Daily Archives: June 21, 2012

Former Steelers Lineman Ralph Wenzel Has Died After Suffering From Alzheimer’s-type Dementia

Former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ralph Wenzel passed away today at the age of 69. Wenzel suffered from Alzheimer’s-type dementia.

Wenzel was originally drafted by Green Bay Packers in the 11th round of the 1966 draft. The Packers traded the San Diego State product to the Cleveland Browns shortly after he was drafted. The Browns ended up waiving Wenzel shortly after trading for him and the Steelers claimed him off of waivers. It was the third team in less than two months time for the 6-foot-2, 240 pound guard.

Wenzel played five seasons with the Steelers and wore number 62. He is listed as Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Tomlin lends support to HRYF

Coach Mike Tomlin is scheduled to host the Fourth Annual Gridiron Legends Tailgate Party on Thursday, July 12 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, Va. The event will take place from 6…

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

Navigating the Wasteland: Coping Until Camp

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Years ago a close friend of mine labeled this time of the year the “wasteland” from the perspective of being a sports fan. While we are obviously primarily about football here, even if you are a more general sports fan this is a time of slim pickings. Most college and professional sports are done until the fall. Even if you’re into Major League Baseball, besides the, to me, fascinating spectacle of interleague play, this is far from the most compelling time of the season which usually occurs after the All Star break at the earliest.

Now, clearly we’re all Steelers football all the time here at BTSC. Neal does a great job functioning as a one man headline machine, providing fodder for discussion several times a day almost every day. But, generally speaking, we are in a period of relatively diminishing returns. Peter King of Sports Illustrated signed off yesterday and won’t be back for a month. Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette has been gone well over a week already. When the people who cover the game for a living feel comfortable with checking out for periods of weeks then you can be pretty certain that there isn’t going to much of a newsworthy nature going on.

When you read this Ben Roethlisberger is going to be in either Ireland or Scotland playing golf and having lunch with Dan Rooney. At Baltimore Beatdown some of the most recent fan posts are from May. Even the fans are losing steam. So, the question I want to explore here is how do we cope until the last weekend in July when the Steelers step on to the practice field at Saint Vincent? I’m really interested in your input in this regard, but I’d like to start with a few observations of my own.

One big thing we have going for us this summer are the Olympics. The games themselves don’t commence until the 27th of July, but the trials in many of the sports, including track and field and swimming have begun this week. One of the great ongoing disappointments of my life as a sports fan is to witness the Olympic Games being reduced from the majestic spectacle that dominated the sports and general news landscape to something akin to soccer’s World Cup (from the American perspective); a quadrennial oddity with little in the way of anticipation or build up.

I would of thought that in an era of 24/7 sports coverage that the Olympics would be considered the mother lode. One problem is obvious; in this ESPN-centric reality, the fact that the World Leader isn’t covering the Games gives them all the commercial disincentive necessary to not do much to attract any attention to them. But there is also the infuriating realization that the value system of the sports entertainment universe is such that they would rather have a Mel Kiper sit around and speculate ad nauseum on who the Carolina Panthers will take in the first round of the draft than to cover the Penn Relays or wrestling or a weightlifting competition that would help promote fan appreciation of these ‘lesser’ sports. Contrast that with HBO’s Real Sports who this month profiled two Olympic hopefuls including the sister of Jets All Pro center Nick Mangold who will be competing in weight lifting.

I admit that I couldn’t name more than a half dozen of the key American competitors, and, obviously, even fewer of the other athletes. That’s a shame. So there is an opportunity over the next several weeks to get up to speed on who’s who and what’s what with the Olympics. And then we can enjoy them as a companion entertainment to training camp and the preseason.

We can also combine our affection for all things Steelers with another summer tradition; the summer reading list. Do a search on Amazon and you will quite literally find dozens of Steelers titles. It should be mentioned that one of our own here at BTSC has a title on that list; Maryrose (Tim Gleason’s) From Black to Gold, The Pittsburgh Steelers. These books cover a wide range of topics; team history, specific teams and seasons, personalities such as Art Rooney Sr., Myron Cope and Dan Rooney, Steeler Nation and trivia. My all-time favorite continues to be Roy Blount Jr.’s About Three Bricks Shy of a Load, which chronicled the Steelers 1973 season. I don’t know how it would play today with younger fans, but if you have any memory at all or appreciation of the 1970s teams this is a must read.

