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Morning Java: Crediting Steelers

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The Monday column from Heinz Field compiles a list of possible targets for blame … then throws it all out.

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

And Brett Keisel, that man pictured prominently above …

And Emmanuel Sanders

Random randomness from the scene: Without my pushing much at all, Ike Taylor told me he recently approached the coaches about switching to safety next season. Funny, but I thought the question might offend him. Didn’t at all. “We’ll see how it goes. It was one small talk, that’s all,” Ike said. The move has worked for many, particularly toward prolonging careers, but Ike’s lack of hands and bulk would be a concern. … Had the Steelers gotten the shutout — “We really wanted that goose egg,” Keisel said — it would have been their first since Christmas Eve 2011 against the Rams. … There was real pride in that locker room, but kind of in the form of vindication. Not of any outside criticism, but more for their own notion that they always were better than their first half. “This should have been the start,” Ramon Foster told me. “This is how it should have been all along.” … Keisel, Sanders and Ryan Clark sounded close to resigned they wouldn’t be wanted back, but I was most moved by Troy Polamalu’s striking reluctance to really say much of anything regarding whether or not he’ll keep playing at all. This was about it: “It sure would be nice if Kansas City wins.” Ummm … You’ll hear all kinds of complaining about the Chiefs-Chargers finish, many of them legit, some of them from the Steelers’ players. But I can tell you that their attitude immediately after their game was best summarized by Ben when asked about the chance they’d miss the playoffs: “Obviously, it would be disappointing, bit it’s nobody’s fault but ours. We got ourselves in a deep hole early.” … Sorry, but I can’t get worked up over officials blowing a couple of calls out in San Diego. Refs miss calls. You wish they wouldn’t. You hope there’s a constant effort to improve the knowledge and awareness of all involved. But getting all worked up over a missed overloaded-to-one-side formation that’s essentially a new rule … to me, that’s reaching. The fumble wasn’t the easiest call. The field goal alignment was tougher than that. Should they get it right? Sure. Cause for outrage? Eh. … I enjoyed covering this season and would have welcomed seeing it go longer. I probably enjoyed this experience more than any through 2013. I’ll have more on that on the blog tomorrow.

The game story wonders what might have come next, by Alan Robinson.

The elder statesmen ponder the end, by Ralph Paulk.

Jarvis Jones finally comes alive, by Mark Kaboly.

All the 2014 opponents are now known, by Robinson. The rumor is confirmed, by the way: Browns are on there twice.

If it’s the final Sunday of the season, the Browns must have fired their coach. Gary Horvath reports on Rob Chudzinski

Here’s our full Steelers coverage.

Here’s Browns news from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Here are official game highlights from NFL.com.

Finally, here’s our Steelers photo gallery by Chaz Palla and Chris Horner, including this Palla beauty below of Lawrence Timmons adding to Jason Campbell’s career-long misery …

>> The Penguins got a five-point masterstroke from James Neal to beat the Blue Jackets. Rob Rossi reports from Columbus.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage.

Here’s Blue Jackets news from the Columbus Dispatch.

Here are official game highlights from NHL.com.

>> Pitt beats Duquesne in women’s basketball, which is a really, really big deal within that community, unlike the actual City Game. And not just because Suzie-McConnell-Serio looks good after crossing town, as Karen Price reports from the Pete.

One thing I’d like to see is a doubleheader for the next City Game, where the women’s game is the opener. Surprised they haven’t already done this.

>> I’ll visit with TribLIVE Radio at 11:30 a.m. today, live from Steelers HQ on the South Side. Right after that, I’ll cover Mike Tomlin’s press conference — which you can hear live on the same feed — and have a special Tuesday column on that topic.

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. JohnS says:

    The NFL could really help themselves out by simplifying their rule book. Refs have enough trouble getting the basics correct no need to make them look worse with obscure rules.

  2. Ghost says:

    If a team is only going to play well for half a season, I guess it’s better that the good play came in the second half. But no, they didn’t deserve a playoff berth. Not between losses to feeble Oakland and Minnesota. Not after being vaporized by the only elite team they faced, New England. The Steelers are an 8-8 team. As New Year’s is upon us, “out with the old, in with the new.” On defense, part ways with the old-timers go, save for possibly that switch of Taylor to safety. Troy had a nice swan song this year, but he costs too much and is not part of the future. Neither is Clark, Keisel, and probably Foote. Nor should be Woodley. Or LeBeau. Retool and get younger.

  3. Ghost says:

    Is that hat the Cobra is wearing in your avi a Panama hat, or did he put on his mom’s Sunday-going-to-Church hat just for gits and shiggles?

  4. Rbilak says:

    Should be the most interesting offseason in years. If Ike is thinking about safety on his own, that should tell the Steelers he doesn’t think he is a top corner either.

    The amount of mistakes made by NFL refs is mind blowing. If Goodell spent more time fixing that than Half time entertainment, Moving the draft, adding new replay, expanding to London, and coaches on the sideline, redoing Pro a Bowl, perhaps we would have a better product with decreased game time and less commercials. He needs to understand priorities, the NFL is suffering from poor officials and King Goodell is asleep on the issue that should be number one.

  5. Ghost says:

    A decrease in commercials isn’t going to happen. Unless EVERYBODY only watches DVR’ed broadcasts and fast-forwards through the those incessant cm’s. That’s what I actually do for most Steeler games. But I doubt most would be willing to wait. Live sports broadcasts are considered one of the few safe havens from DVRing…

    I agree with all your other points. Particularly insightful take on Taylor.

  6. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    No question…The Steelers made their own bed early in the season, and they will spend the off-season sleeping in it.
    In reality, I believe this was not a very good team.
    However…I believe it was a team that vastly improved as the year went on, and that bodes well for next year.
    I’m highly proud of how they hung in there and came oh so close to making the playoffs.

  7. JohnS says:

    I look at the week 17 starting offensive line and wonder if the Steelers did a good or bad job in evaluating their oline needs. They ended the year with nowhere near what they thought were their best five, and that group was the best oline in years.

  8. Rbilak says:

    I believe if Beachum starts ahead of Adams, we are in playoffs. Ike Redman was our running back, he was so bad he was never signed this year by another team. Worilds played left side only by injury. Yes, phew evaluation not just on offensive line but entire team.

  9. theplanisworking says:

    Steelers miss playoffs.
    So we should feel good about the last 8 games, and for the future? Hmmmmmmmmmm………..

    This team wasnt prepared to open the season. With Tomlin cutting the teams best RB is the preseason, only to re-sign him the very next week. Lose the 1st 4 games of the season, two of the losses were to simply awful teams. Then injuries, looking lost on both sides of the ball, huge hole to start out on.

    Then, after a couple wins, losses to Oakland!, where they were woefully unprepared for that game, and then giving up 2 thousand yards to the Cheatriots. Finally a few more wins, and we get an 8-8 season. The Steelers only faced 4 teams with a winning record, and the one very good team they faced, they got blown out. So by beating some stiffs, and losing to other stiffs, we are to feel good about that? I gues we could, and we did see some progress, but it couldnt have gotten much worse after the first 4 games.

    Feel good about the future? Doesnt appear to require years of rebuilding? Maybe, maybe not. Sports leagues have been littered with teams that did well the 2nd halves of their seasons, only to not carry over said “momentum” to the next year. And, the Steelers have to address many areas, from coaches to players before next season before we can adequately determine whether or not multiple years will or will not be required regarding rebuilding.

    Yes, they fought til the end, hung in there, never gave up, etc………. but bottom line, it wasnt good enough. Interesting off-season coming up.

  10. theplanisworking says:

    Before we as Steeler fans can look forward to the draft, and next season, many important decisions need to be made, both regarding players and coaches.

    Do both, one, or neither of the co-ordinators come back? Will Art meddle in the co-ordinatod situation again, like he did with Arians? Will Colbert come back? Will there be changes in draft-sharing responsibilities?

    Once the FO stuff is taken care of, what is to be done personnel-wise?
    Do they cut Woodley? What to do with Worilds? Sanders? Troy? Ike? Keisel? Keisel’s beard? ( I give his beard a life of its’ own).
    Which positions get priority in the draft? How do they get out of salary cap hell?

    I certainly hope the Steelers look at the 1st half of the season as much as they do the 2nd half. It wouldnt be prudent to only look at the 2nd half results, and think all is well, carry on, etc…………… many difficult decisions need to be made.

  11. theplanisworking says:

    It has been determined that the Steelers are scheduled to get the #15 pick in the draft. Baltimore gets #16. Now the 2014 GODell games can begin. No idea what will happen, but rumors from back at sideline-gate were, take a pick, switch positions with the Ratbirds, but nobody knows if it will be one pick, what round it will be in, if picks are switched, it all picks are switched……………………. it is just a mess that GODell has created.

    Hopefully GODell only takes a 7th round pick, but who knows.

    ===================================================

    Anyone blaming Succop for the Steelers not making the Playoffs, or being a “choking dog”…………. He has made roughly 80% of FG’s for his career. Also, google his wife. He has nothing to be ashamed of in either category. Seriously.

    ===================================================

    As the New Year comes in, nice to see things stay mostly the same, in Cleveland, that is. Coach Chudz got the boot, even after the Cleveland FO traded his starting running back, having a QB merry-go-round, and injuries. Who in there right mind would go coach in Cleveland with this type of serious non-support? Not to mention the horrible drafting by the Browns every year, and Jimmy Boy Haslem is still under serious investigation for his truck-stop business allegations? Man, they are the Mistake by the Lake every year.

