Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Detailed Game Review - Defense vs PIT



COLE – Terrific game. Cole spent most of the game in the Steelers backfield. He went hard outside at times. He used inside moves with good success. They used a double-team on him several times. Even that didn't always work. There was one play when Cole got hit by a running back and just spun off the block to get pressure on the passer. He "only" had one sack. He just missed several others. The safety should have been a sack. Roethlisberger's knee was on the ground before he threw the ball. Beat TE with an inside move and got Parker in the backfield for a short loss. Used a hard inside move to flush Ben outside. Got his sack when he bull-rushed the LT and moved him backward, then released inside and got the QB. Unfortunately got the facemask on the play. Just missed getting his 2nd sack when he got Ben down from behind in the 4th Qtr. He was able to gain about a foot on the play. Just missed a couple of sacks on their final drive.

JUQUA – Played LDE and The Joker. Parker had a terrific game from the left defensive end spot. He led the team with 2.5 sacks and also forced a fumble, which led to a field goal. Stats aside, Parker had a big game. There were a handful of plays when Roethlisberger was forced to throw the ball because Parker was bearing down on him. With four quarterback hits, Parker got to Big Ben more than any other defender. He also made several hustle plays, chasing the ball from behind and getting in on the tackle. Parker was also used as "The Joker." That's when he lines up like the middle linebacker on certain passing downs. Sometimes he drops into coverage. Sometimes he blitzes up the middle. On Sunday, he seemed to be shadowing Roethlisberger so that Ben couldn't take off and run for the first down. Got pressure on an early 3rd down from Joker spot. Got his first sack when Ben was flushed over to his side. Got off his block and put Ben on the ground. Got badly held by a blocker on one pass play, but drew no call. Was imploring the officials to throw a flag. Got his second sack when Ben was driven toward him. Juqua knocked the ball loose and we got it. Looped inside on a pass play and got 1/2 a sack. Got pressure on final 3rd down of the half. Patt flushed the QB and Parker flew upfield to hit him just as he threw the ball. Beat a block on a running play to his side and just grabbed Parker by the jersey for a TFL. Hustled to tackle Ward from behind on a WR screen. Limited the gain to only a couple.

HOWARD – Good game. Drew a holding call when he rushed from DT and flushed Ben. Got his sack while playing LDE on 3rd/7. We used a 3-man line and only rushed the 3 guys. Darren got under and around the RT and just engulfed Big Ben. That sack knocked PIT out of FG range. Took a hard inside move from LDE and got Parker in the backfield. Got half a sack on the final drive when he cleanly beat the LG and got into the backfield.

CLEMONS – Played some LDE. Showed some burst off the ball. Ben scrambled on one play and Chris dove 4 yards to get a shot on him in the pile-up.


PATTERSON – Good game. Only had an assisted tackle, but got a lot of penetration and caused problems for the Steelers. Disrupted a running play by getting penetration and completely clogging the running lane. Exploded off the ball on one snap and almost got Ben for a TFL while he was handing the ball off. Got pressure on 3rd down pass just before the half. Lined up at NT and took a hard angle to his left. Got by the RG and just missed a sack. Chased down the FB when PIT gave him the ball on a running play. Good speed, hustle. Only gave up a yard.

BUNKLEY – Good game. Shed Kemo and helped stuff Parker on a run up the middle. Hit Ben on a passing play just after he got rid of the ball. Got a sack on a 2nd Qtr pass play. Ben tried to scramble up the middle and Brod shed his blocker to tackle him. Used a good move to get off a block on a pass play. The ball was already thrown or he would have lit Ben up. Recovered a fumble after JP knocked the ball loose from Big Ben. Got a shot on Ben on a 4th Qtr pass play.

LAWS – Played in the 2nd half. Didn't stand out or make any plays. He was in the game with 5 minutes to go, so you know the coaches trust him.

KLECKO – Played a decent amount. Was used at NT as well as DT. We lined him up as the Nose in some of our 3-man D-line packages. Got half a sack late in the game. Looped around the other DT and came free up the middle. He worked well as part of the blitz package because of his ability to get penetration. Didn't do much damage himself but helped to keep the PIT O-line scrambling.


BRADLEY – Good game. Had 6 solo tackles, 3 of them for a loss. Solid job in coverage. Grabbed Holmes jersey momentarily and helped to force an early incompletion. That's the kind of subtle holding that you can get away with. Slammed Parker down from behind for early TFL. Got another TFL by blitzing and driving the C backward, then shedding him and tackling Parker. Came free on a blitz up the middle. Started to chase Ben and didn't see the RT. Willie Colon put Stew on his butt with a big time block. Hustled to get downfield and in on tackle of WR after completion. Solid tackle of Parker on running play that came right at him. Got penetration on a run play to the right and got Parker down for a short loss. Flowed to the football and made a tackle on a 3rd Qtr Parker run up the middle.

GOCONG – Quiet game. Shed a block and tackled Parker on a run that came right at him. Had a solid game in coverage. No throws came his way.

OMAR – Good game. Had 7 tackles, 1.5 sacks, and broke up a couple of passes Came free on a blitz up the middle. Forced Ben to slide to his right, and into a sack. Blitzed up the middle late in the half and fought through RB block to get 1/2 a sack. Hustled to get in on tackle of Ward after short completion. Shot the A-gap just before the half and was able to sling Ben to the ground for a sack. Made a good, physical tackle of Parker after a short run. Made a good tackle on Parker when he tried to cutback on a run. Omar was right there in the hole to shut that down for a gain of one. Got into the passing lane and deflected a 3rd Qtr pass. Ball fell incomplete. Came free on a late drive in the game. Got his hands on Ben, but couldn't get him down.


