Nothing like rebounding from a week of disappointment and Ravens fan gloating to hear that Bill Leavy has been assigned to Sunday's Seahawks-Steelers tilt. No way that gives cause to unbearably tedious Super Bowl XL officiating discussion from the announcers. At least Phil Simms won't be calling the game again. I'm sure by the second quarter that he'd be calling for the NFL to vacate the 2005 title.
Anyway, on paper the Steelers should wipe the floor with Seattle. But paper doesn't mean much right now. The paper said the Steelers would give a game to the Ravens last week and what we got was little tangible result. So until we get results to the contrary, or maybe even further confirmation of our biggest fears, everything is speculation, either hopeful or dreadful.
I don't think the Steelers are anywhere nearly as bad as the scoreboard indicated last week. They made mistakes that were both uncharacteristic and not likely to be replicated except for when a team falls woefully behind to a worthy adversary. That said, there were still a lot of distressing shortcomings that need to rebound should the Steelers maintain any aspirations beyond middling team for this season.
I think we'll discover a lot about the supposedly diminished speed of the defense early on. If Tarvaris Jackson can do anything well, it's scramble. Not that Bryant McFadden can't be picked on, but I'd expect the Seahawks to get Jackson out of the pocket as much as possible. As for the O-line, well, a lot of the season's fortunes depends on how quickly Marcus Gilbert can develop.
If I sound like a downer, then it's probably because it's been a downer week. That'll happen when the only meaningful football we've seen out of our favorite team since last season produced such parlous returns. The Steelers will be motivated and agitated and all the stuff they should be following last week's embarrassment. But they still have to show that they're any good.