Tuesday, February 15, 2011

45 seconds of Mike Tomlin

Yahoo! Sports interviewed Mike Tomlin at a pool table, and for forty-five seconds Mr. Tomlin spoke out on the potential work stoppage.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Last NFL activity prior to a work stoppage?

With the Super Bowl now in our rear view mirror the next big bit of business for the league and its teams is the scouting combine. From February 23 - March 1 players invited by the league will strut their stuff for coaches and personnel people in Indianapolis. The fact that March 4th seems to be something of a drop dead date (what's with all the alliteration?) should not concern any of us, I'm sure.

The complete list of invited players can be found here. After the showing of the Steelers secondary in Super Bowl I am especially interested in the defense backs who will be available. With that in mind, here are the names of the 35 defensive backs participating in the 2011 scouting combine:

1. ALLEN, CORTEZ - Citadel
3. BRINKLEY, NILES - Wisconsin
4. BROWN, CHYKIE - Texas
5. BROWN, CURTIS - Texas
6. BROWN, JALIL - Colorado
7. BURNEY, KENDRIC - North Carolina
9. BUTLER, MARIO - Georgia Tech
10.CARMICHAEL, RASHAD - Virginia Tech
11.CHEKWA, CHIMDI - Ohio State
12.CUFF, VANCE - Georgia
13.CULLIVER, CHRIS - South Carolina
14.DOWLING, RAS-I - Virginia
18.HOUSE, DAVON - New Mexico State
19.MARSH, CURTIS - Utah State
20.MAXWELL, BYRON - Clemson
21.MCGEE ANDREW - Oklahoma State
22.PATRICK, JOHNNY - Louisville
24.ROGERS, JUSTIN - Richmond
25.RUCKER, CHRIS - Michigan State University
26.RUTLAND, KEVIN - Missouri
27.SHERMAN, RICHARD - Stanford
28.SKRINE, BUSTER - Tennesse-Chattanooga
29.SMITH, JIMMY - Colorado
30.THOMAS, JOSH - Buffalo
32.TORRENCE, DEVON - Ohio State
35.WRIGHT, SHAREECE - Southern Cal

Let's hope there is a full 2011 season for these players (and all the others) to play in.


Sunday, February 06, 2011

Super Bowl XLV post mortem

Much has already been made of the three turnovers by the Steelers' offense. However, the "21 points off of turnovers" mantra that are certain to hear ad nauseum misses the mark. While turnovers do not help, the real culprit for the loss can be found elsewhere.

Certainly the interception return for a touchdown was huge ~ inasmuch as the final margin of Green Bay's victory was six points it seems clear that that particular turnover was significant. The Rashard Mendenhall fumble at the beginning of the fourth quarter was most immediately significant because it kept the Steelers from adding to their own point total. But the bigger problem can be found in the aftermath of the fumble ~ the Steelers' defense.

To go back to Ben Roethlisberger's first interception, the Packers ended up with the football at their own 47 yard line. The Steelers defense barely put up a fight as the Packers went 53 yards in four plays. Similarly, the Packers took over after the Mendenhall fumble at their own 45 yard line. Eight plays later the Packers completed their 55-yard drive for another touchdown.

Why does the Steelers' defense not get some of the blame here?

Turnovers happen in football, and three turnovers in Super Bowl XLV is a disappointment; but other than the pick-six the defense had an opportunity to pick-up their teammates. Instead, the Packers offense moved smartly down the field for points.

Underscoring this point about the Steelers defense is the 70-yard Green Bay drive for a field goal that chewed up 5:27. The offense continually came back from its errors to make the game close. Except for the third quarter what did the vaunted Steelers defense contribute?

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Saturday, February 05, 2011

Roger Goodell knows you

It has bee said on this site, on several different occasions, that we do not buy into the conspiracy theories (i.e. the league is out to get the Steelers). But the seemingly mean-spirited, ill-timed comments by Roger Goodell regarding Ben Roethlisberger left us wondering.

On Friday a member of the press corps stepped-up and asked the commissioner about his feelings for the Steelers. With thanks to the National Football League here is a transcript of the question and the commissioner's answer:

Q: A Steelers player on Tuesday at Media Day said that his ultimate scenario for Sunday would be to see you have to hand the MVP trophy to either James Harrison or Ben Roethlisberger and have to “eat humble pie like you never have before.” How would you feel about having to give that trophy to them? And to answer an opinion that has been voiced on a number of occasions at Pittsburgh, a lot of Pittsburgh fans are saying it’s a bigger deal to see you have to do that than even beat the Packers – that beating you is a bigger deal than beating the Packers.
A: “I know Steelers fans; I don’t buy that. Listen, I would be happy – if the Pittsburgh Steelers win, I would be more than happy to hand the MVP trophy off to Ben Roethlisberger or James Harrison. They’ve had extraordinary years, and I think it’s great for the game of football. I think it’s great for them as individuals and I hope they will have terrific games on Sunday. I can’t root for anybody, but whoever gets up to that stage, I’ll be proud to hand the trophy off to, I promise you that.”

We will have more on the manner in which the Steelers ~ the players and organization ~ have been treated this season next week, but this assumption that Roger Goodell has made, that he understands Steelers fans, is symptomatic of the arrogance emanating from NFL headquarters.

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