Rapid Reports, The division is ours for the taking Edition

Nothing makes me happier than beating Baltimore.  Let me restate that, nothing sports related and outside of the winning the Super Bowl, makes me happier than beating Baltimore.  Last week the Steelers went into the heart of darkness and lit it on fire.  We were given nothing and we took everything; their heart, soul, and spirit.  What makes beating the Ratbirds insatiably delicious is how smug Ravens coach John Harbaugh is.  Before the game started, Coach Harbaugh in an interview was explaining how his players didn't get fined because they adjusted so well to the rule enforcement.  This is coming from the guy that coaches a team who has openly admitted to having bounties out on Steelers.  How ironic it is that not only did two of their players get fined in the game, there were several other questionable plays where it seemed the ravens either hadn't adjusted to the rule (Suggs head slap on Ben), yet the Refs didn't flag them, or there was intentional intent to injury and/or bait.  (You never see anyone fire off the line on an extra point, ever, maybe flinch, but not take two or three steps.)  Even Raven's fans have ran into the smug nature of Harbaugh which can be seen in Malor's signature.  

"If that's not enough for you then go find another team to cheer for. If you're not proud of this team then you don't know football," - John Harbaugh. Thanks coach.

So I thoroughly enjoy them suffering in defeat at the hands of a better Steelers team.  But on to the Bengals.  Its hard to make of this game.  I think mentally the Bengals have checked out this season, but how much is costing the Steelers the division crown a motivating factor for them this week?  Its not like they can win it themselves and they still have to play the Ravens.  One thing I am sure of is that the team knows how to lose a football game.  When all else fails even if they bring their best effort in Pittsburgh this Sunday, we can rest assured that the Bengals know how to lose and the Steelers need to take advantage of that.  There is too much on the line to lose a game to the Bengals at home.

The Steelers secondary has been beaten deep at an alarming rate in recent weeks. Coach Mike Tomlin isn't concerned. "I don't like it when it happens. I'm not overly concerned about it though. Hopefully, we don't make a habit of it."

I think its becoming a habit, Tomlin.  But the deep ball isn't what beats the Steelers majority of the time.  Its the short to intermediate passes that kill us which why Tomlin probably isn't so concerned about the deep ball.  Whenever a team gets a long pass on us its because someone made a mistake, not because they were out of place.  Either they jumped the wrong route, they let the receiver get behind them and looked at the QB, or they guess wrong on where the WR was going.  Those things can be fixed, players are not always going to make the same mistakes.  The short to intermediate pass however is a schematic problem.  Lebeau has done some things to adjust to this and hopefully he'll have more than a few surprises for Brady if we play them again.

The Steelers feel that the Ravens targeted LB James Harrison and tried to cheap shot him on an extra point attempt on Sunday. Ravens G Chris Chester was named specifically by the players. "It was a dirty play," LB James Farrior said

I said it when I saw it and I'll say it again, no one fires off the ball on an extra point.  Period.  The reason why to me its a big deal is because as I mention above, the unwarranted smugness of the head coach.  It just gets to me.

 It appears that rookie WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Antonio Brown are now the third and fourth receivers on the depth chart. Antwaan Randle El has fallen to the fifth spot. 

ARE days are numbered again in Pitt.  It seems like thoughts of drafting a WR this year are gone.  They will give Sweed one last chance to takes ARE's spot in camp next year.  Personally I hope he can.  If Sweed could ever live up to his potential we'd have a WR group that would rank up there with the best in the league.  I think Ward will play one more year so he can get to his 1,000 catch mark that he said he wanted to hit, even if they do win a Super Bowl.

  QB Ben Roethlisberger when asked about his broken foot: "It actually is good. I didn't have any setbacks this week so that's a really good thing. I'll still wear the boot a little bit for protective reasons."

This is a good sign, we saw within the game how vital Ben's movement in the pocket is to this team, his ability to shrug off defenders is part of what makes him an elite QB.

 The doctor who performed surgery on Ben Roethlisberger's broken nose said his nose bones "were like cornflakes."  He will wear a protective shield on his helmet.

All I got to say is if I'm ever in a dark alley in baltimore and Ngata is coming after me, I'm shooting him.  No questions asked.  You don't fight guys like that, if you want to live.  Also and I hope the shield doesn't limit's Ben's vision, although it shouldn't.

 LB Jameel McClain on his helmet hit to Steelers TE Heath Miller that earned him a $40,000 fine: “It’s a man going to try to make a play. I was within the strike zone. I was going the way I was taught to play throughout my whole life.” 

Sounds familiar doesn't it.  Now what were you saying again Mr. Harbaugh?

SS Troy Polamalu was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week after his five tackles, one sack, two QB hurries and a forced fumble led to the Steelers' victory

The Steelers are not Super Bowl contenders without Troy.  The defense isn't the same, no defense would be the same without him.  He is a top 100 player in the NFL all time, in my opinion, and when he gets done with his career he will walk straight to the Hall of Fame.  Troy is my favorite player to ever play in the NFL.  

  Isaac Redman (ankle) was limited in practice on Wednesday. Redman hurt the ankle against Baltimore last Sunday.

I don't think it is serious but Redman earned some serious kudos this week for not being denied.  Just some thought maybe we should start lining him up at WR and throw it to him like we did Wallace.  Instead of dancing, Redman would have rolled that DB right into the endzone.

 Not participating in practice on Wednesday: RT Flozell Adams (ankle), TE Heath Miller(concussion), SS Troy Polamalu (ankle), and DE Aaron Smith (triceps).

I really hope Flozell comes back but when we clinch the division, he should sit and rest that ankle.

TE Matt Spaeth (concussion) has a clean bill of health and will be a full participant in practice this week. Spaeth will start against the Bengals

I'm really interested to see what Spaeth can do.  I think his blocking his getting better and if he can be a threat in the receiving game that gives us a nice group of TEs to work with. (insert joke here)  I don't think we'll be drafting TEs this draft either.  So that leaves the positional needs in order of most importance NT, OG, CB.  I think we get Powe in the first round this year and Mike Pouncey in the second.  

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