Big Lead Sports Bar


Why the Redskins Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007

I've thrown out a challenge to the followers of every other NFL out there: tell us why your team will be better than the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2007. And plenty of eager writers are lined up to tell you exactly why they will be superior to the Black and Gold. In the coming weeks, be prepared to get a gauge on exactly where the rest of the country ranks us in the NFL hierarchy this season.

Today's author is Sammy Akkoush, a Steeler fan living in Washington. Sammy operates a blog called "Buccos Penguins Steelers Reality World", which is definitely an interesting read. And now, as we begin this week's final wrapup of the "Why My Team is Better..." series, I turn it over to Sammy:

Why the Redskins Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007

by Sammy Akkoush

Let me first get my allegiances out there. I am a completely die-hard Pittsburgh sports fan. I love the Steelers, Penguins, and also the lowly Pirates.

However, living just outside Washington D.C., I've developed a fondness for the Redskins as well. It's pretty harmless, since there isn't much history between the Steelers and Redskins, they rarely play, and are in different conferences. I get to see the Redskins every week on TV here, and can usually catch 8-10 Steelers games a season. Yes, I am aware there is something such as Direct TV, and the Sunday Ticket, but that's an entirely different subject.

In beginning to break down this matchup, let's start with the stadiums. FedEx field, home of the Redskins holds a staggering 91,665 while the big ketchup bottle, Heinz Field only holds 64,450. So FedEx holds roughly a third more. I'm not going to break down the absurdness of people paying upwards of $75 to sit up in the upper deck at FedEx, not to mention another $30 bucks for parking. Advantage: Redskins Bigger is better, that's the bottom line.

We now move onto what I think will be a pretty controversial topic, mascots. I realize most of the Steeler fans have pretty much ganged up on Steely McBeam. I am probably a bad person to


ask, because I usually love mascots, but I have developed a certain soft spot for McBeam. There is so much that could be done to him to make him a Pittsburgh Icon. Get him involved in Steelers clips and he could become the next Burger King.

The King is great, he constantly will make me laugh. The plays he makes in the commercials are certainly legendary. I would have advocated for the Steelers to pick him up. They could have used such a great two-way player who had the ability to make highlight plays seemingly out of no where.

The Redskins don't have a silly mascot, but a regular Joe who has become the face of the franchise. His name is Chief Zee, and in

addition to being the unofficial Redskins mascot, he now stars in local commercials for Eastern Motors along with other Redskins such as Clinton Portis, Santana Moss, ex-Steeler Antwaan Randel-El. Can't get enough Eastern Motors, here's another great clip. This is the great TV you miss not being in the DC area. Advantage: Redskins. When your job is your credit, can you ever go wrong?

Let's move onto actual football comparison.

Quarterback: Yes, Big Ben has a Super Bowl ring, but was nothing special all last season. The Steelers could have won the Super Bowl with Kordell Stewart still at QB with the way they ran the ball in the Super Bowl year. Big Ben looked anything but big all last year. Perhaps it was his oversight in not wearing a helmet when riding a MOTORCYCLE. Who does that? Espically with all the older people in Pennsylvania driving Cadillacs and Buicks all over the place. Jason Campbell enters the season having finally gotten his chance to start. He's got good speed and a cannon for an arm. Advantage: Slight to Big Ben only because of his added experience

Running Back: Willie Parker has proven his worth after a few good seasons of consistent productivity. However the dual threat of Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts is one of the best in the league. If anything happens to Parker, I'm not confident in Najeh Davenport to be able to handle the load for the Steelers. The Skins have Portis and Betts and knowing Joe Gibbs like the run the ball, the RB situation should be an area of strength for them. Advantage: Portis and Betts duo

Wide Receiver: After Hines Ward and Santanio Holmes, it's pretty thin. Cedric Wilson is nice, Nate Washington has hands of cement. The Skins will come at you with Santana Moss, Randel-El, Brendon Lloyd, and the ageless James Thrash. Hines and Randel-El can go over the middle, Holmes and Moss can beat you deep, and the WR corps basically are identical. Advantage: Redskins on the basis that Brendon Lloyd is better than Steelers #3 Nate Washington.

Tight End: The Redskins have Chris Cooley, who while sometime eccentric with his hair and sometime his wardrobe, is one of the best in the league. Coach Gibbs likes to use the TE in his offense, and Cooley is one of the best in the league.

Everyone knows the Steelers claim to have TE's and continue to draft them (please see 2007 3rd round pick), they are rarely if ever used for more than blocking.

Advantage: Redskins, Cooley is a top 5 overall TE, and finally got paid earlier this week.

Offensive Line: Not many people like the big uglies up front, but both teams have a good OL. The Skins return 4 starters, only losing LG Derrick Dockery to a huge FA deal to thee Bills. He is replaced by Pete Kendall. Sorry, I don't have a Jason Kendall joke here for you. The Steeler's return the same O-line, minus retired center Jeff Hartings. Still have a couple questions at both RT and RG, which gives the Advantage: Redskins. Chris Samuels, Randy Thomas and John Jansen are anchors of the OL

Defensive Line: Being a fan of the Redskins, I can rattle of the starters without a problem, however I'm sure other casual football fans would fail to name even one. The Steeler's have 2 underrated DE's in Smith and Keisel, and a space eating monster in Casey Hampton. Enough said. Advangtage: Steelers

Linebackers: This is always been an area of strength for the Steelers. However with the addition of London Fletcher-Baker (LFB), the Skins have a tackling machine who will rival James Farrior. Advantage: Push

Secondary: Drafting Laron Landry with their first overall pick gives the Skins a dynamic duo at the safety position. Shaun Taylor is as hard hitter as they come, however he often gets beat with his aggression. Assuming Fred Smoot can avoid sex cruses on the Potomac River or Chesapeake Bay, he should be a valuable addition to the nickel packages. Ike Taylor is forced to prove that his 2005 season wasn't a fluke. With the uncertainty at 3 of the 4 Steeler secondary position, and with the return of a healthy Shaun Springs for the Steelers I must go Advantage: Redskins

Coaching: Joe Gibbs vs Tomlin. As if that for now isn't lopsided enough. Throw in Joe Bugel, Greg Williams, and Al Saunders and it's now a run-a-way. Huge Advantage: Redskins

While Pittsburgh may have a better 'team', I think it's pretty clear the Redskins have the better 'players'. Now if they could ever just play like a team, the NFC better watch out!

Click here for the entire "Why My Team Will Be Better Than the Steelers in 2007"