Category Archives: 5 Smoldering Questions

5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers’ Free Agency

IMG_1724by Hombre de Acero

With NFL Free Agency about to begin its third week the 2017 off season is fully underway. And for the Steelers it’s business as usual, greatly to the chagrin of much of the franchise’s fan base. Nonetheless, there’s been enough activity thus far to give this corner of Steelers Nation 5 Smoldering Questions to struggle with before our focus firmly shifts to the 2017 NFL Draft. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions: the 2016 Finale

mike-tomlin-and-kevin-colbert-1by Hombre de Acero

The 2016 NFL seasons has come to its end and, as much as we might not like it, the New England Patriots are 5-time Super Bowl Champions. Many if not most Steelers sites have long since shut the book on the Steelers 2016 campaign, but in keeping with this site’s commitment to offer an introspective view of the Steelers, we take one last Smoldering look at 2016 before shifting to the off season and free agency.

1. Shortly after our last edition of the 5 Smolderings, I was commiserating with a Dallas Cowboy fan who observed this:

“As much of a disappointment it is to lose in a Championship Game, it still can’t replicate the pain of that Divisional Round loss after twice tying the game in the 4th quarter; it’s still going to take a long while until I am over that game.”

The Steelers have had their share of heartbreaking AFC Championship game losses. Would it have been easier for you as a fan to swallow this loss had it gone down to the wire? More importantly, do you think the lopsided nature of the loss will have negative repercussions moving forward?

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5 Smoldering Questions:AFC Championship Edition



by Hombre de Acero

The Steelers 2016 mystery ride came to a screeching halt to the tune of a 36 to 17 loss to the Patriots in yet another AFC Championship game. The Steelers now face another long off season where they must make decisions on several high-profile free agents.

But before we shift focus to the 2017 off season, this corner of Steelers Nation must first resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the 2016 Steelers season.

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5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers: Post-Chiefs Pre-Patriots Edition


Shall we dance?

By Hombre de Acero

The Pittsburgh Steelers went into Arrowhead Stadium last Sunday and are now headed to New England for the AFC Championship game, thanks to six Chris Boswell field goals, stout defense and excellent special teams. But before we see whether the Black and Gold will qualify for a shot at climbing the Stairway to Seven, this corner of Steelers Nation must first answer these 5 Smoldering questions.

1. The Pittsburgh Steelers offense was revving between the 20’s but stalled badly in the end zone, to the tune of 0 touchdowns on 4 visits. What do you think is the root of the issue, and does it give you cause for concern looking ahead
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5 Smoldering Questions: Post-Dolphins Pre-Chiefs



By Hombre de Acero

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened the 2016 playoffs with a Wild Card win as the Killer Bees stung the Miami Dolphins to the tune of 30 to 12. The AFC divisional round will bring the Steelers to Arrowhead Stadium, where the Steelers hold a 10-7 edge but are 0-1 in the playoffs.

But before we can get to that, this corner of Steelers Nation must wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. By his own admission, Ben Roethlisberger didn’t play as well as he should have after the Steelers took the lead. My friend and sometimes Spanish language Steelers scribe Gustavo Vallegos, aka El Dr. de Acero, suggested that perhaps the fact that Le’Veon Bell was getting so many carries kept Ben from getting into a rhythm. 

Do you see any validity to this suggestion? If so is it a problem or a good problem to have?

2. Le’Veon Bell broke the Steelers single game playoff rushing record against Miami. Consider that for a second – in his very first playoff game, Le’Veon Bell outperformed the best efforts of Willie Parker, Jerome Bettis, Franco Harris or Rocky Bleier’s collective 58 playoff games.

What does that say about number 26?

3. News reports of Joey Porter’s arrest have typically come with a laundry list of off the field incidents, ranging from his getting shot outside a night club, to his bouncing a check, charges being dropped for a somewhat similar incident a few years ago. ESPN even cited his being on the field last year in the Cincinnati game.

However, the arresting officer Paul Abel also has a “checkered past” as well. Pittsburgh City Paper reporter Charlie Deitch pointed out that most of the coverage of the incident cited Porter’s previous history, but not Abel’s, and suggested they should.

Where do you come down?

4. Everyone remembers the 1993 Steelers loss at Arrowhead Stadium for Bill Cowher blowing up at Mark Royals for a blocked punt that wasn’t his fault and for that special teams disaster for opening the door to yet another Joe Montana comeback. 

Fair enough.

But that was also the last Pittsburgh Steelers game to field a defensive line that wasn’t coached by Johnny Mitchell. What do you think this 23=year tenure says about both Mitchell and the organization, and what do you think Mitchell’s greatest contribution to the franchise has been?

5. Speaking of special teams disasters, the Steelers special teams have had more than their share of hiccups in the last month and Mike Tomlin didn’t pull any punches when asked about it at his press conference.

 Do you think that there is something that can be done about the situation, or will this just need to be something the Steelers have to try to compensate for on offense and defense?

5 Smoldering Questions: Post-Browns Pre-Playoffs Edition



by Hombre de Acero

Who said Mike Tomlin teams can’t stack wins? The Steelers win over the Browns gave Pittsburgh its 7 straight victory and it came in dramatic fashion as the Steelers backups lead a 4th quarter comeback and then won it in overtime. 

The Steelers of course will host the Miami Dolphins in the AFC Wild Card game at 1:00 pm on Sunday. But before we can get post season pickings, here are 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers which this corner of Steelers Nation must resolve. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions: Post-Bengals Pre-Ravens Edition

temp2016_cin2_1218kr_2254-nfl_mezz_1280_1024By Hombre de Acero

The Pittsburgh Steelers will arrive at their Christmas day show down with the Baltimore Ravens on the heels of a 24-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals that extended their winning streak to 5 games and improved their record to 9-5.

And the stakes in this game are pretty simple. Win and the Steelers earn another AFC North title, lose and Steelers Nation will spend the time between Christmas and New Year’s openly clutching Rosary Beads and secretly stuffing pins into voodoo dolls, all while they memorize the NFL’s oft arcane wild card tie breaking rules.

But before reaching the defining moment of the 2016 regular season, this segment of the Black and Gold legion must first resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions.

1. Following the Bengals win, Steelers Digest editor Bob Labriola asserted this:

Last year, the Steelers lose this game…. They won and set themselves up for that because when the Bengals tried to play pitch-and-catch on third-and-long, the Steelers had cornerbacks on the field who broke up the passes. Both passes. One by each cornerback.

Agree or disagree with his assessment. Defend your choice.

2. Don’t look now, but for the first time in, well I don’t know how long, Antonio Brown wasn’t the Steelers leading wide receiver. Eli Rogers earned that honor. We’ve discussed this topic enough, but do you think Eli Rogers has shown enough to be considered a legit number 2 for the stretch run?

3. Here’s a true chicken-egg question: Which was more important to the Steelers win, Chris Boswell’s 6 field goals or his shoe string tackle?

4. The Steelers Pro Bowl squad comprised of Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro should surprise no one.

Did anyone the Pro Bowl selection process snub any members of the Steelers defense? If you argue “yes” then be ready to defend your choice.

5. Finally, it’s been 784 days since the Pittsburgh Steelers last defeated the Baltimore Ravens. A lot has changed since then. What makes you think that the Steelers can break their losing streak against the Ravens this Christmas? (Or do you?)

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