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Loose Slag from The Still Mill

February 03, 2009 by Still Mill

Slag - post Sup Bowl

Loose Slag from The Still Mill


Some loose slag to chew on from the Sup Bowl��


- Ken Cheezenhunt is probably still lying awake at night, wondering and moaning, �If only I�d not been so damn overly conservative and insisting on plunging the ball for the better part of 3 quarters.�Hell, I gave the guy the exact recipe on how to beat the Stiller defense, and he eschewed it until the 4th quarter.He finally did precisely what I clearly stated would work -- with the spread offense and passing the ball in a form of ball control and easy pitch n� catch -- and voila, he got 13 points in about 4 minutes of labor.


����������� What�s worse, Cheezen actually stumbled upon success midway thru the 2Q.He caught the Stillers in their base defense on 2d & 7, and better, the Stillers rushed only 3 men.The result?�� A 45-yard gain by Boldin down to the Stiller 1-yard line.This should have been the wake-up call for Cheezen, but he ignored it until the 4th quarter.If he stretches and gets limber, he�ll be able to kick himself quite ably for the next 6 months...��


- After Timmons almost blocked the punt, a 27-yard duck by Ben "You probably should have put me on IR and brought Tom Tupa back for this game" Graham�.First down, Stiller ball, their own 43, 13:49 remaining, 13-point lead. I ask you � how did we almost lose this game?�� Answer: Bruce Arians.Here�s the sequence:��


1-10-PIT 43

(13:41) 7-B.Roethlisberger pass incomplete short middle to 86-H.Ward (26-R.Hood) [24-A.Wilson]. PENALTY on ARI-26-R.Hood, Defensive Holding, 5 yards, enforced at PIT 43 - No Play.

1-10-PIT 48

(13:34) 39-W.Parker left end to ARI 46 for 6 yards (58-K.Dansby).

2-4-ARI 46

(12:53) 39-W.Parker left guard to 50 for -4 yards (90-D.Dockett).


(12:07) (Shotgun) 7-B.Roethlisberger sacked at PIT 38 for -12 yards (90-D.Dockett).


After the 1st down run gained 6, we�re sitting pretty with 2nd & 4.Pop pass to Miller?�� Nowhere to be found.�� Screen pass against jailhouse rush?�� Nope.�� Quick out to Ward?�� Naw.�� Flare pass to Moore?�� No, because Willie Parker is healthy, and Moore isn�t permitted to participate whenever Parker dresses.


- That counter play from their own END ZONE, which had the LG pulling and allowed a gap the size of Texas for a defender to shoot through and nearly safety Parker�..that, uh, was a genius scheme by Arians as well.You have to wonder exactly what goes through this man�s mind when he call for such asininity�.


- How did they win the game?�� Answer: individual playmaking and sheer athletic greatness by Ben and Tonio.�� Just like every other comeback this season, Bruce Arians was minimally influencing what was going on with the offense.With Arians, the less involvement, the better.


- Not to belittle the winning TD catch, but in terms of difficulty, the catch Blunt Holmes made on 3rd & 10 from our own 1 was at least as good a catch and quite possibly better.Cromar had his hand right there, and the ball was on top of Holmes as soon as he broke out of his cut, giving him about 1/1000th of a second to actually see the ball as it arrived.I re-watched this play 15 times and I still can�t fathom how Holmes was able to haul in this low laser.��


- Lost amidst the excitement of Harrison�s 100-yard INT return was the fact that Larry Fitz, who made the tackle, actually ran out of bounds the final 37-some yards before finally coming back in bounds to tackle Harrison.There is a rule on punt coverage and KO coverage about a defender freely running OOB and then coming back in bounds (he can�t be the first guy to hit the ballcarrier).Not sure what rule applies in this INT situation, but amidst the 28 replays NBC showed, this was never mentioned or discussed.Was this a penalty?�� Had Harrison been ruled down at the 1-inch line, would the penalty have given us a referee-appointed TD (since Fitz was the tackler who made the �stop�), or would it have been a crack at Tomlin�s ever-popular 18-yard FG, since the half cannot end on a penalty?Just food for thought.


