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    Default Questions, concerns about Browns game

    Steelers vs. Browns
    October 13, 2010
    By: HERALD STANDARD STAFF
    Herald Standard

    PITTSBURGH (AP) - Figuring out what the Cleveland Browns will do with a new quarterback is a concern. So is Joshua Cribbs running the Browns' wildcat offense. So is moving the Steelers offense out of last place in the NFL passing statistics.

    How the fans will greet Ben Roethlisberger during his first regular-season game since being suspended? That's not much of a worry to Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

    Roethlisberger was greeted enthusiastically throughout training camp and the preseason. Tomlin doesn't expect that to change during Sunday's home game against Cleveland (1-4), especially since the Steelers are emerging from the quarterback's four-game suspension with a 3-1 record.

    "We get so much energy from our fans, and we work hard to entertain and please them," Tomlin said Tuesday. "That really makes us go. I expect him to get a warm reception. I really do. I know we are excited to have him back."

    Some Steelers fans promised months ago to jeer Roethlisberger after his off-field behavior led the NFL to suspend him, but there were no suggestions of fan backlash during two exhibition games and two regular season games.

    With Roethlisberger about to play his first regular season game in nine months, the Steelers are weighing whether to introduce the offense before Sunday's game, rather than the defense, because they anticipate an enthusiastic response. Not only from the fans, but from the quarterback himself.

    "He is a ridiculous competitor," Tomlin said. "When he has an opportunity to compete, you feel him in the room or the stadium. One of the interesting attributes about him as a player and as a person, when faced with adversity and given the opportunity to compete, man he does. I think guys feed off that."

    What Tomlin didn't say is he hopes the Steelers' crowd does, too.

    One of Tomlin's challenges is making sure his players don't assume the wins will arrive automatically now that their quarterback is under center again and the Steelers are close to being fully healthy. Tomlin only needs to remind them that Roethlisberger missed only one game during a five-game losing streak last season that ultimately prevented the Steelers from returning to the playoffs.

    Although Roethlisberger might be expected to be rusty following such a long layoff, he threw regularly during his suspension. He'll also have two full weeks of practice going into the game, rather than one, because of last week's bye.

    "It looks like he is rested," Tomlin said. "He's had a good week of practice. Good practice puts you in position to take advantage of opportunities that present themselves on game days. I'm sure there will be some anxiety, some excitement and nervousness that comes with playing after an extended period of time off. I'm sure he'll quickly get through that."

    Although Tomlin wouldn't confirm it, Charlie Batch is expected to be Roethlisberger's backup after starting against Tampa Bay and Baltimore. Byron Leftwich still hasn't played since spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee Sept. 2 against Carolina.

    With the Browns' Jake Delhomme and Seneca Wallace injured, rookie Colt McCoy is expected to make his first NFL start. Going against the Steelers' defense in Heinz Field isn't the easiest way to begin a career, but Tomlin suggested the Steelers won't prepare any differently for a rookie quarterback than they did for the Ravens' Joe Flacco two weeks ago.

    "Those are their issues, like our quarterback issues have been ours," he said.

    http://www.heraldstandard.com/news_d...vs-browns.html
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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    Scott Brown's blog, "View From The Press Box"...

    Cribbs anxious to run Wildcat against Steelers
    October 13th, 2010

    Browns coach Eric Mangini appears to have limited options at quarterback with his team preparing for an AFC North game against the Steelers.

    One way Mangini could go Sunday with Seneca Wallace and Jake Delhomme unlikely to play because of ankle injuries: employing the Wildcat on an extensive or even full-time basis.

    Cleveland multi-purpose threat Josh Cribbs triggers the Wildcat, and he said that the Browns could run the gimmick offense for the entire game Sunday if that gives them the best chance of beating the Steelers.

    “It’s a full package,” Cribbs said of the Wildcat today during a conference call with Pittsburgh reporters. “It’s not like last year, a week to week thing were we were putting in new plays. It’s more than enough to run a complete football game out of it.”

    As for the obvious question as to whether he could physically hold up for an entire game while running the Wildcat, the 6-1, 215-pound Cribbs said, “The hits ain’t nothing. I love it. I’m not too fragile at all.”

    Mangini did not question that about his most explosive offensive player.

