THUNDERING BLURB » Pittsburgh Steelers ANDREW GARDA'S ENDLESS TAKES ON NFL AND COLLEGE FOOTBALL Fri, 22 Oct 2010 12:30:31 +0000 en hourly 1 The Thundering Blurb Show – 4/14 Thu, 15 Apr 2010 12:48:46 +0000 admin REMINDER – NEXT WEEK’S SHOW IS ON MONDAY AT 10PM EST ON THE FANTASY SPORTS CHANNEL.

Also I will be at the NFL Draft all three days, live at Radio City Music Hall. You can follow me live blogging right here at the Blurb site, catch my instant thoughts on Twitter by following @thunderingblurb or by tuning in to 104.3 the Fan’s stream (they’re Denver so get ready for Broncos Talk).



Cupcakes from Crumbs were my birthday cake. My wife ROCKS.

Turns out not only was it my Birthdaystravoganzapalooza but the Denver Broncos gave us some news to talk about on last night’s show.

In order to make sure we had the 411 on the ins and outs of the trade and it’s impact on the Broncos, we welcome good friend of the show and twitter machine Frank Schwab of the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Frank and I chat about Marshall and his affect on the Broncos, and then talk about some of the other points of attack the team may have going into next Thursday. We also chat about the direction of the team, the different ways the offense could be heading and the fact that Denver might want to get a Center in at some point—since they don’t have one at all on the roster.

We cover all that and more Broncos talk before segueing into more general NFL talk, including the fact that we both have reservations about shifting the Draft so suddenly to Thursday and a three day format and why.

You can find Frank on the Twitters by following @fs3142 or head over to here and read his Gazette stuff.

After we bid Frank adieu (classy huh?) and take a brief break, I welcome in Shane Hallam. Shane does work everywhere including some nice videos on the Draft here and a podcast on BlogTalkRadio as well as contributing to Scott Wright’s site over at

Shane and I touch on a bunch of different Draft-related topics including running backs and wide receivers. Shane—as a Steelers fan—also helps me break down the Santonio Holmes to the Jets trade.

Along with all the above spots to catch Shane’s work, you can follow him on Twitter, @TheP1414.

Altogether good stuff. There might be better ways to spend your birthday but this was a pretty good one.

I capped the evening off (post-show) with a 90 minute chat on Jared Faree’s What’s Your Fantasy show talking movies. Check that out here for some movie madness as we decide what flicks Jared has to see of the vast list of stuff he hasn’t.

As always, thanks for listening and following.

]]> 0
Santonio Holmes to the Jets – Reaction Mon, 12 Apr 2010 13:28:27 +0000 admin It’s crazy to wake up on a Monday-at 6 AM no less – and realize you somehow missed a trade THAT morning.

Yet even the mighty Adam Schefter was busy getting shut eye when the Pittsburgh Steelers traded wide reciever Santonio Holmes to the New York Jets for a 2010  fifth round pick. (edit: thanks to Fred Cannock for catching my typo – wrote first – should have been fifth. Arg…)

This does not include Leon Washington by the way. Washington would have to have signed his tender in order to get traded and he hasn’t.

At first my thought was ‘why so cheap’? Santonio Holmes has become a very good receiver and in theory shouldn’t he be worth more?

But Holmes is cheap because he is facing a four game suspension. He’s also cheap because he is in the last year of a deal and the Steelers probably didn’t want to have to negotiate a contract with a guy one strike away from a year suspension.

For the Steelers it’s a chance to get something now while getting rid of a headache. For the Jets, it’s a cheap rental they can sign longer if Holmes acquits himself well on an off the field.

Here’s where the trade leave the teams…

JETS:  Braylon Edwards is on notice. I mean, Sir Drops-A-Lot was before, but with Holmes there his situation is even shakier than his hands. Edwards has (potentially) four games to prove to Ryan, Schottenheimer and Sanchez that he can be depended upon to catch what is thrown at him reliably.

Otherwise, if Holmes plays as Holmes can play, Edwards might potentially watch as the long-term deal he covets goes to Holmes.

When he gets on the field post-expected-suspension, Holmes helps this team tremendously. His speed, hands and overall game are elements the Jets have lacked in their pass game for a long time. Holmes will give Sanchez a vertical weapon—sorry a reliable vertical weapon—which will allow him to stretch the field.

Sanchez’s development should be helped by this—he’ll have the weapons to succeed and now he will have to take the next step himself. 

Despite what one might think, this will help Jerricho Cotchery more than hurt him.

We already know he’s the reliable one in this offense. As much as I love Cotchery, he’s not a true #1. Having a real threat across from him will give him a little more room to move.

At worst though, it shouldn’t hurt his targets too much, unless Edwards lights it up while Holmes is out.

For a fifth round pick—which is about the point in the Draft where players taken can easily be gone by September—it’s a pretty safe move for the Jets.

Yes, Holmes will be suspended for the first four games of the 2010 season. But that leaves the Jets plenty of time to decide what they can get from him long term.

And if you know he’ll out-perform the production of a fifth round rookie.

