Good morning and happy New Year,
The first stuff of 2013:
--- Those who have sent me emails and questions on Twitter should know that Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm are not returning to the Steelers. The Steelers need a line coach and Grimm is a line coach. But if you recall what occurred when the Steelers picked Mike Tomlin as their head coach instead of Grimm, who thought he had the job, you’ll understand why he won’t be back. And I believe Whisenhunt will be a strong candidate as a head coach somewhere.
--- Tony Villiotti of Draftmetrics.com has compiled his first Iron Man Awards based on players’ percentage of plays they are on the field for their team. Lawrence Timmons ranked third among all of the league’s linebackers, playing 99.7 percent of the defensive snaps for the Steelers this season. Heath Miller, who missed the final game because of his knee injury, still ranked fifth among tight ends, playing in 93.33 percent of his offensive plays. Max Starks is not listed among the linemen, even though he played 100 percent of the snaps at left tackle this year. He lists a top five at each position and five others with 100 percent participation and more players are listed for the line.
--- As Villiotti points out, perhaps all that talk about having continuity in an offensive line is overrated because four Detroit linemen played every snap in 2012 for the Lions.
--- Keenan Lewis is not happy about a tweet from Alan Robinson of the Tribune-Review that reported Lewis told the Steelers "they made a mistake" by not signing him before last season.
Lewis on Twitter: "I just want to clear this up: I never said anything about
@steelers making a mistake by not signing me last season. I love the Rooneys, Organization & fans. I only [stated] that my agent will handle the contract talks."
--- Chat today, 1:30.
--- Your questions:
WIP in Philly plays clips of Boomer criticizing the Eagles and other personnel in the NFL.Hope he's not going Terry on us
ME: He had some strong things to say about Ben Roethlisberger too. Esiason has a job to provide commentary and he’s doing that. Whether anyone likes it or not is another matter.
-- YOU: I'm thinking of ways for the offense to be more effective. If Tom Brady played with a top 3 defense year in and year out he'd have 8 Super Bowls by now. What do you think of them playing at a much quicker pace like the Pats do? Not necessarily no huddle, just faster. It seems to keep the defense off balance. Any other thoughts, besides health, that you may have? They also need to find a way to run the ball better, overall I'd give the running game a D this year.
ME: Health is No. 1. Now they need to find a No. 1 back and, if Mike Wallace leaves as I expect, another wide receiver.
--- YOU: If you could travel to only one game, and had already been to Green Bay, would you go to New England, New York or back to Green Bay? Is the London game in Wembley Stadium?
ME: I assume you mean at any time because there will be no playoff in New York this year. I’m not a fan of any of those three venues. I’d have to pick New York. Yes, the Steelers-Vikings game will be in Wembley.
--- YOU: If the Steelers had lost and finished 7-9, what draft pick would they have had? At 8-8, they have the 17th pick. And as far as Boomer goes, I really don't understand how he can call Big Ben a "drama queen" and not a leader!
ME: They would have picked 12th. Five teams finished 7-9 and the Rams finished 7-8-1. Weakest strength of schedule breaks ties and the Steelers 2012 opponents had a weaker record with a .465 winning percentage than four 7-9 teams. Only San Diego had a lower one at .438. The Chargers would have kept their No. 11 pick in the first round and the Steelers would have been at No. 12.
As for Esiason, see above.
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