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2009 STEELERS DAILY DOSSIER - PITTSBURGH STEELERS ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

Steelers Super Bowl Champions in Games IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL and XLIII

Steelers Fan's Guide To Winning And Losing

This is the "Steelers Daily Dossier" - click here for Main Steelers Page - see 70s Super Bowls, archived Articles, Videos, Photos and more

The second half for the 2009 Steelers was so bad I was glad the team did not back their way into the playoffs!  'Next year!

 

Articles Recently Posted:   Steelers Season Drags On

Steelers Substitutions Against the Browns

HEINZ FIELD NEEDS SEALED OFF FROM ALL PITTSBURGH TEAMS OTHER THAN THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS

PLAYOFFS ? ! ? ! ?  DON'T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS !

How the Steelers Will Win The AFC North in 2009

Looking Up At The Bengals?

Why Mendenhall Will Remain The Starter

Steelers Point Total Record Over 5 Game Span

Santonio Holmes Needs To Play With Steeler Class

Prediction: Steelers 28, Vikings 27

Mike Tomlin Vs. His Old Team, The Minnesota Vikings

Ben Roethlisberger Elevates His Play Despite Legal Distractions

Roethlisberger Vs. Brady - One Legitimate Legacy Vs. One Tainted Legacy

Criticism From Steelers Fans Fearing Complacency

 

December 11, 2009

Steelers Season Drags On(read all of article)

The way I started an article yesterday was by saying the words "Failure in the fourth quarter has become the norm for the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense in 2009."  Last night the Steelers played their worst in years, losing to the last place Browns, last in everything; wins in their own division, conference, league; all the most losses.  Losing to the last place Browns the Steelers have now lost to the team with the lowest ranked offense, the lowest ranked defense, a coach on his way out (maybe not, now) and they have summed up the 2009 season by proving they aren't who we thought they were. 

Statistically how does a team lose so many close ones?  Last night was the first loss by a touchdown all season.  The NFL Network showed a graphic that indicated the Steelers are the first team since the 1998 Broncos to go 12 games never losing by as much as 7 points.  This Steelers team is one of the NFL leaders in yards, passing yards, defensively in many areas.  Top 10 in almost every category.  'Except for wins.  (read all of article)

 

December 10, 2009

Steelers Substitutions Against the Browns(read all of article)

Failure in the fourth quarter has become the norm for the Pittsburgh Steelers Defense in 2009.  Against the Browns tonight, Mike Tomlin has chosen to spot substitute or replace Ike Taylor and William Gay with Joe Burnett and Keenan Lewis, rookies.  Who could blame him for replacing a pair of Cornerbacks who have a combined ZERO interceptions in 2009? 

What's worse is the situational breakdowns at critical moments.  The Raiders game would have been over before the Raiders had the chance to score at the end when Joe Burnett displayed the same pass catching skills as Taylor and Gay; he dropped the pass.  This week, he starts.  Some think it's suicide. (read all of article)

 

 

 

December 9, 2009

WIN OUT

Win out.  That's all the Steelers can do to help themselves, and that may not be enough for even second place in the AFC North, let alone "playoffs?  Are you kidding me?  PLAYOFFS???  PLAYOFFS!?!?!?" 

I can't keep thinking about what is possible but even if the Steelers were to make the playoffs are they just going to embarrass themselves and lay another egg?  I never knew Steel could lay eggs but now I know it is not a falacy. 

How does Ben throw that interception?  How does Tomlin trust Reed to make a 53 yard field goal?  I am tired of the wheels starting to come off when we don't see Sepulveda punt.  The first loss to the Bengals, the Steelers gave critical field position away by not punting and it proved critical as Cincinnati went on to score and win, then it happened again against Oakland.

 

December 8, 2009

HEINZ FIELD NEEDS SEALED OFF FROM ALL PITTSBURGH TEAMS OTHER THAN THE PITTSBURGH STEELERS (read all of article)

Did the field make Ben slip on fourth and one?  Why does every other team in the Pittsburgh area have access to Heinz Field BEFORE the Steelers ever get to take the field?  Enough is enough.  Now the team potentially could have won a game it otherwise lost and the field is in question as cause.  Aren't the revenue streams created by the Pittsburgh Steelers sufficient enough that they deserve the highest quality field to play on?  I don't get it.  In 2007 when the Steelers played the Dolphins in the Heinz Muck Bowl they were lucky to actually win.  Now you can say the team potentially DID lose as a result of a critical moment being decided by an unsatisfactory field, failing Ben Roethlisberger's footing.  It's unacceptable.  (read all of article)

 

December 7, 2009

PLAYOFFS ? ! ? ! ?  DON'T TALK ABOUT PLAYOFFS !(read all of article)

The team is what's wrong with the Steelers.  They won the Super Bowl.  They know it.  Ben's legal issues aren't an issue.  It's the team.  It's the coach.  This is a necessary stepping stone in the legacy that is being built by Mike Tomlin.  That's why this is happening; it's necessary.  To be tested, to be sharpened and hardened, Steel needs to go through the fire to come out stronger. 

