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Pittsburgh sports talk with the Trib columnist

Morning Java: 55 points, 610 yards, countless issues

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Morning, Lunatics …


>> The Sunday column eviscerates pretty much everyone.

Here’s some of what Ben Roethlisberger had to say afterward …

And one seriously down Troy Polamalu

Random randomness from the event: As stated in the column, I have a hard time breaking down a game like this, but I’ll still isolate on here on the horrendous secondary. You really had to be here to appreciate the scope of the room New England’s receivers had on some plays. It was unlike anything you’d expect to see even at the lowest classification of high school ball. It was unconscionable. … Why was Roethlisberger on the field to the end, even with the Steelers down 24? I ask him that in the video above, and I respect his answer. At the same time, it’s insane. Really is. For all else that went wrong yesterday, can you just imagine if Andre Carter slamming him to the ground with 1:54 left had resulted in injury? … Mike Tomlin’s response when I asked why Ben was out there: “Because we need to get better.” … Um, anyone else notice Kevin Colbert on the sideline in the second half? What was that all about? … If I could pinpoint one member of the defense as having played legitimately well, it’s Cam Heyward. Making strides each week. … One guy on offense? That’s easy: Jerricho Cotchery, only the team’s most consistent performer on that side of the ball. Good for him for a three-TD day. Let’s see more of him, fewer blocking fullbacks. … Does Marcus Gilbert ever finish a game? … When it was 24-24, Emmanuel Sanders had a chance to make a big catch. He didn’t. Wasn’t the first time. … Willie Gay, who was horrendous: “The big plays are what killed us, so we’ve got to be a step faster, especially myself.” Where are all the 30-year-olds going to find an extra step? … What does Felix Jones have that Jonathan Dwyer doesn’t? … LaMarr Woodley had eight tackles a week after making zero. I don’t even care what that means. … Jarvis Jones wasn’t out there much, got beat on Rob Gronkowski’s TD and had one tackle. I’d still rather see him on the field than Jason Worilds, who had two sacks. Those do nothing for the Steelers beyond this meaningless winter. … Le’Veon Bell has a long way to go. That’s all. Not being mean. Just saying. … Really, really nice stadium. First time here. Maybe nicest in the NFL. If it wasn’t a million miles away from anything, it’d be even nicer. … Brett Keisel, on next Sunday vs. Buffalo: “I think we will respond accordingly. This is a disgusting test and nobody likes it. The only thing you can do is dust yourself off.”

>> The game story focuses on 55 points, 610 yards, by beat writer Alan Robinson.

The suffering secondary, by Ralph Paulk.

The Gronkowski effect, by Bruce Lerch.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage., including game balls, injuries, turning points.

Here’s Patriots news from the Boston Globe.

Here are official game highlights from And I’d call special attention to this sensational run by the always sensational Adrian Peterson. Couldn’t believe it when I saw, still can’t.

And here’s our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla, including this shot of Gronkowski beating Jones …


>> Where are the right wingers? The Penguins aren’t getting much there. Beat writer Rob Rossi has it.

Dan Bylsma’s value goes beyond the bench, by Rossi.

If you missed the special Saturday column, I made many new friends at NHL headquarters.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Pirates don’t plan to change their free-agent strategy, by Travis Sawchik.

>> Reeling Pitt must rev it back up for Notre Dame, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> Penn State could use a tight end or five, by Chris Adamski.

>> I’ll check in with TribLIVE Radio today at 11:30 a.m, about an hour after my plane lands back 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.


  1. Steelag70 says:

    Everyone wants to gang up on Bell…he made mistakes as all rookies do, but still had 139 total yards..he is going to be a good one.

  2. Steelag70 says:

    He is the least of the Steelers worries..

  3. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I don’t think there are many accurate words to fully describe this mess.
    I’d by lying if I said I was surprised by this latest debacle.
    I had a bad feeling about this team in pre-season, and it came to roost.
    I had a bad feeling that this New England game would be the game that would blow the lid off of things…..And it did.

    Effort seems to be the main subject in question tonight with the Steelers “so called” performance against the Patriots.
    I beg to slightly differ.
    What I saw was a team that had next to no talent….A team that was completely over-matched by a “better than average” NFL team….A team that has (at best) a very small hand full of players that even belong on an NFL field.
    I don’t want to hear about changes….I want to see them.
    If it was up to me, I’d forfeit the rest of the games, and begin cutting a good 80% of this roster.
    As for the people in charge…..I’m game for anything.
    The Steelers can’t get any worse……That’s not possible.

  4. DJ says:

    Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert are one and the same. Big teddy bears, no nastiness and horrible footwork, balance and hand play . . . and second round busts so far.

    Heyward is making progress, Jones (Jarvis) should be playing every down and not worried about Bell. As Steelag70 points out above, Bell is the least of our worries.

  5. Ghost says:

    Maybe Colbert was on the sidelines saying his goodbyes?
    His primary responsibility is personnel decisions for the Steelers. The Steelers have weak personnel. Time for a new decider.

    Also… I too, can’t stand it when Roethlisberger remains in games already decided or with no meaning. But my personal conspiracy theory (which I’ve spouted since last year) is that the networks / League leans on teams to keep starting QB’s over center. The last thing they want is for viewers see a clipboard-holder take over. That would signal that the game is, for all intents and purposes, “over,” and viewers would switch channels. Coaches keep their starters in to the bitter end, these days. But I have NEVER heard one give anything but a glib excuse for it.

  6. Ghost says:

    (No, I don’t really think Colbert was saying goodbye.)

  7. Reading says:

    Sounds like an “unleashing of hell” is about to happen this week, which means the Steelers will lose by 35 next week.

  8. crash says:

    Colbert was obviously down there to see who was responding to Tomlin or IF they were responding to Tomlin. Had to be. Nothing else makes sense.

    This is a clown show. All because Bruce Arians didn’t value a fullback.

  9. DJ says:

    It used to be we had capable back-ups pushing our starters and gradually working themselves into the line-up when opportunities arose. We don’t have that situation now so Tomlin should just scrap the “unleash hell”-type rhetoric after every loss. Whose jobs are being threatened now by capable back-ups?

    It’s the recent drafts that have killed us. A 2012 draft of Sean Spence, Ta’amu Alameda and Chris Rainey in the 3-4-5 rounds puts you behind the eight ball. Spence’s injury was a tragedy so that’s just reality but the other two should never have been picked.

    Based solely upon what I’ve seen on the field, I’m close to saying the same thing about Gilbert and Adams. You look for a glimmer of hope with those two but it honestly looks hopeless. They actually look like they have gotten worse, if that’s possible.

  10. theplanisworking says:

    “Those who were lacking effort, wont be playing”.
    What a shame the Steelers will have to forfeit the game against Buffalo.
    Or maybe they can cut the scapegoat punter again this week.

  11. theplanisworking says:

    Sadly, it is possible for them to get worse. More injuries, bad attitudes, the season is only 1/2 over.

    But hey, more scapegoats can be cut to appease Coach Cliche!
    Is it too soon to give the Steelers a Hoka Hey??

  12. Vic says:

    “Unconscionable” is a word best reserved for atrocities like 9/11. It doesn’t apply to secondary coverage in a football GAME.

  13. Brandie says:

    No. Hoka Hey + Many!

  14. Ben gave it his best shot yesterday. No one else did. And that, I’m afraid, is that.

  15. Ghost says:

    Yeah, Tomlin’s act has worn thin with me too. I’m not even sure what exactly it is he does, except have press conferences (and begrudgingly at that). Haley and LeBeau run the games and Artie runs everything else. The Steelers have become dysfunction. Without the “fun.”

  16. I don’t know why Coach Tomlin can’t have someone else carry on this obviously disagreeable chore for him.

  17. Ghost says:

    You’re caviling.

  18. Ghost says:

    Tomlin doesn’t even know what he’s being surly about. He’s a poser.

  19. JoeyBats says:

    Steelers = …..
    Words I thought I would never, ever choose to characterize one of my hometown teams…. when talking about EFFORT and RESULTS.

  20. It would likely look and sound a lot better if Coach Tomlin would hire a spokesman who’d then catch hell for him. Surely, it wouldn’t look or sound any worse than it does now.

