Roethlisberger’s high interception percentage this season tied to no Le’Veon Bell in passing game?


TUESDAY BUZZ COLUMN Here’s hoping the Browns get it right this time. I know. If you are a life-long Pittsburgher and/or Steelers fan, you’re supposed to enjoy the mistake and the misery on the lake that the Browns have been since they left for Baltimore in 1995. But I’ve been around long enough to know what it was like when the Browns were the Steelers biggest rival. I even remember when the Steelers couldn’t beat them. As I’m sure you know by now, the Browns fired another coach and general manager Sunday after their loss to the Steelers. And I know you’re much more concerned about what the Steelers are going to do in Cincinnati on Saturday, but the Browns stinking for 16 of the 18 seasons since they were reborn as an expansion franchise has not made football more fun for Steelers fans. I covered the Steelers road gamesRead More »

Monday Buzz Column: The Guilty Until Proven Innocent Approach on James Harrison, others


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN Guilty until proven innocent. Sorry, but that’s my approach to athletes who are credibly connected to the use of performance enhancing drugs. The Al-Jazeera report that came out Saturday included taped conversations with Charlie Sly, who worked for the Guyer Institute, an anti-aging clinic in Indianapolis. Sly told Liam Collins, a British hurdler working undercover, that he gave James Harrison of the Steelers Delta-2, a drug that is used too mask steroid use. The report also claimed that Guyer shipped HGH to Peyton Manning under his wife’s name. Of course, Harrison and Manning both gave strong denials and Manning has raised the possibility of a law suit. Meanwhile, Sly says he was only an intern at the time of the recordings and that he was just kidding. You can buy that if you’d like. Lots, if not most of the people in the media seem to beRead More »

Monday Buzz Column: ‘It’s better to be lucky than good’


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN The Steelers are lucky. They’re also very good, especially on offense. They’re lucky that their defense was facing Brock Osweiler in the second half on Sunday instead of Peyton Manning. They’re lucky to be facing Jimmy Clausen and his 70.5 passer rating next Sunday in Baltimore. They were lucky to avoid Andrew Luck and get Matt Hasselbeck two weeks ago. Osweiler was able to light up their defense in the first half on Sunday and somehow managed to go 6-27 in the second half. Did the Steelers’ defense make miraculous adjustments at halftime or did Osweiler just wake up and realize he was Osweiler? The Steelers’ offense is unstoppable and showed it in the second half. Antonio Brown is in the process of putting up receiving numbers never seen before in the NFL and Ben Roethlisberger is playing better than he ever played before. But Roethlisberger isRead More »

Steigerwald: Mike Johnston Just Had to Go


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN Guess how many players are ahead of Sidney Crosby on the scoring leaders page. 87. Yep. His 19 points put him at 88th on the list. He’s 27 points behind Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, who now has points in 26 straight games. There are plenty of people in the media and on Twitter who will tell you it’s because Crosby just doesn’t have it anymore or that he hasn’t been the same player since his concussion. I think there’s a pretty good chance it was the coach. The fact that there are also 111 players who have more points than Phil Kessel, who’s been so healthy that he hasn’t missed a game since 2009, suggests that the coach who was fired on Saturday, Mike Johnston, might not be the best guy to coach high scoring players. In his last season under Dan Bylsma, CrosbyRead More »

Monday Buzz Column: Antonio Brown is as good as any player ever to put on a Steelers uniform


TIME FOR BROWN TO JOIN GREATEST STEELERS DISCUSSION I remember Lynn Chadnois. He was a Steelers running back/wide receiver who retired in 1956. That ought to give you an idea of how old I am. I was eight years old when he retired, but I remember him as the best wide receiver/running back on a bad Steelers team. I saw him play at Forbes Field with 25 or 30,000 other people. He was pretty good. I remember Buddy Dial, who averaged 20 yards a catch for the Steelers in the early ‘60s. Fast forward 50 years to Sunday night. I watched Antonio Brown catch eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts on a 50 –inch flat screen TV. He also returned a punt for a touchdown. I decided last night that Brown is not only as good as any wide receiver who’s ever played forRead More »

