You don't adjust. You just dominate.
The Jets are who we thought they were…For those who crowned them…You’re idiots. The Steelers are a talented team…I believe what they put on tape against the Jets is a fair reflection of what to expect this season. The Steelers run game is ugly…That is not an attack on Haley or his prehistoric play calling. The Steelers run game will improve with the return of Rashard Mendenhall and David Decastro. Red zone Redman is a fringe NFL back…Jonathan Dwyer on his best day is a change of pace back. Ramon Foster, Max Starks, and Willie Colon are as mobile as infectious diarrhea…They may cover 8 feet if you’re lucky. As bad as the Steelers run game looks…Ben and the passing game look lights out. Ben leads all quarterbacks in third-down passing efficiency with a 146.8 rating. The Steelers have converted 19 of 34 third downs in two games, a 55.9 percent success rate that leads the NFL. The Steelers defense looks like a work in progress…When the weapons return they should be damn nasty.
I believe I am the last generation of Steelers fan who was brought up to hate the Raiders. Growing up I heard about that drunk Stabler, those dirty piece of shit safeties Atkinson and Tatum and so on. The Raiders and Steelers matchup back in the day is comparable to the Ravens and Steelers modern day matchup; break out the smelling salts and strap on the big boy pads. I hate West coast games…I hate games in Oakland….I hate when the Steelers play the Raiders…Funny things happen. The Steelers better bring there A game is my point…If the Steelers win by a point and suffer zero injuries I will be perfectly content.
Raiders on Offense
I expect TP and Harrison are out. Mundy and Carter/Worilds will replace them. I could sit here and attempt to bullshit you I won’t…The Steelers will miss both former defensive players of the year. The Raiders have some weapons at the skill positions…The Raiders have a quality offensive line. Carson Palmer has seen the Steelers for years he knows what to expect...I question if Carson has the mobility and arm strength to make plays against this defense.
Keisel and Veldheer- I believe I was the single biggest Veldheer fan coming of out college. Veldheer is a big man with great balance and under rated mobility. Veldheer will not blow a defensive linemen off the ball he wants to steer him away from the play…Veldheer will own Brett Keisel. Keisel is in big trouble in this matchup…Veldheer is bigger, faster, stronger and more agile…He is also younger longer and the better technician. I hope Heyward gets some snaps in the run game…Heyward is a powerful young man who does not get moved when he anchors…The light has come on for Heyward…He understands what offensive linemen are trying to do…He understands blocking schemes.
Carlisle Wisniewski Brisiel and Hampton Foote Timmons- Wisniewski will need help on every run play between the tackles unless the Steelers slant away from the run. LeBeau played more 2 gap principles mid-way through the 1st quarter against the Jets and poof the run game was gone. Casey Hampton is best eating up blocks and causing chaos in the middle of the line…Asking him to slant and chase plays will never be successful. Carlisle and Brisiel are very good blockers at the 2nd level…Foote or Timmons will have a clean run at the backs…They must close the deal…The reason one will have the clean run is the double team Hampton forced at the point of attack. Ta’Amu better be a quick learner…McClendon is terrible inside against the run. I would prefer to see Hood or Heyward over the nose than McClendon…McClendon may be able to play LDE in a 34 defense…I know he cannot play 34 nose tackle. The Steelers need to choke off the Raiders zone run game that starts with Hampton Timmons and Foote.
Hood and Willie Smith- B2B was a big fan of Willie Smith coming out of college…The young man has potential. This is a matchup the Steelers could dominate. Hood is slowly coming on against the run…Smith is a far better pass blocker than run blocker…I expect Hood rolls under Smith’s pads in the run game and forces the Raiders backs to dance in holes. The Steelers need Hood to stand out rushing the passer or against the run…I believe he may be very good at both down the line…Present day, in the here and now, the Steelers need Hood to be dominant against the run.
Brandon Meyers and Richard Gordon the Raiders tight ends are massive men…Both are very average run blockers….The Steelers need Woodley to dominate his matchup...I expect Woodley will be good not great against the run…Woodley’s motor has not been there this season…The Steelers need more production and splash plays from Woodley. Carter and Worilds both struggled to play the run…Carter is just too light in his pants - he gets engulfed…Worilds will run himself out of plays. His football instincts are non-existent. I expect the Steelers eliminate the Raiders run game to the right side of the formation…The Steelers need big games from Keisel Timmons and Carter/Worilds if they expect to completely choke off the Raiders run game.
