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Steelers wary of Bolts’ screen game

Discussion in 'American Football' started by Johnny Lightning, Jan 10, 2009.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

    Feb 7, 2006
    Saturday, Jan 10, 2009
    By Casey Pearce , Chargers.com

    Chargers Head Coach Norv Turner and Philip Rivers both had a laugh this weekend when discussing the words of defenders earlier this season when Darren Sproles went into the game.

    “They always say ‘screen and draw,’” Turner said.

    While Sproles’ 23 carries last week against the Colts gave Pittsburgh plenty more to prepare for, they’ve spent a good bit of time this week preparing for the short pass that gets linemen in front and lets the elusive Sproles work his magic.

    “That is probably the best play that they have out of all of their weapons,” Steelers linebacker James Harrison said Thursday. “They use it very effectively at the right times and we are definitely going to have to pay attention when they try to run those screens.”

    Sproles caught 29 passes during the regular season, five of which went for touchdowns. He took a short pass 66 yards for a touchdown against Denver and 32 yards in Tampa Bay.

    “It is tough because they run the screen all the way down the field,” Pittsburgh defensive end Brett Keisel said. “They do it when they are backed up; they will do it in the red zone; they will do it everywhere. We just have to continue to practice it.”

    During the broadcast of the Chargers’ Week 17 win over the Broncos, NBC analyst and Hall of Fame Coach John Madden called Sproles the “best screen runner in the game.” Turner has also credited his offensive line for making the play work so well, citing in particular center Nick Hardwick’s ability to get out in front.

    Farrior believes Turner deserves some props for his creativity with the tactic as well.

    “The problem is reading it,” Farrior said. “They have a lot of different disguises with the screen; they have become creative with getting people the ball so we definitely have to read them.”

    Tomlinson doubtful

    For the first time in his career, running back LaDainian Tomlinson (groin) may miss a game due to injury. LT will workout on the field prior to Sunday’s contest but is listed as doubtful.

    "I'm going to hold out hope, but I don't know if that's realistic," Head Coach Norv Turner said.

    Tight end Antonio Gates (ankle) is questionable, while linebacker and special teams standout Brandon Siler (foot) is probable and will likely return after missing three weeks. Kicker Nate Kaeding (groin) didn’t practice Friday but is probable for the Steelers.

    Good memories

    Chargers long snapper David Binn smiled this week as he recalled a trip to Pittsburgh in January of 1994. That afternoon, the Bolts defeated the heavily-favored Steelers in the AFC Championship Game at the old Three Rivers Stadium.

    “That was a pretty cool day,” Binn said. “We were underdogs just like we are this week. I’ll never forget the touchdown passes Stan (Humphries) threw to Tony Martin and Al Pupunu. Hopefully we have as much fun this time.”

    One thing that certainly will be different is the weather. As well noted, Sunday’s high is predicted to be in the 20’s.

    “It was in the 60’s, really unusual for Pittsburgh this time of year,” Binn said of the 1994 contest.

    Finishing strong

    Safety Eric Weddle wishes he could have one play back from last Saturday’s win over the Colts.

    “I still can’t believe I let that thing go through my hands,” Weddle said, referring to a near interception he couldn’t get the hold on late in the second quarter.

    While he was kicking himself for the one play, Weddle’s teammates were patting him on the back for his effort Saturday and throughout what has been a strong second half for the second-year pro.

    “Eric has played very well down the stretch,” Defensive Coordinator Ron Rivera said. “The last six weeks he’s been exceptional. He’s been exciting. I think he’s finally come along to the type of player we envisioned him when A.J. and Norv drafted him. I think he’s gotten to that point and I think the young man is really a smart football player and does a lot of good things for us.”

    Weddle had three pass breakups last week and added seven tackles. Rivera can see Weddle's experience paying off. It’s the former Ute's consistent play that has pleased Weddle most.

    “I guess the PBU’s stand out to people, but it means just as much when you make a quarterback look away or when you come up and make a tackle,” Weddle said. “We haven’t given up many big plays the last few weeks and we feel good about the way we’re playing a secondary.”

    Chargers v Steelers game time weather tracking
  2. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

    Binn is our good luck charm. :tup:
  3. BFISA

    BFISA Well-Known Member

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wasn't that long ago that the Chargers couldn't run a successful screen, and many were calling for them to take it outta their playbook.

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

    Jul 11, 2006
    The Stiller's are already thinking, Norv has gotten into their heads.:bolt:

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