Happy Friday to all of yinz and welcome to the next to last weekend of football for several more months.
The 2018 Senior Bowl will take place on Saturday in Mobile, AL and on Sunday the 2018 Pro Bowl will be played in Orlando, FL. This year the annual NFL All-Star will feature 9 players from the Pittsburgh Steelers playing for the AFC team in addition to the team’s coaxing staff being involved. After these two games are played then only the Super Bowl remains. Where did the season go?
We’ll be cranking up our annual pre-draft player profiles next week so be on the lookout for those. We hope to have roughly 150 or more of them completed for you by the time the 2018 NFL Draft gets underway in late April.
Not much is going on in my life right now outside of getting ready to go back to Florida at the end of February in order to help my mother with a few legalities and things around her house. As soon as I step on the plane I’m sure news will break about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and running back Le’Veon Bell both signing contract extensions. That’s the way it works, right?
With the 2017 season almost over I think might take a weekend or two off prior to the draft in addition to my short trip back to Florida. I might take my wife to Seattle and Portland for a few days. We’ll see.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer in the comments below this post and please remember that the great David Orochena is keeping score. I hope several of you can participate this week.
Thank you to all you who patronized the site on a regular basis this past season. We had a record traffic year and now look forward to keeping you entertained all offseason.
Have a great weekend and peace and love to all of yinz.
1 – Do you believe that the Steelers will get a long-term contract extension done with Bell this offseason without first placing the franchise tag on him?
2 – Name one player who attended Senior Bowl week that you hope ultimately lands with the Steelers.
3 – Will you watch XFL games once the league reboots in 2020?
4 – Without going over, how many total fantasy points will the nine Steelers players score in Sunday’s Pro Bowl using the basic scoring method below?
TD = 6 points
TD pass = 4 points
Kicked FG = 3 points
Kicked XP = 1 point
2 point score = 2 points
2 point pass = 1 point
5 – For 10 bonus points, guess the exact yardage of the longest touchdown in this year’s Pro Bowl.
Question 1 – The recommended discipline for Le’Veon Bell missing the Saturday walkthrough and being late Sunday morning ranged from doing nothing or counseling all the way to benching/suspending him for the game. Depending on where he lives; being late Sunday morning may be understandable given the closure of some main arteries in Pittsburgh that morning due to the flooding/icing – but Saturday that cannot be used as an excuse. Six folks recommended doing nothing or counseling Bell due to the import of the game and not wanting to punish the team for an individual’s transgression. Ten folks believed he should have been kept out for the first drive or up to the first quarter. Nine folks said fine Bell since money is what seems most important to him. Three folks said invoke whatever the standard punishment is for being late or missing a practice; and three were in favor of benching or suspending him for the game. Bell may have been disciplined but Coach Tomlin chose to keep it within the team.
Question 2 – Overwhelmingly we see the Steelers needing help on defense. 154 of the positional needs for the 2018 draft were on defense versus 44 on offense. The linebacker group got the most votes with 68 – all 36 voters identified ILB a priority followed by 32 who named OLB/Edge Rusher. The secondary with 55 votes was the second group perceived to need help. 22 specified free safety; 4 strong safety and 13 just safety. Another 16 votes went to cornerback. There were 11 votes for defensive line with 5 specifying nose tackle – I believe of the run stuffing ala Casey Hampton type. On offense 17 votes for Running back and 11 for tight end. The consensus of Steelers Depot respondents was that the five positional needs are ILB; OLB/Edge; Free Safety; RB and S/SS. If safety positions combined, CB would be next.
Question 3 – Here are draft eligible players we would like to see a breakdown of in the coming weeks:
|Tremaine Edmunds||Virginia Tech||ILB|
|Uchenna Nwoso||Southern Cal||OLB|
|Chris Worley||Ohio State||OLB|
|Mason Rudolph||Oklahoma State||QB|
Question 4 – I hope the Steelers organization has a better idea of what stymied the running game this year as there was no clear consensus on a single area that was most to blame for its ineffectiveness. In fact, eleven said it was a combination of several factors. Four areas that folks did single out as having the most blame were the play calling (9); offensive scheme (4); Bell’s holdout (4) and the performance of the offensive line (3). Presumably those who blame the play calling and/or offensive scheme are happy that Todd Haley did not have his contract renewed.
Question 5 – A total of 113 points were scored between the East-West Shrine Game (West 14 – East 10); AFC Championship (NFL 24 – Jacksonville 20) & NFC Championship (Philadelphia 38 – Minnesota 7).
Honors for the Championship Week Friday Night Questions go to Douglas Andrews who predicted 112 points in the three games and got 10 points. Jaybird game in 2nd with 110-point prediction & frontrunner Alan Tman was third at 105 points.
Leaderboard after Championship Week:
1st Place – Alan Tman with 48.5 points (increases his lead; a personal friend of Roger Goodell?)
2nd Place – DirtDawg1964 with 43 points (will need big finish in last 2 weeks to challenge)
3rd Place – LucasY59 with 41 points (a dark horse but still in it.)
4th Place – Matt Manzo with 39 points (now has a snowball’s chance of taking top honors)
5th Place – (tie) Darth Blount 47, Chris92021 & Jaybird with 38.5 points (Jaybird joins Darth & Chris)
8th Place – (tie) Marcel Chris Chauvet & Josh Cummings with 36.5 (Outside looking in)
10th Place – Kevin Schwartz with 35.5 points (Kevin cooled off this week)
11th Place – SJT63 with 35 points (2017 season slipping away)
12th Place – Jeff McNeil with 34.5 points (down another notch)
13th Place – heath miller 33.5 points (Fans still chanting HEEAATTHH!)
14th Place – Reader783 with 33 points (Lost at Sea; hope all ok)
15th Place – (tie) Pittfan, Phil Brennenman II & SkoolHouseRoxx with 32 points (Homeostasis)
18th Place – Wes Lee with 31.5 points (on the leaderboard for 2 weeks running!)
19th Place – Michael Mosgrove with 30.5 points (Onward & Upward!)
20th Place – J. with 28.5 points (Still on the leaderboard)
Douglas Andrews jumped from 54th to 33rd place with his prediction that garnered 10 points for his cause. Kakello34 disappeared this week after scoring big points the two previous weeks.