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Dead Men Walking

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One For The Other Thumb
Amputate This Gang Green...
Written by Cotter   
October 11, 2013 00:00

Well, first of all, I realize I'm on tender ground here, and I'm sure many of you are still feeling the sting of being within arms reach, yet not being able to grasp hold of an NLCS berth.

So, I'll try and be gentle.

Frankly, I'm kind of amazed that any of you still care about the Steelers enough to read this (and I appreciate that fact, believe me).

But the fact remains, 0-4 is not 0-12.

Nor is it even 0-6. Imagine being a Giants fan.

Do I expect the Steelers to go on a 12-0 run from here on out?

Absolutely not.

But, is it possible?


And in either case, all you really want to see is the Steelers put up a fight without looking like they're fighting themselves.

After having just been given an opportunity to reflect on the season thus far, let's hope they've come out the other side of the bye with a different energy.

Either way, we know they've made some moves in an attempt to change the results they're seeing.

One of those being trading what was apparently a set of weights, some orange gatorade, and a jar of Todd Haley's wet farts to Arizona for maligned left tackle Levi Brown.

Now, on the one hand, it's hard to imagine anyone or anything being worse than Mike Adams playing pattycake with opposing defenders on Ben's blind side. And you have to think you don't make it seven years at LT in the NFL by being complete dogshit, right?

On the other hand, performance reports on Brown, and indeed the fact that apparently all the Steelers had to give up for him was a piece of their dignity, and the fact that Kelvin Beachum is listed as starting LT for Sunday, certainly doesn't instill the kind of confidence you'd want in a guy whose position is principally responsible for keeping your $100 million dollar QB's jersey clean.

Basically what I'm trying to say, perhaps too diplomatically, is that by most accounts, Levi Brown is Mike Adams plus six years.

It's like they needed a reliable used car, but instead of going out and getting a certified, pre-owned 2011 BMW X5, they went out and got themselves a 1998 Acura Integra. Shit probably looked nice when you were looking at buying it new off the lot back when the economy was riding high, but now it just looks old and abused, and you wonder how the hell anyone would want to drive it if they didn't have to.

Or to put it another way, Levi Brown appears to be the Jessica Simpson of the NFL.


Where have you gone, Marvel Smith?

But back to the lecture at hand - no, bringing in Levi Brown isn't necessarily the kind of change you might feel will make a significant difference.

And perhaps you feel the same about Cam Heyward starting over Ziggy Hood, Shamarko Thomas reportedly in line for more snaps in the base defense, bringing back Will Allen, or releasing Kion Wilson - who just a couple of weeks ago was listed as a starter - so we could re-sign Stevenson Sylvester, a three year veteran of the Steelers system that we released in August.

But, it shows that they're willing to make changes, and so you have to hope that those end up being for the better.

Besides, wet blanket alert - how could it get much worse?


Meanwhile, the team we're facing on Sunday - the Jets - seems to be on an opposite trajectory.

After engineering a game winning drive Monday night, everyone is tentatively annointing rookie Geno Smith a star, and through five games, the Jets D has allowed the second least yards per game in the NFL.

However, take a look at the three wins and the two losses, and you'll see that the wins have all come against teams currently suffering from losing records (the three have a combined record of 3-11).

So, how good are the Jets really?

Like last week, it doesn't matter.

The more appropriate question is, how good are the Steelers?

I'm sure if I asked you all now, the majority of you would say "garbage."

But hey, life in the NFL is unpredictable, and the Steelers have had two weeks to prepare for this game. So, here's to hoping they can somehow steal a win.


A defensive turnover or two couldn't hurt as well.

Now, if you're still with me, allow me to turn up the volume, and let's rock.




Just consider Geno Smith the government, and LaMarr Woodley and Jarvis Jones the GOP.

'Cause he's about to get SHUT THE F#@K DOWN.

Over/under on the number of times that joke has been made about something in the last two weeks is roughly equal to Mike Adams' weight.

Ok, so Geno Smith is being given the royal Joe Flacco treatment here after a "heroic" last minute, 4th Quarter, game winning drive at the end of the first game in his short career during which he didn't throw a pick (although this isn't the first time he's put them in a position to win in crunch time this year, and he also threw 3 TDs).

