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Morning Java: Sunday cruddy Sunday

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Monday column does not take a gentle tack with Todd Haley.

I stress in there and will repeat here: The OC is  hardly alone to blame. I cite a few other examples, but I’d like to hear from you on this topic, where your finger is pointing this morning.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, by Alan Robinson, Mark Kaboly and Ralph Paulk, as well as our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner.

I call special attention in that pack to the main game story and Brett Keisel’s powerful — and painfully accurate — assessment of David DeCastro’s chop block that errantly felled Maurkice Pouncey.

Here’s Keisel on a couple other topics …

And some of Mike Tomlin

Here’s Titans news from the Tennessean.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

>> Mike Wallace had a bad day, too, in his Dolphins debut. The Miami Herald reports.

And the word from out West is that it was a rough day all-around …

BTsAdPICUAAkf7o

>> The Pirates stayed stuck on 81, were swept by the Cardinals, saw Charlie Morton go down to injury, and fell into a second-place tie with the Reds by evening’s end. Rob Biertempfel reports from St. Louis.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Cardinals news from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Rangers news from the Dallas Morning News.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> Wrestling is back in the Olympics. With is wonderful. But as I wrote in the Feb. 13 column, it’s ridiculous that it ever became a topic.

>> Penn State’s three-man backfield is counted by Chris Adamski. If you missed the Sunday column, I compared Bill O’Brien to the Dos Equis guy.

>> WPXI-TV’s ‘The Final Word’ gained a new sponsor, Subway, and a new contributor, Mark Madden, with last night’s episode. Hope you had a chance to catch us!

Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and more, including his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the top four columnists in the country -- highest circulation category -- by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the top three columnists in the country by the National Headliners Awards. For 2013, he was named top columnist in the state by the Keystone Awards and second-place by the Pennsylvania AP Managing Editors.

447 Comments

  1. Excellent column as always Dejan. I think we must ask, with LSH apparently out for the season now, will Haley in fact STILL design the offense around him for week 2? Stay tuned!

    DK: That was kind of the joke!

    Thanks, Eddie.

  2. Karma

    Free Hernandez = Free the ACL…..

  3. Here are the up=to-date standings:

    TOP SCORES IN SEPTEMBER
    Bill Born ~ 600
    Rick in Crete ~ 200
    cosmo ~ 200
    pattonbb ~ 200
    Dom ~ 150

    CURRENT PARTICIPANT TOTALS
    bman ~ 2755
    JRay3 ~ 2150
    Nor Cal Stlrfanrc (Ryan) ~ 2125
    Nate83 ~ 1625
    blazer ~ 1500
    War Horse ~ 1365
    JUCOFan ~ 1300
    Bill Born ~ 1080
    Dadtackular ~ 900
    Pucknutz ~ 900
    Irish ~ 800
    KJX ~ 750
    theplanisworking ~ 750
    fellocolonial ~ 700
    stickyweb ~ 700
    Chico ~ 600
    Ermine ~ 600
    RobertoForever ~ 490
    tdb1977 ~ 485
    OZ ~ 400
    TCB ~ 400
    JohninOshkosh ~ 385
    EricBowser ~ 325
    Vette60 (Randy in RVA) ~ 250
    Boise Bucco ~ 200
    Evan ~ 200
    Hal Smith ~ 200
    kr70 ~ 200
    Rick in Crete ~ 200
    JoeyBats ~ 175
    Karen22 ~ 175
    cherokee23 ~ 150
    BDHumbert ~ 125
    A1C McG ~ 100
    Matt hoffman ~ 100
    PetroSteel ~ 100
    steelercrazy ~ 100
    MarkV ~ 50
    mlrgenuine ~ 50
    TJ ~ 50
    tmp444 ~ 25
    Fish ~ 0
    Frankie ~ 0
    Jason81 ~ 0
    pants-n-at ~ 0
    Ruffian706 ~ -40
    Dom ~ -75
    Ben ~ -80
    absolute59 ~ -100
    Arriba Wilver ~ -100
    Brian ~ -100
    Dcpinpgh ~ -100
    John in WM ~ -100
    Kevin S ~ -100
    The Gunner ~ -100
    TK ~ -100
    buggee ~ -150
    Ghost ~ -150
    Alexandre Giesbrecht ~ -200
    cosmo ~ -200
    DemonDachshund ~ -200
    DormontGeorge ~ -200
    Ryan76 ~ -200
    Big B ~ -300
    Brandie ~ -300
    Joey Mellons ~ -300
    toochca ~ -300
    cmat0829 ~ -350
    Keith ~ -350
    radio wave ~ -375
    Steve J. Smith ~ -400
    pattonbb ~ -500
    stuart66 ~ -500
    Jandy ~ -875
    JaxBuc ~ -900
    JMB ~ -1100
    Lad9 ~ -1600
    Kevin ~ -1635
    JD ~ -1975
    Bizrow ~ -5100

    ***The Most Points for the end of SEPTEMBER will win:***
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    First Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES FITTED NEW ERA 59FIFTY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994233155485698

    Second Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) BRAND NEW PITTSBURGH PIRATES EARTH DAY GIVEAWAY HAT
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994373731794947

    Third Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES LICENSE PLATE FRAME
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323994796970627072

    Fourth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PIRATES BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996932466962432

    Fifth Place at the end of the season will win:
    (1) PITTSBURGH PENGUINS BUMPER STICKER
    https://twitter.com/TheBuccoWindow/status/323996735837982720

  4. It feels like the season is over before it started. I can take a loss, but the same miserable turnovers and penalties happen time after time. I see a ton of the same things we all saw last year. I could stomach it a little better if the Pirates actually win number 82 but alas…..

  5. Dejan is great writing about the Pirates and the Pens but about the Steelers — not so much. The blame for where this franchise is headed could be spread around to many different areas, but if people want to make Haley the whipping boy, I guess that’s the way it will be.

    DK: Which is why, in the very column you presumably read, I spread the blame “around to many different areas” and identified them specifically.”

    Did the headline stop you?

    • Well. Maybe the first 25 paragraphs slamming Haley stopped him, Dejan.

      Or paragraphs 28, 29, 31 or 32. Out of 32.

      I suspect you’re right about Haley but cheese-o-man. Calling Cobra out as if he didn’t read the column. Did you? Or did you just read the other 3 paragraphs?

      Maybe you’re right about Cobra, Dejan, but it was a different line that stopped him. Cobra probably missed “Look, there was blame to go around”. In paragraph 26.

  6. Last two Pirate collapses due to pitching. Once again, pitchning now suspect. For a month and a half they have not played like playoff team-no reason to suspect anything will change with three weeks left. Even if they make wild card they cant beat the Astros in a 5 game series.

    Steelers, I fault Tomlin. Lots of reasons but the biggest is no one plays intensely, no plays with fire in their belly except maybe Clark, and Polamolu. Say what you want about Harrison at least he wanted to rip your head off which is more of what the Steelers need. Way too much complacency. “Standard is the Standard, Unleash Hell, etcc…. blah blah” I suspect players dont respect him and they sure dont respond to him. I always put aside money and buy best seats I can for one game a year (spend a thousand or more total each time) but two yrs ago I stopped because I am not paying money to watch people who dont care-it is obvious they just dont give a crap. No other reason you lose to Titans than you just dont care.

  7. Why not blame the D- coordinator also? Third-down D is atrocious. The number one D stat from previous years is great, but when a D needs to act like a true number 1 Championship D, it needs to bail out the offense, if necessary, get the other team off the field, not stand tough for two downs then give it all away on third down, prevent the other team from having the ball for 6-8 minute drives, etc.

  8. The dink-and-dunk is here to stay. Our offensive line was not improved, after all. We don’t have the people movers to surge and drive a running game. We don’t have the protectors who can keep Ben upright and unharried for, oh, two and a half seconds. So the dink-and-dunk poor man’s offense is going no where. Not saying Todd Haley is exempt from blame. But a larger causation has been becoming harder and harder to ignore…

    While it’s too early to make a call on the Steeler’s most recent draft, in general, Steeler management has been slipping in keeping the team stocked with championship level athletes and competitors. To borrow a line from Lloyd McClendon,right now the Steelers just ‘don’t have enough bullets.’ More bullets are needed to compete in this leauge. Some scouts and some decision makers — including perhaps Kevin Colbert and the founder’s grandson — have been failing at meeting the Steeler standard.

    Wonder if Bill Cowher might be interested in doing a John Elway here in Pittsburgh. Bill knows he’s too old to coach the kids these days. But he actually might be good at running the organization and making personnel decisions. Cowher didn’t figure out how to harness all the talent of his players until the end of his tenure. But talented players he always had. Identifying and assembling athletes might have been his greatest ability.

