Tag Archives: Antonio Brown

The Unexpected Metoric Rise From Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is arguably the best receiver in that National football league. Entering his 7th season in the league all of which he spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers since being drafted in 2010, you have to wonder how many teams, scouts and personnel cringe knowing they passed on him? Since coming into the NFL, Brown has posted three consecutive seasons going for over 1,500 yards and appears to be headed for another with the start he has had so far.

It may come as a surprise, but business has not always been boomin’ for No. 84. Mr. Brown was drafted 195th in the sixth round. There were 21 receivers drafted before him and with the exception of Demaryius Thomas and Dez Bryant maybe all were mistakes. Of course no one really knows how these players are going to progress and turn out but that doesn’t stop the casual fan from wondering how all of these teams could have got it wrong or made the same mistake?

Was it a slower 40 yard dash time then needed or small hands? Maybe it was a character issue stemming from college or smaller stature in the wake of everybody looking for the next Calvin Johnson? Whatever the case may be, Antonio has proven his value in this league.

Pittsburgh is currently looking like true contenders to win the Super Bowl this year with Antonio being their biggest threat. An amazing a player passed on by most can dominate the league at his position while also providing some action returning punts and kick offs.

The best way to exhibit revenge is to have success. With that said, he’s doing just that. Going forward, continue to make them pay Mr. Brown, I’m sure the other teams in the NFL regret their decision.

Ravens/Steelers: Rivalry Renewed

When the Baltimore Ravens meet the Pittsburgh Steelers on Saturday night, a fiery rivalry will once again ensue. It will be the 4th time these teams have met in the postseason, with the Hometown Steelers winning the previous 3.

The first being in 2002, a battle between two mediocre QBs (Kordell Stewart, Elvis Grbac) resulting in a 27-10 Pittsburgh victory. A game most in Baltimore would gladly forget. In January of 2009, these teams met for the 2nd time in the playoffs. This event culminating 7 years after the previous postseason tilt. It was Joe Flacco’s rookie campaign, led by a 11-5 record they stormed into the playoffs only to be stopped in their tracks by the division champs. Two years later they met again for Joe’s revenge. After  a dominant performance in the first half, Big Ben came out of the locker room connected with Rookie at the time, Antonio Brown to take the lead and eventually the win. Drowning any hope of a win against their dreaded rivals.

Much has changed since the AFC championship game back in 2009. The Ravens come equipped with a potent Offense to this contest, something they had little of four years ago and any year other than 2012 for that matter. Rounded out by Flashy Torrey Smith, “Icey” Steve Smith Sr and journeyman running back Justin Forsett, RavensNation witnessed the highest scoring offense since the reincarnation of the team in 1996. Their opponents from Heinz Field are fielding a defensive lineup that isn’t much different from 2009. Other than rookie upstart Ryan Shazier and a few other solid contributors, they have a squad that has been together a few years. Timmons, Worilds, Heyward and veteran leaders Polamulu and Harrison all have 3 or more seasons with the club.
On the Ravens Defense they will be sporting an entirely new team from most years, due to retirements of key guys, (Ray Lewis, Ed Reed) and enough injuries to collapse most teams. Cornerbacks are dropping like flies, Baltimore is now down to their 7th string at that position, a scenario rarely experienced in the NFL. Although leadership has been questioned throughout the past two seasons, the talent can’t be. Suggs and Dumervil has become a force to be reckoned with. Leading the league in sacks for a pair with 29 and a combined 64 tackles/2 Forced Fumbles, this dynamic duo has put their stamp on the NFL this year, something Big Ben knows all to well. In his illustrious career no player has sacked Ben more than Sizzle, add Dumervil’s stellar pass rush and The Steelers O Line is going to have more than their hands full. With Le’Veon Bell listed as doubtful, the Black and Yellow squad will have to rely on breakout star Antonio Brown, whom is more than up to the challenge. Landing in the top 3 for almost all WR stat categories, Brown will be a primary target come Saturday. A depleted secondary will have to be on their toes to keep up with the speedy Steeler.
Both teams missed out on the playoffs last year and are seeking postseason glory after solid regular season outings. The Steel curtain is no longer and the days of Ray Lewis Smashmouth Defense are done but this doesn’t mean these two haven’t created their own football identity. With a steady mix of young and old, breakout stars and two Super Bowl quarterbacks, this early January matchup will be one for the ages.
So as the date fast approaches, fans from the Steel city and the DMV will be in heated arguments across the global social media scene, each fanbase exposing the other trying to gain some sort of psychological advantage. In reality nothing is set in stone, like previous games before this, this is a clash of two titans, two equally powerful offenses , special players on both sides of the ball. Mixed with the fact both teams have more hatred for each other than any other rivalry in football today.
Either side can come out with the W, one thing is for sure, anything is possible on “Any Given Sunday”. (Or for this case, Saturday)

Pittsburgh Steelers 2013 Preview

     A new NFL season is a upon us and every single fan has nothing but optimism about the up coming season. Some fans have Superbowl hopes, some fans have playoff aspirations and others just want this year to be better than last year. As a proud member of Steeler Nation its always Superbowl or bust. Considering that as an organization they have more rings(six) than any other franchise, the Pittsburgh Steelers enter every season with high expectations. Some critics say the Steeler fans should dim their expectations just a little bit this year. We’re ( yes I said we) in a division with the reigning Superbowl champion and young up start team in Cincinnati. I’ve heard a lot of “experts” predict us to finish 3rd in the division and not even making the playoffs. They say that we are old and our window of opportunity may have closed, but I think that our demise is greatly over exaggerated and we will not only make the playoffs but we will win the division and play in the franchise’s 9th Superbowl.  Please let me explain why.

