Monday, May 30, 2011

Harrison keeps beating the drum

In an effort to get his uncensored thoughts out and about the NFL safety rules changes and other issues that he can't fit into a tweet, James Harrison started his own blog, http://jharrison9292.wordpress.com

Here's a part of his first post regarding the NFL's attempt to crack down on helmet-to-helmet hits.

“I understand the intent behind making the rules, but in their attempt to make the game safer, they are actually clouding what is allowable,” Harrison recently said on his personal blog. “Even the referees are confused. A close look will show you that the referees were calling things that were not even supposed to be called, and NOT calling things that were actually illegal.”

I can think of several instances last season where Harrison was completely correct. How about Ryan Clark's hit in New Orleans for one?

Clark was penalized for what was supposedly a helmet-to-helmet hit. But upon further review, he clearly just hit a receiver in the back after he had caught the ball.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Remembering how good the Bus was

I found this link on Youtube of a greatest hits highlights of Jerome Bettis: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wW-1wGgq4k

I have a tendency to remember Bettis at the end. He was still good and dominant at times, but he had lost that wiggle that made him special.

Nobody finished runs better and by the fourth quarter, everyone was tired of tackling the fat kid.

Enjoy the video.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ward wins DWS

I had to break down and watch Dancing With the Stars. Luckily - or unluckily - my wife had all the episodes on the DVR, so I could keep track of what Hines Ward was doing on the show without actually having to watch the whole bloody thing.

Ward obviously showed that he is a great athlete to be able to pull off many of the moves he did throughout the season. He also got quite a bit of support from his teammates and former teammates - and Steelers nation.

It will be interesting to see how his DWS win changes things for Ward. He's always been a guy opposing fans love to hate.

He's also become something more of a household name because of the show.

I've always found Ward to be a genuine guy who's played with a chip on his shoulder because he's never been the biggest, fastest or most talented player on the field.

He's now graduated to superstardom.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ike Taylor is burning

Some are surprised that potential free agent cornerback Ike Taylor went on Jim Rome is Burning and stated that he wouldn't be giving a hometown discount if/when a free agent period begins in the NFL.

No real surprise there.

Had Taylor said he would give a hometown discount, his agent would lose a good deal of leverage with the Steelers.

It's all part of the free agency game, when teams, players and agents say one thing even though they are willing to do another.

Does this mean the Steelers are going to re-sign Taylor for peanuts? Nope.

But the bet is that if they come close to any potential offer Taylor receives on the open market - assuming it's not crazy money - he'll be back in Pittsburgh.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Sorry about being MIA

To the faithful readers of this blog - you know who you are, both of you:

Sorry about being MIA the past two weeks. I had some personal issues to attend to.

Those have been resolved and I am back. Hopefully, you'll be back as well.

Now, on to the issues that have been raised with the Steelers of late.

© An apparently erroneous report was picked up by Sports Illustrated's Peter King that the Steelers and Redskins had worked out a deal for Washington's 16th-overall section in last month's draft.

Presumably, the Steelers wanted to make the deal to move up to select Mike Pouncey.

Do I doubt the two teams talked about it? Nope.

But in retrospect, considering what the Steelers came out of the draft with, I'm sure they're just as pleased no such deal took place.

© Another story out there said that defensive end Aaron Smith is still not completely healed from the torn triceps muscle he suffered last season.

That makes acquiring Cameron Heyward with their first round pick all that much more important for the Steelers.

© Mediation has resumed between the NFL owners and its players. But it's unlikely to go anywhere as long as there are still cases regarding the lockout hanging around.

© I've been asked about the timing of a Minnesota court's temporary stay on the end of the lockout during the first couple of days of the draft and what effect that had.

There would have been a draft even had there been no ruling at that time.

The only thing that ruling did was allow those players selected in the first two rounds of the draft the opportunity to visit with their new team for a day and receive playbooks.

Had the lockout not been lifted, those players could not have had any contact with the team outside of a phone call letting them know they had been selected.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Steelers draft winners, losers

The smoke has cleared and the dust has settled on the 2011 NFL draft. Here's a look at some of the Steelers' winners and losers coming out of the draft:

Winners
Ike Taylor - Cha-ching. A first-round cornerback would have at least tempered Pittsburgh's need to bring back their top corner at all costs. As it stands - with just third- and fourth-round prospects added – the Steelers must assure that Taylor comes back at all costs.

Limas Sweed - With no young receiver added, Sweed will be given every chance to prove that he's finally got his act together after missing last season with an Achilles' tendon injury. The talent is there for the former second-round pick.

Matt Spaeth - The Steelers would have liked to have added another tight end in the draft, but the opportunity never presented itself. Spaeth likely gets at least one more year.

Shaun Suisham - The Steelers could have selected a young placekicker to challenge Suisham, but did not.

Losers
Chris Kemoeatu, Ramon Foster, Tony Hills - Two young offensive linemen, Marcus Gilbert and Keith Williams, will push for starting jobs and roster spots.

William Gay, Keenan Lewis – The addition of two young corners means Gay, a free agent, likely won't be back. Lewis has really fallen out of favor and might be on his last legs.

Jonathan Dwyer - The one thing seveth-round running back Baron Batch does really, really well is catch the ball out of the backfield. Dwyer does not. With Isaac Redman establishing himself as Rashard Mendenhall's top backup, the Steelers will be looking to keep a back who does something the other two do not.

Nick Eason - Eason has been a solid, steady reserve for some time now, but with two first-round defensive ends added in the past three years, finding a roster spot for Eason might be difficult. Not impossible, but difficult.