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Morning Java: Taking Ben’s temperature

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

CINCINNATI — Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Tuesday column picks apart the Steelers’ performance here last night, especially as it relates to the franchise quarterback.

Here’s some of what Ben Roethlisberger thought of it …

Our full team coverage from Paul Brown Stadium includes …

The game story by Alan Robinson, with a Troy Polamalu quote you won’t want to miss.

Inside the lines by Mark Kaboly.

News of the night by Ralph Paulk.

The Bengals’ perspective includes actually using rookies, by Rory Glynn.

Photo gallery by Chaz Palla.

And the Cincinnati Enquirer is equally loaded with Bengals news.

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>> Meanwhile, back at PNC, the Pirates were mowed down by the Padres. Rob Biertempfel reports.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Padres news from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

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>> Meanwhile, back at Consol, the Penguins lost to the Red Wings with Sidney Crosby making his preseason debut. Rob Rossi reports.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

And here’s what our panel from WPXI-TV’s Subway Final Word had to say about the challenge Marc-Andre Fleury faces this winter and beyond …

>> Pitt gears up for Duke, an actual historic rival. Jerry DiPaola updates.

>> I’ll call in to TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. to help while away the four-hour drive home.

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, recently, 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 country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

Comments

  1. Ghost says:

    Yes, yes and yes to all the points raised in the “Ben Is P;ssed and Deserves to Be” column. Not enough bullets on this team. Haven’t been enough bullets for a few years now. Time for a shake up at the higher levels. The decision makers are failing the heritage they inherited.

  2. aglebagel says:

    Wow, this is one of those games that forces you to look beyond tonight and towards the big picture with the Steelers. We’ve been spoiled for a long time now, but it may not be much fun to be a Steelers fan for the next couple years. Or perhaps a few years. Who knows? I’m not attempting to sound like a doomsday-er; maybe some of our young guys really start putting things together in the next year or two and we bounce right back. But we’re at the point now where it looks like one “window” has closed, and it’s tough to know if another will be opened soon.

    It’s not that we’re 0-2, it’s that you look around the field and think, “Who are our great players?”

  3. Ghost says:

    And tonight is the night I get to prove I meant it when I said the other night that I’m not of the “Clint can do no wrong” ilk. If there’s anything that has become clear, it is that A.J. is strong -really strong– for five to six innings. And then he dramatically weakens in the sixth — no later than the seventh — inning. Time for niceties and deference to seniority to stop. We’re in the final lap of a scratch-n-claw pennant race. Going forward, there is no conscionable reason for Hurdle to not have a reliever already warmed up and ready to go at a moment’s notice once A.J. enters the 6th inning of a game. We know the pattern and have seen it again and again, now. A.J. starts out masterfully, gets into a little trouble around the 3rd inning, but beats it back. Maybe a little more in the 4th or 5th, but beats it back then, too. Come the 6th –no later than the 7th– A.J. has tired out and no longer has command. This is where the damage comes. We’ve all seen it this repeated several times now during the second half. Going forward, run A.J. out there for his five to six shutdown innings, then proceed batter by batter with caution and with a warm-up reliever ready to go.

    It can work. We can do it! We have the technology!

  4. Ghost says:

    “Who are our players?”
    Ziggy Hood, Markus Gilbert, William Gay, David Paulson, Jerricho Cotchery…

  5. 0-3…well, not quite Black Monday (maybe dreary grey Monday). At least the Cards & Dodgers both went down. So with 12 games left the Pirates magic # to win the division is 12 vs the Cards with the Reds still hanging around. Who would have dreamed of that before this season started?
    As for the Steelers, maybe it’s time for the coaching staff to admit they can’t run the ball against other teams normally. 75 yards rushing in two games…2 rushing 1st downs!!! Ouch. Time to try spreading other teams out, throw to set up the run (and hope Ben doesn’t get killed in the process) then run at their nickel & dime packages???
    Here’s to Locke having “it” again tonight and bringing home a win! Of course “it” may mean a great day at the plate and driving in some runs…

  6. Brandie says:

    It’s time to mention the “R” word…rebuilding. I fell asleep at 9:30 because I was so tired and frustrated by the lack of effort and the coaching staff not playing yo the team’s strengths and keeping potential playmakers off of the field.

    Time to look at what is going on at the top and start the rebuilding there. Starting off my Tuesday with a hearty FIRE HALEY AND FIRE TOMLIN! They are the ones truly in need of a bold reaming!

  7. Drew71 says:

    Zero And Three.

    Did Dejan make some predictions?

  8. Drew71 says:

    Waittaminnit. I just read the column. Look what Dejan predicted…

    “They’re 0-2 with a chance to go 0-3 and 0-4 and 0-and-who-knows-because-it-seems-like-forever-since-they’ve-won-even-if-you-include-preseason.

    Oh, it’s bleak, all right.”

    Hoooooray!! The Steelers may never lose again!!

  9. Tom P. says:

    I was thinking the same thing. After the first two batters reached in the seventh I thought, there has to be a better option in the bullpen than AJ on the mound right now.

  10. Tom P. says:

    With 12 games to play, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card is 6 (vs. Nationals), to host the wild card game is 10 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 13 (vs. Cardinals).

    Look at the bright side. The Cardinals and Dodgers are kicking themselves for missing a chance to gain ground on the Pirates.

  11. Jandy says:

    +++
    Hope you feel better this morning…Tuesday is better than Monday :)

  12. Jandy says:

    It’s one game lost. I agree with Ghostie as to why…
    The Buccos can and should bounce back this evening.
    Thanks for the update, Tom P!

  13. Thundercrack says:

    Before the game, Padres pitching coach Darren Balsley told Cashner to go to his curveball early and often.

    “This is a team that doesn’t hit curveballs well,” Cashner said. “I kept throwing my curveball, and it worked out.”
    ————————————————-
    I hope Jay Bell and the Pirate hitters are paying attention to this.
    And I hope our opponents can’t get the Trib online.

  14. cherokee23 says:

    While I agree with your assessment of AJ’s pattern, it’s hard to fault giving up 2 runs…..how bout the ballclub providing him some runs!

  15. defil21 says:

    Turnovers probably cost us both games.

    Redman fumbles with a chance for us to go up 9-0 or 10-0 if we go for 2 and succeed.

    Paulson fumbles on the 13 with a TD there were up 10-0 and who knows what happens.

    Also Coach Lebeau needs to get Jarvis Jones off special teams and stick Worldis on it, every time Cincy moved the ball JJ was on the sidelines. I’m not saying he’s the second coming but you can tell the kid needs to be on the field, and so does Cam Heyward. Wilson and Williams got picked on, but I would rather go down with the young guys then some vet.

    Also on offense I think Felix Jones should be the feature back until Bell is ready or heck where was Dwyer all night still in coach Tomlin’s dog house. Sanders is what he is a #3 WR, play the rookie can he be any worse?

    Yes the no huddle works just fine, if I’m Ben I hope he says forget it and goes no huddle on his own. I like Haley but I think he over thinks things sometimes. JUST WIN BABY.

  16. Jandy says:

    While you have a valid point about the lack of runs on the Bucs part, the pitcher still needs to keep you in that close game. This one was on Hurdle.

  17. Jandy says:

    G;mornin defil Professor ;)

  18. Jandy says:

    YIKES!!!!

  19. defil21 says:

    Happy Tuesday to you Mother of the Lunatics.

