Friday, January 22, 2010

Late round answer at fullback?

Anyone who has read this blog with any regularity knows of my love for UCLA. Additionally, any one who has been a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers is also aware that many of the players coming out of America's finest university have not fared well with the Black & Gold (Norm Johnson and Travis Kirschke not withstanding; think Danny Farmer, Kris Farris, and Bruce Davis). However, the Bruins may be able to supply the Steelers with an answer at fullback.

Ryan Moya was a terrific player for three years at UCLA, and is participating in this weekend's East-West Shrine game. The Sporting News has had folks there to watch the practices all week, and in Friday's online edition this is what they had to say about Mr. Moya:
He really stood out in midweek practice, catching the ball extremely well and running very smooth routes. He made several tough catches and demonstrated that he is also capable of contributing as an H-back or tight end at the next level.
I can tell you, from having watched him play, that he is also a good blocker and powerful inside runner (especially in short yardage situations).

Kevin Colbert and his team missed out on Matt Ware in last year's draft (he ended up in New England); so let's up they take good notice of this talented and versatile fullback.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

On This Date . . .

January 21, 1979 the Steelers won their third Super Bowl, Super Bowl XIII, defeating the Dallas Cowboys 35-31. It was a thrilling game, in what we think of as the "Jackie Smith" Super Bowl (for those who saw the game, or have seen highlights you know what we're talking about).

For some detailed information about the game here is the page at Wikipedia, or you can visit the NFL's official page by clicking here.

Originally published January 21, 2008


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

On This Date . . .

January 20, 1980 the Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl, Super Bowl XIV, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. In some ways this was the most difficult of all the Super Bowl wins, as the Steelers needed two fourth quarter touchdowns to win the game. This is also the game in which John Stallworth solidified his Hall of Fame credentials while Terry Bradshaw was named MVP.

For a detailed look at the game take a look at the Wikipedia page, or at the page.

Originally published January 20, 2008


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Up close with Lawrence Timmons

The Sporting News (the electronic, daily edition) features a "My Profile" piece in each issue. The idea is to give us a closer look, albeit a glimpse really, of some athlete.

On January 19, 2010 that athlete was Lawrence Timmons; and while there is hardly anything of an earth shattering nature included in this profile I was interested to see that he drives a Toyota Camry. I have a Toyota Camry, and I cannot believe that: a) Someone the size of Lawrence Timmons squeezes himself into that car and, b) I drive the same kind of car as a professional athlete ~ thought it would never happen.

See the the complete profile by clicking here.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

On this date in Steelers history

With the Steelers preparing to face the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship today, it is good to remember that this date has been a good one in the history of the franchise.

On January 18, 1976 the Steelers won their second, and second consecutive, Super Bowl ~ defeating the Dallas Cowboys 21-17 in Super Bowl X.

This game made Lynn Swann a household name ~ his leaping catches becoming the stuff of legends ~ but it was the defense, which sacked Roger Staubach seven times, that carried the day.

The Wikipedia page for the game is here, and you can see video from the game here.

Originally published January 18, 2009

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Snapshot: New offensive line coach

As everyone knows by now the Steelers have hired a new offensive line coach ~ Sean Kugler who recently finished a two-year stint in the same position in Buffalo. The question that we all have is simple: Is this guy the answer to the struggles of the Steelers' offensive line (especially in the area of run blocking)?

Time, of course, will tell; but here is a quick statistical comparison of the Steelers and Bills performance in certain key areas over the past two seasons (i.e.2008 and 2009).

Sacks Allowed20082009

Rush Attempts20082009

Rushing Yards20082009

Certainly there may be other factors at play ~ perhaps Buffalo's running backs are better than those who play in Pittsburgh (unlikely, but a possibility); and it is very likely that the level of competition the Steelers faced (given their consistently better record) was probably somewhat tougher than that of the Bills. However, based upon theses numbers it can at least be argued that Buffalo's offensive front outperformed the one in Pittsburgh.

Was it the coaching? Let's all hope so.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

On This Date . . .

January 12, 1975, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their first Super Bowl, Super Bowl IX, by defeating the Minnesota Vikings 16-6 at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans, Louisiana.

For information about the game itself, click here for Wikipedia; and for a feature article about the champions and their lovable, long-suffering owner click here.

Originally published January 12, 2008


Sunday, January 03, 2010

Welcome to the Offseason

The ultimate irony in week seventeen of the National Football League season is that the Steelers, seemingly, had to cheer for the Raiders and Chiefs ~ two of the worst teams in the NFL who both defeated Pittsburgh ~ to win their games. As now we know, the Raiders were simply not up to the task.

As things stand right now (i.e. prior to kickoff of the Bengals vs. Jets) it appears will have the 19th 18th pick in the 2010 NFL Draft. Will there be someone there who will shore up their secondary? An impact offensive lineman? Only time will tell.

Also, as the 2009 regular season ends it is not too early to look forward to the 2010 regular season. The home schedule will have the Steelers divisional opponents (Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland) and New England, the Jets, Atlanta, Carolina, and Oakland. An early look at those opponents reveals:
  • The Steelers are 1-3 in their last four games versus New England.

  • The Steelers have never lost at home to the Jets.

  • The Steelers have lost their last two games against Oakland.
The away schedule features those same divisional opponents and Buffalo, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, and Tennessee. A quick look at the away games reveals:
  • The Steelers have not lost a regular season game in Buffalo since 1999.

  • The Steelers have not lost a regular season game to the Dolphins since 1998.

  • The last time Pittsburgh visited New Orleans was in 2002 ~ a game the Steelers lost 29-32.

  • The Steelers are 4-1 all-time at Tampa.

  • The Steelers had better win a lot of other games in 2010 because in the last ten seasons the they are 1-5 at Tennessee.
It will be fun to see what happens between now and the first kickoff of 2010.

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