By Alex Kozora
Game notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers victory over the Cleveland Browns.
CLICK ON ANY PICTURE TO ENLARGE
- Kick return unit. Front dive. Vince Williams, Kion Wilson (now wearing #48), Chris Carter, Terence Garvin, Antwon Blake. David Paulson/Michael Palmer the next two and Al Woods/Cam Heyward forming the wedge. Jonathan Dwyer the upback for Felix Jones.
- First snap of the game. A called run but Ben checks out of it to a screen. Good decision vs eight man front and versus a blitzing TJ Ward. Emmanuel Sanders left one on one with Buster Skrine.
The tell Ben was checking to a screen?
He grabs his facemask at the line. Did it against New England in a screen to Jerricho Cotchery. Useful bar bet.
- Right side of the line in a 4x3 disadvantage but Le’Veon Bell still able to hit the second level. Really nice combo block from Fernando Velasco and David DeCastro somehow holds Athya Rubin and the safety.
- 3rd and 7 on the first drive. Ben checking to run instead of screen to Antonio Brown. Tough assignment for Marcus Gilbert to scoop block the three tech. Can’t and the defender makes the play. David DeCastro’s chip should’ve been better to allow Gilbert more time to get himself into position.
- Kickoff coverage. L1-L5. Cortez Allen, Robert Golden, Curtis Brown, Kion Wilson, Jarvis Jones. R5-R1. Antwon Blake, Garvin, Will Allen, Will Johnson, Markus Wheaton.
- Gilbert getting leg/ankle rolled into by Paul Kruger. Came up in pain but remained in game. Got lucky.
- Ben Roethlisberger again throwing to the flat vs Cover 2. Not a terrible decision but would rather try and throw vertical to the No.1. Stress the safety or in the future, cause the CB to sink more and help open up the flat.
- AB should be settling here vs zone. That’s what Ben is expecting (check where the front foot is at when he throws in picture below). Reason why throw was behind is on the receiver, not the quarterback .
- Heath Miller missing a block on D’Qwell Jackson on 3rd and 7 screen to Le’Veon Bell. If he holds it even for a moment, Bell picks up the first down. Instead, he’s short.
- Blake/Curtis Brown gunners. DeMarcus Van Dyke replaced Brown at gunner following Brown’s torn ACL. Others on punt coverage. Palmer, Carter, Garvin, Greg Warren, Will Johnson, Jason Worilds, David Pauslon, Robert Golden (upback).
- Almost a “Tare” concept on 16 yard pass to Jordan Cameron. No 1/2 receivers get vertical, No 3 on out. Easy separation vs man coverage for the athletic tight end.
- All the DL doing work here. Hood sheds Mitchell Schwartz, Al Woods comes off Joe Thomas, and Steve McClendon holds on vs Alex Mack (though hard to see in this picture)
- Same play is McClendon’s injury. Rolled into by a falling Worilds.
- Vince Williams lost a few snaps to Terence Garvin in this game. Something to keep in mind. And the fact Garvin has gotten those reps over Kion Wilson. Not a huge surprise anymore considering Wilson has been on and off the roster but how the position has come along this season. From Larry Foote to a Williams/Wilson hybrid, to Wilson falling off the radar and Garvin seeing a few snaps.
- Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown jammers. Others on punt return unit. Wheaton, W. Allen, W. Johnson, Jonathan Dwyer, Garvin, Golden, and Blake.
- Big Rubin holding up DeCastro and Bell to let Keke Mingo loop in an get pressure on Ben.
- Cam Heyward right in the RBs face to blow up this screen. Jason Worilds dips past the RT on the other side to generate pressure, forcing Jason Campbell to throw pass into the ground.
- Trips Bunch pre snap. Combo of Heath down seem and run Brown on drag. CB has no chance to make the play and it’s an easy completion.
- Ray Horton has gone mad. Mid second, drops both DTs and OLBs into coverage.
- Good read by Ben even though it didn’t translate into a completion. Browns show two deep shell pre-snap but rotate to single high on the snap. Ben looks off safety, comes to the left to AB one on one. Brown can’t secure the catch along the sideline.
- Troy’s forced fumble. Tried to blitz, got stonewalled, comes off the block, finds the ballcarrier, squares up, makes the tackle, rips the ball out, and recovers it. All in one play. Wow.
- Missed T/E stunt between Kelvin Beachum and Ramon Foster.
- Slight playaction to get Jabaal Sheard to take a step up, letting Ben hit Heath down the seam.
- Great effort by William Gay to cut Fozzy Whittaker on the first play of the second half. We have cornerbacks that sacrifice their bodies in the run game.
- DeCastro losing really bad in the leverage war with Rubin on this play.
- 3rd and 1 failed conversion right before the failed 4th and 1. If it were up to me, woul’ve ran it over the bubble on the left side between C/LG. Not to the side where the one tech was at along with a cornerback close to the box.
- William Gay sack, Allen recovery. Stack Worilds/Jones to one side and blitz the two DBs. Browns slide to the linebackers side, leaving the RB with two defenders to pick up. Excellent design. Worked out perfectly.
- Next play. Slant/flat concept, very common in the red zone. Another check with me. Ben only signals pass to the receivers. Line has low hat off the line.
- Jarvis Jones at LOLB. Way too deep of an arc, not even touched until this point.
- Jason Worilds with a nice spin, leaving Schwartz in the dust.
- Brandon Weeden throwing into quadruple coverage? Yup.
- Ben again manipulating the safety, getting him to open the gate (hips). Just a dud throw to Cotch. Too bad.
- Steelers punt that was nearly blocked. Worilds/Palmer have same defender. Golden/Warren have same defender. All that has to be communicated pre-snap. Wasn’t.
- Steelers show blitz, bring Troy, and have a LB athletic enough in Lawrence Timmons to take away Weeden’s favorite target and on this play, hot read, all at once. Pass ends up falling incomplete.
- Big running lane opened up by Miller/Palmer.
- Thought Todd Haley got a little too cute with the end around mid 4th. Ran for 12 yards previous three plays. End up losing eight on the play.
- Lot of yards Josh Gordon had come late or when he wasn’t matched up against Ike. And there were times against Ike where it was clearly Cover 3 and Ike had deep third. Gordon would run a curl and pick up an easy ten. Ike didn’t have a bad game and don’t forget Gordon is a special receiver. Very underrated league wide. Ike did punch with wrong hand on this place though. Should always be with outside hand.
- Fernando Velasco had his best game as a Steeler. Showed quick burst in space on screens and did a really excellent job when combo blocking.
- Would expect Shamarko Thomas to be the gunner if active Thursday for Curtis Brown.
- Antwon Blake does all the little things, all the dirty work. R5 on kicks. On most of the return/coverage units. Only one defensive snap all year. Have to appreciate a guy like that grinding it out.
- Heath Miller looked better but still not the old Heath. Still not the dominant run blocker he was. Hopefully he’ll continue to get better each week and he probably will.