Loose Slag on Film Scrub of Stillers-Falcs� (Aug. 12th, �01)
First off, let me apologize for the tardiness of this report.� Those �old-timers� who frequent this site know that my post-game reports are almost always done the nite of the game.�� As punishment for my tardiness, I�ll read the new book, �Out of work and out of his mind:� The Kevin Gaypride Story�.��
I won�t provide the overly comprehensive report that I do during the regular season, because, frankly, it�s not worth my time, nor yours, to comment on the work of the plethora of scrubs who play in these early preseason games.�� My comments are:
- First and foremost, we can all chuckle over the nice propaganda effort Cowher and Co. did in selling fans this BS of �a new offense�.��� New offense, my @ss.� It�s the same old offense this team has run for years.�� You can put whipped cream on sh!t, but it still tastes like sh!t.� So it is with this �new offense�, which stunk like manure until the 3rd and 4th stringers duked it out in the 2nd half.�� Here is the one �innovative� change made my new OC Mike Mularkey:� he used this goofy formation 2 or 3 times, in which a TE was flanked closely by another TE serving as a wingback (WB), and the WB was flanked by 2 WRs.� All 4 of these players were close enough that they could fit into a phone booth.�� Mularkey is apparently under the mistaken impression that he can either generate open pass routes off picks, or get a mismatch on running plays at that point of attack.� The reality is that any good defense will have 1 man blow up 2 or 3 of those receivers with 1 good smash at the snap of the ball, and the reality is that Bettis is too slow to get around end & capitalize on this scheme.� The objective for Mularkey should be to SPREAD the offense (see http://post-gazette.com/sports/pitt/20010812pittnote0812p4.asp in today�s PG for a superb article on what Pitt is doing), not bunching all 11 players along an 18-foot front.�� Other than this imbecilic new formation, all we saw from the 1st and 2nd teams was a plethora of 4-yard curls and an offense that totally ignored its #1 receiver (Burress) the entire 1st half.�
- Speaking of SOS (same old sh!t), Kordell Stewart threw 98% of his passes off his BACK foot, a problem that has haunted him for, oh, about 6 years now.�� This was clearly evident in the 2nd series, when he threw a bomb off his back foot that was woefully underthrown.�� I do not know what the QB coach, Clements, does, but apparently working on mechanics is not part of Clements� job duties.
- Mister �Pass Catching TE�, Jerame Tuman, stayed in to block on one play and got thoroughly ABUSED by a LB, who sacked Stewart.� This was easily among the top 5 WEAKEST pass-blocking efforts I have ever seen in my life.��
- The Pierogi Boy, Tom Myslinski, was an abomination.�� Imagine former Stiller Christine Conrad with a broken leg, and that�s about how well Myslinski played.� On successive plays in the 1st quarter, he whiffed on blocking a DT on a simple plunge, and then looked just as pitiful the next play in getting whipped and giving up a sack.��
- This is no joke...I actually re-watched this one play on tape 5 times.� Late in the 2d quarter, we actually completed a pass to Troy Edwards for �2 yards.� Not 2 yards, but MINUS 2 yards.�� Troy ran around after the catch and ended up gaining a whopping 1 yard on the play, but the key point is this:� exactly what good is it to have a WR running a pattern 2 yards behind the LOS??�� And Mularkey calls this �a change� ???�� Looked like SOS to me.�
- Nice work by Amos Zereoue.�� Too bad, come the regular season, he�ll be rotting on the bench during the �running downs� of 1st and 2nd down.�
- The brightest spot of the evening?�� Kendrell Bell.�� I recently bought an Earl Holmes jersey.�� After reviewing the tapes, I�m wondering if I should have bought a �97� jersey.� Bell was THE MAN versus Atlanta.�� And I�m not talking about Bell stumbling around and getting lucky shoe-string tackles on a bumbling ballcarrier.� I�m talking about him, twice, crashing into the backfield after reading the running play, and slamming the RB.�� I�m talking about Bell beating a blocker and sacking the QB within 3 seconds of the snap.� I�m talking about Bell moving laterally and belting the living piss out of a RB on a toss sweep.�� I�m talking about Bell starting the game off by getting his bell rung on the opening kickoff, and then later sacrificing his body with a nice diving special teams stab.�� Bell is everything that Big Jason Gildon is not:� decisive; willing to hit; a good reader of plays; and willing to do whatever it takes to get to the football.���
- Conversely, Mike Jones looked like a lifelong OLB playing ILB.�� His work was pretty shoddy.�� His worst faults are over pursuing plays, and refusing to take on blockers, preferring instead to go around them.� That�s fine for an OLB, but entirely unacceptable for an ILB.�� Given what I saw versus the Falcs, it will be a gross miscarriage of justice if Bell is not in the starting lineup against Jax on Sep. 9th.�
- Rookie DE Rodney Bailey showed me a couple nice sparks.�� He beat a blocker with a nice swim move in pass-rushing, and he showed some signs that he has an idea of what a DE should do in the NFL.� It�s early, and he was playing against mostly scrubs, but I�d like to see what Beetle does the rest of the preseason.�
- Nice coverage and INT by Townsend on one play.�� Heck, even Simmons looked serviceable out there.
- Clark Haggans showed some decent play.�� On one off-tackle running play, Haggans held his ground and made the play.�� THIS is what an OLB is supposed to do in run support.��
- The first-team defense looked pretty weak.� I will cut them some slack, because� a.) they were working in some new starters (Clancy and Smith and Jones) and b.)� in preseason the base defense is typically simplified, and elaborate blitzes are mostly kept to a minimum, etc.��� That being said, it was a rather sorry pass-harassment effort; the run-stuffing was weak; and it was rather disturbing to see the likes of Chandler and Vick carving up this defense thru the air.�� The test versus Minnesota this Thursday should be most interesting.
- Key to watch for in the Minnesota game this Thursday -� can the starting offense complete maybe 3 passes that travel longer in distance than 9 yards downfield ??