Steelers Vs Vikings: Positional Grades

On the day the Pittsburgh Steelers honored the late, great Dan Rooney, the Steelers grinded out a 26-9 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings on a warm day in Pittsburgh.

For the second straight week, the offense looked messy at times, but it was the defense that stood tall again, holding the Vikings to just 237 total yards in the game.

Like I do each week, I’ll take a shot at grading each position group’s performances from the game.

QB — B-

For the second straight week, Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t great, be he was good enough to lead the Steelers to the win, this time at home.

Against the Vikings, Roethlisberger was constantly under pressure from a Minnesota front seven that gave the Steelers’ offensive line all they could handle. But what was weird from Roethlisberger on Sunday was the constant need to go deep hoping to take the top off the Vikings’ secondary.

On the day, Roethlisberger completed just one deep shot — a 51-yarder to Martavis Bryant — and drew a pass interference calls against Antonio Brown and Bryant, but overall Roethlisberger’s propensity to take deep shots didn’t pay off as well as he was hoping.

Outside of throwing the ball, Roethlisberger utilized the hard count well, drawing the Vikings offside a couple of times in the win, even though the Steelers were caught a couple of times with false starts.

RB — B-

It was a heavy dose of Le’Veon Bell during Sunday’s game against the Vikings, and for the first time this season Bell looked sort of like himself.

No, he didn’t have any explosive plays, but he was a key part of the Steelers establishing some balance offensively, which allowed the Steelers to eat a lot of clock, tiring out a stout Minnesota defense in warm temperatures at Heinz Field.

While he wasn’t a threat through the air, Bell picked up consistent tough yards for the Steelers on the ground, and it was nice to see.

WR — B+

Welcome back, Martavis Bryant!

One week after being mostly a non-factor, Bryant looked like the old Marty B on Sunday, getting deep twice — one for a 51-yard catch and another for a long pass interference penalty on the Vikings, providing a boost for the Steelers’ offense on the day.

Bryant also found the end zone against the Vikings in the first quarter, beating Terence Newman on a slant for a 27-yard touchdown, scoring for the first time in a year and a half.

Outside of Bryant, Antonio Brown was mostly shut down by Xavier Rhodes, hauling in just five catches for 62 yards on the day. Brown did have a 26-yard catch-and-run in the fourth quarter, but for the most part he was kept quieter than normal.

Fortunately, that wasn’t much of a big deal for the Steelers’ offense as rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster scored on his first career touch in the NFL, taking a shovel pass in from 4 yards out. Smith-Schuster finished with three catches for 16 yards on the day, but he had a drop on a screen pass and was called for a false start penalty, which happened to be his third penalty on the year.

Eli Rogers was very productive against the Vikings, working well out of the slot to take advantage of some off-coverage, hauling in four passes for 43 yards. He did have a drop in the middle of the field in the first half, but overall was very productive, providing Roethlisberger with a security blanket out of the slot.

TE — C

Not much to write home about here with the tight ends group one week after a breakout performance by Jesse James in the red zone.

With no Vance McDonald available due to a back injury, it was just James and Xavier Grimble at tight end. The duo didn’t combine to do much, as James led the way with all four catches and 27 yards in the win.

James did do a nice job run blocking for Bell, but he did give up a big sack to Danielle Hunter, which was a mistake asking him to block a guy one on one, who with 12.5 sacks last season.

OL — C+

On the ground, the Steelers’ offensive line did a nice job taking it to a great front seven of Minnesota, allowing the Steelers to chew up a ton of clock in the second half as Pittsburgh rushed for 102 total yards on 32 carries in the win over the Vikings.

Outside of running the ball, pass protection simply wasn’t good enough for much of the game, namely from Alejandro Villanueva, who struggled mightily against Everson Griffen until leaving due to heat-related illness.

Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro did a nice job keeping Ted Johnson and Linval Joseph at bay along the interior, while Marcus Gilbert more than held his own against Danielle Hunter on the right edge before leaving with an injury.

Chris Hubbard came in for Villanueva in the second half and did an okay job, which is what you’re hoping for from your backup swing tackle, but the Steelers gave up four hits and two sacks on Roethlisberger.

For a unit that is supposed to be one of the best in the league, the first two weeks aren’t entirely encouraging overall.

DL — A

Cam Heyward had arguably the best game of his career on Sunday against the Vikings, living in the backfield for much of the game while also flying all over the field to make plays.

