Archive for category Observations FWIW

An offseason non-football post

Posted by on Thursday, 18 July, 2019

From an author who apparently wishes to remain anonymous.

Don’t mess this up for America

Democrats have one job in 2020: Beating Donald Trump. Nothing else matters. If progressives manage to mess this up by insisting on hard-left positions and ideological purity, they will own Trump’s second term. There is a time and a place for everything. When the ship is sinking and you find yourself in a lifeboat, you don’t argue about where you want to go, you head for the nearest land. Further travel arrangements can wait until you’re back in civilization.

The 2020 election is not a normal election. It isn’t going to be about progressives and conservatives. It’s going to be about those who believe America’s democratic institutions are more important than the politics of the day and those who are willing to wreck them for short-term political gain. We who choose to stand with our democratic institutions need to keep our eye on the prize. We can’t afford the self-indulgence of standing on principle and going down in glorious defeat.

Or rather, we must all stand on one overriding principle, that we must install someone with respect for the rule of law and reverence for our constitutional system of government as the next president of the United States. That will require compromise from all of us. The bridge is long and narrow, but cross it we must.

Is It Draft Day at Steel-Balls?

Posted by on Thursday, 25 April, 2019

What time does the monkey shit fight start?
Do I still have time to get a good seat?

Steelers 2017 Free Agents

Posted by on Wednesday, 7 December, 2016

I’ve added some of my own speculation as to whether or not they’ll be back. 


Yes, Copa. I’m Serious.

Posted by on Friday, 4 November, 2016

I really do not think that Ben creates a 6 point swing vs the Ravens this week.

Don’t get me wrong. You want your best players on the field for every game vs. a rival. If he’s healthy enough to play, he should play. Is he better than Landry? Gawd, yes! But is he a six-point-swing better? I doubt it.
Ben doesn’t have the best track record vs the Ravens in particular, especially vs. Dean Pees’ Baltimore defenses. I don’t know why, but Pees seems to have his number, especially when the games are played at Ratland Stadium, where Ben is 0-4 in his last 4 starts, has thrown 3 TDs and 6 INTs and owns a passer rating of 69.76.

Ben’s Career vs. The Ratbirds:

ben-career-vs-ratsIf you would like to see a larger version of this table, just click on the image.

Steelers’ backup QBs are 1-3 vs Harbaugh and 1-4 under Tomlin vs the Rats, respectively. I’ve also included Landry’s career stats here for discussion.
steelers-backup-qbs-vs-ratsIt can be argued that the best game any Steelers QB has ever had, at Baltimore, vs a Dean Pees coordinated Ravens defense was in 2012, under Charlie Batch.
I do not  recognize Mike Vick’s game because it was at home and his yards per attempt was anemic. But, otherwise those backups did “ok” when compared to what Ben has done vs. Baltimore the past 5 seasons.

This week’s game is further complicated by the fact that Ben has not played in three weeks. I should not need to remind you of Ben’s track record in games coming back from injury. But just in case you’d like to read about it: An article from last season.
Granted, Ben seems to play exponentially worse the longer the layoff and this was a short one. That may give you reason for some optimism.

I do believe that Ben is the best option Sunday, even at 80% of normal health. I just don’t think that he’s 6 points better than a healthy backup.

*Interesting point that many may not be aware of: Pees was also the Patriots Defensive Coordinator from 2006 through 2009. He reportedly did not get along well with King Bill.
**Also interesting, Ben has missed a TON of games vs the Rats. Seven games missed in 11 seasons has to be a personal record for games missed vs one opponent.