So, the Jets've got that goin' for them, which is nice.

But, about those turnovers.

In the previous four games, dude threw a total of EIGHT interceptions and fumbled three times, for a grand total of 11 turnovers, which going into this past week was tied for most in the league.

And he's a n00b.

And he's been sacked 18 times in five games.

So, listen, I said it last time - I have zero ability to predict how the Steelers will play this one, but I have to think you like this matchup if you're the Steelers defense.

Running Back:

Bilal Powell.

Averaging just under 13 caries per game for 45 yards if you take out the only game in which he saw more than 20 carries (when he rode 27 touches to 149 yards and a spot on someone in your fantasy league's roster).

Sorry guys, I can't take this seriously anymore now that I've put that gif there.

I'm just gonna keep moving.

Wide Receivers:

The star of possibly my favorite photojob of all time here, Stephen Hill, a bar of Irish Spring, an original copy of Bon Jovi's "Slippery When Wet," and a Rainbow Loom make up the Jets receiving corps.

At this point, I'm not sure if Sansmokio will play, but either way, it doesn't sound like he's been healthy OR happy this season.

Thus, Stephen Hill and Jeremy Kerley.

Honestly, I did exactly zero research on either of these guys, so all I can tell you is that with Tone's injured feelings, Stephen Hill has led the Jets in terms of receptions and receiving yards, and Jeremy Kerley exists.

Sorry, I'm sure this isn't the first time I've disappointed you guys.

Tight End:

Jeff Cumberland and Kellen Winslow (UPDATE, 10/11, 4PM: Uh, nevermind. Apparently Kellen Winslow has been taking banned substances and is now subsequently suspended for the next four games).

Let it be noted that these two combined have more TDs than the entire Jets receiving corps.

Now, allow me to throw it over to Peezy...



Kellen Winslow is soff.

Offensive Line:

Left to right - D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Vladimir Ducasse, Nick Mangold, Willie Colon, and Austin Howard.

18 sacks allowed on the season, which is good enough for 2nd most allowed in the league, despite the fact that there are two Pro Bowlers in this unit.

Which just makes that photojob even more relevant, as it means they're shitty.

You know, because poop comes through your colon.

HAR HAR HAR, you guys.

I'm 12.

Also, couldn't let the fact that apparently D'Brickashaw Ferguson once "appeared on Nickelodeon's Wild and Crazy Kids and rode in a BMX vs. Horses race" go unnoticed.

It's uncited on Wikipedia, you guys, it must be true.

Defensive Line:

Wilkerson, Harrison, Richardson - a trio of 'sons, if you will (equally fitting given that they're all under 25, with a collective three years of NFL experience between them).

The two bookend 'sons have combined for 6.5 sacks - 2011 1st round pick Muhammad Wilkerson with a team high FOUR (plus two forced fumbles), and 2013 1st round pick Sheldon Richardson (whose nickname is apparently "Boss Hog," which is amazing) with 2.5

Damon Harrison, on the hand, has no sack...s, and is trying to cop a derivation of Casey Hampton's "Big Snack" moniker.



Ish don't think so.


Metallica used to be so badass.

RIP, Cliff Burton.

By the way, in case you didn't make the connection, this unit is for whom the Le'Veon Bell tolls.

So yeah, Quinton Coples, DeMario Davis, David Harris, and Calvin Pace.

The Jets' 2012 1st round selection - Quinton Coples...

Not totally sure, but I think God is good, and great.

DeMario Davis...

When selecting him in the 3rd round of last year's draft, apparently Rex Ryan likened DeMario Davis's leadership abilities to those of Ray Lewis.


I'll send someone by to clean up your puke.

He does seem like a much nicer individual, though.


And a more lucid one as well.

David "The Hitman" Harris...

Is still a monster, who leads the Jets in tackles.

He also shares his name with the actor David Harris, who was in one of the all-time great NYC movies, "The Warriors."

And Calvin Pace...

Who, you may remember infamously tried to check Ben Roethlisberger for a hernia last September.

