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Making first-week observations

September 13, 2007
The Altoona Mirror
As head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Bill Cowher for years warned the media not to draw too many conclusions from the first week of the NFL.

He always argued there’s way too much football remaining, and as the course of the season would play out, what he said would make sense.

Cowher, on his first regular-season TV assignment this past Sunday on CBS, reiterated his stance as his colleagues tried to begin the Super Bowl, coaching hot seat and Brian Brohm watches. Somehow, his coach speak is not going to jive on TV.

Now that Cowher is a member of the media, there’s no reason to follow his advice. No one listens to those people anyway, right?

With that in mind, here are a few observations from the first week:

n Romeo Crennel looked like a coach not in control of his team during the Browns’ 34-7 loss to the Steelers. The Browns have more talent than what they showed Sunday. It would be surprising if Crennel is still coaching the team next year.

n Dan Kreider played well in his limited opportunities as the Steelers’ backup fullback. You can’t argue with the results of how the offense performed without Kreider playing much of a role, but one has to wonder if his playing time will increase when the Steelers face better defenses.

n Allen Rossum did nothing as a returner to question the last-minute trade for him during the Steelers’ final cuts. His performance could seriously damage the futures of Willie Reid and Ricardo Colclough, former high draft picks, with the Steelers.

n The Steelers’ offensive line did OK, but the question marks still exist. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger praised the line after the game, but he was hurried and hit a few more times than what he probably would have liked.

n Chad Johnson’s planned touchdown celebration Monday night during the Bengals’ win over the Ravens was a big joke. Johnson put on a Hall of Fame blazer on the sideline, suggesting he was a future Hall of Famer. Not only does he have a long way to go to reach that status, his act is starting to get old.

n It doesn’t take long to be reminded how violent and dangerous playing in the NFL is. Here’s hoping good news continues to come from the recovery of Buffalo’s Kevin Everett.

NFL Week No. 2

Game of the week: San Diego at New England, 8:15 p.m. Sunday (NBC).

Upset special: Jets (+7 1/2) at Baltimore. With the opponent not stealing their defensive signals, the Jets should give a better showing this week. Plus, Baltimore is banged up.

Fantasy tip: Even though Carolina had a good offensive showing in Week 1 against the Rams and is playing at home this week against a perennial loser, Houston, don’t expect the same results. The Texans may be the most improved team in the league, and the Rams’ porous defense isn’t a good gauge.

Buck Frank can be reached at 946-7461 or

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