It is that time of week again. Time when I sit down with our local 'Yinzer', Lance Williams, to discuss some of those burning topics surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers from the previous week. This weekly segment will certainly stir up some discussion and possible make you look at things in a new perspective.
In case you didn't know, or forgot, Lance is my co-host on the BTSC flagship podcast "The Standard is the Standard" which will return in the coming weeks to discuss the NFL Draft, free agency and more. You can hear all of our podcasts on our BlogTalkRadio page, as well as on iTunes by searching 'The Standard is the Standard' in your iTunes search engine.
Here goes nothing...
Question: It was reported that QB Ben Roethlisberger has been on a "high cardio" workout and looks to be in the best shape of his life. Does this mean anything to you, or is it just a slow offseason?
Lance: Please excuse this Yinzer as I state the obvious, being a fat QB isn't a good thing. As you read this, insert the imposing image of former New York Giant QB Jared Lorenzen into your mind. Now picture Big Ben looking like that. By the way, did Big Lorenzen ever throw for as many yards as his weight in an NFL Game? Should we create a new metric that includes weight? If ESPN can create QBR, how about BTSC create W(eight)BR. In all seriousness, anything that Big Ben can do to get in-shape is a plus. Being cognizant of how cardiovascular shape can positively impact his game is why we can expect Big Ben to be at the top of his game for years to come.
Question: What are your thoughts on the Twitter 'beef' between between DeAngelo Williams and Vontaze Burfict?
Lance: Oh brother!!! If you haven't heard, Vontaze Burfict and DeAngelo Williams exchanged words on Twitter. Twitter fights are for suckers, nerds, dweebs, people that are bored, and imbeciles. Can someone please tell these guys to friend one another and send dumb tweets privately, so we wouldn't be subjected to this nonsense. Also, I thought public name calling was only reserved for a certain politician with bad hair. I'm sure you're saying to yourself; if it's nonsense why write about it. Well, we all like a little nonsense to entertain us, don't we? DeAngelo has been a little loose with the lips and Twitter fingers recently because he is about positioning himself for life after football. So be it and get your money, but in the famous word of Coach Tomlin please "quit while you're behind".
Question: With the NFL Draft upcoming, what are your yearly expectations for the team's first and second round draft choices?
Lance: In the NFL if you want to win consistently, drafting well is a huge component. It's imperative to hit on your first two draft selections because you can presumably get high production from young, cheap assets. Think of Timmons and Woodley and their contributions to the 6th Super Bowl win. If you've listened to the The Standard is The Standard podcast, you've heard me repeatedly say the phrase "The young guys have to become the guys". The phrase simply means in order to be successful young ball players have to quickly become integral pieces of your team. If the 1st and 2nd round picks are on the defensive side of the ball, I expect them to play at least 50 to 55 percent of the defensive snaps and to elevate the defense into a top 10 unit. April fools! And shame on the Steelers if they need a high level of production from a rookie to get them over the hump. I'm old school, I don't expect much more that what the Steelers got out of Bud Dupree and hope and pray that each can impact the game early in their careers like the Kendrell and Le'Veon Bell.
Question: So the NFL just released the preseason schedule. Is there anything you look forward to with preseason football?
Lance: Unlike most of you reading this, I will probably not watch the preseason games. I know it seems like a ridiculous statement from a writer and podcaster on BTSC, but the preseason is terrible and the first and fourth games are absolutely unwatchable. There's simply no compelling reason to watch. Starters don't play much, the games are played at half speed, and staffs don't game plan for them. On the rare occasion that I do watch a preseason game, I sit with a Rosary praying that no one gets injured. If this Yinzer was the commissioner, I would cut the preseason to two games and call it a day. Sorry, 56th guy trying to make the roster in the fourth preseason game.
Question: The Steelers have lost some valuable depth at the inside linebacker position. Do you see this as a cause for concern in 2016?
Lance: Am I concerned with the Steelers depth at Linebacker? Yes, but I'm more concerned about the production of the linebackers. Is losing Sean Spence and Terence Garvin really a big deal? It shouldn't be, and losing guys like that won't prevent you from winning a Super Bowl. They are just guys, and the Steelers began addressing the depth issue with the signing of Steven Johnson. The real concern is the lack of production in terms of sacks from the outside linebackers. The Steelers have a serious problem when a past his prime, soon to be 38-year-old James Harrison leads the position group with 5 sacks. On the season, the outside linebackers only had 15 sacks. The Steelers wish they only had a depth problem, but unfortunately they also have a problem with production.
You can hear Lance on the BTSC podcast "The Standard is the Standard" by going to our BlogTalkRadio page.