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Preseason Post-Game Show
Send your postgame critiques, analysis, ranting and raving about the last game as well as your predictions, smak, & insults about our upcoming opponent. Whether your message is a simple, "These guys SUCK," or a detailed, in-depth analysis, tell us what you think.
Last Week's Postgame
Steelers at Colts (23-24)
Postgame Smak
Game Recap
Scoring Summary
Player Stats
Team Stats
August 19th 1 2 3 4 F
Steelers 3 7 7 6 23
Colts 21 0 0 3 24

Key Facts & Stats
HORRENDOUS Special Teams Play Doomed Steelers Early. An offsides penalty on the opening kick was an annoyance, but a muffed punt by Poteat and a 53-yard Colt punt return to the Steeler 29 were devastating, setting up 14 easy points for Baltimore in 1st 4 minutes of game.
Peyton Manning 9 of 14, 172 yards, 2 TDs 0 Int. Man, the guy just made it look so easy. He dissected our defense early with savvy audibles, bootlegs, and playaction passes, including a 77-yard TD over Chad Scott. He was even better than his stats indicate, as he had a couple of drops as well. Quite a contrast compared to our QBs, eh?
Mixed reviews on defense. There were a few HUGE breakdowns (e.g., Chad Scott's 77-yard TD burn which made it 21-0), but overall, it was the Colt's incredible field position that plagued us most. And the defense showed resilience by potentially getting Steelers back in the game with a fumble recovery just before the half.
Stewart 8 of 18, 44.4%, 82 yds, 0 TD, 1 Int, 1 sack. Granted, there were a couple drops, but Kordell was awful. AGAIN. The INT in the end zone after the defense had given Pittsburgh such a great opportunity to get back in it was unconscionable. On the positive side, Kordell's completion percentage is WAY up over the previous 2 games (in which it was 7.7%). YEE-ha.
Graham 8 of 10, 80%, 83 yards, 1 TD, 0 Int. I dunno... how can we really evaluate Graham when he's not playing with or against first teamers? He's clearly outperformed Kordell statistically this preseason, and at times has looked quite comfortable in there. But would he fare any better than Stewart vs. first team defenses? Something tells me we'll find out about 4 games into the seaon...

Our Take on the Game
In spite of the 2nd half rally by the Steeler reserves, who truly played a gallant game, the first half pretty much looked like the MEN from Indianapolis were playing the BOYS from Aliquippa High on Saturday night in Mexico City, my friends. Those of you who disputed our "Not a Pretty Picture" article back in July better re-read and reassess. Starters missing or not, the Steelers are in MUCHO GRANDE trouble.

Now, granted, the Steelers as a whole actually looked slightly better in this game than they have in the previous two... but so what? They were PATHETIC in those games, and in my opinion, they stunk only marginally less in this one. Normally, when your starting QB has a 37% increase in his completion percentage, it's a great thing. Unfortunately, Kordell's previous two games yielded a 7% completion rate. Kordell was 8 of 18 and threw a HORRIBLE interception in the endzone late in the half after the Steelers had driven to the 12. Kordell has developed a pattern of squandering scoring opportunites during his tenure as QB, and this INT was yet another example. It gave me a flashback to his pick in the endzone in the '97 AFC Championship game vs Denver. I'll never forget Bill Romanowski taunting Kordell after that play. Boy, does that seem like a LONG time ago.

Back to the present. How can anyone REALLY be pleased with this mediocre display? Sorry, folks... we still look to me like a team that's going to get hammered on opening day. The Steelers managed a few sustained drives, but they did NOT convert 3rd downs. How many 4th down conversions were we forced to make during the course of those drives? I can guarantee you we won't be seeing 4th down gambles on that scale when things start for real... it'll be 3 and out.

In spite of my railing on Kordell, my biggest gripe today is the dismal special teams play. An offsides penalty on the opening kick was an annoyance, but a muffed punt by Poteat and a 53-yard Colt punt return to the Steeler 29 were devastating, setting up 14 easy points for Baltimore in first 4 minutes of game. I realize a lot of the guys playing will be gone come opening day, but Hank Poteat isn't one of 'em.

