Behind the Steel Curtain
If one was to purchase a pound of hamburger down at the local Giant Eagle, the "lean" variety would contain seven percent fat.
So would Le'Veon Bell, according to Dan Geiger of the Post-Gazette.Today on BTSC: 'Football in shorts' Starks Bolts The 'Other' Safety 2008 a bad draft Jones doesn't test well Polamalu 'best shape since college
He quoted Bell in his blog Tuesday evening saying "A lot of people look at me like a big heavy guy but a lot of people forget I'm a 6-foot-2 guy and at the Combine I measured in at 230 [and] I was like 7 percent body fat. I'm not an out of shape guy. I'm a pretty lean guy."
Tomlin not impressed with 'football in shorts' You best be hitting people and wearing long pants if you want to impress Steelers coach Mike Tomlin
That isn't much fat for a 230 pound guy, so yes, like the hamburger, lean would be an appropriate adjective. However, the Center for Disease Control would list Bell, at his admitted height and weight of 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, with a Body Mass Index of 29.5, or, well within the confines of "Overweight," and just one shade below "Obese."
Apparently, the CDC feels he should be that super, ultra, hyper lean ground beef. Something doesn't add up here.
Bell continues to get accolades from the media - if not from Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, who wasn't at all impressed with the display of football in shorts that took place Tuesday. Assuming Tomlin wouldn't want to be fined $10,000 from the league, the shorts will be on display again Wednesday and Thursday before the Steelers wrap up the first session of OTAs.
It must take a lot to actually impress Steelers coach Mike Tomlin. Unfazed in answering media questions after Tuesday's first practice of the first session of Organized Training Activities (OTAs), the Post Gazette's Dan Gigler's Blog 'n Gold wrote about Tomlin's reaction to a question asked regarding any player impressing during practice.Bell at 7 percent body fat Starks Bolts The 'Other' Safety 2008 a bad draft Jones doesn't test well Polamalu 'best shape since college
Yeah, so shut up, Mr. Or Mrs. Question Asker. Football isn't a game to be played in shorts. Not to put words into Tomlin's mouth, but one has to wonder if the football in shorts reference is a quiet jab at the lack of contact in these practices, and how that might not translate well into playing the actual game - where players hit each other (until the league says they cannot hit each other).
Not much to be impressed with, says Tomlin, but to turn a neutral into a positive, it doesn't appear anyone was injured.
According to the man himself, Max Starks will be heading to the San Diego Chargers on a one-year deal, finally putting to rest the question of if the former-Steeler will protect Ben Roethlisberger's blind side for one more season.May 21, 2013
Starks adds a veteran presence to an offensive line that will be incorporating first round pick and fellow giant-human, DJ Fluker as well as tackle King Dunlap. With a lot of moving parts, Starks will have a chance to train yet another LT prospect to replace him, something he has done many times in his career.Bolts from the Blue: Chargers fans reaction to Starks
I will miss Max Starks, who I think has been criminally underrated by the presence of a weak OL around him. Imagine if the Steelers had been able to give him anything to compliment his skills on the left side.
I know Ben Roethlisberger will miss him, and I am expecting Ben to don a XXXL #78 practice jersey tomorrow.
Good luck to you Max, and enjoy protecting another (albeit inferior) quarterback from the 2004 draft.
Pirates second baseman Bill Mazeroski is credited with hitting maybe the greatest home run in Major League Baseball history (and certainly in Pirates' history), when he won the 1960 World Series with a ninth inning blast at Forbes Field in Game 7 against the mighty New York Yankees.Today on BTSC: Steelers 2008 Draft Jones doesn't test well Polamalu's physical condition Out with the Old Miller's clone Brown's latest transition Williams signs Players to watch in OTAs Full OTA preview
Maz's shot has been celebrated in Pittsburgh for over five decades and will certainly live on for many more years to come. But Mazeroski's homer may have been just a foot-note in yet another Yankees' World Series victory had it not been for the almost equally dramatic (but often forgotten) three run round-tripper that catcher Hal Smith smacked in the bottom of the eighth inning that put Pittsburgh ahead, 9-7. The Pirates entered their half of the eighth inning, trailing New York, 7-4, and Smith's home run put the finishing touches on what probably should have been the Series-clinching come back. Unfortunately, the Yankees came storming back in the top of the ninth to tie the score and set up the dramatic moment for Maz.
Smith's home run has received some love over the years, but nothing compared to the tributes that Mazeroski has received (and rightfully so).
Some people get to live it in the spotlight, while others must play a supporting role.Polamalu 'in best shape since college' It'd be nice to believe Troy Polamalu found out after 10 years how to get his body back to its 21-year-old shape, but it's tough to believe, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
During his seven seasons in Pittsburgh, Steelers free safety Ryan Clark has sort of been known as the "other" safety while playing next to legendary strong safety Troy Polamalu. Oh sure, Clark has certainly received his share of accolades, but his star certainly isn't as bright as No. 43's.
Clark is known as the solid, dependable safety who's allowed Polamalu to freelance and make some of the most memorable plays Steeler Nation has ever seen.
Off the field, there isn't a more charismatic Steeler than Clark (seriously, wouldn't this guy be fun to hang out with at a party?), but on the field, his contributions have often taken a back seat to those of Polamalu, as well as other legends such as James Harrison, James Farrior, Aaron Smith and Casey Hampton.
Whether they admit it or not, I'm sure it isn't easy for most people in any walk of life to sit in the shadows while others get the lion's share of the adulation. And it must be extremely difficult for professional athletes to deal with, especially when most were considered the stars of their high school and college teams.
In addition to being charismatic away from the field, Clark is also known for being very opinionated, and that has often gotten him in some hot water.
But while his contributions on the field have often taken a back seat to those of others over the years, his often controversial remarks shouldn't overshadow his many charitable contributions such as the "Cleats for a Cure" foundation he created in order to help find a cure for Sickle Cell Anemia. Clark, himself, carries the sickle cell trait, and that nearly cost him his life after a game in Denver in 2007. The high altitude wreaked havoc on Clark's condition, and following the game, he had to be rushed to a hospital, and ultimately lost his spleen and gallbladder.Jarvis Jones: Great player, doesn't test well Fortunately, Jarvis Jones will be judged by his production on the field, writes BTSC's SteelCityRoller
As a precaution, it has been Head Coach Mike Tomlin's policy to sit Clark out of games played in Denver since that nearly tragic night six seasons ago, but if it were up to Clark, he'd be on the field for his teammates.
