Morning, and I understand not a good one for many of you,
Onto some quick stuff and then your angry reaction:
-- Received one optimistic email last night from a reader who wanted to compare this to 2005. Again, I don’t see the comparison and won’t make the comparison to that team that won eight straight to win the Super Bowl after standing 7-5. You really think this team could pull that off?
--- They are 6-5 now and heading to Baltimore with a chance to go 7-5. That’s all it is right now. They’ll battle for a playoff spot and while injuries have taken their toll, no one should forget that they also lost to Tennessee and Oakland and nearly lost to Kansas City at home.
--- Jason Worilds looks very capable of taking over a starting role next season.
--- On 93.7 The Fan at 8 this morning while driving back from Cleveland.
Onto your questions:
--- YOU: Plenty of blame to go around after that debacle. What do you think of the game plan/play calling on offense? It seemed like everyone including the Cleveland defense and fans knew that it was a run up the middle. Why not go outside? Also what did you think about the Rainey touchdown? Great result but pretty lucky to me - Tomlin and/or Haley were determined to show the rest of the team what happens when you screw up - but running Rainey up the gut is really not too clever. The other not too clever thing to me is asking Batch to throw long - the poor guy can't throw more than maybe 40 yards.
ME: Lots of questions, let’s see if I can fumble through them. Play-calling on offense always looks dreadful when there are eight turnovers. Why not go outside? They did when Chris Rainey bounced it out there for a touchdown. As for that TD, the Browns thought it should have been whistled for forward progress being stopped. That never struck me until I read about it this morning. You often see a back momenntarily stopped at the goalline and either breaks it through for a TD or bounces it and scores. If that were a big back, there would have been no complaints. The Browns should have tackled him. The strong-armed Weeden wasn’t exactly lobbing them deep either in the wind yesterday.
--- YOU: Though the Steelers fumble-itis probably precluded any real chance to pull it off at the end, if Tomlin had kept a timeout and challenged that fumble by the Browns with just over 2 minutes to play, do you think the ref in the booth overturns the call on the field and gives the ball to the Steelers? Looked like a fumble on replay.
ME: First off, the ref in the booth has no authority to turn over anything. That’s a misconception. All he does is look at the replay and tell the ref on the field whether he should take a look at it or not. Yes, Tomlin probably should have saved a timeout and in hindsight had he known all that would transpire afterward, he probably would have. But he was trying to save time after a failed third-down run by the Browns to give his offense enough time to score a touchdown. They got the ball back with 2:36 left at their 26 and, 36 seconds more than if they had not called a timeout. However, Chris Rainey promptly fumbled it away on the first play and THEN the Browns had that fumble, no-fumble.
--- YOU: 20/20 hindsight, but we started the yr with two "old" backup QBs. Shouldn't Colbert and Co. Stocked our roster with at least one young QB?
ME: It depends on who the young quarterback is and why. If the young QB were better than Byron Leftwich or Charlie Batch and could give you a better chance to win than either of those if something happened to Ben Roethlisberger, OK. But if you want them to have a young quarterback on the roster to eventually take over for Roethlisberger, that’s not the way to go. Roethlisberger is 30, not 40. He could play another eight years (Batch is 38 in nine days). What’s going to happen to your young hot-shot quarterback in waiting then? They kept those two because they believed they had (have) another playoff contender and either of those would give them a decent chance to keep rolling if Roethlisberger were injured. As it stands, they are 0-2 with them this season.
--- YOU: Worst effort I've seen in 30yrs from our team. Can you remember a more poor effort? When we lost 92-10 vs CLE and CIN in the 80's?
ME: Maybe Baltimore in the opener of 2011? Or Cleveland in 2009? Or Oakland in 2009? Or Houston in 2003? I can keep going if you’d like, such as the two games to start the 1989 season. Let’s just lump them all together.
--- YOU: Do you see teams needing to find some way to better prepare their backup QBs to be prepared in the event of injury, or is there just not enough hours in the day to do so?
ME: They have time in training camp and little time after that. They practice three days a week for two hours during the season and most of that effort is put into preparing for that week’s opponent.
--- YOU: As the only Steeler running back who didn't fumble today, can we expect to see Baron Batch resigned to the 53 man roster?
ME: He’ll probably start in Baltimore (please don’t take that literally).
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