View Full Version : Cardinals stacked with past Steelers insiders

09-24-2007, 11:34 PM
Cardinals stacked with past Steelers insiders
By Mike Prisuta
Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not every NFL team needs to resort to video subterfuge to get the jump on its opponent.

The Arizona Cardinals would probably see the Steelers coming this Sunday even if they'd opted not to pay their DirecTV bill.

Arizona's ex-Steelers contingent includes:

? Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt (formerly a Steelers offensive coordinator and tight ends coach under Bill Cowher).

? Cardinals assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm (who used to have the same gigs with the Steelers under Cowher).

? Cardinals linebackers coach Billy Davis (a former Steelers defensive assistant under Cowher).

? Cardinals wide receivers coach Mike Miller (formerly a Steelers public relations intern and formerly a Steelers offensive assistant under Cowher).

? Cardinals defensive assistant Matt Raich (a Monaca native and a former Steelers offensive assistant under Cowher).

? Cardinals special teams coach Kevin Spencer (who used to have the same job with the Steelers under Cowher).

? And former Steelers players Rodney Bailey (defensive end), Mike Barr (punter; two training camps with the Steelers prior to landing in Arizona), Tim Euhus (tight end), Sean Morey (wide receiver), Chukky Okobi (center) and Oliver Ross (offensive tackle/injured reserve).

Not all of them are of a recent vintage as far as their associations with the Steelers are concerned, but it's safe to assume that Whisenhunt and Grimm have a particular grip on how the Steelers are still doing things under Mike Tomlin.

The 11-on-11 chess games that used to be staged on a daily basis between Whisenhunt and Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau on the South Side and at St. Vincent College have earned a well-deserved place in Steelers lore.

And when the game resumes Sunday, it'll be about more than meeting room bragging rights.

Advantage Cardinals.

LeBeau knows Whisenhunt as well as Whisenhunt knows LeBeau, but only LeBeau will be playing with mostly the same pieces this time around.

Whisenhunt and Grimm have a new collection of pawns, rooks and bishops to maneuver, and an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of those they left behind, many of whom they trained, that was years in the making.

LeBeau and the Steelers have days to attempt to get themselves up to speed on the Cardinals individually and collectively.

Factor in whatever emotional advantage Arizona will glean from the Cardinals players' sensing this is anything but just another game for their new coaches, and the Steelers could be set up to play the role of the Clanton gang in a re-enactment of the Gunfight at O.K. Corral.

That would make this a particularly good week for the Steelers to be thoughtfully non-rhythmic.


09-25-2007, 12:14 AM
If the Cards seriously think these are the same old predictable Steelers under Cowher, they'll be in for a rude awakening. I hope Whiz thinks nothing has changed in Pittsburgh besides coaches. I seriously hope that.

Galax Steeler
09-25-2007, 03:20 AM
If the Cards seriously think these are the same old predictable Steelers under Cowher, they'll be in for a rude awakening. I hope Whiz thinks nothing has changed in Pittsburgh besides coaches. I seriously hope that.

Agreed he is not looking at the same old steeler team that he was with in the past.I think we will be able to keep them off balanced the whole game.:tt02:

09-25-2007, 07:11 AM
i dont think any team will be thinking these are the same steelers under cowher. they are a totally different team, just with alot of the same players. and i am sure LeBeau has something really special cooked up for his old buddy Wiz:wink02:

09-25-2007, 07:37 AM
I am keen to see how Tomlin and Le Beau plan to handle two really good WR's.

Whisenhunt knows that he cant run against the steelers so he will try and throw to Boldin and Fitzgerald and James out of the backfield.

This will be a good test for the secondary, particularly if they go to Warner after Leinart is shut down.

09-25-2007, 08:48 AM
I totally disagree with Prisuta's assessment that the Cardinals have an advantage over the Steelers.

Most importantly, the Steelers have better players than the Cardinals. You can know another teams tendencies, but if you don't have the speed, mass, and skill to execute the plays, it's a moot point. A great example here is the Cardinals serious issues at QB. If Leinart had problems with the Ravens D, he's going to have problems with Steelers D.

The former Steelers they have on their roster are players who didn't make the cut. What does Matt Barr bring to the table against the Steelers punt return unit.

Whiz and Grimm have seen LeBeau's D but LeBeau has seen their offense and has seen their players and has three games of tape. Does Prisuta think LeBeau isn't familiar with Matt Leinart and Kurt Warner's tendencies? Does he think he hasn't studied their receivers? At best this is a wash but I lean strongly towards advantage LeBeau.

I do agree this will be the toughest challenge the Steelers have faced this year and I think the Cards will be fired up for their coaches and playing at home. However, to agrue that Tomlin, LeBeau, Arians won't have a gameplan and have their players prepared and focused to beat the Cards shows a sportswriter who hasn't been paying much attention.

09-25-2007, 09:51 AM
I don't see this a bigger challenge than the 49ers aside from the fact that its on the road. I see another 37-16 type game. Arizona's Defense is suspect at best, I think Ben has just as much incentive to play well against his old OC as Whiz and Grimm have. BTW, why all the hype about Whiz/Rooneys??? Whiz took the Ariz job prior to any decision from the Steelers, Grim is apparently not HC material in anyone elses eyes either. Much talk about nothing IMO

09-25-2007, 10:16 AM
I don't think the Cards have the advantage at all. Infact, many of the plays the Cards have run look to be a replica of the Whiz playbook used in Pittsburgh. I'm making that comment based on what I saw in the preseason (I don't watch Cards normally). Now I may be wrong, but I don't think either team has a great advantage.

09-25-2007, 11:04 AM
Whether Whiz was our coach or their coach, the Steelers have their hands full with their receiving corps. I do believe that their weakness is still OL and Leinert and Warner are stationary targets..which will help us.

Edge does not scare me at all and their defense does not as well...other than Adrian Wilson.

The Steelers will have to combat the initial influx of energy the Cardinals will feel at first, but after the game settles down after the first drive, the Steelers will take the game over.

09-25-2007, 01:15 PM
Too bad Whiz and Grimm won't be suiting up for the Cardinals. Man for man, the Steelers are the better team and it should be another convincing win if they continue to play to the level of the last 3 weeks. BTW, Prisuta's a dope.

09-25-2007, 02:17 PM
This game will be Ben and the offenses' coming out party. With Ward suddenly unlkely to go, I expect a few surprises from Wilson, Washington and Holmes. Heck, even Reid. Don't forget the TE's emerging as weapons as well. That's ONE thing that has majorly changed from the Cowher Steelers: The Steelers TE's actually have to be accounted for too.

Now's not the time to play down to your level of competition. The Steelers must not fall for Arizona's trap.

09-25-2007, 02:20 PM
As long as they don't have 007 AKA Brian St. Pierre on the roster we are safe. :banana:

09-25-2007, 05:07 PM
I'm thinking the "new Steeler offense" is going to debut this Sunday........: and LeBeau has some reunion gifts for his old pals.

tony hipchest
09-25-2007, 05:44 PM
with a stroke of genius, tomlin brilliantly summed this whole rematch of steelers old vs steelers new, in his weekly spot on "moving the chains":

...this is their story, not ours.

very powerful statement. theres alot to read into those lines.

09-25-2007, 08:46 PM
Heared that today tony. Tomlin plays it right. And he is correct, it is there story. like he said, for the Steelers it is just the next team on the schedule.

09-25-2007, 08:48 PM
Well our players do not have the whole "revenge" factor like Okobi and others on that team. What do we care? It's another team on the schedule that we have to beat. Simple as that. No different than Cleveland, Buffalo or San Francisco. Just another pin we need to knock down.