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Morning Java: Belaboring the obvious on 0-3

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

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>> The Monday column covers your 0-3 Steelers. Hoo-boy.

The game story, by Alan Robinson.

Inside the lines, by Mark Kaboly.

More player reaction, by Ralph Paulk.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage., including the photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner.

Here’s the latest on the Bears from the Chicago Tribune.

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>> Jeff Locke implodes again, probably for the last time. Karen Price reports from PNC Park.

The Pirates’ team awards were announced, as voted upon by the Pittsburgh chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Happy to see all three of my choices won.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage.

Here’s Reds news from the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cubs news from the Chicago Tribune.

Here are official game highlights from MLB.com.

>> The latest on Tomas Vokoun’s blood clot, by Josh Yohe. There’s always a tendency — understandable — to focus on how this affects a team, in this case the Penguins. But man, this is serious stuff. Thoughts and prayers with this very good man and his family.

I spent part of my Saturday with the club and saw Jussi Jokinen’s hat trick. Here’s some of what he had to say to a few of us after that …

How do you feel about Jokinen on the second line?

Would you rather have Beau Bennett there?

I won’t lie: What Jokinen did Saturday with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal moved me.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt really likes big back James Conner. Jerry DiPaola reports.

>> Penn State eyes Indiana. So does Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll join TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. if the alarm works, then begin packing for London.

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. Wild Bill says:

    Excepting Pitt and PSU, a lousy ‘burgh sports weekend. I feel bad for all of you who had to watch it first hand, while I’m out west.

    More games to come, and soon I’m back to stress out with yinz all.

    Hope Tomas recovers well.

  2. Ghost says:

    The column aptly captures the tone in the aftermath of the Steelers’ latest display of ineptitude.

    “…in case you want to take this discussion down the Kevin Colbert draft route.”

    In case? Kevin Colbert and Art Rooney’s meddling hand are THE discussion topics now, in my humble opinion. The lack of sacks, the negative turnover ratio, Ben’s breakdowns — all symptoms of an under-talented team overwhelmed by 2013 NFL opponents.

  3. theplanisworking says:

    DK stated the obvious (no pun intended).
    Sad thing is, some people saw this in June, when the offseason was a complete flop.

    Many to blame, all the way up to Artie Rooney. No one is exempt, Colbert, Tomlin, LeBeau, players, janitors. This team needs a complete blowup, and new blood injected.
    Problem is, Colbert is doing the drafting, and he hasnt done too well recently.

    At least we can look forward to a lively, fun crowd in Wembly next week. !!!

  4. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    Wow…..I had hoped this team wasn’t as bad as I thought.
    Turns out….They are worse than I thought.
    Words can’t describe…..

  5. DJ says:

    We need on target and efficient from Ben for there to be any hope.

    Sadly, we are not getting it and I don’t think we will given what we’ve seen so far of his play and the personnel around him.

  6. Nate83 says:

    When everyone from the franchise QB to the waterboy is taking blame for a loss you have a problem. It has to start with the turnovers and that starts with the QB on offense and on defense it starts with playing Steeler football and knocking some heads off. I would rather give up one 60 yard touchdown pass a game then watch this slow death that has showed up on our TV set the last 35 regular season games.

    Take some chances on defense. Get the QB to make some mistakes. Be in attack mode. Teams with much worse defenses have been successful using this method. All or nothing. Sell out to get a sack, a fumble an interception, anything that make the other team not have a 3rd and 4. You have to flip the field because the other team is doing it to us 2 or 3 times a game.

    Oh yeah, nice column DK. The only positive is it sounds like they are not willing to go status quo. Play somebody who wants to play and will give effort. Get some hungry guys in there that have to earn everything they have gotten in the NFL.

    DK: We’ll see on the status quo. Throwing Beachum in there isn’t exactly a radical departure.

  7. theplanisworking says:

    OLine sucks.
    Running backs below average.
    Wide receivers average.
    DLine sucks.
    Linbackers below average.
    Secondary below average.

    Where is there to go but up?
    Colbert assembled this mess.
    Tomlin is miscoaching this mess.
    Players look uninterested.

    Beginning of the year I predicted 6-10.
    I goofed.

  8. AZBucsFan says:

    I simply can’t wrap my head around the fact that this defense, led by the great Dick Lebeau, has forced ZERO turnovers! Not one fluky tipped pass. Not one fumble on a kickoff or punt return. NOTHING! That is almost surreal. Heads will roll if this continues.

  9. Ghost says:

    Not excusing Ben — he was sloppy tonight and it cost us dearly. But I just don’t see Ben being able to turn this around all by himself. We’ve invested a lot of number one and number two draft choices in our O-line recently, and the results are no better then they were when the team was willfully ignoring the O-line.

    The Steelers need a new brain trust. Otherwise, any player changes brought about will just be more of the same. (Bringing back William Gay, indeed…)

  10. DJ says:

    Saw a good bit of blitzes tonight, either overloads to one side on defense or sending the extra man.

    With a few exceptions, we seem to hit a brick wall at the line. Other teams’ O-linemen always seem to stay square to our rushers, swallowing us up, or else we’re chipped by a back after penetration.

  11. Nate83 says:

    I really can’t get far past the O-line to figure out who “sucks” on offense. They have been so bad it is really hard to judge if the other players are bad or not.

    I think you are being a little tough on the defense saying that all 3 levels are below average or worse. They held the Bears to 258 total yards of offense and that included a 55 yard run that should have only been 25 yards if William Gay didn’t forget he was playing football instead of handing off a baton in a relay race.

    This team has turned it over 9 time and caused 0 turnovers. If they are even in that catagory they would be 1-2 or 2-1 right now. The problem is this is not a new problem. It happened last year as well and offensively it is because of the offensive line. That isn’t getting better anytime soon.

  12. Nate83 says:

    To be honest I listened to the game on the radio while at work tonight. Thanks for the info DJ.

  13. diehard says:

    As much as many people around here may see it as sacrilege – these are all JUST GAMES (remember how people responded to Tom Barrasso’s quote years ago?).
    God bless, Tomas Vokoun. Get well.

  14. Nate83 says:

    Sadly Ghost those picks where for the most part applauded by many experts and going back to the Mendenhall, Limus Sweed draft the Steelers have graded well at the time of the drafts for the most part. Just goes to show you there is definately some luck involved n all of this.

    What’s more important to me is identifying when those picks didn’t pan out and doing something about it. Unfortunatley the Steelers have put themselves up against the cap ceiling for many years now and it gives them little to no wiggle room to do something about it through trades or free agents.

  15. DJ says:

    Ben’s been very sloppy lately, dating back to second half of last year, not just tonight. The point is that without him at his very best right now — given the play of the personnel around him, as I mentioned — there is no hope.

    The tackle play in particular is incredibly soft despite their huge size. Half in jest, I have suggested they break out the Alan Faneca footage for some textbook O-line technique, but even more so, textbook nasty attitude.

  16. theplanisworking says:

    Dline and linebackers getting no pressure on opposing Qb’s.
    Dline and linebackers having problems stopping the run.
    Secondary getting burned.

    The D held the Bears to 258 yards?
    The Bears didnt need many yards, because their D scored points.

    People need to man up responsibility wise.
    Check the waiver wire for replacements.
    Cant be any worse than they currently have.

  17. Ghost says:

    You are right that picks such as Sweed were looked upon as good picks at the time. But the good teams tune out the noise and make better decisions. From evaluating players to having poor priorities, I think the Steelers brain trust have no one but themselves to blame.
    As for cap issues, contracts like Ben’s and LaMarr’s and Troy’s are big hits, to be sure. But it is of my belief that the Steelers biggest weaknesses are in the trenches. Fortunately, rebuilding from the O-line and D-line first is at least not *as* expensive as acquiring skilled position players and another franchise QB. But as long as the team doesn’t get this right, nothing will work anyhow.

  18. Nate83 says:

    Agree you have to build from the inside out and it is the cheaper thing to build through free agency. The problem is I don’t know if they even have the cap flexibility to do that.

    Past contracts have come back to haunt this team later. Hampton, Colon and even Smith to a certain degree kept getting rather large paydays while their skills either diminished or they didn’t stay healthy. That was money that couldn’t be spent elsewhere. They have been and still are one of the more top heavy teams when it comes to distribuation of salary.

  19. Nate83 says:

    Look at the yards per play given up over the last 2 years and even this year. They are not below average at all 3 levels of defense. They lack big splash play ability but they are not a bad defense. Obviously you are entitled to that opinion and it may even be correct. I just don’t agree with it.

  20. Steelag70 says:

    Nate…it has become a soft defense.

  21. Nate83 says:

    They truly would be better if they just stood up and tried to get in the way of the opposition instead of trying to move them.

    What is scary is the two of the men on defense that I consider impact players and consistantly show up to play don’t have much tread left on the tire. Taylor and Polamula are not getting any younger and I don’t see any understudies ready to step in.

  22. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks.
    They cannot make the important stop.

  23. theplanisworking says:

    Thanks.
    They cannot make the important stop.

  24. Ghost says:

    No denying that Nate. I comprehended the sentimentality and the hope against hope in Smith’s case. But Hampton and Colon were simply kept around for too long. If Troy goes down with another injury this year, sadly, the same must be said about him. We have not been getting our money’s worth from that once, magical player. So far at least, he’s looking good this year.

    Anyway, time to shake things up and let the chips fall where they may.

  25. Nate83 says:

    I will agree it’s soft but that doesn’t make it bad. Really think about that statement and what it would mean. A defense that is below average at every level would be a bottom 5 defense in the league. After tonight the Steelers overall defense will rank around 5-7 and they finished 1st the last 2 years. I don’t know how that would be possible with them being below average at every level.

  26. theplanisworking says:

    Nate,

    there are lies, damn lies and statistics.