Without his partner in crime in Stephon Tuitt, Heyward was a man on a mission, recording six tackles, two tackles for loss and one quarterback hit while supplying a ton of pressure up the middle.

Tyson Alualu finished with three tackles and one quarterback hit in the win, continuing his strong start to the season in place of Tuitt, while Javon Hargrave was stout against the run despite not recording a stop on the day.

LB — A-

Another week, another strong showing by the Steelers’ linebacking corps, this time against a Vikings offense that was great in Week 1.

Against Minnesota, Ryan Shazier led the way with eight stops and nearly had an interception late in the fourth quarter, while Vince Williams recorded his first sack of the season, adding four stops and one quarterback hit in the win.

Backup inside linebacker Tyler Matakevich made a great play on a fake punt by the Vikings, reading his keys and covering the receiver on the trick play to bat the ball away, setting up the Steelers in great field position.

At outside linebacker, Bud Dupree made his return and was a factor immediately, recording a sack on Case Keenum while adding two run stops and one pass deflection in the win.

TJ Watt was terrific early in the game, battling down a screen pass and adding two run stops before exiting the game with a groin injury. Stepping in for Watt, backup linebacker Anthony Chickillo picked up where he left off last weekend, recording five stops and one quarterback hit.

DB — A-

As a unit, the Steelers’ secondary held Keenum and the Vikings to just 167 passing yards, which was well below their 360+ from last week against New Orleans.

Mike Hilton was arguably the best defensive player for the Steelers not named Cam Heyward as the slot corner recorded a team-high nine stops, one big quarterback hit in the first quarter and provided some great coverage on the day.

Joe Haden looked a lot better in his second career game with the Steelers, but the veteran did give up a 24-yard catch to Adam Thielen on a crossing route in the first half.

Artie Burns was good for the most part, recording three tackles, one tackle for loss blowing up a screen play and deflecting one pass, but the second-year corner continues to have issues with penalties, getting hit with two pass interference calls in the win.  The Miami (Fl.) product did add a fumble recovery late, sealing the win completely.

At safety, Mike Mitchell had a big hit to break up a would-be first-down catch by Kyle Rudolph in the first half, but the veteran didn’t drop far enough in the second half, giving up a 27-yard one-handed catch to Rudolph over the middle on 3rd and 20. Not his fault entirely though, because Mitchell isn’t used to playing the shallow zone in the middle of the field.

Mitchell did miss an open field tackle on Dalvin Cook’s near-touchdown in the third quarter, but for the most part he was solid.

Sean Davis had a nice game as well, recording eight stops in the win, including a touchdown-saving stop on Cook’s long run as mentioned above.

Special Teams — A

Chris Boswell, have a game!

The Steelers’ kicker was a perfect 4-for-4 on the day, but he was fortunate to have a miss wiped out by a Minnesota penalty.  With the Steelers continuing to struggle for the most part finishing off drives, Boswell continues to come through in the clutch for Pittsburgh.

Punter Jordan Berry had a decent day, punting five times for 193 yards (38.6 yards per punt), one of which was woefully short. However, Berry pinned the Vikings within their own 20-yard line twice on the day, including a masterful punt downed at the 1-yard line by rookie Brian Allen, forcing the Vikings to try and drive out from the shadow of their own end zone.

  • Bradys_Dad

    I’d like to give Connor a solid A for that one carry. He ran like a Pitt RB playing against Akron (stick it Franklin – lol).

  • colingrant

    “Joe Haden looked a lot better in his second career game with the Steelers, but the veteran did give up a 24-yard catch to Adam Thielen on a crossing route in the first half.”
    What’s the expectation Joe? Is he supposed to give up zero catches?

  • Jeff McNeill

    Lol.

  • VaDave

    Having hung around these parts for a long time, the expectations from posters tend to be just a bit unreasonable. Seriously, this is week two. If you are seeing this level of performance in November, we got a problem.

  • Ray

    Very much disagree that James did a nice job run blocking. I thought his blocking was very poor in both run and pass.

  • CountryClub

    Davis made that TD saving tackle, sure. But, he was also the reason that he had to make that TD saving tackle. Gave up contain by getting caught inside. That said, he had a solid game.

  • jesse murray

    AB also got a big DPI on Rhodes so to say Rhodes mostly shut him down is a bit over the top. That DPI set up a TD.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    I’m still worried about this secondary…a lot. What’s going to happen when they face a real quarterback?.

