Hard Hat Award (Game #8, vs. New England)
Stillers TE Heath Miller and CB Ike Taylor are the co-winner of the weekly Hard Hat Award, given to the Stiller player who best embodies the iron-tough, hard-as-steel attitude of the steel workers inside the blast furnace of a still mill.
Miller set the tone early, scorching the Patsie defense on the opening drive for 4 receptions, most ending with Miller bulling and plowing for extra yardage. For the game, Miller finished with 7 grabs for 85 yards, and chipped in with some solid run blocking.
Ike had the task of mostly covering the ever-slippery Wes Welker, and he did it with aplomb. Wesley grabbed only 6 passes for a piddly 39 yards, and only a few of those catches were against Ike, Ike also slashed into drop Ben Jarvis for a 1-yard loss during the 1st series, and had a bust-up on a long pass to Price in the 4Q. Ike left with a stinger in the 4Q, but in true Hard Hat fashion, he returned and played.
Others receiving consideration were ILB Larry Foote, CB William Gay, SS Troy Polamalu, CB Keenan Lewis, and RT Marcus Gilbert. It bears repeating that there is almost always -- if not always -- a strong correlation between the number of players in consideration for the Hard Hat, and if the team won or lost. Simply put, Hard Hat kind of football leads to victory; pansy football (a term used here long before Troy Pola popularized it) leads to defeat.
Kudos to Miller and Taylor for winning the Hard Hat Award. Wear the Hard Hat proudly, fellas !
Previous 2011 Hard Hat Winners:
Game #7, @ Ariz: Antonio Brown
Game #6, vs. Jax: Troy Polamalu
Game #5, vs. Tenn: Ben Roethlisberger and Max Starks
Game #4, @ Houston: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #3, @ Indy: James Harrison and Troy Polamalu
Game #2, vs. Seattle: Mike Wallace and Troy Polamalu
Game #1, @ Balt: No One