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Steelers film session: Power run game key

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Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, 2:06 a.m.
 

If Todd Haley has proved anything over the first half of the season, it's that he adapts his offense to what he believes is needed to be successful that particular week.

Against Oakland, it was throwing the ball against a porous secondary. Against Philadelphia, it was running the ball. Against Washington, it was a little of both.

As for the Giants, it was a big dose of power football, with a 230-pound Isaac Redman following the lead blocking of 242-pound fullback Will Johnson.

Not since the days of Dan Kreider have the Steelers used the fullback as much as they did in Sunday's 24-20 win.

Johnson had a career-high 32 snaps, 18 of which he was the lead blocker opening up holes during Redman's 147-yard game — 100 of which came when Johnson was at fullback.

Haley turned to the fullback for most of the decisive second half.

Ten of Redman's 13 second-half carries were with Johnson on the field.

Johnson had a key block on Antrel Rolle, a fourth-down play late in the second quarter that led the way for Redman's fourth-quarter touchdown run.

OTHER OBSERVATIONS

• The Giants may have baited the Steelers into trying the fake field goal by allowing Michael Coe to rush hard from the left end on the Steelers' first extra point — the same distance of a field goal they faked on during the fourth quarter. The play was designed for Coe to take himself out of the play with a hard rush, thus allowing Shaun Suisham to follow Heath Miller into the end zone. However, Coe rushed wide to prevent a fake and was waiting for Suisham.

• Rookie right tackle Mike Adams has been above average when it comes to run blocking. As for pass blocking, that's still a work in progress. Adams allowed his fourth and fifth sacks of the season Sunday, and they both came on similar rushes. Adams was beaten inside by Justin Tuck and again later in the game by Jason Pierre-Paul. Pierre-Paul also got Adams again on the inside during Mike Wallace's 51-yard touchdown catch, but Roethlisberger quickly threw the ball.

• You can give credit to the Steelers' front seven for shutting down New York's run game, but it was the safeties who had a lot to do with it. Ryan Clark and Will Allen combined for 13 tackles, most of which came in the run game. You also have to credit Larry Foote and Lawrence Timmons with helping out against the run. The two targeted fullback Henry Hynoski on virtually every run play to try to blow him up in the hole.

• Ben Roethlisberger didn't have one of his better games. He seemed to be making up his mind on where he was going with the ball before the snap, and there were two instances of such. The first was when he threw into double coverage and was intercepted by Corey Webster. The other was with 20 seconds left in the half when he threaded the needle among three Giants defenders for a 24-yard gain. However, Chris Rainey came out if the backfield and to Roethlisberger's left, and nobody was within 20 yards of him.

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