Who are the SteezBros?

Welcome to SteezBros! SteezBros is a Steeler Blog run by three brothers who are all huge Steeler fans. If the true definition of fan is fanatic, we fit the bill. We were born into Steeler fandom. Love of the Steelers goes back many generations in our family. It's in our blood. You can read our "Welcome to SteezBros" post in the archive if you are interested in more information about us and the blog. Thanks for reading and check back often!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tomlin Thursday Christmas Eve Edition

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone from the Steezbros! Let's hope the Steez can bring us home a Festivus Miracle. I'm pretty sure I know what Tomlin is requesting from Santa. In lieu of doing the usual 5 pics for Tomlin Thursday, Jenn wrote an epic poem. It is so awesome that I don't want to take anything away from it with pictures. Here it is in all its glory. Enjoy! A safe and happy holiday to you all.

Twas two nights post-Christmas, and all through Heinz Field,
The Steez offense ran plays to which the Ravens' D would yield.

The screens were thrown by Ben with great care,
while the O-Line ensured that Terrell Suggs wouldn't get there.

The fans were jumping way out of their seats,
Still picturing the playoffs, what an ambitious feat.

And Tomlin with his headset, LaBeau in his cap,
called defensive plays that kept close all gaps.

When way down the field there rose such a clatter,
As Woodley grabbed a fumble; now to make it matter!

Down to the Red Zone, Ben threw in a flash,
and Santonio caught it, past the first down hash.

The Offense went no-huddle,so lively and quick.
Since the D got the ball back, thanks to St. Dick.

More rapid than the Ravens, the Steelers, they came.
Tomlin whistled and shouted and called them by name.

"Now Big Ben! Now Wallace, Now Miller, Now Hines!
Now Mendenhall, and Santonio, break through their lines!

To the back of the end zone! Ben, hand off the ball!
Now dash away, dash away, Mendenhall!"

The ball he carried, safe in his hands,
while fans erupted from all the stands.

He broke through the plane, and landed on his belly,
And the linemen jumped up, all shaking like jelly!

And then Jeff Reed came up, and went straight to work
As the ball was snapped, he kicked with a jerk.

The point after he kicked was right on the nose,
and straight through the uprights, that ball, it rose!

The clock then ran out, the refs blew the whistle.
The Steelers did win! And the Ravens did bristle.

And Tomlin spoke to reporters as walking out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all! And to All a good night!"

Monday, December 21, 2009

Playoff Scenario

Need to kill an afternoon? Check out this playoff scenario generator.

I doubt it happens, but the scenario needed for the Steelers to get the 6th seed isn't that outlandish:

1. Pittsburgh wins both games
2. Denver loses to Philly or KC
3. The Jets lose to Indianapolis or Cincinatti
4. Jacksonville loses to New England or Cleveland
5. Tennessee wins out or
Houston loses against Mia or New England

We are now fans of New England, Philly, Indy, and Cincy.

I never thought I would type that sentence.

Biggest hurdle?

Steelers winning out.

Onside kick?

What were your initial thoughts about the Steelers onside kick?

My reaction went something like this: "what just happened?"

Not because I was shocked (I would have been), but because I missed the kickoff trying to catch the end of the Broncos-Raiders game.

Just about everyone who saw the game and works on TV is panning the call. It's similar to Belichick going for it on 4th and 2.

I doubt Mike Tomlin knew these numbers (he's been quoted as saying he makes these decisions by going with his gut) before the attempt, but the onsides kick decision actually improved the Steelers odds of winning. At least according to NFL Stats guru Brian Burke.

Up by 2 points with 3:58 left against the Packers, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin called for an onside kick. Was this a good decision?

When onside kicks are expected, they are successful only about 20% of the time. But unexpected onside kicks are successful a surprising 60% of the time. I think we can say this particular kick was certainly unexpected. And surprise onside kicks can be the most beneficial when a team is ahead late in the game. Possession is critical.
In this case, had the Steelers recovered the kick, they'd have a 1st down at about their own 40, which is good for about a 0.76 win probability (WP). An unsuccessful onside kick gives the ball to the Packers at the Steelers' 40, worth 0.58 WP for the Packers (which is 0.42 WP for the Steelers.) With a 60% success rate, the overall WP for the onside kick would be:

0.60 * 0.76 + (1-0.60) * 0.42 = 0.64
WPA conventional kickoff gives the Packers a 1st and 10 at their own 30 or so (28 is the average, 33 is the median). This gives the Packers a 0.46 WP, which is 0.54 WP for the Steelers.

