More Suspensions

S.Samek

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost another player to suspension. The kicker is it isn’t who you would think.

Both Le’veon Bell and Martavis Bryant will be in uniform against the Packers.

Marcus Gilbert will not be, however. Gilbert failed a drug test and received a four game suspension.

He has decided to not appeal the suspension. This is a refreshing rarity as most players appeal as much as they can prior to suspension.

The suspension will be lifted after the December 17th game.

Gilbert is a seventh year man out of Florida and the starting right tackle. He has started the last five games after missing time with a hamstring injury.

This is an annoying loss. Gilbert is a major contributor and will be missed during this stretch run. Though on the plus side he should be back in time for the playoffs

 

 

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Bryant Vs. JUJU

S.Samek

So far, the Pittsburgh Steelers have found success at 5-2 to start the year. However, one member isn’t happy with that success and wants out.

 
Wide receiver Martavis Bryant for the second time in as many weeks is basically requesting a trade.

 
Bryant said he wanted out last week because he wasn’t getting enough targets.

 

Now after Sundays games against the Bengals he’s at it again saying he’s a better receiver than rookie Juju Smith-Schuster.

 

This season Bryant has 18 receptions for 234 yards and a touchdown. Smith-Schuster has 17 catches for 231 yards and three touchdowns. The stats are pretty much a dead heat this year.

 

Bryant did have a pretty good 2015 after an ok rookie year in 2014. However, he went and got suspended in 2016. Now that he is reinstated it should take time to get back to a high level of performance.

 

He is having an ok season so far. Just not to the point where he is the best receiver on the team. Calling out a guy like this isn’t needed. Smith -Shuster isn’t doing anything wrong, just trying to get snaps and make plays. They just happen to have very similar numbers too. Making it hard to figure out which receiver is best.

 
I do think that having Bryant suspended for a whole season prior to this doesn’t help his cause. He shouldn’t be looking for more trouble, rather focusing on the on the field progress.

 
Let him get traded. Sure, you lose some talent, but what if it never develops like he thinks it will. Maybe JUJU is the number two guy of the future, or even number one. Sell high to a team willing to take a chance on Bryant. If not just dump him and move on.

 

 

 

Steelers Record Prediction

By S. Samek

ESPN has the Pittsburgh Steelers predicted at a 12-4 record for this season.

They have them beating everyone, except Detroit, Baltimore Cincinnati and Kansas City. Yet they have been picked to beat New England and Green Bay.
I disagree with this record.
I can’t see them losing to both Detroit and Kansas City. Detroit is projected to win eight games. They may have Matthew Stafford, but is he enough to beat Ben Roethlisberger head to head. I don’t think so.
Kansas has a 10-win projection. This one could be a close game, but I see Pittsburgh winning it. Even on the road Pittsburgh can win. They did it last year in the playoffs and can do it in a less pressure filled game during the regular season.
I wouldn’t pick Pittsburgh over New England. The Patriots almost always have their number n matter where they play.
Green Bay is another team that won’t die with ease. I could see them coming into Pittsburgh and beating us like they did in the super bowl. Don’t circle it as an automatic loss, but don’t be surprised if it happens.
Splitting with Baltimore and Cincinnati are common occurrences. I think both would be very likely to happen.
Note the picks were related to quarterback over and under in a tier average. Big Ben had one of the best marks behind only Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers in this stat. Yet, both of these teams are predicted as wins for Pittsburgh. Makes no sense to me.

Quarterback play alone isn’t always the key to victory. So, this is mostly just a for fun pick. I do agree with the 12-4 mark maybe even 13-3, or 11-5, but no worse than that. I just don’t think it will be in the manor picked in the article.

 

Steelers Happenings

By S. Samek

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been busy the past couple of days. Roster additions and honorees being the tasks at hand.
The first class of the new hall of honor was announced recently. 27 former members of the Black and Gold make up this team. The class is as follows. Jerome Bettis, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Bill Dudley, Joe Greene, Kevin Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Dick Hoak, John Henry Johnson, Walt Keisling, Jack Lambert, Bobby Layne, John McNally, Chuck Noll, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr., Daniel M. Rooney, Andy Russell, Donnie Shell, John Stallworth, Ernie Stautner, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster, and Rod Woodson.

It’s an awesome idea and I can’t wait to see who all enters. My vote though is Heath Miller when he meets the requirement for retirement should. He was a great guy and a champion as a player. The impact Miller made was for sure notable.

As for roster moves, two went down. The first was trading for a new tight end. Vance McDonald comes over from San Francisco with a fifth-round pick for a 2018 fourth round pick. I must admit the move confused me at first, think they were set with Jesse James. Yet you didn’t give up much to get better. You get a former second round pick with 64 receptions, 866 yards and seven touchdowns in three seasons. I could see him benefitting from having a better quarterback at the helm.