  21. Better still, Coach should perhaps take a public relations course during the off season.

  22. wally says:

    Time to clean house- starting with Tomlin and Colbert (too bad you can’t throw the meddling Rooney out the door as well).. A cancer has been metastasizing on this team for a year or two; it is now, unfortunately, terminal….

  23. Steelkings says:

    If players are not responding to Tomlin then it should be Bye Bye Tomlin. The way it usually works is when a coach loses the team the team loses the coach.

  24. theplanisworking says:

    Happy King Tut Day!

    Appropriate, because the Steelers are living in De-Nile. :)

  25. theplanisworking says:

    Happy King Tut Day!

    Appropriate, because the Steelers are living in De-Nile. :)

  26. Lee says:

    Obviously, this team stinks. Obviously, there needs to be major changes. Obviously, Coach Tomlin won’t be one of the changes. Obviously we will get to hear Coach Tomlin say “obviously” at least 30 times tomorrow. And obviously, nothing will really change. SMH

  27. Steelkings says:

    My biggest fear is that Dick Labeau will not get to leave the organization on his own terms. He has done so much for the Steelers over the years. It may not be the Steeler front office way, but I fear someone’s going to be the fall guy for this loss and it would be sad if its him.

  28. Jandy says:

    Priceless, Hipposter!

  29. JAL says:

    Song Time Won’t Let Me Outsiders 1966 US band from Cleveland they had success during the British invasion with 4 top 40 hits. Time Won’t Let Me peaked at number 5.

    JAL’s Time Won’t Let Me Morning Links


    1- MLB Transactions

    2-MLB Trade Rumors-Pirates

    3 MLB Important Dates

    BLOGS and such

    4—Pirates Prospects

    MLBTR Projects Burnett and Byrd Will Return to the Pirates

    Winter Leagues: Gregory Polanco Reaches Lucky Thirteen

    Jim Benedict Reportedly Impressed the Phillies in His Interview

    5 Bucs Dugout

    Cardinals could deal Shelby Miller, Lance Lynn for a shortstop this offseason

    6 Rumbunter

    Is Pirates Jim Benedict Headed to Philadelphia?

    7 City of Champions

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Bucs unlikely to pursue Justin Morneau

    8 The Green Weenie

    11/3: Deacon Wins Cy Young, more…

    Rant Sports

    Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Team Interested In Chicago Cubs’ Starlin Castro?

    10 Uncle Mike’s Musings

    Johnny Kucks, 1933-2013

  30. There are also those who’d prefer that Dick LeBeau be replaced after yesterday, like almost everyone else on the

  31. JAL says:

    NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES and Other Media

    11 Washington Times

    First task for Nationals manager Matt Williams: Diffusing tension from Phoenix face-off

    12 San Francisco Chronicle

    MLB may help A’s play in S.F. if no deal – sources

    13 Chicago Now

    When baseball ended

    14 Wall Street Cheat Sheet

    The 8 Most Ridiculous Superstitions in Baseball

    15 Minor League Ball

    How I became a Minor League Fan

    16 CBS Sports

    Top 10 2014 MLB free agent corner infielders

    17 St. Louis Post Dispatch

    Bernie: Future bright for Cards, with a few concerns

    18 Sweetspot

    Sweetspot TV: Free-agent preview


    19 Baseball Prospectus

    The Week In Quotes

    20 Fangraphs

    Swings at Ball Four: the Year in Brief Review

  32. JAL says:

    Steelers Blogs

    21 Behind the Steel Curtain

    Steelers vs. Patriots final score: New England wins 55-31, most points Pittsburgh has ever allowed in a game

    Winners and Losers from the Steelers’ loss to New England in Week 9

    22 Steelers Gab

    Tomlin On The Loss To New England – “I Am Angry, I’m Disappointed”


    23 Wall Street Journal

    When a Goalkeeper Turns Striker

    24 World Soccer Daily

    Diego Maradona, the hand of God, and why it means so much to beat England


    25 Pensburgh

    Penguins Moments That Mattered: Pens vs. Blue Jackets 2.0

    26 Pens Official Site

    Endgame: Penguins 3, Blue Jackets 0|PIT|home

  33. There are also those who’d like to see Dick LeBeau replaced since his day has come and gone, and his ways don’t cut it anymore. Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see who eventually replaces him.

  34. Rbilak says:

    1. The game plan stunk. LeBeau’s strategy really makes you question what he was thinking heading into this game. As for Haley, the offense operates better after his scripted plays are abandoned and we are behind. Does Colbert not recognize that they can’t score early and it is a trend? They also have stunk in the Red Zone all year prior to this game. It is time for both to go! As for Tomlin, the “time to get better” is not leaving your franchise QB in a game that he could get hurt, it is during the week when you practice. But Obviously whatever they doing the week is not something to get better.

    2. Troy is a liability in the passing game. He is my 2nd all time favorite Steeler. But you cannot pay him 10 million next year.

    3. William Gay that we know and love has resurfaced.

    4. Sanders with another missed opportunity, Colbert with another poor decision on keeping him.

    5. Effort, Coach Tomlin? That is your job as a coach. OBVIOUSLY, you don’t coach to the standard, know that it is below the line, the arrow is pointing down, and whatever other garbage you will spout off tomorrow. Want to make a statement? Release Ryan Clark this week, show that poor effort, poor play, and being a disruption are meaningfull. Show that using the Steelers as a second job is not “The Standard”

    6. Here is a tidbit for Tomlin and Haley, the Bills have this guy named Mario Williams, if Gilbert can’t go, and even if he can, you may want to give him help, he is sacking the QB this year, just a thought, since they don’t recognize those small details.

  35. Wild Bill says:

    Two stats say it all for me. For the season, Steelers out scored 61 to 19 in first quarters. We aren’t ready at the start of games. Then, in yesterday’s game, the Steelers gave up 31 points in less than a quarter and a half. Now we can’t finish games either.

    Many of us have written about the shortcomings of the coaches, and with respect to Tomlin and Haley, I think we are correct. With Lebeau, it just seems like a personnel issue to me. We don’t have the players any longer to properly run this defense. Is that Lebeau’s fault? I don’t think so. That’s an issue that Colbert must own.

    I’m also very concerned I that this season might take two or three years off Ben’s career; he’s taking such a beating out there.

    At least we have the Pens.

  36. Joni says:

    DK, I laughed out loud when you wrote about making many new friends at NHL headquarters because of Saturday’s column. Thanks for that :)

  37. Thundercrack says:

    They probably don’t have the personnel to run Lebeau’s standard defense. So why continue to try and run it?

    I don’t see how they weren’t ready at the start of the game. The fact they were playing Tom Brady and the rest of the Patriots shouldn’t surprised them –it wasn’t a secret.

    I just hope the focus of the coaches and front office is now to determine who can play for them in the future and who can’t.

  38. theplanisworking says:

    With all the hue and cry about firing everyone, including the parking lot attendants, lets realistically look at those involved.

    Dan Rooney — The man is 81 years old, and probably wont re-assume control of the team at his age. He is the one hope for a return to greatness, but being he turned the team over to his son, that probably wont happen. A lonely Steeler nation turns its eyes toward you…….

    Art Rooney —- The man “in charge” of the Steelers. Great attorney, poor football executive. Meddles in coaching and personnel decisions, instead of leaving those chores to the people he hired……. reeking of a Jerry Jones, or Dan Snyder, without all the press clippings. “Run the ball” (in a pass-happy NFL), hire the Offensive (right word) Co-ordinator, instead of letting the GM do his job. Steeler Nation’s eyes done turn to you, they are looking right at you.

    Kevin Colbert — GM that has done a good job over many years,…… but the more removed Bill Cowher is from the equation, the less appealing his personnel decisions look. Helped get the team to 3 SB’s, winning 2, but a huge drop-off the past 3 years. Very poor salary cap management, which will handcuff the Steelers getting better in furutre years. He wont go anywhere, as the Rooneys are loyal people.

