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Go inside the Pittsburgh Steelers' dramatic come-from-behind win last Sunday with Craig Wolfley.

Steelers Radio Network sideline reporter Craig Wolfley filed this report following the Steelers' win over the Broncos.

Heinz Field was humming with energy and hunger -- energy like a playoff game and hunger to see the Pittsburgh Steelers offense take on that Denver Broncos top-rated defense. Of course it would take an equal parts from defense and special teams for the Steelers to win, but as I walked the sidelines talking with everybody while watching pre-game warmups, the buzz was definitely about a Steelers offense extending its 30-points-per-game scoring streak against the NFL’s best at stopping offenses from doing that sort of thing.

* Star power came out to support the Steelers “Fan Appreciation Day,” with a pre-game concert by Pittsburgh’s own rapper Wiz Khalifa, and of course comedian Billy Gardell. Billy is as uniquely Pittsburgh as the incline, Kennywood and a stop at Primanti’s for some munching. Terrific guy.

* From my vantage point during warmups, I took in the sight of Mike Tomlin chatting with Emmanuel Sanders, the Steelers' third-round 2010 draft pick who had free-agented out to Broncos-land after the 2013 season. Manny was one of my favorites, a great young man with quick hands and feet, but an even quicker smile. Didn’t have a chance to chit-chat, but I certainly wish him all the best. Just not on this day.
 
* The Steelers received the opening kickoff and a dust-up ensued from the get-go, even though it was a touchback. I knew referee Carl Cheffers must have accidentally switched on his microphone when, in a high-pitched voice as he was separating combatants, he yelled, “Get outta here, get outta here!”  

* I used to love getting out on the hunt when we’d screen pass. Coach Noll would remind us to be “good actors.” Make the defensive linemen and linebackers believe it’s a pass, two or three count depending on the play, lead dog kick-out, second man turn up and third man peel on the backside looking for a slobber-knocker. If the back sets it up right for the lead dog, the defense has to come to you, and if the back is really good, he’ll position himself where the defender has to come through you to get to him. DeAngelo Williams was all of that and more to the Broncos 2-yard line, setting up David DeCastro, who vaporized Broncos ILB Brandon Marshall with a cruncher of a block.
 
* I kept thinking Bud DupreeArthur Moats or one of those guys pass-rushing on Broncos RT Mark Schofield needed to go Lynyrd Skynyrd and “Gimmee Three Steps.” The Raiders' Khalil Mack had beaten Schofield for four sacks just a week ago. And they were muscle sacks, too, not sprint-around-the-corner speed rushes. Three steps upfield, plant hard and club back to the inside going down the centerline of the man would get you in the grille of the “Brocket-launcher,” as I’ve heard Brock Osweiler called. The only thing I could attribute the arc rushes up the field were to make sure to have boot-leg containment responsibilities. When Osweiler threw a TD pass to Demaryius Thomas, Dupree was running the arc and came nowhere near Osweiler.

* Against the Steelers' wall-left pass pro, in which the LT, LG and C take the outside gap, 3-technique DT Malik Jackson hit a quick swim (arm-over) to the front side A-gap between the Big Ragu, Ramon Foster, and Cody Wallace. Ragu could have helped Cody more by getting a solid punch and flattening (re-directing) Jackson out across the face of Wallace. As it was, Cody ended up getting a holding call because Jackson got into the A-gap, causing Cody to grab jersey. Back in the day, whenever I failed to flatten out a pass-rusher in the A-gap for the center, Mike Webster, Webbie would look at me in the huddle after the play and say “How about a little help here!” in that inimitable, funny, sarcastic, only-Webbie-could-say-it-that-way snort. I don’t believe Cody was laughing, though.

* Well, somebody didn’t get the call. When Sanders scorched the Heinz Field turf for a 61-yard TD, there was nobody in sight. When the secondary got back to the sideline, I could see from a distance that Will Gay, Will AllenRyan Shazier and Mike Mitchell weren’t on the same page. Gay was demonstrating the hand signals, Allen was shaking his head and gesturing to what I took to be a formation, and Ryan and Mitch talked back and forth. Whatever the reason, it was far too easy.

