Steelers Lounge Podcast #67: Broncos Recap – Kimo von Oelhoffen

And so it ends, ingloriously at the hands of Timmy Tebow.

In the Big Ben era, this loss ranks pretty low on the “I’m never getting over this” scale, although JJ and Adam feel differently (as I suspect, do you). But in my mind, a confluence of events kicked the Steelers squarely in the gonads — the injuries (starting with Ben and ending with, well, everybody else), Ike Taylor’s Chad Scott impression, Mike Wallace not showing up again (I actually thought he should’ve been benched) — and if we’re being honest, this team as currently constituted had no chance to beat the Pats next week.

Whatever, we talk about all that happened Sunday and take a quick peak ahead to the offseason because changes are a-comin’.

Two more things we discuss that I want to throw out here:

1) What’s the chance Dick LeBeu returns in 2012 (and do you want him back)? [Edit: approximately 47 seconds after I posted this I see that Tomlin said in Monday's presser that he expects LeBeau and Arians back. I fully embrace this news.]

2) Who do you want to see win the Super Bowl. Or more pointedly, who do you want to see lose? For me it’s the Ravens, though some of you have more hatred for the Pats.

Alright, let’s get to the chattin’…

Steelers Lounge Podcast #67: Broncos recap

Steelers Lounge Podcast

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  • DJAnyReason

    Given that the Broncos blitzed on the Hail Mary, I tend to think the odds of the Steelers blocking 5 with 6, and/or Ben sneaking out of the way, and completing the Hail Mary with 4 WR vs. 6 DBs, is better than making the 67 yard FG.

    • GlennW

      Yeah, the 67-yard FG is a pipe dream with potential (very) negative consequences to a blocked kick.  I didn’t want the Steelers attempting that.

      Couple points on that last possession in regulation.  The strip fumble was a miraculous/lucky play by Dumervil, where Dumervil wasn’t all that close to Ben and just stabbed at him while passing through, with Ben under no other heavy pressure.  Quite possibly a season-saving play by Dumervil, with not much fault to be assigned to our O-line.  But then we take a delay-of-game penalty after the following play (an incompletion)?  Inexcusable.  That 5 yards might have been enough to change the FG decision.  Just another nagging thought.

  • Bob Costas

    Go NFC.  Any of them.  Doesn’t matter.

  • David

    For Question #2, in order of pref NOT to win the SB:

    1. Raisins
    2. Patsies
    3. Whackers
    4. Harbaugh-West
    5. Aint’s

  • Bob Costas

    The bright side of Wallace having a poor second half – it gives the team leverage in contract negotiations… (stretching here).

  • Anonymous

    This loss doesn’t bother me that much either.  Don’t get me wrong I hate losing, particularly in the playoffs, but I honestly didn’t expect us to get to the SB with how injured we were so now we just get a better draft position.
    Your Questions:
     1. LeBeau will be back, and I want him back.  I would like to see an OC who can adapt to the game as it develops better than BA…I don’t blame him for this loss I’ve just never been a fan.  He seems to alternate between genius and moron with no middle ground…and the latter seems to come up about the time the team crosses the opponent’s 20 yard line.

    2.  Anyone but the Ravens or Pats.  And I would rather the 49ers not get one so we can still be the winningest franchise.  I would actually love to see Tebow win the SB…just to keep the madness going and watch all the commentators’ heads explode (not the SL commentators’ heads obviously)

    • Dean Keaton

      Don’t forget that Jim Harbaugh is as much of a whiney a-hole as his brother, so that’s another big vote against the 49ers. Seriously, those two b***hes complain to the refs more than any other coaches, and the maddening part is that the refs listen to them.

  • Cols714

    This loss only bothers me because I figured we win this one and then the rest is just gravy. We wouldn’t have been favored in any other games and it would have been fun to just root with no expectations.

    I don’t really mind both coordinators coming back, but at some point it would be nice to get some fresh ideas into the organization.

    No way would I have sent Suisham out there for a 67 yarder.

    Wallace looks like he needs to somehow refocus after Brown stole his thunder in the 2nd half of the season.

