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Stillers-Bucs Postgame Analysis and Grades

September 27, 2010 by Still Mill

Stillers 38, Tampa 13��� Sep 26, 2010
Stillers 38, Tampa 13���. Sep. 26, 2010 ����Game # 3


Stillers-Bucs Postgame Analysis and Grades


After a sluggish start on both sides of the ball, the Stillers poured on the gas and issued a major beatdown to the Bucs, in front of a massive following of Stiller fans down by the Bay.Some 12 years after Kordell�s infamous crying tantrum on the sidelines down in Tampa back in 1998, it was great to beat on the Buccaneers, who came into this game thinking they were ready to beat a top team like the Stillers.��




QB:Batch started the game with a lollipop quail, thrown 2 seconds too late, for an INT.�� He quickly rebounded and torched the Bucs on 12 of 17 passing with 3 TDs.He got lucky on 2 of the TDs.The first bomb to Wally was thrown a second too late and luckily the DB never turned and spotted the ball.The second bomb for a TD glanced off the DB�s hands and into those of Wally; this should have either been a pick or a bat-away.�� Batch showed superb poise and presence back in the pocket, often facing a swarm of rushers but calmly scanning for the open man and taking off when necessary, such as the terrific scramble on 3d & 6 for 24 yards.��


El took a couple snaps as a WildCat QB, but did not throw any passes.


Kudos to Batch, after being exiled the past 5 months, for stepping in with a very high quality start.�� A


RB:Mendy had another good game, shredding the Bucs for 143 yards on only 19 carries.�� The highlight was a spin-o-rama 15-yarder in the 1Q.�� He also ripped off runs of 18 & 34 yards and a 15-yarder out of the WildCat.Mendy also had a strong power run for a 3-yard TD plunge.The lone downer -- and it�s not his fault -- is that he caught zero passes.Not good for a back with his all-around skills.


Moore dropped a dumpoff on 3rd & 4 in the 1Q that forced a punt.He had 1 carry for 4 yards.Redman had a good 16-yard run in the 2H.��� A


FB: Redman had a nice kick-out block on Mendy�s 12-yard run in the 2Q.Johnson blocked solidly.�� Redman gained 9 on a FB dive in the 4Q.��� B+


WR:Wally Cleaver led the way with 3 grabs for a buck, including the 2 bomb TDs.He showed good concentration on both of those long passes.�� Hines chipped in with 3 for 34.I felt he made a foolish mistake late in the 1H, when he snared a short pass with about 58 seconds remaining.Rather than easily scooting OOB when no more yardage was available, he tried to cut to the inside and was easily nabbed in-bounds.This forced the Stillers to burn their 2nd TO.�� The idiot announcers rationalized this and tried to applaud the decision, but frankly, it was a dumb football move in that situation by a grizzled veteran.��


Randle El had a rare reception longer than 2 yards, snaring a tough pass on 3d & 7 in the 2Q to keep the drive alive.��� ����A-


TE:Miller had 2 grabs for 25.�� Johnson had 1 pass thrown to him in the EZ, but it was a bit off target.�� (No, it was not a drop, as the ball was thrown well behind him.)Fortunately, Spaeth was not targeted with any passes.�� The blocking at the POA was solid.���� A


OL: Quite obviously the best performance by this crew this season.�� My notes show no false start or holding flags by this crew, which is nearly preposterous.�� Adams actually impressed me on a few plays.�� Legursky started at RG for Essex and didn�t play too shabbily.The blitz pickups were, by far, the best we�ve seen all season.�� Pouncey again played solidly, although he missed a block on Miller�s 2Q screen play that netted only 4 yards.�� Had Mo made the block, this play goes for 10.�� Foster and Scott saw a fair amount of work as the coaches rotated linemen into the game due to the heat.�� A-


DL:The line mostly played solidly, although they were gashed for large chunks of yards on several occasions.Hoke applied pressure that Eason cleaned up for a sack.�� The only bit of bad news all day was that Hoke sprained a knee, which will cause him to lose probably 2-3 weeks.�� Hampton waddled to and fro, and was held off the stat sheet in hilarious fashion.Smith was fairly stout.�� Keisel had a mostly-good game.He hustled hard on a 3D play in the 1Q and stopped the QB short of the sticks.He picked off the bobbled pass and took it to the house in the 4Q.On a down note, he failed to shed a pass block on 3d & 15 in the 1Q, allowing the QB to scoot and then step up and fire a completion for 17.�� A very, very poor play.�� Hood astutely read a screen and batted it, almost getting a pick.�� ���B+


LB:Once again, Harry and Timmy led the way.