  9. Point about the TD they finally scored was right on. How many times would they have dumped it to Redman 4 yards short of the endzone? I was shocked they actually threw TO the endzone on 4th down.

  10. At least the players are talking to each other in the locker room this season.

    I wonder what they’re saying this morning.

  11. Ok. I read the morning column.
    Watched most of the game.

    Yes, Haley deserves much blame, as does Tomlin, and the players.

    Curious by his absence in the blame for the debacle yesterday is Kevin Colbert.
    Colbert was the person who acquired the players yesterday, not Haley, or Tomlin
    Colbert was the one who didnt upgrade the team in the offseason.
    Colbert made the draft choices. Sure glad they picked Landry Jones this year!!

    Yesterday, I saw a horrible O-Line……. #1 and #2 draft choices.
    Yesterday, I saw a slow D-Line.
    Yesterday, I saw middling linebackers, BEFORE Foote got hurt.
    Yesterday, I saw a secondary that was eh, arriving too late, and leaving wide open spaces for Jake Freaking Locker!

    Wonder if anyone will dare to ask Coach StroySpeak if he still believes that everyone else was better than Dwyer. Wonder if Colbert will swallow his pride and try to bring him back? I doubt it………. that would mean they have to admit they made a mistake. Not happening.

    So yesterday we saw the fruits of the Steelers off-season acquisitions, the result of their preseason woes. 10-6??? I predicted 6-10, and this morning, I think I was way too optimisitic. With this O-Line, I se Ben injured for the majority of the season, and 3 wins might be doable. But as long as Colbert et al continue to get a free pass in regards to blame for this mess, dont expect too many miracles, folks.

  12. And, being I am concerned about both the Steelers and Pirates TV ratings, I switched back and forth between games. What I saw on the Pirate game was truly worrying.

    No offense, errors, Morton hurt, both starting and relief pitchers battered around.

    Who is going to be a leader down the stretch? Who will step up? Right now, I dont see anyone. 3 games coming up against Texas, and I see another sweep. Darvish will get 19 strikeouts tonight. 6 more games against the Reds……….. out of those 9 games, I can see 7 losses easily.

    But being we cant dare criticize the Coaches , I guess we just have to hope for the best. neal did his job, now lest see who wants to do theirs.

    Oh, and better keep an eye on Arizona and Washington.

    • I didn’t see any of the Pirate game yesterday, as when I looked at the score and saw it was 5-0 StL early, I figured I didn’t need extra aggravation.
      It’s getting quite clear to me that if the Pirates make the playoffs, it will be a one game wild card game.
      I now see little to no hope of them winning the division.
      It might sound crazy, but it strikes me like there is too many people in that dugout since the 9/1 call ups.
      Added roster helps Hurdle to make various moves….But could it be a distraction for the team itself?

    • Good teams have bad stretches. Amazing how a 4 game losing streak makes everyone think its Armageddon. Also, don’t equate losing with not having leaders or people “failing to step up.” Sometimes, you just play bad and thats all it is.

      • I hope you’re right, NastyNate. I’m looking for a turnaround in this series against the Rangers. #82 WILL come.

      • remember where this team was in april after that first road trip to southern california. yea, i was one of those that hollered a lot…. in april! Good point, Nate.

      • It’s more than just a 4-game losing streak. It’s both apparent aces getting shelled in their recent starts. It’s getting swept by the team you’re competing with for the division title. It’s losing to injury your only consistent starting pitcher over the past month. It’s an all-star pitcher returning from hiatus and still looking like he belongs in the minors.

        You know, the people who keep claiming there’s a collapse coming are clearly living on a different planet. But the people who keep claiming that everything is just fine and dandy are also living on a different planet.

        The truth is somewhere in between. This team has serious issues right now, and pointing them out is hardly akin to thinking it’s Armageddon.

        • So, Scott, are the Pirates gonna lose every game from now on out? or will they only win 5?
          And if I choose to root FOR them, not against them, is that a good thing or a bad thing?
          Where do YOU fit in all this mess?

          • I have no idea how they will finish, but it’s hard not to be nervous at this point. They should still make the playoffs, but Liriano and Burnett need to regain their ace form for the team to win any games once they get there.

            Of course you should root for them. Why would you root against them?

  13. I’m no big X’s and O’s guy, but the Steeler offensive players look confused and unsure to me.
    I get the feeling this offense is overly complicated, and that’s one of the biggest reasons it’s not working.
    It’s the same type of feeling as when Joe Walton was OC for a year or two in the (I believe) early 90′s.
    Over complicating anything usually doesn’t work, and this offense obviously is not working.

    • The Titans didn’t seem to have any problem figuring the Steeler offense out. It can’t be that hard to learn.

      I don’t think it is the complexity (I think it is a fairly basic offense to be honest) – I think it is the fact that you are not throwing the ball down the field at all other than the first play. I don’t mean you have to run fly patterns all day. But you need to show some intermediate routes and an occasional long ball so they have to defend the entire field, not a 15 yard swatch of it. You could see the Titan’s safeties cheating up all day from where I sat. And if you feel that your offensive line can not hold off the rush of the league’s worst defense long enough to throw those passes, you have much bigger issues.

      • Good Morning RAD LAD!!!!!!

        I’m so glad I didn’t stick around and watch that debacle…was a nice ride in Shelby :)

        • Good morning Jandy! I would have liked the Shelby better than watching that debacle in person. I guess we are experiencing the life of a sports fan outside of Cleveland. You get some wonderful highs and some sobering lows. Course in Cleveland they are very stable – they only get the lows! :)

          • I’ll take Pittsburgh sports over Cleveland any century for sure…

            we ARE spoiled in DaBurgh…

            • I lived in Cleveland for 3 years…this is VERY true what you are saying, Jandy.

            • Ummmmm…born & raised in Cleveland. Hated the Steelers – vehemently. Until I moved to Western PA. Then I understood.

              :)

              I’ll always have a soft spot in my aching heart for the Indians, though. Still waiting for that “Major League” moment (actually, they DID have it for a stretch there. Jose Mesa. GAAA!!).

            • Not so “Rarin’” today.
              Grumpy…very grumpy.

              And reading all the moaning & groaning here is making me…GRUMPY.

              A win in Texas tonight might change that. But I’m not sure.

              • “And reading all the moaning & groaning here is making me…GRUMPY.”

                I’ll second that, Karen. And one clown took a gratuitous swipe at Jandy. Jandy handled it with aplomb, though. Way to go, Jandaroo!

      • As mentioned….Joe Walton’s offense was very complex, but it sure didn’t fool the other defense.

  14. With 20 games left, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card is 13 (vs. Washington), to host the wild card game is 20 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 22 (vs. Cardinals).

    Series of interest stating tonight are Pirates at Rangers, Cubs at Reds, and Nationals at Mets. Arizona is a game behind Washington, and Arizona starts a series in LA tonight. St. Louis starts a series with Milwaukee tomorrow.

    • Good morning, All! With all the craziness and ugliness in St. Louis this weekend…thanks, Tom for posting this. There is STILL something special about the words “Magic Number” and “Pirates” in the same sentence.

      • Hear, hear, what The Justice Avenger said!

        I’ll be watching tonight. Looking for a clean start.

        Good thing I don’t chew my fingernails ;)

      • In all fairness to the topic it should be pointed out that the Pirates’ so-called magic number with the Cardinals is higher than the number of games left to play, meaning that they could go 20-0 the remainder of the season and still finish behind the Cards. The division title is no longer in their hands to control.

  15. Over complicating is not an excuse in professional football. It is clear however that the Steelers are not capable of doing anything well on offense. They haven’t been very good for quite awhile. They miss Miller big time and we will see if Bell can give them the kind of production that has been missing since Bettis. OLine is terrible pre- Pouncey, now things will get worse due to inserting a complete inexperienced player into a position of importance. Haley can’t coach around this unless Miller and Bell give him options.

  16. Wow. Just read Keisel’s remarks about his own team’s blocking schemes. Think things are going to be a little tense at the Steeler’s practice complex this week? I happen to agree with Keisel that the league which places player safety above all other matters (lol) should just outlaw cut blocks. And is there any practical difference between a “chop” block (illegal) and these cut blocks, anyway?

    • And in terms of DK addressing Haley’s work, I would pile on by saying that at this point it seems to do nothing well, or we have the wrong players for it. And I was no fan of Ariens’ offense.

