I realize that about a million words have already been written about the last few rookie classes. But I have never shied away from adding a few thousand more to any subject, and it won’t stop me this time either.
Those of you who have been reading my musings know that I’ve only been a Steelers fan since the end of 2009, which was a curious time to start taking an interest, right smack dab in the middle of the worst losing streak of Mike Tomlin’s career. At that time I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to know about things like rookies, although I quickly figured out the draft, since it gave me an opportunity to look over a great many
handsome promising young players. Read more
Photo via Steelers.com
The recurring theme of the coverage of this game is “business-like.” The Steelers were supposedly reeling from a last-minute, emotional loss to the Patriots. Furthermore, this is a team who under Mike Tomlin has proven, at least in recent years, that they are capable of losing to anyone. The Texans’ roster was banged up almost to the point of being unrecognizable, and the Steelers, by contrast, got back a couple of important players, Marcus Gilbert and Joe Haden. But the general feeling prior to the game was that while the Steelers should easily handle the Texans, despite the absence of Antonio Brown, the big question was, would they?
The answer was a resounding “yes.” Let’s look at some of the details, and see whether it seemed like “business as usual” for the players.
Photo via Steelers.com
By Ivan Cole…in which Ivan gives the best description of being a Steeler fan I’ve ever read.
Rebecca raises the question ‘Are you entertained?’, and the definitive answer is yes. But let’s delve deeper.
Obviously, for all but the most masochistic of Steelers fans, you don’t need this kind of entertainment. If you were wondering what it might be like to devoured by a tiger while the incident was being taped on YouTube, this was pretty close. You know that the video will certainly go viral, but the next few moments are really going to suck. There was a happy ending, but like some of the best amusement park rides (thrills and chills) there was a lot screaming, cursing, vomiting and petitions to God along the way. Read more
Photo via Steelers.com
In the first episode, young JuJu postponed his driving test so he could perfect his parallel parking skills, and he recovered his beloved bicycle, which had been stolen by some miscreant. Let’s see what he’s up to this week:
After his stolen bicycle was found, things really started looking up for JuJu. He got a lot of “snaps” in the football game in Detroit, and was the star of the game! (“Snaps” are when you get to be one of the 11 men on the field for your team in a football game. The coaches choose very carefully which of the players get to go onto the field, and JuJu was very excited that they kept choosing him!) Read more
Photo via Twitter
This column isn’t about the Steelers, exactly, but something I’ve been pondering this year. It has been prompted by the development (or lack thereof) of players the Steelers have drafted, and seeing some of the players many thought the Steelers should have taken instead.
Sunday’s game featured one such match-up, if you will—Steelers corner Artie Burns vs the guy most thought the Steelers really wanted, and who was drafted one slot before—corner William Jackson III. Those of us who pay attention to the smaller details are actually in some doubt about that, for various reasons. The Steelers’ pick went to Goodell seconds after the Cincinnati pick was announced. An “AFC North team” who was almost certainly the Steelers had been looking into possible schools for Burns’ younger brothers he is raising. And Mike Tomlin is known to have a penchant for helping young men like Burns. The Steelers couldn’t have drafted Jackson if they wanted to. The question is whether they wanted him over Burns, and we’ll never know that, but my guess is no. Read more
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The Steelers have, through the years, played the Bears a number of times. 13 of those games have been in Chicago. The Steelers have lost 12 of them. So if we were to let history be our guide we would just hang up the (Terrible) towel now and not even bother.
But as we know history isn’t generally a very good guide. Well, maybe when you’re talking about playing the Patriots at their place. (For one thing, the communications system for the opposing team never seems to work correctly…) But for a team the Steelers play as infrequently as the Bears, history shouldn’t have much to do with it. I would be more likely to suspect the pizza.
So what can we expect from this year’s Bears team? Well, they are 0-2, for one thing. But the loss to Tampa Bay looked much different (and worse) than their Week 1 loss in Atlanta. So what’s going on? Read more
photo via Steelers.com
I guess I’m going to have to stick with this format until the Steelers start impressing on both sides of the ball. Once again I’m not too cheesed off, because the Steelers won. But, due to no fault of their own, the Steelers’ defense is still going to be questioned until they have to face a more formidable quarterback, and the offense is going to get questions about when they are going to start producing like it seems reasonable to expect of them. So let’s get started:
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Carnell Lake. Back in 2011 or so I went to a Ladies Training Camp, and Lake was one of the speakers. (I suppose as a newbie he got one of the assignments nobody else wanted.) I was so impressed at the time with the way he took us through some film and talked about working with some of the individual players.
Fast-forward to 2016, and there were more than a few people calling for his head. It was entirely understandable. The Steelers had drafted defensive backs—a lot of them—and the results just weren’t there. It’s certainly reasonable to look to the coaching as at least one of the causes when a given position group has disappointed.
As promised in Part 1, we will look at one position group per post to assess where the Steelers currently stand. As you can probably guess from my title, I’m beginning with the cornerbacks.
This has been a position of need for years. Steeler Nation has decried, year after year, the lack of a high-round pick being spent upon the secondary, and in particular on the corners. It was not always thus, but it’s been a long time since the last high-round pick was spent on a corner—all the way back to 2015.
Matt Freed, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
by Ivan Cole
The Team: Offense
Let’s re-establish a basic professional football truth at the outset. Franchise quarterbacks do not grow on trees. We don’t usually define them as such, but they tend to be generational players, as in if you are lucky, one will come along every quarter century or so.