Anyone else remember that tweet Steeler linebacker Vince Williams sent out the day that the Steelers signed Mike Vick? That tweet where Vince said “What the hell are we doing signing this washed up, has-been dog killer?! We’ve got Landry already and he’s awesome.”

Yeah. I don’t remember it either. Know why?

Because it never happened, that’s why!

You know what tweet he did send Sunday night though? This one: “So now y’all Landry fans but in the preseason y’all wanted his head #Wishywashy”

Right, Vince. We’re wishy washy. Not that I ever would have thought to approach a back-up inside linebacker with a question about a quarterback, but if I had asked Williams for a comment about Vick…how do you think that conversation would have gone? Would it have been:

ME…”Vince, what do you think about the team signing Mike Vick?”
Vince…”Dude, I got no idea. The front office has no clue what it is sitting on with this Landry Jones guy. He just needs a chance in a regular season game. Don’t pay attention to his preseason performance.”


Or, do you think it would have gone this way?

ME…”Vince, what do you think about the team signing Mike Vick?”
Vince…”Pfft! You kidding me? It’s great. It’s Mike Vick, man! This guy is an all timer. I used to have his poster on the wall and if you played as the Falcons in Madden ‘02 you couldn’t stop him. I had his his jersey…his cleats…his wrist bands…”

Because that’s how most of the young Steelers spoke about Vick when he was signed. But now I’m supposed to believe ace personnel evaluator Vince Williams knew all along that Landry Jones was the modern day incarnation of Tommy Maddox in 2002?


And Williams wasn’t alone. “You know what? I wasn’t surprised, and I don’t think anybody should be surprised,” opined offensive lineman David Decastro.

We shouldn’t be surprised that Landry-Freaking-Jones was 8-12 with 168 yards and two TD’s against a top 10 defense? If I’m not allowed to be surprised at that, what’s allowed to surprise me?! Pigs with wings? Duquesne hoops going to the Final 4 this year? The Pirates acquiring Jake Arrieta in the offseason? Sidney Crosby scoring a goal?

Well, fellas, guess who else was surprised by Landry on Sunday. Kevin Colbert. And Mike Tomlin. And the rest of the offensive coaches. And anyone else in management who felt the need to put up with the crap storm that was generated by signing Vick. Because they would have rather had an aging, convicted prisoner quarterbacking their team than Jones. They saw all the games we in the dumb ass media and the fans saw. And they watched the practices even more closely. Yet when Bruce Gradkowski got hurt, your bosses couldn’t sign a wilting shell of what used to be Mike Vick fast enough. They were so petrified of letting Landry Jones play, they alienated part of their fan base in an effort to bring in a shadow of Vick because he was still deemed to be a better option.


But, I get it. It’s those of us in the public who are stupid, right? Your team had it figured out the whole time.

And the “how do you like us now” drum beating didn’t stop at Landry’s door step. Anyone catch Mike Mitchell after the game?

“No one gives us respect,” safety Mike Mitchell told the Tribune Review after his interception clinched the Steelers’ fourth win Sunday. “We’re going to take it by force.”

I’ll cut Mitchell a little slack here. He only got here a season ago. He wasn’t in Western Pa. for about 30 years of Steeler fans falling all over themselves to absolve the sainted defense of blame and shift it onto whatever quarterback was in uniform on a given Sunday. Or whatever offensive coordinator was in the press box.


But, again, anyone who saw this defense last year…or in this year’s preseason…or vs. New England… has every right under the sun to be surprised that it is a top 10 unit so far. Before week two began this team couldn’t tackle, couldn’t cover, couldn’t get off on third down, couldn’t get the ball back, and rarely pressured the passer. The only thing MORE surprising than the Steeler defensive success…. is Landry Jones’.

It’s a reflex for athletes to default to the “no one gave us a chance” card. Feel free to insert a Hines Ward reference here. But there is a less-than-fine-line between using that as motivation, and extreme intellectual dishonesty. These Steeler players are guilty of the latter.

The unforeseen is OK in sports. It really is. It’s part of the fun. That’s a major reason why we are interested. Anyone who watches sports long enough does so because they’ve seen enough of it to know that expecting the unexpected is part of the pay off. 1980 Lake Placid. Birdstone in the Belmont. NC State over Phi Slama Jama….

…and Landry freaking Jones’ morphing into Johnny Unitas for a day. So I beseech these Steelers, don’t rob your fans of the right to bask in the enjoyment of a fun surprise by disingenuously puffing out your chest in the hope of projecting a “we had it all the way” persona. Don’t look down on the media for describing a Cinderella tale to your fans because your want to play the role of snide, know it all stepsister.

Enjoy the moment, Steelers. This team is actually turning into quite a fun story. Don’t ruin it.

Posted in Pittsburgh Steelers