Monthly Archives: April 2017

Tracking the AFC North Draft Picks, Rounds 2 and 3

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How did Momma miss this guy?

I’m going to go live here, because why not? I will be updating as there is anything interesting to add.

The first AFC North pick in the second round was scheduled to be the Bengals, as the Browns had traded up with the Packers to take TE David Njoku at No. 29. But they traded down with the Vikings, and so the AFC North picks will be pretty condensed in Round 2 – Nos. 15, 16 and 20, and then of course the Steelers at 30.

I was curious as to which of the more highly rated players were left on the board at this point. I’m using a grade of 6.0 out of 10 as the cutoff point, since that encompasses the first 34 prospects. Read more

A Long Lingering Look at the Steelers’ First Round Draft Pick

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via Steelers.om

How can I help taking a long lingering look? The Steelers, to Momma’s tremendous excitement, picked her No. 1 BLA choice for the first round, T. J. Watt..

Fortunately for me, Momma, and the Steelers, Watt is more than a pretty face. A lot more. I may joke around about the “Best-Looking Player Available,” but what I really love is a high character guy. And if he is also chock full of football smarts, why would you hesitate?

There’s a lot of talk today about the players the Steelers passed up, most notably Reuben Foster. But given the difficulties they’ve encountered recently, how on earth could they take a chance on a guy with a failed drug test – at the Combine?

Actually, I’ll tell you how they could do that, because they actually did about five years ago. You all remember the story, I’m sure. Mike Adams from Ohio State was well up their draft board, by all accounts, although no one ever knows for sure. Then he failed the combine drug test, and came right off the board, until Adams drove to Pittsburgh, basically demanded an interview, and begged for another chance. They gave it to him. And I’m sorry to say it didn’t turn out well.. I don’t know about y’all, but I would be rather hesitant to dive into those waters once again. Read more

A Quick Look at the AFC North 1st Round Picks

TJ WattThis really will be a quick look, and furthermore it is live as of 11:00 pm. The picture will go up when I know who the Steelers have picked. With any luck I can use one of the pictures already in the archives from my mock drafts.

More thorough analysis will come when the excitement dies down. (And for that matter it’s pretty hard to “analyze” a draft pick before several years are up.) But we can’t just abnegate our responsibility as a fan base, which is, of course, to decide, based upon the draft picks, who is going to win the Super Bowl. So here goes: Read more

Momma’s 7-Round Mock Draft

usa-today-8544524-0Talk about on the clock! This is going to be a gargantuan post, as my picks are coming in at the very last possible moment. 

I have an excuse, though. My dog ate my post. Seriously, something went badly wrong. Knowing I would be away at the beginning of the week, I scheduled Rounds 4-7 (lovingly researched of course) for Monday morning and planned to publish the remainder of the draft today.

I returned last night only to discover there is no trace of that post anywhere. Rounds 4-7 are as if they had never existed. Even in the browser history I can find the tabs I looked at for my research but nothing whatsoever in terms of the post. It’s a bit creepy.

So I’m going to attempt to recreate an abridged version of those four picks and then finish up the last three rounds. Sorry to trouble you with my technical difficulties, but I promised a post for Monday, and didn’t want you to think I lied… Read more

The All-Pro Names Mock Draft, Rounds 1 and 2

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Another fine name already on the roster—Jordan Dangerfield (photo from USA Today Sports)

The excitement is mounting as stuff having to do with actual football is happening, like last night’s announcement of the league schedule for the coming season. Shockingly, given that the word on the street was that Pittsburgh was due to start the season with a home game, given that they haven’t had one for a few years now, they are once again starting on the road. Since the opponent is the Browns, this is perhaps less important that it might be if it were, say, the Chiefs. But then again, maybe it is now Cleveland’s time. Let us hope not.

The Chiefs, oddly, start out the season at Foxborough, and one wonders why the Chiefs drew the short straw. You would have thought it would be a rematch with the Falcons. As Michael North, the guy in charge of the scheduling, told NFL.com’s Judy Battista:

It’s rare that you get to disappoint 32 billionaires and five television networks on the same day.

Seems like an odd thing to aspire to. Anyhow, as Mike Tomlin (or just about any of his players by this point) would say, “It is what it is.” A true tautology if there ever was one.

So let’s move on to the next major excitement, the draft, and wrap up my draft using the Best Name Available metric. We will move right into BLA (Best Looking Available) next week. Luckily for you all, I don’t have time to do an “All-Cooper” draft, but I easily could have, as there are a large number of players to choose from with either this first or last name. But there’s only so much intensive research I can do…

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The All-Pro Names Mock Draft, Rounds 3 and 4

Dreamius SmithThe Steelers have three picks in these two rounds, due to the compensatory pick, so let’s see what fabulous football names we can pick up in these rounds. (For an explanation of the metric please see the previous post.)

Rounds 5-7 were more offensively-minded, with the Steelers taking a guard and a quarterback before finally picking up a DB in the seventh round, but I didn’t expect this trend to continue. First off, the Steelers definitely need some defensive guys, and second, this draft is said to be a strong one for defense. 

It may be strong defensively, but there was something of a dearth of interesting names in the middle of it. (In case you’re wondering, I’m judging the likelihood of where a guy will be taken by his NFL.com draft grade, which in fact is not a very good indication at all, judging by where guys were actually drafted. But it’s a place to start…

The picture which heads the article is of current Steeler Dreamius Smith, from his days as a Butler Grizzly, if they can be spoken of singly. I don’t want to ignore the guys who have pretty fabulous names and are already on the roster…
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If I Were Commissioner

NFL: Annual Meetingsby Ivan Cole

It’s relatively easy to be a critic. Untold thousands feel both qualified and emboldened to render judgment on the efforts of others and deem them as being either worthy or not. But the number of those who have the opportunity, courage, perseverance and skill to create products of high quality is exceedingly small, and critics, particularly the more self-assured and voracious of the breed, are rarely among them.

For several years, I have lamented the state of the National Football League, and the behavior of some its grand actors such as commissioner Roger Goodell. I continue to believe that they have earned the harsh critiques they have received and more. But, as I have said, it’s easy to be a critic. More difficult to discern is how reform is implemented, short of overseeing the demolition of a highly successful sports entertainment empire by way of the following:

  1. Moving forward towards an effete, toothless, flag footbally future that leeches away what made the sport great and alienates the game’s most integral and loyal fans.
  2. A suicidal, retro approach that eventually crashes and burns in human wreckage and lawsuits, or,
  3. Continue the ongoing corporate cook-the-goose strategy. A WWE in helmets, with the attendant vulgarity of values and practices.

How to proceed in a manner that creates a potential win/win/win for owners, players and fans? Here’s my best shot. Read more

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