Friday, October 30, 2009
With no Steeler game to occupy our thoughts for the upcoming weekend, here are some links to keep you busy. HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!
For any TECMO BOWL fans out there, here is a simulation of the Steelers vs. the Vikings. It's pretty sweet. HERE
A few good reads from Behind the Steel Curtain:
-State of the Union, Steez style. HERE
-Reasons Hines should make it to the hall. HERE and HERE
-Mike Wallace's impact complete with video. HERE
Mondesi's House takes a look at the state of the Steez and the NFL. HERE
The Broncos have signed Mitch Berger, the Steelers' comic relief from last season. HERE
Will Ryan Clark play next Monday in Denver? Last time he played here it nearly ended his career. HERE
From Post Game Heroes, a nice video breakdown of the great job Max Starks did against the Vikes Jared Allen. HERE
It has just come to my attention that there is a Tomlin themed rap. Had I known, it would have gone up yesterday, but here it is today. HERE at PSAMP
Enjoy the Halloween festivities.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
The Steelers veteran players received the week off from Coach Mike, but Tomlin Thursday does not take time off for anyone. Tomlin heard we were still posting pics this week and got super pumped. Or maybe he is just excited because we are 5-2 heading into the bye week after beating his former team.
BYE WEEK POEM:
Playing his old team raised the stakes,
But Tomlin proved once more he's got what it takes
To pit the Steelers against the NFC's best.
And now, in week 8, a much-deserved rest.
With no football this week, Tomlin wants to remind us what we are playing for and where this team should end up. There is only one goal and it is Stairway to Seven.
I think this speaks for itself.
He is a learned man. Look how proud he is to be back at his alma mater.
No questions until next week. Enjoy a Sunday without the nerves.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Troy sat out practice Wednesday and Thursday but practiced Friday. He will be playing with a brace. HERE
The biggest matchup of the day. AP vs. Steelers run D. HERE
Are two Key members of our 2 Superbowl wins on the way out the door? HERE.
Good Stuff from Behind the Steel Curtain. See what the Minny blogs are saying about us. HERE
A google map of all the Steeler bars out there is in development. HERE
A great QB matchup today- Favre vs. Ben. HERE
Friday, October 23, 2009
But does the Vikings game matter even more? I believe it does.
The Steelers (or at least the team's fans) thought this season should have been a cakewalk. The team returned nearly all of its starters. The schedule was much easier. And Coach Tomlin would keep the crew focused.
But after six games, this Steeler team hasn't played like a Super Bowl contender. Maybe that's a little harsh seeing as though the team is 4-2. But the Steelers schedule thus far has been a joke. Football Outsiders ranks it as the second easiest schedule in the league.
The four teams they beat have a combined record of 4-19.
San Diego (2-3)
Tennessee, Detroit, and Cleveland are probably three of the five worst teams in the league. And the Steelers only beat one of them by double digits. Although they've outplayed each of their opponents, little mistakes have kept the Steelers from closing the deal in losses and blowout wins against lesser competition.
The Steelers have no wins against teams with a winning record. The two losses were to Cincinatti (4-2) and Chicago (3-2). Granted they were on the road, but neither of those teams are juggernauts. They are not teams a Super Bowl contender would lose to.
Nonetheless, at 4-2, the Steelers are in fine shape to position themselves for a playoff run. But, the joke part of the schedule is over. Of the last 10 games, 7 of them are against legitimate playoff contenders. The team needs to start playing better to keep itself in contention.
Which brings us to why this game is so important. If the Steelers want to show the world that they are still an elite team, this is the time to do it. At home. Against the 6-0 Vikings. A win would put the team in great shape at 5-2 going into the bye. Confidence would be high. Polamalu will have time to rest. And the early collapses will be forgotten. A loss would leave the team at 4-3, with no quality wins. And a tough schedule left to face. It's only a one game difference, but it seems a lot bigger than that.
It's easy to forget, but at this time last year, Mike Tomlin had no signature wins. He got enough last season for an entire career. But it's time to get the first one in 2009.
I'm avoiding predictions - the team lost the last two games I predicted - but the Steelers are 4.5 point favorites. Time to remind America, and the purple, Wrangler-loving quarterback, that the black and gold are still World Champions.
This statement is discussed weekly by coaches, studio analysts, and broadcasters. It's nearly accepted as fact.