Harrison had a quiet stat line of 3-0 and no sacks, but defensive stats rarely tell the story.�� He fought off a block in the 1Q and stopped the run for 0.He had a brilliant, textbook shed of a block at 7:00 2Q, making the stop of a plunge for 2 yards.This was TEXTBOOK block-shedding and should serve as a model for all the other LBs to emulate.�� He had a good bulrush and drew a holding flag on 3d & 19 in the 3Q.�� He also delivered a big stick on a plunge early in the 3Q.


Timmons led the D with 5 solos and 2 A�s.He did commit a hideous gaffe, getting juked out of his jock by Freeman on a 3d & 4 scramble that netted 11 yards.A really, really awful play.��


Farrior did little.�� He was credited with a FF when the ball simply squirted, unforced, out of the WRs hands in the 3Q.�� Blount had tremendous success on quick hitting gut plays.�� Farrior was dragged by Caddy for a 9-yard gain, although it was negated by an illegal formation.


Jason Woodley had a quiet game and is again regressing to the point where his only interest appears to be pass rushing and garnering cheap sack stats.�� Time and time and time again, the Bucs had good success running dive plays up RT.Woodley was either far too soft at the POA (point of attack), or lazily over-rushed the play and never read the run.�� On Blount�s 12-yard cruise up RT in the 1Q, Woodley was easily shielded and then pancaked to the ground.Later in the 1Q, Big Lamarr was shoved by a FB and failed to bring down Blount on an 8-yard gainer.In the 2Q, Woodley had a poor read, looping wide and allowing a GAPING hole up RT for Caddy to gain 9 yards.Late in the 1H, Woodie allowed Freeman to get outside on a scramble for 4 yards.Late in the 3Q, Big LeMarr was shrugged off near the LOS like a toddler by Graham after a screen reception, and the huge RAC resulted in a 46-yard gain.Very, very poor.���


Worilds got some PT in garbage time and had a sack.�� Fox utilized his time less effectively during garbage time, taking a silly personal foul penalty.���


Harrison:A��� Timmons:B+��� Farrior:C��� Woodley:�� D


DB:The DBs gave up no huge gainers and chipped in with a lot of good, crisp tackling.��� Will Gay had some surprisingly crisp wraps, making a couple stops short of the sticks to force punts.�� He also had a good chasedown sack.��


McFadden chipped in with some steady coverage.�� He had good coverage on a 3d & 7 in the 2Q, forcing a punt.It�s no understatement to reiterate that we really, really missed this guy last season.


Pola flashed in on the 1st series and dropped the RB for a 1-yard gain.He issued a hard stick on Stroughter after a short dumpoff.�� It dawned on me that Pola is delivering harder blows than in any previous season.�� Standing innocently on the s-line during garbage time, Pola made a terrific grab of an errant pass, eliciting a thunderous ovation from the 20K Stiller fans in attendance!�� Even when standing on the sidelines, this guy is a cut above the rest of the league.


Clark, the big tough guy who loves to blister unprotected receivers, was mauled -- twice, in fact -- to the turf by a WR on Blount�s 12-yard dash in the 1Q.�� He feebly whiffed on a slant in the 2Q, which allowed a big RAC and a 22-yard gain.He was injured late in the 3Q after a fairly shoddy afternoon.��


Ike dropped a bomb that was right in his mitts.�� His coverage was fairly strong all day.��


Pola, Ike, Gay, and Fadd:�� A���� Clark:D��


Spec teams:The coverage teams were stunningly solid.Sepul had a rare, useful, booming punt, good for 62 yards.