  • T3xassteelers

    Off topic.. But it feels very good to wear my Steelers jersey around campus while all the Cowboys fans are crying 🙂

  • gdeuce

    If it were last year’s secondary, they would’ve given up 300+ pass yards to this offence

  • “A bit unreasonable.” lol That is being very generous.

  • Mark

    I still don’t understand why our franchise QB refuses to take what the defense gives him to keep the drive going. Take the underneath pass, if it isn’t there go deep. Also, please check out of running plays when you see 8 or more in the box. Ben is definitely stuck on 2 things, throwing it deep and running when there is 8 or more in the box.

  • CP72

    When did 4 for 45 become very productive?

  • RickM

    The grading appears spot-on again this week. Good job.

  • RickM

    He only played half the snaps, so it isn’t too shabby.

  • CP72

    Ok…..but I just think classifying it very productive is an overstatement.

  • AndyR34

    What the heck is wrong averaging 11 yds. per catch? I think that qualifies as very productive. Now if he only had 4 catches on 15 targets, that would not qualify, but I think his ratio was much better than that.

  • How long is Nick Easton going to have night terrors of Heyward? Will he be checking under the bed or the closet for 97 before he goes to bed?

  • Josh Carney

    My expectations for Haden are low, considering where he’s at in his career and what he’s coming off of injury-wise. The second part of that sentence about the Thielen catch was me pointing out he gave up a splash play is all. Basically covering myself, because if I didn’t point it out, some comments would bash me, much like you are for me pointing it out. And as far as VaDave goes, not sure how I can be unreasonable when I didn’t even say anything about expectation with Haden once on this site. But whatever. I’m not expecting Haden to be the prime version of himself. He’s been mostly good to start his Steelers career.

  • colingrant

    Tell me about it. Giving up receptions is actually part of the game, verified by a statistic called “receptions” and “receiving yards”. 🙂 I saw an article listed last Monday, entitled, “Hayden’s inaugural performance unspectacular”. Whaaatttt? The implication is the writer was looking for a spectacular performance. What lead them to believe that? I’m not sure he’s a top 25 corner, although it’s possible he become that again, now that he’s healthy and playing behind a front 7 that’s getting pressure.

    If Haden can give us above average performance, i’m happy, because it’s been below average. I’d give the Steelers a C- grade over the last couple or seasons. Hayden’s not going to elevate the team to a B grade in my opinion. If we can go from a C- to a C+ or B-, I’d be ecstatic as both grades are above average and which is way above the level of recent years and possibly go from a significant liability to not a liability at all. It’s a modest expectation, but a huge leap forward IMO.

  • pittfan

    Overall grade. B. O will have to do better capitalizing on opportunities. D looked real solid. Bring on Da Bears. 🐻

  • Ed Smith

    Difference between Ben and Brady. Period. Just stating FACTS…

  • RickM

    Agree that very productive when used would be more accurate.

  • colingrant

    I know what you mean about being bashed if not balancing your observation. Seems like readers must be appeased by pointing out a player’s misstep or mistake even if the overall grade is high, just to keep it real, but honestly for me, it’s not necessary. Nonetheless, I understand your plight. Not sure pointing out what can be construed as an overstatement is considered bashing you though. Also, I think Dave was pointing out the board in general, not necessarily you. Still, I understand your position and my statement which may be interpreted as a little edgy, misrepresents my intentions. That’s the downside of board posting. Often times, communication comes off differently than you’d like.

  • CoaltownSteeler

    I just want to say that it is beyond obvious that Heyward missed playing the game when he was out last year as much as anyone I’ve ever seen. Man, he is an absolute BEAST this year!

  • Douglas Andrews

    Reminds me of the 3 point shooter in the NBA that hit’s his first 3 and just keeps firing up shots behind the arc instead of running the offense. You’d like to see Ben work his way down the field based off what the defense gives him but at this point in his career it’s just not going to happen. We just have to hope he connects on more of the deep balls because he’s not going to stop taking shots downfield.

  • John Phillips

    I would not give the running back’s the same grade as the wide receivers

  • Douglas Andrews

    Good article I pretty much agree. I thought the TE position would play a bigger role.

  • falconsaftey43

    I wasn’t sure if that one was on him or Haden. Haden had outside, but them jumped inside all of a sudden and filled the same gap Davis ended up in. One of them screwed up, I tend to think it was Haden because CB switching gaps there seemed odd, and would make sense if a guy so new made a mistake like that, could have been different in CLE. Either way, that needs cleaned up, can’t give up contain.

