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Updated: 1 hour 40 min ago

Steelers 2022 Training Camp Tracker: Tracking Monday’s practice

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 3:07pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are hitting the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe to prepare for the 2022 season.

The pads are going on.

As they enter their second week in Latrobe for 2022 training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers are getting back on the field at St. Vincent College for practice.

After being forced to hold training camp at Heinz Field the last two seasons, the Steelers are back in Latrobe for four weeks before breaking camp the day before their second preseason game.

When it comes to the training camp schedule, it is much more known than it was the last two years. The Steelers will continue with practice today, their first in full pads. The team is not scheduled to practice on any Sundays, but all other days of the week will see practice of some kind. For those hoping to attend practice at St. Vincent, make sure you reserve your free tickets through Ticketmaster.

Check out the information below as the players hit the field in preparation for the 2022 season, starting with some player interviews before practice if available. If any additional information or reports become available, they will be updated below. Posts will come mostly in chronological order with new updates at the bottom.

Talked to Anthony Miller this morning. He said he worked on getting faster this offseason, training his legs. Looks thick. He told me he's the best version of himself yet.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

'The first day is exciting. We’re excited. First day of pads is like Christmas.' - @The_fridge53 on the @steelers putting the pads on for the first time today.

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) August 1, 2022

After saying last week he didn't like playing center in 2021, Kendrick Green said today he shouldn't have said that. "It wasn't I didn't like it. I preferred guard. It wasn’t awful. I didn’t hate it."

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 1, 2022

We have signed WR Javon McKinley and waived DE Tyree Johnson. @BordasLaw https://t.co/Wnj94yphAy

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

Chris Boswell isn’t in pads today. Not a huge deal, but something to keep an eye on. He’s also in line for an extension.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

RB Jeremy McNichols doesn’t appear to be practicing today.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Back at it for Week ✌️of #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/tyToDFDBf4

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

WR Diontae Johnson isn’t in pads today. Appears his hold-in is continuing.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Chase Claypool (shoulder) and Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) also not in pads today.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Saint Vincent trap has been taken over. Steelers practice No. 5 about to begin. pic.twitter.com/etmDfQCBfL

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

A big crowd here for a Monday. Not quite what the Steelers had on Saturday, but easily the second-best crowd of this camp.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Larry Ogunjobi has pads on. He’s been limited so far so that could mean a ramp-up today for him. Connor Heyward ready to go after an ankle bump Saturday.

Pat Freiermuth, Chase Claypool, Miles Killebrew, Marcus Allen still out for Steelers. Diontae Johnson still off to the side.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Another day at the office. #SteelersCamp @CamHeyward | @ohthatsNajee22 pic.twitter.com/gXoT5WSqGu

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

Fan love @CalvinAustinIII | #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/miwGkGGfTY

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

Diontae Johnson is catching passes from quarterbacks in warmups, but he’s not in pads so he won’t be practicing beyond the individual stuff.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 1, 2022

Steelers breaking into 7 shots now and it’s still status quo at QB to start week 2: Mitch Trubisky the 1.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris has to be pumped the pads are on. He runs it up the middle to score in the first 7 shots rep

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

It’s no longer status quo at QB. Kenny Pickett gets the first second team rep.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Kenny Pickett is repping with the 2s in 7 shots. Trubisky took four reps, then Pickety came in

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

And now Mason Rudolph is coming in with the 3rd string for a rep

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Kenny Pickett gets the two snaps with the second team offense in Seven Shots.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 1, 2022

Pads are @CoachTomlin + @ohthatsNajee22 are ready

Follow Coach Tomlin on IG: https://t.co/zkf2GfWlLc pic.twitter.com/5jGWIoK6Tl

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

7 shots update:

- Najee Harris burrows past Myles Jack/Devin Bush for TD
- Mitch Trubisky incomplete
- Rob Spillane and Damontae Kazee stop Harris at the 1
- Trubisky incomplete
- Pickett goes 0 for 2
- Mason Rudolph gets final rep, shovel pass TD to Jace Sternberger

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Steelers in their 1-on-1 competition periods now. That’s WRs vs. DBs, backs on backers and OL-DL battles.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Najee picks up Devin Bush well in backs on backers. Takes the first rep.

