Well the Pirates are the bell of the ball right now with an 8-game winning streak as well as being the first team in the MLB to get to 50 wins this season. I have been a Pirates fan just like I have been a Steelers fan: since I can remember, so I’m enjoying this. The Steelers beat reporters remain quiet, but I dug around the internet and found a few interesting things.
AFC North Blog: Eight Can’t-Lose Players
Jaimeson Hensley, who blogs about the AFC North for ESPN.com, put together a list of 8 players from the division who are “too important” to lose due to injury this season. For the Steelers, he doesn’t name a single player but rather a position: Offensive Tackles. I would have to agree that injuries on the offensive line have been an issue and because there isn’t a lot of depth on the roster for that position, it really can be a nightmare. Last year it got so bad in one game that announcers were wondering if one more injury happened would the Steelers have enough players to line up. I hope it doesn’t get that bad again this year.
Predicted Sack Leaders
Jaimeson Hensley also put together a list of predicting the sack leaders among the teams in the division based on a chat session. You can listen to the full session from a link in the blog. He predicts Jarvis Jones will be the sack leader for Pittsburgh. I’m surprised to see that since the word filtering around is that Jarvis Jones still has a lot of adjustment to make from college to professional ball and he might not be a starter for a while. Just the speed of the game alone is different. Hensley also goes on to predict that Le’Veon Bell will be the starting running back with Isaac Redman backing him up and Jonathon Dwyer off the team. He didn’t mention Baron Batch or LaRod Stephens-Howling. His opinion matches the other discussion out there about Bell. However, I seem to remember that the Steelers kept four running backs on the roster last year so I would be surprised to see Dwyer gone at the start of the season. I believe it was eight linemen instead of nine to make the room on the roster, but I’ve got to dig around to find that. I might have those numbers by mid-week.
A Look at Alameda Ta’amu
For those of you who haven’t closed the door on Ta’amu after his destructive, drunken joy ride last year, Anthony Blake of Rant Sports, put together a training camp profile on him. Ta’amu is quoted as saying he has done a good job of staying away from alcohol and staying out of trouble. Blake thinks Ta’amu is a more than adequate blocker and as long as he stays out of trouble, he will have a spot on the team. Well, I don’t know about that, but I can only figure that Ta’amu is hanging by the slimmest of threads. I don’t think Ta’amu has the talent like baseball player Josh Hamilton whose public battles with addiction are not enough to outweigh his talent and make teams put up money to employ “handlers” for him. Ta’amu has to show some good reasons to keep him.
A Look at the Steelers the Last Time The Pirates were THIS Good
Steelers Depot put together an interesting look at the Steelers team in 1992. Dave Bryan’s research shows that the last time the Pirates were 20 games over .500 was in Sep of 1992 and that was Coach Cowher’s first year with the Steelers. He gives the roster, etc. So if you want to step back in time, take a look at his blog. Who can forget Bubby Brister? ‘Nuff said.
What did I miss? What did I Get Wrong?
Well, that’s it for another slow news day. As we head into July, it should start to pick up soon. Just think, training camp at Latrobe is just around the corner!