Monthly Archives: August 2017

Some Random Thoughts About New Steeler CB Joe Haden

WKCY.com, Ken Blaze photo—Haden’s job just got easier…

When I wrote the Vance McDonald story yesterday, I had no idea I would be called upon again quite so soon. And I’m not going to go into the sort of footbally details I did with McDonald, because he was from a land far away, in more ways than one, and a team the Steelers have only played once since he was drafted.

On the other hand, we’re quite familiar with Joe Haden on the field. In fact I almost titled the article “Some Random Thoughts About Ex-Brown Joe Haden.” That just didn’t seem right, though, because we’re all hoping he moves on from that sordid chapter in his life as quickly as possible. Read more

Some Random Thoughts on the trade for TE Vance McDonald

It’s official—the 49ers traded McDonald to the Steelers for a bucket of bubble gum. Actually, they swapped picks next season, giving the Steelers their 5th-round pick in exchange for the Steelers’ fourth-rounder. Which I guess means the Steelers won’t be drafting another quarterback next year, unless they get a fourth-round comp pick, because that’s where they seem to take them lately.

So let’s take a quick look at what sort of player we can expect to see and why he’s here. I’ll take the second question first, because it can be answered by Mike Tomlin’s typically succinct and (when he wishes to be) blunt reply to reporters today—the tight ends on the roster are not “varsity players.”

“Varsity” and “JV” seem to be this year’s Tomlinisms—the distinction between what, in last year’s Tomlin-speak, would have been “above-the-line” and “below-the-line.” I find myself wondering if this represents a heightened sense of urgency on Tomlin’s part, perhaps because the Roethlisberger Window is inexorably closing. I say that because there seems to be a more personal dig in calling someone’s performance “JV” as opposed to “below the line,” which is a bit more, as Dame Edna might say, kind and caring. But maybe there’s no difference, and he’s just looking for a way to get everyone’s attention.

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Colts @ Steelers—The Acceptable, the Unacceptable, and the Appalling

via Steelers.com

The third preseason game, the only one in which the players on the field look anything like the eventual roster, and that only for a portion of the game, is in the books. It represents the first loss of the preseason, which perhaps could be viewed as not encouraging. But let’s dig into what actually happened to find out if this is true or not.

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Meet the New-ish Steeler—RB Trey Williams

AP Photo/ Don Wright

Trey Williams is short. Not just short for an NFL player—short for anyone. He is 5’7″, which is just about 14″ shorter than Alejandro Villanueva. The next shortest men on the roster at the moment are 2″ taller than Williams. But he packs a lot into his 200-pound frame.

He was a high school star in Texas, a state in which high school football is practically sacred. During his three high school seasons at running back he rushed for over 8000 yards on 935 carries, and had 86 touchdowns. His senior season alone he had over 400 carries. That’s one tough dude. (He was a wide receiver his freshman season.) Read more

Modified Rapture: Falcons @ Steelers

USA Today Sports, Charles LeClaire photo

The start of this game was not promising. Nor the middle, for that matter. You could excuse the Steelers not moving the ball as efficiently with Joshua Dobbs at quarterback as the Falcons did with Matt Ryan at quarterback.

But it got more and more difficult to excuse the Steelers not moving the ball at all as the first teamers for the Falcons stayed on the sideline.

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The Case For the Pittsburgh Steelers, 2017

By Ivan Cole

 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/Peter Diana photo

Every year that I have been writing about Steelers football a highlight for me has been the team assessment I make just before the beginning of the regular season. It usually appears at the end of the preseason, around the time of the final cuts. The bulk of this year’s version will, more or less, follow that pattern. However, there are some elements of this season that are special and demand special attention.

 

That is not a typo. There are multiple opportunities/challenges for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and in particular, their leadership in 2017. This makes it a season like no other in my estimation, one that has the potential of defining an era, and not just relating to football.

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Life, Death, and Steelers

IMG_1946

Via WMU Football

This year’s training camp has been quite a roller-coaster ride. The hopes of Steeler Nation rise high as we see Ben putting the ball wherever he wants, whether that is in a garbage can, the crosspiece of the goalpost, the stomach of a recalcitrant cameraman*, or to be gently cradled in Antonio Brown’s arms. Then they crash to earth as we look at the list of injured players sitting out practice—a sort of Who’s Who of our best defensive players. Not to mention the League playing Whac-a-Mole with Martavis Bryant and the Steelers, seeming moving the bar every time Bryant thinks he’s hurdled it. (I realize that was a mixed metaphor, but it’s morning, people…) Read more

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