Wolfley's View From The Film Room

Craig Wolfley goes the executive route this week as he takes his game from the sideline to the film room. He and Tunch Ilkin re-enacted old times together breaking down the Steelers-Chargers game this season.

The Turk up in the booth was now sitting in front of a computer in the Steelers' scouting department. I found a seat next to my old friend and sat down. It seems like we have been watching film side by side forever.

The Steelers' previous game with the San Diego Chargers was playing and the end-zone view was perfect.

"What d'ya see Chalooch?"

"San Diego defense, playing a little vanilla the first time around," Tunch said. "But their defensive coordinator, Ron Rivera, he's going to heat it up this weekend -- whew, couldn't you have eaten a mint? Man, you've got cemetery breath."

Tunch scribbled notes on his pad and rewound the tape for the 37th time of the Steelers running their best run play, the counter lead.

"Sheez-Louise, Big Juicy really turns the corner when he leads Fast Willie up inside," I hooted as the play unfolded on the screen.

Guard Chris Kemoeatu had pulled to his right, read tight end Sean McHugh's block, turned up inside with a head of steam, and absolutely launched San Diego inside linebacker Stephen Cooper. As a matter of fact, it was a two-for-one as Cooper pin-balled into his running mate Tim Dobbins. Willie Parker finished the run in positive style.

"Yeah, but later on Cooper reads Juicy coming, then blitzes into the hole and dives at his knees. Makes for a big mess in the hole," Tunch said. "Here, they run it again. Watch this, you see what's happening? The 3-technique (the defensive tackle on Darnell Stapleton's outside shoulder) -- here it's Jacques Cesaire -- is doing the stop, drop and roll into the Willie Colon-Stapleton double team block. Makes for a New Year's Eve/Times Square traffic jam in the hole. Neither Stapleton nor Colon can get to the second level because Cesaire is giving himself up and causing Colon to fall over the top of him," Tunch finished.

"All right, let's check it out across the board. Big Max has the backside cutoff. Justin Hartwig blocks back, sealing the inside and checking for run-through. Juicy pulls, reading on the hoof. Yeah, Cooper's doing the Kamikaze into the knees. Juicy has to be ready to meet him pad level to pad level," I critiqued, dredging up old memories. "Whenever you're out on a search and destroy mission, ya' gotta keep in mind there are a lot of divers out there right? Juicy has to remember when he turns the corner that a Howitzer might be aiming to cap him at knee level. Bend those knees, get under and strike up. Like a cobra, Cha-looch!"

I chortled gleefully, re-engaging an old argument we used to have about critters fighting.

"You mean a mongoose. Cobras raise up, a mongoose goes low," Tunch pointed out. "Besides, a cobra doesn't have knees."

"Good point by you," I surrendered grudgingly.

"Remember what Chuck always used to say," Tunch said. "Get your feet out of the hole! But they adjusted, here, look, Colon crunches the 3-technique as the 3-tech seat-drops and Darnell goes straight up and gets the linebacker. Nice job, Willie gets 10 here."

"That's what I like to see, a guard pulling around with cat-like stealth and quickness," I said with a smile. "The end-of-the-line guy crashes and Juicy pulls all the way around and logs (blocks with his inside shoulder) inside and Willie follows."

"I don't think that Cooper guy would describe Juicy as cat-like in any way, shape, or form. I'm thinking more of a rampaging rhino," Tunch finished.

"Juicy goes through Cooper like an elephant in the wicker furniture department at an IKEA store," I said.

"Forget the furniture," Tunch said. "This counter-lead play is going to be a big play for the Steelers this Sunday. Willie Parker runs this great. If they can get the double-team, and Juicy can nail Cooper, it might turn into a home run."

"Get the stop, drop and roller, then do a headstand on the 10-meter board champ; it'll be lean and green all the way to pay dirt."

"Where do you come up with these stupid words and sayings?" Tunch asked, for the umpteenth time since we met nearly 30 years ago.

"Elementary, my dear Watson. It's a cross hybridization between a fine Syracuse education and roughly somewhere's around double-digit concussions," I patiently explain yet again.

"I had to ask, I had to ask," Tunch sighed.

"Thanks for the tip on the counter lead, O' Turkish One. I'll look for it."

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