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Old 10-29-2006, 06:20 AM   #1
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Default Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

Ed Bouchette on the Steelers: A weekly look inside the team, the issues, the questions
Any Steelers fans interested in paying for a second stadium?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

The NFL keeps trying to put a team or two in Los Angeles, and Los Angeles keeps resisting. The citizens there are doing this by refusing to pay to have a stadium built. So now, the NFL seems ready to pay to build a stadium in Los Angeles and split the costs, estimated between $600 million and nearly $1 billion, among its 32 teams.

Finally, a city that says no to the big sports leagues when it comes to building a stadium. The citizens in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Baltimore, et. al., of course are paying for their own football stadiums because they either feared losing their team or desperately wanted one back.

Los Angeles isn't so desperate; it's the other way around. The NFL is desperate to put at least one team there or risk losing, perhaps for good, the nation's No. 2 market.

Los Angeles is playing so hard to get that it keeps trying to force the ancient Coliseum down the NFL's throat, a renovation that would cost much more than it would to build a new stadium elsewhere in the area. There's also the matter of who is going to play there.

The NFL is unlikely to expand beyond what it considers a perfect number of 32 teams anytime soon. That means if they build a stadium, it will be with the intent of luring one of its existing teams from another city to move to Los Angeles -- say the Jacksonville Jaguars, Minnesota Vikings or San Diego Chargers, for instance.

And don't forget, when they dig into each owner's pocket to fund the stadium in Los Angeles, that cost likely will be passed along to the ticket holders in each team's city. Divide $1 billion by 32 franchises, and it comes out to more than $31 million apiece.

That way, the people in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, etc. will get to pay not just for one NFL football stadium, but two.


One fine day it wasn't ... and should not have been


Dan Rooney was fined $25,000 for what he said about the officials a week ago in Atlanta after the team's overtime loss to the Falcons.

"These officials should be ashamed of themselves," he said in the locker room after the game.

But why should he have been fined when Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was not docked after he ripped the Super Bowl officials?

As an addendum, the side judge who gave Bill Cowher the timeout just before Atlanta's Michael Koenen kicked that 56-yard field goal near the end of regulation? The one that sent Falcons coach Jim Mora into orbit? It was whistled by Tom Stabile, a Natrona Heights guy and among the better officials in the league. It was the proper call, too, because even the kicker said he heard the whistle before the snap.


If timing is everything, Cowher needs a new watch


After a rough start, Bill Cowher has become good at clock management. He's also among the most astute coaches in the league when it comes to challenging a call, or not. He goofed twice, however, a week ago in Atlanta, and it may have cost him a victory.

He wasted one timeout when he challenged Warrick Dunn's 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and the call on the field was upheld. He mentioned Tuesday that the Falcons did a good job of not showing the replay on the big screen in the Georgia Dome.

That's standard operating procedure for home teams. Unless the call obviously favors the home club, the video people are told not to show it on the stadium scoreboard, so as to not influence the visiting coach whether to challenge the call or not -- or to influence the officials if the call is challenged. Cowher a few years ago flipped out when such a call was shown on the Heinz Field video screen. A big meeting was held after that and strict instructions put into place about what is and is not shown on the Heinz videoboard.

In this instance, Cowher did not need a shot on the videoboard. Television replays showed that Dunn either scored or there was no evidence to overturn the touchdown call. Cowher's assistants have TV monitors in the press box for such things.

Worse was the timeout called with 30 seconds left in regulation. He used it to "ice" the kicker before he tried a 52-yard field goal. The kicker was Morten Andersen, 46, the second-leading scorer in NFL history. You'd have a better chance of icing Tiger Woods. Cowher said it must have worked because Andersen missed it. But he's 46 and he missed a 52-yard field goal by about a yard on a kick that was dead on.

If the Steelers would have had a timeout left, there would have been no need to spike the ball and no penalty, and Jeff Reed would have tried a 51-yard field goal in the dome to win it.

The big, bad NFL really isn't afraid of the World Series, is it?

Game 3 of the World Series had its lowest television ratings in history, even though the country now has 300 million people, or about double what it had in the 1950s when every household did not even have a TV set.

So, why does the NFL continue to avoid playing Sunday night football games during the World Series? Either it's a network courtesy, hard to believe these days, or it's wariness of the competition for sports fans on the same night.