  17. Bad day in Pittsburgh sports indeed.

    Hurdle quote ” “And there’s still people I talk to who wake up every morning in fear, not in hope.” Well give us something tangible on the field and maybe hope will return.

    Steelers – Ben has to take some blame as well. Steps up in the pocket when not needed. Holds the ball to long, indecisive, these are keys to getting sacked and throwing interceptions. Sure, not all his fault in this game, the OL line was not good. Running was not good, play calling not good, defense so so, they cannot be on the field so long. This was evident even when we had great defensives. Ben needs to learn to drop and throw, look off the defensive backs not lock on his receiver. IF Ben is calling a lot of these plays? As he is able and has the backing to do then I cannot blame all the play calling on Haley.

    Just another sucky day for he Steelers and Pirates yesterday.

    • “Hit Somebody!!”

      “Shoot the Puck!!”

      Just getting in mid season form. For SOMEthing.

      • Hockey yes!!!! Just right around the corner sir.

        Now even if we have a coach that can get us in the playoffs some will want him fired. Wondered what would be said if his name was Huddle or Tomlin right now. “-)

        • haha guys, good stuff.

          I actually have a good feeling about this season. Sure, we lost some guys.
          Signing Martin gives me hope, tho.

          Drop the puck already!!!!

        • Making the playoffs in the NHL=meh!

          WINNING in the Stanley Cup playoffs is what it’s all about, and with all the talent the Pens bring to the table the expectations should be very high.

  18. If the standard is the standard we had for the last year, then they are meeting the standard.
    Didn’t someone once say something like “we have met the standard and they are us”

  19. JAL’s Video Killed the Radio Star Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iwuy4hHO3YQ

    GENERAL DAILY UPDATED BASEBALL SITES

    1- MLB Transactions

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/pittsburgh_pirates/

    3 Pittsburgh Pirates Stats

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AsjN0zO-DxI0dHVOMzdPYm9wUEJtdVJ0WWUzVWhFc2c#gid=0

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    First Pitch: Here is Why the Pirates Have Been Contending All Year

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-here-is-why-the-pirates-have-been-contending-all-year.html

    Prospect Watch: Jamestown Eliminated From the Playoffs

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/prospect-watch-jamestown-eliminated-from-the-playoffs.html

    2012 and 2013 are Mirror Images For Alex Dickerson

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/2012-and-2013-are-mirror-images-for-alex-dickerson.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates lose 9-2 in latest depressing blowout

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/8/4708500/pirates-lose-9-2-in-latest-depressing-blowout

    Pennant Race Flashback: September 8, 1980

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/8/4703898/pennant-race-flashback-september-8-1980

    6 Rumbunter

    Pirates GM Neal Huntington Show Highlights

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/08/pirates-gm-neal-huntington-show-highlights/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 142: Cardinals 9 Pirates 2

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/07/pittsburgh-pirates-pitching-staff-seems-to-be-tiring-near-the-end/

    8 The Green Weenie

    Bucs Flattened 9-2

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/bucs-flattened-9-2.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Cardinals 9, Pirates 2

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/cardinals-9-pirates-2/

    10 City of Champions

    Pirates’ awful weekend ends with another loss to Cardinals

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/08/pirates-awful-weekend-ends-another-loss-cardinals/

    • Video Killed the Radio Star Buggles 1979 This novelty song was a major hit and the first video played on MTV (yes kids, MTV once played videos). In 1981 the two members of the group joined Yes for their Drama album. Geoff Downes, the keyboard player then joined ASIA as one of the original members. He still tours with ASIA. Downes and Trevor Horn (the singer in the video) have performed together in recent years. Horn has produced albums, including a Yes album and a Robbie Williams album. The Buggles were a studio band.

  20. NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 IS Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates: The end of the James McDonald experiment

    http://isportsweb.com/2013/09/08/pittsburgh-pirates-end-james-mcdonald-experiment/

    12 Beaver County Times

    Pirates’ focus shifts after sweep

    http://www.timesonline.com/sports/pirates/pirates-focus-shifts-after-sweep/article_8232b377-9354-5880-a5fa-3e4c06647878.html

    13 Dallas Morning News

    Rangers Roundup: Musical chairs with the lineup may come to an end; Elvis Andrus eyes 40 steals; Rangers salvage win in Anaheim

    http://rangersblog.dallasnews.com/2013/09/rangers-roundup-musical-chairs-with-the-lineup-may-come-to-an-end-elvis-andrus-eyes-40-steals-rangers-salvage-win-in-anaheim.html/

    14 Fort Worth Star Telegram

    Elvis Andrus, Alex Rios help Rangers avoid sweep by Angels

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2013/09/08/5144726/rangers-edge-angels-4-3.html?rh=1

    15 The American Spectator

    An Exorcism in Pittsburgh?

    http://spectator.org/archives/2013/09/09/an-exorcism-in-pittsburgh

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Rangers Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130909_PIT@TEX

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Wacha’s gem helps Cards sweep Pirates

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/cardinal-beat/wacha-s-gem-helps-cards-sweep-pirates/article_43282e8d-6d0b-5e68-a810-a7f99a79edf6.html

    With records falling, Carpenter is in MVP conversation

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/with-records-falling-carpenter-is-in-mvp-conversation/article_a350f404-3c84-5108-b30c-e4ae891ed1aa.html

    18 PBC Site

    Pirates again have no answers for Cardinals

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_08_pitmlb_slnmlb_1&mode=recap_away&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Morton exits start in second inning due to foot injury

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130908&content_id=59958738&notebook_id=59970732&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    BP Daily PodcastEffectively Wild Episode 281: The Soft-Tossing Starter Draft/Harry Pavlidis Explains All PITCHf/x

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21731

    20 Fangraphs

    10 greatest reliever seasons ever

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/10-greatest-reliever-seasons-ever/

  21. Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Titans Final Score: Pittsburgh savaged in season-opening loss to Tennessee

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/8/4708148/steelers-titans-final-score-stats-review-injury-report-highlights

    The list of injured players begs only two questions the Steelers must ask themselves

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/8/4708520/steelers-list-of-injuries-week-1-titans-pouncey-foote/in/4472383

    22 Steelers Depot

    Could John Malecki Be the Week Two Starting Center?

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/09/could-john-malecki-be-the-week-two-starting-center/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    99 caps and 29 goals … but Frank Lampard rues the one that got away

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/99-caps-and-29-goals–but-frank-lampard-rues-the-one-that-got-away-8803765.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    10 stories you need to read, 6th September, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-6th-september-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Prospect Profile #17 – Josh Archibald

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/8/4706234/prospect-profile-17-josh-archibald

  22. I don’t want to believe it, but I suspected last year that Clint Hurdle’s Magical Marvelous Mystery Motivational BaseBall Elixir and Snake Oil had a shelf life life of four and a half months, give or take a fortnight. I hope he can mix up another batch, but history tells me to not bet on it.

    As for the Steelers, I’ve watched them deteriorate year by year since Tomlin was named head coach. No discipline there. His first year there was a very noticeable loss of crispness in the way they played and every year since they have played more as a group of individuals than a team.

    • You have a false memory. The Steelers played like crap in Cowher’s last year. They returned to the playoffs in Tomlin’s rookie season and then performed remarkably well as *a team* to win the whole thing in Tomlin’s second year. The Steeler’s issue is lack of talent. Your issue is with Tomlin, and yourself.

  23. You know how your mother said it would feel better in the morning ? Not this time.

    • My Mother said, “it will pass”.

      It will, Milo. #82 is just around the corner. hang in there.

      I know it’s hard, you know, cuz you can’t win if you’re not scoring. And when Cutch starts making stupid (yes I said the “S” word) then you know it’s bad.

      I’m looking for the team to get their heads out of their collective azzes and play ome ball against the Rangers.

      Don’t give up on them now. They need us to send our good vibes.

    • My mother’s the one yelling HIT SOMEBODY

      • LOL, I have 7 siblings…yes 7!! If anyone was doing the hitting, it was mom and the plastic baseball bat. Dang, that thing STUNG!

  24. “Respectful of the past…but beholden only to what’s in front of him today.”

    Excellent, Dejan. Just wish this lesson was easier to accept for some.

    Really hope you were treated well on Saturday. Enjoyed the column.

  25. Getting moderated this morning. Maybe that is the problem with the Steelers as well.

    • This blog has been off-kilter for some time now…even JAL’s links were getting moderated…c’mon Trib, get with it ;)

    • I’m getting moderated too lol.

      Wow.

      • Its easy to never be moderated when you dont have anything to say. Like my mom once told me – if you have nothing good to say, dont say anything at all.