Raw Data – Steelers on the Road, vs teams that finished .500 or worse, 2007 thru 2016

Posted by on Tuesday, 25 October, 2016

In order to get a result, for how the team has done in the Tomlin Era, on the road, vs teams that were .500 or worse the week that Pittsburgh played them, I would have to go game by game for 9 seasons plus.
However, when reviewing road games versus teams that finished that season with a record of .500 or worse, a pattern does emerge.
From 2007 through 2011, Tomlin’s teams were 18-7 in these circumstances.
From 2012 through a partial 2016, Tomlin’s teams are 9-11 in the same.
In 2012, they were 0-4. 2013: 2-3. 2014: 4-2. 2015: 3-1. 2016: 0-1

Entire Data Table below the break

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The Case For A Unique Solution To The Jarvis Jones Conundrum

Posted by on Monday, 22 February, 2016

Jarvis Mitchell CJ Anderson Div Game 2015 season

Link to Article at Steel City Blitz 

A Tale Of A Wishy Washy Raiders Fan

Posted by on Wednesday, 11 November, 2015


My buddy Richie S. comes to Portland on a Monday and the only time I can see him is during the Steelers Monday Night game vs. the Chargers. So basically, I told him that was what we were doing. There wasn’t really even a, “Hey, how do you feel about this?” type of suggestion floated out to Richie. I said, “This is going on.” He said, “Sounds like fun!”

Richie shows up, cheers for the Steelers, has a good time. It’s evident from the TV coverage (and subsequent stories that Rivers went to a silent count during a home game) that Qualcomm Stadium has been taken over by Steelers fans. Jonny has been sack tapped the week before as a good luck omen (long story). All seems right with the World. Steelers win. We go home because we all have to work the next day.

Fast forward 24 hours and Richie gets outed by my buddy Matt T. as a Raiders fan. On the one hand, after finding out that Richie was actually a Raiders fan, I thought to myself, “What the hell? I would never put on the shirt of another team and cheer for them, no matter how much I liked one of their fans.
Then, “Oh, what the heck? We won. Why question it? Maybe it was because Richie finally left the Dark Side. The football gods must have rewarded us with our first West Coast road win in a decade due to my intervention in his sporting life.

Fast forward again to this past weekend. Richie texts me about how our two favorite teams are playing.
I respond with, “You only get one team, Richie.
He responds with, “That would be the one.
I knew then that we would win. I was absolutely certain that the football gods would punish Richie’s wishy-washy, flip floppiness with a Raider loss. Then mid 1st quarter, Dan sack taps Jonny with his Terrible Towel and the outcome was all but completely certain.

I felt pretty bad about goading Richie into turning his back on his favorite team and fellow fans for a second….

Well, no I actually didn’t. It just seemed like a polite thing to write. But, you all know me and realize statements like that are BS. So, nevermind.

Fast forward again to the Sunday. Steelers are up 35-28 and cruising toward a victory, I’m teetering between whether I should send a conciliatory text to Richie or just taunt the heck out of him for showing some fair weather fan tendencies, thus sending his team on the path toward defeat at the Steelers’ hands.

And then,…. Aldon Smith stumbles while trying to tackle Roethlisberger and lands on Ben’s left foot. Watching the replay, I was sure that Roethlisberger’s foot was broken. Hoped not, but really thought it was.

It turns out that Big Ben’s injury was only a sprain. He will probably miss a week, but Monday morning on his radio show said that he is not counting himself out this week versus the Browns.

Just the same, I probably should have waited to gloat until it was over. That’s what I get.

Steelers Multiple Restructures Of Timmons’ Deal May Not Impact Him The Way Many Think

Posted by on Tuesday, 20 October, 2015

Timmons return Lions

I have this dream that one day Steelers fans will cease from looking at a players Salary Cap figure, conclude that figure is what he makes that season and then decide if his play meets that figure’s worth.

Alas, it will probably never happen. Most fans do not understand the NFL salary cap and most who have no understanding, also have no desire to gain one. And that’s ok. However, if you are going to take a hard stance on player worth, you should know what goes into a Player’s Cap Charge.

Take for example the most recent target of many Steelers fans’ perceptions of NFL contracts and their cap implications: Lawrence Timmons. Timmons IS NOT scheduled to make $15 million plus in 2016, contrary to what many believe. His total compensation will be $8.75 million. That’s still a lot, but it’s right in line with the other top ILBs in the league as you can see below in a screen shot table from Over The Cap that differentiates Cap Figure from Cash Expenditure for 2016.


I should first explain that the annual cap figure for a player consists of his base salary, plus any bonuses due, plus any bonus proration scheduled to be accounted for in that given year. It’s understanding how bonus proration works and how it is applied that is key to understanding how teams manipulate their cap each season.

