Steelers Keys For Success
1. Control the line of scrimmage. Even with a revamped offensive line, the Steelers will be a run-first offense. For Willie Parker to succeed, the Steelers must control the line. Look for Parker runs to set up Ben Roethlisberger passes in Week 1, so Pittsburgh will do its best to establish the run early. Look for the team to use two-tight end sets to force Browns outside linebackers Antwan Peek and Kamerion Wimbley near the line, allowing the blockers to more easily engage them and free up Parker to reach the corner.
2. Protect Roethlisberger. With more of an emphasis on the passing game this season, the Steelers' offensive linemen will be asked to play more of a finesse game. Protection will be key, not only to allow Roethlisberger time to go through his new progressions but also to keep him healthy.
3. Blitz Charlie Frye from the outside. In two games against Pittsburgh, both losses, Frye has been fairly effective, completing almost 55 percent of his attempts. However, he was sacked 13 times in those two games. Frye is mobile and can run away from pressure when flushed out of the pocket. Look for Pittsburgh to blitz from both edges, forcing him to stand in and take the sack or short step and rush his throws.
Browns Keys For Success
1. Establish the run with Jamal Lewis. Lewis was hoping for a long-term contract but instead got a one-year show-me sort of deal with Cleveland. In Week 1, he is sure to get plenty of chances to prove his worth because the Browns will look to establish the run and keep Frye out of difficult third-and-long situations.
2. Throw more to tight end Kellen Winslow. The Steelers will create pressure with multiple blitz schemes, particularly on third down. Frye must have a plan for getting rid of the ball, and Option 1 should be to hit Winslow on seam routes. With outside linebackers James Harrison and Clark Haggans likely blitzing and safety Troy Polamalu roving around, there should be space in the middle of the field.
3. Force Roethlisberger to win the game. The Browns' 3-4 defense is built to stop the run. If Wimbley and Peek can string out perimeter runs, it will create third-and-long passing situations for Roethlisberger. The Browns' blitz schemes will look to force Roethlisberger into quick throws and bad decisions, something he struggled with last season...