I’m back in the saddle again!!!
I’m back in the saddle again!!!
Lyrics from Aerosmiths’s “Back in the Saddle” song from 1976 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIPS4LyveJs) that bests describe the theme for the Steelers this week as BIG BEN is back leading the Steelers saddle again.
For those in hibernation, Roethisberger was suspended for four games dues to violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The Steelers went 3-1 without him and now it’s time to turn it up with him as he will start at QB against the Cleveland Browns (1-4), his first appearance in the 2010 season.
“I expect him to get a warm reception. I really do,” HC Mike Tomlin said during his news conference Tuesday. “I really think that’s the nature of Steelers Nation. I know we’re excited about having him back. I know he’s excited about getting back with his teammates and performing for our fans at Heinz Field.”
I’m thinking positively, hoping Ben has made strides in changing his life for the better, and along with Steeler Nation, ready to give him another chance.
Game keys vs. Cleveland
- Control early game emotions – Heinz Field will be pumped for Ben and the hated Browns, but doing the little things that got us to 3-1 must be focused on. Browns can not match our talent level, but we must come out determined to lay the wood early and not give them any hope in any phase of the game.
- X out Cribbs (similar to a chic you don’t like) – Do not let WR/KR Josh Cribbs beat us… I repeat do not like Cribbs beat us.. One more time, do not let Cribbs beat us.. The Steelers need to make sure to gang tackle and contain him every time he is around the ball. He has hurt us in past with tds on kicks and in wildcat formations – we should be prepared for him.
- Defense attack – As always, our defense sets tone and should be attacking from the start like hungry lions after meat, as the Browns will start rookie QB Colt McCoy… He hasn’t taken a real NFL snap yet in his career, enough said… Go after him, confuse him, send it early and often, every blitz in the book. I definitely see a ‘pick 6′ in our agenda on Sunday (good for my fantasy team as well).
- Big Ben it’s your show…. Do your thing… I expect Ben to play well, not great, as his timing and chemistry will need some development. Look for him to hit Hines a few times, make Heath relevant again, and 1-2 deep bombs to Wallace. No gadget plays needed this week fans, sorry.
Bottom-line, The Steelers should rely on the run game to control game, play sound special teams (maybe Reed makes a few or else), and unleash the D on McCoy and the lackluster Browns offense. That should be more than enough to get a win.. However, that ain’t good enough yinz know… I feel a blowout. KABOOM! Most points scored in game for Steelers is 63 – 1952 season – when they beat the New York Giants 63-7. (source: stat wiz/bath and beyond guru James Haberlen)
We come close to that record on Sunday!
Steelers 56 Browns 2 (the Steelers on a late 4th quarter punt, have a bad snap that goes over head of the punter for the Browns safety)
Look for post game recap blog on Monday.
About the Author
Written by Chris Palisin
My Bachelor's Degree is in Kinesiology from Penn State, and I have been involved in fitness, athletics, sports, and coaching all my life. Recently, I discovered a new passion in life, covering and writing about sports. I am confident I can offer an unique and interesting take on sports with my experience, particularly the NFL and for Steeler Nation this year. My hope is you enjoy and respect my opinion.... Enjoy the journey!