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Steelers (Barely) Beat Colts

September 26, 2011 By: Admin Category: Post-Game Reports

When the game was over, the scoreboard showed a win.  But just barely.

The Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 23-20, in a game that wasn’t supposed to be that close.

The Colts were without their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.  That alone, put them at a significant disadvantage coming into the game.  No other team relies on one player the way the Colts depend on Manning.  Without him, the Colts’ season was supposed to be a hopeless cause.

Not only was Manning out, but the Colts were without several other starters as well.  Moreover, the Colts were forced to bring in 90 year old quarterback Kerry Collins to replace Manning right before the start of the season.  Nobody expected Collins to even come close to being able to carry the team in Manning’s absence.

And then, to make a hopeless situation seem even more futile, Collins had to leave the game with a concussion, and somebody named  Curtis Painter (who?) had to play quarterback for the Colts.

Curtis Painter gets sacked.

Had this scenario been described to most fans prior to the game, they would have likely predicted a 54-0 win by the Steelers.  But that’s not what happened.

Despite being short-handed, the Colts hung with the Steelers to the very end.  In fact, they led the Steelers 13-10 at the beginning of the 4th quarter.

Somebody forgot to tell the Colts’ defense that they had no hope of winning the game.  They pressured Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger all night.  They sacked him, intercepted his passes, and forced him to fumble the ball.

More importantly, the Colts’ defensive line beat up the Steelers’ offensive line the way Ike Turner beat Tina Turner.  Dwight Freeney made Jonathan Scott look like an abuse victim.  He beat him more ways than I thought were possible.  At times, I thought Scott was wearing a pair of roller skates.  Freeney had him moving backwards so fast, Scott had to be on wheels.  In fact, Scott was moving backwards so fast at times that I’m certain it defied the laws of physics.

Rashard Mendenhall also got completely humbled in the game.  The futility that he experienced running the ball was probably partially due to the ineffectiveness of the offensive line.  Nevertheless, it would have been nice to see Mendenhall run for more than one yard on most of his carries.

Mewelde Moore seemed to be much more effective running the ball when he came into the game.  And he was running behind the same offensive line that Mendenhall did.  In fact, by the time they started using Moore, the O-line was already depleted.  So Mewelde’s performance seems even more impressive as compared to Mendenhall’s.

Despite their struggles, the Steelers were able to squeeze out a win.  Kicker Shaun Suisham booted a field goal with 8 seconds left in the game to give the Steelers a 3 point victory.

The Steelers are now 2-1.  On paper, that sounds good.  But anyone who watched that game knows that the Steelers just barely won, and things are far from good.

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Who is Jonathan Scott?

September 16, 2010 By: Admin Category: Players

That’s the question that will be on the minds of Steeler Nation this Sunday when the Steelers take on the Tennessee Titans.

Starting left tackle Max Starks suffered an ankle sprain during last week’s game against the Atlanta Falcons.  The sprain still seems to be giving Starks problems, so it is likely that Jonathan Scott will get the start.  Which is why many fans are asking “Who is Jonathan Scott?”

Scott is new to the Steelers, though he is not new to the NFL.  He’s actually a 4-year veteran who has been in the NFL since 2006.

Scott played his college football at Texas (Casey Hampton, Tony Hills, and injured WR Limas Sweed are also Texas alumni).  He was drafted in the 5th round (141st overall) of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions.  He spent two seasons with the Lions where he never quite broke into the starting line-up.  He came close several times, but each time it looked like he might be on the verge of becoming a starter, he got sidetracked by injuries.  The Lions finally tired of Scott’s constant injuries, and they released him at the end of training camp in 2008.

In December of 2008, Scott was signed as a free agent by the Buffalo Bills.  He spent 2008 & 2009 with the Bills.  He didn’t play in any games in 2008, but in 2009 he started 8 games as the Bills’ offensive line was hit with a rash of injuries.  Scott missed several games that season himself due to recurring ankle injuries.

The Steelers signed Scott as a free agent during the off-season.  Because of his constant injuries, there is not a lot of game film out there on Scott.  However, the biggest testimonial to his potential is that Sean Kugler, the Steelers’ new offensive line coach, wanted to sign Scott.  Kugler was his offensive line coach in Buffalo.  Kugler knows Scott very well, and he knows exactly what he is capable of.  Since Kugler wanted to make a good impression with his new employer (the Pittsburgh Steelers), it is doubtful that he would have recommended signing a player that he didn’t believe would make him look good.

Steelers OT Jonathan Scott

For what it is worth, Scott has always been viewed as a player with a lot of potential.  He is big (6’6″, 318 lbs), and very athletic.  That is a good start for an offensive tackle.  However, it seems that each time he starts to establish himself, he gets sidetracked by injuries.

It is interesting that the Steelers are calling on Scott to replace Max Starks rather than fellow Texas alumni Tony Hills.  Hills has been with the Steelers longer, and is more familiar with their offense.  However, Hills started off poorly with the Steelers.  Last year he was routinely destroyed in training camp.  He was so bad that I gave him the nickname “Neo“.  But he looked much better this year, and he ended up making the Steelers’ final 53-man roster.

Despite his improvement, it is obvious that the Steelers feel more confident in Scott than they do in Hills.  So Scott is the replacement for Max Starks.

This Sunday, Steeler Nation will find out “Who is Jonathan Scott”.  I hope we like the answer.


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Steelers make moves

March 09, 2010 By: Admin Category: Draft/Free Agency

The Steelers were unusually active early in free agency on Monday.  Ordinarily, the Steelers sit out the first several weeks of free agency, and then after the dust settles, they come in and scoop up a few of the leftovers.

But that was not the Steelers’ approach yesterday.  Instead, the team made some early moves that probably surprised most fans.

The most important of those moves was re-signing safety Ryan Clark.  This was a move that I have been calling for, so I was very happy to see it happen.

The team gave Clark a new 4-year, $14 million dollar contract.  Clark had visited with the Miami Dolphins, but after a few days of free agency, I guess his agent determined that the offer that the Steelers had on the table was a fair one.

Steelers safety Ryan Clark

Even more surprising than the Clark signing was the announcement that the team has reached an agreement with former Steelers receiver and return man Antwaan Randle El.  I certainly didn’t see that one coming.

Randle El was the Redskins’ second leading receiver last year, but he never lived up to the contract they gave him.  He was one of the best return men in recent Steelers history.  However, with the season that Stefan Logan had, combined with the fact that Joe Burnett and Mike Wallace were both very good return men in college, i never expected to see the team bring him back.

But bring him back they did.  Randle El is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today to sign what is reported to be a 3-year deal.

In addition to players who have previously worn the black and gold, the Steelers also signed two newcomers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers safety Will Allen and San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Arnaz Battle were also signed to 3-year contracts on Monday.  Both players will strengthen special teams, as well as add depth at their respective positions.

Apparently, the Steelers still aren’t done.  Former Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Jonathan Scott is scheduled to be in Pittsburgh today, and it is believed that he is also prepared to join the Steelers.  If he signs with the Steelers, he will be re-united with Sean Kugler, his position coach from the Buffalo Bills.

As if all of that activity weren’t enough, the Steelers have also contacted former Steelers linebacker Larry Foote about rejoining the team.  Foote voluntarily left the team after the 2008 season because he wanted an opportunity to be a starter.  But after playing one year in Detroit, he may be willing to reconsider that stance.

Monday was definitely the single busiest day of free agent signings that I can remember in Steelers history.  And they many not be done yet.  I guess missing the playoffs was the wake up call that the Steelers needed.


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