Tag Archives: Bill Cowher

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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The Case for the Pittsburgh Steelers 2017, Part Two: The Overview

via Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

There are several factors that make 2017 peculiar, a departure from normal practice. Over time we will see if any of these things matter relative to outcomes. So, consider the following:

• The Steelers will be entering the season intact, as far as their frontline personnel are concerned. 2016, with Ladarius Green on PUP, Bud Dupree on in season IR, and Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant on suspension was much closer to the norm for the Tomlin Era. You may recall that Art Rooney II, in one of his state of the franchise conversations that I believe are way more important than many realize, enunciated two goals: Give quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the necessary tools to be successful, and do something to stem what seemed at times to be a tsunami of injuries. Don’t equate the random hamstring pull here and there. Nobody gets out of this game injury free. These are annoyances, and the strategist in me might even question if some of these things are even real. It is possible that they are just lucky, but I wouldn’t discount other possibilities. It should also be noted the absence of extracurricular drama as well. If Bell (more about him below) dragging his heals about signing his franchise tender is what passes for high drama in Steeler Nation this season, I’ll take it.

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Knowing What We Don’t Know, Part 4: More on Mike Tomlin and Coaching in the NFL


Fred Vuich/AP Photo

By Ivan Cole

On Christmas Day 2016, the Baltimore Ravens were eliminated from both the possibility of earning the AFC North championship and a spot in the playoffs when Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown combined for a game winning touchdown with nine seconds left to play.

In the days following the game, some Ravens fans directed their ire at head coach John Harbaugh and his staff, asserting that the group should be terminated, for, among other crimes, poor clock management. Sound familiar?

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5 Smoldering Questions on the Dan Rooney and the 2017 Draft

1934 team

From lovable losers to Super Bowl champions

The 2017 off season has been an eventful one as Steelers Nation said good bye to Dan Rooney while welcoming the 2017 NFL Draft class. And while the “real” off season will begin soon (you know, the dead period where it gets hard to find, much less make, news articles), there’s still plenty of material here for us to wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on Dan Rooney and the Draft. Read more

Fifth Quarter Report: 2016 Pittsburgh Steelers, Part One


by Ivan Cole

Steelers Nation

In August 2015, I spent a delightful day indulging in a Pittsburgh sports feast with Rebecca. We spent the afternoon attending Steelers training camp in Latrobe, and then the evening taking in a Pittsburgh Pirates game at PNC Park.

One of many things that struck me that day was the difference in mood at the respective venues.

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5 Smoldering Questions: Post-Dolphins Pre-Chiefs


Via Steelers.com

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?

Thoughts from the Missing in Action: Steelers vs. Colts

by Ivan Cole

I have been able, mostly holding my head in my hands, to watch the games over the past month, but haven’t been paying attention to much else. But it probably doesn’t require much imagination to get a sense of the topics, tone and tenor of what the conversation has been like in the Steelers community recently. Through semi-fresh eyes, here are some observations coming off Thanksgiving Week’s action. Read more

On Second Thought: Is There Hope for the 2016 Steelers?

jhThe title of this post may seem odd to those of you who read yesterday’s game commentary, which contained choice items such as:

  • I’m afraid I see another of Ben Roethlisberger’s precious remaining years going down the tubes.
  • I begin to fear we’ve seen the best of Ben Roethlisberger already.
  • It’s been tempting this season to think that unfortunate circumstances have conspired to pull the Steelers down. But they are second in the AFC North, could well be third after tonight’s game, and it’s pretty clear that unless something remarkable happens to the AFC West, in a bad way, there are going to be no wild card spots for an AFC North team. Yes, a lot can happen in seven games, but probably not that much.

So the short answer to the question posed by the title would appear to be “no.” But since this makes for an awfully short article, and since I prefer to contemplate good possibilities than fear bad ones, let’s see what can be dredged up by, well, going deeper.

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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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Training Camp for Fans, Part 7: Fandom At The End of an Era?

AP photo

by Ivan Cole

The Second Dynastic Period may be called, if you prefer, the Era of Ben Roethlisberger. It began in 2004 and is ongoing. This period includes the final three years of Bill Cowher’s leadership and the entirety of Mike Tomlin’s command. There have been no losing seasons, and three Super Bowl appearances have culminated with two championships.

While the common belief has been that unless the team manages at least one or more additional championships this period falls short of the first dynasty, I believe the opposite may well be true. What colors our perceptions is the difference in the myth making and fan expectations about what the 70s were about, and what the 21st Century rendition of the Black and Gold has produced.

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