PITTSBURGH (GSM) — I’m sick of all of the “Tomlin didn’t maximize his talent” arguments in Pittsburgh.
Let’s look at the record:
2007: 1st year as head coach, he wins the AFC North but loses momentum and playoff game at home with last-second FG. This was AFTER the NFL’s leading rusher broke his leg in week 15 or 16 (i.e., “Fast” Willie Parker, he of the SB rushing record for longest TD run back in SB XL). Also- his franchise QB throws a pick-6 #ugh.
2008: Won SB as 2nd year coach.
2009: Team collapsed at the end of the year to miss the playoffs. SB hangover. I’ll concede that point. BAD loss to the Raiders at home.
2010: Made it to the SB. Lost to Aaron Rodgers after a(nother) Big Ben pick-6 (no one brings that up) and a bad fumble by Mendenhall (sp). Still lost by 6. Also got to the SB with a banged-up Troy Polamalu, who was the NFL Defensive MVP that was hurt late in the season versus the Bengals (apparently on a pick-6 return).
2011: Lost the Tebow game when his team was VERY banged up. Ryan Clark (starting safety) couldn’t play in Denver after almost dying the last time up there (sickle cell trait). Mendenhall tore his ACL in the past game of the regular season. Multiple injuries everywhere during that game. That was still a 12-4 team.
2012: Big Ben was injured for 3-4 games that year. Missed the playoffs.
2013: Started the season 0-4, including a bad loss in London to MIN. Went 8-4 (67%) the rest of the way, was one missed FG away from making the playoffs by the Chiefs in week 17.
2014: Lost home playoff game after Le’Veon Bell was hurt in the last game of the regular season on a Sunday night (Cincy). This was the LeGarrette Blount season.
2015: Lost to the eventual SB champs (a team with a historic defensive) in the divisional round after Le’Veon Bell was lost for the year (knee vs Cincy again), AB was lost (Cincy concussion game), and Ben was playing with a bad shoulder (also hurt in the Cincy game). Oh, yeah: the backup RB (De’Angelo Williams) was out for the year as well, hurt in the last regular season game vs. Cleveland. Still was one bad fumble away from likely winning that game. Also: their all-Pro center was out for the year.
2016: Went to the AFC Champ game with a hurt Le’Veon Bell. Lost to eventual SB champs. Played the tail end of this season without one of his best defensive players – Cam Heyward (hurt late season).
(***By the way: anyone seeing a theme with some of these late-season IR-leading injuries to top-flight players?!?!
How does Tomlin get blame for that? His fault for foot fractures, tore ACLs, or broken legs?)
2017: With a 13-3 team, lost in divisional round after losing the heart of their defense one month prior (i.e., remember that the Shazier injury was 13 days BEFORE the NE game), causing their defensive to go from top 8 defense in the league to mediocre AT BEST. Gave up 45 points at home with a dude at MLB (Sean Spence) that sat roughly 12 games of the season on the couch. Still should NOT have been in that JAX game (i.e., should have been the #1 seed playing a BAD TEN team) if not for the “Jesse James” game and HORRIBLE Big Ben INT after the James reversal (again, no one talks about that HORRIBLE decision by a $100m QB…some of these “Tomlin losses” have been due to the QB being “a gunslinger” and losing winnable games much like Brett Favre…another QB who could easily have more rings if his style of play afforded better decisions)
BTW: lost that NE game at home without their best CB (Haden was hurt), best LB (Shazier) and the league’s best WR (Brown was hurt early in that game)…still lost because of James reversal and the bad QB decision afterwards.
2018: 9-6-1 after bad losses mid-season. I’ll give you that. Also will note that Conner was hurt and out for 3 games – when he was playing at a Pro Bowl-level. Bell was out (i.e., his own decision), and Brown was a huge headache all year long. That said: they went from possible #1 seed to missing the playoffs pretty fast.