A season ago, when Clark went into Baltimore's locker room to visit Ed Reed following a disappointing loss to the Ravens on Sunday Night Football, he received a lot of flack for fraternizing with the enemy. However, it's a player's actions on the field that should be counted the most, and if he is willing to risk his own well-being for his team, I don't think anyone can question that Clark is a Steeler, through and through.
Speaking of 2012, Clark may have had his best season, compiling 102 tackles and two interceptions while taking on a bigger role in the secondary in the absence of Polamalu, who missed a large portion of the season due to injury.
While Clark's contributions were more noticeable in 2012, they didn't differ much from the dynamic contributions he'd been making all along.
When we talk about Polamalu's many career highlights, perhaps the most memorable was the 43 yard pick-six against the Ravens in the 2008 AFC Championship Game that clinched a trip to Super Bowl XLIII. Of all the great moments in Pittsburgh's most recent Super Bowl success, that one certainly ranks pretty high.
However, what often gets overshadowed is Clark's contributions to the Super Bowl XLV team two seasons later--specifically, his heroics against the Ravens in the Divisional Playoff Game.
With the Steelers trailing, 21-7, in the third quarter, Clark caused Ray Rice to fumble, and this led to a Ben Roethlisberger to Heath Miller touchdown pass to bring Pittsburgh within seven. Later in the quarter, Clark intercepted Joe Flacco, and this set up a Roethlisberger to Hines Ward touchdown pass that tied the game at 21. Pittsburgh went on to win, 31-24, in maybe the most memorable playoff game between the bitter division rivals.
Polamalu was named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010, and his tomahawk chop of Flacco that led to a critical regular season victory in Baltimore is the signature defensive play that people remember.
Steelers OTAs: Out with the Old Lots of new faces in OTAs this season, both players and coaches, and every one of them should feel the pressure of a coach and general manager who were kept in place after a disappointing 2012 season.
However, if it wasn't for the postseason contributions from Clark, I doubt the Steelers would have been AFC Champions that season.
But that's life in the shadows.
When all is said and done, and they're both retired, Clark probably won't receive the same special tributes that Polamlau does (and rightfully so), but I think most Steelers fans will remember Clark for being much more than just the "other" safety during his time in Pittsburgh.
Check out all of BTSC's OTAs coverage here. Session 1 runs through Thursday with Session 2 running from May 28-30, and concluding with Session 3 June 3-6. The team's full minicamp runs from June 11-13.
The 2013 draft takes on paramount importance to the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers, especially as the team attempts to rebound from a playoff-less 8-8 record last season and continues to transition (not a description endorsed by the team's GM) from the core of players that has brought it so much success since 2005.Today on BTSC: Jones 'doesn't test well' Polamalu's physical condition Out with the Old Miller's clone Brown's latest transition Williams signs Players to watch in OTAs Full OTA preview
The 2013 season also marks the fifth season for players selected in the 2008 NFL draft, and the fifth season for a draft class is, as conventional wisdom has it, the time when the true value of a class and the individual players selected is best measured. Thus for the Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin and GM Kevin Colbert, the second draft class they picked together is due to be graded; unfortunately for the Steelers, there are no players left on the team from that class to take the final exam.
Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Mundy both left via free agency (to the Arizona Cardinals and New York Giants, respectively); Limas Sweed is currently on the Saskatchewan Roughriders of the CFL; Bruce Davis bounced from the New England Patriots' practice squad to the Denver Broncos to the San Francisco 49ers practice squads before spending two years in the black hole that is the Oakland Raiders, before finally ending up with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the CFL; Dennis Dixon is with the Philadelphia Eagles but is the second lowest rated of the five quarterbacks on the current roster; Tony Hills is currently a free agent after being released by his third team in four years; Mike Humpal was released (twice) by the Steelers in 2008 and never been picked up by any team since.Polamalu 'in best shape since college' It'd be nice to believe Troy Polamalu found out after 10 years how to get his body back to its 21-year-old shape, but it's tough to believe, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
All in all, a pretty sad state of affairs for the Steelers, and a major reason for the team's current lack of depth in many positions; as stated above, the fifth year is supposed to be the year when a draftee's full value can be measured, and supposedly felt by the team. If no one is left from a draft class to measure, did that year's draft ever really happen?
Some in Steeler Nation have tried to explain away the abysmal result of the Steelers' 2008 selections by claiming that year was a bad year for the entire league. Are they right?
Using Pro-Football Reference's Career Average (CarAV) which measures the player's overall performance regardless of whether the player is still on the team that drafted him, and Draft Average (DrAV), which measures his performance solely for the drafting team, as well as Years Played (Yrs Plyd), used to reflect whether the picks were "one year wonders" or durable players, let's look some drafts on the basis of these metrics and compare.
In the table below are all 23 years listed from 1990 to 2012 with each year's average score in the three categories described above. I have grouped the years into color coded blocks for additional comparative measures and to assist in visualizing the data.
The most recent three years, 2010 to 2012 are represented here for reference only; it would be inaccurate to draw any conclusions for these three years for the previously stated "5 Year Rule" reason.
First, let's look at these 23 years in their respective blocks. If you average each block's score for each category, then rank that average score ("1" for the highest average, "4" for the lowest), then place them in order of best to worst (lowest score equaling highest rank), the table above looks like this:
Thus we can see that the players selected in the block of years 1995 through 1999 performed at a higher level, and played longer, than any other five-year group of players. Take note that based on PFR's method of rating players does not allow mere time to benefit one group of players over another; not only did the '95-'99 group out perform the '90-'94 group, but so did the '00-'04 group in two out of the three categories. In each case however, all the players measured in this exercise had the opportunity to play for at least the standard "five years" except those drafted in 2009; based on some statistical analysis it is unlikely that given one more year's performance the 2009 draft class could improve appreciably enough to raise the ranking of its block.