  12. And now, it’s on to the Penguins, who beat the Blue Jackets last night 5-3. It would’ve been nice to have made the playoffs although the Steelers wouldn’t likely have gone much farther in post season. Maybe the Pens will win the Stanley Cup unless they can’t overcome the loss of Pascal Dupuis. And then, there will soon be Pirates baseball. Happy New Year anyhow!

  13. Drew71 says:

    Alas. Yes, alas.

  14. Naje says:

    Let’s dust off this old reliable response in reference to the NFL officials:

    THEY TRIED!!!

  15. Thundercrack says:

    ‘But getting all worked up over a missed overloaded-to-one-side formation that’s essentially a new rule ‘

    A rule is a rule. Whether it was the first one adopted by the league or just put into place right before kick off.

  16. Thundercrack says:

    I do mostly feel that the Steelers have only themselves to blame for not making the playoffs. They didn’t win enough games. And certainly lost a bunch of games they could/should have won.

    But there is also a part of me that thinks that they did enough to qualify for the playoffs. That is why they have all these scenarios for tie-breakers. But the NFL refs screwed up and maybe because of it the Steelers don’t go to the playoffs.

    What would have been very interesting was if the Chiefs had kicked a field goal to tie it in OT, and then the Chargers backed into the playoffs by running out the clock —and played for the tie.

  17. Drew71 says:

    Interesting?

    I’d pick a different word.

  18. Naje says:

    Not only is a rule a rule, but the refs saw a chasm in the middle of the line and didn’t think “Wait a minute, that’s an unbalanced line and maybe I should count the players over here…”

    Well trained, but THEY TRIED!!!!!

  19. JoeyBats says:

    Revenues are flat/declining & Profits have been way down the last 2 years.

    I think I’ll go ask my boss if he’ll move me to safety next year….and see if he’ll keep me around for $6-7 million a year. ;-)

  20. scapper says:

    Forget the Steelers. Let’s focus on Sid’s third period last night. Sure, there were about five things he did to create the go-ahead goal he scored (all of them at top speed), and yeah, there was that tape-to-tape, saucer pass on Kunitz’s goal, and we can’t forget the un-Ovie-like hustle to break up Columbus’ two-on-one shorthanded chance and the fact that he made the play without taking a penalty.

    But the play that summed up his game best was when he drew the penalty that led to Kunitz’s power play goal. How did he get control of the puck in the corner and then come bursting out with it at full speed, forcing an offensive zone penalty that almost seemed like a penalty Foligno had to take?

    I know Neal put up five points and buried three goals, but Sid’s third period is the reason the Pens remain appointment TV for this hockey fan and the reason the whole team plays with the intensity the play with night after night.

  21. Jandy says:

    Good morning Loonies.

    Time for my annual mammogram.

    Everyone be good and have a grand day :)

  22. JoeyBats says:

    ….and one other NFL thing.

    Ya think Ray Horten is happy he took that D. Coordinator job @ Cleveland? (one and done with Rob C and the revolving door with the Browns?)

  23. Stuart says:

    Thanks for not posting all of that twice.

  24. Brandon says:

    ++ Awesome!

  25. Dom says:

    If Ike switches to safety, then who will be the #1 CB? Would they be comfortable with both Gay and Allen starting at CB?

  26. Steve says:

    Agree with everyone that says the Steelers, and Steekers alone, are responsible for missing the playoffs. Still, the no call on Succop’s missed game winner and apparent fumble and TD return on SD’s fake punt hurt. It was certainly a memorable day as a perfect storm was building. I think the Steelers could have beaten the Chiefs or Bengals in a first round game but the thought of them playing the Cheatriots or Broncos is sort of sobering.

    For next season I’m hoping Jarvis Jones can make a great leap forward. Rookie or not, he played the entire season and was pretty much a non-factor. Would have liked to have seen noticable improvement towards the end. By his own admission, he needs to get stronger.

    After years of watching “Big Snack” clog the middle it was pretty apparent this year that the Steelers need to get better at the nose tackle position. I think they need to look at this position in the draft or FA.

    Goodbye and thanks to Kiesel, Clark, Sanders and probably Foote. I think Polamalu and Taylor are back for one more year.

  27. Wild Bill says:

    You have a point, Scapper. The excellence of this years Penguins contrasted with the mediocrity of the Steelers is a very stark contrast indeed. Hope the Pens will not peak too early.

  28. Steve says:

    How could I forget about Lamarr Woodley? Another over paid, past his prime veteran that the Steelers should cut ties with.

    One positive at season’s end is there were no significant injuries that will carry over into 2014. Roethlisberger has to be as healthy as he’s been in years going into the off season.

  29. Dom says:

    I’d expect Troy, Ike to stay. Miller will probably stay too.

    Clark, Foote, Keisel will leave or be back in a backup role playing for the league’s minimum. All three contracts are up at the end of the season.

    Woodley’s gone. But we cant release him till after the first of June. Does anyone know if we would have to be under the cap before then?

  30. hockeymonster says:

    How bout Engo leading the team in ice time last night? Clearly disco’s new years resolution is gonna be to tick off the bloggers here :) Didn’t he just say he would play Engo as a 7th dman/forward? Figured it would be Kobasew out for engo with despres still in. Good for Engo but here’s hoping he gets better at not icing the puck when he has time and space to work with.

    Have a feeling we’ll be sending despres and dumoulin back to WB when letang and PM get back. Unless they decide to send Sill back down instead. He’s solid defensively but could use work on his puck skills. If he can go back and become a more complete player in WB then we’ll really have something down the road from Sill. When the mash unit starts to heal up Gibbons needs to go back down to work on getting stronger and on his first couple strides. Not enough acceleration or strength yet to be considered a legit option. Connor so far has proven to be an upgrade over gibbons.

    And since i consider part of my patriotic duty being to help out Team USA anyway i could(and i couldn’t find my team usa picks in archives-seems like that vacation thread was deleted..not sure why) here they are again:

    JVR-Backes-Kane
    Pacioretty-Kesler-Parise
    Saad-Pavelski-Kessel
    Callahan-Stastny-Ryan
    extras/short list: Brown, Oshie, Pominville, Stepan

    Suter-Shattenkirk
    Orpik-PM
    Jack Johnson-Mcdonagh
    Yandle-E. Johnson
    Leddy-Big Buff(would be tempted to take big buff as forward)

    Miller
    Quick
    Howard

  31. Vette60 says:

    Well, almost but not quite. As far as the Steelers go, they have no one to blame but themselves for the situation. Too many woulda, coulda, shoulda games early on for them. Yes, it is nice that they showed the resolve to get back into it and finish up 8-8, but really, is that acceptable? No, not to me. Call me spoiled, but I do expect more out of my team than a 8-8 finish two years in a row.

    As far as the offense, I liked how they were playing to end the season and think things look pretty good there with Brown and Bell moving forward. Think this is the first time in forever that Ben made it through an entire year upright, so that’s a big positive too.

    Defense needs some help and think father time has finally caught up to a number of key guys. Should be an interesting off season for sure.

    On one last football note, the Browns are pathetic. Canning Rod C after 1 year? Geez.

    Listened to the Pens game last night. Sounded like a pretty sloppy game early on from the Pens as far as play in their own end. Nice that Neal game through with the HT and Sid played an inspired 3rd period to get the W. What an amazing player he is – don’t think he is ever taking a night, yet a shift off.

    Take care all and have a great day!

    Randy in RVA.

  32. Believing with you for good results.

  33. TJ says:

    First off let me say that the Steelers made their own bed and should not have had to rely on the Chiefs to make the playoffs. That being said I want to again call out the word used when it was leaked that the Steelers may lose a draft pick for Tomlins sideline dance. It was stated that the league wanted to protect the “INTEGRITY” of the game. I find it a tough pill to swallow but understand that the league needs to make it clear that no one can interfere while play is in progress.

    What really burns me about that term “protect the integrity” is that little seems to be done with those that are on the field that are supposed to “protect the integrity” of the game. I’m just going to rattle off some of the most notable instances this year and sure it can be argued all day that the one play did not effect or should not effect the outcome but it can also be argued that it does. Either way there were some major mistakes and some not so major but still notable mistakes this season

    1. Carolina vs New England — end of game and no pass interference called in the end zone; we all know that if it was any other time during the game the flag is thrown — effect is that Carolina gets the win and end up #2 seed in NFC
    2. New England vs Cleveland — end of game and phantom pass interference is called against the Browns in the end zone. Patriots score to win the game — effect is that the Patriots get the win and end up #2 seed in AFC
    3. Cincinnati vs Indianpolis — 4th and 1 from the 1 with Bengals up 7-0 late in second quarter. Ruled down by contact on the field and then overturned by replay on a horrible call by Jeff Tripplett giving the Bengals a 14-0 lead in a game they won 42-28. Play likely did not effect outcome but you can never be so certain. Had the Colts won that game the Bengals would have been the 4 seed and played the Chiefs while the Colts would have played the Chargers.
    4. KC vs San Diego — end of game FG attempt was no good; officials missed an illegal formation by the Chargers which would have given KC another attempt to end the game in regulation — effect was that SD wins in OT to gain playoff spot eliminating the Steelers.
    5. Steelers vs Packers — NFL admits the clock at the end of the game was started prematurely costing them possibly one additional play — effect was that had the Packers won that game they would have locked up the division and could have rested starters yesterday.

    And I don’t even want to begin to look at the plays that were called or not called during Steelers games. And I know what the response is going to be; Every team deals with bad calls — BUT IF THE GOAL OF THE LEAGUE IS TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME WHY IS ACCEPTABLE TO HAVE TO DEAL WITH BAD CALLS ON A CONSISTENT BASIS????