    Mike Tomlin — Coach that had cute sayings when he won a SB, and went to another, but whose sayings are wearing thin. Not a good judge of talent (see the rotating door of RB’s, and punters….. cutting Dwyer, then bringing him back), not a good game-day coach. Much like Colbert, he isnt going anywhere. Rooneys are loyal, he does have a good record (except fot this year), and………….. being he was the first hire of the rooney Rule, he gest a bit more time……… the PR nightmare that would follow if he was let go after having a bad season could be tremendous.

    Todd Haley — Well, lets put it this way……. man had one great season in Arizona, stunk as a head coach in KC, and has overseen a bad Steeler offense. Hired because of his last name, and the connections his father had to this organization. Nees to be fired immediately, but with this FO, who knows?

    Dick LeBeau — Great Defensive Co-ordinator…….. whose time may have passed. I understand that he doesnt have the talent to run his schemes, but part of his job is to fit his schemes to the talent he has. He insists putting square pegs in round holes, and we see the results. He may be a sacrificial lamb in all this.

    So there you have it. People need to go, but wont. The roster needs a complete overhaul, but the people in charge of that havent done too well. With the cap problems thrown in, it is going to be ugly for years. Oh, and for those that want to go to a 4-3 Tampa 2defensive scheme, keep this in mind………… in that alignment, you need 4 good D-Linemen, and 2 great corners. Think the Steelers have that? Seriously?

  39. Harry says:

    When did the “Steelers Way” die? I’ve been thinking about that question since reading the column this morning. Pretty much everything in 2012 pointed to it although we may not have realized it at the time, but looking at the year as a whole I think points it out clearly. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights:
    Jan 2012 – Announce Bruce Arians retirement (he was fired); becomes NFL coach of the year for the Colts in Chuck Pagano’s absence
    Feb 2012 – Hire Todd Haley. Has as may lawsuits against him as Pro-Bowlers on offense.
    Mar 2012 – Release with Hines Ward, James Farrior, and Aaron Smith
    Apr 2012 – NFL Draft: Decastro (blows ligament in his knee before blowing another in Pouncey’s), Mike Adams (nothing like drafting a guy who fails a drug test at a job interview), Sean Spence (blows all his knee ligaments), Alameda Ta’amu (a guy with a DUI arrest on his record), Chris Rainey (with an arrest for aggravated stalking)
    Oct 2012 – Ta’amu goes on a drunken rampage on the South Side and is arrested. Steelers suspend him for a couple of weeks, bring him back in 2012, and then release him prior to the 2013 season
    Nov/Dec 2012 – Steelers lose 5 of 7 down the stretch to finish 8-8 and miss the playoffs

  40. BillyBaduka says:

    Drat, that thought gave me hope for changes…

  41. BillyBaduka says:

    Really, this is the feedback?

    I’m OK with using the term within this context. It’s not ment to be compared against “unconscionable” acts outside of football.

    Want to rail against hyperbole in media, start with advertisers saying how much people will “love” laundry soap, food containers, the latest status symbol and other material goods.

  42. DJ says:

    Big decision on Ben coming down the pike.

    I wonder what teams like the Cardinals or the Texans would overpay in draft picks if we traded him. Not saying we should do it but we should at least explore that option. As Tomlin would say, “We’re go to leave no stone unturned.”

  43. Rbilak says:

    I can only hope that the Steeler organization reads what you just wrote. All excellent points and right on target. Seriously one of the best comments I ever read concerning this situation.

  44. BillyBaduka says:

    Listening to Clark’s comments earlier this week, it appears Lebeau scrapped the press man coverage that worked last time because NE would be game planning for it.

    Sounds like he over thought it. Even if NE did plan for it, going back to soft coverage allowed Brady to go back to all that worked in past for NE. And with Steelers D worse personnel wise than those years, we get this debacle.

  45. BillyBaduka says:

    Great article DK. Cleaning house, including Tomlin and Colbert has to be considered.

  46. kr70 says:

    Now we will find out if “the standard is still the standard”

  47. Steve says:

    It’s personnel, plain and simple. The management structure of this team has absolutely failed to replace their best players as they retired or in a number of obvious cases as yesterday’s result showed hung on to some way too long.

    The Steelers have never been big players in free agency. They always seemed to have the next draft pick waiting in the wings to take over even when they drafted at the bottom of each round year after year. It will be interesting to see of they try to plug some of the holes with a more aggressive approach in free agency this off season.

    Last comment until the bile builds up again and I have to say something else. Did the management staff really overestimate the quality of this team so much that they took a mediocre college QB who isn’t even active on Sundays with a 4th round pick?!? Really? Shakin’ ma head!

  48. Good synopsis, Plansky.

    I, too, wish Dan hadn’t turned into Father Time.

    Maybe if he was just 71 instead of 81.

  49. Steve says:

    Tomlin is no longer above criticism. At some point the head coach has to be responsible for the on field performance.

  50. 21sthebest says:

    Did Art Rooney ever actually say to run the ball more or did he say he’d like to run the ball better? I’ve seen this made comment a couple of times the past few days.

    Art Rooney on 1/15/10:

    “I think Mike and I certainly agreed coming off the season that we need to run the ball more consistently to get to where we want to get to. So that’s part of the thinking in the offseason: We need to figure out how to get better running the football.”

    “We have to get back to being able to run the football when we need to run the football, and being able to run more consistently than we have in the past season.”

    Yet given those comments in the article that I found, the headline on the column was: “Rooney wants Steelers to run the ball more”

  51. Dom says:

    The teams we should be rooting for now are the Rams and G-men. They got to be teams to beat in order to grab OT Jake Mathews in April’s draft.

  52. ross says:

    just a heads up, the ‘boston globe coverage of the pats’ link actually goes to sfgate coverage of the raiders

  53. steelkings says:

    They might just be bad enough to get there too. Unfortunatly its just as appearent that Colbert and Tomlin would pass on Mathews and draft a tight end.

  54. Pat4Pgh says:

    Ben’s best is not good enough. Early in the game and in the fourth quarter, when it mattered, he stunk! I am tired of his childish disregard for preparation, teamwork and personnel improvement. He is ot a leader, he is a diva. The team does NOT respect him as they know he does not put forth the effort.

    Brady, Manning, Brees and Rodgers all work and study harder than anyone on their team, Ben does the least amount of both on the Steelers!

  55. JAL says:

    Anyone have a theory on the offensive line problems? Listening to Redskins talk here in DC and talk about how well the running game went. Pointed out the offensive line has been out here all season, same 5 guys week after week, Steelers have trouble getting anyone in 2 games in row. They have replacements getting injured. Do they have poor training or do they have schemes that lead to more injuries? I would think just bad luck but seems to happen every season with the Steelers.

  56. Dom says:

    This is a purely hypothetical but if OT Bruce Mathews is available, would you rather grab him or would you all rather make an RG3 type deal with a team, such as the Browns, that is willing to pay big to move up to obtain the best available QB?

    I know it’s doubtful that the Browns would want to make such a deal with us but I’d go with the latter.

  57. nellieh says:

    After watching Sunday’s game, it was scary how spot on your Sunday column was. No further comment necessary.

  58. I have no theory, but your post is spot on.

  59. steelag70 says:

    Ahhh…so you are around the team to know tha??

  60. JohninOshkosh says:

    Never knew The Outsiders were from Cleveland. Video starts with a trailer for the new Thor movie. Can’t wait for that one! Thanks, JAL.

  61. JAL says:

    Song sounds like a British group

  62. Damon says:

    DK – great article Sunday about the NHL (today’s too). A friend of mine always stops me when I try to discuss the Pens or hockey games in general because he finds the sport appalling. He says he doesn’t let his children watch the games where fighting is so celebrated. Then I saw the picture at the top of your article Sunday – you see two young boys in the background. One is videoing the game on his phone, the other looks dismayed. Both images bothered me. One is so excited about the events he is videoing it, and then probably will post it to all his friends glamorizing it to no end. The other boy – sitting is his seat while others around him are standing and cheering – looks as if he wanted to leave. I may be reading a lot into that picture, but man that gave me my 1000 words to think about. I still love hockey, but I have been waiting for such a long time for it to be 100% about the talent and skill (like you see in Olympic matches).

