Hypocycloids – The Burning Questions
Tidbit: “Steelmark (the hypocycloid geometric shapes in the Steelers logo) highlighted the attributes of steel, with yellow representing “lightens your work”, the orange denoting “brightens your leisure” and the blue meaning that steel “widens your world”. The definition of the logo components was updated to represent the three materials used to produce steel, with yellow for coal, orange for iron ore and blue for scrap steel.
| What Is Going On With Troy Polamalu?
According to Steelers President Art Rooney II, “I don’t have an update on Troy.” Rooney made the statement to the press while covering questions regarding the new rule proposals in the NFL this upcoming season. Pittsburgh has the money to wait, having signed a single free agent, DeAngelo Williams, on a two-year deal. Rooney made it clear that the Steelers aren’t likely to do much more during the free agency signing period. The question now is this: Will Pittsburgh wait? The time that has been allotted to Polamalu may be running out.
| Around the AFC North
John Urschel just set a new precedent in how smart offensive linemen really can be when he published the paper A Cascadic Multigrid Algorithm for Computing the Fiedler Vector… in the Journal of Computational Mathematics. The Ravens have yet to extend a contract with cornerback Jimmy Smith.
Cincinnati Bengals: Signed free agent cornerback Brandon Ghee. Chris Borland opted to retire due to concerns over concussion rates in the league and his future. “Maybe I’m wrong and I could play for 10 years and be completely healthy, however, I just don’t think it’s wise for me,” Borland said, “I know this is right for me.”
Cleveland Browns: Added free agent receivers Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline. Uncertainty about whether owner Jimmy Haslam will go after another quarterback in yet another draft after the Manziel fiasco.
| The Steelers Want Fans To VoteThe Steelers have been entered into the NFL.com Bracketology competition for the fourth straight year. Fans are encouraged to vote for the Steelers to advance, and win, in three separate categories:
1. Dynasty Makers Bracket – For their Super Bowl XIII win over the Dallas Cowboys.
2. Individual Heroics Bracket – For the victory over the Arizona Cardinals and heroics from James Harrison and Santonio Holmes.
3. Crazy Endings Bracket – For the 1972 Divisional Playoff game – the one in which the ‘Immaculate Reception’ was born.
STEELERS FANS SKULL-LOCKED ON DEFENSE MISSING BIG PICTURE – SHELDON DEAN
I have seen it time and time again on social media sites over the last two weeks – Steelers fans stating that the team had better spend all of its money on cornerbacks and the defense. If you are one of those fans, please hear me out before you make a comment. A recent news article posted here on SteelersGab.com regarding the Steelers bringing in quarterback Tajh Boyd drew wide criticism. Not only did it garner comments of “who cares, he’s a third-string quarterback,” but statements that the team had better pay attention to the other side of the ball. While it is fun to play armchair GM, there is an important factor to bringing in another quarterback. One, Landry Jones has offered very little and the trend seems to point that he will continue to struggle. Bruce Gradkowski isn’t a spring chicken and I, for one, would not like to see him have to come into a game and lead the team. That brings us to Big Ben who signed a fantastic new deal to remain the franchise quarterback. Roethlisberger has battled through injuries and no one is doubting he’s tough as…well, steel…but bringing in Boyd is a smart move. The Steelers aren’t looking at Boyd to be their next franchise quarterback, just a viable backup option. Training camp battles also force players on the roster to step up or shut up. With Boyd entering the team dirt cheap, the worst he can do is challenge Gradkowski and Jones to improve. Best-case scenario; Boyd turns out to be quality backup who surprises everyone.
One of the biggest misconceptions during this time of the year is that Pittsburgh should immediately address their greatest needs first and ignore everything else. Kevin Ritchart made an excellent point in his recent article about being patient in regards to the cornerback position. The Steelers didn’t have the cap room to nab the top free agent and the rest of that market was underwhelming. The team brought in two different corners and let them walk. It wasn’t because the team was ignoring a depth issue – it was because neither guy fit well with where the Steelers see their defense heading. The Steelers actually did address their greatest need when they secured Roethlisberger. As for the defensive backfield, Mike Tomlin and Keith Butler are both defense guys. They know how to evaluate talent and what it takes to play at the NFL level. While it can be frustrating to wait and see, Pittsburgh has an opportunity to find a steal or two in the draft to fill their needs. Fans may not have been impressed with the fact that Cortez Allen was given a deal and then watched from the bench. I don’t blame them. The re-signing of Antwon Blake was a huge move, in my opinion. Blake played his heart out. William Gay is getting older, we know this, but he was improved. B.W. Webb and Kevin Fogg are relative ‘unknowns’. Let me clue you in (and then you can argue). Fogg played at Liberty (where?) and not only was he a fantastic athlete, he was quick and he returned kicks – yep a kick returner. Don’t believe me? Watch this (you may want to turn your volume off, though). Webb can return the ball too, not just play corner. In 2014, Webb played mostly special teams, but was active in 11 games. He posted two solo tackles, which seems underwhelming. Webb has a ton of potential, however. Watch this. I remember this time last year when Steelers fans were saying, “Who is Brice McCain?” Were you one of them? Did you change your tune through the season and how did you feel when the Steelers didn’t secure him for 2015?
The Steelers have always been a team that develops players. They build team character. To dismiss their methods as ‘old school’ and not befitting the modern NFL is to question their entire dynasty. That may seem like a bold statement, but it’s true. The ‘Steel Curtain’ defense wasn’t made in a day. Yes, the draft helped create their dominance, but it took time to build that level of chemistry. So, Steelers fans, take a deep breath. You may be antsy for the defense to already be etched in stone so that you can kick back in your Lazy Boy, but the roster isn’t set – and won’t be until after training camp. As for overlooking the offense – the Steelers put points on the board with those players. Like it or not, NFL defenses do not typically score the most points in a game. Do they help secure wins? Absolutely. Even the Steelers teams of the past did not light up the scoreboard by having defensive players run into the end zone. Pittsburgh has to put squads together on both sides of the ball to be an effective winning team. Now you can leave your comments.
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