Deebo Gets 1-Game Vacation

Can’t say I’m shocked that the NFL suspended James Harrison for a game even if I don’t agree with it. Whatever. The rest will do him some good. And Pittsburgh might want to think about giving Ben next week off, too — assuming the Ravens beat the Chargers Sunday night.

(If San Diego wins, then Ben should play. If the Steelers win out, they also win the division and have the No. 1 seed, too, I believe.)

As it stands, the Steelers are on a crash course for TEBOW in the first round of the playoffs. Might as well have everybody as healthy as possible because (and I can’t believe I’m about to say this) that matchup worries me.

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  • GlennW

    I’m not going to bitch about the suspension.  James Harrison has run out of excuses.  Even James Farrior has stated that this was an illegal hit, resulting in a consensus opinion (including from some Pittsburgh sportswriters) that Harrison should be heavily fined at the very least.  So the only remaining issue is the matter of a just punishment, and admittedly that part of it is fairly arbitrary.  Maybe the league also needs to codify the punishment phase more specifically, such as dictating that only a second or multiple offense within a given season is suspendable (acknowledging that this was Harrison’s first fined offense this season, although he piled them up last season).

    Regardless I’m done with arguments like “it’s part of the game” and “what else was the defender supposed to do?”.  This was a vicious, avoidable helmet-to-helmet hit (McCoy didn’t duck whether he was throwing the ball or not, and Harrison hit high), and Harrison needs to adapt or accept the consequences.

    • Randy Steele

      I’m not going to bitch about it either, but not because I think it’s right. I’ve just given up trying to figure out how the rules work. 

  • Canadian Steeler

    I don’t mind him being disciplined, because he did unload on McCoy. My problem is that it’s his first personal foul penalty this year, and they’ve been inconsistent about whether or not they reset the scale annually. Ray Ray only got the first hit fine for his helmet to helmet hit on Hines, but he was fined last year.

    There’s no question in my mind that they’ve made Harrison the scapegoat for this the whole time. Even at the beginning of this thing, fining Harrison 75K and Dunta Robinson only 50K was a joke. If you were gonna suspend him for any hit, it’s probably the one where he flipped Vince Young on his ear last year, which only earned 5K (and before the NFL’s PR got involved).

  • Cols714

    Absolute BS. Why is that the Steelers seem to get hit the hardest by the commish? I don’t mean this as a homer and correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like a pattern to me.

    • GlennW

      It’s only been the same two Steelers: James Harrison and Ryan Clark.  The reason for that distinction is fairly obvious, most of all to Steelers fans who watch these guys play every week.

      On such a play as the hit on McCoy, I find it useful to reverse the roles and gauge my reaction to it.  Do I want a player who makes a hit like that one on Ben Roethlisberger to be penalized/fined/suspended?  The answer is yes, absolutely positively (at least penalized and fined, suspended depending only on track record).  Not because it was a hard hit that left my QB injured and I’m not happy about that, but because it was high, vicious, likely intentional and certainly unnecessary.  But better yet, I don’t want the hit to happen at all– a suspension doesn’t bring my injured QB back– which is the message the league is trying to send, I think.

      • Cols714

        I get fined and penalized but this is an unprecedented suspension. I don’t understand the suspension at all. What a crock.

        • GlennW

          When the rules change, somebody has to be first to be hit with a particular punishment, right?  While this is Harrison’s first fine this season, it’s now 5 penalized hits on a QB over the last three years, in addition to two other fined helmet-to-helmet hits on defenseless receivers last season.  Agree with the rules changes and penalties or not, let’s not kid ourselves as to why it’s Harrison who is in this position.  It’s not because he’s a Steeler.  I’ve heard that argument quite a bit (not necessarily in here), and it’s fairly ridiculous to think that Roger Goodell has it in for the Pittsburgh Steelers (especially since in large part he has Dan Rooney to thank for his job).

          At the very least, I don’t think anybody can be surprised at this suspension.  It was my first thought after seeing the first replay of the hit on Thursday night, and a major topic of discussion around the league since.  Eventually a repeat offender was going to be hit with a suspension, Harrison or someone else.  Basically Harrison’s *only* defense here is “I hadn’t done it yet this year”, which could have been enough to avoid a suspension this time, but is hardly convincing in the big picture.

