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Steelers vs. Lions: Key match-ups

October 11, 2009 By: Admin Category: Pre-Game Analyses

Today, the Steelers travel to Ford Field in Detroit Michigan for a home game against the Detroit Lions.  That’s right, I said a home game.  Steeler Nation always travels well, but with Detroit being within easy driving distance from Pittsburgh, I expect to see a sea of black and gold in the audience today, making it feel like a home game for the Steelers.

Those who make the trip are likely to see a good show by the Steelers who are favored in today’s game.

Here is a look at some of the key match-ups that may determine the outcome of the game.

Ike Taylor vs. Calvin Johnson
This is the most obvious, and perhaps the most interesting match-up of the game.  Calvin Johnson is the Lions’ best player.  He is one of the most dangerous wide receivers in the NFL.  However, the Steelers’ Ike Taylor is one of the best cornerbacks in the NFL.  Taylor relishes the opportunity to face the league’s best receiver.  He has been anxiously awaiting this opportunity to go against Johnson.

Calvin Johnson’s size and speed gives him an advantage over most cornerbacks in the NFL.  Ike Taylor is not one of them.  Advantage - Neither.

LB LaMarr Woodley vs. RT Gosder Cherilus
By now, everyone knows that LaMarr Woodley has no sacks this season.  I’m sure that this doesn’t sit well with Woodley.  He would probably love to change this statistic right here in Michigan, where he starred in college at the University of Michigan.

Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley

Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley

The job of stopping Woodley falls to Lions right tackle Gosder Cherilus.  Personally, I don’t think Woodley will be sack-less after today.  Advantage - Steelers.

Dick LeBeau vs. Larry Foote
Many sportswriters have made former Steeler Larry Foote’s presence on the Lions a storyline for this game.  They say that Foote has probably shared all of the Steelers defensive signals and tendencies with his new Lions teammates.  If that is the case, it will be up to Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau to change things up a bit to compensate for anything that Foote may have shared.

Dick LeBeau is such a brilliant strategist that I don’t think that anything that Larry Foote may have shared will have any impact on the game.  Advantage - Steelers.

Rashard Mendenhall vs. Willie Parker
Perhaps the most exciting match-up of the game will be an internal struggle.

After last week’s 165 yard outburst, many Steelers fans were ready to hand Rashard Mendenhall the starting role.  Of course, that was a silly notion.  You don’t replace a multi-time Pro Bowl player with an unproven upstart after only one good game.  This is even more true when the young upstart has also has a history of fumbling the ball.

Willie Parker is still injured, so Mendenhall will get his second consecutive start.  Should Rashard Mendenhall have another 100+ yard performance, and run hard between the tackles like he did last week, then the conversation will gain legitimacy.  It will still be too soon to anoint Mendenhall as the next great Steelers running back, but the conversation will definitely become much more interesting.  Advantage - We shall see.


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Keyaron Fox to host event in Atlanta

July 17, 2009 By: Admin Category: Players

Everyone knows that the Pittsburgh Steelers are champions on the field.  What many don’t know is how many of the players are champions off the field.  One of those players is linebacker and special teams ace Keyaron Fox.

Fox has launched the Keyaron Fox Foundation with the goal of facilitating fundraising efforts to impact inner city parks and recreational initiatives, youth recreational leagues, and intramural organizations.  Fox hopes to increase awareness of the need for additional funds to maintain parks & recreational property and equipment.  Fox wants to make sure that the next generation of kids has the same opportunities to play sports that he had.

“With all the attention that winning the Super Bowl has brought in this past year, I could not think of a better time to launch the Keyaron Fox Foundation and begin to start raising awareness of the funding needs of our local parks and recreational facilities.  These parks and recreational facilities are touching the youth in our communities 365 days a year”, said Fox.

Fox, who was born and raised in Atlanta and attended college at Georgia Tech, chose his hometown to host his first event.

Keyaron fox2

On July 25, 2009, Fox will host the “Will of Steel” community day at Atlanta’s Welcome All Park.  The event will feature the “Iron and Steel” sports athletic clinic, followed by the “Keyaron Cares” family fun day.

The “Iron and Steel” sports athletic clinic will feature NFL players like current Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward and Arnold Harrison, and former Steeler Anthony Smith.  Other NFL players who will be present include Calvin Johnson of the Detroit Lions, Tashard Choice of the Dallas Cowboys, Takeo Spikes of the San Francisco 49ers, Darryl Smith of the Jacksonville Jaguars, James Butler of the St. Louis Rams, Gerris Wilkerson of the New York Giants, and Deon Grant of the Seattle Seahawks.

The “Keyaron Cares” family fun day will include interactive games, vendors, animals, live performances, autograph signings by professional athletes and recording artists, a special And-1 street ball and dunk exhibition, health screenings and much more.

The event is free of charge.  For more information about the event, or to register your 8-13 year old boy or girl for the athletic clinic,  please go to  The deadline for registration for the athletic clinic is July 20, 2009.

Besides working on his foundation, Fox is also looking forward to the upcoming season with the world champion Pittsburgh Steelers.  “Last year was an amazing year for our organization.  I’m very excited that they brought me back to compete for another championship with this great organization.  Black and Gold is a beautiful thing, and I will proudly wear those colors again this season”.

“The whole team worked so hard last year, and I know that we’ve all been training and really trying to keep that chip on our shoulders going into training camp and next season, myself included.  You always want to do better than the previous season, personally and as a team”.

Well Keyaron, I’m sure that Steeler Nation appreciates your desire to do even better than the team did last year.  However, I don’t think you have to put so much pressure on yourself.  Merely doing AS WELL as you did last year and winning another Super Bowl will probably make most fans happy.  See, no pressure.

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