Daily Archives: February 2, 2012
As magical as the Steelers Super Bowl XL victory was for me (it is my favorite championship of all-time), it just seemed a little off to watch the team take on the Seattle Seahawks in Detroit at Ford Field. All my years growing up watching and re-watching old Super Bowls played in places like the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Miami Orange Bowl, and the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, I always dreamed of the Steelers hoisting their fifth Lombardi trophy in a sunny climate with a cool, tropical breeze blowing around the confetti they always shoot off right after the Super Bowl ends.
Don't get me wrong, the "Ride the Bus to Detroit" rally-cry made for a great story, and if I had to re-write the script, I wouldn't have changed a thing. Jerome Bettis retiring as a Super Bowl winner in his hometown? You just can't get any better than that.
And in-terms of travel for Steelers Nation, it was just about the most accessible Super Bowl you could possibly imagine. Steelers fans booked rooms in every hotel from Detroit to Toledo, and if you remember Super Bowl XL, it was probably 85% Steelers fans in attendance. That's why I thought it would have been awesome if the Steelers made it to Super Bowl XVLI since it is being held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis--another one of those "cold weather cities," and another very accessible site for Steeler Nation.
All that aside, however, I still prefer to see the Super Bowl played in a warm-weather region, and preferably outdoors.
To me, the Super Bowl is a national holiday, and the people who are lucky enough to attend should be able to bask in the sun and treat it like a vacation; really live it up and party, ya know? Can you really party in Detroit or Indianapolis?
In two years, the Super Bowl will not only be in a Northern city, it will be outdoors at the new MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
There's obviously a pretty decent chance that the weather will be cold and snowy, and, yes, it would hearken back to the days of old when NFL Championship games were held in places like Lambeau Field in Green Bay and Soldier Field in Chicago, but I wonder if the NFL is prepared for any sort of backlash that could result from some really bad weather.
Remember last year when severe weather conditions in Dallas caused problems for people in the days and even hours leading up to Super Bowl XLV between the Steelers and Packers? And that game was played in a dome. Imagine the problems if it would have been an outdoor event?
If I had my way, I would rotate the Super Bowl between venues in Florida, California, Texas (last season aside), Arizona and, of course, New Orleans (yes, it would be played in a dome, but being able to party for a week or two in that city would more than make up for it).
Oh well, beggars can't be choosers, and to paraphrase former Steelers lineman Flozell "The Hotel" Adams, they could play the Super Bowl in Siberia, and it still would be awesome.
What about you? Do you care where they play the Super Bowl? Have you ever been to one, and is it more fun to have one in a warm weather city?
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
After a little time away, the guys get back at it with topics that include how the Ravens might react to coming up short in the playoffs once again, who is the better of the brothers Manning, and which team will win Super Bowl XLVI.
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : Videos
Steelers.com released a statement today updating fans about the condition of running backs coach Kirby Wilson.
“Mr. Wilson remains in serious condition in the Trauma Burn Center at UPMC Mercy in Pittsburgh. His status is stable, and he has started his physical rehabilitation. The Wilson family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
Source: Steelers Gab
As Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin continues his search to fill the vacant Offensive Coordinator position, one rumored name hasnâ€™t been contacted. As reported by Alby Oxenreiter of WPXI Pittsburgh this morning: @albyox: Pgh native Tom Clements has not heard from the #Steelers about their OC opening, but the same jobâ€™s open in GB so [...]
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
PITTSBURGH (NEWSRADIO 1020 KDKA) — The Steelers may not be in this year’s Super Bowl, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot happening behind the scenes for the Black and Gold.
KDKA AM’s Larry Richert and John Shumway talked to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, who is in Indianapolis with the latest from Super Bowl XLVII.
While Sunday will be all about the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Bouchette believes Saturday could be a big day for Pittsburgh. That’s when the Pro Football Hall Of Fame Class of 2012 will be announced.
“It really is a heavy Pittsburgh flavor, and I think we’re going to see two, maybe three of those guys make it into the Hall Of Fame,” said Bouchette. “Jack Butler’s going to make it, I think Dermontti Dawson has moved to the top of the class as maybe the prime candidate in this class; I think he’s going to make it. I think Curtis Martin has a shot. Certainly, Jerome Bettis has a shot. This is Kevin Greene’s first time so that will be interesting to see the reaction cause we debate everything back and forth, we discuss it all.”
As for Sunday’s game, Bouchette says he likes the Giants. He says they are a more balanced team and are playing better defense.
Click the link below to listen to the full interview:
Filed under: Football, Heard On NEWSRADIO 1020 KDKA, Sports, Steelers, Watch + Listen Tagged: Ed Bouchette, Indianapolis, John Shumway, KDKA Morning News Podcasts, Larry Richert, Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl
Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers
When the NFL signed its game-carrying networks, NBC, CBS and FOX, to a huge nine-year extension this season, it was clear the immensely popular Sunday Night Football broadcast is the apple of its insanely wealthy eye.
They're so confident in the network's direction, they announced the launch of the NFL's first ever awards show and red carpet event, scheduled for Feb. 5, one day before NBC broadcasts the Super Bowl.
