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Steelers Film Room: Casey Hampton, Larry Foote and the Steelers offensive line highlighted

In a passing league, it does old-schoolers well to see some classic run defense and outstanding blocking on the ground. The Steelers had two great examples of these concepts in their 24-17 win over Cincinnati in Week 7.

Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE

In a game with several possible nominations, two exemplary plays from the Steelers 24-17 win over Cincinnati in Week 7 showed precision and technique.

The fact both of them came in the fourth quarter is exciting, considering past performances in the fourth quarter by this team on the road.

Play 1:

The Bengals have the ball on their own 13-yard line, looking to find a way to put a few first downs together - something they've failed to do for much of the second half.

The come out in a power formation, with two tackles lined up as the left tackle and tight end, looking to body up James Harrison on the wide side of the field.

TE Jermaine Gresham motions into the backfield, indicating he's going to lead a block through the B gap. This is picked up immediately by Steelers linebacker Larry Foote, who starts to inch forward in anticipation.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton is angled off center Trevor Robinson, a rookie who's probably in a bit over his head.



Watch Hampton's right hand at the snap.

He swats at Robinson's left arm, making contact with it and pushing it in toward his body, while swimming past his right side with his left arm.

That takes a high level of hand-eye coordination and outstanding timing.

Hampton pushes the rookie to the side, and is in the backfield.

At the same time, Foote read this play beautifully from the start, and he goes after Gresham like he's made of steak. As Foote is inching in, he's sizing Gresham up, knowing if he takes the lead out, much of the moving strength of the play will be defeated.

Despite having a considerable size advantage, Gresham wants no part of the run-blitzing Foote, and his "block" results in little more than creating trash right in the hole. Instead, the fullback Chris Pressley, who was locked in on LB Lawrence Timmons, already makes contact three yards off the line of scrimmage when Hampton takes BenJarvis Green-Ellis down in the backfield.

This play is otherwise blocked well by the Bengals, and if not for Hampton's veteran savvy move on the rookie, it might go for a nice gain. Pressley's block clears Timmons out and DE Ziggy Hood gets moved to the side by right guard Kevin Zeitler.

Play 2:

There are only so many fancy yellow circles and lines to go around to demonstrate the outstanding blocking on the 11-yard touchdown run by Steelers running back Chris Rainey.

We've chosen to highlight TE Heath Miller, LG Willie Colon and RT Mike Adams, but easily could point out RG Ramon Foster and slot receiver Emmanuel Sanders as well (at least he got in CB Leon Hall's way).

The Steelers have the ball on second and seven from Cincinnati's 11-yard line, moving well, looking to take a lead in the game tied at 17.

Before the snap (out of this clip), Miller discos left to right, then back left, indicating the Steelers may run to the strong (left) side.



At the snap, Colon pulls hard trapping DE Michael Johnson. It takes two power steps by Colon to reach Johnson, who was caught expecting a block from Adams.

Foster engages with DT Domata Peko, and gets good position, but Peko topples off balance from a chuck delivered by Adams before he released to the second level.

It's important to note Adams' technique here. He pushes Peko enough for Foster to win the battle clearly, but he doesn't punch with his right shoulder. Had he done that, he would have failed to reach LB Rey Maualuga in time. He did just enough to help Foster before clearing Maualuga - the last defender in Rainey's way before he reaches the seven-yard line.

It's all Rainey after that, sliding past a would-be tackler into the end zone for his first career touchdown.