Ben-Roethlisberger     First off, our success depends  heavily on the health of Big Ben Roethlisberger. Ben doesn’t get the credit he deserves as a top qb in the game but his record speaks for itself. He has a career win/loss record of 87/39 (69%). There is only three quarterbacks of note with a higher win percentage; Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and Roger Staubach.  He has played in three Superbowls and has won two.  There is only 11 qbs in history with more than one ring and only 4 with more than two. To say the least Ben is a winner and an elite qb so when Jaws ranked Qbs like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco ahead of Ben I lost all respect for Jaws and refuse to listen to anything else he has to say. I could be walking across the street and he could yell out “A bus is about to hit you” and I wouldn’t even listen because anything that comes out his mouth has no credibility to me. So, Ben was  having another great year, one of his best, when all of a sudden he went down with an injury. He missed a few games then rushed to get back but we lost 3 in a row down the stretch because he clearly was not healthy. We ended up 8-8 just missing out on the playoffs. This won’t be the case this year. Ben had surgery on his knee this off season and his already back at it looking healthier than ever. He has also lost a noticeable amount of weight that should take some pressure of the knee and also him to be more free out there.

     We also have a much improved offensive line that should protect Ben a lot better which we keep him healthy all year. Mike Adams and Marcus Gilbert are two young tackles who have a couple of years under their belts and give us our most talented pair of tackles we’ve had in a while. Maurkice Pouncey is already a pro bowl center who follows in the foot steps of other great Steeler centers of the past and if healthy could be the best center in the league. Next to Pouncey and protecting Ben’s blind side is last season first round pick at guard David Decastro. He missed the whole season last year, he returns and is expected to be a future all pro at guard. We now have Ben protected so who does he have as weapons?

      I hear so much about what we lost in Mike Wallace and Rashard Mendenhall but I don’t consider either a loss. Wallace held out last year and when it was time to play he didn’t produce at the level he was expected to. Over the past two seasons Antonio Brown has stepped up and been our most consistent receiver. I feel very comfortable in Brown being our number 1 receiver. Emanuel Sanders was a high pick receiver a few years ago who was just waiting for opportunity. This year he will get the chance as our number two receiver. We also two reliable veterans in Jerricho Cotchery and Plaxico Burress. Markus Wheaton is a rookie from Oregon State with a lot of talent and high expectations. Could be the next Hines Ward. Our only concern is with the health of tight end Heath Miller who is now on the PUP list but I feel confident in him returning early in the season and picking up where he left off last year with probably his best season. Goodbye Rashard Mendenhall and hello La’veon Bell. Runinng back is a position that you can step right in from college and produce and Bell was one of the best in college. If Bell is not ready early then Jonathan Dwyer returns coming off of his breakout season and Isaac Redman is back as well. I’m looking forward to this offense to really take off in year two of Tod Haley’s system.

   What about the defense you ask? They’re pretty old you say. Well not so much. We let James Harrison go and even though he was a fan favorite, it was time for him to go. Lamarr Woodley is one of the best pass rushers in the league and he is only 28. I expect for him to have a big bounce back season and return to the top of the sack leader list. Jason Worilds is the other rush linebacker and has played behind Harrison the past two seasons but will have his opportunity to step up as a starter. If Worilds can’t get it done the Rookie Jarvis Jones could be ready to step in and contribute.  Jones had 28 sacks in two seasons at Georgia and he fits the mold of a Pittsburgh linebacker. Lawrence Timmons is probably one of the most underrated middle linebackers in the league but has been one of Pittsburgh’s most consistent performers. Always one of the leaders in tackles and interceptions, Timmons should have a great upcoming season. Larry Foote is our only regular linebacker over twenty eight and he still a great contributor and leader. Brett Keisel is only our 2nd defender over 28 and he still plays at a high level. He has a lot of young talent around him on the line to take the pressure off. Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward are to up and coming 3-4 defensive ends that will have break out years.

Troy-Polamalu    Our age is shown a little bit in our defensive back field, where we have three starters over thirty. Even though they’re over thirty they still are some of the best at their positions. It all starts with Troy Polamalu, who like Ben on offense, our success hinges on Troy’s health. Three seasons ago he was defensive player of the year and has had trouble staying healthy since. I heard he is healthy, ready to go and be the playmaker he’s known to be. Next to him is a Underated strong safety in Ryan Clark. In the mist of all Troy’s injuries Clark has step up, been a leader and a playmaker. He and Troy are still one of the top safety tandems in the league. We you speak of the top cornerbacks in the league, Ike Taylor’s name never comes up but he might be the best corner no one knows. For years he’s been left on an Island while we search to find a 2nd corner and he’s constantly held his side down against the best receivers in the league. It will probably be a mother carousel of young corners to contend for that 2nd corner spot and I’m just hoping one steps up.

     Call me bias but it looks like the makings of another great season in Pittsburgh. We still have coach Tomlin, Dick Lebeau and since 2001 we’ve followed a certain pattern where we go to the playoffs two years in a row miss a year and return to the playoffs where the cycle continues. We missed last year, soooooooo………..