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A level-headed news-discussion site with a sense of history and community 2019-06-26T06:31:00-04:00
Updated: 18 min 18 sec ago

Podcast: The Steelers WR Training Camp battle goes beyond Antonio Brown’s lost production

1 hour 30 min ago

In a brand new show titled ‘Yeah, I said it’, we talk about some burning topics surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When Pittsburgh Steelers fans talk about Antonio Brown leaving for the Oakland Raiders, after they get their feelings out of the way they typically talk about how the Steelers will possibly replace his production on the field.

After all, 15 receiving touchdowns is a monster number.

But when approaching the 2019 season, maybe, just maybe, the Steelers wide receiver training camp “battle” won’t be about replacing Brown’s production. Instead, what if it is more about the best receivers to play with certain personnel packages?

This is where the newest BTSC podcast “Yeah, I Said It” comes in. My co-host on ‘The Standard is the Standard’, Lance Williams, talks about some of the Steelers favorite personnel groupings, who fits best with what group and how that might actually provide an answer for who will be trying their best to fill Brown’s shoes this upcoming season.

Lance is the perfect man for the job, and delivers the goods in the latest show.

Check out the audio below:

Feel free to give us your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below, and don’t forget to follow us on all our audio platforms by following the links below:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

Black and Gold Links: The Edmunds brothers are hoping to both put their stamp on the team this year

2 hours 31 min ago

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With all of the Steelers’ 2019 offseason workouts in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base has to suffer through the dog days of summer until the boys of fall return to the gridon. In the meantime, don’t think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over. As the team disperses for the summer, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until training camp!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how both Trey and Terrell Edmunds are not just hoping to make the Steelers’ roster, but to make an impact. Trey looking to be a part of the team in some fashion, and Terrell ready to take his next step forward in his sophomore season.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Two brothers on the same team, ready, and willing, to do whatever it takes to remain together for the 2019 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

‘Tight as a fist’: Steelers’ Edmunds brothers tackle NFL life as roommates

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Competition isn’t an option for NFL siblings living together.

It’s a way of life.

The Pittsburgh Steelers brotherly duo, safety Terrell Edmunds and running back Trey Edmunds, like to cook on occasion. Terrell’s go-to dish is crab legs, corn and red potatoes. Trey is known to prepare baked chicken and greens.

“I’ll hear something like, ‘Dad, I made something just like you would,’” said Ferrell Edmunds, himself an NFL tight end from 1988 to 1994. “Then you might hear them go back and forth a bit. That’s what makes the boys so competitive.”

Trey shrugs at the Edmunds way. “We’ve all got that edge,” he said. “That’s just how we were brought up.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Could Johnny Holton be on the edge of cracking the Steelers’ 53-man roster?

WR Johnny Holton has distinct role in mind for Steelers

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

At first glance, it’s almost impossible to ignore — a coincidental quirk that results in a far-too-easy punchline.

So, Johnny Holton, as the guy who switched places with Antonio Brown, you’re the perennial All Pro’s replacement, right?

“Oh no,” the veteran wide receiver said, a combination of laughing and recoiling in horror at the comparison. “I didn’t think that at all. I don’t look at it that way at all.”

The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t see it that way, either. Holton, most certainly, isn’t thought of as Brown’s replacement. He wasn’t even part of what the team received as compensation for trading Brown, either.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Jaylen Samuels took some serious strides in 2018, but he will seriously need to diversify his game if he wants to be considered an every down back in the NFL.

Carter’s Classroom: Samuels must diversify

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

Options down the depth chart are going to come into play for Randy Fichtner, Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers’ offense. One of the most important depth players for 2019 could easily be Jaylen Samuels, the only running back not named James Conner with experience in a Steelers uniform.

Samuels was drafted as an H-back from his North Carolina State days as a utility player that filled various roles for his ACC offense. But last year he was strictly a running back who got several snaps in the final games of the season. There are a few components to his game he must improve for 2019, and today we focus on what he brings as a receiving threat:

To read the full article, click HERE ($$)

  • Not Steelers news, but the Bengals just found out they lost their top draft pick for the 2019 season.

Ouch! Bengals lose another first-round draft pick to injury

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Another year, another first-round draft pick that is down and out for the lowly Cincinnati Bengals.

Already picked to finish at the bottom of the AFC North, the Bengals didn’t help their cause for escaping the basement Tuesday when they announced that first-rounder Jonah Williams, the No. 11 overall selection out of Alabama, will miss the 2019 season after having surgery to repair a torn labrum.

Williams was injured during organized team activities, but the Bengals said he merely was “dinged,” although they didn’t let the player speak to reporters about his health issues.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

Well said.@drm_12 | #MondayMotivation

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 25, 2019

A few of our current and former players traveled to Mexico City this past weekend to put on a fun-filled football camp.@acereros | #SteelersFootballCampMX2019

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 25, 2019


— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 26, 2019

Steelers among league leaders when it comes to expanding the NFL brand abroad

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 12:45pm

No team in the NFL has travelled to more international destinations to play football than the Steelers.

As the NFL prepares for its centenary, the growth of the league from a fledgling startup in 1920 to one of the world's wealthiest sports organizations in 2019 is truly something to behold. Once the poor relative of the college game, the NFL now dominates the landscape of professional sports in America and enjoys a growing international presence.

Six games will be played overseas in 2019, with four regular season games scheduled to take place in the U.K., another in Mexico and a preseason matchup in Canada. And while the Pittsburgh Steelers will not be involved in any of them this year, they will all be held in countries they have been to before in an effort to expand the NFL brand.

Of the nine countries that league has ever played a game, no team has been to more of them than Pittsburgh. Since their first international contest in 1960 against the Toronto Argonauts in Canada, the Steelers have also played in Japan, Ireland, Spain, the U.K. and Mexico. A feet matched only by the San Francisco 49ers and Denver Broncos.

A matchup against the Chicago Bears in Dublin, Ireland, at Croke Park in 1997 is the only NFL game ever played in that country, while their game against the 49ers in Barcelona, Spain in 1993 is one of only two contest the league has ever held there.

Once the Carolina Panthers have played their first ever international game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in London this season, the Green Bay Packers will become the only team in the NFL to have never played in the U.K.. An obligation the Steelers fulfilled in Week 4 of 2013 when they faced the Minnesota Vikings at Wembley Stadium.

And by comparison to their AFC North rivals, the Black and Gold are seasoned travelers. The Cleveland Browns have only ever been to the U.K. and Canada, while the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals have only played once outside of the U.S.. The Bengals will make their second trip this year with another game in London.

But while the league might like to send Pittsburgh overseas to further their cause, the Steelers have not always fared so well on foreign soil. Of the nine games they have played, they have lost five of them, with their only wins coming in Canada (3) and Ireland (1).

Despite requesting to play a game in Mexico once again this year, Pittsburgh will remain within the confines of the U.S. for the sixth consecutive season in 2019. However, given Art Rooney II’s open desire to see the Steelers return to Mexico City, fans should expect to see an overseas excursion on the schedule in the next few years.