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 1, 2022

Genard Avery just long armed the hell out of Kevin Rader. Right back to where the QB would have been in backs on backers.

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 1, 2022

Backs on Backers is underway.
A picture story of Alex Highsmith vs Zach Gentry pic.twitter.com/m28WMPK3dP

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

One notable omission from reps in Backs on Backers.

Presumably because it would be patently unfair to the “Backs” pic.twitter.com/awVYuap051

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Rob Spillane just torched Najee Harris in a backs on backers. Najee was bracing for contact and Spillane just went by him. But Harris wins the second rep when they run it back.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris is the most vocal of the Backs. And the biggest (of the non-TEs at least)

So when he gets beat, like he just did by Robert Spillane, the defense whoops it up in celebrating the “win” pic.twitter.com/G1uWBAKmfw

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

And now Myles Jack blows up Derek Watt in what might’ve been the loudest rep thus far. Watt redeems himself as well on the run-back.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Delontae Scott with a couple of strong reps against Zach Gentry in backs on backers. Gentry came back and won later, but perhaps that's why they felt OK getting rid of Tyree Johnson.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Undrafted rookie running back Jaylen Warren also has stood out in backs on backers. He did a nice job in three reps against Mark Robinson, getting kudos from the coaches.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Connor Heyward struggled with Genard Avery on the edge. Avery is really quick.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Mike Tomlin challenged rookie Jaylen Warren with “a little varsity action” and had him go against Robert Spillane after taking down rookie Mark Robinson. Spillane beat him soundly the first time, but Warren put up a better fight in the second.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

You might recognize one enthralled onlooker for Backs on Backers… pic.twitter.com/sPc5toPW3v

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Nice play by Devin Bush getting down the line of scrimmage to track down Benny Snell for a short gain.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Kenny Pickett taking second team reps in the first team period too

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Kenny Pickett also gets second-team reps in the team run period. First pass attempt is play action completion to Miles Boykin.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 1, 2022

Seventh-round rookie Mark Robinson blows up the last two snaps of third-team run drill. He was bringing the thump Steelers have wanted from their inside backers. Trying to earn some “varsity” work.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Most boring, uneventful mundane back on backers drill I’ve ever watched at training camp. Best collision delivered by Myles Jack on Derek Wayt. Maybe only collision of drill.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 1, 2022

Both Jaylen Warren and Mataeo Durrant had solid runs in the 11-on-11 team running drill. Both hit it up in quickly and were decisive. That's what you want to see from young running backs.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

OL showing off some nice communication. Mason Cole calls out the overload blitz and Chuks slides to take out Bush on the far end. Trubisky stands in there and fire to Pickens:

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 1, 2022

Another team period, and Kenny Pickett is the second-team QB still. Clearly this was the plan coming into today.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris came off the field hopping with trainer John Norwig. He has his left shoe off and is checking something out. Hard to tell if it’s an equipment issue or something else.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Trainer John Norwig is checking out Harris’ left foot while Harris sits on a cooler. https://t.co/KE98DbessB

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Mitch Trubisky finished an 11-on-11 period with a nice first down throw to Anthony Miller across his body while rolling to his left. This tweet brought to you from a 2019 Bears practice.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris sock is off his left foot and he’s walking around the sideline carrying his shoe. Helmet is still on.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

pic.twitter.com/2sHw0rnDPW

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

First-down drill work in 11-on-11s featured a nifty run by Durant. Very decisive in his cuts. Rudolph had the best throw, hitting Tyler Vaughns off play-action down the seam for about a 15-yard gain between the safeties.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris day appears to be over as he has removed left shoe and sock and is on the sideline.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 1, 2022

George Pickens is not taking part in a special teams drill. It’s just one drill, but it COULD signify he’s exempt from Teams, which potentially signals he’s already been tabbed for a significant role on offense

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Diontae Johnson is still not taking part in any team drills, but he’s been doing more work today than he did the first 3 practices, e.g., catching passes from QBs with staffers mimicking DBs

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Najee Harris is back kneeling with the team on the sideline. Imagine we’ll get some kind of update from Tomlin post practice along the lines of “he’s being evaluated.”