Of very little consequence whatsoever, but everytime I hear Calvin Pace's name, all I can think of is Pace salsa. And when I hear Pace salsa, all I can think of is...



2013 1st round pick Dee Milliner (questionable) or Kyle Wilson, and Antonio Cromartie (questionable) or Woodland Hills' own Darrin Walls at the Corners, Antonio Allen/Jaiquawn Jarrett and Dawan Landry at the Safeties.

As a group, these guys are responsible for exactly half of the turnovers the Jets defense has forced.

So, there's that.

And the only other thing to talk about is, of course, Antonio Cromartie's kids, which I'm required to do anytime we play the Jets.

But at least Google's got him covered if he ever forgets any of his 10 kids' names in the future.

I can't believe this is real life.

Coaching Staff:

Rex Ryan might be my 2nd favorite head coach behind Tomlin, even if he used to be the Ravens d coordinator.

So many gems.

Hey, quick - Rex Ryan's wife's foot fetish vids or Todd Haley's wife's nudes - who ya got?


Let's just start to wind it down.

Tim's Tea Party:
Tim is studying for some cert or something this week, so he asked me to relay the following message to you guys:



Powerful stuff.


1) Elsewhere in Jets franchises...

Teemu Selanne is my homeboy.

2) Good guidance if you happen to be traveling to my hood to see this one in person...

Also, never forget.

That Jets fans are dicks.

3) Tomlin is sick of your shit...

Yep, that oughta do it.

4) I have no words...

No, seriously, I'm speechless.

5) Ryan Clark is out of his damn mind...

But wait, that's not all...


Number one - I'd pay to see Ryan Clark take 60 minutes worth of snaps behind the Steelers O-line then make that statement, and number two - it's funny that ESPN didn't ask him anything about all the tackles he's missed this year.

Somebody stop this guy.

And the same should be said for me, so I'm gonna wind it down quickly here.

Ok, it's time to QFA, and do work, you guys.


Ground the Jets on 3...

Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Don't Call It A Throwback... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
September 30, 2013 08:42

Hey Dude,
Don't make us sad.
Take a bad team, and make it better.
Remember, to play with a bit of your heart.
Then you can start to make it better.

Guys, "Hey Jude" was the Billboard #1 hit the last time the Steelers started 0-4.

For the last few weeks, I've spent more than enough time recapping as much of the woes as I possibly can.

I'm not going to do that this week.

There's nothing I can say to you right now that I haven't already, and that you don't already know.

Offensive (but not defensive) turnovers, non-existent protection, giving up big plays defensively, overall inability to do the things good teams do when it really counts in order to win.


All of the above.

At one point, I remember watching Toby Gerhart take 300 pound Ziggy Hood for about a five or six yard ride.


And I think that's the most the line did for Ben all day.

Don't worry about 0-4, because the record isn't the problem.

I honestly don't know what the problem is if it isn't an all out lack of brains, heart, and balls - failure in all three phases of the life game as well as the game of football.


But don't take it too hard.

Every team has to struggle every 10 years or so.

Buc up, you guys (pun very much intended).

I'm sure you don't need me to remind you that the Pirates JUST emerged from two decades of sorrow.

Pretty sure we can endure whatever is going on with the Steelers right now.


Much needed bye week this week for all of us.

Might I suggest you spend it cheering on the Pirates, as they battle the Reds for a shot at entry into the National League Divisional Series.

Until we reconvene on the other side, my friends...

Here we go.


If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Meeting People Is Easy...
Written by Cotter   
September 28, 2013 00:00

Welcome to this week's edition of the beast that is Meeting People Is Easy, you guys.

With the Steelers fully transplanted across the pond, it's up to this week's seven panelists to provide a little entertainment until tomorrow at 1 PM.

And I can tell you, that's one job they've all done very well - I definitely LOL'd multiple times whilst photojobbing this whole thing together.

So, allow me to introduce this week's lineup who provided said laughs.

