Tag Archives: James Harrison

Pittsburgh – A Team in Transition

Change with all sides has to happen over time, and there has been a gradual change in the personnel at the Steelers over the past few years. The challenge ahead this year for head coach, Mike Tomlin, will be getting back to having a winning season after a 12-4 record and a playoff loss to Denver in 2011 turned into an 8-8 season in 2012.

Defensively, the biggest loss was linebacker, James Harrison, who was released after salary-cap issues (and is now with the Bengals) but it was the offense that saw the biggest changes, with new back-ups behind quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, a new backfield, a much-changed receiving corps, and a new look on the offensive line.

The steady part of the Steelers offense is Roethlisberger; he is the main constant in the attack and, with a new supporting cast this year, fans betting on the NFL will be hoping that he (for once) can stay healthy this year and play all 16 regular season games, something that has happened only once in all his seasons as a starter.

His fitness is vital, especially with veteran backups, Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich, gone and replaced by another veteran, in Bruce Gradkowski and fourth-round draft pick, Landry Jones, who must be considered a work-in-progress. Jones went from a potential first-round pick to a fourth-rounder after a disappointing senior season; he certainly isn’t NFL ready – yet.

Pittsburgh has always been considered a team that can run the football but, last year, they couldn’t accomplish that, mainly due to injuries. This year, they certainly expect improvement to come in that department, as they have drafted Le’Veon Bell in the second round; he should quickly take over as the featured and starting back.

He’s a workhorse back with good size (6-1, 244); he’s durable, and can take tacklers a few yards; he’s also very powerful and relentless, a good acquisition for the Steelers’ style of running game that they like to play.

Bell should have solid support on the ground with Issac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer competing for the number two spot on the roster. As things stand, it looks as though Redman will get the nod. Bell is likely to see the field on 3rd down as long as he continues to improve his pass blocking & blitz pickup. Will Johnson returns at fullback and will be a good addition in a mainly blocking role.

Question marks must remain over the receiving corps though, especially as Heath Miller at tight-end, their leading receiver in 2012 (71 catches), is not yet slated to return after injury. With him missing, the receivers look like a weaker group, especially as Mike Wallace was also lost to the Dolphins.

So, what have the Steelers got in this department? Well, Emmanuel Sanders, who was a nice slot receiver last year is going to have to step-up and improve his numbers for a start.

Although he did well in 2012 (44 catches for 626 yards), he will have more pressure on him this year and will be expected to produce more; it remains to be seen if he can handle that situation. Antonio Brown needs to improve again after his form rather levelled off in 2012. After those two, the Steelers receivers are a mixture of draft picks and veterans and it remains to be seen who of those make the full roster for the season. Offense is one area where the Steelers are looking a little light, unless Sanders or Brown really engage overdrive this year.

The offensive line gets a very new look and protecting Roethlisberger will be all important; two starters are gone from the “new look” – guard, Willie Colon, and tackle, Max Starks, and it will be three-time Pro Bowl center, Maurkice Pouncey, who anchors the line.

Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams are being lined up as the tackles but there is still some doubt from NFL betting pundits over who will play left and who will play right. Guards, David DeCastro and Ramon Foster, complete the front five and it looks like the Steelers have a real belief in this line as a unit that could stay together for years – it certainly looks solid enough, providing a platform from which Roethlisberger has time and room to operate.

All in all, ‘transition’ is the right word to use about the Steelers offense – there are elements of stability there, Roethlisberger, for instance. However, much of the cast is new and it may take a while for it all to knit together.

This year, with an increased running game, we can see the Steelers getting back to their “ground and pound” style as the staple for whatever success may come their way, a return to their roots and some “blue-collar football”.

STEEL CURTAIN RADIO #175: DEEBO VS TEEBO

Click Link to Listen:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/wtcb/STEEL_CURTAIN_RADIO_175_DEEBO_vs._TEEBO.mp3

Show Topics
1. 1000: Congrats Hines
2. Hines Ward Postgame Presser
3. Steelers vs Broncos Breakdown w/ Jim Wexell
4. Why I think the Steelers Season Was Blah?
5. How the Steelers Injuries will affect the Broncos Game

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Steelers cut Limas Sweed

After 3 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers cut 2nd round draft pick Limas Sweed.  The highly successful tall-wide receiver from the University of Texas is exactly what Big Ben has always wanted since Plaxico Burress left town.

With the release of Sweed, he can now be considered the biggest draft flop in recent memory.  In fact, Sweed may be considered the 2nd biggest WR draft flop in Steelers history behind 1st round pick Troy Edwards during the Bill Cowher era.

