Chat: CNNSI.com's Ron Meyer
Warner's arm vs. McNair's speed in "Cinderella" game
Posted: Wednesday January 26, 2000 07:12 PM
CNNSI.com's Ron Meyer says Kurt Warner's successful transition to the NFL will put greater focus on Arena League players. AP
CNNSI Host: Welcome to our Super Bowl chat with CNNSI.com analyst Ron Meyer... thanks for joining us, Ron!
Ron Meyer: Just got back from interviewing both coaching staffs at the morning press roundtable sessions. The main topic has been the cold weather as both teams practice outside.
From Todd: How do you feel the St. Louis defense will fair with the mobility of Steve McNair?
Ron Meyer: Obviously, this is one of the Titans' most potent weapons and is the big X-factor because his mobility comes from broken plays. It's tough for defensive coordinators to plan for it because it's unplanned for. That being said, the containment of McNair : don't overrush him, walk into him Make him a stationary, stereotype NFL quarterback and make him throw the ball. Of the 40 passes McNair has thrown in the postseason, 31 of them have been under 10 yards. Keep him throwing the ball, don't let him run.
From Guest: How bad are the injuries to Holt and Horne?
Ron Meyer: They're sore and bruised but both are expected to play the entire game.
From Guest: Which team (Titans or Rams) has the better special teams?
Ron Meyer: Good question I just talked with Frank Ganz, the outstanding special teams coach for the Rams and he has two special players on his return ... Tony Horne on kickoffs and Az Hakim on punts. However, Vermeil is concerned about Wilkins, the kicker. He's only about .500 on kicks. He's also concerned with his punter. The Titans have the edge with the kickers. The Rams have the edge on returns.
From Lou: With the loss of Yancey Thigpen, are the Titans a diminished team?
Ron Meyer: No question about it. He's an outstanding player. He has missed five regular season games. The Titans have been fine in his absence. They'll miss his leadership and toughness that he brings. Incidentally, there's a chance that he will try to play. I would say the probability is high that he won't play.
From Guest: Kurt Warner looked positively mortal against the Bucs -- which Warner will we see against the Titans? Can he have two poor games in a row when it matters most?
Ron Meyer: I'm not sure he had that bad a game as the question indicated. I saw him avoid the rush and deliver the ball. He didn't turn it over (i.e. sack and fumble) Although statistically not a good game, I judge a QB on wins and losses. You have to give Tampa Bay's defense a great deal of credit. They can make anybody look mortal. I anticipate a solid game from Warner.
From Guest: This was a year that the big teams fell and the little guys came on strong -- is this the future of the NFL or will the Packers, Cowboys and Broncos rise again?
Ron Meyer: No, this is absolutely see the trend in the NFL My rationale is severalfold.
1 is free agency
2 is the scheduling -- the scheduling policy gives poor teams the weakest schedules
3 is the tremendous balance
There will be more of a widespread distribution of talent
From Guest: Ron, do you think the Rams will use a few more "traditional" run plays, rather than draws, in an attempt to keep the Titans from using 8 defensive backs?
Ron Meyer: They won't use 8 defensive backs, but yes, I can see Marshall Faulk being employed more in a traditional running game to stabilize the defensive thinking. It can enable play action and not have the titans play pass all the time
From Guest: Based on what you've heard, will the winter weather this week hurt Atlanta's chances of getting Super Bowls in the future?
Ron Meyer: Absolutely. My criteria for the NFL steering committee has just one item: palm trees. LOL
From Guest: Do you think that Kurt Warner's rise will encourage the use of more arena football quarterbacks?
Ron Meyer: yes i do both nfl europe and arena football will be much more thoroughly combed ... at all positions oronde gadsden, wr miami, is a graduate of the arena league too
From Ryan: With all the conspiracy theories rising from the blown call from the end of the Bucs and Rams game, what would happen to the owners or refs or team staff if an investigation did show proof that they were involved with such an incident?
Ron Meyer: I guess this is coming from a Tampa Bay fan. In my eight years as a coach, I was in favor of instant replay. However, the way it's been implemented has been a farce. It's been a complete failure and they should get rid of it.
From Guest: Ron, is Anthony Dorsett's lack of experience going to cost the Titans against the complex passing game of the Rams?
Ron Meyer: I don't think so... he's not overtaken by stardom... he's been around football since the crib. He used to come from school and have Roger Staubach, Drew Pearson around his kitchen table; plus, he's a 4-year veteran and great special teams player. He played the second half of the Jaguar game. The Titans have to go with a more inexperienced player on the nickel and dime situations.
From Guest: Ron, say you're the coach of the Rams -- how would you go about improving this team if you were to use Trent Green as trade material?
Ron Meyer: First of all, I would not trade a solid two-QB position. Warner and Green would make the Rams a great team. The Titans had a good system with Neil O'Donnell as a backup. They went 4-1 with him in the lineup. It's hard to improve this team. Their only main weakness is converting field goals.
From Guest: Do you consider both teams a "Cinderella" story this year?
Ron Meyer: Absolutely... what greater story could one possibly have than Kurt Warner and his family? He adopted a child that's partially blind, and his beliefs, and his storybook season. On the other side, the nomadic Titans finally find a home and they're in the Super Bowl.
From Guest: If you were coaching the Titans, what would be your strategy to beat the Rams?
Ron Meyer: Slow the game down. Try to do everything I can to make the big play defensively -- sacking and jarring the ball from Kurt Warner's hands, which hopefully would lead to a defensive score.
From Guest: Same question... if you were coaching the Rams, what would be your strategy to beat the Titans?
Ron Meyer: I would anticipate a heavy dose of pressure defenses (i.e. blitzes). I would go with one-on-one and beat them down the field, which is what the Rams have done successfully.
From Guest: The Super Bowl has a history of being more of a show than a good football game... do you think this year will be any different?
Ron Meyer: Being a coach, I take a little exception to that statement. I try to find something positive out of all football games. For all fans not tied in with a team, they'd like to see a winning score late in the game. For the winning teams, they'd like to see a lopsided score and that's what you coach for. You'll see an outstanding game because of all the new blood in it.
From Guest: Will the turf have any affect on McNair's toe, opposed to last week's game when McNair played on grass?
Ron Meyer: Not to be cute, they don't call it turf toe for nothing. (laughs) There will be a higher degree and severity of injury when you play on artificial surfaces. The Titans will be very concerned about this
From Guest: Hi Ron... do you think the Titans will ever develop a downfield passing game? They never seem to throw the ball to their wideouts!
Ron Meyer: Interesting comment... I was with Dr. Z (SI's Paul Zimmerman) and this was his entire angle on this game. I think the Titans are a sound team ... with the wins and how they do it, they'll stick to their successful game plan. Their offensive, defensive, kicking game all work hand-in-hand... it's not a shame to punt.
From Jamie: Who is your pick for the Super Bowl -- on one side you got the high-powered air assault of the Rams and the Music City Miracle on the other side. Which team do you think will prevail and be crowned champions of Super Bowl 34, and why?
Ron Meyer: It will be a tremendously exciting game, but I've gone out to pick the underdog Titans with a 17-14 score, with the idea that the Freak, Jevon Kearse will be the difference in the game. But as great a prognosticator I am, that's why we play the game.
CNNSI Host: Thanks for joining us today, Coach Meyer. Enjoy the game on Sunday!
Ron Meyer: Sure... Thanks for your interest and responses... I wish I could get to them all.
Copyright © 2000|
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.