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Back-to-back impressive plays by the first team offense in red zone.

Anthony McFarland ripped off a TD run, getting by Devin Bush, while Dan Moore Jr. destroyed Cam Sutton.

Then, Trubisky hit Cody White for about a 20-yard TD in the corner of the end zone.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Calvin Austin shows off his speed again, scoring from about 15 yards out on a sweep

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) August 1, 2022

Well, if the “Calvin Austin III looks real good” takes last week came with the caveat that “he’s tiny and there are no pads on; wait til he does it with live tackling..

..Now, pads are on— and Austin is still popping. Actually looks even more slippery now that there are tacklers

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 1, 2022

Steelers sign a WR as they shuffle the 90-man roster

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 12:28pm
Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers added to their wide receiver depth chart as they continue to shuffle their 90-man offseason roster.

The NFL 90-man offseason roster is fluid. Every year players come and go as teams do the best they can to keep the depth on their team to the point where they don't need to tax the players who are locks to make the 53-man active roster.

With that said, the Steelers have made their first move of training camp by swapping players on the 90-man offseason roster. The Steelers announced Monday they have signed wide receiver Javon McKinley, and to make room for him they released undrafted rookie Tyree Johnson.

We have signed WR Javon McKinley and waived DE Tyree Johnson. @BordasLaw https://t.co/Wnj94yphAy

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 1, 2022

Undrafted out of Notre Dame, McKinley signed with the Detroit Lions following the 2021 NFL Draft. After failing to make the 53-man roster following the preseason, McKinley was signed to the practice squad to start the season. Not appearing in any games in 2021, McKinley was on and off the Lions practice squad throughout the season before signing a Reserve/Futures contract in January. McKinley was waived by the Lions earlier this offseason following the 2022 NFL Draft.

During the 2021 preseason, McKinley appeared in three games where he was targeted three times with three receptions for 50 yards and a touchdown. McKinley‘s touchdown came against the Steelers in Week 2 of the preseason last year where he had only one reception for 10 yards.

The signing of McKinley is to help bolster the wide receiver position with Diontae Johnson not participating in team drills and Chase Claypool nursing a shoulder injury. Mike Tomlin said Claypool's injury isn't deemed to be serious, but it is probably an injury which the team will be patient and allow their young receiver to heal before returning to practice.

In the meantime, McKinley should get plenty of opportunities to show he deserves a spot on the Steelers' roster both during training camp and the team's 3-game preseason. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of camp.

Who are the Steelers top camp darlings for 2022?

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 11:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As the pads go on for the first time in training camp, who are fans most likely to be fawning over in Latrobe?

On last week's episode of The Scho Bro Show podcast, myself and Big Bro Scho (Rich) each came up with a list of five potential camp darlings for the 2022 season. As our lists rolled on, we did not have any repeat players to bring the grand total to 10 potential darlings.

To clarify what we mean by “camp darling,” it really comes down to players who are getting more discussion by Steelers’ fans than anything else. These players are not the superstar players, or even the starters. A player can become a darling simply by elevating their expected status for the 2022 season. Whether it be someone who was thought to be among the first cut and end up making the practice squad, someone whom wasn’t expected to make the 53 and appears to be able to squeeze onto the roster, or someone thought to be a role player that may end up with significant playing time, exceeding expectations is the key. Additionally, we eliminated players who are previous starters for the Steelers or another franchise, or were drafted on Day 1 & 2 of the NFL draft.

While many of these players fit the criteria for the annual Isaac Redman Award given at BTSC, it should be noted that our classification for eligibility as a camp darling may differ somewhat.

Even though we made our lists the night before the Steelers took to the field for the first time at St. Vincent College in Latrobe, there is still plenty of potential for these players as the pads go on for the first time on Monday. So without further ado, here are the 10 players selected to possibly be the biggest camp darling of 2022 followed by a brief explanation of the choice.

Rich: Chris Steele

Coming out of USC, can Steele show enough as a UDFA and make some splash plays in order to get fans talking?

