Thursday, August 18, 2011

Book That Hotel

    Tonight's win over the Eagles was impressive to say the least. The Steelers looked crisp, quick and strong early in the game. Big Ben was sharp as he completed 8 of his 12 passes for 125 yards and two TDs. Mendenhall looked very good this time around as he ran hard and looked like he's ready for the season. He ran six times for 28 yards and led the Steelers run attack that had 144 total yards on the evening. Some of those yards came from the much maligned Jonathan Dwyer who showed flashes of what he's capable of doing. The receivers looked good overall and provided some nice highlight film material, especially Antonio Brown, who blew past his defender for a 29-yard TD, and Jerricho Cotchery, who caught two passes for 49 yards and a TD.
    What wasn't good, though, was what was seen from the offensive line. No, not poor blocking. Not much anyway, the line didn't actually play badly. They allowed three sacks, but the overall protection allowed passing lanes for the Steelers' quarterbacks. There was also a clear late hit to Roethlisberger that wasn't called, but that just proves that football is back. No, what wasn't good were injuries that the offensive line sustained. Jonathan Scott and Marcus Gilbert both went down with knee injuries in the early stages of the game. Not good. Scott is slated as the starting left tackle. Ya know, the position that protects Ben's blindside? Then Gilbert goes down with a similar injury. Gilbert can play both Guard and Tackle positions and could potentially have spelled Scott at left tackle or Kemoeatu at left guard. Not good times two.
     While neither player's injury was considered serious, though Scott was carted off the field, each will get an MRI done to be sure. So that, then, begs the question: Do the Steelers need to bring back Flozell Adams or Max Starks. The consensus has been that, if anyone of the players who were let go would be brought back, it would be Flozell Adams. If that's the case, then I hope the Steelers have his number at the ready.
     Flozell Adams, whose nickname is "The Hotel" because of his immense size (and because it rhymes with Flozell), was servicable at right tackle for the Steelers last season. He he wasn't willing, though, to take a pay cut this year to stay with the team. Not to mention that he wants to start instead of coming off of the bench. Considering that he plays Willie Colon's postition, that isn't an option. What is an option, though, is Adams moving to left tackle, a position he played for over a decade. Could he be brought in whether Scott is hurt badly or not? Maybe. The question at that point would be whether or not he'd be willing to battle Scott for the position or even simply accept the back-up role. That would remain to be seen.
     Either way, the Steelers need to give real thought to bringing Adams back in order to shore up the left side. Does he want to start? Does he also have a history of false starts on the left side (because of the hearing problem in his right ear)? Yes, but both of those issues can be addressed. Plus, we know that Pittsburgh's OLine coach, Sean Kugler, is familiar with him and can help figure out a way to aid in that area also. Besides, having an extra tackle/left tackle at his disposal would be like a vacation for Kugler considering all the patchwork he's had to do since he's been here. And when going on vacation, you have to book a hotel. The Steelers should do the same.