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Steeler Nation currently is up in arms regarding the fact that only three members of the team — James Harrison, James Farrior, and Troy Polamalu — won a spot on the the AFC Pro Bowl roster, with only two of them (Harrison and Polamalu) named as starters.
But let’s be objective.  Look at the full roster, and ask yourself if the Steelers’ starters at the other positions are better than the guys who made it.
Running back Willie Parker has been too banged up, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has spent too much time running for his life.  The offensive line has more holes than Andy Reid’s donut stash.  Receiver Hines Ward doesn’t have the numbers, and receiver Santonio Holmes hasn’t exactly put together a breakout year in that supposedly critical third season for a wideout.
On defense, the cornerbacks are good but not close to the three who made it (Asomugha, Finnegan, Revis), and the defensive line has no dominant presence that can overcome the stats-suppressing 3-4 system.
The only guy with a real beef is linebacker LaMarr Woodley, who should have made it over Suggs.  Even then, however, it’s a close call.
In our view, the entire exercise draws into clear focus the value of second-year coach Mike Tomlin to the Steelers.  With a lineup not stocked with the best players in the league, Tomlin has led his team capably through one of the toughest schedules in NFL history.
The fact that the Steelers stand on the brink of swiping the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs from the Titans underscores the brilliance of Tomlin’s work.
And so the real snub that should send Steelers fans en masse toward 280 Park Avenue with pitchforks and torches would be a Coach of the Year designation that goes to anyone other than Tomlin.
For more on the Steelers’ incredible season and Tomlin’s responsibility for it, we give you a little PFTV.


Permalink 88 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Pittsburgh Steelers, Rumor Mill
  1. TheTylerRose-BestEver says: Dec 16, 2008 5:51 PM

    I fail to see how you are hating on the Steelers here, Florio…

  2. ACDC84 says: Dec 16, 2008 5:51 PM

    Great point. The Viking’s had like seven or eight guys last year and those losers didn’t even make the play-offs. Dallas had eleven and couldn’t win a play-off game.
    I can’t remember the Giants having many at all last year.

  3. Mike D says: Dec 16, 2008 5:59 PM

    Look, im a diehard Steelers fan, but even I concede that none of our offensive players should have made it. No beef there. Ill even concede that Hampton, one of the better players on our defense, didnt deserve to get in given that group of DTs. The guys that I think REALLY got shafted are Aaron Smith, Ike Taylor and, yes, Woodley. Smith, in particular, has been one of the better DEs in the league for awhile now, but he never seems to get the recognition he deserves.

  4. RobJH says: Dec 16, 2008 6:01 PM

    You make it sound like the Steelers are a bunch of bums and role players that Tomlin has molded into a cohesive unit. However, the Steelers are solid at every position (except O-line), won the freaking Super Bowl just a few years ago and underachieved in the playoffs last year. It’s not like Tomlin is a miracle worker.
    Coach of the Year should go to Mike Smith or Tony Sparano. What these guys have done has been remarkable. They have totally changed the attitudes of their respective teams. These 2 teams have been some of the best (and least publicized) stories of the year. Both teams were TERRIBLE last year, but now both could be in the playoffs. Hell, the Fins could even win the AFC East (with only 2 Pro Bowlers).

  5. Elmagister says: Dec 16, 2008 6:04 PM

    Yeah, anyone other than Tomlin…because Tony Sparano took over a Fins team just full of talent, and they’re underachieving this year, right?

  6. titans_fan says: Dec 16, 2008 6:05 PM

    “And so the real snub that should send Steelers fans en masse toward 280 Park Avenue with pitchforks and torches would be a Coach of the Year designation that goes to anyone other than Tomlin.”
    Agreed! Tomlin has made chicken salad out of chicken shit. Tomlin doesn’t get the respect he deserves… he’s the bigger reason (along with LeBeau) that the Steelers have been dominant this year.

  7. BirdMan says: Dec 16, 2008 6:05 PM

    That was a cheap shot on Andy Reid…besides, it
    s glandular.

  8. bjs79 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:08 PM

    Tony Sparano should be coach of the year. Hands down!!!

  9. arosen36 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:09 PM

    no way, sparano had a great year with a below average team, the steelers have good players, just not pro bowlers, there is no way that tomlin is coach of the years, the steelers were in the playoffs last year, the dolphins had 1 win

  10. kingj228 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:11 PM

    But let’s be more objective. Since when does a little thing like facts and stats have anything
    to do with it. Peyton Manning, Brett Favre, Jay Cutler ? Rivers, Pennington & Schaub
    have better numbers. Face it, it’s a lot more about popularity than anything.

  11. Tobias Funke says: Dec 16, 2008 6:12 PM

    I don’t think this is Tomlin’s year. Belichick’s team still has a decent chance at the playoffs and is tied for the lead in their division after losing many more players to injury than Tomlin has.
    And they have two Pro Bowlers instead of 3.

  12. dirt211 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:12 PM

    The other Steelers that would merit consideration would be Aaron Smith (DE) and Jeff Reed (K). Reed has been one of the most consistent and clutch kickers the past few years and kicks under mostly subpar conditions at Heinz Field. Smith doesn’t put up the numbers that some other DEs do because he plays in a 3-4 defense, but there aren’t many that play that position better than he does. I would have liked to see more Steelers given that they are #2 in the AFC right now, but it’s tough to complain because we don’t have many outstanding individual players who put up big numbers.