2019: 8-8 with Duck Hodges (i.e., a 4th string QB to start training camp) and Mason Rudolph (i.e., 3rd string QB in 2018) at QB. JuJu missed 4 games. Conner missed 6 games and left during a 7th. Pouncey missed a game.
My point? I know…injuries happen to everyone. However, how many teams lose Pro Bowl-caliber talent late in the season and then do well (i.e., win multiple games) in the playoffs?
I have been a Steelers supporter as a native Pittsburgher. I wish that they won a few more SBs with this QB there. However, let’s be honest: things haven’t completely fallen into place with this team. This year showed us that there’s a drop-off from best WR or top-5 QB in the league to “next man up”, despite “…the standard is the standard…” Same is true for top-5 LB (Shazier in 2017), top-10 DL (Heyward), top-5 C (Pouncey), top-3 RB (Bell/Conner/Parker), and top-tier CB (Haden).
NE has never made it to the SB without a) playing in a division that was quite the opposite as the competitive AFC North (which often sent THREE teams to the playoffs between 2008-2015), having the 1st round bye, and not losing key components (minus not having Gronk in 2016) late in the season. Their “reign of terror” has so much to do with playing in that LOUSY division for 20 years (i.e., never more than 2 teams in the playoffs at one time – and usually only NE went) than anything else.
The AFC North has had (minus Cleveland) some of the most talented and competitive football (and vicious hitting as well) over the past 20 years. Tomlin has been here for the majority of it and has multiple championships (division, conference, and SB) despite it…and the ill-fated injuries that come with all of that to boot.
Can some of us please just stop it with the “Tomlin hasn’t done enough” rhetoric? If 2019 won’t shut you up, please take a look at this year – and the whole record – to get more of why you might not completely get it (i.e., know what you’re talking about/have a waning memory based on your Yinzerism)
…just seems like something some Pittsburghers and some of #SteelerNation should give up on as a New Year’s Resolution for 2020.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — As the new year begins and sounds of “Auld Lang Syne” slowly fades away, we take a look back on 2019 at a player that has earned his spot in high school football’s elite.
Standing at 6′ 3,” 250 pounds, Dayon Hayes has been a dominating force in ways that set him apart from the pack.
The Westinghouse Bulldogs’ standout defensive end has made a name for himself on the gridiron, raising the eyebrows of recruits across the nation. His stature, coupled with the ability to have an explosive break on the ball, has been second to none and his statistics show how dominating he has been throughout his high school career.
Hayes spoke exclusively to Golden Sky Media saying, “My Westinghouse experience is great and I wouldn’t want to be any other place than here, because the history is so great.”
Westinghouse Academy, which has a rich history of musicians, physicians, politicians, attorneys, scholars, members of the media and of course athletes, is a staple of not only Pittsburgh but has history that can rival institutions around the world.
As far as football goes, Hayes told us that he is thrilled to be named among the giants that have donned the halls of the Blue and Gold. “It’s been a long time since there has been something good happening at Westinghouse — like a football championship — and I’m just glad I’m a part of turning Westinghouse’s program around.”
For the past 23 years, Westinghouse has been fighting for the chance to hoist the trophy and stand alone as the kings of the city. For the first time since 1996, they accomplished that goal with the help of Hayes.
Bulldogs’ head coach Donta Green speaks on behalf of the entire coaching staff saying of Hayes, “He’s everything a coach wants in a player. He has amazing work ethic and is a joy to be around!”
Flanked by traditional chants by Westinghouse faithful, “There’s a House, up on a Hill, let’s go, let’s go, let’s go,” his team won the 2019 City League Championship over USO 12-2 at George K. Cupples Stadium on Pittsburgh’s Southside. Westinghouse had 36 active players on the roster and won its 36th championship in school history.
Green, a man that puts no one player above the team, took to social media after the win, praising his entire team’s performance in addition to their academic achievements, “These young people worked hard both in the classroom and the field to make this day happen! Coach loves you guys and I salute each and every one of you for your sacrifice and dedication.” –Donta Green, via Facebook.
