It�s Time for Another Carving...
It�s Halloween time, and time for some carving. Pumpkin carving, you ask? Sure, if you�d like. But I�m referring to the carving that Tom Brady�s Patriots -- and any competence passing offense, for that matter -- that will be administered to Dick LeBeau, once again.
You may remember last year�s carving at the hands of the Pats. So, too, you might remember similar carvings by the Saints and Packers, the latter resulting in a grisly Super Bowl defeat.
Now Dick -- The Supreme Lord and Deity of Defensive Football, you know -- brings his vaunted �#1 defense� to bear against the Pats. Of course, Dick�s �#1 ranking� is based entirely on the piles of shit he�s had the luxury of defending against....from Tarvarius Jackson and Curtis Painter (QB rating of 38 last week) , to Blaine Gabbert, Matt Hasseljack, and Kevin Kolb.
Dick got schooled and toyed with in embarrassing fashion in last year�s matchup. For one, he played 9 on 11, insisting on using a fat, short, pudgy, run stuffing NT and a slow-as-molasses ILB. With Hampton and Farrior on the field, you�re playing 9 on 11 and hopelessly outmatched. Not satisfied, Dick went a step further, foolishly trying William Gay on TE Rob Gronkowski. Gay at times has some decent moments covering wide receivers, but he has nowhere near the physicality, strength, size, or technique to match up against an athletic big man like Gronko. So, thanks to the esteemed supreme brilliance of Dick LeBeau, the Stillers were often playing 8 on 11, and they got ass-raped in the process. It was so bad, that Brady could have literally held a Subway sandwich in his left hand -- munching on it while scanning the field in the comfy of his pocket -- and still carved Dick�s defense apart.
Because LeBeau has consistently shown such a dull, stubborn, Cro-Magnon approach to Brady and the Pats, the Stillers have virtually no chance of winning this game.
The way to limit Brady is with pressure up the MIDDLE, with hands up to bat short passes and with rushers popping Brady in the mouth on occasion to rattle him and take him out of his comfort zone. The Jets did this in last year�s playoffs, and the NYG did this to perfection in their Super Bowl win over the 18-and-failure Patsies.
You�ve got to take some chances against Brady. Dick has steadfastly refused to do this, instead opting for a chickenshit, �play it safe� scheme, which gives Brady ample room, eons of time, and plenty of rhythm to play pitch n� catch. The problem with �play it safe� schemes, in any sport, is that the scoreboard operator doesn�t care how points are scored. A valid point, goal, or run is chalked up onto the scoreboard. Playing it safe in basketball means to collapse under the hoop, only to allow easy, wide-open 3-pointers. Playing it safe in baseball might mean walking 6 batters in an inning and allowing 3 or 4 easy runs without allowing a single hit. Playing it safe in football means allowing Brady all the time and room he wants in the pocket, and then playing pitch and catch with WIDE open receivers for 8, 12, 15, and 20 yards at a crack.
The Stillers only chance to win this game will be to execute the following:
- Farrior is injured and may not play. This is obviously a blessing in disguise. You saw him get abused last week on the 73-yard catch and run TD by Howling, and he�s been tooled by so many RBs and TEs the past 3 seasons that, if those players were assembled in 1 place, you would need a large gymnasium to accommodate the gathering. Of course, Larry Foote is completely worthless as a coverage �backer.
What Dick needs to do here, is move Timmons back to an ILB spot. Timmy has done nothing as an edge rusher and he�s not able to provide holistic coverage from OLB as he would from ILB. Because of the Pats passing game, Dick need to go with the nickel package at least half the time, meaning Foote would sit and an extra DB would enter the game. Timmons at ILB enables Dick to have half a chance against the 2 talented TEs. Pola might cover 1 of the TEs at times, but he�s better in a free-lance role. Ryan Clark can�t come close to covering either of these TEs. Obviosuly, neither can Gay, and Mundy has little chance. Timmons and his athleticism & strength must be used on 1 of these TEs.
- With Timmons moving to ILB, use Sylvester at OLB. The guy hits and he�s tough. He�s no rookie, and he should be entrusted to rush the QB from the blind side. At this point, he can�t do any less in pass pressure from the ROLB spot than what Timmy is doing.
- At NT, Hampton need not play. All the grande� babble about �he pushes the pocket� is pure, unadulterated bullshit. On perhaps 1% of all pass plays he has ever played, Hampton has gotten a small push. That�s it. It�s not enough against Brady. Hoke would be the ideal NT, but if he can�t go, use McClendon. However, the NT needs only play sparingly. To beat Brady, the Stillers tall, rangy, athletic rushers on the DL, to include Keisel, Hood, and Heyward. At times, they will need only 2 DL on the field. Again, the goal of these men should be to knife when they can to provide middle disruption, and to bat or deflect passes when they can.
- Consider trying Keenan Lewis on either Gronko or Hernadez. Cortez Allen deserves a shot, too, with his decent size.
- The DBs have got to play some in-your-face man coverage on the Patsie receivers. This sitting back 13 yards off the LOS allows Brady to play pitch and catch. Jamming WRs causes a disruption in the timing routes that Brady loves to throw.
- Blitzes have obviously got to be used. Mamby-pamby 3 and 4 man rushes -- aginst FIVE offensive linemen -- are not going to harass nor hurry Brady, and that�s not going to get him popped in the mouth and get rattled.
The solution is there, but expect yet another pumpkin carving at Heinz Field, as the Pats toy with and embarrass Dick �the Bumpkin Pumpkin� LeBeau and his vaunted �#1 defense�
Mill and Stillers.com -- when it comes to the analysis of the