Monday, October 3, 2011
The Offensive Line Has To Do Better (or Thank you, @RamonFoster, for my 15 minutes of Twitter Fame)
Growing up as a Steelers fan I'd always wanted to meet or get the chance to talk to the players I was seeing on the t.v. screen. Players that I followed, emulated, even practically idolized. Living on the west coast for most of my life, though, I've had few opportunities. So those few opportunities that have been presented to me have been cherished.
I remember meeting former Outside Linebacker Mike Merriweather and got and autographed picture from him. I had the ultimate pleasure of meeting and speaking at length to one Robert Patrick Bleier...aka Rocky Bleier...aka Prune Juice. Not only did we have a conversation, and not only did he autograph a photo for me, but he dubbed me "Steeler Jason" as can be seen in the picture above. Thus the reason I go by "SteelerJsun" on certain social websites. Trust me, I could spend the rest of the time writing this blog about that night alone, but that isn't my purpose for this evening's keystrokes.
I've also recently had an exchange with a current Steelers player, though this one will be memorable for a different reason. After sunday's week 4 game against the Houston Texans, a game in which the offensive live gave up 5 sacks and allowed Ben Roethlisberger to be hit or hurried many more times on top of that, I posted on Twitter the following: "@ProBowler53 (Pouncey), @MGilbert76, Essex, @RamonFoster, and Juicy (Kemoeatu)= #Fail". Let's face it, they were seemingly never comfortable and even seemed as if they weren't even always on the same page. There were no holes for the running backs to run through in the first half at all and Big Ben was running for his life in the second half. So I didn't feel I was out of line at all in saying how I felt and would say it again regarding any position or positions if they merited such criticism. As I said, though, there was an exchange.
Some time later as I was attempting to get over the loss, I received a Twitter notification from offensive guard Ramon Foster saying "and ur a #FAILURE at LIFE." Now let me make one thing perfectly clear here: I'm a self-proclaimed "ass". I recognize it, I admit it, and I embrace it. So, trust me, Ramon Foster's reply to me only fueled my fire. I even replied once more to him asking, "Truth hurt?" There was no further reply from Foster. But it turns out that it didn't matter because I started seeing tweet after tweet (what Twitter calls it's posts) of Foster's reply and the comments being made by other Steelers fans regarding it. Most seemed to echo my sentiments as well.
All that having been said, the reason for my Twitter post wasn't to publically undress him or the rest of the offensive line, it was to state the facts of the line's play. To be blunt, they couldn't have have opened a hole for Mendenhall in the first half if it had the name Jenna Jameson attached to it. And while Big Ben may be strong and elusive, you still don't want him running like that-he's no Michael Vick. I've got a rock in my back yard that could beat Big Ben in the 40 yard dash. Plain and simple, the offensive line HAS TO DO BETTER. The lack of blocking is a major factor in the team barely being 2-2. The lack of a run blocking means the Steelers become one-dimensional quickly, and that means teams can pin their ears back and go after Big Ben. That could very easily spell the end of his season. He is already in a walking boot after all.
So to Ramon Foster and any other current player who may read this blog post, this isn't a 'could any of them have played on the better Steelers' OLines of the past' argument. It's simply a calling out of the players to get them to realize that we as fans are paying attention and are concerned. We love our team and will always cherish those opportunities to interact with them...even if they're just snapping at us.