Friday, December 11, 2009

When the ridiculous becomes absurd

The Steelers may not have much fight left in them, but apparently some of their parents still do.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Live Blogging: Steelers @ Cleveland

Fourth Quarter
That's the ball game ~ when did we become the Detroit Lions, and what happened to the team that won the Super Bowl nine months ago?

1:48: One timeout left and 40+ yards from the end zone ~ looks promising.

My bad ~ that was the eighth sack of the game.

The Steelers are now on the verge of losing five consecutive games for the first time since 1999 ~ a season in which they lost six consecutive games. In that stretch ten seasons ago the Steelers lost to Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Kansas City amongst others.

Brady Quinn is horrible, which begs the question why doesn't the Steelers' defense have nine defenders in the box on every play? Wildcat or no wildcat, you have to challenge Cleveland.

8:05: Joshua Cribbs runs for a first down, and to quote Tunch Ilkin "How [does the Steelers' defense] not make that play?"

Can the Steelers actually score a touchdown?

Third Quarter
0:12: And the drive falls apart.

0:55: Hey Ben, throw the **** ball!

As the third quarter draws to a close, I have just one question: Where's the no-huddle?

2:15: A Steelers' running back catches a pass!

At this point it seems germane to mention that the Steelers record for most sacks allowed in a game is 12, versus Dallas, on November 20, 1966.

5:45: And it is sack #8.

6:44: On replay it looked like Rashard Mendenhall missed a hole made by Chris Kemoeatu.

7:08: Can't anyone in the Steelers secondary catch the football?

10:10: Chris Jennings, who had 29 yards rushing in the first half gets 15 on his first carry of the second; and Ike Taylor is blocked out of the play by a wide receiver.

10:37: A poor throw, and no help from Santonio. The Steelers are 1-for-8 on third downs. Ben had better try getting some other wideouts involved in the passing game.

12:37: A spectacular catch by Santonio Holmes!!

13:09: Steelers convert their first third down.

An impressive start to the second half.

Second Quarter
0:41: Though they are down by 13 points the Steelers may still come back to win this game. However, I do not care what anyone says ~ this Steelers team has quit. The first half has been an embarrassment.

There is losing, and then there is ~ if Mike Tomlin does not follow through on his threat to change personnel then he is not the coach I thought him to be.

7:24: Ike Taylor surrenders a field goal.

8:36: Someone please explain what Ike Taylor was doing on that play.

9:25: The Outside Linebackers are beginning to warm up.

10:26: Oh my, the offense is dreadful. 0-for-5 on third down.

The highlight of the night (so far): The E*Trade "Shankapotamus" commercial ~ I never get tired of that one.

12:04: A great series for LaMarr Woodley!

13:16: A sack ~ beautiful!

Ben is sacked for the third time ~ at what point do I turn on "The Office"?

First Quarter
0:00: Thus concludes the most boring quarter of Steelers regular season football in a very long time.

1:55: Everyone holds their breath as Ben takes off running.

2:58: I smell desperation in the air.

2:58: The Steelers cannot convert on third down ~ pathetic.

Is it me, or is this the least dynamic game environment for a Steelers contest . . . ever?

3:36: David Johnson drops a pass ~ nothing good has happened yet when the Steelers have thrown the ball.

3:51: Special teams surrender three points.

3:55: LaMarr Woodley misses an opportunity at a turnover.

5:01: Daniel Sepulveda is the only member of the special teams who can tackle.

5:49: What in the world is with the play calling?

7:17: Lawrence Timmons off to a rocky start ~ whiff on the blitz.

7:20: Joe Burnett with one pass defended.

8:35: The Browns are already 2-for-3 on third down ~ Lawrence Timmons has to be aware of the ball and the receiver when he is in coverage.

Third-and-one, and Bruce Arians calls a pass play? Who has a phone number for Charlie Weis?