    I’m rooting for:
    1. Broncos
    2. Texans
    3. Ravens
    4. Pats 

    I just don’t want Brady/Belichick to get a 4th Super Bowl. Plus there is just way way way way too much media adulation for those two guys.

    In the NFC, I guess I’d like to see the Giants or Saints win it. Those are tough teams to hate.

  • Jason Armes

    Even the good passes Tebow connected on, most looked like fluttery little birds.  Thus even more proff he is being assited by the devine :) AGHH!  I mean it was on target and all, but it sure seemed to just float there.
    I would like to see Houston and Giants in the superbowl.  I dont want to see any other teams there.   Especially not a Harbaugh coached one.

  • New Eric

    At least we will get to see the Steelers in the Pro Bowl.  Barf!  I’m rooting for the Saints vs. the Packers in the superbowl.  Can we get a Goodell override to make this happen?  The thought of either the Ravens or the Pats being there makes me ill.

  • TO

    I’m disappointed.  I didn’t realize what coach loving sycophants you guys are.   Apparently Lebeau is only responsible when the D plays well.  Otherwise it’s the players fault.  

    His schemes are dated and were figured out long ago.  Only thing that keeps this D on top  - and that’s when they’re playing weak and mediocre teams, and in games that don’t matter (so Denver in the playoffs is out) is the play of studs such as Troy, Harrison, and Timmons.  

    • GlennW

      Or against New England this season, apparently.  Not that I’m defending LeBeau for the Denver gameplan– it really was a bad one, or at least the failure to adjust after Tebow showed he could hit on a couple long balls.

    • David

      I’m for both staying, but if one has to go, it has to be BA. That backwards pass that should have been a fumble and DEN ball was a terrible call. So was the WR screen on 3rd & 7.

      Lebeau did screw the pooch this game. He didn’t blitz until the 2nd half. Their O-line was a fortress. But I’m for continuity in the 3-4 and Lebeau. Let’s just get a cover CB in the draft (and O-line help).

      • Sarah

        Spent some time listening to sports talk in Pgh yesterday. The main themes were: Ike Taylor had a career-awful day but was not helped by the schemes. Mundy seemed more at fault on thelast play for biting too hard. We still like Ike and don’t want to run him out of town, but he ruined an otherwise solid year (perhaps his best year).

        The SCHEMES on both sides of the ball were arrogant in the extreme, i.e. no expectation that Denver could touch them, and resulting poor focus, poorly prepared teams.

        On D the scheme was so simplistic as to make Tebow throw the ball even if it meant pass rush standing there watching him to contain, giving him many seconds to throw, thus accounting for his more-than-2 completions.
        But worst was the failure to adjust the D scheme when it becamse obvious Tebow was having a career day going over the top, and give Ike some/more safety help.

        Not defending the goal line when the only way you could lose in OT was a TD was inexcusable.

        • Sarah

          HOnestly – since TEbow is so poor at reading D and getting through his progressions, I actually thought LeBeau would be stunt-blitzing all over the damn place and throwing out wierd zone covgs and so on just to keep Timmy guessing.

          Instead he made things so simple that the worst passer in the league hit repeated long balls.

          I love LeBeau but this was the first time I began thinking maybe he’s gotten too old to mentally keep up during the game and make proper adjustments.

        • David

          Sarah, you are amazing. You are living proof that Pittsburgh women know their football.

          Can you (try to) teach my wife football?

          • Sarah

            LOL!  Well I’m no expert. Ice hockey’s my game, I do know a bit about that at least goaltending anyway. And tennis. Yes, extreme opposites.

            I prowled a bit ove at Bob SMizik’s blog which seems about 99% armchair blowhards (and a lot of hyperbole and hysteria)  but there were some interesting bits. For ex) Denver is known for going Long Ball on first play of quarters and halfs. As they did on 1st play OT. Since Ryan has been watching so closely I’d love to hear his take on that. The CW has been “great call! nobody could see that coming!” But apparently, if you watched film, possibly you could see it coming and you might not put 9 on the LOS that first play in OT. Dunno.