Lost in all the red carpet and Alec Baldwin's hosting duties are the awards themselves.
It can be confusing sometimes as to which league MVP award is the most "credible." Typically, the Associated Press (AP) awards are known as the "real" ones. Those are the awards being given Saturday. The Sporting News (TSN) and the Pro Football Weekly/Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) give out their own set of awards, mirroring the AP with MVP, Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year and Rookies of the Year and Comeback Player of the Year. TSN and PFWA differ from the AP in they also award an Executive of the Year, named after George Young.
In wake of the AP awards being given out Saturday, PFWA and TSN has already announced their winners.
This provides a pretty clear picture of who's most likely to win what Saturday, with Jim Harbaugh (Coach of the Year), Aaron Rodgers (Offensive Player of the Year), Cam Newton (Offensive Rookie of the Year) and Aldon Smith (Defensive Rookie of the Year) taking home the PFWA and TSN versions.
Jared Allen vs. Terrell Suggs for Defensive Player of the Year should be an interesting debate. Suggs has better all-around numbers and played for a significantly better defense than Allen's Vikings, but Allen's 22 sacks tie the league's second-highest output (Mark Gastineau), and is one half sack behind Michael Strahan's record of 22.5.
And no one laid down for Allen the way Brett Favre did for Strahan.
How the AP will vote is a matter of conjecture, but here are my winners:
MVP - Aaron Rodgers
Simply put, the Packers lost two games this season, and Rodgers did not play well (relatively speaking) in those games. When Rodgers played well, the Packers won (15 times, 14 with him as a starter). When he didn't, they lost.
Runner-up - Drew Brees
Offensive Player of the Year - Drew Brees
Looking purely at numbers, Brees thrashed two long-standing records of immense value in the game. His 5,476 yards beat Dan Marino's 5,084 by a considerable margin (Patriots QB Tom Brady broke it as well with 5,235). His 71.2 completion percentage beat his and Ken Anderson's marks of 70.6.
Runner-up - Aaron Rodgers
Defensive Player of the Year - Jared Allen
I wouldn't be at all surprised if this ends in a tie. The Vikings defense was so bad this season, all opponents needed to do was sell out to stop Allen and they'd win by three touchdowns. Those opponents typically won by three touchdowns anyway, but they couldn't stop the relentless Allen. It was one of the finest seasons a defensive end has ever had.
Runner-up - Terrell Suggs
Offensive Rookie of the Year - Cam Newton
It's pretty much a no-brainer. The best point made to me (a professed non-believer in Newton as a high-level passer) about Newton's progression as a quarterback was, in 16 starts, he didn't really throw an interception that made observers sit back and wonder aloud, "what was he thinking?" He made "competitive" interceptions, meaning, even bad throws weren't off by very much. They weren't all good decisions, but they weren't horrible decisions, either.
And obviously, the work he did at the goal line is impressive as well. More than anything, though, the game never swallowed him up. He looked like a rookie at times, sure, but he was rarely taken completely out of the game. Not a whole lot of QBs - let alone rookies - can say that.
Runner-up - Andy Dalton
Defensive Rookie of the Year - Aldon Smith
Smith not only was the best defensive rookie, he was among the best defensive players per snap this year. He is representative of the new wave of defensive front seven players in the league. He's big, quick and athletic enough to play both down at the 7 technique as well as shift in to play a 3-technique. He can stand up and rush the passer as well as cover running backs in the short flat.
The best part? 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and his staff didn't even use Smith as a three-down player because he is still learning the defense. He had 14 sacks. What's he going to do when he knows what to do?
Runner-up - Von Miller
Coach of the Year - Jim Harbaugh
In my opinion, this is the least difficult decision on the list by a wide margin. San Francisco has perhaps the best coached defense we've seen in a while. There really aren't any holes; they can all tackle, they rush the passer, they stop the run, and all of them are used in a variety of different ways. Harbaugh did a phenomenal job with much of the same roster last year that finished well out of playoff contention.
Runner-up - Bill Belichick
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
There will be lots of new faces among the coaching staffs of the AFC North in 2012.
The names that go with those faces are appearing faster for some organizations than others.
Those three AFC North teams lost a coordinator this season - the Steelers lost offensive coordinator Bruce Arians to Indianapolis, Baltimore lost defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano to Indianapolis and Cleveland moved on without offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. Cincinnati lost defensive backs coach Kevin Coyle to Miami, where he was named the team's defensive coordinator under first-year head coach Joe Philbin.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer wrote Thursday morning Bengals coach Marvin Lewis is considering former Steelers CB Rod Woodson for the secondary coaching position left behind by Coyle.
Perhaps that's in response to how well Steelers secondary coach Carnell Lake did in 2011. Woodson and Lake played together in Pittsburgh in the 1990s, when both were All-Pro players.
Part of Pittsburgh's reason to wait could be explained by the franchise having its eye on a coach from either of the Super Bowl participants (Giants WRs coach Mike Sullivan, perhaps?). It could also be they're waiting to see whether running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who was tragically injured in a house fire in January, is able to coach in 2012. We put out a thought on how it could be because they're waiting on Packers QBs coach Tom Clements to decide whether he'll stay in Green Bay.