Emory University study lists Steelers fans as 5th-best in NFL

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 11:00am

The Steelers stay put at fifth place in the rankings for the third year in a row.

Of all the rankings lists that seem to annoy fans the most each offseason, it would be fair to say that the one that grades the fans might be among the more controversial. And while the annual study produced by Emory University business school professor Michael Lewis uses real data to support his rankings, unlike the subjective opinions behind most top 100 lists, the results are always sure to offend the fan bases ranked around the bottom.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers coming in at No.5 on the list for the third year in a row, there will even be some members of Steeler Nation who take exception to their position. But based on the criteria included in the study, their overall ranking seems about right.

  1. Dallas Cowboys
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Philadelphia Eagles
  4. New York Giants
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers

The @dallascowboys, @Patriots, @Eagles, @Giants, & @steelers top this year's #NFL rankings by Prof. Lewis. The @Bengals, @Jaguars, @Titans, @Chiefs, & @RamsNFL are on the bottom of the list.

— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 24, 2019

As per the report, Lewis “uses data on attendance, revenue, social media following and road attendance to develop statistical models of fan interest,” breaking the study into three separate categories - Fan Equity, Social Equity and Road Equity.

“Fan Equity focuses on home box office revenues (support via opening the wallet). Social Media Equity focuses on fan willingness to engage as part of a team’s community (support exhibited by joining social media communities). Road Equity focuses on how teams draw on the road after adjusting for team performance. These metrics provide a balanced analyses of fandom – a measure of willingness to spend, a measure unconstrained by stadium size and a measure of national appeal. To get at an overall ranking, I use a statistical tool that looks at the correlation across the three metrics to create a “Brand Equity Factor.””

Scoring well on both Road Equity and Social Equity, the Steelers are in the middle of the pack when it comes to Fan Equity. A ranking that is brought down by the team’s relatively high pricing, according to Lewis.

The @dallascowboys & @Patriots have best fan bases in the NFL:

— Emory MAC (@Emory_MAC) June 25, 2019

It is worth noting that Pittsburgh ranks far higher on the list than any of their AFC North rivals, with the Baltimore Ravens coming in next at No.18, the Cleveland Browns at No.27 and the Cincinnati Bengals creeping into the bottom five at No.28. However, perhaps the most surprising ranking on the list is the Kansas City Chiefs ay No.31, a team many would expect to come in far higher.

A full version of the list can be found here.

Vance McDonald details his transformation from Vance to the ‘Vanimal’

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 9:33am

Vance McDonald has a cult following in Pittsburgh after the stiff arm heard ‘round the world, and his alter ego named “Vanimal”.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers traded with the San Francisco 49ers to acquire Vance McDonald, the black-and-gold fan base was very uncertain about their latest move. 2017 saw McDonald injured more than he played, playing in just 7 games and racking up only 188 yards receiving.

Then 2018 came, and it was a different player who suited up on Sundays. McDonald didn’t just play in 15 games, but racked up 610 yards and 4 touchdowns throughout the campaign. Not earth-shattering statistics, but a huge step forward from the 2017 version fans saw.

While Steelers fans have definitely warmed up to McDonald as a quality player, the process of going from injury prone player to fan favorite happened with one play. The play fans now call the ‘Stiff arm heard ‘round the world’ was the turning point in his time as a Steeler when McDonald planted Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive back Chris Conte into the turf on Monday Night Football as he rumbled to a long 70 yard touchdown.

In case you forgot...

Do not underestimate Vance McDonald's stiff arm.


— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 25, 2018

The play had fans starting to call McDonald the ‘Vanimal’, and McDonald recently sat down with’s Teresa Varley to talk about his transition from Vance to Vanimal.

“On game day, I’m a different guy,” said McDonald.

While McDonald is described as a mild-mannered, kind person off the field, when the lights come on he turns into a different beast.

“Instinctually is how I like to look at it. On game day I am a different guy,” said McDonald. “Off the field, even in practice, but on game day, in the moment, the game starts it’s almost instinctually I yearn for the contact, the challenge of trying to be brought down.

“The physical element of football brings so much energy to me. It’s the game within the game. I like the nickname because I think of animals in nature trying to survive to better their circumstances, better their situation. A lot of time it takes making hard decisions, it takes doing the nitty gritty things that are beyond comprehension physically.

“It’s a challenge I embrace whenever I become the focal point simply because I am carrying the football. That I am going to be delivering the blow. That I am going to be looking you up to eliminate you.”

Does McDonald go through any type of routine to get himself from Vance to Vanimal? I’ll let McDonald describe the situation.

“I find myself starting to just like going back to ‘Vanimal.’ I will make weird animal noises. It kind of sounds like grunts and bellows on the sideline. I don’t know.

“I come into this place where physically I am ready to unleash this explosion of force. Football is such a great out to do that. It’s not like I am building up stress through the week or anything like that. That element of knowing it’s coming is so invigorating.”

Steelers fans are hoping McDonald unleashes the explosion of force more often in 2019, and becomes a prime time player to help in aiding of the loss of Antonio Brown’s on-field production. The fans are at least hoping to see the Vanimal more often next season...

30 Predictions in 30 Days: Big Ben will have a career low in interceptions in 2019

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 8:01am

The Pittsburgh Steelers are approaching training camp, and we provide some potential predictions for 2019.

In case you didn’t know, the Pittsburgh Steelers will return to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA in exactly 30 days of this article being published. With that, I decided to revive an old series we used to do as a lead up to training camp.

30 predictions in 30 days.

Myself and Simon Chester will alternate days giving a prediction for the upcoming season. Some will be team oriented, while others will be specific to individual players. Either way, you will be able to read the reason why we think this prediction will come to fruition, why it might not come true and you have your chance to give your thoughts in the comment section below the article!

Training camp is almost here! Here We Go!

Prediction: Ben Roethlisberger will have a career low in interceptions in 2019 (while playing in at least 13 games).

Why it will happen: Throughout Ben Roethlisberger’s career, the lowest total of interceptions he has ever had in a season where he played at least 13 games is 8, which was achieved in 2013. To suggest he cuts his interceptions by more than half from last season, where he had a league-leading 16 interceptions, seems far-fetched, but in reality it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

If you think about some of the interceptions Roethlisberger threw last season, two come to mind: the interception at the end of the half vs. the Atlanta Falcons and the game-clinching interception at the end of the Denver Broncos game, if he were to be just a little safer with the football his interception numbers would have gone down significantly.

Everyone will point to the interceptions thrown when targeting Antonio Brown, and while I am not going dismiss this theory the kicker for me is how Roethlisberger won’t have to worry about feeding No. 84 in 2019. He can spread the football around to the open receiver. This should be an offense with Roethlisberger being able to freely scan the field and hit the open receiver with the best machup, and this should lead to a significant decrease in interceptions.

Why it won’t happen: Antonio Brown may be gone, but the gunslinger that is Ben Roethlisberger remains in Pittsburgh. While some fans want to point to Roethlisberger forcing the ball to Brown in the past, maybe it wasn’t a Brown issue, but a Ben issue. Roethlisberger sees small windows, and he will try to put that football into those windows regardless of the receiver.

