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Bryant McFadden Should Read Behind the Steel Curtain

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Just a real quick post here about an article I just read in the Trib. The article was about how Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Bryan McFadden was irked by the criticism he received following Sunday's performance against the Atlanta Falcons.

When Atlanta Falcons receiver Roddy White caught 13 passes for 111 yards against the Steelers on Sunday, left cornerback Bryant McFadden wasn't fazed.

In fact, McFadden took offense to media and fan criticism this week that he was victimized by White.

I hardly get to reading every last article written by the mainstream media each week, but I don't really recall any article that was critical of McFadden's performance against the Roddy White of the Falcons. Who knows though, it wouldn't surprise me if some hack columnist wrote that after examining the box score and seeing 13 receptions by White. Not someone like Dale Lolley, Jim Wexell, or Bouchette. But those three are hardly the only ones on the Steelers beat.

Moving on from media criticism to the fans..Again, I don't read but a tiny fraction of all that's written about the Steelers each day. There's dozens and dozens of blogs, and it's entirely likely someone wrote this or that. But why would McFadden see/read that?

All I know is that I read comment after comment from you all about how solidly you thought McFadden played. I agreed and wrote the same elsewhere. I was particularly impressed with how McFadden helped out in the running game. With the Falcons facing a 3rd and 1 on the Steelers 43, McFadden paired up with Casey Hampton to stuff Michael Turner for a two yard loss. A fresh set of downs there likely leads to points for Atlanta. A bigtime stop forces a punt and keeps the game scoreless. I thought it was important for the Steelers to score first this past Sunday so that Dixon wouldn't press unnecessarily. That stop there was huge and he stormed in from his corner position to clean up.

Three other of McFadden's tackles were stopping running plays. None went more than 6 yards.And don't forget: Matt Ryan threw the ball 44 times! Other than White's 13 receptions, only Eric Weems (4) and Harry Douglass (3) hauled in more than 2 passes.

Bottom line is this: White's 13 catches don't mean a darn thing; McFadden's performance against Atlanta was much closer to 'great' than it was to 'just average'. His sure-tackling and physical presence were a welcomed sight, and it was interesting to be reminded of just how much stronger B-Mac is than most CBs. He also takes such better angles to the ball than does William Gay at this stage in their respective careers. 

I was very outspoken and confused about not re-sigining B-Mac after the SB season in '08. I did understand the youth movement in other areas of the roster, but considering the market rate for him, it was hard to watch a former secoind-round draft pick that had helped the team win two titles walk in the prime of his career. He's not a difference maker in that Troy Polamalu or Charles Woodson type of way. But his return is a big reason why I think the Steelers have a great shot at doing special things this year on defense and as a team.

So, anyway, Mr. McFadden, you're looking in the wrong places for support, recognition and encouragement.

Best of luck this weekend. Go Steelers!