The 2009 Steelers are doing their best to disprove the theory. The team is 4-2. Their turnover differential is -4, which is good for 27th in the league. It hasn't won the turnover battle in a single game:
Tennessee: 3 Turnovers - 2 Turnovers Forced: -1 Differential
Chicago: 2 Turnovers - 0 Forced: -2 Differential
Cincinnati: 1 Turnover - 0 Forced: -1 Differential
San Diego: 1 Turnover - 1 Forced: 0 Differential
Detroit: 1 Turnover - 1 Forced: 0 Differential
Cleveland: 4 Turnovers - 4 Forced: 0 Differential
The good news - it's getting better. The last three games have been a stalemate in terms of turnovers.
The bad news - each side of the ball has its issues. Until this week against Cleveland, the defense has struggled to create turnovers. Perhaps, with Troy back, that will stop. Offensively, the Steelers have turned the ball over in every game.
This trend needs to stop soon. The Vikings are 4th in the league with a +8 turnover margin. It would be nice to bring that number down this week at Heinz Field.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Huge game this week vs. the undefeated Minnesota Favres. Here is a preview:
A team called the Vikings,
Has an offense so striking, While led by a QB quite old and quite gray.
But though Adrian's a speeder, Tomlin's our leader;
And the Vikings our Steez will outplay.
For those that remember, Tomlin was the D-Coordinator for the Vikes before becoming the Steelers' Head Coach. Luckily, Tomlin's defensive wizardry caught the Steelers attention and resulted in him becoming head coach.
Tomlin and Childress are considering whether Childress should ever coach without his hat. Also being discussed were facial hair options for both going into the future.
Clearly, Brad did not listen to Tomlin's advice. If he had, he would not look like this.
Although he is donning Vikes gear, he still looks like a badass. The Black and Gold just take it to a whole other level.
"STOP FUMBLING THE DAMN BALL"
Since fumbling has become an issue, Tomlin is taking matters into his own hands. I would not want him hitting me.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
January 18, 2006
Think about this the next time someone argues that a professional sports
franchise is not important to a city's identity:
In the 1980's, as the steel mills and their supporting factories shut
down from Homestead to Midland, Pittsburghers, faced for the first time
in their lives with the specter of unemployment, were forced to pick up
their families, leave their home towns and move to more profitable parts
of the country. The steel workers were not ready for this. They had
planned to stay in the 'burgh their entire lives. It was home.
Everyone I know can tell the same story about how Dad, Uncle Bob or
their brother-in-law packed a U-Haul and headed down to Tampa to build
houses or up to Boston for an office job or out to California to star in
pornographic videos. All right. Maybe that last one just happened in my family.
At this same time, during the early to mid-eighties, the
Pittsburgh Steelers were at the peak of their popularity. Following the
Super Bowl dynasty years, the power of the Steelers was strong. Every
man, woman, boy and girl from parts of four states were Pittsburgh
faithful, living and breathing day to day on the news of their favorite
team. Then, as now, it seemed to be all anyone talked about.
Who do you think the Steelers will take in the draft this
Is Bradshaw done?
Can you believe they won't give Franco the money - what's
he doing going to Seattle?
The last memories most unemployed steel workers had of
their towns had a black and gold tinge. The good times remembered all
seemed to revolve, somehow, around a football game. Sneaking away from
your sister's wedding reception to go downstairs to the bar and watch
the game against Earl Campbell and the Oilers - going to midnight mass,
still half in the bag after Pittsburgh beat Oakland - you and your
grandfather, both crying at the sight of The Chief, finally holding his
Vince Lombardi Trophy.
And then, the mills closed.
Damn the mills.
One of the unseen benefits of the collapse of the value
systems our families believed in - that the mill would look after you
through thick and thin - was that now, decades later, there is not a
town in America where a Pittsburgher cannot feel at home. Nearly every
city in the United States has a designated "Black and Gold"
establishment. From Bangor, Maine to Honolulu, Hawaii, and every town in
between can be found an oasis of Iron City, chipped ham and yinzers.
It's great to know that no matter what happened in the lives of our
Steel City refugees, they never forgot the things that held us together
as a city - families, food, and Steelers football.
It's what we call the Steeler Nation.
You see it every football season. And when the Steelers
have a great year, as they have had this season, the power of the
Steeler Nation rises to show itself stronger than ever. This week, as
the Pittsburgh team of Roethlisberger, Polamalu, Bettis and Porter head
to Denver, the fans of Greenwood, Lambert, Bleier and Blount, the
generation who followed Lloyd, Thigpen, Woodson and Kirkland will be
watching from Dallas to Chicago, from an Air Force base in Minot, North
Dakota, to a tent stuck in the sand near Fallujah, Iraq.
