Dec 16, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers guard Ramon Foster (73) - tackle Max Starks (78) and center Maurkice Pouncey (53) walk on the field during the game against the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Morning Huddle 7/5/13

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The news is very slow for the Steelers as everyone must have been celebrating the anniversary of our country’s independence.  I found a couple of articles to throw at everyone today.  Here we go.

AFC North’s Defenses

According to Jaimeson Hensley, who blogs about the AFC North for ESPN.com, the Steelers defense was ranked first last year partly because

The Steelers were the only team in the league that did not allow a completion on a pass that traveled more than 30 yards in the air, according to Stats & Information.”

Hensley’s main point in an article full of stats is that it will be interesting to see if and how that stat changes in this season.  I think the Cincinnati Bengals have made some moves this off season to help their passing game, so, within the division, they may challenge the Steelers the most.  Maybe I am missing it, but I think the Flacco is missing his favorite targets now so they may not have as good a year as everyone seems to expect out of Super Bowl champs.

Another Look at the Steeler Offensive Line

Dan Synder, of Yahoo! Sports, took a look at the Steelers offensive line while comparing it briefly to the other offensive lines in the AFC North.  He ranks Cincinnati at the top and the highest a Steeler’s offensive lineman comes in is at number 5 with Mike Adams.  I haven’t heard what Adam’s prognosis is for returning to playing football as he heals from his stab wounds.  Snyder’s bottom line assessment:

The Steelers are very young at the tackle position and lack depth behind two starters that have never played a full NFL season. That’s not good news. Either Pittsburgh has a ton of faith in Adams and Gilbert, or they truly believe guys like Whimper, Golic and Farrell can step right in and play.”

I can understand why the Steeler’s O-line is getting so much attention.  No matter how good Ben Roethlisberger is, if he doesn’t stay upright, then it doesn’t matter.  Everything starts with the (mostly) unsung heroes to either give Ben time to throw or to make a hole for the running back to get some yards.  Snyder plans a series of articles on this, so I’m sure we will see more.

Ask Drew Butler Part I

Steelers.com writer Teresa Varley, posted a Q&A session with Drew Butler, the Steelers main punter in 2012.  It is interesting to look at the kinds of questions people submitted to the punter.  As I glanced through, I saw at least two that asked him what he was thinking as he waited for a snap or to kick the ball.  He gave the politically correct answers but I have to think that sometimes kickers and punters are simply thinking:  “Don’t miss this!” as they get ready to kick the ball.  But, I shouldn’t poke fun.  Oh, maybe it doesn’t surprise you, but Butler loves soccer too.

What did I miss?  What did I get wrong?

That’s it for today.  I know it was a little meager, but hopefully we’ll have more soon.  Oh, if anyone saw Plaxico Burress’ interview on the NFL Network (I think) and knows where the link it, can someone tweet it to me (@hazel_44)?  I was at a sports bar having some wings yesterday and looked up at one of the screens and saw Burress in what I thought looked like a new interview.  I can’t find a transcript or a video link to it anywhere and I’d like to listen to it.   I hope everyone had at least a little time off to enjoy yesterday’s holiday and took some time to appreciate the freedoms we have in the U.S.  Even though our society isn’t perfect, I still wouldn’t live anywhere else!

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