  • colingrant

    Thinking the same thing Ed. Brady’s brilliance is his patience. He just takes what’s given, like a point guard hitting the open man. Eight yards here, 7 yards there ….. couple of short runs, a seam pass is completion…….next thing you know, it’s 1st and goal from the 7. This sequence is repeated 4-6 times throughout a game and 28-35 points are on the board.

  • falconsaftey43

    Can’t know till it happens, but certainly a great start. I think they are more talented for sure.

  • I don’t think VaDave was taking a shot at you or your writting but the over whelming majority or posters here that are negative or trollers. At least that’s how I took it. Keep up the good work Josh.

  • PaeperCup

    Although Ben didn’t have a great game, I’m very happy with what I’m seeing out of him. Both the play calls and just the amount of pressure applied showed us that he’s as mobile as he’s been in years.

    The deep balls, although not always successful and sometimes off the mark, seemed to have been the right choice on most of the throws, so I have no problem with that. Had Bryant not been PI’d on that one, that one would have been 6. Moving forward, Defenses will watch the game tape here and we’ll go right back to hitting Brown underneath for good chunks of yards.

    The one downfall would be the need to find AB. I love AB, and yes, get your play makers the ball. But against Rhodes, you gotta expect that AB will not be as effective as usual. Perhaps Haley could have found some mismatches for AB. They showed a stat during the game of his catch rate on the outside against rhodes, vs his rate from slot or against another CB….it was telling.

  • PaeperCup

    He did “mostly” shut him down. AB was 11 for 11 last week. He was what 5 for 13 this week for a third of the yards. Remember that streak AB had of consecutive 5 reception 75 yard games….If you hold AB to 65 yards, that’s a good game for those that covered him.

  • PaeperCup

    Brady has time to be patient. Yesterday, Ben had very little time to do much of anything.

  • RickM

    Brady is the greatest QB to ever play the game. The greatest ever. Ben never has been as good and never will be. I just don’t get why the comparisons are made. The only guys currently that even come close to Brady are Rodgers and Matt Ryan. Ben’s in the 4-7 ranking range. Guys who are definitely good enough to help their team win a SB. Maybe if folks used that as their starting point, they would be able to deal with his performance better.

  • Limousine Liberal

    100% Brady’s game is all above the shoulders. He’s never been an elite athlete or had a particularly good arm, but he’s “wicked smaaat” (barf) and that’s why he’s so successful. And, unfortunately, why he will probably continue to be successful for a few more years at least.

    Ben is stubborn. He wants to do what he wants to do regardless of what the defense is doing. Sometimes the ‘dink and dunk’ offense is what is going to slay the beast because that’s what they’re giving up. You just have to take it.

  • Limousine Liberal

    A handful for sure. When Tuitt returns, it’s going to be UGLY for opposing O lines. I will say tho that Alualu has acquitted himself well in Tuitt’s absence.

  • Limousine Liberal

    So, has father time just caught up with Deebo and they kept him around as a ‘presence’ for the young guys or are they saving him for tougher matchups later in the season?

  • e. smith

    Gotta wonder, where is Deebo on the depth chart.

  • colingrant

    I’ll clarify. Decision making isn’t a physical skill, it’s a cerebral capability. Discipline determines if one is to use it or not. Ben has it, the question is can he utilize it? Brady is Brady. Ben is Ben. I’m glad Ben’s our quarterback and I hope he remains so for at least 3 more years. Ben adjusted his game after Arians left. He increased the cerebral aspect of it. Part of it was Arians, part of it was the organization seeking to protect its investment. Part of it was Haley giving Ben more autonomy and part of it was Ben getting older, wiser and cerebral as a qb. Ben by nature is fueled by big plays. He loves to make them happen and with Brown and Bryant, he has 2 weapons as capable as any tandem in the league. Sometimes, it’s smart just to move the chains. Ben used to be even more of a gun slinger than he is today, but I’d love to see more patience, as it will take him to another level IMO. I’m trying to be careful here, as you don’t want to tinker with success too much, which he and Brown have it at a historical rate.

    But I recall reading about LeBeau’s defensive strategy. He said, only two qb’s in the league have the patience to consistently take what’s given to them, Brady and Manning. He said, the philosophy of giving underneath stuff and making the tackle is that eventually opponents get antsy and want to take shots downfield even though the defense is setup to not give up the long ball. Impatience takes over, which leads to longer passes, deeper drops and long down and distances, playing right into the Steelers hand. What I’m saying is I’d like for Ben to become, chain-moving, execution oriented, and not fall for going deep merely because 1-one-1 coverage is there. Right now, it’s automatically going long without regard for where we ae in the game or situation is seems to me. I just hate punting, when 1st downs were there to be had.