            Additionally, the “ridiculous” nbr of lower body injuries last couple yrs, plus inability to keep guys returning soon/injury free may point to a) the turf at Heinz and b) the training staff and c) general fitness of the team….
            DUnno about that either but it is an interesting angle. They surely have been decimated – like to see stats compared to other teams esp OL, playing on different surfaces.

          • Sarah

            And re BA – have long said he is unimaginative and non-responsive to game situations and changing needs/matchupes and so on.

            When Phill Freakin Simms is up in the box predicting your Godawful Bubble Screens, possibly you need to get a teensy bit less predictable.

          • Sarah

            And as for going Long on first plays of qtrs, halfs and so on….the one time they did that during the game was the first play of the 2nd Quarter.
            Just sayin’.

          • David

            Makes sense. I’ve always pictured you as a Manon Rheaume…

          • Sarah

            C’est moi. YEs I am a goalie. ONly safe position to play with guys twice as big as me….

          • TO

            Great points.  Have a feeling the PS are a bit worse on average in the injury department.  Another reason could be the type of lineman – overweight lumbering ogres.   None of whom seem to be the smartest players either, meaning I don’t think they take very good care of themselves – nutrition, lifestyle, that type of stuff.  

            Overall the coaching to me just seems lazy and complacent.  It’s the “we’ve won with this scheme/philosophy before, so we’ll just keep doing it”

            I assume the bare minimum in personnel changes that the FO/coaches can get away with will occur.  Smith and Hoke will retire, McFadden and Kemo will be let go, Foote, Farrior and Ward all back at the vet minimum.  Continue to pay Hampton a king’s ransom for 20 plays a game where he is mostly ineffective.  They’ll add some slightly above journey man vet to the secondary, and another Meridith or whatever that guys name is to the Oline.

  • Randy Steele

    I noted on another thread that one of the advantages of being an old coot is that it helps me put my pain from the loss in perspective.

    For instance, I would feel worse if my dog died…

    I guess…

    • Bob Costas

      But how would you feel if Tim Tebow killed your dog?

      • GlennW

        The Tebow part doesn’t bother me, except for the fact that he really shouldn’t beat us.  But other than that, I’d rather lose to Tebow than most other QBs, even if it does contribute to the hype.  And no, I’m not particularly religious or anything.  It’s just that by all appearances he sincerely is a good guy, so I don’t mind that back story.

        • New Eric

          I agree.  I’ve gone back and forth on Tebow ever since his days at Florida, where I vehemently rooted against him, mostly because he won all of the time.  I remember really enjoying seeing him bent down in tears on the sidelines after losing at the end of his last year.  However, I’ve always admired his well documented work ethic, and his passion to win.  I went from rooting against him, to kind of rooting for him this year when everyone pointed out how much he stunk (which I think is true, at least from a QB perspective), and now I’m kind of back to rooting against him because of all of the hype.  However, I don’t blame him for the hype.  He seems like a genuine guy.  It’s his legions of minions that really do believe God smote down Big Bad Ben and James Harrison for their wicked ways.  And, this is not just hyperbole.  There really are a lot of people out there that believe this.  It’s mostly comical, but at times really irritates me.

        • Anonymous

          Pretty much the same sentiment here. Also, I usually want the the team that beat us to win out so at least you only lost to the best.

      • Randy Steele

        But how would you feel if Tim Tebow killed your dog?”

        I sorta like Tebow. He makes the NFL a lot more interesting. It’s neat that someone with his skill set can go onto that field and win football games.

        That said, if he killed my dog, I’d make sure he got to meet Jesus real soon, up close and personal.

    • David

      I’m an old coot myself, having remembered a lot of more painful losses. Easily the tops is the AFCC game vs. SD in 1995. I didn’t want to talk to anyone for 2 weeks.

      1. Last regular season game vs. HOU and Cody Carlson
      2. OT loss to Joe and the Chefs in the WC
      3. AFCC loss to Brady at Heinz in 2002

      • Anonymous

        Damn Alfred Pupunu. Thanks for that reminder. Heck, I was only twelve years old, and that one still bugs me. Never start singing your going to the super bowl song the week before the AFCCG.

