Sometimes it’s hard to be a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Don’t get me wrong, I feel blessed to follow the greatest franchise in NFL history. I realize how lucky we are to watch a Super Bowl contender seemingly year in and year out. I do not for one second take our six Lombardi Trophies for granted. Even after the most heart-breaking of losses, I never for a moment question my allegiance.
There are still times when the Steeler Way can be immensely frustrating. While it works eight times out of ten, the two times it fails, it fails spectacularly. We all play armchair GM from time to time but I wouldn’t pretend I could do a better job than Kevin Colbert. At the same time, many of his player personnel decisions continue to puzzle me.
The last two and half minutes of the Steelers-Ravens game were an absolute mess. People rightly focus on the D’s epic bed-crapping in letting Joe F’N Flacco drive 92 yards on them for the game winning touchdown. Others focus on Ryan Clark and Will.i.am Gay, both of whom played miserably all night long. However, lost in the wash, was the comical Chinese Fire Drill on the Steelers final possession where they got the ball down to the Baltimore 30, called a time out to discuss their options, sent their field goal unit out but fooled around too long and got called for a delay of game which left them with no choice but to punt.
If Shaun Suisham hits that 47 yarder, the best Baltimore could have done was tie.
In Mike Tomlin‘s Tuesday lie-fest/press-conference, he revealed he never had any intention of attempting that kick. What? Why? Heinz Field is a hard place to kick but that’s not an impossible distance. Skippy Reed made those kicks more than half the time. The Pitt Panthers’ kicker made 42 and 52 yarders the previous night.
Are you seriously telling me the Panthers have a better kicker than the Steelers?
If you watch the above clip, Tomlin throws punter Jeremy Kapinos under the bus for the time snafu. Why is Kapinos on the roster? Oh, right, because Dreamy Daniel Sepulveda blew out his knee in practice. Never saw that one coming. /sarcasm
If you’ve been with me since the pre-season, you will probably recall the epic battle between Kapinos and the Dreamy One which I chronicled in breathless detail. Kapinos actually punted better but Colbert wasted a 4th round draft pick on Sepulveda so they kept him instead. Never mind the fact the kid ends up on the disabled list almost every year. Since joining the Steelers in 2007, he’s lasted an entire season only twice.
Even though he was a drunken herpes-infested loon, Skippy was the best kicker in Steeler history. How did they find him? Back in 2002, the Steelers were having trouble finding a kicker who could consistently make field goals in the swirling vortex of Heinz Field. They signed Todd Peterson but he absolutely sucked and by mid-season he was *wink-nudge* “injured.” Bill Cowher invited three free agent kickers to Heinz, lined them up, and said “Whoever puts the most balls between the pointy yellow sticks has a job.” Done and done.
If Tomlin has such little faith in Suisham, why is he still in Pittsburgh? Bring in three of the best free agents and pit them against each other in a Kick To The Death. Hell, find Skippy sleeping one off in some Seattle dive bar, hook him up to a Starbucks Expresso IV drip and see if he has learned his lesson. I realize that isn’t the Steeler Way but, between Suisham’s Miss of the Week and Tomlin waving the white flag, enough is enough.