1) Brett - budding media mogul, recent Oregonian, and old OFTOT friend.
2) Matt - this man needs no introduction, I believe his reputation precedes him.
3) Sean - aka Sean's Ramblings, the man who recently declared "Royals" by Lorde to be the "Song of the Fall."
4) K Dudders - or Katie, or just Dudders, or Scarehouse Sally, all acceptable.
5) Mike - proud owner of perhaps the finest grumble in the nation.
6) Sarah - she had me at buffalo chicken tortilla soup.
7) Josh - a fellow Corgi owner, and fantasy football brother in arms. 
8) Me - I only woke up before Noon today so I could post this thing.

I sincerely hope you enjoy their musings as much as I did.

With that, go ahead and get your freak on.

As always, click to enlarge...
Thanks again to all seven of this week's personalities for coming through big time!

PS - if you ever want to participate in one of these things yourself, feel free to hit me on Twitter about it. I usually start recruiting between Tuesday and Thursday each week.

Oh, and don't forget to peep the Vikings preview if you haven't already.

Other than that, tomorrow's the day, you guys.


Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Better Make Arrangements for A Viking Burial...
Written by Cotter   
September 26, 2013 00:00

So, how psyched are you guys for the clash of the 0-3 titans taking place on another continent this weekend?

I don't know about you, but I'm feeling pretty good.

Everyone seems to be healthy all of a sudden, including Le'Veon Bell and Cortez Allen, and hey, if there's ever a game you want to not lose, it's probably the game in which either you or your opponent will come out the other side still winless.

I'm sure there are many budding Nostradamuses among you who might foresee the Steelers to be that team, but I'd rather imagine the opposite.

It's been pretty interesting for me this week to sit back and read what people have been saying and writing.

Suffice it to say that I've seen a lot of Ben bashing, one member of the Pittsburgh media apparently reverting back to 2007, singing that old yinzer refrain that he holds on to the ball too long.


I'm not really going to say much, except that he certainly deserves some blame for being a key part of an unbelievable turnover fest, but I wouldn't even come close to saying that he's the problem.

I'm sorry if this comes as news to you, but there aren't many QBs that would've passed for 400+ yards in that game, hitting AB for roughly 200 of them and two scores.

But whatever, you guys don't care, so I'll flip the switch on my Mark McGwire impression and move on.

Now, the Vikings.

If there was a fanbase that feels our pain, it might be Vikings fans, among others.

Of course, I'm referring to the fact that the Vikings, like the Steelers, are currently 0-3.

However, a not insignificant point is that even in their three losing efforts, they've managed to score an average of 27 points, whereas the Steelers highest point total in three games was only 23 points.

Not to mention, their past two losses have been final minute heartbreakers to Chicago and Cleveland.

And that's with Christian Ponder/Matt Cassel at QB, but we'll get there.

That said, honestly, there are few games on the Steelers schedule that look easier on paper than Minnesota.

We're pretty much infinitely past the point where I can predict success with any degree of certainty here, but the Vikings D is 28th vs. the pass, and 21st vs. the run, and also - Matt Cassel - I cannot stress this enough.

But I'm the first person to say that when the rubber meets the road, "on paper" means exactly zero.

So, basically, I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Anyway, if I haven't inspired you enough already with my uplifting words, perhaps the rest of this beast can help.

So, let's just roll camera on this shit and get it over with.


[Editor's Note: So, I wrote this thing between Wednesday and Thursday this week, before Matt Cassel was declared the Vikings starter on Friday. Still, I don't really care to change anything, so read on with that in mind as context.]

That's literally the first thing that comes to mind when I hear the name Christian Ponder.

Like it should be the name of some kind of social network where all-in Christians go to discuss Bible verses or something.

But that's neither here nor there.

Three things concerning this guy:

1) More than twice as many picks as TDs this year,
2) There's a possibility he might not play, in which case we'll see the inimitable Matt Cassel, and
3) LOL @ Matt Cassel for being so useless that he's backing up Christian Ponder.

You know how I know Christian Ponder is a joke?


The Onion wrote that about him.

I believe that's one of Webster's Dictionary's recognized defintions of "Joke" as a matter of fact.

Which, of course means he'll probably throw for 600 yards and 10 TDs against us.

Jussssssssssst kidding.

Kind of.



Running Back:

Adrian Peterson is an extra terrestrial from another planet where running fast is like breathing, and its inhabitants can take like 30 rushing attempts a game's worth of hits from giant humans and barely ever skip a beat.


