Thursday night football. Soooo slow. Soooo boring. It took the Steelers 17 seconds to score two touchdowns! C’mon, guys, this is unacceptable.
Especially when you consider that one of those touchdowns was scored by the defense.
Well, I suppose that was pretty okay after all. I was a bit nervous when the Panthers drove right down the field for a touchdown, but one pass to JuJu took care of that. Here are some other random thoughts:
Photo via Steelers.com
By Ivan Cole
Spent some time in the last segment reminiscing about the good old days when Steelers fans thought of the offensive line as the problem children. That mantle has been passed on to the defensive secondary. So, there has been some disorientation with how things have been playing out throughout this season. How is it possible that the problem child could be among the league leaders through much of the season in the virtual blink of an eye? Conversely, why are they giving up so many big plays?
Taking that second question first: I thought there was so much distain for the bend-but- don’t-break zone driven philosophy. We wanted more man principles. Well, as they say, be careful what you ask for. They’re getting off the field quickly now. Just kidding, sort of.
Photo via Steelers.com
By Homer J.
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…
Photo via Steelers.com The Helmet Catch wasn’t AB’s only great feat last night…
By Homer J
Homer has been asked to announce that the Yinzer Cult of Doom’s weekly post-game Bitchfest and Kvetching Bee has been postponed for lack of material. The YCOD promises to return next week or whenever they can find something real or imaginary to complain about, but they are taking a bye week of sorts after last night’s game to grab some smelling salts and try to come to their senses. A forty-burger can do that to you.
Homer, as always, apologizes for any inconvenience. Read more
Photo via SI.com
This is the first of a series of stories we hope will culminate in JuJu being the Super Bowl 52 MVP. But for this adventure, young JuJu has to deal with the DMV. Thanks to Homer J., who inspired the series:
JuJu was having a bad day. It all started the night before when his mom locked him out of his apartment. She said it was an accident. He had to leave his precious bicycle outside. Of course he locked it up. JuJu is a responsible boy. But sometimes just a lock isn’t enough.
Photo 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.
[Photo via Steelers.com]
One of the things which has been said about the 2017 Steelers, at least since the draft was over, is that the depth at inside linebacker is dangerously thin. Ryan Shazier has certainly missed some time in the past, and he missed Games 4-6 last season. (He missed seven games in 2014 and four in 2015, so I guess you could say the arrow is pointed up.) Williams has been remarkably durable. The only season he didn’t play 16 games was his rookie year (2013) and that was the first game of the season, so I’m guessing he just didn’t “get a hat.”
As they say in the financial industry, previous performance is no guarantee of future results. But one thing to consider is just how often both Shazier and Williams will be on the field, because the Steelers have been using sub-packages an awful lot of the time. And Williams won’t be on the field anyhow on third and long. But somebody has to be, and, more to the point, there has to be a backup plan, and a backup to the backup plan. Read more
Mark Kaboly, is a local sportswriter covering the Steelers who has now moved from the Trib to DK on Pittsburgh Sports, a pay-only site run by former Trib and Post-Gazette writer Dejan Kovacevic. Kaboly does a series of Q and As, and in the last one got the following question:
When Shazier or Williams get hurt, who do you see as the number 3 inside linebacker?
Somebody who is not on the roster. And way to be positive there, but I get your point. That’s been the biggest fail by the Steelers in this offseason — depth at ILB.
The final position I’m going to cover in this series is the inside linebackers. In theory I ought to address the tight ends and the kicking team, but the former was at least touched upon in the receivers post and the latter lacks drama at the moment, thank heavens.
One of the biggest questions this off-season, which has now been answered, was what was going to happen with the Lawrence Timmons situation. It’s interesting that I find myself thinking that Timmons to the Dolphins was probably a good outcome for everyone. He gets more money than the Steelers were willing to give him, the Steelers have Vince Williams, who has played reasonably well (or better) when called upon, and there is still the possibility of picking up a young guy to complement Ryan Shazier, who is rapidly becoming a star in the interior. Read more
by Ivan Cole
A successful season
Yes, I know, I know. The line is that the only successful season is one that ends with the hoisting of the Lombardi. That would mean that there have only been six successful seasons in the history of the Franchise. It would also mean that some franchises have never had a successful season ever. So, let’s be realistic.
I am on record as stating that the standard for success for this particular collection of talent is to make it to the Conference Championship Game. Though familiar territory for fans, for some players, like Bud Dupree, winning a division championship was a new experience. For the majority of the roster, participating in a conference championship is something only a relative handful of players know about. Doing so would be novel for coaches such as Todd Haley and Mike Munchak.