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Old 01-31-2009, 12:45 AM   #1
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Default Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers
Buzz up!
By Mike Prisuta, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, January 31, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_609682.html

Mike Prisuta is a sports columnist for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached via e-mail or at 412-320-7923.

TAMPA, Fla. -- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has taken to referring to his Steelers as a "Band of Brothers."

It's a label that's as appropriate as these Steelers are deserving of their place in Super Bowl XLIII.

"I started saying it right before the playoffs," Roethlisberger said. "In the locker room when we do our prayer we hold hands and I just kind of say, 'Hey guys, I don't have any brothers, and if I did have a brother or brothers, I'd want it to be you guys.'

"It's a special group. We always have each other's backs."

That's the level of commitment the Cardinals will be confronting.

But after a playoff run that has seen them survive Atlanta, win at Carolina and then finish off Philadelphia in the NFC Championship Game -- the Cardinals won the latter two games as underdogs -- it stands to reason that Arizona will be riding a similar emotional wave.

So that's a wash.

Let's likewise assume neither team will be able to run the ball. Fast Willie Parker went nowhere fast against Arizona on Sept. 30, 2007 (19 carries, 37 yards, a 1.9 average), and the Cardinals are better defensively now than they were then. And almost nobody runs against the Steelers -- there's little reason to suspect Edgerrin James and Tim Hightower will.

So it'll come down to passing, specifically to the strength-against-strength matchup of the Steelers' blitz-fueled attack against the Cardinals' unparalleled pass-catching depth, versatility and verticality.

And that's a bad matchup for the Steelers.

Quarterback Kurt Warner will see them coming. He'll recognize blitz, he'll sense it. He might even smell it.

He'll get rid of the ball before the Steelers get to him.

He'll do so, in part, because the players around him will allow him to do so.

"The biggest thing where we've made progress is our team understands now what we need to do in order to be successful against the blitz," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Our offensive line -- as far as communication, identification, the ability to make those adjustments to pick up the blitz to save hits on Kurt -- has done a very good job, as well as our backs and our tight ends when they've been involved in that area.

"But where we've made great progress, too, is with our receivers understanding that. A lot of times, when you're getting blitzed, when they're bringing one more than you can block, it really comes down to your receivers and your quarterback being on the same page."

The Steelers' blitzes are much more about who will be coming than they are overwhelming a protection scheme with numbers, but Whisenhunt knows that.

His intimate knowledge not just of the way the Steelers operate schematically but of their personnel, and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Russ Grimm's, is another Arizona advantage.

The Steelers have some of that going for them as well (running backs coach Kirby Wilson worked in Arizona from 2004-06), but not as much.

Defense, traditionally, wins championships.

But pitch-and-catch and the NFL equivalent of insider trading will decide this Intrasquad Scrimmage Super Bowl.

Cardinals, 30-27.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

Quote:
So it'll come down to passing, specifically to the strength-against-strength matchup of the Steelers' blitz-fueled attack against the Cardinals' unparalleled pass-catching depth, versatility and verticality.

And that's a bad matchup for the Steelers.

Quarterback Kurt Warner will see them coming. He'll recognize blitz, he'll sense it. He might even smell it.

He'll get rid of the ball before the Steelers get to him.


Does Prisuta even bother to watch this team, or does he just read the boxscores afterwards and assume that due to our sack totals, we resort to all-out blitzes on every play for four quarters of every game? It's not like we bring the house on blitzes. We don't need to. That is what makes this defense as good as it is and unique - we don't have to sell out on blitzes to get pressure and get sacks.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

F'in worst article I have read in the past 2 weeks of knob slobbing in the Cards by the Media. I hope we hang 40 on 'em so the media can get an education and STF.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:05 AM   #4
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

"The biggest thing where we've made progress is our team understands now what we need to do in order to be successful against the blitz," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Our offensive line -- as far as communication, identification, the ability to make those adjustments to pick up the blitz to save hits on Kurt -- has done a very good job, as well as our backs and our tight ends when they've been involved in that area.

___________________________________

While I thought their offensive line did a GREAT job against the Eagles in the first half of the NFC Championship game..they got sluggish and broke down in the 3rd quarter. They let the Eagles get back in the game..and that never should have happened. The Eagles blitzed practically every play in that 3rd quarter and the Cards O-line couldnt handle the pressure.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:32 AM   #5
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

Quote:
So it'll come down to passing, specifically to the strength-against-strength matchup of the Steelers' blitz-fueled attack against the Cardinals' unparalleled pass-catching depth, versatility and verticality.
I tend to agree with him here.

Quote:
And that's a bad matchup for the Steelers.

Quarterback Kurt Warner will see them coming. He'll recognize blitz, he'll sense it. He might even smell it.

He'll get rid of the ball before the Steelers get to him.

He'll do so, in part, because the players around him will allow him to do so.
I think Kurt Warner is a helluva quarterback and they have an OUTSTANDING trio of receivers, BUT I simply don't agree with his assessment here. Our defense simply has to do what they've been doing all year.....and I believe they will.
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Old 01-31-2009, 07:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

Nice pick homey, cause your obviously NOT a homer!
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

That has to be one of the worse articles I have read the past 2 weeks. Yea you know because god forbid the Steelers provide an even tougher match up for the Cardinals.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

How quickly the world has forgotten that we just beat a far better team than the Cardinals......and had to do it 3 times! If the Cards had to beat the Ravens 3 times to get this far, they would be watching the Superbowl at home. And if the Ravens were playing Arizona tomorrow, I doubt anyone would even consider that the Cards even had a snowballs chance in hell of winning it.
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

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Originally Posted by Steelcitygal87 View Post
"The biggest thing where we've made progress is our team understands now what we need to do in order to be successful against the blitz," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Our offensive line -- as far as communication, identification, the ability to make those adjustments to pick up the blitz to save hits on Kurt -- has done a very good job, as well as our backs and our tight ends when they've been involved in that area.

___________________________________

While I thought their offensive line did a GREAT job against the Eagles in the first half of the NFC Championship game..they got sluggish and broke down in the 3rd quarter. They let the Eagles get back in the game..and that never should have happened. The Eagles blitzed practically every play in that 3rd quarter and the Cards O-line couldnt handle the pressure.

They better practice a silent snap count because it's gonna be LOUD!!!
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Old 01-31-2009, 02:07 PM   #10
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Default Re: Prisuta: Cardinals provide tough matchup for Steelers

Some people just need attention.
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