At my daughter's school, they send out mid-semester report cards, to let the parents know how their child is doing. Here is the Pittsburgh Steelers report card for the first half of the 2009 season.
Quarter back - A+
Ben Roethlisberger is on pace for the best stistical season ever by a Steelers QB. That is right Bradshaw, time to step to the side.
Roethlisberger has already passed Bradshaw with having the most games with a passer rating over 100. Roethlisberger is starting to be recognized as the elite player he is, not just by Steeler fans, but by everyone.
Running back - C
Not consistant enough yet to be better than a C. Rashard Mendenhall is starting to show why the Steelers drafted him in the first round. If he keeps up this pace, this grade could go up.
Wide receivers - B
Hines Ward is still the man, and Santonio Holmes is drawing the other teams best corner. Limas Sweed brought this grade down, but rookie Mike Wallace is a possible RoY candidate.
Tight end - B
Heath Miller is having the best year of his career, but Matt Spaeth is not doing anything.
Offensive line - A+
For a unit that MANY of the Steelers faithful thought was going to be over matched this year, they have played above average in almost every game. Max Starks has shut down Jarod Allen and Elvis Dumerville, while Willie Colon is opening running lanes that I could drive through.
Defensive line - B
This would be an A, if Aaron Smith would not be injured. The back ups have done a great job making people not relaize Smith is not playing.
OLB - B
After a slow start, James Harrison is playing as good as last years Defensive MVP. LaMar Woodley has played good, but is not quite great yet.
ILB - A
James Farrior is playing like he is 28, and even thought Lawrence Timmons is injured, Keyaron Fox is playing at a level good enough to make people not miss Larry Foote.
CB - C
Using two draft picks on corners, neither has stepped up. Ike Taylor is playing good against the other teams top receiver, but Will Gay is not playing as good as Bryant McFadden did last year.
S - A+
Troy Polamalu is the best in the game, when Polamalu is in the game, the entire defense is better. Ryan Clark is one of the hardest hitters in the game. Tyrone Carter had two interceptions against the Broncos, returning one for a score, as a back up.
K - D
P - A
Daniel Sepulveda is averaging almost 45 yards per punt. What is more impressive is, he has 13 punts downed inside the 20, with only one touch back.
Mike Tomlin - A
Benching Rashard Mendenhall the first time the Steelers played the Bengals was the best decision he could have made, and possibly saved the career of the second year pro.
Dick LeBeau - B
LeBeau has improved since the return of Troy Polamlu. If we were grading before, it would have been an F. The Steelers defense alowed the opposition to get back into every game Troy was not in, costing the Steelers BOTH of their losses. Since Troy has been back, it was an A.
Bruce Arians - C
The first half against the Broncos, we ran the ball on every first down except one. In the second half, when they mixed it up, we killed the Broncos.