It is Saturday evening and I wanted to post some quick Steelers thoughts before we get too deep into the holiday weekend.
I am glad that Hines Ward won Dancing with the Stars, but I am even gladder that it is all over now. I watched way more of that show than I intended to and doubt I will ever watch it again. I suspect much of Steeler Nation won\'t watch next season as well, and I bet their ratings will likely drop off. The power of Steeler Nation is that strong. On the flip side I expect Ward will be much more visible in commercials now and I bet he gets a few small parts in some movies in addition. The first movie that comes to mind is the new Batman movie that is filming in Pittsburgh. That does not bother me as he can do no worse than Terry Bradshaw did in Hooper or Joe Greene did in The Black Six.
Troy Polamalu is at the Indianapolis 500 this weekend and even got to take a ride with the legendary Mario Andretti. What a blast I bet that was. Speaking of Polamalu, the rumors keep insisting that he will be training down in Orlando with Tom Shaw and join Steelers teammates Ike Taylor, William Gay and James Farrior. Word out of the Polamalu camp though continues to say that Troy will continue his normal regime of training in Southern California. Until he shows up in Orlando, I would consider it just a rumor.
A reader asked my thoughts on nose tackle Maake Kemoeatu and if I thought the Steelers would sign him after the Washington Redskins release him whenever the lockout is over. Maake of course is the brother of left guard Chris Kemoeatu and is coming off a torn labrum in his shoulder last season and a torn Achilles in 2009. While I can not completely rule it out, Maake will have quite an expensive minimum base salary based on his years accrued, so the Steelers would be better served spending the same type money and re-sign free agent Chris Hoke instead. Hoke knows the system and has much more position flexibility in addition. Signing Maake would shock me.
I will continue to worry about Emmanuel Sanders and his feet until he goes full speed in a pre season game. I am hopefully overreacting, but you never like to hear about receivers having foot problems early in their careers. Sanders has had both feet operated on since the Super Bowl and the word is he should be ready come camp time. I will keep my fingers crossed.
Jamie Dukes is just another example of an ex-NFL player that has a hard time getting respect as a true analyst. Dukes wrote off his hard words and criticism of James Harrison last week as sarcasm instead of standing behind is comments. It is evident that he values his friendship and trust of current players over being a hard hitting media guy and it is easy to see right through that. Dukes even lied about having his own "special" salad this week as well, so everything that comes out of his mouth is bullshit. In this day and age of instant media and technology, it is so easy for a blogger like myself to bring instances like this to the forefront.
I have a gut feeling that the labor talks will start progressing after the June 3rd hearing. Both sides know that it is getting close to crunch time and there is just too much to lose if they do not get something worked out in the month of June. Total speculation and optimism on my part, so take it with a grain of salt.
If you do not have Sirius radio, you are missing great interviews and solid football talk every day on the Sirius NFL Radio channel. This is an unsolicited recommendation by me, but I have been a customer since the early days and can not imagine not having it. Every true football fan must have it.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend and I hope everyone takes the time to reflect on what this holiday stands for in addition.