Two games, two wins. And this time, the Steelers did it with GUY WHIMPER.
Seriously, we all tip our Steely McBeam hard hat in Whimper’s direction, as well as the entire offensive line. David DeCastro had one of the most impressing run-blocking performances I’ve ever seen, and Kelvin Beachum continues to be solid at left tackle.
Oh, and Le’Veon Bell.
Easily the Steelers’ most patient runner since the Bus, Bell suddenly adds a dimension missing from this team the last few years: a running game.
As for the Ravens, we get Gretz’s perspective from 522, talk about the onside kick, Manny’s touchdown return that wasn’t, Troy leap-frogging the line and what that could’ve meant, as well as a bunch of other stuff.
Now if the Steelers can beat the Raiders (seriously, why have they struggled so much against this team?) then I might be willing to concede that they’re back in this thing.
The Steelers finally won a game last Sunday and they somehow managed to do it without Levi Brown. To Kelvin Beachum’s credit, he was serviceable at left tackle and really, that’s all we can hope for at this point. The running game’s still a mess but we all thought Big Ben had his best game of the season against the Jets, and that was with Antonio Brown dropping a touchdown pass in the end zone.
The defense also created TWO turnovers and Vince Williams and Cam Heyward both played, to quote that guy I went to college with, “above the line.”
Oh, right: It’s Ravens week. It doesn’t have quite the feel of usual get-togethers, probably because the Steelers are 1-4. But Baltimore is struggling too, especially on offense. And hey, who knows, if Pittsburgh can eke one out, then beat the Raiders next week, they’re 3-4.
The biggest news coming out of the bye isn’t that Mike Adams has been benched, or that Kion Wilson was released and Stevenson Sylvester was re-signed, or even that Will Gay will replace Cortez Allen in the starting lineup. Nope, it’s Todd Haley’s inability to not get sued.
Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration (I didn’t even know Haley had been sued again until Gretz mentioned it), what the Steelers have (or haven’t) done on the field continue to be the story. And maybe this is the week that the mistakes are minimized, the defense manages some turnovers and sacks, and they actually eke out a win.
Just so you know, we’re split about the Steelers’ chances. And we also spent a non-trivial part of the podcast discussing the merits of the team drafting Teddy Bridgewater, Jadeveon Clowney or Jake Matthews. Yep, it’s not even Week 6.
If nothing else, give Mike Tomlin credit for trying something. Granted, he doesn’t have a whole helluva lot to work with, but unlike 2009, when he “unleashed hell” but had his unleashing machine pointing in the wrong direction, he’s saved us the grand proclamations and instead tweaked the roster.
Whether it’s for the better is another question, but I can’t imagine it can get worse. So, for now, Mike Adams is out and Kelvin Beachum is in at left tackle … assuming left guard Ramon Foster returns to the lineup after suffering an arm injury against the Vikings in Week 4. If Foster can’t go, that could mean either Beachum slides inside to left guard and newly acquired Levi Brown gets the nod at left tackle.
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.