Thursday, December 29, 2005

Gentle Ben Will Lead Us to Victory

Ben Roethlisberger has only been with the Pittsburgh Steelers for two seasons, but in that time he has become the team’s strongest leader. The Steelers are in a great position having won three straight end-of-season games. They have shown that they have the talent to advance far in the playoffs and beat any team they encounter. No matter what happens we know that we have the stuff to carry on winning into next season if we keep most of our key players and beef up out lineup in the off season. Roethlisberger will be the key to our success and is the man we want leading this team for a long time to come.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pro Bowl Selections Made

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be sending four players to the 2006 AFC Pro Bowl team. The men will be offensive guard Alan Faneca, Troy Polamalu safety, linebacker Joey Porter and center Jeff Hartings. For five seasons we have sent at leas three players to the Pro Bowl and that is something to be proud of. Since the fans get to vote for the Pro Bowl we know that Pittsburgh fans are some of the most active and best fans of any NFL team. The Steelers win over the Minnesota Vikings comes at the right time for us and our last two games should be sure wins for us.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Can’t Keep These Steelers Down

Jerome Bettis won the AFC player of the week award for his furious play against the Chicago Bears. This was a key win for the Steelers because the Bears have beat a lot of teams we have faced and our schedule is not getting any easier with Minnesota coming up next week. Minnesota poses a threat but if our Philly players can come up with awesome moves like they did on Sunday we have a good chance of beating them. Ben Roethlisberger is probable for the Vikings game but will be playing with a hurt thumb. Hines Ward will be back as well with his ankle supposedly healed.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Steelers on a Losing Streak

This Steelers team looked like they were going to the playoffs until they played the Ravens. That game was the start of what is now a three game loosing streak. It is hard to focus on the upcoming game and not dwell on the negative events of the past few weeks. The Chicago Bears are a great team and have beat some of the best teams in the NFL. We are facing them on Sunday and it’s hard to decide whether the Steelers team can put the losses behind them and play as good as we know they can against the Bears.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Colts Steal Win Over Pittsburgh

The Indianapolis Colts extended their winning streak against the Pittsburgh Steelers leaving us at 7-4. This means the Cincinnati Bengals move ahead of us to 8-3 after their win against the Ravens. To have any chance of winning in the AFC North we will have to win over the Bengals this Sunday. The Colts defense dominated the game but it was the crowd noise that really effected game. We were having great trouble running the ball and the crowd noise contributed to it. It has been rumored that the noise was artificial and meant to do what it inevitably did to our performance but that seems like fans just wanting something else to blame for the Steelers lack of momentum in the game.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ravens Who? The Colts Are Coming

Sunday’s loss to the Ravens was a shame, but we are entitled to a bad game with our record. Even Bill Cower agrees that being tied for first with the Bengals is not a bad place to be at this point in the season. What we need to be worrying about is the undefeated Colts whom we are playing next Monday. This game can’t hurt us for getting into the playoffs but if we could secure a win we will be the first to do it all season. Ben Roethlisberger is probably going to be back for the game and Matt Kranchick is going to be back due to Russell Stuvaints’ season ending injury. We have a good chance and a great team right now. This could be our game of the season if we can stay focused and secure the win.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Plan B

The Pittsburgh Steelers recently extended defensive tackle Chris Hoke’s contract for another 3 years. The reason being is that the Steelers will not re-sign defensive tackle Casey Hampton, who will be a free agent before the start of training camp. Hoke wasn’t a starter last year and basically just filled in when need be. Apparently he did a good enough job that the Steelers where willing to cough up $2.7 million dollars and a $500, 000 dollar signing bonus.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

On Target

Early when I talked about Ben Roethlisberger wanting a play book with more passing plays, I forgot to mention that the biggest reason why he will get what he wants is the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers are dong everything they can to surround him with targets to throw too. One of the targets is wide receiver Fred Gibson who the Steelers just signed to a three year deal. Gibson was the star wide out at Georgia last year and is the second draft pick to be signed.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Big Ben

What ‘Big Ben’ wants, ‘Big Ben’ should get. After a record breaking rookie season, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger looks to improve his game by asking the coaching staff to open up the passing playbook more.

This is nothing but good news for the Steelers. It shows the young buck has confidence in himself and can carry more weight on his shoulders, which is something that is important for a quarterback to want, responsibility.