Due diligence may suggest all of these factors come into play.
The Ravens, on the other hand, aren't waiting for anything. After Pagano accepted the head coaching job in Indianapolis, they quickly announced his successor, defensive backs coach Dean Pees. They announced offensive coordinator Cam Cameron would return, with the addition of new quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell (former Colts head coach and an alleged interviewee with Pittsburgh for its offensive coordinator job).
Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said emphatically at his press conference Wednesday the team expects to sign RB Ray Rice (a free agent) and QB Joe Flacco (an unrestricted free agent in 2013) to long-term deals. OG Ben Grubbs is also a free agent, and the Ravens will engage in serious discussions internally to figure out how to keep all three, or whether that's a route they want to explore.
Giving Rice the franchise tag this season, and signing Flacco to a long-term deal would make an uncomfortable huddle in 2012, but it may be a necessary evil. Bisciotti threw his full-weight behind Flacco as the franchise's quarterback now and in the future, and rightly so. The size of the alleged contract the team would offer Flacco would speak more accurately to that, but from a bigger picture perspective, the Ravens aren't going to find a quarterback able to lead the team to wins as consistently as Flacco has. He has ups and downs, but starting over with a new quarterback simply isn't an option for an aging team that will have to tie up a lot of money in their offensive skill players the next two seasons.
Cleveland, one of the league's worst offensive teams, signed former Vikings head coach Brad Childress to manage their maligned unit this season, but playcalling duties will remain with head coach Pat Shurmur. Childress tried the head coach/play caller thing for a season in Minnesota before those duties were forced out of his hands. Despite being an alleged offensive and quarterbacks guru, the Vikings struggled on the offensive side of the ball in Childress' first two seasons. The team pushed all their chips in and went after semi-retired QB Brett Favre in 2009 and the team took off. After losing a tough NFC Championship game to eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans, the Vikings tried the same bit next year, and even went as far as to send three of their players to Favre's home in Mississippi to convince him to come back.
He came back, and most wish he'd stayed there. The wheels fell off the Vikings' franchise in 2010, plummeting to 6-10, and 3-13 last year.
It's weird to say, but Childress will have an even worse quarterback situation than he did in Minnesota, after he traded up (with Pittsburgh) to the second round to draft Alabama State quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. With Colt McCoy's credibility as a legitimate starting quarterback up in the air, the team has to be eyeing Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III with the fourth overall pick in April's draft.
Childress's track record with quarterbacks is sketchy at best (let's not forget the blow-ups he had with Favre), so it will be interesting to see what direction he takes the Browns.
It's not uncommon for the Bengals to have the most stability in regards to coaching changes. Coyle was seen as a viable candidate for a few years now, and defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer had a few cups of coffee in regards to head coaching vacancies available early in the offseason.
It won't be surprising at all, if Cincinnati can repeat the success of their 2011 season, to see Zimmer and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden in serious contention for head coaching jobs, but for now, the Bengals remain largely intact, and are ready to strengthen a young and talented roster.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
The final installment of the Steelers 2012 Team Needs is Inside Linebacker. It may seem like a back door need as of right now but when it comes to Salary Cap crunch time it may become a front line need. The Steelers are anywhere from $ 22-$ 27 million over the cap depending upon who you talk to and have to be below the salary cap by the start of the new league year.
Two players who very well could be on the chopping block are James Farrior and Larry Foote. One or the other or even both could be cut to save in cap space. Between the two of them the Steelers could save almost $ 6 million in cap space off of the number they need to get down to.
Foote would be a $ 3 million dollar saving if he was released. Farrior would save the Steelers $ 2.8 million. Both guys have bonus numbers which are right around a million. So instead of paying 9 million for the two of them we could pay less then 3. That is a much better number for guys who do not play every down. They are splitting time wi...
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
While out in Hawaii for the 2012 Pro Bowl, it appears that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got in a round of golf on Tuesday with his wife Ashley Harlan serving as chief photographer and wearer of black sun dress. The left ankle that Roethlisberger injured against the Cleveland Browns seems to be doing just fine as you can plainly see that he his not wearing an ankle brace or even shoes for matter. At least he did not leave spike marks on the green and there is no confirmation if he got his balls washed during the round either. I do not It does appear he was the designated golf Read more [...]
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers Hall of Famer Joe Greene is in an ad this year for the Super Bowl. You can see the ad above, and read about it below. Should be good to see on Super Bowl Sunday.
“Mean Joe Greene” The four-time Super Bowl champion (Pittsburgh Steelers) appears in a redux of his classic Coca-Cola commercial, in which a kid tosses “Mean” Joe his bottle of Coke to help the athlete ease his pain, and Joe responds by tossing the kid his game-worn jersey. Here, comedian Amy Sedaris plays the role of the kid, but instead of pain seeks to ease the stink of his game-worn jersey with a bottle of Downy Unstopables. Greene tosses Sedaris his jersey as a thank-you gesture, but she gives it a sniff and tosses it back.
Source: Steelers Gab