Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Peter Diana photo
Steeler Nation, viewed as a whole, could be said to be bi-polar. One week we’re going to the Super Bowl—the next week we are going to be just bad enough to miss the playoffs and still not get a top-of-the-first-round draft pick.
But when you begin talking to individual fans the general attitude varies tremendously, from the “Black and Gold colored glasses” wearers to the Bob Labriola “I live in my fears” type of fan. Some fans even appear to be downright annoyed when their alleged team does well, disappearing from the commenting flow when there isn’t enough to gripe about.
Steeler fans aren’t any different than any other fans this way, of course. As many of you know I also follow the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the gloom and doom on BucsDugout is palpable as it seems about 97% of the commenters there are convinced the Pirates can’t possibly beat the Cubs in a one-game elimination match, assuming Jake Arrieta pitches it. And you can bet that he will, unless some of his major organs shut down between now and tomorrow evening. Read more
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Peter Diana photo
Hombre de Acero’s 5 Smoldering Questions this week not surprisingly contained the following:
2. All was not positive in the Steelers victory, as Josh Scobee missed an extra point attempt, making that three misses in two weeks. As the Steelers luck with place kickers this year does not seem to be good, are you worried yet?
It’s hard to imagine there is anyone in Steeler Nation, from Head Coach Mike Tomlin down to all but the least observant fans, who aren’t at least discomfited by Scobee’s horrific 50.0% made field goal percentage so far (not to mention a missed extra point attempt.)
Therefore it may surprise you, as it did me, to discover he isn’t the lowest ranked kicker in the NFL, or even close to it, at least according to Pro Football Focus. He is ranked No. 28 out of 39 ranked kickers. Nor is he the only kicker to have missed half his attempts so far. Graham Gano, who kicks for the Panthers, has also missed half of his kicks this season. He is 3 for 6, so this is even a larger sample size than Scobee’s 2 of 4. Gano is ranked No. 5. Read more
via Pittsburgh Sporting News
by Hombre de Acero
The Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded from a disappointing opener on the road with a resounding victory at Heinz Field, where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers 43-18. The Steelers win over San Francisco soothed a lot of nerves in Steelers Nation. Nonetheless, they’ve still left the community here with 5 Smoldering Questions on as the Steelers head to another road game vs. the
Los Angeles er um St. Louis Rams.
1. Sans Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant, the Steelers offense scored 43 points on the 49ers, despite badly “losing” the battle of time of possession. The Steelers offensive fireworks generated a lot of highlight reel material, but the Steelers defense was just as dominant. Which unit’s performance is more important in your view? Read more
via Florida Times-Union, Photo: Scott Halleran
Steeler Fever asked me last week if I could write something about placekicker Garrett Hartley. What with one thing and another (mainly the Michael Vick fallout) I didn’t get to it, but planned to write it this week. I’ve learned my lesson—if you’re going to write about the kicker this season you’d better get the article up right away.
The Steelers seem to replace kickers at an equivalent rate to the one they traditionally replace head coaches. (I think a Head Coach year is equivalent to about two kicker years.) They installed Jeff Reed as the kicker in 2002, and replaced him with Shaun Suisham in 2010. Greg Warren has been the long snapper since 2005, and he has only worked with those two kickers plus the occasional camp body, one of which was Shaun Suisham in 2005.
So it must feel fairly odd to Warren to be on his third kicker this summer. It feels kind of odd to us, as well. The kicker is someone you don’t think about much unless he has just messed up. And messing up is something Shaun Suisham didn’t do a lot of.
So here we are, just over a week before the start to the season, and the Steelers front office had to run out and hunt for another kicker. And if you wonder why I’m using the word “hunt” so much, it seems there is a theme running through the kickers they’ve signed. Read more