Is Bradford headed to Pittsburgh?

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , , , on April 20, 2010 by Jorge

Probably…

Is it really that far fetched? Far more shocking things have taken place during drafts… remember the 13 picks Mike Ditka gave away for Ricky Williams in 1999??  How about 2004, when Manning was traded from San Diego to NY in exchange for Phillips… that seemed to work out for everyone.  How about 2001 when San Diego traded down from their 1st overall ( Atlanta picked Michael Vick) to pick up Ladamian Tomlinson and Drew Brees in the same draft? On draft day, anything could happen.

Having said that, what is the going price for a Two-Time Superbowl Champion?  Specially one under 30, soon to hit his playing prime?  Is the Number One overall selection good enough?

It’s been reported by the Post-Gazette that the Steelers are not “actively” pursuing a trade for their championship caliber QB; however, they would not be adverse to dealing their QB if the right situation would present itself.  The Post-Gazette also reported that Sam Bradford had made a strong impression on the Steelers coaches and front office. But I wonder, what do they mean by ‘the right situation”? what would that look like?  hear me out.

The Steelers just acquired Byron Leftwich, Big Ben’s 2008 backup via a trade with the Buccaneers.  It makes sense, he knows the offense and he’s performed well for them on relieve duty.  They also have a young QB in Dennis Dixon, who showed flashes of play-making ability last season when he started for an injured Roethlisberger.  In addition to these two, Charlie Batch was re-signed a few weeks back.  They have enough experience there, if we need someone to start right away, right?

Well, that got me thinking… see, they already have 11 picks in this year’s draft (which many believe is the deepest draft in the past decade) Is it possible their young backup QB, Dennis Dixon, could demand a 4th and 6th pick on the trading block?  Let’s say he does and they make the trade,  that would give them 13 picks in this  year’s draft. Will the Rams take Roethlisberger, the 18th Overall and perhaps a 5th round for their Number One overall and maybe a 3rd or 4th round pick?

It would make a lot of sense for the Rams,if you ask me.  First of all, this is  a franchise that’s looking to give their fans something to cheer for.  A team that’s going through an ownership change that wants to give their fan base a winner, let alone sell some season tickets.  They will have their QB of the future and they still would have a first round selection which they can use to help their D-line.  Perhaps a Jared Odrick from Penn State or Dan Williams from Tennessee, there will be options at number 18.

If Dez Bryant falls out of the first round and falls to them with the first pick of the second round….. forget the J-E-T-S, JETS, JETS, JETS! the Rams are going to the playoffs!!!  Think about it, they still have Steven Jackson, who’s run over 1,200 yards the past three seasons despite an inept Offensive Line and no passing attack.  Their Defense should be better under Spagnoulou’s watch on his second season.  Draft a DT to anchor their D-Line, add a Osi Umenyiora via trade ( maybe a 4th or 5th round pick)  and you got yourself the an NFC West contender.

I am not saying, I am just saying… it could happen.  I sure would like to see Sam in Black and Gold.  I wonder though, will he have any Satan t-shirts in his closet?  I don’t think so, he’s too good.

Big Ben – Guilty as charged

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , on March 25, 2010 by Jorge

Of being inept and careless that is….

Regardless of the outcome through the court system, he will be guilty of poor judgement and lack of common sense.  Much has been said about Roethlisberger’s “active lifestyle” in recent weeks, and how he’s a target because he’s a celebrity…. yet, very few have made any reference to his accountability in all of this.  Before I get called any names here, let me begin by saying, I am a big fan of Big Ben – The football player.  As a matter of fact, in my first blog I compared him to the great Joe Montana (But I bet you Joe never got in this kind of trouble)  Yet, Big Ben as an individual and how he carries himself in his private life leaves much to be desired.

In less than a year, he’s being accused, twice, of sexual assault.  One of them is a Hotel worker out of Nevada that claims Roethlisberger forced himself on her, and that case is still pending.  Less than 8 months later, he’s being accused of sexual assault from a 20-year-old female  from GA.  Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a grown man and he should be allowed to go out and have a good time.  Like him, I am 28 yrs and I too enjoy drinking and hanging out with friends…. maybe get a little crazy, do a little dancing, you know…. difference is, I am not the face of a 75 year old prestigious Franchise that recently invested  over 100 million in me to be their “guy”.