  20. JAL says:

    JAL’s Another Brick in the Wall Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhgE5bfcFTU

    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: A.J. Burnett and the Problem of One Bad Inning

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-a-j-burnett-and-the-problem-of-one-bad-inning.html

    Cashner Near-Perfect as Pirates Lose 2-0

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/cashner-near-perfect-as-pirates-lose-2-0.html

    Pirates Notebook: You Learn Something New Every Start

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-notebook-you-learn-something-new-every-start.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Andrew Cashner one-hits Pirates

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/17/4739642/andrew-cashner-one-hits-pirates

    6 Rumbunter

    The Case For Re-signing Clint Barmes

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/16/case-re-signing-clint-barmes/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 150: Padres 2 Pirates 0

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-150-padres-2-pirates-0.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Cashner Faces Minimum; Bucs Go Down Quietly 2-0

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/cashner-faces-minimum-bucs-go-down.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Padres 2, Pirates 0

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/padres-2-pirates-0/

    10 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates have no time to breathe as pennant race continues

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/16/pittsburgh-pirates-time-breathe-pennant-race-continues/

  21. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Yahoo Sports

    It’s No Question, Pittsburgh Pirates’ Gerrit Cole Deserves Postseason Rotation Spot

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/no-pittsburgh-pirates-gerrit-cole-deserves-postseason-rotation-164700849–mlb.html

    12 San Diego Union Tribune

    Cashner beats Pirates on one-hit shutout

    http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/sep/16/padres-mlb-cashner-gem/

    13 Bradenton Herald

    Bradenton Marauders enjoy record-setting summer

    http://www.bradenton.com/2013/09/17/4721967/bradenton-marauders-enjoy-record.html

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Cueto, Cozart help Reds past Astros

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130916/SPT04/309160149/Cueto-Cozart-help-Reds-past-Astros

    15 Augusta Chronicle

    Cumpton witnessing history as member of Pittsburgh Pirates

    http://chronicle.augusta.com/sports/baseball/2013-09-16/cumpton-witnessing-history-member-pittsburgh-pirates

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Padres Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130917_SD@PIT/padrespirates-preview

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Rockies thump Rosenthal, take 6-2 win

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/rockies-thump-rosenthal-take—win/article_78a96154-6ef4-5b57-a1fc-b3adce5af4ed.html

    18 PBC Site

    Held to one hit in loss, Pirates remain tied for first

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_16_sdnmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Lambo, Glasnow receive Minor League honors

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130916&content_id=60773054&notebook_id=60781396&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The BP Wayback Machine The Tiger Plan

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21824

    20 Fangraphs

    Lineup Optimization and Multi-Run Homers

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/lineup-optimization-and-multi-run-homers/

  22. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Bengals final score: Cincinnati defeats Pittsburgh 20-10 in second straight dismal offensive performance

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/16/4739510/steelers-bengals-final-score-highlights-quotes-game-recap-stats

    Power has gone out of the Steelers’ defense

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/17/4739992/steelers-defense-statistics-2013-nfl

    22 Steelers Depot

    Steelers Vs Bengals Winners and Losers

    http://www.steelersdepot.com/2013/09/steelers-versus-bengals-winners-and-losers-week-2/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    Swansea 2, Liverpool 2: Spoils shared in entertaining draw – and night of ups and downs for Jonjo Shelvey

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/swansea-2-liverpool-2-spoils-shared-in-entertaining-draw–and-night-of-ups-and-downs-for-jonjo-shelvey-8820390.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 15th September, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-15th-september-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens fall to Red Wings 4-1 in Pre-Season Game 2

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/16/4738612/pens-fall-to-red-wings-4-1-in-pre-season-game-2

  23. JAL says:

    Another Brick in the Wall Pink Floyd 1979

  24. Jandy says:

    We don’t need no education….
    Classic :)

  25. defil21 says:

    We were 0-3 last night. BOOOO!!! Get JJ off special teams like now, though his was hustling his butt off on special teams, he needs to focus strictly on DEFENSE.

    +++ we need the few play makers we have ON THE FIELD!!!

  26. Jandy says:

    Yeah….let’s hope “management” gets the picture already…sheesh!

  27. Thundercrack says:

    I didn’t watch any of the football game.
    But in the video clip above from DK, Ben just told me what was the problem for the Steelers.

    Their receivers where having trouble seeing the ball in the lights.

    Lighting issues…..that’s it.

  28. Jandy says:

    I got one word for ya.

    delusional…

  29. Pucknutz says:

    Ya, he was right at his limit when he hit the guy. Thats when I would have pulled him.
    Pitch count was gettin up there also.

  30. defil21 says:

    Yeah and it starts with Dan Rooney telling “Art Jones” to sit in his owner’s box and color daddy a picture.

  31. Thundercrack says:

    Me?

    Maybe. And sometimes I do have trouble driving at night.

  32. BillyBaduka says:

    Classic. Great song.

    Fitting watching the Steelers this year. Each loss like another brick, watching an offense more putrid than any Bruce Arians could ever dream up.

    “We don’t need no pass protection”
    “We don’t need to run the ball.”
    “All in all it’s just anthother punt of the ball”

    “We don’t need no sack, strip, fumble”
    “We don’t need no interceptions”
    “All in all it’s just another loss in the wall”

  33. Jandy says:

    LOL no silly man. Delusional applies to the remark about the lights in the eyes.

    You’re allowed to drive?

    Wow.

    ;)

  34. Thundercrack says:

    :-)

    I am allowed to drive. But it hurts when the lights get in my eyes.
    Sometimes I just keep them shut.

  35. Jandy says:

    somehow, that makes it all right ;)

  36. theplanisworking says:

    Yikes!!!
    Brutal night for Pittsburgh sports.

    Regarding the spirited discussion on yesterdays Morning thread, last nights Pirate game should prove that the one game WC is not the way to go. Look at Cashner last night………. an ordinary pitcher, not an ace, completely shut the Pirates down with ease. In a 7-game series, there would be a tomorrow to fight. Absolutely brutal effort last night. AJ did his job, but as usual, no run support at all for him.

    Sobering stat of the day……… since PNC Park opened in 2001, Padres are 29-10 there. As the visiting team. The Padres, for Gods sakes. 29-10. This series is not going to be the cakewalk everyone thought it was going to be.

  37. theplanisworking says:

    So THAT is who I saw swerving on the Pike the other day. I thought it was DK overloaded on Starbucks……………….

    ;)

  38. Jandy says:

    I never thought it would be a cakewalk. With these Buccos, expect nothing, and either be disappointed or pleasantly surprised :)
    Good Morning El Dorko Hippo :D

  39. defil21 says:

    I think our WR had there eyes shut last night. Maybe mine were shut I still tend to think that wasn’t Cotch running a reverse. It couldn’t have been.

  40. NMR says:

    or fastballs, or changeups, or sliders…

  41. theplanisworking says:

    Ah yes, and now to our beloved Steelers.
    Where to begin?

    Jarvis Jones needs to play every down on D, and D only. Put Worilds on special teams, or the bench. No impact from the D this year at all. Not one single turnover………. except maybe th apple ones in the locker room. DK said the D needs ballhawks, well we have Pigeons. When 35 year bold Brett Keisel is playing the best on D, you have problems.

    And I have a simplke solution to the offenses woes. Fire Haley, and let Ben ad lib the whole game. He cannot be any worse than Haleys playcalling. Nice to see Dwyer is still in Tomlins doghouse, like I knew he would be. Nice to see 33 passes thrown to Cotchery last night. And I cannot believe we spent so many #1 and #2 draft picks on the turnstiles we have on the line.

    Artie needs to play in the sandbox, and let the adults run the Steelers.
    Colbert needs to hide his face in shame for not upgrading this team in the offseason.
    Tomlin needs to stop being an English Professor and learn to situational coach………….. great series last night when the fumble occurred, and Haley/Tomlin SUBSTITUTED!! instead of allowing Ben to spike the ball.

    Other than that, a banner night for the Black and Gold.
    Oh, I predicted 6-10 for the Steelers.
    I think I overshot on that.

  42. theplanisworking says:

    Good Morning, La Dorka Nuna! :)

    Padres a bottom feeder, and they shut down the team. YIKES !!!
    Thanks God THAT wasnt the WC game.

    How is work treating you, J-Girl?

  43. Jandy says:

    The Bucs always play down to the bottom feeders, much like the Pens do. They will bounce back.

    Work is a four letter word and it’s insane here lol. I shall persevere however!

    La Dorka Nuna….priceless :D

  44. Bdubb says:

    I had to go back and re-read the column on why the Steelers will go 10-6 and I wonder if Ben is still “so excited” about this offense.

