Weekend Checkdown: Reviewing the news that was so last week


BTSC goes to the bullpen for this week's Weekend Checkdown.

The usual writer of Weekend Checkdown, Mr. Ivan Cole, is laid up this weekend, so there's been a pitching change.

Big shoes to fill, but this is the price Ivan pays for continuing to randomly lay his shoulder into random Browns fans as they walk unsuspecting down the street. A slight injury occurred and recovery is necessary. No word yet on pending assault charges, and we continue to hope and pray they never come.

In the meantime, the passionate speech of Robert the Bruce cries out as William Wallace's legendary sword flies through the air.

It's been another exciting week in Steeler Nation and Behind The Steel Curtain, one that saw the wake of several traffic records getting shattered like Geno Smith's ego.

We got an update from Anthony Defeo on the always humorous tales of his boss, whether he's attempting to defy gravity or simply discussing how Steelers second round pick Le'Veon Bell is like Franco Harris (whaaaa?), he mixes in another humorous anecdote with solid analysis. Runnings backs just ain't what they used to be, it seems. Or, at the very least, fan favorite Eddie Lacy wasn't able to overcome concerns of injuries, leading him to slide past the Steelers with the 48th overall pick.

After all, Tony is the one who taught us "write about the pope, and stories get linked on German web sites and become the most trafficked story of the year."

That, and confirmed what we already know...Germans love Anthony Defeo.

We also ran a Preliminary 2014 Mock Draft, in which an incorrect spelling of the word "Preliminary" missed the eye of the writer, Big_Jay, as well as the editorial staff, for two days. In the end, it turns out it's the perfect metaphor behind the reason for posting a 2014 Mock Draft less than 72 hours after the 2013 Draft ended; people don't care enough to notice much outside of draft news and speculation.

A new, fun reader-inspired feature that came to life over the last week was the posting of highlights from Steelers draft picks. Vince Williams was the first, giving us this vicious hit of undrafted free agent guard Dalton Freeman in Senior Bowl practices. I forget which reader tipped us off to it, but it's much appreciated. And fun to watch. Bell hitting the Truck Stick and the blur that is Reggie Dunn are also worthy submissions.

Better be careful how much we enjoy Dunn's highlights, though, lest another web site is compelled to advise readers to settle down (not so fast!); he's an undrafted player, therefore, has no realistic chance of any kind.

Fun haters...

Steel City Roller cracks the review list with his blunt assessment of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's blunt statement that rookie OLB Jarvis Jones will not start just because. Makes sense. The Steelers haven't started many rookies lately, and most of us just thought that was because they weren't good enough. Then the 2008 draft class came around, and proved conclusively why starting players you draft can be detrimental to a team's success.

Michael "Gov't" Uhlhorn weighs in on early predictions for the 2013 Rookies of the Year, offensive and defensive. Does Jones, Bell or third-round pick Markus Wheaton have a chance? Maybe "Hammerhead" Shamarko Thomas? It doesn't seem likely the man who "closes like a shark" will get much opportunity, unless all Steelers games are shifted to Denver.

From the "who is this Todd McShay character?" files, ESPN analyst Todd McShay says Landry Jones was the Steelers' smartest draft pick, and Jarvis Jones was the most questionable one. Since ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper gave the Steelers a B for their draft (as did the BTSC readers), we're led to the conclusion Kiper is the smartest draft analyst and McShay is the most questionable.

Perhaps a debate over who was better on BTSC this year, Big_Jay or Steel34D is in order. That'd be epic. Maybe run them through our own Combine of events. Make them list off prospects from schools north of the Mason Dixon line with enrollments of under 17,000 while running 40 yards in Spandex.

Like you wouldn't watch.

Steelers fans should know, Pittsburgh was the seventh-biggest TV market for the draft. So residents get a set of steak knives or something.

That's more than newly signed punter Brian Moorman got after the late Sean Taylor knocked out what little hair was left on his head in the 2009 Pro Bowl. Doesn't matter, though, cuz ladies and gentlemen, we got him. Who cares if the idea of someone competing with one of the worst punters in the NFL is borderline laughable? When's the last Steelers punter to go to a Pro Bowl? When's the last time the Steelers had a punter who had been to a Pro Bowl?

Mitch Berger? The guy who was just on Millionaire Matchmater? Chris Rainey hadn't even undergone his first Respect Women intervention class when Berger was in the Pro Bowl for the Vikings.

Speaking of not going to the Pro Bowl, the Steelers reportedly will sign wide receiver Steve Breaston after June 1. Some reasons for the wait could be related to the clearance of Willie Colon's contract from the books, or the Steelers not wanting to assume risk for the injured Breaston until they absolutely have to.

Bet you thought that second reason was a joke. I'm not even sure it is.

Not really sure what any of this is, or was, but that's the Checkdown. It's like Jonathan Dwyer's waistline, ya never know what you're gonna get.

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