  63. You couldn’t turn on an AM station anywhere when that song was out that wasn’t playing it.

    Surprised it only went to #5.

  64. Damon says:

    Saturday’s article…not Sunday. Oops….

  65. hockeymonster says:


    Just had a chance to read your column about Bettman and the nhl and want to applaud your restraint in describing your disgust as both deserve much harsher criticism if not a bashing over the head for the sake of waking the heck up in recognition that we’re in the 21st century and not in the stone age. It takes alot for my favorite sport and league to embarrass me but watching the philly game along with hit on eriksson needs to be labeled as unacceptable. And the pens have been guilty of similar behavior with cooke and in the playoffs but not to the same extent. Atleast here our mgmt doesnt condone that crap like holmgrum does.

    I believe spur of the moment fights should be allowed and wouldnt tarnish the sport. But there should be clear rules about secondary fights breaking out with the punishment being team fines and suspensions. And cheap knee on knee hits should be grounds for suspension. Boarding calls should be double minors more often as well. The notion that players cant adapt and evolve is laughable…they are human after all…they may complain about it but they’ll get over it. And in the process if knuckle draggers like Scott are weeded out all the better.

    P.S.–speaking of embarrassments I’m still out of town and didnt see the steeler game. How embarrassed should i be? Should i bother watching replay on nfl network?

  66. Thundercrack says:

    When you put it that way, I am preparing to be underwhelmed

  67. pattonbb says:

    Great comments about the Steelers today. I’d just like to add my 2 cents…

    1. Ike Taylor has become William Gay. He’s the guy teams pick on now. How did that happen?

    2. Shamarko Thomas covering Gronk one on one? Inexcusable. If that’s the best LeBeau can do, than he deserves a parade, a bronze sculpture, our never-ending admiration, and to be shown the door. Change isn’t always a bad thing.

    3. Haley’s offense put 31 points on the board and had over 500 yds. It also left several plays on the field. I think that’s more of a testament to what Ben can do than it is to what Haley can do. But that’s just me.

    4. Jarvis Jones has “Bust” written all over him. He was asked to do one thing when he was at Georgia, rush the qb. There are reasons for that.

    5. I think Bell will be a good, not great, running back. Not sure you can expect much more than that out of a 2nd round pick.

    6. Obviously, Tomlin’s job isn’t even remotely in jeopardy. Obviously, the Rooney’s will give him a mulligan for this year. Obviously, Tomlin will make some personnel changes. Maybe a new punter can fix the season.

  68. steelag70 says:

    The most disheartening thing about this team is that looking at the young players, not counting the rookies, outside of maybe Heyward and Beachum, there isn’t anyone who makes you say, “Wow…he could be a great player for us…”

  69. Thundercrack says:

    Colbert: Helped get the team to 3 SB’s, winning 2, then had a drop off.

    Tomlin: Coach that had cute sayings when he won a SB and went to another.

    Interesting take on the two.

    I really don’t see it that way.

  70. buggee says:

    Obviously it all starts with the management team, which should be performing to the obvious Standard; the bar is obviously high for the Men in that room.
    I dunno. Just not very much to say about the Stillers this year except for what I used to say about the Pirates every year; “There’s always next year!” Obviously there are far too many shuttlecocks in that room.

    Two nice wins for the flightless birds, to which I say, ETCH IT! And what was that mess in Filthadelphia Friday? Ray Emery needs an extended vacation methinks.

    Oh, and good morning Jandylicious!

  71. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    I think it’s importatnt to note that even IF the folks that are calling the Steelers D old (which I agree with) and not talented enough (which I agree with as well) are correct when discussion of LeBeau’s system comes up…DEFENSE IN THE NFL HAS COMPLETELY CHANGED in the last 5-10 years.

    The Steelers D was always athletic and cerebral, but more than anything THEY WERE PHYSICAL. NO ONE got away with coming accross the middle. Ask Wes Welker his name in 10 years and I will bet every penny that he has to think about it because of some of the shots he took against the Steelers.

    The NFL is not to blame for the Steeler’s struggles, that’s on the organization itself and their inability to adapt. However, the NFL is not the same product that it once was and just like every other aspect of modern life, the premiums have gone up because of lawsuits and lawyers. The NFL needs to stop playing scared, find a way to put the responsibility back on the individuals participating in the sport that they supposedly “LOVE”, and share the welth as a sign that they recognize their responsibility to the players after the career has run its course.

  72. Dom says:

    1. I agree about Ike. He was one of the best performers this season. Now, he’s one of the worst..
    2. In order to beat Brady we have to go to a man to man coverage but you’re right. The 5-9 Thomas shouldn’t have been the guy to go up against Gronk.
    3. I’m not trying to take away what the Steelers did offensively but teams are better at putting bigger numbers when they’re down by so much.
    4. Couldn’t disagree more. It’s far too early in his career to call him a bust.
    5. Agree. I’m starting to think that Eddie Lacy might have been a better option but he does have a far superior OL in front of him though.
    6. Never underestimate the power of a solid punter ;)

  73. Wonder if Milo covered this game. He does a lot of HS sports.

  74. Steve says:

    Agree that Jones is starting to look like a mistake. Non factor thus far this season. The big hitting Shamarko Thomas hasn’t impressed either. Would be nice to see Wheaton get back before the end of the season and see if he looks like he’s got anything.

    Of course, Landry Jones was really worth the 4th round pick wasn’t he?

  75. Scott says:

    You seriously think NFL head coaches are going to allow television networks to tell them how to manage their rosters? Wow.

    It’s just Mike Tomlin being unnecessarily stubborn. No need to analyze it any further than that.

  76. Milo Hamilton says:


  77. Scott says:

    I tend to agree regarding LeBeau. He doesn’t have the players on defense, so he’s left to grasp at straws just as the rest of us are when it comes to putting together a defensive game plan. He’s doing the best he can with next to nothing. Still, I wouldn’t be opposed to allowing him to move on at the end of the season. Change for the sake of change may be needed.

    As for getting outscored in the first quarter, that doesn’t mean much except that the Steelers are playing teams who are better than they are. And Todd Haley’s scripted plays aren’t working.

  78. Milo Hamilton says:

    Went to a friend’s birthday party. Was able to walk away from the TV whenever I wanted. And that was often. :)

  79. Damon says:

    Here’s a thought – a lot of the injuries seem to happen when a lineman gets his leg rolled up on by another player. This could be because the line isn’t that great to start off with, then when defenders get free and Ben starts running around, the line is chaos trying to recover and make a block. That’s when other lineman, defenders or Ben falls on a leg or something. You saw the Patriot line almost always create a pocket – 5 lineman in a continuous arc. Our line is all over the place. Could be wrong, but just thinking….

  80. steelag70 says:

    Too early to label any of the rookies a “bust” yet…I believe that Jarvis Jones will do just fine and have a long career as a star player…

  81. Dom says:

    Thomas obviously didn’t play well last night but I thought he has been doing alright so far this year. I’d expect him to replace Clark by the end of the season.

    In hindsight, we should have kept our 2014 3rd round and hoped Shamarko fell four more spots instead of drafting Jones. Even if we still made that deal, I’d rather have us go with someone that was not a QB. We have way too many needs to consider one of the few positions we’re solid at.

  82. pattonbb says:

    I hope you’re right and I’m wrong about Jones. I watched an awful lot of him in college. I didn’t like the pick and still don’t. He’s a one-dimensional player. If they put him on the outside and don’t ask him to do anything but rush the qb, maybe he’ll be a good one. If you ask him to do anything in addition to that, you’re going to be disappointed.

    Hard for me to be too critical about any rb on the Steeler roster. This OL is going to get one of them hurt pretty soon.

  83. pattonbb says:

    Did Pouncey travel with the team yesterday?

    Just curious….

  84. Maybe you’ll get next week’s game against the Bills. Looks to be a true WPIAL matchup for the ages.


  85. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    If hitting is Shamarko’s forte…he is in the wrong league, it’s not allowed anymore. How many times have you seen recievers that could have been “separated” from the ball simply come down with catches in traffic. The NFL is a shell of it’s former self.

