There was talk all week about the firing of a coach after Sunday's game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns. It turns out to be true.
That talk, however, was amongst Steelers fans who want heads on a platter. The real head to be served up will be the head coach of the Browns as they will reportedly will fire Pat Shurmur as well as general manager Tom Heckert, come Black Monday. http://espn.go.com/blog/afcnorth/post/_/id/62223/video-many-firings-expected-monday
As for the Steelers, there are definite uncertainties as the offseason is now upon us. Questions abound regarding who'll stay and who'll be gone when the 2013 version of the Steelers steps on the field. - http://tinyurl.com/an7wmy4
The Steelers 24-10 win, preventing their first losing season since 2003, was led by linebacker Lawrence Timmons' two sacks, cornerback Cortez Allen's two forced turnovers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's three touchdown passes. - http://tinyurl.com/ayzntg2
Allen's forced fumbles, against Josh Gordon and Travis Benjamin, set up two of Big Ben's three touchdown passes. The first being a 1-yarder to Leonard Pope and the second being a 12-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress. Timmons' two sacks sealed the game and earned him the Steelers Digest Player of the Week honors. - http://tinyurl.com/a4n9cpg
Speaking of Burress, Plax is one of the ones who could be back next season. When Mike Wallace leaves there will be need of another receiver for the Steelers anyway, principally one who stretches the field. They'll also do well to have a true veteran presence. Could that be Plax? "We'll see how it goes. I'm pretty sure I'll sit down with Kevin [Colbert] and Coach [Tomlin], and we'll see what happens," he said. "I'm going to keep working hard and preparing as if I'll be back." - http://sulia.com/channel/pittsburgh-steelers/f/aa5497ff-eb9c-4fd1-9183-76c05fd5fe86/?source=twitter
The other star of the game, though, was linebacker James Harrison. The Silverback had 11 tackles, one sack and a Roughing the Passer penalty. Sounds like the old Deebo. The problem is that it may have been his last performance in Black and Gold.
Then there is the fact that he is due to make $6.57 million next season and will count just over $10 million against the salary cap. The Steelers don't put money into an aging player whose best years may be past him. See Gregg Lloyd, Jason Gildon and Joey Porter (though he had good years left) for references.
If this is the end, all in Steeler Nation owe a lot of thanks for great memories, especially ones in/against Cleveland, the Silverback has provided.
Another defensive player who may not be back is defensive end Brett Keisel. He spoke to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Ken Laird about upcoming changes in the roster saying, "There's always changes....We'll have a new team next year. Who knows if I'll even be here."
Other current Steelers who may not be back with the team next season will be discussed in future articles. However, two more men, Casey Hampton and Larry Foote, spoke to Laird also that possibility. - http://sulia.com/channel/pittsburgh-steelers/f/b3b45df2-53ea-4f9d-8263-6030c665ebac/?source=twitter
With all of this in front of the team, head coach Mike Tomlin said that for some individuals, hopefully this game is something on which to build, saying it's good to finish on "positive note." - http://tinyurl.com/bg5aeoj
As a friend of the site, Marc Uhlmann (@SteelDad on Twitter) said, every team has ifs and buts after an incomplete season. These are the Steelers', many if which will be tackled soon enough: http://www.steelcityblitz.com/2012/12/31/steelers-season-of-what-ifs-comes-to-an-end/
It may have ended on a "positive note," but it still ended sooner than many expected and that many more would have liked. So much of Sunday's game could be considered a microcosm of the Steelers this season, other parts of could be bullet points for other topics and reasons.
Bottom line: the Steelers underachieved and missed the playoffs - an actual three-year rotation of not making the playoffs since 2000 (2003, 2006, 2009 and 2012). Steelers fans must now suffer the 'what ifs' of a playoffs where they aren't represented. Then? The April NFL Draft have the Steelers will be picking at No. 17 where they'll select...
UPDATE: Pat Shurmur was indeed fired Monday.
"Just want to say that Adrian [Peterson] is a Great player & if my record had to fall. I would like it to go to a player like AP!" - Eric Dickerson from his personal Twitter (@EricDickerson) account.
Adrian Peterson came within nine yards of the "NFL all-time rushing record" held by Eric Dickerson. There's one problem: it isn't really the record. Hear me out.
When the 2,000 yard mark was originally crossed in 1973, the NFL schedule was 14 games. That means that Simpson's 2,003 mark was accomplished by his rushing for 143 yards (143.071429 yards to be exact) per game. That being the case, the record wasn't truly broken back in 1984.
For the record to actually have been broken, Dickerson, and anyone else who had designs on the record in a 16-game season, would have to have gained 2,004 yards by the 14th game or 2,289 yards by season's end.
And don't come back with the same old tired 'O.J.'s more concerned with his criminal record' jokes. This is purely about when he was "The Juice."
So, as much as we love ALL DAY, all that he accomplished, especially after a coming back from devastating knee injury, and believe he should be the 2012 NFL MVP (though, The Sheriff will have a say in that and/or the Comeback Player of the Year award), AP wasn't even close to the true record.
TIDBITS: The full NFL playoff schedule is now set. Pro Football Talk has it right here: http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/30/nfl-announces-playoff-schedule/
As initially reported by Bob Labriola, Kelvin Beachum was evaluated for symptoms of a concussion caused by a blindside hit from DT Phil Taylor. A play that raised the ire of a former Steelers player.
Chris Hoke tweeted from his personal Twitter (@hokiebro76) account how he felt about it: "I have never seen a cheaper hit than the one Phil Taylor just put on Kelvin Beachum. Fine him a game check. #nfl #nflcommissioner"
Are you listening, Roger?
Ryan Clark let us know after the game that he's down for a while. From his personal Twitter (@RealRClark25) account he tweeted this: "Figures [I'd] put myself in the hospital after the last game! Poor @WriteHereYONKee (his wife) but she rides with me!”
He then followed that up and posted a photo for us: "Told y'all!! My outfit game stays on point! http://instagram.com/p/T4OG9vvWAb/"
Reports from the Tomlin season-endind press conference was that it was a deep-thigh bruise. Feel better soon, brotha. #SteelerFam