The onside kick is the better decision by 0.64 to 0.54 WP.

These estimates are only league baselines, but they suggest it was probably a good call.

What's most interesting to me is that a failed onside kick is hardly certain death--a 0.42 WP. There was plenty of time for anything to happen--a stop, a turnover, or a score. And sure enough the Steelers gave up a touchdown but came back with one of their own.

Also, a successful onside recovery doesn't seal the game. The Steelers would still need at least two first downs to clinch the win. Essentially, the Steelers traded 30 yards of field position for the chance to keep the ball out of the Packers' hands.


Just as all hope, both actual and technical, was draining out of the season, the Steelers finally decided to show some passion by displaying the heart of a champion that we saw so often last year. Although they waited till the last possible moment, it was worth every second to see it finally come out. If they didn't muster it up in the waning seconds of yesterday's game, it would not have happened in any meaningful way this season.

After last week's game I had become dejected about this season basically wanting us to get the best draft pick we could and get rookies some reps to prepare for next season. Then I arrived back in Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. I had to start dealing with what I perceived as irrational Steeler fans telling me every conceivable way that we could make the playoffs. My normal response was, "if you think we can make a run after losing to KC, Oakland and Cleveland, you are delusional." But guess what happened on Sunday? We won in incredible fashion. Plus, every team we needed to lose lost except Baltimore and we can take care of business at home next week as they come to town. We still need a lot of help and have to win out but I am starting to lean towards the irrational Steeler fans rather than my pessimistic view of things. It's much more fun to be optimistic, let's be honest.

Having said that, let's not get too excited. We can call it cautious optimism. The D still crumbled in the 4th quarter yet again. The coaching staff had so little confidence in the Defense- which is so unbelievable for a Steeler team that I am concerned for the people of hell- that they called an onside kick with under 4 minutes to play leading by 2! If you actually listen to Tomlin's rationale, it makes sense, given you buy into the fact that our D couldn't stop them. He reasoned that if we get the kick, our offense can win the game for us and if we don't, GB would score quick enough to get us the ball back with time and the offense could win it for us. This pretty much happened.

If you didn't think Bruce Arians should get canned before last night, I know there aren't many of you, but you should get on the bandwagon now. Troy Aikman made the comment that Bruce Arians does not talk to Ben about taking sacks and throwing the ball away because when he tried to have a similar conversation with a QB while at Mississippi State, it did not turn out well. Let me get this straight; a college kid 15 years ago did not appreciate being told he sucked. Is that any reason to not have a conversation with a professional QB who has won 2 Superbowl rings? Could the situations be any less similar? The number one way to improve Ben right now would be to get him to stop taking sacks that kill field goals and destroy field position. Coincidentally, you really did see Ben throwing a ball away on the final drive last night. In other firsts, the Steelers also threw a screen pass that worked last night, and it was the first time ever that a game ended with the score 37-36, marking the second consecutive season that the Steelers have been a participant when the ending score had never occurred previously. (San Diego 11-10 last year)

Continuing on the fire Bruce Arians path, the Steelers continue to "spread the field" with 5 wide sets, however I don't think teams are too afraid when 3 of the 5 receivers are Tyler Grisham, Rashard Mendenhall and Heath Miller. Yes, Heath is great but he is not beating anyone with his speed which is the key ingredient to making the spread work. The 5 wide, empty backfield formation killed us vs. Cleveland resulting in sacks like 15 times. Yet, we continued to come out in it again last night. Could we at least pretend like we might run the ball so opposing D's don't just get to rule out 50% of our plays?

What has happened to our tackling?

Also, GB has given up the most sacks in the league. How many did we have last night?

