View Full Version : Scouting: Week 2

09-12-2012, 12:43 AM

http://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/timesonline.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/a/94/a944dad2-5c8d-522f-a4d9-4087a59bf442/504fe03fd7d50.preview-300.jpg (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/advanced-scouting-week/article_3f16617f-ad95-5ea1-89a1-a53ef983c4a5.html?mode=image&photo=0) AP/Bill Kostroun
New York Jets wide receiver Stephen Hill is a rookie from Georgia Tech. Former Yellow Jackets have presented the Steelers with problems of late.

Posted: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 8:56 pm | Updated: 9:07 pm, Tue Sep 11, 2012.
By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

PITTSBURGH – It was a record-setting Week 1 in the NFL as five teams made history by scoring 40 points or more. Leading the way were the high octane New York Jets, who put up 48 with touchdowns from their offense, defense and special teams.
That’s the most points the Jets had scored since September of 2008 when Eric Mangini was coach and Brett Favre the quarterback.
On Sunday, the Jets will be at Heinz Field playing against the Steelers, who gave up 31 points to Peyton Manning and the Broncos in their season opener.
Here’s a scouting report on the Jets, who won with ease at home this past Sunday, 48-28 over the Buffalo Bills.
Big news during the off-season was the acquisition of Tim Tebow, the quarterback who ended the Steelers’ playoff hopes last year. But Tebow hardly played against the Bills (he was on the field for 12 plays, eight as a Wildcat QB, one at tight end and three on special teams). The Jets didn’t need him.
Mark Sanchez, the fifth overall pick of the 2009 draft, enjoyed one of his finest performances as a pro. Sanchez completed 19 of 27 for 266 yards, three TDs and an interception. His 123.4 passer rating was the second-best of his career.
“More than anything over the course of the last couple of years, he’s probably improving at becoming a mature player and a leader, which most quarterbacks do with time,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said.
On the receiving end of two of Sanchez’s TD passes was rookie wide receiver Stephen Hills, a second-round draft pick out of Georgia Tech.
“We’re somewhat allergic to wide receivers out of Georgia Tech,” Tomlin said.
In their last two games, the 29-23 wild-card loss in Denver included, the Steelers were victimized by Demaryius Thomas, a former Yellow Jacket who has combined for nine catches for 314 yards and two TDs.
The Jets' other starting wideout is ex-Steeler Santonio Holmes.
When the Jets run the ball, their workhorse is Shonn Greene, a 1,054-yard rusher last year who carried 17 times for 94 yards and a TD against the Bills.
Up front, the Jets’ best two players are four-time Pro Bowl center Nick Mangold and three-time Pro Bowl left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
There isn’t a team in the league with a better cornerbacks than the Jets.
“You talk about their strong cover people,” Tomlin said. “Darrelle Revis is an obvious example. He’s the best in the world at what he does. Antonio Cromartie is their other (starting) cornerback. He had a pick-six last week. He’s a top notch, veteran professional. He is a very good cover man. In the slot they have Kyle Wilson, a first-round pick out of Boise State University a few years ago. He had an interception also in last week’s game. He is becoming a very experienced nickel-back corner.
“Those three guys are first-round pedigree-type guys. They are capable of covering people and playing bump-and-run. They provide a lot of opportunities for their defense to do a lot of things by their capability to cover people in a bump-and-run fashion.” Revis, an Aliquippa native who played at Pitt, suffered a mild concussion Sunday after against the Bills but is expected to play Sunday.
The most notorious defender in the Jets’ front seven is inside line backer Bart Scott, who spent the first seven years of his pro career with the Ravens. In a 2006 game in Baltimore, Scott sacked Ben Roethlisberger with a ferocious blind-side tackle that the Steelers' QB still says is one of the hardest hits he's ever taken.
The Jets have two promising defensive linemen in their base 3-4 alignment. Muhammad Wilkerson, a first-round pick in last year’s draft, and Quinton Coples, a first-round pick this year, are listed Nos. 1 and 2 at left D-end.
Since the 1970 NFL/AFL merger, the Jets have struggled when playing in Pittsburgh. They are a combined 1-8 in games at Three Rivers Stadium and Heinz Field. Their only win was on Dec. 19, 2010, a 22-17 victory jumpstarted when Brad Smith returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
Surely Tomlin hasn’t forgotten that play. And he’s well aware that the Jets scored a special teams TD this past Sunday against the Bills. Wide receiver Jeremy Kerley returned a punt 68 yards to give the Jets a 21-0 lead.
Here's what Ryan, who's in his fourth season as Jets coach, had to say about the perceived "circus" atmosphere that surrounds his team: "Our opponents will take us seriously. I promise you that."

