Saturday, March 03, 2012

#244: Leap Week

---SSL Broadcast #82 & #83---

I didn't have time for an update last week, but I did archive last week's show. I had to head out to a high school basketball playoff doubleheader. The show was nothing spectacular (shocking), but it's at the very bottom of this post to demonstrate that I polluted the airwaves for another week.

A lot of folks are a bit put out by the recent decisions by the Pittsburgh Steelers to part with some long-time staples. In the business of the NFL, though, sometimes a team has to make a clean break. And when salary cap is an issue, it is very necessary.

Hines Ward: The release of the leading receiver in Steelers history is being viewed as a betrayal of some sort. Would Steeler fans prefer to keep him (and his salary cap hit) until he dies a slow death? Ward has been on the decline for the last two or three years with periodic injuries. And if it's between keeping either Ward or Mike Wallace ("both" not being an option), how can a rational fan choose the former? All good things...

Aaron Smith: A stalwart at Left End for a decade, this one is kind of tough to swallow. But he hasn't played a full season since the Super Bowl XLIII season. Ziggy Hood, while not nearly as dominant, has become a capable starter with room to improve. Smith will very likely retire.

James Farrior: This is the player I think the Steelers will miss most. As someone who advocates drafting an offensive lineman with the first pick this year, it also makes me fear that Pittsburgh has its sights set on ILB Dont'a Hightower of Alabama. Farrior probably has a couple good years in him as he's been relatively healthy, but his drop in speed has been evident.

Chris Kemoeatu: A walking 15-yard penalty waiting to happen. Not sorry to see him go. He was being paid too much for what he offered. And I'm not a big fan of anyone on the offensive line outside of Marquis Pouncey, though Gilbert can still prove himself and I have an odd tolerance for Ramon Foster. Which is why I fear drafting Hightower instead of an offensive lineman to help protect the franchise quarterback. And another positive - we won't have to hear Phil Simms murder his last name anymore.

We love football, but it can be an ugly business that plays with our heartstrings. Right now, though, the Steelers need to work on getting younger, and getting cheaper so that the Steelers can continue to be an elite team for years to come.

And then, maybe, we'll find out of Tomlin won with "Bill Cowher's team," or if Tomlin is a formidable coach in his own right.

On the latest episode:

- Penguins continue to lead league in THE key statistic.

- Pitt basketball likely destined for the 12/13 game in the Big East Tournament.

- Bucs can't catch a break, though they don't really put themselves in a position to do so.

- Pittsburgh Power begin their second season this coming Friday.

On last week's program:

- Hines Ward and Frank Coonelly's DUI cases.

- A little bit of NFL Draft talk.

- Fleury fastest to 27 shutouts (tied for most by Pens goalie).

- Casey McGehee to platoon at first. *facepalm*



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