Steelers fans speak out!
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!
Stewart: I agree with Terry Bradshaw
First of all, Stewart is a guy who all of these fans loved, undeniably, last year. Right? Afterall, he took us to the AFC championship game, Right?
Now, in his SECOND season as a starting quarterback, he doesn't play as well. Here is the key: Kordell Stewart, by taking the Steelers to the championship game, set very high standards for this past 98 season. Stewart did not meet to OUR expactations, and consequently is being thrashed and looked down upon. This is wrong. Why? Because he is still learning about the NFL, he is still young, and he hasn't been playing but for 2 seasons as a quarterback. Give me a break. If individuals can not understand this, then they need to go back in history and look at other "great" quarterbacks and see how many years it took them to get "great". I personally think Cowher made the RIGHT decision in keeping Stewart as the starting QB for the entire season. Especially, if Stewart is visioned as the "future" of the steelers. One fan on this message (in regards to Stewart being benched or not benched) said it does no good for Stewart to be left on the field like a chicken with his head cut off. Wrong. Absolutely wrong. It does everything. It provides Stewart with the necessary lessons needed to be learned as a starting QB in the NFL. Obviously, these are just my personal opinions, and hopefully, one day, Kordell will make all of us Steeler fans a true believer in him. Peace.
I believe it is NOT time for Tomzcak. It gets me that every year when things go bad, the loyal fans think they should be the coach of the greatest franchise ever to put on helmets and pads. I can respect opinions of others, but it's the same story year in and year out. Kordell is the man!!!!!!!! That's the bottom line. What we all have to remember is that he is still only a 2nd year starter. Also, BIll Cowher didn't get that huge contract because of his looks (bless his heart). We all need to pull together and look at the 3-4 record we had after 7 games in our Super Bowl year. We are 5-3 and believe me, there is alot of football left. Jacksonville does not concern me one bit. They JACKOFFS will have injuries in due time and it will effect them also. KEEP THE FAITH PEOPLE. Just like you said, I BELIEVE THE STEELERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL. I still believe that.
Thought this interesting e-mail I received tied in well to the Kordell thang.
We were on a stadium tour on the Friday before the game and guess who just happened to be in the middle of practice? We got to actually go down onto the field while the players were practicing. It was the best moment of my life! While we were up touring the press box, Kordell and Blackwell were having a contest to see who could hit the horizontal part of the goalpost from the ten yard line. Kordell threw first and missed. He threw a second time and hit. Of course we gave him a big loud cheer and a lot of clapping. Then Blackwell tried it. The first shot was right on the money. We went nuts! My brother hollered out "I think we've found ourselves a new quarterback!". Kordell just shook his hung head as Blackwell flexed his muscles for us and celebrated our celebration of him.
Check this out though, it gets better. Some sports columnist from CNNSI was there and the idiot referred to us as stadium workers. Oh well. Anyway, afterwards we met "The Bus" (he hates being called that by the way!) outside of Three Rivers after the practice and he was more than happy to have his picture taken with us and to sign everything we asked him to. I'm the guy on the left in front. Well, here's the picture and the link to the CNNSI page that has the article on it entitled "Air's Gone Out of Steelers Attack". Check it out and as always "GO STEELERS"! http://CNNSI.com/features/1998/weekly/981109/nfl1109/
Let him take a breather to regroup and make adjustments. Kordell will be a great quarterback -- it will just take some time. However, as talented as he is, he is not the whole football team and everyone is forgetting that. The Steelers shouldn't be about nurturing Kordell through a losing season, because the Steelers have always been about winning football games.
And while we're on that subject, there are other areas of this team that need improvement. It's not just Kordell.
I say put T in until Kordell is back up to speed. Sometimes, watching others perform (who have confidence) is the best lesson for those who don't have it.
For what it's worth --
There has not been a single person since Bradshaw that has succeeded in the starting position, and I think it inappropriate to compare KS to Bradshaw for the time being on any level. He may be the future, but he has to learn humility and responsibility for his actions, and I don't think he has shown that yet.
When O'Donnell had problems, or to mix things up, they threw in Kordell. Now it's suggested that Tomczak should be thrown in to help Kordell. Doesn't that tell you something?
As far as the comparison of Kordell Stewart to Neil O'Donnell, the only thing I can say is... ever hear of the movie Dumb and Dumber? I'm not sure which one is which, but does it really matter?
I'm very passionate about the Steelers... just ask my wife. I almost got the shit beat out of me by some Dolphins fans at the Monday night game in FL Nov of '96. But, everyone knows you don't WEAR an autographed DAN MARINO jersey to a game like the redneck in front of me did. (and badly smudged from wearing).
Now, as I cool down from my not-so-fun sports years in FL, I have a few other comments. I wasn't going to bash Ray Sherman until I saw his name. I hate the plays he calls and I think he should be the one to sit out some games. He can sit back and watch and see what the Steelers can do. As I said before, it won't hurt Kordell to maybe sit out a game or partial game or two. I should have included more of my thoughts about the so called "off-fensive miscoordinator" we made an offense coordinator. He wasn't one before he got here, and he still isn't one now. I'm surprised I haven't seen something like this in the stands:
Help Wanted - Offensive Coordinator- Must be able to use available talent. Able to nurture people and bring out their best. Must be willing to educate one's self to know what being a part of the Steelers is all about. Must be able to pick out the opponent's weaknesses and exploit them. Must be a self-motivator and know how to motivate others.
