Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I Like Love Ike

Okay, this is kinda funny:

You must be in love with Steelers secondary. I bet you have dreams about Deshea Townsend. Have you purchased your 2007 Ike Taylor swimsuit calendar?

I say this cause you make so many excuses for them. Last week it was Walker on Denver and this week it was Marques Colston. "Oh but Troy wan't in the game"
They stink....face it.
I wouldn't say I'm in love with the Steelers. Maybe an unhealthy obsession ... but definitely not love.

Seriously, I do like the guys in the secondary and I think a lot of that has to do with the stiffs running around back there the previous few seasons. Back when I started this blog in February 2004, Pittsburgh was coming off that 6-10 steaming pile of a season (sound familiar?) and the secondary was a major concern. I spent way too much time trying to convince myself -- and the four people who read the site at the time -- that the Steelers should draft a cornerback.

(And I was completely against them taking a quarterback, by the way. In my defense, I was sure Ben Roethlisberger wouldn't be around with the 11th pick and all the pre-draft talk was that Philip Rivers was coming to down. Let's just say I wasn't on Rivers at the time. And honestly, I'm still not sold on him; I'm sure some of that has to do with the fact that he went to N.C. State -- okay, a lot of that has to do with it -- and he's so freakin' aw-shucks happy all the time. It's maddening. Nobody's that happy. So yeah, I'm glad Big Ben fell to the Steelers, but I was one of the dumbasses who not only thought Tommy Maddox had a few good years left in him, but that Rivers wasn't worth a top-11 pick. Just in case you needed reminding, this is why I'm not a player personnel guy. Well, it's one of the reasons, anyway.)

Lee Flowers was already out the door, but along with Mike Logan, Brent Alexander, Chad Scott and DeWayne Washington were starters in Week 1. Scott got hurt midway through the season and Deshea finally got a chance to play on a regular basis. A lot of fans were yelling for Townsend for a few seasons, but that probably had more to do with Scott sucking than anybody having any real sense about Townsend's abilities. Whatever. He had a pretty good second half of the 2003 season and was better than anybody expected in 2004. You know, when he played opposite Willie "Khakis" Williams for most of the year.

After spending the first few games of 2004 inactive, Taylor would start a handful of times for an injured Williams and he also played very well. Given that he was a late-round pick, very raw, but a great athlete, I liked following his progress. Especially since he was the first "real" interview I did way back in August 2004.

I was also for Chris Hope before I was against him. Whatever I say about Hope, I think he was a pretty good fit in Pittsburgh, and the fact that he got Alexander off the field is reason enough to love the guy. That said, Ryan Clark has made me all but forget Hope. Clark is faster, more of a ball hawk and a better tackler. He's also just as good as -- if not better -- than Hope at getting the defense set. The Washington Post's Jason La Canfora wrote a couple of weeks ago that Sean Taylor misses Ryan Clark a lot. Clark was Taylor's safety blanket; While he played centerfield, Taylor could run around the field Tyrone Carter-ing people.

And then there's Troy. Other than his rookie season, and maybe the games this season where he played with one arm, what's not to love about Troy?

And yes, I know, the secondary has been less than spectacular this season. Even though Pittsburgh ranks 11th in defensive pass DVOA, the unit is 24th against opposing team's No. 1 WRs and 21st against No. 2s. Not good.

But here's the thing: I can bitch and moan about why the Steelers are doomed; why they're worse than the Raiders Cardinals and on and on. But for me, the great thing about sports is that ... well, it's sports. Yeah, it's frustrating as hell watching Pittsburgh piss away wins with dumb turnovers and even dumber coaching decisions -- and don't get me wrong, I'll bellyache about such things -- but I also like the players on the team. They personalities that make me want to watch the game. Plus, by humanizing things, it keeps me from throwing my television out the window. See, everybody wins.

Okay, I didn't expect this to go on so long, but I got all reminiscent and stuff. And now I can't stop crying. And to answer your question Tim, I bought my Ike Taylor swimsuit calender before the season started. And it's absolutely fabulous.