By Alex Kozora
Your weekly All-22 primer before the coaches’ tape is released Wednesday. Key areas I’ll attempt to look at while reviewing the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 27-24 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
– I have a pretty good idea of what happened, the Bucs showed heavy pressure pre-snap looks (sugaring the “A” gaps), but I want to get aerial views of how Tampa Bay managed to be so disruptive on the Steelers’ first possession. It put their defense is some very favorable matchups (DE Michael Johnson versus Le’Veon Bell on fumble/turnover).
– On the whole, why did this Steelers’ line struggle with their first level blocks after being so successful against the Carolina Panthers? Gerald McCoy is one of the best defensive tackles in the league but he was playing with one hand.
Pretty positive Cody Wallace was awful again. Is having Ramon Foster out the most serious injury the Steelers have suffered the last two weeks?
– I want to take a long look at Heath Miller’s blocking. Want to see how well he looks when asked to straight up base block. See if there is a downgrade. I know the guy can still set his hips and seal. Is the true strength still there?
– What did Lance Moore give the Steelers on his 14 snaps? His lone catch was a nice snag in traffic. Was that an example of the vet sitting down in a window against zone? He was asked to run block for the first time this season. I’ll be content if he was just below average.
– I want to check out some of these fishy perimeter runs in the red zone. Just poor execution or can we attribute some of the blame to playcall? Overall, I thought Todd Haley did call another fine game. But those are plays I want to take a closer look at.
– I’m not even sure what to make of the defensive line right now. I honestly don’t think Cameron Heyward or Brett Keisel have been that woeful against the run.
What I want to watch is them pass rushing. Are they hand fighting or getting stuck on their blocks? Why isn’t this team getting any sort of pressure? Stephon Tuitt needs more than three snaps.
– James Harrison, the honeymoon is over. Can he still dip the edge or does he lack the strength, causing him to get pushed upfield? How was his conditioning? How quickly were his hands on his hips?
– I want to watch Arthur Moats’ repertoire as a pass rusher? Expect a lot of speed bull rushes and rip moves. Not a finesse players.
– Sean Spence seemed to struggle. Missed tackles in the alley on multiple occasions. But let’s try to get to the root of the problem. Technically, what is the issue? Not seeing what he’s hitting? Not bringing his feet? We’ll see.
– Not sure where to begin with the secondary. The first play I’m jumping to with the All-22 is Louis Murphy’s 41 yard catch that set up Vincent Jackson’s game-winner. The team says it’s Cover 3, making it unlikely that Brice McCain was at fault. Was it correct for Mike Mitchell to crash down on the underneath dig? Or maybe it was just the perfect concept for the Buccaneers to run.
– Outside of that, I don’t know where to start. What could change so dramatically from one half to the next? Really don’t have a clue. William Gay is the most technically sound corner on this team. Cortez Allen has the talent on paper. I’m scratching my head. “Replace them” isn’t a good enough answer for me.