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Steelers Report Card
Steelers vs. Browns

Monday, October 06, 2003

 

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Grading the Steelers:

Ron Wabby, who is in his 22nd season as the head coach at Brashear High School. His teams have won five City League championships.

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Grading the Browns:

Jack McCurry, who is in his 26th season as the head coach at North Hills High School. His teams have won four WPIAL titles.

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Offense: D

The fumble by Tommy Maddox in the first quarter was a preview of how the game was going to be played. When Maddox got his passes off, which was not often, the ball was not on target. The interception by Daylon McCutcheon that went for a touchdown was the final straw. When you have to pass on third-and-1, you can tell how much confidence the coach has in the offensive line.

Offense: A

Backup quarterback Tim Couch was superb. Cleveland's offensive line gave Couch ample time to pick apart the Steelers secondary, and he did. I wonder if Couch did enough to create a quarterback controversy in Cleveland? I think so. Maybe he did enough to create one in Pittsburgh. I think so.

Defense: C -

Butch Davis watched last year's game tapes of Oakland and New England and decided to pass and only run the ball in an emergency or when up by 20 points. In the Steelers' two previous losses, the pass coverage was poor. Last night, was no different. Tim Couch was 20 of 25 for 208 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for one score. Brent Alexander's interception was too little too late.

Defense: A

The front seven contained the Steelers' ground game and put pressure on Tommy Maddox. Courtney Browns' fumble recovery and Daylon McCutcheon's interception for a touchdown gave Cleveland enough points to win. Special kudos to the Browns' secondary for a job well done.

Special Teams: C +

This was the only bright spot in a poor outing. A fumble recovery was turned into three points. Ike Taylor's kickoff returns and Antwaan Randle El's punt returns usually would have meant a victory, but not last night.

Special Teams: B +

Cleveland came up with excellent special teams play and poor special teams play. Andre Davis's kickoff return was great, but Dennis Northcutt's muffed punt was poor. The Browns' kick coverage was good, but the punt coverage was poor.

Coaching: D

Bill Cowher has more problems than his red-zone offense and defense. Could the Steelers have been looking ahead to the bye week? They sure looked as if they got an early start.

Coaching: A +

Butch Davis and his staff had excellent game plans. The defense pressured Maddox and created turnovers. The offense relied on the arm of Tim Couch. The biggest difference was that the Browns came to play. Football is still an emotion game and the Browns played as if the game was important to them. The win was no fluke.

Team Score: 68

Team Score: 94

 

Key

 

100-95

 

Super Bowl performance

94-90

 

Division title contenders

89-80

 

Wild Card possibility

79-70

 

Shooting for high draft picks in 2004

69-less

 

Check waiver wire

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