        Well – the Buccos stunk up the joint horribly all weekend long. Haven’t played well since they were in Milwaukee. Pretty miserable weekend.

        • tdb, my friend,when you’re typing posts that are cleaner than Snow White, it’s not what you’re typing that gets you moderated…sheesh

  26. The Steelers are in trouble. The Titans are a 3 rd place team. They won’t have a .500 record by the end of the year. There’s a good chance they’ll lose their next 6 games, but they totally manhandled and outplayed the Steelers. Very disappointing.

    When did Ike Taylor become the cb other teams pick on?
    Tomlin said Heyward played really good in pre-season. What game was that? I missed it.
    Is it too early to call Mike Adams a bust? What about the entire 2012 draft?
    Jarvis Jones should never leave the field. EVER.
    Brett Keisel is absolutely right.

  27. Pretty easy weekend for Suck Meter.

  28. For all the shots being taken, I happened to think DK’s column was right on the mark.

    OK, we all understand the game plan needed to be modified once Pouncey went down. But to even go into the game with a plan that featured Beachum at tight end — a guy who had never played the position in a real live game — was silly. That’s the best Haley was able to come up with after weeks (months?) of advance planning? Work Beachum in on a few plays and see how it goes, yes, but the entire offensive game plan?

    OK, wrong personnel being sent into the game at a critical juncture, leading to or contributing perhaps to Redman’s fumble. How about calling a time-out there and getting things settled down? That’s the coordinator’s job, right? Were you not paying attention?

    The “five LaRods in a row” and the flat passes to Redman from the 4-yard line were comical. You could have a couple local high school coaches draw up better plays than those . . . from the stands.

    Not all Haley’s fault, to be sure, but a sizeable portion of the blame rests at his feet, as it does with the players.

  29. Has Tomlin gone on Twitter to talk about the game?

    Is he in a twitter war with any local columnists?

  30. I just opened the September 6-13 edition of the Pittsburgh Business Times and they have an article titled, “Steelers Have Pieces in Place for Playoff Push.”

    I guess this is how the SI and Madden jinxes got started.

  31. Anyone know the status of Cortez Allen?

  32. Spent yesterday afternoon suffering through the Cardinals game. Four game losing streak is one thing, but they were not competitive in any of those games over the weekend. I do not expect they win tonight but they should get a split in one of the last two in Texas. After that it’s up for grabs.

  33. ” I can’t believe the news today. Oh, I can’t close my eyes and make it go away.”

    What a terrible performance by the Steelers yesterday. Redman, who doesn’t even play much in the pre-season is somehow determined to be better than Dwyer? Neither is the second coming of Jim Brown but how is Redman the best back the Steelers can send out there? Le’veon Bell better get healthy in a hurry and better show somehting when he does get on the field. Bottom line – this team is suffering from the effects of several mediocre drafts. The o-line complete with the swinging gates at right and left tackle is a disaster and it wasn’t much better before Pouncey’s injury. Larry Foote is a gamer but he was the best option at middle linebacker prior to his injury? Think Ben misses Heath Miller? I hope Todd Haley moves on after this season.

    I put th over/under on wins for the Pirates in the last 20 games at 5.

    • Yeah, DK said it well something of that nature on the final word last night.

      I really don’t see how it made sense to go with Redman with the little work he received. I’m not praising Dwyer but he’s the lesser of the two evils.

  34. In Ralph N. Paulk’s article, “Titans toy with Steelers’ offensive line”, Mike Adams is quoted saying – “We just weren’t executing….They didn’t do anything. It was all us.”

    They didn’t do anything? Really? I’m pretty sure they beat you on almost every single play, Mike. They must’ve been doing something to make you look that bad.

    • Mike Adams is still very young and learning so he deserves the benefit of the doubt at this stage, but I agree he needs to pick up his play — and his approach — dramatically.

      A little less “big teddy bear” and a little more “nasty” would serve him well . . . a la Alan Faneca.

  35. Jonathan Dwyer to the rescue. That should fix everything. Or nothing.

  36. biz, do we have Ashville NC on the list? Jeff is living there now :)

    Ashevillejeff says:

    September 9, 2013 at 9:26 am

    I do live in asheville, nc now. But we enjoyed our time in Coalport even if the town isn’t much

  37. I’ve said this before. You can trace the Steelers fall off in the draft to the retirement of what has turned out to be their most important personnel man. Bill Cowher.

    • So, can we hire him?

    • Maybe a Cowher for Colbert switch?

    • Yes, I’ve been thinking that for a long time, too, but even more as of late.

      Colbert and Cowher were a much better drafting team than Colbert and Tomlin.

    • Tomlin’s first draft was worth an A in my opinion.

      He got Timmons, Woodley, and William Gay.

      • And the ones since? I don’t know, Dom, but I would guess that the players who are drafted had been followed for awhile. So my suspicion is that there was some Cowher leftover input on that first draft, just in case they did re-sign him. But I don’t know. IF that was the last good one, though, that would tend to lend some support to that theory.

        • e 2008 draft really did stink but 2009 was good and 2010 was average if not good as well.

          In 2009 We got Ziggy Hood, Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis, and David Johnson in the 7th. We also signed Ramon Foster as an undrafted free agent.

          In 2010 get drafted Antonio Brown, Pouncey, and Sanders.

      • And most if not all of the work was already done by the time he got there.

      • The 2008 draft really did stink but 2009 was good and 2010 was average if not good as well.

        In 2009 We got Ziggy Hood, Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis, and David Johnson in the 7th. We also signed Ramon Foster as an undrafted free agent.

        In 2010 get drafted Antonio Brown, Pouncey, and Sanders.

        • 2009 was good ? That should be the core of your team. There are 2 guys left.

          • And those are a 1st round defensive end who they may let walk after his rookie deal expires & a 3rd string tight end. That’s not good.

            • Hood is below average IMO but not flat out bad. He should be better no doubt. Johnson was good value in the 7th round.

              All in all I might give that draft a “B+” considering we have three solid starters in that group.

              • I’m not as down on Hood as others & Foster is functional at best. That’s about it.

              • Well, again that’s all what’s left from that draft. If you want to blame the FO for letting go of Wallace and Lewis then that’s one thing but the draft from that year was indeed productive. I think both men should have been given more than a 4 year contract.

          • Valid point but I was referring to the quality of the draft.

            Lewis might be the bigger loss of the two if Allen can’t stay healthy but then again our receiving core really stinks…

  38. Had a chance this weekend to go down to Highmark Stadium this weekend to check out a Point Park soccer game. The stadium really was a sight to see and the view from the bleachers is awesome. Also nice to see Point Park win 8-2 as well.

    After the game, we walked down to Station Square to get dinner. Right behind us we heard some young men saying, “Hey Nate! Can we get your autograph?” As I walked away, I looked to see who was behind us and sure enough, it was Nate Washington. He happily signed autographs for all the guys there and then walked into Texas de Brazil for dinner. Seemed like a class act by the way he handled himself and how willing he was to take care of some Titans fans who were there in Pittsburgh.

  39. DK I think your column was right on as to the big problems. The only issue I found with the column is that the Trib did not give you enough space to expound on ALL of the problems this Steeler team has. Undoubtedly would have crashed the server. Still you got the big one. After the OC issue, I see:

    Glaring lack of talent on the lines, running back, WR, and TE.
    Complete lack of quality depth. Stunning how bad it is.
    Inexplicable coaching decisions. Why did Jones play so little? Why did Wheaton not play on offense at all? (You had Paulsen!! in there as a receiver late. Come on!). Why did so many passes go sideways.
    Offense completely unsuited for your franchise QB’s talent. Oh, and the BS about Ben and Haley getting along was just that – BS. They are oil and water.

    It is way too early to punt away this season, but Mr Colbert and Mr Tomlin need to roll up their sleeves. The players we have are not good enough to meet the standard. I know the economics of the salary cap and the structure of football make in-season makeovers extremely difficult, but it is time for those two to look in the mirror and find a way. Earn your money and do your job under adversity, get creative, and stop prattling on about six Lombardi’s in the lobby. Your tradition will get you nothing with this group. Coach em up or move em out!

    • very well stated, Mr. Rad Lad!

      Happy fackin Monday to ya :)

    • This team is struggling to look up at suck.

    • You were at the game, yesterday, weren’t you, Lad? My condolences.

      • I was there AW. And I meant to list the positives I took out of yesterdays viewing..

        Lets see there was,th.., no not that, but then there was…Nah, he sucked too, oh yeah I remember. I did find that the 16 oz can of Yuengling is cheaper by $1.25 than the “premium” draft sold in the second level of the North end zone. I just have to walk some to get it.

