Tag Archives: Ryan Shazier

A Couple of Snarky Questions on the Pittsburgh Steelers: Free Agency Edition

Matt Freed/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

As noted in the premier post in this series (“premier” in the sense of first, not the sense of good…) this feature is a placeholder for the 5 Smoldering Questions. So let’s get to it, since it’s already late.

1. Most everyone seems to think Lawrence Timmons will be a cap casualty with the Dolphins. His stat line last year was nothing to write home about. Part of this is because he bizarrely missed the first walk-through of the season for the Week 2 game, the first for the Phins because of the hurricane, thus being suspended for the first two games. It was the first time since 2009 he missed a game.

But some might say that, in terms of inside linebackers, beggars can’t be choosers, and the Steelers, due to Ryan Shazier’s health and their cap constraints, are definitely beggars. If you were the Steelers brain trust, would you try to bring the 32-year-old Timmons back for another year in the Black and Gold?

2. James Harrison recently showed up, rather to most people’s surprise, to Brett Keisel’s “Shear Da Beard” event. Arthur Moats said they had “talked out their differences.” Whether Steeler Nation will ever again take him back to their collective bosoms is another matter. But my question concerns Harrison’s stated desire to play next season. What’s your guess? Did you see enough from him in a different scheme to think another team will take him on?

That’s all for now. This is plenty to deal with in the offseason, right in the middle of the Olympics. And speaking of the Olympics, here’s a bonus for you. One of my son-in-laws is a police officer, and this was recently published in the department newsletter. Names are changed to protect the guilty:

  • PO Jim Smith at 7 PM: “Oh…Figure skating?”
  • PO Jim Smith at 10 PM: “If they nail this triple twist they’ve got at least 40 in the technical category.”

Stay warm, y’all.

A Potpourri of Steelers Talk

Photo via Steelers.com

There’s a surprisingly large amount to report/discuss/disagree about in the Steelers universe, given that we are only one week out from the most offensive Super Bowl in the history of the game. (Read that as you like.)

For one thing, the Steelers have been busy making small signings and salary restructures, the former to take care of impending free agents of one sort or another, the latter presumably in the name of freeing up the cartloads of money it will take to re-sign Le’Veon Bell.

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Steelers @ Texans: Taking Care of Business

Photo via Steelers.com

The recurring theme of the coverage of this game is “business-like.” The Steelers were supposedly reeling from a last-minute, emotional loss to the Patriots. Furthermore, this is a team who under Mike Tomlin has proven, at least in recent years, that they are capable of losing to anyone. The Texans’ roster was banged up almost to the point of being unrecognizable, and the Steelers, by contrast, got back a couple of important players, Marcus Gilbert and Joe Haden. But the general feeling prior to the game was that while the Steelers should easily handle the Texans, despite the absence of Antonio Brown, the big question was, would they?

The answer was a resounding “yes.” Let’s look at some of the details, and see whether it seemed like “business as usual” for the players.

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Acme Fake Spike Kit Fails Steelers, Who Fall to Screwjob in Dusty Finish

Photo via Steelers.com

By Homer J.

Pregame remarks:

All right. Cue the music. It’s Cliff Friend’s 1937 classic “The Merry Go Round Broke Down.” When the Steelers face the Patriots, it’s Looney Tunes, and too often the Steelers are Wile E. Coyote and the Tom Brady is the Road Runner. So cue the Looney Tunes music….Gotta wonder what Coach Tomlin has purchased from the Acme Corporation this time around, and whether it’s gonna work.

Either that or we’re the Washington Generals and the Patriots are the Globetrotters. But, as Krusty always says, “the Generals are due.” Rooting for the Steelers is the triumph of hope over experience, but hope, talent, and home field advantage can go a long way.

Why the hell are they running commercials locally when the game is getting underway? We missed the first entire minute of the game while they ran commercials…

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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

What About Ryan?

Photo via Steelers.com

By Ivan Cole

As they say, the show must go on. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say that we didn’t see this coming? That what happened to Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier was some shocking freak accident that no one could have anticipated.

This may be true for some, but if you are a thinking observer of pro football that would probably be a lie. It wasn’t if, it was when.

Actually, what happened isn’t close to the worst-case scenario. There is no indication of permanent paralysis, nor did Shazier die. If either had happened we would have undoubtedly been shocked, but not surprised. We would be forced to acknowledge that our luck had finally run out. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

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Ravens @ Steelers: A 38-Tums Game*

Photo via Steelers.com

If you watched the game you have no need of an explanation for the headline. If you have watched the Steelers at all this season you probably don’t need an explanation either. I had the joy of watching the game with both my sons, and it was a corker. After taking a 14-0 lead in the early going, the Steelers had to make it interesting for the next 45 minutes or so. And the Ravens managed to make it interesting by seemingly Bungling the end of the game, not at least going for a Hail Mary pass in the waning seconds. But in fact it was T.J. Watt’s strip sack that decided their fate. And a timely play it was, too. It was, I believe, the only sack of the game by the Steelers’ defense, and it couldn’t have been more welcome. Except, perhaps, to Joe Flacco.

There’s just something about this team. They are scarily slow on defense in the middle of the field without Ryan Shazier. The tackling was improved tonight, enough to come up to perhaps junior varsity level, but Alex Collins frequently ripped through them like a hot knife through butter. Or Javoris Allen. Or the friggin’ fullback.

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