Daily Archives: April 8, 2012

New alternate uniforms will be unveiled by individual teams


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Lost in Tuesday’s unprecedented media event surrounding the arrival of the new Nike NFL uniforms was the fact that, except for the Seahawks, alternate jerseys and uniforms were not unveiled. League spokesman Brian McCarthy tells PFT that there’s “no timetable” for the announcement of alternate uniforms, and that the teams determine when and how they…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Would Aubrayo Franklin Be A Good Replacement For Chris Hoke?


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By Cian Fahey
There is a lot of speculation that the Pittsburgh Steelers will pick up a nose tackle for the future in an early round of the upcoming draft. However, the Steelers have lost a veteran contributor at the position since last season and may be looking to add experience and depth instead, or as alongside, a young prospect.

Chris Hoke was a long-standing fixture in the Steelers defense despite only starting 18 games throughout his career. Hoke was a permanent fixture in the rotation when healthy and an outstanding backup for Casey Hampton who was capable of coming in and starting or Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Filmmaker defends release of Saints audio

The recording purports to capture coach Gregg Williams telling players to "put a lick" on 49ers receiver Kyle Williams to see if he had lingering effects from a concussion. Williams also tells his players to "beat (running back) Frank Gore's head," and "lay out" quarterback Alex Smith.

Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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How Would You Feel if the Steelers Drastically Altered Their Uniform?

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 03:  Creative Director of Nike Football and Baseball Todd Van Horne speaks as Nike debuts the new NFL uniforms on April 3, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Nike)

The Pittsburgh Steelers uniform is one of the most recognizable in all of sports and has remained relatively unchanged for decades. Sure, there have been some minor tweaks here and there, but the design hasn't changed since at least the late 60's.

Nike recently took over the rights to design and manufacture NFL uniforms, and last week, they unveiled each team's new duds. Thankfully, the Steelers uniforms didn't see any major changes. Most teams didn't radically alter their uniforms, either. The only major difference is a lighter fabric that Nike will use.

Some teams, most notably the Green Bay Packers, refused to make even the slightest change to their uniforms, including the fabric, and will even stick with the heavier material from the Reebok days.

The Seattle Seahawks were the only team to drastically change their design, and maybe the Packers had the right idea, because I'm just not feeling the Seahawks' new look .

The Seahawks don't look like they should be playing in the NFC West. They look like they should be battling for the Pac-12 championship.

Maybe I'm just resistant to change, but I'm glad the look of the majority of NFL teams will stay pretty much the same.

Even when other teams change their uniforms, I just don't like it.

I'm still not feeling the Tampa Bay Buccaneers new uniforms that were first unveiled in 1997. I miss the neon orange jerseys that the team wore for the first two-decades of its existence.

Maybe I shouldn't be too hard on teams like Seattle and Tampa. They're still fairly new franchises, and they don't have the tradition of teams like the Steelers and Packers. They're still trying to find their way, and that includes playing with the design of their uniforms.

Besides, the Steelers weren't immune to making some unfortunate uniform choices before finally getting it right. Anyone remember the hideous "golden triangle" design of 1967?

Of all the teams that have made drastic changes to their uniforms over the years, I think the one that worked the best was the Cincinnati Bengals new "tiger striped" design starting in 1981. The Bengals were founded by former Cleveland Browns head coach Paul Brown in 1968, and legend has it he intentionally patterned his new team's uniforms after the Browns as a way to get back at them for firing him. And maybe there's something to that legend, because quite frankly, with the exception of the word "Bengals" on the side of the helmet, there was very little difference between the Bengals uniforms of the 1970's and the ones that the Browns were sporting. The change in '81 was more than welcome, and I doubt any future designer will be able to drastically alter the Bengals current uniforms; they got it right in 1981.

Maybe my resistance to new uniforms is a sign of getting older, because when I was younger, I thought a new Steelers look would be very cool.

In my high school days, I traced a picture of Rod Woodson out of a magazine and decided I was going to radically change the team's uniform.

