Morning Links (and Daily Thread)…

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.

– I know some of you guys are photo nerds, so here’s a little something from a Scott Kelby’s blog. He worked the Jets-Steelers game Sunday. []

– With the short week, Mike Tomlin had his press conference a day early. Heath’s expected to play, while Troy’s status has yet to be determined. As Three Rivers Blog tweeted yesterday, I say no on Troy. If the Steelers can’t beat the Panthers without him (or, hell, with just 10 players), they should just cancel the season. [Tribune-Review]

– Here’s Tomlin on whether Jonathan Scott will keep his job: “Much too early in the week. We’re still in the process of evaluating yesterday’s performance and putting together a formula for success this week. A lot of things are involved in that. Personnel matchups are part of that. We’ll address that at the appropriate time. I’m just not ready to have that kind of discussion at this juncture.”

I suppose this could mean Trai Essex Time, which some folks have been calling for. (Not sure what this will solve, and as JJ pointed out last week, typically, right guards who can’t keep their jobs don’t move to left tackle.) [Steel City Insider]

– For all the whinging we do, it could be a lot worse. SB Nation’s Panthers blogger James Dator actually wrote yesterday that, “…nothing is better than kicking off the week with a W and sadly I’ve only had that joy twice this year.” Think about that for a sec. He also adds that he’s “5% optimistic heading into the Thursday night game vs. Pittsburgh.” [Cat Scratch Reader]

– Random YouTubage: I mentioned this on the last podcast but I found the video yesterday. Here’s Joe Flacco, after what he thought was a late hit from a Saints’ defensive lineman, going BERSERK on the official (Walt Coleman, I think). Seriously, Joe, you kiss your mom with that mouth?

Best part: Joe telling Walt to to go the other end of the field and protect “their” quarterback. High comedy. (Oh, and if you read lips and are easily offended, probably NSFW.)

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  • steeler fan in cowboy country

    I agree…..If the Steelers can’t beat the Panthers without Troy they don’t deserve the AFC North crown. Save Troy for Cleveland!

  • Jason F

    I got tired of hearing about Flacco his rookie season when watching the games seemed like Flaccomercials. But I gotta say, telling them to go protect “their” QB is pretty awesome.

  • Dean Keaton

    Again trolling Ravens pages & blogs this week, reading this stuff is almost as good as starting off the week with a victory – Flacco isn’t the only one whining about the “no calls”. Of course Harbaugh and Mason have joined in the chorus:,0,1334798.story

    Another laugher – The Baltimore Sun’s Power Rankings has the Ravens at #3, and the Steelers at #6 or 7, despite the game 3 weeks ago where the Steelers beat the Ravens IN BALTIMORE:

  • StillerFan

    Flacco has a right to be pissed. I give the ravens props for telling it like it is this whole season even when it comes to calls/non-calls on the steelers. The ravens are in the exact same situation as the steelers albeit less egregious I think and certainly less publicized.

    As the “old adage goes”, I hate the ravens, but I respect them. The ravens and steelers represent some of the last bastions of teams that take their defense seriously, and I love having the ravens for a rival.

    • Dean Keaton

      StillerFan – I disagree with you on this one. Every team has calls that go for them and against them every game. I’m sick of Mason and Ray Ray whining ALL THE TIME about it. When they lose, it’s always the officials’ fault, never the fact that a better team beat them. This time Mason, Harbaugh and Flacco are screaming like babies even when they won the game and the play in question wasn’t that big of a deal or even very obvious unless you were right there.

      To take it a step further, when I was in Pittsburgh two weeks ago for the Cincy game, sports radio hosts and callers were driving me up a wall via the same type of complaining as well. Other QBs beyond Flacco and Ben take hits that don’t get flagged, and sometimes it goes the other way as well – flags are thrown when they shouldn’t be. It’s part of the game though, we have human officials, and humans make mistakes. There is no conspiracy to give advantages and protect certain players but not others, and beyond that, there are scores of calls that could just go either way based upon opinion.

      I’m game to talk about how well players played, what could have been done better, how great our team is or isn’t, and how great the rivalry with the Ravens is (I agree with you here). But complaints everywhere about officiating every freaking week – especially from the Ravens – is getting really old and gets in the way of just enjoying the game.

      • StillerFan

        I hate complaints about officiating from losing teams. Teams should be able to overcome bad calls, and losing isn’t dependent on the bad calls. When you win despite them, that shows the spirit of the team.

        The 35-3 crushing of the raiders was fantastic for this very reason.

        And as much as you may complain about the ravens, they haven’t exactly had much opportunity to complain after losses this year, I’m not sure what you are talking about there.

  • MaxSteel

    Essex gets way too much criticism. The guy was drafted as a Left Tackle, not a Right Guard, Left Guard, or even a Right Tackle, but LEFT. Left Tackle is his natural position and I believe we will be pleasantly suprised at how he performs when placed where he is suppose to be.

    • Ham-nominous

      Cuz RG is so much harder to play than LT? Puhleez.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    Dean, ESPN has BAL at 4 and us at 6. Take Troy off our team and have Ray Rice playing like last year and that seems fair to me right now. Fortunately, power rankings mean nothing and we have the edge for the 2 seed. After a bye week, a healthier Troy and Ben, plus a possible Aaron Smith return, could make us a top 2-3 team again.

    Oh, and Ticketmaster puts our playoff tickets for sale on Monday. That’s a nice email to get…

  • JJT11

    Ray Rice had one good game against a Saints defense that is used to playing in a dome and clearly didn’t want to be out in the cold. The funny thing is that if we didn’t allow a punt return for a TD this week we would probably be #3. But who cares, the years we won SBs we were not #1 on the dumb power rankings.

  • Green eggs and spam

    Strange bedfellows, having the Rats and Stillers circling the wagons against the slings and arrows of outrageous refereeing…

  • drinkingclub

    Ref whining is getting old, old, old. The best reffed game, is the least reffed game.