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VaporTrail's Steelers vs. Browns Musings


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Flash Formation


Looks like Daboll heard about the Fins using it and wanted to give it a shot. It actually looked like we were giving this a legit chance. And, in the beginning, it worked! We were slicing through their defense pretty efficiently with Cribbs and company. Unfortunately for us, the package lost its flash (u c what i did thar????) and we sputtered out before we could score.


Now, why did this happen? Because we kept running out of the formation until it was an obvious passing down. ATTN DaButtHole: If you are going to run the WildDawg formation 15 times a game, you cannot let the other team know that you are going to run it. Pittsburgh respected the threat of the pass at first, and that's why it worked. When we decided to never pass it, they stacked the line. When that happens, you should be changing the plays to be running quick slants to beat the blitzes or see if you can get one deep.


Rushing Game


I pined about it last week. Jamal Lewis is completely ineffective against a team with a decent defense. His running looked terrible. He should be hitting the hole with power, but instead he stutter steps and tiptoes to the line, losing most of his momentum (which is why we got him, right?) and gets pulled down within one or two yards of the LoS. 11 carries for 21 yards. Stop giving him more carries than Harrison. Last week, I predicted we'd lose this game if this happened, and we did.


Harrison and Cribbs looked damn good out of Flash formation (until the Pittsburgh D figured out that we Dabuttxxxx won't let Cribbs throw). Harrison had 5 carries for 26 yards and Cribbs had 6 carries for 45 yards. Harrison hits the hole quickly (except for his first carry of the game, that was fugly), and Cribbs is a man possessed. Really, he looks like the god damned Predator, and he gives it his all without regard for his body every time he is on the field. Give these guys the rock more, please.


Passing Game


Catch the xxxxing ball. We had 7 drops today. So that's a total of 15 or 16 drops in two games??? What the xxxx?!!?! DA did not play as poorly as his stats suggest (hear me out please). He was 9 of 24. Two balls were thrown away (one at JL's ankles, one out of bounds), both good decisions on his part. All but one of the drops (Furrey's) should have been caught, the other ones weren't dropped because DA rockets them in there too hard, it was a lack of concentration on the receivers.


JL's drop was xxxxing unacceptable.

MoMass... dude, if you're gonna get targeted that much, you gotta reel em in.

Chansi Stuckey is worthless.

Royal is hurt, hopefully that means Heiden gets back in seeing as he actually has a pair of hands.


Back to DA, his pick was a bad decision, but at that point the game was already over. Down 13 points with less than 4 minutes, I don't blame him for taking a shot.


Cribbs' two throws were dangerous, and one of em was picked by Polamalu. However, and this goes back to the playcalling, when you see a playmaker on their other team limps off the field, but then comes back on, you attack him. He sprained (that means there's a frickin tear in it) his MCL. It is very hard to accelerate and cut when you're recovering from that. I am usually a fan of Pittsburgh's coaching, but I cannot believe that they allowed him to play against us (a bottom 5 team) after he had trouble getting up. He is one of the best safeties in the league, let him rest it and heal up so that he doesn't potentially hurt it worse and be out for longer. You could see that when he was in after that, his presence was definitely not as threatening (if you look at MoMass's long post reception, you can see how slow he is to get into position and that his recovery speed isn't the slightest bit near where it was). Pittsburgh, sit him for a week or two more. Please. You're just asking for the Madden curse to come poking around again.


Pass Protection


Our pass protection was probably the worst aspect of our game this week. DA needs to do a better job of protecting the ball, but the time he had to throw was unacceptable. St. Clair, did you just not see Timmons lining up outside of you on that play? You went in, and he went out and got straight to the QB. On one of DA's fumbles, the protection broke down immediately. Harrison got completely burned by whomever lined up on the left side, and Timmons just waltzed past the entire right side of the line (again), resulting in a lost fumble.


This is the only good thing I have to say about Jamal Lewis. I think his running game is terrible, however, he can pass block more effectively than Harrison. In obvious passing downs, he should be the one protecting the QB.


