Film study reveals overlooked strengths, weaknesses

Updated: January 29, 2006, 5:18 PM ET
By Gary Horton | Scouts Inc.
The so-called "dead week" before the Super Bowl is my favorite week of the year. Before leaving for Detroit and Super Bowl XL, my task at ESPN is to sit in a film room and break down the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks in almost every area.

We assemble three- and four-play themes that we then edit and air on all the various ESPN shows during Super Bowl week. It is pure football viewing at its best. Here are some of the observations we've made after spending hours in the film room.

Pittsburgh Steelers

Heath Miller
Learning to block: When TE Heath Miller was drafted, he was thought of primarily as a pass-catching tight end with marginal blocking skills. However, he has developed into an excellent position blocker, especially in the run game. The Steelers use him at times in almost a fullback position as a lead blocker, but they also can motion him from that position to block on the edges. He is especially effective in their trap game, using angles in the hole to wall off defenders. He is not overly physical, but he is very effective.
Gary Horton spent 10 years in the NFL as a scout and another 10 years at the college level as an assistant coach and recruiter. He is the founder and most seasoned member of the Scouts Inc. staff, and his extensive experience at all levels of football make him an excellent talent evaluator.