Daily Archives: December 1, 2011

Dejan Kovacevic chat transcript

Tribune-Review columnist Dejan Kovacevic will hold his weekly chat with readers about Pittsburgh sports at 1 p.m. today.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Pouncey Will Be Limited In Practice, Lost 12 Pounds

Multiple sources are reporting Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey will practice on a limited basis today, as he recovers from an illness that caused him to lose 12 pounds.

Pouncey said he put two pounds back on, but is still around 290 - about 10 pounds below his ideal playing weight. He also says he will "definitely" play, per Scott Brown of the Tribune-Review.

Knowing that, Bengals defensive tackles Domata Peko, Geno Atkins and Pat Sims have to be excited. Pouncey's style is based on his quickness, but his aggression in finishing off blocks will be compromised at that light of a weight. It's still a few days until they play, but Pouncey will have to do what most of us dream of doing - work hard at putting on weight - between now and kickoff.

Facing a defensive front as tough as Cincinnati's is challenging enough, but being that far under weight has to play in the minds of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Back-up C Doug Legursky is listed at 315 pounds, but isn't the mauler Pouncey is in the run game.

If Pouncey does play, expect Legursky to shift over to left guard, replacing Chris Kemoeatu.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Life in the NFL

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There's a faction among Steeler Nation that believes the Pittsburgh Steelers have some inherent right of passage to succeed in the NFL, that somehow losing is for other teams, but not us. Losing can and will never happen. Competing for championships is our birthright. I am not among that faction. To the contrary, I am thankful every day that our team is very competitive at a time when I can enjoy going to games with my teenage daughter. I know that it is a matter of time when the franchise goes into a slump. The NFL is systemically designed that way.

I told Mary Rose before Sunday's game that it would be a battle to get out of Kansas City with a victory. I am trying to instill in her an insight into the NFL that will keep her from being like so many talk show callers who were "upset" at Sunday's victory - that's right, "upset" at a victory. We've got the Chicken Little faction that thinks the sky is falling when Pittsburgh falls short of domination. We've got the "why-do-we-play-down-to-the-level-of-competition" faction, as if Pittsburgh was Alabama and Kansas City was Vanderbilt; and then, of course, the obligatory Bruce Arians bashing, where 200,000 truck drivers, accountants and school teachers use the magic of hindsight to think they can call plays better than the people who study this for a living.

There's a salary cap in the NFL, which levels the talent pool. In addition, teams who finish with lesser records get better players. The Kansas City Chiefs are loaded on defense, but no one seems to be giving them credit after a "lackluster" Pittsburgh 13-9 win. Kansas City has two defensive linemen who were drafted third and fifth overall in the first round (Tyson Jackson and Glenn Dorsey). The last time Pittsburgh had a pick that high they drafted a guy named Bradshaw. The other D-lineman is Kelly Gregg, an old nemesis from Baltimore. The Chiefs have two stud linebackers drafted 15th and 20th (Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali) and a defensive backfield that features three second rounders, including an early 35th overall pick (Brandon Flowers). The last I checked, those guys were getting paid also, yet people fail to acknowledge that highly-talented athletes are scheming to prevent us from having our way.

So why then, if the Chiefs defense features high-caliber athletes, do they rank mediocre at best in most statistical categories? The answer is that with a very poor offense, the defense has little chance to rank high in anything. When a team goes three-and-out repeatedly, the defense is on the field more than their fair share. They can't help but give up yards and points. When the offense doesn't do its fair share of clock control and production, the defense pays the price. They're human. They wear down. And then there's the losing part of things. When a team good enough to win their division just last year loses its quarterback, all-star running back and all-star safety, losing takes its toll.

So why then, if the Chiefs rank mediocre in defense and losing has taken its toll, did the Pittsburgh Steelers struggle so much on Sunday? Why did they look worse than New England or Miami or other teams who have looked much better against KC? The answer, as I told Mary Rose on Sunday, is that the game was scheduled seven hours later than my liking. A 1:00 p.m. contest probably would have ended with a much different score. Take the third, fifth, 15th, 21st and 35th best players in their respective drafts, put them in prime time, on national television, the only game being played, in maybe the loudest stadium in the NFL, after eight hours of tailgating, and you are going to be in a dogfight. The Chiefs may not win another game, or very few, but on that night, their defense played in the Super Bowl. Their highly-talented, chiseled-muscle athletes, spent every dime as if it were their last.

