In today's edition of Around the Pound, we take a look at an article by Tony Grossi highlighting the West Coast Offense against Pittsburgh, Terry Pluto's notes and nuggets from this past Sunday, how many people watched the Super Bowl, and a "season in review" post from the perspective of an Indianapolis Colts fan on the Browns.
While he acknowledges that both defenses had different personnel and approaches, Tony Grossi of the Plain Dealer compares the Packers' ability to move the football in their Super Bowl win to the strategy that Cleveland once used but have since stayed away from:
The Packers, who never trailed, controlled the game from beginning to end by spreading the Pittsburgh defense across the field with mostly four-receiver alignments. The object was to weaken the Steelers' front defensive seven. Force them to remove quality starters with backup defensive backs to cover the pass.
It's not brain surgery and it's not a function of the larger-than-life West Coast offensive system the Packers have perfected and the Browns hope to employ. The Browns used this offensive strategy in the 2002 season playoff game.
In his weekly Sunday column, the Plain Dealer's Terry Pluto had some more interesting nuggets. On the defensive side of things, he looked at some numbers that Profootballfocus.com put together on the team's safeties. On the offensive side of things, he offered some insight into the Browns' personnel for the West Coast Offense. Here is a teaser from his defensive nuggets:
4. Among safeties, Ward is rated 10th against the run, but only 47th in pass coverage. His partner at safety this past season was Abe Elam, who played only eight fewer snaps than Ward. Elam ranked No. 43 among the 61 safeties. Because Elam and Ward played the most snaps on defense, it underlines the need to find another safety. If they had a backup, it was Michael Adams. Ideally, the Browns need to find a playmaker to team with Ward, and Elam then would be a quality backup -- rather than a below-average starter.
There are a lot of errors in this post, but I still commend the user for the amount of work he put into it. It also shows the perspective that fans of other teams around the league might have of the Browns; "the outsider view looking in." Here is an excerpt:
Defensively, the Browns are in dire need of an injection of more talent. As a unit their collective statistics are horrible. Their secondary is their strength and close to becoming very very good. While cornerback Sheldon Brown is solid but past his prime, Joe Haden is about to join the NFL's elite at his position and T.J. Ward is an explosive and powerful hitter who after recording 123 tackles his first year, has pro bowl written all over him. (By the way 123 tackles is an absolutely astounding number for a rookie. The Browns struck solid gold with Ward).
Super Bowl TV Ratings / Off-Beat Notes
- Last night's Super Bowl averaged 111 million viewers, making it the most-watched program ever. It beat out last year's Super Bowl, which now sits No. 2 overall at 106.4 million. The last episode of MASH is still third overall 105.9 million. I figured that having two teams with large fan bases, the Steelers and the Packers, would draw a record-breaking audience.
- Glee, which aired after the Super Bowl postgame show, averaged 26.8 million viewers.That is way down from last year's post-Super Bowl program (Undercover Boss, 38.6 million), but overall it isn't too bad for FOX when you compare it to the other shows in my write-up the other day. It scored higher than any comedy that has aired in the past decade, and it was a little bit lower than FOX's last Super Bowl when their aired an episode of House. That makes sense, since the Glee audience is typically in between those shows. Lots of funny moments in the return episode of Glee too, even if they were over-the-top.