LOL @ Big Play Willie Gay.

2nd in the league in carries, 1st in rushing TDs, responsible for the longest run in the NFL so far this season (78 yds), averaging 4+ yards per carry.

Whereas the Steelers running backs are averaging 4 yards total.

Per game.

No, but seriously, Adrian Peterson alone has almost twice as many rushing yards as the Steelers on the season (281 vs. 155).



Wide Receivers:

Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson, a 2013 1st round pick, a half eaten ham sandwich, a jar of Adrian Peterson's ball sweat, and a thing of Clorox wipes make up the Vikings receiving corps.

Now, it might surprise you to learn that Jerome Simpson (and not Greg Jennings) is actually the Vikings leader in receptions and receiving yards.

Even more surprising are the numbers that go with those facts - 12 and 218 respectively.

Yo dawg, Imma let you finish, but Antonio Brown had 9 catches and almost 200 yards just last week.



Tight End:


Relatedly, I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank Julius Thomas for being a friend.


Offensive Line:

Could've sworn KISS was from Detroit, which would also be Minnesota's division rival, but what do I know, I just write a blog.

Left to right - Matt Kalil, Charlie Johnson, John Sullivan, Brandon Fusco, and Phil Loadholt.

Matt Kalil is Minnesota's 1st round pick from 2012, who started all 16 games for the Vikings at Left Tackle last year and went to the Pro Bowl on a technicality, but Pro Bowl nevertheless.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm starting to get jealous of all the high draft picks that come in and play at a high level for other teams...


6'4", 305 pound Charlie Johnson apparently played TE until his senior year at OK State.

John Sullivan has apparently been the Vikings "most consistent lineman" over the last four years he's played in Minnesota, but all I can think of when I see his name is...


Brandon Fusco is from Seneca Valley, and the highest drafted player ever out of Slippery Rock.


And Big Phil Loadholt has been helping pave the way for Adrian Peterson, and protect the Vikings numerous shitty QBs for the last four years as a former 2nd round pick. He's also quite the spokesman...

Tackles get all the best endorsements.



As a unit, they've allowed 10 sacks through three games this season, which is exactly the same number as the Steelers O-line has allowed on Ben.

In otherwords, if Double J and The Wood come thirsty on Sunday, we might actually register more than one sack this week.


Defensive Line:

Brian Robison, Kevin Williams, Letroy Guion, and Rambo over here.

Brian Robison...

Hair or weave?

This is an actual result when you google image search Kevin Williams...

Tell me that doesn't look like a nubile Peyton Manning.

Letroy Guion...

This is literally the best I could do. Letroy Guion needs to level up.

And your boy, Jared Allen...

I think I might have peaked in Week 1's Titans preview, you guys.



Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, and Marvin Mitchell are apparently a WIP.

Which I'm going to take as a sign that I shouldn't waste my precious time.




LOL @ Robert Golden.

You guys didn't really care about the Vikings Secondary anyway.


Coaching Staff:

Formerly of the Chicago Bears, #21 in the back row, Leslie Frazier.


Alright, take it away, Tim...

Tim's Tea Party:
Well, five turnovers and two of those turnovers being returned for TDs will put you at 0-3. The Steelers set out to prove that if you can win the turnover battle you can win the game and they were right…again. That makes 9 turnovers for the offense this year. It also puts the Steelers at a minus 9 in the turnover battle. This can only mean one thing: THE STEELERS D HAS NOT CREATED ANY TURNOVERS THIS YEAR. Couple that with an offensive line that looked like this...

Which gave Ben little of this...

and you get this...

The worst part is this A-Hole... 

is now 3-0 against the Steelers. This is the same same guy who married an MTV has-been whose only claim to fame is that she didn’t make her money off of getting knocked up at the age of 15.


Well done sir. 

Fast forward to Sunday.

These adorable bastards... 

have decided to feign interest in American Football once a year so they can get drunk at Wembley Stadium. I bet you they were thrilled when they found out two 0-3 teams that can’t seem to actually play the game of American Football were crossing the pond. I guess the bright side is that at least they will see one team put a tic mark in the win column (maybe).