If the Steelers’ offense is going to be a pass-happy unit, again, there is nothing to suggest Roethlisberger won’t have double-digit interceptions again in 2019. Will he throw more than 16? Probably not, but to think he has a new career low might be a stretch.

What are your thoughts on this prediction? Do you think it will happen? Or are we crazy? Let us know by voting in the poll, and letting your voice be heard in the comment section below!

Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 Player Profile: Mathew Wright

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 6:51am

Continuing our journey throughout the players who are just trying to find their spot on the Steelers’ 53-man roster.

To say Pittsburgh Steelers kicker Chris Boswell had an atrocious 2018 would be sugar coating it. Coming off his first Pro Bowl selection in 2017, Boswell was rewarded with a four year $16.8 million extension. The extension included a $6 million signing bonus. The amount of dead money that would have come due was thought to have been the primary reason the Steelers did not jettison him during a season where Boswell connected on just 65% of his field goal attempts. The percentage was the worst of any kicker in the NFL who played in at least 15 games by over 11% and 32% behind league-leading Robbie Gould. The former Rice Owl was just as bad on extra points finishing last in the league with at least 15 games played. (89.6%)

The missed opportunities started right out of the gate in Week 1 against the Cleveland Browns when Boswell missed a game-winning 42-yard field goal in overtime. The miss was not the only one that cost the Steelers a chance to win games during the season. During the six losses in the season, Boswell missed two extra points and four field goals. The three-point loss at the hands of the Oakland Raiders exemplifies his season-long struggles. Boswell missed a 54-yard field goal midway through the first quarter but it was the second one that had Steelers fans seething mad. Pittsburgh could tie the game at 24 when Boswell came on with 21 seconds remaining. The attempt never stood a chance with Boswell’s plant foot came out from underneath of him with a chunk of Oakland turn.

Pittsburgh kept enough faith in Boswell that the team paid a $2 million roster bonus in March, but that faith was questioned when the team signed undrafted rookie free agent Matthew Wright immediately following the NFL Draft to provide competition.

Wright had an excellent career at the University of Central Florida where he started all four years. The former Golden Knight converted 210 of a possible 213 extra points while making 154 of 155 the past two seasons.

Field goal conversion was shaky with a 77.5 percent conversion rate over his career with a long of 50 yards.

2015 highlights.(Freshman)

13 of 17 field goals

4 of 7 over forty yards.

17 of 17 extra points

2016 highlights (Sophomore)

17 of 22 field goals

Nine field goals over 40 yards

39 of 41 extra points

50 yarder against UConn

2017 highlights (Junior)

13 of 18 field goals

80 of 81 extra points. (First attempt of the season was blocked.)

47 yarder against Cincinnati

23 of his 104 kickoffs resulted in a touchback

Named Second Team All-Conference

2018 highlights (Senior)

12 of 14 field goals

Season-long field goal of 46

29 touchbacks on 97 kickoffs

Named to American Athletic Conference Second Team

The jury is still out whether the competition is real or just a fire under Boswell to get his head on straight in 2019. If Wright performs well and Boswell struggles the Steelers will have a mighty tough decision to make. A Boswell release would come with a $6.8 million cap hit while Wright would count about $500K. Wright would have to check off boxes on accuracy and leg strength before any such a move would occur. Wright was not asked to kick many field goals over 50 yards but from his highlight reels, his leg strength does not appear to be of grave concern.

Even if Boswell wins the kicker battle, he should be on a short leash during the season.

Podcast: Breaking down the most underrated Pittsburgh Steelers of all-time

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 5:27am

Join Tony and Bryan for the Steelers news of the week in the latest episode of the ‘Steelers Hangover’.

As always with any team, there are the stars and the guys that don’t end up on the marquee. Just like the Steelers of the 70s, the 2018 Steelers have players, as well, that are vastly underrated as a part of their 53-man roster. Who are they and how do they compare to those from the 70s? Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC as they share their thoughts afterwards for the extravaganza known as “Steelers Hangover”.

In case you are new to the show, you can check out a complete rundown of the show below:

  • The week that was at BTSC.
  • Underrated players of yesterday and today.
  • and MUCH MORE!

Check out the show below:

Black and Gold Links: Could Devlin Hodges unseat Mason Rudolph or Joshua Dobbs for the QB3 job?

Tue, 06/25/2019 - 4:31am

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With all of the Steelers’ 2019 offseason workouts in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base has to suffer through the dog days of summer until the boys of fall return to the gridon. In the meantime, don’t think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over. As the team disperses for the summer, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until training camp!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether or not Devlin Hodges could possibly unseat Joshua Dobbs or Mason Rudolph as the third quarterback on the Steelers’ depth chart.

Let’s get to the news:

  • On paper it seems as if the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback depth chart is solidified. Ben Roethlisberger as the QB1, and either Mason Rudolph or Joshua Dobbs as QB2 and QB3. But what about Devlin Hodges? Could the man who impressed the Steelers enough to earn an offseason roster spot shock the fan base and earn a roster spot?

NCAA’s Division I passing leader last year, Devlin Hodges looks to impress Steelers

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Reveiw

He’s one of the longest shots among the 91 men on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training-camp roster to still be standing with the team by the start of the regular season. But Devlin Hodges has 14,584 reasons why he believes he can make the Steelers.

“As far as me feeling like I should be here, I definitely feel like it,” Hodges said from the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex earlier this month. “I have got that confidence.

“If you ask me I think I should be No. 1 pick. I feel like everyone, if they are confident in themselves, that’s what they should think. I am a confident player; I know I have a lot of to learn. But I am excited to come out and… take each opportunity I have to show the coaches that I can play at this level.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • There has been a lot written about Artie Burns and his struggles. But what if Burns’ struggles aren’t related to scheme or design, but nothing more than him fighting himself?

Carter’s Classroom: Artie vs. himself

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

The Steelers have moved on from Artie Burns, as shown in their investment into Steven Nelson and Justin Layne during the offseason and their exclusion of Burns from the defense in the second half of the 2018 season.

He’s still on the roster, for now, and unless he surprises everyone he will join Jarvis Jones as the only first-round picks of the 2010s to receive neither an extension or a fifth-year option. Burns’ problems aren’t because he can’t get the job done, it’s because he’s getting in his own way:

Back in 2017 the Steelers had enough confidence in Burns to leave him on an island in coverage just like they did with Joe Haden. Burns had shown quick development to stay within the scheme as a press cornerback and his challenges of Antonio Brown in training camp.

To read the full article, click HERE ($$)

  • Steelers fans are the best fans in the NFL, right? A recent study says otherwise...

Study suggests Steelers rank No. 5 in NFL ‘fandom’

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In one metric, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain behind the New England Patriots once again.

They also trail the Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants.

The category is NFL fandom, a study that Emory University business school professor Michael Lewis has compiled in recent years.

