Tag Archives: Thoughts
As part of their Father’s Day celebration Steelers players shared the best advice their father ever gave them and what their father means to them.Bruce Gradkowski Jr. on his father Bruce Gradkowski......
Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News
Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was asked about the possibility of losing restricted free agent Emmanuel Sanders a few weeks at the owners meetings and was pretty straight forward with his response.
“We’ll wait to see what fits. If a player makes sense, if we think he’s a better player and we can make it fit financially, th...
Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers remain for the most part stunned over their severe letdown vs the Chargers on Sunday. The team was never in the game, and at one point trailed by 24. This to a team that had nothing to play for, and their only win in the last two months was against the Chiefs. Today, [...]...
Source: Steelers Gab
It may not be compelling, but at least it's formal.
The Steelers begin their 2012 Minicamp today with two practices. Two more will follow Wednesday followed by one to wrap up the session Thursday.
This time of the year, headlines are usually questions more than statements. While this practice session will likely create more questions than answers, there are a few we can glean a foggy outline of an answer.
Will WR Mike Wallace sign his RFA tender?
The deadline is Thursday. Odds are very good he'll be in town, but he won't practice. Or at least that's what we've been led to believe. Wallace has until Friday, June 15, to sign his tender, or risk the Steelers exercising their CBA-given right to reduce the tender and make an offer of 110 percent of his 2011 salary, which would equate to a one-year offer for $ 577,000. His tender is worth $ 2.7 million, give or take a few dollars.
Obviously, that's in place to help get players into training camp, which indirectly shows the value of minicamp. While it's unlikely the Steelers will exercise that option (it wouldn't help the negotiation, to put it mildly and almost assuredly would keep Wallace out even longer), it does show good faith on their part they're willing to work with him.
As for Wallace, he's seeking a long-term deal, and since he won't be fined for missing minicamp, he's really the last piece of leverage he has. The Steelers typically ask players to negotiate in good faith, and part of that means showing up and working with the team. Wallace can see multiple Steelers players getting extensions signed early into training camp (last year, SS Troy Polamalu, LB Lawrence Timmons and LB LaMarr Woodley all signed during camp), and if Wallace does have a future in Pittsburgh, that seems to be the best time to do it.
We'll see how this plays out.
Willie Colon at left guard
Scott Brown of the Tribune-Review has a nice piece in today's paper about Colon, his transition from right tackle to left guard, and his relationship with former Steelers All-World LG Alan Faneca when Colon was a rookie.
Learning from one of the best is certainly a benefit, but Colon is the experienced one now. With a body built more for a guard, but overall skills that helped him become one of the best run-side tackles in the game, it's exciting to think about the prospect of having such a talented interior offensive line.
It's been a while, that's for sure.
The development of the offense
The running back position seems to be the early favorite for attention-grabbing news. Isaac Redman's starting role, Rashard Mendenhall's rehabilitation project, Chris Rainey vs. Baron Batch, John Clay's position, Jonathan Dwyer's weight. Lots of headlines to go around.
Mix with that the emerging Young Money receivers (two of them anyway) Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders, and how they'll look entering their third year of NFL service. Expecting father Ben Roethlisberger, and how he's adapting to the offense.
All great talking points for the next few days.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
We're going to try something a little different here on Behind The Steel Curtain.
Don't ask me why, but I always get a kick out of the cutesy segment names run on local radio stations. One of the best is Free Form Fridays, where stations play deeper cuts of the same 15 bands, groups and artists they usually play.
Don't worry, there won't be any Adele played here. We're going to stick with our bread and butter: an open thread.
Like Linda Richman, I'm going to give you a few topics, Steelers-related of course. Agenda free, on and off topic comments are more than welcome. It's Friday afternoon, lets talk some Steelers football.
If you talk improvement among the division, isn't it obvious Pittsburgh and Cincinnati had more of that than Cleveland and Baltimore.
