View Full Version : Steelers, Jaguars both physical, grind-it-out teams

09-16-2006, 11:02 PM
Steelers, Jaguars both physical, grind-it-out teams

By Scott Brown
Sunday, September 17, 2006

Hines Ward didn't need three seconds to give three reasons why the Steelers offense didn't gain a significant advantage when the Jaguars lost defensive end Reggie Hayward for the season.
"Spicer, Stroud, Henderson," the reigning Super Bowl MVP said.

John Henderson and Marcus Stroud are the mammoth tackles who could clog I-95, which runs through Jacksonville along with Super Bowl hopes, and Paul Spicer is one of the more underrated defensive ends in the league.

Even with the loss of Hayward (ruptured Achilles tendon), a defensive front that was fearsome is still formidable.

That is why the Steelers expect Monday's 8:30 p.m. game to be one in which ground will be yielded grudgingly and probably not in large chunks.

The Jaguars are physical, and they try to impose their will on opponents.

Kind of like the Steelers.

"We've both got the same mindset, and we've both got the same attitude," Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich said. We both play physical football on both sides of the ball."

Therein lies much of the intrigue in the game between 1-0 teams: Pittsburgh and Jacksonville have many things in common, not the least of which is philosophy.

"We're going to wear you down and take it in the fourth quarter," Steelers guard Alan Faneca said. "Not every team is built that way in the NFL, and when you face one (like Jacksonville), I think it's shown the last two years, what kind of game it's going to be, all the way to the end."

Indeed, a timely Ben Roethlisberger pass here and an ill-timed Tommy Maddox pass there is all that separated the teams the last two years.

Roethlisberger engineered a late drive in 2005, and a Jeff Reed field goal gave Pittsburgh a 17-16 win in Jacksonville.

Last year, the Steelers appeared to be driving for another game-winning score against the Jaguars when Maddox lost a fumble deep in Jacksonville territory.

He threw an interception later in overtime, and it was returned for a touchdown by Rashean Mathis as the Jaguars stunned the Steelers, 23-17, at Heinz Field.

Hayward led Jacksonville in sacks (81/2) a year ago, and Jacksonville's front four frequently forced quarterbacks into the kind of mistakes on which Mathis capitalized.

His absence, as Ward said, merely means, "That's just one less guy we have to worry about."

"They've got a great front four, not a good front four, but a great front four," Steelers running back Willie Parker said. "The last few years we've played them, it's been a tough game so we expect the same thing this year."

Parker knows from experience how tough Jacksonville can be on running backs.

He managed just 55 rushing yards on 21 carries against the Jaguars last year, meaning Parker will have earned it if he is able to extend his streak of 100-yard rushing games in the regular season to four.

Not that Jacksonville running backs should expect to find an abundance of running room.

The Steelers held Miami's Ronnie Brown, the second overall pick of the 2004 draft, to 30 yards in their season-opening win at Heinz Field.

Brown only carried the ball 15 times, a number that Jacksonville feature back Fred Taylor figures to exceed since the Jaguars are as determined to establish the run as they are to stop it.

Sound like a team you know?

"I do respect their coaches because a lot of teams give up on the run against us but the last two (times) we played them they stayed with the run," Steelers linebacker Larry Foote said. "They're kind of like us: run the ball no matter what. You know it's going to be a fight."

Probably to the finish.

"Every time we play them, it is a tough game and I can't see Monday night being any different," Steelers coach Bill Cowher said. "I think they are a team that matches up well against


09-17-2006, 11:10 AM
i think the jags and steelers teams are probably the most similar too eachother than any other teams in the nfl. not completely the same but look,
-physical D -physical D
-great HB -great HB
-great QB -great QB
-5 SB wins -????????

09-17-2006, 02:10 PM
i think the jags and steelers teams are probably the most similar too eachother than any other teams in the nfl. not completely the same but look,
-physical D -physical D
-great HB -great HB
-great QB -great QB
-5 SB wins -????????

I wouldnt call eithere fred taylor or byron leftwich great.

09-17-2006, 02:15 PM
Theyre both good