As for the game itself, the Steelers are going up against the Minnesota Vikings. This is the team Huggy Bear...

was stolen from so he could lead the Steelers Post Bill Cowher. But this week I have faith. Why you ask? Good question. Because Christian Ponder is the QB the Steelers will be facing. I know the Vikings have the always dangerous Adrian Peterson in the background, but much like the Jackson Five or even N-Sync, he’s the only guy who has any actual talent. I mean Christian Ponder has thrown five picks and fumbled twice this year…A TURNOVER MACHINE. For the love of God, if the Steelers can’t get one turnover off of this guy then they should just do this from here on out

And while we are speaking of QBs, it’s time for my wonderful advanced stat o’ the week:  Total QBR. This stat is actually a nice little gauge on how well a team’s QB plays based on important info like down & distance, score, and the D said QB is playing against on a 0-100 scale (the closer to 100 the better). It is a much more comprehensive view than just QB Rating as the QB Rating doesn’t take into account anything more than paper stats during the game (TDs, Passing Yds, etc). Total QBR actually looks at contributions on each play. This year Ben is a lousy 31.8% which puts him 28th and it also puts Christian Ponder at 32.4 which ranks him 27th. I know that is somewhat stunning, but this year has been an anomaly for Ben because he has effectively been in the Top 10 each year up until this year. This also means that while Ben needs to stop turning over the ball, he certainly isn’t getting the contributions from other positions like he used to; so, close your eyes, point the finger, and blame whoever you want as there is plenty to go around. Christian Ponder, well let’s just say he broke the top 20…once. If the Steelers can’t get after this future star back-up and escape the land of tea and bad dental hygiene, I’m just going to start the mantra of playing for draft picks.  

Anyway, as I know that I’m a little ray of sunshine for the OFTOT reading world, here is where my glimmer of hope comes in:  Hope for the Future. Basically I’m going to select a college guy and tell you why he offers me hope for next year. First up:  This guy... 


Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina. This guy is a flat out monster coming off the end and would immediately solidify a DL that is rife with mediocrity named Hood & Heyward. Look, Hood & Heyward are busts. How often have you groaned on a third and long and realized these guys just aren’t good enough to put consistent pressure on the QB? The outside combo of Clowney and Sack Man would be practically unblockable. I know there is some bad press about him taking plays off and such, but let’s be honest - this guy has been a sure fire top three pick since last year and isn’t trying to go crazy on the field this year because he realizes he’s got millions coming his way. I can justify that easier than a guy who has constant run-ins with the law or a player labeled a project. This guy will be ready to start from the beginning. Here’s the downside:  in order to get him the Steelers are really going to have to suck. Like suck worse than a team with Blaine Gabbert as its QB. It’s a tall order, I know, but it also means we will have to suffer like this...

 for an entire season. I’m not sure I can handle that, but it is food for thought nonetheless.

Anyway, my time’s up.

Whoa, still with me?


Let's keep moving.

Domski's Dinosaur Corner:
In honor of the Steelers playing in London this week, instead of the normal dinosaur and/or snack food, I asked Domski to pick a variety of tea to describe the Vikings. This is what I got...

So, I'm going to take it upon myself to select a variety of tea, and my choice is...

Because much like Celestial Seasonings' Egyptian Chamomile, the Vikings have a delicate flowery quality to them.



1) I'm not really allowed to make light of stuff like this anymore now that I'm engaged...


2) I bet this guy is the envy of all three of his imaginary friends...

I hope his Mom remembered to pick him up after the game.

PS - I mean zero offense to Star Wars fans. I am a Star Wars fan, myself. Just not one who's willing to wear a Halloween costume to a football game. I did, however, own an entire dictionary of Star Wars terms/characters at one point, and I have listened to the original radio dramas.

Hi guys, I'm a nerd.


3) Forever Alone...

So many Ravens fans would eBay the shit out of that car.


4) It'd be a lot more intimidating if you had actual eyebrows and a fu manchu...

The pom-poms and mardi gras beads are pretty terrifying, though.


5) Other Vikings that suck...

Triple deke.