The jerseys remained relatively the same, but the famous gold stripes on the sleeves were gone and replaced with the iconic Steelers logo. Also, instead of the gold pants for both home and away games, the team would wear white pants with their black jerseys at home and black pants with their white jerseys on the road. The iconic logo would be removed from the helmet (blasphemous, I know) and replaced with "Steelers" in script ON BOTH SIDES (even more blasphemy).

At the time, I thought it was really cool. But looking back on it, the uniform resembled something straight out of the CFL.

I'm glad the Steelers themselves never got the itch to radically redesign their look.

Today, I couldn't even imagine cheering for a Steelers team with drastically different uniforms. Check out these futuristic designs. Did you scroll down to see the Steelers uniforms? Gross, right?

I know the Steelers wear their alternate throwbacks a couple of times a year, and I actually think they're pretty cool. But I'm glad they still wear their more traditional uniforms the other 14 games.

Why mess with perfection?

If it ain't broke, don't redesign it.




Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Get your Steelers Fathead!

Don’t Kid Yourselves Steelers’ Fans


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There isn’t much news coming out of Pittsburgh lately. What little news there is isn’t anything to get too excited about: Ben Roethlisberger is golfing. The Steelers got “new” jerseys; seriously they’re new, the reebok logo is now a nike swish. PunterDaniel Sepulveda wo Continue

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Looking At The Steelers 2012 Offense Roster Locks & The Spots Up For Grabs

The 2012 NFL draft is almost here and every year about this time I like to go back through the Pittsburgh Steelers roster and identify the stone cold locks for the 53 man roster on both sides of the ball. This gives clarity to obvious draft needs as well as upcoming roster battles to start looking forward to. First up is the offense and below is the breakdown of the players I would bet my house on to make the 53 man roster baring some sort of injury or suspension. While you could make arguments for several others I do not have listed, I think you would have a hard time selling me that they are Read more [...]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Roethlisberger using golf to prepare for 2012 season


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Earlier this year, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger claimed that he was working hard to get ready for the first NFL season after his 30th birthday.  In June, he’ll be hardly working. Martin Rogers of Yahoo! Sports reports that Roethlisberger will head to Scotland and Ireland in June for a dozen rounds of golf.  And Roethlisberger…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers Ready to Shine: Cortez Allen

When the Steelers drafted Cortez Allen and Curtis Brown in the 2011 NFL Draft they showed their concern with the cornerback position. Allen and Brown were selected to be groomed into future starters and contributors on the defense. However, Allen who has only played football for 6 years. He only pla Continue

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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NFL Preseason Schedule Includes Colts at Steelers in Primetime

Pass out the ammunition, the Steelers and Colts will do fierce preseason battle on Sunday Night (Preseason) Football Aug. 19.

It's hard to get fired up for preseason games, even if it's the return of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians (to what will be, no doubt, a warm ovation of admiration and support from the Pittsburgh crowd).

Colts new head coach, former Ravens defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, take the remodeled Colts to Pittsburgh in the second week of preseason, likely ushered in by rookie QB Andrew Luck - who, by all accounts, will be the first overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft April 26.

The Steelers will cart their first round pick, whomever that will be, out for preseason action as well. So don't let the Luck Hype fool you.

I'm still struggling to make this seem exciting.

The Steelers usually win some and lose some in the preseason, and veteran back-up QB Charlie Batch oftentimes sees extensive action, which is always a good time. It's up in the air who the Steelers' third quarterback will be this season, but recent reports have suggested Byron Leftwich is being courted by Indianapolis and Arians, probably because he's learned the offense, despite being placed on injured-reserve in both of the last two seasons.

The league only released the preseason games scheduled for primetime, and that schedule is chock-full of the kinds of match-ups that make fans excited to pay full price to watch the bottom eighth of the roster compete.

Arizona will take on New Orleans in the Hall of Fame Game Aug. 5. the Saints' first non-game game action since the suspensions of head coach Sean Payton and GM Mickey Loomis.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Steelers CBs Corner the Market in FO Rankings

Photo

The Football Outsiders’ CB rankings just came out, and they were really interesting, at least for Steeler fans. Because, by gum, on every single metric they used there was at least one or even two Steeler cornerbacks in their top ten.