    Wasnt the Steelers D #1 are year or so ago, and they gave up 5000 yards to Tebow?

    Stats dont tell the whole story.

    They are below average in almost every way.
    No pressure, no stops, no turnovers.
    That isnt a good defense, no matter how hard you try to make it so.

  27. Reading says:

    I have had my own issues in the past with deep vein thrombosis and survived a pulmonary embolism about 17 years ago. So, I can empathize with what Mr. Vokoun is going through. Good luck to the man, and I hope that he can get back on the ice soon.

  28. Brandie says:

    My takeaways…

    The Steelers got old. Bad drafts have caught up with them.

    The Pirates can, have, and will pull together. I’m sending all the good vibes I can their way.

    The Penguins need Toma’s Vokoun, but his family needs him more. Best wishes and prayers for a whole, complete, hassle free recovery.

    Good Morning DK and all you Lunatics out there.

  29. Drew71 says:

    This is gonna be a fun day in here.

    Obviously.

  30. Tom P. says:

    With 6 games left, the Pirates magic number to clinch the second wild card spot is 2 (vs. Nationals), to host the wild card game is 7 (vs. Reds), and to win the division is 9 (vs. Cardinals).

    Series of interest beginning tonight: Pirates at Cubs, Nationals at Cardinals, and Mets at Reds.

    If the Pirates win 2 in Chicago and 2 in Cincinnati, they would do no worse than host the wild card game. They would, at worst, be tied with Cincinnati, and would hold the tiebreaker by winning the season series 10-9.

  31. Jandy says:

    Thanks for the update, Tom P.

    Let’s hope the Pirates don’t “play down” to the Cubbies.

  32. Jandy says:

    Well, the Steelers are imploding before our eyes. Time to brutally cut away the old,the underperforming, and the non-performing. Start with coaches and work thru the players.
    It’s a tough job, but it’s gotta be done. Glad I don’t have to deal with it.

    The Bucs need to FOCUS. Jeff Locke should have been pulled on the first walk yesterday. The kid is a mess right now…his eyes look like JMac’s. That’s BAD.

    The Pens are in trouble with Vokoun out indefinitely. They could try Zatkoff, but man, that is risky. Ray Shero has his work cut out for him. Let’s see how much of a wizard he is.

    Wasn’t around much over the weekend. Busy as h*ll. Busy here at work too. Is everyone in here healthy????

  33. macchamp74 says:

    Well, the biggest game in the City turned into just another Steeler loss. Now what do we do with the remaining 13 games?

  34. JAL says:

    JAL’s Standin’ in the Rain Morning Links

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-JlGtwOtl9I

    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: Jeff Locke’s Season Should Be Over

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/first-pitch-jeff-lockes-season-should-be-over.html

    Score Escalates Quickly, Pirates Lose 11-3

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/score-escalates-quickly-pirates-lose-11-3.html

    Pirates Notebook: Jose Tabata Earning His Place in the Lineup

    http://www.piratesprospects.com/2013/09/pirates-notebook-tabata-at-his-best-in-awhile.html

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Pirates disappoint in final home game of regular season, drubbed by Reds 11-3

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/22/4759732/pirates-disappoint-in-final-home-game-of-regular-season-drubbed-by

    Pirates’ General Manager discusses playoff rotation, re-signing A.J. Burnett

    http://www.bucsdugout.com/2013/9/22/4759194/pirates-general-manager-discusses-playoff-rotation-resigning-a-j

    6 Rumbunter

    The Mystifying Jeff Locke

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/22/mystifying-jeff-locke/

    Timely Hitting Key for Pirates Playoff Success

    http://rumbunter.com/2013/09/22/timely-hitting-key-playoff-success/

    7 WHYGAVS

    Game 156: Reds 11 Pirates 3

    http://www.whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/september-2013/game-156-reds-11-pirates-3.html

    8 The Green Weenie

    Locke Rocked; Pen Pummeled As Bucs Fall 11-3

    http://oldbucs.blogspot.com/2013/09/locke-rocked-pen-pummeled-as-bucs-fall.html

    9 Raise the Jolly Roger

    Reds 11, Pirates 3

    http://raisethejollyroger.com/2013/09/reds-11-pirates-3/

    10 City of Champions

    Reds blow out Pirates as Jeff Locke bombs postseason audition

    http://cityofchampionssports.com/2013/09/22/reds-blow-pirates-jeff-locke-bombs-postseason-audition/

  35. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Chicago Tribune

    Series preview: Pirates at Cubs

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-spt-0923-cubs-series-20130923,0,5083038.story

    12 Belleville News Democrat

    Should Cardinals fans root for Pirates or Reds?

    http://www.bnd.com/2013/09/22/2811592/should-cardinals-fans-root-for.html

    13 Washington Post

    Washington Nationals split doubleheader with Miami Marlins, hurting slim playoff chances

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/washington-nationals-fall-to-miami-marlins-4-2-as-playoff-hopes-take-a-blow/2013/09/22/0f0ee864-23c4-11e3-ad0d-b7c8d2a594b9_story.html

    14 Cincinnati Enquirer

    Reds pummel Pirates in rubber match, 11-3

    http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20130922/SPT04/309220044/Reds-pummel-Pirates-in-rubber-match

    15 Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Wrong To Name Jason Grilli Closer Again

    http://www.rantsports.com/mlb/2013/09/22/pittsburgh-pirates-wrong-to-name-jason-grilli-closer-again/

    16 CBS Sports

    Pirates v Cubs Game Preview

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/gametracker/preview/MLB_20130923_PIT@CHC

    17 St Louis Post Dispatch

    Sloppy Cards fall after clinching playoffs

    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/baseball/professional/sloppy-cards-fall-after-clinching-playoffs/article_25aca9ac-36fa-5d05-a07d-e8291633b5b6.html

    18 PBC Site

    Unable to shed Reds, Bucs fall into Wild Card tie

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2013_09_22_cinmlb_pitmlb_1&mode=recap_home&c_id=pit

    Notebook: Defining moment: Burnett delivers when needed

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130922&content_id=61382860&notebook_id=61388072&vkey=notebook_pit&c_id=pit

    SPORTS WEBSITES

    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=21868

    20 Fangraphs

    Writer’s View: The Best Players Not in the Hall of Fame

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/writers-view-the-best-players-not-in-the-hall-of-fame/

  36. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Bears vs. Steelers final score: Chicago gets five Pittsburgh turnovers en route to 40-23 victory

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/22/4760528/steelers-bears-final-score-sunday-night-football-statistics

    Winners and Losers from Steelers loss to Chicago Bears

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2013/9/23/4760744/winners-and-losers-from-steelers-loss-to-chicago-bears

    22 Steelers Gab

    Five Giveaways Send Steelers To AFC North Basement After 40-23 Loss To Bears

    http://www.steelersgab.com/2013/09/23/five-giveaways-send-steelers-to-afc-north-basement-after-40-23-loss-to-bears/

    Soccer(football)

    23 London Evening Standard

    Cardiff City 0 Tottenham 1: Paulinho proves last-gasp hero for Spurs

    http://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/cardiff-city-0-tottenham-1-paulinho-proves-lastgasp-hero-for-spurs-8832940.html

    24 World Soccer Daily

    World Soccer Daily: 10 stories you need to read, 19th September, 2013

    http://www.worldsoccer.com/247/world-soccer-daily-10-stories-you-need-to-read-20th-september-2013

    PENGUIN BLOGS and NHL Links

    25 Pensburgh

    Pens Points Monday: Unhappy Campers

    http://www.pensburgh.com/2013/9/22/4760580/pens-points-monday

  37. JAL says:

    Standin in the Rain ELO 1977

  38. Brandie says:

    Somewhat. Sluggish this morning. Not really feeling the responsibility thing today. Have a good day Jandy.

  39. Jandy says:

    A) Watch them.
    or
    B) Don’t watch them.

    Expect nothing. That way, if they DO something good, you’ll get a pleasant surprise.

  40. Jandy says:

    Sorry, Brandecita. Hope you get some energy. Either, just ease thru this Monday.

  41. meglasdad says:

    DK is it me, seriously, or did Kevin Colbert, draft genius quit being Kevin Colbert, draft genius, about the time Bill Cowher left? Don’t know how involved Cowher was with the draft but it does seem like a heck of a coincidence that when he left so did the genius.

    DK: It’ll be deserving of all the scrutiny it gets.

  42. Brandie says:

    Hope for the worst, expect the horrific.

  43. Karen22 says:

    Good morning, Brandie. You are right on the money today. Have a good one!

  44. Jandy says:

    That was mentioned before, meglasdad. Some thing Cowher had more than meets the eye to do with Colbert’s draft pick prowess.
    If that’s the case, can Cowher be lured back to DaBurgh to help out??? Interesting.

  45. Karen22 says:

    Well, it IS supposed to be a perfect fall week weatherwise. That’s something to smile about.

    You have a good day!

  46. Jandy says:

    sumpin like dat ;)

  47. Jandy says:

    Thanks Temptress Karen….you enjoy it as well :)

  48. theplanisworking says:

    ” Time to brutally cut away the old,the underperforming, and the non-performing. ”

    That would mean over half of the team would be gone.
    =============================================================

    ” (Locke) The kid is a mess right now…his eyes look like JMac’s. That’s BAD. ”

    Curse of sitting next to AJ ??
    =============================================================

    ” The Pens are in trouble with Vokoun out indefinitely. ”
    ” Ray Shero has his work cut out for him. Let’s see how much of a wizard he is. ”

    Shero absolutely blew it when he not only kept Fleury, but proclaimed him #1 (in so many words. Now he has a fine mess that could have been avoided, if he would have traded Fleury.