DeWayne Brown is the founder of 2/10ths Speed and Agility, which is an extreme workout regimen, that trains athletes from youth football to the professional ranks who have interest in gaining physical and mental awareness in their respective sports. He has worked with Hayes in the past in the area of positional drills to increasing footwork.
Brown has seen many athletes grow within his program and when it comes to Hayes, Brown said his technique and ability to excel is one of the best he’s seen. “Dayon is an elite athlete with an elite 1st step that will translate on all levels of football,” Brown said of Hayes. “Once he puts everything together mentality — with all his physical components — he will be one of those special players.”
Brown, raving about Hayes’ ability says, if things line up the way they should, “He has all the tools to get to the NFL. He’s very teachable. You give him a directive and he’ll execute it. He’s also a fast learner.”
Hayes officially committed to the University of Pittsburgh and will be sure to find playing time with the Panthers. He will most likely see the field early in his college career.
COURTESY: PITT LIVEWIRE
Sean McCaskill is founder of Dream Chaser 5 (DC5) which develops middle and high school athletes dreaming about becoming the next 5-star defensive back. McCaskill trains those who aspire to become successful in the secondary but has “…never had the pleasure of working” with Hayes. However, as an ardent scout of talent, he has watched Hayes develop and shared favorable remarks about his character.
“So many athletes love the lifestyle, but [Hayes] learned to embrace the process to becoming great,” McCaskill said. “It’s extremely difficult to bet against a player like him, because he’s willing to do those things that everyone is not willing to do. He’s about to be coached by arguably the best D-Line coach in college football, Coach Charlie Partridge at Pitt.”
Hayes was “thrilled and pleasantly surprised” about becoming the 2019 Golden Sky Media “Golden Player of the Year,” saying, “I’m very happy about it! This is something new and I’m glad to be apart of this and happy to be the player of the year.”
Not making this accolade about himself, he has advice for younger players who are watching him and coming through the ranks themselves, “You can do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter where you go to school because everyone told me I couldn’t do what I’m doing now,” Hayes said. “I just got on my grind and accomplished some of my goals and that was gettingscholarships to schools and my favorite one [Pitt], too.”
Hayes is an honor-roll student first, a blue-chip player second and now the recipient of the inaugural “Golden Player of the Year” award, granted by Golden Sky Media.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Three members of the Pittsburgh Steelers have been named to the Associated Press All-Pro team for 2019.
This honor means you’re the best at your position for that season, and there is one player for each position (22 players) honored each year. This year TJ Watt (edge rusher), Steelers linebacker TJ Watt sacks Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (GSM) — Instead of flying first class, the Steelers are on standby waiting for their ticket to the post season after falling to the New York Jets 16-10, Sunday. It was a game that was a must needed win in order to control their own destiny. Now they wait in the wings hoping to land in the playoffs.
Head coach Mike Tomlin, not mincing words, said his team just didn’t get it done. “It’s put-up-or-shut-up time, and we didn’t get the job done.” Tomlin said about playing during December football, “We accept responsibility for the fact and the ramifications of it.”
Linebacker TJ Watt had 2 tackles, 1 resulting in a sack said, you win as a team and lose as a team. Nonetheless, everyone is responsible for the outcome of games no matter the position. “Football is the ultimate team game,” Watt said. “This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, we love everybody in the locker room, we believe in everybody in the locker room. It’s just a matter of putting together a complete game”.
The quarterback carousel continued as Devlin “Duck” Hodges was benched in the first half after throwing 2 interceptions and was replaced by the man he took over for, Mason Rudolph who came in and threw 14-20 129 yards and a touchdown. Rudolph was then injured in the game and “Duck” returned to the game in a losing effort. Hodges says it is unfortunate turn of events.
The 6th seed is still attainable but the Steelers need help to reach the postseason. There is one more game to play for Pittsburgh and it is against AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. In order for the Steelers to make the playoffs however, they MUST beat the Ravens and the Tennessee Titans must lose to the Houston Texans to solidify the final slot in the tournament. There is still a lot to play for as the regular season comes to a close.