- Baltimore didn't really need to improve in the sense they can roll out their team this year and be competitive. I don't think that was the case so much with the other three teams, but Pittsburgh greatly improved its offensive line, and other positions, like defensive line and the secondary, will get better through the development of the roster. Cincinnati added to its offensive line and secondary in the draft with guys who will start, then grabbed, I think, a very underrated receiver in Mohamad Sanu. TE Orson Charles is good at one thing, really, straight-line pass routes, but that's not bad when you've got talented pass catchers like they do. Even Cleveland improved by- sorry, I can't finish that without laughing. I guess Brandon Weeden is probably an improvement over Colt McCoy like my wife's Ford Focus is an improvement over my Chrysler Sebring.
- Could "Prometheus" be any more hyped than it is? Don't get me wrong, I love blockbuster season as much as anyone, doesn't this seem like one of those "All Sizzle No Steak" kinds of movies? You know, the New York Jets of Hollywood?
- Speaking of the Jets, I don't suppose there's any chance we'll no longer have this "Jets West" garbage jammed down our throats, is there? Sure, it's nice their players are actually going to meet up and work together, but if the main positive thing is their top receiver (Santonio Holmes) is actually getting off his butt and flying to Mark Sanchez's mecca that is southern California, please don't blame me for not being impressed.
- Speaking of them again, ladies and gentlemen, your New York Jets captain!
- "I was talking to the coach, letting him understand it was too many reps today," Holmes said. "I've been gone for a while, so I can't be at full tempo like the rest of the guys and where they want us to be at."
- Don't ask me why I thought of this, but do you ever consider how purely awesome those pre-fried frozen chicken patties are? They're like Brett Keisel in his Monster Backer days; versatile, never dull and you always want it on your roster (in your freezer). Microwave or baked, with ketchup, maybe ranch, even some mayo here and there. Pickles and or cheese...there's just so much you can do with them.
- The Miami Heat fan who yelled "good game" at the Heat players as they walked off the floor (ignoring him completely) is the biggest non-story I've ever read. Yes, even less of a story than anything with the word "Kardashian." Well...lemme think about that for a bit. I'll get back to you.
- This is funny, that's what this is:
Roethlisberger texts DeCastro the other day to ask him if he needs him to set up his flight to Pittsburgh for minicamp.
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) June 8, 2012
- Anyway...what's on your mind, Steeler Nation? Best thoughts going up on Twitter, so if you've been sitting on a golden comment, let's see it.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain
I’m not one to share my opinion, but since you asked…
- It less than a week’s time, Mike Wallace and his status with the beloved Black & Gold has gone from back burner to front page news. All it really took was a radio interview he gave to Sirius NFL Radio mid-week saying he would love to remain a Pittsburgh Steeler, but if that didn’t happen he would understand. Given the groundswell of support from Steeler Nation and the realization that the team would be much worse without him, Kevin Colbert and Omar Kahn have gotten busy restructuring deals, starting with Ben Roethlisberger’s on Thursday to get to the cap number of around $ 120 Million. There will be more restructured deals to come for sure and let’s be real clear here, Mike Wallace will be catching passes in Pittsburgh next fall. There is no way they let him get away to New England or any other team in the NFL.
- The news of Frank Coonelly’s DUI on Thursday comes at a bad time with the Pirates just getting their spring training workouts underway. There have been calls for his firing. That should be left to his employer and nothing more. If this was his 1st offense, it hopefully will be his last. Nobody is to blame but Coonelly for what he did. He will suffer accordingly. I don’t see him losing his job over it, but this could be a final straw that may lead to possible termination by season’s end if this club does not improve. In four years on the job, he’s done little to show he deserves to be team President, that is if you take the play on the field into consideration. As far as making the team profitable, he gets an A+. and in business, that weighs more towards the bottom line that team owner Bob Nutting seems to care more about.
- Could we please let Jeremy Lin alone now. This was a great story at first, but thanks to ESPN, it has been blown to bits and I don’t care to hear about how he sleeps on a couch and what he eats and why he should be jammed down our sports gullet anymore. The best thing that can happen is for the Knicks to either not make the NBA Playoffs or lose in a 1st round sweep. Enough already, we get it. He’s Asian and that’s rare in the NBA.