I have received more e-mail from displaced Pittsburgh
Steelers fans this week than Christmas cards this holiday season.
We are the Steeler Nation.
And now, it's passing from one generation to the next. The
children of displaced Pittsburghers, who have never lived in the Steel
City, are growing up Steelers fans. When they come back to their
parents' hometowns to visit the grandparents, they hope, above all, to
be blessed enough to get to see the Steelers in person.
Heinz Field is their football Mecca.
And if a ticket isn't available, that's okay, too. There's
nothing better than sitting in Grandpa's living room, just like Dad did,
eating Grandma's cooking and watching the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Just like Dad did.
So, to you, Steeler Nation, I send best wishes and a fond
wave of the Terrible Towel. To Tom, who emailed from Massachusetts to
say how great it was to watch the Patriots lose and the Steelers win in
one glorious weekend. To Michelle, from Milwaukee, who wrote to let me
know it was she who hexed Mike Vanderjagt last Sunday by chanting
"boogity, boogity, boogity" and giving him the "maloik". To Jack, who
will somehow pull himself away from the beach bar he tends in Hilo,
Hawaii, to once again root for the black and gold in the middle of the
night (his time), I say, thanks for giving power to the great Steeler
All around the NFL, the word is out that the Pittsburgh
Steeler fans "travel well", meaning they will fly or drive from
Pittsburgh to anywhere the Steelers play, just to see their team. The
one aspect about that situation the rest of the NFL fails to grasp is
that, sometimes, the Steeler Nation does not have to travel. Sometimes,
we're already there.
Yes, the short sighted steel mills screwed our families
But they did, in a completely unintended way, create
something new and perhaps more powerful than an industry.
They helped created a nation.
A Steeler Nation.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Before I get to the Browns game, it should be mentioned that Jeff Reed was cited for public intoxication last night at McFadden's. After the paper towel dispenser incident in February, it appears that drinking may be an issue for Mr. Reed. With Jeff Reed being a free agent at year's end, run ins with the law do not increase his chances of being re-signed with the Steelers. Reed has been a solid kicker for the most part and will not be easily replaced. Clearly the people who are in charge of the development of the North Shore did not consider Reed's proclivity for drinking when they put multiple bars within walking distance of Heinz Field. Reed was cited around 9 o'clock. The game didn't end till 4. He had to shower, get dressed and then make it over to McFadden's. Let's say that took an hour. Reed was drinking pretty heavily for the next 4 hours. On to the game...
1) We won. But I am getting tired of Tomlin's spin that style points don't count. We played one of the worst teams in the league. We turned it over 4 times and did not run the ball as well as we should have. This should have been a blow out but once again we played down to an opponent's level.
2) Troy should not have played. Yes he made a pick and his impact was felt, but was a not 100% Troy really that much of an improvement over Ty Carter? Watch the Titans game and then the Cleveland game. How much more did you see of Troy vs. the Titans in one half than you saw all day yesterday? He was still fairly limited by the knee injury. Why not rest him at least one more week and get him back 100%? We didn't need him to beat the Browns. Why risk it? I wrote about it a few weeks back. He shouldn't have come back till next week at the earliest.
3) Where is the killer instinct on this team? After creating multiple turnovers with a chance to put the game out of reach, we should be scoring. Instead we are playing pong. 5 consecutive possessions between the Browns and Steelers resulted in a turnover. Can we start acting like the defending champs?
4) The D did not miss Aaron Smith in this game. Kirscke, Eason and Hood filled in admirably and the D only let up one touchdown. They also came up with some big plays in big spots by getting pressure and creating turnovers.
5) Ben is having an amazing year and he is really at another level right now. 417 yards yesterday, 2 touchdowns and an int. He is finally utilizing all our weapons. Everything we ever complained about seems to be taken into consideration this year. Throwing to the tight end? Check. Throwing to running backs out of the backfield? Check. Holding onto the ball too long and never throwing it away? Still working on that one. The only thing that worries me is that Ben has 1 or 2 throws every game where he become Brett Favre. You know, the whole screw it, I'm Brett Favre, I can throw it into any spot play, that results in an int. Take your checkdowns, the big plays will come.
6) For the first part of the game at least, our o-line was getting pushed around by the Browns D-line. The Browns were ranked 31st in the league against the run. We could have played better but we still went for 140 on the ground and over 500 yards total offense. We just needed to put more points on the board.
7) Timmons was finally used to rush the passer with big results. 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles.
8) Our special teams coverage units are poor but our return blocking is pathetic.
