Fresh Eyes: Part III

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 1.58.44 PMTevin Jones; Karl Rosen photo, Steelers.com*

by Ivan Cole

Question # 3: Will the road to a championship in 2019 run through the Steelers wide receivers room? 

A week or so ago this would be a somewhat over the top question, but not by much. If you subscribed to the idea that the losses of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown would be critical factors in the ability of the Steelers to compete then there is some relevancy here. Additionally, the circumstances for the receivers would be different those for the running backs, who have already had to cope with the absence of Bell. This brought to bear a series of complex questions concerning how this group, with JuJu Smith-Schuster as the centerpiece, would respond. 

And then Darryl Drake passed away.  Read more

Fresh Eyes: Part II

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 9.27.16 AMSteven Nelson and Sean Davis: Karl Rosen photo, Steelers.com

by Ivan Cole

The Disclaimer. It has always been my standard practice when discussing the possibilities of any new season to caution that all is subject to change based upon the potential impact of an unavoidable factor in the NFL dynamic: Injuries. 

Usually I have spoken of this in the manner of those commercials where a narrator in rapid fire fashion attempts to slip past you the possibility that in addition to the wonders provided by the product they are selling, there is also a chance that it could kill you. In this segment there will be a deeper dive into the Disclaimer, providing a more specific set of arguments and information related to just how injuries might play out as anything from an annoyance to a derailment of the 2019 Steelers’ championship aspirations. 

Question # 2: Who do we not want to see on a long-term injury report?  Read more

Fresh Eyes: Part 1

Screen Shot 2019-08-14 at 9.26.23 AMphoto: Rebecca Mehling/Steelers.com

by Ivan Cole

As Rebecca has already mentioned, life has slowed both of us down a bit but that should not be construed to mean that interest has been lost in the fortunes of the Steelers. For me it represents an opportunity to approach the upcoming season in a manner opposite from that which has been the case since I have been privileged to communicate with you concerning the fortunes of what I believe to be a model of what a first class organization, in sports or any endeavor is, as it strives to reach its goals. 

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Open Season?

Screen Shot 2019-08-05 at 8.53.40 PMKarl Rosen/Steelers.com

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?

Rebecca

Random Thoughts on Steelers @ Jaguars

Sorry for the lateness. Once again I’m in the Land of Enchantment [this is a reason, if not an excuse.] Two points if you know, without Googling, which state that is. Five points if you can name the State Bird. 10 Points if you can name the State Cookie. (Yes, they have one.) 20 points if you can name the State Song, and 100 points if you can sing it. Answers may be given in the comments below, and you may post a video of yourself singing the state song if you want to go for the Big Kahuna. It will probably go viral. But back to business:

This article was supposed to be titled “Random Thoughts on the Steelers’ Major Collapse Epic Comeback,” but the title box doesn’t allow for strikethroughs. And perhaps it’s best to dwell on the positive. So let’s begin, and I will endeavor to do so. No promises, though…

I guess Stephon Tuitt was even more important than I thought. And Daniel McCullers was even less ready than anyone thought. (Which in many cases was already not much.)

James Conner’s haircut is, I gather, one of a class termed “business in the front, party in the back.” Perhaps it is time for Conner to be all business. [Low blow, I know, but stay with me…]

Good Ben is unbelievable. Bad Ben isn’t even “decent, at best.” If only Bad Ben could be completely exorcised.

Watching the “Mic’d Up” version of the Panthers game (you can find it on NFL.com—I’m in too much of a hurry to post a link) is wayyyy more fun than watching anything but the last five minutes or so of Sunday’s game. (Actually, it’s way more fun than an awful lot of things which are way more fun than most of Sunday’s game. It was MT and Ben who were mic’d up, and it’s definitely worth the trouble to find it.)

Er, I’m not doing a very good job at staying positive. Let me reset and try again.

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Random Thoughts on Panthers @ Steelers

Thursday night football. Soooo slow. Soooo boring. It took the Steelers 17 seconds to score two touchdowns! C’mon, guys, this is unacceptable.

Especially when you consider that one of those touchdowns was scored by the defense.

Well, I suppose that was pretty okay after all. I was a bit nervous when the Panthers drove right down the field for a touchdown, but one pass to JuJu took care of that. Here are some other random thoughts:

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Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 Second Quarter Report

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By Ivan Cole

It’s hard to argue with 4-0, though we know that some will manage to overcome this challenge. As we pass through the first weekend in November and into the second half of the season the September stench has dissipated considerably. The landscape has changed dramatically in Pittsburgh, the AFC North and around the league. Indeed, when both football and non-football occurrences are considered, who could have predicted where we find ourselves as we enter the heart of the holiday season.

In the NFC the Rams are proving themselves the class of the conference, if not the whole league. As Philadelphia suffers a particularly harsh Super Bowl hangover, Washington emerges as the Beast of the East. Similarly, another team with high expectations, Atlanta, has yielded to more robust divisional rivals in New Orleans and Pittsburgh’s Thursday night opponent, Carolina. The Bears impress in the North.

In the AFC the Patriots appear to continue to have an unfair advantage in that they are spotted six victories due to their inept divisional rivals. Jacksonville show themselves to be paper Jaguars as the Texans surge. That loss to the Chiefs looks more forgivable with every passing week.

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