  13. hurst2112 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:13 PM

    Lebeau should suit up at cb.

  14. Pea Tear Griffin says: Dec 16, 2008 6:13 PM

    Steeler Nation would like to thank you. (and we also are hoping there is no PFT jinx).

  15. VBG says: Dec 16, 2008 6:16 PM

    The Pro Bowl is a popularity contest, popularity with the fans and with other players. How else did Michael Vick ever make the cut? A really bad QB but was popular.
    The Pro Bowl means nothing, being All Pro is what means something.

  16. Ze says: Dec 16, 2008 6:21 PM

    Just came to say that some of us PFT vets have read for so long to know that Florio is a Steelers fan, so I’m hoping no one shows up whining again how he hates on the Steelers so much. It’s just too funny

  17. stugacz says: Dec 16, 2008 6:24 PM

    Florio’s best post of the year, and after Sunday’s insult…the perfect “buttkiss”!

  18. dlmcc0505 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:28 PM

    This will be a close call this year as alot of coaches have done great work with previously lousy or so so teams. The Giants have had a great year even with all the nonsense and the injuries those guys know how to get it done each weekend and they give their all for that coach. Tennessee has had a great year and im not sold on them talent wise. Thats great coaching as well. Look at the turnarounds in Miami, Atlanta and even Baltimore to an extent. Pittsburgh has played great as well. How about the Jets who are basically winning despite Brett Favre instead of because of him? Its as close as I have ever seen and I would have no problem if any of those coaches for those teams won the award this year

  19. Vox Veritas says: Dec 16, 2008 6:29 PM

    It’s an incredible season, I tell you! Yeesh, you’d think that no team ever went 11-3 in a weak division before.

  20. buddywiser says: Dec 16, 2008 6:29 PM

    Oakland should come out with a Raider Towel, since the Steeler fans seemed to have taken over their “Nation” term.

  21. TheAzzMan says: Dec 16, 2008 6:31 PM

    The Pro Bowl snubs will just piss off the defense even more. To every team that has to play them on their Super Bowl run, enjoy.

  22. Bubby Brister says: Dec 16, 2008 6:36 PM

    Florio, right on the money with your assessment of Tomlin. I agree Sporano or Smith deserve the award in every sense imaginable, but as impressive as they’ve been, I think what Tomlin’s doing is THAT special. Brilliant. Amazing. Outstanding. I have the biggest man crush on the guy right now.
    As a Steelers fan, I actually would have had a problem if anybody on offense WAS selected to the Pro Bowl.
    What I have a problem with is the fact that Woodley didn’t make it and Farrior did. I love Farrior, but all the only skills the guy has left are in his leadership. He hasn’t really had that great of a year.
    Aaron Smith might be having his best year, but like you said it Florio, the stats aren’t there, so his absence isn’t a shocker. That’s the epitome of the guys career though.
    You could also definitely argue Jeff Reed deserves a spot. I just think that guy is as money a kicker as there is in the game though and I just wanna see some well deserved credit.
    Oh, and I agree with Ze. As someone who’s been visiting the site for about 5 years now, I know the truth. Back when Florio was doing strictly rumors and the traffic was fractions of what it is now, it was a little easier for his black and gold to bleed through.

  23. NonYahooHotmailAcct says: Dec 16, 2008 6:39 PM

    Nice job callin’ him out on the decorations.

  24. bdhumbert says: Dec 16, 2008 6:42 PM

    Florio may be a bit of a Steeler fan but he is a true Ben hater – and shows it here – part of a lonnnnnngggg history of bashing the #1 QB in football – no one else I want to QB my team on their own 8 yard line, down 3, with 3:36 to go – NO ONE!!!!

  25. Latinplaya9 says: Dec 16, 2008 6:43 PM

    Im a steeler fan and I somewhat understand why they dont have 7-8 probowlers, but I feel that one of the most underappreciated corners is Ike Taylor… look at the guys hes covered this season.
    Andre Johnson (texans)
    Chad Johnson (bengals)
    Randy Moss
    Derrick Mason (twice)
    Santana Moss
    Reggie Wayne
    Burress (for 3 quarters)
    these are great receivers, and only 2 of them got over 100+ yards on him (A. johnson and Wayne). What other corner has shut down that many QUALITY receivers in one season? yea he does get help over the top at times by polamalu, so maybe that took away from him… I dont really know..?

  26. Bob S. says: Dec 16, 2008 6:43 PM

    they’ve got a great defense. offense stinks. 3 defensive players on pro bowl afc defensive team is no surprise. zero on pro bowl afc offensive team is no surprise.