Our O was impressive against the number one D in the National Football League (channeling Ron Jaworski). Ben is one of 3 QB's in history to throw for 500 yards, 3 TD's and no interceptions. The other two: Warren Moon and Y.A. Tittle. My biggest complaint about Ben though is that he throws a terrible deep ball. Watch the first TD pass to Wallace. Ben just can't throw it far enough to hit him in stride, he is too fast. Wallace has to stop and wait for the ball. Luckily he was so far past the defender, he still couldn't catch up.

What a play to end the game. Great throw from Ben and amazing concentration from a rookie to get both feet in and keep control while going to the ground. Truthfully, I think teams would not want to face us in the playoffs.

Since we are back on the winning side of things, hopefully we will get some posts up this week, like what needs to happen to get us into the playoffs. Finally, there will be a special Christmas Eve edition of Tomlin Thursday this week because Christmas Eve is on Thursday! It was meant to be! Enjoy your Monday. Time to start shopping for Christmas.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Black and Gold Uni Watch

It's been a full week since we posted. I still can't figure out what went wrong. Is it the players? The coaches? Lack of desire? Lack of talent?

I'm sure at some point we'll get over the last five weeks, but it might not be until the off season. Posts could be sparse from here on out. Spending time with the family will likely trump writing about our disappointing season.

Nonetheless, I wanted to point you to an interesting article about the Steeler uniforms on ESPN. Good stuff on our beloved black and gold unis.

Troy Polamalu's long hair usually obscures the rear-neckline area of his jersey. So it might surprise you to learn that he has a little cross embroidered right above his nameplate. That's a major violation of NFL uni regulations, but the league's position is that it's OK because it's usually covered by his hair. (Translation: "We reeeaaaallly don't want to get involved in a controversy about religious expression.")

Uniqueness Factor: High. Tim Tebow can cite Bible verses on his eye-black stickers all day long, but Polamalu is the only major-level athlete Uni Watch can think of with a religious symbol actually stitched into his team's uniform.

The full article can be found here.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Opportunity Squandered

Great post from Post Game Heroes. These two paragraphs pretty much sum up how I am feeling today. Give the whole thing a read. Lots of great points.

19. Steelers wasted an amazing opportunity this year. Super Bowl champs get handed the easiest schedule in the NFL. Most top players are back with the team. This is a wasted year as our defense got even OLDER and even more guys will leave via free agency. This team was built for a repeat and screwed it up big time. This time next season Farrior is even older, Ward is older/slower, Parker is gone, Clark is gone, Hampton may be gone, Townsend is done, Harrison is a year older, etc…… What a waste of a talented group of guys.

If the Steelers hadn’t won the SB last year I would be crushed right now. I’m surprisingly calm and “OK” with this debacle. These past 5 weeks I found myself smiling and laughing and shaking my head in amazement….but not really getting angry, frustrated, or pissed off. This doesn’t hurt anywhere nearly as badly as a playoff loss or an AFC Championship disappointment. I guess the season was “lost” before I really got to get emotionally involved enough to get devastatingly upset.

-We gave up 175 yards rushing last night to the Browns. They also scored their first rushing TD of THE SEASON.

-Bruce Arians continually going empty set on third and short resulting in sacks was idiotic. At least line up in normal formation and do play action if you want to throw. Arians takes any thought of rushing away and lets the D know exactly what we are doing.

-Ben needs to throw it away sometimes. Good lord. Browns had at least 7 sacks. They are one of the worst defenses in the league.

-Horrendous time management at the end of the game. We could have had two drives to try to tie it but for some reason we attempted one 5 minute drive for all the marbles.

-This was one of the worst coached games I have seen in a while in every aspect. Read the article I linked to but why in the hell was Santonio returning kicks. At least this showed that it is our blocking that is the issue on special teams. I would not be surprised if Arians and our special teams coach get canned.

-Probably one of the darkest days in the burgh in recent memory. I just pray that Troy doesn't play the rest of the year and that rookies get a ton of PT to prepare for next season. Let some positive come from this awfulness.

-Feel free to vent in the comments. I will respond if needed. We all need to be there for each other in these trying times.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Worst Team in the League?

When you lose to the Chiefs. Raiders, and Browns over a four week period, does that make you the worst team in the league?

