A quick daily look at what’s happening around Steelers Nation. And consider this your open thread for discussing the days events and, well, anything else that comes to mind about the Black and Gold.
Most of us (Bouchette included, see the link below) are just assuming that Aaron Smith’s NFL career is over. He’s 34, and has had knee, shoulder and triceps injuries that kept him out for large chunks the last three seasons.
And maybe he is done … but I wonder.
First, defensive linemen can play forever, it seems like nose tackles age better than defensive ends. Second, it’s not like Smith has endured three seasons of wear and tear on his body. The counterargument, of course, is that the injuries are worse for his longevity than a 16-game schedule. Fair enough. Wherever the truth lies I’m not yet willing to concede that Smith won’t be back on the field in 2011, and that he won’t return to being one of the league’s best ends. The only issue is how long we can expect him to stay healthy. History says it’s somewhere in the 5-8 game range.
Clearly, this means that the Steelers should “Big Ben” him, keeping him on the bench until the second half of the season. I just wonder how Charlie Batch will fare as a 3-4 defensive end.
Back on Earth…
– Defending several Mike Tomlin coaching decisions from the Week 7 win over the Dolphins [Behind the Steel Curtain]
– John Harris writes that the Steelers MUST re-sign Ike Taylor. Duly noted. [Tribune-Review]
– Eddie B. on the loss of Aaron Smith: time for Ziggy Hood to step up. Also noted. [Post-Gazette]
Random YouTube magic that only JJ probably remembers: Saints-Steelers from 1978.