2019 Pre-Game Thread: Week 1 vs Steelers

Jed Zeppelin

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Keith “Same Zone As Always” Butler, against all odds, is still the DC for Pittsburgh. Should be all systems go as usual.
 

DrewDawg

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We already know Week 1 is a big-time crapshoot as far as opponent study. Typically, neither team has played much of what it intends to show in its first game. But in saying this, the idea mainly relates to how front choices and coverages pair with one another, game plan-specific wrinkles manifest within the calls and the unique ways in which a team will choose to apply pressure. What makes the first game so particularly intriguing from the perspective of watching this ‘Backerhood take shape, some Steelers players would need to conceivably study nearly the entire room for a particular position to cover all the possible things he might have to face. There’s only so much time in a day. In a time-restricted work week, it is a tremendous advantage for New England with such a deep and talented group of linebackers.
Let’s look at an example from ground level. It appears Pittsburgh will go with Matt Feiler at right tackle. He was a bright spot for its offensive line a year ago. A right tackle is usually studying the two or three guys who the last several games would tell them they’re most likely to see down to down. Realistically, Simon, Van Noy, Winovich, Hightower, Michael Bennett (technically a defensive end, not a linebacker) or even Calhoun could find themselves rushing off the defense’s left side in Week 1. And it’s not just a matter of “these bodies could possibly stand there,” it’s as many as six different people who have different rush patterns, strengths and tendencies. I’m really not sure how one would organize his study week with that staring him in the face.
 

E5 Yaz

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I'm glad we're getting Pittsburgh week out of the way early this season. I hate Pittsburgh week. I get no enjoyment out of following it, and I usually can't wait until it's over.
 

Mystic Merlin

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I hate Roethlisberger’s (I refuse to call that sack of shit an affectionate and/or respectful nickname) stupid face. He’s one of the more overtly full of shit personalities we are forced to hear from on NFL telecasts, a walking injury that has somehow sprinkled his douche dust to bring about a collective, ongoing amnesia or denial of his bullshit.

Eff him, his drill sergeant coach, and the FOOTBALL, FAITH AND FAMILY Rooneys.

And that concludes my substantive analysis of this game.

In all seriousness, I am interested to see how the lines play on both sides. This could be a nice coming out party for what looks like a deep, versatile front seven for the Pats.
 

reggiecleveland

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Kameron Kelly's 2019 has been eventful, to say the least.
Six months ago, he was playing cornerback and receiver for the San Diego Fleet of The Alliance of American Football. Five months ago, he was signed by the Pittsburgh Steelers after the AAF closed shop. On Sunday, Kelly, who made Pittsburgh's 53-man roster as a backup free safety, may start Pittsburgh's first game of the season against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
On Monday, Kelly confirmed that he received first-team reps with Pittsburgh's defense with starting FS Sean Davis still dealing with an ankle injury sustained in the Steelers' third preseason game. Expect Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin to leave the light on for Davis to play up until the few hours leading up to Sunday night's kickoff.
 

InstaFace

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I'm glad we're getting Pittsburgh week out of the way early this season. I hate Pittsburgh week. I get no enjoyment out of following it, and I usually can't wait until it's over.
I remember when that was said of Colts Week, and to a lesser extent, Denver Week.

That said, if you think Pittsburgh Week is going to be the nadir of this season in that regard, I predict many of us will feel differently after Chiefs Week. Because that whole time is going to be insufferable. At the very least, let's appreciate that God was whimsical during the ATL rematch in 2017 and had the whole "thick fog cover" thing going on just as a wild card.
 

Cotillion

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Never forget of the two head coaches on the side line on Sunday night, only one has ever interfered with a live play.
 

E5 Yaz

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I remember when that was said of Colts Week, and to a lesser extent, Denver Week.