  86. radio wave says:

    I am going to tick off everyone with my comments. As a lifelong Pats fan, and Steelers hater, I enjoyed every minute of it. Frankly I was surprised at the 24 tie. The Patriots had been playing badly this year, Brady looked every bit of his 36 years going into yesterday. The Boston media had described the team as the worst 6-2 team in legue history. Well they looked like Super Bowl contenders yesterday. The shame of it is from a Pittsburgh point of view is that you have a HOF QB, and very little supporting cast. But the tables will turn, Brady will be gone, Pats will fall back, and the Steelers will get back on track in a couple of years. Good thing the Bucs and Pens are on the rise as the Steelers rebuild.u

  87. Milo Hamilton says:

    I’m good on short notice. I can be there in half an hour. Seriously Lucky, this is the kind of game where tickets are plentiful. I expect the phone to ring this week.

  88. Botherhood of the Redus says:

    Anyone see the call in the Saints game where the Jets defender was penalized for a “low hit” on Brees?

    John Lynch is losing his mind over it and as he should. There will never be another John Lynch or Ryan Clark (when he could get in position to make a play). Never again will we see Ronnie Lott or Rodney Harrision. Steve Atwater, Darren Woodson, Brian Dawkins, Jack Tatum…The NFL doesn’t want guys like these. They want Mike Wallace and other “Young Money” garbage. Sad, really.

  89. Jandy says:


    Agreed on Emery. A LLOOONNGGGG extended vacation!

  90. buggee says:

    I think much has to be made/said about preparation. We’ve seen the alarming lack of sufficient preparation in that glaring stat of the Stillers getting outscored upon in the first quarter by a 4 to 1 margin.

    Continue the thinking with regard to preparation, taking down to the individual player.
    These men should know that the body requires specific preparation prior to engaging in this kind of activity, regardless of age and fitness levels. How much hard stretching actually goes on before the games; is there partner-stretching practiced team-wide as a game-day activity?

    Many of these men are pretty young chronologically, and as such, young men tend to not be as diligent regarding sufficient/suitable body-prep as the forthcoming activity warrants.

    These injuries indicate a serious lack of body prep, and it’s been an ongoing hallmark of the Tomlin era. In the mid-90’s and early 2k years, several Steelers players participated in Taekown Do, primarily to help with their flexibility (and hand techniques for linemen). There hasn’t been a Steeler at Young Brothers or C.S. Kim since 2008. I’m not trying to sell TKD to anyone, just making a point. (just a FYI: several Pirates and Penguinis are with Young Brothers TKD)

  91. Milo Hamilton says:

    At least they’ve gone 10 years without winning a Super Bowl honestly. And look, no murderers this year (that we know of). Congrats radio, you should be so proud. :)

  92. buggee says:

    and what the heck happened to my icon?

  93. Might be interesting. Two bad teams might be a good game to watch. Back to the fun aspect.

    Two teams going nowhere, playing for their individual jobs or football lives.

  94. Jandy says:

    don’t watch it.

  95. Jandy says:


  96. Pat4Pgh says:

    Know an agent or two who represent players other than Ben playing for the Steelers.

  97. gregenstein says:

    Cliche – a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought.

    To which coach does this apply?

  98. Milo Hamilton says:

    I still want him drug tested.

  99. Jandy says:

    Happy Birthday to Michel Therrien….the big 5-0!

  100. Jandy says:

    I agree!

  101. Jandy says:

    I agree!

  102. Jandy says:

    it’s a mean face icon…skeery!

  103. Vette60 says:

    Hiya All…here’s what I posted over in the game day thread and wanted to repost so it gets a few more “eyes” on it…


    I just got the kiddos tucked in and had DVR’d the rest in case I “missed” anything. Looks like a “missed” an epic showing by our defense. Sure looks like it from the score in the 4th…debacle is the word that comes to mind.

    What a mess this has become and I’ll admit, I didn’t think it was as bad as it now appears to be…I think SJB’s point above is a vaild one…I was a kid when those rough years in the mid 80s occurred (Brister and Walton anyone) so I sorta forget how bad some of those teams were…

    Really would hate a sustained run of that, but do seem some of that coming if they don’t make some dramatic changes. I’d start with the two coordinators at a minimum and look outside the organ-i-zation for replacements. Great that Haley was a ball boy for the team when he was a kid, but doen’t mean boo now. Coach LeBeau, it’s time to get on with your life’s work. You have been a great assest to the team, but the time has come. The Defense is just outright ineffective now. No turnovers, no QB pressure, etc.

    Tomlin, well, I would give him a chance to get things righted, but I think if we have a 3rd year of poor execution, it’s time to move on there as well.

    It also seems that Art II doesn’t quite have the same football acumen as his Dad…would prefer if he stayed out of the footbal decisions (Run more, Haley, etc) but unfortunately, maybe he prefers to be more involved a la Jerry in Dallas and Dan in DC…that is a bad thing IMO.

    Quite the long post for me, but this is the place to do it I suppose…plus there is no one here at my house that really would listen anyway other than my dog and she’s asleep right now too!

    Hang in there folks!

    Randy in RVA.

  104. Milo Hamilton says:

    +50 !

  105. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Hot Stove should be heating up today. Last day of exclusive rights, qualifying offers & some extensions. We may know something about AJ before the close of business.

  106. radio wave says:

    Every team has had a bad guy in the room. Not going to make excuses for a murderer. But Ben did have his issues in Georgia too.

  107. Milo Hamilton says:

    This is me extending my hand radio. Just needling. You saw them play, that’s all I got !

  108. hockeymonster says:

    Im worried its like driving by an accident…impossible not to look :(

  109. tdb1977 says:

    RW – I’m in the same boat as you. A die hard Pats fan and hater of the Steelers. At work today, all I can do is smile, while listening to the moaning and groaning that is going on around me. I kept thinking to myself, leading up to this game, that the Pats could easily be 3-5 and not 6-2. They beat the Saints on the last play of the game. They barely held off the Jets in their first meeting. The squeaked by the Bills in week one. Yesterday showed that Brady still has some in the tank. The defense game up to many big plays. But, I’ll take the win. I’ll take the 55 points scored. I’ll take the 610 yards of offense.

  110. Jandy says:

    LOL that’s exactly what it’s like…that or a train wreck ;)

  111. radio wave says:

    Handshake accepted. To be objective, is it time for the Steelers to draft a QB to groom him to be ready when Ben is slowing down?

  112. Damon says:

    Interesting this article ranks Doumolin as the 2nd best AHL prospect coming along the pike…

  113. Jandy says:

    Really interesting, but you have to sign up to finish reading the artcle :/

  114. My brother in law in Maryland grew up in Boston and he’s a Patriot’s fan so he’s happy. Anyhow, New England has a bye week after this, and they should be better than they have been after that.

  115. Damon says:

    D’oh! My bad… Here is what they said:

    Brian Dumoulin, D, Pittsburgh Penguins (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton)

    Dumoulin’s a really interesting prospect as he’s a 6-foot-4 defenseman with good offensive tools. He’s confident with the puck, will join in on the attack and has quality overall instincts. Dumoulin is a player who scouts note can stand out during a game because of his natural gifts. He can still be prone to mistakes, but he has shown fine, two-way play in the AHL. Dumoulin’s growth will come as he gets quicker — his current skating level continues to be somewhat below average — and with an ever increasing log jam for the Penguins on defense, he needs to give the team a reason to call him up.

  116. Milo Hamilton says:

    They have so many other problems I think that one can wait. They don’t groom quarterbacks in the NFL anymore. that happens in college these days. You draft one when you need somebody to play that season.

  117. Dom says:

    Can I have your opinions on Ramon Foster’s year? I haven’t heard much feedback in regards to his play good or bad.

  118. Jandy says:

    Thanks, Damon!

  119. JohninOshkosh says:

    My weekend will be salvaged with a Bears prime time win against Green Bay at their beloved field.

    Dejan thinks the Patriots stadium is in the middle of nowhere…wait till he is here on 12/22. You can literally walk to a stand alone KMart nearly across the street from the stadium. Only professional franchise anywhere I would wager where there is a strip mall across the street.