- Ryan Braun must be thanking the people who put together the MLB CBA with Baseball execs when it comes to drug testing and policy because it’s the only way he’s avoiding a 50 game suspension for his failed drug test. How convenient was it for the guy who picked up the sample to miss two drop points on his way home, (an hour south of Milwaukee) then holding the sample in question for 48-hours, thus making the specimen Braun provided ‘tampered’ and therefore ineligible to be held in question. Yet another reason why baseball sucks.
- This is very hard to say as a proud alum of Woodland Hills High School, but Shakim Alonzo should lose his scholarship to Cincinnati for the cheap shot he gave Peters Township’s Gabe Pritz last Saturday at California University of Pa in a 1st round playoff game won by Peters. Alonzo is facing criminal charges as the Washington County District Attorney’s office said it would pursue criminal charges against Mr. Alonzo for simple assault and harassment on Thursday. Some are saying that Alonzo was provoked because a number of players and fans from Peters Township were using racial slurs towards Woodland Hills. If that’s true, then shame of the officials for not doing something about it. However, Alonzo needs to rise above it. The high school senior apologized today at Woodland Hills in a press conference, as did AD George Novak. But its a little too late. In the end, nobody wins here.
- Despite how upbeat people are about Paul Chryst’s arrival in Oakland, and the departure of West Virginia to the Big 12 come July 1st, but there is no way the Panthers win the Big East in 2012. And even if they do, does it really hold any weight or matter at this point?
- Tiger Woods will not win a major PGA Event in 2012.
- I have become numb to the idea that NASCAR still rates the type of coverage it gets from networks like Fox and ESPN. I guess when you invest billions into a product, you have to shill for it no matter how boring it really is.
- Who’s excited about Pittsburgh Power football? Anybody? Nobody is? If there was a Pittsburgh Sports Totem Pole used to show the pecking order of importance, the Power would rank dead last. I not even sure they would belong on the pole. This is one of those sports that just needs to dissapear.
- I want to get excited about the Pirates in 2012. I love the Bucs. Ever since I was a little kid and my dad took me to my first game in 1977, I have always been a fan, despite the game taking a turn for the worse in 1994 when baseball went on strike and allowed the Union to become so powerful that it completely changed the game for the worse. I still don’t think this team can win 82 games. But I do think they can have a four-month run in them like last spring when they were in 1st by the break. What will be the tale of the tape? Two things. Starting Pitching and run support. Getting a healthy combination of both will give this club a punchers chance to start. Only time will tell if that occurs.
- And did anybody bother to ask Jeremy Lin if he was offended by the ‘Chink’ headline ESPN.com used to describe him in one of the nine billion Jeremy Lin stories they have run over the past three weeks? The answer is ’yes,’ but his response was buried by every major news network. Lin said he “didn’t think the offensive comments made about him on the sports network were intentional’ and that we ‘Have to learn to forgive and I don’t even think that was intentional. Or hopefully not.” Leave it to the PC crowd to destroy the people in question, leading to one person being fired and a radio host being suspended for 30 days. They made bad decisions but was a firing necessary?
- If the possibility of Temple joining the Big Least for 2012 doesn’t tell you all you need to know about how sad this conference is, you need your head drilled open, molten lava poured inside, while shaved pigmies dance around you, pelting your body with half eaten Primanti sandwiches. What a joke.
John Phillips is the author of this article and a former secret member of the Galactic Empire. Since he no longer chases down Jedi across the Enrico Biscotti Company, he can now be heard anchoring sports updates and hosting the occasional talk-show on 93.7 The Fan. Follow JP on Twitter at www.twitter.com/937Phillips
Filed under: Blogs, Sports, Steelers Tagged: Ben Roethlisberger, Bob Nutting, Frank Coonelly, Gabe Pritz, George Novak, Jeremy Lin, Kevin Colbert, Mike Wallace, Omar Kahn, Paul Chryst, Ryan Braun, Shakim Alonzo, The Phillips File, Tiger Woods
Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers
Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette On Roethlisberger’s Thoughts On Haley: “He’s Curious, Eager and Anxious”
93-7 The FAN Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette joined Seibel, Starkey and Miller to give us some insight into the interview he had with Steelers Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger earlier today regarding the teams hiring of new Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley.
