PITTSBURGH - Ordinarily pitting a rookie quarterback against the Pittsburgh Steelers defense is a mismatch.
The Steelers usually have enough talent to allow defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to use a variety of looks to maximize the confusion factor.
The Steelers have tortured rookie quarterbacks with an assortment of blitzes.
But these aren't ordinary circumstances. In fact, "ordinary" is the word that applies to the Steelers' defense, especially with safety Troy Polamalu on the sidelines for another game.
That adds a level of intrigue to this Sunday's visit from the Washington Redskins, who feature the dynamic Robert Griffin III at quarterback. He's been the NFL's most impressive rookie to this point, and a big reason the previously-woeful Redskins have been competitive in all of their games so far.
The Steelers had success containing Philadelphia's Michael Vick, another quarterback with uncommon mobility. But Vick is older and smaller than Griffin, who has shown he won't shy away from contact. Vick is also careless with the football, which worked to the Steelers' advantage.
The Steelers haven't been able to generate much of a pass rush, which has led to some corresponding problems in the secondary. Containing Griffin will be a big part of Sunday's formula for success.
Rookies are prone to mistakes, so the Steelers have to find a way to get after Griffin. That's possible, but it won't be an easy task.
It started with spring training in February, and it may not finish until Nov. 1.
Baseball season has finally arrived at the World Series, with the first-ever series between the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.
The shaky pick here is the Tigers because of their starting pitching, but Detroit's bullpen is an issue with closer Jose Valverde trying to make some adjustments at the worst possible time.
Yes, that was former Pirate Ryan Vogelsong rescuing the postseason for the Giants.
The Pirates cut him loose after the 2006 season. In five seasons with the Pirates, Vogelsong was 10-19 with a 6.00 ERA and 1.612 WHIP.
After Pittsburgh, he spent three seasons pitching in Japan, then failed trials with the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Angels. The Giants gave him one last chance, and he finally figured things out at age 33.
This isn't one who got away. Vogelsong had every chance when he was with the Pirates. Every team in baseball passed on him.
It's to his credit that he stayed with it and he finally found success. It wasn't a mistake for the Pirates to let him go.
Mehno can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org