In data that Lewis released Monday, the Steelers rank No. 5 among NFL teams, trailing (in order) the Cowboys, Patriots, Eagles and Giants.

Lewis bases his annual rankings on economic and marketing theory and statistical analysis. Some of the factors used in gauging fan interest include attendance, revenue, social media following and road attendance. He also weighs market size and short-term changes in winning and losing.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Mason Rudolph didn’t get many reps with the starters in 2018, but that has changed this offseason. Rudolph is taking full advantage of the reps too.

Steelers’ Mason Rudolph making most of first-team reps

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Quarterback Mason Rudolph might not play extended snaps for a few years, but the Pittsburgh Steelers are expediting the learning curve, and Rudolph is responding.

Rudolph, a 2018 third-round pick competing with Josh Dobbs for the No. 2 quarterback job behind Ben Roethlisberger, said after OTAs that he’s getting “a lot” more first-team reps in practices than a year ago.

The Steelers like to rotate quarterbacks in efforts to get Roethlisberger -- who signed a three-year, $85-million extension in April -- more rest.

”(Offensive coordinator) Randy (Fichtner) feels more comfortable with me and my knowledge,” Rudolph said. “I’m going to go in there and run the play and execute.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

Follows the big guys ✅
Punches it in for 6 ✅


— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 24, 2019

Tha SQUAAAAAAD and @dabody52 #LetsPlayFootball

— Steelers Youth FB (@SteelersYouthFB) June 24, 2019

We’re gonna ride ‘til we can’t no more!

The #SteelCurtain has made its first test run!@Kenny_Kangaroo | #HereWeGo

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 24, 2019

Week 4, 1979#Steelers #Colts
Bradshaw 19-29-249-2-2
Thornton 13-129
Cunningham 3-68-1
Stallworth 4-83-1
Landry 17-34-195-1-2#Steelers win 17-13

— Old Time Football (@Ol_TimeFootball) June 24, 2019

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster enter 2019 with same odds to lead the NFL in receiving

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 3:12pm

The two wide receivers are connected by Las Vegas odds heading into the 2019 regular season.

Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster will be linked in many different ways for a long time. Whether it be their time spent together as teammates with the Pittsburgh Steelers, or how Brown took several shots at Smith-Schuster on his way out the door to the Oakland Raiders. When people talk about one, the other won’t be too far behind in the conversation.

The two prolific wide receivers are connected in another way heading into the 2019 season, and it has nothing to do with Brown’s exit, but with expectations for the upcoming season. With Brown now set to catch passes from Derek Carr, and Smith-Schuster to be back with Ben Roethlisberger, Caesers Entertainment has the two wide receivers with the same odds (6/1) to lead the NFL in receiving in 2019.

Fans of both teams will debate who will have the better season in 2019. Raiders fans will suggest Brown being the focal point of the Raiders’ offense will have him set up for big numbers again this season, while Steelers fans will mention how Brown was made by Roethlisberger, and Smith-Schuster will have no problem acclimating himself from the No. 2 wide receiver to the No. 1 pass catcher.

Who has the best odds to lead the NFL in receiving next season? None other than Julio Jones of the Atlanta Falcons. Check out the odds of the top receivers:

Juilo Jones — 4/1
DeAndre Hopkins — 11/2
Odell Bekcham Jr. — 11/2
JuJu Smith-Schuster — 6/1
Antonio Brown — 6/1

Who will lead the league in receiving this year? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as they prepare for the upcoming season!

For Benny Snell, the Steelers playbook and the NFL is starting to slow down

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 1:40pm

The flamboyant running back is feeling the love from Steelers Nation, and he is ready to return the favor in 2019.

There are lofty expectations for Pittsburgh Steelers rookie running back Benny Snell Jr. Are these expectations unfair for a player who hasn’t even run a play in a padded practice in the National Football League? Probably, but Snell could make up a trio of running backs for the black-and-gold which could be not only formidable, but extremely versatile.

Snell’s running style not only earned him some prestigious records at the University of Kentucky, but could be a dramatic change of pace for James Conner and Jaylen Samuels. Either way, as Snell embarks on his rookie season he finally able to realize he is living a dream.

“I finally get to live my dream,” Snell told Hunter Homistek of DKPittsburgh Sports during Steelers minicamp at the Rooney Complex. “That’s how I think about it. It’s a full-time job and everything counts, when it comes to the reps, the quality reps, the film, the relationship with your teammates — everything counts. I always keep that in the back of my mind and I attack every day.”

Living the dream is one thing, but realizing the differences between the college and pro game is an entirely different beast. For Snell, he is already seeing the NFL game slow down, and this is a very good thing heading into his first training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA.

“It’s definitely slowing down,” Snell said. “I’m starting to pick up on a lot of little things that matter. Formations are starting to hit and I’m starting to move fast. I’m starting to react like I’m supposed to be. It’s all coming along. It just takes time.”

This progression will likely slow down once Snell reports to camp and the pads start popping, but Snell is leaning on the veterans to help him continue the acclimation process.

“Whether I do a good thing or whether I mess up on a play, they’re always right there giving me feedback,” Snell was saying of the veterans’ influence. “I’m always learning from them, each day, each rep, every film session with the coaches. And just getting to be around them and getting to learn off-the-field things with them as well, [it’s huge]. They’ve been mentors. I look at them as my big brothers.”

Snell will have every opportunity to prove himself once training camp rolls around. Whether it be the backs-on-backers drill, regular padded practice or his first NFL preseason game, when No. 24 touches the football fans will be looking for fireworks.

Hopefully he lives up to the hype.

Current and former players enjoy another successful Steelers football camp in Mexico

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 11:00am

The Steelers held their eighth annual football camp in Mexico over the weekend.

As one of the league’s most popular teams in America, it should come as no surprise to Pittsburgh Steelers fans to learn that this trend is also something of a global phenomenon when it comes to the NFL’s international appeal. With fans clubs across Europe, Asia and South America, Steeler Nation is quite literally everywhere and barring the U.S, perhaps nowhere more so than just across the southern border.

However, despite their overwhelming popularity in Mexico, the Steelers have never been selected to play in one of the regular season games held at the Azteca Stadium, only once ever having played in an exhibition there back in 2000. But for the generations of Mexican fans with Black and Gold blood running through their veins, there is at least an opportunity to connect with the team at their annual fan camps in Mexico City.

The Steelers were back in the city for their eight consecutive year over the weekend, hosted by a number of notable former and current players that included Terrell Edmunds and Bud Dupree as well as past Super Bowl winners such as Rocky Bleier, Donnie Shell, Charlie Batch and Max Starks.

Day 1️⃣ of #SteelersFootballCampMX2019 is underway❗️

Follow along ➡️ @acereros

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 22, 2019

¡Buenos días México! Dia 2️⃣ #HereWeGo @rell_island6 | @CharlieBatch16 | @maxstarks78

— Steelers en Español (@acereros) June 23, 2019

¡No pudimos haber pedido un mejor domingo en México!

