Tag Archives: Sammie Coates

Pittsburgh’s Goin’ to the Super Bowl: Ask and Ye Shall Receive


The title seemed appropriate to celebrate the news of Antonio Brown’s massive extension. And no, he didn’t get a new hair style, although I suspect he will, just to mark the occasion—he got a nice fat contract.

I expect if you are a betting sort of person you can find a site someplace in which you can lay down money on the odds of him committing even more outrageous and extravagant hi-jinks, now that he has $19 million in guaranteed money to tide him over, besides all the rest of it. We can only hope his post-season heart to heart meeting with Mike Tomlin at a downtown steakhouse included some equally extravagant promises of future good behavior. But in the end I expect what they mainly care about is future performance.

Because of this news it seems appropriate to address the wideouts. So let’s get this out of the way first. We just looked at the defensive backs and pondered why it is that the Steelers, who have come up smelling like roses in drafting later-round wide receivers, have generally smelled like something else in their drafting of defensive backs. goffthesloth left a very interesting comment on that post, which I quote in its entirety: Read more

Opponent Preview: Browns @ [Attenuated] Steelers



It’s a bit difficult, I must admit, to get excited about Sunday’s game. The Steelers have already said they are going to rest those who “need to get healthy,” and perhaps some who seem to be plenty healthy as it is. (Although it’s easy to imagine that anyone who played in last Sunday’s civil but brutal game isn’t going to be exactly “healthy.”) A win on Sunday does absolutely nothing to improve their seeding or anything else, so there’s no point in risking players who are desperately needed going into the playoffs.

On the other side, the Browns have actually already won a game this season. They have thus avoided the dreaded 0-16 record and the derision which comes with that. There’s really nothing for them to play for. Quite the contrary—any more wins and they may lose out on the No. 1 overall pick. They may play for pride or for their coach or for the future—hard to say. But they won’t be playing to win because there would be any benefit to do so, in practical terms. Read more

Then and Now: The 2015 and 2016 Steelers

11292015-HAWKShighlights01We are coming up to the stretch run. Five more games to play, the division in sight but not in hand, and the Steelers are (perhaps) rounding into form. It sounded vaguely familiar to me, and I thought I would have a quick look at the situation a year ago.

One year ago the Steelers were 6-5, having just lost to the Seattle Seahawks. The team had been highly inconsistent during the season, but having to start a couple of backup quarterbacks is generally not a recipe for success. The defense, who had been showing signs of getting it together, gave up five touchdowns to Russell Wilson. The Steelers offense put up 30 points. The remarkable thing is they did so in a game in which they turned the ball over four times. But 30 points weren’t enough to counter a meltdown of massive proportions by the defense. Read more

5 Smoldering Questions: The Post-Cleveland Pre-Colts Edition


via CBSSports

by Hombre de Acero

They may not have earned many style points, but the Pittsburgh Steelers left Cleveland with that they needed:  A win. Now on a short week, the Steelers prepare to play on Thanksgiving for the 2 time in four years, but before we reach Turkey Day, this corner of Steelers Nation first must resolve these 5 Smoldering Questions on the Steelers.

1. The Steelers dominated time of possession, with three drives that threatened to break double digits. Yet, for all of their offensive domination between the 20’s, four trips to the red zone yielded only one touchdown. Do those stats leave your glass half empty or half full?

2. How much does the quality of the opposition temper your evaluation of the Steelers’ win over the Browns?

3. Sammie Coates is playing with two broken fingers, and in fact made three special teams tackles. Mike Tomlin defended his participation there, but do you think it is wise to play Coates on special teams given the Steelers’ urgent need to develop a sound No. 2 opposite Antonio Brown?

4. James Harrison broke the Steelers sack record vs. the Browns. Where would you rank Harrison alongside past great Steelers outside linebackers such as Jack Ham, Andy Russell, Bryan Hinkle, Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd, Joey Porter, Alonzo Jackson (just kidding!) and Jason Gildon, the man whose record he broke?

5. The NFL is “honoring” the Steelers with their eighth Thanksgiving Day game. The Steelers are 1-6 on Turkey Day, including the Thanksgiving Day massacre in Detroit in 1983 and the infamous coin flip game in 1998. Do you think the Steelers can finally play a game on Thanksgiving without emerging as turkeys?

Bonus Question

6. Although its been 15 years since I’ve been on U.S. soil for Thanksgiving, it remains one of my favorite holidays, as it  managed to survive commercialization until the advent of Black Friday.

Hopefully, all of you have non-football things to be thankful for, and those are far more important than anything that happens on the gridiron.

But who or what about the 2016 Steelers are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving Folks. Remember, the holiday season may be upon us, but normal quiz rules remain in effect. Answer using a No. 2 dark pencil. You must show work for full credit, but looking at your neighbor’s paper is not only allowed, we highly encourage it.

5 Smoldering Questions: The High Flying Edition


Jared Wickerham/AP Photo

First I should note that “High Flying” refers to the Jets rather than, say, to any substances we sincerely hope our players are completely eschewing, at least until they retire…

1. Vince Williams has played in 55 NFL games (excluding the preseason, which scarcely counts) as of today. But as a starter his career has been checkered. He started 11 games his rookie year (2013,) three games in 2014, none in 2015, and of course the past two games this season. Here are his stats as a starter:

  • 2013: 33 total tackles, 0 sacks in 11 games (avg. 3 tackles per game)
  • 2014: 13 total tackles, 0 sacks in three games (average 4.3 tackles per game)
  • 2016: 25 total tackles, two sacks in two games (average 12.5 tackles per game)

This is a remarkable difference. Just for completeness, his average number of tackles as a non-starter in 2015 was 2.9 per game. He had a half sack. Any theories on what happened?