I think it does.


I know everyone is upset by the fact that the Steeler's season is effectively over causing Tomlin Thursday to be postponed but there is still football to be played and there is still hope. "Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."
Imagine how epic a run it would be if the Steelers could somehow get up off the mat from this debacle and get to the Superbowl. I'm not saying I think it is going to happen, just that there is still a chance, albeit a really small one. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that for the second time in 4 years we could miss the playoffs after winning the Lombardi. 5 year grace period. 5 year grace period. Here is how we could avoid that scenario according to John Clayton:

Without making this too complicated, the AFC wild-card race probably will come down to the Week 17 matchup between the Steelers and Dolphins.

The Jaguars face the biggest problem even though they are currently sixth in the AFC with a 7-5 record. Their next three games are against the Dolphins, Colts and Patriots, and they could lose all three. The Ravens (6-6) still can reach nine wins because they'll play Detroit and Chicago at home and finish the season in Oakland, but to reach 10 wins, they also would have to beat the Steelers at Heinz Field in Week 16.

The Steelers should beat the Browns on Thursday night. Then they'll need to win home games against the Packers and Ravens to head into the season finale in Miami at 9-6. The Dolphins would have to beat the Jaguars, Titans and Texans to be 9-6 heading into that last week.

The journey begins tonight, as the Steez play perennial punching bag Cleveland. If there is a way to get this season back on track, it would be a throttling of the Brownies. However, I would have said the same thing about KC and Oakland and we all know how that turned out (slamming my head on my desk). The weather tonight is calling for cold, high winds and snow. Sounds like a battle in the trenches to me which should favor the Steelers. Our D is pretty solid against the run. Cleveland has no running game and our running game has been fairly decent this season. Brady Quinn can't throw in good weather. I am fully expecting the Steelers to win this game but it will be close, similar to last year's 10-6 affair in similar weather conditions.

The game tonight should be an excellent measuring stick to see whether Tomlin has lost the team. I would like to think he can hold the ship together and finish the season strong but there is clear dissension among the ranks. After Hines called out Ben for not playing with a concussion, Ben came back with a "Hines will do what is best for Hines" comment regarding Hines's injured hamstring this week. Although definitely true, Ben should have kept his mouth just like Hines should have done the week before. Tough times bring good teams closer together not tear them apart. I am interested to see which direction this group goes starting with this evening's game.

Another factor that will keep this game close are injuries. Troy is out and may not play again this season according to some sources. Hines is out with Tyler Grisham up from the practice squad to take the 4th WR slot. That means my favorite jersey purchase, Limas Sweed will be on the field tonight to drop some key passes. I really hope he can show something tonight. William Gay is out with a concussion caused by his teammate, Ryan Mundy. Joe Burnett will get most of the reps replacing him but Keenan Lewis will also see some time. It is important to get these rooks some reps to see what we have going forward for next season. Get the bumps out of the way this year and we will be better for it next year. Some links to keep you busy at work until kick:

Tomlin claimed that roster moves would be made in the wake of our 4th consecutive loss. Here are the moves PGH would make.

The Tomlin press conference this week with commentary by PGH. HERE

Since losing has been a theme of late in the 'burgh, here is a list of the 50 most devastating losses in Pittsburgh sports from 1990-today. (Mondesis's House)

A close look at how the Steez salary cap situation has imprinted this season (BTSC)

Awesome Pittsburgh song (B94)



It is being reported in various places that Hines Ward WILL play tonight.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Is This Real Life Right Now?

First off I would like to apologize to the SteezBros, SteezBros Nataion, and the rest of the blogging community for my abrupt and unexplained absence from this community. It appears that I have bitten off more than I can chew with school and two jobs and as a result have neglected my duties as a Steezbro and as a part of Steeler Nation. I haven't been on the internet to read or contribute in many weeks and even more embarrassing I have missed games because of work. Some say this is part of becoming a grown-up but I say that that is a lame-ass excuse for old people, who are trying to convince themselves that they are real fans.

