The Steelers are in a bad place right now. They're 0-4, and while they're only two games back in the AFC North (Cleveland is tied for first, what), the way this team has played so far, from the players to the coaches, says that they don't belong in the conversation this year. Mike Tomlin has made his thoughts relatively clear. Who knows where we go from here, heading into the bye. But if you're so inclined, this post contains the game recap and several references to The Clash, because they rule.no comments
There are legitimate question's surrounding Mike Tomlin's ability as a head coach these days. His team's tendency to play down to their opponents, the blown 4th quarter leads, the failure to develop several draft picks... one thing you can't question is Mike Tomlin's intensity. He does not see his team's 0-4 start as acceptable, obviously, but his postgame press conference may be the most emotion you'll ever see out of Tomlin. And that emotion is nothing but pure, unbridled, seething rage.
I can't embed the video because the NFL really struggles with the internet still, but take a gander at this short recap of Tomlin's presser.
I don't know what the Steelers can do to fix everything, and maybe Tomlin doesn't either. But if there's one thing you can be damn sure of, it's that everyone will come to work next week ready to freaking work. If they don't, Tomlin made it clear they won't be part of the team going forward.
Who knows what will happen. It's a good thing the Steelers have a week off, because Tomlin might need the whole week to cool down.no comments
1:00PM EST, CBS
The Steelers are featured in the NFL's annual trip across the pond. Ideally, Roger Goodell wants to showcase the best the NFL has to offer (without losing too much revenue in the home team's market). The plan was simple: The Steelers, a storied franchise since the AFL-NFL merger, face the Minnesota Vikings, another historical, though less successful and currently weakened, franchise. That story has been altered a bit with both teams coming in winless.
This is will not be a showcase to an international audience of the best the NFL has to offer. That will be going down when the Patriots play the Falcons Sunday night, probably. Instead, the good people of London will be treated to an epic clash of a stoppable force and a movable object, with one team having to pull away with a win by default. Each team is beginning to play closer attention to Saturday football as they measure up their probably draft position, but the season isn't over yet for either team. In fact, the worst thing that could happen for the Steelers might be to win convincingly, by a score of 38-10 or so. If 10-6 is still a realistic goal, the Steelers have to put together a heck of a run for the rest of the season. Crazier things have happened, but if they fall to 0-4 it may just be a weight off of everyone's shoulders.
It's almost too bad the Pirates played themselves out of having to care about tomorrow (just kidding, it's awesome, Dusty Baker can get attacked by fire ants for all I care) because the Steeler game will be the most meaningful event in Pittsburgh, and that may only be by default. But hey, we're allegedly seeing Le'Veon Bell tomorrow and Heath Miller should figure into more of the offense. If anyone can make up for the deficiencies at tackle, it's Miller, and if we're lucky, we can see Bell take advantage of that.
Who knows what will come of this English excursion? It may not end up being a defining game for either club, but it certainly won't be meaningless for those either clinging to hope or updating draft borads.no comments
From time to time, different blogs get together before their teams face off and write a little bit of a primer for each others' fans. This week, the Steelers will travel to London, England to play the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL's annual overseas showcase. They probably didn't plan for two 0-3 teams who might honestly be trying to lose and get draft position at this point, but what are you gonna do?
Bloguin's Vikings representative, Purple Jesus Diaries, got in touch with me this week and we each did a little bit of a Q&A for each other. Without further ado, here's your primer on the purple people from up north.no comments
NBC, 8:30 PM
It's not entirely unreasonable to suggest that the season hinges on this game. An 0-3 start may be too deep of a hole to cilmb out of, but the 2-0 Bears are poised to deliver that reality to the Steel City. The Steelers have to find a way to win tonight to keep their playoff aspirations alive.
The key to this game is going to be Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. He brings an extremely schizophrenic reputation to the table as a quarterback who is equally likely to singlehandedly win a game as he is to lose it. The Steelers have always struggled against Cutler, seeing the All-Pro variety of the Broncos/Bears' field general. That has to change tonight. With the Steelers' offense being as bad as it is, there's one thing the Steelers can do to win this game:
Get. The. Football.
Look, the offense has been bad and deserves every bit of criticism. But the defense isn't absolved of blame either. They've played adequately and no better. This team can't win that way. The defense has to create negative plays and get turnovers. Jay Cutler is a great candidate to turn the football over, but the defense has to get to him. If he stays clean the whole game, it's over.
The offense isn't going to win games this year. The defense is going to have to do it instead. This team has been in that position before. This team has won with that strategy. And tonight, they'll have to do it again.no comments
Staring at an 0-2 start with the Chicago Bears coming to town on Sunday, the Steelers held a veterans/captains meeting earlier this week to try and address the sinking attitudes of the team as a whole. Jory Rand was all over it on Twitter:
1 change to come out of Steelers veterans meeting yesterday is younger players arent allowed to play pool or ping-pong during business hours— Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013
Seriously, I'm all for the players figuring out why they suck at football so far, but what exactly does this accomplish? Were Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert playing so much ping pong that they forgot how to actually block in a football game? Will they get their acts together because they had to watch Ben Roethlisberger and Heath Miller play pool instead?
Ike Taylor coyly talked of punishments for breaking rules, but wouldn't say what rules were broken, nor what the punishments would be.— Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013
Anyone else get the sense that older guys are just going to make up rules to give them an excuse to tape someone to a goalpost? Total frat move. Don't know how this does anything but create a divide between younger players and older players (That must be the secret to winning football games).
Isaac Redman: "Young guys can't play pool, ping pong or shuffleboard. Sucks to be a young guy, I guess."— Jory Rand (@JoryRand) September 19, 2013
This is embarrassing. If the players aren't focused on winning, there's a problem A) with those players and B) with the coaches. Now one step away from making pledges clean the basement with toothbrushes, the Steelers are entering a bizarre territory not only as a team, but simply as a group of grown men. I know winning cures everything, but I've yet to see anything about taking steps to beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday night.no comments