What these tables do support is the supposition that the 2008 draft class is near the bottom of the list in terms of performance for the whole NFL; note from the first table 2008's CarAV score of 12.3, its DrAV score of 11.6 and its Yrs Plyd score of 2.9; these scores coming after the 2012 season, the fifth season of play for these players (who still remain on active rosters) and thus, again according to conventional wisdom, it is now justifiable to measure their performance.
Let's look at the first table again, but this time put a table next to it showing how the individual years rank:
The table on the right takes each year's score in each category and ranks it against all other years; again, each ranking is then tallied and the year with the lowest overall sum of rankings is first, the year with the highest sum is last.
As we can see, 2009 ranks at the bottom; since the group of players selected in this year has only had four years of performance opportunity, it is shown only for illustrating this point.
Thus, 2008 appears to be the weakest draft class. Now,one might ask:
"What about the fact that the 2008 class has only had five years to perform, unlike all prior years that have at least six, if not more?"
In response to that question, simply look at the average years played column on the far right. The average career for NFL players drafted between 1990 and 2008 is 4.13 years; no annual group of players averaged more than 1993 which averaged 5.5 career years. Thus, the players from 2008 had at least the statistical opportunity to fulfill, as a class, what was the average career length of time as did any other given years' group of players.
To forestall the obvious reaction to all this, that yea all teams suffered from a poor draft class, let's look at 2008 alone and see how well the Steelers fared as compared to the rest of the league in what was obviously a poor draft year:
in a year of talent scarcity (2008), the Steelers managed to scrape the bottom of the barrel...even worse than the Cleveland Browns.-
All Steelers Draft News
All of BTSC's draft coverage in one convenient place.
The table on the left lists the teams in alphabetical order, with each teams' 2008 average score in the three metrics being considered. The table on the right ranks them in accordance with the rank of each team in each category, added together; the lower the total, the higher the team ranks.
What this table tells us, quite frankly, is that in a year of talent scarcity, the Steelers managed to scrape the bottom of the barrel. The argument that the Steelers might have suffered due to their draft position doesn't hold water; the Dallas Cowboys sat only one position higher at No. 22 than the Steelers' 23rd pick, yet they managed to cull what little cream there was to be had from 2008's draft class, managing to squeak by the Atlanta Falcons for first place based on the fact that their draft class averaged a full four years average career length versus Atlanta's 2.82 (Years played, reflecting a sufficient amount of talent to stay employed as an NFL player, used as a ranking tie-breaker).
Thus, while all of Steeler Nation recognizes the veritable lack of quality the Steelers gained from an entire year's worth of draftees, there's no escaping the fact that the Steelers are now suffering the woes they are enduring in terms of both talent and roster depth due in large part to having picked the worst group of players in 2008 of any team, including the Cleveland Browns, in the entire NFL in a year that was one of the worst since 1990.
One can speculate, and that's all it would be, as to why the choices the Steelers made were so bad; was it because a certain head coach, in just his second year, was given a greater amount of say? Or was it just a bad year for the scouting department, or was Kevin Colbert due a down year after so many successful ones? Being on the outside as Steeler Nation is, we may never truly know.
But what we do know, and it's not surprising, is that the Steelers' level of play that has been so uneven the past couple of years, and the team's on-the-field performance so vulnerable to injuries is because 2011 and 2012 should have been the years the '08 and '09 draft classes should have begun to have an impact if nowhere else than at roster depth, yet there is hardly anyone left. Out of both the 2008 and 2009 draft classes only two players out of 14 selected are still on the roster: Ziggy Hood and David Johnson.
The draft classes of 2010 through 2012 have some bright spots in Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, Mike Adams, Cortez Allen, Jason Worilds, Emmanuel Sanders and others, and of course during this time of year, hope springs eternal for the players of the 2013 draft class, who have the unenviable charge of having to grow up fast, for as a result of the poor showing of prior classes their services and the promise they showed in college are sorely needed by the Steelers now if there's going to be a hope of a rebound from the much shorter seasons than Steeler Nation is accustomed to experiencing and as last year's 8-8 finish provided.
NEXT UP: Who is the King of the Draft in the NFL?
Does a player have to be "great" to justify being a first-round draft selection?
On Sunday, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ed Bouchette shared a conversation with Ken Herock, a longtime personnel evaluator. Herock believes Jones is a great human being, and his familiarity with a 3-4 defense makes him a great pick; but he isn't sold Jones will become a great NFL linebacker, like the man Jones is expected to replace - James Harrison.
"I was at Georgia's Pro Day and looked at his workout. He wasn't very good. He was one of those guys who was a great football player who doesn't test well."
"He'll be a player, he'll be a good player for them. He'll fit into their scheme. Will he be a great player? I can't say he will. Great players usually play great and test great. Those are the usual great players."
The biggest test Herock feels Jones failed, was the 40-yard dash at Georgia's pro-day.
"Ohhhh, only 4.9! Oh my god, how does he play that way? How does he do it?"
Herock may not know how Jones does it, but he does it just the same. Jones excelled at Georgia in a 3-4 defense playing the same role and doing the same things the Steelers will ask of him. If Jones' NFL career even remotely resembles his collegiate career, he can still meet the team's expectations for him.OTA News: Polamalu's physical condition Out with the Old Miller's clone Brown's latest transition Williams signs Players to watch in OTAs Full OTA preview
Herock's main comparison seems to be between Jones and Harrison, although Herock acknowledges Harrison wasn't exactly a speed demon either. In fact, the argument could be made Jones tested better than Harrison, considering the rookie was a first-round pick and Harrison was an undrafted journeyman free-agent when he joined the Steelers for the final time, during the early stages of his career before he was a defensive player of the year.
While the verdict remains out on Jones' greatness, Herock still thinks Jones was a good selection for Pittsburgh.
"This kid, I don't see any problems. The community will like him, he'll be a good player for them. He's a great kid."
The only real tests Jones needs to worry about passing are those which lie in wait for him in the pre-season - Jason Worilds and Dick LeBeau's defense.
Excitement and hyperbole go together like steak on your old grill. They're essentially connected, even if one can exist without the other.
Not to accuse Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly of hyperbole (if anything, he's usually closer to blase, which is better overall), but his Tweet regarding the physical shape of Steelers safety Troy Polamalu brings out the same feeling as hearing and smelling the grill spark up for the first time each spring.I'm hearing #Steelers Troy Polamalu is in best shape since his days at USC (Just like Bettis). OTAs start Tue and Polamalu will be attending
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly_Trib) May 21, 2013
It sounds great, and I love the thought of it, but it's an old grill, how much do I actually believe it's as great as it used to be, vs. how much do I love the thought of it being as great as it used to be?
