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Random Thoughts from a Black and Gold Mind: The Bye Week

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A trip into the mind of a madman/Steeler fanatic.

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Come down off of the ledge. There's plenty of football left in the season, unless you are Cleveland. What seems like the world's end for ‘Steeler Fan’, is still a 4-3 record. At full strength, this could be a dangerous team; however, one wonders if full-strength is even possible.

So after that diatribe, it's obvious that my black and gold mind is a 1986 hit by Genesis...."Land of Confusion". So check out my thoughts below.

But first, I'm obligated to apologize for those I may have cheesed-off in last week's column.

  • Public displays of vomiting.
  • Cher impersonators.
  • People that look to Dr. Phil to solve their problems.
  • Douches produced other than that of Summer's Eve or Massengil.
  • Douches for comparing them to Ndamukong Suh or Vontaze Burfict.
  • My wife, for discussing her unwillingness for threesomes on a blog site.
  • Victims of Jeffrey Dahmer.
  • People who haven't seen, but are still planning on seeing "Seven" after 21 years.
  • The homeless for saying that they look like Patriots DC Matt Patricia.
  • Robert Loggia.

Now for a preview of the subjects of next week's apologies.

  • When it comes to playing the Steelers, Rob Gronkowski reminds me of Jason Vorhees from the Friday the 13th series. Just when you, the young Crystal Lake campers, finally feel safe and lie in each other's arms, an ax rips through the tent and lops the male camper's head off, sending the girl to stumble aimlessly into the wooded night. The Steelers thought they were safe from Gronk, but he was merely lying in wait and waiting to strike, like a portly gent awaiting the arrival of a fresh batch of potato skins at an all-you-can-eat buffet. Gronk dominated the Steelers defense much akin to the infamous pawn-shop basement scene in Pulp Fiction, I was fearing that they were going to have to break out the black-leather gimp suits.
  • Even with my Gronkaphobia, I would love a scenario in which the Steelers meet up with the Patriots again. At full strength, this would be a great battle with the possibility of redemption.
  • We know how important Ben Roethlisberger being healthy is, but the Miami and New England game proved Cam Heyward's presence as more than imperative. Without Cam and Ben, the Steelers are like the 1982 season of "The Dukes of Hazzard" featuring Coy and Vance Duke replacing Bo and Luke. It's a complete decline in quality. In five games with No. 97, the Steelers defense gave up an average of 77 YPG on the ground. In two games Cam-less, the Steelers have surrendered 181 YPG. It wasn't like LeGarrette Blount was breaking tackles, he was getting holes the size that Kool-Aid Man makes through brick walls.
  • Why are Steeler fans complaining that Ben Roethlisberger asked Tom Brady for his jersey? Actually, I know part of that reason, a lot of Steeler fans complain about everything. Jersey swapping or in this case, jersey gifting is becoming more and more common. Whether you tolerate or hate him, Tom Brady is an icon. Also, the NFL is a fraternity. If you wanted a souvenir from the best in your industry, nobody would raise an eyebrow. Well, maybe in the adult film industry. If you worked at McDonalds and had an opportunity to get a pair of Ronald McDonalds's shoes...you would. It's not like a US soldier asking for a souvenir from ISIS. Relax.
  • I usually abhor the bye week, but the rest is really necessary. I think that the Ravens game will mark the return of Marcus Gilbert, Ben Roethlisberger and Cam Heyward to name a few.
  • We may see Ladarius Green play soon. But at the expense of who? I wonder if the Steelers are going to try to encourage the coaching staff to make sure Green gets plenty of opportunities to protect perception of their investment. It's like those folks with charred hair trying to defend their decision to buy a Galaxy Note 7.
  • Eli Rogers being forced to sit by Mike Tomlin is a red flag. Not sure what the undisclosed reasons actually are, but it adds Rogers to the list of young players that can't be counted on. Rogers was needed in the New England game and he let his team down.
  • I agree with Mike Tomlin on not wanting to move guys from position to position, however moving players within their positions has been done out of necessity. We've seen Lawrence Timmons play linebacker on the outside in the past. I'm wondering if Jarvis Jones is better suited playing linebacker on the inside. He's a good run stopper and can defend the pass, he just doesn't get to the quarterback. It reminds me of Sid Ceaser as Coach Calhoun trying to find a natural fit to fill the athletic needs of Danny Zucco in "Grease".
  • Although I want to see him for a full 16, half a season of Ryan Shazier is better than no Ryan Shazier at all. Quite a bit of fans criticize him for being injury prone, but kamikazes sacrifice themselves.
  • Margin for error is pretty slim at this point. A first-round bye in the playoffs may require a 12-4 record. A WC berth is probably going to take 10-6 record at worst. However, the entire division is struggling, 9-7 could possibly still get you in, but it may not get you far.

And finally....

  • I wonder what Rick Strom is doing these days.

Until next week remember the kind words of Billy Davis Jr. and Marilyn McCoo, "You don't have to be a star baby, to be in my show".