Mid Week Musings from Steel Tank
Here it is � almost Wednesday and thoughts of Steeler football won�t leave my head.� I guess it was because I made the trip to Pittsburgh this weekend to attended the Steeler-Viking game.� Well, whatever � Here�s a few observations I made Sunday plus a couple over the past two days.
I noticed the Steeler coaching staff was late getting offensive play calls in for Stewart on a number of occasions Sunday � especially early in the game.� The Vikings didn�t seem to have this problem as much.� There were several times when Stewart and the rest of the offense were looking anxiously towards the sidelines waiting for the play.� This happened more than it should have and it makes one wonder why.� Perhaps Cowher and Mularkey just don�t agree on what should be called next.� Perhaps it is a lack of a real game plan.� Whatever the case, wasting timeouts and rushing to get to the LOS can be disastrous in January and puts unwarranted pressure on Stewart to quickly read the defense.
Speaking of wasting timeouts, Cowher was quoted as saying the reason why he reviewed the Stewart run to the one-yard line and the Bennett TD run was because he ��was going on gut instinct�.� Some teams wait for a call from their own people, but some coaches rightfully challenge without such information.�� I agree with the Bennett review even though his own staff could have told him not to challenge, but the �gut� call on the Stewart play is ridiculous especially if he didn�t have anything else to go on.� Cowher would be better suited to take risks by throwing the ball down field or by attempting to score more TDs rather than hoping his gut instincts are right where NFL officiating is concerned.
The Bus is doubtful this weekend versus the Jets, but don�t let that scare anyone.� He needs his rest for the Raven game and the Jets, afterall, must suffer under the arm of Vinny Testiverde.� For whatever reason, Vinny habitual throws interception after interception when facing Pittsburgh.� I don�t think it should be any different this coming Sunday.� Furthermore, Vinny has been very quiet all year because Martin has run the ball so well.� However, the Jets erroneously tried to throw the ball against the Pats in the second half of Sunday�s game and it cost them dearly.� Unfortunately for the Jets, the Steeler run defense will dictate that the Jets go to the air.
Having said that, there should be no worries about the Steeler defense being doubtful for this Sunday�s game against the Jets.� The pass rush and sack brigade have fallen off the past few weeks because the Steelers prepared and schemed around the fact that they must face three mobile QBs in McNair, Brunell and Culpepper.� Even though these guys were injured(Brunell didn�even play) and were somewhat maligned coming in, the threat of them running was always there.� In fact, Brunell�s replacement Quinn ripped of a nice gainer and showed good mobility against the aggressive pass rush.� However, Mobility and creativity are not concepts with which Vinny Testeverde is aware.� The club-footed wonder should be easy pray for the Steelers this Sunday.� If for some reason the Steelers don�t come after Vinny, you may start to worry, but not until then.
The new Heinz field is a very nice and scenic stadium indeed.� But the fans attending the game on Sunday were not overly rowdy and did not get into the game until the Vikings got the ball on the 10 yard line with 2 minutes to play.� I�m not sure what reason there was for the lack of fan frenzy for the majority of the game, but perhaps it is the new stadium itself.� Being able to look out onto the river and gaze at the Pittsburgh skyline is a unique pleasure all it�s own � Pittsburgh truly is a city to be proud and for many reasons.� Perhaps, in a few years, when Steeler fans have fully appreciated the hard work of the many men who wrought and forged our city of steel, Steeler fans will turn their attention inward and take pride in the men of Steel who forge the common bond among us all - The Pittsburgh Steelers.