        • Rob D

          That SD game was an EPIC loss. I was at the hospital after my wife got hurt in a freak accident. Her son and I were sitting in the TV room and turned on the game. It was something like the scene in “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” where Nicholson and Co. recreate the baseball game in their heads that the Nurse from hell won’t let them watch. The picture cut out first..then the sound and it was sporadically off and on throughout the first quarter. In the meantime, I am telling the group of mostly elderly people about the importance of the game, history of the STeelers etc…and they all get into it big time since its a rather boring Sunday otherwise.

          IN the end, after the loss, everyone is sitting around going “I can’t believe they did that happen” lol…3 hours earlier most of them didn’t know what a first down was! My son in law kept saying “How can you lose to a guy named Pupunu and a fat QB?” It was HORRRRR ibbbllleeee..took me months to get over it. In fact, you never get over it, you just deal with the pain. No guts, no glory..its all part of the irrational appeal of sports. And I love it.

        • Sunil R

          I live in Moscow, Idaho. Last fall my friend’s kid got to hang out on the Idaho sideline at a football game, because he’s a classmate of Assistant Coach Pupunu. That name rolled around my head all game, until my grief shook loose the memory.

        • GlennW

          Let’s not blame Alfred Pupunu here.  Unlike someone who did something completely miraculous, unprecedented and unexpected (like say, Tim Tebow) all Pupunu did was catch a medium-length pass thrown right to him.  We just forgot to cover the guy.  Unless of course Pupunu had employed his Samoan invisibility powers, in which case I say, foul play Mr Pupunu, foul play!

  • Rob D

    No love for the Giants in this forum? I think they are playing Steeler type football except they have actual healthy NFL football players to do that with.

    I am not rooting for them but that’s the team I’d like to see hoist the Lombardi over the other pass happy/no defense teams that predominate in this year of GoodellBall (trademark)

    • Sarah

      No I like the Giants. I was ecstactic when they beat DreamBoat Tommy and Darth Hoodie and the Asterisks.

      They are prolly my first choice actually.

      Like Aaron Rodgers too. That guy can play, and he quietly paid his dues on the bench behind His Egoness. Giants, then Pack.

      • Rob D

        DreamBoat Tommy etc…not that is funny…lol

        The Giants look a little like their SB team in terms of getting a pass rush and having Eli showing off accuracy and escapability. I used to hate Eli just because of his last name but I’m over it. If Brandon Jacobs can run like he has recently, they have a formidable running game that can control the clock. The guy looks healthy, much like the rest of the team.

        Anyway, I am going to enjoy the rest of the year..should be fun and far less taxing on the mind.

  • Cols714

    As far as post season losses go in my time as a fan (I’m 34, but I don’t really count the late 1970s and early 1980s since I have no recollection of them). 
    1. 1994 loss to SD at home – they were at the 3 yard line with one play to win it and it wasn’t even a particularly good play call or any execution at all. I often wonder how many Super Bowls those 1990s Steeler teams would have won with Big Ben.2. 2001 loss to NE at home3. 2010 Super Bowl – Two plays, the overthrow of Wallace and the Mendenhall fumble cost us this game. I guess three if you count the absolutely perfect throw (the ball grazed Taylor’s hand) and catch to a well covered Nelson on 3rd and 10 that got the Pack their last 3 points.4. 1998 loss to Denver at home – this one hurt because that Steelers really could have won this easily had Stewart not thrown a really really bad pick in the end zone5. 2011 loss to Denver – just because I didn’t see it coming at all6. 1995 SB loss to Dallas -because they had this game. They had the momentum and were moving the ball pretty easily against an obviously tired Dallas defense, then that terrible pick…
    7. 2007 loss to Jax – at home, verse David Garrard yeesh
    8. 2004 loss to NE at home – just sucked to lose to them again. But they were the better team.

    • Cols714

      Sorry about the formatting, it looked better before it posted.

      • Sarah

        Oh. ANd apparently Denver was in an illegal formation on the last play.
        TD vs 5 yard penalty.