9) Once again we got stuffed on a 3rd and 1, and 4th and 1. However, we were given a first down somehow, even though it looked like we were short on tv. It shouldn't be that close against the Browns.
We have a very tough stretch coming up starting with Minnesota next week in the 'burgh. Hopefully Tomlin has something up his sleeve to get this team fired up and playing up to their talent level instead of down to the level of other teams. The Steez have yet to play a complete game in my opinion. Let's hope they are saving them for the latter part of the season.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Behind the Steel Curtain pulls together a lot of stuff from the Browns websites if you want to get familiar with them. HERE.
Who is 2nd in the NFL in passing yards? Ben. Check out this article about the amazing season he is having so far. HERE.
How bad have the Browns been since they returned to the league? It's not pretty. HERE.
Joe Thomas vs. James Harrison. Thomas has given Harrison trouble in the past. HERE
The Matchups and Breakdowns. HERE
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Here we see Tomlin after getting the news that Aaron Smith is done for the year. It is a gloomy day here at Steezbros, but nothing like some Tomlin love to cheer us up and a haiku to get the D pumped up:
Browns offense does not progress.
barks not bites.
Coach Mike heard about the winter storm about to crush PA and brought out the beanie. Winter is coming early everywhere this season. Break out the skis! It's Steeler weather.
How can this image not cheer you up? We are still the champs! If you buy into Bill Simmons 5 year grace period after a championship theory, no complaining is allowed until 2014.
How awesome is the 'burgh? Tomlin knows. Don't try to tell him otherwise.
A blast from the past. Could anyone else rock a shirt like that tucked into jeans and still project an aura of confidence and badassness? I think not.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Aaron Smith is done for the season. Inhale...exhale. To be sure, this is a major blow to our defense which has already shown signs of mediocrity this season. Anyone that remembers the last time Smith was out for an extended period should be freaking out; our run D totally fell apart. One piece of uplifting news is that Troy should be back for this week's game and hopefully the rest of the season.
The Steelers re-signed their 6th round draft pick, Sonny Harris from Carolina's practice sqaud, to fill the roster spot created by Smith being placed on IR. Harris showed alot of promise in the pre-season and was one of the final cuts made. He would have been on our practice squad if Carlina hadn't signed him. Out of the bad some good must come.
I believe it will come in getting more experience for our young guys, especially 1st round draft pick, Ziggy Hood. Between Hood, Sonny Harris, Nick Eason and Travis Kirshke, we should have a decent rotation filling in for Smith. I would love to see LeBeau get creative. Chris Hoke has filled in more than admirably for Casey Hampton when he was injured. Why not move Hampton to left end and put Hoke in at the nose. Casey will take up two blockers and normally gets good push into the backfield. This should open up some space for Woodley on that side.
Expect a heavy dose of running to the right side from now on from opposing offenses. Like I said, this is a major loss for our D. Let's rely on the depth this team has and hope for the best. We have Cleveland this week which should get the new starters some decent reps without having to worry to much about a crucial game and making mistakes. Even thought the D-line is awesome, it is getting old. Smith's injury should benefit us in the long run by getting the young guys in the rotation that much quicker.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Smith's right shoulder was injured in Detroit Sunday and coach Mike Tomlin said today it "potentially could be significant."
Tomlin said the injury potentially could keep Smith out for awhile, pending the result of tests today.
The Steelers regard Smith as the best 3-4 end in football.
Tomlin said Ziggy Hood, their first-round draft choice, is not yet ready to replace Smith as the starter and they would do so "by committee."
Monday, October 12, 2009
- Poor Limas Sweed. He had one ball thrown his way on Sunday and he dropped it. At least the man's consistent.
- Mike Wallace also did his best Sweed impression, dropping a perfectly thrown deep bomb that should have been a touchdown. At least the mohawked-one came back strong with a long touchdown catch later in the game.
- It's been two games against bad defenses, but Mendenhall should at worst split carries equally when Willie Parker returns. Mendenhall runs harder and blocks as well as Fast Willie, but he is a much better receiver. I'm not anointing Mendenhall the starter after two games, but he's earned himself more carries.
- The Steelers defense can no longer hide behind the "we played good quarterbacks" excuse. Kerry Collins has not played well all season and Daunte Culpepper is way past his prime. But both were able to extend drives against Pittsburgh.
- Was Dick Lebeau holding out on his exotic blitz packages until the end or did Detroit's O-line and Daunte Culpepper wilt under pressure?
