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On James Harrison’s conditioning and the aging Steelers defense

James Harrison AP

I’m writing up the NBCSports.com AFC preview and can’t come up with enough compelling reasons to predict another post-Super Bowl malaise by the Steelers.

The offensive line is shaky, but Ben Roethlisberger is just hitting the sweet spot of his prime. His young wideouts are a special group.  An out-of-conference schedule against the NFC West makes life easier.

If there is a case to be made against Pittsburgh, it’s actually on the defense. Could this veteran group get old all at once?

We thought about this when reading about James Harrison’s struggles following back surgery in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“He’s looking like he was tired out there,” said inside linebacker James Farrior talking about Harrison’s lack of conditioning in the last preseason game.

“He’s not where he wants to be, he’ll tell you that,” said linebackers coach Keith Butler, who said Harrison looked like he was “running in mud” on one play.

Harrison is more upset than anyone and working hard to get back in shape. Post-surgery problems happen more often on an aging defense.

The Steelers will have nine defensive starters over 30 years old this year. They are counting on guys like Harrison, Troy Polamalu, Aaron Smith, and Ike Taylor to stay healthy and avoid the ravages of father time.

There is some quality young depth on the team, but there is a fine line between wanting good experienced players and getting old all at once.

That’s a risk the Steelers are willing to take this year.

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82 Responses to “On James Harrison’s conditioning and the aging Steelers defense”
  1. doe22us says: Sep 1, 2011 10:48 AM

    I was just about to say instead of carrying those guns in magazine he should ave been running on the treadmill, but i will spare him some slack since he was recovering from back surgery.

  2. capslockkey says: Sep 1, 2011 10:48 AM

    Add Casey Hampton to the list who’s 33.

  3. beckzhere says: Sep 1, 2011 10:50 AM

    He better play up to his usual standard. As much as I despise the Steelers, (wait for it…) he’s on my fantasy team. And I need all the help I can get.

  4. jobotjones says: Sep 1, 2011 10:52 AM

    I noticed this about Harrison also (hell he said it himself on facebook). Its not really a serect at this time but it takes time to return to football shape after one back surgery let alone the two he had this offseason.

    He will be decking out WRs foolish enough to sprint through his zone in no time at all.

  5. myspaceyourface says: Sep 1, 2011 10:57 AM

    Funny how we are seeing articles about the Steelers aging defense, yet we rarely hear a criticism of Baltimore’s defensive problems.

    We only hear the over hyped and over exaggerated greatness of the Baltimore defense.

    Ray Lewis looked slow last year. His mouth is still running 100 mph.

  6. willyalistentothis says: Sep 1, 2011 10:57 AM

    When Troy Polamalu is healthy, it makes that defense so dynamic. It’s like he plays both safety spots. One play he will be ball hawking over the top and claiming an acrobatic interception, and the next play he will be the 8th in the box and making hard hitting plays against the run, or taking on a TE in single coverage. He is really an incredible football player. When he was limited last year, so was the Steelers defense. If he can stay healthy, that defense will deal with the age thing just fine.

  7. japdouds says: Sep 1, 2011 10:58 AM

    Key Steelers defensive players UNDER 26:
    DL: Ziggy Hood – Cameron Heyward

    LB: Lawrence Timmons – Lamarr Woodley – Jason Worilds – Chris Carter – Stevenson Sylvester

    DB: Keenan Lewis – Curtis Brown – Crezdon Butler – Cortez Allen

    There is lots of young talent behind the experienced veterans. The only player I’d be concerned about PLAYING old this year is Aaron Smith, and they have two 1st round picks behind him for depth.

  8. flavordave says: Sep 1, 2011 10:58 AM

    7th ring will have to wait another decade or so it seems.

  9. papamcgin says: Sep 1, 2011 11:01 AM

    That’s why they locked up their two youngest defensive stars and drafted depth in the d-line. CB has been a concern since Rod Woodson left so I guess we’ll see. Even if they all do get “old at once” they’d still be better than 75% of the league.

  10. ravenspit says: Sep 1, 2011 11:01 AM

    Come on Mr. Rooney, give him those roids and hgh to speed up his healing. We know you have a great supplier

  11. tsutton84 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:02 AM

    Eight months ago, this “old” defense was #1 in the NFL in points allowed and #2 in yards allowed.

    It’s ridiculous to say their age, all of a sudden, will cause a defensive drop-off, eight months later.

    Rosenthal, how about writing stories on stories, and not make up news because you have to fill your article “quota.”

  12. udontknowjaq says: Sep 1, 2011 11:02 AM

    in 2 years 5 of their front seven will be 27 years on younger and for sure they will have a db that young

  13. dickroy says: Sep 1, 2011 11:04 AM

    Don’t forget about Ziggy, Timmons, and Woodley.

  14. theduuuuuuuuuude says: Sep 1, 2011 11:04 AM

    Being a physically intimidating force in the NFL always comes at a price. Not a Steelers fan but I like watching this guy play. Hopefully for Pitt he’ll get back into playing shape. It’s a good thing they get to play Cinci and Cleveland twice a year.