        • Cols714

          That’s pretty weak. The refs gave us the gift non-fumble, I think we can let this one slide.

          • Rob D

            Ron Winter’s crew reff’ed like it was the 1970`s…lol..just let the boys play. I know they missed a lot but they did it fairly for both teams. I have no complaints about the officiating was incompetently called for both teams.

          • GlennW

            It’s really weak.  I saw Mike Pereira’s response to this observation where he basically said: “Watch a game sometime, every play.  We don’t enforce this rule to this level of technicality”.  Agreed.  The TE is one helmet length behind the LT, not in the backfield or anything.  I’d be irate at such a call made against my team, and on this huge play even one made for my team, I think, because we’d never hear the end of it.

    • Rob D

      Cols..SD loss was just devastating..I had that wiped out feeling for a full month after that game. Couldn’t even see the Steelers logo without lapsing into depression. With even a Phil Simms type, they’d have won at least 2. Great D, Great O-lines.

      Losing to GB was bitter after they surprised many of us by making it that far. When they always seem to execute under pressure and then do not..its hard to square with your expectation that they simply will do it again..Ben will take them down the field and score etc Too many young guys on offense for us and I think the stage was too big. Losing E, Sanders was HUGE in that game for us. Losing him this year was big as well. He’s special. I don’t think any QB has ever beeen so deadly accurate and on his game as Rodgers was in that SB. And it was our misfortune to face him. Having rewatched the game a few times, he could have easily had at min, 2 more TD’s if his receivers didn’t drop perfectly thrown balls. Possibly 3. Still, the Mendy fumble was crucial and ended our realistic hopes.

      1998 loss..wasn’t that the one where noted Steroid/HGH abuser Romanowski mocked Kordell for throwing a bad pick?

      Losing to the Raiders without Franco and Rocky in 76 is probably my worst memory. That defense was the greatest ever IMO..and having your running game basically eliminated in those days was fatal to your chances. Oakland was a great team but my money is on the Steelers with those two in the offensive backfield. I miss the run game dominant days..

  • Mc_Muffin

    Hm I’ve been reading steelerslounge in quite some time now so i thought i might as well as this here, even though its totatally off topic…at least with the broncos game…

    anyway…i’m from germany and i have been following the nfl for like 2 years now and i’m finally starting to understand all the different formations and stuff…you see since football is like one of the most unpopular sports in germany so you dont really know anything concerning tactics and formations…

    so here is my question…is there any god webside or youtube video or a movie in general that really explains different tactics and formations…at a, lets say, beginner to advance level…the only once i can find are either like “football is a game played with 11 players on each side” – stuff or its a 30 min movie about one particular play…

    and since i am from germany i highly appriciate a movie or clip or video with picture material because its way easier for me to understand when i see what they are talking about then when there are just X’s and O’s once every page and the rest is just text…

    however i hope somebody can help me out because next year i want to understand what “cover 1 (cover 2, cover 0 or whatever is) and not just wanna watch the steelers (as entertaining as it is)



  • GlennW

    Well, being older, my first painful Steelers’ loss was their first postseason defeat in modern times, the loss in the 1972 AFCCG to the soon-to-be undefeated and “perfect” Miami Dolphins, where the game basically was lost due to Bradshaw’s early concussion and the Dolphins’ successful fake punt for big yardage.  Followed the very next day by the news of Roberto Clemente’s tragic death (which had actually occurred the day before).  Nothing will ever top that one-two stomach punch for emotional pain, with the Steelers’ loss becoming a trivial afterthought to the combination.

    But for the in-the-moment feeling of dread and despair, it’d have to be the 1994 AFCCG against the Chargers, followed closely by the 2001 AFCCG against the Patriots (by comparison there was just so much joy in 1972 to finally be in the playoffs, and to have experienced any success at all).  Something like this Broncos’ loss is nothing by comparison.  But on the other side of the coin, this franchise has had so much success both in my own youth and then shared with my son in his youth that any “pain” is very relative.  No losses can ever really bother me as they once might have.