Polamalu turned 32 in April, and even with lingering injuries last season, showed himself to be a force in the NFL, when healthy. Perhaps those same nagging injuries create a wave of aftershock that eventually leads to him not being able to train fully; thus not come into the season at full strength.
Steelers OTAs: Out with the Old Lots of new faces in OTAs this season, both players and coaches, and every one of them should feel the pressure of a coach and general manager who were kept in place after a disappointing 2012 season.
According to Kaboly, and whomever told him, that won't be an issue for Polamalu as Organized Team Activities get underway in Pittsburgh today.
But the quick wink to former Steelers running back Jerome Bettis - and his long-running and low-tilted In Shape Meter before every season - suggests Kaboly isn't particularly convinced the grill won't fail to live up to the promise of springs of the past.All Steelers OTA News The Steelers offseason program is in full swing, check out all the OTA news here.
Certainly, the hope is Polamalu is in outstanding shape, and he has a season more like the ones where his first name is screamed in total disbelief over what just happened on the field as opposed to the beginning of the Steelers weekly injury report, but there's only so much a man can take over the course of a Hall of Fame career.
And suggesting it took him 11 years to replicate the physical condition he was in when he was 21 years old is simple, delicious and difficult-to-swallow hyperbole.
The Steelers begin the first of three Organized Team Activities sessions today in Pittsburgh with a much different look than they have in the past.
Those who won't be in attendance this year but were last year: Casey Hampton, Keenan Lewis, Max Starks, Will Allen, Ryan Mundy, Charlie Batch, Byron Leftwich, Doug Legursky and Chris Rainey. Let's not forget James Harrison, Rashard Mendenhall and, of course, Mike Wallace.OTA News: Miller's clone Brown's latest transition Williams signs Players to watch in OTAs Full OTA preview
Also, offensive line coach Sean Kugler and wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery are out, and Jack Bicknell Jr., and Richard Mann, respectively are in. Special teams coach Amos Jones left for Arizona, and Danny Smith has replaced him.Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Age is one thing; tenure is another. Hampton has been on every opening day roster of this team since 2001. Jones took over special teams duties during the preseason last year. Top to bottom, as far as the way the Steelers do things, they cleaned house of both longstanding members of the organization and relative newcomers.
These kinds of things are driven off 8-8 seasons. And it may just be OTAs, a far cry from training camp, but here, a foundation must be laid to improve top to bottom from a disappointing season.All Steelers OTA News The Steelers offseason program is in full swing, check out all the OTA news here.
For all the Hebron Fangupos and Matt Spaeths who have been added, a Casey Hampton and a Leonard Pope isn't expected back. It's the natural tithing of the roster most teams will undergo, but how many have the pressure of being a team that finished with an undesirable record while keeping their head coach and general manager?
The pressure will invariably be higher for every player, new and tenured, young and old, this season.
As meaningless in the grand scheme as OTAs are, the Steelers can make them what they want them to be, starting today. They'll have to do something, because another repeat of 2012 will likely mean even fewer of the same faces will be around the organization next season.
The old running joke used to include chanting the first name of starter Heath Miller in one collective syllable, whenever Matt Spaeth would make another Miller-esque reception in a crucial situation. With Miller now recovering from serious injury, the Pittsburgh Steelers knew the resemblance was no laughing matter.
On March 15th, Spaeth re-signed with Pittsburgh, the team which drafted him in the third-round in 2007, after spending two seasons with the Chicago Bears. Some viewed the signing as some sort of gag, retreading wheels we cast aside long ago; but history reminds us why Chicago found him valuable enough to trade away Greg Olsen to the Carolina Panthers when they signed Spaeth prior to 2011, and why his signing should be taken seriously.
Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Spaeth never put up the statistical figures of his fellow co-starting tight end Miller, but Spaeth wasn't on the field to catch passes. He was there to block. The fact he could catch and then drive through defensive backs in the same manner which has endeared Miller to Steelers fans was just an added bonus.
Spaeth wasn't the only free-agent tight end added to the off-season roster, but he is considered the favorite to earn a roster spot replacing someone; who exactly has yet to be determined.
Steelers ink Vince Williams As the team prepares to enter OTAs, they officially sign their second draft-pick.
Originally, Spaeth was viewed as a temporary bandage for the ailing Miller; but Miller has not been ruled out of the season opener as of yet. Even if Miller is able to go, surely Spaeth could be an improvement over last year's free-agent addition Leonard Pope when the team looks to rebuild their running game with-or-without Miller. In 2012, rookie David Paulson was head coach Mike Tomlin's favorite son, but there is a definite line between potential and production. If the coaches aren't completely confident in Paulson, Spaeth could leave Paulson battling with the returning David Johnson, who has seemingly no shot at regaining his former fullback role from Will Johnson, for the final roster spot.
None of these players are practice squad eligible. They either make the team, or they are unemployed. The two players currently competing for the one likely squad slot are Jamie McCoy and Zack Pianalto.
If Spaeth can remind Steelers fans of Miller once again this pre-season, he could become just as significant to the team as he was in his first tour of duty, when he logged 39 starts on the same roster as Miller. His career may very well find new life, and eventually end right back where it began.
While most who follow the Pittsburgh Steelers will be watching pre-season activities to gauge the progression of Markus Wheaton, another rookie is ready to transition to a new way of football life. Justin Brown has been here before.
Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Brown began his collegiate career with his dream team, Joe Paterno's Penn State Nittany Lions; but decided to transfer to Oklahoma following the Jerry Sandusky situation. As covered in Ralph N. Paulk's column Sunday, leaving Penn State was difficult for Brown, who felt personal loyalties toward the university he had spent his childhood dreaming of playing for.
In the end, Brown just wanted to play football. He realized the only way to make football about football again, was to start anew somewhere far away from the turmoil which had tarnished his dream-come-true.
"When everything broke at Penn State, Oklahoma was one of the first schools to contact me. I didn't really entertain any other offers. When Oklahoma called, I thought it would be a benefit for me to make that move."
