Where Do Steelers Go From Here?

 Posted by at 8:26 am  NFL Draft, Roster Moves  Comments Off on Where Do Steelers Go From Here?
Mar 052012
 

The Post-Gazette is calling it the March Massacre. Being a rabid fan of the television series “Lost,” I prefer to refer to it as the Purge. In a span of three days, the Pittsburgh Steelers cut four veterans who combined had logged over forty seasons in the Black & Gold. Going back a little less than a month, the Steelers cut a total of six players, five of whom at one time or another had been mainstays in the starting line-up.

The latest veteran to get the axe is in some ways the most significant. Linebacker James Farrior was rumored to be on the chopping block since his age (37) and salary ($3.25 million) didn’t appear to fit with the team’s current youth movement. Still, Potsie’s exit comes as a mild surprise because even though his play had obviously declined, he remained a key member of the defense. Farrior’s helmet bore the Mr. Yuck sticker signifying that he alone was Dick LeBeau‘s on-field game general. Of the six players released during the Purge, Farrior is the only one who was still a regular starter at the end of 2011.
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Mar 022012
 

Only one week ago, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced they had renegotiated Ben Roethlisberger‘s contract in order to lower their cap hit by $8 million. That money, in addition to what was saved in several other reworked deals, put the Steelers in line with 2012’s projected salary cap. Many members of Steeler Nation thought the team would sit back, take a breather and spend some time figuring how they wanted to configure their roster for the upcoming campaign. Well, as the old fish story goes, just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…

Instead of relaxing, the Steelers have embarked on an unprecedented roster overhaul which has seen them ruthlessly cut ties with several veteran mainstays over the past 48 hours. All day yesterday, Pittsburgh talk radio was dominated by news of Hines Ward’s release. Some people were angry and a few were even happy but most were genuinely sad to see a legendary career end. Before the day was out, word had spread that two more players were set to join Hines as ex-Steelers. Although neither name was much of a surprise.

Aaron Smith has finally run out of time. The Steelers held a roster spot open for him in 2010, hoping he’d pull a Woodson and return from major injury in time to play in the Super Bowl but it wasn’t to be. They did bring him back last season despite injury concerns and having two first round draft picks eager to take the field. About a month ago, Smith attended the retirement press conference for fellow defensive lineman Chris Hoke and was asked about his plans for this season. He clearly indicated a desire to suit up for one last go-round despite playing only a handful of games in each of the previous three seasons. It’s hard to find fault with the Steelers’ handling of the situation as they obviously hoped he’d retire gracefully rather than force their hand. When Smith suffered his latest season-ending injury shortly into the 2011 campaign, it seemed his career was over. Since we now know that Smith will only leave the game kicking and screaming, the Steelers really had no choice but to cut him.
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Know Thy Enemy: Tennessee Titans

 Posted by at 5:18 pm  Big Ben, Game Preview, Rashard Mendenhall, Roster Moves  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Tennessee Titans
Oct 072011
 

Sit down. Decompress. Put on your favorite pair of comfy slippers. Make a chipped ham sammitch. Get yourself in a nice relaxed frame of mind for what you’re about to read.

The [intlink id=”20″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] are going to lose to the Tennessee Titans this Sunday.

I know, I know. Way to kick off the weekend, Mr. Positive. Look at it this way, it’s far better to keep expectations low and hope the team surpasses them than set the bar high and then get bummed when they fail to clear it. And if I’m wrong, I’ll eat crow with a smile on my face.

Let’s get right to it.
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Wrenches Thrown Into Steelers’ Plan

 Posted by at 1:21 pm  Charlie Batch, Hines Ward, Offensive Line, Preseason, Secondary, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Wrenches Thrown Into Steelers’ Plan
Aug 192011
 

Best.  Twitter.  Avatar.  Ever.

Sorry for being tardy with this update but since the [intlink id=”19″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers [/intlink]mauling of the Dream Team aka Philadelphia Eagles was nationally broadcast last night, I figured it better to do a more news-specific update than a recap of the game.  Speaking of Twitter, twittering during preseason games makes them much more tolerable (and if you’re not following my twitter, well, my legs aren’t as nice as Kym’s but I know a lot more about football).  Especially when you’re forced to listen to the unholy combination of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman.  Adding the greatest Steeler QB of all-time, Terry Bradshaw, to the mix did help a little if only because it’s amusing how discombobulated TB makes Aikman.

