Coaching strategies will be interesting

November 04, 2011|By Mike Preston

It will be fun watching the Ravens' John Harbaugh and the Steelers' Mike Tomlin make the necessary changes in game plans after the Ravens defeated Pittsburgh, 35-7, in the season opener.

In the first game, Pittsburgh couldn't match Baltimore's intensity and it appeared as if the Steelers didn't know how to handle some of the new offensive players. In the past, the Steelers knew the weaknesses and strengths of tight end Todd Heap and receiver Derrick Mason but this year had very little knowledge on how the Ravens planned to use veteran receiver Lee Evans, young tight ends Dennis Pitta and Ed Dickson and rookie receivers LaQuan Williams and Torrey Smith. The Ravens also modified their running game, using a more downhill approach and chop blocking.

Also, the Ravens spent a lot of time during the lockout studying Pittsburgh, especially safety Troy Polamulu, the key to the Steelers' coverage in the secondary. On Sunday, the Steelers might make some changes because of injuries to their linebackers. Against the Patriots last week, Pittsburgh played more press coverage with their corners instead of zone.

 Will that make a difference in how the Ravens attack the Steelers?

 Pittsburgh has a lot of tape on the Ravens, and they'll make adjustments from the first game for Sunday's game. But will the Ravens continue to use more of the no-huddle and short passing game that was effective in the second half against the Cardinals? Will quarterback Joe Flacco be in the shotgun formation more often now than in the previous weeks?

 We'll find out Sunday.


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