Jeremy McNichols

With zero career starts and just joining the Steelers last week, McNichols is in a scenario to get a lot of buzz. Now all he has to do is produce.

Jordan Tucker

The size factor alone could get Steelers’ fans talking about Tucker. As an offensive lineman, it usually takes the pads coming on to get noticed.

Jaylen Warren

Being only 5’8” but weighing in at 215 lbs makes for an very interesting build for a running back. But does he have the other characteristics to make a splash at training camp?

Connor Heyward

Is he truly a tight end? Is he more of a fullback? How does he fit? As long as he’s making plays like he did in minicamp there will be plenty of discussion.

Dave: Buddy Johnson

A fourth-round pick last season, Steelers fans didn’t see much from Buddy Johnson due to injury. This season there will definitely be eyes on Johnson to see if he can get into the rotation at inside linebacker now that he has a year of taking in everything.

Chis Oladokun

For those wanting the Steelers to send Mason Rudolph packing, it would likely take Oladokun showing he could be the number three. So far, it looks as if his opportunities are going to be very limited early in camp.

Mataeo Durant

Even after the Steelers adding another running back in Jeremy McNichols, the intrigue of the Steelers UDFA out of Duke has been with Steelers’ Nation since May.

Mark Robinson

The hype train on Robinson started months ago shortly after he was drafted. Now all he needs to do is show it on the field to keep the conversation going.

Calvin Austin III

He’s small. He’s fast. How will he be used? Steelers’ fans are already talking about the potential before the pads go on.

So there are our 10 players we feel could be the darling of the Steelers 2022 training camp. Which player do you feel will get the most buzz now that the pads are coming on? Is there someone else you feel is the top candidate who was not listed? Make sure you leave your thoughts in the comments below.

To hear the entire show and more of a breakdown for each player, the episode of The Scho Bro Show can be heard here:

Steelers fans believe Pat Freiermuth will be the team’s next breakout player

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 10:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

In the recent DraftKings Reacts survey, it was Pat Freiermuth most predicted to have a breakout campaign in 2022.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are riddled with young playmakers on their team, especially on offense, but not all young players have already had their breakout season. This leaves a list of players who are capable of having their breakout season in 2022.

As a part of SB Nation’s partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook, we asked Steelers fans who of a list of players would have a breakout season in 2022? The options were:

  • Alex Highsmith
  • Chase Claypool
  • Pat Freiermuth
  • Ahkello Witherspoon

Each of these players can certainly have themselves a big year in 2022.

Alex Highsmith

When you consider the dominance of T.J. Watt in 2021, you have to believe opposing offenses will start to slide all their protection schemes to taking him out of the play. While Watt will certainly still impact games, but it will provide one-on-one opportunities for Highsmith to get after the quarterback.

Chase Claypool

In the early workouts of training camp, before sustaining a shoulder injury, Claypool has been moved all over the offense. Not just on the outside, but also flexing to the slot. This versatility could make him a big, and effective, target for Matt Canada’s offense this season. Could Claypool reclaim some of his rookie magic in Year 3?

Pat Freiermuth

The second year tight end out of Penn State certainly is a strong contender for a breakout season. After he stepped up in Eric Ebron’s absence in 2021, he could be primed for a big breakout this year. Some are calling Freiermuth the best tight end to don the black and gold since Heath Miller wore No. 83, but others are even suggesting Freiermuth’s trajectory could be as one of the best tight ends in the game.

Ahkello Witherspoon

Most wouldn’t put Witherspoon in this category, but considering how he finished 2021 he certainly could be added. Witherspoon came on in a big way to end the season, to the point where he led the Steelers in interceptions. Can he pick up where he left off? If so, he could be the one who has the best season of them all.

Nonetheless, when the votes were tallied, it was Freiermuth who was given the prediction of being the Steelers’ breakout player in 2022. Check out the breakdown below:

Who did you vote for? If you didn’t vote in the poll, who would you vote for? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of training camp and the preseason.

Outside runs and why they matter to the Steelers offense

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 8:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Canada needs to get the outside run game going to get the most out of the Steelers offense.

I’ve covered inside zone runs and split zone runs in previous articles this offseason, but one of the main things the Steelers will be looking to do is run outside more, and more effectively.

