Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens

 Posted by at 8:59 am  Circle of Hate, Game Preview, Jarvis Jones  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Baltimore Ravens
Oct 182013
 

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Defending Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens.

Even typing that sentence sends waves of bile regurgitating up through my throat. There has been some talk that with Hines Ward busy running triathlons and Stabby, er, Ray Lewis offering his insight on how to duck murder raps on ESPN while James Harrison and Ed Reed have moved on to greener NFL pastures, the Baltimore Ravens-Pittsburgh Steelers rivalry has lost a bit of it’s luster. Whether not that’s true, the teams still play in the same division. And as long as they face each other twice a year with victory often being the difference between a playoff berth and a long off-season, the games will continue to hold great significance for both fans and players. Continue reading »

Tomlin Press Conference: Death Stare

 Posted by at 7:30 am  Injury Report, Mike Tomlin  Comments Off on Tomlin Press Conference: Death Stare
Oct 172013
 

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The wait is over! Rejoice! No, I’m not talking about that long anticipated first victory by the Pittsburgh Steelers. I’m not even talking about our long sought after first turnover of the season.

Of course I’m talking about our hotly anticipated analysis of head coach Mike Tomlin‘s weekly press conference. I have to confess, these things are a lot funner to do after a Steelers loss. Which doesn’t mean I’m rooting for them to lose, even if the team is comprised of a bunch of unlikable asshats. It also doesn’t mean Coach T didn’t provide us with a wealth of hilarious quotes.

So read on…and don’t forget to check out Tomlin’s press conference for yourself: Continue reading »

Tomlin Bans Idiotic Celebrations

 Posted by at 11:24 am  Le'Veon Bell, Mike Tomlin, Young Money  Comments Off on Tomlin Bans Idiotic Celebrations
Oct 162013
 

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Or at least one of them, anyway.

Celebration has been the word of the week in Pittsburgh. No, not celebration that the once dominant Pittsburgh Steelers finally won a game. Rather, celebration in reference to the antics of wide receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. Of the two, Sanders’ flip dive into the end zone was probably the dumber of the two although in his defense at least his came as a result of scoring a touchdown. AB evidently thinks tying his shoelaces is worthy of a pose and ain’t I great? gesture.

Well, Mike Tomlin is putting his foot down on the latter. In his weekly press conference – I’m crushed at work so my eagerly anticipated weekly recap will be up tomorrow morning – one of the local media cheerleaders actually had the balls to ask him about the team’s excessive celebrations. Tomlin revealed he had banned Sanders style end zone dives from this point forward due to “The potential for injury.” Continue reading »

Antonio Brown’s School of Disproportionate Celebration

 Posted by at 5:28 am  Antonio Brown, Videos, Young Money  Comments Off on Antonio Brown’s School of Disproportionate Celebration
Oct 152013
 

Antonio Brown Celebrates (1)

I’m not a bandwagon jumper. I was loyal to the Pittsburgh Pirates back when they were in the midst of yet another losing 90+ loss season just like I was loyal to the Penguins in the years B.C. (Before Crosby). Admittedly, the fact they offered Student Rush tickets to us poor college kids may or may not have had something to do with that. Point is, I stuck with those teams because even though they weren’t very good, they were my hometown teams. And I also stuck with them because while they may have not have been talented, they were comprised of decent guys who tried their best.

Well, maybe not the Pens the year they won the Sid Sweepstakes…

Which brings us to the Pittsburgh Steelers. I made the point last year that being bad is one thing, being tough to root for is quite another. Now I have no idea of this year’s team is one the precipice of turning the season around or if they’re destined for yet another miserable playoff-less campaign. What I do know is it’d be a whole lot easier to root for them win or lose if they didn’t employ so many thoroughly detestable characters.

Antonio Brown, come on down. Continue reading »

Week One Recap: As Bad As It Gets

 Posted by at 5:24 am  Offensive Line, Recaps, Redzone Redman, Running Backs, Todd Haley  Comments Off on Week One Recap: As Bad As It Gets
Sep 092013
 

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The Pittsburgh Steelers suffered several injuries in their 16-9 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Zoltan Mesko is not listed among the casualties. I’m sure he spent the better part of the evening icing down his foot, though. Poor Zoltan did more punting yesterday than he did all last season for the New England Patriots.

I can safely say the Black and Gold put on the worst display of offensive football I’ve seen in my thirty odd years of yinzer-hood. Worse than when they had a guy named Walter Abercrombie lining up in the backfield. Worse than when they were being quarterbacked by Bubby Brister. Worse than the glory days of Mark Malone.

Words cannot describe how inept the Steelers appeared on offense. When Ben Roethlisberger hit Jerricho Cotchery for the team’s lone touchdown with a minute and a half left in the game, I actually saw people on Twitter posting “Nice of the offense to finally show up.” That’s insane. The offense never showed up yesterday. NEVER. Continue reading »

Know Thy Enemy: Tennessee Titans

 Posted by at 9:45 am  Game Preview  Comments Off on Know Thy Enemy: Tennessee Titans
Sep 072013
 

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Finally, football has returned to Pittsburgh…

After an unusually long off-season following a disappointing 8-8 campaign, the Pittsburgh Steelers will take the field hoping a dubious mix of aging veterans and unproven youngsters will lead them back to the promised land. First up this Sunday is an appointment with the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Continue reading »

Thoughts On Steelers First Preseason Game

 Posted by at 5:31 am  Offensive Line, Preseason, Running Backs, Special Teams, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Thoughts On Steelers First Preseason Game
Aug 122013
 

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The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the New York Giants 18-13 in Saturday night’s preseason debut. I note the score because I love being on Twitter during these meaningless games and watching Steeler Nation freak out over such minute details. I guess such passion even for games featuring a bunch of guys who’ll be selling car insurance two weeks from now goes hand in hand with having the best fan base in all of football. Remember, people, the Detroit Lions went undefeated in the preseason before taking an O-fer the entire regular season.