The team is what's wrong.  They need to return to the basics.  That might include watching January games.  The Steelers can reach 10-6 but they are the same team that has laid eggs in 2009 and the playoffs would probably include one more egg.  Missing the playoffs might be what this team needs.  History, fans, history; 2002 - 10-5-1, 2003 - 6-10, 2004 - 15-1, 2005 - Super Bowl Champs, 2006 - Super Bowl Hangover, 2007 - Tomlin's Inaugural year, 2008 - Super Bowl Champs, 2009 - - ? ? ?   Is 2009 a hangover, or can this team end at 10-6?  In 2004 the team was so upset with themselves going 6-10 the year before that they unleashed hell.  In 2009 we're seeing one of two things; either a hangover, or a battle tested, tooling-up year, a la 2003 or 2007.  Both teams responded well after those years.  I think this will make the 2009 Steelers even stronger than the 2008 Steelers and certainly stronger than the 2009 Steelers displayed. (read all of article)

 

December 6, 2009

The Steelers are 6-6 after losing 4 in a row including today's 27-24 stunner to the Oakland Raiders.  I see 2006 all over again; the reciprocal; that season, the Super Bowl Champion Steelers began 2-6 and ended 6-2.  This team STARTED 6-2.  They are 0-4 since.  It would be total defeat if the Steelers lay an egg against the Browns Thursday night.  They would have to be 2-2 over their last four to make .500.

 

December 5, 2009

The Steelers had better win against the Raiders tomorrow.  In the words of Hines Ward, the Steelers will not make the playoffs with another loss.

 

December 4, 2009

The Steelers need to help themselves.  A loss this weekend and they could be in trouble. 

 

December 3, 2009

There is a good chance the Steelers will win this weekend and would you believe a potential Cincinnati loss?  I think the Lions could be a trap game for the Bengals.  I still say Cincinnati will lose at San Diego and at Minnesota and the other three games they have are traps.  The Lions are capable, believe it or not, the Chiefs, we know are capable as they beat the Steelers and the Jets are starting to get back to winning.  The Steelers will have the help they need, I feel.  They have to help themselves.  It stinks hoping for help from other teams and to not see the Steelers having their fate under their own control. 

 

December 2, 2009

The loss to the Chiefs should remain hot in every player's mind.  This game this weekend against the Raiders is a trap game.  Are the Raiders the elixir?  Everyone says the Steelers are going to be back in the winning mode.  That's why this is scary.  No team, even the Browns, should be overlooked.

 

December 1, 2009

The wishful thinking of the article yesterday looks good on paper but I'm starting to get the feeling this team has lost it. 

November 30, 2009

How the Steelers Will Win The AFC North in 2009 - Cincinnati Losing Streak, Steelers Winning Streak Approaching (read all of article)

Cincinnati's schedule has no divisional games left and they will lose two or three, or more, of their final five.  I see the Bengals in a few trap games.  They will lose going all the way to San Diego, and at Minnesota.  If they lay an egg either against the Lions, Chiefs or Jets the Steelers will win the division, guaranteed.  Look at the two team's remaining schedules.  The Steelers have a better road to ho. 

Week 13

No team is to be taken lightly, but the Steelers play Week 13 home against the Raiders which should be a win, making the team 7-5.  The Bengals play the Lions in Week 13 and will probably go to 9-3.  Relax.  Remember how they overlooked the Raiders, albeit going to Detroit is less of an intrusive trek; the Bengals could lose that game to be 8-4.  If the Lions beat the Bengals, look out, because they will lose this thing to the Steelers.  Guaranteed.

Week 14

The Steelers Week 14 game is at Cleveland and, enough said, should move the team to 8-5.  Cincinnati plays at Minnesota in Week 14.  That will not be a good game.  The Vikings will handle the Bengals.  At home the Vikings are near unstoppable.  That would make Cincinnati either 9-4 or maybe 8-5 if they choke against the Lions.  (read all of article)

Fan Guide To Winning And Losing (read all of article)

November 30, 2009

The typical fan likes to present scenarios for evidence of "why the Steelers shouldn't have lost" and there is a flaw in every, single argument that I can blow a hole a mile wide in; every argument.

