how's offense doesn't scare Steelers DBs
Print this article
E-mail this article
Subscribe to this paper
Larger text Larger / Smaller Text
By Rob Rossi
Friday, September 9, 2005
Norm Chow spent his 32 years as a coach in the college ranks grooming some of the best quarterbacks.
Chow tutored three Heisman Trophy winners in Ty Detmer, Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart, as well as Steve Young.
Now, in his first season as offensive coordinator with the Tennessee Titans, Chow is working with Steve McNair, who is no less than two years removed from winning a share of the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year award.
Despite Chow's resume, the Steelers' secondary isn't too concerned.
"He's not going to do what he did in college -- not at this level," said Steelers safety Chris Hope. "Look, Steve Spurrier's college offense didn't work too well in the NFL."
Added veteran cornerback Willie Williams: "I think everybody is making too much of a big deal about (Chow's offense). McNair is the key. He's just going to do what he does and run the plays that work for him. Games against Tennessee are always going to be physical ball games. Chow isn't going to get away from that."
Chow landed in Tennessee after spending the past four seasons at Southern Cal, where helped the Trojans win consecutive national titles.
But he's a rookie when it comes to the NFL.
"There isn't any adjustment," said Troy Polamalu, a former star at USC who practiced for two seasons against Chow's offense in practice. "An offense is an offense. It won't be anything that the guys on this team haven't seen before at some point.
"He's not doing anything different than any other coordinator in the NFL is doing. I guess college is a little more versatile, but in this league, it's not really that different."
Chow has simplified the Titans' offense to help the younger players and to provide McNair with more responsibility, particularly as a running threat.
"Right now, he's just trying to put me in good situations where I can make plays with my arms and my legs," McNair said. "We have a lot of young guys on offense, so he's trying to keep things simple for them. But mostly, he's doing a good job of keeping me moving around in the pocket and not just sitting there like a sitting duck."
The Steelers, who had the league's best defense last season, are hoping to make McNair a sitting duck by taking away the Titans' running game, which is manned by Chris Brown and newly-acquired Travis Henry.
At USC, Chow used All-America running back Reggie Bush as a receiving threat out of the backfield. It's a tactic for which the Steelers will be prepared Sunday.
"We'll see some screens and throws to the running backs," Hope said. "I'm sure Travis Henry and Chris Brown can catch very well."