- More food for thought.If Fitz could do it all over again, would he consider running OOB (or downing himself) at the 1-inch line rather than scoring the TD with 2:37 remaining?If it�d been a 3-point game, then for sure this would be a heady play, because worst-case, you have the tying FG in your hip pocket.In this situation, a 4-point game, this move would be dicier, in that you have to score a TD on 1 of the 4 attempts from the 1-inch line.On the plus side, you�re gonna chew some clock and force the Stillers to burn perhaps 1 or 2 of their TOs.This is all merely interesting post-game speculation, of course, because no player is gonna eschew scoring the go-ahead TD in that situation.


- I still maintain the holding call on Hartwig in the EZ was a bullshit call.Further, at 4:30 1Q, the false start against Hartwig was a phantom call.  No Stillers linemen false-started on this play.Simply put, not one player even flinched.  Antonio Smith cajoled the refs into making a call.  Pathetic that professionals would fall for that.


- One final tidbit on Harrison�s historic INT return.Didya notice that Townsend, not once but twice, actually craned his body in an effort to get Harrison to hand the ball off to him ?��� Harrison would have none of that, and to his credit, Town finally read the fact that Harrison wasn�t going to give the ball up even if held at gunpoint, and Town astutely dashed ahead and sealed off Warner.


- For those Cards fans bellyaching about the refs, there was a HUGE facemask grab by a Cardinal against Hines while he was blocking on the Holmes pass to the left that gained good yardage.  The guy GRABS Hines� mask and twists it -- goes on for a long time.  No call.Then there was the blatant shove by Dockett, well after the whistle, after Ben�s ill-fated QB draw on 3rd & goal in the 3Q.Dockett shoved Hartwig near the stack in front of 2 refs, and could have easily been assessed a flag.


- After the 31st time, I lost track how many times NBC showed Warner�s wife.I fondly recall the days of my youth, watching Super Bowl games and never seeing shots during the game of anyone�s wife, kid, uncle, mother, plumber, or pastor.


- Anybody heard from Lord Billy Cowher lately ?Remember him?�� He was, uh, the coach who could never, ever be replaced, because, after all, �Who could we possibly hire to replace a legend like Cowher and win like he did?�


- One of the oddest stat lines in Sup Bowl history, I reckon --�� Gary Russell, 2 carries, minus-3 yards, one TD.��


- I�m still perplexed by the Harrison �unnecessary roughness� penalty in the 4Q.You're SUPPOSED to maul the opposing player, who is SUPPOSED to get downfield and maul YOUR punt returner. There never was a PUNCH thrown. There was a THRUST of the hand and a forearm shiver, which is how EVERY BLOCKER in the league blocks in today�s brand of football.It�s a PUNT RETURN, and Harrison is supposed to be BLOCKING, is he not?��� And at the end of that skirmish, it was a 2-handed SHOVE -- ie, a BLOCK -- while the play was still LIVE. I hadn't realized that blocking in the CHEST of a defender on a punt return was now illegal in the NFL. This was the classic case of a squeamish ref crew getting concerned about �the game getting out of hand� and throwing a penalty on what they THOUGHT might have occurred, rather than what actually did occur.Fuk Fat Madden, Ron Cook, and any other dumbass who thought this was a penalty and that Jamie shoulda been thrown outa the game...


- Perhaps the best aspect in the aftermath of this Super Bowl is that we are no longer being fed any articles, whatsoever, about what a brilliant genius Dick �Gilligan� LeBeau supposedly is.After spending the season �shutting down� the various NFL equivalents of Mario Mendoza, Dick faced a competent, experienced, talented offense and got shredded like provolone cheese at a pizza parlor. After leaving his safeties out on an island a full 22 yards off the LOS for the late touchdown, the avalanche of stories about Gilligan Lebeau have trickled down to, well, nothing.�� Amazing what a 13-point choke-away in the 4th quarter can do for a guy�s reputation.


- The Coca Cola ad with Troy Pola was one of the biggest piles of manure I�ve ever seen�.right up there with an Arians game plan.It was total rubbish.Along with Arians, the advertising exec who came up with that one ought to be fired by the end of the week.


- Upcoming to-do�s on my part�.the Sup Bowl Hard Hat; the overall 2008-09 Hard Hat; and the player/coaches grades.Tomlin is correct��the players get some time off, but for the rest of us, much work remains to be done�.!


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


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