" 'IF Roethlisberger played....' "   " 'IF we didn't give up a touchdown return.' "   " 'The turnovers - take them away and we win.' "   " 'The kicker lost the game for us.' "  

Each team gets 55-65 plays, on average, in a typical NFL game.  That's 110-130 plays per game, approximately.  That's 130 potential chances to score.  Every play is an opportunity to either take it to the house, or lay it on the ground.  Every play is another opportunity to throw a touchdown, or an interception, as well as incomplete.  Sometimes an incomplete pass is the best pass a Quarterback throws the whole game!  Every play counts.  How could ANY one play, regardless of the outcome, when it represents less than one percent of the entire game, MEAN EVERYTHING in the balance of who wins and who loses?  If it comes down to one play and you lose, you deserve to lose, period.  (read all of article)

 

November 18-30, 2009

The Steelers Daily Dossier has had to take time off for Chris Gossett's other business endeavors.  It is hardly a knee jerk reaction to the three losses the Steelers have put together, leaving them 6-5.

Against the Bengals the Steelers saw Ben Roethlisberger prove to be human. 

Against the Chiefs the Steelers regained appreciation for every opponent on the schedule.  The loss of Ben Roethlisberger early in overtime, to concussion, proved to be the difference.  Charlie Batch, God Bless Him, was really thrown into the fire.  He came away with a broken wrist for his efforts.  Dennis Dixon would be our man in Baltimore.

Against the Ravens Dixon played brilliantly, for a first start, for the raucous environment he was put in, for the severe implications toward the Steelers' playoff hopes.  Coming up a little short ends here.  The Steelers will win out.  They have to.  Cincinnati has not won this AFC North division, yet, either.  Never forget January ball is different than November and December and the Bengals have known absolutely no success in the playoffs before.  I really hope the Steelers get a January shot at them so they can end the Bengals season! 

 

 

November 17, 2009

The Bengals have 7 wins, the Steelers 6, and after last night's 16-0 win over the Browns, the Ravens have 5 wins.  It is very possible these three will end with 10 or more wins, each.  We thought we knew what the Bengals were about after the game Sunday, but they went further outside the box to stir the pot.

The Cincinnati Bengals are acquiring Larry Johnson.  They have only improved themselves; or have they?  They have fought hard to have a team of law-abiding, level-headed personnel.  Does Larry Johnson fit into that mold?  Has he ever?  I don't think Larry is going to show his true colors in 2009.  With the injury to Benson the Bengals saw a diamond in the rough, they are willing to take a chance. 

Why shouldn't they?  They are leading the division at this point and IF they improved themselves, all the more reason to try Johnson.  If Larry Johnson can contribute immediately and not be a distraction then the Bengals HAVE improved themselves.  It should be an interesting finish to the season for the AFC North.

 

November 16, 2009

Looking Up At The Bengals? (read all of article)

It hurts but the Steelers are waking up today in second place in the AFC North, Cincinnati is leading the division and their divisional record is 5-0 with only the Browns left to play. 

I keep reminding myself of 2005.  Remember back to 2005 when the Bengals won the division, the Steelers made the playoffs winning their final four to be the six seeded, wild card team.  That was the Bengals first playoff game since 1988.  The Steelers beat them then.  They even lost to Cincinnati once that season, at home. 

This year, the Steelers haven't beat them; they're swept and the only redemption will be if the Steelers again face the Bengals, in the playoffs.  Otherwise it's wait til next year and listen to all those big mouths run.   (read all of article) 

 

November 15, 2009

I am married to the best prognosticator in the world.  My wife says she has a feeling about what the Steelers will do and she is 99 percent of the time right. 

  • In 1993 she thought they would lose to the Chiefs in the playoffs, which they did. 

  • In 1994 she told me they would not make it to the big one and they did not. 

  • In 1995 she said they would not win the Super Bowl and she was right. 

  • Year by year, I could go through it all, and individual games over the years, and you would be amazed at her proficiency and she doesn't even like Football. 

  • In 2004 she thought the Steelers would get close to the Super Bowl but not make it and they didn't. 

  • In 2005 she said "now, they are finally going to win a Super Bowl" BEFORE the season.  They did. 

  • In 2006 she felt they would endure a season of hard knocks and they did. 

  • In 2007 she told me Tomlin would get them to the Playoffs but they would not make the Super Bowl. 

  • In 2008 she said she had a feeling the Steelers would win the Super Bowl again.  They did.  All season she has correctly predicted what they would do every week, win or lose; 100 %.  The problem is I can't use it when those feelings come on Sunday.  My picks are before that.

  • I hated hearing "I can't get the feeling they will win today" when they played Cincinnati and Chicago because she was right. 

  • Today, she said to me, first thing this morning, "I don't think they're going to win today." 

  • There you have it.  The Steelers will lose today.  I didn't pick it.  JODI Gossett did. 

  • Post note: they did lose, just as she predicted, and she's still 99 percent. 

  • The only time she was ever wrong the Steelers deserved to lose but pulled it out in a meaningless regular season game. 