About a month ago everyone was beginning to love this years version of the Steelers and saying they were on the path to repeating and the love fest was on. Well Tomlin and Co. must be color blind because we are not on the yellow brick road any more and apparently were on the fast-track to the highway to hell. --Disclaimer this "hell" I speak of is the opposite of the "hell" Mike Tomlin promised to unleash for the rest of the season, because Tomlin's "hell" is actually a foam padded room with a bunch of sissies running around with Sock 'em Boppers on while wearing helmets and pads and no shots to the head or below the belt are allowed. PS you can't hit as hard as you can either, you may break your Sock 'em Bopper and actually hit someone (Josh did this to me several times in our youth, it's not that pleasant). Mikey T I love you, but please step up your shit, because your team is piss poor which you have now promised several times to not let happen but it has continued.

What happened to our D??? We cannot tackle, when we get to the QB we can't finish, coverage is not a term in our vocab, and we are letting below average QB's rip us a new one at the end of the game. After holding Oakland to 6 points all game we allow 3 TD's in the 4th??? WTF!?!?!?!? What I am about to say is blasphemy, but has Coach Dad Lebeau's age caught up to him? How is our defense slipped up so badly when we need it the most? As always our team still lacks the killer instinct that is needed and refuses to put teams away early in the game and lets them linger and their confidence to build going into the end of the game.

Early in the year I praised Ryan Clark and begged for his extension, but at this point I have no problem seeing him go after the year. He has not been himself all year and along with plenty of others on this team, has blown his assignment and/or let up a big play that should have been defended quite easily. After watching this team I am completely convinced that Troy is the best player in the league. Hands Down. TROY POLAMALU IS THE BEST PLAYER IN THE NFL!!! The difference with and without him is black 'n white. I dare you to take a look at our record with him in the game and us without him. This team lacks the self-need to be the best and show that they are the biggest, baddest, D in the league. Somehow we are still ranked in the top 5 in total defense in the league, which to me is a giant surprise. Willy Gay and Lawrence Timmons are also disappointments this year.

On to a positive (kind of) note. If somehow we make it to the post season, which I don't see happening because a couple of teams will have to shit the bed and us win out, the last time we had at least 3 losses in a row, coupled with a looming Bengals AFC North Championship, and everyone counted us out, we sneaked into the playoffs as the sixth seed by winning out and shocked the world by winning 3 games on the road and won Super Bowl XL. Hopefully this time history will repeat itself and we will be playing into January and crushing fools like normal. I should be making a return next week as a hiatus from school and work looms ahead. Again I'm sorry to all and hopefully some of my hate will satisfy the hungry dogs out there.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Season Over

Instead of unleashing hell , the Steelers laid an egg against a hapless Raider team.

I'm not sure what's more embarassing. Losing to the Raiders or allowing Bruce Gradkowski to throw for 300+ yards to receivers named Louis Murphy and Chaz Schillins. Either way it's not good. The Raiders had 10 total offensive touchdowns this year. They scored three on their last three drives today.


The defense continued to write the story of the 2009 Steelers - defensive collapses. I don't even know what to think after watching the Raiders drive 90 yards in less than 2 minutes. Most of the passes were just thrown straight up into the air and the defensive backs were unable to bat the ball down.


Even though Steeler nation likes to spew hatred toward Bruce Arians, all the vigor this season should be directed at Coach Tomlin, Dick Lebeau, and the defense.

But at least Gary Russell didn't hurt us on kick off returns.

Season over.

I'm not one for hyperbole, but if you think a Steeler team that has lost four straight, with two against the Chiefs and Raiders, can run the table to make the playoffs, you might be nuttier than Al Davis.

End of Tomlin Thursday.

If you really want to get mad, Kansas City has lost by more than 60 in its last two weeks.

Maybe we'll get 2 minutes of hate from Alex tomorrow. Maybe not.

End of post.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Tomlin Thursday Must WIn Edition

"We will unleash hell here in December because we have to. We won't go in a shell. We'll go into attack mode, because that's what's required." It's going to be back to training camp tactics at practice this week.

Here is an awesome link to a ton of great Tomlinisms. HERE

Fisher: "I took the blame for our 0-6 start this season. You will get blamed if you miss the playoffs, trust me."

Tomlin: "We will not miss the playoffs. I do not know how to fail."