"It was tough to transition, but at the end of the day football is football. I was exposed to a lot of different styles in the last year and half, but it's part of the business. You have to learn to adapt and learn from different people"
"It was difficult at first getting used to a different style of play. The Big Ten is more physical and run-oriented than the Big 12. Oklahoma was receiver friendly."
Brown battled his decision through summer classes, joining the Sooners one-week into training camp. However, he made short work of the gap between his teammates and himself. Brown impressed his coaches with his flexibility and work ethic, earning an immediate starting job.
Steelers ink Vince Williams As the team prepares to enter OTAs, they officially sign their second draft-pick.
At 6-3, Brown is the third largest receiver on the Steelers off-season roster, giving him a size advantage in addition to his experience with change. Like fellow rookie, defensive back Terry Hawthorne, Pittsburgh sees potential in young Brown if they can polish his fundamentals by the end of training camp. He does not share Wheaton's field stretching speed, but Brown has exhibited a proficiency for making plays after the catch despite being a bit slower.
Not considered a strong contender to break the final roster, Brown's ability to adapt and lack of character concerns will almost assuredly make him a practice squad lock if he shows the same progression as he did at Oklahoma. However, there is no ceiling for this rookie. Brown has a legitimate shot of supplanting his young teammates and possibly a veteran.
One more thing which will play into Brown's favor, is his late draft selection. While Wheaton may not practice with the first-team, he will most likely see his action with the second; leaving Brown to work with the third-team which is expected to be led by Landry Jones, Brown's quarterback from Oklahoma. If Brown can continue the chemistry he has already developed with Jones, he could see a significant share of Jones' targets.
If Brown can continue to put football above all else, he could become a long-term fixture in Pittsburgh, like another Brown drafted in the sixth-round.
Steelers sixth round pick Vince Williams has signed a four year contract on the first day of OTA's, making him the second player from the 2013 class under contract.
The inside linebacker is expected to compete for a roster spot mainly serving on special teams, but the young man will compete for a larger role in the defense - particularly in run defense - if he can develop a bit during training camp and the pre-season.
Neal has already expressed his love for his "favorite player" in this draft, taking the time to highlight Williams' ability to take out 300 pound interior lineman and still make a play on the ball carrier.
A similar sentiment was shared by Steelers linebacker coach Keith Butler, highlighted in the Post-Gazette: "The thing that attracts us to him is that he will hit you," Butler said. "There are two things you can't teach linebackers in this league. One of them is how fast are you going to be and the other one is will you hit somebody."
Butler also spoke about viewing Williams as an eventual three-down linebacker, and the aforementioned Post-Gazette article makes comparisons between Williams and current Pittsburgh starter Larry Foote.
I don't know about you, but I'd be excited if the Steelers have found a young Larry Foote in the sixth round. Welcome aboard Vince.
I've been really sick for much of the past month. As such, my mood wasn't much different than that of much of Steeler Nation over the last six months or so. I've been in pain, and angry and pessimistic as a consequence. My mood was relentlessly dark as was my vision for the future. I lashed out indiscriminately and inappropriately at anything and everything that had the misfortune to attract my attention.Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
I'm much better now, thank you. And to celebrate my return to relatively good health and the sunnier disposition that accompanies the circumstances I've decided to turn my attention to some of the prospects for the 2013 season. Yes, as I write this OTAs have yet to commence, we're not even altogether certain that all of the pieces of the puzzle are even present yet. That is just the first of a few cautions going forward. I call what follows not predictions but rather a set of possibilities, some things to think about as we enter into the training and evaluation season over the next few months. It goes without saying that given recent history someone could step into a gopher hole and everything is blown to hell. Feel free to add your own thoughts (As if I had to ask).
In general the view coming out of the darkness is of a Steelers team that is not so emasculated as many predicted or feared. The FO was not lobotomized, the coaching staff still appears to be competent for the most part, remains well respected among those whose opinions really matter and has made some promising additions. Quality talent has been lost as is inevitable when there is so much of it on one organization, but much quality remains (Partial translation; we still have Ben) and some has been added. That quality is across the board. Yes, it is thin and fragile in places, a little inexperienced here, a little long in the tooth there. But it is a group that will definitely be competitive in every match up, dangerous and even frightening as an opponent in many.NFL OTA Rules The rules surrounding Organized Team Activities (OTAs)
Imagine Haley's offense during the first half of last season in sync with LeBeau's defense the second half of that season. Now imagine Haley's offense moving beyond the awkward transition phase as everyone gets comfortable with and buys into the system. And imagine LeBeau's league leading defense being younger on average by two years than it was two years ago. Now imagine any improvement on special teams at all. With a new coordinator and the story of how he was pursued this may not just be an exercise in wishful thinking. And if you want to take the fantasy a little bit further; think that this injured, frustratingly incompetent team almost swept the Super Bowl champions with a backup quarterback playing with two busted ribs and the third string quarterback playing with a walker.
Yeah, I think I'm ready to ride this Steelers thing out for another year, see where it takes me. I know we're not like, you know, the Seahawks. Just call me crazy. But let's get a little more specific.
Player to watch: Mike Adams. Two things distorted our perception of Adams last year. First there was much grumbling about character concerns. Many thought that he would be what Chris Rainey and Alameda Ta'amu turned out to be and felt the team sold their souls to draft him. Second, we have been spoiled by Maurkice Pouncey and have come to expect that a first year player will just waltz on in and start producing instantly at an All Pro level. That's not necessarily normal. So it is not unreasonable that Adams may find his bearings after the natural adjustment issues and injuries.
'Embernasty' represents new project direction on offensive line Undrafted free agent Nic Embernate looks to earn a roster spot in the first season the Steelers haven't drafted an offensive lineman since 2003.
And, knock on wood, if character is not a concern then we have to take into account that Adams, an otherwise first round prospect actually fell further in last year's draft than David DeCastro. Not saying that DeCastro won't meet expectations, I think he will. But the possible emergence of Adams would be more dramatic exactly because the expectations were driven lower by the character concerns. That would give Pittsburgh an offensive line anchored by three first round talents, good enough I think. But the question, I know its coming, what about the other two slots?