    I am healthy as a Hippo. ;)
    Today is a bad day to be a Pittsburgh sports fan., but at least my feet hit the floor.
    Hope all is well in the “Vatican” today. ;)

  49. Jandy says:

    Vatican? ha! LOL

    It’s Monday, I’m working (employed) so I’m fine with the world today :)

  50. theplanisworking says:

    Glad you are ok.
    Catch ya later, Mom T. ;)

  51. radio wave says:

    A Pirates question. If both teams finifh with the same record, there is no need for a “tie vreaker game” Sept. 30th?

  52. DJ says:

    8:10 a.m. and only 53 blog posts on a Steelers column.

    That pretty much says everything about the fan base’s hopes / expectations moving forward.

    DK: That’s more posts than the norm. Not sure what you’re saying.

  53. Jandy says:

    Pretty dismal morning for Steelers fans.

    Added to that, the Pirates laid another egg yesterday, and Vokoun is out indefinitely for the Pens, yuck.

  54. The Justice Avenger says:

    Morning to All! A lousy day on the North Shore yesterday, to be sure. But this morning as I was heading in to work, I got to thinking as the home portion of the schedule comes to a close: We have no idea how this last week with the Pirates is going to play out, obviously. But when all is said and done (yes, still hoping for a playoff game in the ‘Burgh!) this Pirates team gave us an amazing, special, fantastic, certainly not predicted summer at PNC Park. We saw great baseball, at levels we have not seen in years. Just hoping for a good last week…but to our Buccos team…”Thanks for a great summer at PNC!”.

  55. defil21 says:

    I think a lot of people put stock in Dan Rooney book, about how he talked about Cowher wanting Stacy Andrews in the draft and not Ben. I think now were seeing that maybe Cowher had an eye for better talent or had more of an influence on Colbert. One thing it seems for sure is the Cowher and Colbert tandem is/was better at drafting than the Tomlin/ Colbert one.

    I know it’s the coach’s job to coach his players up and have them prepared to play, but if the talent isn’t there and obviously it’s not then you can only do so much.

    For me especially when the D is on the field I just try to focus on certain players to see how they do, like JJ, Wilson/Williams, McClendon, and Cam Heyward. On O I try to focus mainly on the line to see how DD is doing. I will say the only one who had a good game last night was Velasco in my opinion. I hope the Steelers are able to resign him in the off season, and hopefully kick Pouncey out to left guard.

    I’ll suffer through this season just like WE ALL did in 2013 when we went 6-10. It could be the last time we see Keys, Clark, Troy, Foote even though he’s on IR, and maybe even Ike. The cap is a mess and until we get that fixed or it goes up $20 million we could be in for another long season next year. It happens to the best of franchise’s. It won’t be the first time and I’m sure it won’t be the last.

  56. DJ says:

    Yes, a very bleak Monday, certainly.

    Let’s hope the Bucs and Pens can carry us through the fall and winter.

  57. Jandy says:

    Hear, hear!

    I’ll drink to that! :)

    have a great day, TJA :)

  58. Jandy says:

    ehhh…DJ, it’s fun to root for our team, but always remember, it’s not life-threatening if our team loses. Life is too short to let it affect us that badly.
    But yeah, I sure hope to see the Bucs finish on a positive note, and the Pens start their season with a splash :)

  59. Jandy says:

    Amen, defil Professor!

    I look for next season to be humbling as well…but hey, we already know we’re spoiled in DaBurgh.

  60. Jandy says:

    Top O’ the mornin’ to ya Revvie :)

  61. Dom says:

    I believe it goes by the two teams head to head record.

  62. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks, Jandy. And a great day to you, too.

  63. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks, Lucky. Have a good day.

  64. Back at ‘ya, Jandelita.

  65. Drew71 says:

    So. Does the Dreaded Draft Pick Watch now begin in earnest?

  66. Manziel Mania begins in the Burgh.

    Or what Alabama player would you pick, Drew?

  67. Tom P. says:

    If “both teams” means Pirates and Reds for the wild card spots, that is correct. If the tie is for the division, then there is a playoff game on Sept. 30 for the division, with the loser playing the next day in the wild card game.

  68. Steve says:

    The Steelers have not had a competent offensive line since the 2005 Super Bowl winning season. They have had one of the best QBs in the league over that time frame but have never been able to build a line capable of protecting him week in and week out. That first int. he threw last night was thrown off his back foot as he braced himself to be hit by the oncoming rusher. Adams and Gilbert are huge fails.

    It becomes more and more obvious each week that the Steelers have failed to draft competent replacements for many of their best players who they’ve either allowed to leave through free agency or who have simply retired.

    Jerome Bettis ain’t coming through that door.

    DK: They made it two other Super Bowls in the interim without a ‘competent’ O-line. No need to stretch things here. This group is terrible.

  69. Tom P. says:

    +1, JA. It has been a great summer that exceeded all expectations.

  70. Steve says:

    Or how about you once and for all construct an offensive line and fine some players to complement your future hall of fame QB who still probably has 6 – 7 years of career in front of him.

  71. Steve says:

    “Find”, not “fine.” Then again maybe some should be fined for poor play.

  72. Jandy says:

    LOL + many on the fines ;)

  73. Jandy says:

    Don’t want no stinkin’ Manziel types here :P

  74. John Lease says:

    I was actually pleased with fatty 27, also known as the Thunder from Georgia Tech.

    HE played like there was no tomorrow. Other guys, not so much.

    Stick Dwyer in there and ride him. What on earth do they have to lose at this point?

    DK: Dwyer isn’t out of shape. The criticism of him emanated from OTAs way back in the spring.

  75. Justin says:

    “In light of the Pittsburgh Pirates sudden rise to relevance in Major League Baseball we feel that it is our organization’s civic duty to fill the void of incompetence left by the Pirates. We promise to play as poorly as possible so that Pittsburgh fans can always have a team to ignore, abuse and belittle like they have for the past 20 years.”

    Sincerely, The Pittsburgh Steelers.

  76. tdb1977 says:

    Icing on the cake would be a 6-0 week. Nationals find someway to take care of the Cardinals, and the Reds series next weekend is a mute point. In the same breathe – take the number 1 seed for the playoffs. Okay, I think I need to go and hit the book of reality now. Have a great day :)

  77. Jandy says:

    YIKES!

  78. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks, Tom. Wow…Nats at Cards…yikes!

  79. DJ says:

    Speaking of draft picks, why does Johnny Manziel remind me of a rich man’s Bubby Brister?

  80. Dom says:

    If we get a high draft pick would you all want an OT, WR, TE, someone on D, or to trade down?

  81. JAL says:

    Here is a happier story about a high school coach that I wrote, might cheer people up some.

    http://thegoodinsports.com/2013/09/21/coach-terry-mccray-northeast-high-school/

    DK: Well told!

  82. The Justice Avenger says:

    Beautiful…one never, ever knows tdb! This game of baseball is crazy. Gonna happen?…probably not…but love your thinking!

  83. The Justice Avenger says:

    Thanks, Tom. And for your daily updates, too. Appreciate them.

  84. The Justice Avenger says:

    thanks, Lucky.

  85. DJ says:

    Check, check (tall), maybe, check, not where we will be picking (top 5, perhaps?).

  86. Jandy says:

    Great, great story, JAL. How did you find Terry? He is an amazing person.

  87. defil21 says:

    With the rules favoring the Offense so much now it’s hard to want to draft defensive players so early in the draft. It stinks really, God how I miss the 90′s and early 2000′s when Defense mattered.

    OT, WR, TE, ILB, CB, S, and not in that order. I’m all for trading down if say we end up with the 5th pick in the draft, and can possibly acquire another 2nd or 3rd round pick. heck I would even consider trading with Cleveland for both of there #1 picks if they wanted our pick. We need play makers! Plus with the compensation picks we will get for Mendy, Lewis, and Wallet this might be the most important upcoming draft in the Colbert era. I know a lot was made of this year’s draft, but next year’s would be more important IMHO.

  88. JAL says:

    I was a professor and the speech team coach at Missouri Western State University and he was on my team Most of the students keep in touch with me.

  89. Iceman says:

    Brenden Morrow found his post Pittsburgh home with a 1 year, 1.5 mil contract with the St. Louis Blues according to TSN.

  90. Drew71 says:

    Why not? With those skills, he’d make a nice safety.

  91. The Justice Avenger says:

    LOL!

  92. Drew71 says:

    Bubby Brister was more mature.

    (Let that sink in.)

  93. Arriba Wilver says:

    Bubby could always tell him about the lakes in Pittsburgh.

  94. Drew71 says:

    Lucky, the Tide run a system. Big, fat boys. Straight ahead blocking. Straight ahead running.

    VERY effective in college against smaller athletes. Doesn’t mean it/they can’t work in the NFL. But their linemen and RBs tend to be overhyped coming into the draft, and more one dimensional than some other teams’ comparable players.

  95. Drew71 says:

    I feel a Jason Kendall line coming on.

  96. Scott says:

    Soft indeed. Defenses are ranked solely by the number of yards they allow, which is a very outdated method.

    The way NFL teams are scoring these days, a defense is no good unless it can create lots of turnovers to help create points for its offense. Thus, this year’s Steeler defense (and last year’s, and the year before) is no good.

    DK: Well put.

  97. Steve says:

    First and second round picks in 2012 were used for o-line. Supposedly that was finally going to fix things. So far #1 pick DeCastro has either been injured or injured his team mates when on the field. What has he shown? Starting to see “bust” and #2 pick Mike Adams’ name used in the same sentence more and more often.

    Why should anyone be confident that they’ll get it right the next time?

  98. Scott says:

    Did you not watch last season? Lebeau’s defense produced only 20 turnovers all year, one of the lowest totals in the league. This has been a problem for three years now. There are zero splash plays from the defense, ever.

    I should be clear I’m not blaming Lebeau. The players on defense just aren’t good enough.