* Malik Jackson tried to put the ”Maloik,” or a doink as it were, on Antonio Brown with a piling on, crushing hit in the first quarter. Wallace sprinted down the field and, after seeing the hit by Jackson, peeled Broncos safety David Bruton off the pile. Now I know this is now illegal, but in my day that was a hustle play to protect your guys down the field. And I’m probably going to get some flack for this, but I think Cody did the right thing. Things were testy early, and I’m sure the Broncos watched the Bengals film. The Broncos had no intention of getting bullied, and they were attempting to bully it up as well out on the field. Wallace let the Broncos know there would be frontier justice meted out for any cheap shots.

* In the second quarter, I began to settle in with some serious Jolly Rancher munching and mojo building. I found myself watching Denver’s elite pass rusher, Von Miller. This guy has had four double-digit sack seasons since being drafted in 2011, and he has an unbelievable 3-step acceleration off the snap. He also has an uncanny ability to shake -- or the hypnotic eye, as we called it back in the day -- and either bull-rush or run the arc with a swim or uppercut. Pure counterpuncher, I watched as there were a few close calls, whether he lined up on Marcus Gilbert or Alejandro Villanueva. Whenever a pass-rusher can get that hypnotic eye, it causes the pass protector to freeze, which then gives the pass-rusher the advantage. Action always beats reaction, unless you have the reflexes of a mongoose. Both tackles could help themselves immensely if they would punch.
 
* Shazier is playing lights out, and in the third quarter he just picked the pocket of C.J. Anderson on a short hook route. Osweiler threw to Anderson but Shazier, in coverage and “en fuego,” came around from the backside and stripped the ball away with a sleight of hand normally only seen from David Copperfield, or one of those street magicians who make you walk away smiling -- and checking your wallet, too.
  
* Aha! Yes, Moats, getting his bull-rush on down the middle of the man from about halfway through the second quarter, just drew a holding call from Schofield. Schofield is 6-6, 301 pounds, tall and long-armed, but needs to squat with a barbell loaded with manhole covers to get his “Grit” on. Schofield has trouble with bull-rushes, and gets driven back into Osweiler when bulled.
 
* When Antonio scored on a 9-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger over CB Chris Harris, who reportedly hadn’t been beaten for a TD in two years, I flashed back to earlier in the week. I remembered someone telling me of a conversation with A.B. about Harris, and his personal no-TD, no-fly zone, and how A.B. raised an eyebrow and said that it would be a challenge to break that streak. Well, the streak is over.

* Hmmm, you get Will Johnson for an illegal block on Brown’s punt return in the third quarter, but say nothing about linebacker Todd Davis spearing Brown while he’s already on the ground after being tackled. I’m not saying, I’m just saying ...

Jarvis Jones continues to get better. Matched up against LT Ryan Harris, Jarvis threw a beautiful swim move to completely dust Harris, only to collide with his teammate in the B-gap, Cam Heyward, who had beaten his man as well. Heyward beat Max Garcia badly and the rookie had to grab Cam in desperation. What I especially liked was Jarvis throwing some head fakes into the works. It was a nice move.

* After A.B. torched Harris for the second touchdown, Brown did a little dance in the end zone that didn’t include a teammate, a prop (the goalpost) or a high-speed risqué maneuver (the forward flip). That’s progress. But the dance would have been shown only from the waist up on the Ed Sullivan Show, like they did with Elvis Presley.

* If there ever was a look of satisfaction and relief displayed simultaneously on the sideline by a normally stone-faced coach, it belonged to my old teammate Carnell Lake. After Osweiler’s fourth-quarter, fourth-down pass fell incomplete, after it was defended by Gay, Carnell had a great, big smile on his face that was well-earned.
  
* Don’t know what it was all about, but when Lawrence Timmons started out onto the field for the victory formation kneel-down (the best play in football), he was jacked up with two open-handed punches to the chest by Aqib Talib. "Law Dawg" started after him but the coaches and officials intervened quickly. Some post-game handshakes later I guess all was well, but it was an odd sight to be sure. 
 


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