Bouchette said Ben’s tone when talking about Haley was upbeat and that be came across as eager to see what kind of ideas Haley has for the offense.
Ben did admit to Ed that he heard some bad things from other players about Todd Haley, but said he will wait to form his own opinion of him.
We also got Ed’s thoughts on how often fans ask for the Steelers to use a fullback, and whether or not Haley will employ one here.
Source: CBS Pittsburgh » Steelers
Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good morning.
My present to you, a super-long post-game notebook highlighting some great running, some poor run defense and a few things the Steelers need to take away from a 27-0 win over St. Louis.
- The difference between a good player and a great player is film study. If you don't believe that, just watch Troy Polamalu. On the first play of the game, he shadows WR Denario Alexander as if he's covering him in man. Polamalu simply sees it as an opportunity for a run blitz, and blows Steven Jackson up in the backfield.
- Don't think Baltimore will prepare for a potential third game without seeing this. They love presnap motion.
- The NFL loves its wide receivers. This week's proof: Brandon Lloyd shoving CB Ike Taylor down from behind when Taylor was in clear position for an interception. No flag.
- Bold statement by Coach Tomlin to Marcus Gilbert. His level of "professionalism" isn't acceptable. The rookie apparently missed a meeting, so Tomlin sat his butt down. Good to hear. It's Week 16, Marcus, you aren't preparing for the Orange Bowl in five weeks. It's a short week.
- Raise your hand if you thought QB Charlie Batch was going to fumble the ball on the first of his two Roethlisbergean escapes from the pocket.
- Put your hand down, Max Starks.
- Just an excellent all-around game from Mendenhall. Great balance and patience on his runs, he looked like he really trusted his blockers. He ran behind them and behind his pads all game. Granted, he's not facing the best of run defenses, but he made guys miss, he went through guys and he fell forward. He also protected the ball. What more do you want?
- By the end of the game, Batch was trying to get the ball to Ward as much as possible in an effort to get him his 1,000th catch. It's too bad he didn't look his way on the first drive. A nice legal pick play on 3rd-and-2 inside the 5-yard line, Ward was wide open. Batch instead goes to the average-strength Wallace, who's gotta be tougher on balls in the air.
- Was Legursky exploring every tunnel at Heinz Field?
- DE Ziggy Hood was getting whipped by Harvey Dahl for the bulk of this game. Gotta give some credit to St. Louis, their 100+ yards rushing wasn't a fluke. They often lined up three tight ends, and had them block up front while releasing their guards to reach the linebackers, at which they were successful. Steven Jackson's one of the best in the game, and he found seams all over the field. Doesn't hurt he's the size of all of the Steelers linebackers, either.
- On the other hand, Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels took a pretty weak offense and turned it into a horrendous offense this season. Is there anyone in the league more toxic than him? He peaked when he all but dumped a Gatorade bucket over himself after beating the Patriots in Week 5 of 2009. Since then, he's been involved in exactly seven wins in 38 games, got busted for filming the practices of the 49ers before their game in London in 2010, traded away all the talent on the Broncos (including a botched trade attempt of Jay Cutler, which led to the actual trade of Jay Cutler, and used draft picks acquired in that trade to move back into the first round to select Tim Tebow, after he threw his full support behind Kyle Orton) and took the reigning Offensive Rookie of the Year, QB Sam Bradford, and turned him into one of the worst passers in the league. You have to intentionally sabotage your career to achieve that level of failure. How could any franchise trust anything this guy does?
- The Rams would have to try to have a worse season than they have in 2011, but what a great move in picking up Brandon Lloyd. He gave Ike Taylor fits all game. A very even, heady receiver. And for a fifth-round pick? Crazy. The best quarterback he's ever had getting him the ball is Kyle Orton. And I'm talking the Bears version of Kyle Orton.
- The Rams should involve P Donnie Jones in their offense a bit more. He moved pretty well on the fake punt. Great recognition by Will Allen, who took the primary receiver out of the play immediately, forcing Jones to run 29 yards only to be stuffed by Antonio Brown a yard shy of the first down.
- Speaking of Brown, the move he put on DE Chris Long on the end-around is worthy of the team's highlight reel. Long could only vainly attempt to trip Brown as he motored past him.
