September 25, 2008

We're Running A Little Hot Around Here...

Ok, I'll admit, I may have fueled some of this "sky is falling...everyone should be fired...the Steelers might as well pack it in for '08" conversation when I wrote a tongue-in-cheek plea to Russ Grimm. Fact is, that was a joke. I wanted an outlet for my creative energy, and I thought that'd be funny. Not a source of contention.

But listen, we've got a good discussion going in the comments of yesterday afternoon's post. And hidden in there (not really though) is the basis for this post - "it's only Week 4."

So in case anyone is interested, here are 10 reasons to relax...

1. The Eagles have a nasty blitz and we knew they'd be hitting Big Ben.
2. We have one division win already under our belts.
3. At least Ben was wearing his helmet on Sunday.
4. Losses can make you stronger - they expose things you might not otherwise see.
5. There will always be beer.
6. Big Daddy Drew still gives our game Four Throwgasms.
7. The [Unnamed] Steelers Pregame Show (like my heart) will go on.
8. Random Asshole is still random and still an asshole.
9. The chick on the left in that image there looks pretty good. Hey, baby.
10. Life's too short. And from what I hear, a coronary is no fun.

That all said, Bodog has the over/under on Ben getting sacked on Monday night at 2.5 times. Honestly, I'm surprised it's not higher but hey, that's cool with me. I wouldn't mind 2.5 sacks. Better than EIGHT!

Oh yeah, and not that it has anything to do with this post, but they've also got the over/under on Wreckingball's rushing yards at 51.5. I'd certainly like a 1 inserted before that 5, but whatever.

UPDATE: According to MJD (via Ravens Insider), apparently Bart Scott threatened to kill Hines Ward at some point last year? And they said Ray Lewis didn't have an impact anymore...But you know, it's like I commented over at MJD's place (see Comment 22) - I find it painfully ironic that Bart Scotts initials are BS. Amateurs, dude.



tecmo said...

I'd totally do things to that chick on the left.

Pregame show should be fun. Lotsa downer stuff to talk about, eh?

Anonymous said...

Better change the wording on that comment Tecmo: sounds a little sexist to me....

Cotter said...

Yeah, she ain't bad at all.

And yeah, pregame show will be a blast. Maybe you and I can injure each other so we can be just like Casey Hampton?

Cotter said...

Alright now, boys. Settle down. Don't make me get the ruler...or the wooden spoon.

Anonymous said...

Yay, people are paying attention to me!

Seriously, though; wake up people. We have problems here:
1. Cotter is right.
2. Cotter is the voice of reason.

Neither of those are acceptable. Pull yourselves together, people.

Anonymous said...

And i'm not sure i have any opinion on this Baltimore game. Given the fact that the offensive coaching showed either no interest or no control in adjusting the gameplan last week, as they've done in other close losses, i'm more than a little concerned about Arians et al's ability to adjust on-the-fly.

Hopefully i'm just being alarmist. Hopefully the pattern of inability to counteract effective gameplanning and execution by our opponents will not be manifested on Monday night. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong in thinking Tomlin and his staff aren't very good coaches.

And, since fairness in commenting is apparently so important to some here: i didn't like a lot of what Cowher did either. In fact, i think Mike Shanahan and Tony Dungy are the two best pure coaches in football in this era. Cowher was great motivator, but he sure did some wacky sh*t as a coach. Maybe one day, soon with a little luck, Mike Tomlin will be on the good list too.

Monday night will be another big test for the Steelers. Maybe even a bigger test than last week's loss was. These teams are very, very familiar with each other. And they're definitely one of the most un-friendly rivalries in the NFL.

With the number of important players we have injured right now, coupled with last week's more-than-frustrating game, i think this game has all the makings of an epic battle. While i refuse to predict a Steeler loss, i see it as a real possibility.

The Immortal Silky Johnson said...

I was watching a game last weekend, and losing one game is not the end of the world. Teams and Coaches usually look at their success in blocks of 4 games. Unlike us bloggermonkies who have a hard time seeing past our photoshop sexy girls. Listen baby, you need leave that cotter and tecmo alone, and come to the real honey pot.

Anonymous said...

Aw shucks,

I ain't mad. Just 'cuz i can make an impassioned online argument doesn't mean i internalize an issue enough to let it affect me in real life. Big difference between comment boards and real, living, breathing human existence.

