Steelers Today - A Pittsburgh Steelers blog


Archive for the ‘Players’

I hate Tom Brady!

October 28, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players, Pre-Game Analyses

To paraphrase the Apollo 13 astronauts, “Pittsburgh, we have a problem”.

Our problems is 6’4″, weighs 225 lbs., and goes by the name “Brady”.

That’s right, I’m talking about Tom Brady.  You know him, don’t you?  He’s the pesky New England Patriots quarterback who has an annoying habit of beating the Steelers.

I once wrote an article called I hate Bill Belichick“.  That article was the inspiration for this one.  You see, I do hate Tom Brady.  Hate, hate, hate!

I’ve never actually met Tom Brady.  He’s never caused me physical harm.  He’s never insulted my mother.  I’ve never heard him refer to anyone using a racial slur.  He doesn’t kill kittens or puppies.  As far as I know, he’s a decent guy.  But I still hate him.

The reason that I hate Tom Brady has nothing to do with anything that he’s done to me personally.  Rather, it’s based on what he does to my beloved Pittsburgh Steelers; he beats them.

Tom Brady is 6-1 against the Steelers.  That means he’s beaten them 86% of the time.  $#@&^%#!!!!!!!!

Brady has beaten the Steelers in New England.  And he’s beaten them in Pittsburgh.  He’s beaten them in the regular season.  And he’s beaten them in the playoffs.

The guy I hate.

Brady has thrown for over 2,000 yards against the Steelers.  He’s tossed 14 touchdown passes against them.  And while throwing all of those passes, he’s seldom been sacked or intercepted.  See why I hate him?

The last time the Steelers faced the Patriots, Brady threw for 350 yards.  He tossed 3 touchdown passes during that game, and he ran for a 4th TD.  Grrrrrrr!!!  I’m getting mad just thinking about it.

As much as it hurts to admit it, Tom Brady is one of the most cerebral quarterbacks in the NFL.  He dissects defenses the way high school biology students dissect frogs.

Under Brady’s leadership, the Patriots have scored 30 points or more in 13 of their last 14 games.  The Patriots are ranked 1st in the NFL in passing offense, averaging over 350 yards per game.  So I’m sure that it’s not just Steelers fans who hate Brady.

But it’s the Steelers who have to face Brady this weekend, so our hatred probably runs deepest right now.

I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I’ve come up with the only logical solution to the problem.  Tom Brady must die!

Now where did I put my friend Vito’s telephone number?  He’ll handle this problem quietly, and permanently.

Go Steelers!


Goodbye Aaron Smith

October 22, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players

The Steelers placed defensive end Aaron Smith on injured reserve today, ending his 2011 season.

If that sounds like deja vu, it should.  This is the third consecutive year that Smith has played less than half of the season.  His season ended last year after only 6 games, and he was placed on injured reserve in 2009 after only 5 games.

While the team only announced that Smith was being placed on IR, they may as well have announced his retirement.  Smith will be 36 years old next season, and it’s highly unlikely that the Steelers will re-sign a 36 year old player who has missed more than half of the season for 3 consecutive years.

Smith was probably the top 3-4 defensive end in the NFL for quite a few years.  It’s unfortunate that the Steelers don’t ask their defensive ends to get sacks.  Smith’s lack of sacks probably kept him out of several Pro Bowls.  But despite his lack of national recognition, Steelers’ coaches and fans all recognized Smith’s contributions.

Steelers DE Aaron Smith

It’s always sad to see a Steelers veteran go.  Especially one who has been as dependable as Smith has.  But time waits for no man.

Backup defensive end Ziggy Hood is ready to man the position for the next decade or so.  Hood was called upon to start last season when Smith was placed on IR, and he did a stellar job of holding down the position.  More recently, Hood has done an excellent job since Smith got injured this year.

I’ll miss Aaron Smith.  He was a great player, and a great person.  I remember how Steelers fans rallied behind Smith when it was discovered that his son had leukemia.  Despite his personal challenges, Smith always carried himself with class and dignity.  He was the epitome of a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Goodbye, Aaron.  Steeler Nation salutes you.

Is it Hines’ time?

October 20, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players

The Pittsburgh Steelers have wrestled with the question of age for several seasons.  The majority of the starting players on their defensive front 7 are over 30 years old.

Aaron Smith, Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, James Farrior, and James Harrison are all closer to the end of their careers than either fans, or apparently the Steelers’ coaches, seem to want to admit.  The same is true for Troy Polamalu and Ryan Clark.  And key backup players like Chris Hoke and Larry Foote, aren’t spring chickens either.

We’ve all heard the cries for more youth on the defense.  But what I haven’t heard very much is cries for youth on the offense.  Specifically at wide receiver.

The Steelers have a talented group of young wide receivers who have given fans reason to believe that the team’s future at the position is bright.

