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Starkey: More no-huddle, please

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Monday, Oct. 26, 2009
 

Ten takes on the Steelers' 27-17 victory over the Minnesota Vikings:

• The Steelers used their no-huddle offense for one series — an eight-play, 91-yard touchdown drive that took all of 75 seconds at the end of the first half. Why abandon it• The no-huddle can't be used exclusively, but as receiver Mike Wallace said: "When Ben (Roethlisberger) is calling his own plays, he's great out there. He looks at the defense and picks them apart. That's one of the things that separates him and makes him great." Roethlisberger made the call on the 40-yard touchdown pass to Wallace. It was the same call, Wallace said, as his 22-yard catch two plays earlier.

• Rashard Mendenhall apparently mistook the 5-yard line for the goal line early in the fourth quarter, leaping for no reason. He fumbled and was subsequently replaced — deservedly — by Mewelde Moore. Mendenhall, who said running backs coach Kirby Wilson made the call to replace him, is convinced he will remain the starter. "I don't think that changed," Mendenhall said. If he fumbles again next game, it might.

• Coach Mike Tomlin was asked if putting Moore into the game had to do with Mendenhall's fumble. "It did and it didn't," he said. Mendenhall was asked if he was disappointed to be taken out. "Yes and no," he said. Thanks, guys.

• Beautiful end-zone somersault from Wallace, wasn't it• It looked like he took off from the 3. "Everybody gave me grief when I scored in Detroit," Wallace said. "They told me I didn't do a good enough celebration, so I gave 'em a little flip." LaMarr Woodley had some celebration ideas at the end of his 77-yard fumble return, too. "I thought about doing a dance," Woodley said, "and my body wouldn't let me."

• Hines Ward didn't seem overly pleased after the game, even if he likes to win more than anything. Ward caught a pass for the 169th consecutive game but finished with just that catch, for three yards, and was targeted only three times. He dropped a pass when he was hammered in the back by Karl Paymah. "They did some good things to take me away," Ward said. "It helped open up other areas, like Mike Wallace scoring. (Two linebackers) were messing with me in the slot, and it enabled Mike to get down the field against their Cover 2."

• William Gay held up fairly well as a focal point of Minnesota's game plan. He did not, however, hold up well in a collision with Adrian Peterson on a 29-yard pass play in the fourth quarter. "He can't be human," Gay said. "Dude's made of steel."

• For the most part, the Steelers made Peterson look human. He came in with a career average of 5.16 yards per attempt, highest in league history through 36 games. The Steelers held him to 69 yards and 3.8 per carry, easing concerns about how they would hold up in the run game without Aaron Smith.

• Can you believe the Vikings had a first-and-goal at the 1 and twice ignored Peterson to try passes• Hideous play-calling by coordinator Darrell Bevell — and the Vikings' failure to cross the goal line there went a long ways toward the loss.

• No word on whether Jeff Reed and his entourage headed over to McFadden's for some post-game revelry.

• I wouldn't mind seeing these two teams go at it again. How about Feb. 7 in Miami?

 

 

 
 


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