Football Outsiders tracks frequency of directional runs, and the numbers show how predictable the Steelers offense became over the course of the 2021 season.

Here’s where the Steelers ranked in their directional running.

Left end: 28th

Left Tackle: 21st

Middle: 5th

Right Tackle: 23rd

Right end: 26th

The Steelers were one of the most likely teams to run between the tackles, and one of the least likely to run outside. If you are running really well between the tackles, that would be perfectly fine. The 2004 Steelers ranked 6th that season in inside run rate, and first in the effectiveness of those runs. If you can ram it down their throat and they can’t stop you? That’s winning football.

But in 2021 the Steelers ranked 28th in the NFL at inside run effectiveness. That’s not winning football, that’s just not being good. Let’s take a look at the Steelers outside run game and why it struggled.

Steelers vs. Raiders, 2nd quarter, 9:08

This is a good outside run from early in the Steelers season, well before they were forced to give up on these runs. This isn’t outside zone, it’s a power scheme. There’s a couple things that stand out to me on this play.

First, watch the play-side defensive end. That’s Maxx Crosby, he is a very good defensive end who had a heck of a season in 2021. On this play he is blocked by JuJu Smith-Schuster. Read that again, watch the play, let that soak in. Also watch center Kendrick Green on this run, and how he gets to the middle linebacker and slows him down with a sneaky hold (pulls the linebacker’s arm down) that doesn’t get caught.

That’s the kind of things the Steelers needed to go right for them to get decent yards on an outside run. It didn’t happen a lot.

Steelers vs. Raiders, 1st quarter, 14:23

This was a more common result. Watch Kendrick Green again for this one. His target this time is No. 24 Johnathan Abram. Kendrick Green is fast, but not fast enough and even lunging can’t get hands on his target, and Harris is bottled up for a very short gain.

Every other offensive lineman hits their blocks. This play fails because Kendrick Green’s blocking target wasn’t realistic. In these situations, you need communication before the snap to realize this play isn’t going to work and either alter the blocking or change the play. With a rookie center that wasn’t happening, and this is the result.

Steelers vs. Raiders, 4th quarter, 12:56

This is what the Steelers looked like when they tried to run outside zone plays. I can’t even be sure this is a true outside zone play, because whatever nuance of zone they are aiming for here, they don’t pull it off. The combo block from Trai Turner and Kendrick Green starts off fine, but Green can’t get control of the outside arm of the defender and when Najee Harris sees that arm free, he has to turn the run inside, where there is nothing at all. So, he heads backside, where he takes a clothesline shot and fights for a few yards.

Being able to run outside is important, that inside running tendency tells teams they can stack the box, and with those defenders, they can take away slants and crossing routes that the Steelers loved to throw. The opposing team had the comfort of knowing the Steelers were bad at attacking the outside parts of the field in the run game and the pass game. So they loaded the box, stuffed the inside run and forced Ben Roethlisberger to get rid of the ball quickly.

One of the best ways to thwart that is running the ball outside effectively. Make the defense widen their alignments and think laterally more, make them pay for getting too aggressive attacking the middle of the line.

But outside runs are also important for Matt Canada’s offense because of what he runs off of the threat of outside runs.

Steelers vs. Raiders, 1st quarter, 12:22

Watch the linebackers here. They don’t bite on the outside run fake, they wait to see what is coming because there is no reason to jump on that run fake. Combine that with Ben Roethlisberger’s limited mobility and he has to throw the ball quickly, the Raiders have the jet sweep man covered and the Steelers only gain a couple yards.

Now watch Diontae Johnson (enters from screen left directly after the snap). If that linebacker bites harder on the outside run fake or Ben Roethlisberger can buy a second more with his legs Johnson is open and this play is a good gain. If those linebackers jump the outside run threat and you have a mobile quarterback, this play is going to be very hard for the defense to cover.

