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Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tuesday news and notes

Media day has finally ended for me as I've filed my stories for the day and filled in with Bill Hillgrove on a radio show on 104.7-FM.

Media day wasn't nearly as crazy as the first three that I've covered. I attribute that to the weather.

Many of the bozos who would have normally attended this function probably didn't make it in thanks to the four inches of ice on all the roads here in northern Texas.

That allowed for a little more nugget digging from those of us who were actually there to, you know, be actual media members.

I spoke to both Trai Essex and Dorian Brooks about the Steelers' backup plan at center if Doug Legursky is pushed into the starting lineup thanks to the injury to Maurkice Pouncey.

The snaps that Essex took at center last week were the first snaps he's taken there all season - which isn't promising.

Brooks hasn't really played the position, either. Remember, he was a college guard that the Steelers decided to move to center.

At this point, if Legursky has to start, it appears the Steelers feel more confident using Essex at center, than Brooks.

They'll go with a player who at least has some NFL experience rather than throwing a undrafted rookie out there for his first game on the world's biggest stage.

© I also spoke with Aaron Smith, who will have an MRI Wednesday to see if he's healed enough to possibly play in the Super Bowl.

Smith said even if he doesn't play, he hopes to play another year or two.

He also seemed to be resigned to the fact that he probably won't play.

© Note to Peter King: The difference between a couple of dozen Steelers not having Ben Roethlisberger's back and a couple of dozen NFL players from around the league is a chasm as big as the Grand Canyon.

Just sayin'


Robbie said...

I'm tired of hearing about B.J. Raji. Yo, unless you're a Boston College fan, a Green Bay fan or a draftnik, you never heard of the guy until that pick-six against the Bears. Now all of a sudden he's supposed to be Joe Greene, Reggie White and Warren Sapp rolled into one, and the Steelers don't stand a chance because Legursky will spend the entire game flat on his back? Child please.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me the Packer player's are a little too loose heading into a football game. They are in for a rude awakening come game time. Hit them in the mouth black 'n gold!


Ron in Michigan said...

Phuk Peter King!

He's a Guttersnipe!

Anonymous said...

I don't get the level of all the Raji love either.

Don't get me wrong, he's the goods. Nice player, lets them do a few things that other players wouldn't, etc....but the Packers defense was still pretty middling vs. the run(18th) with "the Round Mound of Rebound" manning their nose.

I get it...he and Pickett allow them to run that 2-4-5 front, blah, blah, blah. Seems to me that they can still be run on.

Mendenhall was having a field day running to his right behind False Start last week. I hope they keep abusing that until a team takes it away from them. Unless Raji's going to line up at LDE, I don't know that he can do much to inhibit that.

Run Mendenhall off the edges(right friggin' AT Clay Matthews...make that mullet tackle for a change rather than just blitz) and attack the middle of their defense with Miller/guys from the slot. That will go a long, long way towards mitigating B.J. Raji AND their two starting CBs.

Dale Lolley said...

If the Packers line up in a 2-4-5, the Steelers are going to run on them all day. Bet the house on it.

Steve-O said...

Lets keep a little perspective shall we? Its media hype week and the silliness that comes with it is just part of the routine. Raji had a nice interception return for a TD last week (for a fat man) so this week he's a celebrity. On the Steelers side of the field their all wearing Troy Polamalu wigs and poking fun at it all. So what? Come game time we'll see whose the real deal... And yes, everyone seems loose and carefree but I'm willing to bet the pressure increases as the weekend arrives and come Sunday the Packers will be tight as a drum while the veteran Steelers will be a little more relaxed.

Greg Mercer said...

i also think the Packers will come out tight on Sunday. I love Tomlin's approach to the game versus McCarthy's. The Superbowl is not just another game, and that reality will hit Green Bay like a ton of bricks come kickoff.

The Steelers should have an opportunity to open an early lead because of this. Let's hope they cash in with TDs instead of FGs.

joe said...

essex backup center and backup left tackle ? this is what i wondered the other day about ir'ing smith. even if it is a practice squad olinemen, it's a body.

dale do you talk to ron cook ? tell him his article on jh is terrible. that's being polite

greg lloyd got knocked on his rear end two plays in a row in his first super bowl, that never happened in the regular season. look for some packers to have the same problem starting the game sunday. we need to take advantage

marc said...

lining up raji over flozell is not so crazy. the ravens lined up ngata on that side to try to slow down the steelers running game in their second meeting. mendy had 19 carries for 45 yards in that game. don't be surprised to see the packers try the same thing.

and i don't know why everyone expects the pack to come out tight. they are a six seed with nothing to lose. i expect them to take shots downfield early to test the DB's.

both teams will also look to capitalize on the TE's.

Anonymous said...

"and i don't know why everyone expects the pack to come out tight. they are a six seed with nothing to lose. i expect them to take shots downfield early to test the DB's."

The Steelers were the six seed with nothing to lose in 05 and yet they looked pretty tight. Even Hines and Ben admitted they really felt nervous. I also thought the Cardinals looked tight while the Steelers looked loose when they played. I expect the same thing this time (Steelers loose, Packers tight and nervous) at least to begin with.

joe said...

the seed is meaningless at this point. packers are even favored. hines said he puked for the first time in his career before the 05 sb. lloyd said his legs were so wobbly he could hardly stand up. hoping for the pack to be a bit nervous at the start sunday too

Darren said...

Dale, whenever you talk to a Packer, try to build up just how enormously HUGE this game is to put a little more pressure on them. Also keep mentioning how they are favored.