  15. medtxpack says: Sep 1, 2011 11:07 AM

    If they are up against the NFC West and dont make the playoffs they need to be taken out to the woodshed…

  16. ottomanismydog says: Sep 1, 2011 11:08 AM

    Didn’t James Brown limp after every play?

    Like it or not in Pittsburgh, yes the Steelers are a group based in elder statesman on the defensive side of the ball – but in the AFC North their only true competitor is in the same position. Their linebacking core isTimmons and Woodley are top young talents. Dline has us feeling good about Hood, Kiesel and 1st round pick Haywood. Db’s are reliant on health – yes you can spread them out and attack them through the air – besides Green Bay, New England and Indy no other team in the NFL has the talent to do that.

    Don’t squash the Steelers because of social media and a news report.

  17. svcfilmguy says: Sep 1, 2011 11:10 AM

    As a Steelers fan, I’m not worried….yet. The pass rush will suffer, but they can temporarily overcome this by blitzing Timmons, Hood, Keisel and the secondary more often. Lebeau is a savant, so I’m sure he can find a way to make this work. If this is still a problem in week 4, I’ll hit the panic button. If we can win 3 of 4 without Roethlisberger, we can definitely do it without Harrison.

    Also, Harrison is a workout machine. As soon as he’s feeling close to 100%, he’ll get in better shape in a hurry.

  18. svcfilmguy says: Sep 1, 2011 11:15 AM

    ravenspit says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:01 AM
    Come on Mr. Rooney, give him those roids and hgh to speed up his healing. We know you have a great supplier

    Flacco: 0-6 vs. Ben. 0-2 in the playoffs.

    That is all. You are excused.

  19. sappdaddy99 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:18 AM

    Big Ben is in great condition. I would imagine raping all of those girls really keeps the weight off.

  20. voiceofrealism says: Sep 1, 2011 11:19 AM

    If Harrison had worked his body like he’s been working his mouth, he’d be in great shape now.

  21. goawayeverybody says: Sep 1, 2011 11:19 AM

    The great thing is that the Steelers will have a very good regular season record due to their incredibly weak schedule. And then they will get the crap smacked out of them when they face a real team in the playoffs. Awesome!

  22. ghostrider45 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:20 AM

    Steamers are done…… they always fall apart the year after a superbow@
    l appearance. 8-8 if not worse.

  23. ravenspit says: Sep 1, 2011 11:21 AM

    svcfilmguy-what’s that got to do with all the roids that have filtered through the Steelers for YEARS. Just ask Mike Webster, oh yeah, never mind.

  24. unbiasedfootballfan says: Sep 1, 2011 11:24 AM

    The patriots would be the reason they don’t make it back. If they play the pats in the postseason they will be done.

  25. wcdunkenfield says: Sep 1, 2011 11:25 AM

    “…Didn’t James Brown limp after every play? …”

    Yes, sorta. JIM Brown walked slowly back to the huddle after each play. He said it was so the defense never knew when he was hurt.

    Steelers will be fine. Individual Steelers may go down, but does anybody really think the team is in danger?

    Heck no, and I am not really a Steelers fan.

  26. flagstaffphotos says: Sep 1, 2011 11:27 AM

    It’s time for their young guns to get serious playing time – Keenan Lewis, Crezdan Butler, Cortez Allen Ziggie Hood, Heyward Cameron, Steve McClendon, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, Ivy Mortty, Stevenson Sylvester – the Steelers are loaded with young studs that are champing at the bit to hit the field this year.

    Tomlin and Lebeau need to stop requiring guys to toil for 5 years as a 3rd stringer or on the practice squad before they let them see a real down of defensive football for this team. Worilds, Hood, and Keenan Lewis are turning into stone-cold killers – it’s time for a youth movement on the D-side in the ‘Burgh.

  27. medtxpack says: Sep 1, 2011 11:27 AM

    willyalistentothis says:Sep 1, 2011 10:57 AM

    When Troy Polamalu is healthy, it makes that defense so dynamic. It’s like he plays both safety spots. One play he will be ball hawking over the top and claiming an acrobatic interception, and the next play he will be the 8th in the box and making hard hitting plays against the run, or taking on a TE in single coverage. He is really an incredible football player. When he was limited last year, so was the Steelers defense. If he can stay healthy, that defense will deal with the age thing just fine.
    _________________________________

    Ive got a problem with Troy lately, he is forgetting to wrap up, hes trying to play like Ed Reed to much back there going for the big hit. He is a great player but he needs to be selective and more efficient, he couldve saved a TD in the SB but instead of wrapping up on Greg Jennings he jsut put his forearm out and went for a big hit, looked kinda pathetic too to see a guy that good drop off on a such a big stage. He could learn alot from the diversity that Charles Woodson is excelling at at a faster pace. and he needs to cut his friggin hair.

