Say hello to panic, his name is Levi Brown

During the 2007 Major League Baseball season the Pittsburgh Pirates were well on their way to a 94-loss season. It was just another lost season in a seemingly never ending line of lost seasons (Good news: The line came to an end this season!).

During that lost season the Pirates made what was perhaps the most random and pointless trade in franchise history when it sent outfielder Rajai Davis to the San Francisco Giants for Matt Morris. It wasn’t that Davis was a great player (he wasn’t) or a top prospect (he wasn’t). It was that the team was terrible and Matt Morris was not only terrible himself, but also came with a huge contract that would see the Pirates pay him through the following season.

It was clearly a desperate panic move by then general manager Dave Littlefield in an effort to save his job. It did not work as Morris continued to be terrible, the Pirates continued to be terrible, and Morris was released early in the following season.

That’s the only transaction I can think of to compare to the Steelers decision to trade a conditional draft pick to the Arizona Cardinals for offensive tackle Levi Brown on Wednesday.

It just doesn’t make sense.

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Posted in 2013 Steelers, O-Line Analysis, Offensive Line | 5 Comments

Welcome Levi Brown to the Clown Car That Is the Steelers’ O-line

Who knows if the Steelers even inquired about Eugene Monroe, the young left tackle the Jags traded to Baltimore Tuesday night for a couple third-day picks, but whatever happened, the team decided Wednesday morning that Cards’ tackle Levi Brown would magically fix their own offensive line issues.

Never mind that Brown, a 2007 top-five pick, has been considered a bust for, oh, five-plus years now.  Or that Arizona — one of the few teams with a worse offensive line than the Steelers —  thought so little of Brown that they released him in March 2012 only to re-sign him three days later.

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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Offensive Line | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Playing from behind is no way to win

We’re already a quarter of the way through the 2013 NFL season (where the hell did that go?) and the Pittsburgh Steelers are still searching for their first win.

When your team is 0-4 it probably should not be much of a surprise that it has spent most of the season playing from behind. The only leads the Steelers have had this season have been their early 2-0 lead against the Tennessee Titans in Week 1 when Darius Reynaud fudged up the opening kickoff, and their 3-0 lead against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2.

Both leads were short lived. When the Steelers had opportunities to build on them, and perhaps even change the course of each game, the Steelers instead turned the football over each time and never saw the lead again. Isaac Redman fumbled inside the 10 on the ensuing drive after the Reynaud safety against the Titans, while David Paulson failed to protect the ball on a big gain as the Steelers attempted to build on their early lead in Cincinnati.

In total, the Steelers offense has been on the field for just 33 snaps with the lead. Two of them resulted in turnovers.
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Posted in 2013 Steelers, Analysis | 25 Comments

Vikings 34, Steelers 27: London Falling

At this point we can probably stop playing the, “Well, if the Steelers can win this game the season might start to look different” game.

Following their latest defeat, a 34-27 loss at the hands of the previously winless Minnesota Vikings over in London, the Steelers are off to their first 0-4 start since the 1968 season. That, of course, was the year before Chuck Noll took over. So, yeah, it’s been a long ass time since Pittsburgh has seen a football team like this. And make no mistake, this team appears to be every bit as bad as their 0-4 record.

What makes it even worse is this goes as far back as the middle of last season.

Since the Steelers (barely) beat the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 10 to improve to 6-3, they have put together a 2-9 record in the regular season (just for laughs, they also had an 0-4 preseason record in there, too).

Some stunning numbers to help illustrate how we have reached this point:

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Posted in 2013 Steelers | 32 Comments

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