      • Smheart78

        To be honest, I view Ben as a tough SOB QB that can take anything; so when I see opposing defenses breaking his nose or hitting his legs, I don’t think of fines or suspensions. I think the new rules of player safety are generally good, except that there are too many protections being afforded to the QB.
        I actually think that Colt is an idiot, and deserved to be hit. If he is going to tuck and run towards the 1st down, then realize that James is barreling down on him, and at the last possible second pull up and throw the ball and put himself in a defensless position, with James right on him, then he is dumb. At least throw and use your other arm as protection.
        This from TMQ this morning:
        “At Washington, Tom Brady scrambled, ran up the middle then started a hook-slide; London Fletcher hit Brady before he was down. Fletcher was called for unnecessary roughness, though Brady was not down when the hit happened. This gave the Flying Elvii first-and-goal on the Skins’ 10. Referee Jeff Triplette announced the penalty was for “a forearm to the head.” There was no forearm blow; Fletcher hit Brady square in the chest, exactly the clean contact the league wants. Just two plays later, Brady scrambled again. This time the Washington defenders pulled up — and Brady did not hook-slide. If a quarterback can’t be hit simply because he might slide, how are defenders supposed to play?”

        • GlennW

          If the official describes a blow to the head that didn’t actually occur (and which even Brady later laughed off as incorrect), that’s just a bad call, right?  That’s just a blown call, not necessarily the result of a bad rule.  There are plenty of blown calls made every week; no argument from me about that.  Fines and suspension based on after-the-fact examination of video evidence is another matter.

          As for Ben, we’ve seen plenty of missed calls on hits he’s taken (and likewise is he an “idiot” for taking some of these hits?– don’t answer that), but I’ve never seen him take a shot like McCoy did.  Not even the hit in the Falcons game in 2006 that left his brain scrambled for at least one following game was the neck-snapper that McCoy too.  Nor do I want to see Ben taking a shot like that, tough guy or not.  Nobody is *that* tough.

          • Smheart78

            I understand, it’s more the blown calls than the rules that I have a problem with, and it’s more the fines/suspensions inconsistensies than the rules as well. I’m inclined to accept that men make mistakes and that James made a mistake.
            However, I do still think McCoy is an idiot for trying that a split second before a linebacker hits him. Even if he’s hit legally, you can tell that was going to hurt. Ben extending the plays and getting hurt is something I’ve come to accept, but he continues to do it with the understanding of this possibility. I’m dismayed, but I don’t think he’s an idiot for that.

  • Cols714

    Why it’s BS. Goodell has only suspended three players during his tenure for football actions. Two of them, Haynesworth and Suh were stomping on players. The third is Harrison who hit McCoy helmet to helmet.

    Total BS. I’m pretty pissed. This means we have to play a tough running team with our best ILB playing Harrison’s spot and Worilds at the other OLB position.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    If Colt had kept the ball tucked, it wouldn’t even have been a penalty.  And it wouldn’t have been helmet-to-helmet if Colt hadn’t chucked and ducked.  I’ve now watched that play more than a dozen times.  The amount of time between the ball being tucked and being out of his hands is well under 1 second.  So, Harrison’s tackle went from being legal to worthy of a suspension in well less than a second.  This from a league that did not suspend Ray Lewis for being involved in a killing.  In other words: ridiculous. 

    This play looks bad in slow motion, as if Harrison had time to correct his angle when he saw McCoy throw.  But given how fast it happened in real time, I doubt he did.  One of the dads of the kids from where I grew up near Pittsburgh played linebacker for the University of Miami and was tormented into adulthood by the criticism he got for breaking a punter’s leg on a roughing the kicker.  He said that at regular speed, the play looked fine, and for him, he didn’t have time to correct his angle.  But in slow motion, it looked like he intentionally went for the leg.  He was a great guy and raised his kids to be good sports, so I believe him.  This colors my perception of making too much from slow motion replays to try to determine intent or ability to change course.

    • GlennW

      To me (I don’t know about the league) the “lateness” of the hit isn’t at issue, because the hit wasn’t late.  The problem is that there was no “duck” to McCoy’s “chuck” that resulted in inadvertent contact to the helmet.  There just wasn’t– look at the video or any still photo– McCoy is vertical, head upright.  Technically per the rules, in the pocket or outside it, late flip or not, the QB is not permitted to be contacted in the head.  That part of it is fairly straightforward.  But was Harrison intentionally going for the headshot, run or pass?  I don’t know, but there’s no question that he’s hitting high, and with the helmet.  And I think there’s ample opportunity for Harrison to hit chest-high on that play (again, run or pass).  That’s just not his style.