  27. seahawks4life says: Dec 16, 2008 6:44 PM

    This sounds like a love-in piece written by a fan. I can think of a couple coaches who would make far better candidates than Tomlin for Coach of the Year, and can’t imagine how anyone but a Steeler fan could really care what Steeler fans are up in arms about. Why would you care what Steeler fans thought unless you were one?
    It’s fine if you’re a fan of the team. But Steeler fan-love articles make your site seem a little less professional, like a fan site instead of a news site. No offense, I like PFT, but the Steeler-fan slant is getting way too obvious.
    As to the Coach of the Year argument:
    Sparano is a better candidate than Tomlin. No matter what happens in the future, nobody expected Miami to seriously contend for a divisional title in 2008. The turnaround in Miami has been amazing.
    You talk about how Pittsburgh has won with “nobodies”, but you can’t possibly be serious. How many current Steelers were pro-bowlers in 2004-2007?
    Applying that same argument to Miami, there is a much larger gap between individual talent (pro-bowl appearances) and team success, and in a much more competitive division.
    Yes, Pittsburgh has played well this season, but everyone expected them to and there is no reason they shouldn’t have. They already have the players and the experience. Without serious injury problems or some other unusual excuse, their season would have been a dismal failure if they had not made the playoffs.

  28. jyernberg says: Dec 16, 2008 6:45 PM

    i think very highly of tomlin. he is a GREAT fit in blitzburgh. he seems to have the qualities and morals that everyone wants in a head caoch: he is a no nonsense guy, he doesn’t make excuses, he has a fire in his belly that drives him towards excellence, and he has the certain thing about him that makes his players like him, which causes them to want to win more for him. he is a young guy and should be around for a long time for the stillers. as a football fan, and a guy, there is something that you just have to respect about pitsburgh and tomlin.

  29. titans_fan says: Dec 16, 2008 6:46 PM

    Will this be made up for when Tomlin is coaching the AFC team in the Pro Bowl?

  30. jyernberg says: Dec 16, 2008 6:47 PM

    ben rothlesburger is NOT NOT NOT the #1 QB in football. he is better than good, but definetly not the best. not even close.i will give you this though, he may have the best pump fake in the game. ienojy watching him pump fake….

  31. Mike Florio says: Dec 16, 2008 6:50 PM

    @seahawks4life . . . .
    you apparently were in a coma on sunday and monday. i’m glad to see that you are conscious again. best wishes for a continued speedy recovery.

  32. Ghosty says: Dec 16, 2008 6:51 PM

    Umm your serious Tomlin for Coach of the Year?
    We’re just all going to ignore Sparano going from 1-15 to a possible division title despite trading 2 of his three best defensive players arguably (Jason Taylor & Zach Thomas).
    And Mike Smith taking the 3-13 Falcons, a year after Bobby Petrino/Mike Vick year, being 9-5 in playoff contention in one of if not the toughest NFC divisions. Using a rookie QB to do it all.
    And Belichick as much as everyone hates to say it, going possibly 11-5 despite losing Tom Brady, Adaillius Thomas, Tedy Bruschi, Roday Harrison, Laurence Maroney, as well as having to use his 4th string RB for parts of the year, yet never losing back to back games all season and never using “Brady injured” as a crutch for losses. He tied this years team together despite the worst loss in Football history when they failed to go 19-0.
    Sorry, but all three of those are better coach of the year candidates then Mike Tomlin. The Steelers Defense may not have 11 pro bowlers, but I can name about 25 defensive co-ordinators that would trade defensive units with Tomlin any time.

  33. thegregwitul says: Dec 16, 2008 6:53 PM

    I think Tomlin has to be the frontrunner when it comes to coach of the year. For everyone crying about Sparano and Smith, look at the key posistion upgrades on the team, QB, and you won’t find these first year coaches depending on John Beck and Joey Harrington to win football games. Sure, the Dolphins have very little in terms of talent, and they are well coached and make the fewest mistakes (turnovers) in the league, but they didn’t get a turd when they picked up Chad Pennington. They got the right guy to play it conservative, even though they have an offense that will take chances every now and again (wildcat). The Falcons drafted one of the best rookie QB’s to play in the NFL since Big Ben, and they deserve credit for competing for a playoff spot, but the vote still has to go to Mike Tomlin.
    Look at the Steelers schedule. It’s easily the most difficult in the league, and the Steelers were without their top two RB’s for a considerable period of time this season. The offensive line couldn’t protect my grandmother, let alone a pro quarterback and they are getting it done with enough offense and a flat out dominating defense. Who did the Steelers gain this offseason on the level of Pennington or Matt Ryan? The Steelers have more talent than the Dolphins or Falcons, but they had no cupcake games like the other two.
    One thing I think we can all agree on is that all three coaches have done a great job this season. Who would have though that the Dolphins and Falcons would have a combined 18-10 record (both 9-5) and both be in the running for a playoff spot? (and in the case of Miami, the division title) This has been one wild year, with no clear cut favorites, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  34. Hollywood Wags says: Dec 16, 2008 6:56 PM

    Aaron Smith not making it is BS. That guy is playing at a massive level right now, way better than he has in previous seasons.
    But you’re right, Tomlin has a nice way of pulling the team together and motivating players…
    And it could be worse, lunkheaded Russ Grimm could be the coach.

  35. Someone says: Dec 16, 2008 6:57 PM

    Watching Tomlin for one year as the Vikings defensive coach is all I needed to love the guy. He is a motivator and a players coach.
    Hopefully the Vikings can hang onto Frazier this year instead of watching another great guy become a head coach elsewhere…

  36. mrmagoo says: Dec 16, 2008 6:58 PM

    Mike Florio says:
    December 16th, 2008 at 6:50 pm
    @seahawks4life . . . .
    you apparently were in a coma on sunday and monday. i’m glad to see that you are conscious again. best wishes for a continued speedy recovery.
    As a Steeler fan this may be the only thing we’ve agreed on in 3 days. :)

  37. michaelusagisan says: Dec 16, 2008 7:03 PM

    Um, weren’t you the guy who just a few weeks ago said that Coughlin was doing such an amazing coaching job this year he deserved a spot in Canton? Now it’s Tomlin? Seriously, have you met a bit of hyperbole you didn’t love?