Let’s look at the numbers. In each category you see the players they ranked as No. 1, No. 10, any Steelers players on the list, and Philadelphia's Asante Samuel, who was consistently good in every category and provides sort of a benchmark. They included in the analysis all cornerbacks with at least 40 charted passes for the season. They note "[We remove all] passes marked as Hail Mary, Hit in Motion, Tipped at Line, or Thrown Away...and passes marked as Wide Receiver Screens." They are just looking at situations in which a cornerback was the primary man in coverage, and who could have been expected to make a play in the circumstances. The full article can be found here.

First up is Fewest Yards Allowed Per Pass:

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Next up, Success Rate. This is the percentage of passes that don't manage to get at least 45 percent of needed yards on first down, 60 percent of needed yards on second down, or 100 percent of needed yards on third down:

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And finally, as the FO guys said, more for conversation than anything else, Yards After Carry Allowed:

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Because I had the impression that the PFF (Pro Football Focus) numbers for our guys weren’t particularly good, I decided to make some comparisons. It turned out to be very interesting. Numbers, clearly, are subject to very different interpretations, depending on what one looks at. Let’s have a look at the PFF figures and then see whether we can work out where the differences are.

In the general ranking of cornerbacks on PFF, the story looks rather different. Ike Taylor appears as No. 41 (out of 66 ranked corners—this is filtering for the corners with a reasonable number of snaps.) He is beaten out by William Gay, who is No. 28 (Lewis doesn’t appear on this chart, as he has insufficient snaps to qualify). But let’s take a look at some of their so-called Signature Stats and see if they look any different. Once again I’m going to use Asante Samuel (who was No. 12 on the full PFF ranking) as a sort of benchmark, and give the first and last person for that ranking:

Run Stop % (just what it sounds like:)

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Tackling Efficiency [TE] (number of attempted tackles per miss):

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Coverage: According to PFF "Taking in account the number of snaps a defender spends in coverage [CS] is key to understanding their impact." The CS/Reception figure is how many receptions the CB allowed when he was the primary man in coverage for that snap:

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Slot Performance: (Neither Samuels nor Ike Taylor had enough slot snaps to make it through the filter—Asante had 8 snaps in the slot, Taylor 61.)

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So what does this all tell us? Why are the numbers so different? Well, first of all, the FO ranking is pass coverage only, which changes the equation in terms of comparisons to many of the PFF figures. But let’s just look at the PFF numbers for the moment.

Both Taylor and Gay look a lot better on the PFF Signature Stats than they do when just looking at the normal cumulative ranking. This is a good thing. The Signature Stats are a way PFF looks at the data, filtering for what really matters in a given position, or at least what they think really matters. They are looking for a way to determine who is actually effective at their position, as opposed to who is putting up a lot of stats.

So while Darrelle Revis showed up as the top-ranked CB in their cumulative ranking, in their Signature Stats he was tied for No. 19 in Run Stop Efficiency, (Gay was No. 6,) tied for No. 14 in Tackling Efficiency, (Taylor was No. 12 and Gay was No. 16,) and was No. 5 in CB Coverage (Gay was No. 9, Taylor No. 23.)

Revis didn’t show up on the top ten of the Football Outsiders rankings at all. This was clearly a surprise to the FO author, who commented on this fact. He noted the second half of Revis’s season was not very impressive, possibly due to injury. Nnadami Asomugha, the man so many of us were hoping the Steelers would pick up in free agency last year, didn’t show up on the top ten either. He was roundly beaten by Asante Samuels in almost every category, including on the PFF stats (although he was No. 1 overall in Coverage.)

Does all of this merely show you can "prove" anything with statistics? Not exactly, although it does show you come up with greatly varying results according to what you are looking for. It is interesting that a very respectable website with no dog in the race, Football Outsiders, valued our corners quite highly, and when one digs into the PFF stats in more than a superficial way it supports the contention that both Ike Taylor and, in particular, William Gay played well last season. Which makes it all the more a pity Gay has departed for Pittsburgh West.

I can only conclude the Steelers FO and coaching staff believe they have more than adequate replacements ready to step up and make their mark. Steeler Nation awaits the results.



Source: Behind the Steel Curtain


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