Strategy for Sunday
Simple question: what should the Steeler's offensive and defensive gameplan be for Sunday's game against the Cowboys?
My take (played from 4th - 11th grade, but admittedly am no offensive/defensive mastermind):
The largest personnel issue facing us for this game, IMHO, is our lack of healthy CBs. If I am not mistaken, we have a dinged-up Keenan, two guys we promoted from the practice squad, and guy we signed off the street about 8 days ago to work with. That's not so good. If they could not cover Spurlock, then Dez Bryant (if he plays), Austin, and Witten will provide them with an even greater challenge.
Romo will likely try to test the corners early. We may want to emphasize disguising our blitzes and mix in some soft zones with the OLBs to take away some of the comeback routes on the sidelines. Of course, that could offset the benefits we gain from rushing the shiate out of Romo instead.
Or float Polamalu around underneath to pick off deflected passes as long as they don't go to the middle of the field much-- Ryan Clark should be able to cover the middle if they try to go to the sidelines like Rivers did.
Murray is hot and cold, but I am thinking with only 1 healthy CB, Dallas is going to go to the air and only use their ground game to try and keep the defense on edge. In past years, Murray and the Dallas ground game would not even count as an afterthought-- Aaron Smith and Kiesel would make it disappear. But not so sure now....
The Chargers provided a blueprint of sorts on how to stop Big Ben last week.
Ironic, we basically adopted the Patriots' dink-n-dunk offense this season, and the Chargers used our gameplan that we used to beat the Pats last year (err.....2010), against us and it worked. They played press coverage, and rushed everybody at Ben.
The Cowboys will probably try that too. They are looking at our ramshackle Oline and salivating probably. Lets hope DeCastro plays as well as he was in the preseason-- they could use the boost up front. WIth their NT out for the year, this could balance out.
If our Oline wins the battle in the trenches, this game is over by halftime. The Cowboys pass defense ranks #8 right now, but I do think they are a tad bit overrated, and if Ben has anytime at all-- he should be able to carve them up like a turkey. Glad Jerr-reh will be able to watch it on his 60-yard television screen.
The Steelers need to find some success in the run game to keep their pass rush honest. Dwyer is due for a big game (hopefully), and with their NT out, maybe Pouncey and DeCastro can open some holes for Redman/Dwyer to plow through.
And if Dallas does start to get carried away with their pass rush, they need to free up Heath as a safety valve. It is a crying shame to see him being used as an extended RT.
Keep doing what they have been doing-- minus the retarded penalties. Our returners have been getting fantasic returns but 90% of the time, they get negated by a boneheaded holding penalty.
That needs to stop, and our special teams will become a potent weapon in games where our offense may be struggling.
"On the S-2-7 train"