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One For The Other Thumb
Ike Taylor Was Jealous Of Limas Sweed Tonight... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 13, 2009 21:39
sweeeeed

Big time 45 yard catch for Sweed tonight (the one after this one above and below).

He said all he wanted to do was catch it and hold on to it.

Generally what you want to do when you're a wide receiver in the NFL.

However, not only did he catch that ball, but also this ball before it, in a tight spot.

sweed3

This doesn't mean he couldn't come out next week and start dropping balls like Braylon Edwards.

But it's a damn good sign given his rookie campaign.

The other, more prominent star of the evening was the owner of its two touchdowns.

redman

Isaac Redman had 10 rushes for 32 yards, with a long run of 13 (runs were for: 3, 2, 13, 6, 0, 4, 5, 0, 1, -2).

But the story was the pair of touchdowns (albeit against the Cardinals scrubs).

He keeps that up and he may have a job in Pittsburgh.

I love it.

Good game tonight. Saw a lot of good things.

Stop back tomorrow morning for some type of proper recap or whatever.

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Are You Ready For Some...Fooo-otoshop? E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 13, 2009 15:30
tomlintwitterisms2

Game preview?

Why?

All you need to know is that tonight, the starters will play one or two series', and the rest will be a scouting exercise.

So instead of spending hours putting together my thoughts on who and what to watch for, I dedicated myself to a much nobler and fruitful endeavor...creating that totally ridiculous and random fake Mike Tomlin twitter feed you see above.

Sure, those fake tweets don't sound like Tomlinisms. But that wasn't the exercise.

This is just a little something to keep you entertained until kickoff tonight.

Coincidentally, preseason or not, I'm pretty fired up about the return of Steelers football!

And preseason or not, tradition is tradition.

So here's The Wood photoshop that I posted up all last season on gamedays...
WOODley56
May he lead us to victory...or at least no major injuries, anyway.

Tonight's main course...
sammich

HERE WE GO, STEELERS! HERE WE GO!!

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What Do Philly.com and Andrea McNulty Have In Common? E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 12, 2009 13:29
fb
Well, it would seem that they're both opportunists, albeit alleged in McNulty's case (fine, both cases).

But we'll get to that in a second.

First of all, let me just say - Obviously this story [highlighting events that happened in 2006] is about the PA State Police, not the Steelers.

I sincerely doubt the team won the Super Bowl and said, "Disney World is for fruitcakes, let's go fire off some assault weapons."

Ammo shortage. Illegal contraband. Like the Steelers knew any of that. Like they cared (fyi - the dude who organized it said the weapons all belonged to off-duty officers).

It happened THREE YEARS AGO!

That doesn't mean that NOW is the time to write about it. Except for the whole "Steelers-being-on-prime-time-tomorrow-night-in-a-rematch-of-the-most-watched-Super-Bowl-game-in-history" thing.

Not to mention, Tecmo posted these pictures on the web over six months ago.

What, the Philadelphia Daily News got tired of reporting on injured Eagles?

Please.

Were the players reckless for pointing guns at each other? Absolutely.

But the NFL's policy states that it's perfectly fine for players to possess guns for sport or protection. And I'm gonna take a shot in the dark and say that shooting targets falls under sport. Besides, and I can't stress this enough, IT HAPPENED THREE YEARS AGO!

Whatever.

I think we can all move on now...

But if you'd like to read about things that are relevant to 2009, may I suggest these links...

Birds are all about the Steelers [PSaMP]

Lori puts the latest development in the joke of a case against Big Ben into perspective [HFSS]

10 reasons Staal Tactics can't wait for the regular season [Staal Tactics]

How Blogbuster Sports Page became a Steeler fan [Blogbuster Sports Page]

Tyler Grisham. Is he the Hines Ward of the future? [Trib]

Speaking of, is Hines one of a dying breed? [CBS Sportsline]

Transcript from Tomlin's presser [SteelCityInsider]

Quote Troy: "I am light years ahead of where I was last year when I didn’t practice at all during camp" [Sports Radio Interviews]

Is there anyone that doesn't want Dick Lebeau in the hall? [AP]

Cheating during a scrimmage? For shame, Brady Quinn! What would Bernie Kosar do? [PFT]

Wait, now Shaun Rogers wants to go BACK to Detroit? [Yahoo!]

But then, why does this article say he doesn't? More importantly - why do I care? [OBR]

RIP John Hughes [That's Protestant Whiskey]

Doug chronicles his OCMD trip with the eats [Get Fresh Designs]

By the way - I usually post links like this all day long, as I come across them, on the OFTOT facebook fan page. So you know, become a fan if that's your kind of thing.

