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SteelDad’s Rants and Slants; Version 6.0

Rants and Slants is SteelDad’s personal, weekly look at goings-on around the league and in the world in general. A ‘heavy’ emphasis is still on the Steelers however….

Kicking Off

What an amazing and well-needed gesture by the Pittsburgh Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley who donated $60,000 to his former hometown school district. As you may know, Woodely is from Saginaw, Michigan, an area hit hard by economic woes of the last 20 years and increasing crime and violence. With Saginaw Public Schools struggling, they were forced to do a ‘pay-for-play’ where any student wishing to participate in athletics would have had to pay $75. Woodley’s gift will cover that and more. I know the area well and this just could not be better news for the kids of Saginaw. Proud to have LaMarr Woodley on the Steelers for more reasons than just football.

Can we please put a stop to all the reports about training camp fights and scuffles? Oh no! The Jets are in an all-out roayal rumble! The Steelers are fighting each other! The Saints and Patriots had a tickle fight yesterday!!!! This stuff goes on EVERY year. Just because social media has reared its’ ugly head doesn’t mean it needs to be used for every darn thing.

If the 49ers don’t get off to a good start, the spotlight will be on Alex Smith whether it’s deserved or not. All this offensive and defensive talent around him now and yet, he was essentially left to float in the breeze while Jim Harbaugh flirted with Peyton Manning who had better suitors. There are few players with the pressure on them this season like Alex Smith and it really is nothing he could control.

Halftime

The NFL Network’s Adam Schein thinks the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger is a top five QB in this league yet apparently ESPN and everyone else thinks he isn’t. The easy cop-out for people like the ESPN crew is to blame the O-line and adjustment to new offensive coordinator Todd Haley. Interesting that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are going through the same things with new OCs this season but no one questions them…

The Second Half

The old saying a coach says about, “we have two good quarterbacks” usually means you have none is going to apply to the New York Jets this season and everyone around the league can feel it yet seems unwilling to say it. Today, Mark Sanchez declared, “this is my huddle.” Good for Sanchez for being assertive but the Jets didn’t go get Tim Tebow just to sell jerseys. QBs are proud guys and Sanchez is no different. I guarantee the minute he gets yanked in the red zone for Tebow it isn’t going to be pretty especially if Tebow fails to get six.

For a little this week it looked like the Steelers were down to two healthy running backs in Chris Rainey and Baron Batch. Presumed starter Isaac Redman had an MRI this week on his groin, John Clay is out for the season and Jonathan Dwyer had a shoulder sprain from the Philly game. Thankfully, Dwyer suited up Thursday and had a great practice. I was worried I was going to have to fill in for a minute there.

Two-Minute Drill

  • If the Dallas-Oakland 3-0 yawner the other night was any indication of those teams’ seasons then I feel for their fans. OK, not really.
  • Jason Hanson, the kicker for the Detroit Lions was drafted by them in 1992. Also that year, the guy trying to beat him out for the job, Derek Dimke a rookie from Illinois, had just turned two years old.
  • Chad ‘whatever his name is this month’ had what you could call a ‘bad week.’ Head-butts his wife, gets cut from the Dolphins and then has his VH-1 reality show cancelled. Ouch.
  • Speaking of his cutting… was there any more uncomfortable guy than Joe Philbin, the Dolphins’ first-year head coach as was on HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ shown cutting Johnson? Do you think Bill Parcells or Jimmy Johnson or Chuck Noll or Don Shula would have taken so long to cut a guy? Suddenly I don’t think Philbin is such a great selection for Miami. Get on with it coach.
  • An San Francisco Giants’ left-fielder tested positive for PED’s huh? Now where have I heard this before?
  • If I’m a Notre Dame fan, which I am not, I hate those new uniforms they have for the match-up with Miami. Leave tradition alone dammit.
  • The fact that we still have replacement officials in the NFL isn’t a big deal. Until one of them blows a huge call in a regular season game that is.
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