    • Sarah

      I was a bit young for the 1972 Steeler loss. But I was a huge Clemente fan and took that loss very hard. When I was tiny my Dad took me to Forbes Field and we’d pay like 1.50 GA and sit on the first base line and watch Roberto. This is maybe `69 – can’t recall….When they were tearing it down we snuck in one night and ran around the bases! There was a huge trench where the pitcher’s mound had been.

      The 94 Charger loss was awful, but losing the SB to the Cowgirls was worse….

      I worked with a young guy in the 90′s who was an absolute manic Pirate fan. Sweet young kid but just crazy.
      When they lost that Pennant series to Atlanta (92 was it?) when “Mr. August”  Barry Bonds went like 1 for 28 and Sid Bream scored the winner, poor Mike, he went bonkers.

      We came in to work the next day and found him sitting slumped at his desk – where he’d been since 3AM since he couldn’t sleep after the game so he just came to work!!!  Pale as a ghost poor kid. He could hardly speak.  He was really just sick about it.

      • Randy Steele

        Sarah, I can still see Sid Bream chugging around those base paths, coming in to score…

        I remember doubling over in pain in front of the TV set. It felt like a dagger in the gut. I would have cried if I had had the strength.

        That’s a loss most of us Pirate fans have never recovered from, primarily because we haven’t had a good baseball team to help us forget about it since then. (I bet that Browns’ fans are still licking their wounds from their last playoff game in 2002.)

    • New Eric

      Wow, although I knew Clemente’s death and the loss to the Dolphins were both in 1972, I never realized they were within a day of each other!  That’s amazing.  I’m going to have to ask my dad about his experience of that 1-2 punch.  I was only born in September of that year, but Clemente is one of my favorite sports figures from a historical perspective.  Wish I could have seen him play.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    In the original Bad News Bears movie, Lupus is a little boy who cannot catch any ball hit to him.  In the playoffs, a long
    fly ball is hit to Lupus and he puts put his glove an inexplicably makes the
    catch.  Tebow’s performance was as if
    Lupus didn’t just make one catch but suddenly turned into Willie Mays. Oh and Lupus’s first name was Timmy.

    • David

      Well, in the immortal words of Tanner (to DEN):

      “You can take this second place trophy and shove it straight up your a$$!”

  • New Eric

    That was really entertaining reading through everyone’s ranking of painful playoff losses.  Helps me realize I’m not the only irrational nutjob out there.  I’ll play along, in order of most to least painful (preface: I’m 39, so most of the 70s is nostalgic history to me)

    #1 most painful: definitely the 94 AFCC against the Chargers.  We were just such heavy favorites and I loved that team.  Plus, it was going to be a showdown between us and the 49ers for the first to reach 5 rings.  I was just out of college, and I was seriously considering using all of my graduation gift money to go to the superbowl.  I was simply devastated.  For a very long time.  If Harbaugh would have completed the hail mary the following year in the AFCC, I may never have watched football again. 

    #2 most painful: losing the superbowl to the Cowboys.  We were such heavy underdogs, and we really had a great shot to win the game.  My friend and I kept looking at each other and saying just keep giving the ball to Bam Morris.  I truly believe if they would have done that, we would have won the game.  I just couldn’t take losing to the Cowboys.  I hated them back then like I hate the Patriots today.

    #3 most painful: losing the superbowl to the Packers.  Not that there is any shame in losing to a great team, and I don’t particularly dislike the Favre-less Packers.  But, it hurt really bad to get so very close, especially in a year where we exceeded expectations.  I fully expected Ben to lead the team on another 80 yard drive for a touchdown to win that game once we held GB to a field goal.  When it didn’t happen, I almost felt like part of an era was ending.  It just stinks losing superbowls.

    #4/#5 most painful (TIE): both losses to the Patriots.  Probably would rank higher, but I didn’t hate them as much back then when they beat us as I do now, after their near-perfect season, spygate, media love fest, etc. 

    #6 most painful: losing to Broncos in 1990 (89 season), after Merril Hodge’s epic performance.  This was really my first taste of playoff football as an adult, and it came on the heels of such an emotional victory against the Oilers.