      Either way, the writing is on the wall here.  This has become an “accept it or don’t” issue with the league that isn’t going to change.  Some fans and even some players are never going to accept it, I’m sure.  Look, it’s not like I’m 20 years old and have been watching football for 5 years.  I’ve been watching the NFL religiously since 1970.  I see the helmet-to-helmet collisions only becoming more violent and more commonplace.  Personally, I’m in the camp that removing *avoidable* shots like this one doesn’t ruin or appreciably detract from the sport.  But that’s just me.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

        What detracts from the sport for me is the random and inconsistent application of the rules.  If there were a clear set of rules that was consistently applied, I’d be fine with it.  Too much of the NFLs policies and fines are purely reactionary PR, which is what I find maddening.

        Ask yourself this: if that hit had happened during a 1 pm Sunday game instead of a primetime game, would Harrison still have been suspended?

        • Cols714

          Nope.

        • GlennW

          Seriously?  A 1 pm game would have saved James Harrison from a suspension?  I say no way.  Time and place of game haven’t saved Harrison from multiple heavy fines.  Not even with more marginal hits such as his first two in last year’s Browns game, that no one outside of Pittsburgh or Cleveland was watching.

          Inconsistency in in-game officiating has always been a part of the sport and maybe even a major problem– it’s a difficult sport to officiate.  I don’t think what the league is now deeming “finable hits” has been terribly inconsistent though (even if the amounts might be– I think some of that is based on the player’s salary, as it should be).  Did I have any doubt whatsoever that Harrison was going to be heavily fined for this hit, or Ryan Clark for his hit on Ed Dickson?  Nope, none whatsoever.  Violent shot to the head that is penalized (justifiably)– expect a fine.  Count on it.

          By the way, such fines are now being issued and announced each and every week, across the league.  Maybe we don’t always notice that outside of the Steelers, but it’s happening.  Rest assured that Harrison won’t remain as the only player ever to be suspended as a multiple offender, either.  That’s going to happen again.

      • EasyLikeSundayMorning

        Perhaps I shouldnt have brought up ducking, becausr whether McCoy ducked or not doesn’t matter in determining a penalty. What does matter is that helmet-to-helmet hits are legal against runners, which McCoy was less than a second before Harrison hit him.

        • GlennW

          Any “ducking” or other action that created inadvertent helmet-to-helmet contact might have saved Harrison from a fine or suspension though, or at least it would make a difference in my assessment.  That just didn’t happen though.

          As for the run/pass distinction, it’s still relevant that McCoy is an actual designated QB subject to certain roughing-the-passer rules even if running outside of the pocket.  Again, that’s per the rules, and I assume that Harrison knew he was pursuing a QB.  He has to be aware of that and be more careful.  Like it or not, the QB is a protected species.  That’s not even a new distinction in the rules.  The rule on unconditionally prohibited contact to the passer’s head is, what, 15-20 years old now?

          I know I’ve said a lot on the precise rules, but to boil it down– why blast the QB so high like that when you can avoid it?  Why even think about it regardless if McCoy is going to continue to run or not?  Is it really that difficult to make such an adjustment?

          • Anonymous

            Actually, the rules you are talking about protect the “passer” not the “quarterback.” McCoy did not appear to be a passer until well after Harrison was fully committed. An equivalent scenario is a guy tightroping the sideline, if a guy takes a diving tackle to push him out and, seeing it coming, the carrier taps his foot on the line, is the hit late?

          • GlennW

            That’s all true about “passer” versus “quarterback”.  Still, my point stands about a defender being aware that it’s an actual QB scrambling around with the ball, and therefore responding accordingly by making every effort not to hit high.  A non-QB running the ball behind the line of scrimmage is going to flip the ball away like that once in a million years, so yeah, I couldn’t blame a defender for assuming run and not worrying about anything else other than making a (legal) tackle.

            The special protections afforded a QB are just a reality (even including his protection after an INT if he doesn’t involve himself in attempting to defend the return).  In general I don’t have a problem with such rules (only their misplaced application on the real ticky-tack stuff).  Not just because the QB is so valuable to his team, but also because he really is relatively vulnerable, and some of the stuff that used to be defended as treating the QB “like any other player” amounted to a license to take cheapshots with the goal of putting an important player out of the game.

