Dear Roger Goodell:
I know we’ve had our differences. Sure the Pittsburgh Steelers were the only team to vote against the current CBA because they thought you had too much power. Sure James Harrison called you an asshole in a magazine interview and said he has zero respect for you after you fined him a billion times for playing football. Sure Steeler Nation finds you a despicable despot who lets a wifebeater like Ray Rice go with a slap on the wrist while throwing the book at Ben Roethlisberger despite him never being charged with a single offense. But that’s all water under the Clemente Bridge.
You did us a solid. A real solid. And we appreciate it buddy!
Tom Brady is the Golden Boy of the NFL. The New England Patriots are the showcase team of the past decade plus. Never mind the fact they cheated to win at least one of their Super Bowls thanks to illegally videotaping their opponents. The Steelers were dicked over in one of those games and even after you gave them a token “punishment” and destroyed the tapes, we never forgot. When the Pats were caught using illegally deflated balls in this year’s AFC Championship Game, we figured you’d hand out another of your laughable punishments and call it a day.
Well, color me shocked when I heard that Tom Terrific was suspended the first four games of the 2015 NFL season in addition to the team losing next year’s first round draft pick. The pick is whatever but looking at the schedule, why, it appears the Steelers play the Patriots on Kickoff Thursday week one! Even if the suspension is commuted down to a game or two, he’s not going to be in the line-up to abuse our pitiful secondary which is, uh, good. Really really good.
So thanks, Ginger Dick, er, Mr. Goodell. I knew after all that time spent at Washington & Jefferson you couldn’t possibly hate the Steelers as much as the first nine years of your administration seemed to suggest. You finally did something to benefit the Black and Gold! Like the saying goes, better late than never!Sincerely, Chris TotalSteelers
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Is there some secret clause that says every number one draft pick’s first stop in Pittsburgh has to be Primanti’s?
Without further ado, let’s begin our complete recap of the Pittsburgh Steelers selections in the 2015 NFL Draft. I’ve already written about our first choice, outside linebacker Bud Dupree. Just for posterity, here’s a quick thumbnail sketch. Dupree is a freakish physical specimen with outstanding speed, size, strength, and athleticism. What separates him from Jarvis Jones is Bud can bring heat on the quarterback by either beating his man around the edge or just flat out bull-rushing the blocker in front of him. Also worth noting in a draft where seemingly every other player came with a rap sheet, Dupree is given high marks for both character and fashion sense.
The biggest negative you hear is he’s raw. Somewhat relatedly, scouts think he’s slow to diagnose plays and wonder about his football smarts. I’m not sure these are huge worries as with good coaching, it’s only a matter of teaching him where to go and who to hit. Playing at Kentucky, he didn’t exactly dominate in a way you expect from someone with his pure ability so he’s still a ways away from fulfilling his full potential. When – or, rather, if – he does, the sky truly is the limit.
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I’m sure the Pittsburgh Steelers have a plan – I just have no idea what it is.
On the second day of the 2015 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected cornerback Senquez Golson and wide receiver Sammie Coates in rounds 2 and 3. Neither player is quite what I expected. They needed a corner. I know it, you know it, they know it. I’m just not sure they needed *this* corner.
Then again both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay were ecstatic about Golson’s selection so maybe I just don’t get it. He’s certainly a fascinating player. The word “ballhawk” doesn’t do Golson justice as he hauled in a whopping 10 (!?) interceptions last season at Mississippi. Blazing 4.46 40 speed combined with superior ball skills make for what appears to be an ideal cover corner. What’s more, he’s not afraid to stick his nose in the line of scrimmage and provide some sure-tackling run support.
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Gotta admit they’re nothing if not consistent.
For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a first round linebacker, selecting Kentucky’s Bud Dupree with the 22nd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. As I feared in my draft preview, a run on corners in the mid-teens pretty much guaranteed the Steelers would have to address other areas or risk reaching on a pick. Not that pass rushing OLB wasn’t a desperate need as well. With practically their choice of pass rushers still on the board, it was the obvious move.
Alvin Dupree, who goes by “Bud” although now that he’s in Pittsburgh perhaps should consider changing it to “Iron,” was certainly one of the more highly rated prospects in this year’s draft. As I mentioned in my preview, the mocks were all over the map as after Dante Fowler – who went third to Jacksonville – the so-called “experts” had him, Vic Beasley, and Shane Ray all over their boards in all different orders. Most draftniks I saw had Dupree going somewhere in the teens so for what that’s worth it appears the Steelers got a guy they didn’t expect to see at #22. Of course, it seems like we say that every year only to learn there’s usually a reason a guy fell.
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I know, I know, you’ve heard it before. “This is the most important draft in [insert number] years!!!” In reality, every draft is important as when you punt on an entire draft class – like the Pittsburgh Steelers did in 2008 – you miss the playoffs two years in a row like we did in ’12 and ’13. Obviously there are many other choices that go into building a team but history has proven teams that consistently win do so because they consistently have strong drafts.
Which brings us to tonight and the 2015 NFL Draft. The Steelers can’t afford to screw up tonight’s draft. The defense, as currently constructed, appears to be among the worst in the league. Ike Taylor is gone. Bret Keisel is gone. Jason Worilds is gone. Troy Polmalu is gone. The future is now.
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At least they won’t have to worry about getting rusty…
The Pittsburgh Steelers were already set to usher in the upcoming preseason by playing in the annual Hall of Fame Game in Canton. Turns out they’re going to kick-off the regular season as well. The Steelers will play in the 2015 NFL Season Opener against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Thursday night September 10th. I can only imagine Tom Brady‘s girlish squeal when he found out his team drew one of the league’s worst defenses right out the gate.
