Good Tuesday to you Steelers fans.
There is a disturbance in the force. As with most disturbances, it isn’t a positive one. After Sunday’s thumping of the Bengals and the Ravens’ subsequent loss on Sunday night, I’m getting the feeling that some of our Black and Gold brethren are suddenly counting their chickens before they’ve hatched. Comments about “basically locked up a playoff spot” and “should we rest some players” are way too premature. Do not forget what we were re-visited by last week in Dallas. When Ben Roethlisberger left with a knee issue we saw Mason Rudolph again and it wasn’t pretty. That means that all it takes is one play to make this season go into the dumpster. But more to the point, the Steelers don’t operate under “what could be.” They live in the moment and I guarantee no one in that locker room is taking a damn thing for granted. We as fans shouldn’t either. When the North is officially wrapped then we can break out the “We run the North” tees but until then? One game at a time.
Avery Williamson saw 11 snaps on defense Sunday and that was it. I expect that number to grow gradually… Antoine Brooks, Jr played the “Mike Hilton role” Sunday to the tune of 28 snaps… With Vance McDonald our due to Covid-19, Zach Gentry saw 14 snaps on offense… Ray Ray McCloud had 14 offensive snaps too which is good because it keeps opposing defenses thinking.
Tweet of the Day… AWESOME!
Kick ✅. Arms flexed ✅. Scream ✅. Perfect form!! https://t.co/iq7FfclkMK
— TJ Watt (@_TJWatt) November 17, 2020
The players are off today and hopefully getting some much needed rest. That also means that Head Coach Mike Tomlin will take to the Zoom airwaves to give his thoughts on the Jacksonville Jaguars and update us on the latest injury news and more. That comes up today at Noon Eastern.
I’m posting this second tweet here because Derrick nails this. It’s really easy to call out guys like Chuks Okorafor or Matt Feiler but even all-pros have bad plays. David DeCastro is not playing well right now and I tend to think he isn’t 100%. He’s battled injuries from the very beginning of Camp.
David Decastro might not be the same all-pro guard anymore but he can't be falling off the cliff this hard, man.
That's a rookie that knocks him straight back into James Conner…
Not a conspiracy theorist by any means but he has to be hurt or something. pic.twitter.com/AwHhEgqFue
— Derrick (@derrick_daKidD) November 16, 2020
The DDC we all know and love would have driven this defender into the next county in any other season. This is one example of why the run game is just not getting it done. It takes a full unit, working together and when one breaks down, especially on a wide play like this, it fails.
Here’s another example of why I don’t use Pro Football Focus as the “be all and end all” of football research and analytics. They claim that Mike Hilton is the second best cornerback in the league at pressuring the quarterback and hey, he is really good at it. But let’s consider two things. First, he’s missed several games and second, very few teams use their slot corner as much in this capacity as the Steelers do. Therefore the numbers are skewed. It’s kind of like saying Wilt Chamberlain was the second best seven-footer in the NBA and celebrating it when there were only four of them anyway. Context matters even with analytics.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
QH is presented by