  • Cols714

    I’m not arguing that the rule is bad or that Harrison’s hit was legal in any way. He should not have hit McCoy helmet to helmet. I think it’s a good and necessary thing for the league to try to limit that type of hit. The league will not survive if it’s players keep getting injured. What parent is going to let his kid play football if it’s unsafe?

    However, the suspension is just not justified. I don’t see it. There have been lots of helmet to helmet hits this season and no one else has been suspended. It does not seem fair to me.

  • David

    Off subject, here are our scenarios to clinch a ticket to the offseason:

    Pittsburgh clinches a wild card spot:

    1) PIT win or tie

    2) OAK loss or tie

    3) TEN loss or tie

    4) DEN loss

    5) NYJ loss

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      I’ve been wrong on the tiebreakers before, but I believe that if Denver ties, we’re in because it removes the 4-way tie with OAK, TEN and us that has the only scenario in which we don’t get in.

      • GlennW

        The clinching scenarios which David listed come straight from the NFL.  Believe it or not, OAK can still win the division and DEN fall into the 10-6 tiebreaker with TEN and PIT for the last wildcard spot if DEN ties against *both* NE and KC (and all of the other necessary stuff which ain’t gonna happen, happens).  A 9-5-2 record translates to 10-6 (a tie is counted as a half-win, half-loss).

        The tie-breaker stuff can be mind-numbing, but every season I enjoy playing around with it as a logical exercise…

  • Anonymous

    McCoy tucked the ball and ran. This is factual, so he was clearly a runner at one point in the play. By rule a runner may be tackled with a helmet to helmet blow. Whether anyone thinks it’s “necessary” to do so, or whether it’s viscous, or anything else is irrelevant. That’s legal. Harrison made a legal diving tackle at a runner. McCoy, at the last moment flipped the ball away. There was less than a second between McCoy being in full on runner position and getting the ball out of his hands. Harrison was already committed, and the blow was unavoidable, before McCoy gave any hint of being a passer. The uncontrollable action of your target should not make an otherwise legal play become a foul when there is no possibility of reacting to that action. It should not have been a foul, it should not be fined, and it should most certainly not result in a suspension.

    While we’re at it, on one of Mendenhall’s failed goal line runs he was leveling by Cogong’s helmet to helmet tackle. It was a terrific play. If Mendenhall had spiked the ball a millisecond before contact he would by rule be a passer and by the same rule protecting McCoy be in a defenseless posture. Would Gocong be suspended?

    • GlennW

      > “The uncontrollable action of your target should not make an otherwise legal play become a foul when there is no possibility of reacting to that action. It should not have been a foul”
       
      “Should not”, or is not?  Because your interpretation of the rules is incorrect.  If a QB attempts a pass outside of the pocket, he’s then protected from any blow to the head, independent of the timing.  That’s just part of the special protections a passer enjoys, like it or not (and there’s not much disagreement on this point, even from the Steelers).  Hence, the wise action is to not aim for the headshot on a QB behind the line of scrimmage, period (or even beyond, given the rules against intentional spearing in general).
       
      Here’s the text of the rule on out-of-pocket passer protections.  Note the clause “or throws on the run”.  McCoy most certainly threw the ball, whether that throw was good, bad, or ugly.  He threw the ball, therefore he’s a passer.
       
      PASSER OUT OF THE POCKET
      (8) When the passer goes outside the pocket area and either continues moving with the ball (without attempting to advance the ball as a runner) or throws while on the run, he loses the protection of the one-step rule provided for in (1) above, and the protection against a low hit provided for in (5) above, but he remains covered by all the other special protections afforded to a passer in the pocket (numbers 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7), as well as the regular unnecessary-roughness rules applicable to all player positions.
       
      HITS TO PASSER’S HEAD AND USE OF HELMET AND FACEMASK
      (3) In covering the passer position, Referees will be particularly alert to fouls in which defenders impermissibly use the helmet and/or facemask to hit the passer, or use hands, arms, or other parts of the body to hit the passer forcibly in the head or neck area (see also the other unnecessary-roughness rules covering these subjects). A defensive player must not use his helmet against a passer who is in a defenseless posture for example, (a) forcibly hitting the passer’s head or neck area with the helmet or facemask, regardless of whether the defensive player also uses his arms to tackle the passer by encircling or grasping him, or (b) lowering the head and making forcible contact with the top/crown or forehead/”hairline” parts of the helmet against any part of the passer’s body. This rule does not prohibit incidental contact by the mask or non-crown parts of the helmet in the course of a conventional tackle on a passer.
       