The Raiders have a ton of talent at running back. McFadden, Jones and Goodson can score from anywhere on the field…All three backs run sub 4.40 40’s. This is the most dangerous offensive grouping the Steelers have faced this year. The Raiders running backs scare the crap out of me. The one thing that continues to enter my feeble mind is this…All 3 are handle with care…If you put a big shot on them…They’re done. All 3 also have fumbling issues. If the Steelers front seven is gashed these backs can out run anyone on the field…They will out run Mundy or Clark with an angle. The Raiders utilize two fullbacks…Marcel Reese who is a lot like Will Johnson…He is great in the passing game he can really run routes and make plays. The other fullback is the retarded Owen Schmidt who will run through a wall.
Generally I do not discuss the receivers in the run game….The Raiders receivers have NO desire to run block….Ike and Lewis may be forced to make plays in the run game…I hope they grab and hold up the back so the Cavalry can finish them off…I want the Raiders backs to prove they can take some shots. Clark and Mundy cannot whiff on tackles…Mundy dropped the hammer on Greene last week…I was very proud of Woody High…That must continue this week. Ryan Clark would drill his daughter if she was coming across the middle so I have no concerns about him.
Carter/Worilds and Veldheer- This is a matchup Veldheer should control. He is a large man with huge hands and quick feet….Veldheer does a great job of mirroring rushers and neutralizing any counter moves off the initial rush. Both Carter and Worilds need to test Veldheer to the edge and try to beat him with speed…This is not the greatest matchup for the Steelers.
Keisel/Heyward and Carlisle- Keisel looks like a slow old man to me. I think he bought into his fame in Pittsburgh and stopped working to be great. Keisel is a below average starter at this point; he is playing at a Kevin Henry level which is completely unacceptable. Keisel needs to be reminded he is a former 7th round pick…Tomlin should show up at his locker with a can of shaving cream and a package of disposable razors; tell him to get to work shaving since he doesn’t want to work on the field…Tomlin should embarrass him and cut into his side business of Beard Merchandise. Cooper Carlisle has stuck around this league because he is a great technician and a hard worker…He can be beat with speed or power in other words he will lose physical matchups but he won’t be tricked. I expect Carlisle eats up Keisel he could have some issues with Heyward’s explosiveness and power.
Wisniewski- He is very good in the run game…He has some issues in pass pro with power. I would not be surprised if Casey Hampton dumps Wisniewski in Palmer’s lap a few times. Ziggy Hood and McClendon should have some success as well.
Hood/McClendon and Brisiel- Brisiel is a former right tackle with decent feet and anchor ability. He is also far better in the run game than pass pro. I would not be surprised if the Steelers have some success here; I will admit in the past I have been completely wrong about Brisiel and he shut down multiple quality Steelers players in the past(Woodley Aaron Smith). Ziggy Hood looks robotic rushing the passer he needs to utilize his athletic ability…McClendon’s rush game is as subtle as a kick to the nuts…He is bull rushing/ fork lifting straight ahead like a bat out of hell…McClendon has collapsed the pocket a number of times…I think his future could be bright as a LDE.
Woodley and Smith- This is another weird matchup. On paper Woodley could have a multiple sack game. Smith is a long armed young man who showed a ton of promise in 3 NFL starts last season and his ½ game of work this season. The Steelers have also showed big nickel looks with Woodley out of the game. I expect Woodley tests Smith to the inside this week…Woodley won’t out run those long arms…I believe he can get inside where he can control Smith and beat the block with an arm under or rip move. If Woodley can close the deal inside it should set up his speed rush and open up the outside.
Palmer does not like pressure…The Steelers front seven can have a great game rushing the passer without recording a sack…They must hurry throws…They must force the ball out of Palmer’s hand early…Palmer with time can slice up this defense just like Manning did. I expect Dick LeBeau is going to blitz the piss out of Palmer…Men in coverage must tackle in space…They get nothing after the catch.
Brandon Meyers is a big athletic tight end…His game resembles Heath Miller…He does not run routes or catch the ball like Miller he is a better player than I expected and prior to the podcast I actually thought he was a borderline bum…I went and watched more of the Dolphins game…He can make some plays. I believe the Steelers linebackers can cover him all over the field if need be…I don’t view Meyers as a game changer. The Raiders 2nd tight end Richard Gordon resembles Matt Spaeth…A big heavy footed sloth tight end who will make plays if the ball is delivered into his limited catching zone...I expect the Steelers linebackers eliminate the Raiders tight ends from the passing game.