DAWK – Good game. Made a good tackle on Washington after he caught a pass and got away from Samuel. Had good downfield coverage on the deep pass that Sammie picked off. Had the receiver covered from the inside. Good tackle on draw play before the half. Blitzed off the edge and hit Parker in the backfield when we had PIT pinned deep. Finished the game with 7 tackles, a sack, FF/FR, and a TFL. Showed he can still be an impact player around the line of scrimmage.

MIKELL – Another week, another good game. Led the team with 8 tackles. Came up quickly to tackle Parker on a run play. Came free on a blitz and got a hand on Ben, but overran him. Flushed Ben out wide and led to INCL. Pounced on Parker on a draw play up the middle. Came free on a delayed blitz. Overran Ben, but forced him to move into a sack. Came upfield on another delayed blitz and made a terrific tackle of Ben as he started to scramble. Stopped him for a short gain.

CONSIDINE – Didn't seem to play much. PIT used a lot of base sets and running sets.


SAMUEL – Solid game. Made a beautiful pick on a downfield throw. Was running stride for stride with the WR and just went up and made a good play on the ball. Really has good hands. Had tight coverage on a pass to Heath Miller. Broke up a pass in the endzone. Got his hand up when the receiver went to catch the ball. Asante will give up some underneath throws. He's not a "shutdown" type of CB.

BROWN – Quiet game in terms of tackles. Only had 1. Did come up in run support and just miss a TFL on Parker. Blew up a WR screen play by getting into his receiver and driving the guy backward into the passing lane. Ben wasn't able to even attempt the pass because of that. Almost got a pick on a throw away late in the game. Ben basically lobbed a ball in his direction. Brown and the receiver jumped up for it, but neither guy could make a clean catch.

LITO – Hines Ward pushed off on him to get open on an early 3rd down play. Had 3 tackles. I'm not sure how much Lito played. As I mentioned above, the Steelers used a lot of 2 and 3 TE sets.

HANSON – Had one tackle on defense and one on STs.



AKERS – 2 of on FGs. Pretty good depth on his kickoffs. KO to open the 2nd half was 5 yards deep in the endzone.

ROCCA – Great game. Rocca came up huge in the second half after not having to punt at all in the first half. His first punt only went 28 yards, but it had excellent touch and put the Steelers at the 10-yard line. His next one involved a slightly off-target snap. Rocca got the ball off, but it only went 39 yards and gave the Steelers good field position. The defense bailed him out. After that Rocca came alive. His next punt went 64 yards and flipped the field, putting the Steelers at their own 30. He launched a 54-yard punt that pinned them down at the 6-yard line the next time around. His next kick only went 37 yards, but again put Pittsburgh deep, this time at the 7-yard line.

Had the best game by an Eagles punter in a long time. 3 of his punts landed inside the 20, 2 inside the 10. Another punt flipped the field. That's impact from a guy you don't normally expect it from.

PR – Had one okay return. Used burst and a stiff arm to get wide to the right side, but only got 9 yards because he initially ran backward. Got a chance to return the free kick after the safety, but didn't get much of a return.

KOR – Demps had 2 returns for 58 yards. The first KO went for 37 and the second for 21. Greg Lewis caught a couple of KOs as well (short kicks).


* Q Mikell made tackle in KO coverage.
* Dorenbos had an off target snap to Rocca, threw off the punt.
* Demps and Considine combined to down a punt inside the 10.


* Blitzes *

They get a special section this week. I charted every play I considered a blitz (more than 4 rushing). I included plays with penalties as the penalties were due to the guys showing a blitz look. COMP means completion. INCL means incompletion.

3rd/2 - got pre-snap penalty
1st/10 - quick pass...COMP...no hit
3rd/4 - short pass...COMP...1st down...Roeth hurried by 75
1st/10 - run to right...TFL -1
2nd/11 - pass right...COMP...1st down
2nd/4 - run up middle...TFL - 1
3rd/4 - pass right...INCL...led to FG
1st/10 - sack
3rd/4 - pre-snap penalty...1st down
2nd/10 - short pass to right...COMP
3rd/3 - sack, FF
1st/10 - sack
1st/10 - false start penalty
1st/10 - short pass to left...COMP
1st/10 - sack
2nd/17 - pass to left...COMP

-----------end half-----------

2nd/6 - pass over middle...INCL
3rd/6 - false start penalty
3rd/11 - false start penalty
2nd/8 - run right...TFL
3rd/10 - QB scramble up middle for 1
3rd/6 - QB scramble up middle for 2
1st/10 - downfield pass to the left....INCL
3rd/10 - pass over middle...COMP...1st down
1st/10 - run right...gained 4
2nd/6 - run right...TFL
3rd/6 - QB scramble up middle for maybe a foot
1st/10 - run right...TFL
1st/10 - forced throw away
2nd/10 - false start penalty
3rd/15 - sack, FF...we got the ball
2nd/10 - pass over middle...COMP...1st down
1st/10 - pass into endzone...INCL

The Eagles racked up nine sacks. They had 6 (by my count) tackles-for-loss. They came up with two takeaways and a safety. The turnovers led to a pair of field goals. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was knocked out of the game with a hand injury and the Steelers gained only 180 net yards.

The gameplan was very aggressive and very successful. I hope we see more of it as the season goes along.

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