  38. Devils Advocate says: Dec 16, 2008 7:06 PM

    This premise is just PLAIN STUPID Florio. The voting is a joke – a popularity contest. You can’t make that claim at all. Tomlin is good but lets not put him in the hall of fame with this lame analysis.
    If the fans knew what they were doing you would have more Steelers on the squad and your claim goes to shit.

  39. Bubby Brister says: Dec 16, 2008 7:07 PM

    Expected them to be good? Who expected them to be good?
    Every media outlet in the world, along with every Steelers fan I know, was unbelievably pessimistic about this season before it started. People were predicting 9 wins for this squad, tongue firmly planted in cheek, saying that NINE may have been pushing it even.
    They’re on their way to 13-3 after chartering the hardest schedule ever played, AND THEY COULD HAVE EASILY WON 2 OF THOSE GAMES. Yeah some of the big dogs (New England, San Diego, Jacksonville) didn’t live up to expectations, but you throw that out the window when you consider that the expected cupcakes (Baltimore twice, Philly, Tennessee) replaced them.
    I’d love to see how this team would be if they spent the season facing the likes of the NFC West, AFC West, the Patsies, Jets and Bills twice, Texans, and Ravens. The Steelers would handle that schedule 14-2 at the absolute worst.
    Bill Parcells built that car and handed Sporano the instruction book. Tony’s just driving the thing.

  40. EskinSux says: Dec 16, 2008 7:12 PM

    It’s obvious why only only two starters from the Steelers made the Fake Bowl team….When the fan voting was cast, they voted for the refs who handed them wins…….

  41. RedGoneWILD says: Dec 16, 2008 7:13 PM

    There’s 3 ex-Steelers also…
    Alan Faneca
    Joey Porter
    Chris Hope

  42. GregmfinJennings says: Dec 16, 2008 7:14 PM

    Side note – the cowboy/ed werder video got pulled from YouTube

  43. bdhumbert says: Dec 16, 2008 7:14 PM

    The coach of the year will depend on how they finish the deal – but Sporano will always have to share the stage with Parcells.
    But if Tomlin can get the Steelers to 13-3 with the schedule they have had to play with – and with only 3 pro-bowlers to do it with it would be hard to deny him…
    But if the Steelers stumble – and the Dolphins close out the season winning these next two – then Sporano is the guy…
    Finally – got to agree with the fans who want Aaron Smith as a PBer – he is the difference maker – he and Hampton allow the linebackers to do what they do do so well…

  44. CD_Ridge says: Dec 16, 2008 7:21 PM

    There is not enough room on the Steelers bandwagon for you. You can get back to bashing the Steelers even though your secret is out. You are a closet Steelers fan.

  45. Blahman64 says: Dec 16, 2008 7:22 PM

    Someone, you’re exactly right. Frazier has overcome all odds. Madieu Williams was out for a while and the rookie Tyrell Johnson filled in great for him (maybe some moments where he wasn’t up-to-par, but he’s a rookie). E.J. Henderson goes down, and he bulks up on Leber and Greenway (Napoleon Harris is almost unheard of, but he’s still a good player, too). Charles Gordon was a great Nickel back, and he’s fit Benny Sapp into that role. The whole StarCaps thing took place and he got his players through that, along with the other Defensive Ends. The other DE’s that aren’t Jared Allen have had a good season, too. They might not have a lot of sacks to go with it, but QB pressure means everything.
    Hats off to Tomlin for making nothing into something big (and you nay-sayers, he DID bring that team up to go to the playoffs last year, too, and he made the players almost forget Bill Cowher (Bill Who?).

  46. hurst2112 says: Dec 16, 2008 7:27 PM

    3 more steelers made it. Faneca, hope and porter. Ha

  47. SteelerGal says: Dec 16, 2008 7:51 PM

    I for one am very happy to see Porter and James line up together on OLB, Troy making SS was a given and Farrior as a reserve to Lewis is completely acceptable to me. The only problem I have is Suggs getting in over Woodley, who has had a much better year IMO, and I’m trying to be completely unbiased in that. DE Aaron Smith bothers me as well, he’s the heart and soul of the defense and is possibly the best at his position in the league. It’s always possible though that we’ll see guys like Smith, Taylor and Woodley make the injury list though and get the recognition they deserve.
    I agree completely that there is no one on offense that deserves to be in, except maybe TE Miller. I understand why he would never make the cut though, he spends most of his time in blocking since we run a 2 TE set mostly. If I was asked to choose one person from our O to go to the Pro-Bowl this year though it would be him, he’s a beast.
    If Ben had been healthy and had a better line protecting him this year I could see him getting in. Behind the line and WR’s that are set up right now for the Pro-Bowl I could see any decent QB doing well. Hopefully next year though.