I just like poking wild, angry topics with metaphorical sticks.

And if i saw Tecmo IRL i'd give him a big hug and a wet, sloppy kiss on the mouth. Cuz i'm just that secure in my sexuality.

Cotter said...

Hey, watch it loverboy (Silky). I may have to tell your girlfriend...and we all know you don't want that!


Seriously, though. No cock blocking, dick face.

Cotter said...

Oh, and I think Random Asshole should change his name to Random WISEAsshole...who's with me?

Anonymous said...

I agree w/ tobiathan 100%. When shit isn't working from the beginning of the game, it seems like there is no hope to counteract.

I want to like Tomlin, not sure I wanna like Arians.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Matt.

That's a far more succint way of saying what i've been too elaborate about: if a Tomlin/Arians Steelers team gets in trouble early in a game this staff has shown almost zero ability to turn it around and pull out a win. In fact, they've snatched defeat from the jaws of victory a couple times (NYJ, DEN, JAX #1 '07).

Classic feast-or-famine.

I want to like Tomlin, like Matt said, but i just can't because i have yet to see him lead the Steelers to a win in any game that they didn't dominate from the get-go. I'm not talking about winning championships here; i just wanna see this coach and his staff show me they can actually come-from-behind AND WIN. More than once.

Being a fan doesn't mean blindly loving and approving of your team while ignoring it's defincies. Real love demands accepting the truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. In this case i'd say i love my hometown team enough to say what's wrong with them.

I've followed the Steelers since 1986. I've seen A LOT happen with this team. And i've stuch with them, even thru the Bubby Brister era. And i've seen a lot of football. Tomlin, more and more, strikes me as someone who knows all the right things to say, but hasn't quite figured out how to do them. That's one of the disadvantages of youth: you have a strong intellect but lack the experience to implement things.

It is a very real possibility that Tomlin WILL NOT be another Hall-of-Fame coach. Not many teams get 3 in a row.

Cotter said...

Allow me to play devil's advocate for a moment - I'd be interested to see how many come from behind wins Cowher had?

I may be misremembering, but from where I was standing, we either got on top early and ground (pun intended) out the game, or we didn't win.

Again, I could be wrong about that.

Anonymous said...


Through their first 19 career regular season games, Cowher had 3 legit come from behind wins and Tomlin has 2. Both men had a habit of getting out to early leads and dominating, and both lost a similar amount of games in which they had the lead or had a chance to take the lead late.


I understand if you don't like Tomlin or his style, but that doesn't make him a bad coach, and its way too early to say that he won't amount to anything. Cowher was good, and his career started off the exact same way as Tomlin's. Both men succeeded by dominating early, and it bit both of them when they were behind early. Both men were 12-7 through 19 regular season games. Its way too early to say Tomlin won't be a HOFer. Cowher hardly looked like one through the same sample size. Let's not get too worked up about a loss to Philly where the coaches looked baffled. for the stats.

Anonymous said...

Cowher had a good number of come-from behind wins. Hidden in his ridiculously-huge winning percentage of games in which they led by more than 11 points at half is at least a score(20+) of games where teams erased the 11 point deficitonly to lose in the end.

I'm NOT trying to turn The Chin in Mr Football Coaching Gawd, but he *did* at least lead teams/staff that would try ANYTHING to win a game, including some pretty crazy trick-plays. Tomlin's team, on the other hand, just keeps doing what it does win or not.

Tomlin, in his short tenure, hasn't shown the same willingness to step outside-the-box in search of solutions to persistent in-game situations.

To be characteristically blunt here: i didn't initiate any Cowher/Tomlin comparison. My original point was, and still is, that Tomlin has yet to show ME that he is a creative, courageous, resourceful motivator and administrator. It has nothing to do with anything other than how his team has performed *so far* in his tenure.

While i take exception to the fact that i think Tomlin got a job he didn't have the chops for, i don't base my opinions of his job-performance on that point. I base my opinions on the fact that Tomlin's Steelers have lost several games they *should* have won AND been beaten in ways it appeared to me they couold have avoided.

He's not alone in that- lots of coaches aren't successful in the NFL. More often than not coaches fail as head coaches in the NFL. Tomlin *may* be one of those.

