Posts Tagged ‘Pittsburgh Steelers’


NFL Playoff Picture To Change?

Breaking news from NFL.com…

FORT WORTH, Texas — Rich McKay, Atlanta Falcons president and co-chair of the NFL Competition Committee, said Wednesday at the league’s owners meeting that he would like to see playoff teams re-seeded, with division winners not necessarily granted a home game.

McKay said that in the past, similar proposals have received upwards of 18 votes, but not the 24 needed by owners to pass a measure.

When asked if he believed the possibility of a .500 or worse team winning a division would lead to future consideration of altering playoff seeding, McKay said: “I hope so. I’ve brought it up twice and never had real success getting it passed. I think it is something we should consider.”

McKay said he has always supported re-seeding spots 4 through 6 based on record, but he realizes not all share his views. Several owners I’ve spoken to in the past about this issue believe there should be a significant reward for winning one’s division, with that belief grounded in the traditions of the game and a desire to keep a focus on divisional rivalries.

“I don’t disagree with that,” McKay said, “but re-seeding is something we should keep talking about.”

What do you think?  Should things stay the way they are, granting the division winners home-field throughout, or should the NFL continue to deviate from football tradition, and shake things up?

More NFL Rule Changes…

With the hard hits that took place in week 6, including two by Pittsburgh Steelers‘ linebacker James Harrison, one by New England Patriots safety Brandon Meriweather and one by Atlanta Falcons cornerback Dunta Robinson. All three players were fined, with Harrison receiving a $75k fine and the other two being hit with a $50k fine each. The hits prompted the NFL to meet immediately, and create rules to prevent players leading with the head, helmet to helmet contact, and other hits deemed “flagrant” or intended to cause injury to another player.

The news has fans, and some players, in an uproar. Football has always been a dangerous – and violent – contact sport. While most agree that “dirty play” should be handled on a case-by-case basis, taking the hits and hard play out of the game will only result in the decline of its popularity.

So we want to know what YOU think. Would a “Steel Curtain” defense be the same, if the players aren’t allowed to hit in the same way they have for more than 75 years? Would the game be the same if a linebacker can’t go at a running back, for fear he will be suspended?

Speak your mind, football fans!

Are The Pittsburgh Steelers For Real?

With week 3 in the books, there are some movers and shakers in the collective power ranking pool. The Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers have soared to the top, while pre-season analysis said the Bears were laden with trouble, and the Steelers would be lucky to go 2-2 without Big Ben for the first four games.  The New York Jets had – hands down – the best defense in the NFL.

What we find most interesting, though, is the way the Pittsburgh Steelers have rallied around adversity, touted as a team that is too old, and riddled with problems.  Not even making the post-season last year, the Steelers were – and are – determined to prove everyone wrong.  So far undefeated without their two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback, the Steelers defense has done an amazing job.  And the offense has allowed Charlie Batch to make plays. Entering week 4 of the 2010 NFL season, the Steelers have defeated the Atlanta Falcons, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Not too long ago, Sports Illustrated columnist, Peter King, chose the Steelers to beat the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. People joked.  They laughed.  They wanted to know what King was smoking when he made that prediction…  But the actions on the field do speak for themselves, don’t they?

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Impacts On Week 2

So early in the season, but so much happening. When you have your studs — and duds — picked, the NFL throws you for a loop. Maybe that is why we love it so much. In week two, we saw…

The Super Bowl defending New Orleans Saints lose Reggie Bush to a broken leg. Ouch. Many forecast that one Bush does not make a team. Others say that his loss wll be the team’s detriment. In fantasy world, people are dropping Bush faster than you can say spit. The StubPass folks are divided on whether or not the Saints can pull off a playoff run, without Bush in the mix for the time being…

In a “Leggo my Eggo” moment, Philadelphia Eagles‘ Michael Vick is the starter. There are none more waffly than Andy Reid, who can’t decide from one week to the next , who the starting QB spot belongs to. Initially, he was steadfast that the start belonged to Kevin Kolb. But wait. No. Now it’s Michael Vick. Granted, Vick did quite well for the Eagles. But the team needs to know who the leader is, more than the media does. Lordy.

Charlie Batch, of the Pittsburgh Steelers, was all but released just a few short weeks ago. In the absence of the 102 million dollar QB Ben Roethlisberger, the decision was made. Byron Leftwich was the starter, with Dennis Dixon as 2 string.

And then, Boom Boom Pow. The Steelers’ Leftwich is out with a knee injury and Dixon is the #1 — yet struggling — starter. But no, there’s more. Dixon finds himself in a jam with a knee injury requiring surgery, and now a Steelers (essentially) 4th string veteran QB, Charlie Batch, is at the helm in week three. Backup? Antwan Randle El (who could, potentially, do quite well if need be). The Steelers defense needs to maintain…

You have got to love the NFL. Predictions mean nothing, when one has no idea what will happen from week to week.

So who is going to be in the “impact player”? What team will suffer more, because of those that cannot play? Will the Saints flounder — or be mediocre at best — without Reggie Bush? Will Michael Vick step up for the Eagles, and show he still has what it takes to be an elite NFL quarterback? Will the Steelers find success with Charlie Batch, and manage to squeak out one (or two) more wins, to take the Steelers to 4-0 upon Roethlisbergers return? Oh yeah — will Brett Favre retire, again, from the Minnesota Vikings? Talk to us.