  48. CycloneSteel says: Dec 16, 2008 7:52 PM

    What I hope Steeler fans realize, is that this is a GOOD thing for the Steelers. Let the other teams pay out the Pro Bowl bonuses and have to fork over larger contracts because of it. We can manuever under the Cap much easier without a roster full of Pro Bowlers.
    That being said, how Aaron Smith and Jeff Reed continually get snubbed is incredible.

  49. JimnBigD says: Dec 16, 2008 7:58 PM

    Steelers Fans:
    Stop letting Mike agitate you just to drive his traffic. It’s so obvious what does and he does it every day. Take everything he posts about the Steelers with a grain salt and the knowledge he is baiting you. Don’t be his sucker!

  50. TMC says: Dec 16, 2008 7:59 PM

    As a Steeler fan, I think that Tomlin has done a masterful job, but he has talented players and LeBeau contributes to the team doing well. You cannot overlook the fact that he did not go and get LeBeau, that is a gift Cowher left that keeps on giving. I think when you look at Smith and Sparano, they have came in, made moves, hired staffs, and their teams have turned around completely. They have to get the nod. As much as I like Tomlin, his task was taking a division winner, 10-6 team, and trying to make them better.
    In my opinion, Aaron Smith not making the Pro Bowl is a travesty. Freeney and Mathis make it solely on their sack numbers. Freeney making it ahead of Mathis is even worse, because Mathis has better numbers. Mathis has 48 tackles and 12 sacks. Freeney has 24 tackles and 6 sacks. They play on a defense that ranks 25th against the run. Aaron Smith plays on a defense that is 1st in every category except for rush defense, they are now 2nd. Aaron Smith has 53 tackles and 6 sacks.
    Also, the idea that Suggs has any argument over Lamar Woodley is laughable. If sacks gets them in (and Harrison and Porter should show that, if they do not, Mathis and Freeney damn sure should), then why does Suggs and his 58 tackles and 8 sacks get in when Lamar Woodley has 55 tackles and 12 sacks?
    And, how in the world did Farve make the Pro Bowl? He leads the AFC in interceptions. He is not even in the Top 5 in passer rating. It is simply a popularity contest.

  51. titans_fan says: Dec 16, 2008 8:01 PM

    “Tomlin is good but lets not put him in the hall of fame with this lame analysis”
    Florio didn’t say Hall of Fame, he said coach of the year. Of the teams that have done very well he’s the coach that’s had to overcome the most. I don’t like the Steelers but I agree with Florio.
    And Sparano should definitely get consideration… he’s done a lot with arguably less talent. But that said the Dolphins could very well still miss the playoffs. Other coaches have been fired for doing more than he has.

  52. Volkof52 says: Dec 16, 2008 8:03 PM

    This is also part of the strength of PIT’s team. As a Ravens fan I’ve seen a lot of PIT over the years, usually watching most of their games. Here’s the deal, IMO:
    If you were to rank players in the NFL from 1-10, 1s barely making the team and 5 being average, PIT has a starting roster full of 6s, 7s, a couple 8s and a 9, and maybe 1 or 2 5s. Their backups are pretty good as well, probably 3s/4s.
    Comparably BAL has a couple 10s, a couple 9s, a few 8s, some 6s-7s, and a few 4s/5s. But, when you go to backups, most of them are 1s with the exception of Fabian & Justin.
    So, PIT can survive injuries better and they’re more consistent because of the even balance. Teams don’t really scheme against a couple great players, because they’re all really good but only 1 is great (Troy).
    Tomlin deserves some credit, but really he (like Harbaugh), has great assistants and the roster was mostly in place when he came on board. Totally different than coaching the Raiders or Chiefs.

  53. kdrtoona says: Dec 16, 2008 8:07 PM

    Who wrote this and what have you done to the real Florio?
    (Florio if someone made you write this against your will, just signal us by slipping the lyrics of your favorite John Denver song into a post; PFT Nation will rise up and come and save you… as long as we don’t have anything else to do….
    OMG a Perfect Strangers Marathon on ABC Family. Sorry Bud you’re on your own… )

  54. spanky07 says: Dec 16, 2008 8:08 PM

    The Pro Bowl is a joke…it’s nothing more than a popularity contest that the top notch stars would rather skip than play in…they want that bling package and a vacation…plain and simple.

  55. Tex Big Balls says: Dec 16, 2008 8:36 PM

    The Steeler’s best player is the that crappy climate and crime of a playing field.

  56. maddogwhite says: Dec 16, 2008 8:41 PM

    What are you smoking Florio??? Everyone with half a brain knows that the defense is a product of Dick LeBeau’s genius. Before you give Tomlin a bust in Canton remember that he was fortunate enough to inherit an all-world defense (who had won the Super Bowl two years before) as well as being a part of one of the most sound organizations in professional sports. Face it, The Steelers organization io a Ferrari. Tomlin is simply the driver.

  57. MJM1977 says: Dec 16, 2008 8:43 PM

    I would like to have seen Aaron Smith go to the Pro Bowl–he is one of the most underrated players in the league.
    Overall, I like most of the voting–some of they guys going really ARE the best at their positions. As always, there are players who are getting in based in their resume’s and not their actual current performance, but that’s part of it.
    3 Steelers going to the Pro Bowl–really emphasizes what a true TEAM they really are. Now if they could get back to being unstoppable on 3rd and 1…

  58. MJM1977 says: Dec 16, 2008 8:46 PM

    Oh and P.S., Mike Tomlin is awesome, and the Coach of the Year should be between him, Tony Sparano (sp?), and let’s go ahead and throw Mike Smith’s name in there, too.