2. One of the beat writers (I think it was Ed Bouchette) noted that after one of his many drops Mike Tomlin was seen calming Sammie Coates down. It makes me think of Limas Sweed, another large, gifted receiver who had trouble holding onto the ball. My impression back in the day was that Limas Sweed was in Tomlin’s doghouse, and of course he was eventually cut. Do you think the difference in the treatment the two guys received (or appear to have received) is because of a difference in the receivers or a difference in Mike Tomlin?

3. Speaking of receivers, if you were the offensive coordinator and you were forced by some unfortunate circumstance or other to cut either Darrius Heyward-Bey or Markus Wheaton, who would get the ax and why? And no, you can’t answer “Eli Rogers.”

4. The offensive line for last Sunday was composed of a still-developing left tackle (Alejandro Villanueva,) a left guard who is still recovering from a sternum injury (Ramon Foster,) Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and a journeyman offensive lineman who has mainly played center or guard making his first NFL start at right tackle (Chris Hubbard.) Nothing we saw of Hubbard in the preseason would lead one to believe he was an even adequate right tackle. The Jets front four is very well-regarded. Considering all of the above, which option or options makes the most sense?

  1. The Jets’ defensive linemen are not as good as advertised.
  2. Mike Munchak is a genius
  3. Todd Haley is a genius.
  4. Other?

5. Be honest now. If the fake field goal had worked, would you have loved it or still been mad?

Don’t forget to show your work.

On Second Thought: Steelers vs. Jets


Via Steelers.com

Ivan and Homer J both have plenty to say about the game, as you might suspect. Homer’s is in the form of ongoing game notes, ending with a report card, and Ivan wrote a commentary. So I’m going to interleave the two in some sort of hopefully sensible fashion. Ivan’s commentary will be in italics, Homer J’s notes in bold. His Report Card will be in plain text, because that would be an awful lot of boldface…

Here we go. Is this a trap game? The big question is whether Hubbard at right tackle will mean Ben will have to run for his life all day….

Read more

Steelers vs. Jets: No Frequent Flyer Awards


Via Steelers.com

There was a lot to be nervous about for this game. The Jets front four has a fearsome reputation, and when you pair that with the Steelers’ right tackle, Chris Hubbard, getting his first NFL start after looking more like a revolving door than an impediment in the preseason, and with Ramon Foster back but still a bit fragile, it didn’t seem like a recipe for a good game.

And while the Jets offense will probably not be mistaken for The Greatest Show on Turf anytime soon, the Steelers’ defense was missing several important players, and lost another during the game. Had I told you beforehand that Cameron Heyward would be out partway into the game you might feel the game would be a shootout, because despite Ryan Fitzpatrick’s predilection for throwing to the guys in the wrong-colored jersey recently, there was no reason to think any of the Steelers’ DBs would manage to hold onto one if Fitzpatrick threw it to him.

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2016 Pittsburgh Steelers First Quarter Report, Part 2


via Steelers Wire/USA Today Sports

by Ivan Cole

In Part 1 Ivan gave a general overview of the team to this point. Here are specifics about each unit.


To be honest, until the fourth game I have found the offense to be something of a disappointment. Considered the strong aspect of the team, the one which was supposed to carry a fragile and still developing defense, too often the opposite appeared to be the case. Citing the Cincinnati game as an example, time and again the offense was handed favorable field position by the defense and special teams but could not seal the deal until late, allowing the Bengals and Washington to hang around longer than should have been the case.

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5 Smoldering Questions: Bengals at Steelers Edition


Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo

As noted last week, Hombre is unavailable for an indefinite amount of time, rather like Ladarius Green. Unlike Green, he can come back before six weeks are up, but may or may not, depending on how his fingers are doing and whether he is still having headaches. Or not, depending on who you ask…

My attempt is not to replace him, because like Heath Miller, you can’t hope to do so. You can only hope to keep things going and throw a few good blocks in the process.

1. Is there a solution to the refereeing issues we’ve been seeing in the past few seasons in particular? Is it full-time referees, like pretty much every other professional sport has, or fines for poor performance? Or do we just have to accept that they are human beings who can’t catch everything?

2. Ben Roethlisberger called Sammie Coates out after the interception last Sunday in which Coates stopped running, allowing Dre Kirkpatrick to get the ball instead. Coates responded with some great catches. Ben did the same thing with Martavis Bryant last season, with similar results. I just read that Sammy Watkins in Buffalo is prone to inconsistent effort as well. Is there something in the mental makeup of tall, quick receivers which causes this, or is this merely coincidence?

3. What was your favorite play (or aspect) of Sunday’s game?

4. Are you concerned that the low sack totals (you could argue that the Steelers don’t have a single one yet) and high yardage given up is going to be inconsistent with winning efforts in the games to come? Do you think it is likely to change for the better?

5. Who is the player who is, for you, the most pleasant surprise so far? Who is the player in whom you are most disappointed?

You know the drill. Show your work, feel free to look at other people’s answers, and be sure to color in the little circles completely with a No. 2 pencil.

Steelers vs. Bengals: Where There’s a D-Will, There’s a Way


I’m going to keep using this picture until DeAngelo stops being the offensive MVP

By Homer J. 

Homer sent a play-by-play, which will appear in italics. I have edited it freely and included commentary when appropriate. He also sent a report card, which will be printed in full. Thanks, Homer!

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