Tag Archives: Sean Davis

Fresh Eyes: Part II

Screen Shot 2019-08-19 at 9.27.16 AMSteven Nelson and Sean Davis: Karl Rosen photo, Steelers.com

by Ivan Cole

The Disclaimer. It has always been my standard practice when discussing the possibilities of any new season to caution that all is subject to change based upon the potential impact of an unavoidable factor in the NFL dynamic: Injuries. 

Usually I have spoken of this in the manner of those commercials where a narrator in rapid fire fashion attempts to slip past you the possibility that in addition to the wonders provided by the product they are selling, there is also a chance that it could kill you. In this segment there will be a deeper dive into the Disclaimer, providing a more specific set of arguments and information related to just how injuries might play out as anything from an annoyance to a derailment of the 2019 Steelers’ championship aspirations. 

Question # 2: Who do we not want to see on a long-term injury report?  Read more

Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp 3: A Peck of Bad News, a Soupçon of Good News, and a Glimpse of the Future

Karl Rosen/Steelers.com. “Coach, I need me some first-team reps…”

Mike Tomlin is fond of saying that “football is a game of attrition.” Well, there’s a great deal of attrition taking place. I don’t like to be the bearer of bad news, but I’d rather be that than Pheidippedes, the guy who ran from Marathon to Athens to report the Greek victory over the Persians and then fell down dead. Not that I would ever risk my life by running a marathon…

But our beloved Steelers are out on the field almost every day, risking their limbs, at any rate. The injuries have been piling up (although for those who might criticize Mike Tomlin for starting padded practices so early, it’s worth noting that there were at least two injuries to significant players, Morgan Burnett and Jerald Hawkins, during the “football in shorts” phase.)

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Rookie Matters (or, Rookies Matter)

0C6372A2-A8DE-4656-835A-062556A3EA3EI realize that about a million words have already been written about the last few rookie classes. But I have never shied away from adding a few thousand more to any subject, and it won’t stop me this time either.

Those of you who have been reading my musings know that I’ve only been a Steelers fan since the end of 2009, which was a curious time to start taking an interest, right smack dab in the middle of the worst losing streak of Mike Tomlin’s career. At that time I wasn’t knowledgeable enough to know about things like rookies, although I quickly figured out the draft, since it gave me an opportunity to look over a great many handsome promising young players. Read more

We Had ‘Em All the Way: Titans @ Steelers

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via Steelers.com.  By gum, the black unis are slimming…

For whatever reason, I was far more nervous for this game than any I have watched this season. (Had I not already known the outcome, last Sunday’s game might hold that distinction.) Talk about thrills and chills, as Ivan would have it. Opening drive: Touchdown! Sweet! First Tennesse drive: Interception!! Even better!

But things quickly went—well, perhaps not south, but definitely in a southerly direction. There was the niggling worry that the Steelers couldn’t turn a drive that started at the TEN 24 into seven points. And then the Titans offense coolly sauntered out and put up a touchdown, and suddenly the lead was down to three points.

That’s when I started to get the shakes. The Steelers went three-and-out, and the Titans had another nice long drive (if you’re a Titans fan, although they had to settle for a field goal. But wait! I should have realized that however it might look, it was the Steelers’ night, because the field goal attempt was blocked! Hooray for the good guys!

Not that the Steelers made it comfortable, or at least not until well into the second half. But a lot of good stuff was happening, and eventually the offense got back off the schneide and did what they were supposed to be doing all season—put up lots of points and make it look easy in the process. So now for the Acceptable, the Objectionable, and the Appalling:

I’ll begin with the Appalling, and that’s the referees apparently not knowing the rule changes for fumbles in under two minutes left in the half. The AB catch that got knocked out and was recovered by Martavis Bryant should have, by rule, been spotted where it was fumbled, not where it ended up. And even though this benefitted the Steelers, I really think the refs ought to get it right.

Had that been called correctly, Boswell’s 50-yard field goal attempt (which he made) would have been a great many more yards than 50, and the Steelers would have had to punt. Or so I assume. Perhaps it wouldn’t have made a lot of difference, since there were less than 20 seconds left in the half, but you never know.

Once again, I suppose I should have taken this as a sign that all would be well, but frankly a nine-point lead didn’t feel like nearly enough. Especially when the Titans came out and scored on their first play of the second half. I’m getting tired of that narrative, but since the Steelers won I’m just going to put it into the Objectionable category. And since they won by quite a lot, I’m just going to move right along to the Acceptable category.