  28. willysantos says: Sep 1, 2011 11:29 AM

    Face it. Everyone knows the Jets are the king of the hill in the AFC and multiple superbowl wins is ineveitable in the near future.Teams like the Steelers Pats and Indy are done.

  29. svcfilmguy says: Sep 1, 2011 11:31 AM

    “svcfilmguy-what’s that got to do with all the roids that have filtered through the Steelers for YEARS. Just ask Mike Webster, oh yeah, never mind.”

    It exposes the real reason you are here: jealousy and a desire to troll. Cut your losses and leave. Trust me, I am far more witty and intelligent than you. Wave the white flag.

  30. neemdaddy13 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:34 AM

    hmmmm. HGH is my guess.

  31. radrntn says: Sep 1, 2011 11:36 AM

    maybe you can predict that we should all invest in kleenex this years, way to much whining in Pitt., they need something to dry their eyes.

  32. dayumyou says: Sep 1, 2011 11:36 AM

    sappdaddy99 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:18 AM
    Big Ben is in great condition.

    ______________________________

    Saw the big guy at training camp and yes he is in fine condition….there are no worries for us…we’ll make our 9th SB appearance.

    Go Steelers!!!!

  33. ravenfan820 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:40 AM

    There should be real concern on the squealers defensive….Harrison is not ready to play yet….Polamalu cannot stay healthy here of late….Age is catching up with them….Not saying they will not be good this year, but there is true cause for concern…..

    ok…now queue all the of squealers fans reactions to this comment and how they have 4,234,718 champinionship rings…..or something like that…..

  34. udontknowjaq says: Sep 1, 2011 11:40 AM

    flagstaffphotos

    The Steelers were just in the SB with #1 scoring def and #2 Def overall.. your asking for something that makes no sense, just ask probowl players still playing at a high level to step aside because they are older and ask players not ready to step in a complicated system because their young? Your setting them up to fail! Your trying to fix something thats not broken. when have the Steelers showed age? sorry you didnt make sense.. your just askin for a youth movement but its happening just not at your pace

  35. holeinone09 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:43 AM

    Clearly Harrison is not where he wants to be or should be right now. It may take him 2-3 games into the season before he is at 100%. That doesn’t mean he is not a capable player in his current condition. And I expect him to work his tail off to get to where he needs to be as fast as possible.

    Yes, there is some age on the defense. And you have to have concerns about the ability of Aaron and Troy to stay healthy. But the Steelers don’t complain about things like that, and if necessary others step in. A number of Steeler fans above pointed out the youth on defense including Woodley, Timmons, Ziggy, etc. I think the DBs might be better this year, or almost couldn’t be worse than last year, with some of the new blood in Butler, Lewis, etc.

    A key will be if the OL can protect Ben and open some holes for the RBs. If they do, they are capable of scoring over 30 points a game easily with the offensive weapons they have and no off-field distractions for Ben.

    GO STEELERS!!

  36. racerp194 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:49 AM

    @myspaceyourface: if anything we always hear how Baltimore’s defense is aging and rarely hear anything negative about the steelers at all. Fact is that father time is catching up with the steelers too.

  37. dayumyou says: Sep 1, 2011 11:57 AM

    ravenfan820 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:40 AM
    There should be real concern on the squealers defensive….Harrison is not ready to play yet….Polamalu cannot stay healthy here of late….Age is catching up with them….Not saying they will not be good this year, but there is true cause for concern…..

    ok…now queue all the of squealers fans reactions to this comment and how they have 4,234,718 champinionship rings…..or something like that…..

    ________________________

    this might actually mean something if it weren’t from a bitter Ravens fan…Boo Hoo Hoo!!!

  38. svcfilmguy says: Sep 1, 2011 11:59 AM

    ravenfan820 says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:40 AM
    There should be real concern on the squealers defensive….Harrison is not ready to play yet….Polamalu cannot stay healthy here of late….Age is catching up with them….Not saying they will not be good this year, but there is true cause for concern…..

    ok…now queue all the of squealers fans reactions to this comment and how they have 4,234,718 champinionship rings…..or something like that…..

    Squealers = witless
    queue (rather than cue) = idiot
    4,234,718 = wildly hyperbolic

    witless + idiot + hyperbole = troll. Simple arithmetic.

  39. Steeler's Will says: Sep 1, 2011 12:01 PM

    Finding quality DL and LB depth has never really been a problem for the Steelers. It will suck having to return to mediocre at safety when Troy P. is done, and as stated before CB is always suspect.

  40. mswravens says: Sep 1, 2011 12:04 PM

    I can’t believe this, but I’m going to sing the Steelers praises here. I hate them more than anything, but c’mon on…how can you not respect this organization? Maybe I’m mellowing with age…

    First of all, for a team that has been dominated by its defense (like my Ravens), the Steelers have put together a very strong offense. As far as I’m concerned, Flacco & Eli can talk about being top 5, but that’s silly talk…Ben, however, is top 3 in my book. He’s the most underrated QB in the league because nobody likes him. I don’t think Mendehall or H. Miller are world beaters at their respective positions, but they are plenty good. And the wide-outs? Damn they’re good. The o-line hardly matters with the way Ben makes plays. It’s hard to think of an offense as good in the AFC…Chargers? Texans? Patriots? They all have great offenses, as do the Steelers.

