View Full Version : The matchup: Browns QB Anderson vs. Steelers' pass rush

09-14-2008, 03:57 AM
The matchup: Browns QB Anderson vs. Steelers' pass rush
By Mike Prisuta
Sunday, September 14, 2008

BROWNS QB DEREK ANDERSON: Derek Anderson (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) went to the Pro Bowl a year ago, but like a lot of the Browns he came crashing back to earth in the opener against the Cowboys last week. Although he wasn't intercepted, Anderson completed just 11-of-24 attempts (45.8 percent), for a mere 114 yards, in the Browns' 28-10 setback.

Two of his 19 career starts have come against the Steelers, and Anderson also played extensively against them after replacing Charlie Frye early in last season's opener (a 34-7 Steelers' triumph). He ought to know what he's in for, but he has never beaten the Steelers.

THE STEELERS PASS RUSH: Second-year pro LaMarr Woodley (6-2, 265) made his debut as a starter at outside linebacker opposite James Harrison (6-0, 242) in the Steelers' season-opening 38-17 victory over the Houston Texans. Harrison (three sacks) and Woodley (one sack, one fumble recovery, one interception) turned into twin terrors against the Texans.

The Steelers piled up five sacks overall against Houston, but the pressure off the edges generated by Harrison and Woodley allowed them to generate pressure while still playing what they considered to be vanilla defenses. Should they choose to, they'll be able to throw a few things at the Browns that Cleveland hasn't seen on film.

THE MATCHUP: The still-developing book on Anderson is that if you can get him moving outside of the pocket, he'll try to create a play on the run and will become much more prone to mistakes, such as throwing the ball to the other team. That said the Steelers goal will be to keep him in the pocket and attack him there.

Anderson was a huge part of Cleveland's resurgence last season, but he still threw 19 interceptions (against 29 touchdown passes) while making his way to Hawaii. Anderson threw 10 of his INTs in Cleveland's final seven games, including four in a Dec. 23 loss at Cincinnati, a game the Browns needed badly in their playoff quest. He still has something to prove now that defenses have begun to see him coming. EDGE: STEELERS

LAST WEEK: Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger dropped back to pass 15 times against the Texans and was sacked twice (13.3 percent of the time). One of the sacks resulted in a fumble, recovery and long return that set Houston up for a field goal. But of the 14 passes Roethlisberger attempted, 13 were completed and he was flushed from the pocket only occasionally. Given the caliber of competition (DE Mario Williams had both of the Houston sacks) and the Steelers' success running the ball, you'd have to say the offensive line did its job in its matchup with the Texans defensive front. EDGE: STEELERS


09-14-2008, 04:03 AM
What the hell is this? Unless you've got a scrambling, improvising quarterback like Michael Vick (except not in jail), there is no "matchup" of the defensive line against the quarterback. Either they get pressure on him enough times to cause a problem or they don't, and that has more to do with beating the offensive line.

In dealing with the pass rush, it also doesn't really matter how tall the QB is or how much he weighs. If you concentrate on that, you might as well go die in a fire, because you certainly don't know enough to be commenting on it.

edit: That was targeted at the writer, not you. Thought I should mention that in case it wasn't clear.

09-14-2008, 04:23 AM
Game 1 Matchup: Steelers vs. Browns
Gerry Dulac breaks down the 113th game of the rivalry
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Game: Steelers (1-0) at Cleveland Browns (0-1).

When: 8:15 p.m.

Where: Cleveland Browns Stadium.


Radio: WDVE-FM (102.5), WBGG-AM (970)

Game plan...
When the Steelers have the ball: RB Willie Parker has 483 yards rushing in his past four games against the Browns, one of the reasons they acquired DTs Shaun Rogers and Corey Williams in offseason trades. The Browns play a 3-4 defense, but they don't blitz, preferring to drop players into coverage, and they don't have linebackers who can run and cover ground. What's more, Williams has been moved to left end and is playing different techniques than he did with the Packers. The Browns lost both their starting cornerbacks from last season. And S Sean Jones (knee) is out after having arthroscopic surgery last week.