        That’ all I got. I can’t remember walking out of a Steeler game with such a bad feeling and having it persist into the next day this strongly. Maybe the loss against the Texans when Tommy Maddox imploded, but I don’t think so. I am by nature a very positive person, but I can’t do it today. Just won’t happen. And I do NOT like the feeling.

        • Jarvis Jones was my takeaway. If he does not play more, that is a huge mistake.

        • Sounded like there was some booing of the home team. Like when they were leaving the field at halftime.

          • Yep. There was a lot more booing than that. Probably didn’t come across as loud on TV because there were over 4,000 no shows, and then the place started emptying in the third quarter. Even the guy with the Iron City beer can hard hat left early, and that is unprecedented.

            Also, I would say that about 60% of the regulars that I would see game in and game out in my vicinity sold or gave away their tickets. I actually ended up eating a seat because my wife didn’t want to go and I could not give it away. That has never happened before. That helped the ratings though I guess… :)

    • I agree with most of what you say here Lad, but I do have to disagree on two things.

      First of all, I think the receiving core looks decent. If Ben was given enough time to actually allow them to run their routes, it would’ve been a different game. Also, when you have ZERO running game, it makes defending the pass a heck of a lot easier. I’m not saying they need a good running game, they just need some semblance of a running game.

      Second, IIRC, Paulsen was only in as a receiver because they were running the no-huddle offense and he was in as either FB or TE on the previous play. If you are running no-huddle, you go with the players on the field.

      • Iceman I actually think that outside of Sanders the receivers played OK and your point about the abysmal running game is valid and well taken.

        I would still hold to my viewpoint on not getting Wheaton into the game. They should have gone 4 wide at the beginning of the drive, and they also had a timeout at 2:02 and the two minute warning time out to make the change. I don’t remember any time where they went 4 wide at all, and I don’t think Wheaton saw the field on offense.

  40. And another thing. Art Rooney running Bruce Arians out of town on a rail looks like a really stupid decision right about now. Let’s make our $100 million franchise quarterback unhappy on purpose. Now that’s good business.

    • +7. I think that the hubris of the Steelers management team is going to be their downfall, at least in the short-term. It shows in a lot of ways, and it is trickling down to the field level. This is not Dan Rooney in charge and maybe not even a reasonable facsimile. Worries me.

    • And they tried to disguise it as a retirement.

      • That was just horrible. What a dumb thing to try and pull off. This organization seems to get a little more dysfunctional each year.

      • Yeah, he “retired” into the NFL Coach of the Year Award taking over a very difficult situation & then parlayed that “retirement” into a full time head coaching gig. How embarrassing.

      • Seems like they tried to adopt Pitt’s failed strategy with Wanny. Try and dress it up.

    • Milo,

      I have been thinking about that. You would think that this franchise would do all it could to make Ben happy and provide him with the best possible players on offense to take advantage of his talent.

      I’m beginning to wonder if Art Rooney is doing all he can to cause Ben to want to just play out his contract and ask to go somewhere else. If I were Ben, I know I would be thinking about that if things don’t change.

    • I thought that was Art Jr. Art’s been dead, and Art II got run out by his brother Dan.

  41. *****ATTENTION*****
    Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you. if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
    Don’t be shy, we don’t bite! :)

    • You are going to have to say many Hail jandy’s for lying like that.

      How about this:

      Newbies and lurkers, we want to chat with you. if you post your hometown, Bizrow will add it to the list of Dejan’s Lunatics’ Asylum.
      Don’t be shy, we bite, but have had our shots. ;)

  42. It was great to see The Deisel Man step up yesterday and speak his mind…I’m sure he will have A LOT more to say this week to his teammates AND to the coaching staff. He as livid yesterday. He has always been one of my all-time favorite players…FEAR DA BEARD!!

  43. I didn’t think it was possible to have an offense worse than Bruce Arians’.

    I was wrong.

  44. Pittsburghers, the Epicollapse #III is upon us! Thank God for football to distract us once again! Waitaminnit, the steelers suck too?! Thank God hockey season is just around the corner!

    • if the horrific trend extends to the Pens, I’m going to scream! lol

      • Bowser would lose his mind!

      • well go ahead and scream… the penguins had their own “collapse” in the playoffs earlier this year where two of the most prolific penguin point scorers were held pointless through 4 games.

        If trending is any good, the pirates are starting their collapse later and later each year. So next year, we can predict the middle of September be the start of Epicollapse #4.

        The steelers… well.. they’re the steelers. Atleast our expectations are low enough going into week #2.

    • Buccos have lost 17 of 28 since August 8th. Last year, they lost 19 of 28 during the same period. 2 games better than Epic Collapse II. The front office will cite their improvement.

      • Strange thing is, this year you cant lay any blame on the FO.
        neal did his job, and acquired players.

        This is on Hurdle and the players. And, yes, I know we arent allowed to criticize Hurdle for anything. He has had one winning season, and one winning September. 2007, when Colorado won 22 of 23.

        It doesnt look like that will happen this year.
        Would be nice to m ake it through one year when a collapse didnt occur.
        Oh well, that’s baseball.

        • I didn’t put it on the front office last year either. When, as a player, you prove for 4 and a half months you’re good enough. And then inexplicably, this happens again and again, the answer lies in each players’ mirror.

          There’s still time to pull themselves out of this & make it a truly great season. But what in these particular players’ history gives you any indication that will happen ?

          • Well, being I said its on Hurdle and the players, I dont see anything in their history that indicates they will snap out of it. Thats why I asked in earlier posts, who is going to step up? It becomes obvious, no one will step up.

            We are in 100% agreement here.
            Scary, huh? ;)

      • At least they started from a higher point (luckily), but them numbers don’t lie.

        • If they win one game, on October 1st, this will all be pretty much forgotten. But that’s gonna be a lot of pressure, isn’t it ?

        • Yes those numbers are scary and don’t lie. I believe right about now is when the wheels completely fell off last year.

          I can’t imagine that will happen again. There seems to be enough talent on the team to win series at home against the likes of San Diego and Chicago. Then again what do I know . I didn’t think they would collapse last year even after they lost 19 of 28.

      • Let’s all play the arbitrary end points game!

  45. You really need to get into coaching. You have all the answers. If Dwyer was there it would have made all the difference. We know he’s the second coming of Gale Sayers. And Jones being in for more plays would’ve made the difference because when he broke through all those bodies to make that tackle in the backfield, you just know you were seeing the second coming of LT. Thats Lawrence Taylor. Agreed with Haley. But how much of that is watching, again, this dreadful offensive line? It begins and ends with OFFENSIVE line. You can have all the great skill players you want, Dwyer aside, for he is the ANSWER to all the Steelers problems, but you can’t do much if they are being hit almost as soon as the ball is snapped. Except Dwyer.

  46. For those of you who complained about the offense of Bruce Arians..well…be careful what youwish for. ;)

  47. The blame belongs squarely on the Rooney’s. They hired the head coach based on political considerations. It’s taken several years, but the talent that masked incompetence is either no longer here or diluted by age.

    • To cut to the chase, are you saying they hired Tomlin because of his race?

      • I cant remember the details 6 years ago……….. I cant remember lunch yesterday…

        I can remember that Grimm was “guaranteed” to get the job, I think a news conference was scheduled, then cancelled…………… 2 days later Tomlin was officially hired. There have been some rumors that the Steelers were “encouraged” to hire Tomlin, but I never saw anything official. I dont think the Rooneys hired Tomlin because of his race, but because the “rumors” never went away, that is one reason why the story had legs.

        • Whatever reason they hired him, he’s done a decent job at times and a pathetic one at other times. Winning a SB and losing one when either could have gone the other way means something.

          This year may tell the tale of his tenure, though. If they continue this spiral, they’ll have no choice but to can him.

          Even when they stuck with Cowher in that 7-9 season and through some lean years, there was always light at the end of the tunnel and reason for optimism, but this year, with all the injuries already and the lack of depth, will be telling unless some people plug in there quickly. Very quickly.

          Like DK said, the overall pathos of the division so far has them tied for first.

          • I have never questioned the hiring of Tomlin, either.
            I just get tired of the “cutisms”, instead of coaching the players up.

            This year may be telling, but the Rooneys dont change that often, so we will see. One thing is for certain, is the stunning lack of talent on this team. That falls on Colbert/Tomlin.

            By the way, Good Monday Morning to you. :)

            • You, also, and I agree with you especially about the talent.

              We (the Steelers) have become poor evaluators of it somewhere along the line.