If I'm the NFL, I'd schedule a Sunday night game opposite the World Series and either put baseball out of its misery or force them to play at 5 p.m.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06302/733914-66.stm
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Old 10-29-2006, 07:24 AM   #2
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

Sorry, the talk about not using the TO to ice Anderson is rediculous. If he makes that FG, Cowher gets thrown to the wolves for not trying to ice him. He missed the field goal, he made the right call, period.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:35 AM   #3
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

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Sorry, the talk about not using the TO to ice Anderson is rediculous. If he makes that FG, Cowher gets thrown to the wolves for not trying to ice him. He missed the field goal, he made the right call, period.
I agree with you on that call by Cowher, but I didn't agree with The Chin on that challenge on Dunn's TD. It was obviously a TD and while the author above is correct regarding home teams not replaying certain plays on their scoreboard so that the opposing team's coach can't get a bird's eye view of it, the author is also correct that the Steelers coaches up in the booth have access to a TV monitor and could have easily told Cowher that the call on the field of a TD was the correct call. Those of us watching the play on television could plainly see that the officials made the correct call. Why waste a timeout, especially in a close contest?

Regarding the story on building a new stadium in L.A., two words come to mind here...

BULL SHIT.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:43 AM   #4
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

Blasting Cowher for burning the last TO misses the point.

I assume the Steelers practice going downfield and spiking the ball to stop the clock virtually every day of practice (if not, I bet they did so this week).

What possessed Washington to take a step is incomprehensible. The blame for the end of regulation problems points in only one direction (it is not to the ref) and it is Cowher's fault only insofar as Washington apparently has not been coached well enough to learn what to do in that end of game scenario.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:54 AM   #5
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

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What possessed Washington to take a step is incomprehensible. The blame for the end of regulation problems points in only one direction (it is not to the ref) and it is Cowher's fault only insofar as Washington apparently has not been coached well enough to learn what to do in that end of game scenario.
You know I wuv ya, Dan, and do respect your opinions. However, if your assertion is viable, then I suppose Cowher is to blame every time anyone moves before the ball is snapped. Kind of silly, don't you agree? As a coach, you can mentor and mentor and mentor until you are blue in the face, but I believe it is ultimately up to the players to keep their heads in the game and not make costly mistakes.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:59 AM   #6
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

No way that we should have to help pay for another stadium. If that's the case, I would like to see the NHL build a new Arena for the Pens.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:33 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

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Originally Posted by HometownGal View Post
You know I wuv ya, Dan, and do respect your opinions. However, if your assertion is viable, then I suppose Cowher is to blame every time anyone moves before the ball is snapped. Kind of silly, don't you agree? As a coach, you can mentor and mentor and mentor until you are blue in the face, but I believe it is ultimately up to the players to keep their heads in the game and not make costly mistakes.
Sorry if I did not make clear that my point was to blame Washington, not Cowher, for the clock running out. The only way Cowher is to blame is if Washington has not been coached for that situation, but you will note I said that situation probably is practiced every day.

Cowher is no more to blame for Washington's brain cramp than he is for Ben & Hartings screwing up the snap up 17-7 (perhaps the key play of the Atlanta game).

That having been said, this team is making a lot of mental errors I do not recall in previous years. Combine that with the celebration penalty last week (after Cowher said following the Cincy game that it would not happen again) and I do think Cowher does not have this team's undivided attention. Not blaming anyone in particular for that - I believe this team thinks it can simply turn it on and off after last year's playoff run and is sadly mistaken to think so.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Not blaming anyone in particular for that - I believe this team thinks it can simply turn it on and off after last year's playoff run and is sadly mistaken to think so.
Here's to hoping that last week's loss will have jerked that slack thinking from anyone's mind!
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:53 AM   #9
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

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Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Sorry if I did not make clear that my point was to blame Washington, not Cowher, for the clock running out. The only way Cowher is to blame is if Washington has not been coached for that situation, but you will note I said that situation probably is practiced every day.

Cowher is no more to blame for Washington's brain cramp than he is for Ben & Hartings screwing up the snap up 17-7 (perhaps the key play of the Atlanta game).

That having been said, this team is making a lot of mental errors I do not recall in previous years. Combine that with the celebration penalty last week (after Cowher said following the Cincy game that it would not happen again) and I do think Cowher does not have this team's undivided attention. Not blaming anyone in particular for that - I believe this team thinks it can simply turn it on and off after last year's playoff run and is sadly mistaken to think so.
Good enough, Dan - your first post was a little unclear. Thanks for the clarification.

I'm sadly starting to agree with your last sentence and it pains me to say that. Wins are earned, not simply assumed. In that respect, I think Cowher needs to knock their heads together and kick them all in the ass. Time for the team to come down off of their cloud - time's a wastin.
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Old 10-29-2006, 09:59 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bouchette: Team, Issues, Questions

I thought Nate Washington made a 'rookie' mistake (and thats basically what he is) - if I remember right he jumped forward because he thought the formation was incorrect and they needed another player at the LOS.

It was an attempt at quick thinking that backfired, which is typical for younger players.

I think everyone will be keeping a close eye on the 'celebrations' - Washington was unlucky to be fined as it was his TD - what Holmes and Hines did was pretty foolish and not very subtle.

I guess they thought their dancing was more important than a 15 yard penalty.

Cowher always has been a good, honest coach but even he seemed to be trying to hint that false start penalty on Washington was not the right one.

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