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Steelers Report Card
Steelers vs. Texans

Monday, December 09, 2002


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Grading the Steelers:

Jack McCurry, who has completed his 25th season as the head coach of the North Hills High School Indians. He has won four WPIAL titles.

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Grading the Texans:

Ron Wabby, who has completed his 21st season as the head coach at Brashear High School. His teams have won five City League championships.

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Offense: D -

Tommy Maddox's return was supposed to provide an offensive spark. Maddox did, but it wasn't for the Steelers. His fumble and interceptions resulted in three Houston touchdowns, and that was all the Texans needed. The receivers didn't help Maddox. The Steelers did gain more than 400 yards, but when you don't score it doesn't matter. Warm up Kordell Stewart.

Offense: D

David Carr played and looked like a rookie and an expansion quarterback. His offense could manage just two first downs and 48 yards in the first half, and one first down in the second. The Texans' offensive line, which leads the NFL in sacks allowed, gave up four more.

Defense: A

What an outstanding effort. Lee Flowers and Co. held Houston's offense to less than 50 yards and no points. That's usually good enough to win most games. The defense was dominating, so I wonder if Flowers will say anything this week. How about, "Warm up Kordell."

Defense: A

Dom Capers' defense looked like it was heading into the playoffs. The Texans turned Maddox's fumble and interception into 14 points on the Steelers' first two possessions. The zone blitz accounted for six sacks, three batted down passes and caused Maddox to hurry many of his throws. Linebackers Jay Foreman and Jamie Sharper pressured Maddox the entire game and made several huge plays.

Special Teams: C -

Jeff Reed kicked two field goals out of three tries and Hank Poteat recovered a muffed punt, and that was about it for the special teams. When the offense is not scoring the special teams can provide a lift. It didn't happen against the Texans. I wonder if Kordell can return punts. Warm up Kordell.

Special Teams: B

Kris Brown's field goal in the fourth

quarter sealed the Steelers' fate. The punt team falling on a fumble inside the Steelers' 30 in the fourth quarter was a big play. The unsung hero was Houston punter Chad Stanley who punted often because of a lack of offense. He did a good job of keeping the Steelers pinned deep in their territory.

Coaching: C

With Maddox and the receivers struggling maybe Kordell and his ability to run could have provided a much needed lift. We'll never know. On defense, the Steelers were outstanding. The strategy to blitz on any down stymied Houston's offense. The Steelers are not playing up to their capabilities. Something is missing, correction is needed and that's up to Bill Cowher and his staff.

Coaching: A

Capers showed why Cowher picked him to run his first defense. Houston's zone blitzes forced the Steelers into some terrible mistakes. The defensive game plan took away everything the Steelers like to do. Capers and his coaching staff did their homework and put a thumping on Cowher and his staff.

Team Score: 79

Team Score: 81






Super Bowl performance



Division title contenders



Wild Card possibility



Shooting for high draft picks in 2003



Check waiver wire

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