Sure- it's easy to sit back and play the part of white-hat-wearing good-guy and say: "Yup- Mike Tomlin *must* be awesome, cuz the Rooneys SAY he is!" but i'm not going to do that.

There are other coaches with more experience than Mike Tomlin who i think would have been better for the team we now HAVE, and for the team we will have. I kept my silence until Philly, but i lost my patience watching every, single disgusting and infuriating down of that game. This Steelers team SHOULD be better than they appeared last week. Period.

Maybe everybody just likes to disagree with me because i state too many painful truths, but i do get fed up arguing points that should be obvious. Yeah- it's fun to argue with the guy you think everybody disagrees with, but reality is reality: arguing with me doesn't change the facts.

Fact is: Tomlin isn't very well-liked in Pittsburgh. Not yet. And he may never be. If it makes anyone feel better to think this is for all the wrong reasons, fine.

Anonymous said...

And to be perfectly clear:

I haven't said at any point that i think i'm right 100%. In fact, i very rarely consider myself an authority on anything. I know enough to know i can be wrong, and not much more.

The only thing i've done so far is state my personal perspective on the situation *so far*. Why that warranted such a vociferous disagreement is still beyond me.

And i've said several times that i DO hope i'm wrong about Mike Tomlin. Maybe i'm COMPLETELY wrong about him. It's entirely possible.

But i've had some serious reservations about everything to do with him. I feel a lot the same way about Arians, but that hasn't come up here yet. Every new coach gets hard scrutiny, ESPECIALLY in Pittsburgh.

You out-of-towners probably don't realize how much i, as a resident of the City of Pittsburgh 1 mile from Heinz Field, am immersed in SteelerMania. I get Steelertalk in my ear 24-7-365. It's a lot more than a Sunday hobby for a native 'Burgher.

And my perspectives aren't that very different than a LOT of Steeler Faithful. We are by nature supercritical of *everything* to do with our team.

Believe me, as someone who's been away from Pittsburgh for extended periods: it's a LOT easier being a Steelers fan *outside* of Pittsburgh. At least non-'Burghers can *not* think about Steelers occasionally. Here, when we lose, the whole effing town is cranky.

So- you'll have to excuse me if i appear to be "too involved". I live and work in downtown Pittsburgh. I'm always surrounded by people who've been born-n-bred SteelerNationals. If it seems like i think about the Steelers a lot: you're right.

So- disagree if you like. Dislike my opinions if you like. But don't ever think i'm uninformed or alone in my opinions, because i'm immersed in SteelersCulture all day, every day.

PS: for the record- "racism" is a pretty steep charge to level at someone who has immediate family of African stock. My first cousins are black. My brother-in-law is black(as will be my niece/nephew), my neighbors and best friends are black, and my current girlfriend is...yup: black.

So- at least a few folks of color find me tolerable. I hate to feel obliged to write a laundry-list of my ethnic associations, but i don't want the general public to think i'm a bigot. That's why i got fired up, Tec.

Remember: we don't know each other just because we communicate on an internet forum. OK?

Cotter said...

I totally hear everything you're saying, man. And like you said - your opinion is your opinion, which you are fully entitled to...and I respect you for having the conviction to defend it arduously.

I think what bothers me (and I apologize for getting all serious on everyone) is that I'm the type of person who likes to believe that people are good...until they prove otherwise. As of now, Tomlin hasn't had nearly enough time to show ME if he is good or bad. Looking at it from the opposite side is fundamentally at odds with my personality. It's that simple.

Glass half empty or half full? Nahmeen?

Anonymous said...

I think Mike Tomlin is a good *person*. I've never questioned his honor or qualities as a human being. I even think he's a *good* coach. I'm just not sure yet is he's a really good coach, or if he'll be "great" in time.

Ultimately i want him to succeed wildly. If i didn't think he had the ability to do so i wouldn't bother expressing my concerns. But just because i want him to succeed doesn't mean i won't be sharply critical of him. I was harder on Cowher, in the days before i discovered OFTOT. Believe that.

Ultimately, i doubt i could do what Tomlin does. So it's never an issue of thinking i'm better than him. I just know i see certain repetitive problems that make me question the decision to hire him.

Nothing, nothing would please me more than being totally, wildly wrong about Mike Tomlin.

Anonymous said...