Not that the rest of the schedule looks any easier. Broncos, Chargers, Colts, Seahawks…the Steelers are set to face a murder’s row of elite offenses this year. If the defense is as bad as we all fear it appears to be on paper, well, this might be a long long year for Steeler Nation. Then again, the year they had what was statistically the hardest schedule of any team in NFL history, they ended up going to the Super Bowl.
One interesting side note – evidently the Thursday night season opener doesn’t count as a prime time game. Teams are limited to four prime time games per year but as you can see, the Steelers have four others scheduled in addition to the opener against the Pats. So you out of towners who don’t wanna pony up for DirectTV are in luck as it appears there will be plenty of national exposure for what is shaping up to be a fascinating trainwreck of a season.
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This has certainly been a memorable off-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Not sure it’s been a *good* off-season but it’s certainly been memorable.
It started when long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was gently but unmistakably booted down to Tennessee. Free agent to be linebacker Jason Worilds then became the first – and most improbable – Steeler to announce his retirement. Troy Polamalu recently followed in an announcement that was far less shocking than it was bittersweet. And now the Black and Gold have lost their Swag.
Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has retired after 12 seasons in the NFL. Yep, he was drafted the same year as Troy and evidently his longtime secondary partner’s decision influenced his own. “We came in together so I wanted to leave together,” he said in a interview for ProFootballTalk. Not that he was expected to be in Pittsburgh come training camp regardless.
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We kinda saw it coming. Doesn’t make it any easier to hear.
Former Defensive Player of the Year – and future Hall of Famer – Troy Polamalu has reportedly told the Pittsburgh Steelers he intends to retire. Thus ends perhaps the biggest ongoing storyline of this tumultuous off-season. It was pretty much a foregone conclusion Troy wouldn’t be back next season, how that came about was the question. I’ll post a more proper farewell to one of the all-time greats to wear the Black and Gold once the team schedules a formal send-off but in the meantime here are just a few quick thoughts.
Strange as it sounds, I’m glad Troy is retiring. He’s coming off his worst season as a pro having intercepted no passes and registering zero sacks for the first time in his career. It’s clear his skills had diminished to the point the most damning thing I can say is there was little to no drop-off in the defense when Will Allen took his place. He had a brief resurgence during the first half of 2013, since then he’s been either injured or a shadow of his former self. It’d be sad to see him muddle through one last year playing for the Titans or Cardinals.
There is no doubt this was the ideal scenario as far as the Steelers were concerned. Troy was due a $6 million pay day on June 1st which the team had no intention of picking up. At the same time, they wanted to avoid the clumsy way Hines Ward ended his storied career, being released then sheepishly returning to declare his retirement after no other team would have him. This way Polamalu goes out like he was meant to, on his own terms and as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
I’ll have more to say soon but for now I’ll leave it with a simple thank you, Troy.
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The wheels of NFL justice may not move swift but at least they always get it right.
Wait, what? Three games? What the fu…
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has been suspended for 3 games for the DWI drug arrest last August. Or one game more than Ray Rice was originally suspended for cold-cocking his fiancee back when he pleaded guilty to assault after the first tape surfaced. Graphically beating a woman = two games. Getting pulled over while smoking joints = three games.
Yep, that Roger Goodell sure knows how to make the tough decisions lemme tell ya.
Idiocy from the office of the Ginger Dictator aside, Bell certainly deserves some punishment if only for abject stupidity. He’s appealing his suspension which leads me to believe they’ll knock it down to two games in order to appear “fair.” Considering the Steelers defense is currently bowling shoe ugly with real potential to be the worst in the league – not yinzer hyperbole, go through position by position, it’s garbage – the only realistic shot they have to win games next year is to score early and score often for which they’ll need the best all-around running back in the league. Newly signed DeAngelo Williams should be serviceable enough in a pinch but he’s no Bell.
Hopefully Bell’s absence doesn’t cost his team too dearly although after watching last year’s Wild Card game, to say this is a different offense without him in the line-up would be a colossal understatement.
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Deebo is back…and back for good?
While I was busy watching my March Madness bracket explode in a fiery ball of flame at Hooters this weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers were busy re-building their aging and ineffective linebacking corps. How did they do this? Why, by signing 36 year old James Harrison of course! Rest easy, Steeler Nation, this won’t be any one and done either as they inked their 2008 Defensive Player of the Year for two whole years!
Forgive my sarcasm but after drafting two straight first round linebackers then Franchise tagging a third, I find it somewhat comical the Black and Gold have ended up right back where they started.
I don’t blame them for signing Deebo. He was clearly the team’s most effective pass rusher at outside linebacker last year. First round pick Jarvis Jones has been an utter bust thus far to the point GM Kevin Colbert basically said both OLB spots are in open competition come training camp. With Jason Worilds retired (still can’t believe I’m typing that) our current depth chart reads Jones, Arthur Moats, and a bunch of nobodies. At worst Harrison provides insurance and with his deal being worth a shade under $3 million, it’s not like the team is in trouble cap-wise if he hits a wall this year.
Still, for a defense that had a terrible time pressuring the quarterback last season, it’s not very encouraging that their rebuilding efforts have consisted of bring back Deebo and pray Jones magically morphs into a capable NFL player. The draft is coming up but since they haven’t done anything to address the secondary – if anything, it’s gotten weaker – it’s not like they don’t have other holes to fill. Big Ben and the offense better gear up to score 30+ point every game next season otherwise it could be another long year for the Steelers.