    I do think their defense will drop off. Aaron Smith hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Harrison’s issues are as reported….which will allow offense to concentrate more on taking Woodley out of the game. I don’t think all these “young studs” Steelers fans are pimping in these posts are there yet. Ziggy Hood, for example. Looks like a nice player, but I haven’t seen any real dominance from the guy. But so what…if you have 7 or 8 of those guys, and 3 or 4 playmakers like Polamalu & Woodley, and a great Dick lebeau scheme, you are going to be a dominant defense.

    Fact is that after many years of AFC dominance, the NFC seems ready to take that mantle. Colts & Pats are on the way down. Chargers & Texans can’t seem to get it together…and the Jets…please, the most over-hyped, over-rated team on the planet. Steelers seem to me to be the best of the bunch, with my Ravens on the doorstep, depends on Flacco whether they become elite, or just very very good. Chargers should be there, but seem to be jinxed or something…

    Makes for an exciting season, but I expect the Steelers to be making noise again come January…although it’s nice to think of them all getting old together & falling flat. (but I expect Ben & the offense will bail them out…)

  41. wycoff says: Sep 1, 2011 12:16 PM

    As a Steelers’ fan, I have to say taht I’m not too worried about this. My biggest fear is that other teams have figured out the Steelers defense. If you have an accurate QB who can get the ball out quickly (e.g. the Patriots and the Packers), then you’ll be able to move the ball almost at will against the Steelers O. Don’t even bother to run, just dice them with quick hitting 5 to 7 yard passes intermixed with a few long bombs. That’s how the Patriots dominate the Steelers year in and year out.

    Fortunately, I think that the Steelers’ passing O will really come alive this year. Big Ben’s ready to have his way with opposing defenses, and he does not take No for an answer!

  42. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 12:18 PM

    @svcfilmguy …

    I’m a Steelers diehard and agree with your simple arithmetic. But “cue” was correct, though “queue” could be correct as well. Cue means “signal” and is the common word used in that expression. Queue means line up, which could work, too.

    Sorry, but Ravens trolls are so pitiful that we shouldn’t dump more on them than necessary ;)

  43. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 12:27 PM

    All those so concerned about the Steelers’ typical “malaise” following Super Bowls should bear in mind that malaise has followed our SB victories. We won the division the year following our only other championship loss in 1995. So those counting on a mystical jinx to take out the Steelers should double-check the record books.

  44. steelforce43 says: Sep 1, 2011 12:34 PM

    The missing point in the article is that the Steelers are fine. They have great youth behind this “aging defense.” In fact call me crazy but from the little we have seen from Heyward, he and Ziggy may actually be better on our D-line in the future and right now these guys will allow these “old guys” to get off the field. Worilds and Stevenson Sylvester are ready to step in for Farrior and Harrison. Also, with all the youth at DB things can only get better.

    Troy is not replaceable, that is this defenses ONLY worry.

    The defense that should be starting to worry is the Ravens. Lewis and Reed are the heart and soul of that defense and Reed has already discussed retirement.

  45. mswravens says: Sep 1, 2011 12:38 PM

    @Deb – “…Ravens trolls are so pitiful…” and to think I used to like you, LOL!!!

  46. jw731 says: Sep 1, 2011 12:45 PM

    I smell another free lunch……
    —————————-
    James Who?

  47. buzzedlitebeer says: Sep 1, 2011 12:49 PM

    @mswravens

    Nice post. Really!

  48. mrwaters says: Sep 1, 2011 12:51 PM

    Instead of running his mouth so much, he should have ran his fat ass more. Great player but doesn’t need to mouth.

  49. buzzedlitebeer says: Sep 1, 2011 1:03 PM

    For a team that the haters love to acuse of using legal steroids in the ’70′s, they NEVER had a player over 265 pounds back then. Must have been some crappy stuff the Raiders were sending them.

  50. theduuuuuuuuuude says: Sep 1, 2011 1:09 PM

    Funny to hear Steelers fans talking about trolls here on PFT when they have pretty much the worst trolls out there. There are even guys out there that create different names just so they can troll multiple times, and some of them even chime in on articles that don’t even involve the Steelers.

    I’m not trying to lump all you Steelers fans together, but come on…. if we’re really talking about trolls you guys have to admit that the Steelers have the worst ones. Just ask SixringsofSteel or whatever that loser has changed his name to this week.

    P.S. The Steelers are too good to have fans that are so bitter that they have to dump on other teams for no apparent reason. Props to those in the Steel city that keep it positive.

  51. scudbot says: Sep 1, 2011 1:10 PM

    willysantos says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:29 AM
    Face it. Everyone knows the Jets are the king of the hill in the AFC and multiple superbowl wins is ineveitable in the near future.