That said, if you think Pittsburgh Week is going to be the nadir of this season in that regard, I predict many of us will feel differently after Chiefs Week. Because that whole time is going to be insufferable. At the very least, let's appreciate that God was whimsical during the ATL rematch in 2017 and had the whole "thick fog cover" thing going on just as a wild card.
Now that you mention it, it does feel a bit like Colts week during the Manning heyday. Just an aggravating week that you wish were over.
 

loshjott

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On Monday, Kelly confirmed that he received first-team reps with Pittsburgh's defense with starting FS Sean Davis still dealing with an ankle injury sustained in the Steelers' third preseason game.
Were he on the Pats when he made that confirmation, he would not be as soon as it hit the press.
 

TheoShmeo

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Never forget of the two head coaches on the side line on Sunday night, only one has ever interfered with a live play.
Loud cackle out loud. That Tomlin has skated on that.

That Tomlin survived that bush league move is nothing short of astonishing.
 

RedOctober3829

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Injury Report
DNP-none
LP--Obi Melifonwu(ankle), Matt LaCosse(ankle), Demaryius Thomas(hamstring)
FP-None

Steelers
DNP-Sean Davis(ankle)
LP-none
FP-none

Surprised that Shilique Calhoun or Damien Harris were not listed on the report. Good news.
 
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KiltedFool

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With this game, Brady will have played against a father and son. Not sure how common that is in league history, but in 2001 Devin Bush Sr., lined up against the Patriots as a strong safety for the Cleveland Browns. His son will be playing Sunday night.

edit:Sunday not Friday dumbass
 
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Euclis20

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I have no idea how common it is either, but I do know that Brady played against Ricky Proehl in super bowls 36 and 38, and then he played against son Austin Proehl in super bowl 53 (albeit on the practice squad). That's gotta be an even smaller group.
 

OnWisc

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Pins and needles for this one. I'd love to settle in Sunday night and watch the Pats handily dispatch the Steelers. That said, I'll be a nervous wreck on every possession that some facet of the Patriot offense or defense might appear surprisingly ineffective. I feel like that would really presage a disappointing season ahead as I'm not sure this is a team prepared to battle back from early-season adversity. Any sub-optimal performance Sunday night probably needs to be viewed as precedent-setting and a used as a new baseline from which to extrapolate what we'll see the rest of the season.
 

DrewDawg

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Keith “Same Zone As Always” Butler, against all odds, is still the DC for Pittsburgh. Should be all systems go as usual.
Butler played man defense on more than 60% of the snaps last time we faced them. We scored 17 points.
 

bakahump

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Writers everywhere wait with baited breath to see if they submit option 1 (Is this the end?) Or Option 2 (Once again....). Probably both are already written like the Queens Obit.
 

KiltedFool

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Butler played man defense on more than 60% of the snaps last time we faced them. We scored 17 points.
Just like BB doesn't draft receivers well, the Steelers don't draft CBs well. They haven't had the players to pull off man to man through much of Tomlin's tenure. From the Lebeau days they had great pass rush, zone, and tackle the catch, because sustaining 15+ play drives is hard. Problem now is Brady and others can rattle off those sorts of drives without a drive killing penalty or drop in their sleep.

Now they may have players that can do man, but the contract time for rookie contracts means the old "sit as an apprentice for a year+ approach to learn the defense" doesn't apply, it just burns the cheap contract time. So the defense can't be too crazy complicated or the newer players won't be able to play fast. If it's intricate enough to give Brady pause it may cause a busted coverage. This is called the Chris Hogan TD play.
 

SirPsychoSquints

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I have no idea how common it is either, but I do know that Brady played against Ricky Proehl in super bowls 36 and 38, and then he played against son Austin Proehl in super bowl 53 (albeit on the practice squad). That's gotta be an even smaller group.
Looks like George Blanda played against Mike & Tony Adamle in the 70's and 40's/50's, respectively.
 

