Steelers Making Lists: Honors and Snubs From CBS


The internet is full of lists. I admit, I’m a sucker for lists myself, even created a few myself. Greatest this, worst that, funniest blah blah, craziest something or other. Football does not at all escape the listomania we find ourselves in. And that doesn’t bother me one bit.

CBS is in on the game too, the top players heading into the season game. Pete Prisco of CBS Sports recently put together his list and there were a few Steelers honored, and few snubbed. Let’s check it out and do what you do with lists, nod in approval, shrug in acceptance, or recoil in disapproval.

  • So who’s honored?

# 15: Ben Roethlisberger

Of Ben, CBS said, “He had his best season statistically in 2014, throwing for career-bests in yards (4.952) and touchdowns (32). His completion percentage of 67.1 was also his career best, showing his improved accuracy.”

Reaction: Nod in approval

Just to limit the nit picking I’m going to limit the nit picking to mostly the number itself in the abstract and relative to players that play the same position. Here we go. 15 sounds good. I’m satisfied with 15. After years of Ben being constantly underrated, passed over for quarterbacks like Flacco or Manning who basically close their eyes and throw it as far as they can, or like Rivers or RGIII, players with good stats but who aren’t winning Super Bowls.

It’s nice to see Ben in the top 15, and it’s correct. It’s a bit annoying that forever good but overrated Andrew Luck over him, but that’s more fuel for Ben to wipe the floor with him again this year. I think Peyton being above him is a little bit out of respect, but whatever. Solid spot. Ben’s finally getting the respect he deserved.

#20: Antonio Brown

Of Brown, CBS said, “He led the NFL in both catches (129) and yards (1,698). That’s impressive for a player who is just 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. He also had 13 touchdown catches.”

Reaction: Recoil in disgust

Oh sure, 20 seems pretty high. It’s not high enough. Antonio Brown is a freak. They used to say players like Moss or Johnson were freaks. They were giants who ran faster than anyone on the field. But that’s what everyone is now. When everyone is a freak, then who is the real freak? The non-freak. Antonio Brown does what no other receiver does. 6’4″ players running 4.4 40s are a dime a dozen nowadays.

The fact that there are 3…3! wide receivers ranked above Antonio Brown is nothing short of ridiculous. On a list based on subjectivity, it’s so wrong it’s almost objectively wrong. Antonio Brown led all receivers in yards and catches. He had the 6th most receiving yards of all time and the 2nd most receptions of all time, ever. Julio Jones was two spots ahead of Brown and Brown beat him in every statistical category.

Oh yeah, and he was one of the best punt returners in the league. He’s still got that 5 receptions/50 yards streak going. You can’t beat him on the field, but apparently on a list you can.

#23: Le’Veon Bell

Of Bell, CBS said, “He was second in the league in rushing to DeMarco Murray with 1,361 yards, but he led all backs with 854 yards receiving. He is the best dual-purpose back in the league and he’s just entering his third season.

Reaction: Nod in approval

He had a hell of a season. You could maybe rank him a bit higher. But he’s young. Even as a Steelers fan, and a big Bell fan, I sometimes think the media should take it easy on the Bell worship. Luckily Bell seems humble and works like crazy. He’s the top ranked running back. It’s a good spot. Not much to say, just a nod.

#87: Lawrence Timmons

Of Timmons, CBS said, “He earned his first Pro Bowl trip last season when he was the Steelers best defender. He is a fast linebacker who has made a nice transition inside and is finally getting the attention he’s earned the past few seasons.”

Reaction: Shrug in acceptance

Steelers fans have long known that Lawrence Timmons is one of the best inside linebackers in the league. He made his first Pro Bowl last year, possibly helped by a PR campaign run by the Steelers players. Every chance they got they talked about how Timmons. It’s nice to see him finally getting respect. He could be a little higher than 87, but I’ll take it. I would expect somewhere in the lowest quarter of the list. Sounds good to me.

  • Who got snubbed?

Maurkice Pouncey! – Look, there’s been a wave of people saying Pouncey was overrated. It’s gone too far. Some have so over compensated that they act like he’s not even good. How did the Steelers line do last year with Pouncey and how did they do in 2013 without him? It was night and day. He’s fast, strong, and smart. How many centers, ever, can pull and block in space like him?

Sep 28, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) reacts during player introductions before playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Heinz Field. The Buccaneers won 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

He made the Pro Bowl, and was a first team All-Pro. But he’s not even a top 100 player? Something here doesn’t add up. QB at number 15, WR at 20, RB at 23. You don’t think the guy running the offensive line has anything to do with that? Like I said, Pouncey made the Pro Bowl, his 4th, and was an All-Pro, for the 4th time, he’s also been to the Super Bowl, and in college won the national championship. I’m sure he’s real broken up about being snubbed by the network that makes Undercover Boss.

Cam Heyward – Cam Heyward had a great season. He’s turned into a leader on the defense. He can stuff the run and get after the quarterback, not an easy feat as a 3-4 end. There’s a funny thing about Heyward though, the amount of respect he gets always seems to lag behind his actual ability by about a year.

People seem to act like he became a solid player this year. No, that was in 2013, when no one notice. Now that he’s a really good player, they seem to think he’s a solid player. Can’t wait until next year when he’s on the list and I get to recoil in disgust at being where he should have been this year. In reality, he’s on the bubble. He could be on, could be off, you can make a case either way.

Lists are fun, aren’t they? What do you think?

Next: Dupree's View of His Transition

More from Still Curtain