I fear Darren McFadden and Marcel Reese in the passing game…Both backs have elite skills in the passing game. Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson have fantastic speed and can do a ton of damage if players drop coverage. The Raiders backs are poor in blitz pickup… they really miss Mike Bush.
The Raiders have 3 quality receivers…I am not sure if I would call any of them quality to be honest. Heyward-Bey can run like the wind…He is still a poor route runner. His hands have improved and he can make some plays on the ball….He is a dangerous player…I expect Lewis draws him in coverage. Lewis is good at what he does…Lewis is a man trail corner…Dick LeBeau has changed his scheme some over the years which is a great thing. I expect Lewis will be 6 yards off the ball and he will keep Bey in front of him…If Palmer throws a loopy ball Lewis will get it. The Raiders other receiver is the real threat IMO…Denarious Moore is a playmaker…Moore at his best resembles Santonio Holmes…I think Ike is up for the battle…Ike needs to get his hands off the receiver past 5 yards…It’s something that will be a point of emphasis for these bum scab officials this week. Ryan Clark is the Steelers enforcer…He keeps receivers honest…Clark is a nasty fella if the quarterback leaves a receiver out to dry. Ryan Mundy seems far more comfortable at strong safety…He can break on the ball and lay the wood. The Raiders 3rd and 4th receivers are ball control move the chains type of players…Derek Hagan is a 4.8 guy who finds holes in zone coverage’s. Rod Streeter is the Raiders Hines Ward from last year…Streeter runs 8-10 yard routes and looks for the ball.
The Steelers defense must play fast aggressive football…They must also maintain gap integrity and tackle in space.
Ten fucking guys on the field when Ben was sacked…9:40 left in the game 1st and 10 in Jets territory. That just can’t happen. I blame Ben…I blame Haley more. I like different packages…I like multiple personnel groupings…I do not like plays with Wallace and Brown off the field unless it’s the goal line offense. Haley at some point has to understand the limitations of his offensive line. I have no problem with the run game…I believe the Steelers have an elite passing game….They have to be able to run the football. We play in Pittsburgh where the weather is shit and sometimes passing the ball is not an option due to the elements. The Steelers offensive line as constructed at this time cannot block going east and west…They cannot pull…Max Starks cannot hook any defender to get the edge. The Steelers offensive line can block north and south. Any run play that asks the Steelers offensive line to go east west sucks and is doomed for failure…I don’t blame the Oline…I blame Haley. Haley’s job is to put players in positions to have success…Asking Max Starks to lead a sweep is a losing play. The Steelers passing game is awesome because they have excellent talent at the skill positions.
Starks and Shaughnessy- Shaughnessy has one speed overdrive…He comes hard all game. He is not super talented he is just relentless. Starks when motivated would maul Shaughnessy in the run game. Starks at this point is too fat and slow to bend his knees and re-establish the line of scrimmage. Starks was awful early in the game against the Jets…After Wilkerson made a tackle for a loss he show boated right in front of Starks…Starks played far better after Wilkerson attempted to clown him. I think the Steelers are going to attempt to down block on Shaughnessy with a tight end…I don’t expect much success from this plan. Pope and Miller just can’t make the block…If they do make the block the Steelers could have some success in the run game.
Colon and Seymour- Seymour is a quality NFL player…He will give Colon fits in the run game. I expect the Steelers block down with Starks on Seymour…Colon will punch out and create the double team block and hopefully slide off Seymour and pick off a linebacker. I expect on one of those down blocks from Starks Colon takes Seymour’s knees…Ben’s best friend on the team…Willie Colon. The punch will not be forgotten.
Pouncey- The Raiders will cover both guards in this game IMO. They want to limit Pouncey on the second level and I don’t blame them. The Raiders at times will line up Seymour and Tommy Kelly on Pouncey’s inside gap I think the Steelers are hoping they do…That gives Foster and Colon angles…It allows both guards to fight inside of a phone booth which is a strength for both players.
Foster and Kelly- If Ramon Foster play’s fat and slow he is going to get embarrassed. Kelly is more quick than powerful. He is long and can be devastating blowing up blocking schemes. I expect the Steelers attempt to double team Kelly the same way they double teamed Seymour…Down block with Gilbert he will form a double team block with Foster hopefully the tight end can block Houston and you have a running lane.