With the addition of tight end Heat Miller and wider receiver Cedric Wilson I wouldn’t be surprised if Big Ben sets another record this coming season.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

June 1st cut

If their are any fans out there who are loyal to free safety Mike Logan, I hope you don’t get upset at what your about to read. Logan has pretty much become a backup safety and injuries have limited Logan’s playing time as well as his ability in coverage. With the way rookie Russell Stuvaints has been playing I would expect Logan to be a June first cut for sure.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Let the Battle Begin

When training camp roles around the best battle to watch will be between wide receivers Antwaan Randle El and recently singed from the 49ers, Cedric Wilson. The battle will be to replace Plaxico Burress as the starter on the outside.

Randle El had been the slot receiver for the past 3 seasons but the team has concerns about his durability. Then there is Wilson who has the speed to throw the long ball to and could fit well in the offensice scheme.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Still Number 1

The Steelers would like to extend the contract of their four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Hines Ward before the season gets under way. It would seem something of importance since the departure of other star wide out Plaxico Burress. Even with the addition of Cedrick Wilson, Ward still possesses the best blocking ability and maintains his status as the clutch-pass catcher.

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Choices we Make

In light of the injury to Browns tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., coach Bill Cowher warned quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about riding his motorcycle without a helmet. Roethlisberger, who rides a Harley, said he will continue to ride his bike, sans helmet, despite the risks. Cowher told Roethlisberger that life is about choices and consequences, and that football players have just a small window to reach their goals. He told his second-year quarterback to consider the options.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Drafting the Needs

from Foxsports.com
Tight end was the only spot where immediate help was needed, and the team addressed it by taking Heath Miller, the top player at that position. He is a skilled receiver who will gives QB Ben Roethlisberger another option in the middle of the field. Another receiving target was added in WR Fred Gibson. He needs to get stronger, but he has size, athleticism and the ability to create separation. . . .

CB Bryant McFadden is tough and aggressive and plays the run as well as the pass. He doesn't have to start this year and likely will be used in nickel and dime formations. Trai Essex is a natural left tackle, but the coaches think he can play every line position but center. G Chris Kemoeatu is a mauler who is a good fit for the Steelers' power running game. Essex and Kemoeatu will add depth to a unit that lost G Keydrick Vincent and RT Oliver Ross as free agents.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Targeting

from Foxsports.com
Though the team signed free-agent WR Cedrick Wilson, it wants to be able to go four deep at the position. Don't be surprised if the Steelers take Matt Jones of Arkansas, a converted quarterback. He's big and has the speed the Steelers desire at the X position opposite WR Hines Ward. Also, Pittsburgh has a history of using college quarterbacks at receiver: Kordell Stewart, Antwaan Randle El and even Ward.

If the team waits until the second or third round to find a tight end, big, athletic Kevin Everett of Miami will be a possibility. Cornerback is an area of need even though the Steelers are content with starters Deshea Townsend and Ricardo Colclough. Chad Scott's release leaves an opening for a top backup in the nickel or dime defense. The team would consider taking a cornerback in the first round if he were the highest rated player available. Michigan's Marlin Jackson is on the team's radar because he has the size (6-1, 198) and physical ability to be strong in run support.

The Steelers might not want to take a defensive end in the first round because they don't need immediate help there. But if USC's Shaun Cody slips to No. 30, the team will have to look at him as a possible replacement for von Oelhoffen in 2006. Cody would be a good fit for the team's 3-4 defense because he can play either end or tackle. Also look for the Steelers to draft an inside linebacker on the second day. After losing free agent Kendrell Bell, the team needs to add depth.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Back of the Bus

The Pittsburg Steelers will know before the draft, which is a couple of weeks from now, weather RB Jerome Bettis plans to play another season. Bettis was helpful enough earlier on when he restructured his contract to help put his team under the salary cap.

Although he took a pay cut don’t look for that to be the reason if Bettis doesn’t return. Bettis has sad publicly that his body has taken a beating and doesn’t know for sure if he will be back for the 2005 season.

