Good Friday to you Steelers’ fans.
There was already a lot to discuss last night as the Steelers lost 21-7 to Cleveland. The game itself however was overshadowed by the incident in the waning seconds and that’s where I’ll begin.
I would be remiss if I didn’t start with the incident that the sports world is discussing today. My original thought was back to when a hockey player once slashed an opponent across the side of the head in Canada. Would he be charged with a crime? The same thing can be asked here. Myles Garrett used a helmet as a weapon. He struck Mason Rudolph in the head with it. It is not hyperbole to suggest this could have killed Rudolph. Garrett is likely gone for the season. Maurkice Pouncey, who did what many of us would have done in defending Rudolph, will be suspended as well. This was one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen on a football field. On to the game itself.
[UPDATE]: The Browns and Steelers were each fined $250,000 for last night. Garrett is suspended without pay for the remainder of the season, Pouncey for three games and Ogunjobi one game.
-Look, it’s tough enough when you lose JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner but you can’t call a flea-flicker when you haven’t even come close to establishing the run. A flea-flicker is effective when a team has been running the ball because it sucks up the linebackers and safeties. Randy Fichtner’s call was the epitome of his recent failures.
-Is Myles Garrett really good? Yes he is. But Alejandro Villanueva has to be better. Garrett consistently got inside of Villy and then used that to set him up for finesse moves.
-Ramon Foster needs to sit. B.J. Finney was paid well to stay with the Steelers and he needs to play at guard. Foster struggles too often for my liking.
-James Conner will always be a wonderful story but any thoughts that he’s the running back of the future can be forgotten. Availability is the most important asset you can have as a player and Conner doesn’t possess that nearly enough.
-You cannot in one breath say that Mason Rudolph isn’t good and in the other breath ignore what he was dealing with last night. Did he play well? Absolutely not. Did his O-Line do him any favors? Nope. We cannot dismiss the fact he was without Conner, JuJu and Johnson. He was throwing to Tevin Jones who had been activated THAT DAY and Johnny Holton who I’m pretty sure just can’t catch the ball on deep routes. I am in no way giving Rudolph a pass here because his turnovers were bad… really bad. But consider what he was dealing with too.
-I have no idea why Tony Brooks-James didn’t get some touches last night. With his speed and quickness he deserves a few chances at making a big play. I say this especially with the amount of failed blitz pickups too by Edmunds and Samuels.
– I said after the first few weeks that this unit misses Mike Munchak as much as AB or Bell. While I understand that might be a stretch I stand by it. The OL has been a major disappointment this season. Not sure Shaun Sarrett is the right guy for the job.
Tweet of the Day… Something to consider.
Consider this: An NFL helmet weight 6 pounds. A standard red brick weighs 5 pounds.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) November 15, 2019
-I’ll watch the tape today but I’m pretty sure Terrell Edmunds blew the coverage on that deep throw to Odell Beckham, Jr early in the game.
-T.J. Watt gets held on nearly every play and you could see that it’s starting to frustrate him.
-The short week clearly affected defensive preparation. Way too many times the Steelers struggled getting the right personnel on the field.
-If Mark Barron was the best coverage linebacker the Steelers found on the market I’d hate to see who was worse. Let’s also throw in the fact that he can’t tackle for a damn either.
-Steven Nelson gave up the big throw to Beckham but otherwise played another really solid game. One could argue he should have had a pick too.
-Bud Dupree wasn’t as big of a factor last night as he has been previously but he still made a couple of big plays in the run game.
-I’m not losing sleep over Minkah Fitzpatrick having a quiet night last evening. Great players have off days too and I’m not even sure I would say it was “an off day.”
-This isn’t rocket science. The Steelers’ D did not turn the Browns over last night. That was a major factor in the loss. When your offense is struggling that bad you need plays from the defense and/or special teams and neither could provide a splash.
-The decision to eject Damarious Randall was correct. It’s exactly the type of play the NFL is trying to eradicate.
-To think that after all that had transpired that the Steelers were within seven in the 4th quarter is a testament to the defense hanging in there. They started poorly but got better as the game went on. Not much more they could have done.
-If I ever have to get to war, Maurkice Pouncey is the first guy I chose to be by my side.
-The Browns are the most penalized team in football. To say they lack discipline is an understatement.
-There is a growing number of people blaming Mason Rudolph for “initiating” the entire incident. Let’s see… Player tackles me well after I throw the ball. Takes me down to the ground and doesn’t get up. Am I supposed to just take that? Even if Rudolph had poked him in the eye does that give Garrett the right to assault him with his own helmet?