This would be a great time to sit on the patio or lie on a beach and (re) acquaint ourselves with the events and personalities that have formed the foundation of one of the most successful sports franchises. And while you are doing that, you might want to also meditate upon the fact that we are in the middle of what, at the very least, has been the second greatest championship run in team history. And I think we can agree that it’s not quite over yet. When it’s all said and done, this period may overshadow the 70s in Steelers lore. I’m sure that some of us could benefit from taking a page out of Mike Tomlin’s philosophy and dedicate ourselves with learning how to appreciate the journey. It would be a shame if you woke up ten years from now and realized that you had missed out on a great ride because you were caught up obsessing over the details of trip instead of the trip itself.

There is another rather unique way that the Steelers can be supported and celebrated this summer. You can go to the movies. On July 20th the new Batman movie will be released. You may recall that the producer of The Dark Knight Rises is also part of Steelers ownership; and that the city and players from the Steelers including Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger are part of the film. It’s not that much of an exaggeration to say that to support the movie is an indirect way of supporting the Steelers.

Now, of course, there will still be news, just less of it. We will be anticipating three contract signings; the rookie contract for 1st round draft pick David DeCastro, possibly a short, but preferably a long term contract for Mike Wallace, and hopefully, a contract of any kind for Mike Tomlin. The recent signing of Mewelde Moore with the Colts serves as a reminder that there are a lot of players still on the street. Will Dennis Dixon and Chris Kemoeatu find new homes? Are the Steelers finished with dabbling in the market themselves? Bountygate and player safety issues and the attendant lawsuits are not likely to completely disappear. And there is the labor dispute with the game officials. Finally there are issues with other teams that will have an impact on their ability for them to compete with Pittsburgh. Questions are being raised about the offensive line in Baltimore and the unsettled situation at quarterback in Cleveland are just two of the issues that may deserve our attention as we approach camp.

So what do you think? What are some of your strategies and suggestions for getting through these next several weeks?

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Will the Real Lawrence Timmons Please Stand Up?

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Nothing is worse in Dynasty leagues than having a player who was a bona fide stud one year fall on his face the next. You get your hopes up and consider him a core player, a sure fire every week starter, then without warning or explanation he hits a slump so nasty that you want to drive to their city and beat them with a dead car battery. Having said that…
Will the real Lawrence Timmons please stand up?
In 2010, Timmons finished the year ranked as the LB7 in IDP leagues. He was machine of destruction. Through the first seven games he had racked up 56 solo tackles, 18 assists and three sacks. Nobody started off hotter! Then, something happened. Through the next six games he totaled just 20 solos, 17 assists, and zero sacks. He wasn’t hurt, there was no position change, and it wasn’t bad match-ups. It was like there was an imposter in his uniform. Timmons finished the year strong with 20 solos, seven assists, and a sack the final three weeks so everything was forgiven.
Fast forward to…

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2012 Pittsburgh Steelers Training Camp Roster Battles: Cornerbacks

The Pittsburgh Steelers open training camp in Latrobe in just over a month from now. With the OTA sessions and mini camp behind us, we can now start to focus on the battles for roster spots for certain positions.

First up in our series is the cornerback position. The Steelers have opened the last two seasons with 6 cornerbacks on the 53 man roster and that could indeed be the case once again this year. Gone from last year are William Gay and Bryant McFadden. The four locks at this time to make the 53 man roster are obvious in Ike Taylor, Keenan Lewis, Curtis Brown and Cortez Allen. With that being Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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Troy Polamalu Top Rated Steelers Player Again In Top 100 Players Of 2012

The Top 100 Players of 2012 rolled on last night as players 11-20 were revealed. I am not a big fan of these list as I question their legitimacy for the most part. Several players have claimed not to have voted since the network started the top 100 last off-season and that is why I smell a rat. I like the concept that the NFL Network has, it’s just I think they made up the list on their own for the most part. Sure a few players might have voted, but likely not as many as one might be led to believe. One aspect of the show that I do like is the comments made by other players about the ranked player Read more […]

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

Former Steeler Clark Haggans to serve nine days in jail for DUI

Wed, 20 Jun 2012 17:23:48

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If the Steelers Fall Short in 2012, A Combination of these Five Things Will Have Happened: Part I

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As Hanz and Fritz of The Simpsons said after selling the power plant back to C. Montgomery Burns, “We Germans aren’t all smiles und sunshine.”