Even if this goes south, the Jets gave up little to get Holmes and the upside is huge. Now they can also focus on something else for the Draft as well.

This buys them at least a year and potentially more.

Steelers: The Steelers are having a rough off-season. Ben Roethlisberger is/was embroiled in yet another off-the-field scandal and even if he is cleared, it’s happening way too frequently.

Holmes is gone for the first four games and is another bad decision away from potentially missing a whole season.

He’s also in the final year of a contract, and I could see why would the Steelers would want to avoid having to negotiate with a guy who can’t keep his nose clean off the field.

It’s going to be hard to give him what he wants when you know he could be taken from you at any time due to continued bad decisions.

You get something while you can for him—and his trade value isn’t going up as we approach the season.

This definitely moves the wide receiver position to near the top of the list for the Steelers at next week’s Draft.

Mike Wallace was a find last season and he will probably step up into Holmes’ slot. Hines Ward has at least another year in him.

But after that, who is there? Perennially underachieving Antwaan Randel-El? Journeyman Arnez Battle? Limas Sweed?

This is a team which depended on the pass more than we expected them to in 2009, especially with a mediocre offensive line and a streaky at best running game.

They’ll need to find some help and soon. It’s not a crisis by any means, but losing Holmes means they have one more hole to fill for the future.

Short term, we may see more of a focus on the run for the Steelers. It will be interesting to see what adjustments they make here.

I am surprised to see Holmes go so cheap, but I can’t blame the team for moving him given the tumultuous off-season so far.

In the end, it’s a step back for the Steelers. When losing a player like Holmes, how could it be anything else? But they have one less distraction heading into camp and can try to circle the wagons and focus on football.

In the end I think this could be a win-win for both teams. The Jets get a stud wide receiver (with baggage) for a one year rental while paying a low price. The Steelers get something for a player they would not have been able to easily move come summer and whom they didn’t want to have to negotiate with after he played a shortened season.

]]> 1
Some friday Notes – Parker and Bush Fri, 28 Nov 2008 22:07:00 +0000 admin Reggie Bush was limited in practice today, however the New Orleans Times-Picayune expects him to playand if that’s the case, they’ll probably give him a decent load. While I hesitate to jump on the 20-25 carry bandwagon right off the back, they will probably use him both in the pass game and the ground game.

I think he will be a decent start and I think Pierre Thomas gets most of the secondary carries. McAllister? I don’t know but I don’t feel he is a very safe play this weekend.

I didn’t have Bush on my RB rankings – I would slot him around 20 (give or take) as I am unsure what kind of touches he will get and Payton has eased his star players into the gameplan more than once. This is a game the Saints have to win though and I expect him to be a factor somehow.

Willie Parker practiced for the second straight day without any limitations, though he is still listed as Questionable for Sunday. Assuming he steps in no gopher holes, he should go against the Pats this Sunday. My biggest concern is he might tweak that knee again like he did. Add to that the fact that while the Patsies can be run on, they rarely cough up a TD (4 to Ronnie Brown way back in Week 3) and they just held the Dolphins to less than 60 yards running last week. Parker will probably better that yards total, but a TD may be hard to come by. And that’s assuming he’s healthy all game.

]]> 0
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals – Bengals Breakdown Thu, 20 Nov 2008 18:38:00 +0000 admin Ryan Fitzpatrick – Against the top pass defense in the league I would rather avoid the Harvard QB. It’s too risky most weeks to roll him out much less this week. But what to do if you have a whole bunch of question marks? I would still try to avoid him. He might not turn the ball over a lot, and the Steelers only have 10 INTs (some might claim 11 after the blown call against the Chargers) but they are tied for the league in sacks with 36. And oh yeah – The Bengals have given up 38 sacks thus far and the left side of the oline is out. Yeah, I would bench him.

Cedric Benson – At times, Benson has played very well though never great. Against the number 1 rush defense, I cannot stress enough how bad an idea it is to start him. Less than 69yds per game? Check. Just 4 TDs the season? Check. Bench for Benson? Check.

TJ Houshmandzedah – In a PPR league Housh has been money almost every week. They will still try to get him the ball and he’s probably one of your better WRs right now. He is the one person I might start on this squad. I’m still nervous and you cannot expect a ton, but he should get some catches and in a PPR league he is probably going to be a good start there, while nonPPR is a really tough matchup and it may not be worth your time to start him, though again, you may not have a whole heckuva lot of choice.

Chad Johnson – Has just been announced as inactive – don’t know why, doesn’t matter. get him out.

Chris Henry – Will get the start in Johnson’s place. Still not worth a start unless you are very desperate.

