Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm of the opinion that the Steelers will be fine Sunday. Aaron Smith is the biggest loss, without a doubt (assuming he really is out), but having Hampburglar back mitigates some of that.
And Bryant McFadden is the second biggest loss, I think. But like Dick LeBeau said the other day (paraphrasing), "I haven't seen too many QBs completing passes from their backs." The point: hopefully LaMarr and James will continue to metaphorically rape and pillage. Obviously, losing Smith hurts in that regard, but the Giants don't do much screening and short passing, just a lot of 25-step drops with Elisha looking deep down the field. (Of course, that game plan may be out the window for Sunday.)
(Random question: my buddy Andy asked me this today and it's an oddly interesting question: what would the Steelers' defense look like with 11 James Harrisons? Not 11 guys who played with Harrison's fire, or looked like Harrison, but the James Harrison and 10 clones? I mean, he's been called one of the strongest players in football, so even though he's undersized for a defensive tackle, you have to imagine seven of him could more than hold their own at the line of scrimmage. Certainly coverage would be an issue, but I'd refer you to Richard LeBeau's quote above. Not only that, but how many would-be pass catchers are running across the middle with Deebo playing safety? That's right: none.)
And I'm fine with Ike matching up with Plax, and taking my chances with Deshea on Amani Toomer. The most important battle could be between William Gay and Steve Smith.
Also, I'm not worried about Willie Parker. He was scheduled to play last weekend until he stepped in a hole at the practice facility. Since when do practice fields come with holes? What, are the Steelers practicing in Beirut?
As somebody mentioned in the previous thread, Nate Washington has been pretty swell this year. He's not Santonio, obviously, but he's shown good hands and the ability to get deep. I'll take that. Plus, maybe Limas will play with more confidence since the team actually needs him.
Oh, right, Marvel Smith is also out. I'm not concerned about that, either because Pittsburgh has Darnell Stapleton AND Max Starks. And some dude named Ben Roethlisberger. I honestly feel pretty good about Sunday.
Okay, people, toke 'em if you got 'em.