Loose Slag from The Still Mill
Some loose slag from the Stillers-Jags game�.
- Although I was far from lavishing the O-line with praise in my postgame report, I'd like to retract the "B" grade I issued to them, and give them a more well deserved "C". Upon review of the tape, I spotted numerous gaffes and follies more befitting a circus than a veteran, highly experienced offensive line. In particular, Wayne Candy had an absolutely abysmal game. I haven't seen Gandy flounder about like this since the '99 season. Tony Brackens abused Gandy all day long with his speed and quickness. Often times, it looked like Gandy had no idea what the snap count was, nor what play was called in the huddle. Everybody's due for a bad game once in a while; this apparently was Gandy's. Rich Tylski also looked rather slovenly. Smith, Faneca, and Hartings played adequately, though each had a couple bonerous plays.
- Tylski has already been listed as "out" for the Titans game, with an ankle sprain. Given Tylski's status as "the weakest link", this is no catastrophe. ORoss might get the nod at guard.
- I mentioned this in my postgame report, and thought I give a more scientific breakdown. After the stop of Stewart on the 19-yard scramble, there was the supposed "taunting" in which Stew was flagged 15 yards. Once Stewart disengaged himself from the Jaguar players, I started a stopwatch. 2 minutes and 5 seconds later, the refs finally blew their whistle to start the playclock. This 2-minute delay was caused by the refs hem-hawing on the flag and on the spot of the ball. Throughout much of this delay, the CBS camera was on Stewart, who casually meandered back toward the huddle like a casual Sunday morning stroll. At one point, Stewart even walked over to the "ref huddle" and tried some sort of politicking. The important point in all of this, is that the Stillers were essentially given a FREEBIE timeout, and during this long stoppage of play the team's braintrust saw fit to call one, and only one, play. Once play resumed, Stew hit Shaw on a deep curl to the Jag 16, but because another play wasn't called, their last timeout had to be spent.
- For the record, once Shaw snared that deep curl, the cameras zoomed in on Cowher, who was visibly signaling for a timeout�
- It appears that Corey Geason will be added to the roster as another TE. I've long been an admirer of Geason, and have lauded him numerous times in my columns. Geason is a strong blocker who also is capable of catching the ball downfield. In regards to Jerame Tuman, the coaching staff is in the midst of a Witman-like admiration-society, but if they want the best all-around TE who can block and catch with equal aplomb, the man for the job is Corey Geason. In fact, dollar-for-dollar with cap cost, blocking, and receiving production factored in, Geason is a far better value than the outrageously expensive Lord of Blocking, Mark Bruener
- Hines Ward's best day as a pro came right after I belittled his season-to-date reception numbers that had primarily been garnered by way of the Dink and Dump. Not sure if Hines was angry over my article and wanted to prove a point, but he went out of his way in showing that perhaps he does, in fact, deserve to be a starting WR in the NFL. I'll add that, after scrubbing the tape, I came away highly impressed with the level of confidence -- not cockiness, mind you -- that Hines is playing with. Whether it's catching the ball or running after the catch, Hines is oozing with the kind of confidence you want to see in your receivers. And the neat thing about this, is that this kind of confidence -- as all of us have seen in any sport -- can be contagious.
- Admit it�you, too, hold your breath every time the Stillers punt the ball or boot the ball on a kickoff.
- Despite irrefutable pictorial and video evidence that showed he had absolutely nothing to do with the sack, Jason Gildong is still being credited with the phantom half-sack from the Cleveland game