    Jets Crack is even stronger than Eagles Crack.

  52. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 1:14 PM

    sappdaddy99 says: Sep 1, 2011 11:18 AM

    Big Ben is in great condition. I would imagine raping all of those girls really keeps the weight off.
    ————————————————

    Amazing that PFT deletes my post about Peyton Hillis being discriminated against for being a white RB but they allow this kind of trash to stand.

    The only girl Ben’s ever “raped” is your mommy.

  53. blackgolddomination says: Sep 1, 2011 1:25 PM

    Ravens and Steelers are at the top of the league in defense and will likely be there for years to come. It’s part of our identity and it’s why Ravens vs. Steelers is always a beautifully violent mess. No other collision on the schedule is the same. Aging or not, both of these teams are menacing on defense and always will be.

  54. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 1:28 PM

    theduuuuuuuuuude says: Sep 1, 2011 1:09 PM

    Funny to hear Steelers fans talking about trolls here on PFT when they have pretty much the worst trolls out there. There are even guys out there that create different names just so they can troll multiple times, and some of them even chime in on articles that don’t even involve the Steelers.

    I’m not trying to lump all you Steelers fans together, but come on…. if we’re really talking about trolls you guys have to admit that the Steelers have the worst ones. Just ask SixringsofSteel or whatever that loser has changed his name to this week.

    P.S. The Steelers are too good to have fans that are so bitter that they have to dump on other teams for no apparent reason. Props to those in the Steel city that keep it positive.
    ——————————————————–

    You DO realize that a lot of the worst “Steelers fan” trolls weren’t *really* Steelers fans but, in fact, Steelers-haters pretending to be fans who were acting out in order to smear and besmudge the good name of we REAL Steelers fans, don’t you?

  55. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 1:29 PM

    @mswravens …

    ROFL … I changed it from “fans” to “trolls” so you’d know I didn’t mean guys like you :)

    Very nice post about the Steelers. Thank you. I really think we should watch out for the Browns. They’re much improved and may give us both a run for the money. The Bills are improving, too. Wouldn’t count out the Pats just yet, but nothing in the AFC South or West excites me. Yep, the NFC looks to provide more exciting contests this year. The NFC North is going to be especially fun to watch. Would love to see Stafford stay healthy because the Lions are poised to shock everyone.

  56. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 1:33 PM

    @theduuuuuuuude …

    Several of us have called out that guy when he butts into other threads with that nonsense. But I’m not sure he is a Steelers fan. His posts are so over-the-top that I think he’s a non-Steelers guy just doing that to jack us up.

  57. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 1:36 PM

    @tobiathan …

    They said the other day that they don’t allow posts wishing injury on players. But they’ve got one guy who’s does nothing but troll Steelers posts wishing career-ending injuries on Ben. Doesn’t post anything else–no substance at all. And they’ve never removed his posts. Obviously different rules apply to different teams.

  58. wvucolumbus says: Sep 1, 2011 1:45 PM

    I have a legitimate question for those suggesting that James Harrison takes HGH/steroids.

    What is your rationale? Has he been suspended for steroid use before? No. What information do you have to suggest that he has any connection to HGH? I’ve never heard of a connection, but I could have totally missed one if it was revealed in his past.

    If there is a connection to HGH, please inform me as I don’t understand/remember the speculation for Harrison doing steroids/HGH.

    As of right now, he’s the epitome of the American Dream…working his ass off to make the NFL as a free agent and most feared defensive player on the most desired team in sports……you pretty much have to be drafted to play for the Steelers and if you’re a big time free agent…forget it….you have no chance at playing for them.

    I will be glad to change my opinion if some of you have a link for me to refer to that implicates steroid/HGH use in his past.

    Best Regards

  59. jimyritz says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    Harrison better watch it-somebody might hit him in the head late ;)

  60. watermelon1 says: Sep 1, 2011 1:55 PM

    myspaceyourface says: Sep 1, 2011 10:57 AM

    Funny how we are seeing articles about the Steelers aging defense, yet we rarely hear a criticism of Baltimore’s defensive problems.

    We only hear the over hyped and over exaggerated greatness of the Baltimore defense.

    Ray Lewis looked slow last year. His mouth is still running 100 mph.
    ==========================
    1. When do we ever hear about Baltimore? Or their defense? The only thing I’ve heard about Baltimore all off-season was criticism of Joe Flacco, then then defenders of Joe Flacco. In fact, I think the entire reason all of that started was because STEELERS brought Joe Flacco up. If Steelers weren’t bringing Baltimore’s QB up, I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have heard anything about them all summer.

    2. Ray Lewis looks slower than years past, but he’s still one of the top middle linebackers in the game. I can’t say there’s 5 other middle linebackers I’d take instead of him.