A player is not going to willingly agree to push his earnings into a future year when he can be cut at any time and end up having to forfeit those earnings. In order to create space teams use accounting loopholes put in place by the CBA. Key among them is bonus proration.

If you have no desire to know why $8,381,250 of Timmons’ past (this is the key and operative word) earnings count on the 2015 salary cap, stop reading. But, if you do have a desire to know how NFL contracts are frequently structured and restructured to “kick the can down the road”, read on. It should be pretty simple to understand by the end of this.  Read the rest of this entry »

Fan Comment Examined

Posted by on Sunday, 11 October, 2015

Here is a fan comment following the most recent loss. I thought it would be interesting to dissect.

Who was stunned? Not me. This team is atrocious. The talent on both sides of the ball is mediocre at best, but the defense from Butler to the LBs to the DBs and Safeties are not professional caliber. That we are actually paying that much for those players shows how time has also passed Colbert by. We keep losing good players because our CAP space is so poorly managed every year. This team needs to be dismantled starting with Haley with Tomlin not being too far behind. The stupid penalties show the coaches have lost control of these mediocre players. The D is so easy to rip apart; but the offense is not much better. If money wasn’t wasted on bad contracts extra could have kept the play makers in Pittsburgh instead of contributing to other teams in the NFL.

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Updated Depth Chart

Posted by on Tuesday, 6 October, 2015


Depth Chart updated 11/5.

Pouncey is on IR/dfr. Eligible to practice after week 6, play after week 8, if his health allows him to do so.

This chart is a copy of the one posted by the Steelers.There are inconsistencies in the way that some players are used and their spot on the depth chart.  For instance, you might get the sense that Boykin would play over Cockrell or even Blake. Hubbard is also listed higher than Legursky on the depth chart, but has been a healthy scratch in every game. McCullers was also listed as probable Monday and was inactive at game time.

WR 84 Antonio Brown 10 Martavis Bryant   14  Sammie Coates
LT 78 Alejandro Villanueva   79 Byron Stingily
LG 73 Ramon Foster 74 Chris Hubbard  64 Doug “T-Rex” Legursky
C 72 Cody Wallace  74 Chris Hubbard  64 Doug “T-Rex” Legursky  53  Maurkice Pouncey IR/dfr
RG 66 David DeCastro  74  Chris Hubbard  64 Doug “T-Rex” Legursky
RT 77 Marcus Gilbert 79 Byron Stingily
TE 83 Heath Miller  89 Matt Spaeth  81 Jesse James
RB 34 DeAngelo Williams 30 Jordan Todman  44 Isaiah Pead
FB  46 Will Johnson 45 Roosevelt Nix
QB 7 Ben Roethlisberger 3 Landry Jones  2 Michael Vick 
WR 11 Markus Wheaton 88 Darrius Heyward-Bey 16 Jacoby Jones
LDE 97 Cameron Heyward 93 Cam M-Effin Thomas
NT 90 Steve McLendon 62 Daniel McCullers
RDE 91 Stephon Tuitt 96 L.T. Walton
LOLB  55 Arthur Moats  48 Bud Dupree  56 Anthony Chickillo
LILB 50 Ryan Shazier 51 Sean Spence  57 Terence Garvin
RILB 94 Lawrence Timmons 98 Vince Williams
ROLB  95 Jarvis Jones 92 James Harrison  56 Anthony Chickillo
LCB 22 William Gay  25 Brandon Boykin  24  Doran Grant
FS 23 Mike Mitchell  21 Robert Golden
SS  20 Will Allen 29 Shamarko Thomas
RCB 41 Antwon Blake 31 Ross Cockrell
P  4  Jordan Berry
PK  9

Chris Boswell

LS  60 Greg Warren
H  4  Jordan Berry
KR 15 Jacoby Jones 30 Jordan Todman  11 Markus Wheaton 
PR 84 Antonio Brown 15 Jacoby Jones 11 Markus Wheaton

Lowest tier guys and others eliminated by roster moves, below the break:

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