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How good is the Steelers' line?

Commentary

October 10, 2012
The Altoona Mirror

PITTSBURGH - Sifting through the leftovers from Sunday's Pittsburgh Steelers' victory over the Philadelphia Eagles:

n Did the offensive line get better at run blocking, or did Rashard Mendenhall's return make that much of a difference? Both were probably factors, but I'd lean in the direction that Mendenhall mattered most. For the first time this season, the Steelers had a back with vision and enough shiftiness to get more yards than he should have on a number of runs.

n Willie Colon had an awful day with three holding penalties. Ben Roethlisberger stuck up for Colon after the game, saying that officials were misreading some of Colon's blocks. Roethlisberger and Colon are close friends, but quarterbacks stick up for their guys.

n As much as everyone keeps thinking the Steelers should be able to do better than Shaun Suisham, he's made every kick so far. It's tough (and pointless) to argue with 100 percent.

n The coaches can grade James Harrison's work in his first game of this season. This much is indisputable, though: Harrison is a presence who lifts the defense. That may not last beyond his first game back, but the emotional impact he had on the defense in Sunday's game is undeniable.

Taking it easy

If you watched the wild card playoff game between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals, you saw the last appearance of Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.

He batted late in a game his team was losing, making it about a 99 percent probability it was his last at-bat. He hit a ground ball to second that was mishandled and ruled an infield hit.

The most amazing thing about the replay: Jones was loafing down the line, conceding the out until he saw the ball get away from the second baseman.

He couldn't sprint the 90 feet down the line for the last time?

Amazing, and it made all those "he played the game the right way" farewell tributes ring a little hollow.

Frank Polito

Condolences to the family and friends of the long-time Mirror sports staffer, who passed away last week at 69.

I have some memories of Frank on my blog (Mainly Mehno) at altoonamirror.com.

Mehno can be reached at johnmehnocolumn@gmail.com

 
 

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