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Behind enemy lines: 5 questions with the Blitzburgh Blog

Discussion in 'Latest Chargers News & Headlines' started by robdog, Nov 13, 2008.

  1. robdog

    robdog Code Monkey Staff Member Administrator

    Jun 29, 2009
    By Loren Casuto

    <a href="http://www.karchnerwesternart.com/steel.2.jpg"><img class="alignright" title="Steelers Fans" src="http://www.karchnerwesternart.com/steel.2.jpg" alt="" width="275" height="202" /></a>The folks over at the <a href="http://blitzburghblog.com" target="_blank">Blitzburgh Blog</a> spent a few minutes answering questions about the upcoming game vs the Bolts and their division leading Pittsburgh Steelers.

    <strong>BoltTalk: What is the deal with Willie Parker? It seems like he can't stay healthy. Do you guys still see him as a #1 back or with the drafting of Mendenhall, do you see Parker moving into a secondary role?</strong>

    <strong>Blitzburgh Blog:</strong> <em>Willie Parker is still the feature back of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's had a terrible string of luck this year with injuries. He sprained a knee early in the year and then dinged his shoulder the week he returned. Understandably, the past couple months have caused a lot of people to question his durability, but the proof is in the pudding. Since he took the starting job from Jerome Bettis in 2005, Willie has ran for over 1,200 yards each season. He's no LT, but as I'm sure you Charger fans know, Parker was in line to win the rushing title last season until he was forced to sit out the past few weeks with an injury. Hopefully he can eventually put the injuries behind him, but any running back that the Steelers bring into the organaztion - Mewelde Moore or Mendenhall - will be the second option with a healthy Parker.</em>

    <strong>BoltTalk: Same question to you guys regarding quarterbacks.</strong>

    <strong>Blitzburgh Blog:</strong> <em>The quarterback situation is fairly comparable to the running back situation for the Steelers, which is a testament to how ridiculous us Steeler fans can be. People have been calling for Byron Leftwich to take over as starter for most of the season. Let's be real, Ben Roethlisberger has done an accurate Ryan Leaf impression this season and probably cost the team a couple wins, but he was just handed a nearly $40 million long-term contract in the offseason. Everybody knows how good he can be when he is on his game and a few bad performances shouldn't put cloud his status as a starter. The injuries to his shoulder obviously haven't helped, but Pittsburgh fans love the backup quarterback as much as Broncos fans love Ed Hochuli. Every time a gunslinger like Roethlisberger goofs up - which he has done a lot lately, there will be people calling for his head.</em>

    <strong>BoltTalk: How do you see Mike Tomlin a few years into his time as head coach of the steelers and are you guys appearing to make a move to the 4-3 as was believed with his hiring?</strong>

    <strong>Blitzburgh Blog:</strong> <em>The hiring of Mike Tomlin was a huge surprise to most people following the Steelers. Granted, the NFL's fairly new policy on interviewing minority candidates for coaching positions is named after Steelers owner Dan Rooney, but everybody expected a Steelers assistant to get the job. As shocked as we were when he was hired, Tomin fits the exact same mold as a couple guys named Cowher and Noll: a young, fairly inexperienced, defensive coach. I think it's safe to say that things worked out well with those two hires. It's too early to really evaluate Mike Tomlin, but he has been a great motivator during his time with the Steelers so far and the Steelers play hard for him every week. It's hard to argue against what we've seen so far, even if he's still learning.</em>

    <em>I'm glad you brought up the 4-3 defense because that was the biggest fear that most Steeler fans had when Tomlin was hired. He's been a proponent of the Tampa Cover 2 defense that he learned from Tony Dungy, but made the decision to retain Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau after he was hired. We're admittedly biased, but LeBeau is the best assistant coach in football. He's introduced zone blitzing into the league and his Steeler defenses in the mid-1990's and 2000's have been lights out (heartbreaking AFC Championshp drives by Stan Humphries aside). Tomlin has been mostly hands-off when it comes to the defensive schemes and LeBeau has continued to consistently create great gameplans.</em>

    <strong>BoltTalk: Recently Heinz Field hasn't been the scary place as was your old stadium to play in (though idk, Charger fans don't find it that scary, remember 1995?). NUmerous teams have come in there and beaten you guys on your turf, are you guys seeing a decline in home field advantage, if so what's the cause, if not then why?</strong>

    <strong>Blitzburgh Blog</strong>: <em>Heinz Field hasn't been kind to the Steelers, that's for sure. Steeler fans have had to swallow tough AFC Champsionship losses as often as Shawn Merriman swallows "tainted nutritional supplements." (Sorry, we couldn't resist.) Nobody really knows what happened and why the Steelers have sucked at home. I think most of the blame has to be placed on former coach Bill Cowher because he was the only consistent factor over that hellish decade of home losses, but the Steelers lost a home playoff game last year and have blown a few winnable games already this year at Heinz Field. Basically, your guess is as good as ours.</em>

    <em>One thing for you guys to keep in mind this weekend: the open end zone at Heinz Field has been notoriously hard to kick field goals towards because of the swirling winds. The Steelers Jeff Reed has managed to figure it out pretty good, but it cost Todd Petersen and Kris Brown their jobs, so should Nate Kaeding be lining up for a winning field goal, better hope he's not facing the water. </em>

    <strong>BoltTalk: What do you attribute to the fact there are Steelers fans everywhere you go?</strong>

    <strong>Blitzburgh Blog:</strong> <em>Lots of teams use the term "nation" to describe their fans, but Steeler Nation is actually legit. Anybody who's worthwhile will tell you that Steeler fans travel better than any other team in the NFL. I'd cite the Monday Night game against Washington as an example, but Washington sports fans are a joke, so we'll have to throw that out.</em>

    <em>But the real reason that the Steelers travel so well is two-fold. The main reason is that a lot of today's adults grew up watching the Steelers dynasties of the 1970's, jumped on the bandwagon, and never left. The other reason is that the job market in Pittsburgh has been terrible since the steel industry went down. Kids grow up here and then have to move away to find good work, but keep their Steeler allegiances becuase their parents and grandparents grew up with Steeler football in their blood. So to say Steeler fans travel well is actually incorrect. They don't have to travel, they are already taking over every city.</em>

    <em>Good luck on Sunday and we hope that any Charger fans traveling to Pittsburgh for the game will enjoy our fine city. Just don't bring up 1994, Stan Humphries, or Pittsburgh native Marty Schottenheimer and you'll make it back in one piece.</em>

    <a href="http://blitzburghblog.com/2008/11/13/chargers-preview-5-questions-with-bolttalk/" target="_blank">Check our answers to their 5 questions over at the Blitzburgh Blog.</a>

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