Monday, December 03, 2007

The Amoeba Defense

As noted today on

“Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the former Bengals head coach, tortures Palmer. Three of Palmer's worst seven games (the 51.6 rating Sunday, a 52.1 his rookie year, and a 53.5 in 2005) have come against LeBeau. On Sunday, he gave Palmer ‘The Amoeba,’ where only one guy is lined up in a stance and the others are milling before the snap.”

Coach’s Post-Game Quotes:

  • Mike Tomlin on Ben Roethlisberger: “Ben is a tremendous competitor. He gets that wild look in his eye. You love that about him. His teammates love that about him. They rally around that. They know this guy will do what it takes to lead us to victory.”
  • Mike Tomlin on Hines Ward: “He is a tough guy. He is a football player first and a wide receiver second. He makes plays when he doesn't have the ball in his hands. He makes plays when he does have the ball in his hands. He is a legitimate tough guy.”

In Summary

All in all, it was a good weekend. Congratulations once again to the Pitt Panthers, who pulled off a monumental upset of WVU (and we’re happy to eat crow on that prediction) in the Centennial Edition of the Backyard Brawl. Congrats to Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm and the Arizona Cardinals, who defeated the Cleveland Browns in a nail-biter to bring the Brownies back down to earth. And the Steelers beat the Bungles to send the Cinci Miscreants to eight losses while reclaiming a full two-game lead for the Black ‘n Gold over Cleveland in the AFC North.

Tonight, it’s the Baltimore Ravens hosting the undefeated New England Patriots. It should be fun to watch Ray “the Blade” Lewis go berserk as the Patriots run up the score.


  • The much-maligned kick coverage units performed admirably last night, allowing only 20.0 yards per return on kickoffs and 6.3 yards per punt return. Well done.
  • Kudos also to the offensive line, which allowed nary a sack.
  • Plaudits to the secondary, as well, especially Tryone Carter and Anthony Smith at safety, not to overlook DeShea Townsend, Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden.The coverage was outstanding, and the sure tackling was even better. Excellent work all around.


  • The two fans arrested by the FBI last night at Heinz Field? Bengals fans, no doubt, as Black&Gold Girl over at Nonstop Pittsburgh Steelers.
Next Sunday: Pittsburgh@New England, 4:15 p.m. (CBS)

  • Reporter: Have you thought much about New England?
  • Ben Roethlisberger: “Obviously, you think about it because everybody talked about them because they are undefeated. That's all over everything that has to do with news and sports is the New England Patriots. And deservedly so. They're a great football team offensively [and] defensively. It's going to be a challenge for us and we're going to have to come out and play great football.”
  • Hines Ward: “It was our ninth win and now through the month of December we have a tough stretch of games here. New England, we're going to need all of our weapons out there. Everybody is going to have to play a flawless game. We're going to enjoy this one, there's no question. But there's not really a lot of time because we have to get ready for New England.”

"Hines Ward was Hines Ward."

“Hines Ward was Hines Ward tonight,” said Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin in his post-game comments. That’s not the first time we’ve heard Tomlin make that statement this season, and it encapsulates perfectly what we have come to expect from the stout, stocky, stalwart Ward, who established a new franchise record for touchdown receptions by catching two to surpass Hall of Famer John Stallworth. Congrats, Hines.

Yes, Hines Ward is Hines Ward, and Ben Roethlisberger was Ben Roethlisberger -- tough, resourceful, poised and determined. A standup guy.

And Carson Palmer was Carson Palmer: Stiff, skittish, mentally, emotionally fragile. Overrated. In his career vs. Roethlisberger, Palmer is 2-7.

What is it with this guy? Seriously, does anybody really believe anymore that Carson Palmer is a premier quarterback in this league, or for that matter better than Roethlisberger? For the night, Palmer completed just 17 of 44 pass attempts for a 30 percent completion rate, a mere 183 yards, and an abysmal 51.6 quarterback rating. He made only 11 of his last 37 pass attempts. Put another way, he misfired on 26 of his last 37, including 4 of 7 on third down, and zero for three on fourth down.

He didn’t throw any interceptions but, as one Cincinnati writer noted, “He didn’t even get it close enough to get intercepted."

The loss guarantees the 4-8 Bengals won't have a winning season under coach Marvin Lewis for the fourth time in his five seasons. Palmer’s been their “leader” at quarterback that entire time.


The Bengals stink. Out loud. Still.