As for Chad Scott allowing a 77-yard TD pass, you'll have that from time to time with top-notch DBs. Big-time CBs are left in single coverage a lot (just ask Rod Woodson), so you're bound to get burned once in a while. The way the Colts were using two TEs really seemed to be disrupting Pittsburgh's coverage schemes, and Scott was on his own quite a bit. A related note... the Ravens have two EXCELLENT TEs in Ben Coates and Shannon Sharpe. Think we might see a few two-TE sets in that game?

Now a positive... the heart & never-say-die attitude of the reserves this preseason is VERY encouraging. They have played their ASSES off for all 60 minutes in every single game, including today. Thumbs up to them, and thumbs up to Cowher... he's doing a great job with 'em.

One final comment... kudos to the rabid Steelers fans in Mexico! I never knew there was such a large fan base there.

Tim McMillen
Webmaster, McMillen & Wife

Fan Smak & Analysis
The following articles are listed in the order they were received (with the most recent entries at the top). This isn't a "guestbook" format... I read and manually insert every message, so you may not see your submission show up immediately. Thanks a million for your comments, people!
Submitted by Jim "J.C." Patterson
This is REALLY scary and REALLY bothering me... I got a bad feeling that Tee Martin is going to be the one to go at QB--but WORST of all, he is going to develop into a perennial ALL-PRO superstar! (for probably the 49ers) The kid has "IT"!! And even WORSE--he is going while Kordell stays!! ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!! This may go down as the biggest mistake since Johnny U!!

Jim "J.C." Patterson
Fresno, CA (born & raised in E. Liverpool, Ohio)

Submitted by Michael Macedonia
First, I love your site. Just found it a few weeks ago and I keep coming back, although there isn't much good news to hear these days...

I completely agree that Stewart has not performed like an NFL starter the past two seasons or this year's preseason. However, we are stuck with him for this year and he MUST be the starter. Kent Graham's lack of mobility combined with the poor play we are likely to get from our O-line would have him knocked out for the season in a week or two.

I am still a believer that Kordell's mobility and athleticism give him the potential to be a great player, as in '97, although my patience is wearing very thin. One of the major differences between '97 and the present is that Stewart is not using his speed to open up the field for the passing game. With this O-line, a scrambling QB might be exactly what we need and perhaps what Kordell can give us (if he would be more willing or allowed to use his speed to open it up). Respect for his running ability once created space in the running game and the passing game. Kordell needs to face facts . . . the guy will never be a pocket passer.

At any rate, I don't want to sound overly optimistic. I would be ELATED if this team could go 8-8 this year, since the Central is pretty tough now. AND . . . finally if Stewart stinks up the joint like the last two years we can finally have the option to let him go after this season.

Keep up the good work brother and GO STEELERS,

-Mike Macedonia
Alexandria, VA

Submitted by Jeff Semk
Perhaps Hines Ward should be starting over Troy Edwards. Maybe he needs a benching to teach him how to concentrate on catching the ball. I have high hopes for the guys this year. GO STEELERS!!!

Submitted by Dave Pierce
Duh, Kordell is just not any good. I have been telling everyone for over a year that he is Scott Mitchell in black and gold. He shouldn't be allowed to start, given that his stats in the real season would make us 0-4. Graham has shown better than that everywhere he has played, against first teams in previous seasons. He also picked up this offense infinitely faster than Kordell, who must be a real poor study. Even Tee looked great. Those are still good players and he didn't over, under, or poorly throw like Kordell does. Tee is the future.

Edwards ought to go (take your mouth with you), and Kordell take his place. Keep Johnson and Farmer and Burress, and play those four lots. They have height and speed and sense between the four of them.

We need a running back. A healthy one.

Dave Pierce

Submitted by Michael O'Brien
Love the Steelers. Love your site. Disagree (to an extent) about Stewart.