I can't believe it.  I'm sick.  My team is out of kilter for the moment and so were my picks this week.  7-6 at the moment for this week; 7-7 on the way, I'm sure, the way this day has gone.

 

November 14, 2009

I am nervous as heck about tomorrow's game against the Bengals.  It would be so much easier to relax if they were still the Bungles.  I know better.

 

November 13, 2009

I want to say the Steelers are going to win this weekend.  That was my pick.  I just can't get a good feeling about this weekend at all.

November 12, 2009

Why Mendenhall Will Remain The Starter (Read Article)

 

November 11, 2009

Steelers Point Total Record Over 5 Game Span (Read Article)

 

November 10, 2009

Steelers 28, Broncos 10

Back on November 5th I said there would be a defensive touchdown and called the game Troy Polamalu's night to shine.  He sure did shine.  The Defense got their touchdown and Polamalu got his turnover too.  28-10, Steelers.  I said the Steelers would win by 7 to 10 and cover the point spread.  The Broncos were undefeated against the spread and the Steelers were only 2-5 against the spread.  The Steelers were favored by 2.5 or 3 depending on whose line you checked.  I told you to bet Steelers and it was the right call.

Santonio Holmes Needs To Play With Steeler Class (Read Article)

 

November 9, 2009

I am so pumped for the Steelers - Broncos game tonight.  I had to put the Steelers Gnome and a Mini Steelers Helmet and the same exact Terrible Towel I swung during Super Bowl XLIII up on the mantle in my living room so they bring some good Ju Ju.  I really think they are going to do well tonight.  I predicted a Polamalu interception and a defensive touchdown.

 

November 8, 2009

I am stunned by the Bengals' performance today.  The Bengals flat out kicked the Raven's butts, period.   I don't see a flash in the pan any more.  Cincinnati will provide the Steelers the challenge I never expected in 2009.  They are the "surprise" team of 2009, in my estimation.  When you see their offense running the ball with power and surprising ease over the vaunted Ravens - never mind their ranking among defenses - something has changed.  We know what the Ravens are all about, despite their ranking.  Knowing what they are capable of makes the Cincinnati win today all the more surprising. 

 

November 7, 2009

Penn State really stunk up the place today.  I am embarrassed by the way the team never did a thing to indicate they were trying to win.  When you never pass until you're down by 10 points, when you are predictable as can be and never thrown vertical but only horizontal, against Ohio State to wit, you are going to lose.  Paterno plays Tressell and OSU like Woody vs. Bo; nobody tried to win those games but only NOT lose them.  That's how Joe approaches the Buckeyes.  That is NOT how the Bucks play Penn State.  It's no wonder they have our number, so to speak.

 

November 6, 2009

Santonio Holmes needs to start showing class when he makes a play.  I am going to elaborate if he embarrasses me with his unjust celebratory jaunts on Monday. 

 

November 5, 2009

I am envisioning hair, massive amounts of hair, flying around like a whirling dervish.  Tyronne Carter's locks are approaching Troy Polamalu status.  I think the Steelers will be more agressive, not less, with Polamalu in this game.  This could be a career game for Troy Polamalu.  It is so unexpected.  I am predicting an interception and a fumble caused or recovered and a touchdown for Polamalu during the interception or fumble.

 

November 4, 2009

The Steelers will use Tyrone Carter to replace Clark in Denver.

 

November 3, 2009

Santonio Holmes carries the same sickle cell trait as Clark but without other complications that Clark has the Steelers can count on Holmes playing on Monday.

November 2, 2009

The Steelers saw what the Ravens did to the Broncos.  I am feeling pretty confident that the Steelers, after a rest and a bye, combined with the game plan the Ravens laid out clearly efficient against the Broncos that the Steelers will be raring and ready to go come Monday.  Denver is a tough place to play but this Steelers team can snatch one in Denver.  I can't wait.  Gee whiz, it's a whole week away still!

 

November 1, 2009

Ryan Clark probably won't be playing in Denver. 

 

October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween Steeler Nation.

 

October 30, 2009

I'm back in town and ready to get this bye week over.  It is a greatly needed rest for every player, I am certain.  As a spoiled fan I have to look forward now to spending the weekend watching football without my mind squarely focused on the Pittsburgh Steelers.  It's weird.  At least Football is on... 

October 29, 2009

The Steelers Daily Dossier is taking a hiatus for the next few days while I am out of town.

 

October 28, 2009

The Steelers Daily Dossier is taking a hiatus for the next few days while I am out of town.

 

October 27, 2009

The Steelers Daily Dossier is taking a hiatus for the next few days while I am out of town.

 

October 26, 2009

Sour grapes or not by the Twin State, the Steelers came through, period, and now a bye week starts for the Steelers, that is going to be followed by another undefeated in the form of the Denver Broncos, on Monday night.  It's nice having fifteen days to prepare for them.  Baltimore is likely to beat the Broncos next weekend during the Steelers' bye. 