When the Browns have the ball: The offense has been disjointed because QB Derek Anderson, WR Braylon Edwards and RB Jamal Lewis have not played together much because of injuries in the preseason. Lewis was one of the bright spots vs. the Cowboys because he had 64 yards rushing on 13 carries in his first appearance since injuring his hamstring. The Browns likely will try to get him more carries vs. the Steelers. Anderson was not sacked until the fourth quarter against Dallas because the Browns used six, and sometimes seven, players to protect him. He threw for only 114 yards, but Edwards had four drops.

Keep an eye on ...
Browns KR Joshua Cribbs: The NFL's top kick-returner in 2007 has missed the past three games because of a high ankle injury, but he is expected to play. In a 31-28 loss at Heinz Field last year, Cribbs had a 90-yard kick return that led to a touchdown and a 100-yard kick return for touchdown -- the highlight of a season that resulted in a Pro Bowl selection. The Steelers are hoping they have solved their coverage problems after the way they performed last week against Houston's Andre Davis, who had three kick returns for TDs in '07.

Every time the Browns have what they perceive to be a big game against the Steelers -- a game that will finally get them over the hump against their chief division antagonist -- they wither under the expectations. The Steelers have won the past nine meetings and haven't lost in Cleveland since 2000. What's more, they have won the past four there by an average of score of 31-9.

Keys to victory
To win, the Browns must ...

1. Send men at Ben. The Browns are not a blitzing team, and they have sacked Ben Roethlisberger just seven times in four games in Cleveland.

2. Have Thomas be no ordinary Joe. LT Joe Thomas, the No. 1 draft pick in 2007, needs to neutralize Pro Bowl LB James Harrison.

3. Hang on Sloopy. Patchwork secondary has to hang onto WR Santonio Holmes, the former Ohio State star who has big games in his former state.

To win, the Steelers must...

1. Give McGinest the willies. A lot of Willie Parker's big plays occur when he bounces inside runs outside. OLB Willie McGinest is the oldest LB in the NFL.

2. Take Rogers, over and out. This is the reason the Steelers acquired C Justin Hartwig, and even Mike Tomlin will be watching this matchup in the middle.

3. Have dibs on Cribbs. Anthony Madison, Donovan Woods and Lawrence Timmons need to have one target: No. 16.


Galax Steeler
09-14-2008, 06:22 AM
I hope willie gets going early and make some big plays and wear down the deffense and then give them a dose of Mendenhall.

09-14-2008, 06:28 AM
The Steelers piled up five sacks overall against Houston, but the pressure off the edges generated by Harrison and Woodley allowed them to generate pressure while still playing what they considered to be vanilla defenses. Should they choose to, they'll be able to throw a few things at the Browns that Cleveland hasn't seen on film.

It could be a very long day for DA.

Keys to victory
To win, the Browns must ...

The Browns key to victory...Cribbs running back the opening kickoff for a score followed by an immediate apocalypse.

Seriously, I am so confident about this matchup that I am actually a little worried....

09-14-2008, 08:58 AM
Steelers 35
Browns 14

09-14-2008, 11:25 AM
I think Brady Quinn is the starter by year end. DA is merely a flash in the pan.

09-14-2008, 05:08 PM
the browns should of let da go and poss see if any team wanted him and hey would of gotten a 1st and a 3rd

Penn St Steelers
09-14-2008, 05:18 PM
I think Brady Quinn is the starter by year end. DA is merely a flash in the pan.

I think even sooner.....and not cause of injury.

On to the topic, I don't invision DA or the Browns being able to mustard much of any passing attack, if they do it will be the under throws to Soldier Boy Winslow.......I see us being able to pin our ears back and go after their offensive scheme all evening. :tt:

09-14-2008, 05:45 PM
I see us using alot of our exotic pass rushes and blitz that will ultimately shut down Lewis and Anderson will have a rough night.