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Mid Season Report Card - Steelers Edition

An open thread for you to hand out some awards

Offensive MVP: Mewelde Moore

Moore has done absolutely everything asked of him. Pass blocking, pass catching, punt returns, and of course, carrying the ball. Let's take a look at his rushing and receiving numbers real quick:

Rushing Receiving
G Rush Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD Rec Yds Y/G Avg Lng TD
2008 - Mewelde Moore 8 69 320 46.0 4.6 32 3 16 123 15.1 7.7 25 1

That's stellar production. Stellar more for the consistency than anything. Get Moore the ball, expect about 5-6 yards.

Honorable Mention: Ben Roethlisberger, Hines Ward, Nate Washington

Defensive MVP: Troy Polamalu

Tough choice here. Any number of guys are deserving. Aaron Smith, Bryant McFadden (pre-injury), LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, James Farrior, etc. Perhaps more so than on offense, great defense requires substantial contributions from every last guy. We've gotten that, but to me, it all starts with Polamalu playing healthy for all of 2008. He's got a handful of INTs, been the anchor behind the league's best pass defense and the third best rush defense. There's no telling how far we might advance this year if Polamalu is able to stay on the field and play at the level he's been playing at since returning to Steelers headquarters late this summer in great shape.

Honorable Mention: LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison, Aaron Smith.

Breakout Player(s) of the Year: Bryant McFadden and LaMarr Woodley

B-Mac was playing at an unbelievably high level before he went down with his injury. No dropoff really with Deshea and William Gay in there yet, but there's no question in my mind that we're a more stable defense in the long run with him playing. He's physical, has great fluid strong hips that allow him to not get beat up in the short passing game, and he plays with the type of confidence that's needed as an NFL CB. McFadden was surely setting himself up for a nice payday before he got hurt. Who knows if that will at all effect his market value moving forward, but I sure hope we find a way to retain his services. Perhaps the DeAngelo Hall debacle will remind GMs around the league that overpaying for CBs can be a dangerous proposition.

What can you say about Woodley in his second year but 'Wow'. Props to Kevin Colbert for this pick. I don't think a single Steelers fan is not giddy with excitement when thinking about this guy's career. Woodley has a chance to not only break the Steelers single season sack record, but also to flirt with challenging Michael Strahan's 22 sack season.

Honarable Mention: Nate Washington, Darnell Stapleton

Surprise Contributor of the Year: Darnell Stapleton

Since taking over for the injured Kendalll Simmons, Stapleton has really done a remkarable job in my estimation. The sack numbers (while at times still high and inflated a bit by the late meltdown against the Giants) have stabilized to a degree, and there have been much better running lanes in between the tackles. We rushed for 125+ yards in his first two games as a starter, and unlike last year, many of our pass protection problems have not come as a result of our Guards and Center being manhandled. Without dogging on Simmons too much, I have no doubt that we're a better team with Stapleton in there. That's been a surprising and pleasant development for us.

Honorable Mention: Travis Kirschke, Justin Hartwig

Rookie of the Year: Patrick Bailey

Hard to find a winner here. None of our draft picks have had much of an impact yet, if any at all. Bruce Davis has made a play or two, Dennis Dixon showed promise, but only in preseason, Mendenhall got hurt, etc. So I'm going with Bailey, who made several nice plays in special teams before being waived. He's back on the team for now, so good luck to him making an impact.

Win of the Year: Washington Redskins, Week 9

What a rebound performance from the Steelers after the dissapointing late loss to the New York Giants. The offense struggled in the first half, and we lost the leader of our offense for the time being in the process, but all in all, a very satisfying and statement type win from our guys.

Honorable Mention: Baltimore Ravens, Jacksonville Jaguars

Loss of the Year: Philadelphia Eagles

I don't even want to think about it.


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