember, this team also wasted a spike late in the 4th quarter, after Stewart scrambled for 16 yards. As I stated in the post-game report, the Stillers had over 2 minutes of a freebie timeout after the near intentional grounding, while the refs reviewed the play under the hood. Rather than calling TWO plays, they called only one, which turned into that Stewat 16-yard scramble for a 1st down. Stewart then got to his feet and spiked the ball, even though the ball was at the 40-yard line, which meant that if we gained nothing else, we were staring at a highly improbable 57-yard FG.
It all starts at the TOP. Mindset. Team norms. Team goals and objectives. Seizing the initiative. Cowher can blather on and on all he wants about "we want to win" and "the big picture" and "we need to learn from this", but Stiller football right now is built around a neanderthal, ultraconservative, brainless, no-gusto mentality, whereas every other football team from HIGH SCHOOL to the NFL is perfectly capable of calling TWO plays during a 15-minute stoppage of play.
The Still Mill