Wednesday, January 31, 2007

He'll Always Be "Pu" To Us

According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, safety Troy Polamalu went to court Wednesday to legally change his name from Troy Benjamin Aumua to Troy Aumua Polamalu. Nevertheless, at The Steelyard we will continue to affectionately refer to him as "Pu" (pronounced the same as Winnie the Pooh).

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Tomlin's assistant coaches an unimpressive group

With most of Mike Tomlin's staff now in place (strength and conditoning coach Chet Fuhrman was fired yestertoday), Steelers fans have good reason to be concerned about the quality of Tomlin's assistant coaches. Everyone is happy that defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau remains in the fold, but some of the new offensive and special teams coaches seem like uninspiring additions, a sentiment echoed by Joe Starkey in today's paper. Let's hope some of these veteran coaches have more success in Pittsburgh than they did in other recent jobs.

Tomlin's staff complete

New Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin has completed the process of hiring his assistant coaches. Most of the defensive assistant are holdover's from Bill Cowher's staff. At the same time, there has been considerable turnover on the offensive side of the ball.

Offensive coordinator: Bruce Arians
Quarterbacks: Ken Anderson
Running backs: Kirby Wilson
Receivers: Randy Fichtner
Tight ends: James Daniel
Offensive line: Larry Zierlein
Offensive asst.: Matt Raich
Defensive coordinator: Dick LeBeau
Defensive line: John Mitchell
Linebackers: Keith Butler
Defensive backs: Ray Horton
Defensive asst.: Lou Spanos
Special teams: Bob Ligashesky
Asst. special teams: Amos Jones

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Grimm hired by Cardinals

Today, Ken Whisenhunt named Russ Grimm the Arizona Cardinals' assistant head coach and offensive line coach, the same position he held in Pittsburgh the last three seasons. Whisenhunt and Grimm will have an opportunity to test their mettle against Pittsburgh sometime during the 2007 season, as the two teams are slated to play a regular season game at Arizona.

Arians tabbed as new offensive coordinator

New head coach Mike Tomlin has promoted former WR's coach Bruce Arians to offensive coordinator. Arians has been the Steelers' WR's coach since 2004. Prior to that he was offensive coordinator for the Cleveland Browns.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Grimm had first crack at head coaching job

A source close to the team tells The Steelyard that Russ Grimm had the inside track to becoming the team's new head coach, but that the team turned to Mike Tomlin when Grimm and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a contract. When this news becomes public (if it hasn't already) I'm sure the Steelers will deny that Grimm was offered the job first. Technically that's probably true, as negotiations may not have progressed far enough for a formal offer to be extended. That would explain why the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review initially reported that Grimm had been offered (and would presumably accept) the position. At any rate, Mike Tomlin now has a glorious opportunity. All Steelers' fans hope he makes the most of it.

LeBeau to return; Grimm to depart

In Mike Tomlin's first significant move as Steelers' head coach, he will retain Dick LeBeau as his defensive coordinator, a wise move. Naturally, Russ Grimm will depart after being passed over for the head coaching position.

Tomlin tabbed as new Steelers' head coach

The Steelers will hold a press conference at 3:30 p.m. today to introduce Mike Tomlin, 34, as their new head coach. Most recently, Tomlin served one year as defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Tomlin or Grimm? Who is the Steelers' new head coach?

In the last 24 hours, some media outlets (like have reported that Mike Tomlin is the Steelers' choice as new head coach. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that Russ Grimm has been offered and accepted the job.

But the Steelers released a statement this morning: "At this point and time, the Steelers have not concluded a contract agreement with a new head coach, nor do we expect to do so today. There will be no other announcements from this office today."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Posting photos of Bill Cowher's Raleigh home

Recently, a Steelers fan who lives in Raleigh took it upon himself to post photos of Bill Cowher's so-called retirement home in North Raleigh, North Carolina. (A link to the photos was posted today on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Web site). My gut reaction is that it was wrong to do this. Cowher is in the public eye enough; let the man have some peace and privacy.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Roethlisberger and Donald Trump

The most noteworthy thing QB Ben Roethlisberger said during his appearance on this morning's "NFL Sunday Countdown" (ESPN) was that he's friends with Donald Trump and that he speaks to Trump approximately once a week. Personally, I find this odd and somewhat unsettling, although it may explain Big Ben's wardrobe challenges. Any other Steelers' fans have an opinion about this?

Ken Whisenhunt offered Cardinals' job

It's being reported that Steelers' offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt has been offered the Arizona Cardinals' head coaching job. Apparently, Whisenhunt was never a serious contender for the same position with the Steelers, otherwise he would not have been permitted to do a follow-up interview with the Cardinals.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

What are the chances...? The 2006 season in review

Forget about the oddsmakers' betting lines; The Steelyard proved to be a remarkably accurate predictor of the Steelers' fortunes during this past season. The Steelers were 1-6 in games in which The Steelyard estimated that the Steelers had a less than 50 percent chance of victory. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh was 7-2 in games in which The Steelyard gave the Steelers a 50 percent or better chance of winning. Naturally, one of those two losses was the game at Oakland (2-14 record), where Ben Roethlisberger threw four interceptions and Pittsburgh lost, 20-13.

Look for the return of "What are the chances?" next season, found only at The Steelyard.

Candidates to replace Cowher

Right now the top candidates to replace Bill Cowher as head coach of the Steelers appear to be: Ken Whisenhunt (Pittsburgh); Russ Grimm (Pittsburgh); Cam Cameron (San Diego); Ron Rivera (Chicago); Mike Tomlin (Minnesota). However, Cameron and Tomlin would seem to be at a disadvantage relative to the others as neither has experience as an NFL player.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Link to transcript of Cowher's opening statement

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Cowher expected to resign tomorrow

Word is that Steelers head coach Bill Cowher is expected to resign tomorrow. The Steelers have scheduled a press conference for 1pm (EST). Let the interviews for a new head coach begin....

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Cowher to meet with Rooneys today

According to, Steelers' head coach Bill Cowher will meet with ownership today regarding his future with the club. Go directly to the article by clicking here.

Porter comments on Darrent Williams tragedy

Click here to read the article in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Broncos CB Darrent Williams shot, killed

Early this morning, just hours after the Broncos were eliminated from the playoff race by the San Francisco 49ers, Denver CB Darrent Williams , 24, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting after an argument at a nightclub in downtown Denver. Williams was the Broncos' second-round pick in 2005, selected 56th overall out of Oklahoma State.

The incident will no doubt bring back memories for Steelers' LB Joey Porter, who was shot outside a Denver nightclub in 2003.

Steelers to pick 15th in 2007 NFL draft

Based on the team's 8-8 record the Steelers have been awarded the 15th pick in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft. The last time Pittsburgh selected 15th the team selected LB Huey Richardson (Florida), which turned out to be one of the worst picks in franchise history.

In 2007 Cleveland will select third or fourth (TBD via coin flip with Tampa Bay), and Cincinnati will select 18th. Baltimore is currently slotted 31st, but that could change, depending on playoff results.

Steelers' 2007 opponents

In addition to the usual divisional home-and-home games the Steelers will play the following teams in 2007:

Away: Arizona, St. Louis, New England, New York Jets, Denver
Home: San Francisco, Seattle, Buffalo, Miami, Jacksonville

Dick Hoak to retire

Overshadowed by all the speculation over Bill Cowher's future is the retirement of running backs coach Dick Hoak, who served as an assistant coach with the Steelers for an NFL-record 35 consecutive seasons and has five Super Bowl rings. Hoak has been a Pittsburgh Steelers player or coach for all but one season since 1961.