Steigerwald: Sidney Crosby is old…..


TIOPS MONDAY BUZZ COLUMN Sidney Crosby is old. That’s one of the pieces of in-depth analysis to explain Sidney Crosby having three points in his first eight games. And he has had seven scoreless games. Crosby turned 28 in August and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that big time hockey scorers tend to cool off in their late 20s. So, that’s not an outrageous suggestion. But might it be a little too early to panic? And there’s panic out there, don’t kid yourself. We’re 10 games into the NHL season. That’s the equivalent of the end of the first quarter of the second game of an NFL season. It might help to take a look around the league and see how some of the other top scorers are doing. Rick Nash of the Rangers, who scored 42 goals last season has one goal and two assists in 10 games.Read More »

Steigerwald: Cluelessness Aside with QB decisions months ago, Defense ruled the day


QB DISCUSSION ASIDE, DEFENSE RULED THE DAY Mike Vick stinks. Sorry for starting two columns in a row with the same sentence, but it’s even more true today that it was last week. How’s this? Mike Vick really stinks. Or this: Mike Vick should never take another snap in the National Football League. Mike Tomlin would never buy that last line. He watched the same game you did yesterday and he said he only took Vick out because he was hurt. Vick had completed three passes for 6 yards when he saved the game for the Steelers by pulling a hamstring. If he has attempted 12 passes longer than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage in his three appearances – and I’m not sure that there have been that many – at least nine of them have been close to being intercepted. Few quarterbacks have looked worse than LandryRead More »

Steigerwald: On Mike Vick, Arians Retirement Tour, NHL Refs, Pirates keeping up with Cubs/Cards


Mike Vick stinks. Yeah, he had a nice finish Monday night and the Steelers are 1-1 with him as the starting quarterback and could easily be 2-0, but he’s just not very good. He was painful to watch in San Diego and had all of twitter with Landry Jones suggestions as he tried to dink and dunk his way down the field. He threw four passes farther than 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage before his 72-yard TD bomb to a wide open Markus Wheaton in the fourth quarter and three of them were almost intercepted. Actually, the game was an embarrassment for the NFL, two guys with cannon arms spent all night throwing the ball 20 feet or less. Philip Rivers threw the ball 11 yards in the air to Antonio Gates for a touchdown in the first quarter and didn’t attempt another pass longer than 10 yardsRead More »

Steigerwald: Second Guess Kevin Colbert, not Mike Tomlin


Josh Scobee had to go. He cost the Steelers the game with the Baltimore Ravens when he missed two field goals and that, combined with his 77% success rate last season, the fact that he was six for 10 in field goals this year and his mixed extra point against the 49ers made him radioactive. Scobee was radioactive before he was released. Mike Tomlin made that clear when he never considered using him to kick a potential overtime game winner from 50 yards. Tomlin owed it to his team to go for the first down and should not be second guessed on the decision. If you want to second guess someone, try Kevin Colbert, who gave up a sixth round pick to get Scobee and his $3.425 contract from Jacksonville. So, now the Steelers have a new kicker and there seems to be a lot of angst over the factRead More »

Steigerwald: No in-between, Mike Vick likely to be a smashing success or a major disaster


Maybe the Steelers should just mail the four Ls into the league office. You know, why risk getting other players injured in games they have no chance of winning? There’s lots of gloom and doom among Steelers fans since they found out Ben Roethlisberger is going to be out for four to six weeks with an MCL sprain. Why wouldn’t they feel hopeless? How could anybody expect this team to succeed without Ben Roethlisberger? Oh, I don’t know, maybe they could look back to 2010. That was the year that the Steelers had no chance in their first four games because Roethlisberger was suspended. There was no way they could expect to win with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch at quarterback. Until they won three of the four. Then there was 2004, when Tommy Maddox was hurt in the second game of the season and, because backup Batch was alsoRead More »

Steigerwald: That Mike Tomlin is a wild man


Mike Tomlin is a wild man. At least by traditional NFL standards he is. He went for two twice in the Steelers 43-18 win over the 49ers on Sunday and made them both. He’s now 13 for 16 in two point conversions and he says he’s going to make the two-pointer a regular part of the program because he has Ben Roethlisberger. Of course, the two-pointer has become a much more attractive option to NFL coaches since the extra point has been moved back to the 15 yard line and become a 33-yard kick. It shouldn’t be, of course, since the conversion from 33 yards through the first two weeks of the season is 95%. The big question now is will Tomlin do what Bill Cowher told me he would do over 20 years ago but never did? Back in the Summer of 1994, Cowher was getting ready to startRead More »

Steigerwald: DeAngelo Williams a pretty important guy who could keep the ball away from Brady


Remember that time when Ben Roethlisberger was suspended for the first four games of the season and the Steelers started 0-4? Of course, you don’t. That was 2010 when Steelers fans everywhere went through months of sleepless nights wondering how the Steelers were going to survive starting the season without their starting quarterback. They went 3-1 with Charlie Batch and ended up in the Super Bowl. So, now they’re starting the season without two of their most important weapons- Le’ Veon Bell for two games and Martavis Bryant for four. There’s angst, but not as much as there was five years ago. Nor should there be. Would you trade Roethlisberger for Bell and Bryant right now? Of course, in 2010, they didn’t open on the road against the defending Super Bowl Champions who, after being accused of cheating by every American not living in New England, are going to beRead More »

Steigerwald: Mike Vick says he learned his lesson and not the lesson everyone is thinking about


MONDAY-COLUMN Mike Vick says he learned his lesson. No, not that one. We’re pretty sure he’s learned his lesson about electrocuting and drowning defenseless dogs. Twenty-one months of hard time probably took care of that. Steelers fans everywhere have had several days to deal with the Steelers’ decision to bring Vick in to back up Ben Roethlisberger and how they will treat him. I wouldn’t bet a lot of money on the people who said they would never root for the Steelers again fulfilling that promise , but there will be thousands of people holding their noses and rooting for Vick to succeed if Roethlisberger goes down. That’s when the Steelers will be hoping that he learned his football lesson. The Jets brought Vick in to back up Geno Smith last season and, from the minute he signed, Vick was considered a good bet to be the starting quarterback beforeRead More »

Steigerwald: Root for best possible game….Noll > Lombardi


TIOPS TUESDAY COLUMN I hope Tom Brady plays against the Steelers on September 10th. I hope Tom Brady’s four game suspension is upheld. You might say I’m a little conflicted on the Tom Brady situation. I can explain. I hope he’s suspended because I think he got caught all but red-handed breaking an NFL rule and then did his best to cover it up. I also believe that Roger Goodell and the NFL are refusing to cave on the issue because everybody in the league knows that the Patriots cheat and everybody believes it’s time they were nailed. Peyton Manning wouldn’t hold offensive meetings in the visitors locker room in Foxboro because he believed it was bugged. So, Brady and the Patriots deserve to be knocked down a peg or two, but I also would like to see what the Steelers’ new defense can do against them. I went toRead More »