  120. Steve in VA says:

    I agree with most everything you said except one thing.

    “LeBeau, it’s time to get on with your life’s work.” At age 76 I would say football is his life’s work.

  121. Thundercrack says:

    The more I read/hear about the Miami Dolphins and the bullying that went on, the less I want to watch an NFL game or watch any network football pregame show again.

  122. Eric Bowser says:

    If I recall correctly, former Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson was the butt of many jokes because of his teeth and other things (I believe) from teammates.

    This is nothing new but I applaud Mr. Martin for standing up and bring it to light.

  123. 21sthebest says:

    Ditto what Dom said. In fact, yesterday when I saw cameras in the locker room yet again during a pregame coaches pep talk, I once again started telling my family how I can stand what I refer to as the “football mentality” of many high school, college and pro football teams. I realize I’m generalizing and I’m not talking about everyone, but the pregame antics on the field how they pump each other up, etc., I don’t know…. it’s just a turn off for me the past couple of years. That coupled with not understanding what hits are legal, what the rules are for a catch anymore is just making the NFL very unappealing to me these days. I also think the quality of play has gone donwhill in general.

  124. Milo Hamilton says:

    Something to remember about the qualifying offers ($14.1 million this time around) being thrown around like nickels today. No player has ever accepted one.

  125. theplanisworking says:

    Proof the NHL wants to destroy itself.
    They will always be 5th (or 6th) in viewership.
    Who wants to see garbage?

    Thank you, Gary Bettman for cowering in fear of the neanderthal GM’s.

  126. theplanisworking says:

    50 is so Sofffffffffff…….

  127. Eric Bowser says:

    Want to know how pathetic the Steelers are right now….

  128. theplanisworking says:

    With AJ’s age, think he might?

  129. NMR says:

    Nailed it, 21. The football culture in this country is disgusting.

  130. Eric Bowser says:

    I’d love to see him do it.

    Tick off the MLBPA

  131. NMR says:

    Honestly never thought I’d see the day where the Pirates could offer one, expect the player to accept, and actually be able to pay up.

    We’re Pirate fans, casually talking about paying a free agent $14m.

  132. Chuck H says:

    Yes, this team sucks, and things are going to get much worse. First of all, their offense
    is too predictable-when they have 3rd down and 1 to go, they always have the runner hit
    the middle, which is where all the defense is and is expecting this ploy, but most of the time, they are either stopped for no gain or a loss. In Sunday’s game they had 4th and
    inches, but didn’t make it. That is disgraceful for any NFL team, and needs a whole lot of changes, including maybe a running qb to change the strategy to score more points, although they had enough points to win most games. I’m done watching this team for this season, and hope for better next season. GO, Pirates!!!

  133. Jandy says:

    Honestly, I was thinking last week, there HAD to be more to the story. Seems like there really isn’t. This is just sad. Grown men acting WORSE than high school kids. WTH is wrong with this country? I wonder how the NFL WILL handle this mess? Hopefully better than the NHL handles their messes.

  134. Jandy says:

    I second that emotion!

  135. Milo Hamilton says:

    The subject of these offers came up in a story I read earlier & an anonymous GM said that there’s no such thing as a bad 1 year contract.

  136. NMR says:

    The fact that Jeff Karstens seems to love playing in Pittsburgh would attest to how much better this clubhouse is under Hurdle. :)

  137. Jandy says:

    Haha Milo! Wasn’t me, he had too many McDonald’s bacon and muffin sandwiches. He needs to biscuit I mean fix it!

  138. JohninOshkosh says:

    I wonder what will happen with Robinson Cano. Short termed contracts are all the rage, and justifiably so. Is some GM going to break away from the herd and sign him to a long term money smothering contract?

  139. Vette60 says:

    Yeah certainly agree that with Dick, his life’s work has been football. Heard that too in the other thread – I was thinking meaning more, it’s time to move on – Thinking more so of how Chuck Noll would use it to let a guy know it’s time that you think about doing something else…

    In Dick’s case, who by the way is a year older than my Dad, it’s time for him to think about his retirement, enjoying time away from the game…

    Thanks for reading.


  140. theplanisworking says:

    Did you visit your bf in the hospital? (and not with the 9 wides) ;)

  141. Jandy says:

    Eric, it’s one thing to be the butt of jokes (as tiring as I’m sure that can be). Martin was supposedly receiving life-threatening messages. That’s a whole ‘nother ball game.

  142. Milo Hamilton says:

    Cano’s going north of $200 million. No 1 year deal here.

  143. Sarah says:

    Guys – couple questions – I’m curious and don’t know much re football. (Hockey is my game)

    1) Troy seems suddenly a complete liability…even tho finally healthy….but also seems to be moved much more forward towards LOS often. Is this to help make up for deficiency on run-D? Has it impacted his ability in coverage (I would assume YES)….thoughts?

    2) I guess it is Clark now calling out coverages/plays on D? Who was it last year? Pottsie? How much of an impact does that have? I would assume A LOT if there is confusion on coverages/assignments, which seems to happen often. Is this somewhat on Clark/the defensive play-caller?? Or on LeBeau? Is it one of those things you don’t notice until it goes horribly wrong?

    Just mulling!! All thoughts apprec’d!

  144. Jandy says:



  145. theplanisworking says:

    That money rivals what you get for the football gigs, huh? ;)

  146. Dom says:

    According to reports, Dolphins rookies were expected to pay tens of thousands on dinners, trips, and events.

  147. Jandy says:

    Yeah and they paid up in fear of retribution.

  148. JohninOshkosh says:

    He’s a fantastic talent, to be sure. For me, the era of long term big money contracts ought to be over. I think St. Louis confirmed that whether they intended or happily fell into the circumstances surrounding Pujols’ departure.

  149. theplanisworking says:

    Which, if true, means that some coaches/team personnel knew about it.
    Would be hard to keep something like that under wraps.

    Hope heads roll down there.
    Incognito, and others.

  150. NMR says:

    Ha, if I was a GM, I’d say the same.

    Of course there’s such as thing as a bad one year contract when it eats up 15-20% of your resources. It just isn’t a franchise crippling contract due to length.

  151. Milo Hamilton says:

    There’s a 2 in it !

  152. theplanisworking says:

    I think I might have confused decimal points with you and Cano. ;)

  153. theplanisworking says:

    Hey now…………….

  154. Jandy says:

    You’re full of yourself, my friend LOL!


  155. theplanisworking says:

    If you looked at the size of me, you would be correct. :)

  156. JohninOshkosh says:

    I so want to eat at Paolo’s (ad in upper right). Looks like the real deal.

    How is this pronounced phonetically: Charleroi ?

    I haven’t had lunch yet.

  157. Damon says:

    The Pirates web page had an article saying they will offer Burnett the 14 mil, and after he accepts they’d negotiate a 2-year, 25 mil type contract which would bring that down a little. Still a lot of money though…. That said, he eats a lot of innings and is still a good pitcher. That’s actually less than the going rate for that kind of pitcher…

  158. theplanisworking says:

    Shar – luh – roy.

  159. Oshkosh b’Gosh,

    I watched the 1st half of the Bucks game Saturday.

    I kept looking for you——but I saw no one either wearing a Pirates shirt or acting like a loony, thereby belonging here.

    16 straight didn’t turn out as planned, did it?

    I liked the point guard Wolters and Sanders, and OJ Mayo looks like a valuable pick-up, but you guys need someone to guard opposing centers.

    Who are you guys going to take with the #1 Pick: Wiggins or Jabari Parker?

    TRUE basketball season starts this Friday on ESPNU!!

  160. Jandy says:

    LOL you’re killing me, Hipposter!

  161. JohninOshkosh says:

    Thanks, Plan.

  162. theplanisworking says:

    No problem.

    Go Sixers! ;)

  163. Drive right past Charleroi every day on way to work.

    The Front Porch has the better food.

  164. theplanisworking says:

    Catch ya later, Jandy.
    Hope Mahone recovers for you soon. ;)

  165. Dom says:

    The best part of the Steeler loss was having Tom Brady on your fantasy league.

  166. JohninOshkosh says:

    Can not wait, Groat.

