Tag Archives: J.J. Wilcox

Da Bears Hold the Steelers at Bay—Again

photo via Steelers.com

Well, I said that we shouldn’t let history be our guide in determining whether the Steelers were likely to lose to the Bears. The same Bears who are 12-1 against the Steelers in Chicago since 1934. But I guess we might well have, since the outcome was the same this time.

What a game! I’ve never seen so many weird goings-on in a single game in my entire Steelers-watching career. There were turnovers galore, player stupidity, a regular rota of trainers on the field and players heading down the tunnel, and plenty of flags to add to the festive mood. But the game itself may have been overshadowed by the events (or lack thereof) during the National Anthem. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers, Week 2

photo via Steelers.com

By Not-Hombre de Acero

Hombre is off pottering around the world somewhere, and thus the Smoldering Mantle falls on my shoulders this week. It’s a pretty hot place to be. So let’s get this started:

1. One could scarcely even ask this question in an ordinary year, but with the big flurry of horse-trading in which the Steelers engaged just prior to the season, it’s reasonable to ponder this. After watching last Sunday’s game, if you could upgrade any one player with a modest free-agent signing, who (or which position) would it be? [For the purposes of this question we’ll assume such a player would be available to be signed.]

2. And, in a similar vein, from what you’ve seen so far, do you think the trades/signings the Steelers made just prior to the season are going to be a success? Specifically, do you prefer Haden to Cockrell, McDonald to David Johnson (since that was the effective result,) and Wilcox to, I suppose, Golden?

3. I’ve heard theories as to why the offensive line seemed to be quite effective in pass protection but not in run blocking last Sunday, including it being a silent conspiracy to punish Bell for missing training camp. Do you have any thoughts on this?

4. A number of people have been upset about the massive number of penalties the Steelers took in the first game. Do you think this was due to any of the things I’ve heard expressed, as listed?

A. Mike Tomlin runs an undisciplined team.

B. Referee bias

C. Just another problem with Le’Veon Bell’s holdout (although it wasn’t technically a holdout)

D. A result of the cutting of padded practices and meaningful pre-season games (if I may be allowed to posit the latter.)

E. Other (Please elucidate.)

5. When looking at the league-wide scores in Week 1, it struck me how few really close games there were. There were only two decided by 3 points—Steelers @ Browns and Chargers @ Broncos—and only one other decided by less than a touchdown (Falcons @ Bears.) The average difference was 10 and a half points, with the high being Colts @ Rams (in which the Rams won by 37 points. Really!)

And, curiously, four of the six games decided by more than two touchdowns were a win by the visiting team. Including, of course, the Chiefs embarrassing the Patriots. (That was unnecessary but oh so satisfying to point out…)

So do you find it worrisome that the Steelers were on the bottom end of this scale against the Browns? Or do you think it’s a matter of what Mike Tomlin calls September football?

Bonus question: Since I’m really into the trade questions, here’s a more-than-usually frivolous one—if you could trade Antonio Brown for the entire 70s Steel Curtain defensive front, just for this year, would you do it, and why or why not? If so, how would you deal with the penalties they would certainly incur?

Meet the New Steeler: Safety J.J. Wilcox

photo via insidethestar.com

The Steelers are killing me here. I sincerely hope the spate of new signings stops soon, because I can scarcely keep up!

The latest signing has some interesting antecedents. He was born and raised in Cairo, for one thing! Which is less exciting when you realize that’s Cairo, Georgia. But it still has a tinge of the exotic about it, especially when you discover his high school team was the Cairo Syrupmakers. I’m willing to make a small bet that no other high school team in the entire country is called the “Syrupmakers.” Read more