Remember the Colts game? Did they not lose their quarterback and did their defense not spend every dime on prime-time national television? Put a wounded, downtrodden group of thoroughbred athletes on national television, prime time, in their own house, and you better cross your fingers and hope to get out of town with any kind of victory. Ask the Baltimore Ravens how their trip home was from Jacksonville? Here's a team who doesn't have its coach anymore, but on that one night, they cashed every check.

One of the disadvantages of being the Pittsburgh Steelers is that they are often showcased on featured games in enemy arenas. That comes with the territory of being the real "America's team." These are the elements to the NFL that I am trying to teach Mary Rose. About bull's-eyes and psychology and human beings playing different games on different levels at different times. About how close the talent level is in the NFL, despite what records may indicate. Regardless of whether you are 8-3 or 3-8, a blowout in the NFL is a 10-13 point game.

Look, I know the offense struggled. I am aware of the penalties and dropped passes, etc., but speaking of 8-3, there are four teams in the AFC with that record and none better. The Steelers are one of those four teams, and unlike the others, their three losses have all come to the others. Do we need to get our offense back in sync this week? Absolutely. Will 13 points beat Cincinnati? Maybe not. But one thing is for sure - that on Sunday night in Kansas City, the Pittsburgh Steelers got the job done, style points be damned.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Heinz Field Resodding Time Lapse

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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Judge: Super Bowl ticket holders can sue NFL, not Cowboys

The 4,200 ticket holders who didn’t get to see part or all of Super Bowl XLV from inside Cowboys Stadium had a contract with the National Football League but not with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, a federal judge ruled.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Steelers Game Day Activities for Sunday

Kenny Chesney/Tim McGraw Tickets Available Through 1st-IN-GOAL Promotion

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Peko, Dunlap and Benson Miss Thursday Practice For Bengals

Bengals DT Domata Peko (foot), LB Carlos Dunlap (hamstring) and RB Cedric Benson (foot) all missed practice Thursday, the second in a row for each of them as they prepare to take on the Steelers in Pittsburgh in Week 13.

The Steelers did not get participation from WR Arnaz Battle (hamstring), OLB Chris Carter (hamstring) and WR Emmanuel Sanders (foot). C Maurkice Pouncey (illness), QB Ben Roethlisberger (thumb) and LB Larry Foote (hamstring) were limited participants.

Peko is the focal point of the Bengals strong rush defense. He missed Wednesday and Thursday practice last week, but still suited up in the Bengals 23-20 win over Cleveland in Week 12. Dunlap, one of the league's best pure pass rushers, missed the game last week, only played part of Cincinnati's Week 11 loss at Baltimore and missed the first time the Bengals played the Steelers.

Pittsburgh won that game 24-17, despite five Bengals sacks.

Benson has been up-and-down for Cincinnati, but rushed for 106 yards in the win last week. He has three touchdowns in the Bengals last two games.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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RT Gilbert Draws Praise from Steelers’ Staff

In today's Steelers Notebook, rookie RT Marcus Gilbert draws praise, center Maurkice Pouncey returns (minus some weight) and Ben Roethlisberger bangs his thumb but shakes it off -- the pain, that is.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers Speak – Ziggy Hood

Teresa Varley of Steelers.com sits down with defensive end Ziggy Hood in this edition of the Steelers Speak.

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos

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Wallace and Roethlisberger Top 10 in Pro Bowl Votes

The Steelers now have 2 guys in the top ten of Pro Bowl voting now.  Mike Wallace is now number 8 and still behind Wes Welker as the second highest Wide Receiver.  Ben Roethlisberger has jumped one spot behind Wallace and now is number nine overall in the voting.
Two other Steelers are tops at their position.  Maurkice Pouncey and Troy Polamalu both lead the way in their respective areas.  One Steeler fell off of the list.  OLB LaMarr Woodley has dropped behind Terrell Suggs at his position due to his injury.  As he was out Suggs had a few good weeks and passed Woodley no matter how well Woodley played before the injury.
Come on Steelers nation keep these guys in the game.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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