Chase Claypool (PHOTOS COURTESY PITTSBURGH STEELERS)
:10 — There is zero doubt in my mind that you will believe what I am going to remind you of here. But you only need to check with the Eat‘n Park Counter Crew and they’ll tell you that I told them that it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. And the good news is it still ain’t over despite all you naysayers, you know who you are, saying all week, “We got no chance.” Oh, and who’s the Counter Crew, you want to know? Tim, the President of the crew, Murph, the enforcer, Lisa, the cute one, Larry, Dr. Pi, the quiet one, and yours truly the vice-president of the Counter Crew.
:09 — So, in a little bit of order, here’s how we got here – a) Out of the gate after the Buffalo win in week one we all thought a Super Bowl win right around the corner. – b) But key injuries, COVID and more than our share of comical lack of talent in key positions contributed to the downfall over the next three games. And yes, you all, and I do mean ‘”you” thought the end was near.
:08 — Let’s be clear about the particulars – COVID – nothing anybody can do about that except to try and maintain. Injuries – everybody gets them and nobody cares about your aches and pains, even when two-thirds of your D-line goes down. But what about the Steelers’ talent positions…a punter who can’t punt the ball 40 yards; a receiver that can’t catch; a linebacker that can’t tackle; an offensive line that can’t block; and a defensive line that can’t stop anybody. C’mon man!
:07 — That being said, the Pittsburgh Steelers, under the leadership of head coach Mike Tomlin, the sometimes-steady-but-always game hands of Big Ben “I think I’m done” Roethlisberger and the brute force and iron will of T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward held court and reeled off nine wins to see the flickering light at the end of the tunnel lead to the playoffs.
:06 — Let’s take a moment here, shall we? #1 – Ben suggests he will retire. I am not sure he will…and remember, you heard it here first. He may not be a Steeler again but he won’t be retired, either. Think about it. #2 – T.J. Watt, worth every penny, should win Defensive Player of the Year easily. #3 – Cam Heyward, as great, if not greater, than his father on and off the field. What else can one man do? Tackle, bat down balls with great proficiency, sack the opposing QB and run down players 50 yards downfield. Are you serious?
:05 — I’ll speak of Najee Harris alone because he deserves it; 1,200 yards rushing with a makeshift O-line…never, ever fumbles…catches the ball out of the backfield with ease…articulate but underspoken and knows when to keep his mouth shut (do you feel me, Eric Ebron?) – and here’s the “real deal” – he keeps moving forward no matter how many times he gets knocked down.
:04 — Of course props go to the Penn State heir apparent to the Heath Miller tight end position, Pat Freiermuth, aka “He who doesn’t drop the ball.” And also to Ray-Ray McCloud, Chase Claypool, Cam Sutton and Terrell Edmunds, and Chris Boswell, “Mr. Clutch.”
:03 — Okay, okay, I know you need me to say it because it’s true and the truth will set you free. Yes, the O-line must get better and they will. It takes two years minimum for a line to build continuity and excel. Yes, we need a new offensive coordinator, we’re probably stuck with Matt Canada another year at least. But this I can promise you – Pressley Harvin III, Devin Bush and Joe Schobert and a few others will be on the same Greyhound bus headed out of town, driven by Eric Ebron.
Head Coach Mike Tomlin
:02 — With all that, you can say what you want about who you want, and I know you will. But here are the facts – The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the playoffs, thanks in part to the Jacksonville Jaguars upsetting the Indy Colts. – Big Ben and his Hall-of-Fame career lives on for at least another week and Mike Tomlin remains one of the NFL’s best kept secrets!!!
:01 — Back to the beginning… Yours truly called it and it came to be. Why? Because I believe mmmaaannn! If you don’t believe, take the jersey off. Steelers beat the Browns… Steelers beat the Ravens… Jacksonville beats the Colts… And yes, Little Jimmy, the Steelers will beat Kansas City this Sunday night, Jan. 16. Take it to the bank.
:00 — GAME OVER.