What Big Ben fails to realize at times, is that Steelers are not just a team… they are the heart and soul of the City.  Pittsburghers see the team as a representative of their community.  To most fans, The Steelers are not just a team, it’s an extension of who they are.  The Rooney family are royalty in Pittsburgh.  And the Rooney’s trusted Big Ben to be the Face of the Franchise.  Big Ben needs to realize his actions don’t only affect him or the team, but a whole community that loves him and embraces him.

Again, I understand the argument about he’s a celebrity, he’s a target, people are just trying to take advantage….. but what about him?  Where’s his accountability?  Why put yourself in these type of situations.  Why go out at 2am in a college town?  I am not saying he shouldn’t go out or do whatever he wants in his free time… but at 28, what is he doing hanging out with a bunch of college kids?  If he wants to hang out at 2 am, there are plenty of places he could’ve gone that are  more upscale,  more discreet and private than a college hang out.  Which raises the following question… is he that needy for fame?  Does he need to be the center of attention all the time?  He does it during the season guys, he’s always exaggerating  injuries, adding comments for the pregame show… is he that insecure?

Let’s be honest, he’s a great clutch player.  He delivered one of the most memorable drives in Super Bowl history in 2008, finishing with an even more amazing throw and catch for a TD to win the game.  He’s got more come-from-behind victories than any other QB in the league since 2004.  We can count on Big Ben, with him under center, we always have a chance. All that attention, all that pressure… I mean, it could be addicting.   But as good as he is under pressure, could it be possible that he covets the attention so much, he tries to get it through other means during the offseason?

Look, I want Big Ben.  I am a huge fan of his.  But I love the Steelers more.  He’s great and I want him leading our team for years to come but at what expense?  He’s 28 years old, he needs to understand he can no longer put himself in these type of situations.  If allegations were to be true, there could be serious legal consequences, let alone his professional football career coming to an early end.  Big Ben needs to revisit his priorities and change his habits, otherwise, he will continue to make the same mistakes.

I believe the Rooneys will give him an opportunity to amend things, they did it with James Harrison after a domestic dispute in 2008, so I can see them doing it for their Franchise QB.  However, I wouldn’t be surprised if Ben doesn’t change his “active” lifestyle and continues to put the Organization in a bad light, that he will be there much longer.  No one is bigger than the game, and certainly, no one is bigger than the Steelers.

Playmakers wanted… apply within.

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 22, 2010 by Jorge

Traditionally the AFC North has been known for its hard-nosed brand of football, good defense with a strong running game and a complimentary passing attack.  However, much has changed in recent years in the NFL, from rules changes to coaching philosophies, to accommodate QB’s and the passing game. The AFC North is adapting to these changes and 2010 promises to have more explosive plays.

Most notably, the Ravens and Bengals have been active in upgrading their passing game by signing and/or trading for veteran playmakers.  Both teams showed a lot of promise last season, featuring a good defense and a reliable running game.  Unfortunately, they didn’t fare well in the playoffs due to the lack of “splash plays” to help their strong running games and taking some of the pressure off their runners.

Baltimore traded for Anquan Boldin, re-signed Derrick Mason and added a vertical threat, by signing Donte Stallworth as soon as he was reinstated to the league.  Joe Flacco, the Ravens young and talented QB, will now have the weapons to stretch the field and help the running game.  They have a violent and versatile runner in Ray Rice that continues to make his mark in the NFL, 2010 will be his third season in the league.

The Cincinnati Bengals have also made headlines of their own, by signing Antonio Bryant.  And I say headlines since they picked Bryant over T.O.  Now, if you ask me, T.O can be a lot of things, but at least he keeps his nose clean… the same can’t be said about Bryant.  He’s known to have issues with coaches and he spent the 2007 season suspended by the league.  This one should be interesting to watch during Off-Season workouts, but if Bryant shows flashes of his 2008 campaign, Carson Palmer (Cincy’s QB) will have a dangerous play-maker to throw to.

