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Ben Roethlisberger, Domata Peko, Marcus Gilbert

Tuesday was Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin‘s press conference. I talked a bit about the nonsense that tends to come out of Coach T’s mouth yesterday. One thing I neglected to mention was an entire line of questioning from the local media cheerleaders/reporters regarding whether a benching might be in order for right tackle Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert, it should be noted, has already surrendered four sacks through the first two games.

For his part, Tomlin said he has nothing but faith in Gilbert, even likening him to movie icon Rocky Balboa.

I’m not going to get into the whole issue of whether Gilbert should start or sit. I did that last year and it took five weeks and four losses before Tomlin decided that maybe it was time to tweak the line-up. Gilbert’s going to play and play and play some more until (unless) he proves to be a total liability. What I’m interested in is the reason the Steelers will afford Gilbert all this leeway. Continue reading »

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Mitchell

Ryan Clark spent last season auditioning for a job at ESPN. As Chuck Noll would say, it appears to be time for him to get on with his life’s work. The Pittsburgh Steelers have already found his replacement.

Mike Mitchell of the Carolina Panthers became the Steelers first significant free agent signing in nearly ten years. By “significant” I mean rather than their usual method of dumpster diving for back-ups and role players, Mitchell represents a first day signee who will be expected to start. Not only start but be an upgrade for a defense that has fallen off considerably the past couple seasons. Why else would they give him 5 years at $25 million ($10 million guaranteed)? Continue reading »

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Steelers another day

Talk about living a charmed life. In my preview for yesterday’s game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers, I ended by wondering what would happen if the Steelers’ slim playoff hopes were already extinguished by kickoff. Well, not only did every single domino fall their way in the early games, the New England Patriots did them a solid by hammering the Baltimore Ravens later in the afternoon. Yes, ladies and gentleman, the Black and Gold are still mathematically alive for the AFC Playoffs.

It’s a Christmas Miracle.

Of course, it would’ve all been moot had the Steelers not taken care of business by defeating the Packers. Their 38-31 victory was a wild affair featuring a little bit of everything: good offense, good defense, weather porn, special teams trickeration, a heart-stopping finish, and crooked referees doing their best to screw Pittsburgh over. It was the football version of a WWE wrestling match. And in the end, the good guys won. Continue reading »

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pol2

I made the mistake of tuning into the Monday Night Football countdown show last night. Usually I do my best to avoid Stabby McStabberson and the rest of the merry pranksters who populate the Four Letter. However, I happened to tune in just in time to hear them discuss the Pittsburgh Steelers season ending loss to the Miami Dolphins. As usual, they only bother discussing the Black and Gold when they have something negative to say.

Anyway, what surprised me was the focus of their discussion. I expected them to touch on Ben Roethlisberger‘s seething hatred of Todd Haley – which was evidently on full display in the locker room after the game – and they did mention it. However, what I didn’t expect was much of their discussion focusing on Pro Bowl safety and future Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu. The goofs on the panel placed a great deal of the blame for the defeat on Troy, even speculating this may be his final season in Pittsburgh.

Which at first seemed absurd but after thinking it over, is this the end of the line for Troy Polamalu? Continue reading »

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yahoo_JasonWorilds

The Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to claw their way back into the AFC playoff discussion. As I mentioned in yesterday’s game recap, a large part of their resurgence is due to recent line-up changes. A few of those changes were coach Mike Tomlin demoting guys due to poor performance but most of them came about because of  injuries. In nearly every instance where a starter has gone down, his replacement has come in and been an improvement.

Baseball has what is called a Lou Gehrig situation. Basically, Gehrig was a bench warmer until one fateful day when the starter was ill and couldn’t play. Gehrig took his place and performed so well he’d play every game thereafter for the next fourteen years. It’s a tremendous achievement but also a cautionary tale about how quickly and unexpectedly a player can find themselves replaced. Continue reading »

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steelers standing

There’s a sight rarer than Todd Haley’s El Camino Comet, the Blood Moon, and a solar eclipse all rolled into one. Yes, the Cleveland Browns can say they are ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the standings. In a bit of scheduled irony, the Browns’ victim last Sunday is this week’s opponent for the Black and Gold. Let’s hope for a similar result because I really don’t think I could live with losing to a team that lost to Cleveland.

The Minnesota Vikings are not a particularly good team. Then again, neither are the Steelers since we’re both 0-3. Complicating matters is the game will be played at Wembley Stadium in London, England. Minny has been overseas since Tuesday while Mike Tomlin and crew decided to hop a red-eye last night in order to arrive in London on Friday morning (their time). Hopefully, this is one strategy which pays off. Continue reading »

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Heeeeee’s Baaaacckkk…

Tonight marks the first meeting of the season between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals. Tonight also marks the first time ex-Steeler James Harrison will face his former team. If you watched any of HBO’s Hard Knocks series, you know Harrison is an angry man. And one has to think a portion of that anger is directed towards the Black and Gold.

Whether it was time for Deebo to move on or not, Harrison played his entire career with a chip on his shoulder. It fueled him to become a multi-time Pro Bowler despite being an undersized linebacker undrafted out of Kent State. It has also fueled his penchant for being a vicious headhunting sociopath. After years spent defending Harrison’s repeated attempts to cripple and maim opponents, tonight we’ll get a chance to see how it feels when we are that opponent. Continue reading »

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Cortez+Allen+Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Tennessee+IrAPny5fy7Jl

Welcome back to Le’Veon Bell Week here at ToteStillers! When we last met, the Black and Gold’s rookie sensation had yet to play in an actual game due to a bothersome knee injury. An injury Bell exacerbated yesterday during practice when he fell into a pile and came up (after several minutes lying on the turf) limping. Only a few minutes earlier, co-starter Isaac Redman also left the field after getting KTFO by Larry Foote.

Meanwhile, running back isn’t the only position to get struck by the injury bug. Projected starting cornerback Cortez Allen had his knee scoped a couple weeks back. Willie Gay started in his place last Saturday and he wasted no time in showing why Allen is the expected starter by letting Victor Cruz blow right by him on an inside seam route for an easy TD.

So what’s the latest on the Pittsburgh Steelers injured players? Take it away, Coach  T: Continue reading »

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Curtis+Brown+Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Philadelphia+WDtxzt4gZJJl

This is getting ridiculous.

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost yet another cornerback yesterday when Curtis Brown was carted off the field after twisting his ankle defending a pass. I don’t know what ladder Brown walked under on his way to camp but this is his second setback already this camp. He just returned from a two day hiatus after pulling a hammy. Mike Tomlin had no details on the severity of this current injury and given his modus operandi, I don’t expect we’ll know exactly how bad it is until Brown either returns to the field or has season-ending surgery. Continue reading »

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So about the Pittsburgh Steelers’ new look secondary…

A couple days ago, I mentioned the alarming number of injuries which have already befallen the team’s cornerbacks. The most distressing of which was the “knee discomfort” (Mike Tomlin‘s words, not mine) that had sidelined presumptive starter Cortez Allen. Turns out the “discomfort” was a lot more serious than the kind you treat with a hot tub and some Ben Gay. Allen underwent “minor knee surgery” (again, Tomlin’s words) yesterday and is expected to miss the next couple weeks at the very least. Continue reading »

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