    3. The Ravens defense isn’t what’s over-hyped. It’s the offense.

    4. You talk as though the Steelers have dominated the Ravens. Since 2005, they have split almost every single year, with the Ravens sweeping once and the Steelers sweeping once. The last 4 regular season games between these two teams has been a difference of 3 points each time. The playoff game last year was decided by 7 points. You can go back even further and the numbers are remarkably close.

  61. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 1:56 PM

    @tobiathan …

    They said the other day that they don’t allow posts wishing injury on players. But they’ve got one guy who’s does nothing but troll Steelers posts wishing career-ending injuries on Ben. Doesn’t post anything else–no substance at all. And they’ve never removed his posts. Obviously different rules apply to different teams.
    ——————————————————

    Agreed.

    Apparently ANYTHING can be said against/about Ben but NOTHING can be said about how the NCAA allows white RBs to be discriminated against as a result of the fact that federal grants are available to minorities in far, far greater numbers than to white males so that NCAA teams would rather have black guys at WR/CB/RB because there are more scholarships for them than for the white kids. Tuff luck to the poor white RBs out there I guess, despite the fact that white guys are just as fast/strong/athletic as black guys…

    But accusing Ben of rape despite the obvious facts that he never did anything wrong(beyond poor taste) is just okey-dokey.

    Character assassination is only PC if it’s done to white guys today.

  62. blackgolddomination says: Sep 1, 2011 2:03 PM

    @Deb

    “Obviously different rules apply to different teams.”

    What makes you think that?
    It’s not as though the Steelers are receiving suspensions while other players roam free… oh wait… yes, yes that does happen. (Lest anyone think I’m referring to violations while being locked out… how about Braylon Edwards last year?)
    But at least other players are receiving illegal hit calls and being fined equally… oh wait… I guess that’s not a good example either.

    Maybe the decision to remove posts is handled by a Goodell staffer?

    I’d love to see Goodell on “MTV’s Bully Beatdown” with James Harrison.

  63. raiderinpa says: Sep 1, 2011 2:06 PM

    buzzedlitebeer says:
    Sep 1, 2011 1:03 PM
    For a team that the haters love to acuse of using legal steroids in the ’70′s, they NEVER had a player over 265 pounds back then. Must have been some crappy stuff the Raiders were sending them.
    _______________
    Just to set you straight, Mr. Comedian, my cousin was the Raiders MLB and defensive captain for 10 years (64-74)… He never even lifted a weight let alone juiced up… In his words ‘You were either a big guy, or you werent’… You need to shut your uninformed pie hole pal… And why do the Raiders get dragged into this blog anyway??

  64. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 2:20 PM

    Just to set you straight, Mr. Comedian, my cousin was the Raiders MLB and defensive captain for 10 years (64-74)… He never even lifted a weight let alone juiced up… In his words ‘You were either a big guy, or you werent’… You need to shut your uninformed pie hole pal… And why do the Raiders get dragged into this blog anyway??
    —————————————————–

    That’s awesome, except:

    1- How do we know you aren’t making that up?

    2- If it IS true, maybe lifting a weight once in a while woulda helped win a few more playoff games in his era

    3- “..uninformed piehole..”?? Aside from your claim you don’t seem very well-informed yourself. Throwing rocks & glass houses, dontcha know!

    4- Who was this alleged Raiders hero then? Why wouldn’t you have been proudly typing his name? First cousin? Or cousin four times removed on your mother’s father’s mother’s side by marriage?

    5- see #1

    Love and Kisses,
    tobiathan

  65. freedomispopular says: Sep 1, 2011 2:25 PM

    The Steelers have “zero tolerance” for aging.

  66. blackgolddomination says: Sep 1, 2011 2:35 PM

    @tobiathan

    Love and Kisses – HILARIOUS!!!!!!

  67. gerard33 says: Sep 1, 2011 2:39 PM

    nice headline, lucretius

  68. flagstaffphotos says: Sep 1, 2011 2:45 PM

    @udontknowjaq says:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:40 AM

    flagstaffphotos

    “The Steelers were just in the SB with #1 scoring def and #2 Def overall.. your asking for something that makes no sense, just ask probowl players still playing at a high level to step aside because they are older and ask players not ready to step in a complicated system because their young? Your setting them up to fail! Your trying to fix something thats not broken. when have the Steelers showed age? sorry you didnt make sense.. your just askin for a youth movement but its happening just not at your pace”

    _______________________________________

    I’m not asking for a youth movement – the Steelers can do whatever they want. However, I am pointing out facts:

    – after watching James Harrison completely flame out in the Super Bowl due to his horrible back injury (not one but two surgeries required in the off-season), with young stud bull-rusher Jason Worilds bouncing up and down on the sidelines…

    – after watching Troy Polamalu spend almost the entire Super Bowl out of position and severely hampered by his achilles injury (that he is still getting practices off to recover from TO THIS DAY)…

    … I would have thought the Steelers defensive “brain trust” would have tried to put in a couple of their young, strong speed demons to give Aaron Rodgers something to think about. Rodgers stunk up the joint against the Bears, because they put a little bit of pressure up the middle on him – pressure that Harrison was completely unable to duplicate

    You’ve got young guns – why not use them for a few key plays here and there, and give yourself a shot to steal a Super Bowl? I reiterate – Tomlin and Lebeau’s outright refusal to put youth and speed on the field when it is readily available is proving to be their undoing. I hope for their sake that they’ve learned a lesson.