    Going to be a long season for the Bucks. Got some good talent to build on but they are a long ways away from South Beach or the West side of Chicago. Parker would be nice. Really looking forward to him playing. Hope he stays there for more than one year, though.

    I was wearing a Pirates hat.


  168. JohninOshkosh says:

    Oh, and I chose Thor over his co-star, Natalie Portman for the latest avi. Sorry.

  169. Thundercrack says:

    I agree with Jandy. From what I heard happened to Wilson is a whole lot different than what happened to Martin in Miami.
    Two whole different levels.

  170. Thundercrack says:

    I watched about 10 minutes of the ESPN pregame show and it was a disgrace (when they were talking about this). Too many former jocks afraid to criticize players and call them out for this type of crap…and the whole culture of their league.

    Mike Ditka, wearing his Charles Nelson Reilly glasses, said that in his day the players would have went to Fist Town (or something like that). Ray Lewis talked but I still have no idea what he said.

    They were uninformed but yet felt they needed to give an opinion.

  171. Thor has been my hero since “Adventures in Babysitting.”

    Sorry I missed the Pirate hat!

  172. Dom says:

    and Starks!

  173. Milo Hamilton says:

    James Neal skated before practice today.

  174. Jandy says:

    about time ;)

  175. Jandy says:

    + many

  176. Jandy says:

    Dom, your man Fleury was NHL #2 star of the week for last week :)

  177. Dom says:

    That’s correct but would that be something the NFL would step in and punish the coaching staff for?

  178. Dom says:

    Thanks for the info! They don’t call him the greatest Penguin of all time for nothing!

  179. tpbco says:

    They have moved him closer to line as a hybrid linebacker. This is due to the lose of Larry Foote…who was the defensive play caller. So when they lost him, not only did they lose that – they alos lost at least a decent run defender. The 6th round draft pick (all that was left/next man up) has been a liability.

    Timmons has picked up the signal calling, Clark does it for the secondary, but….

    Clark has been horrible. JMO, but I think at least part of Troy’s apparent issues is Clark being out of position. In football it’s really hard to tell whose fault it is in the secondary w/o knowing what defense is called. And we, the fans, never do. We tend to “blame” the closest guy, who may not have been responsible.

    One play that stood out yesterday was – after a running play Clark appeared to have is bell rung, did not leave the field and the next play there was a wide open receiver running through the secondary. Troy was closest, but I really don’t think he was responsible, based on the Dbackfield set up before the play.

    Not absolving Troy completely though, there were other times when he appeared to guess wrong and Brady beat him. A real chess match, that obviously Brady won that day.
    But again, in the past, Clark has been there to back Troy up.

    Don’t know about Troy, but highly unlikely Clark is back next year.

  180. Saw a piece a few years back on some site, which I never went back to, where they voted Wilson the ugliest player in baseball.

    Wonder if his wife and kids felt the same. Personally apalling to me being a fan of his and his knowing of his Christianity and care for the community.

    It’s a rough world sometimes.

  181. tpbco says:

    Certainly the greatest between Oct and March.

  182. JohnS says:

    The Steelers’ woes are all about personnel.

    No immovable NT. No pass rushing OLB’s. Those are key ingredients needed to run this type of D.

    On offense how can they be so wrong on so many lineman.

    This is going to be a long retooling.

  183. Wilver Dornel,

    I watched your recommendation “The Bloodhound Gang/bad touch”

    Didn’t get the connection.

    Maybe I’m just not simian oriented.

  184. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    I would agree on all points.
    Retooling is the key word.
    I also don’t believe this can solely be solved with the draft…..Unless the Steelers have no intentions of being competitive till at least 2016 or later.

  185. Dom says:

    I think the two issues on the second line go hand in hand. We need a monster NT that can occupy two OLman so there will be one less to block the OLBs. McClendon has been getting blocked by one guy. He has not lived up to expectations and needs to be upgraded.

  186. Sarah says:

    Hmmm…..all interesting. Yeah from watching hockey I know it is not always obvious who missed what assignment.


  187. pattonbb says:


    No way they let him leave.

  188. Dom says:

    Hey, Fleury has had his moments in the playoffs.

  189. MadTurk says:

    Where’s Eric when he can finally get one right?????

    Fire Tomlin!!!

  190. tpbco says:

    Yep, waiting for all the folks last year who were up in arms because McClendon wasn’t playing. He’s probably better suited as a standard DT in a 4-3.

    The linebackers…agree there too. Worlids has played his best on the left side (Woodley’s) so just like we have 4 RT’s and no LT’s, we got 2 LOLBs and no ROLBs. Still hard to say about J Jones. He really hasn’t done anything and just looks small out there, not labeling him yet, but jeez you’d a thunk he would have made a play or two even just by accident.

  191. tpbco says:

    I was just kidding….at least until April.

    I’ve been impressed with his game so far.

  192. Jim S. says:

    To your point, Dom, maybe McClendon is more suited to going back to DE/DT rather than NT. He seems to have some explosive rush ability on occasion, but he’s not stout enough to be a Nose.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Oops! Meant to say in a traditional 4-3, which I hope we at least consider returning to at some point.

  194. Long time lurker, first time writer. Random thoughts:
    – injuries are part of the game, but there is some bad luck with DeCastro, Foote, Wheaton, Pouncey and Spence. Spence would be starting for us in the middle which means Timmons would be in his natural spot and probably means Jones would have never been drafted by us
    – character evaluations are amiss for sure. how can you have two guys dismissed from the same draft over character flaws (T’Amu and Rainey)? Colbert and Tomlin need to address that (or listen to the people telling them NOT to draft these guys)
    – stop acting like the Browns. When was the last time you had seen such a revolving door at the UPMC Sports complex? Why cut Butler in the first place? He was serviceable. Who is truly overseeing these decisions?
    – do we have a QB coach? if so, what is he teaching Ben? Hold onto the ball as long as you can so you can be killed? At least hold on to the ball when you get hit (he has like 5 fumbles that have cost us games directly). Someone posted a shot of the Steelers in an offensive position post snap above and notes that Brown is covered – but Ben should have thrown the ball 2 seconds before the picture was taken to Brown. He was open. He would have taken a hit, but 9/10 times catches the ball for a 1st down
    – Haley – quit stuffing your face with Chaw and burning donuts in your IROC Z in my front lawn. this experiment needs to be over yesterday. 31 pts and 500 yards offense sounds great if you win. sounds like garbage when you get lambasted. if his offense could have scored on the opening drive, it changes the complexion of the game immediately. instead, two shots at getting 2 yards failed…
    – Mr Lebeau. I apologize for what you have to work with, but its time to work their strengths, not your defense. get guys up on the line. dont let them off easy and X your linebackers every other play and hope they fill the running gap
    – on 3rd and less than 3, throw a quick out. play fake. anything but a 34 dive
    – yes, we are cap strapped. it happens when you try to keep the nucleus of a team that went to 3 SB’s in 7 years intact. if they would have won that third SB then folks would be so happy. but I am okay with it. its not mismanaging when you had your shot. now is the time to cut the losses and move on and live with the consequences. the team has, the fans haven’t
    – for sure the Steelers are not getting their fair share of calls. they could have easily called interference on Ben’s first INT and could easily have not called in on Shamarko’s the other way…its been like this all year. the muffed punt in oakland comes to mind. i call this the Bucco Karma effect. The other Pittsburgh teams are now going to pay for the Bucs winning ways…

    longest post ever…my apologies…and kudos to anyone who actually stayed and read it…

  195. Jim S. says:

    I think we can all speculate about how many of these players need to be replaced. And the answer is probably a lot of them.

    A thorough, top to bottom analysis needs to be done of this organization. I don’t know who would do that, but my guess is you have to hire the right guy to do it from the outside. I’m generally not in favor of that sort of tactic, but I just don’t think anyone currently in the organization is capable of fixing this mess. Choose wisely, and let the guy do what needs to be done.

