In preparation for Sunday’s rage in the cage match vs. the Steelers, the coaching staff has much to think about. The coordinators need to have a solid game plan, and the players need to be able to make the right calls at the line of scrimmage.
Now it’s time for some role playing.
If I’m Chuck Pagano, the game plan must be established early, and repeated often. Blitz, blitz, and blitz. Don’t show where you are blitzing from; establish the organized chaos we had under Rex Ryan.
For those in coverage, they need to play tight and physical. Make this the first “Sunday Afternoon Smack Down.” If I’m Pagano, I’m telling the defense to be mindful of whom it is that has the ball. When Ben has it, focus on bringing him down. We do not want to see him break even more tackles, or get the ball away. When Mendenhall gets the rock, attack the ball. He coughs it up a lot. Clay Matthews practically tapped the ball, and it came out in the Super Bowl. Finally, always have a safety guarding Mike Wallace. Make sure that he does not get ahead of the secondary.
If I’m Cam Cameron, watch the Super Bowl, and that will give you the blueprint to beat Pittsburgh. Throw the ball, put Flacco in the gun, and let him call an audible. Do not even consider an end around, or “Rice up the middle.” It doesn’t make sense to run the ball 30 times (which we all KNOW he will…) against a defense that gave up 60 rushing yards per game.
Cam should only consider the run if the Steelers are backed off completely to cover the pass. If I’m Cam on the opening drive, I’m going 5 wide the first 3 plays, sending Torrey Smith deep, Lee Evans over the middle, Dickson on a post, Bolden on a WR screen, and Tandon Doss on a slant. Smith will lure Polamalu attention off of Flacco, and Dickson will get Clark. That leaves Bolden and Evans against the inferior CBs of Pittsburgh (Ike Taylor and Bryant McFadden). What about Doss? He will get a linebacker, or the third CB. It’s not rocket science Cam!!!!!!! Seriously, if someone knows Cam, GET HIM TO READ THIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This may be Ray Lewis’s last shot at a Super Bowl. This game could determine how the season goes. If I’m Ray Lewis, I am keeping my defense on their toes, and making sure that there is always a man deep for Mike Wallace to go against. I would not let one play be the difference in the game again. Ray needs to counter everything Ben does at the line. Every audible called by Ben must be answered with at least one defensive audible.
Flacco’s biggest obstacle of this game may not be on the other side of the ball. It could just as easily be Cam Cameron as it can be Woodley, Harrison, or Polamalu. I know Cam doesn’t like to audible, or to utilize his weapons, so Flacco needs to go over the offensive coordinator’s head if need be. If I am Joe, I am playing this game more like Manning and Brady, rather than play like “average Joe.” This is the game for Flacco to step up, and finally beat the Steelers. It would do two things; it would shut all of those analysts up, and more importantly, get all of those obnoxious fans from Pittsburgh to shut up.
I really hope the second one becomes reality.