  • colingrant

    When Ben has time to be patient, and he did all of last year for the most part, he goes deep at inopportune times imo. Plus, sometimes the short route is the one that takes the least amount of time. Just get the 1st down

  • CoaltownSteeler

    Very True! Alualu is best back-up we’ve had in a long time. I do wish they’d find a way for Hargrave to see more action, but it is really hard to complain.

  • Michael James

    “Sean Davis had a nice game as well, recording eight stops in the win, including a touchdown-saving stop on Cook’s long run as mentioned above.”
    Sorry, but that’s just not accurate in my opinion. I really like Davis, but he had a bad game yesterday. He made several mistakes that led to huge gains for the Vikings.

  • colingrant

    I think they have him on a pitch count, as they not are afforded the luxury. A little like Bus in his last year, where he could come in to score from the one or 2 yard line and finish games. A fresh Harrison late in a game where he’s teeing off is a benefit.

  • RickM

    Good comment, and certainly very applicable to Half #1. In Half #2, he actually did look like Brady in terms of taking what was given to him. But at the end of the day, we both know that he prefers to go down the field more, even if it’s just 20-yard passes. I’m just more philosophical about it; this is his 14th year and he won’t be changing. I would say that the first half was abnormal, even for him.

  • colingrant

    Agreed and well put Rick. Like I said, Ben is Ben, however I’d love to see a slight adjustment. Slightly off topic, I was encouraged by the ease of his movement while moving to his left to escape pressure. My wife thought he lost a lot of weight. I didn’t notice one way or another, but his movement suggested perhaps so.

  • RickM

    Very much agree. I’m with you with all due respect to your wife. He looks a little heavier to me, so it was good to see the movement.

  • TrappenWeisseGuy ;

    Thankfully they are getting more consistent pressure on the qb’s from the olb’s for a change.

  • pittsburghjoe

    With AluAlu playing well, they need to give Tuitt extra rest.

  • Paul Rainey

    I am a lot more worried about Mitchell than I am about Davis. Mitchell is the most overpaid safety in the NFL. I’m not sure the Saints would take him.

  • Taylor Williams

    Ben has pretty much reverted back to who he was when Arians was here. He’s a gunslinger, always has been. The problem is Aaron Rodgers is a slinger, but he’s way better at it.

  • Taylor Williams

    I need to see some snaps before we come to that conclusion. His strength alone is a reason he needs snaps

  • Craig M

    Unless Brady’s pressured then he couldn’t carry Bens jock, IMO, and that’s his weakness. And I’m not a real big supporting fan of Bens holding the ball all day looking long I’m just saying Ben is a lot tougher than Brady.

  • Sdale

    It’s so nice to be able to finally say that.

  • Craig M

    I just think they brought him along to fast and Burns also, but w/ what we had they had too. As they mature I do believe they are going to be a handful on D.

  • Xi37

    Bell looks like he has ZERO explosion in those legs. I know the line has struggled a bit, but Bell has looked below average and has no burst. He is either out of football shape or the knee injuries have finally derailed him. I can’t believe this isn’t a bigger story right now. Bell has to be kicking himself for turning down the long term deal.

  • Paul Rainey

    RB=B- Where were you when I was in school, I might have been valedictorian. Greedy diva Bell had less than 90 yards on 27 carries. It cost the Steelers about $7500 for each yard he gained. He is a joke, there are better backs all over the league. At Bell’s cost per yard so far this year AB should be making about $100 million, dwell on that a minute.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    a C for jesse is generous.

    sean davis had a nice game? how? seriously. ive rewatched the game twice. how?

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i concur.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    i would throw brees in there too.

  • The Sun is Pro-Black

    Ben had all the time in the world last year, it wasn’t much different.

  • RickM

    Agree that in passing statistics Brees has the edge. But he gets killed by Ben in post-season play. Ben has been in three SB’s, Brees only one. Ben has 2 SB rings, Brees 1. And Ben has a 13-7 post-season record versus Brees 6-5.

    I realize how important our D was to our SB era. But my guess is that Ben would be elected to the HOF before Brees because of his post-season success. If I had my choice of either Ben or Brees for 2017, I would take Ben. Brees has had 4 of the last 5 years where his team has been under .500, and it will soon be 5 of 6. Even when our D went downhill, we never finished under .500.

