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Big Ben looms large in relief role against Browns

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Who had Ben Roethlisberger setting the NFL record for most yards by a backup in their office pool?

379.

As in 379 yards passing. In a relief role.

That's one heck of a day.

Of course, it helps having two stellar wideouts like Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant to throw to.

Yeah, and it's nice having the Browns on the other side, too, simply to add to the fun.

Now the Steelers get a much-needed break before heading to Seattle.

And, if you're keeping track at home, the Steelers (6-4) lead the Bills (5-4) and Jets (5-4) in the wild-card standings.

Smart move is to rest Roethlisberger against Browns

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They can't be serious, can they?

Ben Roethlisberger is questionable for Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.

That's got to be some gamesmanship.

If the Steelers can't beat the Browns without Roethlisberger, then maybe they aren't the playoff-caliber team they're supposed to be.

It makes much more sense to hold out Roethlisberger this week. Add to it the bye week and he'll have two full weeks of recovery.

Landry Jones is capable of leading this team.

It's the Browns. It's at Heinz Field.

Rest Roethlisberger. It's the smart move.

Steelers keep finding a way to win

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Now what?

What do the Steelers do now that Ben Roethlisberger will be out for a couple more weeks?

Well, to steal a phrase from the Raiders: Just win, baby.

Whether they're playing without Le'Veon Bell, Maurkice Pouncey, Martavis Bryant or Roethlisberger the first time, the Steelers are somehow finding a way to win.

The next man up, as coach Mike Tomlin likes to say, has stepped up.

Landry Jones did.

Well, he did what he needed to do -- get Antonio Brown the ball.

Now, Pittsburgh enters Cleveland week knowing they'll be without Big Ben -- this time with a sprained foot -- but also knowing they're in the driver's seat for a playoff spot.

If the season ended today, they'd be in.

They're 5-4, just behind the Jets (5-3) and just ahead of the Bills (4-4) and Raiders (4-4).

Anyone think they can't beat the dysfunctional Browns without Ben?

I know they can.

Then they get a bye. And a chance to regroup.

But one thing's for sure…

Steelers' defense makes an impact

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There's something about this Steelers team that's growing on me.

Of course, when your team pulls off an upset win directed by the third-string quarterback like it did in Sunday's 25-13 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, it's easy to like them.

The Steelers are 4-2 and they still haven't played with Ben Roethlisberger, Le'Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant in the same lineup.

That offense can be scary good.

But what really has impressed me has been the play of the defense, generally thought to be a work in progress entering the season.

Yeah, the D gave up oodles of yards to Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer, but the defense made the plays when it had to.

And, in case you forgot, the Cardinals entered the game and still have scored the most points in the NFL. And the Steelers have held the Patriots to their lowest total of the season so far.

It's only six games, and a lot still can happen, but right now, the Steelers are looking lik…

Great catcher or dirty softball player?

Have you seen the high school softball player throwing the nasty elbows at the plate?




Pretty wicked. And she didn't get kicked out.

She throws those elbows and the players miss the plate. If the catcher's teammates get the back to her sooner, the runner could be called out.

 Sneaky.

 Dirty.

Where do you think she learned that play?

The catcher is saying she has received death threats.

Steelers' draft leaves an empty feeling

It's been a week, and all the NFL draft hype finally has settled down.

Are you happy with the Steelers' picks?

Can't say I am.

I know the Steelers came across as happy with their selection of Bud Dupree with the 22nd pick overall.

Let be back up a step.

I get why they need linebackers. If the linebacker can pressure the quarterback, the cornerbacks don't have to cover the receiver for that long.

The linebacker is a big part of their defense.

So they've invested highly in them.

And Dupree is a linebacker. If he pans out, they don't need a world-class CB to shut down an opponent.

Now that that's out of the way, I still don't like the pick.

One report had the Steelers happy because Dupree fell to him.

Well, players fall for a reason. Like Jarvis Jones.

I didn't like the pick then. I still don't like it.

Then they took short corner Senquez Golson in the second round. He's not quite 5-9, but he's on the short side. If he's going up agains…

DeflateGate report changes view of Brady

Well, how can I put this?

Tom Brady wasn't honest with us.

Disagree?

Before the Super Bowl, he stood in front of a host of media and said he didn't alter the football.

Yeah, and Watergate was all about water.

The Wells Report finally was released, and we have a "more probable than not" idea what happened.

The footballs were altered. And Brady had a pretty good idea, too.

