clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

When the Steelers "Next Man Up" philosophy goes right: A humble retraction

Before the Steelers AFC Wild Card game against the Bengals, I wrote an article about how sometimes the "Next Man Up" philosophy can come back to haunt you. Turns out, I need to retract that statement.

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The jubilation at "Steeler Central" was unparalleled, as the Steelers turned many a frown upside down Saturday night with their epic, come-from-behind 18-16 victory in Cincinnati. I've never hugged more dudes in my life than I did that night. The feeling that I have right now can not be described properly. But somewhere behind the Joker-like smile pasted on my pierogie-hole is glum disappointment in myself. I've come to the stark realization that my dreams of being the Director of Player Personell for the Pittsburgh Steelers is as dead as the Bengals 2016 Super Bowl dreams.

It is very hard to type and see the screen when you have egg on your face, but I've never been more happy to admit that I was wrong. In a commentary I wrote two days ago titled "When the Steelers Next Man Up Philosophy Doesn't Work", I questioned the Steelers brass for failing to have a better backup plan to cover the loss of DeAngelo Williams, who was the back up plan for Le'Veon Bell. My position was that the playoffs are the wrong time to give significant time to young and inexperienced players, especially after the same scenario was a disaster in the Wild Card last year versus Baltimore. I doubted the competency of these young warriors charged with the responsibility of keeping my favorite team alive another week.  That's why I work a 9-to-5 job, instead of in the front office of a National Football League team. Yeah I completely spilled the IC Light on that one.

I'd like to claim that my BTSC account was hacked, but no one would ever believe that one. I'd really like to say that I was writing while in the concussion protocol, but you know that's a complete falicy and even though I love to stir things up, I could've said that I was just trolling, but that's not true or respectable either. I believed in the words that I wrote, but like Landry Jones' passes Saturday night, it completely missed the mark. So I admit it, I was way off on my criticism of not having a better plan at running back other than Fitzgerald Toussaint and Jordan Todman. I apologize to them (even though they couldn't care less about my opinion).

If you told me that the T&T combo of Toussaint and Todman would outshine the duo of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill, I would have thought you nuttier than a Pac-Man Jones Twitter rant. But they were great and they have my admiration for playing with style and heart. Todman averaged nearly six yards-per-carry, going 11 for 65 with a spectacular 25-yard run. Toussaint was even a bigger factor. He had a total of 118 yards-from-scrimmage, 17 rushes for 58 yards on the ground and four catches for 60 yards. His poise in the winning drive was phenomenal as he hauled-in a drive-extending grab from Roethlisbrger. Hill and Bernard had a combined 78 yards on 18 carries and 29 more through the air.

There's plenty of speculation that DeAngelo Williams will be able to play next week. If he can't go, I am now very comfortable with the prospect of T&T as the face (or shall I say legs) of the running game against the Denver Broncos. Besides, I've got bigger things to worry about like the health of Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and the prospect of getting comfortable hugging dudes again next week.