    DK: If anything, LeBeau did more stunting, more dynamic stuff than I’d seen in a while. He just doesn’t have enough guys getting near the football.

  99. Bizrow says:

    Morning all

    Well, it could be worse, you know…..

  100. Dom says:

    If we are interesting in trading w/ Cleveland, then I’d want more than just their first two rounders this year.

    Washington gave up three first rounders and a second to move up like five spots to get RG3.

  101. Tim says:

    I’m not ready to throw the Steelers under the bus, yet. But if Ben is their franchise quarterback then he has got to play better. Its not so much the turnovers, which stink, but he’s missing receivers badly. Throwing behind, over and under receivers for what appears no reason, is troubling. Look the line is young and inexperienced, youngest in the league, but not all if it falls on them. Give them, if you can, 8-9 games, and if by then they are still playing like turnstiles, then you have your answers, but it’s going to take some tough lessons. Why is it so hard Ben to take the snap, drop back and hit a receiver i like the play is designed? Why does it look like every play is either out of whack or slow to develop? And another thing, no more draw plays to Dwyer. He’s slow enough as it is, giving the defense a chance to get in the back field while he is standing doesn’t help. Good blitz blocker though. I’ll give him that much. The defense is so close to being very good. The D-line is getting pressure. Troy looks like Troy. The key will be the middle linebacker spot. You may see a few of those long runs, but on a whole the run D was tight.
    The key is turnovers and Ben is killing them right now. Eliminate them, create a few and things can change.

    DK: That’s fine, Tim. But the next coach who figures out how to ‘eliminate’ turnovers will be the first. No science to it.

  102. defil21 says:

    Well yes I agree I was just throwing Cleveland out because I know they have 2 first round picks in the draft.

  103. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, what if Pitt had “only” scored 54 ? :)

  104. Drew71 says:

    Biz didnt finish his sentence because the Mayans got him.

  105. Jandy says:

    I can do without the attitude. No way…keep him outta Daburgh!

  106. Jandy says:

    That’s cool, JAL. I can’t see you being a be-speckeled professor…you must be the “cool” sort ;)

  107. Jandy says:

    Good for him. Hope he does well. Thanks for the info, Iceman.

  108. Milo Hamilton says:

    The guy played down the stretch and into the playoffs with a cracked kneecap. Really would have liked to have him back.

  109. Jandy says:

    “I’m not ready to throw the Steelers under the bus, yet”
    You don’t have to, they did it to themselves. ;)

  110. Jandy says:

    G’mornin to ya, Biz :)

  111. Jandy says:

    They don’t make hockey players like that anymore, Milo.

  112. Drew71 says:

    See? No response.

    No longer on the calendar.

  113. Drew71 says:

    Of course he’s old.

    May just take him longer.

  114. lupesanchez says:

    Ben is clearly not comfortable in the pocket. I know the plan is to keep him healthy, but to me there looked to be a lot of plays where he could have rolled out and thrown on the run, where he’s been great in his career.

    Instead, he stayed put, and in many cases, short-armed passes, had happy feet, etc.

    Keeping the franchise QB healthy is one thing. Restricting the most valuable part of his game so he can’t be the franchise QB is another.

    Not absolving him of blame, he was plenty bad, but without a solid line, only some players can make plays in the pocket. Doesn’t look like Ben is one of them, does it, Mike? Todd?

    DK: Hearing a lot of ‘happy feet’ theories. I wonder if that’s supported by the film. Not sure.

  115. Jandy says:

    Tell me about it, Drewster! ;)

  116. Bizrow says:

    I was trying to come up with an example of how it could be worse

    Can’t think of anything right now.

    Good AM Jandy

  117. Bizrow says:

    So do we pull for the Nats or the Cards tonight?

  118. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Pirates could be playing the last week trying to avoid 100 losses.

  119. lupesanchez says:

    The Pirates. :)

  120. CWalton_67 says:

    +1

  121. Milo Hamilton says:

    What’s gonna happen is gonna happen. They need to start taking care of their own stinking business.

  122. Joni says:

    DK,

    I am sold on Jokinen working with Malkin and Neal on the second line.

    I’m a Bennett fan, but it seems as if Malkin and Neal trust Jokinen more with the puck at this point. Granted, I haven’t watched all of the pre-season games where Beau Bennett played on the 2nd line, so I might be talking out of something besides my mouth. Wouldn’t be the first time!

    I’m pretty sure it was Sarah on yesterday morning’s thread who shared info about a family member who dealt with blood clots. Sobering stuff. (I hope that your family member continues to get healthy/better, Sarah.)

    Sending prayers and positive vibes to Mr. Vokoun and his family… Quality of life trumps time on the ice.

    DK: Well, you’ll get a chance to continue the debate tonight. The Penguins’ lines have Bennett back with Malkin and Neal. Your turn, Beau.

  123. 21sthebest says:

    Nats.

  124. Wild Bill says:

    Agreed. The Bucs should be able to win a couple of games to close the Nats out. We need Cards and Reds losses anywhere we can get them.

  125. Wild Bill says:

    The offensive line is the biggest issue. We’ve seen what Ben can do behind a good one. This one cannot block.

  126. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  127. 21sthebest says:

    Exactly.

  128. Stuart says:

    I got quite a reaction yesterday to my gentle chiding of Dejan for writing about the Steelers rather than the Pirates. I didn’t mind Dejan calling me “myopic”, I am all of that when it comes to the Pirates.

    I did kind of resent a certain fat person calling me a “hater”. In the Psychology business we called that particular kind of reaction “psychological projection”. Freud described that behavior as projection “in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world.” Siggy really nailed that one!

    I’ll take DK’s word that “that more people are more deeply invested in media coverage of their {team} (not numbers but intensity) when things aren’t going well.” I will also admit that the poll I conducted yesterday by walking around Oakland resulted in the sighting of 49 Polomalu jerseys to 1 McCutcheon shirt. Still, I’ve been a Steeler fan since only 1972, whereas I’ve been following the Pirates since the mid 1950s. (Before that, I was a Yankee Fan in the era of Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, and Eddie Lopat.)

    FWIW here is my own current take on the Steelers. Sometime after Chuck Noll, the Steelers quit drafting for character as well as athletic ability. Like Dejan, I didn’t appreciate #84′s “celebrations” while the TEAM was losing so badly. During the Steeler game last night, they showed several “shots” of the Rooneys. The elder Rooney didn’t look pleased. The younger Rooney had no expression at all (somewhat resembling John Russell in a trance), but he had to be seething internally. Fans do like to read about the team when it is performing poorly, but I’m sure the Rooneys noticed how many empty seats there were in the fourth quarter. Those same fans may stop buying tickets regardless of what they like to read. When that happens in sufficient numbers there will be mass changes. They might even do more than removing the ping pong table.

    Stuart

  129. Damon says:

    Wouldn’t it be weird if the Nats swept the Cards, and the Pirates, Cards and Reds were tied for first going into the last series of the year?

  130. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’ve been cogitating.

    DK started covering the Steelers, when, last year?

    The Steelers started stinking, when, last year?

    DK covered the Pirates all along, but once he quit being beat writer, they improved.

    Hmmmmmmm.

    ;-)

    DK: Covering Steelers for Trib since June 2011. Covering Steelers home games for another outlet — right up until the five years on baseball — since Heinz Field opened.

  131. 21sthebest says:

    This is exhausting. Rooted for the Brewers over the weekend, the Braves last week, I rooted for the Nats to lose this weekend and now I’m rooting for them to win, and I’m rooting for the Mets to win.

  132. Arriba Wilver says:

    Mind boggling, huh?

  133. Jandy says:

    Aha!!! you may be onto something ;)

  134. Jandy says:

    Stu, I don’t know what went down yesterday. I do know that I enjoy the give and take on here with both of you. I’m sure neither of you meant to be nasty.

    I sure hope this is smoothed over nice n easy-like.

  135. Jandy says:

    Oh and I nominate “cogitating” for word of the day ;)

  136. 21sthebest says:

    ESPN would probably still cover the Yankees playing the Astros more this weekend.

  137. Jandy says:

    ESPN sucks!

    :D

  138. 21sthebest says:

    Yeah but fun.

  139. Arriba Wilver says:

    True.

  140. Iceman says:

    I’m with you Milo. I think St. Louis will be plenty happy to have him on their team. He brings some “intangibles” that the Penguins could still use. Unfortunately, with their cap number where it is, they can’t afford $5 let alone $1.5 mil.

    DK: Would have loved to see him back. No cap room. You’re right.

  141. Iceman says:

    Heard that there were games for the game yesterday that were selling on ticketmaster for face value. That hasn’t happened around here for a Steelers game in a long time.

  142. Jandy says:

    mind? What mind????

  143. Jandy says:

    My daughter and her friend picked up “cheap” tickets up 15 rows on the 40 yard line. They were happy to go.

  144. Stuart says:

    Jandy, I’ve already forgotten it, and I’ll go back to following your much earlier advice to ignore some posters. I just didn’t appreciate being called a “hater” when I made a really innocuous comment to DK. I know it’s not particularly adult to make middle-school comments like “your mother wears combat boots” like I did in today’s post, but sometimes it’s just irresistible. For the record, I like the give and take also, but I’ve never been able to suffer fools gladly.

    Stuart

    DK: Not sure what you’d consider innocuous, Stu, but flagrantly misportraying the nature of a career choice I’d made probably wouldn’t crack my Innocuous Top 10.

  145. Jandy says:

    hang in there :)

  146. Stuart says:

    Thankx

    Stu

  147. Wild Bill says:

    Beat the heck out of the total depression and numbness of the last twenty years at this time.

  148. Bizrow says:

    Well, if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, has feathers like a duck

    Coincidence???

