Originally Posted by revefsreleets
Actually, Rossum made a couple mistakes last week by not running up and making the fair catch. I remember remarking that one of those plays cost us 7 yards, which doesn't seem like much, but after seeing this article, I'm changing my tune a little bit.
I'll give Cowher credit here, because he always did say it was a game of inches. And Tomlin sent a whole lot of extra time on the ST this year, and outside of the PR for a TD, and Jeff Reed kicking farther, I haven't really seen much improvement.
thats what i found great about the article. the changes arent very appearant until you see that the steelers were leading the league in starting an average of 6.9 yards better than their opponents were averaging. of course this is dependent on opponens skill, and turnovers, and a better punter, much improved punt coverage, actually returning a kick off for a td, and only allowing 1 big return all season.
the genius of this article is that when all the blame is being placed on the defensive execution, or offensive play calling, even the invisible, minute things come into play.
that +6.9 yards of starting field position differential can be the difference of jeff reed missing that 65 (woulda been 57) yarder at the end of the half, or jason elam making the 48 yarder to win the game (woulda been 55 yds).
speaking of "the game of inches", kirwan and cowher watch the games together in the cbs studios every sunday. kirwan says the conversations are great, including marino, boomer, and shannon. i think cowher is becoming one of his prominent insider sources and inspiration for articles and radio conversation.
Heading into last weekend, only three teams had a differential in starting field position of six yards or more -- that is, their averager starting position was six yards better than their opponents' average start. Those teams are the Steelers (6.9 yards), the Patriots (6.4 yards), and the Colts (6.0 yards). Isn't it interesting that all three head coaches come from the defensive side of the ball?