    He did sound hesitant about using Cribbs extensively in an offense where Cribbs would take a direct snap and seek out running lanes against the No. 1 rushing defense in the NFL.

    “He does have the kickoff return, the punt return. He’s playing a decent amount at wide receiver so we have to monitor his reps in order for him to be effective how we want him to be effective over the course of the game,” Mangini said. “He’s a pretty special guy with the ball in his hands.”

    Which is why Cribbs will take his share of snaps Sunday at Heinz Field.

    http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-t...ss+Box+Blog%29
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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    If they run the wildcat, we'll expose it for what it is. A fad off. that has had it's day.

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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    This is why we should not take this game lightly. The Browns have all but packed it in for the year which makes them a team very hard to prepare for.

    It wouldn't surprise me if they ran the wildcat the whole game. It also wouldn't surprise me if they ran 10 trick plays either. Does it matter if they lose by 3 or 30? They will pull out all the stops because they are desperate right now.

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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    I think I posted yesterday that heavy use of the wildcat was a possibility, given the problems the Browns have at QB. Upon further thought, I suspect LeBeau has a contingency for this, too.

    So that leaves a thought about Mangini's strategy: Given that, if Hillis plays, he'll be doing so with an injury (well, that couldn't possibly go wrong!), he could turn to McCoy and Ratliff who are pretty much unknown, perhaps try to force the issue with Seneca Wallace or (and this is the one I like) run the wildcat so often that Cribbs takes an injurious hit.

    We should have the defensive firepower to force the issue given any of the above permutations, assuming we don't go to sleep or decide to try not to outscore offensively by, say, employing one of the most inappropriate O schemes for prevailing conditions.
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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    I'm still not sure Hillis will play... And if he does, he will not be 100%...

    After the debacle last season in Cleveland, I doubt they will be taking this game lightly...
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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    Look for Cribbs' return yardage to keep the stains competative.That being said I'd take the under at 37 & 1/2. Steelers 27-10.Note: I put my bookies kid thru 2 yrs of college with my bets!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Fan View Post
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    If they run the wildcat, we'll expose it for what it is. A fad off. that has had it's day.
    The only way the wildcat can be successful is if the guy lining up behind center is a legitimate threat to throw the ball. Otherwise, the wildcat can only be one dimensional which is easy to defend. If you already know before the snap that a team is going to run the ball, and you have a defense good against the run, then the wildcat will have very little success.

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    Default Re: Questions, concerns about Browns game

    Expect to see Cribbs at QB Sunday

    October 12th, 2010


    The top priority for the Steelers Sunday appears to be simple: don’t let Josh Cribbs beat you.

    Not as a returner, even if that means swallowing your pride and kicking it away from the Steelers killer, and certainly not as a quarterback.

    With it looking increasingly likely that rookie quarterback Colt McCoy will make his first career start at Heinz Field -- and stare directly into the maw of an aggressive not to mention angry defense -- the Browns may have little choice but to give Cribbs significant snaps under center.

    It has been well-documented how Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau torments young and inexperienced quarterbacks. And there probably could not be a worse setting for McCoy to make his first NFL start.

    The guy who was playing against the likes of Missouri and Baylor at this time a year ago may be called upon to solve a defense that is rested -- and ticked off after giving up a game-winning touchdown the last time the Steelers played.

    Cribbs may be the best chance the Browns have of neutralizing the Steelers’ defense while protecting McCoy both from a physical and psychological standpoint.

    He is the Browns’ most dynamic offensive player, and he has given the Steelers problems in the past while running Cleveland’s “Wildcat” offense.

    Cribbs,remember, gashed them for 87 yards in just eight carries in the Browns’ 13-6 win against the Steelers last December.

    And the former college teammate of James Harrison may be the key to the Browns putting points on the scoreboard Sunday -- whether it is by delivering big plays via the kicking game or as a change-of-pace quarterback.

    “I think we should expect to see a great deal of Cribbs in the Wildcat regardless of their quarterback situation because he had such success against us a year ago,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “That’s usually the nature of this league and what makes it so awesome.

    "When you show areas of deficiencies usually you are going to continue to see those challenges until you fix it, and we didn’t fix it (last season). We’ll have an opportunity to fix it (Sunday). If we don’t we’re going to see quite a bit of it.”

    http://blog.triblive.com/view-from-t...medium=twitter

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