I also think we should keep an eye on Kelvin Beachum. I wouldn't be shocked if he managed to beat out Ramon Foster for the starting left guard position. I think that many fans seriously underestimated Beachum's upside last year, and its possible that we still do. It may be too much to ask for this group to go from injury plagued to completely injury free in one year. If so, with his position flexibility Beachum will likely play an important role on this unit one way or another.Steelers Golic an UDFA to watch Undrafted free agent is a player to watch this offseason, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
I'm going to go out on a limb a bit for this Golic kid. The reason? Pedigree. Sometimes its genetics, as often as not it is embedded wisdom. He's not plagued by the learning curves and pitfalls that other players have to face navigating the challenges of making a place for themselves in the league. And the chances that he will be able to maximize his talent will be better. Plus the entire internal motivational structure is different. He not trying to do something that has never been done before. He's trying to prove that he can do what has already been done. Wouldn't be surprised if he at least makes the practice squad.
Player to watch: David Paulson. Like Beachum the expectations on Paulson were very low with many feeling that he wouldn't survive training camp last year. I can recall on a number of occasions last year when because of the similarities of the body type and uniform numbers that Paulson was mistaken for Heath Miller on some plays, even to the point where the group where I was viewing would start the HEEAATH chant. ( I refuse to believe that it was simply because they are both white). Also like Beachum I don't think that Paulson has come close to the limits of his upside yet, and the leap in his second year could be quite substantial.
A word about David Johnson. A lot of fans don't like this player for reasons that elude me. He is a very good blocker and while I like Will Johnson, I saw with my own eyes D. Johnson outplay W. Johnson at both training camp and the first preseason game before being injured. Add position flexibility and you have an important asset, especially until Miller gets back up to speed.
Players to watch: All of them. Our perceptions are often colored by our expectations, and I believe that our expectations concerning last year's running back corps were altogether too high. The situation then was probably no less precarious than many believed it has been this spring. Mendenhall was projected by some to not come back for a year. That meant that last year this time, unlike this year, we didn't have any prospects of having a feature running back entering the season. That Mendy came back a lot earlier than expected, probably fueled by contract concerns and, in hindsight, an unwise move was not anticipated last year.Steelers Draft Breakdown: Le'Veon Bell uses quickness more than size Breaking down Le'Veon Bell's impressive performance against Boise State this past season, it's clear Bell's best attribute isn't his power, but his quickness, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
Dwyer was considered to be immature and inconsistent at best. Redman and Baron Batch were saddled with, in my opinion, outsized reputations that they hadn't earned. Two camp legends who were essentially set up to disappoint. Batch, a seventh round draft pick who was multi-talented, thoughtful, had great work habits but had never so much as played in a preseason game, and Redman, an UDFA was the star of an ongoing Messiah fantasy which some, no doubt, took to heart. Occasionally they perfomed like a seventh round draft choice and a UDFA and came away with tarnished reputations. Chris Rainey's preseason promise, both in the imagination of fans and on the field simply did not translate to the regular season. And the Cleveland fumblefest seemed to push the whole enterprise over the cliff in the minds of Steeler Nation.
While not out of the woods on the feature back question it would be hard to argue that the team is in somewhat better position. Whatever his faults Dwyer actually exceeded expectations last year, and there is good reason to believe he may do so again this year. If we stop seeing Redman and Batch as Superman and Batman and view them as solid complementary backs who have a year of experience under their belts is it unreasonable to be optimistic about improved and more consistent contributions going forward? They've essentially traded Mendy and Rainey for Le'Veon Bell and Stephens-Howlings. Could be a pretty good trade.
Player to watch: Plaxico Burress. In spite of the loss of Mike Wallace and not counting for the moment what Wheaton, Brown and any newcomers can bring to the table, the receiver corps is quite solid. Tom Brady wishes he had the tools that Ben has at his disposal in this regard. Indeed, his team tried to grab one of them. Plax has been considered something of an afterthought and he shouldn't be. Here's why.Wheaton adds new dimension to passing game The versatility of Steelers third round pick WR Markus Wheaton could find him becoming one of the more productive rookie receivers in the league, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
First throw out whatever you thought you saw last season. Burress was a midseason replacement for an offense in transition. He is not some veteran free agent who they will try to shoehorn into the system. He is a Steeler, a prodigal son, who has come home. He is completely compatible with the organization, the culture and the community. Rapport is not a small thing between a quarterback and a receiver. And the rapport that Ben has had with Burress, both on and off the field, may be the strongest of anyone that Ben has played with in his professional career. Add the fact that players whom Ben leaned on for support in the past such as Willie Colon, Max Starks and Charlie Batch are no longer around, the relationship he has with the man who is now the oldest player on the offensive side of the ball takes on even greater weight.
While separated both men experienced playing pivotal roles in the crucible of winning a championship on a late scoring drive. Being away from the game for a couple of years he is physically younger in football terms than his birth certificate might demonstrate. Still dogged by off field issues from when he was away he has a powerful incentive to use the game as a means to push past these things. If he has one typical season left, this could be bigger than most imagine.
Player to watch: Ben Roethlisberger. He is a franchise (read, generational) player in his prime. Ben is a franchise player in his prime. Ben is a franchise player in his prime. Keep repeating this phrase until it sinks in and you can't stop smiling.
Player to watch: Steve McLendon. The issue is very simple here; can McLendon successfully replace Casey Hampton? If so, then Dick LeBeau's defense is likely in the running for being number one in the league once again, and that means that the Steelers are in the playoff conversation. I think it would be a bit misleading to spend too much energy comparing him to Hampton. I think the more apt comparison would be to Chris Hoke, particularly the year that Hoke pretty much played the entire season in place of an injured Hampton.Steelers still trying to solve mystery of Ziggy Hood and Cameron Heyward How will 2013 turn out for the pair of defensive ends the Steelers took in the first rounds of 2009 and 2011, asks BTSC's SteelCityRoller
I'm keeping my powder dry for now on the whole Heyward/Hood thing. I think Heyward will be fine. And I believe Hood to be in the unenviable position of being the guy who replaced Aaron Smith. From that perspective how could he not be seen as being inadequate. Frankly, my major concern in this area is whether Keisel can remain upright.