Alright, so hey, I've bored you enough.

Shake off the stink of last week, get your head space square, and listen to this shit in the dark on Sunday morning...

Predictions in the comments (yeah right).


Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Hit It, Chili Peppers...
Written by Cotter   
September 23, 2013 08:33

This recap begins and ends with turnovers.

Whenever you're -5 in that department, you're not just giving away the ball, you're also giving away the game.


What's more, I don't know about you guys, but this was another game that I felt our opposition was asking us to take, and we just couldn't do it.

Take away the two defensive touchdowns the Bears scored on turnovers and it's a field goal separating us and them.


When I wrote that 0-3 would be "unBEARable" as the title of the preview, I was obviously exaggerating.

It's not really about 0-3, because theoretically, 0-3 could turn into 13-3.

It's about the fact that in those three losses, the team has shown minimal evidence that it wants to win.

If they did, they wouldn't be making this many costly mistakes three weeks in a row.

Not that I'm an expert, but thinking about things scientifically, you get one result once, that forms a hypothesis. Get the same result twice, that shows corroboration. Get the same result three times, and you've got a trend.


Sure, they could go across the pond and cockslap the Vikings next Sunday.

And I hope they do.

But that doesn't change what happened last night or over the last few weeks.

There is enough talent on this team to be winning these games.

So, whatever the malfunction is, somebody better nip it in the bud.

It's time to cut the rhetoric, and start cracking the whip.

Remove the God damned pool and ping pong tables entirely.

You want to play a game, how about a little game of "let's learn how to hold onto the football"?

[the look on Ben's face says it all]

Football is not baseball, hockey or basketball.

You get 16 chances to state your case, and you know that that's all you get.

And right now, we're stating a losing case.

So, anyway, the best thing you can do is watch these games with a sense of detachment.

I may be the only one here, but I still want to watch and cheer for the Steelers, regardless of how they look.

I'm a fan of the Steelers, not just the 15-1 or 14-2 Steelers, but the Steelers.

Watch the game, celebrate the ups, lament the downs, but don't give up on your team after less than 1/4 of the season.


Now, it probably goes without saying that I'm not going to offer any more of a recap than this.

There were certainly some bright spots, not the least of which was Antonio Brown and his 9 catches for almost 200 yards and 2 TDs.


Or the defense holding the Bears to just 258 total yards.


Or the fact that we scored more points offensively than we had in the previous two games combined.


But I'm not going to even go through it all.

It's time to look forward.

Maybe a change of scenery will give us the injection of life we need.

At the very least, I have to think the European contingent of Steeler nation will be out in full force at Wembley, and will greatly outnumber the European contingent of Viking nation.

This is your call to arms, mes amis.


Tough game last night, guys.

But it ain't over in week four, I can tell you that much.

Get an extra cup of coffee this morning, get all your frustration out today, and spend the rest of the week visualizing a win.

Reactions encouraged in the comments.

Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

It's Not Cool, But It's Cool...
Written by Cotter   
September 17, 2013 08:58

This might be how you're feeling about the Steelers today.

And hey, I can understand.

The way things have been going through two games, you probably get the impression that if we played ourselves every week, we'd go undefeated.

And at this point, you'd probably be right.

But the key part of that thought is that we're only on Week 3 here, you guys.

People tweeting bile at Mike Tomlin or saying he should be fired, what is wrong with you?

This is the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl.

A guy who has won almost twice as many games as he has lost.

We're 0-2, not 0-16.

And if you think Todd Haley is the sole reason the Steelers are the 2nd worst offensive team in the league right now, get real.

I'm honestly not even a fan of Toddy Haley. I hated the hire, and continue to dislike him as a person and a professional. But some of his calls notwithstanding, when you're hit with injuries at key positions like the Steelers have been, that has an impact on what happens on the field.

Even still, two things don't happen last night, and who knows how that game ends.


If David Paulson doesn't fumble, the Steelers have the ball at mid-field, and they're driving.

And if the zebras don't throw a top five all time bullshit flag on Marcus Gilbert, the Steelers have the ball at the Bengals 30, driving again.


Also, there's something to be said for the fact that it was only a one score game until about half way through the 4th quarter.

