Tag Archives: Bill Belichick

Steelers Opponent Preview: The New England Patriots

Vince Williams practicing wearing Ryan Shazier’s jersey. Photo via Steelers.com

I found myself highly reluctant to write this preview because, unlike Mike Tomlin, I am perfectly happy averting my gaze from the elephant in the room. But needs must as the devil drives, which is actually a pretty appropriate expression for this week, and here it is.

First off, let’s look at the record, because although I’m not going to take the time to look it up I’m betting it’s been a pretty long time since the Steelers had a better record than the Patriots at this point in the season:

  • Pittsburgh: 11-2
  • New England: 10-3

The unfortunate thing, of course, is that the record doesn’t make a bit of difference if the Steelers lose on Sunday. If they win, it’s another story, of course. So let’s take a look at the usual indicators and see whether the chances look reasonable. As usual, numbers come from Football Outsiders and Pro Football Focus. We will begin with defense to get it over with. Luckily the Patriots’ D is nothing to write home about either: Read more

Nature or Nurture?

Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick

Or—How Much of a Player’s Success is Tied to Which Team Drafts Them?

I’ll tell you up front that I don’t have the answer to this age-old question, any more than anyone can tell you definitively how your child would have turned out had they grown up in a different family.  But we’re into the silly season, and it’s interesting to speculate.

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Steelers Opponent Preview: The New England Patriots


Let’s hope Tom will be seeing a lot of James on Sunday…

Although I used the more traditional name for Sunday’s opponent, it’s highly unlikely that anyone has forgotten the more informal sobriquet bestowed upon them by Mike Tomlin last Sunday evening. And whether Mike Tomlin actually thinks of the Patriots as constitutionally different than all the other teams or not, I would venture to guess Steeler Nation does. Many believe the Pats robbed the Steelers of two Super Bowl appearances.

I looked up the final scores of those two AFC Championship games, and discovered the 2001 game was won 24—17 by New England, and the 2004 game by a score of 41-27. I don’t know whether this merely indicates that Belichick got better at utilizing the information as he went along, or whether it’s a conspiracy theory sort of thing, but there is no doubt Belichick had video materials for both games. How much difference it made is up for debate.

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Homer J’s Thoughts About Mike Tomlin vs. The Great Satan, and Parts of the Human Anatomy


No love lost…

By Homer J

That Sunday night game really messed up everyone’s karma.

As the pom-pom guy pointed out, we spotted those a-holes a day and a half, and didn’t get back to PIT till four o’clock in the morning. Luckily, James Harrison comes from a planet where sleep is optional, especially when it gets in the way of your workout.

Supposedly, James headed directly to the South Side facility and began his workout less than an hour after touch down. (Not sure if Roger Goodell – who was at the KC game – accompanied Harrison on the flight back or to the workout room, but the guess here is the hourly “random testing” continues.)

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Steelers Opponent Preview: The New England Patriots


AP. Photo/Steven Senne

Oh, the temptation. There were so many possibilities for the title of this article when referring to the opponent. In the end some remaining shreds of professionalism restrained me. I will try to continue to utilize them as I write about The Great Satan. Oops—I mean the New England Patriots.

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Anti-Tomlin, 2016 Version: Part 1


Peter Diana/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

by Ivan Cole

It would be foolish to assume that the haters all died or are converted.

I pointed that out in Part One of ‘The Case for the Pittsburgh Steelers 2016’, and unfortunately I was right. Obviously, there are creative challenges involved in Tomlin hating these days, but there are those who are up to the task. I focus on Colin Cowherd, who reiterated on his vehicle, The Herdwhat has become the standard anti-Tomlin narrative—he is a mediocrity who has been given inappropriate credit for having the good fortune to find himself in circumstances where he can’t possibly fail.

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The Sunday Football-Related Music Post

In last week’s post  I laid out, in mind-numbing detail, just how difficult it is to combine music and football. So I’m unlikely to find current football players who are doing any music as more than an avocation, although I will continue to try.

But I do have for you today a young man who played in the NFL, albeit for a short time, and became a professional musician afterwards.

And talk about irony—he played for both the (real) Cleveland Browns and the newly minted Baltimore Ravens. Fortunately he didn’t manage the trifecta and play for Cincinnati as well, or I would have had to seriously reconsider this post.

Ta’u Papu’a was drafted in the fifth round in 1995 as a DT but played defensive end under head coach Bill Belichick. Wait—maybe this is already the trifecta. But I’m committed now…

It was not a good year for the Browns—they went 5-11, which put them in fourth place in the AFC Central, just one spot above the Jacksonville Jaguars.

I was also not a good year for Papu’a, who sustained two injuries to the same foot which shattered the arch. After rehabbing he played in the CFL for a time to get back into shape at Belichick’s suggestion. But he didn’t make the Ravens roster, and presumably spent the 1997 season on the scout team, where he was injured again.

He had always loved to sing, and decided that he would dedicate himself to a singing career. After about ten years of singing small roles at undistinguished venues, between being working at an upscale restaurant, he had the good fortune to meet Kiri Te Kanawa, the famous New Zealand soprano. She recognized a wonderful voice hampered by a lack of technique, and took him over to the Juilliard School of Music to sing for the head of the vocal department. They offered him a full scholarship, and the rest is history, I suppose you could say. Although that history is still being written.
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Mrs. Strangelove, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying about Statistics and Love the Steelers

via Steelers.com

Last week I published the finale to a series detailing the 2013 AFC North draft and the results thereof. I freely admit that “detailing” is an apt description of the series. The following comment was left by the person also known as “Earthling:”

So….what are your overall conclusions, Rebecca? I’ll admit I normally would never read this kind of grading assessment (or assessment of grading?) except that this one had your name attached. Do you agree that drafting is a crapshoot? Were you hoping to see something in particular in relation to the Steelers or any of the other teams? Did you have an idea you were hoping to see confirmed or the opposite? And while I’m asking questions, I assume you enjoy doing things like this and I’m curious about that as well. 

So many things about other forms of fandom puzzle me. Sometimes I’m a bit appalled, other times just interested in what would never occur to me. Is a study like this just a way to look more closely at the whole process? What did you enjoy about it? Does it change your view of….well, of anything?  Read more