On top of that, the Golden Boy of Football wasn't very cooperative with the investigation.

It makes me sick.

It's cheating. And the Patriots got away with it.

Again.

It's not performance-enhancing drugs, but this can be packaged in the same group of Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Braun and Lance Armstrong.

All denied doing anything wrong.

Then things changed.

Brady deserves to be suspended.

How can the NFL have Lev Bell miss two games for marijuana use and Brady go unscathed?

Now we need to see what commissioner Roger Goodell has planned.

Hopefully it doesn't take him 100-plus days…

Didn't Antonio Brown just get paid?

Didn't Antonio Brown just get paid?

That was the first question that popped into my mind when I heard he wanted a new deal from the Steelers.

I remember the details: Mike Wallace wanted more money than the Steelers wanted to offer, so the Steelers turned around and signed Brown to a $43 million deal over six years.

That was 2012.

Today, we learned that Brown will skip offseason workouts in the hope of getting a new deal.

Honor your contract.

It's that simple.

Brown signed a deal that caused some people to scratch their heads at the time.

It looked like a great deal for Brown. And after two seasons, it looked like the Steelers made a terrific call with the long-term deal.

Brown had almost 1,700 yards receiving last year to go with 13 TD catches. That's a heck of a season.

However, in exchange for long-term security, Brown looks like a bargain today.

That's how it works. Or, at least that's how it's supposed to work.

Now Brown wanted paid early and now he wants …

Rick flips his lid on 'The Walking Dead'

Is Rick Grimes out of his mind or is he trying to save the good community of Alexandria?

It certainly looked like Rick freaked out on Sunday's "The Walking Dead."

Well, make that Rick and Sasha.

And Michonne, well, she's the one in charge.

Didn't expect her to shut up Rick.

But I knew Rick was ready to blow.

He seems to be picking up some of the qualities of The Governor and Shane.

All of this looks like there should be some confrontation in the season finale.

Will Rick get exiled? Will anyone go with him?

Can't wait to find out.


Here's how the NCAA teams stack up entering Sweet 16

Sweet 16.

Has a nice ring, doesn't it?

The NCAA has made probably billions off marketing numbers with a little alliteration.

First Four, Sweet 16, Elite Eight, Final Four.

The NCAA tournament is quite a show.

And it was quite a show to get to the 16 teams left in the tournament.

Who's the best? Here's a look at where I think they stand:

1. Kentucky (Midwest, No. 1 seed): Still the team to beat.

2. Arizona (West, 2): Gotta love Sean Miller as the coach. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they would meet Kentucky in the national semifinal.

3. Duke (South, 1): Clear path to Final Four. The Blue Devils play Utah then would get UCLA-Gonzaga winner.

4. Wisconsin (West, 1): No. 1 seed, but they could be in trouble against Arizona in regional final.

5. Louisville (East, 5): Wow. Did the East open up or what with the loss of No. 1 Villanova and No. 2 Virginia? Louisville can beat N.C. State then would meet Oklahoma-Michigan State winner.

6. Michigan State (East, 7): Yeah, I like this low s…

Finally, 'The Walking Dead' gets back on its feet

I'm not sure about you, but before Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead" I was getting antsy.

I knew things were building while Rick and crew were in Alexandria, but I wanted more.

Maybe the way Season 4 wrapped up and the march through Season 5 spoiled me.

I knew conflicts just had to be coming.

Well, here they come.

And just in the nick of time, too.

I won't get into spoilers if you haven't seen it. But things are brewing.

(I do want to point out that those residents of Alexandria sure seem like wimps.)

And, there were deaths too. Epic ones as well.

And maybe "getting back on its feet" my be a disservice. After all, the show has been on such a high level that it's hard to keep that up every week.

For me, it looks like it's back.

It's been my favorite show, and I can't believe there are just two episodes left in the season.

It'll be a long wait until October.

But for now, I can't wait until the cliffhanger ... or so I thi…

Blow out the candles: TSM turns 6

I can't believe it's been six years since I started doing this.

Six years.

That seems like an eternity in blogging years.

I've looked back on this year and have seen only one other post.

For that, I'm sorry.

This is as good a spot as any to re-evaluate and make more of an effort to post on a regular basis.

So, check back in the future and hold me to it.

Also, thanks for checking it out in the past. I really do appreciate it.


Happy 2015!

Happy New Year to all.

Here's to a great 2015 to everyone.

Thanks for taking time to check out the blog.

And, here's to more championships to Pittsburgh's teams.