    I wonder if teams are still scared to go head-up with the Steelers offensive line.

    I wonder if the attitude is still there on the offensive side of the ball.

    I wonder if the 6 rings means a whole to this team of young players.

    This team has no identity and no cohesion. The fumble play where Ben was trying to hurry to the line and they are doing mass substitutions instead. Do you think that flies in NE or Denver? This team looks like they all just got to camp 3 weeks ago instead of 2 months ago. Most of this is on the coaching and the front office

    I didn’t think this team would go 8-8 outside of possibly running the table inside the division but it seems that there are deeper problems outside talent. Talent isn’t there for sure but the head coach and O-coord are just either out of sync or stubborn. Or both

  45. Juan-Jose Hippolito is a little upset.

    Where do you see 6 wins? We don’t play the Browns 6 times.

    They’ll be alright. They’ll let Ben be Ben and overcome this sluggish start.

  46. Damon says:

    I know you have to give the pitcher some credit for throwing a great game, but man the Pirates kept chasing that same curveball down and out of the zone.

  47. Naje says:

    Sure, it can be pretty easy blaming the $100M quarterback.

    Hey big fella, what could you possibly be doing at practice to look this bad in games? Do you not notice how bad the team is when you’re practicing? Do you not notice how soffff the offensive linemen are? How the OL rarely attacks the defense and sorta plays patty-cake with them? Or how about telling those ridiculous, mouthy wide receivers to stop yapping at everyone on every play…they’re not Hines Ward, let alone Mike Wallace or Santonio Holmes or Plax Burress.

    A lot of blame to spread around… but if your $100M qb, captain, face of the franchise doesn’t inspire anyone with his performance, nor inspires anyone to improve their performance, that’s a big problem. Two months of off-season practices, OTA’s and this is what we get to see from the offense? It looks like 11 different entities are trying to run a play. That’s a system failure of Tomlin, Haley and Roethlisberger…the three most important people to the offense.

  48. Jandy says:

    Mornin to ya Revvie :)

  49. Chuck Snow says:

    I think Hurdle is scared of AJ.

  50. Morning, Jandecita.

    After an 0-3 night last night, today will be better.

    :D

  51. theplanisworking says:

    Morning, Reverend.

    I see Heath coming back, Bell recouping from injury, and Jones getting better as the year progresses. I did state that I overshot the 6 wins, but things cant get any worse, right??

    Allowing Ben to call his own plays in the hurry-up would be a great start.
    Tomlin waking up for a change would help too.

    If they do keep playing like this, 3-13 is not out of the question.

  52. Chuck Snow says:

    Maybe AJ should have left a batter early..But what is his run support average versus the rest of the staff?

  53. JAL says:

    very good :)

  54. CoachWard says:

    Huge mistake by this football team to not make ILB a priority in the draft. So many good backers in rounds 3-5 they could have taken. I know they drafted Spence but come on! They are really hurting there. Landry Jones though…

  55. Chuck Snow says:

    For one game let BIG BEN call his own plays..can’t be worse then what I saw last night.

  56. Jandy says:

    Oh I am sure of that, Revvie. But the Steelers are gonna be a work in progress for some time…maybe 2 – 3 seasons.

  57. Dom says:

    Although I feel Marcus Gilbert improved from game one, I believe it is time to start thinking about starting Beachum at RT. I don’t blame him for that tripping penalty but he did let a number of pressures on Big Ben throughout the game. Gilbert hasn’t been flat out bad in my opinion but he has not reached his full potential.

  58. defil21 says:

    Totally agree JJ needs to be on the field every down, every series. The potential is evident when he’s on the field. Worldis is what he is a 2nd rd pick who we probably could have gotten in the 4th round. I thought Cam Heyward had a good game. The lack of sacks and turnovers though it’s only 2 games is disappointing.

    The OLine is what it is as well a bunch of young guys trying to figure it out. Adams was recently stabbed but he does need to play better. I think the Steelers best play is to hopefully resign Velasco and move Pouncey to LG next year.

    Good idea let Ben just run the no huddle it WORKS!! No clue why Dwyer is on the team if he can’t get on the field or out of the dog house. I like Red-Zone but I don’t think he’s the answer at RB, hopefully Bell will be once his foot is healed.

    Play the kids Wheaton, Moye, JJ, Thomas, Williams, Wilson, Heyward, and lets roll. I would rather them get reps and get ready for next year then picking splinters out of there behinds, and not getting the experience they need.

    GO BUCCOS LETS RAISE IT TONIGHT BOYS!!

  59. From DK’s column quotes, I think we’ll see some changes.

    More new, young faces and some play makers. We’ll get it together. Maybe not 10-6, but it’ll be OK.

  60. theplanisworking says:

    I will be channeling your inner good vibes Rev………. the Stillerz are gonna need it.

    Hope the day finds you well, as I am outta here. :)

  61. theplanisworking says:

    Later, Miss 2-3 seasons.
    Catch ya later.

  62. Dom says:

    I know Ben didn’t have his best showing last night but we have to give him slack.
    His OL is underperforming.
    His starting RB, regardless which one of the three you feel is the starter, doesn’t belong on an NFL roster.
    His TE is out for the time being.
    In its current state, this offense could very well be the worst in the NFL.

  63. CoachWard says:

    “Just because you’re getting younger, doesn’t mean you’re getting better.” – Jon Gruden in regards to Steelers O Line but could sum up whole team. Loved this quote last night.

  64. Naje says:

    +1.

    That line is so passive, so soft, so lacking in aggression…

  65. Damon says:

    Thoughts about last night…
    1. With the Tomlin quote to DK that Wheaton will play more, and with some of the other comments he made last week about the offense, you get the feeling Tomlin is sick of Haley’s offense too?
    2. Issac Redman looked the worst out of the three RBs last night, there was word he was hurt or was being tested for a concussion (announcers mentioned?), so why was he in there most of the second half?
    3. Antonio Brown isn’t a #1 receiver, Sanders isn’t a #2 and Cotchery isn’t a #3. All three couldn’t get open. You could see it when they went to replays looking downfield from the QB perspective. When Ben would make a completion, they all had a guy right on them when making the catch. No separation.
    4. I know going into the season Paulson was the #3 TE, but is he even worth that?
    5. I know DK mentioned Jarvis Jones shouldn’t be on special teams, but man did he kill a couple returners with hits like a heat-seeking missile. Made some nice plays on D too. That guy is going to be awesome.
    6. How many times in the past two years have we heard Haley’s offense will throw to the RBs more? Did you see Bernard’s little dump off for a TD – isn’t that what we were supposed to see from the Steelers?
    7. The new center actually played pretty well. Can’t say that about the tackles again. Is Max Starks really that out of it that he couldn’t come in a help? Or are they determined to sweat through the growing periods and hope it all starts gelling?
    8. If the receivers were complaining about the lights (I’m sure they would have mentioned it on the sidelines after plays), why did they keep throwing the jump-ball long throws last night?
    9. Ben is very good at throwing the 10-20 yard seam routes – he made a lot of 3rd and longs last year throwing those routes. I can’t remember seeing too many of those throws/routes last night. Lots of screens, crossing routes and jump balls.
    10. No turnovers or sacks again last night from the D. Is the new offensive style in the NFL passing the LeBeau defensive scheme by? Isn’t this new NFL offense similar to the offenses the Patriots and Rich Gannon/Oakland threw at it a long time ago and had success – i.e. throw those short 5-10 yard routes and dink and dunk the D to death?
    11. Dalton missed a ton of wide open receivers last night. That score could have been worse.
    12. Is Heath and Le’Veon healthy yet? Even so, I’m not sure they’d be enough to get this team winning regularly again.

  66. JohninOshkosh says:

    Excellent job, William!

