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Week 4 Recap: Scobee Sinks Steelers

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Yeah, I’m late. I was up late on a work night for obvious reasons. Besides, I’m sure everybody saw what happened last night. There will be much talking about and digital ink spilled on the Baltimore Ravens 23-20 overtime win over the Pittsburgh Steelers but to me it’s a bunch of sound and fury signifying nothing.

We lost because our kicker sucks. Period. End of story.

I hate to be *that* guy but after Josh Scobee missed an extra point in our week 2 victory over the Niners, I wrote the following:

“I’m so glad we traded a 6th round pick for a totally useless kicker that probably should be cut before he costs us a game (and, mark my words, he WILL cost us a game eventually).”

And, sure enough, eventually finally happened (RIP Yogi). I understand sports is not a knee-jerk business. I get as frustrated as anybody when a player makes one bad pitch or one bad play and 200 yinzers on Twitter want him cut. But at the same time, there are times when you can clearly see somebody doesn’t have it. And it’s annoying that teams seemingly ignore the obvious hoping it’ll go away until something so catastrophic happens they’re forced into action.Read More »Week 4 Recap: Scobee Sinks Steelers

Week 2 Recap: Always Bet On Black (And Gold)

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Boy, that was fun.

The Pittsburgh Steelers notched their first win of the season by obliterating the San Francisco 49ers 43-18. Yes, there’s still a lot of football left to be played in 2015. And, yes, the Niners were at a pretty big disadvantage having to travel across country on a short week while their opponent had ten days to prepare. Those things given, it’s hard to be anything less than impressed with the Black and Gold’s showing yesterday.

A thorough recap would be impossible because pretty much everybody on our side played a great game. Ben Roethlisberger was as close to perfection as you can get, going 21-27 for 369 yards and three TDs. Antonio Brown caught 9 of them for 195 and a TD. DeAngelo Williams – Le’Veon who? – in his final start for the foreseeable rushed for 77 yards and 3 TDs. Darrius Heyward-Bey and Markus Wheaton had productive games, each catching one long bomb (41 and 48 yards, respectively) to set up a scoring drive.Read More »Week 2 Recap: Always Bet On Black (And Gold)

Tomlin Promises Possible Changes (Maybe)

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Yesterday, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin held his first weekly press conference. If you’re new to TotesStillers, let me explain that I have an almost masochistic desire to watch these things. It gives me some perverse joy to listen to his half-truths, non-answers, and (especially after a loss or two) the seething contempt Coach T has for being questioned by the sycophantic Pittsburgh Media. Which is my other joy; listening to what passes as “reporters” in this town lob softball after softball at him because heaven forbid anybody ever criticize the mighty Steelers.

Years past I wrote these long detailed posts following his pressers but it’s too much of a chore both for me to write and you to slog through. So I’m just gonna hit on the highlights. For example, this week’s began with a discussion of Thursday night’s loss at New England. Somebody actually did ask Tomlin about his comical clock management at the end of both halves to which Coach T responded, “I saw no problem with it at all.”Read More »Tomlin Promises Possible Changes (Maybe)

Make It A Bud – Steelers Pick Dupree In First Round

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Bud Dupree

Gotta admit they’re nothing if not consistent.

For the third year in a row, the Pittsburgh Steelers took a first round linebacker, selecting Kentucky’s Bud Dupree with the 22nd pick of the 2015 NFL Draft. As I feared in my draft preview, a run on corners in the mid-teens pretty much guaranteed the Steelers would have to address other areas or risk reaching on a pick. Not that pass rushing OLB wasn’t a desperate need as well. With practically their choice of pass rushers still on the board, it was the obvious move.

Alvin Dupree, who goes by “Bud” although now that he’s in Pittsburgh perhaps should consider changing it to “Iron,” was certainly one of the more highly rated prospects in this year’s draft. As I mentioned in my preview, the mocks were all over the map as after Dante Fowler – who went third to Jacksonville – the so-called “experts” had him, Vic Beasley, and Shane Ray all over their boards in all different orders. Most draftniks I saw had Dupree going somewhere in the teens so for what that’s worth it appears the Steelers got a guy they didn’t expect to see at #22. Of course, it seems like we say that every year only to learn there’s usually a reason a guy fell.Read More »Make It A Bud – Steelers Pick Dupree In First Round

Week 16 Recap: Back Where We Belong

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Suck It, Haters!
“Suck It, Haters!”

The Pittsburgh Steelers ended their unbearable two year post-season drought in emphatic fashion, clinching a spot in the 2014 NFL playoffs with a convincing 20-12 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. I’m not sure I’d call this their most impressive win of the season although it was easily the most solid. In my preview I talked glowingly of the Chiefs which, truth be told, was based almost entirely on their impressive stats. Going by what I saw yesterday, KC is certainly not the highest caliber opponent we’ve faced this year.

I call this win solid because for the first time this year, the Steelers performed well in all three phases. Nobody on offense put up huge numbers and there weren’t any memorable splash plays but as a group they moved the ball almost effortlessly against what was billed as a superior defense. Ben Roethlisberger was an efficient 18/25 for 220 yards, Le’Veon Bell had 63 yards on 20 carries and both Heath Miller and Antonio Brown caught 7 balls for 68 and 72 yards respectively. All this added up to scores on four of their six drives. Read More »Week 16 Recap: Back Where We Belong

Steelers First Round Pick – Linebacker Ryan Shazier?

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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.Read More »Steelers First Round Pick – Linebacker Ryan Shazier?

Steelers Add Arthur Moats

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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. Read More »Steelers Add Arthur Moats

Week 12 Recap: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

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I have no idea how this NFL season is going to end. What I do know is it’ll probably be in the least likely way possible.

In a year full of twists and turns, the latest came Sunday when the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 27-11 to officially move into contention for the AFC Playoffs. The graphic above showing the Black and Gold as the second AFC Wild Card team was valid for about three hours yesterday afternoon. That is, until Tennessee beat Oakland to move ahead of us by virtue of a head-to-head victory earlier in the season. Still, the fact the same team that started out 0-4 and got epically blown out by the Patriots a month back is even in the playoff race is utterly insane.

Welcome to the parity-driven, NFL!Read More »Week 12 Recap: Meet The New Boss, Same As The Old Boss

Know Thy Enemy: Minnesota Vikings

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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.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Minnesota Vikings

Start ‘Em Or Sit ‘Em, Steelers Edition

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Since head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t think it’s “time to press the panic button,” I don’t expect to see significant changes to the line-up when the Pittsburgh Steelers meet the Chicago Bears on Sunday Night. To paraphrase Trib columnist Dejan Kovacevic, he seems content to keep banging his head against the wall. Too bad when Tomlin was busy looking up big fancy words to use incorrectly during his press conference, he didn’t bother taking a look at the definition of insanity.

in·san·i·ty [inˈsanitē/] – doing the same thing over and over but hoping for a different result

Maybe the Steeler don’t need to push the panic button. But they for damn sure need to make some changes. Every week, fantasy football gurus do some version of a Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em column where they list various players and describe why or why not you should start them on your team. In that spirit, I’ll list a handful of Steelers and explain why they should or shouldn’t see more playing time going forward.Read More »Start ‘Em Or Sit ‘Em, Steelers Edition