Should the Broncos beat the Ravens the Steelers will have played a second, consecuitve, undefeated team.  It 2004 it happened in back to back weekends.  The Steelers ended the Patriots 21 game win streak and then beat undefeated Philadelphia.  Indy and New Orleans remain undefeated at this time and neither are on Pittsburgh's schedule but possibly they will play both in the playoffs.  It is conceivable the Steelers would play the Colts come playoff time barring total let down for either club.  If the Steelers make the Super Bowl it's possible the Saints would be the opponent. 

 

October 25, 2009

What they are saying in Minnesota is that the Pittsburgh Steelers did not deserve to win over the Minnesota Vikings, that the statistics favored the Vikings and Pittsburgh had scores off their defense.  There are a couple significant flaws in that argument.  The Steelers did not pass for the 334 that Favre did however Roethlisberger did throw a touchdown which Favre did not.  Favre threw an INT that was returned for a touchdown.  Ben did not throw any picks. 

There are 60 to 70 plays on average, per team.  That's averaging out to about 130 plays per game.  That is 130 chances for either team to score on any play, and they all count.  Whether you are on Offense, Defense or Special Teams, those scores count, that Mike Tomlin appropriately calls "splash plays."  Percy Harvin had an 88 yard kick return for a score for Minnesota.  If that doesn't count why does it go on the scoreboard?

 

October 24, 2009

Prediction: Steelers 28, Vikings 27 (read all of article)

We see the Steelers score.  We see Favre get sacked.  We see Polamalu playing with the brace and feeling no ill effects or governor to his movement.  I just can't swallow it.  I think the Steelers will have a couple sacks, maybe only one.  I think they will pressure Brett into two interceptions.  I don't think that will be enough.  It's going to take Roethlisberger Magic. 

I look for it to be a dog fight for three and a half quarters and the final 7:30 to be a back and forth scoring trade off.  I am predicting a late, come from behind Steelers win.    (read all of article)

 

October 23, 2009

Mike Tomlin Vs. His Old Team, the Minnesota Vikings (read all of article)

There has to be a sense of satisfaction for Mike Tomlin this weekend, going against his former team.  I am not talking about "revenge."  I have never heard of Mr. Tomlin having any ill feelings toward the Vikings so the census is that there are none.  They were a stepping stone toward bigger and better things.

It is with that achievement that the satisfaction must come to mind for Mike Tomlin.  He's envied by football fans across the nation, as one of the youngest coaches and the youngest Super Bowl winning coach ever.  (read all of article)

 

October 22, 2009

Sylvester Stallone: If it were in Minnesota I'd say "Vikings win" but it's in Pittsburgh so that levels the playing field. 

James Caan: Easy there, Boo Boo, keep saying it over and over maybe you'll believe it. 

Sylvester Stallone: Pittsburgh has won their past eight games at home.  Who has the longest streak?

James Caan: We'll have to check the stat finder on who has the longest running streak in the NFL.

Sylvester Stallone: It could be Pittsburgh.

James Cann: It's not.

Sylvester Stallone: But it you don't know then maybe it is Pittsburgh!

James Cann: I don't know but t's not.

Sylvester Stallone: 'Calling me a liar?

 

October 21, 2009

The Minnesota Vikings game is one I can't decide who I think will win.  I want to say the Steelers will win.  Favre is considered the quarterback with the highest passer rating and Adrian Peterson is simply the best Running Back in the NFL. 

If it were in Minnesota I'd say it's going to be a Vikings win but it's in Pittsburgh so that completely levels the playing field. 

I predicted before the season that Brett Favre would fade away.  He hasn't started yet but I still believe he won't be playing in January like he is now.  I think if the Steelers were to meet them in the Super Bowl it would be a Steelers win.  For now, I don't know, but it's in Pittsburgh and that's a plus.  Roethlisberger is ruling the AFC like Favre has ruled the NFC. 

The Steelers Defense is as stout as Peterson but without Smith?  It could be a lot harder than most fans think. 

 

October 20, 2009

The Cleveland game will be talked about as Ben Roethlisberger's finest hour, statistically, for years to come.  Reality is that Super Bowl XLIII was his greatest game.  He definitely saved his best for the greatest stage and DID IT when it was on the line.  It's an inspiration for anyone who tries to be efficient at any thing.

Against Cleveland, over the course of 60 minutes Ben Roethlisberger threw for 417 yards.  Tommy Maddox threw for 477 yards against Atlanta in 2003, but that game went to overtime and nobody scored; it was a 34-34 tie, which means it was over the course of 75 minutes.  If Ben stays on that pace against Cleveland for another 15 minutes you would see he would have ended with 521 yards passing and a win.  It would have been considered criminal to allow. 

