The Steelers have released 29-year old OG Chris Kemoeatu. He played in 13 games (8 starts) for the Steelers last year. He played in 75 games (53 starts) in his seven years with the Steelers. The Steelers are probably better off without Chris Kemoeatu, as he didn’t block too well last year.
The Steelers have released 35-year old DE Aaron Smith. Smith played in 4 games for the Steelers last year and he had 8 tackles. Smith played in 160 games in his 13 years with the Steelers and he had 453 tackles, 44 sacks, 40 tackles for a loss, 7 forced fumbles, 9 fumble recoveries, 1 interception and 20 passes defensed. The Steelers will likely let Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward duke it out in training camp to replace Smith.
I don’t know how we did in previous years of this tournament, aside from the obvious – we did not win.
I don’t know if our collective interest was lacking in tournaments past, or if we were not efficient and/or effective in our efforts to promote it. Quite frankly, it doesn’t matter. The past is the past.
What I do know, is that BTSC’s virtual trophy cabinet is bare.
What I do know is that we have all taken great interest in rectifying that this year.
So let’s win this one – for Michael Bean!
As you know, BTSC’s esteemed founder and editor has moved onward and upward to exciting adventures with SBN’s new YouTube channel and hasn’t had as much time to devote to BTSC recently. But it’s been his tireless work since February 3, 2006 that has built BTSC up into the best Steelers blog and community that you can find anywhere.
That we are the best Steelers blog and community around is just an opinion. A notion. An assertion.
But I think we all share it.
Here in the finals of the Best Pittsburgh Sports Blog Tournament, we have an arena in which we can try to back up that statement.
We can do it!
We have a fine roster of contributors that have admirably come together to hold down the fort. But perhaps more importantly, we have an incredible, active community of readers – all of YOU – that is what truly sets BTSC apart from the rest of the field.
At the moment, we are winning this championship matchup with Pitt Script. It’s actually not even close right now. We could possibly sit back and coast to a victory. Or we could see how close we can come to matching our 933-vote performance back in Round 2, and put a proper exclamation point on our tournament run!
To me, this tournament has never been about asserting some “internet superiority” over any given opponent. This thing began with a field of 32 great Pittsburgh blogs – we have plenty in common with them (some of us are readers of a few of them as well) and we shouldn’t necessarily have anything against them, even if one happens to be our opponent in a given round.
To me, this tournament has been about seeing how well BTSC can come together as group. To me, this tournament has been about seeing what we can do when we’re all pulling in the same direction towards an attainable goal. How many of us are going to vote in a simple poll, round after round, week after week?
Let’s find out if we peaked in Round 2, or if the best is yet to come.
This tournament is dedicated to Michael Bean, so let’s show him exactly what his years of effort have made here!
Let’s bring this thing home for him!
The Steelers have released 37-year old inside linebacker James Farrior. Farrior played in 14 games for the Steelers last year and he had 78 tackles, 2 sacks and 3 passes defensed. Farrior played in 154 games in his 10 years with the Steelers and he had 1,080 tackles, 30 sacks, 53 tackles for a loss, 12 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, 8 interception (1 returned for a TD) and 54 passes defensed. The bloodletting continues in Pittsburgh as the Steelers struggle to get into good salary cap position.
The Steelers have released 31-year old WR Arnaz Battle. Battle played in 10 games for the Steelers last year but he didn’t catch any passes. He did have four tackles as he was almost used exclusively on special teams. He played in 25 games in his two years with the Steelers and he didn’t have any catches but he did have 13 tackles. Battle has played in 113 games in his first 10 years in the NFL and he has caught 178 passes for 2,150 yards (12.1 avg) with 11 TD grabs. Battle also has rushed for 77 yards on 22 carries (3.5 ypc) with 1 TD run in his career so far. Battle made his mark on special teams as he has 46 tackles, 1 forced fumble and 2 fumble recoveries in this career so far. He has also returned 64 punts for 446 yards (7.0 avg) with 1 TD return and he has returned 22 kickoffs for 441 yards (20.0 avg) in his NFL career. I think the Steelers will be able to get along o.k. without Arnaz Battle in 2012.
The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t import much talent to the roster in the 2011 NFL Draft. It can be argued that they didn’t need their rookies to play much last year, but that’s a weak way to look at things as none of the players they picked have a huge upside. No future Pro Bowlers in this class. Here is a look at how the Steelers’ rookies did in 2011:
22-year old DE Cameron Heyward was picked in the first round by the Steelers. He played in all 16 games for the Steelers last year and he had 11 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass defensed. The Steelers are old at DE, so Heyward might be starting in the near future.
23-year old OT Marcus Gilbert was picked in the 2nd round last April. He played in 14 games (13 starts) for the Steelers last year. Gilbert will probably be in the Steelers’ starting lineup for a long time as they need the help.
23-year old CB Curtis Brown was a 3rd round pick. Brown played in 12 games for the Steelers last year and he had 14 tackles and 2 forced fumble. His season ended on I.R. due to a knee injury.
23-year old CB Cortez Allen was a 4th round pick. He played in 15 games for the Steelers last year as he finished up with 15 tackles. Allen will have to improve if he wants to get more P.T. defensively.
22-year old OLB Chris Carter was picked in the 5th round. He played in 8 games for the Steelers last year in which he had 3 tackles and 1 tackle for a loss.
23-year old OG Keith Williams was picked in the 6th round. He was cut before the year started and he was picked up by the Buffalo Bills. He didn’t get into any games for the Bills last year.