Alright, he's no Dan Marino or Steve Young. Nobody argues that. But the fact is that a team CAN have a successful year and even get to the big game behind even a mediocre QB. I point to the 95 Steelers under the questionable leadership of Mr. Duck and Cover. If he can take a team to the Super Bowl and come within one horrendous pass of winning the thing, there is NO REASON why the Steelers cant have a winning season behind Kordell. The only thing O'Donnell had going for him was his size and strength. (He bench pressed more than most of his line.) Stewart is faster and has displayed a stronger and more accurate arm than O'Donnell ever did. (Unfortunately, he seems to recently have forgotten how.) What Kordell does need to do is to get over his sideline antics and just play ball the way he used to know how. Until our O line gets back together, defenses will continue to play 8 men in the box because they will shut down the running game and if we pass they can easily get to whoever is behind center.

I am far more worried about our defense, which looked like a sieve on Saturday, with Peyton Manning running his offense at will all over what is supposed to be a premier defensive unit. If they don't learn to cover the play action game any better, it's going to be a long year. Only after Manning and most of his first offense had left the field did our defense shut things down.

I am not even going to get going on special teams, which have been a shambles since the departure of Ron Zook. ( I make notable exception for Kris Brown, who probably stands an excellent chance of setting a new NFL record for longest field goal this year, and Josh Miller, who will hopefully continue giving us a fighting chance by dropping balls inside the 20.) Listening to that punt being muffed first thing in the game about made me blow a gasket. There is no excuse for that, or for people whining about having to return punts or kicks, as though it's below their dignity. What a crock.

Hey, enough from me. Keep up the great work!

Submitted by Carroll L. Martin
I'm still not convinced that Stewart can't pull this thing out. Of all the plays he made (or didn't make) on Saturday, the only one I was really furious with was when he missed Hines Ward in the endzone. The pick that was made in front of Bruener was just a good play by the defensive back (along with the fact that Bruener was backing up when the ball was thrown. If you look at the play again, you'll see that he was indeed open). Anyway, my harshest criticism is for Troy Edwards. He talked all that smak about what he was going to do and he dropped 4 passes that he should have caught. That's 4 passes, people. Two of those passes would have gone for first downs and the pass interference call in the endzone he should have caught for a touchdown. Anyway, I'm still not convinced we're as bad as we were last year, but at the same time, we ain't the Rams. In any case, GO STEELERS!!

Submitted by Barry Fox
well i don't know what else to say but i will continue to root for our STEELERS. i'm kind of frustrated at the moment but i know i'm not alone. we showed very little this past saturday night. we really need to get it together i cannot stress more than that! i have to start thinking about that song by marvin gaye and ask WHAT'S GOIN ON? SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY WE CAN'T WIN A CHAMPIONSHIP! IT'S BEEN FIVE LONG YEARS SINCE WE BEEN TO THE BIG GAME AND TWENTY LONG (REAL LONG) YEARS SINCE WE WON THE BIG GAME! JESUS PLEASE HELP US!

Submitted by THEOMILL
It is time for Kordell to go... he is horrible. It is depressing reading all the garbage as fan after fan make endless excuses for his poor play. i suggest each of you say "Kordell stinks" out loud over and over until it registers. Kent Graham is also a stiff. As a diehard fan, who bought a Satellite dish to see all 16 steller Kordell performances, I will root for whomever lines up behind center, but it will be a disappointment. I feel sorry for the guys who lay it on the line every week (i.e. Kirkland, Gildon, Breuner) who are constantly let down by the incompetance of Kordell. Eventually, the Dee will become frustrated the young receivers will become frustrated and Cowher will react too late... and we will be 3-7. At that point, I will begin watching Drew Brees and hoping. Why can't people (Cowher, fans etc.) see the problem for what it is? KORDELL STINKS... end of story. Go Steelers! You cannot win in the NFL without solid QB play....The Bengals, Ravens, Jags, Browns and Titams have figured it out...someone should mention it to Coach Cowher, who is in denial. I will root faithfully... at least the beer will taste good.