Mooch

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I'm really curious to see how the offense adapts in the post-Gronk world. Some of last year's successful rebranding into a run-heavy, play-action offense was due to Gronk's incredible blocking ability. Now that he's gone, what is our identity? Does rostering three big WRs (Jacobi, Flash, Thomas) give us a clue?
 

CantKeepmedown

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Anxious to see if there is any slip in the O-line with Andrews being out. I don't know the ins and outs enough to understand how much of an affect that will have on the cohesiveness. They were as good as any O-line in the league last year (no matter what Joe Thomas says) and I'm hopeful that they are still a strong suit this year.

I think I'd rather they play tonight (being hungover/tired on Friday is much easier than Monday) but I can't complain. My son's 4pm soccer game on Sunday won't interfere either way.
 

Saints Rest

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Anxious to see if there is any slip in the O-line with Andrews being out. I don't know the ins and outs enough to understand how much of an affect that will have on the cohesiveness. They were as good as any O-line in the league last year (no matter what Joe Thomas says) and I'm hopeful that they are still a strong suit this year.

I think I'd rather they play tonight (being hungover/tired on Friday is much easier than Monday) but I can't complain. My son's 4pm soccer game on Sunday won't interfere either way.
I think the whole O-Line may turn out to be a notably reduced unit, at least to start the season.

Karras is a downgrade from Andrews; Wynn is a downgrade from Brown; and unknown TE is a downgrade from Gronk. That means they will be weaker up the middle, and on both edges. I trust Dante and multiple weeks of game-action, coupled with the eventual return of Watson to get them improved, but this won't be the beast of a unit to start the season.
 

JMDurron

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I think the whole O-Line may turn out to be a notably reduced unit, at least to start the season.

Karras is a downgrade from Andrews; Wynn is a downgrade from Brown; and unknown TE is a downgrade from Gronk. That means they will be weaker up the middle, and on both edges. I trust Dante and multiple weeks of game-action, coupled with the eventual return of Watson to get them improved, but this won't be the beast of a unit to start the season.
Agree with this. Outside of the RB and QB positions, it looks like the entire offense is downgraded either in terms of raw talent or in terms of chemistry/time with the QB from where last year's unit ended. Hopefully the defense is able to compensate, my hope is that there are enough returning players from last year that they should not have to play too "vanilla" to start the season while the new blood learns their responsibilities.
 

azsoxpatsfan

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Agree with this. Outside of the RB and QB positions, it looks like the entire offense is downgraded either in terms of raw talent or in terms of chemistry/time with the QB from where last year's unit ended. Hopefully the defense is able to compensate, my hope is that there are enough returning players from last year that they should not have to play too "vanilla" to start the season while the new blood learns their responsibilities.
I’d argue that WR is improved, which really means only o-line and TE aren’t
 

DrewDawg

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Just like BB doesn't draft receivers well, the Steelers don't draft CBs well. They haven't had the players to pull off man to man through much of Tomlin's tenure. From the Lebeau days they had great pass rush, zone, and tackle the catch, because sustaining 15+ play drives is hard. Problem now is Brady and others can rattle off those sorts of drives without a drive killing penalty or drop in their sleep.

Now they may have players that can do man, but the contract time for rookie contracts means the old "sit as an apprentice for a year+ approach to learn the defense" doesn't apply, it just burns the cheap contract time. So the defense can't be too crazy complicated or the newer players won't be able to play fast. If it's intricate enough to give Brady pause it may cause a busted coverage. This is called the Chris Hogan TD play.
This may be true, but the Steelers aren't starting rookies at CB--it's Joe Haden, Steve Nelson, Mike Hilton and Artie Burns back there.

Their issue will be starting the AAF dude at FS.
 

JMDurron

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I’d argue that WR is improved, which really means only o-line and TE aren’t
EDIT - I posted the below based on my somehow having read the "three big WRs" named above as "only three active WRs", so that's just a brain cramp on my part. I missed what the actual depth chart was until just now. Edelman-Dorsett-Gordon-Thomas-Meyers looks WAY better than Gordon-Thomas-Meyers, obviously.