Offensive Playcalling


Well. It was pretty offensive. Get the Flash thing figured out. You've got half of it down. You know what running plays can hurt the opposition. Don't become one-dimensional, it makes the formation completely ineffective and predictable. Cribbs' talent will only make the first 3 defenders miss if they're gonna stack the box. I did however, like the call on 3rd and 1, quick out to Vickers, as well as another 3rd and long (I can't remember the exact play) but I totally remember thinking to myself, "That was the last thing I expected." And it worked.


Also, in the 4th quarter, when they are bringing the house on every single play, why not call some quick slants or screens? Instead, we're running deep routes that need time to develop. Our skilled guys are fast, if they're gonna blitz that many, one of our guys should be open if you're gonna call a play for a quick pass. I don't get it. This is elementary shit. Daboll makes me want to tear my hair out sometimes. That said, I did mention some of the things I liked. Looks like we've ditched the run-run-pass-punt set of plays. We passed on second down more than we did all season. We're taking some baby steps in the right direction. I'm going to predict that our offense will be much more effective one month from now. Though I really don't see why it is taking Daboll this long to get it figured out. I mean, if you're an OC in the NFL, you should know how to beat intense blitzing... or not. *shrug*








B-Mac and Wright get a 10 out of 10 today on a scale of suck. I think I counted 5 or 6 missed tackles from the both of them, B-Mac missed two on the same play. Also, I think Wright may have forgotten how to play man-to-man coverage. So let's do a quick lesson, mkay? In man-to-man coverage, the idea is to never give the receiver you're covering the inside route. So, Mr. Wright, may I ask why on earth you were chasing Santonio Holmes ACROSS the field when you are in man-to-man? I don't think that Holmes is that much faster than you. I think you just completely blew you're coverage and you looked lost.




Get it together. Pool and Elam are not very good. They're servicable, but not much more. These guys just couldn't deal with Rapelisburger's pump fake. Hines Ward tore em up.




DQJ >_>b GG. Made a buncha good plays around the field.

Barton >_>p Thanks for dropping a gift-wrapped interception. You're lucky that B-Rot threw while getting hit a play or two later and gave a gift to Pool.


These guys also got dumped on by the pump-fake.




We looked good in the first quarter. Blitzes were well-disguised. In the second quarter, the blitzes were telegraphed. BurgerRape had a field day with these, and looked at the side the blitz was coming from and made a quick read. It didn't help that our corners were giving Ward and Holmes a 10 yard cushion. If you blitz that many, you MUST go man-to-man. Bring enough heat so that the quarterback is forced to either beat the blitz with the quick read or shit his pantz. Evel Knievel had 8 seconds to sit back in the pocket and wait for someone to get open on his first TD pass. I don't care if Shaun Rogers is our Nose Tackle, if it's 3 v 5 or 6, the other team's QB will have all day to throw, and usually this ends in a long gain. The only time it's okay to do this prevent shit is when there's 3 seconds left in the game and the other team needs a 40 yard TD pass.


The second half, our play-calling was horrendous. They had all day to throw, and once again, picked us apart. Do you not learn anything from when our offense is on the field? Look at what their blitzing did to our line. They brought enough guys that our protection had to think about who they were blocking and missed an assignment, leading to two turnovers. B-Rot will crap his pants just like any other quarterback when the pressure is brought. He's one of the most sacked quarterbacks, we should've gotten to him more than twice this game.


We really need to work on this.




Can someone tell me how this "10 yards for a first down chain" thing works? I thought I knew, but I guess not. Oh well, I guess the other team stealing 3 points for the second time in a row wasn't that big of a deal this time around. It's not like it would've tied us the game or anything.


Also, is it just me, or did Rob Ryan look like Zeus Almighty when that happened. I was half-expecting thunderbolts to come raining down on the officials.



VaporTrail's gameball goes to everyone involved in the third quarter this game. 5 turnovers in 4 minutes. I was considering sports suicide after that fiasco. Priceless.




ATTN: Chuck

You own my sig this week.

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