Daily Archives: January 15, 2012
IX - Here's something to help you take the final steps towards putting the Steelers disappointing playoff loss to bed. Or not. Looks like the Broncos opening play of overtime could easily have been negated by an illegal formation penalty for only have six men on the line of scrimmage. At least seven are required by rule. Hehe. Darn. Those be the breaks this time.
X - The Steelers will reportedly make a final determination about Hines Ward's future with the team by March. I don't know why some consider this to be 'earlier than expected' being that March is the start of free agency and the time when the Steelers will be executing whatever strategy they've devised for this year's offseason moves in free agency and the draft. One thing's clear -- Ward knows he must take a pay-cut and restructure his contract in order for it to make sense for the Steelers to retain him for a 15th season. Ward said as much in his Tuesday afternoon interview with Tunch & Wolf.
XII - Ron Lippock, who runs the outstanding resource 'Pittsburgh Daily Sports Bulletin', recently interviewed Gabe Rivera, the former Steelers offensive lineman who was tragically injured during his rookie season in 1983. Good stuff as always from Ron and the PDSB.
XIV - Luke Ravensthal, Pittsburgh's mayor, 'Tebows' in public on Wednesday to settle up his bet with Denver mayor Michael Hancock from Sunday's wild card matchup.
XL - One of SB Nation's newer columnists, Bomani Jones (formerly of ESPN), penned a great piece about the mess that is college football, and why he doesn't think implementing a playoff system would help one bit unless other structural changes accompanied it. It's a good read, and one of many reasons why I agree with mary rose's article from several years back about why the NFL game is superior to major NCAAFB.
XLIII - Here are the SB Nation blogs of the eight remaining teams still alive for Super Bowl XLV:
- Ravens: Baltimore Beatdown
- Texans: Battle Red Blog
- Patriots: Pats Pulpit
- Broncos: Mile High Report
- Giants: Big Blue View
- Packers: Acme Packing Company
- Saints: Canal Street Chronicles
- 49ers: Niners Nation
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
A couple of the Steelers on the O-line are having surgery, as Maurkice Pouncey went under the knife on Thursday, and Doug Legursky is having surgery today.
Maurkice Pouncey underwent surgery on his left ankle Thursday, the All-Pro center said on his Twitter account. Guard Doug Legursky wrote on his Twitter page that he is scheduled to have shoulder surgery today. Pouncey missed three of the Steelers’ last four games, including the loss to Denver, because of his second high ankle-sprain since his rookie year. Pouncey first sprained his left ankle last January, forcing him to miss the Super Bowl. Legursky hurt his shoulder in the Steelers’ 27-0 win over St. Louis on Dec. 24.
Source: Steelers Gab
The Broncos Get Crushed by the Patriots, 45-10, and the Steelers Probably Still Can’t Believe What Happened Last Week
Tom Brady threw for 363 yards and six touchdowns as the New England Patriots dismantled the Denver Broncos, 45-10, at Gillette Stadium last night in the divisional round of the playoffs, and it wasn't even that close. If it wasn't for an uncharacteristically bad interception by Brady in the first quarter, the Broncos may not have scored a single point.
As for Tim Tebow, he looked pretty much like he did most of the year, and like he did at the end of the regular season when the Broncos lost their last three games and backed into the playoffs with an 8-8 record. Tebow was 9/26 for 136 yards and no touchdowns (still trying to wrap my head around those 316 yards on ten completions).
Back to Brady. Other than the interception, he was a surgeon. This may have been aided by the fact that the Broncos played a zone defense against New England, which is like trying to put a fire out with gasoline. Didn't get that strategy at all.
But maybe that's because the Broncos were one of the worst teams to ever find their way into the postseason. At any rate, this sure makes the Steelers loss last week even harder to take.
I'm not saying Pittsburgh could have defeated the Patriots last night, but I doubt that they would have lost by five-touchdowns, even with a plethora of injuries. Oh well, they have no one to blame but themselves for bowing out in the Mile High City.
