Neal Coolong

  • joined Oct 27, 2008
  • last login Jul 13, 2014
  • posts 4909
  • comments 18266

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Neal Coolong is the managing editor of Behind The Steel Curtain on SB Nation. He began writing for the site in 2008, taking over the reins of BTSC in 2012 from site founder Michael Bean.

A former resident of Pittsburgh, Coolong ended up in the Minneapolis area, attending high school there before attending college at North Dakota State University. While there, he served as the sports editor and eventually the editor-in-chief of the school's newspaper. He also interned and worked at The Forum in Fargo, N.D.

After college, he worked for two years at different daily papers in Iowa before leaving the grind of the industry. Along with daily newspaper credits, he has published work for AOL, Steel City Insider, Pittsburgh Magazine and Sports Illustrated's FanNation.

Coolong appears on ESPN Radio FM 92.3 in Selinsgrove, Pa., each Monday during the regular season. He also makes frequent appearances on Trib Live Radio with Dan Dudley.

User Blog

Ben a 'second-tier quarterback,' says ESPN poll

A survey conducted by ESPN polled football personnel showed Ben Roethlisberger as the seventh-best quarterback in the NFL.

Archer aiming at boosting offense and defense

Steelers rookie linebacker Ryan Shazier pointed out the value of practicing against fellow rookie Dri Archer.

Ben 'still good in spurts,' says personnel man

Roethlisberger lands just out of the top third of the best players in the NFL, according to one analyst's list. Antonio Brown finished in the bottom third, being labeled as a "No. 2 receiver" by one AFC personnel man.

No one happier about Munchak's hire than Haley

No Steelers coach can speak badly about newly hired offensive line coach Mike Munchak. That may end up being praise lavished on him internally for a short amount of time in Pittsburgh.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Brown NFL catches leader

It's not a question of Brown's ability or the focus of the offense, but getting him around 115 catches, a general range at which a receiver would lead the NFL, just may not happen with the balance the Steelers are looking for in 2014.

Todd Haley isn't afraid of fourth downs

Steelers OC Todd Haley spoke with Tribune Review reporter Mark Kaboly, and revealed some insight behind his philosophy regarding fourth down attempts.

Steelers Fantasy Football: Bell in top 20

Rotoworld's Evan Silva puts Bell in his top 20 overall, but may be missing a piece or two that could land Bell into the top 10.

2004 re-draft puts Ben at top

Having an outstanding quarterback is the biggest difference between long-term success and futility in the NFL. Ben Roethlisberger is unique in the sense he's the quarterback defenses don't want to face. That puts him at the top of the 04 draft clas

Ike "pissed" about reduced contract

Ultimately, the longtime Steelers cornerback stayed in Pittsburgh because of connections and friendships as well as the way the team does its business. But that doesn't mean he's happy about it.

Mike Mitchell aiming higher than Pro Bowl

Pro Bowl bids usually represent salary bonuses for players, but Steelers FS Mike Mitchell felt he earned a spot on the NFC squad in 2013 when he was with Carolina. He's aiming higher for his time in Pittsburgh.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Ben breaks own record

Roethlisberger's passing total may only be affected by the success of the Steelers' running game. But it's still fully possible Roethlisberger tops 4,000 yards for the fourth time in his career.

Keisel's return seems likely thanks to MSB

If Cam Thomas provides versatility, and Stephon Tuitt provides strength and upside, Brett Keisel can provide experience and leadership at a cap price on the same level as Brian Arnfelt, thans to the league's Minimum Salary Benefit clause.

Pro-ready because of college is a myth

The myth of college players being "pro-ready" because of the system in which they played in college is dispelled by the rookie season of Steelers OLB Jarvis Jones. He now has real experience, which can only come in the NFL.

Saturday night 5 questions and open thread

In what looks to be the least populated the site has been in several months, we'll try to salvage the evening with some Q&A.

Manziel following in Brady Quinn's footsteps

Cleveland rookie quarterback is walking step-for-step down the path Brady Quinn did in 2007. Manziel could overtake Quinn's legacy by earning the start in Week 1 against the Steelers, a team not easily beaten by rookie quarterbacks.

Carter 'bothered' by talk of Harrison's return

The fourth-year outside linebacker has inside positioning on the team's top back-up at the position right now, so it's understandable why he may not want to hear about the return of the former Defensive Player of the Year.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Wheaton starts 10 games

The Steelers' third round pick in 2013 is a combination of deep threat as well as shifty slot mover. His long-term position may be in the slot, but he's penciled in as the team's starting split end right now. Holding onto the starting job is key.

Sink or swim for Shaq

Faced with past fifth-round flame-outs drafted by the Steelers as well as future depth concerns at the position, more eyes are on one of this year's fifth round picks than his contemporaries.

Steelers, Eagles ride hypothetical momentum

They were the two best teams in the NFL over the second half of the year record-wise. With some defensive improvements added to offenses that showed success over the final eight games, both teams look to make noise in 2014.

J-Peezy stalking sidelines, Jones

The Steelers have a long-standing reputation of veterans mentoring the younger players. In the case of ex-Steelers linebacker Joey Porter now coaching, he looks to continue adding to memorable legacy.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Steelers double up picks

Netting 20 interceptions will be difficult, but the offseason moves the team has made were geared to boost this team's takeaway ability. That's an area that has sagged considerably over the last three years.

Archer entering division preparing to stop the run

The Steelers' third round pick met with SB Nation's Dan Rubenstein at the NFL Rookie Premiere, and surprise, a conversation about his size came up.

Tone's toes were down...and overrated apparently

It's more humorous than informative or even entertaining, but diving into the steaming pile of an argument from Shutdown Corner writer Frank Schwab, we see nothing but pure hack laced all through it.

Steelers TEs set edge for outside zone

The presence of two high-level run blockers on the outside will bolster the Steelers' outside zone rushing attack. Neither were 100 percent for 16 games last year, leading to a swoon in a once run-dominant franchise.

Sunshine on Mitchell's shoulders makes him happy

The Steelers' primary free agency acquisition hasn't been impressed with the weather in Pittsburgh so far, but is excited to add to the legacy of Steelers defenders.

Flowers contract worth $5 million from Chargers

If the Steelers discussed financials with Flowers, it likely wouldn't have been a long conversation. Flowers remains in the AFC West, having inked a one-year deal with the Chargers.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Blount tallies 10 TDs

The development of the team's offensive line and running backs groups is an exciting aspect of the team's preparation for this year. However, with new coaches guiding both units, it could be a reason for a slow start to the year.

Steelers shirts for sale in BTSC store

Check out the new shirt selections in our store.

32 scenarios in 32 days: Bell rushes for 1,000

Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell would have had 1,000 rushing yards his rookie season had he not missed the first three games last year. He can crack that barrier in 2014.

Steelers flirt with new camera technology

It's jumpy, sort of awkward and gave Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a headache, but tis the season for experimentation with technology.

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