]]> 0
Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cincinnati Bengals – Steelers Breakdown Thu, 20 Nov 2008 17:52:00 +0000 admin

Ben Roethlisberger – Big Ben has been able to put yards up lately, but he hasn’t been able to get the ball into the hands of his WRs for a TD – however, he HAS been able to get the ball into the hands of the opposing secondary, throwing 8 INTs in the last 5 games, and only 3 TDs. He faces a Bengals team that has steadily – though slowly – gotten better as the weeks have gone on. They have been able to limit passers to just over 200 yards a game but are not getting a ton of pressure on the QB (just 11 sacks) and aren’t forcing too many turnovers (just 8). They have also given 14 TDs up to date and while many of those were earlier in the season, they do give them up regularly and this could be the week that Roethlisberger’s TDs end up better than his yards. I think he’s a fine start, depending on your matchup.

Willie Parker – One reason Big Ben might have a subpar passing game yardage-wise could be a large game from Willie Parker. Parker came out firing on all cylinders in a sloppy game against the Chargers last week, and is looking a defense giving 131+ yards a game, and a dozen TDs right in the face. Parker is a good start this week, a nice RB2 or flex at least and maybe more depending upon your matchups.

Hines Ward – Ward has been pretty darn streaky this season, but is on a two game tear with over 100 yards per game. Roethlisberger is certainly looking at him a ton the last few games – and while Parker will probably control things on the ground, Ward is often Big Ben’s go to guy on short and tough crossing routes. A decent WR3 or flex depending on your roster and he should put up ok yards. He might get a TD in the redzone, but no guarantees.

Santonio Holmes – Holmes has had, for the most part, an awful year. Between his one game benching and the subpar receptions, he’s been a shaky start. Could he light up the Bengals? Yup. Do I want to risk it this early? Probably not. He is a borderline WR4 – until he can prove to me he can be even a little consistent I’m not partial to him going into your lineup.

Nate Washington – There was time during the earlier part of the season where they were using Washington to stretch the field. But that time seems to have past. Like Calvin Johnson, he’s surviving on one or two long bombs most weeks – unlike Johnson he does not have the pure physicality and ability to make more out of less. Washington is just not a safe play – he did have a TD last go-round against the Bengals but unless you have to go 4 Wr and/or are in a bind, he should be on your bench.

Mewelde Moore – Moore might have some very thin value in an emergency but with Parker running the way he did this weekend, it looks grim. Moore was part of the pass game to the tune of 5 catches for 33 yards so in a PPR league he has Kevin Faulk value, but it’s risky and unless you have a real problem at RB this weekend, sit him. He might get garbage yards but on a thursday I would rather not risk it.

Heath Miller – Fresh off an injury I would hate to have to start him but let’s face it – the TE position has been a real pain in the rear in FF this year. I would rather sit him but if you have a rotating group of donuts each week, he’s worth a flier. He practiced today and so he should play.

]]> 0
NFL Commisioner Goodell on ‘Rome is Burning’ Thu, 20 Nov 2008 05:40:00 +0000 admin Here is the interview I talked about on tonight’s Thundering Blurb Fantasy Football Show. It runs 14 minutes and I thought it was pretty good, touching on several hot subjects from thsi week including Pacman Jones and the Pittsburgh/San Diego debacle.

]]> 0
Don’t overvalue Mewelde Moore Fri, 03 Oct 2008 16:54:00 +0000 admin Something Mr. Bloom and I disagreed on last night was the relative value of Mewelde Moore this week.

I felt – and still do – that Moore will be splitting carries this week and in a pretty tough matchup behind an inconsistent Oline, that spells flex spot and maybe not even that. Just saw this on Rotoworld though and it only makes me feel more confident Moore is a marginal play and that’s all this week:

Steelers RB Gary Russell, slated to be the top backup to Mewelde Moore, could receive significant work Sunday.
Said offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, “I wouldn’t mind giving it to him 20 times a game. I’ve been waiting a couple years to see what he can really do.” Keep in mind that doesn’t guarantee Russell 20 carries this week, but he should be the goal-line back. Najeh Davenport will play only in an emergency.

Now I don’t expect Russell to get 20 carries – but they are going to give him the rock a bunch. As another blurb on Rotoworld says, Tomlin is ready to go RBBC this week and you’ll probably see Moore more in passing downs than running downs.

Not saying he couldn’t bust a long one, but I wouldn’t count on production this week from him.

Just saying is all….

Rankings coming very soon.

]]> 0
Willie Parker out Week 4 vs Baltimore Tue, 23 Sep 2008 18:12:00 +0000 admin In what has become a theme this season – players being out after having not looked injured on the Sunday before – the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is reporting that Willie Parker will miss the matchup Monday night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Rookie Rashard Mendenhall will get the start – but before you murder people in front of you on the waiver wire list keep in mind a) is a bad matchup and b) he couldn’t hold onto the ball in the preseason. Mendy will be a borderline #2 Rb or flex – startable if you have players off one of the 6(!) teams on bye this week, but don’t go nuts and plug him in your #1 slot.

Mewelde Moore will probably see an uptick in carries as well. His value is even less, but someone to watch as well. Carey Davis and Gary Russell are guys to watch too.

We have no idea how long Parker will be out but when he comes back things could be very different depending on Mendy. But I think at worst it will be a split. Parker looked good before the mysterious injury – he will come back and play well from here on out if the injury isn’t too serious.

]]> 0