    I think not ;-)

  149. Wild Bill says:

    Maybe it’s time we start an investigation into DK’s secret past.

    DK: No need. The Paterno Wackos are already on that. :)

  150. Nate83 says:

    AW sorry I didn’t get to respond to you about my smh comment yesterday. I was out most of the day. It honestly was just a terrible attempt at a joke. There was no intent behind it to call you a hater. I apoligize for any confusion.

  151. JohninOshkosh says:

    I don’t believe the Pens won a SC when he was their beat writer. Then went on to do so after he left.

    By George, AW, I believe you are onto something!

  152. Arriba Wilver says:

    No worries, Nate. :-)

  153. Arriba Wilver says:

    And no need to apologize.

  154. Lad 9 says:

    I was there last night. I have four seats, but we couldn’t use two of them and I actually ended up giving them away and I only had one taker for them. I was expecting as many as 10,000 no shows last night, but there weren’t for the simple fact that the Bears fans came in droves. There almost no “regulars” in our section either.
    Obviously the poor play of the team is the primary reason that attendance will be down, but what about the opener? There were 5,000 no shows before the Steelers played a meaningful game. In past years when the team was down some, it was easy to get rid of tickets. Fans were eager to snap them up. Not so now. There are some other factors at work here, but I think what it comes down to is that the experience of attending the game is not as pleasant as it once was, and staying home with HD TV and the RedZone channel is in many cases a more attractive option than attending in person and dealing with the “variables” that come up in and around the stadium.

  155. Arriba Wilver says:

    +1

  156. CW says:

    I don’t see how you can ignore Jusi on a line with Malkin and Neal being somewhat magical the other night. I know Beau is an up and coming talent, but even the great Jagr spent time with the third line his first year. Give Jusi a chance and if he fails then move Bennett up.

  157. JohninOshkosh says:

    I thought Will Ferrell with his kids at the Emmys was pretty good. Hit home with a lot of dads, I think.

    I thought Kevin Spacey doing his “House of Cards” narration with the past Emmy hosts on stage was pretty good too.

    My wife loves to watch dance and all the critics today were bitching about the time consuming dance numbers. That gave me a chuckle.

  158. cmat0829 says:

    Another tough Sunday to be a Pittsburgh sports fan…..

    1. Steelers — I have set my expectations LOW and so I saw some positive signs yesterday that weren’t there the first 2 games… the turnovers were HUGE..the Steelers don’t have margin for error and they made way too many…. unlike in Jacksonsville, this 0-3 team doesn’t have to pack it in…they can start with a W in London and regrouping in the bye week. I’d like to see what Bell can do at RB and get Heath fully healthy and see what we have on offense before I just flush everything down the toilet. But the bar is lower folks, much lower for his proud franchise….it is now a ‘best can do’ to scratch out some Ws and make marginal improvements. Hard to say this team, even deflated as it is, isn’t on par with Buffalo/Jets/Cleveland/Jacksonville/Raiders and not far from SD/Tennessee and that’s half the AFC.

    2. Pirates— Locke has to be done in 2013 — good kid and he made strides this year, he can pick it up again in Spring Training 2014. Season comes down to 6 games, regardless of how we got here, we are tied with the Reds and 2 behind the Cardinals. ANY HOPE for a division REQUIRES A SWEEP AT WRIGLEY… a single loss puts that out of reach and aligns the focus on securing home field. I can see a scenario where the Cards hold a 1game lead over both the Reds and Bucs going into Friday… I still think Cards are big favorites to win the division obviously but they will have to win at least 2 vs the Cubs to secure it.

  159. JohnS says:

    I listen to NFL radio on satellite radio and it seems to me that the only people that believe Mike Adams can play left tackle in the NFL are the Steelers. Everybody says maybe as a road grader right tackle but no way at left tackle.

    All in all the offense just doesn’t have playmakers. Mendenhall for all of his flaws had the ability to be a playmaker. You can say the saem about Wallace and Santonio Holmes. With an offense of second team/complimentary players it is no wonder that they struggle.

  160. Arriba Wilver says:

    Agree with everything you said, including agreeing with the critics.

    I saw Neil Patrick Harris was listed as a producer. I know it sometimes is a way to get more money to the “stars,” but Doogie is amazingly talented.

  161. Arriba Wilver says:

    On #2, yes, the Reds series this past weekend put a real crimp in the chance for the title.

  162. Jandy says:

    That’s my boys :D

  163. JohninOshkosh says:

    I was just reading that Sarah Silverman’s dress was an off the rack non-designer $60 job. She looked great.

  164. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And Antonio Brown’s antics are OK.

    Manziel is a good QB. So what if he shows off……bring some entertainment. He hasn’t hurt anybody. He’s cocky. Not a bad thing to have from a football player.

    But no, I wouldn’t draft him.

    The game sure aren’t cutting it.

  165. Jandy says:

    Act like you’ve been here before.

    Manziel?

    Nope.

  166. tdb1977 says:

    And, didn’t Penn State lose the weekend he was there for his first game ever at Beaver Stadium?

  167. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Critique all you want, but this loss game at the hands of the QB.

    The defense wasn’t all that bad, other than not forcing any turnovers.

    Anybody else see the clock put on Cutler? He was getting rid of the ball at less than 3 seconds. No defense is sacking him under 3 seconds. Sorry.

    They did get pressure on him, forced him to make bad passes, throw the ball away.

    Biggest problem was the 3rd down run. Who saw that coming?

    Tip your hat to Bennett on that catch in the end zone. Really remarkable. Even better than #84′s.

    Speaking of #84-Scoreboard.

    He played a great game, proved to be the go-to WR on the team. Flashy and all that, but when you’re down by a bunch, shut up and get back to the huddle.

    I also thought the running game looked a lot better, except for Jones’ fumble, of course. Dwyer ran the ball well as did Jones.

    Why did they cut Dwyer again? I think moving forward, these 2 could make a pretty decent combo out of the backfield.

  168. Dom says:

    Since it is obvious that the Emmanuel Sanders isn’t a #2 in the NFL and since the season is lost anyways, why don’t we start Markus Wheaton? He has done nothing to warrant getting promoted but he can spread the defenses with his speed, he looks to be in our long-term plans, and can’t be worse than Sanders.

    DK: He hasn’t yet learned ping-pong/shuffleboard etiquette.

  169. 21sthebest says:

    I got a kick out of Antonio Brown after he made that great catch for the TD. The camera showed him being talked to by Todd Haley and as soon as Haley left, Brown turned and smiled for the camera. Seemed like he couldn’t wait for Haley to get lost.

    DK: Here’s betting he’s got company.

  170. Jason81 says:

    “Welcome to hell.”

  171. Jason81 says:

    “Seemed like he couldn’t wait for Haley to get lost.”

    Just like everyone else.

  172. Jason81 says:

    Darn, the boss beat me to the punch…guess I should’ve had a Starbucks today. :D

  173. Jandy says:

    OK OK I wanna know, just who IS the Ping-Pong/shuffleboard coach?????

  174. Jandy says:

    ::laughing::
    I’m dyin’ here…
    Dejan, who spiked your Starbucks??? ;)

  175. Jandy says:

    SOMEBODY doesn’t like Dwyer…

  176. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Well, depending on what the Cards and Reds do, a single loss doesn’t hurt.

    But a sweep would be nice.

  177. Stuart says:

    Does this mean that Dejan would not be willing to serve on the Board of Trustees?

    Stuart

  178. Arriba Wilver says:

    She usually does. ;-)

  179. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK—quit interrupting my cogitating.

  180. Jandy says:

    :snicker:

  181. Arriba Wilver says:

    DK–looking beyond your own self, are you suggesting Stuart’s a “hater?” I think that was the point of his post today. He didn’t seem to have a problem with your criticism of his post yesterday.

    DK: I’m not even sure what you’re asking, if that answers your question.

  182. Jandy says:

    Stu’s a good guy. This is beginning to upset me >:<

  183. Stuart says:

    Quoting the Emperor:

    “Some coaches pray for wisdom. I pray for 260-pound tackles. They’ll give me plenty of wisdom.” Chuck Noll

    “It’s not pleasant when you lose your whole football team.” Chuck Noll

    He also had a few things to say about character.

    Stuart

  184. Stuart says:

    This should be here:

    Quoting the Emperor:

    “Some coaches pray for wisdom. I pray for 260-pound tackles. They’ll give me plenty of wisdom.” Chuck Noll

    “It’s not pleasant when you lose your whole football team.” Chuck Noll

    He also had a few things to say about character.

    Stuart

  185. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    they dont make 260 pound tackles anymore…..

  186. JMB says:

    Maybe we can still trade him to the Pats!

  187. Arriba Wilver says:

    Yes, he is.

  188. JMB says:

    O-Kay…this might be optimistic, but looking at our 0-3, I see wins against the Vikes/Jets.

    2-3, then 3 straight losses again: 2-6.

    I’m on the 4-12 mindset now.

    DK: Likin’ them Brownies, are ya?

  189. JHadar says:

    Good Moanin’ All –

    Not an NFL fan, but when I do root it usually for the Bears, Packers, and Vikings pretty much in that order. Steelers are among “the other teams I like.”

    With the Hawkeyes finally coming to life, albeit vs. Western Michigan (59-3), it wasn’t a totally blue weekend out here on the prairie — but baseball so dominates my interest and I’m still trying to figure out this Pirate team. Oft repeated sentiments follow: On the one hand they are so much better than I figured they’d be, I’m totally ecstatic just to be in it. On the other hand, they way their going, it’s just another way they’ve found to break your heart. It’s probably been discussed while I’ve been elsewhere — but they should have taken four out of the last five instead of just one. Not the dreaded epic collapse a collapse nonetheless. Pitchers!?! (Of course some hitting would help, too.)