Gilbert and Houston- Houston is another energizer bunny…His best attribute is his hustle…He will come hard all game long…He has a nonstop motor. Gilbert has the ability to dominate in the run game…The Steelers need Gilbert to have a big game this week. Houston is a decent player…I believe the Steelers tight ends will struggle early to block these defensive ends…Later in drives they can be had…Everyone slows down.
The Steelers tight ends will be one of the keys in the run game. I expect the Steelers tight ends to dominate 43 outside linebackers in the run game…Miles Burris plays the game with wreckless abandon he will run himself out of plays by being over aggressive. The mistakes he makes are at full speed…He looks like a player to me. Phillip Wheeler the Raiders strong side linebacker is a fringe player at best. He has tight hips and reacts slowly…He can’t beat blocks once engaged. The Steelers tight ends will be asked to do a lot this week…If they block with their pads down and hands inside they have a chance to be successful.
I want Mendy to start this week…I doubt he does. The Steelers running backs need to attack holes and run downhill. The blocking schemes have sucked. The performance by the blockers has sucked. The backs must continue to attack the hole and gain positive yardage. Redman is dinged I have no issues with the effort. Dwyer needs to attack the hole before he looks to cut…Rainey I have no complaints about. Protect the ball and finish every run north south. Will Johnson needs to do a better job ISO blocking…Cut them if you have to.
The Steelers wide receivers effort in the run game is second to none…They battle.
Starks and Shaughnessy-This matchup scares me. I understand Starks did a decent job against Dumervil and the Jets…Shaughnessy is the type of player who gives Starks fits. If Starks moves his feet in pass pro Shaughnessy won’t sniff Ben. Starks cannot take a play-off…He must maintain his technique the entire game.
Colon and Seymour- Another matchup that scares me…Seymour is still explosive rushing the passer. Seymour knows all the tricks of the trade. Colon is above average in pass pro when he blocks the correct man. The Steelers offensive line is still struggling with line stunts…They better fix it quickly.
Pouncey- The line stunts are killing this offensive line…Pouncey is as guilty as anyone…Pouncey cannot over commit against one interior rusher.
Foster and Kelly-Kelly like Seymour is a very advanced pass rusher…He is very slippery rushing the passer and he is a Steelers drive killer…Foster needs to land his massive punch and beat the piss out of Kelly. If Kelly can gain space rushing the passer Foster is in big trouble.
Gilbert and Houston- I like this matchup for the Steelers…Gilbert should be able to handle anything Houston throws at him…My only fear is Houston rolling up Gilbert’s chest with power…If that happens Gilbert should be benched.
I expect the Raiders to bring four rushers for the most part…They will try to hide their weakness at cornerback. If the Steelers are beat by 4 man rush schemes Haley and Kugler should be forced to walk home from the west coast. The tackles most move their feet, re-anchor, and finally re-direct the rusher. The interior linemen must have their heads on swivels and the confidence in each other to pass off interior rushers.
The Raiders linebackers struggle in coverage….I see no way Burris, McClain or Wheeler can cover Heath Miller, Will Johnson or Jonathan Dwyer in the passing game. This is the game Chris Rainey may announce himself to the NFL. The Raiders are going to be forced to play a 2 deep shell…The Steelers tight ends and backs should have plenty of room to operate and make plays.
I am going to guess as to the receiver matchups…The Raiders have 4 corners dinged this week. I expect Shawnte Spencer (Woody High) and Coye Francis are out. Joselio Hanson will draw Mike Wallace. Hanson on a moped could not stay step for step with Wallace. Pat Lee will draw Antonio Brown…If Pat Lee had a twin brother the two of them could not cover AB. That leaves Phillip Adams on Manny Sanders…If Philip Adams had a twin and if both of them had mopeds they could not cover Manny Sanders. Mike Huff is expected to move over from safety against 4 Wr sets he would draw Jericho Cotchery…Huff is very athletic but he is football dumb…Cotchery will find a way to get open. Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch is a very good football player…He is one of the most under rated players in the NFL. Free Safeties Mike Huff and Matt Giordano struggle in coverage and both players are known to whiff on tackles.
The Steelers should eat the Raiders up with the short to mid-range passing game.
The Raiders kicking game is the best in the NFL. I call the return game even.