- Probably doesn't need to be said, but that pick isn't on Batch. Both he and Brown slipped on the play, Batch recovered to throw the ball right before Brown slipped. It happens.
- It did give Brown a chance to achieve the Fun Stat of the Game: Tackles: Hampton, 2; Brown, 2.
- With 10:22 left in the second quarter, Denario Alexander cuts FS Ryan Clark's legs out from under him, and Clark goes ballistic. It was one of those legal-but-dirty kinds of blocks, and unfortunately, with the league regulating the game we used to know, we'll see more and more of this.
- Don't believe me? Ask Adrian Peterson today whether he would have rather been hit in the head. He'll be lucky to be ready to play by training camp in July.
- The hold on Timmons was bunk, but it looks like it was meant to be called on Taylor, who was grabbing onto Alexander within five yards of the line of scrimmage. Taylor was doing that all game, not the most disciplined game he's ever had.
- Don't tell me James Harrison is a dirty player. If he was, Kellen Clemens would spend Christmas Day drooling in a hospital bed. He had as clear a shot at a quarterback as he's ever had, but he held up.
- Mendenhall's 52-yard run was perhaps the Steelers finest play this year, from a technical standpoint. RG Ramon Foster and TE Heath Miller pull from the back side of the play, Foster seals his guy off and Miller makes the seam by blowing up his guy to the outside. Scott cuts off the backside pursuit from two defenders. Kemoeatu and Essex get big blocks up front to get Mendenhall some room at the second level. Starks is four yards down field locking up a linebacker, and Cotchery blasts a defensive back into Starks's guy, creating a cut-back lane for Mendenhall, who's already eight yards down field. Brown may have held CB Rod Hood a little bit, but he took him out of the play at that spot on the field. Wallace gets a big block down field.
- That's nine big blocks on one run, meaning Mendenhall and Batch are the only two who didn't block anyone. Just phenomenal football.
- I don't want to crown him or anything yet, but that was an excellent run by Clay. St. Louis did a good job of stalling the Steelers' push to the right side, and Kemoeatu didn't really have a chance to clear room off his lead block (pulling from the left). Clay sees this, bounces it outside, but he doesn't go out too wide. Nice run for the rookie.
- Not sure Mendenhall was particularly thrilled to see Clay score. Would have been his, but he was still panting on the sideline.
- Another great example of preparation from Polamalu. He recognizes the formation, and knows exactly where Clemens is throwing. He times it perfectly, and almost makes a sensational play. Then again, considering Clemens threw 24 passes, and 12 of them were to Lloyd, maybe it wasn't exactly rocket surgery to figure it out.
- If Harrison's throwing of LT Adam Goldberg would have knocked Clemens to the ground, would Harrison get the sack, or Goldberg? Can you get fined for hurling an opposing player at the quarterback? What would have happened if Goldberg hit Clemens helmet-to-helmet. I'll be here all night, please tip your waitress.
- That play was particularly enjoyable for me. I played against Goldberg in high school. His team upset mine at the Metrodome for the conference championship when we were juniors. I'm still bitter.
- Anyway...just sheer power from Harrison. Goldberg is listed at 6-foot-7, 305 pounds. Harrison moved him like he wasn't even there.
- I don't like Rod Hood. That's usually my compliment for an opposing player. He played a solid game against Wallace and Brown. Great read on the bubble screen to Brown, one of only three catches on the day.
- Who's worried about Batch's arm strength again? If not for a great play by rookie S Darian Stewart, that throw to Miller on 3rd-and-long would have been easily his highlight of the day.
- Harrison destroys TE Billy Bajema, then destroys Clemens. Timmons is in the backfield again as well. And Hood? Nowhere near the ball. I wasn't aware Harvey Dahl was one of the best pass protectors in football.
- A bit later, the Steelers put four defenders at the line of scrimmage, and Hood isn't one of them. From left to right, it's Worilds, Heyward, McLendon and Keisel. While it's somewhat frustrating Worilds is the last player on the field to react to the snap, Heyward shows great technique, especially how he uses his hands. RG Bryan Mattison can't lock onto him, and Heyward reads Clemens stepping up in the pocket. Heyward easily moves past Mattison and takes Clemens down for a 1-yard gain. Great play by the rookie.