Randle El made a diving grab of a FC on a punt late in the 2Q.�� The question is: WHY ??�� If the punt isn�t in yer breadbasket, WHY even try to field it?Let it bounce!�� Get away from it!�� A real greenhorned move by El, who scares me more and more each week back on punt fielding.��


Reed booted a 24-yard FG, and had a rare TB.�� �����������El: C��� All others: A-


OC:Some nice offensive production.�� I was enraged over the grab-bag WildCat reverse in the 1H, which was engulfed for a 1-yard loss.�� Tampa�s front 7 is small, but FAST and quick.�� This silly-assed reverse took about 7 seconds to get going, far too long for this kind of defense.The O ran a quick-hitting plunge out of the Wildcat in the 2H, good for 15 yards.�� This, rather than the gimpy-assed reverse, is what should have been run.I was also outraged over the slow-assed decision making on the 4th down in the 3Q, which forced the offense to hurry up and run a sloppy plunge that was stopped short.We can only wonder why, with a former QB like Randle El and the prospect of playing the 1st 4 games w/o Ben, it took Arians 3 games to use the WildCat package.Of course, aside from the Pittsburgh media, no one ever said this fellow was too bright.B


DC:Dick had the ball jammed down his throat on a long, methodical 15-play march late in the 1Q/early in the 2Q.He rebounded and the D was fairly stout.��� Similar to the Titans beating of the Stillers late in the �08 season, the defense had problems (then, with Lendale White) with a big back who hits the hole with authority.Today, Blount shredded the defense in limited work on quick-hitting dive plays, and don�t think offensive coordinators around the league won�t take notice.A


HC:This could have been an easy trap game, but Tommy had the team focused and ready to hunt bear.The hitting was crisp and the discipline (only 2 flags all day, in a road game) was nearly impeccable.He has managed to go 3-0 with a bizarro shuffling of QBs due to the various injuries to Lefty & Dixon.Tommy looks a bit foolish for his exiling of Batch.A


Tampa Management: I will again rail on the chickenshit tactic of a home team wearing its normal WHITE ROAD uniform on a hot day. I am well aware that the NFL rules allow for each team to declare prior to the season as to which uni it will wear for each game. (Prior to the season, a team can declare a different uni from game to game.)�� And therein lies the flaw. The NFL should mandate a single home uniform, period, for ALL home games, aside from the ONE game that involves throwback unis in November. If you decide your home uni is lime green, then it remains that color for EVERY home game.�� If it�s orange, then it�s orange.�� If it�s white, then it�s WHITE for all home games.�� I get tired of silly, chickenshit tactics that belong on a sandlot or in a garage league like the NHL.��� F


Stiller Management: After suffering through the grueling heat last week in Tenn, you�d have thought the team would have taken every logistical measure it could think of for this hot afternoon down in Tampa.�� Nope.�� With the sun beating on the Stiller bench, the Stillers only solution was some makeshift, taped-together pieces of cardboard that trainers held aloft to blot out the sun.�� Very sophomoric.�� While I applaud the ingenuity, the prior experience combined with a healthy budget would seem to dictate that the Rooney�s could have spent about $89 on one of those simple pop-up sun shelters, which are seen at youth-league softball, baseball, and soccer tournaments all over the country.Hell, I even own a Steeler-branded version of one of these.�� You�d think an operation with a player payroll of 60-some million dollars could splurge $300 to buy a few of these for a critical regular season game.���� F


Synopsis:A good, thorough whipping, with sound discipline and good hitting, all the while playing with a 4th-string QB as the starter.�� Very nice.�� (Just goes to show how pathetic the Minnesota Dykings are with their annual pandering to Brett Larvae.)Up next, the Stillers host the hated PoeBirds in a battle for AFC North supremacy.��



(Still Mill and -- when it comes to the analysis of the Pittsburgh Stillers, no one else comes close�.)




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