On to the rest of the playoffs. Maybe the Steelers just picked the wrong NFL postseason to be a wild card team. Last year, road teams won 6 of the 10 playoff games. So far this year, the visitors are 0 for 6. The home teams have averaged 35 points a game and have won by an average margin of nearly two touchdowns.
I enjoyed the heck out of the 49ers/Saints game last night, even if I was rooting for New Orleans to knock one of the Harbaughs out of the postseason. San Francisco jumped out to a 17-0 lead before the Saints crawled back into the game. The 49ers were ahead, 23-17, when the two teams combined to score four touchdowns over the final four minutes in one of the most exciting finishes to a playoff game in recent memory. On a play very reminiscent of Steve Young to T.O. in the 1998 wild card game against the Packers, San Francisco went ahead for good when Alex Smith connected with Vernon Davis for a 14 yard touchdown pass over the middle with nine seconds remaining. Davis even came to the sideline crying like Owens did back in '98. The 49ers won, 36-32, and advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 1997. The 49ers will either host the Giants at Candlestick Park next week or travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Packers for the right to go to the Super Bowl. As for the Saints, well, they just need to find a way to play all of their games at the Superdome where they are almost invincible. Unfortunately for New Orleans, they lost the tiebreaker to the 49ers and had to settle for the 3rd seed in the NFC.
I'm looking forward to another exciting day of playoff football. It will be interesting to see if the road teams can finally break the trend. Or maybe this is just "the Year of the Harbaugh."
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
Alex Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left just after Drew Brees had put the high-powered Saints ahead, and resurgent San Francisco capitalized on five New Orleans turnovers for a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory Saturday.
Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The Associated Press announced their 2011 NFL All-Pro list on Friday afternoon, and two Steelers were selected.Making this year's team are center Maurkice Pouncey and safey Troy Polamalu.
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News
Hines Ward doesn’t want to retire. And if the Steelers don’t want him next year, he’ll try to find a job elsewhere. “It would be weird, not how I want it to happen,” Ward told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “But I do want to play. I still think I can play. I’m not…
Troy Polamalu has won his appeal of a $ 10,000 fine for using a cell phone on the team’s sideline, Jason La Canfora of the NFL Network reports.
Polamalu had suffered a head injury during the game and was using the mobile device to let his wife know that he was fine.
Under NFL policy, the possession of a cell phone, PDA, or any electronic equipment in the bench area is prohibited during the game. The successful appeal of Polamalu’s fine may be tied to the changes the league made to the concussion protocol policy in December, one of which will allow medical staff to use a cell phone to gather information relating to the care of an injured player.
Source: Steelers Gab
Hey everybody. Tough loss to take on Sunday. Time to move on and look ahead to the offseason. Jason (big_jay) and Adam (seton hall) have already gone into draft mode with several excellent posts, so I'll attempt to follow suit with some pieces of my own, starting with my thoughts on Rashard Mendenhall.
*Just a side note I posted this same piece on one of Jim Wexell's forums late the other night, so I'm interested to see if there's any varying of opinion between here and there.
Picture yourself as Kevin Colbert. Fresh off a painful and shocking loss to Denver, you're now sitting at your office desk preparing to initiate operation "Geezer Dump." Jerseys with numbers 86, 51, and 91 are being put into the "Do Not Use" commemorative closet, while you toss an occasional dart at a poster of Tim Tebow. As your eyes scan the payroll, stopping and double-taking at the names Kemoeatu, Chris, and McFadden, Bryant and their respective salaries, you pause for a moment at the name Mendenhall. You immediately feel a pang of sympathy for the young man and envision him hobbling around his house as he attempts to recover from the torn ACL. You are about to break for lunch and text Kemoeatu that to make things interesting, the only way he gets his '11 salary is if he can protect it from a blitzing 4 year-old (money well saved), when you are struck with inspiration. Quickly you call up Mike Tannebaum, GM of the hapless New York Jets, and make an offer involving your wounded ball carrier.