I only compare Cowher to Tomlin because Cowher wasn't the innovator in his early days as well. Those were after he got Kordell and after Mularkey came through. If Cowher could go from Tomlin numbers (detailed above) to HOFer, there's no reason to be pessimistic about Tomlin just after a few rough games. You can dislike him as a person all you want, but that doesn't mean he won't succeed. Its 19 shittin' regular season games.

I never called you a racist. In my last post on that dead thread, I told you how I, as a blogger, need to proofread everything so as to not be insensitive in what I publish. I read your original comment as a language critic, something I do to myself, Cotter, and any other sports writers. When I read something that can be interpreted as a race-only argument by other readers, I'm going to mention it to the writer. Because, I can't let that happen to me, so I'm overly critical about usage of language. Ask Cotter...we've been extremely critical of other bloggers based on the language they use and the phrasing of words.

Yeah, I'm an out-of-towner now, but that doesn't change the fact that I lived in Pittsburgh for the first 23 years of my life, that my best friend is related to the Rooneys and I've personally met Art Rooney's adopted daughter that no one knows about, that I purposely attended college at Steelers training camp or that I'm just as Pittsburgh as you. See, you don't know about me and the extent of my team allegience, either.


Exactly. What has Tomlin shown through 19 games that makes us worry? A few bad games? A playoff appearance as a rookie? A winning record? I'm spoiled by the Steelers' success as well and my expectations are always sky high, but Tomlin hasn't done anything to make me think he'll fail.

Anonymous said...

/didn't see Toby's last post while I was writing mine. Its responding to the previous one.

Anonymous said...

I will conclude this discussion with an, "Oh, sheesh, not this shit again."

Anonymous said...

Sorry to switch gears, but I just had to mention that ESPN gave 'Lil Wayne a blog.

This is upsetting for 2 reasons:

1. I can't stand lil wayne (as a hip hop purist this vocoder, synth bullshit that has been killing the industry for years & it's sickening)
2. He throws an insult at Big Ben. "He doesn't look like he'll be doing anything anytime soon." Seriously Mr. Carter??? Does your song lollipop warrant your expertise on sports?!?

We're fund raisers, not drug dealers!!! Sorry for yelling.

getfreshdesigns said...

holy shit. too long to read.

doodz. really.

evaluate the season come February. The game is gone, onto B-more and the ratbirds.

Tomlin has to find his groove in the NFL, it took Cowher a long time to get it right, I hope it's not the same for Tomlin.

The Chief said...

The one on the left is great, I agree... but I wouldn't kick the one on the right out of bed for eating crackers.

What's with the d-bag in the middle? Way to pump a fist with absolutely no bicep, David Spade!

The Chief said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cotter said...

Banana Hammock.

I just thought it was time someone said it.

There. I said it.

I feel better.

Cotter said...

I'd also like to add - 'ah yes, it's like Star Trek, The Next Generation. In many ways it is superior. But it will never be AS recognized as the original.'

Thank you and goodnight.

The 12:01 show is much better than the 11:18 show, I assure you.

domski43 said...

there is still a lot of football to play this year, but what scares me is.....
1.) the steelers really haven't beat a good team under tomlin (look at last year's schedule) and they still lost to the cardinals, broncos(some respect), Jets.
2.) the browns played just about the same schedule and finished w/ the same record as the Steelers (look at them this year)
3.) We beat the 0-3 browns 10-6 this year (although w/ the excuse of crappy conditions)
4.) The steelers haven't beat a team this year who has even won a game yet.

Big Snack Silverback said...

I think we all have to be patient with Tomlin a bit. He is after all, very young, and still quite green. I think he has done an excellent job overall, thus far, even though your concerns are right-on Domski. He is probably the best "young" coach in the league. He will improve. I am more concerned about Arians and Zier. But honestly it is troubling that our identity as an offensive team these days seems to mirror Willie Parker: We destroy easy comp, but usually get handled by decent defenses. Feast or Famine. I mean, how many times have seen parker rush for 28 yards on 18 carries against Jacksonville, Baltimore, New England, etc.?

We may just need to accept that we may not be a Super Bowl contender until we resolve our identity issues.

Or until someone can run consistently between the tackles for us.

Anonymous said...

RE:I'd also like to add - 'ah yes, it's like Star Trek, The Next Generation. In many ways it is superior. But it will never be AS recognized as the original.'

Cotter - Wow, I completely missed this you know how to party or what!?