At least they're not getting ritually violated here.

However, I'm also not blind.

The fact that we're in the company of the Jacksonville Jaguars in total offense is not lost on me.


Neither is the fact that Ben had more yards on one carry than Redman had on three. In fact, Redman almost had more carries than yards again this week. If he can't pick up two yards on 3rd and 2, I'm not sure what he can do (granted he did get dinged at the beginning of the game).

But let's be honest, not like Felix Jones is the answer either.

Nice of them to give Dwyer A carry, though.

And it might be smart for Tomlin to screen this in the locker room tomorrow morning.

Anyway, the point is...

Now, I'm on deadline for a project this week, so I'm not gonna even fully recap this one.

I'm sure all seven of you who would have read it will be greatly disappointed.

My sincerest apologies.

Either way, Chicago next Sunday night at Heinz Field.


Keep the faith, Steeler nation.

Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Meeting People Is Easy... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
September 15, 2013 00:00

You know, someday I'm going to update these header pics and make new ones.

Just as soon as I find the image file among the sea of files on my six year old MacBook.

Anyway, welcome to another exciting edition of MPIE.

I'm as psyched as ever to have this week's panelists on board.

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is the Steeler fans I get to meet and interact with, and who are willing to indulge you and I with their best comedic stylings.

And I know this week we've got some ringers as usual, so hopefully you enjoy their responses as much as I did.

This week's starting lineup is as follows...

1) Chachi - aka President King Chach aka the Cobra Commander of gaming.
2) Hammar - Recently lost a bet with epic repercussions.
3) Brian - Proud owner of that Chidi Iwuoma jersey you see in the grid, and the Wizard of Oz at Blitzburgh Blog.
4) Monica - Fan of both the seemingly dichotomous Steelers and N'Sync.
5) Rich - Keyboard jockey slash internet dominator at This is Getting Old.
6) Amanda - Longtime OFTOT friend and RN in charge of kicking ass.
7) Tim - Master of Ceremonies at Tim's Tea Party and dad to his avatar.
8) Me - High functioning idiot and ringmaster around here.

I don't really have anything cute to say, and I'm sure you just want to get right to it, so without any further ado, here is this week's MPIE.

As always, click to enlarge...
Oh, and make sure you don't miss the Bengals preview.

Tomorrow night, my friends.


Here we go.

If you haven't already, become a fan of OFTOT on Facebook, and follow Cotter on Twitter. Or don't. Your choice, really.

Orange Is The New Black...
Written by Cotter   
September 13, 2013 00:00
[Just so we're clear, I didn't make this image - I found it on the internet.]

Hack title?


Regardless, I felt it appropriate, given that going into this season, the Bangles were, and still are, a popular pick to win the AFC North and perhaps go even further.

And taking off my asshole hat for a second, it's not without good reason.

We'll get to it later on in the preview, but when you look at the Bengals defense, it's a stacked deck.

On offense, you could argue that they're still a piece or two away, but honestly, as long as Andy Dalton can move his arm far enough forward to put a ball anywhere near AJ Green, I'm not sure what more they need.

In short, these are not your older brother's Bengals.


These guys have been to the playoffs the last two seasons, granted as a wild card, but January football nevertheless.

I mean, eight different guys on that defense came up with picks last season.

The Steelers barely had eight picks total.


Of course, I'm exagerating slightly, but you get it.

The point remains - we can laugh at the Bengals all we want, and believe me, I'm certainly going to try, but if we play anywhere in the ballpark of how abysmally we played last week this Monday night, it's going to be uglier than a Thanksgiving at the Harbaughs.

Anyway, being that last week was a total wash in the AFC North, we've been gifted an opportunity to redeem ourselves, and shut the mouths of everyone who has declared the Black and Gold dead in the water in only the second full week of September.

With the Browns playing the Ravens on Sunday, come Tuesday two of us in the AFC North will be 1-1, and two of us will be 0-2.

Here's to hoping Benjamin and friends come out on the brightside of that scenario.


And now that we've gotten the semi-serious crap out of the way, let's cut to the fun part.

Hit the jump and let's get down to brass tacks.

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