Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big Ben Out for Year (in My Madden Franchise Mode)

Some very late, arbitrary notes from Steelers-Packers:

Remember 2003, when Tim Lewis would routinely field defenses that would make you want to put your head through the television? Yeah, I don't feel that way now. In two pretend games, the Steelers' starting defense absolutely killed. Now a lot of that might have to do with Dick LeBeau blitzing like it's the middle of the regular season, but whatever. After watching Max Starks bumble his way through the Green Bay game, I'll take it.

By the way, I was eating lunch at training camp last week and LeBeau walked by. I was explaining to Wexell how my wife absolutely loves LeBeau, and Wex responded, "Everybody loves LeBeau." Fair point. But let me just add this: LeBeau is the best looking 69-year-old on the planet. The guy's got a perfectly coiffed feathered do, and he wears a chain. What is this, 1976 (and I mean this in a completely awesome, Vinnie Barbarino sort of way)? If I look this good when I'm 39, I'll be psyched.

Back on this planet, I know most of you are fed up with Lawrence Timmons and he hasn't done jack yet (which, I guess, is the problem ... though he did practice Monday! Woohoo!). Look, I feel the same way -- I'd love to see the guy make it through a practice -- but the good news is that the Steelers don't need him right now. Mike Tomlin mentioned it at last Thursday's press conference -- and it should be obvious to anyone with even a passing interest in football -- but Timmons is ... behind in his on-field learnin'.

I know, that's not much of a revelation, but here's the deal: Timmons is 20 years old and, frankly, this is his redshirt season. Redskins' defensive coordinator Gregg Williams made the point earlier this preseason that rookies are so unaccustomed to the everyday rigors of the NFL, that they often overexert themselves and get injured. Early. And often. [random note: I'm watching the Denver-San Francisco game as I type this, and Quincy Morgan, returning kicks for the Broncos, just ripped off a 65-yarder. Coulda used that last year, but I digress...] And this Mr. Timmons.

My advice to those upset by his slow progress: just pretend he's holding out -- or better yet, is on IR. Concentrate on LaMarr Woodley -- and say a prayer that he doesn't get hurt.

By the way, Wex likes the idea of Woodley possibly beating out Clark Haggans for the staring LOLB job. My initial reaction is: that's a bad idea, but truthfully, that's because I hate change. Specifically, I hate the idea of guys I've grown accustomed to seeing play every Sunday, getting old, losing their jobs, and eventually moving on. But sentimentality aside, Woodley has looked surprisingly nimble in pass coverage, and that was the biggest knock on him coming out of college.

Finally, Ricardo Colclough had a solid game Saturday night. I thought he played well in the nickel and dime packages early last year, but Cowher ruined that with one asinine decision against the Bengals. And because it's hurt to much to relive, that's all I'll say about that.