Mike Wallace is already the team’s top receiver, and he’s also emerged as one of the most dangerous receiving threats in the NFL.  Wallace will lead the Steelers’ receiving corps for years to come.

Second year receivers Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders are dynamic playmakers.  They both have speed to burn, and are proving to coaches that they deserve more playing time.

Antonio Brown has caught 18 passes for 262 yards through 6 games.  He’s averaging 14.6 yards per catch.  Emmanuel Sanders has caught 8 passes for 127 yards, and is averaging 15.9 yards per catch.

Hines Ward is the veteran of the receiving corp.  He’s 35 years old, and in his 14th season in the NFL.  More importantly, Ward is the Steelers’ all-time receptions leader, and he’s one of the most beloved players in Steelers’ history.

And therein lies the problem.  Fans love Hines.  Coaches love Hines.  Players love Hines.  Nobody want to be the one to disrespect Hines.

But at this point in his career, Hines Ward is no longer the player he once was.  Ward was never a fast player.  But at 35 years old, Hines is just plain slow.  He still has great hands, but he can’t really get separation from defenders.

Ward is still targeted routinely by Big Ben.  In fact, only Mike Wallace has more receptions than Ward.  However, Ward has the lowest yards per catch of the 4 primary wide receivers.  Antonio Brown has fewer catches than Ward, but he has more yards.  And Emmanuel Sanders is averaging over 5 yards more per catch than Ward.  Do you know how much 5 extra yards per catch would help the Steelers?

Sanders excels as a possession receiver, just like Ward.  The difference is that he’s much faster.  So he can get to the spot faster than Ward.  The same is true for Antonio Brown.  If the Steelers played Wallace, Brown, and Sanders, they’d have a trio of speedy receivers who could blow the top off of any defense.  That would open up things for the running game, and it would allow Heath Miller to run free underneath.  Or it would simply allow Big Ben to pick his target as he launches bomb after bomb over the top of the defense.

None of that can happen with Ward in the lineup.  But I believe that both coaches and fans are willing to accept the status quo out of respect for Ward, and in appreciation for the contribution that he’s made over the years.

It’s hard to say goodbye to star players.  Just think about when Jerome Bettis was no longer good enough to start.  Or Franco Harris.  Or John Stallworth.  or Louis Lipps.  Nobody wanted to see them go.  But for the good of the team, we knew that the time had come.

I love Hines Ward.  He’s still probably the best blocking receiver in the NFL.  But he’s no longer an elite wide receiver in the NFL.  Moreover, he’s not going to be able to hold Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders off for much longer.

Respect keep Hines on the field for now.  But pretty soon, the raw talent of Brown and Sanders is going to trump respect.  And that’s going to be a hard day for fans and coaches alike.  But that day is coming.  And it’s coming soon.

Maybe it’s already here.

The Beard debuts in commercial

October 17, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players

I love the way Head & Shoulders shampoo has used Troy P0lamalu as their spokesman.

In this commercial, they bring a few other Steelers players into the action.  Enjoy!

Steelers sign Starks

October 05, 2011 By: Admin Category: Players

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed one of their former players, Max Starks, to help fix their horrid offensive line.

Starks spent 7 years with the Steelers, and has experience playing both the right and left tackle positions.  Starks had started in 79 games for the Steelers before being cut before this year’s training camp.

Starks sustained a neck injury in 2010 that forced him to miss the second half of the season.  The injury also prevented him from working out.  So when Starks reported for training camp, he was out of shape, and weighed over 400 lbs.  The Steelers released him immediately, without even allowing him to try to work himself into shape during training camp.

Since that time, Starks has been working out, and has lost over 60 lbs.  He’s now closer to his listed weight of 345 lbs., but it’s unclear how good his cardio is.

I suppose the Steelers felt anything is better than what they’ve been getting from their offensive line.  Frankly, I wouldn’t have been surprised if they had made calls to Tunch Ilkin, Jon Kolb, Craig Wolfley, or Larry Brown.  Any of them could probably do better than what the Steelers have been getting from their current offensive linemen.

Interestingly, the Steelers have not re-signed Flozell Adams.  Aside from Maurkice Pouncey, Adams was probably their most consistent offensive lineman last year.  The Steelers released Adams when Willie Colon returned from his injury because Adams wasn’t willing to take a pay cut to serve as a backup.  But the way the Steelers offensive line has been playing, Adams would be a welcome addition.

To make room for Starks, the Steelers waived Chris Scott.  Scott rarely makes it onto the field anyway, so that’s no great loss.

(If you enjoyed this article, please consider leaving a comment by clicking on the bubble at the bottom of this article. Also, please subscribe to our blog by pressing the orange button below. You can also follow us on Twitter by clicking the bird doohicky below. Also consider following us on Facebook. Thanks.)

Subscribe in a reader

Top                NFL Fan Sites