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TOPIC: After kickoff, LeBeau said both coaches will be

After kickoff, LeBeau said both coaches will be 3 weeks, 1 day ago #35485

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Ben Roethlisberger‘s first pass went for a touchdown. His last did the same. And in between the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and his red-hot team put together systematic 52-21 dismantling of Carolina on Thursday night that left little doubt about their depth and their talent regardless of whether Le’Veon Bell ever shows up for work or not.Ten different Steelers touched the ball on offense. Six of them scored. None of them were named Bell. While the three-time Pro Bowl running back tweeted his thoughts from home while waiting — and waiting — to sign his one-year franchise tender T.J. Hockenson Jersey , Pittsburgh ripped off its fifth straight victory with stunning ease.“Really big performance against a really good team on a short week so there is a lot to be proud of,” Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said. “But we are probably not that good.”Maybe not, but Pittsburgh (6-2-1) looked every bit the part of legitimate contender in the AFC, perhaps for the first time this season.Roethlisberger completed 22 of 25 passes for 328 yards and five touchdowns while posting a perfect quarterback rating of 158.3. James Conner, who has filled in capably during Bell’s self-imposed sabbatical, ran for 65 yards and a score before being evaluated for a concussion late.Antonio Brown added eight receptions for 96 yards — including a 53-yard touchdown in the second quarter — to cap an eventful day that began with the star wide receiver being cited for reckless driving after police clocked Brown’s Porsche driving over 100 mph down a busy highway in the northern city suburbs.“This is what we expected,” Roethlisberger said. “We knew we were going to have to put up a lot of points. We did that. The defense, they were playing like their hair was on fire.”Bell has until next Tuesday to sign a contract if he wants to play this season. His teammates have long since tired of talking about Bell’s status and at this point.“I’m not going to comment on someone who’s not in the locker room right now,” Roethlisberger said.And why bother? For three hours on Thursday night Pittsburgh looked every bit as potent without Bell as it did with him. If he returns, they insist they’ll welcome him with open arms. If he doesn’t http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-auth...jahlani-tavai-jersey , they are intent on keeping the train rolling.The Panthers (6-3) saw their three-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt in a city where they’ve never won. Carolina fell to 0-4 all-time in Pittsburgh and was never really in it after the Steelers scored 21 points in the game’s first 11 minutes.Cam Newton completed 23 of 29 for 193 yards and a pair of flips to Christian McCaffrey that the second-year running back turned into scores, but Newton’s showdown with Roethlisberger never materialized. The Steelers sacked Newton five times and rarely let him get comfortable. McCaffrey finished with 138 yards total offense (77 yards rushing, 61 yards receiving) and accounted for all three Panther touchdowns but it wasn’t nearly enough.“We had a lot of our noses bleeding early on,” Newton said. “We’ve got to stop it and keep things going in our favor. We just got outplayed today.”Newton didn’t help matters when he threw off his back foot out of the Carolina end zone while trying to avoid getting sacked in the first quarter. Pittsburgh linebacker Vince Williams raced under the floater and returned it 17 yards for a touchdown to give the Steelers a 14-7 lead they never came close to relinquishing.Roethlisberger’s rainbow to Brown put Pittsburgh up 31-14 at the half and when Roethlisberger found Vance McDonald in the back on the end zone on the Steelers’ first drive of the second half, the competitive portion of the evening was over. Pittsburgh’s 52 points matched the most ever surrendered by the Panthers in franchise history. Carolina allowed the same total in a 52-9 loss to Oakland on Dec. 24, 2000.“They did some good things against us,” Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. “We made too many mistakes early on to give ourselves an opportunity to win a football game.”REID TARGETS ROETHLISBERGERCarolina safety Eric Reid was ejected in the third quarter after being called for targeting when he dived at Roethlisberger’s head as the Pittsburgh quarterback was sliding at the end of an 18-yard scramble.Several Steelers, most of them offensive linemen, took exception with the hit and a brief scrum ensued. Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey said Roethlisberger offered to pay any fines the linemen may accrue for sticking up for him.Reed, signed by Carolina in September Will Harris Jersey , walked over to Roethlisberger and apologized before being escorted to the locker room.“I understand the NFL is trying to protect quarterbacks but when they’re running the ball they’re running backs,” Reid said. “I’m not thinking that ‘It’s Ben, don’t tackle him.’ There’s a guy running with the ball so I’m doing my job.”PAYING TRIBUTERoethlisberger and Newton both wore cleats during the pregame that paid tribute to the 11 members of the Tree of Life synagogue that were killed in a mass shooting last month. Roethlisberger’s cleats featured the names of all 11 victims while Newton’s cleats read “Hatred Can’t Weaken a City of Steel.”UP NEXTPanthers: Travel to Detroit on Nov. 18 to take on the Lions. Carolina is 6-2 all-time against Detroit.Steelers: Visit Jacksonville on Nov. 18. The Jaguars beat Pittsburgh twice on the road last season, including a 45-42 upset in the divisional round of the playoffs. Dick LeBeau vs. Bill Belichick.