24-year old RB Baron Batch was a 7th round pick. He missed his rookie season due to knee surgery.
GRADE FOR 2011: D
GRADE FOR THE FUTURE: D+
The Steelers were down 20-6 at the half in this game and things weren’t looking good. The Steelers played well in the second half to tie the game and send it to O.T. The Broncos won the coin toss and Tim Tebow threw an 80 yard bomb for a TD to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of O.T. to end this game. Thomas absolutely burned Ike Taylor to a crisp on the pass in O.T.
Ben Roethlisberger battled hard yesterday as he completed 22 of 40 passes for 289 yards with 1 TD pass and 1 INT. He also carried the ball 3 times for 15 yards (5.0 ypc) in this game. Isaac Redman led the way on the ground for the Steelers in this game with 121 yards rushing on 17 carries (7.1 ypc) and he also caught 2 passes for 21 yards (10.5 avg). WR Emmanuel Sanders (6 rec, 81 yards), WR Antonio Brown (5 rec, 70 yards and 1 carry for 18 yards) and TE Heath Miller (5 rec, 60 yards) led the way for the Steelers in the passing game yesterday. Jerricho Cotchery (1 rec, 31 yards, TD) and Mike Wallace (3 rec, 26 yards and 1 carry for a 1-yard TD) also pitched in for the Steelers in this game. The Steelers rushed for 156 yards on 23 carries (6.8 ypc) and they completed 22 of 40 passes (55%) for 244 yards as they had possession of the ball for 31:06.
The defense was pretty awful for the Steelers yesterday. CB Ike Taylor had 7 tackles to lead the Steelers, but he was burned to a crisp in coverage repeatedly in this game. LB Lawrence Timmons (6 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss), safety Ryan Mundy (5 tackles and 2 forced fumbles) and LB LaMarr Woodley (fumble recovery) also pitched in for the Steelers who amazingly had 0 sacks. The Broncos finished up with 131 yards rushing on 34 carries (3.9 ypc) and they also completed 10 of 21 passes (47.6%) for 316 yards. The Steelers’ season ends with a gigantic thud!
29-year old QB Ben Roethlisberger turned in another fine year despite being dogged with nagging injuries as the Steelers were 11-4 in his starts. Roethlisberger played in 15 games (all starts) for the Steelers this year and he completed 324 of 513 passes (63.2%) for 4,077 yards with 21 TD passes and 14 INTs (90.1 QB Rating). He also carried the ball 31 times for 70 yards (2.3 ypc) this year. He has now played in 114 games (113 starts) in his career with the Steelers and he has completed 2,090 of 3,313 passes (63.1%) for 26,579 yards with 165 TD passes and 100 INTs (92.1 QB Rating). He has also carried the ball 292 times for 944 yards (3.2 ypc) with 14 TD runs in his NFL career so far. Roethlisberger is now 80-33 (70.8%) as a starting QB during the regular season in his career with the Steelers.
37-year old QB Charlie Batch has proven to be a solid backup QB in his time with the Steelers. They won his only start this year. Batch played in 4 games (1 start) for the Steelers this year and he completed 15 of 24 passes (62.5%) for 208 yards with 0 TD passes and 1 INT (72.9 QB Rating). He also has carried the ball 3 times for -2 yards (-0.7 ypc) this year. Batch has now played in 79 games (53 starts) in his NFL career so far and he has completed 863 of 1,534 passes (56.3%) for 10,610 yards with 60 TD passes and 48 INTs (77.8 QB Rating). He has also carried the ball 172 times for 637 yards (3.7 ypc) with 6 TD runs so far in his NFL career. Batch is 24-29 (45.3%) as a starting QB during the regular season in his NFL career.
The Steelers are now 0-3 against the Harbaugh’s after getting slapped around by the 49ers last night! With hindsight always being 20/20, head coach Mike Tomlin made a very poor decision to play Ben Roethlisberger last night. He was a sitting duck in the pocket as he couldn’t move around, negating his best quality. He completed 25 of 44 passes for 330 yards with 0 TD passes and 3 INTs. He also fumbled twice, losing one that set up a TD for the 49ers. Rashard Mendenhall led the way on the ground for the Steelers last night with 64 yards on 15 carries (4.3 ypc) and he also caught 3 passes for 25 yards. Mewelde Moore pitched in with 1 carry for 21 yards and 2 catches for 5 yards (2.5 avg). WR Jerricho Cotchery (5 rec, 93 yards), Heath Miller (5 rec, 82 yards), Antonio Brown (5 catches, 59 yards) and Mike Wallace (5 catches for 66 yards) led the way in the passing game for the Steelers last night. The Steelers finished up with 84 yards rushing on 19 carries (4.4 ypc) and they also completed 25 of 44 passes (56.8%) for 305 yards as they had possession of the ball for 31:26.
The defense actually didn’t play that bad last night as the Steelers’ offense set up some short fields for the Niners to operate on. Safety Troy Polamalu (7 tackles), LB Lawrence Timmons (6 tackles), LB Jason Worilds (6 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss) and safety Ryan Clark (5 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss and 2 passes defensed led the way for the D last night. The 49ers finished up with 100 yards rushing on 30 carries (3.3 ypc0 and they also completed 18 of 31 passes (58.1%) for 187 yards. The Steelers are now 10-4 on the year.
Below is a link to a great article from the PPG and Gene Collier as he reports on an even in Pittsburgh involving two of the Steelers safeties, Ryan Clark and Ryan Mundy.