And finally, pardon me for the late post. After three hours on the phone with Verizon, nothing was resolved and yet, now I randomly have internet again. It's a Wednesday miracle!

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Ain't No Party Like A Backfield Party... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 11, 2009 16:47
partyinthebackfield
“On the first snap, Aaron Smith had great pad level and created penetration that really put the guy that was blocking him and a backfield guy on the floor. One guy got three. When you stack people up like that, you’re going to have a party in the backfield, and that’s what happened."

- Mike Tomlin


Sounds like my kind of party!

QB, Pass Game Show Signs of Life [SteelCityInsider]

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Breaking: Braylon Edwards Finally Catches Something Besides Staph... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 11, 2009 11:57
braylontongue
Shortly after this picture was taken, Braylon did with that ball what he usually does with balls...he ate it.

CHAMPIONSHIP!

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We Came, We Saw, We Twittered... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 11, 2009 10:46
twittering
Tec taking a TwitPic of Stan Twittering, while I was taking a TwitPic of Tec, taking a TwitPic of Stan Twittering...

It was 9:30 on Saturday morning. Friday was quite a circus, and we were all content to sleep in until at least 11. But then there came a familiar knock on the door.

It was Stan.

Stan is A) a die hard Pens fan and member of the NYC Pens Meetup crew, B) Belarusian, and C) on his way to becoming a die hard Steeler fan. He's also an animal. Once he was inside, which took some coercion to get any of us out of our castle beds to let him in (yes, they were shaped like castles)...
castlebed
...we started to get our lives together.

Then came another knock. Stan opened the door.

"Would you like any towels?,"
asked the cleaning lady.

And without batting an eye, Stan replied, "Are they terrible?"

That pretty much set the tone for the entire weekend.

I'll get right to the things I remember from practice on Saturday. After all, this is technically a Steelers blog. We had also planned on going to night practice on Friday night, but for whatever reason we unknowingly overlooked the fact that fans were coming from miles away just for that practice. And when we heard that there had been a line since 2PM (we didn't get to Latrobe/Greensburg until about 6), we decided to scrap it and just go do our thing instead.

Saturday was hot. And not the bearable kind. It felt like rain was imminent, mostly because the air tasted like water vapor. But also because of the darkening clouds above.

We arrived about an hour before practice started...
arrival
From left to right - Tec's friend Bob, Stan, Tec and DYMilkshake.

Excitement was in the air...
beforepractice
As was the smell of 50 portable toilets hanging out at various locations around St. Vincent.

Before practice started, we took a walk down to the Great Hall. We had heard that the SIX Lombardi trophies were going to be at camp, and we were hoping they'd be displayed in the Great Hall for us to drool on. But alas, no such luck. I did get a sick photoshopped picture of last year's Super Bowl winning team, though, which I guess was cool. Seriously, it looked like the team was levitating above the turf at Heinz Field, which was my first hint.

Anyways, after the Great Hall, we walked back up towards the field to grab a spot.

We got temporarily derailed by the last of the players coming out of the weight room or wherever they come from at the top of the steps there. We saw Willie and Woodley, both without pads since they weren't practicing, and also Steely McBeam.

Then we assumed a position on the side of the far practice field, to be joined shortly thereafter by the defense, who lined up for drills right in front of us.

There was also this joke...
elway
Wrong #7 there, jagoff. What's wrong with you, wearing an Elway shirt to Steelers camp?

But I digress.

From there, we watched the defensive line go through drills right in front of us, and the linebackers do their work another 40 yards or so down the field. Both looked solid, with the usual characters performing at their usually high level.

Tomlin also hung around for a while. Long enough for Stan to get his Ansel Adams on...
tomlin

tomlin2

And here's what practice looked like at that point...
aaronsmith

keiseltomlin

running

smithsnackkeisel

snack

snack2

timmons

timmonssmith

I'd give you individual thoughts, but really, like I said, it was pretty much the performance you'd expect out of the people you'd expect to get it from. Silverback looked like a beast. As did Timmons. Aaron Smith will haunt your nightmares. And Keisel and Snack looked strong. One thing to note was Ziggy Hood. First of all, he's big. Bigger than I expected. Definitely big enough to flex in at NT if Snack or Chris Hoke need a break. And he's fast. So, without having too high of expectations, I can't wait to see what kind of impact he's going to have this season.

After the defense trotted over to the main practice field, so did we, as we weren't going to miss out on what would be the most entertaining drills.

