Steel Curtain Rising may be written out of Buenos Aires, where Thanksgiving is just a work day, but last year I inaugurated what I hope will be an annual tradition here at Steel Curtain Rising – citing Steelers specific reasons to be thankful. This year Ed Gleason aka Mary Rose has followed suit, and I encourage you to read his post if you haven’t already.
A year ago, the Steelers were smack in the middle of their 5 week mid-season meltdown, but we recognized Rashard Mendenhall for the heart he displayed in picking himself up and running the length of the field to prevent and interception from becoming a pick six (click here to see the video.)
So, on this day when we give thanks, Steelers Nation can be thankful for:
When the Steelers drafted Maurkice Pouncey was supposed to challenge for time and perhaps a starting slot at guard.
He not only won the starting job, but made Justin Hartwig expendable. Pouncey didn’t simply establish himself as a starter, he established himself as the Steelers best offensive lineman.
When the Steelers selected Sanders in the third round of the 2010 NFL draft, Steel Curtain Rising questioned the pick suggesting that needs at defensive line and defensive back were more impending.
Emmanuel Sanders has made an impact as a rookie on special teams and as a receiver, providing the Steelers offense with some much needed speed. I am thankful I was wrong.
Al Everest and Antonio Brown
One year ago the Steelers special teams were a glaring liability.
Al Everest has changed that. I lump Everest in with Antonio Brown, although Emmanuel Sanders has also been one of Everest’s weapons of choice.
But it was with Brown, down in the heat against Tennessee, that Everest put the rest of the NFL on notice that he was transforming the Steelers special teams into a strike force. I am thankful that thus far in 2010, the Steelers have been on the right side of special teams splash plays.
Happy Thanksgiving to All
I suspect, and hope, that all of you have other, deeper, more meaningful non-football related reasons to give thanks. Thanksgiving has long been my favorite US holiday, but it is one I have not celebrated now for 10 years.
So please, as you come together with your friends and family to give thanks, have an extra slice of pumpkin pie for me.