Matchup to watch

November 20, 2005

Ravens linebacker Bart Scott vs. Steelers fullback Dan Kreider

George Kokinis, the Ravens' pro personnel director, sizes up the top matchup against the Steelers:

The players

Scott finished first or second on the team in special teams tackles from 2002 to 2004. He got his first opportunity to start this season, filling in the past three games because of Ray Lewis' injury. He has recorded 29 tackles in three starts. Scott joined the Ravens as an undrafted rookie from Southern Illinois in 2002.

Considered one of the top blocking fullbacks in the NFL, Kreider went from a practice squad player in 2000 to a full-time starter in 2002. In those four seasons with Kreider, the Steelers have averaged 128 yards rushing a game and 3.9 yards a carry. He was an undrafted rookie in 2000 out of New Hampshire.

What to watch

The Steelers aren't going to change their whole game plan with Tommy Maddox starting at quarterback. With Ben Roethlisberger, they were establishing the run, too. Pittsburgh runs a lot of two-back formations and Kreider is part of what the Steelers are: throwback and tough.

When Scott steps up to fill the hole, he brings it. When Kreider comes up to the line, it's the same shock on contact. There will be some big hitting in there. Scott has met the expectations the Ravens had of him. But when a backup gets in and plays well, then the next time he's got to take his level up. That's going to be a test for him after showing up for three weeks in a row. Now, teams are going to game-plan against him.

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