    I definitely don’t think the answer is just getting rid of LeBeau and Haley, and letting Colbert and Tomlin continue to botch things up. The coaches all seem to be very old or have as their main qualification that they are from Pittsburgh. Again, I say it is just arrogance on the part of ownership that they think continuing to win is so simple that they just need to call themselves the Steelers and everything will be ok. Sorry, that doesn’t work any more. This is not just a bump in the road. Successful teams in this league adapt and change as their opponents present new challenges. This team sticks its head in the sand and says “La la la, can’t hear you!” when new concepts are introduced and perfected around the league.

    We used to be the innovators. Somewhere along the way we became “the old boys network” where you have a job for life if you are a good guy. The first two to go if this season doesn’t take a definite turn for the positive must be the GM and Head Coach. Sadly, the two guys whose jobs are probably safest are the GM and Head Coach. I hope not.

  196. JohnS says:

    I think McClendon would be great at end. I could see him being another Aaron Smith type.

    That would give you Heyward, Hood, McClendon and Keisel with the beard on the way out. Find a Wilfolk/Hampton type for NT. Right away I think that makes Woodley better and you can hope that helps Worilds and Jones.

  197. Dom says:

    Richi Incognito is done as a Dolphin. Probably done in the NFL.

  198. JohnS says:

    There in lies the problem with the salary cap years. You can’t cut your losses and move on because you can’t afford to pay two starting LT’s especially when one is not on the team. The way teams handle the economics of the game need to be changed. The Steelers like to manage the cap by just pushing it down the road another year. This year they have almost $10 million in dead money counting against the cap. Willie Colon has $2.1M this year and $4.3M next. Depending on upcoming moves this year should be the worst as far as the cap goes.

  199. Jim S. says:

    I wouldn’t throw him away. He flashes ability to rush the QB.

  200. Milo Hamilton says:

    Pirates do not extend qualifying offer to AJ Burnett.

  201. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    “Why was Roethlisberger on the field to the end, even with the Steelers down 24? I ask him that in the video above, and I respect his answer. At the same time, it’s insane.”

    The announcers even made mention to that, just as he was getting hit. Love the answer, and I’m not surprised by it, but reality needs to set in.

    A call the head coach is supposed to make.

  202. Jim S. says:

    I’m thinking one more year ought to do it. Taillon, Kingham, Glasnow are on the way. But, if they think he has 2 left in the tank, go for it and one or two of the kids can wait a bit.

  203. Jim S. says:

    If he truly only wants to play for one team, he just might.

  204. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    And now..I get to go read all the above posts.

    I’m sure they’re interesting and I’m interested in seeing what other folks have to say about this horrid display.

    I for one, would like to call Ike Taylor to the stand please…

    Total lack of effort.

  205. Jim S. says:

    Events. Hmm … what could that mean?

  206. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Only $14.1 Million.

    Aren’t they able to renegotiate if he accepts?

  207. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    As well he should be.

  208. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    “I got a meeting with the Bob’s”

    Is all I can think of whenever reading this post..LOL

  209. Milo Hamilton says:

    No one’s ever accepted.

  210. Jim S. says:

    But, he always does that, Nor Cal. True, it makes no sense. But, he is always there at the end of blowouts. That he is able to make that call on his own shows an underlying problem, I think. He has too much power for a guy that really has not gotten any better at decision-making over the last 5 years.

  211. NMR says:

    “Only” $14m.

    Somebody pinch me.

  212. Jim S. says:

    Wow! What now?

  213. Jim S. says:

    Sadly, they were about the last holdout team as far as avoiding renegotiation of contracts.

  214. BillyBaduka says:

    Not ticked. Seems pretty accurate to me.

  215. BillyBaduka says:

    Call was a shame. Agree it is sad. Combine that with Polamalu’s unnecessary roughness for hitting Gronk in the chest and defense as we knew it is dead.

  216. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Better question: Which coach does this NOT apply too?

  217. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    This post was a long time ago, but I’m seriously confused as to what BA has to do with this?

  218. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I know you don’t want me responding to you, but this is one of the funniest posts I’ve read in a long time…


    (in a good way, noncritical)

  219. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    I know he’s always there.

    This is when I hate the term “Players coach.”

    Did Tomlin even consider taking Ben out? Maybe there was nothing there to begin with and it wasn’t Ben’s choice.

  220. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:


    Surprised you didn’t pick up on that.

    Slightly disappointed.

  221. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s one of the most intelligent things I’ve ever heard from a baseball executive. Sure, you could come up with a scenario where it wouldn’t make sense, but this is Baseball, and talking about numbers that are beyond most of us. Absolutely agree.

  222. Arriba Wilver says:

    Clue—watching X-Files.

  223. Arriba Wilver says:

    2nd clue—BOTH watching X-Files.

  224. toochca says:


  225. theplanisworking says:

    If it can be proven that the coaches knew what was going on, that would be violating NFL rules regarding this, and they could face a wolrd of hurt. The key will be proving it.

  226. theplanisworking says:

    Well, they dont get a comp pick……

  227. Lad 9 says:

    Unless you benched him (guilty as charged) :(

  228. Nor Cal Stlrfanrtc (Ryan) says:

    Exactly the point of offering.

    Too high of a risk for AJ, but I still ask the question, can they negotiate if he accepted? Even though nobody does (Thanks Milo).

  229. Eric Bowser says:

    I’m here…. long day.

    Tomlin sucks and most franchises would fire the whole staff after these last two years but it is the Steelers, they won’t fire him or Colbert.

    I have my doubts about Todd Haley getting fired, so that leaves Dick LeBeau being made the scapegoat but of course, all they will do is replace him internally with Keith Butler after years of promises.

  230. Reports have it that Ben stubbornly insisted on staying in the game to the end and not allowing Coach Tomlin to substitute the second stringer Gradkowski during the second half, which would be just like him, unfortunately. In fact, it’s also been said that Coach Tomlin didn’t object overmuch to this.

  231. There’s no way they’ll ever get fighting out of hockey completely so either don’t watch it or else just concentrate on the game if possible and ignore the garbage aspect as much as possible.

  232. The Pirates owner Bob Nutting is likely behind this effort to sign AJ for less than that $14 million, and he’s probably counting on what AJ said about either signing with the Pirates or retiring and also on the idea that noone else would want this aging ace.

  233. Milo Hamilton says:

    Something to watch with the Pirates this off season – don’t listen to what they say, watch what they do. Last year they bent over backwards telling us that all those stolen bases didn’t really matter. That they could make up for them in other areas & the most important thing was getting the batter out. Then, they couldn’t wait to throw $17 million at Russell Martin.

    Now they’re telling us that they really, really want AJ Burnett back. But no qualifying offer. Remember, don’t listen to them.

  234. It’s been reported that Ben stubbornly insisted on being kept in the game and that Coach Tomlin didn’t object to that.

  235. It’s been reported that Ike Taylor suffered a concussion and was thus removed from last night’s game.

  236. theplanisworking says:

    Agreed 102%.

    Baffling thing about not extending the offer to AJ, is that now they dont get the comp pick. For a franchise that drafted Appel knowing he wouldnt sign, just to get a comp pick, this is a head-scratcher.

    Or, they may be planning to take that $14 million and go after a 1B?

  237. toochca says:

    To quote the article
    “Nothing has changed in terms of our situation with A.J.,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “This decision is not a reflection of our valuation of A.J. It’s more a reflection of our desire to build a championship roster. A $14.1 million (offer) is a significant chunk of our estimated budget for next year.”

  238. The Pirates still say they’re interested in signing AJ although it’s obviously on their terms.

  239. Meanwhile, the Penguins in the NHL are 11-4 and they’ll be playing against the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, and if you can overlook the fighting, you should be able to watch some pretty good hockey on Root Sports or else on NBC Sports if they’re carrying that game.

  240. Ed Bouchette of the Post Gazette doubts that LaBeau can do much concerning the Steelers’ current problems for the same reasons that you have mentioned.

  241. NMR says:

    They only get a comp pick IF AJ turns down the offer AND another team signs him.

    It ain’t just free.

  242. Jim Mackin says:

    Agreed! Jim Brown would have had trouble gaining yards with the Steelers O-line.

  243. Jim Mackin says:

    Send me a short list of quarterbacks who could throw for 400 yards behind the Steelers O-line. Hint: you won’t need much paper.

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