Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Understatement of the preseason

This was in yesterday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (subscription req'd)

  • Q: What was it like defending Terrell Owens?

  • CHAD SCOTT: I didn't want him to catch the ball, but that's what I want to do to anybody, that's just pretty normal. I mean I think we are going to be real good in the secondary. We just have to keep communication, so we can gel and know what each other is going to do.
Great news! Chad Scott didn't want TO to catch the ball. Well, no need to worry about the defensive backfield -- unless of course, you saw the Eagles game.

The first TD pass to TO that was called back should have been allowed to stand for no other reason than Chad Scott got beat so unbelievably you would have sworn that he was in "wheelchair coverage." When defensive coordinators want to show players what not to do, they should break out the "Chad Scott tape" and let the lowlights commence.

I mentioned in a post last week that Football Outsiders ranked CBs and Chad Scott was near the bottom. Well, after the Philly game I got a comment from Rene G. making some very good points:

I HAVE NO IDEA what is keeping Scott in the First Team...Terrell Owens completely blasted Scott at least three times, and by the time Scott turned he was more than 10 yards ahead of him...I understand T.O. running by him the first time, but Scott DID THE SAME THING 3 TIMES!!! I was expecting coach LeBeau or Cowher to come in the field and drag him out of the game by the facemask, but it didn't happen. I hope they catch it when reviewing the film, and do something about it. I'd rather see Ike Taylor or Ricardo Colclough get beat once or twice because of inexperience, learn from it and improve their game, compared to watching Chad repeat the same mistakes over and over.

I agree whole-heartedly, and the thing is, I have yet to hear anyone say that Chad Scott is actually good. Even when the coaches are pressed, they cite his experience and size but that's it. Rene is exactly right is wondering what Scott was doing. I have no idea, but that won't stop me from speculating.

  • Theory 1: Scott wants to avoid being posterized like he was last season against TO when he was a 49er. To avoid said posterization, he just kinds of jogs around in the secondary, and after one of the safeties makes Scott's tackle, he gesticulates wildly to give the impression that they blew the coverage while Scott was exactly where he was supposed to be.

  • Theory 2: Chad Scott approaches every play -- run or pass -- like it's a slant. Consequently, his first move is to always put himself between the receiver and the QB. The good news is that one out of every 2,000 passes will result in a INT, because eventually some dopey QB will have to throw a slant -- and Scott will be there.

  • Theory 3: Scott is a "stop-the-run-first" cornerback. He's the only one in the NFL, but his primary goal is to stop the run and secondarily (pardon the pun) he worries about pass coverage.

  • Theory 4: He stinks. And Cowher and LeBeau know it, but they want to give Taylor and Colclough a little more time to mature. I think it says a lot when Colclough is already in the dime defense (and Taylor's in the nickel), especially when you consider than Cowher for the most part abhors giving rookies a lot of playing time.

To be honest, I was really hoping for Chad Scott to turn things around this season. And he had me going with the, "I'm in the best shape of my life," routine he was talking as camp started. Well, it only took a few preseason games to see that once a Chad Scott, always a Chad Scott. He should be no more than a special-teamer and even though a lot of people were calling for him to eventually make the move to safety in the twilight of his career (by the way, if this isn't the twilight then I can't wait to see what that looks like), I'm not even advocating that.

If Cowher wants to buy Colclough and Taylor some time by starting Scott, that's Ok with me, but if Scott is still the starting CB a few weeks into the season and he's continually getting burned at regular intervals, I'll officially be at a loss for words (of course that won't prevent me from still posting silly, inane comments).

Anyway, this quote seems like as good a way as any to end this story (Scott's inability to understate the obvious is mind-boggling):

  • Q: Do you think the secondary performed well in Philadelphia?

  • CHAD SCOTT: I don't know. Anybody can drop a ball; it really wasn't anything special that we did. It's just preseason and I am happy to come out of the game healthy, and we are just gearing up for the season.