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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Four with Steelers ties reach semifinals

Rod Woodson, Kevin Greene, Dermontti Dawson and Russ Grimm are among the 25 semifinalists being considered for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

Of that group, this is Woodson's first year of eligibility.

Woodson is considered a shoe-in for induction, while the others have been up for vote in the past and come up short.

To me, Woodson, Dawson and Grimm should all be easy choices.

Woodson was a game-changing cornerback for the Steelers before switching to safety later in his career and excelling at that as well.

Dawson was the most dominant center - and possibly lineman - of his era.

And Grimm was a cornerstone for the Redskins' Hogs of their Super Bowl teams in the '80s before going into coaching.

Greene is among the league's all-time sack leaders, but was perhaps too one-dimensional in my opinion to be a sure-fire Hall of Fame player.

That one dimension was pretty good, but he was a liability in coverage. When he was with the Steelers, he wasn't even the best defensive player on his team, ranking behind Woodson, Greg Lloyd, Levon Kirkland and Carnell Lake in the pecking order - in my opinion.

© The Steelers should get Bryant McFadden back this week against the Patriots, while Willie Parker is questionable to play.

Deshea Townsend and Brett Keisel are definitely out, as is Marvel Smith.

© Mike Tomlin didn't exactly give Mitch Berger a ringing endorsement today when asked why the team chose to re-sign him, saying it came down more to continuity at holder for Jeff Reed.

That's what I've been saying about the signing. But even a hobbled Berger has to be better than Paul Ernster was in the two games he replaced Berger in.

Berger has had nearly a month since he last kicked, so his injured hamstring should be better.


Anonymous said...

Is Tomlin's wording of Keisel missing this week, and a few more weeks, his way of waying he's out for the season?
I'd heard 4 weeks which is basically the regular season but when I read MCL I wondered if it was probably season ending?

Patrick said...

if Kiesel's season was over they would have made the IR move by now and tried to pick up some help. Theres injuries game to be played, but you gain nothing by delaying an inevitable trip the IR.

I say that, but that seems to be what they are doing with M. Smith, so who knows. But I think Kiesel will be fine in a month.

I hope McFadden is back, you are going to see 3-4 wide the entire game with 3 and 5 step drops and quick slants. Need to be physical with the corners and not let them get in front of the DB's face on the slants. Cassell might throw 50 times in this game if given the chance. The Steelers need to sack him and control the ball on offense to throw off the Patriots whole game plan. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening with this offense.

If the Steelers win this game , its going to be as ugly as some of the other victories. But a win is a win.

And Rod Woodson was an incredible athlete and football player. Should easily be a first ballot guy.

Dale Lolley said...

Tomlin said today on Sirius that he's hoping for plenty of snow. He may get his wish.
Keisel is two weeks for sure, four at most. So no, that's not season-ending since they have five left in the regular season.

Ben said...

Has Matt Cassel ever played a game in the snow? Shut down their nearly-non-existant running game and force him to make plays. I think if we do that, the Steelers have a good shot at winning.

Still, I wish we had Jerome for a game like this. A power running game in terrible weather epitomizes smashmouth, Steeler football. Rewatch the Bears game in '05 if you need any convincing.

Without Willie, this game will be on Ben's shoulders. I have no doubt that he's an elite QB with the skills to dominate a secondary like New England's. But more than that, he's a tough, football player. I hope we see more first down and touchdown runs from Big Ben this week.

As for the HOF:

Woodson is a lock, and that goes without saying. One of the greatest corners of all time.

Dirt, as you've pointed out before, was everything you could ask for in an NFL player -- and more. An absolutely dominant center, as Tomlin would say, his resume speaks for itself. But more than that, he was (and is) a great guy off the field. How this guy isn't a lock for the Hall of Fame is beyond me. I'm getting tired of the lack of Steelers being added to the Hall. They're being penalized for their history of success at this point.

I have to think that Kevin Greene, had he played defensive end exclusively, would be a lock as well. There's no way you can keep a DE with a 15 year career and 160 sacks out of the HOF. It seems like his incredible pass-rushing skills have been overshadowed by his lack of coverage skills.

Sorry for the incredibly long post. It didn't start out that way.

Dale Lolley said...

No problem. That's what this is for.