              • who ever thought that we would be talking today about how Cowher was good at evaluating talent but wasn’t good at coaching it whereas Tomlin does not seem to do either well.

              • I don’t know about Cowher so much, Kevin, but the entire Steeler brain trust has seemed to have taken a nap.

                I thought Arians should go, (be fired, not lied about) but Haley being brought in was strange and it is proving out to be strange.

                Many other strange things going on that are out-of-character for the Steelers.

        • I don’t recall that they were ‘encouraged’ to hire Tomlin.

          I think Art didn’t handle the hiring well but I also Grimm and Mike Prisuta had big parts to play.

          And now I don’t remember why I went down this road again

      • I was just asking what CW meant by saying “political considerations.” Seems a fair question regardless of what you think about rumors, etc., or whether it is true.

    • They hired Tomlin because he had an extremely impressive interview. Maybe his style has worn thin with some of the players and that is the issue but more likely it has more to do with an aging defense that has had very few young defensive guys step up and play like high draft pick should be expected.

      They also are not very talented on offense. With the exception of 1 year of Mendanhall they have not had a top 15 back in the league that can hide the fact that the line is average at best. An elite back would at least keep defenses honest and allow Ben more time to find targets.

      I don’t think this team is much different then Green Bay. Green Bay’s line is horrible and they have poor running backs. They embrace it and deal with. There is no trying to establish the run. They have Rogers run for his life and make plays. That is what the Steelers are right now. They need to stop fighting it. Spread them out and take your chances. The defense has proven they are bend but not break. Who cares if the other team has to go 80 yards or 40 yards.

  48. Does Lane Kiffin blackmail people to get these jobs ?

  49. I didn’t see the game yesterday, except the very end, and heard a little on the radio. I did see enough to hear the announcers say that Bud Adams spent about 100 mil in the off-season to upgrade them and expected results. I have absolutely no idea, and am not trying to make excuses for what seemed to be a poor Steeler performance, but is it also possible that the 100 mil might have helped the Titans?

    • Well…they did address their biggest need…the offensive line. Hmmmm…what a shock…

      • For 100 mil?

        I’m just asking.

        • I dont know, but I have never put stock in those types of numbers.

          For example, the Titans may have signed only 2 players, for 7 years each at $7MM a season…………… there is your $100MM.

          Or, they could have signed 8 guys, for 4 years each, for $3MM each.
          Also, those contracts arent guaranteed. Of course, Tennessee didnt have cap problems either.

          • I agree 100%, Plan. I honestly was just asking because I didn’t see much of the game but heard that at least 3 times about Bud Adams. Between the radio and what little I saw.

            I’m not suggesting at all that it excuses the Steelers performance. It just interested me to the extent that people think Tennessee is a bad team based on last year. There are teams every year that no one really expects to do anything, but do.

            You know, kind of like the Pirates this year. :-D

            • Bud Adams is a weird bird.

              He chased Jeff Fisher out of Tennessee.
              He has meddled in personnel decisions also.

              I dont recall what he spent, or on who, but they seem improved over last year. I think they got some defensive Free Agents also.

              We got Landry Jones.
              Not quite the same, eh?

    • since you did not watch the game… suffice it to say, they were able to run the ball and control the game clock whereas… our offense couldn’t give the ball away fast enough. The titans looked like the first couple years of Big Ben… when we weren’t relying on Ben to do anything spectacular since we had a running game at the time.

  50. You would also think that Jarvis Jones would be playing more than just a few reps yesterday…and now should be considered at ILB too…you need your playmakers on the field. It CAN be done. I watched the Cowboys force 6 turnovers last night after instaling a totally new defensive system in the offseason because they were not forcing turnovers…IT CAN BE DONE.

    • I agree. I’m thinking of producing “Free Jarvis” attire. If there are any wannabe investors, please let me know.

      However, I really don’t feel the defense played all that poorly yesterday. Considering how little time the offense kept the ball, the D had to be on the field way too much.

  51. Just wanted to remind everyone, “the gloves are off but the shoes are still on”

    Wrestling’s back!

  52. After the Steeler performance yesterday, was anyone else curious to see what guys are listed atop the 2014 mock drafts or am I the only one?

    I guess we could be looking at WR, ILB, and DE. In the mock I saw, Marquise Lee from USC is listed as the top WR. Jadeveon Clowney is the top DE and listed as going #3 overall. C.J. Mosley from Alabama is the best ILB but falls to the second half of the draft.

  53. Parity is the name of the game in the NFL

    Its our turn in the barrel for a while

    • Isn’t one of the new rules in the CBA that one team can only sign a draftee for at most 4 years? Correct me if I’m wrong about that. I believe that came into effect at this year’s draft.

      If that is true though, then it really doesn’t seem fair to me when one team does their due diligence in selecting the right guy, just to see him walk away four years later. This rule was created for no other reason but to create massive parity. Really, what it’s doing is rewarding teams who can’t draft well.

  54. My expectations for this Steeler season are not high. But boy they looked really bad yesterday.

    I am not sure how much fault is the coaches

    But I think they have too many players that are not real good who are counted on to make big contributions. And they got old fast

    • I think the problem would be more based around young players not taking control of their opportunity, as opposed to the vets holding their own.

      • Does that include Roethlisberger in the veterans area? Can make a lot of excuses for him, but he didn’t play well.

        • I think it’s quite obvious that no one played well.
          Does it make the current Pirate swoon easier for you?

          • 81-61 and an impending playoff spot is a lot easier to deal with than a putrid 0-1 start to the season.

            • And the PBC have lost 4 in a row on several occasions this year… if it gets to 8 straight, then we can talk swoon.

            • Thanks for admitting what you’re trying to do here.
              Strange and unusual behavior by a certain contingency of Pirate fans.

              • No problem, DB… not sure if my behavior is strange or unusual re: Bucs, but I’m just trying to give it some perspective. Had them at 83 to 86 wins this year… anything above is a bonus. Still think several players have a ways to go with respect to playing a full season at a high level. Very glad that they reached a season high 26 games over .500 rather than just 16 (like last year), because they needed that cushion for these second half, just-hovering-around-mediocrity spells.

                But if it gets to 7 or 8 straight, then we’ve got some serious issues to deal with.

              • “Strange and unusual behavior by a certain contingency of Pirate fans.”

                Oh, the irony…

              • I had them at 89 wins.
                I welcome all three Pittsburgh teams to do well.

    • I agree. It isn’t the fault of guys like Redman or Sanders. Those guys simply are not starters.

  55. The Steelers have a multitude of problems, and yes, the O.C. is among them. But, they also have a $100M quarterback in his 10th season.

    And that qb still doesn’t have an identifiable system in which he looks comfortable throwing the ball UNLESS it’s the “Ben being Ben” approach or the no-huddle. In other words, it’s his way, or a begrudging attempt to do what’s asked.

    The “Ben being Ben” approach hasn’t worked since 2010… and maybe some in 2011. That is, until “Ben being Ben” got his ankle busted pretty badly on a stupid 12 second scramble against the Browns in the shadow of the Steelers endzone. Result: a very ineffective Ben for a few games, including that awful game at San Fran the following week.

    The offensive system was working very well in 2012 until Ben decided to be Ben against the lowly Chiefs and he ran around the pocket for seven or eight seconds before allowing himself to get crushed…result: three games on the sidelines and a rather ineffective Ben after that.

    It’s time for the $100M quarterback to play THE game, not HIS game. HIS game has gotten the team some wins, and even a Super Bowl in 2008 (the 2005 Super Bowl included a good, strong offensive system with a solid running game), but it’s also allowed this team to be defeated by a bevy of underwhelming quarterbacks and teams.

    Either let Ben be Ben and risk yet another injury, or demand better performance from him and getting rid of the ball quicker or throwing it away. Something’s gotta give. If he thinks Ben being Ben can win 10+ games a year, by all means, attempt that. But the guy hasn’t proven to be much of a leader of the offense… and offense that still lacks an identity unless it’s Ben being Ben.

    It’s almost like watching Alvarez at the plate… all or nothing. And when the nothing player shows up, the offense is pretty darn ineffective.

    • You’re talking about a guy that has already proven what he can do (two Super Bowl wins) when he has the right supporting cast.
      Currently….He does not.

      • Cowher’s teams, with no francise QB Salary could afford to not only have better players, but also depth. Won a lot of games, made the playoffs, but without the QB, couldn’t get over the hump.

        They were able to keep good teams together for Cowher’s SB win and early into Tomlin’s reign while BBR was under his rookie contract. When that expired and he got his $100 million, there went the ability to keep some players that they wanted and marginalized their depth. No diff than the ravens, packers, pats cowboys. All have holes as a result.

