Pre-Thanksgiving Steelers Lounge Podcast Transcript

(The video has nothing to do with nothing but it’s awesomeness transcends sports. Consider this my gift to you.)

Good news: As promised, we recorded a podcast this morning.

Bad news: Because I’m an idiot, I somehow didn’t hit the BIG RED RECORD BUTTON (for the second time this season, by the way). So, yeah, that was awesome.

More good news: As Gretz pointed out after I notified him that I had wasted 45 minutes of his life, “This probably means the Steelers will win.” The logic: JJ missed the podcast prior to the Lions game and … win. There wasn’t a podcast last week because of scheduling conflicts and … win.

Now the Steelers are 5-6, somehow one game out of the wild-card race, and have their biggest game of the season on Thanksgiving night against the Ravens.

So, in that sense, my incompetence isn’t a bug it’s a feature.

Anyway, a quick rundown of what we discussed:

* With Jason Worilds suddenly playing out of his mind, I asked JJ what this means for his long-term prospects in Pittsburgh. JJ reiterated what he said earlier in the season: Whatever happens, good or bad, Worilds almost certainly won’t be back in 2014. If he played like crap, why would the Steelers re-up him? And if he’s lights out, the Steelers won’t be able to afford him.

* I mentioned that while Jarvis Jones hasn’t exactly burst onto the scene, I think an offseason of getting stronger will do wonders in 2014. JJ noted that Jones has improved a lot over the course of his rookie season.

* Gretz, like the rest of us, has no real explanation for the Steelers’ suddenly explosive offense. Some of it is Ben, obviously, but the o-line has played well in recent weeks, and while the running game hasn’t been great, Le’Veon Bell’s patiences and pass-catching ability have been nice. Also nice: Cotchery, who has fantastic while Heath continues to work his way back into shape.

* JJ lauded Cam Heyward’s emergence this season and Gretz gave a Steelers Lounge high-five to William Gay — not just his recent play, but what he’s done all season.

* JJ also wondered if those folks calling for Tomlin to be fired have changed their tune in light of just how well this team has played over the last seven games. My response: Those critics almost certainly just flipped to the first page of their “FIRE TOMLIN” talking points to the part about where he’s playing — and winning — with Cowhers’ guys.

* We all agreed that Joe Flacco has every right to whinge about the Ravens playing him at wide receiver in the wildcat. For some reason, Baltimore fans think he should shut up and do as he’s told.

* While I’m concerned about Suggs and Dumervil, JJ said the Ravens’ o-line is in way worse shape and the Steelers could actually get after Flacco Thursday.

* Finally, all three of us feel pretty good about the Steelers’ chances which, frankly, is troubling.

As for the picks, JJ has the Steelers losing by 80 (reverse jinx), Gretz likes Pittsburgh 20-16, and I like the Ravens by three (again, reverse jinx).

And if the Steelers win, we’re going to have to give serious consideration to never podcasting again.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody and we’ll be back in the AM with a Turkey Day game thread.

And because we love you, pro tip: Wear sweat pants tomorrow. You’re welcome.

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  • Rob D

    As a Canadian NFL fan, I have always celebrated American Thanksgiving rather than the “much too early” Canadian version. Always grabbed it as one of my holidays when it came time..also took the Friday off and often went south to play golf. Nice break in the winter! As a STeeler fan, it was an important day for the Cowboys might lose!

    I think the glitches with the podcast are simply a reflection of this weirdo season where they dragged us to the very bottom (Ben pondering if they were the very worst team in the NFL!) and now seem to be intent on raising our hopes (you mean, they can score? and get turnovers? Get. Out.!! as Elaine used to say on Seinfeld) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-XgvHPt1cg

    I was musing the other day that the gruesome beginning of the season was a cold, hard slap to the face for everyone involved. We’ve seen Ben take more of a role (just short of taking over completely, IMO) and Brown, Bell and Cotchery raise their games. I really think Le’VEon makes the Oline block longer because he can read and react so quickly and he also has great patience and vision. Suddenly, we have a modest running game that will improve as we go along.

    Gay has been pretty great..hard to believe but it’s true. Maybe he’s just a late bloomer? Who cares at this point? I’d like to see less of Ryan Clark but I guess the kids aren’t ready yet. Maybe they shoudl get on the juice like Browner in Seattle..lol..starting to understand how that guy went from CFL to NFL stardom so fast, I think.

    I was over optimistic about this year’s team but my faith that a lot of these young guys were going to be pretty good players is starting to be rewarded. Heyward, Cortez, Bell, Wheaton (ok, not much to show yet but encouraging signs..he can run..and he can catch..lol) DeCastro, Adams (I still believe he’s our starting RT next year), Shamarko, Golden, …not bad at all. ADd to that the terrific play of Ben lately (AFC Off. Player of the Month), Antonio Brown, the steady return of Heath (albeit with a few more drops than we’ve ever seen out of him before, I think he’s just not all the way back yet) Dwyer finding a role that suits him, and Moye hanging in there who could be the big WR target we’ve been looking for. He’s flashed in limited opportunities.THE ST’s have been good considering how brutal they looked in the preaseason..very pleased with that.

    We obviously need a NT, another WR preferably tall, a TE who can realistically take over from Heath at some point, probably an OLB since Worilds has shown his talents too late to keep him, a LT..and a way to keep Velasco who keeps the middle pressure free unlike the sainted Pouncey. (move to guard?) ..but I think they have a shot at the post season this year. It’s not likely, IMO, unless they win the remaining divisional games they have left, including tomorrow’s enormous game against the Raving Ravens.

    What seemed like a lost cause is now a nail biting season of “so you say there’s a chance?!?” lol…dumb and dumber.

    • Eric

      I married a Canadian just so I could have two Thanksgivings.

  • David

    RE: the podcast jinx

    There is a method to our madnesses. The last two times we played and won in BAL, I did not watch the game, willingly. I just tried to work, do household things, etc.

    So tomorrow? Not gonna watch the game, but I have the Thanksgiving excuse.

    Hell, I might even do some Walmart/Macys/Home Depot Black-Friday-on-Thursday-night stuff. Nah.

    But still not gonna watch the game.

  • Rob D

    If that video doesn’t make you smile..check yourself..your frown meter is stuck and your significant other needs to reset it with a slap upside your head. Always works for me..my wife has a lethal backhand.

  • Randy Steele

    In other words, the less said about the games, the better…