Week 4 Game Thread: Steelers vs. Vikings

Perhaps playing on another continent will fix everything.

Posted in 2013 Steelers | 73 Comments

View From 522: Welcome to the basement

Back in the early 2000s, when Heinz Field and PNC Park first opened, there used to be one day a year that the Steelers and Pirates would both play home games. The Pirates game was usually a meaningless one at the end of the season as the club played out the string in another lost season, while the Steelers game would be an even more meaningless preseason game against the Buffalo Bills or Washington Redskins.

Even so, I always wanted to do both games just because it seemed like going to two professional sporting events in the same day would be a semi-cool thing to do. On Sunday, I had the opportunity to do it. And I did. And as it turned out, both games meant something, and in an unexpected turn of events, it was actually the Pirates game that may have carried the most importance.

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Posted in 2013 Steelers | 30 Comments

Steelers Lounge Podcast #81: Elbie Nickel

It’s another Steelers Lounge Podcast, y’all…

Another depressing loss in the books, which means another depressing podcast. Actually, JJ, Adam and I were about as upbeat as you can expect given the circumstances. We look back and the good — and mostly bad — from Sunday night’s game and then Adam and JJ offers a sliver of hope for the rest of the season.

Adam points to the 2000 Steelers. That was the year Kordell played so poorly in the preseason that Bill Cowher was forced to start Kent Graham. Predictably, Pittsburgh started 0-3. Unpredictably, they then won five straight before eventually missing the playoffs with a 9-7 record. At this point, I don’t think there’s one person who wouldn’t take 9-7.

JJ, meanwhile, thinks the Steelers can beat the Vikings this week, and do the same against the Jets next week, setting up a matchup with the Ravens. If Pittsburgh wins that game they’re 3-3. Ambitious? Sure. Optimistic? Without a doubt.

But, honestly, what are the alternatives?

Alrighty, talking starts promptly…

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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Podcast | 5 Comments

Week 3 Game Thread: Bears vs. Steelers

Welp, here goes nothing.

Posted in 2013 Steelers | 61 Comments

Steelers Lounge Podcast #80: Plaxico Burress

It’s another Steelers Lounge Podcast, y’all…

We’re a few days late, but Adam, JJ and I review the Bengals game, although this was more cathartic therapy session than anything else. The conversation starts by remembering the 1989 team, a group that began the season 0-2 and was outscored 92-10 (not a typo). Fifteen weeks later? They were in the playoffs, where they won a wild-card game. So, yeah, the season’s not over.

At least until you hear this: Remember the 2002 team, which also started 0-2 after getting manhandled by the Pats and Raiders? Adam and JJ aren’t convinced the 2013 version is better than that group, which also made the playoffs (That was the year Tommy Gun out dueled Kelly Holcomb in the wild-card game). So there’s that.

We also touched on David Paulson’s fumble (and why in god’s name the Steelers didn’t hurry to the line to spike it after said fumble), Ping-PongGate, Ben’s improvised running attack, and the general feeling that things could get better before they get worse — and we’re not just talking about over the next few months but possibly the next two seasons.

We do try to find some positives, too; JJ and Adam point to the imminent return of Le’Veon Bell and Heath Miller, and I applaud Danny Smith and the special teams for playing pretty well. Other than that … there isn’t a whole lot.

But, hey, one win can change all that.

Alrighty, talking starts promptly…

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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Podcast | 6 Comments

The Antonio Brown-Todd Haley situation

Ever since Todd Haley was introduced as the Steelers offensive coordinator prior to the 2012 season all eyes have been on him and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger as the football world waits for them to come to blows on the sidelines. Or, at the very least, for them to yell at each other.

To this point it hasn’t really happened, but that doesn’t mean other players aren’t having some issues with the offense.

According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Haley and Antonio Brown had a heated exchange of ideas during the Steelers 20-10 loss in Cincinnati on Monday night. The topic, as it always is with a wide receiver, was the number of passes being thrown in Brown’s direction.
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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Wide Recievers | 21 Comments

Bengals 20, Steelers 10: Well, that was ugly

So this is what it’s come to. 

Two games into the 2013 season and the Pittsburgh Steelers have already put forth two unspeakably bad performances.

The good news: 14 games remain on the schedule and the AFC North, as well as the AFC in general, looks like a pile of failure. Everybody stinks (except Denver. Denver looks pretty good).

The bad news: The Steelers are not only a part of that pile of failure, they are actually somewhere near the bottom. I don’t know if this statement will prove to be true by the end of the season, but this Steelers team through two weeks looks like it might have top-five pick in the draft potential.

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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Uncategorized | 77 Comments

Week 2 Game Thread: Steelers vs. Bengals

Feel free to comment on the Sunday slate of games while we wait for Monday Night Armageddon.

Posted in 2013 Steelers | 83 Comments

Steelers Lounge Podcast #79: Larry Brown

It’s another Steelers Lounge Podcast, y’all…

Three days later and reliving the Titans game remains as painful as if  it just happened.  But we did it anyway, trying to find some positive from some pretty repugnant football.

We start this episode by wondering why the hell Tomlin didn’t use a timeout prior to Ike Redman’s fumble into the end zone since the Steelers had the wrong personnel on the field.

The discussion then turns to the obvious trouble along the offensive line, why this group of wideouts can’t get open, how none of the tight ends not named Kelvin Beachem can’t block, and whether Le’Veon Bell has a chance to fix a running game that’s somehow worse than last year.

We also talk Arians vs. Haley and — seriously, I can’t believe I’m about to type this — if Tomlin should be on the hot seat if this team goes 4-12.

Amid the rubble, there were some positives: playing time for Shamarko and Golden, Troy and LaMarr looking healthy and spry, Jarvis Jones and my Week 1 Steelers MVP: Zoltan Mesko.

Other than that, there’s not much to be psyched about. And in fact, for the first time in SL history, all three of us are picking the Steelers to lose, this time to the Bengals on Monday night.

Alrighty, talking starts promptly…

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Posted in 2013 Steelers | 32 Comments

Can Le’Veon Bell fix the Steelers running game?

Perhaps the worst part of the Steelers’ Week 1 loss to the Tennessee Titans was the pitiful performance by the offense when it tried to run the football. The passing game wasn’t anything to celebrate (unless you love bubble screens), but the running game was the perfect storm of a weak offensive line that lost its best player early in the first quarter and a completely mediocre stable of running backs that unable to make chicken salad out of a steaming pile of chicken poop.

We at Steelers Lounge are always carrying the torch for the “running back are interchangeable” crowd, and I suppose that was true on Sunday. They were all equally bad and it didn’t matter which one was in the game.

The great hope at this point is that 2013 second-round draft pick Le’Veon Bell can step into the starting lineup and give the running game the shot in the arm it has desperately needed for two years now. The popular opinion around town at this point — and especially in the stadium on Sunday — is that he is already the best running back on the roster and will be able to step right into the starting lineup upon his return from injury and take over the No. 1 job.

Seeing as how running back is probably the easiest position in the NFL for a rookie to succeed this isn’t a completely crazy idea. Rookie running backs have success all the time in the NFL, and Bell certainly has the size and skill to be a quality NFL back.

But what should we expect from Bell when he is finally able to return for his rookie season?
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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Analysis, Offensive Line, Running Backs | 7 Comments