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Chris

Steelers Super Bowl XIV Football

Steeler Nation has lost their Emperor.

Chuck Noll passed away last night at age 82. Coach Noll was head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers for 23 years, winning four Super Bowls over that span – a feat which remains unequaled by any other coach in NFL history. Inducted into the Hall of Fame back in 1993, he was one of the chief architects of one the greatest turnarounds in sports history, taking the Steelers from perennial losers to being the most dominant dynasty of the modern era. More than just a football coach, Chuck Noll was revered as a teacher. A cultured man – he once guest conduced the Pittsburgh Symphony – Coach Noll has been credited by scores of former players for shaping them both as football players and as men. Continue reading »

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Shazier Browns
Ryan Shazier
ILB  Ohio State
6’1  237 pounds
 

As promised, our complete Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Draft Recap kicks off with a first round pick that has generated more debate among Steeler Nation than any in recent memory. I already discussed Shazier in depth a couple days ago so no need to rehash it here. What we know for sure is he’s a freaky athlete with tremendous speed and athleticism. The team projects him at inside linebacker where best case scenario he matures into something of a Lawrence Timmons clone. Hopefully he doesn’t take as long to develop. Concerns are he’s undersized and not particularly strong – unless he’s given clear gaps to run and make plays, some wonder if he’ll be able get past NFL sized offensive linemen.

If Shazier becomes the versatile heat-seeking missile at linebacker some think he’s destined to be – think the Troy Polamalu of linebackers – this’ll be a fantastic pick. The Steelers D desperately needs young playmakers and Shazier has the potential to be one. By bypassing cornerback, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin clearly think the ceiling was too good to pass up. Time will tell if they were correct.

One thing’s for certain, somebody better tell Shazier to burn that t-shirt. Continue reading »

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archer-tv-show-image

Somewhere the spirit of Al Davis is clapping his hands and laughing.

For years and years the running joke in the NFL draft was if a player was fast, the Raiders would inevitably take him. With Darth Al’s passing, Oakland has taken a much more sensible approach to picking players. Of all the teams to step in and take over their obsession with speed, who expected it to be the Pittsburgh Steelers?

In my Steelers Draft preview, I didn’t mock out specific players but I did identify bolstering the defensive line and a Chris Rainey-type running back as areas of interest. I just didn’t expect them to go out and fill those needs in rounds two and three. Your second and third rounders are premium picks today’s NFL. I’m not too sure about the wisdom behind using one of those picks on a third string running back. Continue reading »

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Shazier

Huh. I certainly didn’t see that coming…

In the 2007 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers were widely projected to take former Pitt Panthers cornerback Darrelle Revis with the fifteenth overall pick. Fans knew it, draftniks knew it, and everybody in the NFL evidently knew it because the New York Jets swung a last second deal with Carolina to leapfrog the Black and Gold and snatch Revis out from under us. With their coveted prospect gone, the Steelers threw up their hands and took a flier on the best athlete left on the board. That athlete wound up being a linebacker out of Florida State named Lawrence Timmons.

Fast forward seven years later and the 2014 NFL Draft. Everybody and their mother predicted the Steelers would take either a playmaking wide receiver or a cornerback capable of stepping in to start for their beleaguered secondary. By the time pick #15 rolled around, all three of the draft’s most explosive playmakers were long gone. So was top CB prospect Justin Gilbert and, one pick before the Steelers, fast rising #2 option Kyle Fuller. What did the Steelers do? Threw up their hands and took a flier on the best athlete left on the board.

Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier is your newest member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Continue reading »

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wtf-mel-kiper

The 2014 NFL draft finally takes place this Thursday night. As with everything Roger Goodell touches, nice of the Ginger Dictator to mess up what used to be an off-season highlight by dragging it out until May and the middle of the NHL playoffs. So without further delay, let’s get to my annual Pittsburgh Steelers draft preview. Continue reading »

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Bl82gKuIgAAicG9

Smell the excitement!

Amid much fanfare and anticipation, the NFL unveiled the complete schedule for the upcoming season. Which means we have our first look at the Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 schedule. It also means in the days to come some goofs at other sites will attempt to “analyze” the schedule, perhaps wasting your time with win/loss predictions or even offering extremely premature game previews. Needless to say such posts are ridiculous. When last year’s slate was announced, who could’ve predicted the Steelers would lose to the wretched Minnesota Vikings or foresaw them being beaten on a cold wintry day by the sun lovin’ Miami Dolphins? Continue reading »

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Blount_Punch

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t had a dependable featured running back since the Bus retired and Fast Willie Parker blew a tire. Now they have two.

Yesterday they came to terms with LeGarrette Blount on a two year deal worth a hefty $3.85 million. With performance bonuses he could push that number upwards of $4M. Of course, Blount comes in strictly as a back-up for expected starter Le’Veon Bell. However, given Bell’s injury struggles last season and the general beating NFL running backs take doing their jobs, it’s  a pretty safe bet that Blount will see his share of action before his contract ends. Continue reading »

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159462

Looks like Kevin Colbert knew what he was doing after all…

In last year’s draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers sent their third round pick this year to the Cleveland Browns in order to move up to the top of the 4th round and take Shamarko Thomas. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what Kevin Costner does with our pick. In the meantime, while I like the Shamarknado, I was never thrilled about giving up a third rounder for a guy not likely to start for the foreseeable future. In today’s NFL, you stay under the salary cap is by constantly infusing the roster with young talent. And the picks you’re most likely to hit on come in the first three rounds.

Well, the Steelers got their third rounder back yesterday when the NFL awarded their compensation picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Granted, it’s about 20 spots later than the one we traded away but when you view the Thomas deal as trading back a couple dozen places the price definitely looks a helluva lot cheaper. Continue reading »

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NFL: Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns

My original title was “Steelers fall into the Moats” but that pun was groan worthy even for me.

The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to chip away at their depleted roster, signing linebacker Arthur Moats to a one year minimum salary deal. Moats started 12 games for the Buffalo Bills last season although initial reports seem to indicate he’s being brought in as a super-sub capable of backing up at both inside and outside linebacker. If the team pegged him as a potential starter, it does stand to reason they’d sign him for longer than a year. Continue reading »

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Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Denver Broncos

Eight.

That’s the total number of receptions made by wide receivers not named Antonio Brown remaining on the Pittsburgh Steelers roster. Maybe – I stress the word maybe – they improved their defense this off-season. They for damn sure didn’t improve their offense. In fact, it’s hard to look at the current depth chart and argue it’s gotten anything but significantly worse.

Jerricho Cotchery is the latest to depart, reportedly agreeing to a two year $6 million deal with the Carolina Panthers. The Cotch Rocket had a career year in 2013,  catching 45 passes for 602 yards and a team leading 10 touchdowns. Unlike Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders, the Black and Gold actually wanted to re-sign Cotchery, who provided a dependable veteran presence to the passing game. With the Steelers down to only $2 million in salary cap space – they have to wait until June 1st for nearly $8 million of LaMarr Woodley‘s money to clear – it appears Cotchery wasn’t willing to wait and see what the Steelers planned to offer. Continue reading »

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