Steelers fans have plenty to root for in the Super Bowl, no? On one side, the San Francisco 49ers can tie the Steelers for most Lombardi Trophies if they win their sixth. On the other, stand the Steelers most bitter rivals?
Do the Penguins play on Super Bowl Sunday?
Onto some stuff:
--- The Steelers have blown leads of more than 10 points and lost just twice since 1992. The Falcons did it in the NFC championship game after they escaped from doing it the week before.
--- Everyone’s now piling on Bill Belichick because he refused to talk to CBS immediately after the Patriots loss Sunday. Where were they when he was being a jerk and winning? And, really, you wanted to hear Bill Belichick talk? We’ve all heard him talk, he talked afterward in the press room Sunday. He said he was “disappointed.’’ The CBS audience was thus truly deprived of that insight yesterday.
--- Nevertheless, you have to admire Terrell Suggs in his consistent bashing of the Patriots. Said Suggs after his Ravens beat New England: “These are the most arrogant pricks in the world starting with Belichick on down.”
--- The Penguins are peaking too early.
--- It was somewhat fitting that 11 years and one day after the Patriots advanced to the AFC championship in Heinz Field because of the application of the “tuck rule” that a controversial fumble by New England’s Stevan Ridley was allowed to stand.
--- By both Peyton Manning and Tom Brady missing out on the Super Bowl, it appears Ben Roethlisberger will not get an invitation to the Pro Bowl, not that he would have accepted anyway with his right shoulder and rib injuries. Roethlisberger was named a second alternate, which means two quarterbacks had to step down.
--- Your questions:
--- YOU: Can you offer any insight into the Steelers' position on Plaxico Burress? I find myself scratching my head. Ben loves him, and we need a tall WR to fill out our ranks. He signed for the veteran minimum, so there was no big $$ risk. Why not bring him back for at least one more year and give him a role in the offense when Wallace leaves? Is it really preferable to throw a drafted rookie into a key role?
ME: Burress is not going to be among their top two or three receivers and the third or fourth receivers must play on special teams. However, if Mike Wallace leaves, they might think hard about bringing Burress back.
--- YOU: Can the Steelers really afford to lose Starks, Colon and Foster--all at once? I like the line you propose--Gilbert-Beachum-Pouncey-DeCastro-Adams--lotta high draft picks in there. But none, except Pouncey, is proven.
ME: It’s not so much can they afford to lose them, can they afford to keep them? You want to load up with those guys, you might have to say goodbye to others you can afford less to lose.
--- YOU: Does Manti Te'o's recent…ummmm…distraction…take him off the Steelers' board altogether? Do you think teams will take it seriously enough to knock him out of the first round?
ME: I’m not privy to that information and it’s way too early for the Steelers to take him off their board. However, I like the idea of having a player with an imaginary girlfriend than having a player who slaps his real one and gets released.
--- YOU: It seems like the Steelers have had better luck on the FA market ( The Bus, E Jackson, Willie P, Ike, etc.) vs the draft ( T Worley, Mendenhall, Laverne Smith, etc. ) with the exception of Franco. Are there any decent RB who fit the Steelers mold available on the FA market this off season?
ME: The free agent market really is thin at RB, so much so that Rashard Mendenhall should be at or near the top of it. Jerome Bettis was not a free agent. He was a first-round draft pick and the Steelers traded for him, the same way they acquired Earnest Jackson. Laverne Smith? You really are digging deep. He was a fourth-round draft pick in 1977. They did have some success with late draft picks, Frank Pollard and Merril Hoge. Barry Foster was a fifth-rounder.
--- YOU: With seemingly too many wholes to fill with the draft picks they currently have and the fact that free agency will probably not bring much seems like this the year they may be more inclined to trade down and get some extra picks?
ME: That’s always a possibility, not just in the first round either.
--- YOU: Ed, what can you share about who the candidates for OLine coach might be and when a decision will be made?
ME: I’ve heard not a peep about either. Mike Tomlin, his staff and all the scouts will be in Mobile, Ala., starting today for Senior Bowl practices, and that’s a place where out-of-work coaches go to find jobs as well. So Tomlin likely will be talking to some candidates there for the two openings on his staff.
--- YOU: Ed, a while back you mentioned Tunch in the conversation about Kuglers replacement. Has Tunch confirmed whether or not he would have interest in the position?
ME: I believe Tunch Ilkin would listen if they wanted to talk.
--- YOU: Why not truly fix this problem by clearing cap space and signing or trading for Stephen Jackson? Isn't he a free agent? Suspect he'd love to be feature back for a winner. Ala Bettis. Then bring in a sleeper round 6 and/or free agent candidates. What do you think?
ME: Steven Jackson will be 30 before the 2013 season begins. He will want to be paid a large sum of money. Jerome Bettis was 24 when the Steelers acquired him in a trade from the Rams. I don’t think they will go that route, nor should they.
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