It’s time for another rousing edition of the SteelDad Mailbag. Let’s go!
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Some questions and comments have been edited for length or clarity.
Will the Steelers go back to Kendrick Green or stay with JC Hassenauer for the playoff game in Kansas City?
Many will see this and think it’s an obvious answer and in many ways it is but there is something to consider. First of all, yes, the Steelers will stay with Hassenauer. His body of work against Cleveland in week 17 was a significant upgrade over what Green had been doing. The only thing that makes me hesitate a bit is that last week against the Ravens Hassenauer struggled. The thing is, MANY struggle against the interior of the Ravens’ D which by the way was number one against the run this season. Bottom line here is that Mike Tomlin will stick with Hassenauer.
Why did Mike Tomlin go back to Pressley Harvin III last week?
If I knew the answer I’d be coaching instead of Mike Tomlin… Seriously though I believe that Tomlin is sometimes “too loyal” to his players and this was a perfect example. We all share in the sad passing of Harvin’s father and wish the young man who has struggled this season all the best. Unfortunately this is still a business and you have to make the best decisions you can for the organization. Harvin is very good at dropping the ball inside the 10 yard line and I believe that’s why Tomlin went back to him. Corliss Waitman specializes in crushing the ball and isn’t so good with the specialty required to drop the ball deep. The problem last week in Baltimore was that Harvin had at least three chances to pin the Ravens deep and couldn’t get it past the 15. I would go back to Waitman this week in a heartbeat.
Will we ever know the truth about Stephon Tuitt and Zach Banner?
In a word? No. For Tuitt, this has gone way beyond the grief he has endured following his brother’s tragic death in the summer. Football to many of us is a game but in the NFL it’s still a business. Like the rest of us, we would be given some time but eventually we would be expected to get back to our jobs. The same holds true for Tuitt. The difference is the knee injury. We’ll never know how severe it was but the Steelers clearly felt Tuitt was never ready to play. As for Banner, he signed a nice two-year deal coming off an ACL tear and has seen four offensive snaps. This tells me that the Steelers miscalculated. If Joe Haeg was the option over Banner then there’s clearly a problem there. Not sure what it means for his future in Pittsburgh.
Who do you have winning on Sunday Night?
We would all be winners if Cris Collinsworth were not doing this game… I digress. If you matched up the Steelers and Chiefs across the board, position by position, you would have a clear-cut Kansas City victory. The good news is that this is not how playoff games are played. The bad news is that I do not believe it matters. Both teams are pretty healthy overall for this late in the season. The Chiefs were without Travis Kelce and the Steelers were without Pat Freiermuth. T.J. Watt was not nearly 100% either and played about half the game. All that in mind, I think the Steelers keep in close if Najee Harris plays. If he doesn’t, forget it. Chiefs 27 Steelers 20