    Roger Goodell and his pals in NY are probably happy as can be today with the suspense that played out yesterday in the leagues final week. This was exactly what he wanted when he had the schedule altered so that divisional games were played later in the season. But to another point; how is it protecting the INTEGRITY of the league when you allow ONE team (Chiefs) essentially dictate the playoff picture in the final week by sitting 20 of 22 starters(unfortunately they did not sit their kicker)? I know this is a losing statement but hey; the goal is INTEGRITY right?

    There is no reason fans and teams should be told that bad calls happen every game and that every team has them called for them and against them; that’s not acceptable to me in a billion dollar industry. But what makes it even more unacceptable is perceived lack of interest in doing anything to improve the standards. The reason I think NFL officials make so much money per game is so that when they are fined for a bad call it appears to be a substantial amount to the average fan (sarcasm); and I’m well aware that we have no idea what the NFL does to officials when a bad call is caught other than the “downgrade” which sounds like a demerit from my school days. There is no reason officiating and bad calls should be at front and center week after week after week.

    I don’t care that the Steelers missed the playoffs; I don’t care how they missed the playoffs… The bottom line is the NFL talks the talk but fails to walk the walk. IT TAKES MORE THAN TAKING A PICK AWAY FROM THE STEELERS TO SHOW YOU WANT TO PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME.

  34. Dom says:

    Now that the Steelers season is long gone, there should only be one thing on our minds: The NFL draft.

    My way too early to predict first round selection would be Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB. Ifo is a Junior and hasn’t yet announced that he will be entering the draft. Other possible options are…

    Mike Evans, WR
    Eric Ebron, TE
    Taylor Lewan, OT
    Louis Nix, NT
    Cyrus Kouandjio, OT
    Justin Gilbert, CB

    Theres a good chance that most of those gentlemen will not be around by the time we pick but most likely at least one of them will be.

  35. Milo Hamilton says:

    The Steelers lost 4 games each of the last 2 years in which they scored at least 23 points (8 total). The same number they lost from 2004-2011. The defense is broken.

  36. You win the “write your own column” for the week, TJ and it’s not even Tuesday.

    You beat Bowser’s column yesterday.

    Your prize is in the mail.

    It’s and official Drew/Thunder bobblehead.

  37. TJ says:

    I’ve always wanted an email bobblehead

  38. Jim S. says:

    I love Ike, and he does have some very good attributes for Safety. But, his stone hands and inability to make plays on balls in the air gives cause for concern, I think.

  39. theplanisworking says:

    Its a bit more than 150/100/50 words.
    Not to rain on the bobblehead parade.

  40. Vinny Giardina says:

    Hope everything goes well.

  41. TJ says:

    I can always rework; I want that bobblehead

  42. theplanisworking says:

    :D

  43. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s been more than clear the last half of the season, at least. What’s kind of surprising is you have to think NOT losing Foote and Pouncey in the first game might have made a difference, at least in getting into the playoffs, despite the problems on defense.

  44. Vinny Giardina says:

    Let’s not forget that they cost the Cowboys a delay of game penalty last night when the play clock was set to 25 seconds instead of 40, and nobody in the officiating crew noticed it.

  45. Arriba Wilver says:

    That’s the Tuesday contest. The “Write Your Own Column” contest? The more words the better your chances.

  46. Steve says:

    I think we could all live with bad calls aka “human error” prior to use of instant replay. If a receiver was called in bounds and a replay showed his toe just touching the OB line it was something we just had to deal with as fans. Since replay though, it becomes awfully tough to justify some of these calls as “human error.” Ryan Clark was clearly down when he stupidly attempted to lateral the ball after the Steelers blocked the Green Bay field goal last week. Not reviewable. I thought the San Diego ball carrier fumbled on the fake punt yesterday – no replay because forward progress was allegedly stopped. It’s situations like these or not calling SD for an illegal formation that make me question the “integrity” of the game.

    Why would anyone gamble on the NFL when these kinds of things can happen?

  47. Steve says:

    “There’s a fine line between winning and losing in this league” Bill Cowher

  48. Jim S. says:

    That was some easy schedule this year. Thinking back, the only good teams that come to mind were New England and the road game vs. Cincinnati. Did I miss any others? I honestly can’t remember an easier schedule for the Steelers in a long time. The home schedule was pretty much 8 gimmes.

    I agree and have been saying for a month that I am glad they didn’t quit – although, to me, that is really searching for positives. They got paid for all 16 games, and, presumably, they all want paid again next season. So, not quitting is kind of the price of entry for this league. I can only give so much credit there.

    This year’s draft? Bell was a slam dunk successful pick. Jones did not show much, and I don’t see how we can predict much there. Everyone else gets an incomplete.

    Several older, rich guys will be cleaning out their lockers. We’ll see if the Coach can make something of what figures to be a much younger squad next year.

    Also, in my area they only switched to the KC game on the very last possession of OT. I got to see the feeble last play by Daniel. I know Ryan Screw-up missed the game winning FG in regulation, but I didn’t know about any fumble return or blown calls by the refs. Can someone explain what happened? I’d like to become even more aggravated.

  49. TJ says:

    Lost in all the talk yesterday was the gutsy call by the Chargers to fake that punt. Got to give some credit to them for taking that risk; was totally shocked by that. Would not want to be that coach if they did not get that first down.

  50. Jim S. says:

    To your point, they struggled often in stopping the run and they just don’t collapse the pocket or pressure the opposing QB very much. Also, not one “ball hawk” in the secondary.

  51. No, DK limits the words. It’s down to about 15 now, I think.

  52. theplanisworking says:

    Regarding this year’s draft………..
    How is that landry Jones pick working for you?

    Teams that make the playoffs cant afford picks like that.
    Colbert/Tomlin have made too many picks like that.

    This offseason, that has to change. This reminds me of the mid to late 80′s……… a bunch of mediocre Steeler teams just muddling along. I dont want to see a repeat of that.

  53. TJ says:

    Jim the Chiefs had stopped the Chargers on 3rd down bringing up a 4th and 1 from their own 30 yard line. Chargers lined up for a punt only to have a direct snap to the up back who plowed into the line. It initially appeared as though he was going to be stopped but the pile continued to move and eventually passed the first down marker. What came into question was that as the pile continued to move a Chiefs player reached in and took the ball away from Weddle and ran around the pile and on in to the end zone. Apparently the play had been blown dead and there was no TD and the Chargers given a first down as they claimed progress had been stopped.

    The frustrating part to me was the line judge that came in from the far side and was near the pile when the Chiefs player emerged with the ball and began to run to the end zone actually backed away from the pile and out of the way of the Chiefs player. He was not reaching for his whistle nor was he waving his arms to indicate the play was dead. So not only did the Chiefs continue to play as they believed the play was still live this official that was close to the pile also continued to act as though the play had not been blown dead.

    Question is; who blew it dead and when?

  54. TJ says:

    Maybe Goodell will take that pick away from us…

  55. theplanisworking says:

    If it gets switched to Cyrillic, he might expand it.

  56. Wild Bill says:

    Lots of fun reading Peter King’s column in SI today in which he makes a big deal of the refs missing the illegal defensive formation by San Diego on the missed field goal yesterday that should have been re-kicked from five yards closer after a penalty to the Chargers. He even includes a shot of the formation with two officials standing right there.

    I know we’ve already hashed this through a lot about the Steelers not deserving to make it into the playoffs with all they failed to do. But I think that King makes a point that officials mistakes should not be determining who gets in, either. Did San Diego deserve to be in more than the Steelers did? If all we care about is that they won, then yes.

  57. Dom says:

    It was especially gutsy since they were on their own 25.

    That runner shouldnt have been ruled down, though. I saw he was still ontop of his own man. His knees never touched the ground.

  58. JoeyBats says:

    I’m NOT comfy with the corners they have now.

    * Thank you for your service Ike. Skills have deteriorated significantly the last 2 years. His $$$ for next year are prohibitive for the contribution he brings.
    * “Big play” Willie Gay is a journeyman CB….& IMO is a # 3 corner at best.
    * I like the potential of Kortez A….but he seems nick and injury prone. Hope that he can stay on the field for 16 games.
    They need to invest a # 1 or # 2 draft pick here….or a F.A. signing here (and the Steelers don’t step up very often with a high profile dude very often in this area)

    Plus SAFETY is going to need a “re-make” next year too. Good bye to Ryan Clark, for sure.

  59. Jim S. says:

    Maybe my biggest pet peeve in the league is how some QBs are treated by the refs. A case in point was in the Bears-Packers game yesterday. Rodgers was flushed out of the pocket, and caught in a situation where players were closing in on him from all sides. So, at the last instant, he decided to fall down. He did this just as 2 Bears were about to hit him. One guy hit him as he fell, and the other guy got there a fraction of a second late. But, it was not a malicious hit, and there was no way the guy could have pulled up. It was the kind of hit that occurs on almost every open field tackle. Of course, the refs threw a flag and it prolonged the Packers drive and led to points.

    I contend that if your name is Rodgers, Brees, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady, you get that call 100% of the time. There are probably a few other QBs you can throw into the protected species category as well. The refs act as though their job is on the line every time a player makes contact with one of them. Pretty much any other QB is fair game. We’ve seen Ben get literally punched in the face on a tackle, causing blood to gush from his nose, and the refs tell him to stop whining during a game.

  60. TJ says:

    So it was a fumble…

  61. SeanAY says:

    Now that I’ve had time to ruminate, I’m more or less in concurrence with most people; I’m really glad they didn’t quit, but at the same time the only team the Steelers can blame for their misfortune is the Steelers. Beat Oakland and Minnesota and we’re previewing a playoff game this week.

