Category Archives: Steelers Players and Coaches

The Return of the Hombre: 5 Smoldering Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers

FD31B63C-9465-422A-8750-E29B80695AE1By Hombre de Acero

After getting humiliated at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Pittsburgh Steelers waltzed into the living room of the Kansas City Chiefs and promptly proceeded to thoroughly dominate the NFL’s hottest team, best quarterback and top rusher for 3 and a half quarters. The Steelers of course defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, improving to 4-2 and they head back home to face the Cincinnati Bengals. But before this corner of Steelers Nation can focus on this latest AFC North show down, we first must answer these 5 Smoldering Question on the Steelers.

1. Carlos, an Argentine Steelers fan who lives above, commented to me that the NFL is so unpredictable that he’s stopped betting on games (and believe me, Carlos not betting is a big deal.) Six games into 2017, the Steelers are far from the only team to appear schizophrenic. To what do you attribute the NFL’s flirtation with manic depression, and is what’s happening in Pittsburgh just an extension of the general trend or is there something unique in the Steel City?

2. After standing on the sidelines for much of the season—on the Sundays he was lucky enough to dress—James Harrison entered the game on the final drive, and dropped Alex Smith on the penultimate play.

While T.J. Watt has done everything you could ask of a rookie, do you think James Harrison has done enough to warrant more playing time at Watt’s expense?

3. So Martavis Bryant requested a trade two weeks ago, as various outlets have confirmed, only to have Bryant face the cameras and tell us how happy he is in Pittsburgh. It says here that Bryant isn’t going anywhere, but if you’re Kevin Colbert, what offer tempts you?

4. The Pittsburgh defense currently leads the league in pass defense. This is partially due to the defensive line, but is certainly also due to the defensive backs. Curiously, the coaches haven’t changed and the scheme hasn’t changed—Pittsburgh still plays less man coverage than any team in the league, as per Pro Football Focus, in an article published yesterday. So why this sudden competence?

5. Count yours truly as one who openly suggested that Ben Roethlisberger was too dependent on Antonio Brown, so much that the analogy of Neil O’Donnell to Eric Green was rumbling around my head (oh how I date myself.) Makes sense.

Six weeks into the season Ben + Brown is the offense’s only consistent element.

That’s a common perception in Steelers Nation, but the numbers tell an interesting story.

Thus far this year, Brown has been Ben’s target 33% of the time, caught 35% of his passes, accounted for 46% of the team’s receiving yards and has 64.9% catch rate.

In 2015, when he was competing with Heath Miller, Markus Wheaton, Darrius Heyward Bey and Bryant, Brown was the Steeler’s quarterback’s target 33% of the time, caught 34% of the team’s receptions and accounted for 38% of the team’s receiving yards with a 70.5% catch rate.

So…

…Is the Steelers offense, or perhaps Pittsburgh’s passing game, too dependent on Ben getting the ball to Brown?

On Second Thought: Steelers @ Chiefs

ADF16C1C-D644-44AA-A82F-8E129B64D3C6Photo via Steelers.com

Usually after a win like Sunday’s beatdown of the Chiefs everybody is lined up with game recaps, grades, and so on . But Ivan Cole is a DNP for the last two weeks with carpal tunnel and Homer is off gadding about, so you’re just going to have to put up with me this week.

In my first effusions over the game I pretty much skipped over the less perfect aspects of it, and honestly I think this is appropriate in many ways. Part of the excitement of a live performance, whether given by a rock band, a professional chamber choir such as I conducted for many years, a symphony orchestra, a production of Hamlet, or, yes, a football game, is that anything can happen at any given moment, and a great many of the things which can happen are, shall we say, less than optimal.

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Steelers @ Chiefs: the Acceptable, the Objectionable, and the Appalling

Phot via Steelers.com

This post should really be called The Return of the Native, or some equally classy literary name, because the big news is:

  • 1: The Chiefs are no longer undefeated.
  • 2: James Harrison is BACCKK!

It is possible that No. 2 had something to do with No. 1.

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The Trouble With Truth: A Dramatic Presentation by the Pittsburgh Steelers

F290CF19-B370-464A-A8D3-28A93BB4B73CPhoto via Steelers.com

So far the theme of this season seems to be “just one big drama after another.” We had “The Return of the Prodigals” in Week 1, “The Underwhelmingness of the Prodigals” in Week 2, “Insulting the Flag, Mother, and Apple Pie, Except for One Heroic Holdout” in Week 3, “Those Selfish Divas Who Only Care About Their Stats” in Week 4, and in Week 5, “Ben Throws Himself Under the Bus.” Read more

Pittsburgh Steelers 2017 First Quarter Report

photo via Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

Twenty five percent of the 2017 season is in the books, and now is a good time to take stock and see what we have learned and can look forward to as we move into October. Let me caution you at the outset to be careful about drawing broad conclusions from what has transpired. Despite the apocalyptic pronouncements coming from the football media and elsewhere, the general outcomes of this season are still far from being settled, no matter how promising or dire it appears for individual teams. It is quite possible that teams that seem Super Bowl bound won’t even make the playoffs, and I would remind you that a few years ago the Steelers, like the present-day New York Giants, began the season at 0-4 and missed the playoffs on the last play of the last game.

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Steelers/Ravens—Be Still My Beating Heart…

photo via Steelers.com

So far this season I have set my TV thingy to record the game before I go to church. I’m usually out of church by 12:30, so I run some errands, come home, have a leisurely lunch, and then start to watch the game after an hour and a half or so has elapsed. This allows me to fast-forward through the commercials and generally makes for a more wholistic view of the game, you might say.

But this is Ravens week, and I can’t manage to fill the space. So I watched the game in real time, suffering through the commercials like everyone else, and experienced it as it was meant to be seen—in bits and pieces. Does this make sense to you? Not to me either. Here’s what I saw:

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