Like most organizations and private individuals, the Pittsburgh Steelers want to steal all the headlines and they have done that remarkably well so far in 2010.
The problem is they’ve been generating the wrong kind of publicity.
See the idea is to get some free advertising by making positive news, but the Black and Gold have been on the wrong side of the press clippings since the clock struck midnight almost 10 full months ago.
We’ve had quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get accused of sexual assault; former receiver Santonio Holmes violated the substance abuse clause and was subsequently suspended before being dealt to the Jets; and LaMarr Woodley’s contract status garnered some preseason press as did the quarterback controversy during Roethlisberger’s absence.
Oh yeah, how could I forget sack master James Harrison’s $75,000 fine for hits on Cleveland’s Josh Cribbs and Mohammad Massaquoi and his subsequent reaction to the fine.
“How can I continue to play this game the way that I’ve been taught to play this game since I was 10 years old?” Harrison said on satellite radio earlier this week. “And now you’re telling me that everything that they’ve taught me from that time on, for the last 20-plus years, is not the way you’re supposed to play the game anymore. If that’s the case, I can’t play by those rules. You’re handicapping me.”
Word leaked around the same time he was considering retiring rather than adjusting to the rules changes.
He’s gonna retire?
Come on Deebo, are you serious? You’re gonna forfeit over $50 million in contract money due to you because you had to forfeit over a tad bit over one percent of your overall salary?
What are you going to go back to bagging groceries, driving a bus or whatever it was you were doing when the Steelers called you when they needed another linebacker after Clark Haggans was injured lifting weights a few years ago?
It just doesn’t make any sense, but neither does fining him that much money when New England’s Brandon Merriweather was fined $25,000 less for his hit on Baltimore’s Todd Heap last weekend.
After being excused from practice Wednesday by coach Mike Tomlin, Harrison returned Thursday to continue preparation for a trip to South Beach to face the 3-2 Miami Dolphins, who have been outscored 112-89.
I truly expect them to fall to 3-3 by around 4:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Their defense isn’t overly good even if they’re ranked ninth in the league after allowing an average of 311 yards a game.
They’ve been allowing over 109 yards a game, which isn’t good considering the Steelers’ renewed vigor in running the football even with ‘Big Ben’ back in the fold.
Despite all that, the key to the game will be how much push the Miami offensive line can get against the Steelers’ D-line, because the Dolphins like to establish the run early with Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams and then loosen up defenses by playing pitch and catch with receiver Brandon Marshall, who has 467 yards receiving in his first year in South Beach.
I find the fact to mildly funny.
Do the Fins actually think they’re going to run the football against a defense that hasn’t allowed a running back to rush for over 42 yards all year.
And it’s not like they’ve had to contend with the Little Sisters of the Poor either. We’re talking about a list that includes Michael Turner, Chris Johnson and Ray Rice, while Peyton Hillis and Cadillac Williams are also on the list.
Johnson (second), Turner (9th), Rice (11th), and Hillis (17th) are all among the NFL’s top-20 rushers.
While the Dolphins like to run it up the gut with Brown and Williams, they have to realize they’re gonna feed the duo to the wolves.
Lawrence Timmons has been a tackling machine and he’ll be stationed not too far away from the action, while Aaron Smith, James Farrior and Co. will also be close by.
Maybe the Fins want Timmons to pick up his second straight NFL Defensive Player of the Week award as he leads the Steelers to a 5-1 record.
Now, that’d be some good news.
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