Sorry, just got a little carried away there. I think I've screamed Ray Sherman's name in vain more than anyone else's on the Steelers.
I watched a short interview with George Seifert the other day. Wedhen ask about what was wrong with Kordell, his comment was, "Nothing. Expectations are high and output isn't meeting them. He's a young quarterback that needs time to learn." That was about it.
It's tough for us as Steelers fans to bear what we see because we are very passionate about our team. Not like the Cowboys fans, most of whom can't name any Cowboys that played before 1990. We hold our team up as a part of ourselves. Beating our team is like taking a small piece of us. It's not easy to do. Our expectations are a lot higher maybe than they should be sometimes. We know better but we can't help ourselves. I think we expect our team to win it all when deep down we know they can't and it frustrates us. This is partly why many fans are bashing Kordell. It doesn't matter what name is on the jersey. If Bradshaw by some wave of a magic wand DID come back and he played the some way....he'd get booed. Go figure.
I guess I shouldn't stay at work late. All my pent up frustrations come out after five. God, I felt like Billy Graham giving a sermon.
Mick from Mingo
Remember the shining ray of hope we had after O'Dummel fled, and his stodgy style of play was replaced by a new and flashy offense that bewildered defenses and fans alike? Remember "the Kiss?" Remember the guy who dismembered the future Champs and outshined the Great Elway for one dazzling hour? Remember the sweet pain of turning our defense-oriented brains to the glory of the endzone for the first time since Bradshaw? That is what needs to be preserved. Stewart is lousy with confidence and has been since college. Give him a coordinator that will let him play and you will see Stewart blossom into one of the greats. He did for me what Big Mac did for baseball; he restored my love of the game and for that, I will always be grateful (even if we don't make the playoffs this year). We have all seen what he can do, and given the chance, he will do it again.
You know, Tim, I am a strong believer that if an interception is thrown on a short pass its usually the QB's fault, but on a long pass, its often the reciever's responsibility to make the decision to either be a reciever or a defender if its a bad pass... the reciever has to stop the pick on a long ball. Do you agree? Give me some feedback... I rarely check e-mail, so if you have it, ICQ me... 16379504
As I read your article, I started smiling. Remember about 4-5 yrs ago when another QB was in a similar situation? I was living in FL then and didn't get much coverage down there. I think it was Tomczak, and another QB came in to almost save the day against the Giants, I believe. My memory is a little weak from straining the vessels in my head the last few weeks. I think that QB was Neil O'Donnell, and the score was something like 24-3 at half time. O'Donnell came in after the half, took charge and marched the Steelers down the field a few times and the Steelers lost something like 27-24. That's when everybody loved O'Donnell because he came in and saved the day. My stats may be off a little but I remember the game well.
I know you don't think much of O'Donnell, but if you think back, you may have liked him that night and maybe even praised him. Here's what I get from both situations: The QB coming in has NOTHING to lose but the game. In both situations, the loss was blamed on the starting QB. It's a whole lot easier to come in and go for it and make some plays because there isn't the pressure on you of weeks of bad press and upset fans.
But, I'm not totally disagreeing with you on several points. I used to shutter when Tomczak was on the field. You're right... he isn't the answer, but he may help. Also, I agree with the fact that Kordell is doubting himself and some of the players probably are too.
Ahhhh, if only we could bring Bradshaw back our problems would be solved. As a matter of fact, Mark Malone is starting to look pretty good right now.....Naaaa, we're not THAT desperate.
We can only hope the right decisions are being made.
I've taken a step back and looked at what we've had, gained, and lost. There is a lot more to this season than meets the eye.
First, we've lost the people that were giving Kordell most of his pass protection last year. Think if Bradshaw had lost 3 of his "Steel Curtain" members, would he have played as well? I think not. I am disappointed with Kordell's play, but he's a kid and has lost people who gave him confidence and protection. He lost Chan Gailey who was helping him a lot. I think either later in the season or next season he's going to realize that if it's going to happen, he's going to have to make it happen at this point. He can't rely on anyone but himself. He is throwing too low and too short of passes. He will gain a lot of experience to toughen him up. He didn't know what it was like before in this situation and he'll be smarter next year.
We've lost all of our receivers. If I see Hawkins get up one more time and celebrate a catch and then miss the next 4 I'm going to scream (well, I guess I'm already doing that... I'll have to think of something else, I suppose). No one catches the damn thing when it is thrown to them. If they would, then at least Kordell would get the confidence to feel he has a "go-to" guy. No one has stepped up yet. I think they should use Bruener much more. He's big and has great hands.
No, Kordell is not playing as well as we all expect or would like. But given the same circumstances and lack of surrounding talent, I think a lot worse could happen. He will get better. He's already shown us how good he can be. I get upset when people sit back and think that he should do better. People, wake up! Look at the dropped passes and the times he is forced out of the pocket. He needs some help, for Christ's sake.
That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Thanks for the venue.