Game notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers Week Two win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
– Kick return unit: Front five. Arthur Moats-L.J. Fort-Vince Williams-Anthony Chickillo-Shamarko Thomas. Sean Davis behind. Jesse James, Javon Hargrave, and Chris Hubbard the wedge. Fitzgerald Toussaint and Sammie Coates the return man.
– Like to see Eli Rogers mixing it up as a blocker. Plays with heart. Coach McGinty would be proud.
– Punt coverage team. Vince Williams-L.J. Fort-Greg Warren–Tyler Matakevich-Anthony Chicillo the front five. Jordan Dangerfield/Sean Davis the wings, Robert Golden the upback. Shamarko Thomas/Darrius Heyward-Bey the gunners.
– Steelers still doing that blitz where they bring the safety and drop the blitz side ILB without reading any keys. Not crazy about the idea and it’s gotten the team in trouble before (think Baltimore last season). But here it is.
– Ross Cockrell’s first matchup with A.J. Green was probably his worst. Terrible punch on his Cover 2 reroute but came away unscathed.
– Nice angle to the ball taken by Sean Davis on this 3rd and 6.
– PR team. Front line guys. Fitzgerald Toussaint-L.J. Fort-Robert Golden-Vince Williams-Anthony Chickillo-Jordan Dangerfield. Darrius Heyward-Bey/Sammie Coates one set of jammers, Shamarko Thomas/Artie Burns the other.
– Meet Jarvis Jones and his bionic arm.
– Eli Rogers’ first punt return. Took 12 steps laterally before trying to get upfield. No good. Got pulled. Running in place.
– Antonio Brown finding the soft spot in zone defense. Has a great feel for these things and makes the catch.
– Key cutblock by Maurkice Pouncey on this pin/pull concept to help give DeAngelo Williams the edge. Both had strong games. D-Will ran tough.
– I don’t know if there’s anyone else other than Alejandro Villanueva who can play with poor technique and still absorb this bull rush by Michael Johnson. Don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but it’s a thing.
– Steelers always seem to have a built-in second option on screens. Here, Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t even look for the TE on the screen, opting to hit DeAngelo Williams.
– Nice close and breakup by Sean Davis on A.J. Green on this slant.
– Jesse James struggling as a lead blocker, not getting square to the linebacker and unable to get a push.
– Whew, surprised to see David DeCastro get beat this bad by Pat Sims, who is not fleet of foot.
– Xavier Grimble TD. Basically their version of the Bang 8, running vertically until the CB – or in this case, safety George Iloka – opens his hips. Break across his face and score.
– Kick coverage from left to right: Shamarko Thomas-Jordan Dangerfield-Sammie Coates-L.J. Fort-Vince Williams-Chris Boswell-Tyler Matakevich-Anthony Chickillo-Sean Davis-Artie Burns-Darrius Heyward-Bey
– Four verts against Cover 3. Steelers. Killer.
– Zone coverage means eyes on the football!
– Kudos to Eli Rogers for creating space. Sells vertical, gets the CB to open the gate, works a little bit back to the football. Moves the sticks.
– When chips go wrong. D-Will trying to help DeCastro out but it just moves the tackle to the other side and he slips past.
– David Johnson will still wreck your day.
– Steelers varied their run game a ton just to try to get something going. Busted everything out of the playbook.
– Nice job by Artie Burns on 3rd and 10 to get depth on his smash rules. Force the throw underneath, get off the field.
– As you probably know by now, Coates gave poor effort twice on the final drive of the first half, one leading to an interception the Bengals got a field goal out of.
– Great job by Burns to high point the football, break it up.
– That trap coverage…
– The Hargrave Hustle.
– Justin Gilbert with a big stick on the gunner on this punt. I like it. Doing the little things, sacrificing his body. Steps in the right direction, I hope. Buying into the system.
– Great job by DeCastro and Johnson to log their guys, seal them inside, to give Williams the edge.
– When you’re Roethlisberger and can complete this pass with a dude hanging all over your left shoulder.
– Villanueva with a strong run block. Chip the nose tackle, seal the linebacker at the second level to create the alley.
– Nice blitz pickup by Fitzgerald Toussaint. Square and rebuffs Vincent Rey.
– DT stunt/cross, Cam Heyward comes in free for the tackle against the run.
– David Johnson shows you how to lead blocker. Square up and drive through.
– Strong rush by Stephon Tuitt, who started to bust out in the second half. Leverage and then sheds the right guard.
– Good technique from Sean Davis. Near shoulder/near leg, drive through.
– Strong rush by Jarvis Jones late in the game. Blows through the right tackle.