Player to watch: Lawrence Timmons. There would seem to be a lot more interesting, even important stories in this position group. The competition between Worilds and Jones, the health of Woodley and Spence. But lost in all the frustration and dysfunction last season was that Timmons had a breakout year, and if he can keep it rolling DPOY is not out of the question. With all the conversation over the winter concerning the failure of recent drafts, Timmons would be a welcome dose of balance.Jarvis Jones Film Breakdown Jarvis Jones was a highlight machine in college. BTSC's Neal Coolong breaks down a few plays that shows Jones can translate into pro success.
Player to watch: William Gay. Generally speaking if Troy and Ryan Clark can remain reasonably healthy than this may be the strongest position group on the team. I focus on Gay because he had a very strong season in 2011 under Carnell Lake. If reuniting with Lake can help him regain that form then we could well see the strongest group since when Lake was playing.
Player to watch: Shaun Suisham. Can he maintain the consistency he established last year. It would be nice if he had a slightly stronger leg, but can't have everything I guess.
You may have noticed that I didn't include any newcomers among players to watch, and that is because at the end of the day it will be up to the players who are already here and proven that will determine for the most part the fate of this team. Last year folks put to much faith on the draft class to be the source of salvation for the Steelers. They were wrong last year. And to do so again this year would be equally wrongheaded. Let's hope the newcomers can make significant contributions, but these are the guys who are likely to make it go.
Check out Behind The Steel Curtain's OTAs Hub for all the latest news surrounding the Steelers' first full team workout of the 2013 season.
The spring of 2010 was one of the most turbulent in recent Steelers offseason memory.
By the time the final minicamp session ended, the Steelers had traded its leading receiver, Santonio Holmes to the Jets after a string of issues, including a four-game suspension for a violation of the league's substances abuse policy. Ben Roethlisberger had been accused for a second time of sexual assault, this time, after an incident in Milledgeville, Ga. Starting right tackle Willie Colon had torn his Achilles in workouts and was lost for the year. Same for promising young wide receiver Limas Sweed.Steelers Rookie Minicamp All the news and features that surrounded the Steelers rookie minicamp held in early May.
Just surviving Organized Team Activities (OTAs) seemed to be an accomplishment for a Steelers team coming off a disappointing 9-7 campaign the previous year.
Even bringing up that offseasons seems like a jinx; rarely will a team deal with that much turmoil in such a short amount of time. The 2013 Steelers don't have that same level of drama, but change, headline news and new starters replacing old ones is just as prevalent.
Among the notable points of interest heading into the first session of OTAs, beginning Tuesday in Pittsburgh:All Steelers OTA News The Steelers offseason program is in full swing, check out all the OTA news here. Heath Miller's knee injury
Will the 2012 Pro Bowl tight end get healthy in time for the start of the year, or will he start on the Physically Unable to Perform list, costing him the first six games of the season?
If he starts on the active roster, expect a training camp battle between David Johnson (who is coming off an ACL tear of his own) and second-year TE David Paulson. Matt Spaeth was signed this offseason, and would likely start for Miller.
If he starts on the PUP, expect the Steelers to keep all three of those tight ends, looking to release one when Miller is activated.NFL OTA Rules The rules surrounding Organized Team Activities (OTAs) Running backs teeming at the seams
Le'Veon Bell was drafted in the second round. Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer were both given original round tender offers in restricted free agency worth $1.3 million each. LaRod Stephens-Howling was signed as a free agent. Baron Batch and fullback Will Johnson still remain. How many running backs will the Steelers keep?Steelers Draft Breakdown: Le'Veon Bell uses quickness more than size Breaking down Le'Veon Bell's impressive performance against Boise State this past season, it's clear Bell's best attribute isn't his power, but his quickness, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong Battle for Left Tackle
Mike Adams vs. Marcus Gilbert unofficially official Round 1 begins. With a versatile interior offensive line, new Steelers offensive line coach Jack Bicknell Jr. will certainly hope both his embattled tackles make it through OTAs to compete for real in training camp. But it's the first live action he'll get to see of the two, helping make what could be the most talked about decision of training camp; Gilbert or Adams on the left side?Worilds vs. Jones
Similarly to Gilbert vs. Adams, there will be hype surrounding rookie Jarvis Jones's alleged competition for the team's right outside linebacker position against incumbent Jason Worilds. Jones, the 17th overall pick in this year's draft, Worilds, the team's second round pick from 2010, and LaMarr Woodley, a second-round pick in 2007, are the three highest drafted outside linebackers in team history.Yet Another New Starting Cornerback
The Steelers have had a different cornerback starting opposite Ike Taylor from the previous year since 2007, when Deshea Townsend finished his fourth consecutive starting stint. Bryant McFadden and William Gay traded off seasons from 2008 to 2011, and Keenan Lewis took over for Gay in 2012. Cortez Allen will replace Lewis this year, and he could be the most talented corner the team has had in quite a while. Will he live up to the physical talent he has?
Look for more in-depth features on these topics and more as the Steelers begin the first session of OTAs Tuesday. Session 1 runs through Thursday with Session 2 running from May 28-30, and concluding with Session 3 June 3-6. The team's full minicamp runs from June 11-13.
Organized Training Activities (OTAs) are voluntary. Fines are not issued for absences, and players missing these sessions are not viewed as disruptive - unless that player is Mike Wallace, who's reportedly going to be in attendance with Miami's entire offseason practice schedule.
There is no direct contact permitted but OTA sessions include on-the-field coaching. Helmets and elbow and knee pads are allowed but OTAs are not "fully padded" practices. Basically, players can bump into each other, and incidental contact isn't a worry.Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Players cannot compete against each other in a 1-on-1 manner, i.e. a cornerback against a receiver or a running back blocking a linebacker in a drill specifically designed for that purpose.
Practices run on the field for no more than two hours, and no more than six hours per day can be spent on team activities.All Steelers OTA News The Steelers offseason program is in full swing, check out all the OTA news here.
Teams must film all OTAs, and keep that film on file through the end of October.
Teams and head coaches are held jointly responsible for the following and enforcement of these rules. Failure to comply results in the loss of the next OTA session on the first offense, and another week lost and a fourth round draft pick for a second offense.