  59. brian_21 says: Dec 16, 2008 8:47 PM

    Only four Redskins made the Pro Bowl?!

  60. yoyo says: Dec 16, 2008 8:51 PM

    Nothing you say concerning the Steelers has credibility anymore. You have shown your true colors as just being another hack, who, for awhile had a good premise for a great website, only to watch ir go to hell in a handbasket because you cannot stay objective. So coming in with a little praise for an organization you despise, rings very, very hollow.

  61. tajik_buc says: Dec 16, 2008 8:59 PM

    Gotta disagree, even with Tomlin’s Tampa connection. The job Mike Smith has done is nothing short of amazing. After the trainwreck of a year that Petrino and Vick inflicted upon the Falcons, they should have Coach, maybe exec of the year for the GM, rookie of the year (and maybe MVP) in Ryan. Can you imagine where they would be without him?

  62. 52decleetzu says: Dec 16, 2008 9:01 PM

    Hey Florio the Steelers schedule is ranked 18th you moron,why do you insist over and over again it was “one of the hardest schedules in the history of all sport???” EIGHTEEN dbag do I need to spell it out for you??
    Go click the mouse a few times and get the facts rather than listen to the national media who you crucify every day.

  63. Ravenmaniac says: Dec 16, 2008 9:19 PM

    Hold on….wait for it…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    I hope none of you steeler fans were expecting Ben to be in the probowl! Not one offensive player! There really is some sanity…oh but wait that makes it a popularity contest (Steelers reasoning).
    I very much agree with the Steelers defenders that are in..that I have to admit was deserved. Although, I would think that Lamar Woodley should have made it before Farrior.
    Also, how does anyone think that Tomlin deserves any credit..the only coach on that team that deserves an award is Lebeau! Bruce Arians…oh wait you shouldn’t get an award for 24th ranked offense!

  64. jets83 says: Dec 16, 2008 9:24 PM

    Florio……can you please admit that you were wrong and the Jets were right about Revis and the contract they gave him?

  65. Bmore Styles says: Dec 16, 2008 9:31 PM

    i think that Dick Lebeau is the true source of the Steelers’ success. Tomlin makes very questionable strategical calls at times and is simply a great motivator.
    Side note: You’re a head coach, leave the repetitive fist pumping and clamoring to the crowd to the players. You don’t see any other head coach acting as such, it’s classless for someone of that position to habitually do such things.

  66. punk8slvr says: Dec 16, 2008 9:33 PM

    In regards to the coach of the year part of it, even as a Steelers fan, I don’t think Tomlin should get the nod. Don’t get me wrong, he’s done an amazing job this year, and I wouldn’t trade him for any other coach in the NFL, but you can’t over look the other guys, any other year, yes, i think he deserves it. This year, I think he deserves to be in the conversation, but he shouldn’t/won’t win. Here’s the way I see it finishing up
    1. Smith – no doubting what sparano’s accomplished, but he did it with a vetran QB and some help from Parcells. Smith has navigated a harder schedule, with a rookie qb, a previously un-proven rb, and only a few playmakers on either side of the ball. If the falcons make the playoffs, smith is coach of the year IMO.
    2. Sparano – If the falcons don’t make the playoffs then I think he’s #1
    3a. Bellicheck – who honestly thought when brady went down that there was any chance at the pats making the playoffs, let alone winning the division.
    3b. Jeff Fisher – Making the switch from Young to Collins was a difficult maneuver, although the rookie rb has probably had as much to do with their success. If he beats the colts in week 17 and the guys above don’t make the playoffs he gets some def. consideration
    3c. Tomlin – Only if the Falcons, Dolphins, and Pats don’t make the playoffs, and the steelers take the #1 seed from Tenn.
    As for the probowl, i think there were a ton of snubs, but not to many from the steelers. How many players made the list on name recognition alone? Favre has no business there, given the success of the dolphins under pennington who’s to say the jets are any better because of favre. If the pro-bowl’s supposedly all about #’s then Rivers should be pissed…if i’m not mistaken he’s still the top rated passer in the NFL, granted on an underacheiving team, but still, if its going to be about numbers then lets make it about numbers. If the focus isn’t on numbers then Ben should be pissed, given the injuries, the lack of protection, and his ability to lead 4 4th quarter game winning/tying drives this year, also what about Cassel, who thought a guy that hasn’t started since high school would be as good as he’s been?
    and thats just the QB position on the AFC squad! I could go on for a while!
    The pro-bowl is becoming such a joke, so many players getting in on name recognition/reputation. They need to take the fan component out of it entirely as the average person just votes for his/her favorite players/team.
    IMO it should be 1/3 players, 1/3 coaches, 1/3 media (1 representative from each of the 32 markets). Then if there are tie’s, they should be broken by the “fan vote”.

  67. Cycloid says: Dec 16, 2008 9:39 PM

    Dick Lebeau deserves the credit for that defense—don’t snub him from the recognitino he deserves.

