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After Madden-like numbers, back to basics works for Steelers

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 0 comments

I always loved playing football video games.

Whether it was Madden, Techmo Bowl or some other game of the week, if it was football, I wanted to play it.

The fun part of the game was trying to pad stats of the players I controlled.

If it was second-and-short, I was chucking the ball deep to try to get the passing touchdown for my QB and the yardage for my receiver.

Fourth down? I was going for it. Didn't matter where the ball was.

It was like that for the entire game.

Unless the game was on the line.

Then I used the plays that worked to get the first down, touchdown or field goal -- whatever was needed.

I couldn't help but get that same feeling about the Steelers for the last game-and-three-quarters.

It seemed after Ben Roethlisberger's back-to-back games with six touchdowns that the offense was different.

It was like they wanted to pad the statistics of Antonio Brown, Ben Roethlisberger and anyone else involved in the passing game.

Don't believe me?

Roethlisberger admitted as much after a game against the Browns in October to keep Brown's streak of games with at least five catches alive.

The Steelers opened the game pounding Le'Veon Bell last night.

Then they went away. It seemed like they were forcing the ball downfield.

But, they seemed to switch things after they trailed by 11.

Bell got the rock.

And, boy, did he deliver.

The Steelers needed that win.

And it was Bell that carried them.

Hopefully, the Steelers will figure out what works for them on a given week and stick with it.

You know, sort of like the Patriots.

They find a weakness and in a defense and exploit it. The whole game.

Steelers release Blount

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Finally.

The Pittsburgh Steelers cut LeGarrette Blount Tuesday.

The move comes after he left the field before the end of Monday's win against the Titans.

I guess he was upset with the lack of playing time.

Poor, poor Blount.

He was lucky to stick with the Steelers that long.

They should have cut him after he a running back Le'Veon Bell were busted with pot during the summer.

But the Steelers kept Blount anyway.

My guess is they wanted some depth at running back.

If Blount had been a fourth-string lineman, he would have been cut back then.

Instead, Monday was his last game in a Steelers uniform.

The Steelers will have a bye week to sort out their running back picture behind Bell, who rushed for 204 yards.

Maybe Ben Tate?

One week later, opinions change on Steelers

Monday, November 10, 2014 0 comments

So, what's your opinion of the Pittsburgh Steelers today?

A week ago, they were pegged as possible Super Bowl contenders.

Today, well, not so much.

A thoroughly disappointing 20-13 loss to the New York Jets will do that.

Especially since the game wasn't that close.

The Jets are a bad team. And for some reason, the Steelers have been losing to bad teams.

Too much.

Part of that is the way the NFL is set up. They want parity. They have it.

Part of it is the Steelers aren't an elite team.

The good thing is you don't have to be an elite team to get to the Super Bowl.

Oh, it most definitely helps. But if you make the playoffs, all you have to do is get hot.

Can the Steelers do it?

Sure.

You just can't count on it just yet.

Pirates make right call with Martin, Liriano

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OK, here's something positive about the Pittsburgh Pirates.

They made the right moves with qualifying offers to catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Francisco Liriano.

Both players rejected the $15.3 million, one-year deal by Monday's deadline.

Martin's choice was a no-brainer. He'll get some serious coin real soon.

Liriano? Can't blame him. He could have taken the money and hoped for a big offer next season.

But I'm guessing he'll do better.

The Pirates will get a draft pick as compensation if Liriano and Martin sign.

So the Bucs have covered their bases, so to speak.

It's better this year, than, say, last year when they passed on A.J. Burett and got nothing when he signed with the Phils.

Sweet! Joe Greene with 'Renegade'

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 0 comments

Tickets seem to be available more now for Steelers games than I can remember.

I wasn't able to make it to Sunday's game for the retirement of Joe Greene's No. 75, but as soon as I heard they did "Renegade" with Greene's highlights, I really wished I was there.

Well, here's the next best thing.






Maybe there will be better ones turning up soon.

Ranking the "Friday the 13th" movies

Tuesday, October 21, 2014 0 comments

I'm a horror movie fan, so this time of the year I get into the marathons on cable.