09-12-2012, 12:48 AM
Jets' Tebow brings reduced role vs. Steelers

By Alan Robinson

Published: Tuesday, September 11, 2012,

The circus is coming to town. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s immediate priority is making sure the sideshow doesn’t become the main event.

He stood under that big top only eight months ago e_SEmD with Tim Tebow as the ringmaster e_SEmD and Tomlin is not the least bit interested in a repeat performance, this time by the New York Jets.

“I really think what we saw in their last game is just the tip of the iceberg,” Tomlin said, referring to Tebow’s role in a wildcat offense during the Jets’ 48-28 romp over the Bills on Sunday.

Tebow, of course, masterminded the Steelers’ stunning ouster from the AFC playoffs in January by playing the type of game they clearly didn’t believe he had in him. An unpolished passer, he threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns against a defense that appeared to dismiss his throwing ability, and he also ran for 50 yards and another score during the Broncos’ 29-23 win.

Now, only a few days since the Steelers returned to Denver and lost to a far-different type of quarterback, future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, guess who’s coming to Sunday dinner at Heinz Field?

Only this time Tebow is in a far-reduced role than what he had with the Broncos, and one that some Jets fans already wish were trimmed down more. Tebow was so ineffective in the wildcat Sunday, he was booed at one point when he replaced Mark Sanchez.

Tebow was on the field for 12 plays e_SEmD eight under center, one as an H-back and three on, get this, special teams. His biggest contribution was recovering an onsides kick; he didn’t complete a pass and he ran for 11 yards on five carries.

Still, Tomlin insisted Tuesday the Steelers will devote practice time to defending Tebow, even though Sanchez is coming off a career game statistically: 19 of 27 for 266 yards and three touchdowns. Sanchez also led the Jets past the Steelers the last time he played a regular-season game in Heinz two years ago.

“It will require some extra work on our part,” Tomlin said of the wildcat.

“It will not be an extended or unusual extra amount of work in preparation.”

The wildcat surfaced when Tony Sparano, then the Dolphins coach, used running back Ronnie Brown as a single-wing type tailback who could rush or pass. When Tebow was tormenting the Steelers on Jan. 8 in Denver, he operated out of a spread offense rather than a wildcat.

Jets coach Rex Ryan hired Sparano as his offensive coordinator with the reasoning that the wildcat would force defenses to spend time preparing for it e_SEmD and, thus, less time getting ready for the conventional Sanchez offense.

“They (the Bills) did a nice job against the wildcat, but it’s something you have to prepare for,” Ryan said. “As much time as that team spent on the wildcat, maybe it took away from some other preparation.”

And if any team is determined to be prepared for Tebow from here on out, it’s the Steelers.

Ryan also likes having Tebow on the field because the extra manpower devoted to him means the receivers often are in man-to-man coverage e_SEmD or what the Steelers were playing when Demaryius Thomas beat Ike Taylor on the 80-yard touchdown play that ended their 2011 season.

However, the offense generated so little during the preseason, and so much press coverage e_SEmD ESPN practically became embedded in the Jets camp e_SEmD that the New York Post parodied the circus-like atmosphere by portraying Ryan, Sanchez and Tebow as clowns in a caricature.

The Jets promptly went out and produced a franchise opening-game record 48 points against the Bills.

This week, the Steelers don’t want the Jets sending in those clowns again.

“It’s a big week for us,” Tomlin said. And not just because the Steelers are trying to avoid going 0-2 for the first time since 2002.

Sometimes, as Tomlin is well aware, the circus act that attracts the most attention is the illusionist.

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at