Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Absence of Presence

So-o-o-o ... okey-dokey, the Steelers made roster moves today ostensibly to bolster the woeful kick coverage units. We'll see if former Ravens cornerback Corey Ivy (pictured above) and former Titans' linebacker Rocky Boiman represent an appreciable upgrade over the now-released and unlamented Keiwan Ratliff and Donovan Woods. No youngsters, these two new Steelers: Ivy is 32 years old; Boiman is 29. May they make their presence known. Heaven knows, the absence of presence on special teams has cost the Steelers at least two games.

If we remember correctly, Mr. Ivy got blocked into next week, month, year, during last January's AFC Championship Game vs. the Ravens at Heinz Field. Limas Sweed did the honors, if memory serves.


Joey Porter's Pit Bulls were so dispirited by the consecutive losses to Kansas City and Cincinnati that we skipped our usual Monday post. The injuries are taking their toll, definitely, but coach Mike Tomlin won't use injuries as an excuse. Still, losing key players like Troy Polamulu, Aaron Smith, Travis Kirschke, and now Charlie Batch and Chris Keomatu, has got to take a toll, eventually.

We're not convinced that Ben Roethlisberger should play on Sunday in Baltimore, but if the doctors say he's good to go, he'll play.

Baltimore has had injury issues (linebacker Terrell Suggs, plus starting cornerback Fabian Washington and 10 other players on injured reserve), too, this season, not that we're shedding any tears for the thug Ravens.

That damn game in Kansas City added insult to injury, not that we want to re-hash all of that. Still: The opening kickoff returned for a touchdown. The missed opportunities. Dropped passes. Stupid, careless penalties. The inability to close the game late in the fourth quarter and in overtime. These have been recurring problems all season long.

The loss to Kansas City is especially galling because the other three teams in the AFC North lost, too, including the Bengals to Oakland, of all teams. This weekend presented a golden opportunity to make up ground in the playoff chase. Instead, other teams made up ground against us, including Jacksonville, Miami and Tennessee.

Objects in rear-view may be closer than they appear.

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