Gracias a todos los que nos acompañaron

— Steelers en Español (@acereros) June 24, 2019

Open to fans of all ages, the three-day experience included opportunities to meet with the players for autographs and pictures, and also take part in a series of drills and exercises run by the current and former players in attendance.

¡Estamos a dos días de nuestro Meet & Greet, te esperamos el viernes!

Todavía puedes obtener boletos aqui

— Steelers en Español (@acereros) June 19, 2019

And while most of the action was all in good fun.

¡La estamos pasando increíble hasta ahora! #SteelersCampMx2019

— Steelers en Español (@acereros) June 22, 2019

Day 1 of #SteelersFootballCampMX2019 was a HUGE success. It was great to see SteelersNation representing. Looking for to another amazing day tomorrow.

— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) June 22, 2019

.@maxstarks78 teaching some great technique at our Football Camp in Mexico! #LetsPlayFootball

— Steelers Youth FB (@SteelersYouthFB) June 22, 2019

Ella logró derribar a @Bud_Dupree y a @rell_island6 al mismo tiempo

— Steelers en Español (@acereros) June 23, 2019

The sweetest memories with the greatest team Steelers Football Camp 2019 Thanks for everything! Here We Go!!! @SteelersCampMX @acereros @ArturoCarlos

— Pamela (@PamVengenz) June 24, 2019

Here are some pictures from the last day of #SteelersFootballCampMX2019. The fans in Mexico clearly showed why the Steelers are the #1 followed team in the NFL. Thank you Mexico City for being such a gracious host. I cant wait to see you all this year at Heinz field.

— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) June 24, 2019

That did not stop Dupree and Edmunds from ramping up the intensity when some of the more mature fans were running the drills.

Bud and Edmunds! (Via Edmunds’ IG) #Steelers

— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) June 23, 2019

Bud is raising hell at the Steelers fan camp in Mexico! (Via Bud’s IG) #Steelers

— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) June 24, 2019

Another angle of Bud and Edmunds running over a fan at the Steelers fan camp in Mexico. (Via Bud's IG) #Steelers

— SteelVideos (@SteelBlitzburgh) June 24, 2019

Edmunds may yet have some upside as a quarterback.

Por segundo día consecutivo en el #SteelersFootballCampMexico2019, #TerrellEdmunds @rell_island6 en la convivencia deportiva con los fans de los @acereros @steelers de todas las edades en @PlazaMundoE #México

— Steelers Football Camp MX (@SteelersCampMX) June 23, 2019

And given the warm welcome the players received, there is a good chance they will all be volunteering to return next year.

Bienvenido! What a welcome I received in my room at the hotel Fiesta Americana in Mexico City as we kickoff the 8th annual Steeler Fan Fest and Football Camp for the Steeler fans in the area.@acereros @SteelersUnite #SteelersFootballCampMexico2019

— Rocky Bleier (@RockyBleier) June 22, 2019

Although Rocky might want to spend more time doing the meet and greets and less time doing the drills.

These fans gave me quite a work out!
No pudimos haber pedido un mejor domingo en @acereros

— Rocky Bleier (@RockyBleier) June 24, 2019

Where does the AFC North rank in regards to the most competitive NFL division?

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 9:33am

The Pittsburgh Steelers call the AFC North home, but where does the division rank among the other divisions in the NFL?

The National Football League is comprised of 8 divisions, 4 in each conference, and has been since they underwent realignment in 2002. Since then, the divisions have remained untouched and fierce rivalries have been born.

Throughout it all some divisions have thrived, often times providing three playoff teams, while others have floundered. This lends itself to people ranking which division is the best in the NFL, as well as which is the worst.’s Gregg Rosenthal spear-headed the attempt of ranking the divisions, but before we get to the rankings let take a look at his criteria to make these rankings:

One way to evaluate which NFL division is the best: How many teams can you realistically imagine playing in Super Bowl LIV in Miami next February?

In the NFC North, it doesn’t take many mental gymnastics to picture the Bears, Vikings or Packers making it to the title game. That’s one reason why they take over the top spot in my annual, highly scientific look at which division is the best.

Now onto the rankings:

1) NFC North: Bears, Vikings, Packers, Lions 2) AFC North: Ravens, Steelers, Browns, Bengals

Like the NFC North, it’s hard to find a team truly lagging in talent here. The Ravens are undergoing their most dramatic transformation on both sides of the ball in more than a decade, but they have the organizational culture to survive it with flair. The Steelers and Browns could have the two most talented rosters in the entire conference, even if they have vastly different track records over the last decade. The Bengals don’t dazzle with defensive firepower, yet new coach Zac Taylor inherits a roster without many clear weaknesses. Coming out of this division with a playoff bye is going to be difficult because of its depth.

3) NFC South: Saints, Falcons, Panthers, Buccaneers 4) NFC West: Rams, Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals 5) AFC South: Texans, Colts, Titans, Jaguars 6) AFC West: Chiefs, Chargers, Broncos, Raiders 7) NFC East: Cowboys, Eagles, Redskins, Giants 8) AFC East: Patriots, Dolphins, Bills, Jets

Rosenthal goes into an analysis of each division, and you can read those by clicking HERE, but just by looking at the rankings do you agree or disagree with not just the overall rankings, but where the AFC North, home of the Steelers, are ranked?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold heading into the 2019 reaguar season.

When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers’ turnover margin, takeaways are key

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 8:06am

Evaluating game outcomes based on turnovers and takeaways since 2007.

Turnovers. Takeaways. Turnover margin.

It seems as if I’ve been extensively poring over these stats to a point where my mind melts at the very mention of any of them. But next to the statistic of “points scored versus points given up each game” they may be the most telling statistics of all. The Steelers had 26 turnovers in 2018, which is better then the team average since 1970 of 31 and just above the team average since 2000 of 25 turnovers a season. But the Steelers 15 takeaways in 2018 was tied up for the franchise low (2011). Not only is the lowest in franchise history, other than the 2011 season the next lowest amount of any year is 20.

While looking at the yearly statistics can help gauge a teams overall success, what is more accurate is looking at individual games and how particular stats lead to a win or a loss. In order to help sort through the data, I will be sticking to statistics since the 2007 season (the Tomlin era).

The most obvious statistics teams look at other than the scoreboard is turnover margin. Since 2007, the Steelers are 62-7 (.886) in regular season games in which they have a positive turnover margin, and they are 38-16 (.704) when the margin is zero. When the Steelers have a negative turnover margin, their regular season record plummets to 25-42-1 (.375). When it comes to the playoffs, the Steelers are 7–0 with a positive turnover margin, 0-1 with an even margin, and 1–6 when in the negative.

The Steelers records with these various turnover margins are pretty much what most fans would expect. When the Steelers play even strengthen in the turnover battle, they win 70% of their games. When the Steelers are on the negative side of turnovers, it is difficult, yet not impossible, for them to come through. When the turnover margin is in the Steelers favor, they are extremely successful. In fact, when the Steelers have a turnover margin of +2, they have only lost one game in the Mike Tomlin era: The 23-20 overtime loss at home to the Ravens in Week 4 of 2015.

