Bites From The Still Apple:
· I find it quite satisfying when I saw the Steelers are ranked #2 in ESPN.com's Off-Season Power Ranking. But, I don't hinge my Vegas bets on this ranking either. I remember hearing the hype on such pretenders like Indy, Tennessee and Denver and look what happened to them.
· I have a sneaky suspicion that James Farrior will surprise many Steelers with solid, workman like play this.
· I also have a sneaky suspicion that Joey Porter will have an off-year. I like Porter and all, but he's too inconsistent for my taste. One game he looks All-Pro, then he's non-existant (i.e. AFC Championship Game).
· I really liked the signing of John Allred. But don't expect the Steelers to utilize his abilities. I mean I think if one thing has been made abundantly clear, we don't throw to Tight Ends…ever.
· Although I think Bettis will gladly take a few extra carries off this upcoming season, don't be expecting a Running Back-By-Committee approach. Bettis for all of his glutton glory is still the best, quickest bruising back out there, but unless he is able to spend time wearing down the defense, he really isn't going to be effective.
· Adding on to the above, I think Chris Fu will eventually be phased out of the offense, pending Bettis stays healthy. Fu is a fan favorite and has lots of heart, but he doesn't have the quickness that Bettis does. Remember I never said speed, I said quickness. Big Difference.
· Yes, this is the most uninteresting time of the NFL calender, but some teams have made very intriguing moves. One of them is the continuing policy in Oakland that you must at least be 32 to make the roster. I mean Rod Woodson and Bill Romanowski are fine players in all and were at the top of the list in their prime, but neither is the play they once were. One of the biggest travesities last year was the fact that Woodson made the Pro Bowl. This inane thought process by Al Davis and Co. is the prime reason why Oakland will once again fall short of a Super Bowl.
· I think it is safe to say the #1 seeded teams in the AFC usually are not the best teams heading into the playoffs. This has been no more evident over the past 8 years. Only one AFC #1 seed has made it to the Super Bowl in the past 10 years. That one team was the Denver Broncos (and they only advanced to the Super Bowl once as a #1 seed. Of all the teams that have faltered, the Steelers have been the #1 seed three times in this period. Kansas City? Twice. Jacksonville? 1 Tennessee? 1 Oakland? Does this mean the Steelers are the biggest chokers of the past 10 years? Sure if the cup is half-empty. But, I'd like to point out that parity in the AFC has been at its Pete Rozell-Happy height the past 10 years. Although, the Steelers are the clear #1 team to beat in the AFC this year, I would bet the farm that they won't be the #1 seed, but will still finish the season as the best team in the AFC. Figure that one out of you can.
That's all for now.