Steelers Morning Huddle 7/16/13


Aug. 25, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws the ball while offensive guard Ramon Foster (73) blocks Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Spencer Johnson (91) at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

Football news continues to be scarce, or at least news about the actual game.  There is plenty of news about players.  However, perhaps more importantly yesterday saw the return of the Twinkie, with snack lovers celebrating everywhere.  Some are feeling a little let down as the Associated Press’ Candice Choi reported that they are smaller than the original Twinkies.  I’m not a Twinkie fan.  I am partial to the cupcakes.  All that fun aside, let’s get down to the football news for today.

Pouncey’s Predictament

Maurkice Pouncey has apologized to anyone he offended while wearing his “Free Hernandez” hat.  He initially posted a tweet using Twitlonger:

As of yesterday afternoon, Maurkice’s twin brother who is a center for the Miami Dolphins, had yet to issue an apology, according to Mark Kaboly of the Pittsburgh Tribune.  Personally, I can understand how you would be surprised and perhaps in disbelief that someone you consider a friend would be charged with murder.  However, it begs a bigger question, at least to me.  Did Pouncey’s background get the scrutiny the Steelers should have given it?  Their track record for that has been lacking lately.  I will say that up until now Pouncey hasn’t given any reason to doubt his character and he’s been phenomenal on the field.  So, I’m disappointed with his judgement and I wonder a little more about that 2007 incident.  One of the Behind the Steel Curtain bloggers speculated that the Pounceys may have simply been given hats to wear and didn’t know what was on them.  Ok, that may be an out, but I’m not willing to give them that out.  I hope the Steelers deal with this, but dismissing him is problematic because the Steelers don’t have a set plan for a back-up for Pouncey.  Legursky’s not available right now either.  I’m all for free speech, but that doesn’t mean people can’t react and you are free from repercussions from what you say.  I’m not sure an apology is enough because the questions of Pouncey’s involvement in 2007 seem important now.  A lot of Steelers fans probably just pulled back support from Pouncey.  Will winning make everyone forget?

Maurkice Pouncey Q&A

In what seems like a questionable move, the Steelers posted the first part of a Q&A session they held for the center with the fans.  I’m sure this was finalized well before “Hat-Gate.”  Fans asked him to rate the toughest nose tackles he has gone against as well as if he needs to become a more vocal leader for the Steelers – to which he answered:  I think so.  Yeah, OK.  I’ve said enough.  Everyone usually deserves a second chance, but Pouncey is getting paid a lot of money and I’m still disappointed in his judgement.  I’ll get over it, maybe.  Either way, I’m still not a fan of these Q&A’s.

Publicity continues for the UK game

Ramon Foster was in London along with players from the Minnesota Vikings to promote the Sep 29th game at Wembley Stadium, according to Teresa Varley of   Foster said it was his first trip overseas and he took the opportunity to see the sights.  There were official photo opportunities too:

Maybe it is me, but I just can’t get excited about that game.  I’m not in support of expanding the league to Europe.  I lived in England in the late 1980s, early 1990s and learned how differently they view sports.  Europe has their own sports leagues and they are unique to that area and I think it should stay that way.  I like have the differences and I think the NFL needs to take care of it’s U.S. fan base.  I also don’t know that we really need to expand beyond 32 teams right now either.  Perhaps I am just showing my age.

Landry Jones: Future Franchise QB

Tyler Jeski, of isportsweb, predicts that Jones will be the QB in the back-up role, right behind Roethlisberger.  He goes on to say that due to Roethlisberger’s injury rate, Jones won’t be the back-up for long.  He writes:

"Get ready for Landry Jones because when he gets his chance he will be a really good NFL quarterback.”"

Ok, I like Jeski’s enthusiasm but I think he is forgetting about Brad Gradkowski, maybe just a little.  While I don’t think Gradkowski is a long-term solution, I see him as a bridge so they don’t have a rookie back-up QB.  I’m still not sure why things didn’t work out with Dennis Dixon and why it seems the Steelers didn’t put much effort into developing him.  I hope that does not happen with Jones.  The Steelers need to see what they have in Jones, even if he becomes a trade candidate later.  I agree that Roethlisberger will likely have an injury this year that will put the back up on the field, but I will be surprised if Jones gets on the field before Gradkowski.

That’s a Wrap

Let me know what I missed or got wrong.