Stillers-Titans Post Game Analysis & Grades:
Well, so much for the ol� "We need win to carry over to next season". For 2 meaningless finales in a row, this team lost a game that meant nothing, and worse, they got extremely little use of these 2 games in terms of finding out about younger players.
QB: As I�ve said all year, I won�t waste any time typing an analysis on a no brained, no arm, no good QB like Mike Tomgack. D.
RB: Bus and Hunt each had solid days, with Hunt gaining over 7 yards a crack and Bus over 4, and each scoring a TD. However, 2 thing soveshadow the day�s work --- Bettis not being able to punch it in with FOUT consecutive cracks from the 1-yard line; and Huntley�s flat-out drop of the ball well after a handoff, and then slouching & moping as the Titan defender sped by him en route for the TD. C.
FB: Witman had an ok day blocking. Just ok. There were several plays, including a couple in that unsuccessful 4-plunge sequence, in which he did NOTHING and got zero push. And don�t be fooled by his 1 receoption for 38 yards. Fact was, the Titans left the lumbering stiff totally uncovered on a short out route, and Witman, with nary a man within 30 yards, trudged downfield for the big gainer. C.
WR: Shaw had a career day, snaring 7 passes for 131 yards, including a 35-yard TD in the 4th quarter. However, like everyone lese, there was a wart. He failed to aggressively come back on the curl pass that was INT�d by Bowden. Ward had a so-so day. He had 6 grabs, but nearly all wee of the little piddly variety, and his TD was only a 15-yarder. Ward dropped 3 passes; 1 on a tough chance in the EZ just before Hunt�s TD run; one on a flat-out drop of an easy 3-yard hitch on 3d & 1 (which Ward then conveniently feigned injury); and 1 on a slant at 6:35 of the 4th. Troy had 3 grabs for a smallish 27 yards before being ejected late in the game. Malcolm Johnson was not permitted to play until Troy�s ejection, and he then had 2 balls thrown his way; 1 thrown very poorly and another complete for 5 yards. Stewart playeed very sparingly. B.
TE: Cushing caught 2 passes, nearly a career day for a Steeler TE. One was actually an outstanding grab on a crossing route on a pass that was high and a wee bit too far in front. His blocking was solid. Sweeney, the old warhorse, played extensively as a 2d TE and even had a couple passes thrown his way, but no receptions. A-.
OL: The line did a mostly adequate job today. They opened up some decent holes for the running game, and often gave Prozac more than enough time. However, there were a multitude of utterly piss poor play worked into the mix. Thornton came gushing in for the safety, which really should have been ruled a TD. Kearse swooped by Pourdanesh and stripped the ball off Prozac, and then returned it for a TD. Gandy got abused a couple times, as did Duffy. Faneca and Gandy committed false starts. C-.
DL: This was a so-so game from this crew. Staat actually had a career day, knifing in TWICE to stuff runs for a loss. The clumsy oaf even dropped back in pass coverage and busted up a pass, which is more than Emmons and Gildon combined the entire season. Henry was downright shameful today, recording no tackles and playing overly poor. Roye was ok but not quite up to snuff. Smith played some. B-.
