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The best wide receiver in Steelers history is Hines Ward, while the best wide receiver duo, by far, is Lynn Swann and John Stallworth. When it comes to the best wide receiver corp in team history, there are some who claim it is, already, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant. Their first season together as a unit produced some big numbers. They were led by Antonio Brown and his monster season of 129 receptions, 1,698 yards and 13 touchdowns. Collectively, this group of receivers had 208 receptions that went for 2,891 yards and 23 touchdowns and helped Ben Roethlisberger to the best season of his career. In order for this group of wide receivers to be considered the best in team history, they are going to have to put up these numbers for the next few seasons, but it’s hard to deny that they are off to an incredible start. It certainly helps their cause to have Ben Roethlisberger throwing to them. If the best group of receivers had Big Ben instead of Neil O’Donnell throwing to them, it’s hard to tell how good they could could have been.
Neil O’Donnell was the quarterback when the Steelers returned to the Super Bowl following the 1995 season, it was the group of wide receivers that he had that made him look better than he actually was. It was also that group of receivers who got him his big payday from the New York Jets following Super Bowl XXX. Three players who made up the core best wide receiver unit in Steelers history, Yancey Thigpen, Ernie Mills and Andre Hastings, played together from 1994 through 1996. The best group was in 1995 and included Rookie sensation Kordell “Slash” Stewart and Charles Johnson. Like the latest generation of receivers, whose standout is Antonio Brown, the standout of the mid 90’s group was Yancey Thigpen. Thigpen was signed by the Steelers as a free agent from the San Diego Chargers in 1992 and quickly worked his way to being the Steelers top target and one of the best in the NFL. Aside from having some of the most reliable hands in the league, Thigpen was solid blocker who was strong and fearless when going after the ball and could run away from anyone when he got it. There wasn’t a better receiver in the NFL when it came to moving the chains on third down.
While Yancey Thigpen was the clear number one target for O’Donnell, Ernie Mills was the guy who did alot of the dirty work. Mills could do it all when needed. He could get behind the coverage for the big play, work the underneath... [Read More]
| Aug 28, 2015 - 3:56 PM
The Woooooooo at PNC Park has become a local topic of discussion recently. Sports announcers, fans.. They hate it. Players? They're being very PR about it but nobody says that they really like it.
How could they?
It's fairly obnoxious and adds nothing to the game, and experience at the ball park. But then again listening to some random joe blurt out something during the game has the same obnoxious feel to others too. Ironically it's those same people that gripe the most about the Wooooooo!
Sadly the Wooooooo wasn't created by some young kids being cute and adorable at PNC Park at a time when the Pirates field product was as interesting as watching flies fornicate. It was created by teenage boys, doing what teenage boys do; Being goofy, being obnoxious and getting a rise out of angering that guy who keeps turning around telling them to shut up.
It also makes PNC Park sound like a memorial for Rick Flair fans as much as Heinz Field can sound like a memorial for a band like Styx, every time Renegade is played.
....and there's no solution either. Those teens will keep doing it and the more that people get angered by it, the more they will continue doing it.. Unfortunately they're putting so much effort into something that doesn't help the team on the field. The players don't want to be "woooo'd". The opposing team has to think our crowd is mental. There's no true gain to it except to be goofy and annoy the guy who keeps turning around.
But what about...
Chanting - Let's Go Bucs instead?
It doesn't get old. It's the rally cry. It's our Tomahawk Chop, our North Shore "Here We Go.." That's chanted next door in the Fall and Winter. It starts a chain reaction that gets the entire Ball park going! Instead of some angry guy reacting, you can get a reaction of 30k plus. It fires up the team, gets to the opponent and makes PNC Park rockin' and loud.
Why don't we Wooooo the crowd with a Let's Go Bucs chant instead?
Be that teenager that's responsible for getting an entire stadium singing in unison.
Be that teenager that's responsible for affecting the opposing team the same way the Cueeeee-tooooo chants did 2 years ago to Johnny Cueto.
Be that teenager that fires up a dugout that could use it during a 3 hour game.
Make a positive contribution to the team on the field by... [Read More]
soon as Steelers All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey went down with a broken fibula, early in the Steelers’ preseason win over Green Bay last Sunday, the issue of shortening the preseason schedule came quickly to the forefront once again. Just a short time later, Stephon Tuitt and backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski left the game with injuries as well. On the surface, that logic seems to make sense, but in reality it makes no sense at all. These kinds of injuries can happen at anytime, anywhere. A lot of people, who are all for shortening the preseason, are proposing to take two of these games and expanding the regular season to 18 games. That is still the same amount of games being played and it does nothing to prevent injuries that can happen at any time. To prevent injuries that happen during the last week of training camp, should training camps be shortened by two weeks as well? How far does this logic go? If the NFL never would’ve went from a 14 to a 16 game schedule, then Le’Veon Bell never would have injured his knee. The truth is, if it would have been the number four center on the depth chart who got injured, instead of Pouncey, the reaction would have been, “oh well, he wasn’t gonna make the team anyway”, if anyone would have even noticed at all.