Submitted by Keith Thomas
The team got its first real test against a good team in close to real circumstances.

Random Observations:

The Colts called and then executed the touchdown to Harrison excellently.

Ditto their run fake that led to Payton's first Touchdown pass.

Hank Poeatt had better learn to catch punted balls. What is it with rookies? Last year Troy Edwards was pretty good at punt returning, but he kept complaining about having to do it.

I was really surprised to see that many Steelers fans in Mexico city, that was really cool.

Receivers are dropping too many balls.

Kordell is still not getting it done. We were on the road however, and his play was better. His passing was a little more crisp, and [GASP] he was at least attempting shots down field -- I don't think I've seen him do that since 1997.

Amos looked good, really good.

Why is Bobby Shaw higher on the depth cart than Hines Ward?

Giving up 21 points in one quarter is not good, even in preseason. Still, they kept their focus.

Tee Martin might have won the 3rd String job.

Kent Graham is still my choice to start. I don't think I'll get my wish, but it do believe that Cowher is going to keep Kordell on a short leash.

Going to the game next week, so I'll provide a live scouting report.


Submitted by Jimmy Grant
I agree... all in all, a dismal performance. I'm saying start Kent Graham now. Don't wait till 4 games when u are 0-4 or 1-3... use the last preseason game to get him ready.

Jimmy Grant

Kordell Stewart... perhaps the worst Steeler QB in the Post-Bradshaw Era.

Submitted by Scott Haggard
Your site is one great site. I would have to disagree with your opinion of Stewart's play in the American Bowl.

Almost all of the passes missed were very catchable and I thought Stewart did a pretty good job. I am of the opinion that continually putting him down is not going to help his confidence. I remember when he was playing good he was the greatest and how quckly we turned on him. I take issue with players switching teams all of the time, just for a little more money (they make more than I think they should anyway).

When fans turn on you totally, I then understand more why players are not more loyal to their fans. I am not saying Stewart is the answer, although I happen to be a fan, but until He loses the job, We should try to back Him.

Just an opinon and once again love your site.

Submitted by Brad Russell
Plain and simple, we are just not good in any area. They ran on us, passed on us, outplayed us on special teams. Kordell should be called "One Hop" and sent packing and I hope he takes Cowher with him. Our last year in Three Rivers Stadium and it might be our worst since 70-71. Lucky if we go 4-12.

Brad Russell

Submitted by RMAR302
I for one think Kordell is just about the Kordell of O'l. No, he didn't play well the first three games, but was good in the one I just saw. Yeah, he made some innacurate passes (two from what I can recall), but I think you're looking past the fact that he is reading the defense a lot better than last year. He also had some good passes dropped by the receivers. There aren't a whole lot of starters on the team from last year and he's now starting to get accustomed to the offensive plays and now has to deal with rookies and it being new to them. One of the fans who commented before put it pretty good when he said this is a rebuilding year and if we treat it as such, then none should be too disappointed in the way the Steelers play.

There's no doubt in my mind (so far) Kordell has the starting job. So soon you forget that Kordell has never been a first half player and given the opportunity to play the second half, I think we would have seen either a similar outcome or even better. Let's face it, we need to give credit where credit is due. I think Kordell has made some great strides so far to keep the starting position I can't blame him for the loss. It was the special teams and secondary who blundered this game in the first half.

All in all, I'm hoping the receivers start to pick up the offense a little quicker. I can't see the secondary making a habit of the way they played the Colts. I foresee a .500 season and with any luck MAYBE a wildcard berth.

I've been told this is one of the smallest offensive lines that the Steelers have fielded, but to my surprise, they seemed to allow adequate time for Kordell to complete a pass, although I didn't see any gaping holes for the running game. I feel this will be adressed in games to come. Minus the poor play by the secondary and special teams in the first quarter, this game should have been won by the Steelers 23 to 10.

Kudo's to the second string team, and we should all just hope for the best in this time of many changes (as usuall) to our beloved Pittsburgh Steelers.

"The Burgh kicks ass!!"

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