If you're looking for one reason why the BTSC Daily Steelers Six Pack has fallen by the way side, it's quite simple: the Pittsburgh Daily Sports Bulletin is wearing the crown for most thorough job rounding up the best stuff written about the Pittsburgh Steelers each day. To boot, Ron Lippock, the man behind the PDSB operation, rounds up the best articles about the Penguins, Pirates, Penn State and other local sports teams. The Six-Pack won't ever die here on BTSC -- that is not until a seventh Lombardi is won --and we may even crank it back up during the season. But for the time being, I'm perfectly pleased to let Lippock continue doing the fine work that he does. It's a great free service that all Steelers fans should take advantage of, even if Mr. Lippock has yet to ban any and all Bleacher Report articles from his rotation of links. You can subscribe to the PDSB by clicking here and then following the instructions on the main page.
I was pleased to be asked to do my second interview for the PDSB last week. There is a regular rotation of awesome interview subjects across a wide variety of sports, so I was pleased my thorough answers last time were enough to get me asked back. Hopefully it won't be the last.
To the first few questions, followed by a link to the rest of the interview on the PDSB site. Sign up while you're there. Free, useful, non-intrusive, a no-brainer.
1) First, can you tell readers about what's new with the site, your book and what you'll be covering in
the few weeks?
Well, the pace has been fast and furious since the lockout was lifted last week.
Quite an exciting time for fans, even if the Steelers haven't been as active as others around the league.
Here's as good a place as any to excitedly announce that Dale Lolley will be penning a weekly column once
all player are cleared to play on August 4th running up until the start of the 2011 season.
Lolley of course is a well-respected, straight shooter with a keen eye for the kind of nuance BTSC
readers crave. Looking forward to picking his brain and utilizing his every-day insider access to our
There are several new series and features planned for this next month, as well as at least one more really
fine writer joining the ranks. Should be a fun time for all as we prepare for the return of football.
2) On the Steelers, the team has been very aggressive in re-signing it's own free agents while
other teams seem to be looking externally for answers. Do you see the Steelers' focus on it's
own players to be even greater than in year's past, and do you attribute this to the short
amount of training time before the season starts ?
I truly don't think so. After Ryan Clark was signed during free agency in 2010, I wrote:
For the past several years, I've felt and written that the Pittsburgh Steelers peak window for competing
for Lombardi Trophys would be in 2010-2012.
In 2008, the Steelers wowed us with their remarkable run to Super Bowl win number six, but considering how
the offense performed for most of the season, I think most of us realize that the Steelers were fairly
fortunate to win one for the other thumb in 2008. I thought the team would be better than they were in 2009,
but injuries to key stalwarts on defense and the inexperience of many of the young players thrust into action
played a role in the team's struggles. Still, I felt like 2010 and 2011 were really the years that the Steelers
For several years now, it has seemed to me like Kevin Colbert has done everything down to a T to ensure
the Steelers are perfectly positioned to make runs at the Super Bowl in 2010-2012. The cupboard is much
more stocked today than it was after the Steelers won Lombardi No. 6.
There was absolutely no urgent need to shop for talent upgrades - even at CB and OL - assuming that Ike
Taylor was re-signed and that either Willie Colon was offered a new deal or Flozell Adams was retained.
Both happened, so I think even if the regular season were to start tomorrow, Colbert would feel pretty good
about both the talent of the starters and the depth at most positions.
Having said all that, there definitely are instances where the Steelers probably felt it was a safer bet to
stick with what they knew rather than trying to marginally upgrade in free agency. William Gay immediately
comes to mind.
3) Any early ideas on who's been impressive among the young players in camp? What rookies/UDFA's
have stood out so far?