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Old 09-15-2008, 03:41 AM   #1
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Default Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns
Monday, September 15, 2008
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Game ball goes to: Hines Ward
In a game when it was tough to catch passes, Ward finished with five for only 59 yards -- modest numbers to be sure. But, one play after dropping a pass in the end zone, he caught an 11-yard pass on a crossing pattern for the only touchdown in the game and his third in two games. What's more, with the Steelers backed up on their own 2 late in the third quarter, Ward made one of the biggest plays -- giving the offense room to operate and changing field position with a 33-yard catch from Roethlisberger that deflated the Browns.

The countdown
A quick look at the top performances from the victory yesterday:

1. POLAMALU'S INTERCEPTION AT THE END OF THE FIRST HALF: If there was any doubt why there is such skepticism about the Browns' ability to leap past the Steelers in the AFC North Division, QB Derek Anderson provided ample reason at the end of the first half -- with a little help from Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu. After the Browns drove to the Steelers' 11 with eight seconds remaining, trailing, 7-0, Anderson tried a pass over the middle for WR Syndric Steptoe that never had a chance. Polamalu made the easy interception and the Browns were, well, the Browns.

2. ROETHLISBERGER COMING BACK TO WARD FOR A TOUCHDOWN: It's a rare sight -- Hines Ward dropping a pass in the end zone. But he did it on a second-down play from the Browns' 11 in the second quarter. Undaunted, Roethlisberger came back to Ward on the next play for the only touchdown.

3. PARKER'S 13-YARD RUN ON FOURTH-AND-1: With the game scoreless, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin elected to gamble on fourth-and-1 from the Browns' 40 in the second quarter. All Parker did was break the run around the right side for 13 yards, setting up the first and, as it turns out, only touchdown.

4. WARD'S CATCH TO GET OUT OF A DEEP HOLE: After a botched kickoff return that almost resulted in the Browns recovering at the Steelers' 2 near the end of the third quarter, Ward and Roethlisberger hooked up on a 31-yard reception on second down to provide some breathing room for the offense.

5. PLAY-ACTION PASS TO HEATH MILLER IN THE FOURTH QUARTER: After the Browns closed the lead to 10-6 on Phil Dawson's 38-yard field goal with 3:21 remaining, Roethlisberger rolled right on play-action and threw a 19-yard pass to Miller that allowed the Steelers to chew off more of the clock.

Inside the numbers
10. That's the number of consecutive victories the Steelers have managed against the Browns, who have lost 16 of the past 17 meetings. It is also the fewest number of points the Steelers have managed in the past 28 meetings against Cleveland.

What was he thinking?
What turned out to be a wise decision by punt-returner Mewelde Moore -- one of several he made on special teams -- almost turned into a disastrous one by Anthony Smith. With the Steelers leading, 7-0, in the third quarter, Browns punter Dave Zastudil lofted a 58-yard punt that Moore wisely elected not to catch because the ball was floating in the wind gusts. But with the ball rolling on the field, Smith foolishly came diving into a scrum of Browns players and nearly touched the ball with his body at the Steelers' 16.

Overheard
"We were far from perfect, but we are 2-0. We aren't going to apologize for our blemishes. We are very pleased with this win." -- Coach Mike Tomlin, after the Steelers scored only one touchdown and managed just 14 first downs.

Up next
AT PHILADELPHIA EAGLES, 4:15 P.M. SUNDAY:


The Eagles scored 38 points in their season opener and play in Dallas tonight. The Steelers have lost their past seven meetings in Philadelphia and 11 of the past 15 vs. their cross-state rival.

X's and O's
It was not a big game on the stat sheet for tight end Heath Miller, who caught two passes for 33 yards and was even penalized for holding. But it does not begin to illustrate the contribution he made to the offense. Looking more like a pulling guard than a tight end, Miller was used continually as a lead blocker for running back Willie Parker, who finished with 105 yards on 28 carries. Miller would line on the left side and lead Parker through the middle, helping to grind out tough yards.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08259/912356-66.stm
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Old 09-15-2008, 04:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

Polamalu is playing some good ball he is all over the field like the Troy of old one play that stood out last night was when he timed the snap count and dove over the center and almost grabbed Anderson that is what I like from Troy.
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Old 09-15-2008, 05:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

Quote:
Originally Posted by galax steeler View Post
Polamalu is playing some good ball he is all over the field like the Troy of old one play that stood out last night was when he timed the snap count and dove over the center and almost grabbed Anderson that is what I like from Troy.
It was good to see Troy flying all over the place again and hearing his name over and over from the announcers. Welcome back, Troy!
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"We're not going to turn our backs on him," Ward said. "We're going to treat him like our brother. We're going to accept him back and be very supportive of him and help him get through this. In this locker room, he's still our quarterback."
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

I like Dulac's grades he handed out. Special teams an A ????

Coverage, yes. Return game, no. Moore gave up at least 50 yards in field position by not being able to field punts and let them roll by him.

Cribbs on the other hand fielded punts in the wind quite well. But then, maybe ist our punter vs the Browns that was causing the problems too?
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Old 09-15-2008, 08:46 AM   #5
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Default Re: Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

I am glad both the writer of the article and Madden brought up last night how underrated Health Miller is.

I really believe he is the best TE in the league and he quietly goes on about his business with very few accolades. Completely blue collar type of guy its awesome to see.
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Old 09-15-2008, 10:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: Gerry Dulac's Two-Minute Drill: Game Two vs. Browns

Good article. And YES! It is great to see that hairy beast all over the place again. He's already overshadowed anything he did last year.
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Ward, after being fined by Goodell on a play that was not penalized:

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Originally Posted by Hines Ward
What are you going to say, I was too rough?
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