  68. punk8slvr says: Dec 16, 2008 9:41 PM

    Comparably BAL has a couple 10s,
    I agree with mostly everything you have to say, which is odd considering you’re a ravens fan, but for you to say the ravens have “10’s” while the Steelers have at best a few “8’s and 9’s” is ridiculous.
    i’ll give you that Reed is def. a 10, but so is Troy.
    Harrison not a 10? he’s one of the most dominating OLB’s in the league along with Porter and Ware…but i’m betting you’re counting suggs as one of yours
    And you’re probably still counting Ray Ray…who was def a 10 in his day but lets be honest…that was 2-3 years ago.
    Also, is it just me, or does the AFC have the oldest Starting ILB’s on the squad ever??

  69. bmac187 says: Dec 16, 2008 9:53 PM

    Wouldn’t the Bengals have the toughest schedule in the league? They play the same teams as the Steelers, sub Jets for Pats (same record) and Chiefs for Chargers. However, instead of playing 2 games against a horrible 2-11-1 team like the Steelers do, they play the 11-3 Steelers.
    In fact, wouldn’t the other two teams in the AFC North have a tougher schedule than the Steelers?

  70. Darth Ringo says: Dec 16, 2008 9:59 PM

    Coach of the year is Mike Smith, no question. The Falcons had the most spectacular & gruesome fall from grace imaginable last year, hired a relative no-name coach, and drafted a rookie QB to start. Their division is not exactly stocked with cupcake teams, but they’re solid & winning on the field.
    Tomlin should be in the conversation because of what he’s been able to coax out of the Steelers – that’s one tough, determined team and the #1 defense in the NFL – I won’t complain if he gets the nod, but I think Mike Smith should be the guy.

  71. podeveryday says: Dec 16, 2008 10:03 PM

    I think that jerod mayo should have made it at mlb over farrior.

  72. CT Stiller says: Dec 16, 2008 10:38 PM

    I think Florio’s drunk.

  73. CT Stiller says: Dec 16, 2008 10:40 PM

    I have no problem with the those picks. Aaron Smith/Casey Hamptom should have gotten some consideration though. Maybe Ryan Clark too.

  74. SteelerGal says: Dec 16, 2008 10:42 PM

    @ Ravenmaniac
    Farrior is an ILB and Woodley is an OLB. I like that Farrior got in as a reserve under Lewis, both are very good, but Lewis I think has made a bigger impact and has better stats this year. Woodley should have been in over Suggs though, but he’s only 24 and has plenty of years to make it. If he keeps up with the pace he’s on this year he’ll make a few trips to the Pro-Bowl no doubt.
    Not one person on here has said they wanted anyone from the offense in the Pro-Bowl, though like I said earlier, if I HAD to pick one person it would be Miller. So, not really sure what you are cackling about. Florio himself is the only person that has insinuated that Steeler fans want anyone from offense in the Pro-Bowl lol. I think the biggest gripe out of everyone has just been that Favre somehow made it and Rivers got snubbed. Steelers fans biggest gripe is DE Aaron Smith and OLB Woodley not making it.

  75. neutral_like_sweden says: Dec 16, 2008 10:43 PM

    Florio, maybe you should stay away from football analysis and giving your opinion. You are clearly retarded if you think he’s more deserving then Smith, Sporano, or Belichick at this point in the season.

  76. CycloneSteel says: Dec 16, 2008 10:43 PM

    I think Farrior is way under-rated actually, I didn’t fully grasp that he made it again at first reading. He has the best motor and covers so much ground on D. Ray Ray looks a step slow half the time, Farrior is a beast against the run and the pass.
    Regards to the schedule -clearly on paper before the season it was the toughest schedule of all time, as ESPN pimped. Everyone thought the Browns would be good and win the North (ugh), and who knew the Chargers would get screwed every week, the Pats would lose Brady and the Bengals and Carson Palmer would disappear.
    When they calculate these at the end of the year, I would assume you take your victories over these teams out of the equation right? I.E. -take away a loss from the Chargers/Pats/etc -when figuring the records of teams against you. If you would have lost to them that increases your schedule strength. If you go 0-16 that raises your schedule strength by .0625 -a signifcant margin…
    If things would shake out the right way down the stretch, they will have played against 9 Playoff teams this year, not the easiest schedule of all-time, but certainly not 18th or whatever the idiot said earlier! lol

  77. SteelyJ says: Dec 16, 2008 11:48 PM

    Ravenmaniac says:
    December 16th, 2008 at 9:19 pm
    Hold on….wait for it…..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    I hope none of you steeler fans were expecting Ben to be in the probowl! Not one offensive player! There really is some sanity…oh but wait that makes it a popularity contest (Steelers reasoning).
    I very much agree with the Steelers defenders that are in..that I have to admit was deserved. Although, I would think that Lamar Woodley should have made it before Farrior.
    Also, how does anyone think that Tomlin deserves any credit..the only coach on that team that deserves an award is Lebeau! Bruce Arians…oh wait you shouldn’t get an award for 24th ranked offense!
    Hold on…. wait for it…. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA
    That’s me laughing at Ray Ray & the Bouny Hunter Defense when they crumbled against the Steelers with the game on the line TWICE. After that I dont think any Ravens fan should be able to take any shots at the Steelers or their players. You lost bragging rights of any kind after Ben went 92 yards in 2 minutes while the bounty hunters looked tired and confused.
    Hey hand job – Farrior is an ILB – Woodley is an OLB. Its not Farrior he should have made it over, it that down syndrome looking Suggs.