  67. Jandy says:

    Have a good day, El Dorko Hippo :*

  68. tdb1977 says:

    Little story last night from last night. The wife and I get to our seats at PNC Park. She knows I’ve had a crap day at work. One of those days that if I could, just walk away and never return. She tells me that she is going to run out for a few minutes and will return shortly. She returns about 20 minutes later with a bag in her hand. She hands it to me and says look inside. I look and pull out a baseball in a cube. Upon examination of the baseball, I notice a stick on the cube and I read the sticker. She went down and bought a game used baseball from the Hunt Auction booth. The ball is from the Father’s Day game against the Dodgers. It was used in the top of the 6th inning and the match up was Cole v. Puig. I nearly fell out of my chair when I saw it.

  69. Arriba Wilver says:

    2. They said he passed the tests. Cincinnati had a player in the same situation who came back. Probably will see this more with the increased focus on them. No more “how many fingers am I holding up.” But if you pass the tests, OK to go.

  70. Iceman says:

    Thoughts from last nights Steelers game:

    - Jarvis Jones needs to play. When he was on the field, the defense looked greatly improved. Worilds can be a good player to give Woodley a breather occasionally, but should not be playing as much as he should.

    - Woodley actually looked pretty good last night and was moving really well.

    - Ike Taylor still is a good cornerback. He is almost always playing one-on-one with the opposing teams best receiver and he does a good job keeping those number 1 receivers to few catches.

    - What is with the play calling. I did not see a single WR end around, bubble screen, etc gain more than 1-2 yards. The one time Ben was allowed to throw the ball, they drove the ball down the field, he went 5-5 and it resulted in a great catch by a rookie WR.

    - Adams and Gilbert do not look good. Can we maybe give Beachum a start. He did well filling in last year.

    - Glad to see a healthy Polomalu out there. He was flying all over the field.

  71. Iceman says:

    *Polamalu

  72. 21sthebest says:

    This year I’d say we’ve done pretty well against teams that really don’t have any playoff hopes with exception of the Rockies who we are 2-4 with.

  73. Baywatch says:

    OK, just remember: All those years following the LOSER Pirates should help this year with the Steelers, right? WRONG! Seriously, now hold all the rotten fruit you might throw at me, but being a Cowboys fan – HEY, I SAID DON’T THROW THAT! UGH! Yeah, I feel in some small way, loving/suffering with my Pirates all those years, I get yukked out with the Cowboys, but I feel that I’ve … grown as a LOSER fan!

  74. NMR says:

    She’s a keeper!

  75. Baywatch says:

    Ice!

  76. Baywatch says:

    Same Ice I used to fraternize with over on the old OTHER NEWSPAPER blog?

  77. Baywatch says:

    Wow!

  78. Wild Bill says:

    Hi to all from the west coast.

    Tell us what you really think, Mr. Cashner.

    I guess you get to say what’s really on your mind when you shut a team down totally.

  79. Thundercrack says:

    +1

  80. Steve says:

    In a day and age when NFL rules have evolved to favor the offense and promote more scoring the Steelers have regressed. Many succesful teams have little focus on running the ball regularly. It’s a passing league!! The Steelers have a QB that has demonstrated his ability time and again to perform if given the chance and given capable players to throw the ball to.

    Beyond Todd Haley much of the blame for the current sorry state of affairs has to rest with Colbert and the other football minds who have put together this roster of underachievers. The NFL is cyclical and when you’re on top for a long time there’s a good chance you’re going to regress if you can’t identify and select good players through the draft and free agency. That hasn’t happened for the Steelers for several years now.

    Andy Dalton was terrible in that game and a good team would have no trouble beating the Bengals. If that’s the best the AFC North has to offer they should surrender their post season spot to a more deserving team.

  81. 21sthebest says:

    Going to the game tonight. Think I’ll tell my wife I had a crap day at work and see what happens.

    Actually, not sure I want to know what will happen.

  82. Rob says:

    Did anyone else notice the Steelers secondary seemed to have a very difficult time bringing people down? I noticed several times they seemed to be hanging on for dear life trying to pull the receiver down.

  83. Jandy says:

    dripping with class ;)

  84. Jandy says:

    Oh. My. Goodness. Better be really, really good to her tdb, so you CAN keep her :)
    One of a kind :)

  85. Baywatch says:

    LOL II

  86. Jandy says:

    It’s a reunion :)

  87. Jandy says:

    First game against the Cubbies we looked terrible. Then we ramped it up.
    It’s not all the time, but seems like they’re the same as the Pens.

  88. Jandy says:

    Really? The same coach who put AJ in his place when AJ was waving to the bullpen for a relief pitcher? I highly doubt that.
    :)

  89. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wonder if the shooting will affect the Nationals and put a chill on their current hot streak ?
    I have heard Hurdle speak of how Columbine emotionally affected himself and his Rockies to the team’s detriment. I have heard similar things from former Mets players and Bobby Valentine regarding 9/11.

    These tragedies cast a general malaise over the country with much more impact on the communities directly involved.

  90. Lee says:

    I wasn’t there, but imagine this sideline scenario:

    When the first 3 play calls were all unsuccessful runs, Tomlin says to Haley “Really, that’s what you came up with to start the game?”.

    I’m sure then Haley replied “Just wait, I’ll trick the Bengals later with a reverse to Cotchery, and throw a bunch of bubble screens too!”.

    Tomlin then replied with some vigorous hand claps and a big “Wooooo!”

  91. kr70 says:

    Jerry DiPaola’s article should be required reading for every school student (6th grade and up) in Western Pennsylvania.

  92. Arriba Wilver says:

    I noticed that, Rob. Couldn’t tell if the receivers were real slippery or if it was the tackling. Ike Taylor even missed one, and he had one heck of a game covering Green. Outstanding, IMO.

  93. Jason81 says:

    Calling his own plays seemed to work out okay for Terry Bradshaw.

  94. Dom says:

    Check out this article:
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1776791-high-school-football-player-dies-after-helmet-to-helmet-collision?utm_source=cnn.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=editorial&hpt=hp_t2

    According to the article, there were 25 high school football related deaths in the past decade in SC alone. I had no idea that this was so common. Sure, puts my problems into perspective.

  95. lupesanchez says:

    I think they had Ben on a pitch count.

  96. hockeymonster says:

    Ok below is the roster that needs to be employed to start the season:

    kuntiz-crosby-dupuis
    Bennett-malkin-neal
    Jeffrey-sutter-d’agastini
    zolnerciek-vitale-adams
    extras: jokinen and kobasew

    Piece-letang
    orpik-niskannen
    despres-bortuzzo
    dumoulin

    That leaves out you know who plus glass which would give us over 6M in cap space to retool. I’d definitely try to trade jokinen and maybe niskannen too. Just not sure what’s possible. I’d play orpik and piece together quite a bit and have despres sprinkled into the top 4.

    Your welcome! :)

  97. Iceman says:

    Never been over on the other blog. Must be someone different.

  98. lupesanchez says:

    Ben was plenty terrible last night, for sure. Adams, Gilbert too.

    I know Mike Wallace was not Pittsburgh’s favorite son, but to me his absence is glaring. Teams love not having to game plan for his speed ho matter how many balls he dropped or how many pony tricks he learned or did not learn.

    Agree with you, Dejan: Wheaton can’t get in there soon enough. Really can’t understand the delay. Ok, don’t have him start the game, but after the 5th pass sails over Sanders/Cotchery’s head, let’s see that speed.

  99. Kevin says:

    Agree – except it sounds to me like they need Beachum as the extra TE run-blocker. None of our other TE’s can block.

  100. Iceman says:

    So much for our Kumbya moment yesterday :)

    Totally agree with the first two lines (tough one there).

    I still have to see D’Agastini play so I’m not totally sold on him yet, but from what I’ve heard, I think he fits, but I think that third line should be Jokinen – Sutter – D’Agastini. There is def. some chemistry between Sutter and Jokinen and I like having Jokinen in there to be able to take faceoffs if necessary and he looked decent on the PK.

    Fourth line is tough for me and I still think Adams is the only lock. I’m thinking I like Jeffrey – Vitale – Adam, but again, I’m just not at all sure on this one.

