Thursday, January 27, 2005

Cowher Fired, Maddox Named Starter

At least that is what would happen if was up to the Pittsburgh sports fans. Over the past few days, I have listened to and read about the reactions of the black & gold faithful to the Steelers' first loss in 16 games. Most of the talk concerned 2 main issues.

1) The coaching decision to kick a field goal while down 14 points (effectively killing all momentum for a comeback). Hence the call to fire Bill Cowher.

2) The fact that Big Ben Roethlisberger, the rookie phenom, couldn't throw the ball anywhere near a Steelers player on Sunday. He instead chose to distribute his passes around the New England defense. Hence the suggested demotion of #7 to backup QB, or "most loved sports figure in town" as the position is known in Pittsburgh.

Everyone here knows that Coach Cowher is 1-4 in AFC Championship games (and 0-1 in the big game). When asked about his decision to send Jeff Reed on the field instead of going for the TD on 4th and goal from the 2, he said, "I'd do it again, too." We know. Please refer to the aforementioned 1-4 record in AFC Championship games.

As far as Ben's performance, he admitted in a press conference this week to being fatigued by the long season. That would have been great information to know before the game started. Tommy Maddox was kind of fresh at the time. Heck, even Brian St. Pierre could have stepped up. He played a part in the week 17 win over Buffalo.

But the season is over now and it is time to move on. Or is it? Since they have already decided on the need for a new coach and a new quarterback, the city's sports fans now have to debate Hines crying, the Bus retiring, Snoop Dogg as coach, Big Ben's broken toes, Big Ben's toes not being broken and how everyone in Pittsburgh is apathetic regarding the Super Bowl. It seems the fans here always need to talk about something.

And with hockey on hiatus, it is no use talking about the Penguins.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A Little Harsh?

I agree that the 4th and goal decision was wrong. A field goal gains you nothing when you're down by 14 because you still have to score twice to get back in the game. As far as the season goes, you have to give Cowher come credit.

He was forced to start his rookie quarterback after the second game. The Steelers were able to rework the game plan to take pressure off the rookie and went undefeated the rest of the season. These are hardly grounds for firing the coach.

As for the rookie QB himself, he had his ups and downs like everyone else. There were times when he looked like a rookie, but there were also many times that he looked like a veteran pro-bowler. I see a lot of potential in Ben. I'd hate for Pittsburgh to give him up and watch him grow and develop into a star for some other team.

We already mourned the loss of the Bus a year or two ago. While he is still a great RB, he is no longer a surprise to opposing defenses. He can still pull through in short yardage situations, but he is no longer the exciting force that he used to be - able to single handedly wear out a defense in the first half while retaining his own energy through the whole 60.

No, the game plan will not change much, but Bettis is a leader on the team. Losing him will affect more than the Steeler's running game.

While we are all frustrated with our team, I think we should all cool off before we start firing and demoting people.

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