    Honorable mention: losing to the Titans with Tommy Maddox in the Joe Nedney Oscar performance.  The playoffs were a weak field that year, and I think we could have potentially won it all, or at least made it to the superbowl.  At the very least, it could have set up an epic 70s style matchup against the Raiders.

    Note: Although these were all very painful, I remember every single playoff loss of my adult life, and indeed almost every regular season loss for at least the last 10 years (Sunday Ticket era).  And, I might also add that I probably have never felt so depressed as seeing Sid Bream sliding across home plate in 1992, denying the Bucs a trip to the World Series.  Francisco Cabrara may be the swellest guy in the world, but I wished bodily harm on him for a very long time.   

  • Anonymous

    My rooting order:
    Denver – losing to the champs is the easiest pill to swallow
    Baltimore – I only hate these guys when we play them, otherwise I like how they play, they represent the AFCN, and like the podcast says “little brother”
    New York
    New Orleans
    Green Bay
    San Francisco – I want the 6 ring club to stay as exclusive as possible
    New England – cheaters plain and simple, they should be banned from the NFL not winning championships

    Aside from the specifics I have two general principles. I prefer those closer organizationally to the Steelers: AFCN > AFC > NFL. I prefer those who play a more balanced game to win because it’s more enjoyable to watch and I want it encouraged in this copy-cat league.

    • Steve

      “Losing to the champs is the easiest pill to swallow.”

      That’s like saying “Sure I got kicked in the nuts, but she was the hottest chick in the room.”. Otherwise, though, I generally agree with the sentiment. My only quibble with your preference order is that I’d put Baltimore after Green Bay. I detest division foes with a particular élan, but keeping us as the only 6 time winners, and wanting the Patriots to lose, will always trump my petty divisional proclivities.

  • Anonymous

    Alright, time to get over the loss. I formally (oh yeah, that’s right, get out your tail coat) request some salary cap, roster, or draft need/target analysis. That stuff is almost as fun as watching the games for me.

  • Bob Costas

    Ward is letting it be known that he doesn’t want to retire and will take a pay cut to stay with the Steelers. At what salary, if any, would you pay to keep Ward?

    • Rob D

      1 mill…one more year of Ward in Wallace’s ear is required. Mike needs to learn how to fight for the ball, never give up on a ball and keep your head in the game from one of the greatest “gamers” in history. That’s enough of a reason for me to keep Ward for another year even if he is in inactive for a few games since he’s not really a great player anymore. I am afraid of Wallace regressing and I think he coaching staff isn’t all that tough on players like another player would be. IMVHO of course.

      We won’t be able to keep Cotchery I believe. He’s going to get more money than we can offer him because he’s a quality player with upside/youth. So I don’t think its an either/or situation with Ward coming back and Cotchery leaving as a result.

       I’m praying this is the year we go nuts and get some o-line guys. And an ILB. But load up on offense..that’s where this league is now…40-50 pass attempts…400 yd games..5000 yd seasons..Seems crazy to try and stem the tide by rebuilding the Steel Curtain if you can’t use it.

      • GlennW

        But no matter how prolific passing offenses become, you still need to be to able slow them down some in order to win (the old Dan Patrick “you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him” mantra).  Or put another way, your defense needs to perform better than the opponents’ defense.  Defense is still the exact inverse of offense, even if the scale has moved on what constitutes a poor/average/good defensive performance.  And defensive talent still matters in that equation, although positionally the emphasis may have shifted even further in favor of good pass rushers and cover corners, and even nickel/dime defenders who used to be almost afterthoughts.

        With that said, I still agree that O-line is our #1 priority.  We at least have some young potential at CB, and a decent pass rush when Woodley is healthy.  Hopefully in these two departments Ike Taylor and James Harrison can hold up another couple years.  But we can’t just continue to ignore the decrepit O-line.  The Ben injury factor alone– which bit us badly this season– is reason enough for this, as Ben only gets older and becomes less mobile.

        • Cols714

          Agreed. I think OL, especially guard will be the main priority. Followed by LB, S, and DL.