    Extras: Zolnerciek and Connor

    And then there is the defense and here we go again monster ;)

    Piece – Letang is the top pairing. Super excited for this one.
    Orpik – Martin. Still not sure what you have against the guy. He had a great year last year and his chemistry with Orpik is great.
    Niskannen – Bortuzzo.

    Extra: Engelland (I don’t want to bring up Dumoulin to sit in the press box. He needs to be on the ice developing.)

    I think Despres gets sent down to start the year so he can get some big minutes in the AHL to continue his development.

  101. Iceman says:

    Penguins made their first round of roster moves. From the Penguins website,

    Penguins signed rookie Jean-Sebastien Dea to an entry-level contract.

    “Pittsburgh also re-assigned 11 players today. Dea, goaltenders Matt Murray and Tristan Jarry and forward Matia Marcantuoni were sent back to their respective junior teams. Forwards Paul Thompson, Tom Kostopoulos, Brian Gibbons and Dominik Uher, and defensemen Clark Seymour, Reid McNeill and Nick D’Agostino were sent to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.”

    No surprises here.

  102. Iceman says:

    Adams and Gilbert can’t block either though. Is it more important to have tackles who can block or TE that can block?

  103. Damon says:

    those lines & pairings sound right to me Iceman – agreed.

  104. Karen22 says:

    Absolutely true and a pattern that cannot be denied.

    And we also just do NOT support AJ with runs no matter who the opposing pitcher is. Very frustrating!

  105. Kevin says:

    ha, you left out your favorite penguin, Paulie Martin, AKA Pylon Man. I can’t really comment on your forward choice, as I have yet to see D’agostini play? never even heard of Zolnerciek before.

    agree fully on glass… he is terrible and needs to go. Other than that, I don’t have much opinion on anyone else. Would not mind seeing Niskanen go and giving one of the youngsters a shot Bortuzzo or Dumoulin.

  106. Karen22 says:

    How about Walker, Martin, and Petey getting into the SWING of things NOW! They’ve all been dreadful at the plate over the past 10-12 games!

    Steelers…UGH! In transition (to what, I’m not sure) and tough to watch.

  107. Jandy says:

    We got Zolnerciek from Philly. He’s a goon.
    I like Iceman’s lines much better. He doesn’t wear colored glasses ;)
    Not sure what management is going to decide on Niskie and Depres.
    I’d like to see Depres over Engelland, tho I doubt that will happen.

  108. Iceman says:

    If they keep Niskanen, I’d rather have Engelland sitting in the press box over Despres. After watching him play some, I think Despress needs to get lots of ice time to continue to develop and the place for him to get that right now is in WBS. By the end of the season I see him as a regular on the D.

  109. Karen22 says:

    Son and daughter-in-law are going tonight and tomorrow night. Hubby and I are taking in Thursday’s matinee. We’ve won all of the few games the four of us have attended this year. I like our series’-win chances!

  110. hockeymonster says:

    Colored glasses? Im not a “told you so” kinda monster but I’ve been consistent since the tampa series and don’t think ive been proven wrong :)

  111. Iceman says:

    Regarding number 8. I recall one jump ball thrown to a tall, rookie receiver that he just went up and caught. The light thing just sounds like a lousy excuse and maybe our “veteran” receivers could learn something from Moye (that was a great throw by Ben too, btw).

  112. Kevin says:

    right, and martin was only our most consistent defender last year… and oh yeah… Jandy is mother Teresa!

  113. Jandy says:

    Yup..colored glasses :)

  114. Kevin says:

    +1 I also agree… unfortunately, looks like we wont get to see D’Agostino.

  115. hockeymonster says:

    I believe jokinen is being drastically over rated. He’s not great defensively and brings down our team speed. Sure he can help offensively in the regular season but is that what we need? And this time playoffs come after a full season so I don’t expect much help from him by the end of the season.

    Zolnerciek is a quick skater with sandpaper…think poor mans cooke. He’ll bring some vitale type energy and can play the PK.

    Jeffrey has to play. He’s was good defensively last season and looked real sharp against Columbus. I actually think playing him with sutter could turn out to be a great shutdown 3rd line with a touch of offense if d’agastini pans out. And you would have flexibility on faceoffs with Jeffrey available in case sutter gets kicked out or if you want to give geno help on faceoffs too.

    D’agastini i’d like to see in pens jersey but saw enough of him in stl to think he’ll fit in fine. And with kobasew around he’ll be pushed for a spot.

    I did leave engelland out accidently…but after last few playoffs I think we need to explore our options. Which actually should include moving engelland to forward where he could be a huge help to us but not really his career. Tough situation with him. And I think giving dumoulin experience would be a good idea. He and bortuzzo can battle it out for the 6th spot each night. Good internal competition from 2 hungry dman is good.

    You guys can keep drinking the kool aid on PM but ever since I came to my conclusion after the tampa series I haven’t been wrong…

  116. hockeymonster says:

    Um he most certainly was not…either way my point is we cant pay him 5M to do what he does based on the construct of our defense. But what do I know….

  117. Jason81 says:

    Tackles that can block. Do we really want Heath Miller to come back and have to stay in and help the tackles?

  118. hockeymonster says:

    Despres has nothing to prove in WB. Adding piece to this group of dmen isn’t enough. Drastic overhaul that I’ve been calling for is whats needed. Unless winning the cup isn’t our goal.

  119. Iceman says:

    Just read a phenomenal article about Matt Cooke from the Star Tribune in Minnesota. Hopefully Wild fans will read this article so they can learn how lucky they are to have Matt Cooke. Good reading if you have a couple minutes.

    http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/224002541.html?page=1&c=y

  120. Iceman says:

    I don’t think he has anything to prove. He is an NHL defenseman. I just think that if they keep Niskanen around, the odd man out is Despres and I don’t want him sitting in the press box. I want him to get some good playing time in the AHL and then when there is an injury or a trade made, Despres can come up and fill that role.

  121. Dom says:

    Mike Adams did have a poor game in the season opener but how well do you all feel he did last night. I didn’t really notice him and I suppose that’s a good thing when it comes to OLman. Did he let a number of sacks and pressures?

  122. Iceman says:

    I’m going to just agree to disagree with you on Martin. No need for our circular arguing again this year.

    Regarding your other points, I don’t completely disagree. I like what Jokinen offers, but am not upset if they play Jeffrey on the third line instead of him. I don’t think you trade Jokinen because he can fill in on wing or at center if someone is hurt.

    I’m not sold on Harry Z being the poorman’s Cooke. I don’t think he has the skill and I think he still is a cheap player. I didn’t like him and Philly and I don’t really like him in a Pens sweater. That being said, he is one of the only player on the roster who gives them the grit they may be missing.

  123. Jandy says:

    Agreed, Iceman :)

  124. Jandy says:

    ummm he was our most consistent defenseman during the playoffs.
    You might be answering your own question :)

  125. Milo Hamilton says:

    Despres isn’t going to sit in the press box. He’s going back to Wilkes Barre. He doesn’t have to clear waivers & it gets them under the cap.

  126. Jandy says:

    Thanks for sharing, Iceman.

    I sure hope Oshkosh see it too :)

  127. Baywatch says:

    Different Ice.

  128. defil21 says:

    The sack I remember the most is when Decastro and GIlbert got ran over. I don’t think Adams gave up any sacks, but I know he did whiff on a couple of blocks, and had Ben not been Ben he would have been sacked once or twice. Towards the end of the game when Ben got sacked around our 10 yard line I think that was Adams man who got the sack but that was more of a coverage sack. Ben scrambled for what seemed like about 5-6 seconds, and none of the WR’s could get open.

  129. Jandy says:

    Dang Iceman, we must be drinking the same Kool Aid, because we agree on everything :)

  130. Milo Hamilton says:

    I think at this point, the only cure for Ben’s temperature is more cowbell.

  131. Jandy says:

    Yes, you’re right Milo, but I’d still rather see him play over Engelland at this point. Like I said before, I doubt that will happen.

