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Random Thoughts

– I cannot wait to see Ben back in action and how his presence will obviously affect the Steelers offense. Yesterday was a nice suprise, but it really feels like the Steelers are winning with half a team for the most part in Ben’s absence.

– Even with a clearly handicapped offense (yesterday’s performance notwithstanding) Rashard Mendenhall is currently 4th in the league in rushing. That is damn impressive when you consider how one-dimensional and predictable the offense has been. Rashard is averaging over 100 yards a game, has over a 5 yard average per rush, 2 TD’s and even has 3 catches. Mendenhall is clearly coming into his own as an NFL back and is, in my opinion, clearly a top 10 RB right now. Keep it up, Rashard!

– Tomlin has been wise in rotating players along the D-line, O-line and even the LB corps in successive games in hot weather. It’s time to nail down a starting O-line, though, you can’t keep playing musical chairs along the O-line and expect the unit to grow and gel as a complete unit. It’s key for a successful line to play together week after week to become better, which will be needed as the season goes on.

– One of the dumbest things I’ve noticed from some Steeler fans is the perpetual insulting of Hines Ward for a couple, blown-way-out-proportion comments Ward made about Ben last year. Hardly even news worthy and yet some fans just can’t stop whining about it! I hope those fans noticed Wards comments yesterday – “The league doesn’t want to see us 4-0 with a mad Ben coming back.”

– How dumb is the sports media? Well, today the ignorance was on display in full force on both ESPN and NFL Network. On the show PTI, on ESPN, Michael Wilbon mused that it might be a good move to take a wait and see approach regarding getting Ben back into the lineup. On the NFL Network, the panel was discussing whether the Steelers are the best team in the AFC. Marshall Faulk said, and I quote “If I’m Ben, I’m a little a worried, they’re playing good without me, the brand of football they’re playing isn’t conducive to the brand of football I like to play. So Ben does have a dilemma when he does get back and gets into the fold.” OK, with ridiculously stupid comments like these I see only three options – the sports media REALLY doesn’t like Ben, the sports media is actually pretty stupid, the sports media doesn’t actually watch the games. Of course, there’s a good chance all three are true. For perspective on how dumb these comments are – before yesterday’s game, the Steeler offense was ranked 31st in the league and had 0 TD’s in regulation through 2 games. And even in yesterday’s game, Charlie Batch, as good as he was for most of the game, was fairly fortunate that he didn’t have 4 INT’s, instead of just 2.

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