With that in mind, there were some interesting storylines coming out of the game: Continue reading »

Steelers Kick Off Preseason Tonight

 Posted by at 8:42 am  Offensive Line, Preseason, Special Teams  Comments Off on Steelers Kick Off Preseason Tonight
Aug 102013
 

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The Pittsburgh Steelers kick off their preseason against the New York Giants tonight. For those of you outside of the Steel City who are just dying to see undrafted free agents pretend to be pro ball players for a couple halves before embarking on a career selling used cars, the game will be airing on NFL Network. The red hot Pirates are in Colorado so when every player of consequence comes out by about 8:30, I’ll probably be switching the channel along with every other bandwagon jumping yinzer. Continue reading »

Plax Falls Down, Goes Boom

 Posted by at 5:19 am  Injury Report, Tight Ends, Wide Receivers  Comments Off on Plax Falls Down, Goes Boom
Aug 092013
 

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On the eve of their first preseason game, the Pittsburgh Steelers may have suffered their first significant loss of the year. Wide receiver Plaxico Burress was carted off the field yesterday after hitting the ground hard while trying to make a catch. He was later seen with his right arm in a sling. This morning, unnamed league sources are saying it’s feared he has a torn rotator cuff. While we’ve yet to get an official diagnosis, if the rumors are indeed true then it would appear Plax’s season is over before it had a chance to begin. Continue reading »

Steelers Retain Emmanuel Sanders

 Posted by at 5:00 am  Wide Receivers, Young Money  Comments Off on Steelers Retain Emmanuel Sanders
Apr 162013
 

The Pittsburgh Steelers rescued wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders from the nefarious clutches of the New England Patriots by matching their offer sheet late Sunday night. By tendering Sanders an additional $1.2 million on top of the $1.3 they already offered, the Black and Gold avoid losing what is expected to be their #2 receiver to a hated conference rival. They also roll the dice in the sense that had they let Sanders go, they would’ve received the Patriots’ third round pick in this year’s draft. Manny will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and with his agent already making noise about wanting a decent chunk of change in order to sign a long term deal, it’s entirely possible the Steelers will lose him next winter and get next to nothing in return.

The Sanders Saga has been one of the more mystifying developments of this off-season. There has been an inordinate amount of discussion devoted to a player 90% of football fans have probably never heard of, most of it driven by muckraker Mike Florio over at ProFootballTalk. Florio is a noted Steeler hater so it’s not surprising he gleefully chronicles their every move looking for barbs to throw but over the past week he’s followed the Sanders Saga like it’s Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. While I get that the Patriots and Steelers are two of the most popular fanbases and popularity = clicks, no less than seven posts on a guy who’s caught a grand total of five touchdowns seems ludicrous.

By the way, I have a correction to make on my original Sanders post from a few days ago. The $2.5 million in cap room PFT listed the Steelers having left was as of the current date. It doesn’t take into account the $5 million in space they’ll get when Willie Colon‘s salary comes off the books on June 1st. So while giving another million to Sanders hurts their ability to add an Ahmad Bradshaw or linebacker depth, they should be in good shape to sign all their draft picks.

Of course the burning question is did the Steelers do right by retaining Sanders? I was torn a few days ago but the more I think about it, it was the right move to make. I’m amazed a whopping 57% of fair-weather yinzers voted in a P-G poll to let him go. I’m even more amazed by the people calling into talk radio bemoaning Kevin Colbert turning down a third round pick in exchange for him. Since when did third round picks turn into precious gold?

Do the names Willie Reid or Dallas Baker ring any bells? How about Limas Sweed? Sweed should be familiar if only because Sanders had a couple Sweed-like moments last season when he dropped a pass then feigned injury to cover for his blunder. However my point is, a third round pick (91st overall) is not exactly a can’t miss prospect. For comparison purposes, last year’s 91st pick was an OT who didn’t see the field last year. Two years ago, it was a linebacker who has started 13 games in two season and has yet to record a sack. With the 91st pick last year, the Steelers could’ve gotten a fine young receiver like the Colts’ TY Hilton (taken one pick later) or they could’ve gotten a guy like Carolina’s Joe Adams (taken nine picks later) who made one whole catch all season.

Point is, the NFL draft isn’t an exact science. The Steelers could’ve found a receiver every bit the equal of Sanders. They also could’ve wasted the pick on yet another shitbum. Furthermore, this team has a number of holes that need filled at OLB, ILB, CB, RB and WR. Subtract Sanders and you almost have to draft at least two wide receivers, burning a pick that might be better spent addressing another position. They might still take two young wide outs but at least now there is some flexibility.

Whether Sanders gets his act together and fulfills some of the potential we saw his rookie year when people forget he looked like the emerging star until Antonio Brown broke through during the post-season remains to be seen. At this point, it’s a gamble the Steelers had to take.