So turnover margin is obviously important, but for the Steelers the driving force behind this margin is takeaways. Yes, fewer turnovers will help. But in looking just at turnovers, they do not paint quite the same pictures as takeaways.

When the Steelers play a regular season game without a turnover, they are 37-7 (.841) since 2007. What’s interesting is the Steelers are 88-59-1 (.598) when they have a turnover in a game. So even when the Steelers turn the ball over, they still have a greater chance of winning the game then losing. This basically holds true for the playoffs as well, as the Steelers are 1-0 in games without a turnover, and 7-7 in games with at least one giveaway.

So while turnovers are bad, takeaways are even more important to the good. The Steelers are 108-34-1 (.759) in the regular season since 2007 when they have at least one takeaway. Of those 34 losses, only eight were games where they finished with a positive turnover ratio. When the Steelers fail to take the ball from their opponents, they are 17-32 (.347). In the playoffs, the Steelers are 8-3 in games with a takeaway and are 0-4 in games without a takeaway.

So while Steelers are slightly more likely to win a game with no turnovers than a game with a takeaway, they are far more likely to lose a game without a takeaway than a game with a turnover.

In conclusion, turnover margin is an extremely important statistic in every game. While turnovers are never a good thing, takeaways are truly the driving force behind the turnover margin, and as a result the Steeler success. So pessimists, the game is not over just because the Steelers cough it up. And for you optimists out there, once the Steelers get one of those coveted takeaways, things are looking very good.

7 things Steelers fans should be looking for when training camp starts next month

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 6:44am

A list of things I will be looking for this summer when the Steelers begin training camp.

The Steelers will embark on St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. next month to begin yet another training camp. Like many other folks, I have a list of things I’m looking for.

Below is that list:

1. Will third-year man James Conner be the workhorse again at running back, or, in a departure from their old philosophy and approach, will the coaches noticeably lighten his load?

And if Conner’s workload is lightened, what percentage of the carries will he now get? I honestly believe the Steelers have such a good offensive line, just about any player the team employs in the backfield among its current stable that includes Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell and Conner will be productive. However, that doesn’t mean one back can’t be the most talented and capable. Based on his production last year and how the offense performed when he was a focal point (pre-injury issues), I believe Conner is the most capable. I don’t believe the Steelers will fully depart from their old habit of giving one running back the bulk of the carries. But they—specifically general manager Kevin Colbert—have talked about perhaps changing their approach in that area. It will interesting to see what that means when things start happening for real this summer.

2. Can an emphasis on creating them lead to more turnovers by a defense?

I’ve been quite vocal about the Steelers lack of takeaways on defense dating back to 2011, when this problem first emerged. If you go back to that season, it started a trend in-which the defense averaged approximately 19 takeaways a year through 2018, when the total was an abysmal 15. That’s never going to get it done. The Steelers have paid a lot of lip-service this offseason to emphasizing takeaways in 2019. How can that be emphasized, and why wasn’t it emphasized the previous eight years? All one has to do is research past Super Bowl champions and how well they did in the turnover department to know just how vital that category is. Finally, can taking the football away truly be taught? Or is it a skill that only truly great defenders possess? And if that’s the case, will some of those defenders emerge this season?

3. Can JuJu Smith-Schuster handle the responsibility of being the number one target in the passing game?

Given his skill-set, physical attributes and body of work through his first two seasons, there’s no question Smith-Schuster is capable of being the man in the Steelers offense. However, there’s also no question the recently-departed Antonio Brown was the greatest receiver in team history and one of the best who has ever played in the NFL. With Brown not around to take on double and triple teams, how will that affect what defenses try and do with No. 19? And teams do start paying extra attention to Smith-Schuster, will he be able to rise to the occasion?

4. Who will step up and be the number two receiver in the offense?

The smart money is on Donte Moncrief, the veteran Pittsburgh signed in free agency in March. Moncrief has a history of putting up decent number two receiver stats—particularly early in his career, when he was with the Colts and Andrew Luck was healthy. Moncrief spoke very highly of Ben Roethlisberger during OTAs and mini-camp. Will playing with a future Hall of Famer (and not Blake Bortles) allow Moncrief to elevate his game and be more productive than at any other time in his career? Or maybe it will be James Washington, the second-year man out of Oklahoma State who struggled mightily during his rookie campaign, who rises to the occasion. Washington is lighter this season and seems highly-determined to make that all-important first to second year leap. While the smart money might be on the veteran, NFL history tells me not to discount the determined youngster.

5. Speaking of first to second year leaps, why aren’t more people talking about Terrell Edmunds?

There’s been a lot of talk about a lot of different things this offseason, but the 2018 first-round pick has gone mostly under the radar. While Edmunds did start a lot of games during his rookie year, he didn’t exactly turn heads. Strong safety is a vital part of any defense. How will Edmunds respond to having one year of NFL experience under his belt?

6. Will Mason Rudolph emerge as the clear-cut backup quarterback?

And if Rudolph does beat out Josh Dobbs to become the backup to Roethlisberger, what will that even mean? Will it mean he’s the heir apparent, or will that simply mean he out-performed Dobbs during training camp and the preseason? I personally don’t think quarterbacks can be groomed into starters. In my opinion, they have to be thrown into the fray right away and just take their lumps and learn—NFL history is littered with many examples. Head coach Mike Tomlin once joked that Landry Jones took more preseason snaps than any quarterback in NFL history. However, that obviously didn’t translate into him becoming a capable starter. You might say Rudolph is no Landry Jones. Maybe, but we once thought highly of Landry Jones.

7. Is Javon Hargrave a beast just waiting to be released?

The fourth-year man out of South Carolina State graded out really well in his ability to win blocking match-ups in 2018, at least according to Pro Football Focus. Does this mean Hargrave, who had 6.5 sacks last year, will get more opportunities to show his stuff in 2019?

Oh well, that’s one list for this morning. I may have more. After all, training camp is still over a month away. Stay tuned!

Podcast: Predicting the Steelers’ 2019 offensive depth chart

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 5:30am

In the latest episode of “The Standard is the Standard” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the week that was.

The Pittsburgh Steelers season is over, but the news is just starting to heat up. With a surge of Steelers news, it was time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC flagship podcast The Standard is the Standard. On this show Jeff Hartman and special co-host Lance Williams break down all things Steelers, including a fun game of “True or False!”

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Predicting the Steelers’ offensive depth chart
  • Steelers Questions
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Lance Williams walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Black and Gold Links: The Steelers deploy one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, again

Mon, 06/24/2019 - 4:30am

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With all of the Steelers’ 2019 offseason workouts in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base has to suffer through the dog days of summer until the boys of fall return to the gridon. In the meantime, don’t think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over. As the team disperses for the summer, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until training camp!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers deploy one of the best offensive lines in the NFL again in 2019, and that is even without Marcus Gilbert and Mike Munchak.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Want to know the secret to a solid offense? A great offensive line, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have one of the best returning in 2019.

One of the NFL’s most talented group of big men

By: Dale Lolley, DKPittsburghSports

As football increasingly becomes more about passing, it begs the question, does winning at the line of scrimmage still matter?