Monday Buzz Column on Fake Field Goal Call, Taking a QB high 16 draft, Penguins Labeled as Whiners


MONDAY’S BUZZ COLUMN Am I the only guy in Western Pennsylvania who had no problem with the Steelers fake field goal in Seattle? Aside from Mike Tomlin, of course, who made the call. Okay, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and special teams coach Danny Smith and most of the players were probably okay with it, too. So, maybe I’m the only guy outside the Steelers’ locker room who liked the call. It was the first play of the second quarter. The Steelers had the ball at the Seahawks’ 30 yard line, fourth and two. They sneaked backup quarterback Landry Jones into the game to pose as the holder on what would have been a 45-yard field goal attempt. They shifted out of field goal formation and Jones took the snap and rolled right. Then he threw a hideous pass intended for Alejandro Villanueva, who had lined up at right end andRead More »

Monday Buzz Column: Don’t Count out Sidney Crosby just yet in Scoring Race


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN It’s still early. So, where are we now with the Penguins’ coach? One week ago today we may not have been on an official Mike Johnston watch, but the Saturday Night Debacle in New Jersey was fresh on everybody’s mind and it had reached the point where he was being asked about his job security. We’re one fourth of the way into the season. The Penguins have 12 wins. That means, by my calculations, that they’re on pace to win 48. The last time they won the Stanley Cup, in 2009, they won 45. But Sidney Crosby still stinks. He still only has 11 points in 20 games. Did I mention that it’s early? Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks is leading the NHL in scoring right now with 32 points. That puts him on pace to score 128. That would be 40 more than he’s everRead More »

Monday Buzz Column: Stability at QB and with Head Coach vs a Franchise in constant Turmoil


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN I listened to some Cleveland Browns post game radio on Sunday and it wasn’t pretty. Why would I decide to tune in 1100 AM on my car radio and subject myself to that? I wanted to see how low the level of despair was in a great football town that deserves so much better. I used to enjoy listening to Browns’ radio when driving home from Steelers games in Cleveland. The hysteria was hysterical. I missed it in the years before the NFL returned in 1999 and never imagined that, after so many years, it could still be so bad and apparently getting worse. On Sunday after the Browns 30-9 loss to the Steelers, the host was trying to get Browns fans interested in boycotting the next home game, which just happens to be a Monday Nighter with the Ravens on November 30th. (ESPN has its bestRead More »

On the product of Haley’s Offense, Brown vs Swann/Stallworth, Russians & Steroid Use


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN Maybe it’s time to have the city declare one of these days “Todd Haley Day.” Remember the dark days of the Steelers’ offense when fans and media were wondering if and when Haley, the new Offensive Coordinator, was going to give Ben Roethlisberger a courtesy call? Remember all the angst over Haley not “letting Ben be Ben?” I took my share of shots because I found (and still find) the dink and dunk offense, so prevalent in the NFL now to be boring. You don’t hear many complaints about Haley anymore. Yesterday Antonio Brown caught 17 passes for 284 yards. Those are franchise records. DeAngelo Williams gained a total of 225 yards – 170 on the ground and two catches for 55 yards. According to Elias Sports bureau, it’s only the third time in NFL history that two players on the same team gained more than 200Read More »

A Defense that has been wasted on a 4-4 team


MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN Remember when that Oakland Raiders game looked like a guaranteed win? When the NFL schedule came out in April it was obvious to everybody that the Steelers had a tough one. Six games in the division are never easy, including the two games with the Browns. Then there were the trips to New England, Kansas City and Seattle and home games with the Broncos and Colts. That home game with the Raiders on November eighth was one of the few games that got marked with a W. The Raiders have a quarterback and they are looking every bit as much like a playoff team as the Steelers right now. They beat a pretty good (so far) Jets team 34-20 on Sunday and Derek Carr threw for 333 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Latavius Murray had 113 yards on 20 carries and is averaging almost fiveRead More »