After watching the "Friday the 13th" movies, I decided to go ahead and rank my favorites.

1. The Original. Series doesn't get any better. Jason jumping out of the lake. Kevin Bacon biting the dust. And, don't forget, Jason wasn't the killer in this movie (Ask "Scream" fans).

2. Part 2. Jason dons the burlap bag and jumps through the window at the end. The latter, I presume, is to try to duplicate the scare of the original.

3. Part 3. This one was in 3-D, if that matters. The music at the beginning and end credits was cool (I still like it today. Too bad those end credits aren't played in full like they used to). This was the one where Jason got his hockey mask.

4. Part 6. This is where I probably go in a different direction than others. After the disaster that was Part 5, the writers brought back Jason is a good way. Alice Cooper had the "Man Behind the Mask" song for the end credits.

5. Part 4. Why do I have this below Part 6? Maybe at the time it was released I didn't want the series to end (little did I know it wasn't "The Final Chapter"). Maybe it's because I'm not a Crispin Glover fan. Or Corey Feldman.

6. Part 7. The telekinetic part was different, and a nice twist. Lar Park-Lincoln reminded me of someone I dated as a teen, too.  I believe this is where Kane Hodder makes his debut as Jason (my favorite actor to play Jason).

7. Part 9. Otherwise known as "Jason Goes To Hell" and "The Final Friday." Yeah, we've heard that one before. If you watched "Friday the 13th: The Series" you'll recognize John D. LeMay.

8. Part 8. "Jason Takes Manhattan" but he didn't do much for me. Movie had potential but was one of the worst.

9. Part 10. This one was known as "Jason X." Jason goes into the future, and into space. I liked the upgrade Jason got, but otherwise, this one was pretty forgettable.

10. Part 5. "A New Beginning" practically killed the franchise, at least in my opinion. Nothing really memorable. Very forgettable. Worst of the bunch.

OK, so what about "Freddy vs. Jason" and the reboot? Loved them both. Should they be considered with the 10 above?

Well, I'd put "Freddy vs. Jason" as No. 2 and the reboot as No. 3 on the list if I had to rank 'em.

There you have it.

What do you think?

Post No. 400

Friday, October 17, 2014 0 comments

Here it is, the obligatory post marking a milestone, usually a nice round number.

So, I'll fall into the same trap.

Thanks for reading really useful post No. 400.

Ishikawa wasn't good enough for Pirates

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Travis Ishikawa.

Do you think Cardinals fans are mutter that name this morning?

A guy that was cut from the Pirates hits a ninth-inning home run to clinch a spot in the World Series.

And do you think Pirates fans wish Ishikawa stayed on the team?

The Pirates thought so highly of Ishikawa that they traded for Ike Davis to play first base.

It seems the Pirates Way is to get rid of players and watch them succeed elsewhere.

Maybe that's not entirely true, but it seems that way.




Don't expect much from Pirates at deadline

Thursday, July 31, 2014 0 comments

Here it is deadline day and the Pittsburgh Pirates have been mentioned in some possible deals to bolster their team.

Yeah, it's nice to hear the Pirates as being buyers instead of sellers at this stage of the summer. It's a much-needed change.

But, really, do you truly expect the Pirates to make a blockbuster deal to go all-in and try to win a title this year?

I don't.

Here's what I expect to come out of Pirates GM Neal Huntington after the deadline passes:

"We wanted to add to our club, but the price was too high. We did not want to sacrifice our minor league system at the expense of a short-term gain."

That's all nice, but the team is just a couple of games out of the lead in the division. Are all those minor league prospects going to pan out? They rarely do.

And maybe it's also about the money too. Never underestimate the cheapness of the Nutting regime.

The Pirates already missed out on John Lackey and Jon Lester. Now we're waiting to see if there are any other developments.

Other than a small deal, I don't expect anything else. Maybe things will get better in August like last year when the Bucs got Marlon Byrd and Justin Morneau.

What do you think will happen?


 
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