Game notes from the Pittsburgh Steelers 38-16 win over the Washington Redskins.
– 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-Darrius Heyward-Bey-Artie Burns
– Davis is likely supposed to be the flat defender and get width but he only gets depth. TE open in the flat underneath, who makes a man miss and gets the first down. Probably worried about not matching any vertical concepts in 4 verts and kept carrying #2 up the field.
– Love the hustle and fanatical effort Cam Heyward plays with. Here on the Kirk Cousins’ throw.
And the first one in on the tackle, slamming Reed to the ground. 3rd down play where Washington came up a yard short, forced to punt.
– PR unit: Fitzgerald Toussaint-L.J. Fort-Anthony Chickillo-Ryan Shazier-Vince Williams-Robert Golden. Shamarko Thomas/Artie Burns as the jammers to one side, Sammie Coates/Darrius Heyward-Bey to the other.
– And the Steelers’ punt team. The front five: Vince Williams-L.J. Fort-Greg Warren-Tyler Matakevich-Anthony Chickillo. Jordan Dangerfield/Sean Davis the wings with Robert Golden the upback. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Shamarko Thomas the gunners.
– Again, issue with the flat defender in Cover 3. Desean Jackson peels off a 31 yard gain.
– Zone run that shouldn’t have gained everything. Steelers have more defenders than gaps to defend. Stephon Tuitt needs to stay on his feet and not make this cutback easy on the back.
– Steelers do have 11 men on the field but some serious communication issues as Washington shifted to empty out of 12 personnel. Receivers to the bottom left uncovered. Somehow, for some reason, Cousins pays no mind and throws to the opposite side. Caught a big break.
– Steelers showed a lot of wacky run stunts in the preseason and are doing it in the regular season. Tuitt scrapes over Arthur Moats, who crashes inside.
– Kick return unit. The front five: Arthur Moats-L.J. Fort-Vince Williams-Anthony Chickillo-Shamarko Thomas. Sean Davis the next man behind. Jesse James/B.J. Finney/Chris Hubbard the wedge guys. Sammie Coates and Fitzgerald Toussaint the returners.
– Here’s a fun one. Spot concept and some sort of mesh, though the route Eli Rogers takes is super weird.
You’ll also see James left wide open when rookie Su’a Cravens bit really hard on the run. It’s too bad the corner route isn’t a primary read in a spot concept. Ben Roethlisberger moved off the flat read (almost always the first progression) to go to Rogers. Still a big gain, at least.
– Love the leverage and strength Heyward plays with to collapse the pocket. Rare moment of pressure.
– Alejandro Villanueva leaning here, not keeping his feet moving, and he gets beat off the edge.
– Why I love zone coverage. Eyes, vision to the football. 4th and 6, everyone rallies, Washington short of the sticks.
– Hank concept! Good to see.
– Getting funky with Antonio Brown. Line him up in the backfield, and as he arcs to the perimeter on the snap, he draws the safety and slot corner. In theory, helps clean up the box by removing two plays.
– Dart scheme, pulling the backside tackle. Marcus Gilbert leads the way.
– 2×2 stack, creates rub underneath to hit DeAngelo Williams on a slant.
– 4th and 1. Dashaun Phillips, who had hardly played in the NFL before Monday, Eyes in the backfield, late off the snap and Eli Rogers gets a free inside release. Completion, big gain, moves the sticks.
– Villanueva had an up-and-down game but a really nice double-team by him and Ramon Foster. Villanueva is also able to knock Mason Foster down.
Also notice Jesse James release to move out a DB. Creative way to win in the run game.
– Pin/pull concept with Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro pulling. Downblocks from Gilbert and James.
– Yeah, Roethlisberger missed Brown pretty bad here. Tried to make the hero throw to James, one of the few mistakes he made all day.
– Great job by James Harrison to hold the edge versus Trent Williams, who has 100 pounds on him. Arm extension, shed, make the tackle. Beast.
– Quick look at the Steelers dime package with Robert Golden rotating down as the dime linebacker.
– AB’s catch radius. Woah.
– Same play. Nice stunt pickup by David DeCastro.
– Roethlisberger in the third quarter. Similar situation, Washington slanting inside and Ben hitting DeAngelo Williams on a checkdown. Same play where Ben fumbled early in the game. Here, Roethlisberger makes sure to slide to his left before throwing the football.
– William Gay upset with Jarvis Jones for not getting enough width here, allowing a catch on back-to-back plays.
– Steelers disguising their coverages. Looks like Cover 1/Cover 3 off the snap, turns out to be Cover 2 as Golden bails.
– Nice pass rush by Cam Heyward. Guard sets up outside, Heyward runs inside and has a path to Kirk Cousins.
– James Harrison somehow squeezes through but some poor rush integrity here. Everyone all bunched up here.
– Sean Davis continuing again struggling to the flat in Cover 3. Stays on #2. Complete on a curl.
– Really nice and underrated job by Darrius Heyward-Bey to duck under this jammer and force the return inside. Contain the returner.
– Ross Cockrell not getting enough depth in his Cover 2 drop. Hole throw to the corner. Compare Cockrell’s depth to Gay’s up top.
– Steelers were rarely beat in pass pro but DeCastro was here.