The NFL Network recently completed its top 100 list. I'm not a big fan of such lists, but the network has to come up with something to fill its airwaves during the NFL dog days of June and July before camps open.
The Steelers were well represented on the list once again, with six players, led by safety Troy Polamalu at No. 19.
Interestingly enough, Polamalu's spot on the list was one ahead of Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis and three behind Ravens safety Ed Reed.
James Harrison was the second Steelers player listed, coming in at 29th. That's not bad for a player who fought through an injury-plagued 2011 season and also missed a game due to suspension.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ranked 30th, which sounds low until you consider he was the fourth quarterback on the list. Roethlisberger was ranked below Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady, and one spot ahead of Eli Manning. It's tough to argue with that pecking order.
Wide receiver Mike Wallace came in at 47th, which some people likely have a problem with. I don't. Wallace is a special talent and ranking him as the fourth-best player on the Steelers' roster is a nod to that.
Center Maurkice Pouncey ranked 49th despite coming off what I considered a so-so year for him. I thought Pouncey was better as a rookie than he was last year, but the fact that he has already stepped into a leadership role shows how he is thought of by his teammates and peers.
Finally, despite playing just half a season in 2011, linebacker LaMarr Woodley ranked 63rd on the top 100. Woodley was well on his way to earning a spot higher last season and could be primed to put up a monster season in 2012.
@ Longtime O-R sports writer Mike Kovak is leaving after 13 years here to head off to Johnstown.
For several years, Mike was the second guy with me at Steelers games. In fact, we covered the playoff game in Tennessee in 2002 together.
On the drive back, we decided to stop at a Shoney's in Kentucky. As I was at the breakfast bar, I noticed two guys with hooks for hands.
I made mention of this when I got back to the table. Lo and behold, there was another guy sitting near us that also had a hook for a hand. There were three in one spot. Don't know if it was "Hook for a Hand" day at Shoney's or what.
Maybe they got a discount for thresher accidents.
But Mike will be missed.