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Paulie Pigskin's Sideline Report: Cards beat Browns
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Paulie Pigskin’s Sideline Report: Cards beat Browns

As I flip thru my Paulie Pigskin Official Sideline
Reporter Notebook, here’s a Sawed Off Shotgun of
Scribblings…

“Big Red” Skelton – More with Less: The
coaches call it “poise.” They say that John Skelton has
it. An abundance of it. And, during our postgame radio
interview, Todd Heap admitted that he can’t get over it.

“He doesn’t get flustered. You see his demeanor just in
his body language and he’s that way all the time,” Heap
said.

With that in mind, I went Q&A with Cardinals Head Coach
Ken Whisenhunt on his second year quarterback…

PP (Paulie Pigskin/Pencilneck): “Beyond his 5-1
record in 2011, what else should we know about John
Skelton?

Whisenhunt: “This kid has not had an off-season
and he really hasn’t had a full training camp, because he
got hurt this year and he didn’t even get any reps in last
year’s camp, so it’s on-the-job training for him.”

PP: (Nod & hold mic a little longer)

Whisenhunt: “You know what he seems to do, he
seems to make those huge plays when it’s really
critical… and you can’t coach and you can’t train his
ability to not let it bother you. You know, sometimes
it’s his enemy because he looks a little bit like ‘no
fire, no intensity, he doesn’t get into it.’ But I’ll take
it. I’ll take that demeanor because you know what you’re
going to get and as he gets better and better, he has a
chance to be a really good QB.”

Heapin’ Helpin’ of No-Huddle: Speaking of
Todd Heap, that’s who I was interviewing when I played the
role of dumb-guy (again) and asked Heap to explain what
the no-huddle scheme does for the offense? Heap: “It
turns the defense into more of a basic look. They can’t
get in and out of personnel (groups) and in and out of
defensive calls. We put pressure on (Cleveland) in that
respect. Skelton was able to see the same things quite a
bit and it defined it for him a little bit.”

Paulie Play Call x 2: On the shovel pass
(4th Qtr/1st
& Goal) that fans wanted to smack with a shovel, Cards’
coaches told me that once the Browns defense penetrated
the backfield, the shovel pass should’ve been thrown
incomplete at the feet of the receiver. In other words,
throw it away instead of getting thrown down for the sack.

On the big pass play to Fitz (BIG, BIG, play) to set up
the game-winning field goal in OT, coaches described it
this way: “Larry is outside of the bunch and has the
option to run the post or the corner route based on the
coverage. Safeties stayed inside and Larry took the
corner…” Ding.

OB Forcing OT: How rare is it to register
two sacks on
two straight snaps? Well, put it this way: Paulie Pocket
Protector ain’t gonna crunch those numbers. (Remember our
rule – No Math.)

Instead, I’ll more than settle for the opinion of O’Brien
Schofield, since he just accomplished that feat in the 4th
quarter: “It is rare because once you win the first
time, they’re more attentive and really trying to not get
beat again,” said Schofield.

On the second sack that forced the fateful fumble,
OB told me that he ran a two-man game of sorts with
Darnell Dockett.

“Dock said ‘let’s run a game.’ He told me ‘get upfield as
far as I can and he was going to smash the tackle’ and he
did that and I was able to come free and make a sack and
forced the fumble,” Schofield said.

Feely… Nothing More Than Feely: How did I
know the
Cards were preparing for a game-winning field goal?
Because I took a blindside shove out of the way by kicker
Jay Feely, who, unbeknownst to Paulie Sideline, had
repositioned his kicking net to face the same direction as
the Cards offense in OT. (Note to Self: I just found out
the hard way why the Cards kicker wears gloves – to
manhandle sideline personnel, if needed.)

Luckily, for both of us, the sideline stress level
decreased dramatically after John Skelton connected with
Larry Fitzgerald down to the 4-yard line.

“I thought it was going to be a 54 yarder. But when John
threw the great ball and Larry caught it, I was just
relieved,” Feely said.

“It was a good weekend for the Feely’s too. My brother
hit a 43 yard field goal with 37 seconds left to give his
team the state championship down in Florida,” Feely
continued. “So, that was an awesome weekend for us.”
(Note to Self II: turns out, I should’ve been
interviewing his brother!)

P-Twice – Once Is Enough: Speaking of
wearing batting
gloves, here’s what Jay Feely shared when I asked him
about his postgame conversation with Patrick “Game
Changer” Peterson, fresh off his 32 yard punt return in
OT.

“I said to him in the locker room – you’re like Barry
Bonds. They give you one pitch down the middle and you’re
going to hit a home run,” Feely explained. “It’s not easy
to kick the ball out of bounds and keep it away from him.
They did a great job all game, but one bad kick and he’s
going to make you pay.”

By the way, for the record: last week, during our
TV interview, P-Twice turned to the camera and said: “I
need to break the record. So, kick it to me Cleveland,
pleeeease!” Ding – almost.

Z-Man: After the game, I asked Cleveland-
area native Dave
Zastudil about reports that a fan was spotted in the house
wearing a Browns jersey with “Zastudil” on the back?
Did we mention that Zastudil is the punter? #Really?!
“It’s my brother,” the former Browns punter answered
immediately. “When I asked him about it, he said: ‘Hey,
it’s my name too…'”

Deadpan Alley: And, just to complete the
trifecta of
“Wise Guy Specialists” on the sideline, long snapper Mike
Leach responded to my hard-hitting question regarding his
thoughts on the brand new grass field at University of
Phoenix Stadium with: “Oh yeah, my pregame receiver
routes were outstanding, really crisp…” Okay, that’s
enough. (Note to Self III: can anybody give me a
straight answer? I’ve got a job to do here people,
reporting on how the grass is growing, for instance…)

Paulie Protest: Finally, we refuse to
replay the TV
broadcast on the DVR this week. Why? Because CBS is bad
for business. How dare the network suits eliminate the
sideline reporter – when football fans en masse clamor for
the inside scoop & poop straight from the field…
uh,
right?! #Gulp