  69. schmitty2 says: Sep 1, 2011 3:11 PM

    I’ve had them the last 2 years on my fantasy team and I will have them again

  70. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 3:16 PM

    @flagstaffphotos -

    ^^^- good points all.

    Despite my dedication to the Steel Empire i’ve also occasionally questioned Tomlin’s(and to a somewhat lesser extent LeBeau’s) ability to make on-the-spot adjustment’s during games.

    You’re also totally right about “steal”ing last year’s Superbowl; i don’t think ANYONE(even/especially the team and coaches themselves) expected to get to the SB last year. Had they won it it would have been, for all intents and purposes, theft. As much as it hurt to see them lose i wasn’t surprised; in fact i was stunned that we came as close as we did.

    I’m pretty sure that GB was supposed to win in a blowout and the Steelers shocked everyone by nearly pulling it off. Given the media’s blatant hatred for Ben i simply could see the NFL allowing him to hoist yet another Lombardi, especially since he was Satan Himself according to them SB week.

    As much as the Steelers deserved to win i had to give the Packers credit for a fine game. GB had much to be proud of. They most likely would have lost if the Steelers hadn’t had major injuries at the SS, OLB, QB, C, CB positions and general disarray along the O-line.

    Never mind undeniably arguable major penalty calls against PIT in crucial moments, but this is part of the game. Overall the Steelers made the Packers earn their trophy and were as good as a loser could be that day.

    Not excuses- GB won fair and square IMHO. Bloodline’s forced fumble on the tackle of Mendy was pure texbook stuff; hard to argue against. Rodgers was excellent, as were his WRs. GBs lines on both sides were outstanding. Simply put, the Steelers just couldn’t overcome everything they faced that day.

    But SB XLV was a bonus game, a game they made thier way to by sheer determination, and one they were fated to lose despite thier very best effort.

    Luckily the Football Gods have been good to the Steelers these last few years, so i’ll take the less good with the great.

    Just watch out if Silverback & Co. get their game back…

  71. danrooneyii says: Sep 1, 2011 3:21 PM

    medtxpack says:

    Ive got a problem with Troy lately, he is forgetting to wrap up, hes trying to play like Ed Reed to much back there going for the big hit. He is a great player but he needs to be selective and more efficient, he couldve saved a TD in the SB but instead of wrapping up on Greg Jennings he jsut put his forearm out and went for a big hit, looked kinda pathetic too to see a guy that good drop off on a such a big stage. He could learn alot from the diversity that Charles Woodson is excelling at at a faster pace. and he needs to cut his friggin hair.

    _________________________________

    You obviously haven’t seen Troy Polamalu play. He never wraps up. He always launches himself like a missile.

    Charles Woodson? He had an awesome SB. Oh that’s right, he was only in it for less than a half. Woodson was a great player, but Troy is a type of player that transcends the game. He was since week 14 and obviously wasn’t the same since the Bengals game. The problem wasn’t Polamalu in the Super Bowl. It was McFadden and William Gay. There’s only so much a player like Polamalu can do when he’s trying to cover 2/3′s of the field with a bad achilles.

  72. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 4:07 PM

    @raiderinpa …

    I’ll take your post at face value. However, assuming no Raider used steroids or lifted weights because that was your cousin’s philosophy is as foolish as assuming all Steelers and only Steelers took steroids because Steve Courson did.

    Steroids came into common use in the NFL in the late 1960s until they were banned in the mid-1980s. At least some players on every team, including the Raiders, used steroids during those two decades. They were banned partly because of campaigning by Lyle Alzado, who played for the Raiders as well as the Broncos and Browns and died from illnesses he attributed to steroid use. Since they weren’t banned, every player had the opportunity to use them. So it was an even playing field and no team had a competitive advantage.

  73. raiderinpa says: Sep 1, 2011 5:05 PM

    @ tobiathan:

    What is there to make up? Dan Conners is my Dads first cousin, making him my second, Einstein.. Yes, lifting weights will help any athlete. I’m not saying that ‘no’ Raiders used steroids, I’m simply stating that not ALL of them did….. and yes, Dan Conners is my football hero and the reason why I am such a diehard Silver & Black fan… Whats your explanation for being a fan of whomever your team might be?… Because its your hometown team?… Isnt that special and just great for you… What’s this, Green Bay STOLE the SB last year??? ….lol Thats almost as good as saying the Stealers didnt steal the ’72 Divisional game from Oakland!…. Youre a joke…

    @ Deb:

    I understand more than you realize about steroids, but thanks for the history lesson…

  74. paulieorkid says: Sep 1, 2011 5:40 PM

    flagstaffphotos who said:
    Sep 1, 2011 11:27 AM

    “Tomlin and Lebeau need to stop requiring ….”

