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The "I" in Palmer Sucks

January 09, 2009 by Guest

�Sucks Says

Random Rantings by PalmerSucks


January 8, 2009


The Stillers are a decent run attack away from waltzing into the Super Bowl.


By �decent� I don�t mean 160-yard monster games; I�m talking basic 3 � yards-a-carry territory. Say what you want about the defensive goofs, the reason the Stillers lost to the Titans had more to do with Willie Parker getting dropped behind the line than anything else.


No run game means no balance, which means the same Stillers slop-offense that results in close games � which in the playoffs means a good chance of sudden death.


Arians�s point that the Stillers won their last championship by air is well taken � after all, it�s high YPA rather than YPC that characterizes most Super Bowl winners � but he fails to mention that back in �04, the team�s run game was a completely different animal. Coming out passing in the �05 playoffs took teams by surprise --- that won�t happen this time around, not with the Stillers� anemic ground attack.


Besides, this is a team in need of the home-run threat, and that includes big plays by Parker and not just Roethlisberger. Teams that capture playoff glory are the ones that hit the QSSPs: quick-strike scoring plays. Want to avoid getting stuffed on 4th and goal again? How about scoring from 45 yards out, instead?


Not that the team can just pull a run-game out of a hat, but there are two things the Stillers can do to maximize what they have:


1. Go back to the I-formation. When Willie Parker complains about the run sets, what he's really saying is he lacks the vision to run in them. It's clear Parker sees his lanes better behind a lead blocker -- give Willie what he wants! Namely, 265 pounds of Sean McHugh, who played fullback nicely at State College and is ready to do it again in Pittsburgh.


2. Scrap the zone-blocking schemes. Stiller OLs just aren�t cut out for them, especially Willie Colon. The less the lineman have to struggle in � and with -- space, the better.


Not that it�s all the line�s fault; both Heath Miller and Matt Spaeth have whiffed like drunken sailors in a fistfight against defenders this season. The double and triple TE sets just don�t cut it � time now to cut your losses.


You can�t change the Stillers� skill sets. You CAN, however play to the strengths of your players, or in this case, avoid their weaknesses. Who knows, you just may keep your QB upright while you�re at it.


I right 32 iso or bust!


--The second �I� stands for Intensity. That�s what�s needed to be raised when playing in the post-season, something Billy Cowher�s Stillers never seemed to get. Let�s hope the new coach does, after getting his feet wet last January.


My candidate to step things up: Santonio Holmes, who�s been a bust considering the high expectations for his third year. Playoff games often are won by unlikely heroes, and right now Holmes seems as unlikely as it gets. It�s a new season � a chance to start over, and redeem yourself for the Giants� debacle you created.




Item of Note: the game will be ref�ed by Jeff Triplette�s crew. Trip�s guys won�t be so quick to look the other way as the Greenie crew that ignored all the takedowns being performed on James Harrison back in the first meeting. At the very least, there shouldn�t be a 13-2 penalty discrepancy this time around.


How bad was it by the way? The Chargers got called for nothing, even though one of their linemen, Marcus McNeill, admitted this today:


�He's (Harrison�s) a great defensive player. I'm going to have my hands full all game. He covers as well as he rushes passer. He's fast and strong. I even had to tackle him one time last game when he came on a blitz. I don't want to have to do that again.�


We�ll see if he has to or not � or more importantly, if he gets away with it this time.




Not being mentioned as much as it should be: Heath Miller will play against the Chargers this time around.



What�s the difference between Tarvaris Jackson and Joe Flacco?


Ed Reed.


Don�t believe me? Take a look at the passing lines from last Sunday:


Flacco  9/23        135 yards 0 TDs 0 INTs

Jackson  15/35    164 yards 0 TDs 1 INTs


That�s why I scratch my head at all the Baltimore bandwagon-jumping going on right now. The Ravens beat up Miami, the weakest team in the bracket. They did a masterful job of hiding their quarterback � but how many times can they get away with it? Sooner or later the game will be in Flacco�s hands, and the playoff odds say rookies drop the ball.




Gayest Wager Ever


This from today�s San Diego paper:



Mayoral bet set on Chargers-Steelers playoff


San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has agreed to terms on his wager with the mayor of Pittsburgh on Sunday's Chargers-Steelers playoff game, and he has fulfilled his promise that the stakes will rise as the Super Bowl nears.

Sanders already won some shrimp cocktail from the mayor of Indianapolis.

For his bet for this Sunday against Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, the challenge is more complex.

If the Chargers win, Ravenstahl will have to pose for a photo in Chargers swim trunks, holding a surfboard in front of one of Pittsburgh's three rivers. (The board and trunks will be donated by Bob's Mission Surf Shop.)

If the Steelers win, Sanders will have to pose wearing a Steelers jersey and winter cap and holding a pair of skis at the Penguin Encounter at SeaWorld. (The gear will be donated by Willi's Ski & Board Shop in Pittsburgh.)

"I'm trying to decide what color frame would go best with my photo of Mayor Ravenstahl," Sanders said in a statement. "It sure isn't going to be fun being outdoors in swim trunks in Pittsburgh this time of year."

Should be a good show, either way. Maybe Sanders and SeaWorld can work out a deal to sell tickets, and help the city's oceanic budget gap.



Is it just me, but does Jerry seem just a wee bit eager for a pic of the young Pittsburgh mayor in his swimwear? Better have that thing laminated just in case.


Anyway, enjoy the game Stillers fans. Let�s hope the Stillers come out with that 2 TD+ win I�ve been dreaming about.


Until next time, this is PalmerSucks, and this is what I say.


(The views of PalmerSucks are not necessarily those of � but should be.)



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