Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s centennial class Saturday. In a made for TV moment, Cowher was informed of being enshrined by the Hall’s President David Baker live during the CBS NFL Today pre-game show. Last coaching in 2006, Cowher who has always been one of those on the fence candidates, accumulated 149 regular-season wins, 12 playoff wins, 1 Super Bowl title (2 appearances) and appeared in six AFC title games.
One of the top burning questions surrounding the Steelers this off-season will be how heavily if any that the Steelers invest$$ into the backup QB position. Mike Tomlin in his season ending news conference was all-in on Mason Rudolph being the backup quarterback in 2020. “I’m comfortable with Mason Rudolph,” said Tomlin. “Mason’s had an opportunity to grow in a lot of ways and get a lot of experience. Mason’s the backup [in 2020].” When asked about Devlin Hodges, Tomlin responded “Um….Mason’s the backup.”
Running back James Conner and center Maurkice Pouncey have been officially ruled out for Sunday’s must-win vs the Baltimore Ravens. Conner will finish the regular season with just 446 rushing yards as the team was not able to count on him during the second half of the season. Conner will end the season missing six of the Steelers final 9 games.
Mike Tomlin had an interesting take in blaming the division of labor prep at running back in the leadup to the Bills game as an issue that will be changed this week. Citing the questionable status of Jaylen Samuels and James Conner last week, Tomlin said it played a factor in having issues with picking up the Bills blitz packages. “We gotta divide the labor better [in practice],” said Tomlin. “Thought we had some issues from a blitz standpoint. More stable division of labor will allow us to be more stout.” James Conner who struggled mightily in this area, is 100% healthy Tomlin said.
There will be no QB change in Pittsburgh. Mike Tomlin this afternoon announced Devlin Hodges will remain the starting QB Sunday afternoon vs the New York Jets. Tomlin talked of expected growth from Hodges in getting an opportunity to rebound from a negative experience. “We’ll proceed with Duck,” said Tomlin. “I look forward to giving him the opportunity to rebound.” This the right move from Tomlin. You don’t want to create chaos with your team this late in the season and there’s still just more pros in sticking with Hodges to at least start the game vs the Jets than going back to Mason Rudolph at this point.
A nightmare QB performance, A nightmare night for Randy Fichtner & More Buzz The Duck crumbled as the Buffalo Bills (10-4) picked off Devlin Hodges four times, en route to a 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers (8-6) on Sunday night. The Bills in clinching a playoff spot, went Duck Hunting in quarter 4, picking off Hodges three times over the Steelers final five possessions, as a 10-7 Steelers lead to open the 4th quarter, evaporated to a 17-10 loss. This was just a maddening game for the Steelers on a number of levels and in all three phases, yet, here they were with a three point lead entering the 4th and drove into Bill’s territory twice when trailing by seven on their final two possessions. When you dissect this game, it starts with the offensive game plan. It was either too conservative (1st/2nd QTR), just plain overthinking things (AllRead More »
Mike Tomlin Moving up the Coach of the Year Power Rankings Coaching, Coaching, Coaching. You want to see an elite coach in crisis management go head-to-head vs a rookie coach over his head, go watch the game tape from Steelers – Browns again. Mike Tomlin for the second straight week put on a coaching clinic as he’s emerged near the top of the Coach of the Year chain. Falling behind 10-0 to the Cleveland Browns with Devlin Hodges as your QB might have looked like a death sentence but the final 35 minutes of play saw a complete reversal. What changed first was a defensive adjustment. Pittsburgh had great difficulty in stopping the Browns 2-back formation with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the misdirection passing game. The first quarter-in-a-half looked like it was going to be a long day for the Steelers defense where Pittsburgh could not pick upRead More »
Mike Tomlin putting on a coaching clinic Somehow, someway Mike Tomlin has his football team in the final wildcard spot with five games to go. Say what you want about Tomlin’s game management but crisis management is a pivotal trait to succeeding in the NFL and he’s put on a coaching clinic this season. Not only are the Steelers miraculously 6-5 with their quarterback situation and injuries, they’ve won five of six and since week 2, have suffered just one loss by more than four points. They’re doing all of this with an horrific offense that’s also getting dud seasons from two of their most important offensive players in Juju Smith-Schuster and James Conner who have been unreliable on the field as the No. 1’s, have had costly turnovers late in close games, and are currently injured. What Tomlin is doing this season as one Steelers source says is stickingRead More »
The National Football League moved swiftly in levying suspensions to multiple players: — Browns DE Myles Garrett has been suspended for the rest of the 2019 season. The league indicates the suspension is a minimum for the 2019 season and could expand into the 2020 season. — Steelers OL Maurkice Pouncey was hit with a three game suspension. —- Browns DL Larry Ogunjobi suspended one game.
Steelers – Browns Fallout What I witnessed Thursday night might have been the most arrogant, cockiest 3-6 football team I’ve ever seen in the Cleveland Browns. You would have thought the Steelers were going up against a 9-0 football team destined for the Super Bowl. For the Browns part, the better team on the field on this specific night got the ‘W’. They set the tempo on the first drive of the game and legally/illegally physically punished the Steelers. But, everything about the Browns actions and performance Thursday night showed why they are now just a 4-6 football team instead of being a 7-3 team and right on the Ravens tail for the division lead. They’re a badly coached team with a bunch of maniacs on the field who think they are better than they are that kept Pittsburgh in the game with 8 penalties for 121 yards. They’re alwaysRead More »