ABOVE: A future Pittsburgh Steeler linebacker hones his skills in this tropical setting. The heretofore unknown secret to the Steeler linebackers' vicious play is hereby revealed. When the coconuts hit the ground with vicious force, they are "concussed" thus releasing their juicy coconut milk and tasty baking ingredients.
Okay, okay, I know, the NFL is trying to eliminate helmet-to-helment contact from the lexicon of American football, but who out there thought that James Harrison was trying to purposely concuss two Browns players yesterday? While we're on the subject, who among you doesn't enjoy seeing James Harrison, Lawrence Timmons and Company unloading on their offensive quarry? Hasn't hard play been the calling card of the Pittsburgh Steelers over the past 40 years? Would you ever want to see this change?
The Steelers put a beat-down on the Cleveland Browns yesterday, winning by a 28-10 score. The defining storyline of this game...other than Big Ben's triumphal return...was the incredible Steeler defense which continues to strangle the life out of its' opponents.
The Steelers lost two weeks ago to the Baltimore Ravens sans Roathlisberger. But how many of you out there feel that the Steelers would have lost this game if the "Large One" had played? I don't see many hands.
If you ask most knowledgable NFL analysts today, many of them would tell you that the Steelers, with Ben back in the lineup, are now the top team in the AFC. Barring the one thing that can derail any team's season: injuries, this team has all the pieces necessary to make another visit to the Superbowl. Yesterday, Brett Keisel went down with what could be a more-serious type of hamstring injury. If so, Keisel could miss four to six weeks if not longer. These are just the type of injury losses that no NFL team wants to absorb. But to their credit, the Steelers have quality depth and more important, hungry quality depth.
The Steelers will be embarking on three straight difficult road games starting in Miami this week. the Dolphins upended the Packers in Green bay yesterday so they are brimming with confidence today. For the Steelers, having these types of challenges in front of them seems to stoke their competitive fires and bring out the best of their abilities. Would you rather see the next three competitors be San Francisco, Carolina and Detroit? I didn't think so. This is a team that needs a challenge to be their best. I, personally, hate us playing a game against a bottom-feeding team.
So bring on the the Dolphins, Saints and those customarily-bottom-feeding Cincinnati Bengals. I think our coconut hunters are more than up to the challenge.