LB: Another day of the haves and the have-nots. Holmes had another routine day, making 6 solo stops and 4 assists. He 1 major boner was failing to haul down Wycheck after a seam-route completion in the 3rd quarter. Kirk was solid, but had only 2 solos and 2 helpers. He did make a superb diving INT off a deflected pass, and large belly & all, rumbled down the sideline for a decent return. As for Gildong & Emmons, they mostly stood around with their entire arm stuffed up the backside. Emmons, though replaced a lot by Porter in the 2d half, had a measley 1 solo and played with all the intensity of a librarian. He was CONINUALLY being pushed, bulled, shoved, shielded, and tossed around. When Tennessee had to score "twice" on their 2d TD (the 1st was called back due to a flag), BOTH plays came off of Emmons� gross ineptitude and softness. On the 1st, Emmons was totally caved in, allowing L. Neal to walk in from the 1. On the next play, Emmons just stood there like a barstool on a sweep, and then got blasted by a pulling lineman as Thomas jogged by for the easy TD. Gildon, too, was a totally derelicted stumblebum. He missed an easy sack of McNair. He was shoved wide on off-tackle runs. O�Donnell fumbled the ball right ino his mitts, but the oafish Gildon couldn�t pull it in, and allowed Blowdonnell to out-wrestle him for the pigskin. On the completion to Byrd (who fumbled a few secs later), Gildon flopped and flailed on the turf, causing Myron Cope to go on a short tirade describing Gildon� woeful attempt to defend the pass to Byrd. On 1 sprint draw by Thomas in the4th qtr, Gildon was literally pancaked. The Dong finished with a piddly 2 solos, both on untouched plays (1 a gut plunge, 1 a toss sweep the other way). Porter was finally allowed to play some regular D in the 2d half, and responded with a nice showing. He made some good stops, strung out a sweep the way an OLB is SUPPOSED to, and made 1 of our best defensive plays of the season when he swooped in around the LT, stripped O�Dummell, and scooped up the ball and ran for a TD. Too bad Porter wasn�t allowed to play about 9 weeks ago. ILBs: A-. OLBs Emmons & Gildon, D-. Porter, A-.
DB: Flowers led the way with 9 solos and a force fumble. Scott made the deflection on the Kirk INT. DeWayne had a solid game. Shields was virtually invisible. Davis, as is his nature, got faked badly on a play-action fake and was abused by TE Roan for a 24-yard TD. Chad was beaten on the early TD to Wycheck. B-.
Spec Teams: Any time your punter drops the ball as he�s a millisecond from booting it, it�s pretty bad. Brown had a sweet onsides KO from his own 7 � yard line (that�s not mis-type), which was recovered by Witman. Brown even booted a KO 4 yards deep into the EZ one time, which is about his 2d TB of the season. C+.
Off Coord: What can ya say about Kevin Gapride?? The supposed offnesive guru is so innovative and Einsteinium, that he runs Bettis into the EXACT same location --- up right guard --- 4 consecutive times on a 1st & goal on the 1. No play-action, no trying the play up Faneca�s alley, not Huntley being allowed to add some speed & quickness. Also, the genius Gaypride used Sweeney at TE --- running for passes 35-yards downfield. C-.
Def Coord: This is all ya need to know about Jim Asslet: Myron interviewed the stupid bastard after the game, and asked him about Porter, and all Asslet could babble about was how "Porter struggled to learn" and how Porter "never played OLB in college" and how Porter "became tired and lax after the college season had ended". Funny � what about the 2 mannequins who have been manning the OLB spots all season?? Why, haven�t they been waxing their carrots ever since the bye week?? Obviously, Asslet has also been guilty of a hatred of giving rookies PT, instead foolishly favoring veteran cerebral mediocrity. D.
Head Coach: What can ya say that hasn�t already been said about the mulestubborn Cowhead? He insisted on giving Prozac, and ONLY Prozac, all the snaps at QB, and we lost 4 of the 5 games Prozac started. Just like last year, we got only miniscule looks at our youngsters. You see Porter�s big play today --- on a team that has scored only ONE other defensive TD --- and you ask, "Why in the name of Peter is this man buried on the bench??" You cannot explain Cowhead�s thinking, unless you can explain insanity. F.
It almost feels good to put this miserable season out of its misery. What makes this season so sickening s this: I could have made it thru this stench-laden season if I knew light was at the end of the tunnel. But when you�ve done NOTHING to groom players for future success, and you�ve done NOTHING to promote players who are playing better than the stiff in front of him, and you�ve wallowed around with the same old sloppy-assed 15-Cent Offense 2 years in a row, then there�s not much light at the end of the tunnel, unless it�s the oncoming train of a Raven team with 2 1st round picks & loads of cap room, and Jax & Titan teams that appear to be set for at least another 2 seasons.
I�ll soon be preparing my final grades for each and every player, as well as my Offseason Outlook & Plan.
The Still Mill