    That they didn’t quit, in my opinion, is a credit to Tomlin. I know this is a rehash of Dejan’s column from a while ago, but when you’re 0-4 and later 2-6, it would have been real easy for some to become deflated. Instead, they were fired up and finished strong. If we’re going to criticize him for not having them ready to start the season – which is a legitimate criticism – then we must also credit him for keeping the team invested throughout the year.

    Give him credit for not quitting, either. He had to know that his job was secure unless the team completely melted down to the tune of 2-14. I’m sure there was temptation to see what they had with the young guys and bench the veterans, as many were calling for around Week 4. In a way, the only guy they excommunicated was Woodley, and all they got was the best stretch of football that Jason Worilds has ever played.

    You’ve got a healthy Roethlisberger next year. You might – MIGHT – have your offensive line problems solved (I say move Pouncey to guard, keep Velasco at center), though a stud LT would be difficult to pass on in the draft. Bell is going to be a star. Antonio Brown already is. Heath Miller is the best there is at what he does.

    Defensively, there is concern on the back end. A ball hawk in the draft is a necessity, regardless of whether they’re a safety or a corner. Wave good-bye to Woodley regardless of the dead weight on the cap; it could be addition by subtraction. Do your best to replace Keisel. I’m not sure on Worilds, but I’m still confident that Jones will be a stud; we all thought Timmons was a bust after his first year or two, and he ended up being the man.

    The pieces are there.

  62. JoeyBats says:

    Don’t forget about Jace Amaro, Texas Tech, stud TE…. 6-6, 255…another one that may not be around at 15…but you never know.

  63. TJ says:

    Didn’t Andy Reid determine who got into the playoffs? He sat 20 of 22 starters. Yes the Steelers should not have been in that position but for the sake of argument it could have been any other team. The officials didn’t determine who got in; the Chiefs did before the game even started. INTEGRITY of the game!

  64. Jim S. says:

    True, plan. Landry Jones might still be patiently waiting by the phone if not for the Steelers.

  65. Jim S. says:

    Thanks for the info, TJ. All I knew was that SD successfully made it on 4th down there.

  66. Wild Bill says:

    Very probably, TJ. By the way, enjoyed what you shared above.

  67. Arriba Wilver says:

    Then Eric’s out before he starts. ;-)

  68. Jim S. says:

    I heard Cowher before the game say “He earned the right to do that.” Cowher, himself, had been known to sit guys in similar situations. But, I don’t recall him ever sitting the entire team. And, what does “He earned the right to do that” mean? That was awkward. Made it sound like your goal as a coach is to be able to treat a regular season game like an exhibition. Of course, Bill is not exactly known for his deft use of the language. Shannon tried to counter Cowher’s argument. That didn’t help matters.

    So, KC and their coach enter the playoffs on a 2-5 roll. But, at least he won’t be criticized for a starter getting injured in a meaningless game, which is really what all this is about.

    Bottom line, as has already been said a million times, you can’t count on another team there.

  69. Jim S. says:

    We opted against Tyler Eifert (sp?) when we took Jones this year, right? I hope we don’t pass again next year.

  70. TJ says:

    Jim I totally agree with what you are saying. Reid earned that right and if the Steelers were in the same position we would have expected the same. I am taking it from the perspective being used by the NFL in their stance on a potential draft pick penalty to protect the integrity of the game. If that is the goal of the league you should not have one team determining the playoff teams by sitting 20 of 22 starters.

    But as a fan I had no problem; it’s that whole integrity comment that irks me.

  71. 21sthebest says:

    I thought that was a stupid call and they got lucky that it worked out.

  72. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t see an integrity issue here. Reid had an opportunity to protect his starters from injury in the last game before the playoffs which I think is more important than playing starters in a game that means nothing to you in the standings.

  73. 21sthebest says:

    I’m still bummed and stymied about that.

  74. CWalton_67 says:

    The Steelers got exactly what they deserved. Mediocre players, mediocre head coach, mediocre record.

    Lacking an adequate replacement for Duper at the moment, would anyone else like to see Chris Connor at least get a shot on Sid’s right wing?

  75. 21sthebest says:

    Shanahan fired.

  76. TJ says:

    After the way Neal played last night….

  77. Rob says:

    When it is all said and done I am encouraged by the Steelers play towards the end of the season and their chances going into next season, especially looking at the teams they have to play next year (a VERY favorable schedule for the Steelers). I believe they are trending upward. I thought the offense looked really good (Dear Coach Haley, I’m sorry for all those things I said about you), the offensive line was not a detriment to the team (good job Coach Bicknell, please sign this man to an extension), and we have some solid play makers on offense for years to come. I think the biggest question mark will be what the defense will look like next year. They have to find a way to get consistent pressure on the qb and a quality corner. They really need a solid draft on the defensive side of the ball.

  78. TJ says:

    NFL admits officials missed penalty on KC FG attempt. Nice little article on ESPN

  79. Jim S. says:

    I think maybe it has become the “herd mentality.” If I divert from what all the other coaches say they would do, and one of my guys gets injured then I’m going to hear about it forever.

    Maybe, instead, he should be thinking about what taking a week off might mean right before playing the team that just came into our house and kicked our butts 2 weeks ago. In other words, I wany my guys as sharp as possible for that game.

    I just think this is all about coaching scared. I’m not saying play guys that are nicked up. But, these guys are in the routine of playing every week. I think sitting out healty players the entire game to avoid injuries might not be a good strategy. But, maybe I’ll be wrong and KC will go into Indy and win. I would not bet on it, though.

  80. Jim S. says:

    I also think that TJ brings up a good point for consideration. Let’s face it, this “sitting out” mentality has grown and grown over the years in MLB, NFL, NBA. It just gets more and more pervasive. I only see it getting worse from here. Maybe NFL teams will start sitting guys out for the last 2 games if they have the #1 seed locked up. But, I guess “they’ve earned that right” as Coach Cowher says.

  81. Dom says:

    I disagree with that decision. Also, disagree with the decision to get rid of the Browns coach too.

    Every team is going to have their highs and lows. Firing the head coach isn’t going to solve all their problems.

  82. Rob says:

    I am beginning to think conspiracy theory and that CEO Joe Banner was put in place by the Steelers to keep the Browns perpetually bad.

  83. Jim S. says:

    Neal has been spectacular on Sid’s wing.

    It would be nice if Geno could get back soon. Same with Letang. It would be nice if they could actually stay healthy when they get back, but what are the chances? The Pens might be the most gifted team in the league. But, some of their most gifted players also seem to be very brittle.

    To me, that is an ongoing issue with this team every season. Doesn’t seem like every other team is constantly facing nagging injuries to key performers.

  84. Daquido_Bazzini says:

    It’s more than amazing to me (though not surprising) that when it was all said and done, the Steelers were “ref balled” out of the playoffs due to an officiating crew that couldn’t count to seven (7).
    Let me be “crystal clear” that I am dealing with this because this team made its losing bed early and often this year, but it still doesn’t justify the crime.
    As the NFL continues to “ponder” the draft pick punishment for Mike Tomlin putting a foot forward on the greener part of the sideline, perhaps they should consider who is really at fault here.
    I’d start with clearing out a decent percentage of these incompetent, lowly trained (with high ego) referee’s….And dumping the idea that they are going to paddle the rear ends of an innocent front office AND paying fans.
    It’s actions like these that make me fond of the season coming to a close…..

  85. Dom says:

    I know it would be nice to be in the playoffs but we wouldn’t have won the Superbowl. Nor would we have made it past either the Pats or Denver. I say, let’s let it go.

  86. 21sthebest says:

    Protecting players from injuries would be real important to me if I were a coach. If I’m the No. 1 seed with 2 weeks to go, the starters sit or maybe play a half in the 15th game. Maybe. I don’t know that sitting guys means that they lose their sharpness. It’s not coaching scared to me. It’s obviously a dangerous game.

  87. Jim S. says:

    “There’s a fine line between gutsy and stupid.”

    - Jim S. in his best Bill Cowher voice

  88. Milo Hamilton says:

    Next year’s schedule:

    HOME: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Houston, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Tampa Bay.

    AWAY: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Jacksonville, Tennessee, NY Jets, Atlanta, Carolina.

  89. TJ says:

    I see your point 21 and as a fan agree. But your allowing one team to essentially dictate the playoffs. If you want things on the level that should not be allowed. IMO every game matters… I know the NBA is a different animal but San Antonio got a huge fine for sitting regulars for a game early in the season. I just do not believe based on what the NFL has said they want to have happen that you should be able to sit 20 starters in a game that dictates playoffs.

  90. 21sthebest says:

    I don’t know how Chudzinski was viewed by his players and the front office, if he had control of the team, was a good leader, etc.

  91. TJ says:

    I agree Dom. Unfortunately the FDA has not come up with a “morning after” pill for NFL officials mistakes

  92. Jim S. says:

    True. Find a way to beat an undefeated at home Cincy team (not impossible, of course), then go to Denver and not face a Tim Tebow-led Broncos team. Then, probably play in Foxboro.

    Have at it, San Diego.

  93. Jim S. says:

    I think they have been doing a pretty good of that all on their own, Rob. But, I’m thinking you said that wth your tongue firmly planted in your cheek.

  94. Jim S. says:

    With the swiftness of this decision, I have to think maybe Cleveland has a specific replacement in mind and wants to get to him right away.

  95. 21sthebest says:

    In that case TJ, do you want some kind of rules that dictates how much a coach plays their starters? I have no problem with a team looking out for itself as they approach the playoffs. I’d want the Steelers to do the same thing.

    “San Antonio got a huge fine for sitting regulars for a game early in the season.”

    They didn’t get fined for sitting players. They got fined for sending them home and not reporting it to the Heat, the media or league in accordance with league rules.