The Jets in particular are one of the few teams left in the league that still put great emphasis on the running back position and what they have there in Greene and withering LT is underwhelming to say the least.They are of course welcoming in Tony Sparano in as their new offensive coordinator, but I think the run-first offense will still be very much in effect-Sparano is the father of the wildcat after all-meaning that an upgrade is needed. The Jets pick 15th in each round this year (too late of a pick to get stud RB Trent Richardson IMO), and while it'd be ridiculous to expect a first round pick for Mendenhall, I think it's more than fair to expect a second rounder in exchange for a back that in the last 3 seasons has rushed for over 3,000 yards and amassed exactly 30 touchdowns (29 Rushing, 1 Receiving).
What works against Mendenhall is of course his recent acl tear, an unspectacular 2011 campaign, and a pedestrian 4.1 ypc for his career. Still young however (he'll be just 25 in June), Mendenhall could very well still have some gas left in the tank, well worthy of the attention of teams in need of a good runningback. Outside of the Jets I can ony really characterize the Patriots, Colts, Browns, and perhaps the Giants as teams "in need" of a runningback. The Patriots are a pass-first offense that does not rely heavily on running, but I have to think Mendenhall would provide an upgrade to the likes of Green-Ellis and Woodhead. The Colts are going to draft Andrew Luck, and if Manning leaves than they may want to have a good running option to help ease Luck's transition to the NFL. The Browns look like they're parting ways with Peyton Hillis, but they may be the leading candidates to take the aforementioned Trent Richardson in the draft come April. Then there's the whole "never trade within the division" strategy.
As far as the Steelers are concerned the move makes sense on a couple levels. 1. The offense is clearly pass-oriented now that the receiving corp has blossomed, 2. Mendenhall will enter his contract year in 2012 (an additional factor that may hinder his value as his new team would have to end up giving him a new deal if they invested considerable draft picks), and the Steelers are going to have a hard enough time trying to keep Brown, Sanders, and Wallace locked down long term within the next two years, likely leaving little money for Mendenhall, 3. The running backs not named Mendenhall are pretty damn good. I like Isaac Redman, Moore, Dwyer, Batch and Clay in some kind of committee. They can all run the ball and can all help supplement what could turn into one of the elite passing attacks in the league, provided the offensive line improves in the near future. Plus there's a kid named Doug Martin (picture right) out of Boise State who reminds me a bit of Jones-Drew/Rice who should be available at the end of the second round/early third, meaning that there are other, affordable options out there.
Even using Mendenhall as a piece to swap first round picks with a team higher up i.e. the Jets would be fine by me. Ultimately, with some of the veteran talent it will lose this offseason, this team could use a great draft in 2012 to help remain a contender next season. Additional/Higher draft picks could give Colbert and Co. the foundation to build the next generation of great Steelers.
"Look Chris is trying to block!"
Cover Photo: http://www4.pictures.zimbio.com/gi/Rashard+Mendenhall+James+Ihedigbo+2011+AFC+Si2xhBxWQUwl.jpg
Rex Ryan photo: http://gothamist.com/attachments/jen/2011_10_rexryan.jpg
Doug Martin photo: http://ogdraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Doug-Martin.jpg
Kevin Colbert photo: http://d.yimg.com/a/p/sp/getty/14/fullj.a63d5e5ffb4a388e681e2ac765cdf464/a63d5e5ffb4a388e681e2ac765cdf464-getty-136010274.jpg
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
Pittsburgh Steelers Inactives: RB - #21 Mewelde Moore S - #25 Ryan Clark CB - #28 Cortez Allen C - #53 Maurkice Pouncey ILB - #57 Mortty Ivy DE - #65 Al Woods OT - #69 Jamon Meredith
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News
I’ve been holding this one for a day or two, but I’ve decided that it’s time to throw it out there. It’s raw meat for Tebowmaniacs and Anti-Broncites alike — the notion that the final play of Sunday’s stirring overtime win over the Steelers could have been called back due to a penalty. Via various…