Bettis also knows that if he was to return it would be as the number 2 running back behind Duce Staley, which was pretty much his job this past season. Bettis was sure to tell people that he accepted his position on the team and would do what was better for the team. Either way if Bettis stays or leaves, I wouldn’t still expect the Steelers to draft a running back of some sort.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Replacement

from Foxsports.com
The team was looking for speed at the receiver position formerly manned by Plaxico Burress, and that's what they got when they signed Cedrick Wilson of the 49ers in free agency. The X position is designed for big plays and deep passes and Wilson, who has been timed at 4.3, should be a good fit. He also fits the profile of the type of player the Steelers usually seek in free agency -- a person who is on the rise and still has his best seasons ahead of him. Wilson had 47 catches and 641 yards last season for the 49ers after being a sixth-round pick in 2001. He is nearly 7 inches shorter than Burress, an unrestricted free agent, but he has the speed to beat corners down the field. Plus, he should benefit from the attention given to four-time Pro Bowl receiver Hines Ward. Wilson will compete with Antwaan Randle El for the starting spot opposite Ward, but Randle El is better served as the third receiver in the slot. The coaches are concerned Randle El doesn't have the size and strength to survive at the X position.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Danger Zone

The Pittsburg Steelers have been firting with danger when it comes to cap relief. The near perfect season came at a price. Even high priced reciever Plaxico Burress has been let go and the Steelers were able to renegotiated the contracts of several players during the actual 2004 season, the Steelers are still only 100,000 dollars under the cap.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Steelers Needs'

from Foxsports.com
The Steelers will go into the 2005 season as a Super Bowl favorite because most of their key players return, especially eight of the nine who participated in the Pro Bowl. One of those who probably won't is RB Jerome Bettis, a late addition to the Pro Bowl. Bettis will not take a sizeable pay cut like he did before last season, especially after he led the team in rushing and posted seven 100-yard games. But the Steelers are committed to Duce Staley and feel they have a capable backup in Verron Haynes. The only loss that might hurt is WR Plaxico Burress, who is an unrestricted free agent, but the Steelers might put the franchise tag on him to keep him for one more season. G Keydrick Vincent, who has started 27 games the past two seasons, will probably leave as an unrestricted free agent, but he will be replaced by former No. 1 pick Kendall Simmons, who was the starter. . . .

If the Steelers decide not to re-sign ILB Kendrell Bell, who is an unrestricted free agent, they have several options on their roster to replace him. Larry Foote, who started all 18 games in 2004, will be the starter, but the team could move OLB James Harrison to the inside. Harrison is a lot like Bell -- an explosive player who is 245 pounds and loves contact. Harrison proved to be a disruptive player when he started four games at outside linebacker last season because of injuries. Harrison is not real tall (5-11), but he uses his strength and lower body to get good leverage on blockers. . . .

The team needs to make a decision on OLB Alonzo Jackson, their No. 2 pick in 2003. Jackson was drafted as a situational player, a third-down pass rusher, but he has not shown a consistent ability to do that and is usually deactivated for games. The Steelers should have the 260-pound Jackson do one of two things: Put on more weight and become a defensive end or lose weight to gain more quickness and learn how to play the run and drop in coverage.

Monday, February 07, 2005

The Bus out of Gas?

Questions, questions, and more questions arise about Bettis coming back for the 2005 season. A lot of people seem to be wondering what’s going to happen to Bettis. Will he be a factor next year? What will his role be on the team? Here are some statements from Bettis himself to help all you people wondering anyone of those things.
“It’s physical; it’s the physical nature of the game, if I can do it. People saw me at the end of the season and said he looks great. What people don’t understand is physically it takes a toll on you.”
“If I do come back next year and in week or two Duce goes down, can I muster it up for another 14 weeks? That’s the question I have to ask myself. The role has changed, but the expectation hasn’t. If I’m asked to step in there, can I continue what I was able to do this year? That’s what I have to ask myself.”

Sunday, January 30, 2005

What Happened?

Our team has been unrivaled so far this season with Big Ben on our side. However, that all changed when it counted. He was definatley not himself in the last couple of games. Perhaps it was the great amount of pressure put on him, or otherwise, but the fact of the matter is that he didn't perform to his potential. Once he learns to take his time and just play in highly stressful games, he won't hit the next level of the game. He will learn from experience, and all we can do is reflect and start at another run to the big game. Work hard and the off season, and there is no doubt in my mind we will go all the way next year.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

20-17....