  96. TJ says:

    Didn’t they mention during the game yesterday that Chudzinski was proud of the way his staff was able to change the culture in the locker room?

    How he gets fired after the Gm trades away their #1 RB and replaces him with a cast off that gets hurt and deals with multiple QB changes… 4 wins is almost a miracle given what that team went through.

  97. TJ says:

    Reports are Josh McDaniels…. Guess they haven’t learned about the history of Patriots coordinators success as NFL head coaches.

    I would not be surprised if they want O’Brien. Only reason I see that decision coming so fast with them knowing Houston already interviewed him. Then again McDaniels would need to interview this week or it could be a month based on the interview rules

  98. TJ says:

    Like I said 21 I totally agree and would want the steelers to do the same. My point is from the side of this NFL integrity crap.

  99. Jim S. says:

    I hear you, 21. But, at what point do you insist they respect the fans that fund the league? They already blow off pre-season, while continuing to take advantage of the ticket-buying public. A few teams blow off the final game of the year every season due to playoff implications. As I said, it could conceivably seep into Game 15. There are only 16 games. Each one is more than 6% of the season. If it is just left up to coaches, this is what you get. But, I admit that I don’t know how we could legislate the problem away. Guys like Belichick already lie on their injury report every week. Most teams probably do that to some degree.

    I see it as a problem that is getting worse at a time when attendance is starting to be at risk in some cities. The economy stinks for a lot of people. I think the league needs to try to address it.

  100. Wild Bill says:

    A second place schedule, and clearly tougher than this year’s. The team had better improve, or next year we don’t make .500.

  101. CWalton_67 says:

    Interesting point about the injuries, Jim.

    Neal has been incredible with Sid, as you would expect, but I can’t see Neal staying there once Geno is healthy. I’d really like to see Connor get a good look there. He’s likely not the long term answer, but seems to have the speed, grit, and skills to be able to keep up.

  102. theplanisworking says:

    Regarding the topic above regarding coaches sitting players ……….

    Indy always sat players the final game or two, most times it blowing up in their faces. All those talented teams, only won one SB. Teams that dont sit their starters, they do better in the playoffs because they are focused, not rusty.

    That all being said, I hope both KC and SD get demolished this weekend.
    And 90% of the refs get fired, and better ones brought in, if possible.
    A commissioner with a clue wouldnt hurt either.

  103. Jim S. says:

    The road schedule looks manageable, other than Carolina. Some very tough home games.

  104. Jim S. says:

    Does anyone think instant replay in this sport has made things better? Every time I start to think it has, it seems some glaring mistake either gets missed or can’t be reviewed.

  105. Jim S. says:

    I was thinking about the O’Brien angle as well. Maybe Charlie Weiss is due for another shot? Haha! They’ve already been there/done that with Romeo Cronnell.

  106. Thundercrack says:

    I had read somewhere yesterday that O’Brien’s interview with the Browns last year did not go well

  107. Rob says:

    Indeed my tongue was very much in cheek.

  108. Jim S. says:

    The thing I have noticed with all of these NE coordinators … none of them has successfully been able to take Tom Brady with them to their next job.

  109. Thundercrack says:

    Good one Rob! Yes. The Rooney’s got GODell to adopt the Rooney Rule and have Cleveland hire Banner…and have the Browns sold to a guy who owned part of the Steelers and had is other business investigate by the government.

    :-)

  110. Jim S. says:

    You never stay stymied for long, though! :-)

  111. Thundercrack says:

    Jim S,
    I don’t know how you protect the buying public. Imagine if you are a Chiefs fan who paid all that money for playoff tickets – - only to have your starting QB, star RB, and best D Lineman get hurt in game #16….that didn’t mean anything.

  112. Karen22 says:

    Ooooh…get squished day! Kinda like what happened to the Steelers yesterday.
    Squished out of the playoffs by crappy officiating and a choking kicker (not to mention an 0-4 start).

    Enjoy your day!

    :)

  113. Milo Hamilton says:

    Go Navy. Beat Middle Tennessee State. Just doesn’t have the same ring to it, does it ?

  114. Jim S. says:

    Good point, CW. I see Neal going right back with Geno when he gets back.

    It does frustrate me that Geno gets injured so often, and that he seems to take forever to recover. I guess some bodies are just built to sustain punishment and recover from injuries faster than others.

  115. Joni says:

    Absolutely Scapper, especially the appointment TV comment.

    Breaking up the two on one chance that Columbus had was lovely to behold. I continue to be amazed that Sid never looks winded. That must be one heck of a training regimen. I can’t remember where I heard (possibly Bob Errey) that Sid is able to train in a way that immediately translates to what he can do on the ice. I guess it’s all part of the unfolding legend!

  116. Dom says:

    Tampa Bay fired their head coach and GM.

  117. Jim S. says:

    :-).

    Great avatar, btw.

  118. Dom says:

    Vikings fire their GM too.

  119. Milo Hamilton says:

    Penn State Head Coach Greg Schiano. Keep saying it over & over. Eventually it will just roll off the tongue.

  120. Jim S. says:

    So, the guy from Rutgers got 2 seasons to restore them to their former glory? I see Schiano going back to college pronto.

    Wait … Schiano was still coaching T Bay, wasn’t he?

  121. Karen22 says:

    You can never know that, Dom…whole, new season, and would have gone into it playing VERY well in the 2nd half. But we’ll never know…

  122. Jim S. says:

    Good call, Milo. That one was rumored before. Perfect timing. Maybe Wanny can be his DC.

  123. Naterosboro says:

    Final Steelers thoughts, some Pens thoughts, and maybe a word for the Buccos…

    * The thing that makes yesterday frustrating is that they were playing well (scoring wise & getting a turnover or 2 on D) at the right time. Had they gotten in at 8-8 as the 6 seed and had to go to Cincy, I wouldn’t bet my house on Andy Dalton winning that game…would you?

    * This team has legit blocks that make the future not seem as bleak as it was earlier in the season.

    * I was calling for the O-Coordinator’s head a few weeks back. I’m still not Haley’s biggest fan, but the offense did show signs that it could score TDs consistently. Ben did have a pretty good season as well, and managed to be injury free (for the most part…obviously football players are going to get bumps & bruises). I guess he [Haley] gets another chance.

    * I guess what this all boils down to is….which Steelers were the 2013 Steelers? The 2-6 (started 0-4) 1st half team, or the 6-2 2nd half team? Or maybe somewhere in the middle? Maybe that’s why they ended 8-8…

    * Says a lot about the state of the NFL, when a team can be 5-8 and not mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

    * Pens have bounced back with 2 Ws after the shellacking at the hands of the Senators. It’ll be interesting to see how they cope with the loss of Dupuis. He’s probably their best forward penalty killer so it’ll be interesting to see how that unit does as well.

    * Might have to trade 1 of those defenseman for a winger now for the rest of the season. I’m not sure someone from WBS can replace what Dupuis did for this team.

    * Pirates.

    HAVE A GOOD DAY ALL! HAVE A HAPPY NEW YEAR, AND MAY 2014 TREAT YOU BETTER THAN 2013!

  124. radio wave says:

    I am shocked at how classy Big Ben was with his remarks quoted in the article. Last thing I would’ve expected from him.

    DK: Why? Been that way for a good while now.

  125. Dom says:

    I’d expect Bill O’Brien and Ken Whisenhunt to at least get a series of interviews. Does anyone know who else could be considered?

  126. 21sthebest says:

    “But, at what point do you insist they respect the fans that fund the league? ”

    If you’re sitting starters to protect them from injury when the game you’re sitting them in is meaningful from a playoff standpoint for your team. Otherwise, if it means nothing to you as to having home field advantage in the playoffs, I have no problem with it.

    “They already blow off pre-season, while continuing to take advantage of the ticket-buying public.”

    The ticket buying public has the option of not buying tickets. If there were no preseason games at all btw, do you think the regular season ticket price wouldn’t go up?

    “I think the league needs to try to address it.”

    The law of supply and demand has a way of addressing these things.

  127. 21sthebest says:

    That’s one of the reasons why I think it’s sometimes flawed to hire a hot coordinator just because he’s a hot coordinator.

  128. 21sthebest says:

    I think on field officiating has gotten worse since instant replay became part of the game. Officials look to each other to make calls now, seem hesitant, and I think it’s because they know replay exists. Before replay, it just seems like they were more decisive.

  129. Jim S. says:

    But, at least those injuries would have happened playing in a game, TC. It is a rough sport, afterall.

    I’d be more upset going to a game and not seeing guys play when I know they are healthy.

    I’d have been bummed the other night if I bought tickets to see LeBron play, and instead I got treated to seeing him jumping around on the bench and sidelines wearing the NBA-mandated big, thick glasses. He looked pretty healthy to me.

  130. Dom says:

    I meant to be considered for a head coaching position. The Lions fired their head coach too. It’s a good time to be a coordinator in the NFL.

  131. Joni says:

    I hear you about all of the injuries Jim, especially in the NHL.

    I think part of it is that the elite players are targeted more so than everyone else. I know Sarah and others have pointed out that fellow teammates should stick up for the elite players when the elite players do get physically shaken up/thrown off their game. If there is a consistent atmosphere of sticking up for your teammates (especially Sid/Geno/Letang/James Neal) there may not be so many injuries to them.

    But that doesn’t explain why the players are so brittle. Is there some sort of connection with sports drinks and too much/not enough calcium? Probably, but I am too lazy to look it up…

    I wonder if Bylsma gives specific directions as to when it is okay, if ever, to retaliate when Geno and especially Sid are interfered with. But then again, I wonder a lot of things about Dan Bylsma!

  132. Jim S. says:

    I think maybe the biggest reason for this is that we have let it sink into the consciousness that these games don’t mean anything if they don’t have direct and immediate playoff ramifications.

