Open Season?

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 8.53.40 PMKarl Rosen/

As many of you perhaps noticed, the flow of commentary from the pens (or keyboards, really) of Ivan and me slowed to a trickle last season and then dried up altogether. As I sort of explained in the comments section of the last published article, both of us have gone through somewhat of a wringer in the past year, mainly because of family health issues, and haven’t had the time and/or mental energy for posting about the Steelers.

But we haven’t lost interest, as you can see when I tell you that Homer J and Ivan drove in from D.C. to meet me in Latrobe last Friday, and we attended Friday Night Lights, the evening practice at the Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

But I suppose I shouldn’t have piqued your interest, because I’m not going to write about the experience, except to say that all of us feel very good about this team. The lack of drama is refreshing, and there is definitely the feeling that everyone is on board with a team-first attitude. Let the national writers talk about the Browns all they like—and I do think the Browns will be a force to be reckoned with—but barring catastrophic injuries, the Steelers really ought to take the division this year.

However, the main reason for this post is because of a request by MTSnot that I put up a post that will serve as sort of a placeholder for you all to visit and discuss things in the comments. So let’s consider this the place to discuss any pre-season thoughts, and we’ll see where it goes from there. I may feel led to put up an article from time to time (although I don’t make any promises) but I can certainly put up the occasional post to basically open a discussion forum, if nothing else. So let’s hear your thoughts! I’ll start by saying that from what we saw on Friday night, it was worth the cost to trade up and grab Devin Bush. How about y’all?



  • I live in Ann Arbor and from watching the Wolverines I can tell you that Devin Bush is the real deal, and I’ll add the not widely shared opinion that Zach Gentry is too, and will turn out to be a great pick…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Ivan and I have been talking about the Browns being a team to be reckoned with for 2 years now. Not to the point of overtaking the Stillers, but not the hapless Browns of years gone by either.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Wow! I am so glad this site is back! Even if on a reduced plane. I’m going to put my head into this.



  • I’m really glad you, Ivan, and HomerJ are ok and can still feel like going to camp. I’ve never been much of a commenter, but love everything you guys write. Just knowing that you’re ok is enough, don’t worry about writing if the need doesn’t take you over. Gone through some real life myself in the last year and a half or so. I’m looking forward to this season.

    Liked by 1 person

  • Buck Hiltebeitel

    I’m glad you’re back! I always enjoyed the relief from the drivel on other sites.

    Liked by 1 person

  • lowercaseorange

    I agree with the above commenters, that we’ve missed you and are relieved to know that you are okay. Sorry for the challenges of the last year, but I pray that there has been a grace that’s been sufficient for not just surviving, but also for growing and learning and loving well through it all.

    As for the Steelers, I wholeheartedly agree with you, that it feels good to have dropped a few pounds of drama. I was also at Friday night lights (we could have met up…I’ve always wanted to meet yinz!), and I mentioned to my 12 year old son who spent the day with me that this team feels easier to root for. I don’t know if the results will be as good or not (I suspect we’ll be just fine), but I at least feel like I have some restored fan-integrity.

    Bush looks great. Defense is going to pick off more passes. Ben looks rejuvenated. Conner and JuJu look ready to fill big shoes, having learned more than a couple skills and (maybe more importantly) lessons from their predecessors. I think it’s going to be a fun year.

    And best of all, as my son and I got in our car for the 2-hour drive home after fireworks at practice, and after spending about 10 hours there, he said, “dad, that was a GREAT day!” So, yeah, it’s going to be a fun year.


  • Don (aka cold_old_steelers_fan)

    I have been deliberately toning down my expectations this season. I am concerned about the abuse Ben has taken over the years and the ability of his backups to take up the mantle of leadership. I am also concerned about Bush whom, though I keep hearing great things about him, seems a bit small for the part in a long term role. I have been wrong about things before so I am hoping it is the case again.

    As usual there seems to be a number of new players to become excited about. I am not certain any favourite has emerged for me. Maybe once we have seen a couple of pre-season games.

    A few major non-football news items are casting a long pall over all else these days. I will not repeat them as I am fairly certain they are the same issues as the rest of you are faced with as well but they are keeping me from being as engaged as I normally am.


  • I am of two minds on the Steelers this year. It turns on Ben and whether he has it in him to have a Pro Bowl worthy season or he starts the decline that every QB his age experiences (Brees, Brady seemingly being exceptions) He must carry the team on his back. I have my doubts he still can and I’m a huge fan of his talents.
    There are so many changes to absorb this year. Many young guys, including rookies, are being counted on to contribute. The secondary and ST’s are still questionable. We lost our best position coach who turned our O-line from OK to one of the main strengths of this franchise. Hires like Teryl Austin are encouraging and seem to indicate the DC is losing authority IMO.
    Every positive is leavened by a potential negative. That will make for an interesting year but one that may cause as much pain as joy. I am sure we’ll all be watching and rooting for one more ring !


