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Quick Hits: Pittsburgh and Around the League

Pittsburgh:

1.) I love the fact that guys like Chris Hoke, among others, hate the national media (and Bouchette for that matter) continually saying the Steelers just need to go 2-2 while Ben is suspended. These guys take pride in what they do and don't feel they have to lose two games because their quarterback isn't there. Good on them. And by the way the Steelers are 16-0 in the regular season when Hoke starts.

2.) As great as Polamalu is, Lawrence Timmons has been the best player on the field each of the first two weeks. It's ridiculous to discuss after two weeks, but the Steelers could have three Pro Bowl linebackers.

3.) i'm tired of hearing everyone criticize Tomlin for his handling of the quarterback situation. In hindsight, without knowing who is going to get hurt, it looks like Tomlin had it just right. Leftwich got the most work, Dixon got plenty and Batch didn't get much. Ben got his as well and I'm sure that will be helpful two weeks from now.

4.) The Steelers started this game without their first and second string quarterbacks, left tackle and nose tackle. That's why I argued last week that Antonio Brown should be involved. When you have weapons, you have to use them particularly when you're shorthanded. Nice choice by Tomlin. Later in the game, protecting a lead, Randle El was also the right choice to return punts.

5.) Tampa isn't going to be a pushover. I like the Steelers chances because Josh Freeman just hasn't played enough against a defense like the Steelers, but expect it to be competitive, particularly with the Steelers issues on offense and Tampa's stout, young defensive line.

6.) I was in Tennessee. Damn was it hot. I'm not surprised guys cramped up and had to leave the game at various times. More of the same this week.

NFL:

1.) I think there is a decent chance Matt Schaub wins the MVP. I picked Houston as the best value on the board at 40-1 to win the Super Bowl with the Steelers second at 22-1. I feel good about both of them now.

2.) The level of quarterback play is all over the map. All the young guys have issues. Mark Sanchez terrible in week one, very good in week two. Same for Alex Smith. Joe Flacco fair in week one, terrible in week 2 (where is the guy who said I was crazy for saying Flacco would regress this year?). Tony Romo? Kevin Kolb? Matt Stafford? Matt Moore and Trent Edwards have already lost their jobs and Derek Anderson and Jason Campbell probably aren't far behind. Josh Freeman gets his baptism this week. I think Sam Bradford will be the best of the whole lot of them.

3.) 0-2 teams that will be just fine: San Francisco and Minnesota. I'm not sure about Dallas, they could easily be 0-3 after playing at Houston this week. 2-0 teams that won't make the playoffs: Miami, Kansas City and Tampa.

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