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Quote of the Day

One of our favorite players is Ryan Clark ~ does anyone hit harder? Well, in an article in today's Tribune Review Mr. Clark pulled no punches as to the recent announcement from Mike Tomlin regarding possible lineup changes:
They don't pay us to compete. They don't pay us to keep it close. They pay us to win football games, and when you don't win football games, they try to figure out why.


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Do-it-yourself Simulations

The Wall Street Journal, a bastion of sports reportage, has embedded an "AccuScore NFL Plaoff Simulator" on its website; and you can assess the chances of another Steelers' Super Bowl victory.

In my simulation the Steelers were eliminated in the Wild Card round by the New England Patriots (and the Colts were crowned as champions).


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Special Teams Upgrade

Tuesday evening Big Dan the 'Burgh Man and I had a wide-ranging conversation regarding Steelers football; and one of the topic we touched upon had to do with the decisions to release special teams standouts Chidi Iwuoma, Arnold Harrison, and (the free agency departure of) Sean Morey.

While it is true that Steelers special teams have been a weak spot for years it is hard not to wax nostalgic about players who were effective in the role.

Happily, it seems that Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin have settled upon at least one player from the past who they believe may make a difference. The Post-Gazette is reporting that Anthony Madison is back in the fold.

Let us all hope that he is capable of correcting whatever it is that has been causing the kick coverage units to be so woeful.

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National Football League institutes
concussion policy

Some will call this a "new" policy, but the view from here is that a sea change is underway at the NFL corporate offices. Here is the full-text of the statement released today:


COMMISSIONER ROGER GOODELL notified NFL teams today that a new and expanded statement on return-to-play for a player who sustains a concussion will take effect with games beginning this week.

The stricter 2009 statement on return-to-play was developed by the NFL’s medical committee on concussions in conjunction with team doctors, outside medical experts, and the NFL Players Association in order to provide more specificity in making return-to-play decisions. The new guidance supplements the 2007 statement on return-to-play that encouraged team physicians and athletic trainers to continue to take a conservative approach to treating concussions and established that a player should not return to the same game after a concussion if the team medical staff determined that he had lost consciousness.

The 2009 statement advises that a player who suffers a concussion should not return to play or practice on the same day if he shows any signs or symptoms of a concussion that are outlined in the return-to-play statement. It further states:

“Once removed for the duration of a practice or game, the player should not be considered for return-to-football activities until he is fully asymptomatic, both at rest and after exertion, has a normal neurological examination, normal neuropsychological testing, and has been cleared to return by both his team physician(s) and the independent neurological consultant. A critical element of managing concussions is candid reporting by players of their symptoms following an injury. Accordingly, players are to be encouraged to be candid with team medical staffs and fully disclose any signs or symptoms that may be associated with a concussion.”

Based on the 2009 statement, a player who suffers a concussion should not return to play or practice on the same day if any of the following symptoms or signs is identified based on the initial medical evaluation of the player:

[1]. Loss of consciousness;

[2]. Confusion as evidenced by disorientation to person, time or place; inability to respond appropriately to questions; or inability to remember assignments or plays;

[3]. Amnesia as evidenced by a gap in memory for events occurring just prior to the injury; inability to learn and retain new information; or a gap in memory for events that occurred after the injury;

[4]. Abnormal neurological examination, such as abnormal pupillary response, persistent dizziness or vertigo, or abnormal balance on sideline testing.

[5]. New and persistent headache, particularly if accompanied by photosensitivity, nausea, vomiting or dizziness;

[6]. Any other persistent signs or symptoms of concussion.

“The evidence demonstrates that team medical staffs have been addressing concussions in an increasingly cautious and conservative way,” Commissioner Goodell said in a memo to the NFL clubs. “This new return-to-play statement reinforces our commitment to advancing player safety. Along with improved equipment, better education, and rules changes designed to reduce impacts to the head, it will make our game safer for the men who play it, and set an important example for players at all levels of play.”

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