I am not even going to bother with the Browns, they dumped both their starting QB’s who started for them the past two seasons.  Then traded for a career Backup in Seneca Wallace and signed Jake Delohmme to a big contract despite his TD-INT ratio of the past two seasons.  They’ve traded away most of their 1st round picks from recent years and have gotten little to nothing in return. Hence why I can always count on two wins for our Steelers every year.

And I leave the best for last… The Steelers.  Our Passing game was the highlight of 2009, the problem was we relied too much on Big Ben’s arm and wits and neglected our running game.  We have solid receivers in Ward, Holmes and Mike Wallace (who was a pleasant surprise last season in his rookie campaign).  However, going into 2010, we have to commit to the run and a well-balanced attack.  Mendenhall, our running back, is a tough, physical back but he was often pulled out of the game in favor of Mewelde Moore and his sure-hands, to help in the pass. Mendenhall couldn’t get into a rhythm. It’s been well documented; Art Rooney (owner and president) wants our running game to be consistent….. Got that memo Bruce?  Our Free Agent signings this off-season will likely be more noticeable in the Defense rather than the Offense.

All in All, every team in the AFC North (outside of the Browns, but again, they don’t count) have improved their teams quite a bit. From Speedy players that can stretch the field to solid veterans that can move the chains, the upcoming season promises a good dose of 40-yard bombs as well as a potential highlight reel of receivers getting blown up as soon as the ball is caught.  I am looking forward to watching Anquan catching the ball in the middle and Clark delivering a “welcome to the AFC North” hit…. kind of like the one he delivered on Welker last season… difference is, Anquan might just like it and ask for seconds…..

Come on Number Four, give us just One More!!

Posted in Favre with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2010 by Jorge

Should I Stay or Should I go? I say stay Brett,  as a Fan of the game, I say stay.

Much has been said in the last few years about Brett Favre’s inability to stay retired.  In 2008, after a tearful and heartfelt retirement announcement from his beloved Green Bay Packers, he changed his mind that summer and got reinstated.  Needless to say, the Packers faithful were thrilled to see their great legend come back.  However, after a summer full of controversy between him and the front office, Favre was traded to the NY Jets.  He started the 2008 season strong, going 7-1, but finished 2-6 and missed the playoffs, mostly due to a shoulder injury he suffered in the second half of the season.  This time, without much fanfare, he decided to call it quits…. a second time.  After his release from the Jets, Favre was lured back into the league by long-time friend and coach, Brad Childress.  The unthinkable was about to happen…. Number 4 in Purple.

So the story begins, Favre comes back for the 2009 season playing for the Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay’s archrival. Without a doubt, it had Packers fans upset, calling radio shows and sports bloggers to share their discontent for such a travesty.  Their beloved number 4, wearing purple…. Atrocious.

So-called experts were pessimistic of Favre’s ability to play at a high level for a full season.  They made reference to what happened in 2008, saying he was too old and didn’t have IT anymore.  His legacy will be tarnished and that he should stay retired.

Well, Favre had other plans.  He came back into the league, late august of 2009.  He had missed training camps, off-season work outs and was still recovering from his surgically repaired shoulder.  Yet, he started his first pre-season game with his new team just hours after he landed in Minnesota.  He knew he needed to make believers out of his teammates first, and that he did… they named him a Team Captain by the first game of the season.

What followed was something so amazing, no one saw it coming.  A story about a 40-year-old playing as jubilant as a little kid. A story that would take a football team all the way to the NFC Championship game.  A story that has yet to be finished.

In 2009, Favre posted career bests in completion percentage, TD-INT ratio and Passer Efficiency rating.  He also passed for over 4,000 yards, scored 33 TD’s and had his second highest YDS per game in his Career.  By doing so, he earned the hearts and minds of the Vikings faithful and was in the Most Valuable Player discussions throughout the season, an honor he’s earned three times in his stellar career.