The Steelers decided to release Sweed instead of placing rookie running back Baron Batch on injured reserve. Batch underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn ACL he suffered last week.

The Steelers must pay the final year of Sweed's 4-year, $3.3 million rookie contract until his shoulder injury is healed. The Steelers also can retain Sweed and place him on injured reserve if no other team claims him.

Today, Sweed finished his Steelers career with only 7 catches.  Over the past three years, Sweed has been plagued with personal issues especially lack of confidence as well as being injury prone.  This training camp was critical for Sweed to prove his worth especially given his history and recovering from his 2010 season-ending achilles injury.

Apparently, Sweed didn't convince the Steelers coaching staff of his worth.  It's not over for Sweed though.  Another team can still claim Sweed or the Steelers would re-sign him.

Let's not forget that pro bowler James Harrison was once cut by the Steelers.

 

STEEL CURTAIN RADIO #138: CONFESSIONS OF AN NFL HITMAN

Show Topics:

1. Why needs to stop talking about Injuries?
2. Who Has the Best QB in the AFC North?
3. Who Has the Best Head Coach in the AFC North?
4. Who has the Best WRs in the AFC North?
5. Will there be any starting Line up Changes in 2011/2012?

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Read the official article at Men's Journal Magazine:

Listen Here: http://traffic.libsyn.com/wtcb/SCR_138.mp3

 

Harrison Sounds Off

Read the complete article of James Harrison sounding off against .. well, everyone.

Calling Roger Goodell the devil... check

Calling out teammates... check

Calling out the New England Cheatriots... check

Calling out Brian Cushing... check

Calling out league policy... check

Harrison should have a "shut up" clause in his contract for real.  The guy is a great player and he's even better at channeling his anger to the playing field.  But come on now Harrison, just stay away from the microphone.  Your not a good talker and you can easily be taken out of context.  The result of this is now the Pittsburgh Steelers will have a greater target on their back this year.

Read the complete article from Men's Journal here.

 

STEEL CURTAIN RADIO #116: BIG BEN > FLACCO: WEXELL INTERVIEW

Show Topics:

  1. BIG BEN > FLACCO
  2. JIM WEXELL INTERVIEW
  3. OFFENSIVE GAME GRADES
  4. DEFENSIVE GAME GRADES
  5. TOMLIN: POST GAME INTERVIEW
  6. BIG BEN: POST GAME INTERVIEW
  7. HINES WARD: POST GAME INTERVIEW
  8. JAMES HARRISSON: POST GAME INTERVIEW
  9. RYAN CLARK: POST GAME INTERVIEW
  10. HAPPY MLK DAY

Listen Here

Harrison has issues with NFL

James Harrison has been front and center this year.

To the media and to opposing teams, Harrison seems to be the center of attention.

The NFL appears to be singling Harrison out with the fines and penalties.

But Harrison believes opposing teams are attacking him. Specifically the Ravens were diving at Harrison's kness with the intent of injuring him.

Do you think opposing teams and the NFL are singling Harrison out?

STEEL CURTAIN RADIO #107: THE NOSE KNOWS

Show Topics:

My Apology to Silverback
Why Ben can never Be Called a Drama Queen Again?
Offensive Game Grades
Defensive Game Grades
Mike Tomlin Post Game Press Conference
Post Game Interview Audio From: Big Ben
Post Game Interview Audio From: Issac Redman
Post Game Interview Audio From: Hines Ward
Post Game Interview Audio From: Brett Keisel
Post Game Interview Audio From: James Harrison
Post Game Interview Audio From: James Farrior
Post Game Interview Audio From: Ryan Clark

Click Link to Listen:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/wtcb/SCR_107.mp3

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Discuss the show at the Planet Steelers Forum

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STEEL CURTAIN RADIO: RAVEN 21 – STEELERS 9

Show Topics:
Why James Harrison is a Selfish Player?
Steelers Injury Update
Offensive Game Keys
Defensive Game Keys
Prediction: Ravens 21- Steelers 9

Click Link to Listen: http://traffic.libsyn.com/wtcb/SCR_106.mp3

Call in line: 206-202-4468

Snapshot of James Harrison Hit

How can James Harrison be fined for the below hit?  Last time I checked, this is the way you are taught to hit starting from the first practice of midget football.

If I recall correctly the technique is to drive your face mask through the players chest with your arms wrapped.  The hit below looks like picture perfect form to me.  If you can't hit the player in the head and you can't hit the player around the knees, and now you can't hit the player in the midsection then how are you supposed to tackle?

Buy James Harrison Jersey

James Harrison Hits Ryan Fitzpatrick

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