Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pro Bowl Review

I realize that it was an exhibition game. I realize that it didn't matter at all. I understand that the players were, in theory, playing for game checks... for roughly $40,000 a pop for the winners. And these are Pro Bowl guys. $40,000 is a long night at a club or half a night at a strip bar if you're Pacman Jones. As I mentioned in my Super Bowl Review, it's all about pride and determination at this point.

And, in my opinion, there were a lot of proud guys out there today. A lot more players than you'd expect were actually trying in the game. It was fairly intense for an All-Star game. Though I believe that the NFC cheated because they didn't play everyone they could have and kept Adrian Peterson in at tailback for almost the entire game (and that guy is, hands down, the greatest player in the NFL, and it's not even close. Everything that I had seen from him was subjective, thinking about how to stop him. But, really, the only way to stop him is to have two or three guys in his way. If he gets one-on-one with another player, even if it's one of the best in the league, like it was today, he's going to win. He's... he's just amazing. Best. Player. In. The. NFL. Period. That fucking guy is unbelievable. I honestly wish I had had recorded the Pro Bowl so that I could watch him play against the best and utterly humiliate the best repeatedly.)

So, I noticed two things Steeler-related in this game.
  1. If the Steelers want to move to the 4-3 defense, they need to trade Casey Hampton. He was forced to work as an "under" tackle in the 4-3 defense today and was completely lost. Really. They can't even keep him on the roster if they move to the Cover 2.
  2. James Harrison looked about as lost. He signed a contract extension before the 2007 season, so the Steelers have three options:
  • Release him and take the cap hit.
  • Trade him.
  • Have him gain some weight and become a defensive end.
This game helped me accept the fact that the 2008 season is the season in which the defense stops being LeBeau's defense and starts becoming Tomlin's defense. It's interesting that a team would want to tear down the #1 defense in 2007 and re-build it, but anyone who watched all the games know the issues that face the Steelers and their defense.

We drafted a 4-3 linebacker in Lawrence Timmons and a 4-3 end in Lamar Woodley in the last draft. We're going to draft some more guys like Woodley and Timmons in this year's draft. The change is coming.

I knew it was coming, but it really hit me full-force today.

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