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Flying Circus

Know Thy Enemy: Arizona Cardinals

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Sorry for the lack of posting this week. I’ve been a bit under the weather but I’m making a comeback. Ben Roethlisberger would love to make a comeback of his own this week after returning to practice the past few days. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear to be in the Cards.

Thank you, I’ll be here all week. Try the veal.

Ben would surely love to play this week, not only to help the Pittsburgh Steelers try and keep pace with the undefeated Bengals but because our opponents are the Arizona Cardinals. The Cards are coached by old friend Bruce Arians, our offensive coordinator for five seasons until he “retired” (for about 48 hours). Arians has long been hailed as Ben’s best friend in football. In fact, despite overseeing some pretty good offenses – including our first 4,000 yard passer, 1,000 yard rusher, and 1,000 yard receiver in the same season – Arians retired was fired primarily because the team felt he was too chummy with his quarterback.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Arizona Cardinals

Art Rooney Must Answer To Big Ben

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Anybody else expecting a nice quiet off-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers?

If so, you’ve got to be sorely disappointed. The Steelers coaching carousel continues to go round-and-round with yesterday’s news that linebackers coach Keith Butler is in serious negotiations to join the Indianapolis Colts as their defensive coordinator. Butler has long been tabbed as Dick LeBeau‘s heir apparent to the point the Steelers refused to allow him to interview with Pittsburgh West Arizona about their DC job last summer. However, his contract is up this year and with LeBeau returning next season, it looks like he’s sick of waiting his turn.

In a twist of irony, if Butler does leave for Indianapolis, he’ll join ex-offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was named the Colts OC on Friday. Wait, I thought BA had “retired?” That bald-faced lie went up in smoke faster than Bret Favre’s last three “retirements.” In fact, team president Art Rooney II (who from this point on, I’ll nickname the Deuce as to separate him from the one true honorable Art Rooney) has now all but admitted it was his call to can Arians.

“I think the questions of how we got here are not really relevant,” the Deuce told the Post-Gazette when pressed on the issue of where the dismissal of Arians came from. If that non-denial denial wasn’t damning enough, he all but outed himself two sentences later when he said, “I think it was time for a change, and we’re looking forward to moving on.” Oh, YOU think it’s time for a change, huh Artie? What does your HEAD COACH think? Or doesn’t his opinion matter?
Read More »Art Rooney Must Answer To Big Ben

Mike Tomlin vs Bruce Arians: Round 2

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Let’s take a walk down memory lane. The last time the Pittsburgh Steelers had a hugely disappointing season was the Super Bowl Hangover year of 2009. Shortly into the off-season, rumors began flying fast and furious that offensive coordinator Bruce Arians would be out on his ass. The local media began eulogizing his tenure in their columns while the Steeler blogs who turned #FireArians into an official meme of Steeler Nation were positively orgasmic.

Only thing left was receiving official confirmation from Steeler management. Of course, it never came. The story goes Ben Roethlisberger made a last minute plea to Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney on behalf of his buddy and they acquiesced to the wishes of their superstar quarterback. If not for Big Ben’s timely¬† intervention, Arians and his Flying Circus would’ve been sacrificed at the altar of Black and Gold failure.

Fast forward to the present. We recently completed the 2011 season, which was much more successful than the miserable 2009 campaign, although it ended just as badly. Big Ben surpassed 4,000 yards passing for the second time in his career (and team history), directing an offense which finished 12th overall and 10th through the air. Despite those accomplishments, not to mention being one year removed from a Super Bowl appearance, rumors are again swirling that Arians is on the way out.

Come hell or high water, Mike Tomlin always gets his man.
Read More »Mike Tomlin vs Bruce Arians: Round 2

Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns

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What? Know Thy Enemy on a Wednesday? This can mean only one thing: Thursday Night Football! And if you thought ESPN picked a lousy slate of games, man, you ain’t got nothin’ on the NFL Network.

It seems like every year, the AFC North is a three horse race. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens are the two thoroughbreds in the hunt pretty much every season. The third horseman alternates between the Bengals and the Cleveland Browns. When one is up, the other is usually down.

During the 2009 Super Bowl Hangover year, Cincinnati took advantage of the opening by winning the division before flaming out spectacularly in their lone playoff game. Last year, the Bungles were a mess, hijacked by the clown show being put on by Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco. It was the Browns turn to look like a legitimate NFL franchise. Even though they didn’t win many games (5), rookie quarterback Colt McCoy led the team during a surprisingly competitive stretch which had people believing in a bright future for Cleveland.

Oh, those silly silly people…

The Browns are back in their customary position of irritating little bugs while the Steelers are the windshield headed right toward them tomorrow night.
Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Cleveland Browns