        That’s what was demoralizing about yesterday. When Pouncey went down, their depth was a backup tackle who already had to play TE, because Heath was down, after never having played the position (C) in a game before. They also then lost the Beacheum as the blocking TE. They had no chance at that point. None. Tunch pointed out on the radio after that, the OLine was a CF.

        Last year after nine games the Steelers where 9-3 and BBR was favored for MVP. Haley’s offense WAS working. BBR goes down, and then the other Oline injuries – season over, we just didn’t know it at the time.

        This year Todd “Dink and Dunk” Haley’s offense on the first play goes DEEP! Sanders drops the ball. In spite of that, they STILL moved smartly down the field until “Redzone Redman” fumbles. Yep, wouda, coulda, shouda called TO, that could have been called by Haley OR BBR…neither did. Game was over, we just didn’t know it then. The lack of plan B, C or D was because there wasn’t one. Haley deserves some of the blame, but no where near what he’s getting.

        Hindsight is wonderful….but do you plan on losing Pouncey in the first series? The only thing worse would have been to lose BBR and maybe not that much worse. Now Foote as well, why? not becuase of what’s left in his tank…but because he is the signal caller and there’s no depth for that, see above.

        To lose those two guys for the season in the first game, still gives them time to recover, but the probablities are not great because of who got injured and the ramifications of the salary cap and the decisions that had to be made as a result…which are absolutely ripe for second guessing by one and all.

        Closest thing I can think of is in the mid 70′s, don’t remember which year exactly, when Bradshaw and Hanratty both went down and Mike Krucek had to play for a month. Difference again tho, was the talent around them, afforded by no salary cap.

    • +1 for comparing Big Ben to Alvarez.

      • Really? You see any reasonable comparison? Really?

        No, REALLY?

        • They both have cute wives.

        • AW, I would like to apologize to you and Milo…………. in our conversations earlier, I think we were all on the same page, but re-reading them, I think we just went like ships passing in the night.

          Nothing Democrat, or Republican……. just wanted to throw that apology out there to both of you. ;)

        • no, not really. I forgot my ;). I’m not sure how you can compare a footballer with any baseballer. Taking sacks is not equal to 3-pitch strikeouts. And committing errors is not at all like throwing interceptions. ;)

    • Sorry Naje…disagree completely with you. Let him play HIS game…let him have freedom to run the no-huddle offense for more than just when absolutely necessary. You put money into the best o-line possible and the best receivers possible…try drafting a bigger receiver and let him throw it downfield. I sure do remember the Green Bay game in 2009 when “Ben being Ben” threw for 500 yds and won a game…that’s what he can do when you let him do that.

      • And how’d they do in those 2009 playoffs?

        • Naje….I am also thinking about 2008 and 2010…let’s keep those years in mind too if you are going there. You people that hate Ben really amaze me…

          • I don’t think anyone hates Ben, they just recognize his short comings.

            • Jandy there is still a % of people who will never forgive BBR. They all must be saints…like you :o) and nothing he will ever do will change their minds.

              • I’m no saint, honey, but *I* don’t like Big Ben myself. I think he’s a good quarterback, but as a human, he doesn’t meet the bill.
                My daughter had the bad luck to have to deal with him several times in her cell phone store. he was a total azz.

              • No but you play one on this blog and quite well, too.

                No question, by all accounts he was an immature azz. Can’t say that he still is, but if so, I think we would have heard about it. Some people take longer to grow up and the more priviledged (money, fame) the longer it can take – if ever.

                Sorry your daughter had to learn one of life’s lessons the hard way.

              • haha, trust me, my daughter is no pushover. She couldn’t make an ignorant remark (she’d lose her job) but she wasn’t very nice to him either ;)
                She’s a chip off the ol’ block 0=)

                Saint? me? Well, I guess I fooled you then lol.

  56. Was a very ugly Sunday for Steelers and Pirates fans, no doubt. I’m more of an optimist (how can you be a Pirate fan and not be …and um, don’t answer that please)… knew today in the blog was gonna be brutal…but drank another cup of coffee and came in anyway.

    1. Steelers. Hard to find any real positives in this one… my take for the positive? LOSING this game and not finding a way to claw out a 17-16 victory that will truly delay the moves that need to be made and the accountability that needs to come from the players to the coaches and then beyond. THIS team, this set of personnel, is better than that performance… are they MUCH better, NO, but they are better. This squad needs to dig deep and play better. And you know what? The only thing you know for sure in the NFL is that teams go back and forth a lot in a season… this week’s juggernaut is next week’s prime upset…. I think we’ll see a more spirited effort vs. Cincy next Monday night… will it bring a W? not predicting that but no doubt I’d take the points and the Steelers (for entertainment purposes only).

    2. Pirates… ugly. The players — no one else – need to step up now and stop this from falling apart. And it starts with a MUCH BETTER offensive approach up and down the lineup. Easy to call out Pedro and his Ks, but the entire squad this weekend was piss-poor at the plate. Time to dig deep and find it, gentlemen. Tonight vs.Darvish will be tough…they need to find a way to compete. And I think they will. But what do I know?

  57. Sean Lee would sure look good in a Steelers uni right now….righ along side Timmons…

  58. My Steelers Review

    If Tomlin and Haley don’t go at the end of the year, LeBeau should retire. He doesn’t need to put up with this. The defense held their own as long as they could yesterday. Tomlin is no longer effective as HC. I’m tired of his game management mistakes (RE:last year) and his post game comments. And he doesn’t seem to be able to keep this team fired up throughout the game like Cowher was able to do. The Steelers intensity used to make up for lack of talent in the trenches, but it just doesn’t seem to be there anymore. I don’t think I need to say anything more about HAley that hasn’t already been said. And I was in favor of letting Arians go.

    It looks like Greg Williams no longer has to put bounties on opposing players. Either he offered it to the Steelers and DeCastro took it, or that was one of the dumbest moves I’ve seen in a football game.

    Glad to see they are bringing back Dwyer. It was boneheaded to let him go. If he’s effective I don’t care about his attitude. Why trade for Jones if you aren’t going to give him the ball? He must have mastered a few of the plays by now. I also wonder why they haven’t brought in Michael Turner for a tryout, unless his asking price is still too high.

    At this point I don’t know if Starks can help this line. A center may be a higher priority. I see them bringing back Malecki.

    Thank goodness for fantasy football to get me through this season.

  59. Eddie Lacey – 1
    Le’Veon Bell – 0

  60. Maybe Texas can trade Mack Brown to Southern Cal for Lane Kiffin.

  61. I just read that Foote is likely done for the season. I had no idea his injury is so severe. We really don’t have anyone behind him in the depth charts.

    It’s really hard to imagine a winning season after he and Pouncey are both most likely done for the year.

    • I just checked the depth chart and Vince Williams and Kion Wilson are listed as our only backup ILBs. Is Woodley going to move over? It’s hard to imagine that Wilson or Williams are going to make it through the season.

    • Even harder to believe may be the fact that the Steelers had no one AHEAD of Foote on the depth chart at this point in his career (which I suspect may have come to a sad end with that injury).

      • Not when you consider that Foote is the defensive signal caller, which is similar to Farrior’s last couple of years. That takes experience and they had to dump what little experience they had as backups do to the salary cap (and that they were not all that great) and go with rookies. Spence was to fill that role and may never get back on the field.

        And no, Woodley ain’t moving over. It may fall to Timmon’s, if anybody.

        • Do you think we’ll start someone line Vince Williams, who was our 6th rounder in this years draft.

          • Since Kion Wilson came in and played, he is probably the favorite, unless the game tape suggests Vinnie’s a better chance. Hard to think they would sign someone off the street, unfamilar with Lebeau’s D and play him the same week.

            • The only individual I could imagine them signing would be Stevenson Sylvester. I’m not saying that I want him, just think he is one of the few options available. But we could just as easily keep things as is, as Sylvester wasn’t even offered a contract on the practice squad.

              • I don’t know if he was practice squad eligible, I think the limit is 2 years and he was a 3rd year guy.

                Unless it was a cap issue, they will prob stay pat.

                Sure is a good thing they keep $4 mil available, otherwise……

              • Oh, you’re right about that. He was still wasn’t offered any contract at all.

                We have two or three options and none of them are any goody.

                Would he still be available to obtain the $4 million after we released him?

              • The $4 million I mentioned was the space the Steelers had left under the cap, as a team, for the final roster.

                These lastest signings, including Shayne Graham as a replacement kicker, likely ate it up.

