Wednesday Apple Tarts

In regards to Jim Wexell's recent blog, I agree with Howard Fineman's assessment of Coach Bill Cowher as "inspirational but unimaginative." It's been incredible that the team never seems ready to play in the AFC Championship game.

I mean, the defense dominated in the AFC Divisional game and, except for stupid mistakes, the Steelers thoroughly outplayed the Jets. I was amazed to hear players talking of jitters and playing nervous. I admire Cowher's calmness before big games, especially this one. In his pre-game interview with Brian Baldinger, he appeared confident that his team would at least play to its ability, win or lose. I can bet that no one else was more surprised or pained that the team produced such a shocking display of football.

I'm wondering how much the inability of this franchise to get over the top has plagued the psyche of the players more than the coach? It seems like more players are worried about trying NOT to be the goat rather than be the hero. Will it take a truly gutsy player (insert Ben Roethlisberger) to carry this team on his shoulders? He made mistakes, but he made them while attempting to make big plays.

  • Isn't it amazing that once again three or four plays changed the course of one game? Here are the three plays that changed the outcome of this game:
    1. Rodney Harrison's interception return for a touchdown.
    2. Plaxico Burress' drop in the end zone.
    3. Aaron Smith's holding penalty in the third quarter.

  • I don't know about you, but I'd love to see David Patten, the unrestricted free agent Patriot receiver, in a Steeler uniform. Sure he's a little small, but he's got really good speed and he plays for a winner. That type of attitude doesn't come from Detroit folks.

  • Speaking of attitude. Big Ben's streak and commitment to excellence (sorry Mr. Davis) is a fresh injection into this team. Simply put, Roethlisberger doesn't ever expect to lose. I never want my team to ever expect to lose again. The Patriots sure don't ever expect to lose. That thought never crosses their collective mind. Perhaps it's this injection of gritty but ultimately misguided Detroit Lions that joined the team over the past number of years. You can't teach a man how to win, but you can sure make him satisfied with settling for number 2 or 3.

  • Steel City Staffer BlitzburghD posts that he would like to see tight end Bubba Franks as a Steeler. I couldn't agree more. Here is a tight end that - (A) Knows how to get open in the end zone, and (B) Stays healthy. Jay Riemersma hasn't been able to accomplish B while with the Steelers and may never be the same following his latest season-ending injury.

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