      • Anonymous

        “Should not.” I’ve read the actual rules on the topic and they are contradictory in places: ex. McCoy became a runner then passed, so he’s a passer, but nothing about the rules says he stops being a runner. So he’s both? What’s worse, a strict reading of the rules does not require the passer to be the quarterback or throwing a legal forward pass or behind the line of scrimmage. Any player about to be tackled helmet to helmet anywhere on the field under any circumstances can spike the ball and pick up 15 free yards. From all that I conclude that when ruling both on the field and off the field officials have to use some common sense. In this case they completely failed to do so.

        • GlennW

          Just in watching the sport I think it’s clear that fairly often a QB transitions from a “runner” to a “passer”.  McCoy’s romp close to the line of scrinmage might represent the extreme, but routinely on a scramble or a designed rollout play the defense does not know whether the QB is going to continue to run, or pull up and pass.  Hence the change in protections for a QB outside the pocket, to give the defense some latitude.  The QB scrambling out of the pocket can then be hit low, but still not in the head unless he continues to run (and even then, per the rules that helmet contact is supposed to be incidental).. So, for a defender choosing to hit high on a scrambling QB it’s simply a matter of taking his chances.  And let’s face it, those chances aren’t very good given both the written rule and its application.  In fact the same roughing-the-passer rule also instructs the official when in doubt to err on the side of protecting the QB.

          So, I strongly disagree that the officials on the field didn’t exercise “common sense” in flagging Harrison.  It’s an unnecessary headshot on a QB who is fully upright and didn’t duck into contact.  That’s going to be flagged 100% of the time, and it should be.  However the common sense argument does have more merit with regard to the actual suspension.  I can’t read minds, but I still think that the suspension is at least as much about Harrison’s track record as the severity of this latest violation.

  • Cols714

    So Harrison just became the 1st player in 25 years to be suspended for a tackle. This is according to Wexell. The last guy was suspended for bodyslamming Jim McMahon.

    This is why I feel it is BS. I get that the hit wasn’t legal. I get the penalty. I get the fine. But I don’t get that this was the 1st suspension in 25 years. It wasn’t that crazy of a hit.

    This better mean that others will be suspended in the future for head shots.

  • David

    So here’s the problem I have with the suspension:

    If Brady is in the pocket and gets hit in the knees by Richard Seymour, he has his cartilage torn and is out for the season, and Seymour gets a flag for PF, would Seymour be suspended for 1 game?

    I don’t think so, even though he’s been fined many, many times.

  • David

    And speaking of Seymour, he sucker punches Ben, and gets a fine but no suspension?

    • DC in ATL

      And Seymour punched someone else this year too…and no word of suspension.

    • DC in ATL

      And Seymour punched someone else this year too…and no word of suspension.

  • K33ger

    How come no one in any blog I’ve read today has pointed out that Steelers were the ONLY team in the NFL to vote NO to the new CBA?  And that their reason for doing so was specifically centered around a lack of change regarding player punishments?  

    And don’t tell me that any of the defenders support the suspension.  You know they all think it was a good hit, but they are not retarded.  They are just trying to minimize further antagonizing Czar Goodell.  

    I’m very upset at the Post-gazette for not taking a harder stance and doing some research on this.  They write about the Steelers and it is clear to many that a pattern is emerging with regards to Goodell over-punishing Steelers and not protecting their offensive players (Ward, Wallace, Big Ben).  I would think it would be fairly easy for a newspaper to scour the previous 3 years of outcries on missed calls, non-punished hits, and such for other teams and compare them to the Steelers.  To me, this shows that the reality is the media wants attention and the story.  Actual Journalism (ie, investigations and trying to keep an eye on abuses of those in power) have gone out the window.  This is the same media that would have you believe Tebow brought about the last win through his amazing leadership, and not the dumb play of Marion Barber III nor his field goal kicker nailing two 50+ field goals.  

    I don’t think that Harrison’s hit was terrible.  It looks bad in slow mo, but when I watched the game, I was worried Colt would juke around James and get that first down.  When he flipped the ball out I was like OMGWTFBBQ.  Definitely not worthy of a suspension.

