First off, anyone who thinks defense won that game is nuts. Sure, James Harrison made the play of the game, thanks to Kurt Warner making the dumbass play of the game. But the Steelers could simply not stop the Cardinals in the fourth, and the same was not true the other way around. Ben Roethlisberger and mainly Santonio Holmes bailed out a Steelers’ D that just looked too slow for the no-huddle offense that Todd Haley went to in the fourth. Forget another quarter, if there were 30 more seconds there at the end I’m convinced Larry Fitzgerald would have scored again. They. Had. No. Answer. Period.
Another thing I want to say is that when Big Ben runs all around the pocket and shakes off defenders and contorts his body and flings it up…THERE SHOULD BE NO ROUGHING THE PASSER. Unless it’s ridiculously late. He’s so hard to bring down, and it’s so hard to know when the play is over in that situation. I compare him to Shaq; when he shrugs off defenders like that, you only need to protect him from cheap shots and really late hits. Karlos Dansby’s phantom roughing the passer was a joke and a disgrace.
It looks like Kent Babb of Red Zone woke up this morning thinking the same thing I did last night:
Haley did everything right. Even the messy things, including the on-field argument two weeks ago with Anquan Boldin, caught the attention of some NFL men as a positive thing. Showed he had fire and passion. Showed he wouldn’t be intimidated or run over by players like some other coaches.
But Haley’s showing Sunday might be the deciding factor if the Chiefs make him their No. 1 target to replace Herm Edwards and name him Kansas City’s 11th head coach. He made outstanding adjustments at halftime, after Pittsburgh shut down Arizona in the first half. Haley’s play-calling on the Cardinals’ last two series was flawless; he leaned on Kurt Warner and Larry Fitzgerald to carve up Pittsburgh’s top-ranked defense, once it moved into its dime formation.
If Arizona’s defense had done its part, which against the Steelers is no easy task, Haley would have directed a Super Bowl championship offense. Still, there’s little doubt that Haley’s name will be on the tip of the Chiefs’ tongue as they close in on their next coach.
Anyone who is blaming this loss on Haley is being utterly ridiculous. Don’t give me this crap that I’m being a hypocrite using the same argument the Chandemonium freaks are either. Chan Gailey did not show any ability to make second-half adjustments or deliver great drives under pressure this season. Haley just did both on the game’s biggest stage and in a helluva pickle. Again, I believe all he needed is another half a minute — or for his quarterback not to throw a pick six in the waning moments of the first half. I was more impressed with Haley last night than at any time during the playoffs, which is saying something.
It looks like Kurt Warner might be coming back, too. Problem is that I’m not sure the Cardinals can afford that with Matt Leinart still under contract and the disgruntled Anquan Boldin and free agent Karlos Dansby both needing new deals. Then again, they could trade Leinart to us to clear money. I guess it all depends on if Haley is indeed the Chiefs guy, and if he believes in Leinart. It’s a long shot, but something to watch. Maybe Warner could end up with the Bears? I’ve heard that rumor.
Arrowhead Pride is also contemplating hopping aboard the Case for Crabtree express. Plenty of room, gentleman. Plenty of room.
Addicts, sound off with your lingering thoughts on the Super Bowl and all the rumors…