Favre is great for the game of football.  It’s refreshing to see a man who truly enjoys the game and wants nothing but to play  every down.  He’s the “Iron Man”, having started 309 consecutive games, including the playoffs.  I love watching him run towards the end zone and body slamming his receiver after a touchdown… or trying to redeemed himself after an interception by trying to tackle a Defensive lineman.. or trying to chop block a Linebacker in a run play.  The man just wants to play…

So, why not let him take his time?  Why not give this legend the opportunity to walk away when he chooses to?  He’s earned that much.  He’s the missing piece in a Super Bowl ready team.  With Adrian Peterson, arguably the best running back in the game, and a dominating defense that features Allen and the Williamses, this team is primed for another super bowl run.  Favre is surrounded with talented players on both sides of the ball, with good veteran leadership and young talent.  Why not give it one more shot?

In 2008, during his retirement announcement, Favre said: “I’ve given everything I possibly can give to this organization (the Packers), to the game of football, and I don’t think I’ve got anything left to give, and that’s it”… Liar, you still have plenty…  plenty of joyful celebrations and painstaking interceptions…. come one number four, give us just one more. Continue reading

Take the Quiz: Who Will Win the Most Championships?

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2010 by Jorge

Chuck Noll: The greatest coach of all time.

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by Jorge

Granted, he didn’t create an offense that revolutionized the game, neither did he go undefeated for a season.  He didn’t have a signature outfit nor a hoo-rah speech that Companies around the globe now use.  He was a very humble, detailed oriented, passionate leader that didn’t feel the need to say much but when he did… he did so with authority.

Debating who the greatest coach of all time is can be opinionated and full of emotion.  As a fan, we tend to be biased, we want our team/coach to win… so for the sake of argument, we will use numbers (here’s that whole sales thing again).  To narrow the list down to six, I am only going to use coaches who have won multiple championships, have appeared in multiple Super Bowls and have a .500, or better, coaching record.

Having said this, let the argument be made for Don Shula….. the Undefeated Season.  I was actually quite surprised to find out that Shula had made it to 6 Super Bowls but won only two.  Now granted, he won them back to back and has an undefeated season under his belt.  Nonetheless, he coached for 33 years, yet two rings?  Sorry Shula, you are last on this list.  His coaching record is impressive, .678, but he came out short on the big stage…

Moving on up, Tom Landry… notorious for his hats and suits on game day.  He was a dominant figure on the sidelines, always ready to play.  His career record is .607 and went to 5 Super Bowls.  However, just as Shula, he had an under .500 record in the Super Bowl, losing three out of the five.  His 70’s Cowboys would’ve been a Dynasty…  but Chuck Noll was creating one of his own during the same decade.

Next on the list, Bill “Hoody” Belichick.  Bill and his Patriots, shocked the world when they beat the  heavily favored Rams in 2001, on their way to their first super bowl win.  That marked the beginning of his legacy as one of the best in the game.  His Patriots are the last team to win back-to-back championships, 2003 & 2004 .  Under his leadership, the Patriots have become  perennial contenders in the AFC and are always considered a threat in the playoffs, finishing second in most wins in a decade.  He also has an undefeated season under his belt… Regular season that is.  His 2007 Patriots finished the season 18-0 only to lose to the NY Giants in Super Bowl XLII.  That’s the reason he’s not higher on this list, he’s 3-1 in the big game.

Going up the ladder of greatness…. Bill Walsh, the innovator.  He revolutionized the game of Football as we know it today thanks to his short and medium ranged passing philosophy, also known as the West Coast Offense.  His 49ers dominated the 80’s, winning three Super Bowls rings in a ten-year span; he’s 3-0 in Super Bowl games and finished his career with a .609 winning record.  He’s also regarded as a great mentor, having influenced many other coaches throughout the NFL with his philosophies and study of the game.   Bill Walsh is arguably the most influential coach the NFL has ever seen, which made his ranking 3rd, all that much difficult.

Now, this is very, very tough.  The Great Motivator… Vince Lombardi, takes the number two spot.  If you don’t know anything about football, know this…. once a upon time, there was a man who believed that the greatest moment in a man’s life is when he lay exhausted in the field of battle… Victorious.  Know that this man’s teachings, processes and work ethic transcended the game of Football.  His philosophies are taught around the world in Corporate America just as much as in Pewee Football.  Know that this man was greater than life and got the very best out of every man he tutored.  He was the Great Motivator, the Great Vince Lombardi ( The championship Trophy is named after him).  He only coached for 10 years and won two Super Bowls.  His coaching record is an astonishing .738 and won  back-to-back championships in 1966 and 1967.  In many ways, he’s the greatest of all time but we decided to use numbers as our measuring stick… so here’s to number one.

