Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



*It’s weird to have a Steelers game in November be so utterly meaningless. 

*The main storyline in Monday night’s game at Indianapolis is future Hall-of-Famer Mike Tomlin coaching against rank amateur Jeff Saturday. If Tomlin loses, it will not look good. It also won’t be surprising. 

*It’s too early to call Kenny Pickett a bust. It’s not too early to worry about the possibility. 

*Pickett hasn’t yet improved. But even if he keeps stumbling for the rest of the season, the Steelers can’t draft another quarterback in next year’s first round. Not even if, say, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud is available. The Steelers have too many other needs: Offensive line, defensive line, cornerback, etc. The Steelers must stick with Pickett. 

*Yeah, I know: Arizona took Josh Rosen in 2018’s first round, then Kyler Murray in 2019’s first round. So what? The Cardinals are 4-8.

*I make this challenge daily on my program: Tell me one area where Pickett has legit improved. “Competitive fire” doesn’t count. 

*It was time for Ben Roethlisberger to retire. But if he was playing, the Steelers would be 5-5. 

*It’s time for T.J. Watt to do more that’s tangible, not just cause commotion. He’s only got a half-sack in two games since returning from injury, and got negated in the Steelers' last game by Cincinnati tackle La’el Collins. Great interception vs. the Bengals, though. 

*At nine sacks, edge rusher Alex Highsmith is having an excellent season. But with 5½ of those sacks coming in the three games Watt played, Highsmith isn’t likely to make All-Pro or get any votes for Defensive Player of the Year. (Barring injury, Dallas linebacker Micah Parsons has the latter honor clearly locked up.) You don’t get consideration for big honors if you’re Robin. You’ve got to be Batman. 

*If I marketed them, would you buy a “Fourth in the North” T-shirt? I just need the Steelers to finish last in the division. GO BROWNS! 

*There was a blowup between PR staff and scrub defender Marcus Allen because Allen insisted on loudly blasting music when the media was in the locker room doing interviews. That shows lack of leadership when a jabroni like Allen has to get put in his place by somebody besides a coach or player. (Troy Polamalu used to pointedly turn down the music.) 

Photo: Getty Images

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