  • RickM

    Ben shakes off hits more than Brady. But Brady has been sacked plenty of times and won. Brady was sacked 28 times last year and Ben only 17. Over the last 3 years, Brady has been sacked 97 times, Ben only 70 times. Despite having far more sacks than Ben, Brady has gone 38-10 over the last 3 seasons (better than Ben) and his passing stats are far superior to Ben’s. And this comes from a Ben fan.

    Brady is the best QB in the NFL and it’s a myth that he can’t take hits. That’s definitely the only way that a team has a chance against him. But he’s a lot tougher than you think.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    to be fair the saints defense has been worse than ours for years.

  • RickM

    It has for sure, but we both know that allows Brees to get a lot of garbage yards and stats late in games. They’re both very good QB’s and an argument for Brees could be made as well. I just am not big on 6-5 QB’s in the playoffs. A team can’t make the playoffs without a decent D, so the playoff performance is on him.

  • Delboka

    The missed tackles drive me crazy. Wrap up with your arms!

    Mitchell’s missed tackle on Cook was pathetic.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    thats the thing. if NO had a defense any of that time they could have easily been in the top of the league. he’s done what he could with graham, cooks and moore but he’s only one man.

    a few stats
    no seasons under 4000 yards since 2005.
    lowest completion rate since 2004 was 63% and that was in 2012.
    lowest td’s in a season since 2004 is 24 in 2005
    averages at a minimum 210 yards a game since 2004.

    all im sayin is drew is vastly underrated. if he had a better team he could easily have as many rings as ben. he’s already almost 20,000 yards ahead of ben with 2 less seasons.

  • ND_Steel

    Judging Bell from week-to-week or carry-to-carry against his contract is a bit much no? He made a choice and is playing on the franchise tag, so the Steelers feel he’s worth that kind of money. Not signing the long-term contract…that is his choice… he’s betting on himself. We will see how his contract situation shakes out next off season, but for now it’s all about on the field and he will be fine. The running game is a team effort, he can’t create holes where there are none. Some teams are just more stout up front, ie. the Vikings…or Denver…ask Elliott who only ran for 8 yards! Is he a joke too?

  • ND_Steel

    With a few exceptions, I thought tackling was a strength this game. I don’t think MN had much YAC and only 90 yards rushing.

  • Bradshaw

    I may have misread this but Brees has been in the league longer than Ben not the other way around.

  • Craig M

    I believe that Josh McDaniels is the reason Brady is a superior QB and also believe that McDaniels is the reason Belichick has the winning % he does as a HC. I might be mistaken- but I do not believe Belichick was of a noteworthy reputation in W-L until he began coaching for NE. Add that to his supposed penchant for cheating and you find someone not so high up on the coaching scale. IMO. And I think McDaniels coaches from up in the booth (and that may be where Tomlin caught on to the idea of Haley being up there), though I might be wrong and that may be a Def. assistant up there instead at NE. Anyway just my two cents.

  • Michael Mosgrove

    My brains still a bit jumbled from the accident. You’re right.

  • Michael James

    That’s wrong imho. Mitchell is a good safety by all accounts. He’s not all-pro material, but he’s solid all-around.

  • RickM

    I appreciate that. I’m brutally honest Craig so my apologies up front. But the one thing I notice is that people often try to excuse away success of opponents, or minimize it. I can’t stand the Patriots, but I’m a football fan first and I know how good Brady is. The HC and OC are not making the throws and the D reads when he goes back to pass. So we’ll agree to disagree on this.

    Further, Josh McDaniels left the Patriots for 3 years, 2009-2011. Brady threw 103 TD’s versus 29 INT’s during that time. And his QB rating was far higher in 2010 and 2011 without McDaniels than it was for the first 3 years after he returned. It’s Brady who drives his success, especially at this late time in his career, no one else. Belichick and McDaniels are not teaching him anything that he hasn’t known for years.

  • Craig M

    I totally understand where your coming from on QB abilities I just believe that so much is dependent upon coaching strategy and play calling. I was a Hanratty fan in, supporing of his ability, but I ended up being won over by Bradshaw and his play calling. He was taught well and performed well once he learned what was expected of him under their system at that time. I would take Bradshaw over Ben or Brady if I were picking a team and probably Marino over everyone. Just my thoughts- nice chatting w/ you on this subject.

  • RickM

    You as well Craig. Enjoy your day and week.