Chuck Noll.  And I am not picking him just because he coached for the Steelers, his numbers speak for themselves.  Art Rooney in his book “My 75 years in the NFL” refers to Noll as a “Renaissance Man”.  He was a man of conviction, a man of values.  Religion, Family and Football, in that order, is how he lived his life.  He’s mostly ignored in most “best coach ever” discussions because he was a very reserved man.  He respected the media and knew they had a job to do, but he never played to them.  Therefore, It’s easy to ignore the fact that he took over a franchise that had only a handful of winning seasons in its 30 plus years of existence (he became the Steelers Head Coach in 1969)  It’s also easy to over look how he was able to build the dynasty teams of the 70’s, through the draft.  Chuck Noll is the only coach in NFL history to win four Championships.  He’s 4-0 in Super Bowls and his Steelers of the 70’s have the most players in the Hall of Fame than any other team on any decade.  He’s the only coach in the history of the NFL to win back-to-back championships twice in a ten year window.  He coached for 23 years and finished his career with a .566 record.

In closing, Chuck Noll is the greatest of all time.  Not only is his record impressive, his championships, but the manner of how he achieved success.  He never deviate from his priorities, he didn’t allow football to consume him.  It drove him, it pushed him, but it never defined him….God, Family and Football.  HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!!

Big Ben… The next Joe Montana?

Posted in Steelers with tags , , , , , on February 15, 2010 by Jorge

I know what you are thinking: “here we go again, another Steelers Fan going off the reservation”.  But hear me out, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes.  For all of your 49ers fans that would think  comparing the Great Joe to another human being is sacrilegious, relax… Big Ben can potentially be much better.  Numbers don’t lie my friends, that’ why I am in sales.

Joe Montana played from ’79 through ’94 and won four Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV).  He holds every conceivable playoff record and he’s 4-0 in Super Bowl appearances ( Brett Favre recently surpassed him on yardage and TD’s but he doesn’t have four rings to show for it).   He’s also the only QB to never thrown an interception in any of his Super Bowl appearances.  He’s arguably the best QB to ever played the game.  He’s best known as the “comeback kid” due to his unshakable demeanor when the game was on the line, with 31 come-from-behind wins. Impressive

Impressive indeed, and at 27, Big Ben leads all QB’s in the NFL with 15 come-from-behind wins.  2010 will be his sixth year in the league; therefore,at this rate, if he were to play 15 seasons as Joe Montana did, he will shatter Montana’s come-from-behind numbers.  He’s also undefeated in his two Super Bowl appearances.  As Montana, Big Ben won two Super Bowls in a four-year span. Ben Roethlisberger has arguably a better Defense to rely on than Montana did during his Super Bowl years so it is conceivable that Big Ben has a real shot at becoming the best QB to ever play the game….

Now, this is where reality hits.  The game has evolved, from the rules to the players.  They are bigger, stronger, and smarter than they were years ago.  Competition is fierce and in today’s NFL, we have more talented QB’s than we did in the 80’s.  Joe Montana didn’t really have a QB he could measure himself up with, his teams dominated the 80’s. Big Ben on the other hand, has Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers ( every one of them, except the latter, has won at least one championship in the last decade ) and let’s be honest, if you don’t have an elite QB, you are not winning the championship.

Given Big Ben’s success at such an early stage in his career can have many thinking, he’s well on his way to be … The Greatest Quarterback to ever lived.  However, one man can not do it all (ask Peyton Manning)  it’s a team sport and you win and lose as a team.  Big Ben broke a lot of Steelers’ records , in passing, completion percentage, yards per game, just to name a few, yet we didn’t even make the playoffs, thanks to a five game losing streak that stretched from November into December, mostly due to the defense’s inability to find a way to compensate for the loss of key players Aaron Smith and Troy Polamalu…

All I am saying is that there is a chance, a chance that in 2004 the Steelers might have drafted the next Joe Montana… or better yet… the ONLY Big Ben.   Bring on 2010, HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!

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