    And still they’re in it because it’s baseball and it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

    I hope the Bucs do recover, Even so the team they’re trying to build isn’t here yet. In short the long term is rosy and we can’t give up on the immediate future even though for me every nerve is screaming “brace yourself.” I think it’s going to be a dramatic week. Who knows, maybe when the season’s over they’ll have to change that sign. You know, the one that says “Pittsburgh, City of Champions, and . . . “

  190. Milo Hamilton says:

    He also said, “We’re not very well peopled.”

    He had a million of them. :)

  191. JHadar says:

    Bears beat the Vikings by one point.

  192. Milo Hamilton says:

    The less than enthusiastic reaction (I was being kind there) of Penguins management to questions regarding Marc Andre Fleury’s off season and training camp have been very enlightening. Or should I say depressing. I fear he’s mentally broken, and it sounds like the Penguins fear that also.

    DK: I think they feel (and fear) that he needs to be pushed.

  193. Nate83 says:

    See DK, you say stuff like that and then you really can’t tell us everything you know. It’s really not fair. I’m so jealuos of what you get to do. The amount of information you just have to sit on must be bigger then the pile of Starbuck’s Venti cups you have had since they opened up, Or maybe your a grande guy but I doubt that.

  194. Sarah says:

    I fear the same Milo.
    And I am certain the league knows it.

  195. Jandy says:

    Yeah, Milo, that’s the impression I was getting. Maybe they should start looking for a goalie on waivers….not that there would be good pickings there :/

  196. Nate83 says:

    Yes I fear that he is currently a wilting flower. With little to no confidence.

  197. Sarah says:

    Thanks Joni!
    My big brother is doing just fine thanks! He was on thinners for 6 months, and this was his first time. Doing great now, no restrirctions.

    TV was on thinner for 3 months his first time, 2005-06 season, missed playoffs.

    The second time it is generally 6mos, or Lifetime. Which would equate Retirement for TV, because contact sports are not allowed.

    Thing is, TV’s condition is not for “no apparent reason”….he has scar tissue in major blood vessels in his pelvic area due to an IV/catheter when he was burned as an infant and needed hospitalization. The narrowing of the major vessels (I assume – NOT a Dr!!!) is what is behind this….

    So….continuing to hypothesize, I wonder if there is a procedure to remove some of the scarring, widen the vessels, and reduce the likelihood of further issue.

    JUST GUESSING HOPEFULLY!!

    But at this point it is probably 6 months off for TV….and after that, well, fingers crossed.

    Thanks again Joni!

  198. Kevin says:

    Our offense is so bad that our defense looks good by comparison. As nate said above, only gave up 250 or so yards to the bears.. but when you are consistently given a short field by the offense, you don’t have far to go to goal.

  199. Sarah says:

    There are some….but they are all long in the tooth…..

    And much as he is a total FLAKE and could disrupt the team…Tim Thomas has the best playoff record of all the general group (Bryz, Theo, Heddy….)

    It seems to me Shero is far less sold on MAF than DB. So we’ll see.

    But I think the FLower would do best in a new environment, with a fresh start.

    The Pens asked him to improve his off-season work plans after the Philly meltdown, he didn’t.
    They asked again this year….and it seems….well, he didn’t at least not to their satisfaction.

    I think the Flower doesn’t have much leash left.

  200. Kevin says:

    And in such a case, the only way to switch fields is by turnover. And as everyone else said above, the steelers have been woeful going -9 in the turnover diff.

  201. Sarah says:

    It’s a position with a huge mental component.
    When you’re not confident, doesn’t matter how talented you are.

    Beachballs find their way in.

  202. Jandy says:

    Dear Lord. 6 months off. I hope Fleury is good for the regular season, which will give us time to see if A) Zatkoff can handle it or B) we might find another goalie.

  203. Jandy says:

    Glad to see you, Sarah, I’ve missed chatting with you. Now hockey is coming back in, I’m sure we’ll see more of you :)

  204. Dom says:

    I’ve been listening to some sports shows and I’m shocked that so many people have the belief that the Steelers are going to ax Tomlin in the upcoming offseason. The hosts seem to be getting irritated with the volume of these callers and their ignorance.

    We’ve had just three head coaches in the past 45 years and I think they take pride in this fact. What event(s) in the Steelers history give these individuals the impression that we’re parting ways with Tomlin in the near future? I know Tomlin has his short comings but sheesh, he has just two seasons under his belt when he didn’t finish above .500, including this year! In fact, this will be his first losing season. The man did get us to two superbowls and won one so, I think we can let one year pass before we have the discussion of removing him.

    Whether or not he should be removed is a moot point as any Steeler fan knows we’re not going to fire him as it’s not their way.

  205. Sarah says:

    Hope so Jandy.
    But I tend to agree with Milo (and maybe the Pens Mgmt)….I think MAF is busted.

  206. Sarah says:

    (blushes)
    Glad to see you too Jandy!!

    Yes, not a big baseball fan!

    (And lately, starting to think that wasn’t a bad idea LOL!!)

    Though – to be perfectly honest….I was so disappointed in the Pens’ Mgmt “Status Quo” decision last Spring, I am going into this season with a lot less enthusiasm than normal. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer!!! Just don’t think changes were made where they needed to be made.

    Hope I’m wrong!!!!

    Glad to be back!!!

  207. Jandy says:

    ehhh Sarah, no need for apologies. I would have like to see some changes made as well. But since I’m not in charge, I’ll just have to go with the flow. We’ll see just what management thinks after the season starts. I’m trying to keep an open mind and just see how things play out. But they’re my boys, so I’ll be rooting for them :)

  208. Jandy says:

    I thought Thomas went to Florida Panthers? Wasn’t that final? I’d really, really like to see what Zatkoff CAN do, just throw him in and let him go. Who knows? He might be ok…

  209. Joni says:

    Great point about Jagr.

  210. Pirates Wednesday, Friday, Sunday . . . .

    Steelers handing over 5 turnovers and with no hope being anticipated . . . .

    Duke scoring 55 points and LOSING! . . . .

    I tried to drive Downtown to jump off a bridge, but like 24/7 I could not find a parking space.

    Come on, Nats!
    Come on, Charlie!
    Yunz guys gotta start hittin’, Cutch and Morneau!

    You gotta start clogging the middle better, Steve McClendon, to free up the linebackers!
    I sure hope L’Evian Bell is the 2nd coming of OJ Simpson (without the knife!)
    We need Cortez Allen and his picks!
    I miss the penalties for hitting too hard!!!

    I DO NOT WANT TO PLAY A WILD CARD GAME ON THE ROAD!!!

  211. Jandy says:

    Broken, like JMac….a head case….ugh!

  212. Jandy says:

    Groat, admit it, you just drank a 5 hour energy drink…right??? :P

  213. Jandy says:

    Steve MacIntyre placed on waivers Sunday, claimed by Edmonton.

  214. Pirates crash and burn. Steelers seem to have no answers on defense or offense. Penguins lose their MVP from their Playoff run. Jussi Jokenin, who couldn’t even make the Playoff Roster for a number of games, is being considered 2nd Line material. Pitt defense give up 55 points.

    And now, lower than all that . . . . . yunz guys are discussing Sarah Silverman’s dress.

    This ‘space’ has just reached an all-time low!!!

  215. Sarah says:

    Oh could be! I have been off the wire a few days…..last I heard it was TT, Bryz, Jose, Heddy…..could be out of touch! WOuldn;t be the first time!….

  216. They want him as a protector for Gretzky. (driver, really)

    There goes 18 minutes in the season that Pens will struggle to fill!

  217. Jim S. says:

    I’m probably not going to say anything new here about the Steelers since I arrived on the blog so late today and it appears most everything has been discussed to death. I will say that I have been predicting for 2+ years that they are on a swift and steady decline. There is a startling lack of impact players on this team, and it gets worse with each new draft class. Their best defender now is probably Ike Taylor, who is close to their oldest defender.

    Allow me to run down my list of attributes of this organization (in no particular order):

    1. They don’t draft well any more. That is on Mr. Colbert, and to whatever degree he is involved, Mr. Tomlin.

    2. They don’t manage their salary cap well any more, although there is a whole lot of frozen cap space they don’t have to pay out. So, they should be plenty profitable. Anyone that excuses this away as simply the cost of remaining contenders for the better part of a decade is not living in reality.

    3. They have a head coach who inherited a very talented team, and rode it pretty well. He seemed to have an ability to get the most out of the older players, and it paid off nicely for several years. But, he doesn’t seem to have that same ability to get much out of the players he had a hand in procuring.

    4. The organization seems to place a priority on having coaches and staff who are from the immediate area. Maybe they ought to consider actually hiring based on ability more often rather than geographic suitability.

    5. There are precious few, if any, impact players on the roster, and unfortunately there has been no strategy to stockpile draft picks to remedy the situation. Perhaps they should take a cue from the Cleveland Browns in that regard, as embarrassing as that is to admit.

    6. They cut a RB whom they basically labeled a loser, only to turn around and re-sign him a few days later. He is now their featured back, and remains their most productive performer – just as he was when he left.

    7. Their answer to losing perennial All Pro TE, Heath Miller, to a significant knee injury at the end of last season was to sign Matt Spaeth. Enough said.

    8. They thought William Gay would be a contributor, after being forced to allow a more talented, younger player at the position to leave via free agency. They had rightly given up on William Gay a few years ago, and he did nothing noteworthy in his time away from the team. Yet, they re-signed him, anyway.

    9. They run maybe the most unimaginative offense in the NFL.

    10. Their ability to draft and develop offensive linemen is now beyond embarrassing.

    11. Their QB is literally under seige nearly every time he drops back to pass. For some reason, though, even after approximately a decade in the league he refuses to ever protect the football in heavy traffic.