I’m not German (“Not that there’s anything wrong with that”), but I am forced to drop a crowbar of bitterness on SteelerNation this morning.

We’ve been way too optimistic as of late.

Can’t blame us. There’s a lot to be excited about. Like every NFL team at this point of the year, we’re hopeful about things that, frankly, haven’t been established for the present.

One aspect of my regular life job is when my boss looks over a process we’re about to implement, and invariably asks, “So why will this fail?” It’s not a question asked in a sense of pessimism, but rather, one asked to make sure everything has been thought through, and to establish the risk of that particular process.

So why will the Steelers fail this season? What are the most likely things that would happen if the Steelers finish at or – Heaven help us – below .500?

Here are the first two of five reasons, in no particular order, why the Steelers 2012 season may implode.

General Failure of the Steelers Offense to Click

Ever have a blown tire on your car? Imagine all the tires are the same age, and you happen to hit one on a pothole, and POW! Thing’s gone. You’re low on cash, so you only get one extra tire.

One of the other three is bound to suffer the same fate, putting you into the same position you were in. The replacement of Bruce Arians was a widely accepted move this off-season, and the hire of Todd Haley, while with its dissent (myself included), brought about a sweeping feeling of optimism.

What if the problems Haley’s alleged to be fixing – establishing more rhythm-based passing, a stronger running game and better pass protection – only leads to other problems that were perhaps covered up by Bruce Arians? What if the Steelers succeed in creating a high completion percentage passing offense based off a strong running game, but can’t move the ball down the field?

It’s a fair question. Certainly, the individual talent is there, but is it realistic to assume, with the amount of new pieces coming together in big roles (the new manager, the new offensive linemen, the new Hines Ward-alpha leader), there will be some growing pains. Will those growing pains subside before the weather gets cold, or will we be discussing them at this time next year?

Defensive Anemia

It’s never sat well with me that the Steelers had the best scoring defense in football despite huge dropoffs in turnovers and sacks from 2010 to 2011. If you think about it, there were many times we were poised to write “Wish We Made Some More Plays” on the Steelers’ defensive epitaph.

It’s not like the Steelers played a dearth of great offensive teams last year, certainly not down the stretch. With strong receiving groups slated for 2012, like the Giants and Dallas, and good to great quarterbacks throughout the schedule, the defense is going to have to get even better for 2012.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

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Shaun King sees Panthers rising, Steelers falling

Former Buccaneers quarterback Shaun King, now a member of the NBC Sports family, is spending the week in Stamford, Connecticut for NBC SportsTalk.  And he visited the Stamford studio of PFT Live on Wednesday for a guest spot on (you guessed it) PFT Live. We talked about a variety of issues.  But the topic most…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers Rumored For Game In Ireland In 2013

PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) — According to a report by the BBC, the NFL has a desire to expand a regular season game into Ireland and the Steelers could be involved.

The league has played a regular season game at London’s Wembley Stadium since 2005 and it will continue that tradition this season. With the success of playing games in London, the NFL reportedly wants to extend a second regular season game into another European city, perhaps Dublin.

Dublin’s Croke Park seats over 80,000 fans and with the connection of Steelers owner Dan Rooney as the U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, the Steelers playing in this game makes sense.

“I think it’d be terrific,” Rooney said to the BBC in regards to an NFL game coming to Dublin.

“We came over before back in 1997 and played a pre-season game.

“But now, with the regular season games in London at Wembley proving so successful, and tickets selling out almost as soon as they’re put on sale, I would think it would be good to play a game here, at Croke Park, as the interest in the sport is so strong.”

Click the link above for the entire BBC report.

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Filed under: Football, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Dan Rooney, Ireland, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, regular season

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