Good Friday to you Steelers fans.
It was a bittersweet evening at the NFL Honors last night in Las Vegas. First of all, congratulations to Cam Heyward, who after several years of trying, finally was named the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. The franchise is filled with great players and great people but you will find very few who have fit the bill in both regards quite like Heyward. Cam is incredibly deserving of this award and I could not be prouder to call myself a Steelers’ fan today. On the other side of the coin was T.J. Watt. Despite better numbers than Myles Garrett across the board, he still finished second to Garrett in the voting for Defensive Player of the Year. This has nothing to do with Garrett not being a great player, he is, but this has everything to do with the power of analytics. Every talking head that supported Garrett in this cited ‘pass rush win rate’ as a key reason they were supporting him. This is a made up statistic. Furthermore, analytics do not take into account several factors, chief among them is what was the player’s task on every play? PFF or any other analytics site that “grades” players does so without actually knowing what the player was supposed to do. This is like me, having never replaced an engine in an automobile before, coming in and grading the mechanic on how they do the job. At the end of the day, Watt would trade in every individual accolade he’s ever received for a shot at the Super Bowl. I myself don’t care much for individual awards but I understand their place.
The very latest episode of the SCB Steelers Podcast presented by DEK Roofing Inc is now available! We discussed a number of things ‘Steelers related’ and we gave our Super Bowl predictions as well. Whether you watch or listen we appreciate it!
The Steelers formally announced the hiring of Tom Arth as the new QB Coach and Zach Azzanni as the WR Coach yesterday. I really like both of these moves. Arth was once a backup to Peyton Manning before getting into coaching. He led his alma mater John Carroll University to the D-III playoffs several times, struggled as the head coach at Akron and then became the passing game coordinator for the LA Chargers. Azzanni is a Central Michigan graduate who has spent time coaching both in college and at the pro level. While coaching at CMU, he recruited both Antonio Brown and tackle Joe Staley. He would eventually enter the pros where he coached the Denver Broncos’ wideouts and then the NY Jets wideouts last season. Both of these guys will bring a new perspective and hopefully some new ideas to the offensive unit.
What About Sully?
With Tom Arth aboard as the new QB Coach, what does that mean for Mike Sullivan? Well, from what we’re hearing he’s likely to become an Assistant Head Coach. This is a role John Mitchell used to take on for several years. Don’t be surprised if “Senior Offensive Consultant” is part of that title.
It’s hard to believe but the NFL Scouting Combine comes to Indianapolis again at the end of this month. It runs February 27th through March 4th.
Free Agency/New League Year
Begins officially on March 13th.
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