    12. They play defense as if they have no intention of ever forcing a turnover by their opponents this season.

    13. Their vaunted defensive scheme, once both innovative and spectacular, is now predictable and boring. Long ago, the league figured out how to keep the Steelers from pressuring their QB. The Steelers just don’t realize it yet. As legendary as the 76 year old leader of their defense has been, the fact is he’s 76 and his schemes produce no turnovers.

    14. They have been pushed around for 3 straight weeks by the likes of the Tennessee Titans, Cincinnati Bengals and Chicago Bears – 2 of which occurred at home.

    15. I don’t know how it can get much worse than this start to the season. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this team has hit rock bottom yet.

    I don’t enjoy writing any of these things. The performance of this proud franchise is killing me. I saw it coming, and I hoped they would begin taking the bold steps necessary to get back on solid footing as quickly as possible. Though some see signs of this, and I hope those people are right, I don’t think they have any idea what they are doing right now. I believe the Steelers are in denial – or, at least they were until last night.

    I hope they clean house after this season, but I seriously doubt they will. Their track record over the past 40 years has always been to bounce back quickly. I certainly hope that trend continues.

    DK: Kind of liked the defensive scheme(s) last night. Not the execution.

  218. Dom says:

    I like your #1 point. When it comes to the draft, I feel the steelers have a democracy approach. Some fans give the impression that Tomlin has the only say.

    However, as a whole the steelers haven’t drafted well. One of the biggest issues that seems to be getting missed is that we have little depth we have and that is a reflection how we have drafted.

    The good news for Mr. Colbert is that seven years he finally beat out The Daily Show for an Emmy. I got to give him credit where it’s due.

  219. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    He did get us to 2 Super Bowls and its not the Steelers way of firing their coach. I don’t see it happening in the offseason.

    However, the problem I have is that the SB’s were done with Cowher’s guys. The crop that he’s drafted are not panning out at all. The lack of production from his drafts are what’s hurting this team.

    Now, I say his drafts, but I’m not sure if he gets the blame or not. Football drafting is different than baseball drafting. Yes, they both have a GM and scouting departments, but I think the football head coach has more say as to who gets drafted than the baseball managers, which I’m assuming is none.

    If these are guys that Tomlin is hand picking, then he deserves a lot of the criticism, if not, then it goes to the GM.

  220. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I think Colbert and Cowher had co-equal draft power. I really don’t know where it shakes out now. No team can draft well forever. I am thankful for how great they have been for my whole life, basically. I guess everything is just catching up to them now. I just hope they are not so stubborn and arrogant that they don’t take a closer look at everything they do – as the Pirates did.

  221. Jim S. says:

    + many. Understated beauty.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    Did you see the dress?

  223. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I disagree with #13.

    I believe that Lebeau’s system is too difficult for the new guys to figure out and understand.

    Or, they’re too worried about their next interception or sack dance…

  224. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Agree that both deserve the criticism. see my post above at 3:11

    before I read yours.

  225. Jim S. says:

    Or, maybe the scheme is fine and they just don’t have enough talent to make it work anymore. That is entirely possible. I love Dick LeBeau. I just think it is time to try something different. I only know our QB seems to get harrassed by defenders a whole lot more every game than the opponent’s QB.

  226. Nate83 says:

    Jim I like your list but can point 1,3 and 5 all exist. If they are drafting bad and have few impact players what is there for Tomlin to get out of the players. Maybe they finish 6-10 this year with talent that was only good enough to 4-12.

    The problem is that they have few impact players but they have more then a few being paid as if they are impact players. The cap has and will continue to be the biggest hurdle this team must get over. After they define the issues which they may have already done they have made it hard to rectify them because the cap issue.

  227. Dom says:

    Cowher was coach for what 15 years? In that span he won one super bowl with his players. In two years, Tomlin did as much with Cowher’s players that Cowher did in a decade and a half. What I’m trying to say is, if Cowher deserves more credit for 2009 SB victory, because they’re “his players,” then why didn’t Cowher get more production out of them when he was head coach?

    As we discussed below, I wouldn’t look at them as Cowher or Tomlin players. The draft doesn’t solely fall on the head coach. From what I’ve heard the war room is a democracy not a dictatorship. Tomlin doesn’t who they’re drafting and that’s that. Each pick is a group effort.

  228. Dom says:

    Here’s my post from above: Cowher was coach for what 15 years? In that span he won one super bowl with his players. In two years, Tomlin did as much with Cowher’s players that Cowher did in a decade and a half. What I’m trying to say is, if Cowher deserves more credit for 2009 SB victory, because they’re “his players,” then why didn’t Cowher get more production out of them when he was head coach?

    As we discussed below, I wouldn’t look at them as Cowher or Tomlin players. The draft doesn’t solely fall on the head coach. From what I’ve heard the war room is a democracy not a dictatorship. Tomlin doesn’t who they’re drafting and that’s that. Each pick is a group effort.

  229. Sarah says:

    All good stuff!

    I think re pt 10) in defense of Steelers Mgmt….both DeCastro and Adams were considered very solid picks, even Can’t Miss types.

    DeCastro had a serious knee injury his first year, so who knows how much that is still affecting him.
    Adams is not seasoned enough to be on the left side…as I recall he was at least fairly decent on the right. But they didn’t re-sign Starks, so they have to throw him over there.

    So I think it’s not quite total incompetence on the part of Mgmt as maybe it seems.

    Having said this – 2 rookies on the Bears OL last night did just fine.

    DK: Never heard Adams in the can’t-miss category. DeCastro, yes.

  230. Jim S. says:

    Thanks. I hope you are right about the OLine, Sarah. Adams was regarded highly, although by watching him play for over season now I have no idea why. He looked like a subway turnstile last night. DeCastro is still young and inexperienced, and I have hope for him. Gilbert was also a high pick, and that seems questionable. Pouncey is out, and it is generally assumed by many that he is a stud. But, not everyone agrees with that assessment any longer. Whatever the case, they have been overall for a few years in a row now. Time to get it together.

  231. Arriba Wilver says:

    Cowher and Colbert didn’t start until 2000. Can’t go back for his entire tenure for this analysis, when he butted heads with Tom Donahoe until 2000. Still looks to me like Cowher may be the missing ingredient. (I also don’t think Art is any Dan Rooney.)

  232. Karen22 says:

    Cheers to you for that reminder, JA!!

  233. Iceman says:

    I”m not certain, but I think that Thomas was just on a PTO in Florida

  234. Arriba Wilver says:

    And, personally, without any inside knowledge, I think Cowher ‘s influence on the drafts increased greatly after Donahoe was asked to leave.

    DK: That’s the most common perception, yes.

  235. Jim S. says:

    I guess what I am saying, Nate, is I don’t think the team of Colbert/Tomlin has drafted very well, nor do I think the team of Tomlin/coaching staff is doing a very good job of developing whatever talent they have.

    Tomlin definitely has a hand in the draft – or, at least I have always thought so. Coaching them up after they arrive is all on him and his staff.

  236. Karen22 says:

    Ditto that! Must take care of our OWN business!

  237. Nancy52 says:

    “Cogitating” sounds like a Myron Cope word.

  238. Jandy says:

    Ahhh that would explain it. Thanks Iceman.

    I don’t know if we want him here… do we? ;)

  239. Jim S. says:

    ++, Arriba.

  240. Jim S. says:

    Seems logical to me, Nor Cal.

  241. Karen22 says:

    HAHA! We’re all feeling a bit schizophrenic!

  242. theplanisworking says:

    Why didnt Shero trade him when he had opportunity to get value for him.
    Now, Fleury has no trade value, so we are stuck.

    Somebody goofed.

  243. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    The talent isn’t there.

  244. Jandy says:

    Zatkoff is starting tonight against Chicago. Here’s to him wowing us all :)

  245. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe we can send Fleury to play baseball? ;)

  246. Dom says:

    I presume you’re referring to my second point.

    I really don’t think the difference is day and night between Cowher and Tomlin.

    Cowher’s last two drafts (’05 and ’06) seem to be comparable to what we’ve seen from Tomlin’s first two. 2007 was excellent but 2008 was horrendous. Avereaged together, I feel the two separate drafts are about equal in talent.

  247. Jandy says:

    I dunno Hipposter, do we want another headcase on the Pirates? First JMac, then Locke…

  248. Jandy says:

    Gotta jet….work to attend to…maybe catch Yinz later :D

  249. theplanisworking says:

    Good Afternoon.

    I think for as great as Shero is, he totally bungled this offseason.
    But we will see, as I know you and Sarah, and Eric will be pleased as punch hockey season is here. (Put me there also).

    Hope to see you and your daughter in the Pirate thread tonight.

    DK: You’d have had to clear cap space. Who would you move?

  250. Dom says:

    To take that point one step further, Cowher’s third to last draft (2004) was excellent with Big Ben and Max Starks. Tomlin’s 3rd draft (2009) was inferior in the sense that Ben is far superior than any guy we got but that wouldn’t be fair as we had the 11th pick in ’04 and the last pick in ’09. Tomlin got much more out of his post first round picks in Mike Wallace, Keenan Lewis, and David Johnson than Cowher did with just Starks.

  251. Arriba Wilver says:

    Not following you, Dom. If anything, I was referring more to your first point, but really both.

    Colbert came into a situation where the head coach had just won a power struggle with his predecessor.
    How would you approach that?

  252. Arriba Wilver says:

    And Colbert came from the Detroit Lions, the Cleveland Browns of the 1990′s.

    But I agree, at least he got the Emmy.

  253. Nate83 says:

    I was just saying you listed a lot of things that have went wrong. Some of those make the other things harder to judge. If you you fail or are below average in that many things how can you accurately judge how good a coach is.

    Bill Belichick was a horrible coach for Cleveland. Not really but everybody thought he was at the time.

