Loose Slag from The Still Mill (Dec. 4th, '01)
Some loose slag from the Stiller-Vikes game....
- Not only did Chad Scott get scorched all day by Moss, but in the 2Q, he got spun around like a top and got abused by old man Jake Reed, who hauled in a deep lob for 27 yards.
- If anyone was even half as perplexed as I was as to the disappearance of Kendrell Bell in this game, here's a majority of the reason why:
In the first half, Bell played in 19 of the 26 plays the Viking offense ran from scrimmage. The other 7 plays, he was sitting on lumber. This comes out to 73%.....Bell was on the field for only 73% of the defensive plays in the 1st half.
In the 3Q, the Vikes' offense ran only 4 plays, and Bell was out there for all 4. But in the 4Q, Bell was on the field for only 7 of the 19 plays (to include the 2-point try and the penalty plays) that the Viking offense ran. Comes out to 37%.
Let's see -- keeping your best all around defender on the bench for 63% of the plays in the fourth quarter --- priceless, er, brainless... Aside from catching his breath on one play per half, there is absolutely no good reasons whatsoever for having your best all around front-7 defender -- a man who hits like a mack truck, is quick as a cat, and has tremendous speed and instincts, sitting on the pine for that many plays. And I don't care if the defense is using the nickel, dime, or Susan B. Anthony defense -- it's plain STUPID to have Bell sitting out that many plays. Explain this -- why would you sit down the man who is your best all-around LB, and instead staunchly play your worst LB on every single down ??
- As if it wasn't bad enough having both Aikman and Moose Johnston do the broadcast, we had to listen to The Dumb Moose fawn over Jon Witman as though Witman were the second coming of Bronco Nagurski. Johnston, of course, knows very little about anything and has little input to the broadcast, so the only area that he is an expert on is the fullback spot. But since the Vikes have no FB, Moose's only chance to blather was when the Stillers had the ball; hence the absurd fawning over Witman. This was wearisome enough while watching the game "live"; it was doubly worse during my scrub of the tape. But Moose's fawning was pure asininity, as Jon Witman had yet another feeble, monkey-spank day replete with one flubbed block after another. Here's the Shitman Report for this game:
- On the first drive of the game, Amoz ran up RT. Witless was the lead blocker on this play , and as luck would have it, all he had to do was block Dale Carter, an aging veteran who gives up over 55 pounds to Witman. Nevertheless, as you can see in the photos below, not only does Carter stand up to Witman and not get budged an inch, but in photo 3 Carter actually blasts Witman back onto the ground. Just look at Witless, all curled up in the fetal position, in photo 3 !! Believe me, this was even more hilarious on video.
- On a counter play from the Pit 32 at 1:28 of the 1Q, Witman had a shoddy block on DE L. Johnstone, who easily shrugged off Witman's stumbling attempt and made the tackle. What was ironic -- but not surprising -- was that Moose was gushing on the replay about "What a good block by Witman", when in reality, it was a shitty block.
- Later in the first half, Moose once again gushed about a "good block" by Witman on a Bettis plunge. In reality, Witman got cut down by a DB who dove at his legs and toppled him like a dead sapling.
- On a 2d & 2 on the Min. 12 at 7:58 of the 3Q, Witman was supposed to lead block for Bettis on a gut run. Note, I said "supposed to". As you can see in the photos below, Witman begins by charging at DE Stalin Colinet.
In photo 3, Colinet has delivered a lick to Witless, and the femme-like FB is already beginning to get crumpled backwards. On photo 4, Witless is about to hit the ground following his crumpling.
In photo 5, Witless is on the ground, face down, as useless as tits on a bull, while Colinet now slides over unencumbered to crush Bettis. In photo 6, Witless sits up, in a daze, wondering which train ran him over.
In photo 7, Witman is literally pounding his hand into the turf in frustration for the slapdick lack of a lead block, which gets Bettis stopped by Colinet, the man whom Witless was supposed to block, well short of the first down.