WR is why I included the "chemistry/time with the QB" piece. I don't know how to gauge the talent of the currently available WRs compared to last year's group, but if nothing else the reduced chemistry/familiarity with Brady is still an area of concern given the historical tendency of the passing game to rely on option routes/common reads of the coverage between the WR and QB. Even if the talent level might be improved relative to last year, I wouldn't necessarily expect to see an equivalent improvement in performance as early as Week 1.
 

Super Nomario

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EDIT - I posted the below based on my somehow having read the "three big WRs" named above as "only three active WRs", so that's just a brain cramp on my part. I missed what the actual depth chart was until just now. Edelman-Dorsett-Gordon-Thomas-Meyers looks WAY better than Gordon-Thomas-Meyers, obviously.

WR is why I included the "chemistry/time with the QB" piece. I don't know how to gauge the talent of the currently available WRs compared to last year's group, but if nothing else the reduced chemistry/familiarity with Brady is still an area of concern given the historical tendency of the passing game to rely on option routes/common reads of the coverage between the WR and QB. Even if the talent level might be improved relative to last year, I wouldn't necessarily expect to see an equivalent improvement in performance as early as Week 1.
They can run out a top three in Edelman / Dorsett / Gordon that has a good amount of familiarity / comfort with Brady, which means that Thomas (if he's even active) and Meyers can be limited in their roles. I'm more comfortable with that group than Edelman / Dorsett / Hogan / Patterson.
 

KiltedFool

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This may be true, but the Steelers aren't starting rookies at CB--it's Joe Haden, Steve Nelson, Mike Hilton and Artie Burns back there.

Their issue will be starting the AAF dude at FS.
Haden and Hilton are the only known quantities, Burns has lots of talent but completely lost confidence last year, the jury is out on whether he's salvageable. Nelson is a wild card, no idea what we have from him yet.

If Davis' ankle isn't up to playing Kelly may have a long day getting picked on by Brady.
 

DrewDawg

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If Davis' ankle isn't up to playing Kelly may have a long day getting picked on by Brady.
Yeah--I would imagine if Kelly is in there then we see a lot of pre-snap movement and the Steelers likely wouldn't be able to disguise too much with him back there.
 

TheoShmeo

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I'm really curious to see how the offense adapts in the post-Gronk world. Some of last year's successful rebranding into a run-heavy, play-action offense was due to Gronk's incredible blocking ability. Now that he's gone, what is our identity? Does rostering three big WRs (Jacobi, Flash, Thomas) give us a clue?
This is a huge issue. And way under discussed.

Yes, Develin was a big part of the running attack, as were Michel, Burkhead (in the playoffs) and White.

But, Gronk was an incredible blocker and Dwayne Allen played a role.

How the Pats -- also down two starting linemen from last year -- will adapt in the run support area will be one of the keys.

Said differently, I think they might have an easier time backfilling Gronk's incredible receiving abilities than his run blocking ones.
 

DrewDawg

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Elandon Roberts was voted on of the team captains today. Surprising to me.
 

Bowhemian

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Elandon Roberts was voted on of the team captains today. Surprising to me.
Surprises me as well. I have never liked him as a player, seems like he was always out of position. I will say that he did improve last season though. Anyway, I wondered why they kept him around. My guess, now that he was voted a captain, is that the other players really like him and he is a good guy to have in the locker room.
 

mwonow

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Man. What did Bodine do (or fail to do) to get excised so quickly?
 

geoduck no quahog

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Tivo Alert: My DVR neglected to automatically schedule the recording of Sunday night's game (it's never missed a Patriots game or a Patriots special...or any broadcast with the words "Patriots" and "Football" in it). No problem since I caught the oversight and entered it manually. BUT...

You may want to check your "To Do" list in case you're depending on the recording.