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Monday Thoughts

The Steelers cruised to an easy win in yesterday’s game. Is there anything we can gather from the blowout?

– In the 2nd half Ben had some really nice passes. He also got rid of the ball quicker and checked down a few times. But he still had a number of passes that were just off. It actually amazes me that he finished with the numbers that he did. This kind of play has been a pattern under Ben, though. It’s clear at this point that the coaches aren’t interested in correcting or improving his game at all.

– I really would like to see Redman get more carries and Mendenhall transition more to a receiving threat. I was a big fan of Mendenhall in his first year with the Steelers but it’s clear at this point that he isn’t going to be premier RB. He doesn’t break tackles, doesn’t have breakaway speed, has questionable vision, carries the ball haphazardly at times. He can still be really effective but I believe the best way to get production out of Mendy is to use runs to the outside with him and as a receiving threat out of the backfield. Mendy doesn’t like contact but seems to like the open field and has good hands, get him out there. Yesterday’s game was more proof of the above, Mendy struggled with inside carries, while Redman excelled. Here are the stats from yesterday –

Mendenhall – 16 Car. 66 Yds. 3.5 Yd. Avg., 2 Rec. 12 Yds.

Redman –  11 Car. 49 Yds. 5 Yd. avg.

But I think the Steelers really need to look into getting another RB in the draft. Mendy isn’t worth a big payout and while I like Redman, he’s not an every down back.

– Let’s all hope the Steelers O-line is not being continually re-shuffled as the season wears on. That, of course, is a recipe for disaster. The O-line is mediocre enough right now, re-shuffling players will only make it worse. I know there have been injuries already, but the coaches need to settle on who the starters will be the rest of the way so there can be some cohesion later in the year. If the coaches are too incompetent to do that, it’s time to find some other  coaches. There continues (or at least it seems) to be a lot of indecisiveness, questionable moves and an overall lack of development in this area of the team.

– I read on another Steeler site that Ziggy Hood only played on 10 downs in last week’s game. Which is totally crazy, of course. It’ll be interesting to see how many downs Hood got in yesterday’s game. I don’t remember seeing him too much out there but I could’ve just missed him. Aaron Smith and Brett Kiesel are already showing signs of old age two games into the season. Which is all the more reason to get your FIRST ROUND PICK into the game. The guy has only been on the team 3 years and is barely playing. Totally absurd.

– Anyone else a little concerned about Suisham? He missed a 44 yard FG wide yesterday. Suisham had a surprisingly good season last season for the Steelers but his overall career so far as a kicker is far from impressive. His overall career kicking percentage is just 80% and kicking in Heinz Field is one of the hardest places to kick. He had his best year last season by far, let’s hope he continues to kick well for the Steelers.

Rant Time (Around The NFL and College Football)

I was watching the Washington Huskies – Nebraska Cornhuskers game on Saturday and once again College Football’s corrupt ways shined through. The Huskies, big underdogs to the #10 ranked Cornhuskers, was playing an extremely competitive game throughout the 1st half in Nebraska. At the end of the half with about 2 minutes left the Huskies punt the ball with the score tied 17-17. On the play the Nebraska return man runs up to fair catch the ball, he trips over his own player and the ball hits him in the leg. The Huskies recover the fumble deep in Cornhusker territory, looking to go up at the half. The officials call a penalty on the Huskies for “fair catch interference”.

Not only do the Huskies not get the ball but they are penalized 15 yards!!! which gives the Cornhuskers the ball close to mid-field. All on a totally, 100% bullshit penalty that never occurred, even the announcers were flabbergasted at the call. This call totally turned around the momentum in this game. And to do that to an underdog on the road is just inexcusable, but it happens all the time in college football. The Huskers, after the penalty, drive down for a FG, which gives them the lead 20-17 at halftime. We are looking at a 6 point swing, possibly 10 point swing on that one penalty. Arguably the biggest single play of the game.

At the beginning of the 2nd half, guess what? ANOTHER “fair catch interference” penalty, even though the Nebraska return man NEVER signaled for a fair catch! Unbelievable. And then to top things off, the Huskies attempted an onside kick towards the end of the game and yep, ANOTHER “fair catch interference” penalty!!! ON AN ONSIDE KICK??? Has that ever happened in the history of football??  Has any team been penalized for 3 “fair catch interference” penalties in a single game? The Huskies were ripped off big time. This kind of shit makes me not want to watch football. And I’m not saying the Huskies would’ve won the game, but those calls (especially the first one) totally change the game and take it out of the players hands. For the refs to basically handicap an underdog on the road who is fighting and showing a ton of heart is just bullshit, plain and simple.

Does Bob Costas look just like Mark Hamill? Maybe they’re the same person.

Can Chris Collinsworth shut the hell up just once concerning roughing the passer penalties? Seriously, every hit on a QB in Sunday night’s game was followed by something like “Was that helmet to helmet? ABSOLUTELY!” or “Was that a borderline hit? I think so.” (On a clearly legal hit) – “Is that called sometimes? Yes, borderline.” It’s pretty clear that Collinsworth is just a mouthpiece for the front office of the NFL and does not represent the majority of the fans or players. Just shut up already, you dumb fucker, you’re ruining what fun is left in the NFL. It’s almost like he gets off on looking for penalties.

Collinsworth was also off on his commentary in other areas. Saying that the Eagles blitz got to Ryan, after Ryan had about 3 or 4 seconds to get rid of the ball. WTF? That’s called a coverage sack, Collinsworth.

There was some horrible officiating in the Falcons-Eagles game. Talk about bullshit calls. The roughing the QB penalty in the 2nd half on Abrahams was just ridiculous. The officials clearly wanted their presence felt, which is bad for everyone else. When is the NFL going to realize that?

The Eagles looked pretty tough, but I’d have concerns about Vick. Pretty much every single one of his passes was off the mark. Even the ones that were complete, WR’s and TE’s were continually having to contort their bodies or jump or dive to get his passes, and most of the time the Eagles WR’s were wide open. When youngster Mike Kafka came in for an injured Vick I thought he played better than Vick. Something you of course will not hear in the media because it’s Vick and the Eagles lost, but Kafka was 7/8 and his passes were more accurate. His only incompletion was a drop by WR Jeremy Maclin that hit him right in the numbers. Maybe he wasn’t ready for a perfectly thrown ball? Zing!

The Falcons didn’t look very good, even with the win, their defense looked really bad. I do have to say that old man TE Tony Gonzalez was kicking ass all over the field. I also have to give credit to Matty Ice for finishing the game, he got brutalized on a few plays but finished with 4 TD passes. I won’t be getting on the Falcons bandwagon anytime soon, though, way too many holes.

After watching the Chargers-Pats game I’m 100% convinced that the NFL is headed the Arena Football route. Minimal defensive play and wacky balls galore. The Pats offense should scare Pats fans, it is an offense that HEAVILY relies on Brady to complete some crazy passes. They should pull back on some of those schemes and start dinking and dunking a little more to ensure more offensive stability later in the year. No doubt they will tear it up during the regular season but come playoff time I’d be a little concerned. Same goes for the Chargers. Both teams are like one man wrecking crews that rely on their QB’s. And both teams have medicore defenses. Such is the way in the NFL these days.

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