 

October 19, 2009

The offense looks great, yardage-wise and statistically.  The Steelers couldn't put the Browns away until well into the fourth quarter.  That is the greatest concern I feel now.  There has to be some kind of concern, otherwise team complacency could be feared.  Even on a day when the New England Patriots put up an NFL record since '78, 59 points, at the end of the day it's nice to see the passing stats say "1. Ben Roethlisberger." 

Football has changed.  Being the number one passer usually meant in years past that your team was playing "catch up" most of the season.  People from Steeler Nation like to complain about the lack of "Steeler Football" when we don't have a 165 yard rusher.  I'll take this kind of win any day.  It resonates "we could have hosed you." 

The defense didn't give an inch in the fourth quarter which is a welcomed sight.  The loss of Aaron Smith equated to upheaval among Steeler Nation.  Travis Kirschke must have played a great game because after the first couple series I quit watching him on every play and I never heard his name mentioned negatively.  Though I admit to not reviewing the tape of the game yet I am sure he played up to snuff. 

The return of Troy Polamalu was without knee brace.  Apparently he warmed up with it but found it restrictive and removed it just before kick off.  When he went down on that interception I thought we had seen the last of him for a while again.  Thankfully it was pain of inflammation from the knee injury and not re-injury causing his agony. 

When Starks went down I yelled "&@(<)^:!" but sighed relief when he went back on the field in the next series.  Legursky had one play on the field and got hurt.  I felt horrible for him.  When he is ready I would like to see him in the short yardage offense again. 

The team surrendured the kick off return score by Joshua Cribbs, third time in four years; twice in our home stadium.  In 2007 I shredded Bryant McFadden for getting in front of Cribbs and his blockers and never turning to make an effort to tackle Cribbs.  At least this time there was not an over abundance of estrogen flowing on the field and Cribbs LEGITIMATELY rated his score. 

 

October 18, 2009

The Steelers destroyed the Cleveland Browns.  Ben Roethlisberger leads the league in passing yards.  I never thought the day would come that any Steelers team would have a passer leading the league.  The novelty is enjoyable.  Ben polishes the passing game to a shine.  This truly is not smash mouth football and though I don't say "good riddance" I welcome seeing the aerial show put on by Ben.  If this were ten years ago I would say that was a sure sign of Fouts-like success.  (Championship-less success)

Instead, we are in 2009, about to enter a new decade.  (who can believe it?)  Football has changed.  It makes sense too.  You can just as easily run the clock by never letting the ball touch the ground or go out of bounds; complete everything and you drain the clock no different than if you run the ball for four yards and a cloud of black and gold.

Troy's return, the first game without Aaron Smith and the sky didn't fall, another Cribbs return, Ben's Passing fancy is not "passing us by;" all of it was intriguing; but at the end of the day this was a second rate team that the Steelers did not put away like they should have.  Minnesota is up next and it will take a more complete team effort to send the Vikings home with their first loss.

 

October 17, 2009

My favorite days of the years are Christmas, New Year's, Birthdays, Anniversaries, Vacation days and days of Steelers games, most notably Pittsburgh - Cleveland games.  Even though the rivalry has not ever heated up to the level it was, Pre-Modell, and the Ravens are more loathsome, part of my hatred for the Ravens stems from them being the "old Browns."  Still, I just can't help myself from hating that team, the mistake by the lake, the Cleveland Browns. (who I like to call "Clowns") 

What determines if a club keeps the old records?  A la, the Houston Texans do not keep records from the Houston Oilers as part of their history; the Titans retain that past history.  The Baltimore Ravens told Cleveland they could take their history and club records and shove 'em, until, if such a day happened that the Cleveland Browns returned.  Sincerely, I didn't miss them but now that they're "back" I love to see the Steelers beat up on them some more. 

That's why we had the confusion of a Houston Oilers (Tennessee Titans) vs. the New York Titans (New York Jets) match up.  It was Titans Vs. Titans, so to speak. 

 

October 16, 2009 Ben Roethlisberger Elevates His Play Despite Legal Distractions (read all of article)

Ben Roethlisberger has become the ultimate Quarterback and the quintessential element of the Pittsburgh Steelers' success.  He is having a career year in the midst of a legal scenario that would turn a normal man seeing normal to seeing red and incapable of concentration. 