Football always has been and always will be a contact sport, and injuries, whenever they occur, are part of the game and the cost of doing business in the NFL. It’s always unfortunate to lose a player the caliber of a Maurkice Pouncey, whether it’s in the third preseason game or on the eighth offensive play in the first game of the regular season. As much as fans seem to despise preseason, that’s where you find and develop the depth on your roster to replace the injured. How important is preseason? Terry Bradshaw was once asked about the importance of preseason and he thought it was as important as the foundation that your house is built on. Two preseason games is not nearly enough to give veterans the work they need or to see what a team might have in the way of late round draft picks or with the undrafted rookies and camp invites. Four games seems to be the minimal amount of time needed to piece together the final 53-man roster. The only change that really needs to be made with preseason football is to quit charging regular season prices for the tickets.
Steelers Sign Vick And Legursky
In the wake of injuries to center Maurkice Pouncey and quarterback Bruce... [Read More]
In about two short weeks the Pirates will look to bolster their roster by calling up a few extra players. There is no doubt they will call up someone, but the questions of who and how many are sure to be prevalent. There is no real way for us to know what they are planning, but we can try our best to formulate a guess. The best place to start is to look at how they have treated the call ups during the last two years while they have been in the thick of contention.
Call Ups: LHP Kris Johnson, RHP Kyle Farnsworth, RHP Brandon Cumpton, C Tony Sanchez*, RHP Jared Hughes*, OF Andrew Lambo*, LHP Jeff Locke*
Activated from DL: OF Travis Snider, OF Starling Marte, RHP Jason Grilli
Added in Late August: C John Buck, OF Marlon Byrd, 1B Justin Morneau, RHP Stolmy Pimentel
The Pirates brought their roster total up to 35 players thanks to 7 call ups and 3 players returning from the disabled list but if you look at the names they "called up" you will see the players marked with a * really didn't fit the usual description. The four players marked with an * were on the roster into late August when they were removed for a matter of just a few days to make room for the final four players listed. Three of the four were acquired via waiver trades and the 4th, Pimentel, was surprisingly added on 8/31 to make him postseason eligible.
Basically the Pirates opted to add 1 catcher, 4 other position players and 5 pitchers
Call Ups: RHP John Holdzkom, C Tony Sanchez, LHP Booby LaFromboise, RHP Casey Sadler, IF Chase d'Arnaud, RHP Gerrit Cole*, LHP Jeff Locke*, OF Gregory Polanco*
Activated From DL: RHP Charlie Morton, RHP Stolmy Pimentel
Added in Late August: 3B Brent Morel, OF Andrew Lambo, OF Jose Tabata
Once again the call ups can be deceiving. Cole, Locke and Polanco were all with the team late into August when they were "optioned" to the minors to make room for other players. This time there were no trades but position players were added in the final few days of August to give the Pirates a deeper bench.
Once again the Pirates essentially added 1 C, 4 other position players and 5 pitchers
There is no guarantee the Pirates will follow the same template this year but it does give us a starting point. Now lets look at who may be available to be recalled.
Currently On The... [Read More]
A tackle. That was all. Steelers K Shaun Suisham went to make a play in Sunday Night's Hall of Fame Game, and suddenly, his season came to a crashing end. He will undergo season ending ACL surgery this week, which will in fact close his season out. The team placed Suisham on injured reserve Monday. Let's hope the Steelers' kicking game and special teams do not follow in similar fashion. In his five years as Steelers' K, Suisham has converted 87.8% of his kicks and has never missed an extra point. At the apex of his professional career, Suisham has put together three consecutive seasons of 90+% success on field goals - 90.3% (2012), 93.8% (2013), and 90.6% (2014). As a result, his loss should be a concern for Pittsburgh. In 2014, the Steelers ranked 4th in the NFL in FG success rate at 90.6%. That is above the league average of 84.0%. Factor in Suisham made the game-winning kick against the Cleveland Browns in Week 1, and his reliability is even more valuable. The question is, who do the Steelers turn to? What can they expect from replacements? I can tell you it will be difficult to find a reliable kicker who is going to compare. Reports mention Jeff Reed, a former Steeler. Is anyone really serious? Reed hasn't played in the league since 2011. Nonetheless, the team is going to have to dig deep. In my opinion, kickers are underrated commodities. Sure, any team can pick one up. But what happens when they miss a kick in a tight game situation? As fans, it will be interesting to watch what the team decides. My hope is Pittsburgh catches a diamond in the rough, that they find a player who craves this opportunity and makes the most of it by excelling and getting the job done.
Here we go, Steeler Nation, the first significant story line of the preseason for your team. Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin will have to rise up.