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Weekend Checkdown: the top stories of the week

Last week it was said that if there was news during this period it would probably not be good. Aren't you relieved there's little to no Steelers news?


Aaron Hernandez

if there is news during this period it's probably not something you want to hear about. Most likely it will be about someone getting shot, arrested, blowing out their Achilles or getting caught with someone else's wife. I don't want to write about it and you don't want to read it.

If you're the mean spirited sort then you might wish to see Patriots or Ravens being carted off to jail

I swear I was kidding when I wrote this in the Checkdown last week. Until this story broke I was actually feeling sort of sorry for myself because there was so little Steelers news this week.

If we're smart what we are hoping for is a month and a half of mind numbing boredom, punctuated with the occasional report about a player helping a little old lady across the street or rescuing a cat from a tree while they were on their way to their third workout of the day.

Mind numbing boredom's looking pretty good about now. Let me be clear that there is nothing to make light of here. Based upon my personal sense of ethical calculus, shooting someone in the back of the head or being involved in the cover up of someone being shot in the back of the head is of an entirely different order than a sex act that may be questionable in relation to consent, the abuse of animals, accidentally shooting yourself or even the violence potential involved in a carjacking or street robbery.

While the brunt of the repercussions of this act will fall on the Patriots organization, and as many have already opined, there may appear to be an element of cosmic justice associated with this incident, the impact, unless we are woefully mistaken about the allegations, will be profoundly negative for the entire league. Even if Hernandez is 'just' guilty of obstruction of justice, it would be a travesty if he ever played in the NFL again. The comments accompanying Neal Coolongs piece are discussing suspension. Suspension? Are you kidding? Obviously, I'm not overlooking due process here, but all things considered I think Mr. Hernandez has pretty much forfeited the privilege of participating in this branch of the entertainment industry. I think he qualifies as being 'bad for business'.

Jones vs. Harrison

Last week Chris Burke of did a piece comparing rookie running backs Eddie Lacy of the Packers and the Steelers' Le'Veon Bell and their likely impact in the 2013 season. Burke's series continues this week and the Steelers theme continues. This time the match up is former Steeler James Harrison and Steeler rookie Jarvis Jones. As anyone who has been paying attention to the spring workouts knows, it is altogether unclear as to what level of contribution Jones will be making during his rookie season. So you might want to check out Burke's surprise assessment that Jones will win this competition.

Isaac Redman

Did you know that Redman is the favorite Steelers running back of Ben Roethlisberger's wife? That was one of the highlights of a radio interview this week. Redman had some interesting things to say on the following topics: Todd Haley's offense in its second year, the progress of the offensive line, Le'Veon Bell, Jonathan Dwyer and what went wrong with the running attack during the 2012 season.

Hosting the NFL draft in Pittsburgh?

Steelers president Art Rooney II has raised the issue of the league possibly conducting the NFL Draft in Pittsburgh. Some of the pros and cons are discussed here, but there are no really compelling reasons to not consider locations other than New York City for the annual event. It would be hard to imagine Pittsburgh failing to make a quality showing if given the opportunity to host the event. It will be interesting to see if the idea gets serious consideration during the coming months.

Heinz Field Part I

The team suffered a setback in its efforts to facilitate community financing of a proposed addition of 3,000 seats to the Heinz Field south end zone. A judge ruled that the team failed to successfully make the case the proposed renovation met the standard of being a capital improvement. At issue here is who will foot the bill for the stadium addition.

Heinz Field Part II

Events in other parts of the country and the world have had their impact on how patrons of the Steelers experience visiting the stadium to take in a game. The attacks that took place at the Boston Marathon have resulted in a change in policy at Heinz Field. Women's purses are among the items that are now banned from NFL stadiums. But there is some push back coming from some women on this issue


If you were hoping that last season's bumblebee/prison/chain gang throwbacks were a quickly forgotten one year phenomena, well, you are going to be disappointed. In a concession to good taste the unis will only be worn for one game this year that has yet to be determined.

LaRod Stephens-Howlings

Earlier this spring most of the attention given to newcomers were focused upon draftees. Now we're starting to get to know something about of the team's free agent additions. Though new to the Steelers, Stephens-Howlings is not new to the area, hailing from Johnstown and having played his college ball at the University of Pittsburgh. Comparison's are being made with Mewelde Moore in terms of the role Stephens-Howlings may play as a projected third down back. Like Moore, Stephens-Howlings will be a veteran presence with the additional big play potential as a kickoff and punt returner.

Mike Golic Jr.

The pedigree of the free agent offensive lineman from Notre Dame has attracted interest. His father is a former NFL player and ESPN radio personality that generates some interest in the progress of his son.

Linemen Investments

Christopher Carter addresses the heavy investment the team has made over the past few years in defensive and offensive linemen, a positive return on which may be coming soon.


With nothing else better to do we are being treated to various lists and rankings of players teams and team management that are based upon past accomplishments. This includes power rankings and effective team leadership.

The Cycle

For the past dozen years the Steelers have suffered a down non-playoff year every three seasons. Is this just a coincidence or a legitimate pattern?

Euphoric moments

Anthony Defeo and members of the BTSC community (in comments) share some of their highest moments following the Steelers.

Steelers in the Community

We close with a photo gallery of some nice boring Steelers interfacing with the community activity.