            • I think you all forgot about Carter?

    • If I understand correctly, Foote’s injury is basically the same thing that ended Aaron Smith’s career. Doesn’t look to good for his future.

      • No, it doesn’t look good. Not that it’s a devasting injury, it’s just he’ll be another year older.

        It ended Aaron Smith career because of his age and something simiar happened for a couple years in a row.

        I hold my breath every time Troy goes down for the same reason. Old bodies break easier and take longer to fix.

  62. So I’m a tennis fan. I love the US Open, but have two major problems with it.

    1. Why in God’s name is the men’s final played at 4:00 CT on a Monday. I know this is changing next year but why don’t they 1. Start the tournament a week earlier so the men’s and women’s finals arn’t conflicting with the television juggernaut that is the NFL, or 2. Have the women’s and men’s finals on Tuesday and Wednesday prime time to avoid the NFL altogether ? Seems like a no brainer and it might build interest in the sport.

    2. Serena Williams won again. Yawn. Crickets.

    • Sorry, Grammarians. Never did learn the altogether vs. all together rule. I am not sure if I used that correctly.

    • Maybe if there was more competition for the Serena and Venus, then that sport would have greatly increased in popularity. IMO, women’s tennis is far better than men’s tennis.

    • My wife and daughter were watching the final last night. I can’t watch women’s tennis with all the squealing. I thought they were supposed to stop that.

    • Yes, Serena won. Although it was kinda exciting seeing her choke away the 2nd set. I also found it interesting that they would announce how much money each player won as a result of the match. I think Serena made 3.6mil just from that 2 hours of work.

  63. Just read a news article that has me going crazy and I had to share with someone. The headline for the article reads “Youth soccer league: No balls, scoring to halt ‘negative effects of competition’”

    The article can be found here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/sep/5/just-pretend-ontario-youth-soccer-league-eliminate/

    There are so many thing wrong with this that I don’t even know where to start and if you are thinking to yourself, “That headline can’t be what is actually happening. There must be more tot his story.” Sorry to tell you, no, there is a soccer league in Canada where they are “playing soccer” without any soccer balls (quotes are there because you can’t play soccer without balls).

    • I have to apologize. Apparently this was reported from a satire radio broadcast from CBC and is in fact not a true story. My fault for not doing proper research for posting this here. The radio broadcast is apparently a satire show and they were weighing in on this article http://www.thestar.com/sports/soccer/2013/02/16/ontario_youth_soccer_to_stop_keeping_score_standings.html, which talks about soccer leagues to stop keeping score of games. This article is not quite as ridiculous, but I still think it is crazy to play a sport and not keep score.

      Sorry again…

      • Don’t apologize. First of all, that was awesome. Couldn’t have written it better myself. Secondly, you’re not the first to get caught on one of those (raising my hand) and you won’t be the last. :)

    • its basically the same thing as playing soccer with no balls… might as well just stand around in a circle and sing KUM BA YA! Or stand around in a circle juggling a soccer ball as it were.

  64. Will the real Bruce Arians haters, please stand up?

    Seriously, how/why was Haley retained to begin with?

    Is the blame squarly on his shoulders, of course not. They all sucked. Decastro apparently is color blind. Redman can’t hang on to the ball and your $100 million QB isn’t happy. Hasn’t been since 2011. Somethings gotta give.

    Is it too early to fire a OC?

    Now, I understand the players have to be able to perform, but who are these players? The running game is terrible. Is it the blocking? The RBs themselves? I think its a combo.

    I really dont want to hear how the Steelers should’ve drafted Lacey over Bell. Though that may be true, I’m not willing to hang Bell out to dry yet because of an injury. Its football, people get injured. The problem is the players behind the injuries.

    Another question. How do you only have 2 backup OL available?

    All in all, what a crappy weekend for Pittsburgh sports. I think the Pirates decided to take the football season off as well.

    Where has the pitching gone?

    • Texas already fired their DC. Don’t even think they let him on the bus. I think he’s still trying to find his way out of Provo.

    • I just stood up. I was never a big Arians fan. It seems like he is doing a good job post Steelers employment so maybe I was wrong.

      I don’t dislike Haley as much as it seems most do. I don’t think he has anywhere near the pieces to work with as past OC’s for the Steelers. Rothlisburger was on pace for career numbers last year before the injury. This year the offense is in shambles. I don’t know if any offensive coordinator could get much out of this current group of offensive lineman and skill position players. It may get better when the O-line gels and they realize the young receivers need to play.

      • Nobody liked BA because he didn’t use a FB (traditional) and his offense wasn’t the”Steelers way.”

        I admit, I had my questions about him as well, but he produced and made the QB happy. That’s kind of important.

        You’re right about other OC’s. Could they do anything with these guys? No idea.

      • I was/am a big fan of Bruce Arians. But your paragraph on behalf of Todd Haley is sound. Basically, everything is going to crap out unless the O-line can get up to snuff.

    • I’ll stand up.

      Never liked Arians’ offense and in his last year I believe the Steeler’s ended up 21st in scoring. ‘Nuff said. Don’t care what he did in Indy or does in Arizona, he was at best mediocre here.

      Haley’s offense had the Steeler’s at 6-3 last year with BBR favored to win MVP, until he went down against KC. That ended the season…we just didn’t know it at the time.

      This year, the first drive looked good…until Pouncey went down (IN THE FIRST SERIES) and of course the Redman fumble. Moving an inexperienced 7th round draft pick TACKLE, who already had to play TE, due to Heath’s injury, to try to play center for the first time in a game, gave them no chance….none. He wasn’t remotely able to make the line blocking calls, even if he actually did block well physically (I don’t know if he did or not). Even Tunch noted on the radio broadcast that after Pouncey went out the O Line became a CF.

      The 2 O Lineman backups dressing was a calculated risk, due to other injuries, mostly at TE and special teams. The new O Lineman they signed of the street, who was reported to be a C/G, didn’t even have a locker yet, let alone a playbook to make a contribution.

      Incredible bad luck.

      Haley may or may not be the answer. Due to circumstances, there’s little to base an informed decision on. The latest injuries will make it even more complicated.

  65. Things are going swimmingly for “poor” Mikey Wallace………..

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/9652386/report-mike-wallace-miami-dolphins-not-happy-usage-win

    • Thanks for the link Dom. I admittingly know nothing about other teams centers around the league but getting a guy who started 16 games last year has to be considered fortunate.

      • Yeah, I bet this new guy will start right away. Beachum will remain as backup for all positions and TE.

      • Velasco is a good get considering the circumstances….I can’t see Beachum starting at C next week, but if Velasco can’t pick up enough of the playbook it my be Cody Wallace….

        • Just read the Pro Football Focus (FWIW) rated Velasco as the 11th best center last year. One place above Pouncey????

          Wallace doestn’t have much of an advantage to the playbook…maybe 1 or two days. He was signed late in the week, last week.

          I’m guessing Velasco gets a cram session and starts since it’s MNF.

          They are certainly due for a little luck at this point…maybe he can be Jeff Hartings, part2?

  66. When do Deb Placey and Kathryn Tappen return to my television ? I mean, when does the NHL preseason start ?

  67. Foote is the only one that needs to be replaced now…Bart Scott anyone??

  68. Did you all hear about Mike Wallace? He had to be escorted from the field yesterday due yo having a tantrum about not having enough balls thrown his way! Just made my day! The Steelers did the right thing by lancing that pustule from the collective Steelers a$$!

  69. Lineup is up…I guess Barmes has been reannointed. Gotta have a pitcher in the order, even WITH a DH. Geeeeez.

  70. Lots of empty seats at Arthur Ashe in Flushing. That’s Monday afternoon for you.

  71. Djokovic looks tired and terrible.

    Loses first set in 42 minutes.

  72. The sneaky Serb wins set 2 and is now controlling the match. Just unbelievable-he looked cooked in the first set.

  73. Freakin’ match for the ages going on up in Flushing.

  74. Dejan…all I have to say about Haley is judge him once the OL performs. No OC can have success with OL play like this, no one. A greater issue is Tomlin’s inability to make tactical decisions. Case in point…no timeout from the 6 with mass confusion, not challenging Walker’s completion when he didn’t complete the catch on Troy’s hit and declining a 15 yard chop block penalty to push Tennessee further back when trying to gain field position was a must. So when he talks about situational football every Tuesday at noon he certainly doesn’t improve in that area.

  75. And It’s over in NYC. Nadal beats the Serb, Djokovic, in 4 sets at a time of 3:20.

    Djokovic lost the crucial third set in an unbelievable display of tennis by the two gentlemen.

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