Doesn’t get much better than that for NFL fans. Tennessee linebacker Wesley Woodyard believes the rare matchup is a showdown for the ages.

”Oh man, it’s going to be a battle of the masterminds,” Woodyard said when the Titans defensive coordinator tries to outwit Belichick and his New England Patriots.

”Two Hall of Fame coaches, I’m sure Belichick will be there hands down. Coach LeBeau’s seen a lot, coached a lot of playoff games, so we’re relying heavily on his experience and to go out there and play hard man. That’s all we can do for our coach.”

Well, LeBeau is only in the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his 14-season career as a cornerback http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-auth...austin-bryant-jersey , though he certainly qualifies for consideration for designing the zone blitz on defense. LeBeau also has an NFL-record 45 consecutive seasons as a coach, putting ahead of only one man – Belichick with 43 – in that category.

The two will be very instrumental in determining the outcome on Saturday night when the upstart Titans (10-7) visit Belichick and his defending Super Bowl champion Patriots (13-3) for a spot in the AFC championship game.

And Belichick made it very clear that coaching against LeBeau is not something he enjoys.

”I wouldn’t use that word, no,” Belichick said. ”It’s very challenging. Coach LeBeau is a great coach, he does a tremendous job, (he) has for his entire illustrious career as a player and as a coach. Really revolutionized the game, and his system has certainly withstood the test of time.”

Belichick ticked off how LeBeau’s Titans have led the NFL in rushing defense over the past two seasons and led the league this season for the fewest big plays allowed of 20 yards or longer. Belichick says the foundation of LeBeau’s defense remains the same over the years, modified for the players he has and the teams he’s facing.

The man with five Super Bowl titles as head coach in New England made clear he has great respect for LeBeau, whom he considers a good friend.

”He’s such a great person, very humble guy that accomplished so much but he’s very modest about it Rock Ya-Sin Jersey ,” Belichick said. ”I learn an awful lot from watching him, watching his defenses and watching the way that he does things. Techniques and adjustments and schematics and so forth. He’s one of the great coaches to ever walk the sidelines in this league.”

Told that Belichick said he learned a lot from him, LeBeau said he was humbled.

”Not very many coaches have the record Coach Belichick’s gotten, in fact he’s probably closing in on the best ever,” LeBeau said Wednesday. ”That’s quite a compliment.”

The two haven’t coached against each other in the playoffs but once before with Belichick overseeing the Patriots. LeBeau and the Pittsburgh Steelers won home-field advantage in 2004 by beating the Patriots 34-20 on Oct. 31, then Belichick and New England won the AFC conference championship Jan. 23, 2005, beating the Steelers 41-27.

”It’ll be interesting to see how it comes out,” LeBeau said.

LeBeau said preparing for a Belichick-coached team means understanding the players won’t beat themselves. Add in Tom Brady, one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game makes the Patriots always a formidable opponent http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-ben-banogu-jersey , according to LeBeau.

The Titans trust that LeBeau, who turned 80 the day before this season opened in September, will put them where they need to be. Titans linebacker Derrick Morgan said that’s what LeBeau did in the second half of the Titans’ upset of Kansas City 22-21 in the wild-card game. The Titans allowed only 61 yards total offense and no points in the final 30 minutes.

”He has all the experience in the world, probably been to 50 playoff games give or take,” Morgan said. ”We have a lot of confidence in him that he’s going to put us in the right positions.”

After kickoff, LeBeau said both coaches will be focused only on what’s happening on the field.

”Once we walk on that field,” LeBeau said, ”we won’t know who the hell’s on the other side of the field to be honest with you.”

Everyone else will know.

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