As interesting as the Pro Bowl announcements are, the quickly followed Pro Bowl snub stories can be as entertaining.
They are outraged in San Diego, rightfully so, that no Chargers made it while the worst team in football, the Kansas City Chiefs, put five in the game.
I quit watching the Pro Bowl years ago, but the fascination the announcement creates is, well, fascinating, no more so than the snub stories. They can’t blame us for this one because the media has no vote. The media does vote for All-Pro, a panel from which I resigned several years ago because that process no longer interested me either.
So in keeping with the times, let’s not celebrate those named to the Pro Bowl, but pick out the Steelers snubs. Bill Cowher often said the number of Pro Bowl players from a team usually reflected on how well that team performed. Explain the two-win Kansas City Chiefs, then. And shouldn’t the NFL’s top-ranked defense have at least one representative in the Pro Bowl?
Here are some Steelers who would have been deserving of joining teammates Maurkice Pouncey and Heath Miller in Hawaii:
--- Ryan Clark. He made it last season, and I thought he played even better this year.
--- Brett Keisel. He made the Pro Bowl two years ago. This ranks among his best seasons with a team-high 40 quarterback pressures and 4.5 sacks that is a half-sack off the lead. No. 2 in quarterback pressures has 17, Lawrence Timmons.
--- Ike Taylor. He should make at least one Pro Bowl as a lifetime achievement.
--- Ben Roethlisberger. He was in the running for league MVP before he was hurt. Those past three games, though, took him out of the Pro Bowl.
--- Keenan Lewis. He’s among the league leaders with 28 passes defensed. He has no interceptions, though, and that often is the only stat voters look at when they pick cornerbacks.
--- Shaun Suisham. He’s missed three kicks, one from 54, one from 53 and one from 24 on a bad snap for a team that played in close games virtually every week. Phil Dawson made 28 of 29, though, although playing for Cleveland, how many important kicks could there be in that total?
The Steelers will vote for their MVP this morning and announce their choice around lunchtime. One of the above should be the choice.
Onto your questions:
--- YOU: With the season lost, I have a few questions about Sean Spence. How was he playing in preseason prior to the injury, and was his playing meeting the team's expectations? Also, is there any news on his rehab? Speed was one of his key assets. Is it too early to tell if the injury will permanently rob him of some of his speed?
ME: He was doing well. He’s been around the team and while I have not checked on his progress, he’s walking around fine. I have no idea if it will affect his quickness/speed but many have had knee surgeries and gone on to good or great careers. Greg Lloyd is one who comes to mind who had a severe knee injury early-on.
--- YOU: I feel the group of wide receivers is (still) very talented but they did regress quite a bit this year. Going back to the leadership question. How much bearing did not having Hines Ward in the locker room have on this regression?
ME: We will never know that answer but I agree that they did regress and that hurt the offense.
--- YOU: is Heath Miller the Steelers MVP this year?
ME: To me, he is. We’ll see how the players vote today.
--- YOU: Do you think this Steeler team is heading into a period of regression. Age and injuries seem to have taken a toll, the last few drafts seem to have been mediocre. Also, the QB did not close like a top 5 QB, he should be in his prime right now. Could this resemble a stretch like 1998-2000 with the current cap issues
ME: Transition, definitely. But I do see a few signs that they might plateau and not regress. They still have one of the league’s best quarterbacks to start. What they’re doing to rebuild their offensive line will help. They need a top-flight running back and they’ll need to add a receiver if Mike Wallace leaves. On defense, their cornerbacks are as strong as they’ve been in awhile but they must re-sign Keenan Lewis. If Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward cannot do better than they have, they will need to find some ends. And James Harrison will be 35.
--- YOU: I am so glad you brought this up. You and other Steelers fans believe that Cowher wanted I believe Shawn Andrews who is from Arkansas (I could be wrong Here). Is that the reason or did Ben fall so far down to 11 he was an offer one couldn't refuse. I remember the camera's on him draft day showing his dispair.
ME: Without going back to research it this early in the morning, I believe that some teams above the Steelers that year believed they did not need a quarterback, or had more stressing needs elsewhere. Yes, it was Andrews, drafted by the Eagles after the Steelers.
--- YOU: the steelers have too much to play for -
1) A losing season versus a .500 season.
2) They need to finish on a good note
3) Who wants to be swept the Cleveland Browns? No thank you. I'll never hear the end of it.
4) How about a little Pride?
What's your view on this?
ME: It really doesn’t matter to me since winning or losing does not get them to the playoffs. There is no such thing as building momentum for next season, so finishing on a “good note” means nothing. Does 8-8 make them bowl eligible?
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