One thing is clear: this legal scenario has not affected Ben's professional product.  His product of play is simply in the highest echelon.  He's among the leaders in almost every passing category.  Right now he's second in passing yards, to only the great Peyton Manning.  Couple that with the fact that he hasn't thrown the second most passes, but the fifth highest number of passes.  Second in yards but four others have thrown more passes reeks of success.  He is number one, completing seventy three point eight percent.  Yes, here it is in numerals because it's so beautiful: 73.8 percent!  He's averaging 294 yards passing per game and has eight touchdowns and five interceptions to this point.  Those look like numbers of Hall Of Fame passers to me.  (read all of article)

 

October 15, 2009

Rashard Mendenhall has the flu so it's anyone's guess who plays at HB this weekend.  People might wonder what it's like to play with the flu.  I did it.  I also had two concussions, I think.  The flu and a concussion feel the same to your head while you're playing.  I have practiced with the flu and it's like hell on earth.  You get a migraine headache if you play sick as well as with a concussion. 

My two concussions, one in little league, one in High School, nobody knew about.  Now I know that's what they were.  I was breaking in a new helmet during a scrimmage in little league when I got slobber knockered.  Everybody wanted my helmet because it was a new Riddell and everyone else had Nakoma helmets I think it was.  Also it had a "Cris Collinsworth face mask" everyone called it - look up images of him to see what I'm talking about; it looks like a wide open mouth basically!  At the time it was the newest design out there.  We're talking '82 here!  It may have looked good but it sure didn't feel good.  I threw up after the scrimmage but played through it with the most painful headache ever. 

In high school I didn't wait to throw up when I had my concussion.  I went to the sidelines and threw up immediately.  I still played the game but couldn't pass the ball with any accuracy, whatsoever.  To this day I have had signs of post-concussion with depression and though I haven't had the easiest life I am sure some of it has to do with those hits.

 

October 14, 2009

Aaron Smith is done for the season!  HOLY &#!@.  Ziggy Hood gets his chance now.  I am excited to see if he can do the job.  I have a feeling this might be painful.  The Steelers have activated a rookie, Sonny Harris, who was released in the final cuts, after they spent a sixth round draft pick on him!  When Smith went out for three games to close out '07 the Steelers defense was shredded, twice by Jacksonville, once in the playoffs, ending the season. 

This doesn't have to mean the end of the season.  When Rod Woodson went out for the year everyone freaked.  The Steelers appeared in the only Super Bowl they did not win at the end of that year! 

 

October 13, 2009

There is plenty of speculation about who will be the starting tailback once FWP gets back into the lineup.  Rashard Mendenhall is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.  Parker was averaging under 4 yards per carry.  I think it's a great problem to have.  I am predicting it's a stalemate for the next month with Mendenhall winning out.  I hope it's not accompanied by another Parker injury.

 

October 12, 2009

Well, I said the Steelers would win to start down the road to Steeler Nation satisfaction and they already have at 3-2.  The Lions sure scared this defense which gives up almost zero for the first three quarters and then starts to fall apart in the 4th quarter.  The Defense, a source of pride, remains to be one; for three quarters.  Then you have that Halloween scary feeling creeping over you as the game draws nearer to double zeros. 

I wonder if it's not possible the Steelers need "closers" on Defense, or if the Steelers could start to substitute one player per play throughout the first three quarters, who would not normally be on the field during each package, in an effort to keep the aging Steelers "fresher"?  Maybe players like Mundy, Frazier, Arnold Harrison, Scott Paxson could start coming in for a play, averaging it out to once every ten plays or so by only subbing in one "atypical" sub per play.  I know it breaks the flow so to speak, and I know Defense can make one mistake on one play and lose the game as a result but these guys are professionals.  They should be able to play a handful of plays throughout the game and make the whole defense "fresher" going into the fourth quarter.  

It does make sense that our line, all over 30, gets tired, more so than ever before, in the fourth quarter.  It does make sense that our Linebackers like James Farrior and even Superman James Harrison get tired, more than ever, in the fourth quarter.  In the secondary it's a younger unit overall.  Still, it's the unit that runs the most on the team and must get exhausted by game's end at times.  It makes sense to sub in the secondary and it is probably the unit which does get the most "breathers" during the games.  Townsend and Carter are not seeing as much action as they did in years past.  Even with injuries they seem to be on the sidelines more than ever.  Polamalu's injury has brought more game time to the other players but his return should be met with more breaks during the game and substitutions at Strong Safety.  It probably will.  

If I were in Tomlin's decision making position I would begin to rotate on defense, more, subtly, as in the aforementioned instances and other times.  While they are now seeing a Steelers Defense uncharacteristically giving up plays in the fourth quarter they have to realize, as coaches, that there are other men on the sidelines who can help keep that unit fresher and by not rotating in these men they are doing a disservice to the "older" players on defense; hanging them out to dry by letting them die, so to speak.  Even if they're not dying or obviously fatigued, the results are what they are.  The players ages are what they are.  It just makes sense that the decline coming at game's end, and the dates of birth of the players are some how connected.

 

October 11, 2009

Pre Game Note: The Lions are fodder.

Post Game Note: Parity in the NFL is still alive and well.  The Steelers defense scares me, not closing out games.