En route, we saw the one and only, Steely McBeam, in the flesh...
steely
You can't tell from the picture, but that little kid practically ate the part of Steely McBeam's suit that was closest to his beam of steel (if you're picking up what I'm putting down)...

And once we had made it through the throngs of overheated Steeler fans, we parked ourselves right on the stairs of the bleachers, so as to maximize our viewing potential.

The team ran a few special teams drills, which for fans like us were kind of whatev. I mean it's interesting to watch, but it's only natural that we wanted to see them run some plays. The one highlight was Sepulveda floating a pass to Jeff Reed for a TD. In a real game, the pass would've been intercepted quicker than than you can say "Brett Favre," but in practice, it hung for about 20 minutes and then finally landed in Jeff Reed's arms, inches from the goal line.

Eventually they got down to business, though. And for the next hour or so, we watched as Big Ben, Chuck Batch and Dennis Dixon ran the show.

I'll give you the pictures first, then the "notes."

stanandfield

batch

beningun

bunchofdudes

drills

iketroy

playinmotion

santonio

And now, a few thoughts:

- I'd be lying if I said that Ben was in pro bowl form. Of course, we have to bear in mind that it was still only a week into camp. But he underthrew a couple of balls and lofted one to Sweed that could've been easily intercepted (Sweed also could have gone up and gotten it, but didn't). He did connect with Santonio on a solid 20 yard (or so) out, though.

- #19 made an awesome diving catch on a Chuck Batch deep ball. I had no idea who he was, so DYMilkshake used the power of the internets to look him up. His name is Tyler Grisham, and he's an undrafted rookie out of Clemson. Maybe someone to watch, but on the next play he let a short out pass from Dennis Dixon hit him in the back. So who really knows.

- Hines was a beast, as per usual. On one play, Ben under threw him and Hines came back to wrestle the ball from the DB. Solid play and kind of what you'd expect out of a veteran leader like Hines.

- Business as usual for Santonio. Really, he ran well, made a couple of good catches, basically looked like he was more or less ready to go tomorrow.

- Shaun McDonald made an awesome one-handed grab. I can't remember who threw the ball, but I certainly didn't expect McDonald to come up with it like he did. It just goes to show you the value of a reliable (at least so far as we can tell) veteran WR.

- Heath Miller reiterated to us all why his nickname is Big Money, making a couple of solid catch and runs. Nothing you wouldn't expect from Heath. But then, I think we all expect that Heath is capable of an awful lot, so...yeah.

- Mendenhall had a couple of solid runs between the tackles. And by a couple, I literally mean, a couple. And given the reports from yesterday's practice, he's having some trouble on the goal line. Of course, Steelers defense isn't exactly the Bengals defense. But the Steelers drafted Mendenhall at least in large part for that purpose, and so obviously we were paying close attention to his ability to do so.

- Ryan Clark was wearing Mewelde Moore's number. No idea why. Maybe Moore changed numbers. Who knows. But it was awfully confusing to see #21 out there in the secondary.

And honestly, that was pretty much the extent of my recollection.

Really, it was your run-of-the-mill training camp practice, and it ended right on time, with rain threatening.

Aside from practice, we did a hell of a lot. I'm not going to go into gross detail or anything, but I will give you a summary of the most eventful happenings. With pictures to boot...

creepyknightsinnguy
We have no idea who this dude was, but he was sitting in that chair off to the left of the picture when we pulled up to our room (#209). Stan snapped this mug shot of him while I was inside grabbing something. A few minutes later, I saw this dude run out of the BP where we were getting gas, just as everyone else was walking in. Greensburg's resident shade master, I guess.

keenanlewis
I spotted rookie CB Keenan Lewis buying an air mattress at Wal-Mart. If I wasn't such a vag, I would've gone up and asked him to take a picture with me. But I wanted to respect his anonymity and didn't want to call attention to the fact that he was a player. Plus, I would've been a total queer about it. I don't get star struck for anyone but Steelers players. And that's a fact.

before
Stan is a huge Pens fan, but up until the trip, he didn't know anything about the Steelers. So obviously one of our first stops before practice was Champs Sports, where Stan was looking to secure himself a towel and a jersey...

after
He decided on Troy. And as Tec is insinuating there, we all felt it was an excellent choice.

primantisoutside
On Saturday morning, er...afternoon, we hit Primanti Brothers in Greensburg to give both KB and Stan a taste of the local cuisine (since they had never had it). It was pretty much your standard trip to Primanti's, except as with almost every eatery we hit while in the area, we almost got kicked out for being idiots...