- On the 4th & 1 toss sweep toward the end of the 3Q, Witless was the lead blocker. Problem was, he didn't block. He meets SS R. Griffith in photo 2....
Griffith then collapses Witman onto his knees, while Griffith suffered no punishment nor loss of ground.
In photo 5, Witless in lying on his back like a cheap whore, while Grif is still upright and quite able to chip in on the stop. Sure, Bettis got the first down, but what if this had been 4th & 3 in the 4th quarter ?
To be fair, Dan Kreider had two plays in which he struggled a bit with his lead block. But Kreider threw the key block that allowed Zereoue to walk into the EZ for an easy TD, and Kreider had some very sound blocks that paved the way for Fu's yardage late in the game. Let there be no doubt -- Jon Witman is the Jason Gildon of fullbacks .....all hype, poor technique, no effectiveness, and no backbone.
- While I was certainly pleased with the 28 yards that Troy gained on that 3Q punt return, I noticed that Troy foolishly carried the ball in the wrong (read: inside) hand on that entire return. I'll accept this imbecility because he's not returned punts in ages, but if he coughs up the ball in the playoffs from the same imbecility, remember who told you about it first, and also remember which coach didn't ensure a correction was made.
- Not only did Tuman have a key block on Bettis' 22-yard run, but he also had a surprisingly outstanding block on DE T. Sawyer on Troy's TD. Not shabby for a guy who, just a couple months ago, was having the game stopped for throwing his first NFL block.
- I reviewed Burress' two questionable drops. They very much looked like drops, as the passes appeared to be dead on the money. By the way, Burress' third drop -- in which the pass clanged off his shoulder pad -- caused Kris to attempt a 40-yard FG (which was wide right), instead of a 24-yard FG ....
- I'm tired and my memory is shot.....who was our starting TE before Jerame Tuman ?
- I'm still trying to fathom exactly what the hell DeWayne Washington was doing on the punt that ended the first half. The punt occurred with 8 seconds remaining, and as you can see from the positioning of Hank Poteat in the lower right corner of the photos, the staff had ordered an edict of "Don't catch it, just let it land and the half will end." But DeWayne (blue arrow) is blocking as furiously as a hound dog, and gets legally pushed right to where the ball (yellow arrow) had come to a stop at the 20. DW was able to just barely dance out of the way of the ball, but had his foot just nicked the ball, Minnesota grabs it and runs in untouched for a crushing TD just before the half. Given the fact that the team wasn't even attempting a return, this was exactly the kind of dumbassed stupidity that loses playoff games. DeWayne, nor any other Stiller, should have never been anywhere within 35 feet of that football.
- By the way, Joey Porter was blatantly held on at least 3 plays, only one of which was flagged for holding. Additionally, I forgot to credit Porter in my postgame report for his deflection while back in deep (for a LB) zone coverage, which caused the ball to ricochet off Carter and then into the hands of Alexander for a key INT. That kind of play won't show up in bold print on any stat sheets, but that's the kind of all-around LB play that wins games.
- Last, but certainly not least, here below is the reason why you don't blindly run chickenshit running plays on all 5 series in the 4Q: These are pics from two different plays, and they represent exactly what the Stillers were facing with a desperate Viking defense selling out to stop the run during all five of those possessions. In pic 1, you have 8 men in the box and a 9th man very nearby while on the slot receiver. Fu managed 3 yards on that play. In pic 2, you have 7 men near the box, with an 8th man very close by on a slot receiver. This was the QB draw in which Stew fumbled, but even if he hadn't fumbled, he'd have been engulfed for no gain. Exactly where would there have been room for Stew to run the draw, with that many man clogging everything? The Vikings were throwing the kitchen sink at the LOS to stop the running game, and consequently were daring the Stillers to kill them with a pass play. Yet Little Billy Cowher insisted on blindly plunging the ball into the teeth of these 8-man fronts, playing turtle, and punting.