I was out of town, meeting with the Virginia State Police, and some guys in DC... sorry, I didn't get a chance to comment on the game much... But quickly, before the next game gets here...
Lost in the mess that was created by the hit Harrison was fined for was the poetic justice of the hit that he wasn't... on Josh Cribbs.
Before the game... Cribbs had plenty to say. Not only was he going to beat the Steelers with his returns and wildcat... even their Rookie QB as poised to rip them up:
"Colt is well-equipped to go in against the so-called big, bad Steelers and help us win," said Cribbs
Don't forget this gem from last year, either:
"There are are a lot of Steeler fans around the city so I hope people go to work and kick those Steeler fans."
He talked about how the Steelers couldn't stop him... how he loved beating Pittsburgh...
Then he came across the middle into James Harrison territory and...
He looked very stopped...
Here's a word of advice to running backs:
"Don't give Deebo a reason to remember your number. Whether the rock hits the pitcher, or the pitcher hits the rock... it's always bad for the pitcher..."
On Ben's Return:
How about that first series? I was wondering if Ben was ever going to throw it. But Mendenhall was running like it wasn't going to matter.
The interception was awful (I'm not even sure I would call it a bad throw as much as a bad decision...) Where was this "Sharp Ben" we kept hearing about? Well, it took him awhile to get warmed up... then we started seeing flashes of the old Ben...
Don't you love it when he gets rid of the ball when by all rights he shouldn't? You just know this pisses defenses off...
But beyond that, how great was it to see this:
Oh .. yeah.. we can throw to a tight end for a TD, too... Geez, I guess we forgot that in the first four weeks.
Of course, all people want to talk about is this:
It looks like he left his feet in this shot, but in real time, I didn't see it. The one thing that concerns me is that the NFL uses 40 different camera angles, slows them down, and then tries to figure out intent with stop action. If you can't see it in real time, it is hard to ascribe it after the fact.
But I'm sure we will all be discussing this more in the upcoming weeks.
I'll say this about James Harrison: He is unlike anyone we have seen in a long time. He is not really a nasty, angry man -- he just plays that way.
This is not an angry man... this is a man who does what he has to for his family.
He plays with purpose more than rage. He is not a hitman, he is a Bushido (Warrior Poet). I don't think that he was play-acting when he took a day off an considered retirement. I think he was deeply offended that his employer (the NFL) called him a dirty player and fined him for it.
Things to Look Forward to:
The last time the Steelers started 4-1, they ended their season in the Super Bowl.
Things to Panic about:
What happens to the Steelers if they lose Mendenhall? Bad things. So why are we running him with 1:30 left in the game?
Mendenhall is getting waaay too many carries. Did we learn nothing from running the wheels off of Willie Parker? Time to let Redman get some carries.