Today, the Browns will be doing something positively Piratesesque: Handing out white flags for fans to wave during the game. Unbelievable.
Apparently, the morons who came up with this horrendous idea never heard the phrase "Waving the white flag," which indicates surrender and has been used as a practical application through centuries of military history. And, apparently, the simpletons behind this gimmick (no doubt sponsored) ... apparently these geniuses not only fail to appreciate this rich symbolism, but they also seem to be totally oblivious to the fact that the 2-8 Browns have lost 16 of 17 games to the Steelers. If you're trying to rally the troops, there's one thing you don't want your fans to do in this situation, and that is to wave the white flag.
Dick LeBeau's Still Got It, and Always Has
Some people have questioned whether Dick LeBeau, the Steelers' 75-year-old defensive coordinator, has lost his fastball, so to speak.
|Dick LeBeau in his playing days|
Looking at the long view, consider this: Since 2007, the Steelers' defense has allowed fewer points than any other team, and it's not even close. The Steelers have allowed 1,465 points since the 2007. The next-closest team, Baltimore, has allowed 1,631 points.
A Curious Quote
Here's a quote this week from Cleveland's rookie running back Trent Richardson:
"Whatever they need me to do, whether it’s blocking, running or catching, I am trying to make up for Brandon Weeden so he isn’t put in a tough position, as far as being a quarterback," Richardson said.
Trying to make up for quarterback Brandon Weeden? What is that? Not exactly a ringing endorsement, that's for sure.
Today's test: Josh Cribbs, returner extraordinaire. Cribbs has burned Pittsburgh, badly, in past years, and this year's Steelers' team has allowed two punt returns for touchdowns.
|Allegheny Valley School kids.|
The team's units played well vs. Cincinnati and Washington, but numerous gaffes have hurt badly throughout the season. Penalties nullified several long returns by Antonio Brown and dogged the Steelers all year. Rookie Drew Butler had a punt blocked by Tennessee, after a missed block by Baron Batch, who had been named special teams captain earlier that week.
Maybe worst of all, this year's Steelers team has allowed two punt returns for touchdowns. Jacoby Jones's TD return last Sunday won the game for Baltimore. A few days later, the Steelers released Batch but then apparently signed him to the team's practice squad, a definite demotion. Maybe he will return to the active roster at some point.
Maybe Batch's release had something to do with the performance of the special teams. Or, considering the Steelers' injuries and need to sign a receiver (Plaxico Burress) and backup quarterback (Brian Hoyer), maybe Batch's release was simply a factor of roster numbers.
Again, though, we wish Baron Batch all future success and hope it's with the Steelers -- never mind, the blocked punt, the missed holes on a few run opportunities, and the spectacularly dropped catch of a nearly perfectly thrown would-be touchdown pass from Antonio Brown, of all people, on national television, in Cincinnati on Oct. 21. We're still rooting for you, Baron Batch.