Wilson: Nothing to see here

The Steelers are 1-3, the star quarterback is struggling, and in addition to losing their second punt returner in as many weeks, two defensive starters are questionable for Sunday. No need to worry though; blogger Ryan Wilson distracts you with his latest.

Here are some links from around the internets that should take your mind off the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers' season is falling apart right before your eyes ...

  • This year Ed Bouchette has taken to answering a Daily Question every weekday on the Post-Gazette website. After reading through a couple, he should make special note of the really ridiculous ones. Like, say, this question from last week:
    Question: I believe Coach Bill Cowher not having a contract at this point in the season has affected his performance and overall judgment thus the whole team has been affected. Do you believe that not having a contract has been a distraction?

    Ed Bouchette: That's certainly a different twist to the situation. Cowher does have a contract, through this and next season. They just did not come to an agreement on an extension as they always have in the past when he had two years left. I don't believe his assistant coaches, nor his players are making bad judgments because Cowher only has two years left on his contract. I don't think that affects the head coach either. By the way, would that mean his contract situation did not affect any of them in the first game, and just the past two?

    Bouchette could take a page from Michael Wilbon's online chat's and preface his answer with something like this: "I'm told to not insult questioners...so I'll just say the question and the assertion and the total lack of context is moronic."

    I would be very happy to never hear this question asked again. Ever. Say what you want about Cowher -- and I have -- but it's tough to argue that the guy's not intense. In fact, when the camera showed him making his Najeh-hovering-over-a-hamper face late in the fourth quarter after Ben Roethlisberger's second interception pretty much sealed the victory for the Chargers, I remember thinking, "Dude, that's exactly how feel -- not like I have to take a dump, but like I'm so angry I could break something, I just can't see straight to do it."

    And what's so galling -- as Bouchette points out -- is that when most fans make this argument, they fail to understand that Cowher's contract doesn't run out this year. And just out of curiosity, how can you tell, exactly, that Cowher's overall judgment has been affected by his contract situation? The guy's always been a questionable game day tactician. So what's changed? So please, please, please, can we all give this inane line of thinking a rest?

  • So Deshea Townsend tweaked a hammy at Wednesday's practice. Not good. But instead of dwelling on the negative, just take a look at this. If nothing else, it should take your mind off the fact that the Steelers are an injured reserved player away from signing Hank. Poteat. Just kidding. I think.
  • I like Yahoo's Charles Robinson (and here's an interesting interview on how he got his start), but last week's column on the Steelers was appallingly lousy. I know it's easy to pile on the Steelers after their slow start -- and frankly, it's pretty much deserved -- but I don't know where he comes up with some of this stuff:
    There were the "we're-too-smart-for-our-own-good" personnel moves like failing to complete a trade for bruising back T.J. Duckett in favor of finding a short-yardage guy within the roster (the attempt failed). And lest we forget, at a time when every team in the league had red-flagged draft prospect Santonio Holmes, the Steelers tabbed him as the guy who would soften the loss of wide receiver Antwaan Randle El (it might take a few seasons).
    Hey jackass, a couple of things:

    First, read this. Yeah, great call on Duckett. The Redskins blew a third-round pick on a guy that doesn't even dress. I'm not a personnel guy, but I'm pretty sure signing Najeh Davenport as a free agent is better than wasting a first-day pick on a guy who wears sweats on game day. But like I said, I'm not a professional, so what do I know.

    Second, it's funny you mention Santonio Holmes and his red-flag issues. Here's what you wrote following the draft:

    "... The Steelers addressed virtually every need. They paid a steep price to move up seven spots in the first round, but it netted them arguably the draft's best wideout in Santonio Holmes, who, from merely a receiving standpoint, should be able to fill the void of Antwaan Randle El.
    Whoops. No mention of league-wide red flags. Hmm. I guess you should heed your own advice about forgetting stuff. Or making it up.
  • As long as I'm ranting about the media, let me go ahead and rip the Tribune-Review's John Harris. Last week, when we found out Ricardo Colclough might be done for the season with a neck injury, Harris leads his story with this:
    So, can we finally lay to rest this whole idea of cornerback Ricardo Colclough personally losing a game for the Steelers?
    I hope Harris is referring to the royal "we" here because, as best I can tell, nobody was blaming Colclough for the loss. Everybody knew he was going to drop the ball -- or at least muff it -- except for Cowher.

    The reason this bothers me is because instead of writing something interesting, Harris lazily assumes we all blamed Colclough, and then bases the rest of his story on this straw man argument. He goes on to write:

    One thing's for sure. The Steelers don't have to worry about Colclough gift-wrapping any more touchdowns for opponents. With Colclough gone and rookie Willie Reid assuming punt-return duties, the Steelers should rip off a nice, long winning streak.
    That's wrong too. Unless Cowher's going on the IR as well. I mean, he is the guy who put Colclough back there.

    Maybe I'm making too big a deal of this, but it's not that hard to write a straight news story. (Well, unless you're Joe Bendel.) Colclough has a neck injury and could be out for 2006, and maybe his career. Instead of making stuff up, just give me the facts. Thank you.

    And just to show that I don't have it in for Harris, he redeemed himself a few days later with this article. See, it's not that hard. And anyway, he can't hold a candle to this numbnut ...

  • That's right, Tons-o-Fun is back. Since he was canned from his Post-Gazette job a few years ago, it takes some searching to find his lunacy, but once you do, it's well worth the trouble. In his latest, he goes after Jerome Bettis ... again (some details here, in case you missed it).

    This would be really funny if it wasn't so embarrassing. The fat kid has to resort to making fun of the most popular guy in school just to get attention. Who am I kidding, this is hilarious. And by the way, the attention Madden gets isn't for being original, or witty, or particularly smart. It's because the lap dances are paid for. When the song ends, so does the treatment. Couldn't have happened to a nicer jerk, either.

  • Okay, we can't end on that. It's just too depressing. Here are a couple of things that should make you feel better about the 1-3 Steelers, and if nothing else, take your mind off the fact that Pittsburgh could be in position to draft Brady Quinn next spring (again, kidding). First, here's some good news about Big Ben's performance Sunday night, from Aaron Schatz's Quick Read column on FOXSports.com:
    "Despite Pittsburgh's loss, this was Roethlisberger's best game of the year, by a wide margin. Roethlisberger was better than he looked considering a) the San Diego defense, and b) his average pass attempt came with 10.6 yards to go. (No other QB was above 10 this week.)"
    Roethlisberger ranked 15th out of all QBs last week, so if you're a glass-half-full type of guy, that means he was better than 12 other quarterbacks last week. Of course, some of those names include Bledsoe, Young, Walter and Tuiasosopo, Losman, Frye and Harrington. But hey, it's a start.

    Finally, the Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston -- who has an admittedly rocky relationship with Brian Billick -- wrote this in his Sun blog earlier this week:

    Award Winning

    Ravens head coach Brian Billick was more animated Monday night during the game than he has been during his last three seasons. In fact, Billick has been quite calm and reserved on the sidelines so far this season. The funny part was when he went to argue a call with an official in the second quarter. Billick sprinted about 15 yards, fell and slid in the mud another five before nearly bumping the official. He didn't win the call, either. National TV always brings out the theater in Billick. Lights. Cameras. Action. Billick.

    That, my friends, is pure comedy gold.

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