I’m sure we’ll discuss some of the stuff that was less than optimal in the coming days—we have a lot of time to kill before the next Steelers game, after all. But here are a few things I found rather more than Acceptable:

Four picks and five sacks by the defense—the first time they’ve done that in 30 years.  Mike Tomlin, who was complaining about the -1 takeaway/giveaway ratio last week, must be a bit happier after tonight.

Cameron Heyward, who went down in the fourth quarter and didn’t look good at all, was back a few plays later. Hopefully we dodged a major bullet there. You’ve got a week and a half to heal, Cam!

Three touchdowns to Antonio Brown, including the crazy helmet catch, which was rather reminiscent of one of the first big plays of his career. Three touchdowns matches his career high, achieved last year right about this time against the Colts.

Coty Sensabaugh, in relief of Joe Haden, had one interception and almost had another. Robert Golden, in relief of Mike Mitchell, had an interception. L. T. Walton had a sack of Mariota. The Revenge of the Back-ups, I suppose you might say. Not that I didn’t appreciate the interceptions from regulars Mike Hilton and Sean Davis, or the sacks from Vince Williams, Cam Heyward (two of them), and Stephon Tuitt.

45 pass attempts for Ben and 12 rushing attempts for Le’Veon has not typically been a recipe for success. How refreshing that it actually worked. It seemed like as the game wore on Ben and his boys started to get some of their mojo back. And four touchdowns makes a nice accompaniment to four field goals. Makes the latter more palatable.

And speaking of the latter, the kicking game was almost uniformly excellent. Special teams was generally on the ball, as the TEN returner (Adoree Jackson) is a handful. And no special teams penalties on the PIT side, either, at least as far as I noticed.

NO Pittsburgh turnovers. That’s huge.

And while we’re at it, let’s note the Steelers offense finally broke through the Mendoza line of football for the first time this season, getting not just 30 but 40 points. Very gratifying.

And the most important of all—the Steelers are now 8-2, Mike Tomlin’s best start to a season ever. In fact, this now means the Steelers are 17-3 in their last 20 games. I’d say that’s pretty dang acceptable.

And with that I will say adieu. It’s past my bedtime. I’m sure we will have more to say about this. Amazing how much more fun it is to write about wins than losses, even measly wins against inferior opponents such as last Sunday’s tilt. A decisive win against a very respectable opponent? Practically priceless.*

*As was the obviously genuine and heartfelt hugs, plural, between Ben Roethliberger and Dick LeBeau after the game was over. It was quite sweet.

 

 

 

Steelers Suffer YFL Setback [Steelers @ Colts]

Photo via Steelers.com

By Homer J.

Many thanks to Homer for getting this to me. I had to wait all day to be able to watch the game on Gamepass, as I am currently languishing in a place where the Steelers game is not necessarily the one they broadcast. Obviously a backwater. And I don’t know what’s happening in that photo—I presume JuJu has heard the groans of the denizens of the Yinzer Football League and fainted dead away…

The Steelers suffered a major setback in the YFL competition due to lack of style point, but move to 7-2, one game closer to clinching the division title. Yinzer fans respond with weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth… Read more

On Second Thought: Homer’s Notes and Grades for Steelers/Bengals

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Photo via Steelers.com

By Homer J.

(As usual, I’m heavily editing the game notes. Any comments of mine will be in italics—Rebecca)

Homer liked the first drive. He really liked it. I think all of Steeler Nation liked it. Here’s what he had to say about how it ended:

Ben with a quick slant to AB. Threads the needle for a TOUCHDOWN!!!  Textbook picture perfect drive. 7-0 PIT

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On Second Thought: Steelers @ Chiefs

ADF16C1C-D644-44AA-A82F-8E129B64D3C6Photo via Steelers.com

Usually after a win like Sunday’s beatdown of the Chiefs everybody is lined up with game recaps, grades, and so on . But Ivan Cole is a DNP for the last two weeks with carpal tunnel and Homer is off gadding about, so you’re just going to have to put up with me this week.

In my first effusions over the game I pretty much skipped over the less perfect aspects of it, and honestly I think this is appropriate in many ways. Part of the excitement of a live performance, whether given by a rock band, a professional chamber choir such as I conducted for many years, a symphony orchestra, a production of Hamlet, or, yes, a football game, is that anything can happen at any given moment, and a great many of the things which can happen are, shall we say, less than optimal.

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