    Brett Favre would have played, I think.

  133. Drew71 says:

    Yes. That’s right.

    He said, “Wait. This is CLEVELAND???”

    Went downhill from there.

  134. Joni says:

    Do you think Paul Martin’s broken tibia will affect his chances? Probably not with Bylsma at the helm…

  135. Drew71 says:

    I agree.

  136. Drew71 says:

    I think that has a GREAT ring to it. Seriously.

    But then again remember who i am. I’d rather watch college spring football than most regular season NFL games. Tho the NFL this week was pretty compelling.

  137. Milo Hamilton says:

    Looks like Tomlin has learned his lesson about discussing his coaching staff at the wrap up press conference. Best to say nothing so you don’t look stupid.

  138. scapper says:

    That’s so true. As hard as he goes, you never see him all bent over or hanging his head in exhaustion. I watch everything he does on every shift and it’s just a total sports joy to watch.

  139. Drew71 says:

    Are you sure? I just read that Spielman was safe. Not that it would be the first such report that could be wrong.

  140. Milo Hamilton says:

    Gotta say I get the feeling something’s up there.

  141. Jim S. says:

    Agree.

  142. Jim S. says:

    Or, just because his head coach, who has had the luxury of a Brady at QB for over a decade, is thought to be a genius.

  143. Jim S. says:

    I’m sue he’s glad at this point, if that was the case.

  144. Jim S. says:

    Cleveland also had the other OC from NE for awhile, didn’t they? He was the guy who had the famous falling out with Belichick when he dared to take the Jets job.

    It might be harder to recite the last 10 HC of the Browns than it would be to start at Washington and name all of the Presidents.

  145. Jim S. says:

    Here’s what we know about NFL coaches. Tomlin and the playoff coaches appear to be safe at this point.

  146. pattonbb says:

    You beat me to it.

  147. Jim S. says:

    I agree about the ticket buying public having the ability to affect some of this stuff, 21. And, I think that is beginning to happen. We’ll see where it goes in a few years.

    I don’t like where things are headed with the mentality that “this game doesn’t matter” mentality. But, I admit, it is a tough one to fix. I guess you could say I’m stymied. :-)

  148. Jim S. says:

    “Might have to trade 1 of those defensemen for a winger.” I suggested that before Duper’s injury, Nate. Seems like more and more of a need now. Thankfully, the defensemen are getting healthy, one by one.

  149. theplanisworking says:

    Didnt Schiano have problems with his attitude toward players?
    I couldnt see Penn State hiring someone like that. Just my opinion, of course.

  150. Joni says:

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s World Juniors USA vs Canada game at 11:30. It is available to stream at NHL.com
    Part of my focus will be on Canada’s Connor McDavis, a.k.a. The next Crosby.

    The USA vs. Canada game will overlap with the Pens game at 1:00. I plan on switching over to the Pens at 1.

  151. theplanisworking says:

    Lost in all the blaming of other teams, and gnashing of teeth in Pittsburgh, was the fact Bruce Arians came thisclose to getting Arizona into the playoffs. Talk about performing miracles.

    Not bad for a coach that was forced into retirement, huh?

    Shoutout to Ron Rivera, who has Carolina into the playoffs. He was another of the interviews for the Steelers coaching vacancy in 2007.

  152. CeeHowUR says:

    While it was crushing to watch the Steelers playoff chance disappear in the KC-SD game, they just didn’t deserve to make it this year. Hopefully they’ll be able to dwell all offseason on the fact that they just needed to win 1 more game out of 8 and they would have been in. Maybe they’ll be more motivated at the beginning of the season. And that includes the coaching staff, should they return.

  153. Wild Bill says:

    I’m not sold on Schiano, and I hope our lame duck A.D. and lame and gutless President don’t rush into anything. Most of all, I hope O’Brien stays.

  154. theplanisworking says:

    Schwartz out in Detroit.
    Wonder how many more will get the axe today?

  155. Drew71 says:

    Just towards his lazy franchise QB. Who they cut and immediately started winning.

    My impression: they played hard for Schiano. Even most of their losses were tough, close games. And they started to win some in the second half.

  156. Jim S. says:

    I don’t know the reasons for the continued rash of injuries to Pens players, Joni. But, it seems to me it has become a consistent pattern for the Pens year after year. Here in Chicago, the Hawks key players don’t all seem to miss as much time.

    Injuries must be more prevalent in the league now than, say, when I was growing up. The game is just more physical, I would say, because players are just as fast or faster, and they are much bigger, stronger men now. I seem to remember a lot of 5’10″, 180 LB players as a kid. Now, there are not as many of them. Even the guys who are 5’10″ are probably stronger now through weight and other training. So, the collisions are more violent and cause greater injuries.

    I don’t know about the nutrition angle. Theoretically, they should know more about that now than in the past. But, maybe that is part of it.

    I just think some guys are built to withstand and recover from punishment better than others. You can’t tell by looking at them, but it is probably true. And, let’s face it, in any physical sport some guys just deal with it and play through it better than others. There are probably not as many Hines Wards in football or hockey as I would like. That guy was built for taking punishment. As great as Geno is, he misses a lot of time with injuries that linger longer than I think they would for some other players.

  157. Wild Bill says:

    Every season, Arians just embarrasses the Steelers once again with the “retirement” crapola.

  158. hockeymonster says:

    Think he’ll be back soon enough.

  159. Milo Hamilton says:

    The more the merrier. Just more of a chance to crush the terrible hires the same lousy organizations make. Like Chud in Cleveland & Cap’n Canada in Chicago.

  160. theplanisworking says:

    Makes you wonder, doesnt it. Some organizations fire coaches, only to hire worse ones. Wash rinse repeat.
    And why would anyone ever coach for some of these franchises is a mystery. Anyone wanting to coach in Cleveland after yesterday is beyond me.

    Jerry Glanville was 101% correct………….
    the NFL stands for Not For Long.

  161. Drew71 says:

    I meant to be considered for a head coaching position, too, Dom.

    But no one will hire me.

    Not even Cleveland.

  162. theplanisworking says:

    Its the poodles.

  163. Jim S. says:

    I had to do it. Without further (Freddie) adieu, the last 30 years of Browns’ coaches:

    1984 – 1988 Pitt Grad, Marty Schottenheimer
    1989 – 1990 Noll disciple, Bud “Once whipped the Steelers 50-0″ Carson
    1990 Jim “Bet you all forgot me” Shofner
    1991 – 1995 Bill Parcells disciple, Bill Belichick
    1996 – 1998 No coach needed, thanks to Art Modell. Browns were undefeated during this time.
    1999 – 2000 Chris Palmer
    2001 – 2004 Butch Davis
    2004 Terry Robiskie
    2005 – 2008 Romeo Crennel. Also known as the continuation of the Belichick years.
    2009 – 2010 Eric “More of the infatuation with all things Belichick” Mangini
    2011 – 2012 Pat “Dont call me Fritz, because that’s my old man” Shurmer
    2013 – Rob Chudzinski
    2014 ???

    It amazes me that Holmgren never grabbed the reins during his ill-fated tenure as President. He stole a lot of money from that franchise.

    Aren’t you glad I didn’t go back to Nick Skorish, Sam Rutigliano and Forrest Gregg?

    Someone else feel free to do this exercise for the Lions, if you dare.

  164. theplanisworking says:

    You are either extremely bored, extremely dedicated, or a glutton for punishment.

    I will let you decide. :)

  165. Jim S. says:

    Don’t despair, Drew. It’s early.

  166. Jim S. says:

    Equal parts of all 3, I think. I’m off today. :-)

  167. theplanisworking says:

    You belong to this blog.

    You are “off” every day! ;)

  168. Dom says:

    Some are noting that Josh McDaniels is going to be one of the leading candidates. My question is…
    Why?

    He didn’t show that he could have been a competition head coach in Denver when he drafted Tim Tebow in the first round when he was projected by some to go in the third.

    Someone should tell these owners that the other option isn’t necessarily the better option.

  169. Dom says:

    There’s not much job stability there anyhow.

  170. Jim S. says:

    $$$, I guess.

  171. Joni says:

    I agree with you completely Jim, especially that some folks bounce back quicker than others when injured. It’s a weird phenomenon, but there you have it.

    I am watching this year’s HBO 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic Red Wings/Maple Leafs. The Red Wings seem to be in a comparable predicament with their number of injuries. Coach Mike Babcock briefly explained how his coaching changed (number of mandatory practices) due the increased number of AHL players on the team. Interesting… at least to me!

    As an aside, I think that the coaches are a fantastic blend of scary and hilarious on this season of 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic.
    My favorite quote so far comes from Coach Babcock – “let’s play with some f&@$ing poise”. I couldn’t have said it better myself :)

  172. 21sthebest says:

    Money and/or ambition. I would think it’s a great challenge to go somewhere like Cleveland and try to turn things around. Who doesn’t like a good challenge? Just like turning around the Pirates.

  173. Joni says:

    Thank goodness. Here’s to mild mannered gingers who play solid defense :)

  174. Milo Hamilton says:

    The return of Coachboy. Can’t wait to make fun of that one.

  175. JohninOshkosh says:

    I thought the Bears would be looking for a new coach by now.

  176. Dom says:

    Bring back Ditka. He’s got to be better than McDaniels.

  177. Milo Hamilton says:

    You don’t like Cap’n Canada ? :)

  178. Milo Hamilton says:

    I saw Bud Grant yesterday at the Vikings game. He looks pretty spry for 86.

  179. JohninOshkosh says:

    No. He can go back to being a lawyer. To use your phrase: Bears were choking dogs these last two weeks.