  78. praveen says: Dec 17, 2008 3:33 AM

    What aboout Jeff Reed? He makes FGs on a consistent basis in the toughest conditions in the league. How the hell does the Pats kicker make it over him?
    As far as the offense is concerned, I agree. None of them deserve it. Big Ben is an elite QB, but he has had a few bad games this season partly due to injury and partly due to his OL and partly due to his own bad decisions. Hines Ward has been awesome in some games, but he has made some uncharacteristic costly penalties and had a few uncharacteristic dropped catches during the season(though he was great in the Baltimore game).

  79. Wick says: Dec 17, 2008 4:44 AM

    As a lifelong Steelers fan raised back in western Pennsylvania, it’s easy to acknowledge some disappointment at not seeing players like LaMarr Woodley, Ike Taylor and Aaron Smith not receive the accolades of a trip to the Pro Bowl.
    That stated, it’s not all bad see a team get “under-recognized” – not by a long shot. Lots of players who go to the Bowls (i.e., The Super Bowl and/or Pro Bowl) get an inflated sense of self and self-worth.
    Exacerbating the effect, their agents ramp up this card in negotiations, playing it to the hilt – not good for the team with the comparatively hard salary cap in place in today’s NFL.
    Still worse, some times this “confuses” the market unjustifiably inflating contracts. As proof for this, one need look no further than when then Dallas DB Larry Brown who was inked by Al Davis to a $12M deal in Oaktown after merely playing pitch and catch with Neil O’Donnell in Super Bowl XXX.
    All in all – I like our Steelers to remain hungry and out to prove something. My belief is Tomlin’s public comments stoke these coals amongst the players and create positive internal effects that have a subtle galvanizing effect along the roster.

  80. Yung Lil Fly says: Dec 17, 2008 5:04 AM

    The cheap shot at Reid was unneccesary.

  81. Deadguy says: Dec 17, 2008 7:42 AM

    Well… The offense has been out of synch all year. No surprise there, but leaving out Aaron Smith and Woodley is (surprising). Guess they’re saying this D is good due to the system. In that case, I think it’s time Lebeau is put in the Hall.

  82. shaunypoo says: Dec 17, 2008 8:03 AM

    I hate the Stealers, but think that their linebacker core is second to none and they have a fantastic secondary. Almost all of those guys are some of the best at their position, just not the top two or three, but most definitely top 5. Just wait, a bunch of guys alway drop out and some more will get in. Remember a few years ago when something like 8 Qbs were probowlers in the AFC.

  83. bradyisgod says: Dec 17, 2008 9:14 AM

    Please….Please…..Please stop with the hard schedule crap. Beating Cincy(2), Clevland(2), houston, Jax, San Diego, Wash, and a Brady-less New England does not make for one of the hardest schedules of all time. (Even the Ravens, that’s right the RAVENS, won 9 games against that schedule).

  84. nicksignorelli says: Dec 17, 2008 9:43 AM

    As a life long die hard Steeler fan, I dont think Tomlin should win it. I think he has done and outstanding job, but Sperano (Mia) or Smith (Atl) should get it. It isn’t about wins and losses, it is about improvement.

  85. Rockpile08 says: Dec 17, 2008 12:54 PM

    “It isn’t about wins and losses, it is about improvement.”
    Well, Chuck Noll took a crappy team (and franchise) won 1, 5, 6, 11, 10, 10, 12, 10, 9, 14 (16 game schedule started here), and 12 games — winning four Super Bowls, and did not win Coach of the Year.
    In 1989, after a 5-11 season, he went 9-7 and won Coach of the Year.
    Go figure.

  86. TheDPR says: Dec 17, 2008 1:14 PM

    Pro Bowl voting has never proved anything and never will. It’s a popularity contest.
    Tomlin’s a pretty good coach. He isn’t the coach of the year though.

  87. praveen says: Dec 17, 2008 1:34 PM

    Tomlin is one of the better coaches this year. But no freaking way, he is the coach of the year. I will say that he should get some of the credit for letting Lebeau do his job very well. LeBeau did not have the same amount of freedom with Cowher at the helm.
    Tomlin also seems to be more aggressive on 4th downs. But he needs to get a freaking offensive coordinator. While Cowher was no better in the Xs and Os, one good thing about Cowher was he held his main coordinators accountable. Tomlin is way too loyal.
    Tomlin has done a fabulous job fixing the special teams which were a chronic problem under Cowher and Tomlin’s first year. Though he still has made the mistake of not looking more aggressively for punting alternatives to the joke of a punter we have now.
    My coach of the year candidates – Mike Smith, Tony Sparano, Tony Dungy (Indy has had a tough schedule too and Indy keeps winning the close games).

  88. CT Stiller says: Dec 17, 2008 3:03 PM

    Steelers fan here. Tomlin is good, but there are other more deserving coaches. I will say that I think he and Lebeau are responsible for the defense’s dominance this year. Tomlin brought in the Tampa-2 style of cover 2, which has made the secondary and pass rush the best in the league. However, the cover-2 D leaves inside running plays open. You have to give credit to the D-line and ILBs for negating that susceptibility.
    Under Cowher, there were very few years in which the secondary was not a liability.
    I would give it to Mike Smith. I can’t help but think that the job Sporano is doing has a lot to do with Bill Parcells.

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