    I never felt Ngata should have been fined/suspended for Ben’s nose.  It happened in a play, and IIRC, Ben was in the pocket too.  Just a bad play.  Should have been a flag though.  I also didn’t agree with Clark’s fine earlier this year for that “hit on a defenseless receiver” when in the same game Ward got raped in the middle by Ray Ray (defenseless AND a head hit to boot) and no flag.  Why is Lewis a higher paragon of virtue than Harrison?  He lied to the cops, made a plea agreement, he has total thuggery about him with that gay dance and his antics on the field, and is ALWAYS hitting people late in piles.  

  • Randy Steele

    This has nothing to do with James Harrison, and mentions the Steelers only in passing.
    But it’s a must read for NFL football fans.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/45640175

    • Cols714

      Yeah. I’ve been thinking about this sort of thing for a while. With every NFL team going after the exact same player (great pocket QB, good WR, etc.) wouldn’t a team get an advantage by doing something completely different on offense?

      I’ve always thought that you could make this work if you had at least two supremely talented guys at QB that could run well and throw at least a little bit. Something like Kordell Stewart and Eric Crouch.

      The Broncos can do it with Tebow and maybe someone like Denard Robinson.

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      Randy, thanks for sharing that piece. It is a good read and I agree with most of it. I disagree with the idea that Kordell wasn’t successful, though.

      • Cols714

        People forget that 2001 Kordell was pretty good. He also had another year in there, I think 1998 when they lost to the Broncos that he was really good.

        Good QB. Too inconsistent from year to year. Not unlike Vick in that respect.

  • Moxie J

    Dunta Robinson became the first repeat helmet to helmet offender earlier this season when he hit Maclin and was fined 40k. Why is Harrison being treated differently?

    • Randy Steele

      Because he is… and we’d better get used to it.

    • GlennW

      Dunta Robinson and Ryan Clark (also now a repeat offender) are the two names at the top of my list of “next player eligible to be suspended” (and I can only imagine the outrage if it ends up being Clark).  But James Harrison is up to Violation #5 over the past three years, right?  Hell, in the league’s eyes Harrison had two such violations in *one game*, although I thought that one of those was BS.

      Nobody will ever be convinced that there can be any consistency to this; I understand that.  There really can’t be in any measurable sense, as every “violation” is different in its circumstances and severity.  Just a guess, but I’ll bet that Harrison just opened the door to more frequent suspensions though (not the opposite), as the precedent has been set.  These things rarely move in the other direction (look at the NHL as an example).

    • GlennW

      By the way, apparently Wexell and others are wrong about this being the first suspension in 25+ years for a football-related hit.  From today’s PPG article:
      “There have been several helmet-to-helmet hits that resulted in suspensions. In 2008, Eric Smith of New York Jets got a one-game penalty for a hit on Arizona’s Anquan Boldin. In 2002, Rodney Harrison of the San Diego Chargers got one game for a hit on Jerry Rice of Oakland.”I also didn’t realize that Tomlin acknowledged that the league has supplied “guidelines on repeat offenders”.  I don’t suppose any of that has been made public, no?Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11348/1196621-66-0.stm#ixzz1gYJcsQ6l

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    One thing that has gone under the radar is that Dwyer was put on IR. Will 3 RBs be enough for the rest of the season?

    • Randy Steele

      I remember reading somewhere this week that the Steelers picked up another running back for the practice squad. I’m sure he’s a marginal player at best, but at least they have another body available.

  • Randy Steele

    My advice? Just get used to the hypocrisy and move on.

    Which brings up this interesting little note from Ed Bouchette this morning:

    “You could buy a photo of a prone Colt McCoy after James Harrison hit him, on NFL.com yesterday.”

    • EasyLikeSundayMorning

      This. Plus the Browns staff didn’t test Colt for a concussion. Both of those were decisions that multiple professionals had at least minutes to contemplate. But James Harrison gets suspended and pays more than $70,000 for not changing his angle that would have been legal less than one second before. Okay, then.

  • Cols714

    People forget that 2001 Kordell was pretty good. He also had another year in there, I think 1998 when they lost to the Broncos that he was really good.

    Good QB. Too inconsistent from year to year. Not unlike Vick in that respect.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    I’m not sure why, but we really haven’t talked about our next game, which would be hugely important if BAL loses to SD (or loses to CIN in week 17).  The only time I’ve seen the 49ers was against BAL, and they didn’t look particularly impressive.  Has anyone else seen them play?  Or does anyone have any particular opinion about them?

