By Ross Tucker, SI.com
TAMPA -- Everyone is talking about the mental fisticuffs between Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and blitz-happy Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. But they are overlooking one important point as we get closer to game time: LeBeau probably knows he doesn't need to blitz in order to get pressure on Warner.
If watching tape of the NFC Championship game taught LeBeau anything, it was that Warner is at his best when carving up a blitz-happy defense that exposes holes in the coverage. Warner knew where he was going with the ball before it was snapped on multiple occasions against the Eagles and Philly was hurt badly by the veteran's precision. That tape also showed that the Eagles were most effective when they simply turned their front four loose.
Cardinals left tackle Mike Gandy struggled against Eagles defensive end Trent Cole, giving up a sack and a couple of pressures. Gandy's technique was poor as he rounded his kick on his pass sets a number of times and failed to use his hands properly.
The bad news for Gandy and good news for LeBeau is that Steelers outside linebacker James Harrison is even better than Cole. Couple that with the fact that Lamar Woodley has a favorable match-up with Levi Brown on the other side, and you can see why the normally blitz-happy Lebeau may opt to just turn his bulldogs loose.
Arizona needs Gandy and Brown to play their best games of the season or else find a way to provide both of them with help in the form of a chip from a running back or inside protection from an adjacent lineman.
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