          It’s crazy to think that the defense ended up ranked so high.

  • Cols714

    I think it’s time for Ward and Farrior to go. I could see them coming back for basically the league minimum, otherwise just let them go. 

    It sucks and I understand why Ward wants to keep playing, and he should! Just not for a team with Wallace, Brown, Sanders, and Cotchery on the roster.

    • Bob Costas

      I think Cotchery only signed a one year deal.

    • David

      Farrior yes, Ward, no, espec. since he said he would take a pay cut.

      Sylvester played OK in the Patsies game, so I’d be comfortable with him at Buck. Or is it Mack?

  • Anonymous

    What are the best “consolation games” to re-watch? I watched the patriots game. I’ll probably have another viewing of SB48. If I can procure a copy, I really want to see the 2004 Patriots game (which I only barely remember). The one game sequence comprising the second half of last year’s divisional round and the first half of the AFCCG. And maybe to satisfy the ole’ blood rage with some smackdowns: last year’s Cleveland game, Cincy this year, and again if I can find it, Cleveland’s “welcome back” game.

    • David

      By far the Patsies game this year. I have it on my computer and phone and watch it all the time. No other game this year was quite as enjoyable.

  • EasyLikeSundayMorning

    My preference list is: Giants, Houston, Saints, Packers, 49ers, Broncos, Pats, Ravens.  Twelve months ago, I would have swapped Pats and Ravens.  But Heinz at the playoff game, I almost got into a fight with a Ravens fan who was the biggest a-hole I’ve ever seen at a game, so my hatred of the Pats has been overridden. 

    Even with last week’s game, I find the whole Tebow thing much more amusing than annoying.  Now it will be near-impossible for Elway to rid of him quickly, even though he won’t be a QB in the NFL in a few years.  RBs get hurt way to much to build your offense around them, and Tebow gets hit as much as some RBs. 

    My most painful losses were the AFC Championship games in 1994 and 2001 because I thought we were clearly the superior team each year (Chargers and first Pats game).  We could have won the Super Bowls we lost if one play had gone differently in each, but those two opponents were very good.  The most irritated I’ve been during a game was when we lost to Jacksonville, although I can’t remember exactly say why (which I suppose is somewhat healthy).

  • Cols714

    I’m already sick of hearing about the Steelers’ perceived salary cap woes next year. It’s my feeling that
    1. The Steelers know what they are doing and have a plan for 2012 and didn’t screw it up
    2. They aren’t in as dire straits as people think

    After all, they’ve never really run into major cap problems and have never loaded up to go for it all one year and then sucked the next because they had to cut veterans.

    I think they will lose some veterans, most likely Aaron Smith, Kemo, James Farrior or Larry Foote, Bryant McFaddon, Chris Hoke,  Trai Essex, Araz Battle and Will Allen, and probably a few others that I’m missing.

    I highly doubt they will lose anyone they were counting on in 2012 or that they really contributed in 2011.

    They will probably keep Ward around at a huge discount and one of Foote and Farrior. I don’t know why people think they will cut Clark or Colon. For some reason a huge contigent of fans would delight in seeing those guys gone but both are solid players.

    I hope they re-sign Starks but I also hope that Gilbert can take over LT sometime next year.

    The one guy I don’t know about is Gay. Do they keep him because he played pretty well last year or let him go because they have Taylor, Lewis, Brown, and Allen at CB? I lean towards keeping him.

  • Nbnimmo

    It seemed to me that the steelers were not into the game against tebow and crew. they seem to have the killer feeling that they normally have in big games,all you have to do is look at the 1′s they lost.Alot of you will get very up-set with me but i would trade BIG BEN i can’t see him winning another super-bowl. also REDMEN should be there number 1 running back next year

    • Anonymous

      Trading any player always depends on what you’re getting in return. I don’t think trading Ben is off the table, but you would have to get a lot in return. I’d take Aaron Rodgers for Ben Roethlisberger, and I’d seriously consider Philip Rivers. One for one, that’s about it. If someone offered something like “our second round pick in perpetuity” I’d take that.