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Swaggin’ Ike Taylor

Ike Taylor Jumps Aboard Retirement Train

Ike Taylor and Dan Rooney Swaggin

This has certainly been a memorable off-season for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Not sure it’s been a *good* off-season but it’s certainly been memorable.

It started when long-time defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau was gently but unmistakably booted down to Tennessee. Free agent to be linebacker Jason Worilds then became the first – and most improbable – Steeler to announce his retirement. Troy Polamalu recently followed in an announcement that was far less shocking than it was bittersweet. And now the Black and Gold have lost their Swag.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor has retired after 12 seasons in the NFL. Yep, he was drafted the same year as Troy and evidently his longtime secondary partner’s decision influenced his own. “We came in together so I wanted to leave together,” he said in a interview for ProFootballTalk. Not that he was expected to be in Pittsburgh come training camp regardless.Read More »Ike Taylor Jumps Aboard Retirement Train

Keisel Out For Year…And Why That’s Not Necessarily Bad

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As I’ve mentioned before, I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with my family down in Florida. I tried keeping up with any important news concerning the Pittsburgh Steelers but between food hangovers and travel woes, some things fell through the cracks. Most notably, I missed the news that defensive end Brett Keisel suffered a torn tricep that will officially end his 2014 season.

Well, I didn’t exactly “miss it.” I just didn’t report it here. Watching the game at a Steeler bar, as soon as I saw the Diesel walking off holding his arm I figured he tore his bicep/tricep. Meanwhile, the Steelers waited until before game time to announce James Harrison would also be sitting out with a balky knee so that one’s on them. Read More »Keisel Out For Year…And Why That’s Not Necessarily Bad

Week 14 Recap: Answering The Bell

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Martavis Bryant 94 TD Catch

Well, that was unexpected…

A week after a miserable showing against the Saints, the Pittsburgh Steelers went out and crushed the Cincinnati Bengals 42-21 to tighten the race in both the AFC North and AFC Playoffs. How convincing was this victory? So convincing Andy Dalton watched the final five minutes from the sideline after Marvin Lewis all but threw in the towel.

Of course, if the Black and Gold hold to 2014 form, I fully expect them to crap the bed next week in Atlanta.Read More »Week 14 Recap: Answering The Bell

Week 13 Recap: Turkey Day

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At least I found a nice Steeler Bar to watch the game…

Fresh and invigorated from their bye week, the Pittsburgh Steelers went out and played like a bunch of turkeys, losing to the New Orleans Saints 35-32 at Heinz Field. Hey, they only lost by a field goal so it was a pretty tight game, right? Never has a final score been more misleading. Two garbage time touchdowns, one occurring literally in the game’s final seconds, served to make the end result look a lot closer than it actually was.

I’m shocked Mike Tomlin even bothered to use his super-secret special two point conversion plays in such a meaningless situation.Read More »Week 13 Recap: Turkey Day

Ike Taylor – Greatest Interview Ever

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Ike Taylor and Dan Rooney Swaggin

I love Ike Taylor. And he loves being a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers. At least, that’s the impression I get. If he should leave after this season and continue his career elsewhere, I get the feeling it’ll be like James Harrison’s ill-fated stay with the Bengals last year. While Deebo said all the right things and even tried to stoke a fire over the Steelers releasing him, it was clear his heart always belonged with the Black and Gold. 

Shoeless Ike has long been a polarizing figure amongst Steeler Nation. In his prime, he was considered by most to be one of the better corners in the league but his legendary stone hands led many fans to dismiss him as a mediocre talent. Plus, corner is one of those positions – like offensive coordinator – where fans seem to only remember your last most recent performance. Call a good game or hold an elite receiver to three catches and you’re great, make bad calls or get burned for a TD and you’re an overrated bum.Read More »Ike Taylor – Greatest Interview Ever

Should Steelers Sign Champ Bailey?

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The Pittsburgh Steelers put together their finest performance of the past two seasons last Sunday night against the Carolina Panthers. It may have been a costly victory, however. Three defensive starters went down with injury, at least two of whom are expected to miss significant time. The question therefore becomes how the Steelers fill those holes.