I have to admit, it was looking bad for us last night more than once. The 2 possible game winning field goal attempts by the Jets, failed. It was a godsend that they didn't make them, but we have to take advantage of that. Although Roethlisberger played one of his worst games of the season, we manage to pull off the most important and stressful game of the season. It really goes to show that we have been "predetermined" to win by the Gods sitting on their little cloud. Lets hope the Steelers don't let us down, although I doubt they will. The Falcons, however, will be a tough opponent, and they will be especially tough, because we have had no prior knowledge from this season on how they play, because we have not played them. Lets make it 17-0 for us and Roethlisberger. GO STEELERS, BRING US BACK A SHINY RING!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

14 game streak, and living the highlife!

From sports.yahoo.com:
Willie Parker, Brian St. Pierre and James Harrison -- who are these guys, you might ask?

They represent the collection of Pittsburgh backups and scrubs that kept the Steelers' roll going, and ended the Buffalo Bills' playoff hopes, 29-24 Sunday.

``If there was a team that you could put up as a poster boy for a 53-man roster, it's us,'' said St. Pierre, the Steelers' third-string quarterback, who was activated off the practice squad Friday. ``It's special.''

And so are the Steelers, who didn't need Ben Roethlisberger, Jerome Bettis or a host of other starters to win their 14th straight to match the single-season record set by Miami in 1972. The Steelers also became just the fourth team in NFL history -- and first in the AFC -- to finish 15-1.

Parker, an undrafted rookie free agent, had 102 yards rushing, including a 58-yarder that set up Jeff Reed's 37-year field goal, Pittsburgh's go-ahead score.

And then there was Harrison, the backup linebacker, who returned a fumble 18 yards for a touchdown to seal the victory.

``It says a lot about the backups and the character of this team,'' Harrison said. ``It's a sense of pride. You don't want to lose to anybody.''

The Steelers, who had clinched home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, knocked off a Bills team that was among the hottest in the league. Buffalo had a chance to earn its first playoff berth since 1999.

``Pretty angry. ... I'm a little bit in shock,'' said red-eyed quarterback, Drew Bledsoe. ``The bottom line is if we can't beat them with their backups on the field, then we probably don't deserve to be in.''

The Bills (9-7), who had overcome an 0-4 start, had a six-game win streak snapped. Their loss automatically put the New York Jets in.

``It's rough,'' left tackle Jonas Jennings said. ``Everything was set up for us and ... we had to come out and handle our business and we came up short.''

Buffalo made it close when Willis McGahee scored his second touchdown of the game on a 1-yard plunge with 78 seconds left. But the Bills failed on an onside kick when Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor smothered the ball.

The Bills looked nothing like a team that outscored its opponents 228-89 in its previous six games.

Buffalo managed just 267 yards, with seven three-and-outs. And the defense couldn't get the Steelers off the field, losing the time-of-possession battle by more than 11 minutes.

The game turned late in the third quarter after Buffalo's Rian Lindell missed wide right on a 28-yard field goal that left the Bills clinging to a 17-16 lead.

The Steelers responded with 10 points in an 85-second span at the start of the fourth quarter.

Following Reed's field goal, Bledsoe was blind-sided by rookie cornerback Ricardo Colclough, who forced a fumble that fell directly into Harrison's hands.

The Bills went three-and-out on their next possession and the Steelers then ate up nearly nine minutes with a 14-play, 46-yard drive helped by two defensive penalties. It was capped with a 33-yard field goal by Reed, who kicked five.

St. Pierre extended the drive with a 2-yard bootleg on fourth-and-1 at the Bills 37.

Antwaan Randle El also scored on a 16-yard Maddox pass.

``15 and 1, baby!'' Steelers running back Duce Staley yelled as he headed to the locker room.

Roethlisberger was bubbling following the performance.

``I told someone, `If I'm dreaming, I don't want to wake up because I want to keep this going,''' Roethlisberger said. ``What's so special about this team is everyone is selfless.''

The Steelers have two weeks to await their next opponent. The Bills have a long offseason to ponder what went wrong.

``It's frustrating because I want more for this organization, especially the fans,'' said receiver Eric Moulds. ``I feel like they deserve more than what we showed today.''

Bills' owner Ralph Wilson remained upbeat.

``We had a bad day and it didn't work out,'' Wilson said. ``I'm really looking forward to next year, because we have something to build on.''

This really goes to show, that although Roethlisberger is the best offensive rookie of the year, we can win without his tremendous playing ability. The second string really showed there stuff today, and proved that just because they don't get the playing time, they are still very effective. Keep the streak alive through the playoffs you guys. GO STEELERS!