  132. Jandy says:

    bummer…cuz he’s a cool dude :)

  133. bradthedad says:

    Yes, Flukey Stuff the front band. Interestingly, flukey found it’s way into DK’s column.

  134. hockeymonster says:

    We’re definitely in a pickle if all the dmen stay healthy…I hated losing Strait on waivers for nothing last season and don’t want to lose any of the young dman this year.

    P.S. I would’ve taken strait over PM last year too :)

  135. BreakTheStreak says:

    Common DK- yes , Ben and his no huddle scored a TD. But his no huddle also threw a interception AGAIN in the 4th quarter. Ben, like his team, has been dreadful in the 4th quarter. He can’t carry this team. Lets call it as it is: even Ben has been really bad, esp in the 4th quarter.

  136. hockeymonster says:

    I should’ve added earlier that with Jacques M. theres a chance our team d improves but I think that only happens if we play the trap more often. So we’ll see what bylsma does. I definitely don’t want PM, nisky, dumoulin and bortuzzo facing high speed rushes like in the NYI series and the philly series year before so playing the trap more often should be no brainer…but we shall see.

  137. hockeymonster says:

    Hes not really a goon just an agitator…hate to say it but when you got players like 87 and 71 you need players that can keep the other team honest. You need someone to go out there and answer cheap shots with cheap shots sometimes. Just dropping the gloves isn’t always the answer.

  138. hockeymonster says:

    And look where its gotten you and us…embarrassing playoff exits year after year after year. There any other kool aid flavors to try? :)

    Whats the definition of insanity again?

  139. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    Sanders and Brown…No separation…None. That doesn’t work. Clearly all coverage schemes are taking these two out of play. Miller will help, but he’s not going to command total attention. Only hope is the Bell get’s better and is actually, you know…good.

    Redman looked awful. How can they justify giving the ball to a back that is simply stopping when there is nothing there? He looked like a toddler at the sea shore last night…waves of defenders came and he stood still to watch the water splash up his legs. Run harder bro.

  140. Jandy says:

    I won’t be drinking hockeymonster Kool Aid, that’s for sure….it gets stuck on one track… :)
    Insanity, is arguing with you, so you’re right, I’m done :)

  141. Jandy says:

    Paul Bissonnette pulled a no-no and earned a 10m game suspension:
    Paul Bissonnette will be suspended for the first 10 games of the regular season for coming off the bench on an illegal line change in Sunday’s 4-2 victory against the Los Angeles Kings.
    Here’s the link:
    http://www.nhl.com/ice/recap.htm?id=2013010011&navid=sb:recap

  142. Jandy says:

    Aaannnd Tortorella is endearing himself to the press in Vancouver already:
    http://blogs.theprovince.com/2013/09/16/tortorellas-media-class-in-session-ill-walk-if-cellphones-go-off/
    same old, same old :)

  143. Jandy says:

    That’s sad, Dom :(

  144. Jandy says:

    bring home the W!!!!

  145. SeanAY says:

    Buh, buh….Wallace held out of camp and didn’t play the game right way!

  146. hockeymonster says:

    For the record…hockeymonster kool aid would consist of some kind of 12 year old scotch…probably glenlivet if not macallam :)

  147. Nate83 says:

    I may be crazy for saying this but I kind of want the Nationals to win today. The Cards play them next week and I want the Nationals giving their best in that series. I know this scenerio gives the Pirates a slight chance of missing the playoffs all together but if they can’t win enough of their final 12 games to keep a 7.5 games lead then they really don’t deserve to make the playoffs.

    12 games remaining and they are tied for the division lead. I want whatever scenerio that gives them the best chance of winning the division to play out.

  148. Kevin says:

    well obviously its important to have tackles… otherwise you are in a world of crap.

  149. cmat0829 says:

    The only good thing about last night I guess is the Pirates game was such a snoozer and over early so it avoided much of the ‘back and forth’ between the games I had expected.

    Cashner is talented, no doubt, but his quote about the Pirates “not hitting curve balls well” was spot on. This team, to the extent it hits, feasts on fastballs.. that’s why I fear the outcome when a junkballer throws for the other team. Much prefer fastball throwers.

    I can see some folks want to get on Hurdle again as the reason for the loss last night..that he inexplicably kept the starting pitcher in to give up — gasp – TWO runs in the 7th inning. Geeze is about all I can manage, sorry guys, not in the mood to take on that ridiculous debate again.

    As to the Steelers, maybe my expectations were low, but I could see a few small signs of improvement. The line wasn’t great but did give Ben enough time for the most part… defense held AJ Green in check, and pretty much played well enough for the team to win on the road…. the glaring weakness of the team is offensive playcalling and WR ability to separate and get open. Not sure what the fix is short term… maybe it would boost morale to dump Haley …and Wheaton should get a chance to play…. but not sure that is enough to make these team competitive. It should avoid embarrassingly low levels of play, however.

    I predict a victory over the Bears on Sunday night, maybe I’m crazy but I can feel it.

  150. Damon says:

    I don’t get why Vancouver decided to hire him….and as quick as they did.

  151. CW says:

    Was just thinking about the Steelers and their ‘troubles’ and how to fix them. I know it seems radical but lets face facts and recognize that the Steelers are not going to be good this year and most likely in the next couple of years. We have to rebuild from almost the ground up with personnel. I was thinking that TRADING Ben Roethlisberger might not be a bad idea. He is in his early thirties now and by the time they have rebuilt the pieces around him enough to compete, he will be on the tail end of his career. Maybe the Steelers should trade him for draft picks and try to rebuild that way. I know a franchise QB is a rarity in Pittsburgh, but if we don’t have the pieces around him to win…..then maybe it’s time to move him out to get some more pieces to build for the future.

  152. Iceman says:

    Biznasty did what he is hired to do. I don’t agree with it, but it is what it is. It is not really a huge loss for Phoenix that he is missing the first 10 games. I hope that maybe he will live tweet the Coyotes first game. Will certainly be more entertaining than watching him play.

  153. Iceman says:

    Hey Thanks! :)

  154. Iceman says:

    This mindset is one of the things wrong with hockey. I’m ok with a player having some grit and agitating, but this is much different than cheap shots.

  155. Damon says:

    Great article Iceman…thanks for sharing.

  156. Iceman says:

    On a side note, glad to see the Dept. of Player Safety is still as big a joke as ever. No way that Nolan shouldn’t have a suspension on the hit that lead to Biznasty going off. They then show the difference between a “Hard Legal Check” and an “Illegal Check” and they look exactly the same. Glad players will continue to be confused and mixed messages will abound out of Shanahan’s office.

  157. hockeymonster says:

    Oh I agree…just pointing out that when you got 87 and 71 you’ll end up dealing with cheap shots every now and then…just need a couple players to keep the other team honest.

  158. Jandy says:

    ‘s true ;)

  159. Jandy says:

    +++Shammahan strikes again!

  160. Kevin says:

    SOMETHING POSITIVE:

    Finally, a solid inning of relief from Grilli after previously going only 2/3 innings in each his previous 3 tries.

  161. Jandy says:

    Oh, I’m dying here :laughing:

  162. Arriba Wilver says:

    I think the problem may be more with the guys making the decisions. Do you trust them to rebuild? I have my doubts.

  163. I agree that AJ should have been pulled one out earlier…but really only because I took the under for his innings pitched and lost!!!

  164. Vinny Giardina says:

    Aaaahhh… remember the days when quarterbacks called their own plays? Just sayin’.

  165. Kevin says:

    This sounds very similar to a nuclear weapons philosophy. So here goes, since Russia has a nuke, we should build up our nuke arsenal so we can blow them up if they decide to blow us up. Right?… so extending this to hockey, if your guy cheap shots us, we are going to cheap shot you when you least expect it. So, you hope it is just a deterrent until its NOT to the devastation of MANY.

  166. Kevin says:

    Is Peyton the only one still doing that?

  167. Naje says:

    Do you trust Roethlisberger to change his game a bit? I mean, really, just a bit?