 

October 10, 2009

It is Saturday and I am wishing it were Sunday.  At least Penn State and Pitt both won today.  It should be a clean sweep by my teams after the lowly Detroit Lions are dispatched by the Steelers.

 

October 9, 2009

Polamalu and Parker are still out for the Lions game and I think we will see both return in time for the Browns with Polamalu getting the start but I don't see Parker starting again, period.  If Mendenhall were to become injured I could envision it but Mendenhall has the hot hand, or "foot" in this case.  I'd go with Mendenhall.  I really think Tomlin will.  Drafting Mendenhall, Tomlin is not required or expected to play him but there is a level of comfort Tomlin must have with him and making him "his" pick.  I know FWP will still have a role with the team, and a major one, but I think the roles are reversed and RM is the main man now in Pittsburgh.

 

October 8, 2009

Sean Redman comes and goes from the active roster to the practice squad.  I am worried he will be picked up by another team one of these days if we aren't careful.  I see a lot of teams succeeding in the NFL with a three headed backfield.  Redman, Mendenhall and FWP would be power, speed and power, and speed.  Let's hope for Redman to stay a Steeler.  Other teams had to notice Redman really distanced himself, in the eyes of anyone watching the Steelers in the preseason, and really made a positive statement about who could handle the short yardage duties for the Steelers. 

 

October 7, 2009

The positives out of the Chargers win are many but obviously, first and foremost, Rashard Mendenhall redeemed himself and the Steelers running game.  That's all we'll discuss in this short post.  The time of possession always favors the team with the more productive running game and it was a 2-1 time of possession ratio favoring the Steelers.  I feel good about the dilemma facing the coaches between choosing a starting and full time back.  One of them is going to get the bulk of the laod, FWP and Mendenhall are both capable, but everyone will hope to see a perfect split.  It's not a perfect world.  I think it will be Mendenhall who "wins out" before the story of the 2009 Steelers is closed.  I think we are seeing the future unfolding now. 

 

October 6, 2009

Criticism From Steelers Fans Fearing Complacency (read all of article)

A 2-2 record leaves fans feeling fearful that the 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers season will fade away like the 2006 Steelers did in their "Super Bowl Hangover" season.  Steelers fans, you leave me feeling pessimistic when our team loses and overly optimistic when our team wins.  Steelers fans, it's a long season.  There are twelve games to go.  The Steelers will probably win eight or nine of them to end 10-6 or 11-5.  To the Steelers fans freaking out: RELAX. 

Steelers Fans, you are the same crowd who cry wolf every time there is a Steeler loss.  Try rooting for one of the true LOSERS in the NFL who string together back to back losses like a Steeler fan strings together a twelve pack on Sundays.  We're spoiled.  The sky isn't falling if we lose two in a row.  The sky isn't falling if we lose three in a row.  This team hardly ever has back to back losses.  Flat out - we're spoiled as fans.  We expect too much.  We criticize too harshly.  (read all of article)

 

Roethlisberger Vs. Brady - One Legitimate Legacy Vs. One Tainted Legacy (read all of article)

It must cross Ben Roethlisberger's mind from time to time; why he isn't known as one of the top, elite quarterbacks in the National Football League.  Everyone talks about Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers and only a select few give Ben Roethlisberger his props.  Not only is Roethlisberger capable of improving his efficiency post contact, he has more Super Bowl wins than any other active Quarterback except for Tom Brady.  The media darlings around the NFL, prima donna Quarterbacks, whose reputations are touted as being greater than Ben's, do not share the same abilities that separate Roethlisberger as the best, nor do they do not share the same legitimate regular season winning percentage, nor his high number of legitimate playoff wins.  First, let's talk about abilities or talent, then we will discuss the style of offenses played by the Steelers and Patriots, in particular, and then let's talk about the bottom line, wins.

The way Ben shakes off tackles reminds me of a tight end or full back.  His capability in this regard in unsurpassed in the NFL. I don't see Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Carson Palmer, Tony Romo, Phillip Rivers or any other Quarterback in the NFL doing this with the regularity, success and seeming ease that Ben Roethlisberger does on a regular basis.  The passing efficiency numbers improve for Roethlisberger after he has been contacted, compared to when he has not.  That is not a fluke, that is not a trend; that has been noted since Ben's rookie year and this is his sixth season.  It is noted at times that Ben throws from any body position, like no other passer, in the game.  He even does it with people hanging off him!  It seems the only asset the media is willing to concede to him is arm strength but winning is everything.  (read all of article)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS DAILY ANALYSIS AND COMMENTARY

The 2009 Pittsburgh Steelers Are Vying For Seventh Title; Steelers Super Bowl Champions in Games IX, X, XIII, XIV, XL and XLIII

 

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