  • Thank you so much Rebecca. I think it would be great for us all to stay in touch and discuss our Stillers in a sane manner!

    I haven’t paid very close attention to the team prior to training camp, but am ramping up as we get nearer to the season. Based on NFL network interviews at training camp, Bush seems like the real deal. Tomlin seems giddy about him.

    My biggest question for the season is actually at WR. JuJu is my favorite player, but filling in the shoes of brown, production-wise at least, will not be easy, especially with being the top dog and drawing the focus of the defenses he will face.

    Can’t Wait to watch our team on the field. HERE WE GO!


  • Good to see the gang’s still kicking. I’d love to catch another game with Homer & Ivan sometime.


  • Missed you, Rebecca, and Ivan and the whole gang. I’m looking forward to the upcoming season with an improved D, a drama free offense and hopefully, some timely successful kicks by Boz.


  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    Good game tonight. The 2nds struggled a bit against the Bucs starters but that is to be expected.

    I was very encouraged by all our QBs. It would be interesting to them behind the starting o-line.

    Lots of good things and all the bad things were issues that I expected to see that can be explained by injuries and back-ups.

    Pleasant surprises in terms of play by the LBs in the 2nd half.


  • I’m still watching the game, first quarter just ended on my dvr (I’ll probably finish tomorrow, it started at 4:30 my time). So far and from youtube Devin Bush seems to be doing fine.

    Even more exciting than that for me is seeing roxanna firehall and cold old again.


  • Steelers are coming to Phoenix this year. The cheapest tickets i can find are $116. Is that normal for NFL games now? I don’t think i can make that happen. I’ve seen them here a couple of times years ago so I’ll be ok with tv, but i really don’t want to miss them live. Maybe the cards will suck again and i can get cheaper tickets later.


    • cold_old_steelers_fan

      Dude, you are lucky. We got stuck with Raiders vs Green Bay here in Winnipeg. They have only sold 1/2 the seats even though the cheapest tickets were only $95 Canadian plus tax. Yesterday I see they lowered the price of some end zone seats to $75 Canadian plus tax. I doubt they will fill the 35k venue,


  • At least you don’t have the travel cost. Our closest venue is Baltimore, and I’m not going on there! Good luck, though, you may get lucky if the Cards suck. We got 50 yard line seats, 10 rows up in St Louis (Rams last year there) for about $110.


  • Great Game. This is the first time I have been able to get back online since watching. My thoughts:

    – Biggest Surprise – Seems like the entire TB coaching staff is made up of ex steelers, including Bruce Arians (Head Coach), Byron Leftwich (Offensive Coordinator???), Larry Foote, Randle El, and Nate Washington.

    – Dobbs – Played a good, if not great game. Good Deep Ball to Washington, though it was a bit underthrown. Wasn’t very accurate in the mid-range throws. Good eye and instinct to run with the ball

    – Rudolph – Seemed to be in charge of the offense when on the field. Great patience in the pocket on the TD throw to Gentry. Better accuracy than Dobbs showed.

    – Hodges – Didn’t watch the last 9 minutes of the game so don’t know how he looked during that time, but overall looked good, though he is tiny.

    – Washington – Great game. Looks to be a legit #2 or #3 receiver for the team.

    – Bush – He was all over the place. I am excited to see his play as his rookie year progresses.

    – Snell – Had a rough game in my opinion. Got stopped at or before the line of scrimmage way too much. Don’t know how much of that is blame on the O-line, but…….

    – Samuels – He looked like he has made some strides after a decent rookie season.

    – Boswell – He looked spot on.

    – Layne – Got picked on a lot, made some good tackles, overall rough game.

    – Trey Edmonds – Decent game against TB 3rd stringers. Would love to see brothers on our team.

    My only comment on AB – so glad steelers don’t have to deal with his BS anymore. He is driving Gruden nuts it seems, especially after getting frostbite on his feet in cryotherapy. Don’t wish that on anyone, but what a ridiculous injury.

    There you go, my thoughts.



  • Just read that WR Coach Darryl Drake died yesterday morning. RIP to him and condolences to the family, and team.


  • Rebecca & Ivan – so glad you are ‘back’! Missed you guys and your insight muchly! There is much to be excited about this year…new players striving to be a part if this team…old diseases gone…and wonderful insight and commentary from a number of blogs/posters.

    Liked by 1 person

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