08 Sep 2004
Pat Kirwan has some thoughts on how the new pass interference rules might affect strategy on both sides of the ball this season. He talked to some coaches around the league and based on what he's heard, don't be surprised to see a lot more corner blitzes (since CBs will be marginalized anyway), the return of the Smurfs (diminutive receivers, not Brainy, Papa or Smurfette), and defensive schemes that include doubling the wide receiver at the line of scrimmage (just like in punting situations). Of course, by week five this may all be moot if the officials don't continue to enforce the new rule.
Ben Roethlisberger's ability to perform under a heavy pass rush remains critical to Pittsburgh's offensive success.