    For three years Steve Young, HOF QB, has been beating the same drum: Ben Roethlisberger has to improve in the rhythm passing game. That means Roethlisberger, his receivers and the offensive line. Roethlisberger and the offense has practiced for two and a half months and this is the best they can do?

    Surely someone as important to the team as Roethlisberger can grab a few players and let them know that the expectation has to be higher and the level of execution has to be far better than it has been.

    Yes, the talent has dropped, but the accountability has to come from somewhere… the coaching staff and the $100M player. As well as every weak offensive lineman…and the mouthy wide receivers who think it’s their job to jaw at everyone after every play.

  168. Tom P. says:

    I agree that if a starting pitcher only gives up 2 runs in the 7th, he has done his job. My observation was directed to the situation itself. When the offense does not appear capable of scoring (or perhaps generating even a walk), the manager may need to cobble together a series of pitchers who are capable of throwing a shutout. If it’s May 15th, that’s one thing. When there are 13 games left in the season, the team is tied for the division lead and trying to clinch a playoff spot, it’s another.

  169. 21sthebest says:

    Today is Roberto Clemente day, by the way. All 30 nominees for the award were announced yesterday and include Cutch and Justin Morneau. Also on the list from the Mets, bad boy David Wright.

  170. tpbco says:

    JMO, but I think the lessons learned from the ’90′s and early 2000′s is better to have a franchise QB and try to add pieces than to have some pieces and not have a franchise QB. Plus hard to trade BBR’s contract.

    I do disagree with your opinion of the talent level.

    On D, starting secondary is pretty good, could use a #1 pick CB for quality depth. 3/4 Linebackers (including JJ based on early returns) are very good. A lot of the D struggles last nite were due to the rookies trying to fill in for Foote and Timmons first game switching positions. DLine…Heyward played well last nite, Ziggy played well first game and I think McClendon has played well in both games. PFF gave him highest rating on D in the first game.They have just been on the field too long in both games and with Lebeau’s D, that’s a killer.

    On O, I have posted a couple times that any one that thought this OLine with the inexperience and position changes were going to come together before the first month of the season is over probably wasn’t being realistic. Not having Pouncey OR Heath makes it even tougher, although Verasco acquited himself pretty well last nite, given the Cincy DLine. When Heath gets back, TE becomes a strength not a weakness, but could use another good one (who isn’t Matt Spaeth). WR’s, need to get Wheaton involved, he was on the field more in the 2nd half, but was not targeted. Cannot really address the RB situation until we see what Bell brings. I’m not sure why Jones didn’t get more carries, he was obviously better than Redman last nite. I have no idea why they brought Dwyer back if they weren’t going to use him…unless it was to punish him even more.

    Bottom line to me is, when you are up against the cap…you’re screwed if you have injuries and for the Steelers, they not only have the injuries, it’s also WHO is injured has really clouded the evaluation of how good this team is. I still believe the talent is there to be a WC contender, but a lot of things need to start going right or they will be in a deep enough hole that they won’t be able to climb out of it.

  171. toochca says:

    Nats 3 Braves 0
    Bottom 3

  172. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s the second time you mentioned the $100 mil. I’m beginning to think that may be an issue with you.

    I was talking about who would you have drafting and trading to rebuild. Has nothing to do with Roethlisberger, or if you want to trade him. If you’re going to do it, you need to have some people in charge who can do it. Like I said, this isn’t about Roethliesberger. Do you really think he’s the problem? I don’t. But I lived through Cliff Stoudt, Mark Malone, Bubby Brister, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, Mike Tomczak, Tommy Maddox. So, I may be prejudiced.

  173. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Nailed it!!!

    I think we all need more cowbell..

  174. JohninOshkosh says:

    Remember when RobertoForever said he brought cowbells to Pirate games and Milo responded that at the next game he went to the first thing he was going to do was go to Guest Services and complain about people bringing cowbells to games ?

    Classic blog history.

    I miss RobertoForever if only for the squabbling back and forth between Dejan and him.

  175. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Rob,

    To be fair, most of those were on the TE’s, which the Bengals are big on, and those boys are big.

    Also, AJ Green is no small guy either. I thought the secondary tackled quite well.

  176. Jandy says:

    Roberto was a PITA but he did add some humor now and then ;)

  177. tpbco says:

    And as a reminder, I think it was 1989, the Steelers lost 51-0 (at home) to Cleveland and then 42-10 to Cincy the first two games, still made the playoffs and won the first game against Jerry Glanville’s Oilers in OT on the road. Lost the second round, but damn near went to the AFC Championship.

    That team was able to over come, this one has to prove it can do the same.

  178. Lad 9 says:

    You lived through that motley group of QB’s AW? I died a little each time they took a snap… :) And don’t forget David Woodley and Jim Miller….

  179. Jandy says:

    oh and did you see the link Iceman posted ^^ there?
    http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/224002541.html?page=1&c=y

  180. Jandy says:

    Do YOU think they can do that?

  181. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    How did AJ not keep them in the game?

    AJ has the worst run support of any starting pitcher. It has to be frustrating for the guy. Pitches his @$$ off and get no run support.

    On that note, AJ was going into the 7th nearing 90 pitches, if not over. Typically the pull-the-plug number is 100, +/-. After the second guy got on, yes, he should’ve been pulled.

    I wasn’t watching at the time, but was someone up in the BP after the 1st guy got on?

  182. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not doubting you, tpbco, but I thought they said last night on the broadcast that no team for a long time had made the playoffs starting out 0-2. Maybe it didn’t go back to 1989, and maybe I misheard. And maybe they were trying to hype the games. They sure made it like whoever lost it was done.

  183. hockeymonster says:

    I don’t disagree kevin but we cant have 87 and 71 fighting their own battles all the time. I don’t want kunitz, neal, or Bennett jumping into scrums all the time and breaking a hand or having their nose broken then be out for weeks at a time. I’m interested to see if zolnerciek can hold his own cuz if not we’ll need to find a better replacement for cooke.

  184. toochca says:

    No it’s good!! Allows the Pirates to gain ground for Best Record and possible Home Field advantage in Playoffs.

  185. NMR says:

    Watching Grilli fist pump getting out of a self-induced jam down 2-0 in the 8th inning to the Padres struck me as more desperate and embarassing than postive.

  186. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  187. Nate83 says:

    I agree and it keeps the Nats in it just long enough for them to care when they play the Cards next week.

    However it’s only good until it becomes bad and then we will have to shut down the Clemente Bridge again. The Pirates would have to be historically bad to blow a 7.5 game lead with 12 to go.

  188. Arriba Wilver says:

    Both, methinks. Positive that he got out of it, but not so positive that he got into it.
    But he’s definitely a work in process. But I hear ya.

  189. Jandy says:

    RAD LAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  190. 21sthebest says:

    Since the NFL expanded to a 12 team playoff format in 1990, 22 teams (11.6%) have made the playoffs.

  191. 21sthebest says:

    Shhhhh. :-)

  192. SeanAY says:

    I just always crack up when people get upset about the wide receivers because they trash talk on the field. Because I’m sure THAT’S something that keeps coaching staffs up at night.

  193. toochca says:

    There are too many other bridges!!

  194. Lad 9 says:

    JANDY! Killing me at work today. Heading to the game tonight though – lasy game in the package I split with my buddies. Go Buccos!

  195. toochca says:

    3-1 Top 7

  196. tpbco says:

    The odds ARE against them, I think I’ve read that only 12% of teams starting 0-2 have made the playoffs (not sure of the time period)…BUT the Steelers have 2 of the last 3 times.

    Jandy-

    I just don’t know. My expectations were low for the first part of the season….pre MASH. I do see some positives, I also believe that they gots some gelling to do, and hope that they start before its too late. We’ll know by Halloween for sure. But I’ve seen enough improvement between the first two games to say it’s not impossible.

    Sometimes it comes down to what kind of fan you are.

  197. Jandy says:

    Work is a four letter word! LOL
    Bring home the w Laddie! Enjoy :)

  198. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    My 2 Cents…….

