Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you, Steelers’ Nation. Because Christmas Day is finally here, I wanted to make a list of gifts we’ve gotten from the Pittsburgh Steelers all season long. And the cheer they’ve brought to us, even in an emotional, roller coaster season. What a year it has been.
Thank you Pittsburgh for…
– Landry Jones proving us all wrong. Don’t expect him to be a franchise QB but his work ethic and football IQ showed this year. He stepped up to the plate when no one – myself included – thought he would. The fact he looks like Woody from Toy Story is just an added bonus.
– DeAngelo Williams being the best free agent signing of the offseason. And I’m talking the entire league, not just Pittsburgh. Hard to ask for a better “backup” and beyond that, a genuinely good person who just wants to earn a ring.
– Roosevelt Nix giving the gift of pain. No one likes to hit more than him. And that makes me positively giddy.
– Antonio Brown. For being so freakin’ amazing. And being the tape of player we can talk about 30 years from now.
– GIF programs and Vines, for being able to capture and replay all the amazing things AB does.
– Alejandro Villanueva’s rapid ascension into becoming not just a starting left tackle, but a quality left tackle.
– And to Mike Munchak for probably being the only coach in the league who could pull off such a feat. Special shoutout to the Tennesse Titans for their silly firing of him. We owe ya.
– As stupid as Cody Wallace can be at times, for his tenacity and willingness to scrap and fight. He’s the Red Ryder BB gun. A classic. Even if he’ll poke your eye out.
– Marcus Gilbert’s work ethic. You usually don’t see a guy get paid and then slim down. That’s what he did, getting his body right and his performance has followed suit.
I hope he asked for a leis. He deserves to at least feel like he’s in Hawaii since the Pro Bowl voting snubbed him.
– Cam Heyward and Stephon Tuitt’s crazy conditioning. I can’t talk enough about how overlooked the sheer volume of snaps they’ve played this year. To do so at the level they’re at is elevating their game to an unthinkable level. Hats off to both of them.
– I just hope Santa gave Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert the memo to find a rotational piece for 2016. I don’t think they – or I – can take another year of seeing them without.
– Cam Thomas’ Christmas spirit. Check out the cool gift he got Tuitt. What a guy.
– To James Harrison’s bout with Father Time. He’ll eventually lose but he’s gone all 12 rounds with him. An incredible journey.
– The only thing I wanted under the tree I didn’t get is Dick LeBeau reading The Night Before Christmas to the Steelers. He read it to the Titans. And that makes me very, very sad.
– The gift of Vince Williams being the baddest dude around. And funniest timeline on Twitter. Don’t let him get away, Colbert.
– For William Gay to show you can be a great player and an amazing person off the field. And using his platform in such a positive way.
– The same to Will Allen and his Will Allen Foundation that has done some incredible things, working with high school students.
– To Antwon Blake. He needs the Christmas cheer. It’s been a tough season. I can’t wait for him to come back healthy in 2016. He’s going to look a lot better.
– Chris Boswell going from a “who’s that?” to a funny nickname to legitimately one of the better kickers in the league.
– And to Greg Warren. Because long snapper’s need love, too.
– Finally, to you, Steelers’ Nation. For being awesome and making this the best year in Steelers Depot’s history.