  180. 21sthebest says:

    Can Ditka stay awake?

  181. Dom says:

    That doesnt warrant a parade in my opinion.

  182. Steelkings says:

    They said “down by contact” and not stopped forward progress . Stopped forward progress and down by contact are two different things. Reid said he couldn’t challenge the play because coaches don’t have challenges in OT. We speculated that the booth officials didn’t review it because they thought it was an unreviewable SFP when in fact it was reviewable from a down by contact play.

  183. Dom says:

    He sure can.

  184. Milo Hamilton says:

    Yeah, that ought to just about take care of it.

  185. Joni says:

    That kinda sounds snarky on my end. I definitely meant it as a compliment!

  186. theplanisworking says:

    Sarcasm, Dom. :)

  187. likeabugonarug says:

    KC’s backup QB runs out of the pocket and heads up field. Goes into a slide, gets popped in or near the head, and nothing is called. I agree that the rules do seem to get applied differently depending on the player.

    Kevin

  188. Dom says:

    Tony Gonzalez has officially retired.

    He played for 17 seasons and made the Pro Bowl in 13 of them.

    He never won the Super Bowl though.

    DK: Wonderful player. Hall of Famer. At same time, Atlanta never should have agreed to bring him back under those weird conditions. When you’ve got one foot out the door, might as well have both.

  189. likeabugonarug says:

    Or it was ruled that forward progress was stopped. If you noticed, where he ended up was 2 yards or so beyond where they marked the ball. So maybe they ruled he was down before then.

    Kevin

  190. Jim S. says:

    Traded the guy we got with Jaff Decker/Jeff Dacker/Jeff Decker/Jaff Dacker for him.

    Anybody know anything about Jordan Lennerton, 1B now hopelessly blocked in the Tigers organization?

  191. pattonbb says:

    I think they’re looking for a defense, first.

    And somebody to take Julius Peppers’ contract off of their hands.

  192. JohninOshkosh says:

    Just read his book. Old school, through and through.

  193. Jim S. says:

    Their offense is pretty darn good, which is Cap’n Canada’s supposed forte (with apologies to Matt!). I’d say they need to beef up the defense. School’s still out on the HC around here. Some think it was a disastrous hire, and some say he needs more time. Lovie’s defenses always played better than this mess in ’13. I’ll say that. But, the offenses were rarely as good as this year, either. In some ways, they are a lot like the Steelers as we sit today.

  194. likeabugonarug says:

    Two things no one is mentioning. First, knowing the KC starters had nothing to play for, it’s possible all they would’ve done is tried to keep the clock moving and played very vanilla. These backups played hard because they did actually have something to play for and then almost completed the miracle we needed. Their starters could’ve been blown out in the first half.

    Second, even if the penalty had been called, there’s no guarantee Succop makes the rekick. Everyone is assuming he does, but considering he’d already missed one who knows what happens on the next kick.

    We’ll just never know……

    Kevin
    Kevin

  195. hockeymonster says:

    Ha. Ya if he regains and maintains the form he had 10-15 games before getting hurt he’ll be solid for disco.

  196. Jim S. says:

    McGuinness, btw, appears to hit LHP better than RHP – at least, of late. He and Lambo should get along fine in that regard, since Andrew has been afflicted with that same condition this winter.

  197. Baywatch says:

    Hey, Milo! I got a good FEELING about it! Of course, I thought we were going to be the vehicle to revive JEFF CLEMENT’S career! I’d say it looks worth the gamble. We gave up a pitcher we don’t know much about :-) … for a guy who hit 23 bombs in AA, and it didn’t carry over last year.

  198. Steelkings says:

    From Matt Shelton of “The City of Champions”

    “I would doubt that Pirates’ general manager Neal Huntington made the move thinking McGuiness will make the Opening Day roster and platoon with Gaby Sanchez this season. This was more likely a move to add depth to a position that has little throughout the farm system.”

  199. Steelkings says:

    I suggested Jordan Lennerton 2 months ago.

  200. Jim S. says:

    Thanks. We can only hope, Steel.

  201. Steelkings says:

    I think its just another announcement in Tony Gonzalez’s attempt to break Brett Farves career retirement record.

  202. Jim S. says:

    Yeah, I’ve heard the name quite a bit all winter. What do you know about him, Steel?

  203. Jim S. says:

    I hear he prefers “Coachyoungadult” now.

  204. theplanisworking says:

    Maybe he is The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh, Part 2. ;)

  205. Jim S. says:

    I’m secretly hoping a brief discussion of Jordan Lennert might lead to a longer, more drawn out discussion of the Tigers bullpen. :-)

  206. Jim S. says:

    I think Babcock is a very good coach, Joni. The Red Wings are, right now, like the Steelers of the early 80′s. It is tough to transition from a dynasty to something less.

  207. Steelkings says:

    Back to Football

    The problem I have with the NFL is that it seems that certain teams are destined to succeed and some are destined to be perennial losers. We will play an out of divison 2nd place schedule in 14. Why dont they realign the divisions every year. I mean here”s a question:

    Looking at 3 teams;
    Indy Colts
    Green Bay Packers
    New England Patriots

    Are those 3 teams solid and in the playoffs every year because they have the BMTIF as well as the BCSIF (Best Coaching staff)
    Or is it because:

    Indy Colts — Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston
    Green Bay Packers — Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit
    New England Patriots– NY Jets, Buffalo, Miami

    They play in divisions that are dominated by perennial losers.

  208. Jim S. says:

    Sure seems that way.

    I live near Chicago, and I am no fan of the Bears or Cutler. But, I have to say, if there is a QB who you can do almost as much to as you can to Ben w/o fear of penalty it has to be Cutler.

  209. Steelkings says:

    I mean:
    Colts got 6 division wins. The Pats were 4-2 and the Packers were 4 – 2.

    Although the Steelers were 4-2 in the division and still managed to lose to nearly everyone else

  210. Steelkings says:

    Career minor leaguer. 27 year old version of Garrett Jones

  211. Dom says:

    The Pats deserve to be in the playoffs. So do the colts in my mind.

    However, the eagles and packers are the least bad team in their division.

    If there weren’t so many divisions this wouldn’t be an issue.

  212. tpbco says:

    JMO, but being realistic, it seemed to me that the Steelers were going to struggle early on this season given they spent the entire offseason putting in a new blocking scheme, with 4 changes in the OLine – 3 yungens, along with the No Huddle offense and then have their allpro center ( the one that makes all of the line calls) go out for the season on the EIGHTH PLAY. The only worse injury they could have encountered was BBR.

    Then, their #2 draft pick, who turned out pretty damn well missed preseason and the first three games. All of their TE’s were out/hurt for the first month AND lost their defensive play caller (Foote) at the defensive postion of the least depth (ILB), having to turn to a 6th round rookie and a FA in that same first game.

    So from that perspective, starting 0-4 was certainly disappointing, but given the above…with the difference between winning and losing being “a fine line”, to quote a famous ex-coach (who really needs to get rid of the comb over)…was the start really that surprising? No, unfortunately not.

    What was impressive is that this team did not quit. Look at the Texans and Falcons, two teams with arguably more talent, couldn’t turn their bad starts around. The Giants, who had issues similar to the Steelers, at one point won 6 in a row (I think), but couldn’t maintain it. I give credit for that to the players, the coaches and the organization.

    Teams with $100 million dollar QBs, cannot have the depth to overcome the injury issues early on. A positive is the signing of Velasco and Cody Wallace adding depth to what may become a very good OLine…you know the same scouting staff that came up with Jones, Bell, Thomas, Beachem, DeCastro, A Brown, Timmons, Pouncey, Heyward and others. And, interestingly, how many of those just mentioned have been labeled busts by some? Tinkerbell anyone? Were there misses…yep, always were, always will be. The 1972 draft will likely never happen again – by anyone.

    Missing the playoffs hurts, especially the way it happened. But in the long run it may help them make some necessary changes, some of which will be painful.

    This is still a team to be proud of…and I am.

  213. NMR says:

    Is this the thread where we try to one-up each other by suggesting an even more obscure, crappy minor leaguers “blocked” in their organization than the obscure, crappy minor leaguer just acquired via trade?

  214. theplanisworking says:

    Normally there is a reason they are blocked.
    But what do I know?

  215. hockeymonster says:

    Lots of interesting tidbits from pens games in 24/7.

    Been watching WJ tourney a bit and looks like US team has real shot at gold but havent seen sweden or russia yet. Also, Pouliot has a lot of work to do…

  216. TJ says:

    Dom I have seen quite a few names mentioned for every open position thus far….

    Guys like Lovie Smith for the Texans and Bucs. Art Briles and Russ Grimm for the Redskins. Jay Gruden from the Bengals has been mentioned for a few spots.

    The name that has disappeared from the year after year rumors is Cowher. You would think someone would at least talk to the guy.

  217. TJ says:

    Come to think of it; it’s amazing how many injuries the Steelers have dealt with since they got rid of the physician linked to steroids…. Of course that is sarcasm but quite ironic. But then again could easily be the aging of the team.

  218. TJ says:

    Colts had their ups and downs but their division may have been the worse of all. The Colts had 11 wins… The other 3 teams combined for 13 wins. I think they had the division wrapped up in week 9.

  219. Thundercrack says:

    No. You usually provide all the saber splits that show us that we don’t know what we’re talking about and that kills that sort of conversation.

    .

    :-)

  220. tpbco says:

    Woodley – yes
    Foote – yes
    Pouncey – no
    Bell – no
    Miller – no
    Spaeth – no
    Velasco – no
    Kiesel – no

    To me, muscle injuries are age/conditioning (usually)…ligaments, Lis Franc, tendons, concussions are not (usually).

