Tomlin takes a page out of Cowher’s playbook at Tuesday’s PC


Mike Tomlin’s press conferences aren’t as much fun as Bill Cowher’s pressers used to be. Tomlin somehow manages to say even less than Cowher did. Tomlin never takes a public stance on a league issue. Tomlin’s hair never goes up on the back of neck in regards to another coach’s comments. Tomlin is never going to fly off the handle, spit, point, jaw jut, stare and get mad like Cowher used to do. His grammar is better. And so are his sweaters. Most days. So those Tuesday press gatherings at the UPMC facility on the Southside are even more laborious than they used to be. But at least they are shorter. Tomlin doesn’t have the same affinity for delivering messages through the media to his players, fans, and opponents that his predecessor used to have. So, those peppy, old school football rah-rah speeches Cowher used to spout out are nowRead More »

It’s time to ditch the run-first mentality & turn the calendar from 1976 to 2009


Spend a couple days in the Steelers locker room and it is easy to tell which players have rabbit ears when it comes to media feedback. Take Ben Roethlisberger this week for instance. The Steeler QB usually acts as if he never reads a paper, hears a talk show, or sees a TV sportscast. He loves to act as if he is above such action. After all, he IS Ben Roethlisberger. Why does he need to see or hear what people say about him? And frequently, when Roethlisberger is asked about something that was said or written in the media, he acts as if he has no idea what you are talking about. Yet Ben also frequently throws media speculation, prediction, and hype back in the faces of reporters during his weekly media confrontations with scribes and mich jockeys at the UPMC Southside complex. Funny how you can do thatRead More »

Seventeen Bobbleheads for Seventeen Losing Seasons


For a long time now, I have been encouraging Pirate fans to embrace their team’s historic losing streak. It’s official now. Your Buccos have become the most consistent loser in North American team sports history. Unfortunately here in Pittsburgh, the Pirate fan base has a misguided notion that it can actually do something about it. Bucs fans tend feel they can emotionally will the team to succeed through cock-eyed optimism and a bottomless barrel of hope. But that theory was once again debunked on a rainy Labor Day afternoon when, as the sky cried the tears of Willie Stargell, Honus Wagner and Roberto Clemente, the Pirates clinched a 17th consecutive losing season with loss #82 of 2009. Other fan bases wallow in their teams’ ineptitude. Boston did it for the Red Sox for decades. Cub fans have been doing it for a century. Fans of the Saints became the ‘Aints.Read More »

Timmons has quickly become indispensable in the Steelers defense


When it comes to how the Steelers injuries are judged, we have a warped perspective of their impact. First of all, we compare every one to what seems to be the weekly drama surrounding Ben Roethlisberger’s injury du jour. Then there are the other star players who are also constantly on the injury list but tend to gut it out with less fanfare (the names Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu come to mind). But when Lawrence Timmons was seen walking around the Steelers facility in a boot following his ankle sprain against Buffalo two weeks ago, my antenna definitely went up. And that’s an injury that deserved more focus going into Thursday’s opener against the Tennessee Titans. Coach Mike Tomlin called him “a question mark” heading into the Labor Day weekend. He wasn’t practicing as recently as Sunday. “I should be out a week… and some change,” Timmons said lastRead More »

Position by Position Breakdown


The Pittsburgh Steelers prepare for their final pre-season contest of the year (Thursday Night 7:30 at Carolina), a lot of questions have been cleared up over the last month of training camp and the three previous warm up games. But a few question marks remain. Tim Benz takes an inside look….position by position…. at where the Steelers roster and line-up stands now as opposed to the beginning of camp in Latrobe back on July 31st. QUARTERBACK: Ben Roethlisberger managed to avoid major injury and legal distraction up until now. Although it is clear Big Ben’s Achilles injury at the end of camp was a scare and cost him a pre-season tune up opportunity against Washington. Roethlisberger still claims the injury isn’t 100% and says he took a hit on it in the Buffalo game as well. But the injury “watch and wait game” is something we are all familiar withRead More »

Stefan Logan’s arrival on the scene isn’t a problem for the Steelers, it’s a blessing


Photo: David Hague – Inside Pittsburgh Sports Over the last few weeks a debate has cropped up about whether or not the Steelers should keep Stefan Logan on the roster. Why this is still a debate is beyond me. Logan should be on the team. Only in Pittsburgh could we over-think a debate about football and look so stupid in the process. Yes, we do love our Steelers in this town. Sometimes we love them so much we fear the most obvious answer to a question is not the right one. Well, in this case it is. Anyone who has watched the Steelers this pre-season has walked away thinking: “Boy, that little #41 who was returning kicks should make the club.” Let’s all go with our guts on this one… shall we? The former BC Lion is averaging more than 22 yards per return after 12 chances in two pre-seasonRead More »

Plaxico on ESPN’s E:60 Program


I just got done watching Plaxico Burress on ESPN’s E:60 program. That’s a good show. When you get beyond the pretentious, staged pre-how meeting out-takes and the affected shaky, black and white camera work, the actual long-form magazine pieces are solid. Shows like that, and HBO Real Sports, and 60 minutes still allow some more meat on the bone for the occasional TV viewer who wants more than microwave opinion and popcorn analysis. Part of what made E:60 the perfect venue for ESPN’s scoop on Burress was the juxtaposition of the stories around Jeremy Schaap’s sit down interview with the soon-to-be jailed former Steeler. Once it ended, Michael Smith analyzed the Steelers Super Bowl winning drive against Arizona moment-by-moment with Ben Roethlisberger, Santonio Holmes, and Mike Tomlin. Those very moments were playing out in real life as the one time Steeler was healing from his gunshot wound and watching hisRead More »