- Stefan Logan had one big return yesterday and it came at the perfect time. Detroit had just scored a defensive touchdown to get within 1, and Logan returned the ball to midfield, where the Steelers quickly scored to take an 8 point lead.
- That said, the coverage units and blocking for Logan remain shaky. The punt return unit committed another penalty. Robo-punter continues to robo-punt.
- Nice coordination by the defense to copy the Larry Foote dance. Wonder if he misses Pittsburgh right about now?
- Long way to go in the season. Let's hope the early season struggles get ironed out and we peak in December, January, and February.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
-Behind the Steel Curtains' take on the keys to the game.
-Post Gazette looks at the matchups.
-Ike gets the assignment of covering Calvin Johsnon today.
-Three things to watch for from One for the Other Thumb.
-Check out the mini-pony of the day and the Unnamed Steeler Pregame show.
As always, GO STEELERS! We need to take care of business the next two weeks and get this team on the right track for when Troy comes back.
PREDICTION Steelers 35 - LIONS 17
Thursday, October 8, 2009
We won the Super Bowl last season, and expectations are high. We know we've got a target on our back. Every team we play acts like we're their biggest game of the year. Whenever we come to town it seems like the stadium is built up that week. I think other teams like to match up with us just to see where they stand. They know we're going to play hard-nosed football, hit hard and run the ball. That means they're going to have to play at 100 percent to beat us.
When Chicago beat us in Week 2, you'd think they'd just won the Super Bowl. And when we went down and lost to Cincinnati, you'd think they just won Super Bowl XLIV. Some teams can handle winning, some can't. We're used to winning, so we know how to handle it. We also know how to handle when we lose, too. It all goes back to the guys we have. We know it's a long season, and we know where we need to be by the end of the year. We'll get there.
...Last year I also had seven games without a sack. Everything goes up and down. I used to get down on myself when I wasn't getting sacks, but it wasn't just about that. It was when I wasn't getting sacks and we were losing. That's when I get mad at myself. Most of the top pass-rushers have their ups and downs. The main thing for a pass-rusher is, how do you bounce back? For me, as long as we're winning, I'm cool.
Like last week against San Diego, it was good for me to get some pressure on the quarterback, but most importantly we won.
I haven't gotten a sack yet this season, but I think I'm going to kick it off back home in Michigan this week.
After giving the greatest motivational speech ever, Tomlin had the boys fired up and it showed vs. SD. Let's hope we can continue the trend this week against Detroit. Coach Tomlin, we salute you!
Another Tomlin Thursday, another ode to the Steelers from Jenn Z. We have a reader submitted photo this week as well. Thanks for sending stuff, we really appreciate it.
Week one- a low scoring, defensive brawl;
O’ertime ended, and the Titans wore scowls
Butrejoiced when Reed kicked the ball.
Titans regret marring.
Week two and week three had no good result.
Just as we Steez fans began to feel down,
Tomlin inspired without placing fault.
Against the Chargers, they turned it around.
As Mendenhall runs for yard after yard,
And their D-Backs Big Ben’s passing destroys,
Steelers will show no mercy or regard
Defeating Detroit, who’ll make little noise.
Week five is the first step to take controlOf division, conference, and Superbowl!
Thanks to our biggest fan E$ in Chi town for this vintage Tomlin Photo. Can you see the greatness already?
Tomlin preparing Obama for his subsequent visit after this season.
'Tone and Mike joking about dropped balls. I don't really think it's that funny.
Could anyone look more badass in a suit? I think not.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
whoda thunk it? Pittsburgh was named by the Sporting News as the best sports city in North America. Was this even a contest? How could it possibly not be after winning both the Stanley Cup and the Super Bowl? Does this picture on the front of the Sporting News ruin the chances of SI recreating the Sportsmen of the Year with Pops and Bradshaw with Sid and Bung? I hope not. I was really hoping SI would do that.
Another dream come true happened on Monday Night Raw, getting to see my favorite thing as a kid and my favorite quarterback teaming up together. What a site to behold seeing Ben and the offensive line hosting Raw on Monday night and teaming up with DX. It looked like they got to have some fun with the Pro Wrestlers. Seeing Ben next to the Big Show made me realize how big Ben actually is. Without pads Ben isnt much smaller than his O-line either. Also it didn't appear that Darnell Stapleton is that injured and looks like he could play. Was putting him on IR just a reason to play Essex?
Are people really serious already crowning Mendenhall the running back of our future and that Willie Parker is finished and that there is now a RB controversy? Less than a week ago people were calling for Tomlin's head because of his "poor" draft classes. I guess people's heads only last a week in the NFL.