Vaflyer said...

Couple of things:

1. Dale, Can you let Hampton know that he is the 2nd best nose tackle playing in this game.

2. If I hear one more time how Aaron Rodgers will join the elite QBs in the league with a win (not taking anything away from the kid, he is a very good QB), but Ben wins his 3rd and won't be, I may just throw up.

3. Please don't make me have to hear one more time about how great the Packers secondary is and how their team speed is going to be hard for us to contain.

4. Please let James Harrison know that he can't hold the jock strap for Clay Matthews cause he is SOOOO good. I mean Clay's 54 solo tackles, 6 assisted tackles, and 13.5 sacks is WAY better than James with 70 solo tackles, 30 assisted tackles and 10.5 sacks.

Vaflyer said...

Sorry Dale, one last thing. Can we please find a way to remind Mike Wallace that he sucks compared to Greg Jennings. Please let him know that those 16 extra catches with 25 extra targets and 2 extra TDs makes him a world beater, but Mike is just really, really young.

Of course who knows what kind of numbers Mike might have been able to put up if he had a world class QB throwing to him. Those 8 let yards his has...the 7 100 yard games compared to Jennings having 5. But year, we don't have any speed....

Sorry, I keep telling myself not to watch the news or listen to these dorks on ESPN, but every time I go to the gym someone has it on. I just can't take it any more.

B D Humbert said...


Really surprised you and the rest of the media seem so willing to give that hack Peter King a pass...

What he did was immoral - unethical and irresponsible - and you real medi guys should be up in arms

King has a vote for the HOF and is a total self promoting hack.

I also think that Goodell was wrong for even discussing this with King - but he seems to be skating on this too,,

Anonymous said...

"and i don't know why everyone expects the pack to come out tight."

because they have no SB experience.

"both teams will also look to capitalize on the TE's."

not Green Bay, do you watch football? Finley is out, Quarless hasnt caught many passes. so much fail in you

marc said...

get a clue anonymous.

if the pack comes out tight, it's their own fault. it doesn't matter if they are favored to win or they are playing a veteran team. the fact remains they are the most injured team in the league who made it to the super bowl. they have nothing to lose and everything to gain and that is the mentality they should have.

regarding quarless, he routinely splits out in their 4 wide set which will cause a matchup problem for the steelers because of his size and the fact he is also pretty good. remember what the patriot's TE's did to the steelers?

get a clue jackoff.

B D Humbert said...

Really tired of the most injured team whining - Steeler have suffered just as many CRITICAL personel loses and you never hear them using it as an excuse.

Next Man UP!!!!!

marc said...

i'm not using it as an excuse the packer's should be making. but, rather, it's a reason they should not be intimidated or overly nervous about playing in the super bowl.

Greg Mercer said...

what did Harrison say that wasn't true?

i think people are taken aback by his brutal honesty.

love silverback! one of my all-time favorite Steelers.

Anonymous said...

LOL @ marc worrying about Quarless

Anonymous said...

marc - we shouldnt be nervous/intimidated because we had so many injuries

LOL @ u

Dale Lolley said...

King made a mistake in what was probably a phone interview. Believe me, it happens. You're writing down what somebody's saying as quickly as possible.

As for the story itself, if the commissioner tells you that, it's a story. Period.

Vaflyer said...

Injuries play no role in being tight or nervous for a Super Bowl. The reality is, that the first Super Bowl is a unique experience which can really make people nervous. Some players handle it...others don't. The Steelers have 16 or 17 guys who will play on Sunday who have Super Bowl experience, just on defense. They know what they are there to do...and I believe they intend to do it.

marc said...

you guys are missing the point.

the steelers have overcome quite a bit of injuries to make it to the super bowl. every guy on that team will tell you it's because of their mentality regarding "next man up" that has helped them do that. it's a team mentality and an approach that "we can handle anything."

the packers are no different. they have handled the injuries every bit as well as the steelers and then some.

i'm not saying overcoming injuries is the only reason a team will be prepared for the super bowl. but, it's one thing to fall back knowing most teams wouldn't have even made the playoffs losing that many guys.

anyone who has ever played in a championship game knows what i am talking about.

additionally, players themselves will tell you super bowl experience does not matter one bit.

Anonymous said...

Dorian Brooks is on the Practice Squad. He can't play Sunday without a roster move, which won't happen.

Anonymous said...

I am worried. I think once the Steelers come out on fire with an early lead that Rodgers and McCarthy will huddle up the team and say, "hey guys, dont worry we've overcame a lot of injuries to get here!". And then they come roaring back and Tomlin, Lebeau and Ben say "damn we just cant match their determination from overcoming so many injuries"

Eric T said...

Dorian Brooks is on the Practice Squad. He can't play Sunday without a roster move, which won't happen.

We will only need Brooks is Pouncey can't go and if he can't go, he will be put on IR and Brooks will be signed. No need to make a move until they know for certain Pouncey is out.

Dave said...

I really didn't expect Coach Tomlin to win the COY award, but seriously...he didn't even get a single vote? Oh well, let's get the real prize, somehow, I'm pretty sure that's all he cares about.

Anonymous said...

Neither did McCarthy. What a joke. No coach faced more adversity than those two, and they are in the freakin bowl!!

My choice would have been Raheem Morris though. He really turned that team around

Anonymous said...

I don't agree with Morris, they didn't qualify for the playoffs and finished third in the division. But I sure as hell don't think that Bellycheck deserves it.