Monday, January 09, 2012


There goes the season.
As passionate as Joey Porter’s Pit Bulls are about the Steelers, we had a bad feeling going into Denver. The logical brain said, “This is a game the Steelers should win.”  The intuitive gut said, “This one could be trouble.”

It was. And we weren’t all that surprised. Tim Tebow has pulled enough rabbits out of his hat this season that after the overtime lightning bolt, you just had to shake your head and tip your cap to Tebow, John Fox and the Broncos for outplaying and outcoaching the Steelers. 

Tim Tebow doing his thing.
Of Tebow, we’d say, “God Bless,” but that seems to be taken care of already.

As for Fox, well, his name should be in the discussion for Coach of the Year. Clearly, he out-coached a Steelers’ staff that never seemed to make adjustments during the game and seemed ill-prepared for Denver's offensive game plan.

Lots of questions remain and, right now, few answers.
The Steelers need to sign Mike Wallace.
  • Will the Steelers sign Mike Wallace to a new contract?  With the emergence of Antonio Brown as a go-to receiver, it’s almost easy to overlook the fact that Wallace was the Steelers’ leading receiver (both in receptions and yards). Wallace will command big money as a free agent. Given Brown’s breakthrough season as a legitimate NFL star and the Steelers’ MVP, will the Steelers be able to afford both Wallace and Brown (when his contract comes up)?  Can they afford not to sign Wallace?  It would be deeply disturbing to see him go to Baltimore or any other AFC contender, for that matter.
  • Will Bruce Arians retire as offensive coordinator? Remember the reports from last off-season that Ben Roethlisberger persuaded Arians to come back for at least one more year?  It seems to fair to ask, then, whether Arians has retirement on his mind once again.
  • Might it be wise to consider hiring a clock-management expert?  Given the pattern of poor clock management throughout the season, it’s worth discussing, although Mike Tomlin would surely disagree (vehemently).
  • Will Dick LeBeau decide it’s time to retire?  It seems unlikely, but it is a legitimate question. LeBeau has earned the right for the decision to be his, and he has said he will continue coaching for as long as he possibly can.  What if he decides it’s time?  Presumably, linebackers coach Keith Butler would take over as defensive coordinator.
  • Will Ike Redman supplant Rashard Mendenhall as the starter at running back? It seems a harsh but valid question. 
  • Is it time to find a solid replacement for Casey Hampton?  His play declined this year.
Lots of other questions remain.  Lots of 'em.  We have plenty of time.  All we need are answers.