pickles
At least one of these two also doubled his meat, and thus his pleasure.

stanatdinos
We decided it was only fair to put Sharkey's wings and Dino's wings head to head. Friday, it was Sharkey's. Saturday, Dino's. The verdict, as I believe Tecmo put it yesteday, was "Each had pros and cons. I enjoyed the pros, because it meant I was eating a ton of wings." I second that. When you're eating good wings, nothing else matters.

eatnpark
We ended our stead appropriately with a trip to Eat N' Park on the way out on Sunday. Everyone got the brunch bar except me. I went all in on a gourmet grilled cheese, which, coincidentally blew. Don't waste your money, the brunch bar was the way to go.

stancookie3
Stan, having never been to Eat N' Park before, had never had a Smiley cookie. So he made sure to order one before we left. As you can see, he thoroughly enjoyed it on the ride home. It looked like a sexual experience.

All in all, it was a trip to remember. There were so many things that happened, I couldn't even begin to chronicle them all with any kind of accuracy. I probably left a bunch out. But it's probably a bunch you wouldn't care about anyhow.

Either way, thanks to Latrobe/Greensburg, Tec, Stan, DYMilkshake and KB for making the trip an absolute blast. I spent most of the time trying to catch my breath from laughing so hard. And while it was amazing, I'm happy to close the book on the 2009 trip to Latrobe. May I never hear the phrase, "Are you guy's Twittering?" again!

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That Hat May Protect You From The Sun, But It Won't Protect You From James Harrison... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 10, 2009 16:09
warnerstpierrehighfive

You got a date Thursday, Crocodile Dundee...

Honestly, I don't even know if that's an Australian hat, but I'm gonna pretend it is so that the joke works.

You'll have to excuse me.

It was quite a weekend for what's left of my brain cells (see PSaMP link below).

I can hardly string together a coherent thought, let alone dig deep into my skull for something witty (as if that'd even be there on a normal day).

So until I can properly recap the weekend in Latrobe, feel free to check out these links...

Tec's recap of our weekend at camp (expect to see several of the same pictures on here tomorrow) [PSaMP]

With Stapleton out temporarily, the Steelers signed journeyman Center Alex Stepanovich [AP]

And even though Snack and Sweed left practice early yesterday, they both should be fine [AP]

You should probably only watch from 2:45 on... [KSK]

Defense looking to improve. If this happens, I might actually lose my mind [AP]

The sacred rules of jersey purchasing [BTSC]

A little Q & A with the Defensive Player of the Year [SteelCityInsider]

Some video of Ed Bouchette's voice previewing the Steelers for Fox Sports. I haven't even watched it yet, but it's probably a bunch of stuff you already know (as a fan). By the way, infinitely more entertaining has got to be this backstage video from the 2007 "Hooters pageant" [Fox Sports]

Who WOULDN'T want to be a public announcer for the Pens? [Sean's Ramblings]

Furthermore, in case you missed it, here are some pics of Rod Woodson's Hall of Fame induction...
rodhall

rodbust

rodspeaking

fanatceremony

Also, I posted a few links over at the OFTOT facebook fan page. So you can check those out too if you want (assuming you haven't already).

And if anyone finds the other half of my brain, please tell it to come home.

Now I know what it feels like to be Jessica Simpson.

Ugh.......

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Meeting People Is Easy... E-mail
Written by Cotter   
August 07, 2009 07:34
MPIE8.7
No time for words today.

It's Latrobe time, baby.

In about six hours or so, we'll be landing at the training camp to end all training camps.

Until then, I give you...Meeting People Is Easy.

Your panel this week includes such characters as...

1. Neena
2. John Woods
3. Tiny350z
4. Vern
5. Ben
6. Keith
7. Ladi Izz
8. Grumpy
9. DrinkYourMilkshake
10. Nate
11. Steve
12. Me


PS - If you're not following Tec, me, KB or Stan, on Twitter, you should probably go do that now. We - at least I - will be tweeting from camp and who knows, we may actually find some interesting stuff. It's never happened before, but as they say, there's a first time for everything. 

And before we get to the main stage, here are a bunch of pics from yesterday's practice...just to whet your whistle.

Benball

benthrowing

keiselbatteddownpass

mendy2

mikewallace

roylewis

silverbackandson

silverbackandwillie

tomlinandben

tomlinbamf2

tomlinlebeau

So without further ado, let's do this...

Click to enlarge...

Have a black and gold day and a very black and gold weekend, kids.

I'll see you in LAY-TROBE!

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

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