The second is the signing of Joe Haden the corner back from Cleveland. Corner has been one of the deficiencies for the Steelers the past couple of years. Haden is a former pro bowler and annoys A.J Green, of the Cincinnati Bengals. This helps out against a division rival in games that could have playoff implications. Welcome addition for sure.

 

Football POP

By S. Samek

This may Seem like it belongs on the social blog, but its work here.

Today Funko announced NFL Hall of Famers would become POP figures. 11 players and two coaches receive the Funko treatment.

For players you have Brett Favre, Terry Bradshaw, Deion Sanders, Lawrence Taylor, Dan Marino, Bo Jackson and more. The Coaches are Mike Ditka and Tom Landry. Sander’s also comes with exclusive options only found at Toys r us.

I like how these look a lot. I also like how it extends the NFL line and works well with the current players already in the line.

What I don’t like is how hard these things seem to find. I may find an NFL pop if I’m lucky, but it’s never a Pittsburgh Steeler. I have looked at multiple stores and can’t come away with Antonio Brown, or Big Ben.  Only Can Newton and a couple Seahawks to be seen.

I think from the line I’ll pick up Bradshaw and Mike Ditka for the Pittsburgh connection.

The Funko sports line seems to be neglected a bit and this should help. Between this addition and the new NFL wave set to come out it looks like the sports line is starting to return again.  Hopefully this leds to more NBA, NHL and MLB pops returning to the line.

Check out the new line here.

Bell Hold Out

By S. Samek

With training camp just, a couple weeks away the hot button topic for the Pittsburgh Steelers is running back Le’veon Bell.

Bell is playing with the franchise tag this season. Bell feels like he is entitled to the big money. Wanting to get paid like a number one back and a number two receiver.

The problem is do the Steelers want to pay for the on the field Bell, or the off the field Bell.

On the field Bell is a top talent rushing for 1,268 yards on 261 attempts while scoring seven touchdowns.

This was in 12 games after missing the first one’s due to suspension.

 Bell has been suspended to start the past two seasons for drug issues. The Steelers have had no trouble parting ways with stars with off the field issues like Plaxico Burress, or Santonio Holmes. Yet the Steelers also held on to Ben Roethlisberger, despite off the field issues.

Too push Bell the Steelers drafted James Conor in the third round. Conor can learn under Bell and then take over as the starter when Bell leaves in two years. This would be dependent on Conor working out, but the expectation is there. Conor is a Public relations darling as well between beating cancer and being drafted by the NFL team in the same city he went to college in. He is also amongst the best-selling jerseys in the NFL. So, if Conor performers and stays out of trouble the organization helps to maintain the positive image the Steelers are known for.

Running backs seem to come and go and developing them seems easier than finding a franchise quarterback. That’s why I feel Roethlisberger was kept and receivers were let go, even with off the field issues.

I think that will be the case with Bell. He can play out the final two years of his contract and then move on. That way the Steelers can take advantage of his performance the next two years, but then get rid of him if he continues to be a headache off the field.

Bell wants to hold out and can do so. Antonio Brown is trying to get him not to. Brown is more focused on teaming up with Bell to get to the Super Bowl this season.  Should be an interesting idea, but Brown needs to tread lightly before he gets into trouble.

Bell is a big contributor to this team. He needs to be on the field. He just needs to behave off of it.

 

 

 

Best Black and Gold QB

By S. Samek

Quarterbacks are the main position for any football team. Both on and off the field the quarterback can be the face of the franchise. ESPN has taken to naming the best Qb’s for each team.

 I will be looking at my vote for the Pittsburgh Steelers best signal caller.

The fans voted and Ben Roethlisberger was number one over Terry Bradshaw. The NFL Nation vote had Bradshaw as the winner. http

Roethlisberger is a winner of two super bowls. He has thrown for 46,814 yards and has 301 touchdown passes with 3,804 completions. All of these are top marks in the history of the Steelers.  Add in five Pro Bowl invites and an AP Offensive rookie of the year and you have a true talent.

Bradshaw is a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He led the Steelers to the playoffs from 1972 to 1979. During the 1978 season He was named AP Most Valuable player. Only Steeler to ever do so. Bradshaw has thrown 212 touchdowns and competed 2025 passes for 27,989 yards in 13 NFL seasons.

The key stat though, four super bowl wins against Roethlisberger’s two. Championship wins matter a lot in these debates and do here. The 1989 Hall of Famer is the best QB to wear the black and gold. Roethlisberger can be in the conversation, as he has the edge over Bradshaw by stats, but doesn’t have the big wins. Big Ben should join Bradshaw in Canton when his career is done though.