I can kind of laugh about it today. Kind of. We were Tebowed.
If it weren’t my team I would have been screaming for Tebow all night, but it was my team.
If it weren’t my team, it would have been the most exciting football game of wildcard weekend, but it was my team.
Gotta admit, it is a little disappointing today. Although now we can all somewhat relax – the injury hemorrhaging is over. Everyone can heal. There’s no way with the number of injuries that we could have made it to the Super Bowl, not through New England and not through Baltimore. It’s over. Everyone can heal.
This post may not be popular, but I am going to speak my mind. It’s my site afterall. I can do what I want. First, let’s be realistic and honest about the secondary. We need to draft a CB. We just do. Ike, love you, you had a crappy game last night – we both know that – but you played well all season, for the most part. Will Gay on the other hand. Look, a few good plays this year, sure. Some when they were needed, absolutely. But one things for sure, if both of y’all don’t learn to turn and look for the ball, that PI call will just continue. The reason that you aren’t known for interceptions is because you don’t know where the ball is half the time to get the pick. Yeah, Ike, you are fast, you can cover man to man. Your brother on the other side cannot. We need to draft a CB. Not a free agent. Draft.
(By the way Ike, I still love you, but it’s clear how much Ryan helps you out and makes you look good. Take him out to dinner, he deserves it.)
Is there anyone still standing from the front 3? Keisel, Hampton both suffered injuries last night. Both of those injuries were deadly. A dagger through the heart when they had to come out. Big Snack now has a torn ACL and Keisel with a significant groin injury. As Ed Bouchette (Post-Gazette) tweeted during the game, we were down to our last healthy defensive players, and they were in the game. Not sustainable. Not with tough teams ahead. Again, I am relieved the hemorrhaging has ended. I know that’s not a popular comment. But it’s true. For me anyway.
Max Starks also suffered an injury last night and tore his ACL. Ben’s ankle was hit and I’ll bet he had a tough time walking around today. In fact, I would bet money he had a big shot of something strong at half time because that second half he was a whole lot more mobile. It’s about as painful to watch as it is probably painful for Ben to play. I’d rather have a healthy QB then try to limp through the post-season with what we’ve witnessed the last month. It’s not pretty, it’s not Ben. He can’t do what makes him great and we can’t win without him doing what makes him great. And honestly, I was tired of holding my breath every time he dropped back…or in this case, every time the ball was snapped and he had no where to go. Not to mention, Denver was getting in his face with a 3-man rush, I can’t even begin to imagine what Suggs and the Ravens would do to that kind of offensive line. Would you have been able to bear watching it?
On both defense and offense, I think there’s an opportunity to grab some free agents when the time comes. We’re not all old and slow as Warren Sapp wants everyone to believe, but we’ve got to get the young guys up to speed. Ziggy is in year 3 I believe and he’s definitely seen a lot of playing time this year. He’s not bad at all and he’s come a long way in learning a complex defense. As an example of how young that line was last night, Ziggy is the one with the most experience. Ziggy. Yes, Ziggy. McClendon is in his second year and Cam Heyward is a rookie. Nowhere to go but up. Timmons, Harrison, Woodley, Farrior – all stayed healthy last night, amazingly. Woodley’s injury I think was still a problem because he wasn’t getting to Tebow at all like we thought he would. None of them were actually. Either Denver’s O-line was underestimated, the holds on Harrison were a problem, or they just didn’t have the fire we thought they would.
Speaking of fire. It’s of my opinion, having been to Denver many times, that the team landing Saturday late afternoon was not a good team decision. I just don’t think that’s enough time to acclimate. You could see them breathing heavy after every major run. I didn’t see anyone getting oxygen either, though I may have just missed that part. I think it was a bad decision to get there on Saturday period. I would have had them there Friday morning, and practicing somewhere, even if it was just running and playing light, just to get acclimated. That’s me. Clearly I don’t get paid big dollars to coach a team. Or for that matter, pay hotel and flight costs. Regardless, not a good decision.
Let’s talk Tomlin. I see some of you calling for his head out there on the interwebs. While I think the Saturday decision was dumb, I still think we have a great coach on our hands. Some of you said he’s still floating on Cowher’s team. Come on now, that’s ridiculous. Young money – all Mike. Did Cowher draft Mike Wallace? Are you disappointed in AB? What about Sanders? yes, that’s what I thought. Tomlin is a great coach. let him do it. Do I agree with all the playcalls? Nope. Sure don’t. Monday morning QB is easy. Anyone can do that. We do it every day. We’re doing it right now in fact. Aren’t you reading my blog? yes, you are, and I thank you for that.
One thing I am tired of hearing – Hines has been demoted. He’s being forced out. Then they show sad pictures of him like this one. Or highlights of him sitting on the sideline. Let’s be honest here. He’s still a good WR. The last few weeks haven’t been good football for anyone, except maybe AB. He also was hurt, he didn’t get demoted, he got injured. When the Steelers run a 3 set, he’s in it. Get over yourselves and recognize that with on-demand 24/7 news, the media want to be the first to break a story – they are hedging so that if by chance he happened to retire after the game last night that whoever said it first could claim the break. I will say this, Hines is savvy enough that he will make sure it’s out on his twitter and FB page at the very same time he releases it publicly. He wants to be the one who tells Steeler Nation what’s up and in that fashion, today he said he wants to win another Super Bowl and goshdarnit, he deserves to do that. And when the Steelers win the next one, hopefully he will smile and retire and come on over the sideline to do what he does now – mentor and coach the young guys. Stop trying to make it seem like he’s being pushed out. His role for the last few years has been as a mentor anyway. Let Hines be Hines. Thank you.
Oh and stop saying how Mendy shouldn’t start and iRed should. Redman started because Mendy was out, yes, but they are completely different kinds of backs. One thing that the Steelers do and it drives me crazy is run an RB literally into the ground. Mendy is for one type of play and Redman is for another. They don’t really take the place of the other. MeMo is much more a backup to Mendenhall although some of the plays we through him into this year made no sense at all – they were better designed for someone big like Redman or even Clay (who is huge, by the way). So stop it. They both are good and they both have roles on our offense. Depending on the playcall, which depends on the defense and the down and the distance etc etc etc, both of them could be effective. Absolutely. And they will be. And yes, I still <3 Redman, and that love affair started pre-season circa 2009.
I am ready for the next chapter of Steeler football. Next year is a whole new ball game.
Am I disappointed, yup, but you know what, this is why we play the games. If we were to go on who is crowned king of the hill in August, we;d all be sporting Eagles jerseys right now but you saw how that worked out for them. Only thing I am hoping for is that the Pats and the Ravens get Tebowed along the way too. That would make this the most exciting, no one saw it coming post-season of them all. In fact, Giants and Denver would be the Super Bowl no one predicted. But in all honesty, I am bracing myself the hype that might accompany a Harbaugh Brothers Bowl. I’m not sure I could survive that one. But more than anything, seriously, just don’t let Tom Brady get another ring.
Yes, I am a Brady Hater and I am proud of it. Call me silly. I don’t like the Ravens, but if you asked me to choose one between Ravens and Pats, I have to go with the Ravens. Have to.