    The team defined both lines as an area of need and have essentially used a majority of their early picks to address those issues between 2010 and 2012. Unfortunately despite high draft grades those players just are not that good. Those are draft picks that could have been used on other postions that are now a need. To compound the issue the cap doesn’t allow them to just simply cut their losses and find proven but not great free agents to feel the gaps until others can develope.

    I actually think they have some good young d-line players in McClendon and Hood for sure and maybe Heyward. but in the 3-4 those are not the guys used to put pressure on the QB. Maybe they have to look at going with a 4-3. Tomlin is familier with it and they can no longer convert undersized LB’s they draft in the 3rd and 4th line into studs because there are more teams running the 3-4 and takin those guys.

  254. Dom says:

    Well, that point is valid as Tomlin did indeed have much more to work when he arrived than Cowher did. I can’t and not trying to dispute that point.

    I dispute the notion that Tomlin only won the SB b/c he had Cowher’s guys. Cowher had his guys for more than a decade and won the one SB. If the last SB victory was more of a reflection on Cowher than Tomlin, then how come Cowher didn’t get more out of his own players when he was head coach?

  255. Kevin says:

    I don’t know why… no wait, I do know why. I was looking for something else and didn’t read your original post about Morrow. For some reason, I thought you were referring to Martin St. Louis coming to the penguins. I know. Crazy.

  256. Dom says:

    So, yes Cowher, Colbert and the rest of the group gets credit for bringing those guys in but Tomlin gets credit for getting the most out of that group.

  257. Kevin says:

    Guys, it could be worse. We could be the NY football giants. Lost 38-0 to the panthers (a previously winless team). Atleast the steelers scored points and were somewhat competitive.

  258. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    They need to coach to their talent level, whatever that may be.

    It would’ve helped if they drafted to their scheme’s instead. Which I don’t think they did.

  259. Nate83 says:

    I agree, usually they just drafted to their strengths and worried about the O-line later and the O-line was mediocre at best but the rest of the team was loaded. Now they drafted to what they percieved was a weakness and guess what the O-line is just really bad now and the other postions have suffered because of being neglected in the draft.

  260. Arriba Wilver says:

    Sorry, Dom. I don’t think you read my post. Cowher, a first time head coach in 1992, did NOT have his guys for a decade before he won the Super Bowl. You want to argue he went to the 1995 Super Bowl with Noll’s guys? Have at it.

  261. theplanisworking says:

    DK:
    Fleury and his 5 million a year.

  262. Dom says:

    Yeah, I can’t understand how they’re playing this poorly. The G-men were WC candidates at worst from what I thought at the beginning of the year. Now, it looks like the Cowboys are the favorites to win the division.

  263. Jim S. says:

    Some teams have patched together OLines mostly from the scrap heap and reclamation projects, and they perform better than this line has so far.

  264. Iceman says:

    Right now I don’t know how we afford any of the vets that are out there and I think Thomas would be the most expensive. Of the free agent goalies out there (Tim Thomas, Bryzgalof, DiPietro, Hedberg, Jose Theordore) I think Hedberg is the most likely one to fit. The first three there are all headcases and we already have our own headcase goalie. We don’t need another.

    More likely than signing one of those free agents is that the Pens pick up a goalie in a trade. This way they can shed some cap space while picking up a backup.

  265. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    You guys are all going to love Bell…I promise. He knows you will love him too. Let’s just hope that 1-3 is not too deep to climb out of. I am guessing it’s not.

  266. Jim S. says:

    Can’t disagree with anything you said, Nate.

  267. Brotherhood of the Redus says:

    With the new bargaining unit, everything up until week 4 is extended pre-season. Don’t expect Green Bay, San Fran, and on the opposite end Detroit to be staying where they are…it’s all a show

  268. Jim S. says:

    Hope you’re right, Redus. Getting injured 3x before you ever step on the field in a meaningful NFL is not a good way to start. Talent or not, he has to get and stay healthy.

  269. Arriba Wilver says:

    I’m suggesting you didn’t get the point of Stuart’s post today, which was to defend himself against the idea (not from you) that he was a “hater” of your work, because you were focusing only on you. Like I said, he acknowledged and accepted your criticism of the post yesterday.

  270. Jim S. says:

    Unfortunately, this mess so far counts as regular season. We have not handled things so far as well as about 25 other teams. I hope you’re right.

  271. Kevin says:

    No one talked about Melancon today. I probably missed it in the chatter over the weekend. Is he done? solved? I thought it was very telling that we brought in Grilli when we were up 4-2 even with Melancon available. Grilli didn’t do that much better either. He only “lucked” out because he had Barmes at short to field and throw over to first for outs.

  272. Dom says:

    I meant that Cowher had his guys for the last decade of his tenure and only won the one SB. I suppose I might be exaggerating by saying a full decade. But, again my point is that if Tomlin’s SB win is diminished b/c they’re with Cowher’s guys then why didn’t Cowher get more than the one SB when he had a longer tenure?

  273. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And Jon Grudent didn’t wint he SB with Tony Dungy’s guys.

    Gruden didn’t do much after they all got old and left as well.

    I’m not saying Tomlin didn’t contribute to those teams, of course he did. He retained Cowher’s DC and promoted from within for the OC position.

    Smart moves.

  274. Arriba Wilver says:

    Clint announced before the game that Grilli would be the closer if needed for that game. No long term implications were established.

  275. Kevin says:

    I didn’t see any of that game. I saw what happened when the giants played the cowboys. I figured if the giants get the turnovers turned down, they’re still a good team. Apparently not. That whole division is wide open too… just like the AFC north. None of the teams are particularly that great. For example, I wouldn’t put any of them in the Super Bowl. Although I was surprised that the Ravens handled the Texans as well as they did… but then maybe the Texans aren’t that good either.

  276. Arriba Wilver says:

    We’re on different wavelengths, Dom. I thought we were talking about drafts, not coaching.

  277. Kevin says:

    Well ok I did not know that. Do you think Melancon is solved though? Or maybe a better question is… can Melancon adjust for how teams will now game-plan for when they see him in the 9th?

  278. Jim S. says:

    I guess it can be argued that the defensive scheme was ok last night, DK. I recognize that they forced a bunch of 3 and outs in the 2nd and 3rd quarters consecutively. In fact, we controlled a large portion of the game, and the defense played well during that time. But, I don’t think it resembled what we want out of LeBeau’s 3-4. There was not a lot of pressure even during those periods. Pressure, I think, is what forces early throws, overthrows, sacks – all of which lead to turnovers. Our offense is not consistent enough, nor explosive enough to drive 80+ yards very often.

    Maybe, then, it is execution rather than scheme as you say. Maybe it is purely a lack of talent. I think it is a combination of the 3 things.

  279. Jim S. says:

    You might be the only person outside of Chris Berman who has called them the NY Football Giants in forever, Kevin. He always cracks me up with that. There has not been a NY Baseball Giants to add confusion in almost 60 years.

  280. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    that’s the point of Barmes being in there during these important games.

    So its a bad thing that Grilli got ground ball outs?

  281. Sarah says:

    Adams is a turnstile on the left side that is for sure.

    Thing is, they look like they don’t even know WHAT they’re supposed to be doing. (I say this sometimes about the Pens and their D-zone covg….)

    Players look one way when they KNOW what to do and are trying, but not getting it done.

    These guys often seem like they’re clueless to their specific responsibilities in any given play.

    It’s scary from Ben’s point of view!!!

  282. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Does the game-plan fall into MM’s lap, or is that on the catcher/pitching coach?

    If he can’t make an adjustment, then he shouldn’t be in there.

  283. Jim S. says:

    Good point, Nor Cal. Gruden absolutely ran Dungy’s team into the ground before being fired.

    Meanwhile Dungy rolled right along in Indy – although it is nice to have Peyton as your QB.

  284. Jim S. says:

    My take, Kevin, is that in the 2 blown saves last week he did not give up even one XBH. There were several flares, an error, an infield hit that bounced off Pedro’s glove at a weird angle to score 2 runs. I did not see any balls squared up and driven. So, I chock up most of it to bad luck.

    But, I also thought once the “take outside pitches to RF by righty batters” strategy had begun to work for San Diego, I wished MM had been a little more proactive in recognizing and changing things up a bit. Maybe pound a few more pitches inside when the righties are clearly looking to reach out over the plate and go with the pitch. That might soften up the outside corner a bit more again.

  285. Jim S. says:

    Except that Barmes botched a few balls as well this weekend.

  286. Jim S. says:

    There’s disarray on the line, for sure. I assume a lot of it has to do with the captain of the line (Pouncey) being out and a guy who was not even on our team at the time is now the captain of the line.

  287. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Peyton’s a bonus, for sure.

  288. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    My point as well AW.

  289. theplanisworking says:

    I do believe that I explained yesterday that I did not specifically call Stuart a Hater yesterday. I even have the post that says that I was stating things in general, not mentioning anyone in particular.

    If you and Stuart want to say I was targeting him in specific, I cant stop you. I have seen DK attacked for many things, as I follow him on Twitter, and Facebook, and I was addressing things like that also.

    I dont know what else I can tell you two, as I thought I made the distinction clear yesterday. If you two dont want to acknowledge that, I guess that’s your choice.

  290. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Mercer did as well.

  291. DJ says:

    The fact he was talking about 260-pound tackles shows just how old that quote is. A different era.

    Noll certainly had some absolutely brilliant one-liners.

  292. Arriba Wilver says:

    I have the series of posts, too, plan.

    You put it under his post, and when called on it, you sure didn’t exclude him. Nor did you here. Lets just drop it. Points made.

  293. DJ says:

    I was speaking relative to the result last evening. Expected to see 150 posts all venting by 8:00 a.m. Only 53 seemed to me resignation to the Steelers’ ultimate fate moving forward.

 
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