In my game recap, I tossed in a line about not being so sure the back-ups are a steep downgrade from the starters. Generally speaking, I still believe that. Jarvis Jones and Ryan Shazier might be great some day but that day is definitely not here. With Shazier, you can forgive his lapses because being a rookie playing in Dick LeBeau‘s notoriously complex defense has to be like trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube blindfolded. Jones, on the other hand, is in his second season and despite seeing significant playing time last year, really hasn’t shown much of anything yet in terms of being an elite pass rusher.Read More »Should Steelers Sign Champ Bailey?

Week 3 Recap: Steelers Get Some Breaks (Literally)

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Down Goes Peezy Joey Porter Fail

Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

Lady Luck must have been one of the several thousand Black and Gold clad fans who invaded Bank of America Stadium last night to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers steamroll the Carolina Panthers 37-19. To say the Steelers got some breaks would be an understatement. Or, in the case of poor Ike Taylor, a statement you could take quite literally.Read More »Week 3 Recap: Steelers Get Some Breaks (Literally)

Ike Takes Huge Pay Cut, Woodley Just Plain Cut

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And here we thought the heavy lifting was over…

When the 2014 NFL season officially begins this afternoon, the Pittsburgh Steelers will be well under the league mandated $133 million salary cap. In fact, they may even have enough money to go out and sign a couple free agents when free agency kicks off later today. The moves they made to get to this point, however, are quite noteworthy. One in a good way and one in the bad.

First, to the surprise of virtually nobody, All-Pro linebacker LaMarr Woodley was given his walking papers. When Jason Worilds signed his transition tag before the ink was dry, I theorized that he and the Steelers may have the basic framework of a long-term deal in place and were just waiting until the team got it’s salary cap ducks in a row. Regardless, despite Kevin Colbert‘s nonsensical smoke-blowing about keeping both linebackers, there was no way the Black and Gold were going to pay two OLB big money with first round pick Jarvis Jones also needing playing time. Woodley was odd-man out from the word go.Read More »Ike Takes Huge Pay Cut, Woodley Just Plain Cut

Week 11 Recap: ‘Cause He’s Dick LeBeau

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Does that answer your question?

The Pittsburgh Steelers romped to a 37-27 victory over the Detroit Lions yesterday at Heinz Field. The near miraculous nature of their win is underscored by the fact their defense pulled out of a tailspin that threatened to send the game in the same direction as the Patriots debacle. Detroit finished with 451 total yards of offense, nearly 300 of which came in the second quarter. Meanwhile, the other three quarters saw the Black and Gold play perhaps their finest football of the season.

All season, the Steelers offense has played remarkably better when they’ve gone no-huddle. All season, the Steelers have refused go to the no-huddle until they’ve fallen a score or two behind. Head coach Mike Tomlin called it “a gimmick.” Todd Haley hates it because he’s not the one calling plays.

For the first time this year, the Steelers started the game going no-huddle. Naturally, they would score touchdowns on their first two possessions. With Ben Roethlisberger calling the plays, the Lions had no answers. Well, they did manage to force a three and out on our third drive.

Maybe if Ben studied his playbook a little more, we’d score on EVERY SINGLE POSSESSION.Read More »Week 11 Recap: ‘Cause He’s Dick LeBeau

Know Thy Enemy: Oakland Raiders

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The Oakland Raiders.

Forget the Baltimore Ravens. The Browns? Pffft, please. Once upon a time, there was no more hated rival for the Pittsburgh Steelers than the Oakland Raiders. In the 1970s, it was the marquee match-up.

The only other rivalry remotely in the same stratosphere was the Steelers and Cowboys. Ironically, a key part of the Cowboys success was owed to a Pittsburgh area high school legend, Tony Dorsett. Today, another local high school legend, Terrelle Pryor, is attempting to lead the Raiders back into relevance. Can lightning strike twice?

If it does, it will hardly be the first time the Steelers have been snakebit by the Raiders. With Halloween right around the corner, it’s somewhat appropriate we play this week in the Oakland Coliseum, which has been something of a traditional House of Horror for the Black and Gold. Granted the teams don’t face each other regularly but it’s still hard to believe the Steelers haven’t won there since way back in 1995. Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Oakland Raiders