    JMO

  221. NMR says:

    Just got done laughing at the thought of me killing baseball conversation.

  222. Joni says:

    The reply button is not working for me. Is DK trying to tell me something? Oh well if he is!

    Hockey monster – I have loved seeing the teams in action versus the Pens on 24/7! We get to hear lots of on-ice dialogue, so much so that I wonder if opposing teams were reminded that their comments may be used during production.

    Sid was definitely keeping it real during the Pens/Leafs game.

    Dion Phanuef seemed very reverential, almost scared of Sid. I recall Phaneuf saying during a stoppage of play to Sid, “how would you like it if…” To which Sid replied, “I probably wouldn’t” hahahahaha!

    And who can forget when Sid called Kadri a f&$)ing dummy. I continue to marvel at the pseudo-innocence of that comment :)

    Other than that, all of the players need to work on their trash talking skills. I am available for consultation, for a nominal fee…

  223. hockeymonster says:

    Ha…ya sid laughed at phaneuf for suggesting that kadri deals with same stuff as sid…please. Even the refs had a good chuckle at that one…But in general it was polite canadian trash talk.

    Babcock summarized game against pens pretty well behind the bench saying that red wings were backin up too much in neutral zone and then later hookin them cuz we had too much speed. Thats how i like it…

  224. Arriba Wilver says:

    Shanahan needed to be fired methinks.

  225. Drew71 says:

    Music City Bowl began as a blowout and became a game in the 4th q.

    Ole Miss was up 23-7 in the 4th and went into “prevent offense” mode and shut themselves down. GA tech scored 10 points in four minutes and suddenly it’s a one score game, 23-17. They ALMOST connected on a bomb to the Ole Miss 8 but missed and had to punt.

    Ole Miss woke and drove most of the field, only to miss a chip shot FG.

    Now GA Tech has the ball, fumbled in their own end zone, safety. Still one score but they have to boot the ball away with 4:22 left. One first down and Ole Miss will wrap up what they almost gave away.

  226. pattonbb says:

    Agreed. More importantly, he wanted to be fired.

  227. DemonDachshund says:

    I tend to think it’s because of:

    - Manning and Luck.
    - Favre and Rodgers.
    - Tom Brady.

    Add in that basically the other 9 teams in those divisions have been playing QB Roulette for the last decade and you get very long strings of success for certain teams.

    Don’t get me wrong… QBs don’t mean EVERYTHING, but it sure is a big advantage to have.

  228. Jim S. says:

    Yes, one and the same.

  229. Jim S. says:

    I thought I was saber-splits guy.

  230. Drew71 says:

    Sitting at a hotel bar because I’m pathetic.

    The hotel has been taken over by a golfing group from Tennessee. 70 mixed seniors.

    The kitchen opened at 5:00, late for the seniors. So they’ve been here drinking since 4:00.

    Wow.

    A man and woman who didn’t know each other sat next to me. She was telling him of her “gentleman friend.” I noticed they were close talkers. I looked up at the game, looked back because I was eavesdropping and they are in a wild liplock. Then they were GONE.

    The bartender, a misfit for this group (cute, wild, tattooed, 25 year old woman) just bought me a shot. I tried to tell her I don’t DO shots. I thought she was gonna cry so I took it. Something sickeningly sweet called a Chocolate Covered Pretzel or something. I think she’s trying to get me liquored up for the seniors.

    Two old guys just set up their own traveling sound system and are playing Righteous Brothers. So the group travels with their own DJs.

    I kid you not…I think one of the women smiled at me, I blushed, looked down and wouldn’t look up for five minutes.

    This is a cross between Cocoon and Junior High.

  231. Jim S. says:

    I’ve been semi-scanning ESPN today waiting for the collective outrage about the Steelers losing out on the playoffs under strange circumstances. So far, it’s mostly crickets.

    It’s not like the night the Pats lost on the last play when they did not get the interference call they wanted in the endzone. All H-E-double hockey sticks broke loose that night.

    Nor is it like Thanksgiving night, when Sal Pal all but demanded an immediate Congressional investigation into Tomlin Wander-Gate. They did not let go of that story until justice was served and our coach was properly humiliated.

    The consensus seems to be that since the Steelers started 0-4, they don’t really deserve to be in the playoffs- even if proper officiating most likely would have landed them there. Has anyone heard a peep out of the owners of the Steelers on this subject? I know it is not a popular thing to criticize the Rooneys in Pittsburgh, but do they ever stand up for their team any more?

  232. TJ says:

    Any chance Horton comes back to Pittsburgh as DC if he does not land a HC position? Not saying Lebeau should be fired but interesting scenario.

  233. TJ says:

    I often wonder if Rooney still fondly recalls walking to the room where Goodell was waiting to inform him he had been voted the new commissioner.

  234. Jim S. says:

    I think Butler is the heir apparent if/when DL hangs it up.

  235. tpbco says:

    Jim

    Pretty sure if an owner critiques “the LEAGUE”, they are subject to a major fine…serious 6 figure range and more importantly would accomplish nothing, other than make us feel good, to everyone else we would be whinning and then they will reference the SB with the seahawks and every other call that went against them, when they played Pittsburgh – so it’s lose – lose.

    FWIW, Boomer Eaisson came out in a video clip on SI and said the Steelers were screwed, as a former Bengal.

  236. Jim S. says:

    I really think Dan has other things on his mind rather than winning Super Bowls these days. And, I guess that is fine. He’s 80+, I think. I don’t know what to think about his son.

  237. Jim S. says:

    You’re probably right, tpb. It just seems like we always take the crap calls and rulings in stride. Nobody carries water for us on the networks or in the league office.

  238. TJ says:

    They have plenty of water IN the league offices because of the Steelers… Lord knows the amount of fines they have slapped the Steelers with is going to more than the emergency fund.

  239. TJ says:

    Think Butler would be a better choice than Horton? He has done some tremendous work in Arizona and Cleveland. Not lobbying for one or the other just asking opinion.

  240. Carlos Danger says:

    I wish there was some way the steelers could draft Clowney just so I can here fans call in to the radio shows calling him Clahney with the pittsburgh accent. It would be tremendous.

  241. Bizrow says:

    Do we have a first baseman, Yet??

    Seriously….

  242. theplanisworking says:

    I linked one above.
    Seriously.

  243. Bizrow says:

    Thanks, now I feel much better

  244. TJ says:

    With expanded replay and challenges now available in baseball can we expect the same drop in performance by umpires?

  245. tpbco says:

    No “blue lights” flashing yet.

  246. Arriba Wilver says:

    To tell you the truth, I’ve never understood (or agreed with) the idea the NFL is out to get the Steelers. Or ESPN or any other media organization. I’m pretty sure there are lots out there that think the Steelers get plenty of breaks. Maybe not Pats breaks, but breaks nonetheless. Could be some envy, I suppose, so not many feel bad for us when things don’t go our way. We’ve been pretty lucky.

  247. Arriba Wilver says:

    Impossible. ;-)

  248. theplanisworking says:

    Beggars can’t be choosers, Biz………..

  249. tpbco says:

    Other than the SB w/Seattle, I think most of the angst is on the penalties and fines for hits…the league, doesn’t want old time “Steeler Football”, so obviously we are the poster boys to legislate it. I also think the league, with it’s relationship with Dan Rooney feels confortable using the Steelers as examples…you know for the ” for the good of the game”.

    BTW, saw an old Steelers highlight video the other day. Virtually every hit and tackle would have been illegal today.

  250. DemonDachshund says:

    The first baseman market is still evolving. We should have a new 1B sometime in the next two or three millenia. Just need one to grow an opposable thumb first.

  251. Milo Hamilton says:

    These are the things that happen when you give Todd Graham a month to prepare.

  252. theplanisworking says:

    Too busy getting ready to move again?
    Searching for more family?

  253. Eric Bowser says:

    1 – Gently push Dick LeBeau to retirement. Giving up 20 points in 10 of 16 games isn’t good enough when the defense didn’t create many turnovers, put consistent pressure on the QB or tackle well.

    2 – Time to move on and say good-bye to Brett Keisel, Ziggy Hood, Larry Foote, Jason Worilds, LaMarr Woodley, Ryan Clark, and Ike Taylor.

    3 – When I think of the NFL, I never think of integrity. What I saw last night was terrible, still doesn’t absolve the Steelers.

    4 – Impressed… Pirates get another first baseman….

    5 – James Neal is back to scoring goals and playing hockey, nice to see after his knee to Marchand’s head.

    6 – Jeff Zatkoff… amazing turnaround after his first two games in the NHL. He looked nothing like a capable backup goaltender and though I still wonder about his quickness and agility, he made a fine blocker save last night in the first period in just that situation. Maybe the nerves were the problem.

    7 – When I see people posting on Twitter, Blogs, here, anywhere about how Engelland has been playing well on defense, I just want to take away their internet presence. This guy can’t skate, he can’t pass, and will get twisted around & lose his man around the net. But keep thinking it.

    8 – Simon Despres is a top four defenseman after the playoffs according to Bylsma, not sure Bylsma believed that if he’s playing Engelland over him.

  254. Milo Hamilton says:

    Matt Millen just said he’s “kind of infectious”. Did he mean like the common cold ?

  255. theplanisworking says:

    No, more like the plague…………

  256. Carlos Danger says:

    I feel like byslma sometimes gives too much opportunity to players just because they play like he did – players like Engelland and Adams. I don’t think that is a problem most of the time unless players with more talent are being held back because of it, which I think is the case with Despres. I don’t think anyone could argue that Despres is far more talented than Engelland. I realize Bylsma has a man-crush on Engelland, but he needs to put the better talent on the ice.

 
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