It comes down to stopping the run
Page 5 of 6 -- A: Well, let's give the proper credit to Romeo Crennel. He does the game plan. He calls the defensive signals. Romeo's MO is to use different looks, which he did in often disguising which linebacker would rush the passer. They jammed the receivers at the line, got them off their routes and they got just enough pass rush to get Manning off his rhythm. They also played sound fundamentally. They covered well and they also tackled well, allowing very little in the way of yards after the catch. Nothing fancy.
I was busy this week, and in the locker room at work we were talking about how Peyton Manning was going to light up the Pats secondary. We thought anyone being covered by Earthwind (and Fire) Moreland was going to have the biggest game of their career. And then, much to my surprise, Earthwind was inactive, and in his place someone we got "off the couch." Could you tell me the story about what happened, and where we got the acquisition from?
A: The conclusion you can draw is either Earthwind is in the doghouse or just not good enough. I was surprised by that as well. But because we can't watch practice, it's hard to tell who's excelling during the week except for what our sources tell us. Hank Poteat got the nod. To his credit he learned the Patriots system in a short period of time and played fairly well. One thing about Poteat, he has fresh legs. But I'm sure they kept things real simple for him.
Thanks for the great writing. There are a lot of happy Patriot fans here in Santa Monica. Not just Back Bay and Southie, but also here you had kids driving around screaming "Touchdown, Brady!" after the game. Another amazing team effort, although it would be easy to single out Corey Dillon and Tedy Brushi for their incredible playing. Question: Do you think the Steelers are going to look carefully at the relatively long patches of yardage the Colts gained late in the second quarter? They came close to scoring there. They never had any momentum afterwards. Would you have considered those moments the most dangerous time of the game for NE?
Bevan, Santa Monica, Calif.
A: Bevan, I don't think the Steelers deviate much from what they do, so I don't think the Colts style of doing things would help them too much. They run and run some more, and they use zone blitzes and hit you in the mouth on defense. When I hear that Bill Belichick will outcoach Bill Cowher, or when I hear Belichick say the Patriots were outcoached the last time they played, I laugh because the Steelers don't change much week to week and have won 15 straight games, while the Patriots change things every week and won 21 straight. There aren't many X's and O's on the Steeler side. The most complicated thing they do is their zone blitzes. I think one thing that happened in the last game between these teams is the Patriots had problems identifying where the zone blitzes were coming from so it made it hard to block. I think that's why Brady got hit a little bit in that game. Continued...