    = = =

    Yes, Tomlin and LeBeau certainly could benefit if provided your superior insights. Thanks flagstaff.

  75. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 6:40 PM

    @raiderinpa …

    Sorry … wasn’t trying to be condescending. Just responding to what you’d written. Considering how much we hear that steroid line, it seems like most football fans are oblivious to the reality that they were available–and used–outside Pittsburgh.

  76. mswravens says: Sep 1, 2011 6:42 PM

    @Deb – I agree with you about the Bills…although I wonder about their coaching. I do like the player moves they’ve made (especially trading Lee Evans to the Ravens!)…and after seeing Ryan Fitzpatrick torch us last year, I really believe he could have a bright future.

    I would agree with you about the Browns except I just don’t buy Colt McCoy. I think they will suffer the loss of Steinbach more than Browns fans know…but I still think McCoy has a weak arm that just isn’t suited to the cold weather. He doesn’t have the strength to deliver on the out patterns that are really important when you have the likes of Polamalu & Reed “trolling” (LOL!) the secondary…and their defense still looks to be a long way off. I agree they’re improved…but they’re not in Steelers, Chargers, Patriots or Ravens territory yet.

    The teams that “scare” me are the Chargers & Texans. Talent all over the place on both squads. But we know the REAL deal is 9/11 in Baltimore!!! I’ll be there & I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!

  77. antibenapalooza says: Sep 1, 2011 6:53 PM

    Ben “just hitting the sweet spot of his prime” reminds me that he is overdue for a career ending injury.

    I can’t believe how the fine people of Pittsburgh have fallen for this phony.

  78. tobiathan says: Sep 1, 2011 9:05 PM

    antibenapalooza says: Sep 1, 2011 6:53 PM

    Ben “just hitting the sweet spot of his prime” reminds me that he is overdue for a career ending injury.

    I can’t believe how the fine people of Pittsburgh have fallen for this phony.
    ———————————————–

    Whassamatter, Sally?

    Did Ben refuse to buy you a drink?

  79. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 11:19 PM

    @mswravens …

    Oh, I love Chan Gailey. He was our OC back in the day. Good man … good offensive mind.

    Before he went pro, I’d have have bet money Colt couldn’t stand up to a pro pass rush, but he’s managed so far. And that West Coast system will help save his arm. No, I don’t think they’re upper tier yet. But they could be spoilers. They proved that last year.

    I’m probably less worried about the Chargers than I should be, but they’ve been loaded every year–and what have they done with it. I like Norv personally, but he reminds me of Marty–good coach but just can’t seem to get it done. Too bad because Rivers is a heckuva QB. Texans I’ll have to see to believe.

  80. Deb says: Sep 1, 2011 11:22 PM

    @mswravens ….

    You’ll be at that game??? Ooooh I’m so jealous!!! :P

  81. dmobey says: Sep 2, 2011 12:56 AM

    Uhhhh, no.

    As usual, your purported expertise far outweighs any real expertise.

    Tell us about how many Pittsburgh players have died from that era vs. other teams.

    Your entire offensive line died in their 50s. Terry Bradshaw admitted taking roids.

    Pittsburgh cheated.

    Shocking.

    **************************************
    Deb says:
    Sep 1, 2011 4:07 PM
    @raiderinpa …

    I’ll take your post at face value. However, assuming no Raider used steroids or lifted weights because that was your cousin’s philosophy is as foolish as assuming all Steelers and only Steelers took steroids because Steve Courson did.

    Steroids came into common use in the NFL in the late 1960s until they were banned in the mid-1980s. At least some players on every team, including the Raiders, used steroids during those two decades. They were banned partly because of campaigning by Lyle Alzado, who played for the Raiders as well as the Broncos and Browns and died from illnesses he attributed to steroid use. Since they weren’t banned, every player had the opportunity to use them. So it was an even playing field and no team had a competitive advantage.

  82. Deb says: Sep 2, 2011 2:47 PM

    Steroids were legal during that two-decade period and in common use throughout the league. That has been well-documented in NFL history. You might want to expand your reading beyond my posts on PFT.

    Bradshaw admitted briefly taking steroids to speed recovery from an injury. Although we now know steroids have dangerous side effects, I have no problem with athletes using medically supervised, safe treatments to speed healing. NFL policies on that topic are bizarre.

    Of the 17 men who played on the Steelers’ offensive line from 1972-1979, only four have died. Steve Courson was killed at 50 when the tree he was chopping down fell on him. Ranger Ray Mansfield died at 55 from a heart attack while hiking in the woods. Jim Clack died at 58 from neck and throat cancer. Mike Webster suffered a heart attack at 50 after long battles with brain trauma and addiction to Ritalin, a stimulant drug. None of those deaths was linked to steroid use.

    But by all means, keep posting your groundless diatribes against the Steelers. We feed on your obsession. :)

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