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Hard Hat Award (Game #2, @ Tenn. )

September 21, 2010 by Still Mill


Hard Hat Award (Game #2, @ Tenn. )

Stiller LBs Larry Timmons and James Harrison are the co-winners of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.


Before we laud each co-winner, it warrants attention that this past game was perhaps the most difficult Hard Hat winner for The Committee to determine in the 11-year history of the award, due to the plethora of Stiller players who valiantly clawed and mauled the Titans 2 days ago.   Often times, there are 2 or 3 -- perhaps 4 -- players worthy of consideration.  In this case, any of a dozen Stillers displayed the attributes that make this award the prestigious one it is. 


Timmons, who was the co-Hard Hatter last week, didn�t rest on his laurels,   Instead, he played a magnificent game, blending speed, power, ferocity, and intensity in a skull-cracking display of inside linebacking not seen since the likes of Levon Kirkland, Hardy Nickerson, and Sir Jack Lambert.   He issued the D�s first big hit on Johnson, on a plunge at 6:50 1Q.   A short while later, in the 2Q, he blistered Johnson on a 4-yard carry.  I�m not talking about routine slop-stops or lazy lil� nudges --  I�m talking about a LB delivering a blow and tackling thru the ballcarrier and planting his ass into the turf.  Late in the 2Q, Johnson ran a plunge, and was wrapped and heading to the turf.  Most LBs would have easily stood by and watched.   Not Timmons.  He lowered his shoulder and exploded into Johnny, forcing a fumble that enabled the Stillers to boot a FG just before the half.   In the 2H, Timmy slashed in and dropped Johnny for -3.   Timmons then saved a TD late in the game, hauling down Johnson as he appeared to be cruising toward the GL.   It would have been easy, in the brutal heat and that late in the game, to concede the TD, but Timmons gave it everything he had and hauled down the speedster.   Timmy ended the game with a crisp wrap of Johnson after a dumpoff.    In all, Timmons led the team with 12 solos and 3 assists, plus a FF. 


Harrison was a terrorizing, maniacal menace all day long.   He continually hounded ballcarriers, receivers, and QBS all game long.   He had good coverage and a good wrap of Johnson on a dumpoff, gaining 0 yards.   Soon later, he made a superb hustle play from behind on a 3d & long draw.   He poked the ball loose from Young on a scramble, nearly earning a turnover.   In the 2nd half, Harrison was simply dominating.   He had a good string of a wide Johnson run, 0 yards.  The next play, he stripped the QB with a tremendous vault over the blocker and a chop of Young�s arm, resulting in a key turnover.  He put a blistering hit on Johnson on a 1-yard run.   Overall, Harrison finished with 10 solos and 1 assist, plus 2 FFs.  


The list of others receiving consideration from The Committee is lengthy, and included: 


Rookie LB Stevenson Sylvester - he helped seal the outside for Tonio Brown�s game-opening KO return.  On the ensuing KO, he chased down the ballcarrier and poked the ball loose, creating a huge TO.  Sylvester and Fox made the tackle on the opening KO of the 2H.  Sylvester scrapped with a Bitan in the 3Q after a punt, and never backed down.  In many weeks, �Vester would have won the Hard Hat. 


Rashard Mendenhall - churned out 69 yards on 23 carries against a defense that mostly played only 3 DBs and loaded up to stop the run with the extra �backer, all the while playing with a patchwork O-line.   


Chris Hoke - started in place of FatBoy Hampton, and ran his record to 15-1 when he starts.   He helped clog the middle and fought hard.  


DT Steve McLendon - One day, the guy is sitting on the taxi squad with no chance of ever seeing activation.  The next day, he�s activated, and the next day, he not only dresses, but contributes a huge fumble recovery.  


Charlie Batch - after rotting and being neglected by the entire coaching staff from May thru August, Batch came in stone-cold in the 2Q and played solidly despite a turnstile of O-linemen that came to and fro due to the heat.  Victimized by 4 drops, he played far better than the stat sheet showed, and showed poise and grit in the face of a defense that was hunting bear against the quilt work O-line.  


Troy Pola -  he snuffed an early Titan drive with an astute INT in the EZ.  He slashed in and dropped Johnson for -1.  Then, in a play that may likely be replayed for years to come, Troy vaulted over the Tenn. O-line on a QB sneak attempt at the Stillers 1-yard line late in the game.    In the heat and with a 16-point lead this late in the game, it would have been easy to concede the TD, but not Pola. 


Kudos to Timmons and Harrison for winning the Hard Hat Award.  Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas! 


Previous 2010 Hard Hat Winners:


Game #1, vs. Tenn.:  Larry Timmons and Maurkice Pouncey




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