  • Cols714

    What do you think? Does Ben play?

    I have a tough time seeing us win this one. It’s funny to be scared of a rushing attack for a change.

    • GlennW

      I hate saying this from a competitive standpoint, but if BAL beats SD I think Ben should sit (and maybe even if BAL loses, depending on the precise nature of Ben’s injury).  It just doesn’t seem to be worth the risk.  Even if Ben can be effective playing hurt, a re-injury could effectively end our season.  I understand that this could happen in any game the rest of the way, but it becomes a matter of healing up and minimizing the chances of re-injury.  If BAL wins the division, chances are the Steelers are the #5 seed even in the unlikely event that we finish up the season 0-3 (basically the Jets would have to go 3-0 just to knock us to #6, and even that’s not exactly a disaster).

      • David

        That’s a good call. We can see what the Raisins do Sunday night, then decide on if Ben will play. If they win, sit him.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

      I don’t think he will.  That is an injury that consistently knocks people out for 2-4 weeks.  Roethlisberger was still able to play with last Thursday but that was before his leg had time to swell up and become inflamed.  I’d wager it’s (gulp) Batch time. 

      Frankly, I’d much rather have Dixon in there.  Batch doesn’t look like he has much arm strength left, based on the little I’ve seen.  Batch also seems to be worried about getting hit.  Dixon on the other hand has the ability to run and throw deep. 

      I haven’t seen much of the 49ers but they seem to be a classic formula of running the majority of the time to hide a quarterback and playing great defense behind it.  Hope to keep the score low and win it in the 4th.  Otherwise known as the Kent Graham Offense.  Without Roethlilsberger, we’ll probably be doing the same thing.

      • GlennW

        I think I agree about starting Dixon, especially against a very tough defense like the 49ers.  With Batch in there our still-significant O-line problems become glaringly exposed, and this was evident even in Batch’s brief appearance in the Browns game.  This may become academic if Batch breaks another bone upon taking any hard contact.

        It certainly sounds as if the Steelers would go with Batch, though.  Getting ahead of myself here, but if Batch were getting the crap beat out of him I wouldn’t hesitate to make the switch.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

          To take your point further, if Batch is injured, we are left with Dixon and a street free agent QB.  Assuming that Batch carries a much higher risk of injury, it might make sense to start Dixon regardless.  That way, in the less likely event of a Dixon injury, we’d still have a backup QB who knows the playbook. 

        • Cols714

          I disagree. I’d go with Batch. Dixon is probably more likely to turn the ball over than Batch. I think I’ll trust the defense in this one, play a conservative no errors type of offense and hope that the D can win one.

    • New Eric

      I don’t think Ben will or should play.  I’d rather take my chances with a healthy Ben on the road in the playoffs, than a bye and home games with an unhealthy Ben.  Rest up, get the ankle back to strength, and then get ready for a playoff run. 

      On a sidenote, I also don’t think a loss this Monday destroys our chances, as long as Sand Diego can beat Baltimore.  I think Cinci is going to be a real tough game for Balt. in week 17.

  • Cols714

    I really don’t mind having Batch start the next couple of games. I know he looked lost last Thursday, but having a full week of practice should help him out.

    I just don’t see how Tomlin can put Ben in there against a good SF defense on the road. Just start Batch and hope that your defense can keep it close enough to win. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UR6KXGPFIFYZSVJNCXCJNHDQJQ Bob Costas

    Well, we should all be happy.  The league renewed all of their TV contracts, bringing a lot of new money.  That should help increase the cap for next year and make the Steelers salary cap situation less sticky.

    • GlennW

      Those contract extensions don’t go into effect until the 2014 season though.  I think your amateur capologists (like Ted) had already assumed a significant bump for 2014 and beyond, but our troubles may lie with the 2012 and 2013 seasons.  Even trying to push money out two years via re-negotiated deals is risky, because you’re then making contract commitments for longer than you may have wanted to (paying out bonus money on a 4-year deal instead of just the two seasons 2012-13, etc.).  That’s an option with star players like Roethlisberger though.

  • http://er247plus.com/ Shane Warne

    I understand that this could happen in any game the rest of the way,
    but it becomes a matter of healing up and minimizing the chances of
    re-injury. Thanks mate. 

  • http://aokc.net/ Jason Pollard

    Thankful segment. I
    really appreciate whatever you doing here and reckon this type of event could
    happen in any game the rest of the way. Thanks for sharing.