NFL Quarterback Controversies

Controversy is nothing new in the NFL, and the 2010 season proves to be no different. As fans and teams ramp up for the regular season, there are several quarterback controversies brewing across the National Football League.

The Philadelphia Eagles are right in the middle of a controversy, after releasing veteran quarterback Donovan McNabb – picked up by the Washington Redskins. In McNabb’s wake, Philly finds themselves deciding between Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. The plan, apparently, is for the Eagles to rotate both quarterbacks before making a firm decision.

Rumors state that the locker room is divided as to which quarterback the Eagles would like to start the 2010 regular season, but only time (and possibly performance) will tell.

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Tis The Season For Trading Spaces…

With week one of the 2010 NFL regular season on the horizon, roster cuts are being made, and trade rumors abound. Whether players like the Cardinal’s Matt Leinart lost their starting positions to other players for the sub par performance, or holdouts like the Jets’ Darrelle Revis just became too much of a pain; teams are slowly but surely trimming their rosters to the required 53.

There are several teams in the market for quarterbacks, including the New York Giants and the Arizona Cardinals. Those who are rumored to be available shortly include current Cardinal’s QB Matt Leinart, Steeler’s QB Charlie Batch, and Viking’s QB Sage Rosenfels. The rumor mill churns that the Steelers may release Batch – an old, yet effective backup – and Arizona will scoop him up.

The New York Jets have been at a stalemate with CB Darrelle Revis, and it appears that, while unlikely, there is the possibility the Jets have tired of the holdout and could trade him over the weekend.

The talented, but injury prone, Marshawn Lynch may be bidding the Buffalo Bills a farewell this weekend. With the Bills having Fred Jackson and first round pick C.J. Spiller, Lynch may be with a new team soon.

Willis McGahee may well be on his way out of Baltimore Ravens, with the Ravens finding great success in Ray Rice. A trade may be in the works over the weekend, and Baltimore may be shipping McGahee off to the Denver Broncos – a team in need of some depth at the running back position.

While the rumor mill churns, fans (and teams) most likely won’t have any definitive answers to who is staying, who is going, or who is playing in week one until the weekend is over.

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Pre-Season Week One Round-Up

New York Giants | Eli Manning received 12 stitches in his head, after being lambasted by Jets’ linebacker Calvin Pace, losing his helmet, and having his head get a personal introduction to Jim Leonhard’s facemask.  A concussion was ruled out, but the Giants may be playing the Pittsburgh Steelers this weekend without Manning.

Undrafted rookie free agent, Victor Cruz, made his Monday night football debut with significantly better results.  In addition the Giants’ unknown, undrafted wide receiver caught three touchdowns, with one of them being a literal one-handed grab resulting in a 64-yard run for the TD.

Pittsburgh Steelers | With Roethlisberger likely to start for the Steelers against the New York Giants at the New Meadowlands Stadium, there are still several questions regarding who the starting QB will be during Roethlisberger’s four to six game suspension.  It appeared as though Byron Leftwich had the job, but Dennis Dixon played well enough to keep the final decision under wraps.

Additionally, first-round draft pick, Maurkice Pouncey, was all but relegated to playing his first year as a guard now has Tomlin considering throwing him in the mix for the starting (if not rotating) position of center for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Having six seemingly good receivers has also put the future of Stefan Logan in jeopardy, and his performance against the Giants this weekend – or lack thereof – could be a determining factor in the Steelers’ decision.

San Francisco 49ers | Free agent running back, Brian Westbrook, signed a one-year contract with the  49ers.  Westbrook played with the Philadelphia Eagles for eight seasons.

Stay tuned for more information, and get your NFL tickets early!

Yes, Football Players Really Do Need Their Legs

Patience is a virtue, as I’m sure you know, but this old adage or pep talk lingo never goes very far with players, with press, and most especially not with fans. Two major play makers on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ roster have been out for two and four games, so enough is enough already with the injury talk! Unfortunately for us, football players do need their toes, as well as their knee ligaments, so I guess we’re trumped on that argument. The good news is that both Willie Parker and Troy Polamalu returned to full practice gear and intensity on Wednesday with the rest of their teammates.

Of course, this is by no means an all lights are a go, but it certainly brings a ray of hope to the Pittsburgh Steelers bench, as well as to the team’s fan base. The Steelers did just fine against the Detroit Lions last Sunday without the two powerhouse players, but also sustained yet another injury during that game to defensive end Aaron Smith. The shoulder injury has been quoted as being “significant”, giving even more urgency to the call for Polamalu and Parker.

Willie Parker sustained a turf toe injury which has placed him out of commission for the past two games, while the left knee ligament tear sustained by Polamalu happened during the season opener and has taken far more time to heal. Both players were said to be exercising fully during Wednesday’s practice, in a sort of sink or swim type of test.

Plans to return both players back to the game this coming week have been in talks for some days now, though the actual call has yet to be made regarding the two. It will be interesting to see who makes it back to the field of play come Sunday.

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Steelers Update: Record (3-2)

Last game: Oct 11, Pittsburgh Steelers 28 – Detroit Lions 20
Next game: vs. Cleveland Browns, Oct 18 1:00pm ET

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