    The Pirates:

    They got shutout by Andrew Cashner last night. Who was quoted “The Pirates couldn’t hit his curveball.” To me, this is not new news. I’m pretty sure both Jay Bell and Clint Hurdle know that information as well. This is still a semi-young ball club. A curveball is not always easy to pick up out of the pitchers hand.

    Has anybody noticed what Cashner has done over the last 10 starts? He is pitching remarkably right now. He shows signs of becoming a very good starting pitcher. Tip your hat to the guy, he deserves a lot of the credit.

    AJ: PItched stellar for the Pirates, gave up 2 runs. Probably left in one batter too long. Its a risk you take with one of your best pitchers on the mound. He isn’t Jeff Locke. He knows how to get out of that type of situation. A ground ball and it would be the greatest managerial move of the season. However, it didn’t work out.

    The Steelers:

    Yuck.

    Bright side.

    They’re only 2 games into the season.

    I thought the OLine did OK, but not great.

    I thought the defense did OK as well. No turnovers, which is always a concern. Pass rush was there, but not what we’re used to seeing. Got some pressure on Dalton just couldn’t get the sack. A few tip balls, some rushed passes. I also thought the coverage went pretty well. Ike continues to shut guys down. Troy was all over the field.

    Not-so-bright-side?

    Ike Taylor’s hands.

    The WIDE OPEN TE running down the field.

    Play calling. How many WR screens can they possibly think will work? I like the play, don’t get me wrong, just not all the time.

    A reverse, cool, to Jericho Cotchery? NO good.

    The tripping call…Nice call ref, go ahead miss the one of the defender ripping Ben’s head off as well. NIce touch.

    David Paulson’s fumble. Ya know, I’m not going to be as hard on the guy as DK was. I thought he, outside of the fumble that he ran his routes well and ran well after the catch. I didn’t catch his blocking though. He does come from Oregon. How much do the TE’s block in that offense? I didn’t even know they had TE’s.

    David Decastro. I know it takes time for draft picks to pay dividends and it doesn’t help that he was out all of last season as well, but he was a total disappointment.

    Ben’s touch passes. Where were they floating off too?

    I think a lot of the offensive whoas go to the play calling ability, or lack there of, of Todd Haley. Substatuting players when they needed to run a quick play. The RB situation. Tomlin has gotten a lot of heat on this, but I think it goes back to the OC, rather than the head coach.

    Does Tomlin need to take over defensive play callng too from Lebeau? No way….

  199. Jandy says:

    tpbco, I’m a black and gold fan no matter what the team. But, it’s not looking good for me. That doesn’t make me any less of a fan :)
    I commend you for your optimism. I’m usually very optimistic, but not this time, not for the Steelers. I hope I’m wrong, tho, I’ll gladly eat my words :)

  200. Damon says:

    I was a freshman at Ohio University in 1989, so I remember that well (I took a TON of crap from Cleveland and Cincinnati fans those first two weeks at school). That team looked worse than the one we see now – I think the Steeler offense had almost as many yards on offense in the first game as the Browns had points. But then they won the next two games to get back to 2-2, alternated wins and loses until they got to 9-7 and a wild card. They lost in the 2nd round to Denver 24-23, had the ball with about a minute left to try and win it, but I think Hoge fumbled and that was it. Needless to say, anything can happen and that team is proof. Just think, if the Bengals lose to GB next week, Baltimore loses to Houston and the Steelers win against the Bears, they are tied for first. And that division isn’t very good…. Not saying go to Vegas and bet on the Steelers, I’m just saying don’t give up on them yet.

  201. tpbco says:

    I’ve played, coached and officiated multiple sports for almost all of my 58 years. I kinda think of myself as an optimistic realist. I learned not to get too high or too low and to never quit when I was directly involved and now when I’m mostly a spectator.

    And I STILL say if Sid hadn’t hit the post 20 seconds into game 1 against the Bruins…..

  202. cmat0829 says:

    If I recall, in the 7th inning, which we can all agree AJ should’ve started, he walked the first guy, then gave up a single through the hole to right field… if the thought is he should’ve been pulled RIGHT THERE, then I guess ok but with a guy on 3rd and NO outs, you need strikeouts and AJ is pretty much the best we have at getting out of jams like that.

    Once you had the sac fly and the one run, then I guess you are saying to lift AJ before the single to left plating the 2nd run… but in any event, it’s 1-0 and the Bucs never did score a run. 2-0 didn’t take the Bucs out of it, make the last 3 innings a moot point, the tying run still came to the plate…. so to me this is much ado about nothing.

    I

  203. War Horse says:

    Sterling Marte starts in LF for the first time since he busted his hand sliding! Mercer at SS, Gaby Sanchez at 1B, Harrison at 2B. Pedro bats 7th. Byrd is clean-up.

    https://twitter.com/Pirates/status/380040623979368448/photo/1

    At batting practise, nothing but curve balls.

  204. Jandy says:

    LOL tpbco, you’ve got a couple years of wisdom on me, so I hope you’re right :)
    And yes to Sid and the friggin post! ;)

  205. Jandy says:

    Hooray, Marte is back!

  206. Damon says:

    Interesting stuff from Rossi – including the Pens could deal Despres theory?

    http://blog.triblive.com/chipped-ice/2013/09/17/am-pens-log-the-big-takeaway-from-the-first-camp-cuts/

  207. Tom P. says:

    I get your point, and don’t disagree generally. I might not have started him in the seventh because he struggled in the 6th. On the other hand, it was the bottom of the order, so let him try.

    However, I would have pulled him after the walk to Cedeno. (Nobody pays me to manage, so my opinion doesn’t count.) Control matters in a 0-0 game, and he was losing his. After the single by the catcher, it was first and second, no outs. After the bunt force out by the pitcher, it was 1st and 3rd, 1 out. Then he threw a high strike that Venable hit for the SF-8.

    No big deal. Go get ‘em tonight.

  208. tpbco says:

    I’ve been as hard on Despres as anybody…but to trade him?

    Only if the return is “Shero – like on steroids”.

  209. NMR says:

    Watching the Bucco game last night, I couldn’t decide whether or not Cashner was doing a good Gerrit Cole impression or if Gerrit Cole does a good Cashner impression.

    Remarkably similar stuff.

  210. Jandy says:

    Agreed! I like the kid and I think he has the tools to be an exceptional defenseman. He just needs to put it all together. A little motivation wouldn’t hurt.

  211. Damon says:

    I doubt Shero will, but it is interesting to ponder. If he does, no doubt he’ll get a nice return.

  212. Iceman says:

    One interesting point Rossi made is that Despres seems to be in the doghouse of the Pens coaching staff. I guess if he is not going to play and is going to be wasted, they might as well trade him. I wonder what we can get in return for him that we can actually afford however.

    Also, if Despres is traded, the Pens better be darn confident in the d-men that are behind him on the depth chart (Harrington, Matta, Pouliot, etc.). Hate to lose Despres and have those players be busts.

  213. Arriba Wilver says:

    Do you mean teams starting 0-2?

    Seemed strange to me, too, but that is why I remembered it.
    Maybe it was just because of the low percentage.

  214. tpbco says:

    Agree with a lot of your comments.

    The answer to Oregon is…they may have TE’s, but they don’t block much OR very well.

    DD was going up against one of the best DLines in the AFC, both Atkins and Petko are as good in the middle as anybody. I don’t think he was horrible but I do think he played them better than the first go around at the end of last season…when he was torched really good. Way to early to say he’s a bust or HOF material and we’ve seen both extremes from John Reimstra to Alan Faneca.

  215. tpbco says:

    Both Ryan Whitney and Goglinski were roommates in that same doghouse….

    At least they are saying they are high on they “other” yung’ens….

  216. hockeymonster says:

    I saw that too but Rossi rambles a lot of non sense. Jack Johnson still being traded here? Don’t think we’ll get the kind of offer that would entice shero and we don’t have the cap space to bring anyone in unless you include nisky, jokinen or you know who. :)

  217. Kevin says:

    pylon..

 
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