The game has always been about whose big guys do a better job of exerting their collective will.

But with more facets of the college spread offenses trickling into the league -- along with less running -- you’d think having talented big men is less important than ever. That’s not necessarily the case, however.

”Yeah, I think so,” Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said when I asked him if winning in the trenches still matters. “Maybe people say not so much the run, but the pressure you put on quarterbacks, yes. That’s a big part of it.”

Because so many teams get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands quickly -- seven-step drops aren’t all that common any more -- that pressure has to come up the middle or from the interior defenders.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The Steelers are hoping they can find someone to actually return kicks effectively in 2019.

Working to improve on toughest job in sports: Punt returner

By: Dale Lolley, DKPittsburghSports

It’s a topic that comes up often on message boards and in bars: What’s the toughest position to play in all of sports.

Some would say goalie in any of the sports that require the position. Others would say pitcher, catcher or quarterback.

But there’s one position that’s often overlooked in such discussions. When it comes to playing football, no position might be tougher than being a punt returner.

Cornerbacks are said to be “on the island” in the NFL. But they usually have help of some kind. Punt returners? They’re back there all by themselves.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • For B.J Finney, someone who is living out a dream playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, he is motivated by family.

Finney motivated by family

By: Teresa Varley,

What motivates you?

My family. Just knowing what I am doing now cannot just alter my life but can alter their lives for the better. Getting opportunities to the younger generations of my family. Having doors opened to me and be able to share that with them.

What is your football mindset/approach?

Come in, do your work as hard as you can, be the best that you can, and as detailed as you can.

Why do you play football?

Because I love the game.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • What if I told you the Steelers almost signed Justin Tucker way back in 2012? Well, they tried at least...

Justin Tucker almost joined the Steelers?!

By: Hunter Homistek, DKPittsburghSports

Before signing with Baltimore, however, Tucker fielded a call from the Steelers. After an “outstanding” rookie minicamp, Ravens doctors failed Tucker’s physical for a back issue. This opened the door for others to swoop in, as he could not officially sign with the Ravens until he was cleared.

Tucker says he was “basically at the mercy of the docs” at this point. That’s where the Steelers enter the story.

”In the meantime, I got a couple of phone calls from other teams because they heard I had done pretty well at Ravens rookie minicamp,” Tucker says. “The one team that called with something substantive was the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

According to Tucker, the Steelers requested a workout and intended to throw Tucker into the mix. At the time, Shaun Suisham held down the Steelers’ starting kicker position, but he was coming off a 2011 campaign in which he made just 23 of 31 kicks (74.2 percent) with a long of 51. (Suisham would bounce back and make 28 of 31 kicks — 90.3 percent — in 2012, and also go above 90 percent in 2013 and 2014, but the Steelers couldn’t have known that at the time.)

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

Coming VERY

The finishing touches on the #SteelCurtain at @Kenny_Kangaroo have been placed‼️

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 22, 2019

Congratulations on your engagement, @umdsfinest21‼️

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) June 23, 2019

Jaylen Samuels working on his speed this offseason to become a more “pure runner”

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 2:13pm

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ running back is looking to build off a solid rookie season.

Last year when the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted Jaylen Samuels in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL Draft, fans weren’t expecting much. There were some lofty expectations placed on him by the fan base in hopes of him becoming an ‘X-factor’ type player, but strictly as a running back expectations were low.

After all, Samuels had never rushed for 100 yards in any game at any level, even High School.

When James Conner was injured vs. the Los Angeles Chargers, no one knew what to expect in Samuels as a primary backup — then he rattled off 142 yards on the ground against the New England Patriots in Week 15.

From that point on, you could see Samuels’ game changing. It wasn’t as if he lost his ability to run routes, catch the football or play multiple positions, but he started to become more comfortable as a pure running back. As the season ended, fans saw Samuels as a very solid RB2 on the depth chart, and not just a gimmick player.

This offseason Samuels is determined to step up his game as a running back, and is working on his speed to help him become more of a “pure runner”. This per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:

Steelers RB Jaylen Samuels said he focused on speed this offseason, which he says will help "be more decisive in and out of my cuts as a pure runner." Did he get faster? "I believe I got faster," he said. "I can get in and out of my cuts a little bit better."

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 21, 2019

Samuels’ improvement will be huge for the Steelers’ offense, mainly due to the simple fact James Conner has yet to complete a full NFL season in his first two years in the league. If Samuels is able to improve his game, if Conner were lost for a length of time, like he was in 2018, the former N.C. State product should have no problems filling in for Conner.

With training camp just a few weeks away, the running back depth chart will certainly be something to watch as the players prepare to head to Saint Vincent College for their annual training camp. James Conner is clearly the top back, but how will Samuels, Benny Snell Jr. and even Ralph Webb fit into the equation? How will the Steelers’ offense work in regards to the backs on the roster? Running back by committee? Or a feature back with players to spell said back?

Only time will tell, but Samuels seems he is doing his best to make sure he is ready to go if/when his name/number is called into action.

Be sure to stay tuned into BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as the offseason rolls on and training camp nears.

Steelers-themed roller coaster close to completion at Kennywood Park

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 12:50pm

After a series of test runs over the weekend, it would appear that “The Steel Curtain” will soon be open to the public.

Having brought you news of plans for a Pittsburgh-Steelers-themed roller coaster at nearby Kennywood Park last July, we have kept a close eye the ride’s progress over the past year or so and it would appear that “The Steel Curtain” will soon be open for business.

In a series of social media post on Saturday, Kennywood Park released several videos showing a completed track undergoing some practice runs ahead of an expected opening later this summer.

While you were sleeping this Saturday morning...#TheSteelCurtain took its first test runs. #SteelCurtain @steelers

— Kennywood Park (@Kenny_Kangaroo) June 22, 2019

Another test run in on #SteelCurtain! #TheSteelCurtain

— Kennywood PR (@Kennywood_PR) June 22, 2019

This Zero G Stall on #SteelCurtain is going to be so cool! #TheSteelCurtain

— Kennywood PR (@Kennywood_PR) June 22, 2019

The final piece of track having finally been laid in the last few weeks.

Located in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, a short 20-minute ride from Pittsburgh, Kennywood Park will become home to the world’s tallest inversion roller coaster. A ride that will feature a record-breaking nine inversions and a 197-foot-high loop and on track that is 4,000 foot long moving passengers at 75 miles per hour.

Kennywood Park

Situated in the area of the park that was once home to the Log Jammer ride, The Steel Curtain will be the centerpiece of a Steelers-themed area called Steelers Country featuring a variety of merchandise stalls, skill games and food locations. Fans will also be able to see how they measure up in practice drills, perfect their touchdown dances and keep up with scores and highlights during the season on giant video screens.

Kennywood Park

NFL Power Rankings: Ranking all 32 NFL helmets from worst to first

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 10:43am

Taking a look at all 32 NFL teams, and rating their lids on game days.

