Tag Archives: Mike Wallace

The Weirdness that is the NFL Free Agency, and What it Looks Like in the AFC North

NFL: Chicago Bears at Pittsburgh Steelers

via USA Today

Another year, another frenzy in the meat market known as NFL Free Agency. We can always count on a few stunners, and this year has been no exception. And, so far at least, this year is no exception in the Steelers’ reluctance to wade very far into these very expensive waters.

As Kevin Colbert recently noted, more teams are following the Steelers’ model of drafting and retaining their own players, and this makes the ones who do hit free agency all the more expensive. Read more

Developing the Talent: Wide Receivers Coach Richard Mann


via Steelers.com

Richard Mann is an unusual case. He was a longtime well-respected coach who decided, all on his own, to retire from coaching. And unlike some “retired” coaches one can think of who took another job about an hour later, Mann retired in 2009 and wasn’t lured out of retirement until Mike Tomlin came calling in 2013.

Tomlin knew Mann when they were both assistants at Tampa Bay in 2002. The team won the Super Bowl after the end of that season. Mann later moved up assistant head coach in his final year. He had 28 years of NFL coaching experience when he retired.

But as we all know, Mike Tomlin has a winning way about him, and he has managed to keep Mann un-retired for the past three seasons, with no end in sight. And given the quality of the Steelers offense, I’m guessing Mann can stay as long as he wants.

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A Blast from the Past: Third Round Part 3

Don Ryan/AP photo

Because the 2012 third-round pick (Sean Spence) was such an interesting one, and because there was so much to say, I saved the (also interesting) 2013 third round pick for this article. Said pick would be wide receiver Markus Wheaton.

It has frequently been noted just how successful the Steelers have been with bargain-basement wide receivers in recent years, and how odd it is that they seem to have been so inept at choosing what is in essence an equivalent defensive position in defensive backs. And it is truly odd, and rather unfortunate. But I suppose we can at least be happy they have been so successful with receivers.

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A Blast from the Past: Third Round Part 1

Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports

In this series we have been revisiting the Steelers’ draft picks from 2010-2013. Links for the previous articles can be found at the end of this one.

The third-round pick in 2010 was one of three pro-bowlers the Steelers chose that year. WR Emmanuel Sanders became part of a group who dubbed themselves “Young Money,” and they were correct. Mike Wallace disdained the money the Steelers offered him, correctly assuming he could make more in free agency. Emmanuel Sanders was allowed to walk by the Steelers because they already knew what they had in Antonio Brown (although perhaps even they didn’t foresee just how good he would get.) Sanders was able to command a nice contract with the Broncos, and ironically is the only one of the trio who has a Super Bowl ring.

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A Blast from the Past: RIP 2011 Steelers

Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports

Hombre’s epitaph was short and to the point:

As disappointing as the Pittsburgh Steelers playoff loss was, I concur with Dale Lolley that Pittsburgh’s latest loss on the road against the Broncos Mile High represents a microcosm of the Steelers 2011 season. Pittsburgh had all of the elements of greatness, but just couldn’t muster them at the right time.

So be it.

Both of the linked articles are good reads, if a bit depressing.

Hombre continued:

The Steelers face a lot of tough decisions in the off season, and there’s no better way to get the debate surrounding those decisions started than with the 2011 season’s final Five Burning Questions “Down But Not Defeated” Edition.

This question was interesting, since we know the end of the story: Read more

A Blast from the Past: Today’s Question We Were Debating Back in the Day

SA Today Sports/Charles LeClaire

On October 26, 2011, Hombre de Acero wrote:

The 2011 NFL season is 7 weeks old, with Week 8 rapidly approaching. The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-2 and riding high on a three-game win streak. But all three wins have come against less than stellar competition. The Steelers took care of business and are now set to begin the “varsity section” of their schedule starting with this week’s game against the Patriots. Which brings us to this week’s 5 Burning Questions:

But rather than debate the present, Hombre first speculated about the “top-flight nose tackle” the Steelersi n his created scenario, drafted in the spring of 2012. Which as we all know didn’t happen. Nor did Hombre necessarily think it would. But it is interesting to reflect how far the team has evolved in one year under Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler that hardly anyone is talking about how we ought to look for a Casey Hampton type.

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Great Expectations, Abundant Disappointments? Steelers Third Round Draft Picks in the 21st Century

Historically, the Pittsburgh Steelers have done quite well at identifying talent and drafting good players. Naturally there have been a number of less-than-optimal outcomes. And despite what many people think, this did not begin with the Mike Tomlin era. Troy Edwards, anyone? Or Ricardo Colclough?

In recent years the Steelers have continued to draft some fine players. But the third round, a round in which the Steelers have drafted players such as Joey Porter, Max Starks, and Hines Ward, has seemingly been less impressive in recent years.

But have the Steelers really been that good at drafting in the third round in the 21st century? Despite a few major successes, the Steelers were right around the league average during the first decade of the 21st century. The release of Dri Archer, a player for whom many had high hopes and many more felt was a wasted draft pick, has started another round of the refrain “Tomlin doesn’t know how to draft.” This in turn prompted me to look back at the Steelers third round picks since 2000. (Ward was, of course, drafted in 1998 and won’t be considered further.)  Read more

The Good Guys: Roxanna Firehall tackles the receivers

This week, I tackle the wide receivers. Through the seasons, the Steelers have been blessed with wideouts who are winners in the game of life and have what it takes to earn a spot on Going Deep’s Good Guys:

(5). Sammie Coates.

Yes, I know. Sammie Coates has caught one ball in the NFL. His resume as a player is shorter Danny Woodhead standing in a sinkhole. You know what, I don’t care. I love this kid. The whole point of this series is to celebrate the character, the characters and the great players who have impressed me as men.  Sammie is a man of character.

Sammie was a third round draft choice in the 2015 draft. He is fast and appears to be motivated to get better. He’s worked hard, both at the college level and now with the Steelers. But that, my friends, just scratches the surface. Read more