Oh and that horrifying NFL on Fox commercial featuring all the announcers in their underwear?   Had to be Joe Buck’s idea.
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Steelers Face Greatest Team Ever Assembled (TM)

 Posted by at 12:56 pm  Charlie Batch, Offensive Line, Preseason, Roster Moves, Secondary, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Steelers Face Greatest Team Ever Assembled (TM)
Aug 182011
 

For members of Steeler Nation living outside of Western Pennsylvania, tonight is your first opportunity to see your [intlink id=”19″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers[/intlink] when they face off against the Philadelphia Eagles on Fox.  Despite the Black and Gold coming off a glorious Super Bowl run, prepare yourself for almost non-stop praise for the Iggles.  Philly, you see, is this year’s Greatest Team Ever Assembled.  On paper.

Sure, they pulled off the biggest move in free agency by signing Nnamdi Asomugha.  Then they traded Kevin Kolb to Arizona for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.  TWO ALL-PRO CORNERBACKS!  ON THE SAME TEAM!  YOU CAN’T POSSIBLY LOSE WITH THAT 1-2 PUNCH!

Ask the Jets.
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Two Steelers Say Hello, Two Say Good-Bye

 Posted by at 11:31 am  Face Me Ike, Offensive Line, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Two Steelers Say Hello, Two Say Good-Bye
Aug 152011
 

With the days left at training camp dwindling down, the Pittsburgh Steelers are busy getting their medical house in order. I haven’t been following other teams’ camps but I have to wonder if they’ve been experiencing the number of injuries this team has. Every day somebody is sitting out of practice.  If things continue at this rate during the regular season, they might as well install a revolving door in the trainer’s room.

The biggest news on the injury front involves cornerback [intlink id=”101″ type=”category”]Ike Taylor[/intlink]. Evidently, Friday’s debacle in Washington was more costly than simply robbing our lives of precious minutes we’ll never get back. Face Me Ike broke his left thumb which is sort of ironic for a guy whose hands are made of stone.  He underwent surgery to insert a pin but is expected to be back in time for the season opener.  The other good news is, it’s Ike Taylor.  It’s not like breaking a finger or wearing a cast is going to impede his ability to catch the ball.
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Are You Ready For Some (Preseason) Football?

 Posted by at 9:20 am  Offensive Line, Preseason, Secondary, Training Camp, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Are You Ready For Some (Preseason) Football?
Aug 122011
 

The [intlink id=”19″ type=”category”]Pittsburgh Steelers [/intlink]kick off their preseason this evening at 7:30 p.m.  We all know preseason football blows but remember a few months ago when the year was in peril?  Consider preseason football better than no football at all.  Or Arena Football.  Although I wouldn’t mind having a Lingerie Football team.

Seriously, whose bright idea was it to open up a beautiful state-of-the-art facility like the Consol Energy Center then make it their first priority to bring Arenaball back to the ‘Burgh?  If Green freakin’ Bay has a Lingerie Football team, why don’t we?  Get on it, Consol bigwigs.  There are some hot Polish chicks down in McKees Rocks that could kick the Pittsburgh Power’s asses up and down the field.

*Ahem*  Sorry for the little detour.  When you’re a team coming off a soul-crushing Super Bowl defeat, the thing about the preseason is there is precious little suspense.  You may hear about so-and-so having a great camp but the bottom line is the coaches pretty much already know who is starting and who is backing them up.  However, there are still a few interesting battles to keep an eye on.
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Ward Placed On Physically Unable To Tango List

 Posted by at 2:10 am  Hines Ward, Training Camp  Comments Off on Ward Placed On Physically Unable To Tango List
Jul 292011
 

As players began their annual pilgrimage to Latrobe for training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers made a few interesting announcements which may hold great importance as we watch the 2011 season unfold.

First, they agreed to terms with draft picks OT Marcus Gilbert, CB Cortez Allen, LB Chris Carter, OG Keith Williams and RB Baron Batch.  This leaves only third round pick CB Curtis Brown and first rounder DT Cameron “IronHead Jr.” Heyward unsigned.  With Will.i.am Gay and Anthony Madison unrestricted free agents and absolutely no proof Keenan Lewis deserves a hat on Sunday, Brown is a complete idiot if he doesn’t sign soon.  Rookies practically never play for this team but the nickel back job would seem to be wide open.

They also placed two players on the Physically Unable to Perform list.  Chris Kemoeatu is experiencing some pain and swelling in his knee which is understandable considering he didn’t have OTAs keeping him away from the buffet table.  The other player on the list is [intlink id=”34″ type=”category”]Hines Ward.[/intlink]
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