The most recognizable symbol of any NFL team is their headgear. Some just don’t get it right and switch every couple of years. Others are constant, consistent and will remain iconic forever. BTSC has ranked each helmet from 32 to 1 and, of course, bias will reign supreme. Lets take a look.

No. 32 Cleveland Browns Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard for me to get excited about a plain, orange helmet with a brown stripe. I get that this is a traditional look that they’ve been sporting for nearly 60 years...but I find these lids mind-numbingly blah.

No. 31 Cincinnati Bengals Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Everybody was intrigued in 1981 when Cincy removed their nickname from the helmets in favor of the stripes. But I liked the simplicity of the old helmets over this exaggerated monstrosity.

No. 30 New England Patriots Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

This is not anti-New England bias here. This is just an ugly helmet and a hokey logo. Robert Kraft wanted the Patriot to resemble Elvis and it happened. However, Pat Patriot and the white helmet was a top five headgear. The team may be a winner, but this look gets an “L”.

No. 29 Carolina Panthers Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The uniforms are sharp, but the logo is a semi-angry cat that looks way too cartoony. Plus, it’s way too big and in your face.

No. 28 Denver Broncos Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I hate this helmet. Like the Pats, they need to go back to the 70s. That helmet was awesome. They have flirted with a darker blue version of the old hat while wearing their Color Rush garb, that’s a more than acceptable update and modernization over the ghastly horse and the goofy stripes we’ve looked at since 1997.

No. 27 Arizona Cardinals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I thought this helmet was boring in the 70s. For a team that keeps tinkering with modernizing their unis, they need to do something with their bonnets.

No. 26 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa’s creamsicle helmets of 1976-1997 featured Bucco Bruce, a winking, porn-stache sporting gem that just screamed 1970s. The switch to pewter and the “Jolly Roger” wasn’t too bad, but its’ enlargement in 2014 is so very gaudy.

No. 25 Jacksonville Jaguars

The current Jags lid is not that bad, it just isn’t classic. I did like the two-tone gold morphing into black from 2017 a little better. That would have been slightly higher in the list.

No. 24 Buffalo Bills Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

People like this classic look a lot better than I do. I liked the red versions worn from 1986-2010 much better. Boy mostly, I don’t really care for the logo or the team name. A fan contest helped select the moniker as a tribute to frontiersman Buffalo Bill Cody. Had the teams remained the Bisons, this helmet would be top ten.

No. 23 Houston Texans Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

This helmet was originally set to be white upon theteam’s expansion debut in 2002. The switch to Navy was a good move. I like the helmet but the busy logo is trying too hard to pay tribute to Texas and look like a bull.

No. 22 Philadelphia Eagles Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

This would be a top five helmet for me had it remained kelly green. The midnight green is too dark and takes away from an outstanding logo.

No. 21 Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

While the white horn logo is much better than the gold of the 2000s, the blue and yellow look is the most easy on the eyes. The Rams will don those as well in 2019, blurring the color lines for what’s official. This is a nice piece of haberdashery, but until the team makes up their minds...I won’t either.

No. 20 Miami Dolphins Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

I want to like the Dolphins protective and decorative gear, but this is tough. The color scheme is pleasing, but the updated logo drops the beach ball. The dolphin on the helmet needs one of his own like before. Now he’s just boring.

No. 19 Atlanta Falcons Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Atlanta Falcons have a pretty sleek helmet and have been sporting the black look since Jerry Glanville’s arrival in 1990. But the original red is so much more aesthetically pleasing and the current version seems tired. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the logo is actually the letter “F”.

No. 18 Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

This has been the Bears helmet since the 1960s and is a classic much like the Yankees ball cap. The logo has been updated in some concept art with a bear protruding out of the wishbone “C” , but don’t expect it to ever appear on the field of battle.

No. 17 Indianapolis Colts Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The horseshoe is still simple but cool after all of these years. It’s nothing blockbuster, but it works.

No. 16 New York Giants Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

The NY is much better than the written out GIANTS from the 70s, 80s and 90s, but I still find it average and would love to see it updated slightly to represent the “Big Apple” in a more epic fashion that it deserves

No. 15 Detroit Lions Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

This helmet has had slight updates over the years, but it seems bolder and better than ever before. The Honolulu Blue lion jumps off of the rich silver background with great ferocity. If only the team represented itself in such fashion.

No. 14 Minnesota Vikings Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The purple matte finish toughens up the Vike’s look and the white horn is featured brightly with a gold accent. The team has only updated slightly since the 1960s and is pretty iconic.

No. 13 Baltimore Ravens Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Sure, I hate the Ravens. But I give credit where it’s due. The bird is menacing and flies off of the sleek black background. Not a fan of the stripes, but overall a cool look.

No. 12 Tennessee Titans Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Just changing colors made a boring helmet cool...just like that. The logo is still just okay, but it is meant to tribute the state flag of Tennessee. Many will debate this high of a ranking, but the navy does it for me.

No. 11 New Orleans Saints Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Saints helmet best personifies the region in which the team calls home than any other. The gold finish and black fleur de lis is a perfect design and color scheme for this franchise.

No. 10 New York Jets

The Jets went the classic route the last 20 years with the white and green, but the new millennial update is a fresh take on the jade green of the 80s and 90s.

No. 9 Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The red helmet has been sported by the team forever and it’s simply a great look. The arrowhead shaped logo pops off of the helmet. The league needs more red and KC rocks it.

No. 8 Seattle Seahawks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I’ve always liked the Seahawks helmet whether silver or blue, the logo is aggressive tribute too the osprey indigenous to Washington state. Seahawk blue really stands out and represents with intimidation.

No. 7 Washington Redskins Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

This is probably the most controversial ranking because of political correctness, but the burgundy and gold is a stunning look and the logo juts out with authority. It’s classic look. Even if they bow to criticism and replace the Native American with the letter “W”, this is a top tenner.

No. 6 Green Bay Packers Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-USA TODAY NETWORK

Here’s another classic that probably won’t change, except the “G” logo seems less original with it being given out to Georgia and Grambling State. Nonetheless, this is pretty much a gold standard in the NFL.

No. 5 San Francisco 49ers Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers helmet is fairly simple, but it’s just perfect. They messed with the stripes and tried to change it back in 1993, but public outcry was way too much. With them back to basics, the Niners have a top five lid.

No. 4 Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The lightning bolt has always been cool, but now that the Chargers have converted to yellow face masks for 2019, this helmet absolutely wins.

No. 3 Dallas Cowboys Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Cowboys look is iconic. Probably the star is more recognized than in all of sports.

No. 2 Oakland Raiders Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

I have never liked this team, but there is a certain mystique to the helmet. The color scheme is perfect and the pirate is nothing short of badass.

No. 1 Pittsburgh Steelers Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Before I get accused of bias in any fashion, I will fully admit that claim that my ranking of my favorite team’s helmet over all others is indeed biased. But you gotta admit, this is an incredible look. With the most selection of color of any other team, the shiny black finish is an aesthetic delight accented with a bright gold stripe and the bright white and colorful Steel logo popping off the right side in epic fashion. Steeler fan or not...this is the most classic of them all.