The Pittsburgh Steelers host the Buffalo Bills this weekend at Heinz Field. Feel the excitement!
If you’re going to Sunday’s game, well, I assume this is your first Steelers game because some season ticket holder realized what a dumpster fire the Steelers are and decided to pass his tickets off to you. What you need to know is always wave your Terrible Towel during commercial time-outs to increase your shot of getting on TV. The scoreboard operator will play “Renegade” to fire up the defense at some point during the game so cheer loud. And, for you ladies, please adhere to the NFL’s Clear Purse Policy.
For the rest of us, it’s an epic battle between a 3-6 and a 2-6 team. Maybe the Steelers will win. It certainly wouldn’t be shocking as the Bills aren’t very good. But who cares? Any wins by the Black and Gold just ruin their draft position.Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Buffalo Bills
Welcome to our weekly recap/analysis of Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin‘s press conference. Things got a bit testy this week as it evidently took the New England Patriots dropping 55 points on our hometown team for the local media to finally show some balls. Not surprisingly, Tomlin responded to any hard questions with his usual bag of condescension and arrogance. The fact he seemingly gets pissed when anybody dares question one of his decisions or statements makes me wonder what he’d do if he coached in a city where the reporters weren’t a bunch of glad-handing cheerleaders ninety percent of the time.
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating – I love Steeler Nation. There’s nothing like wearing a Super Bowl XL Champions t-shirt in Calgary, Canada or Albuquerque, New Mexico and having some complete random stranger walk up to you and say, “Go Stillers!” While I love the Pittsburgh Steelers fanbase, there’s a segment that drives me friggin’ crazy. If you want an example of who I’m talking about, just tune into Pittsburgh sports talk radio and you won’t have to listen for very long.
There’s an old football cliche that the most popular guy in town is the back-up quarterback. That was certainly true here at least until Terry Bradshaw started collecting rings. Since then, we’ve been relatively QB controversy free. Charlie Batch is certainly a more beloved figure locally than Ben Roethlisberger but only the most insane yinzer would’ve suggested starting Batch over (a healthy) Roethlisberger.
Welcome to the this year’s first installment of Know Thy Enemy. You may notice another Know Thy Enemy running on another Pittsburgh Steelers site, a site I started and a feature I began writing five years ago. Obviously those uncreative hacks can’t think up their own material so they’ve decided to coast along with my leftovers. Accept no cheap substitutes!
For the newbies, Know Thy Enemy is my weekly catch-all post where I preview the Steelers’ upcoming game. I analyze the team’s opponent, look at how they match up, and also give a final run down of key injuries for either side. So without further ado, let’s get to it!
The Denver Broncos handed the Steelers what was undoubtedly one of their most embarrassing playoff losses ever last season. Even defensive mastermind Dick LeBeauis still shaking his head over how last season ended. Ordinarily when a team engineers a magical playoff run which culminates in a franchise’s biggest win in nearly a decade, they spend the off-season building upon what got them there. John Elway, VP and de facto GM of Denver, went the other way. He tore it all down and decided to start over.
STEELERS DEFENSE vs BRONCOS OFFENSE
Of course Elway’s biggest move was jettisoning the man responsible for all his team’s magic, Tim Tebow. They were comfortable giving up on the Messiah because they were able to acquire a Football God. Peyton Manning, fresh off a season lost to serious neck surgery, was cut loose by the rebuilding Colts. Elway pounced and thus ended the Tebow Era in Denver.
The history of superstar QBs leaving their original team at the twilight of their career isn’t pretty. Joe Namath stumbled through a forgettable season with the Rams and Johnny U finished up with an unmemorable run with the Chargers. Joe Montana had slightly better results with the Chiefs (including a memorable overtime playoff win against Bill Cowher‘s Steelers, thanks to some inept punting from Mark Royals). Much like riding the Thunderbolt at Kennywood or making love to a woman, the second time is never as good as the first. Preseason reports were Manning looked every bit the Manning of old but experiencing the same level of success as he had with the Colts, where he won 12+ games in eight of his thirteen years, would definitely be a case of defying history. Read More »Know Thy Enemy: Denver Broncos
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
No, I’m not talking about an apathetic fan base and a sea of empty seats at every home game. The Pitt Panthers already have that covered.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin first rose to prominence as a defensive backs coach under Tony Dungy down in Tampa. Dungy’s defense of choice was a modified version of the 4-3 scheme he learned as a player (and later coach) under Chuck Noll. Despite Tomlin’s preference for running the Tampa-2, one of the conditions upon his hiring was he retain Dick LeBeau, inventor and master of the 3-4 zone blitz. Considering the Steelers have ranked at or near the top of the NFL in total defense every year since he arrived in Pittsburgh, I’m sure Tomlin has had no complaints about the change.
Besides LeBeau being one of the finest defensive minds of all-time, management didn’t want to change philosophies because they simply didn’t have the right personnel. Whenever a team switches from 3-4 to 4-3 (or vice versa) there is an adjustment period because what is expected from each player changes. Some of you may remember a couple years back when fatass Albert Haynesworth pitched a fit because Washington switched from a 4-3 (where he could collect a bunch of stats, and the bonuses that went with them, by rushing the quarterback) to a 3-4 (where, like our linemen, his primary job was to occupy blockers and create gaps for others to make plays). If you ever wondered why the Steelers love stocking up on linebackers in the draft, it’s because our scheme depends on having plenty of strong, athletic linebackers on the roster.
In my game preview, I listed three things I thought the Pittsburgh Steelers absolutely had to do in order to defeat the New England Patriots. To be honest, I didn’t think they’d actually do any of them. Well, fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, thy name is Bill Belichick.
The Steelers completely overhauled their usual game plan on both sides of the ball yesterday. The result was a convincing 25-17 victory over the hated Patriots. It was, by any measure, the team’s most impressive performance of 2011. If the Black and Gold goes on a run which culminates in another trip up the Stairway to Seven, we’re undoubtedly going to look back at week eight as the turning point in the season.
Longtime Steeler fans will remember an infamous Monday Night game many years back when the Patriots came out throwing on something like twenty consecutive plays. Yesterday, the Steelers gave them a taste of their own medicine. Ben Roethlisberger threw the ball 32 times. In the first half.
Ben would finish the afternoon 36/50 for 365 yards and 2 TDs. He came out firing and never let up, even when it would have been prudent to do so. I’ve been a Steeler fan for a pretty long time. While I’m not exactly reaching for Touch of Grey, I remember seeing John Stallworth catch passes from Mark Malone. I’ve never seen a better performance by a Steeler signal caller than the one Ben put forth yesterday. Read More »Week 8 Recap: Out-Patrioting The Patriots