- This starts a string of plays that should concern the Steelers heading into the playoffs. The Rams found a way to seal off the backside pursuit of Pittsburgh's defense. They often lined up unbalanced and with multiple tight ends. Those tight ends were able to seal off the backside defending linemen, leaving the play side blocked essentially one-on-one. The Steelers failed to win those battles, and had their linebackers often caught in the sea of bodies in the middle of the field.
- One play later, Worilds gets hooked again, this time by Bajema, the same guy Harrison lit up earlier. Jackson goes right past him for a 13-yard gain. Also of note, Hood is not in the game. Heyward replaced him at defensive end, and McLendon is in again for Hampton. McLendon gets double-teamed, and pushed inside. Timmons misreads the play and gets caught in the wash in the middle of the field. Nothing more than a footrace between Jackson and Clark, who takes him down after 13 yards.
- How's the hammy, Woodley? Worilds lack of run support is getting old.
- Farrior and Timmons now both misread the play and get caught in the wash. Timmons doesn't push ahead as far as Farrior did, and is able to make the play, but these are very simple technical issues that need to be fixed. Come playoff time, when the Steelers are playing better rushing teams, they will get abused.
- Glad to see Hood dancing after a sack that was the result of the right guard simply not blocking him. There was some confusion before the snap, and the guard went after Hampton, who was to Hood's right. Hood was untouched. Get your dance on, Ziggy. Glad you're happy with your performance.
- Meanwhile, Harrison steamrolled Bajema again. That McDaniels sure knows what he's doing.
- Hood is still proud of himself on the next play, gets off the snap late, and is owned by Mattison. Worilds fails to recognize the play at the snap, and helps the offense by taking a step backward when Jackson aims right at him. By the time Worilds recovers, he's being blasted five yards off the ball. Keenan Lewis misses an open field tackle and Jackson goes relatively untouched for a 15-yard gain on 3rd-and-14.
- Perhaps this play illustrates things better. Rams have the ball 1st-and-10 from their 18-yard line. Not coincidentally, Hood is not in, and the Steelers put Heyward, Hampton and Keisel down, left to right. Worilds and Harrison are pinching in the ends. It's a handoff to Jackson, and he runs into a wall of Steelers defenders for a two yard gain.
- At the end of the play, Hampton, Timmons and Farrior are lying on Jackson on the ground. Four yards down field, Heyward and Worilds are shoving tight ends post-whistle (Worilds could have picked up a penalty for the quasi-slap he threw at the guy who moved him well out of the play). The vets are making the plays, the younger guys are getting whipped.
- 2nd-and-9, Worilds beaten again one-on-one by Bajema.
- Finally, Troy stops the bleeding with a perfectly timed blitz. He's held (not sure how that could possibly have been missed, except that Polamalu moves faster than the human eye can track), but still gets to Jackson and ends the play.
- You know why Troy makes that play? Because he knows they're running at Worilds again.
- Josh Brown is still haunted by Super Bowl XL. You know, the guy who missed two field goals? Oh, right, the officials gave the game to the Steelers.
- All Fantasy players in championship games who had Mike Wallace are probably really ticked this morning. He flat-out burned Josh Gordy, just came a yard short. Second-best play of the game, though, because it unleashed the passion the team lacked until that point. Great run by Mendenhall for the score.
- I'm at a loss for words on how Polamalu only has one interception this year. I swear he'd have the league record for picks if he caught every one he should have had.
- Goldberg is faced with an overload blitz from Timmons and Harrison, so he elects to block neither of them. Clemens blown up again.
- Harrison beats Goldberg again, gets held and nearly forces a strip-sack. A phenomenal all-around game from Harrison. Welcome back, Deebo.
- Batch doesn't seem to be looking at anyone but Ward. Would have been really nice for him to get 1,000 at home. I'm sure Cleveland will be really excited when he does it next week.
- Great lead block from Scott, this one's over.
Source: Behind the Steel Curtain