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:��
(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.
(13:34) 39-W.Parker left end to ARI 46 for 6 yards (58-K.Dansby).
(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).
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
- That counter play from their own END ZONE, which had the LG
pulling and allowed a gap the size of
- 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.��
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
- 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
- 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
- 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�.!
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