According to the CBA, a team and its head coach "are jointly responsible for any conduct in violation" of offseason workout rules, and fines can be levied by Commissioner Roger Goodell if necessary. For a first upheld violation, head coach can be fined up to $100,000, with a club fined as much as $250,000. However, the commissioner can wave fines or impose smaller penalties depending upon the nature of the violation.
In the event of a workout rules breach, a team will lose its "next scheduled week of OTAs," per the CBA. A second workout violation in the same league year will cost a club a fourth-round pick in the next draft as well as another week of OTAs.
Score one for old time football.
Steelers Hall of Fame defensive tackle "Mean" Joe Greene is arguably the best Steelers player of all time, and is certainly among the best in the history of the NFL.Steelers First OTA Session Preview A rundown of some of the things to watch as the Steelers begin their first OTAs Tuesday in Pittsburgh.
Greene's message? Do what you do.
"He is a powerful man," Greene said. "Unfortunately for him is that he's letting some of this notoriety and publicity get in his head a little bit. By that I mean it changes the way he approaches the game, cause if he changes that he's not Ndamukong anymore. And you need an edge to play in the pit. Anybody that talks about what you shouldn't do hasn't been in there.
Suh was fined $30,000 for kicking Texans quarterback Matt Schaub below the belt in a game last season as the Lions fell from 10-6 in 2011 to 4-12 in 2012. He was suspended for two games in 2011 for stomping on the arm of Packers offensive guard Evan Dietrich-Smith in a Thanksgiving Day loss to Green Bay.Greene: NFL has changed Steelers Hall of Fame DT 'Mean' Joe Greene says players today aren't the same as they were in his generation.
Greene wasn't advocating Suh's actions on the field - he has established himself as one of the NFL's more notorious players, along with former Steelers LB - and current Bengal - James Harrison. Greene's ire seems more based in the media and among fans for their perception of Suh.
"I know that when the public gets involved and the talking heads get involved and they talk about something they don't have any idea about - it's nice and air conditioned where they're sitting," Greene said. "So he can't let other voices dictate how he plays."
Greene recently retired from the scouting and personnel job he had with the Steelers. The article doesn't touch on it, but it makes one wonder what Greene might have said to Harrison during his rash of fines in 2010.
There's been a bit of conversation circulating about the Steelers potential return men for the 2013 season.
It's always one of the most intriguing positions, yet, the least stable, on the team. There was the allure of Chris Rainey last year, which he sort of lived up to. He was one of the better kick returners in the NFL last season.
This year's version of that is Reggie Dunn, a guy who'd be a borderline miracle to make the team, yet, we talk about him frequently anyway.
Again, it's that intrigue behind one of the most exciting plays in all of sports, a kickoff or punt return touchdown. The trick is finding a guy who can do it at a high level while still holding down some value as depth at another position.
Guys in recent Steelers past rosters, like Allen Rossum and Stefan Logan in 2007 and 2009, respectively. The Steelers also won a Super Bowl with Gary Russell and Najeh Davenport returning kicks in 2008.
Is it feast or famine with Steelers' return men, or is there an understandable correlation between mediocre returners who also fill game day roles within the offense or defense?
The addition of LaRod Stephens-Howling to the roster seems a step at finding the elusive middle ground between those things. He might be able to compete for third down duties this year as well as contribute extensively on special teams. It could be the sign of the end for 2011 draft pick Baron Batch.
But if the Steelers are going to become a dynamic return team, something they really haven't been in some time, they will need a player who can contribute in both phases of the game.
Let that be a message, Mr. Dunn.
Odds are good you heard of Saturday's $590 million Powerball lottery drawing. Odds are a bit lower you are not the owner of that one ticket, said to have been purchased in Florida.
If you are, shoot me an email, let's talk. I have ideas.
As someone who bought a lottery ticket one time - on my 18th birthday - and lost, I never bothered to get around trying again. It's funny to hear different stories about which numbers are chosen and why.Sea-Adderall Bruce Irvin's suspension the latest in a long line of suspended Seahawks
There's the birthdate theory, which doesn't increase your chances in any way, shape or form. There's the "lucky" number thing, which seems as arbitrary as anything else.
If I had bothered to get a lottery ticket last night, I likely would have gotten a combination of the jersey numbers of some of my favorite Steelers players.
In checking out Powerball's web site, it seems to passively suggest avoiding this approach. In its FAQs section, it speaks of the difference between picking your own numbers and letting the computer pick them for you.
"About 70% to 80% of purchases are computer picks. About 70% to 80% of winners are computer picks. Perhaps just one of those weird coincidences?"
Perhaps, not, Captain Smartass...I'm picking my own numbers anyway.
The winning numbers of Saturday's $590 million jackpot were 10, 13, 14, 22, 52 and the Powerball was 11.Thomas rightfully the first Steelers pick to sign Shamarko Thomas ended one amazing journey when he signed his first NFL contract this week. It also started another, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
So for 10...It may not have been ridiculous for me to have selected 10, out of homage to Santonio Holmes and Super Bowl XLVIII. That's how you be great.
Of course, in doing that, I would have selected 43, and would have been wrong.
Choosing a No. 13 would basically not have happened. It's just not a number worn anymore. My choices are Bill Mackrides (54), Lee Mulleneaux (36) and two guys with, presumably, last names of Redding and Harbes. Records aren't exactly clear.
It gets worse, though. The third number was 14. A curse for Steelers fans in the post-Steel Curtain generation. There's the quarterback who's name we can't/don't mention, and the most famous draft bust in team history. How would I associate anything involving luck with either of those two players?Steelers Draft Breakdown: Le'Veon Bell uses quickness more than size Breaking down Le'Veon Bell's impressive performance against Boise State this past season, it's clear Bell's best attribute isn't his power, but his quickness, writes BTSC's Neal Coolong
I know for sure 52 would have been in there. R.I.P. Mike Webster.
The Powerball was 11, which reminds me of one of my favorite all time No Name Steelers, wide receiver Quincy Morgan. One of the classic Steelers Veteran Fifth Receivers, Morgan just seemed to make big catches when the team needed him to. Yes, one of those completely disputable claims that may not even be true, but I don't care. I also likely would not have selected 11 as the Powerball.
So, to no one's surprise, I would not have won the lottery last night. I think two out of six might have been possible, though. That, according to the web site, would not have won me anything.
But with a nationwide lottery, doesn't everybody win? Or something?