It’s not hard to show the value a credible outside run game adds to this offense. It’s not hard to see how the lack of one negatively impacted the Steelers offense in 2021. The Steelers see it too. This offseason the Steelers hired an offensive line coach who teaches outside zone and has had success with outside zone heavy rushing attacks throughout his career, and added two offensive lineman who come from outside zone heavy offenses to the roster. They also talked about quarterback mobility being a priority and added two quarterbacks with good mobility to compete for the starting job. The competition between Kevin Dotson and Kendrick Green at left guard will likely be decided by how well Dotson can learn to execute outside zone blocking, which is one of Green’s strengths. Outside of mobility and outside zone blocking technique, I can’t see how Green can win that job. The Steelers are serious about fixing the outside run game for the 2022 season.

Hopefully they pull it off and we get to see a Steelers run game that can attack the entire field.

Deshaun Watson ruling suggests a 6-game suspension, nothing finalized yet

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 7:34am
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images

The Cleveland Browns quarterback heard from Sue L. Robinson as to her suggested suspension in 2022.

The pending suspension for Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson has been coming for a long time. After all of the court hearings, the case was sent to Sue L. Robinson’s desk. It was there where she would make a ruling on Watson’s suspension.

Monday it was reported Watson’s suspension could be six games.

Deshaun Watson was suspended six games; he was not fined, per source. pic.twitter.com/8lWWvVXjBY

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) August 1, 2022

The reason the previous sentence said “could” instead of “is” falls on the fact Robinson’s decision is not necessarily final. Robinson’s decision will now go to the desk of Roger Goodell who can accept the ruling, or impose his own suspension.

Sounds weird, right? But this is what was agreed upon between the NFLPA and NFL in the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). As an example, if Robinson recommends an 8-game suspension, Goodell could push for a one-year suspension. There would be another round of appeals, but the process is far from over. With the suspension recommendation being 6-games, the ruling now goes to Goodell’s desk.

On Sunday, the NFLPA released a statement saying they, and Deshaun Watson, would “stand by” the ruling made by Robinson.

NFLPA said it “will stand by (the judge’s) ruling and we call on the NFL to do the same.” pic.twitter.com/vQlqXyCgKW

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2022

This simple fact led many to believe Watson’s camp, and by proxy the Players Association, believed the ruling would be favorable to the player, not the league.

While this is far from over, it is nearing an end, and it certainly impacts the AFC North rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Watson’s recommended suspension means he would miss the Week 3 Thursday Night Football game in Cleveland, but would be available for the Week 18 game in Pittsburgh. The first game with the Steelers would be the only AFC North matchup Watson would miss as the Browns are scheduled to travel to Baltimore in Week 7.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of training camp and the preseason.

Steelers Fantasy Football questions heading into 2022: Part 1

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 7:15am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some talent on offense, but there are questions which need to be answered.

Nobody seems to know what type of team the Steelers will be in 2022, which makes the Steelers fantasy outlook just as difficult. The addition of new weapons combined with a quarterback room in a state of transition makes the predicting of individual’s success quite difficult.

Below are some of the most tantalizing questions I believe Steelers fans will be faced with as it pertains to drafting their favorite players on their fantasy teams. We all love being homers and getting a bunch of players from our favorite squads, but if you want a proper balance to your team, that may not be the best strategy. We will dive into more topics like this down below.

If you have any fantasy football questions regarding your draft strategy, message Jeremy Betz (@thebetz93) or myself (@Andrew_Wilbar) on Twitter, and don’t be surprised if you hear that question answered in a future episode of The Steelers Fix, which can be heard every Tuesday on all major podcast platforms. Just search “Behind the Steel Curtain.”

1. How many Steelers is too many when drafting my team?

I am fine with a fantasy manager drafting more than one Steeler on their team, but if you have both a Steelers running back and a Steelers receiver, you probably will not want to start both of them on the same weeks. While it may raise the floor of your team if the Steelers have a favorable matchup, it also lowers your ceiling dramatically.

I would definitely avoid drafting more than one receiver from the Steelers. In my early fantasy league draft, I went running back heavy early on, which included taking Najee Harris with the ninth overall pick. However, this put me in a bind at receiver, being unable to secure any elite receivers. Fortunately for me, I was able to grab Chase Claypool toward the end of the ninth round, giving me a potential breakout receiver who could quickly become a WR1 for me. At that point, it was worth the risk to secure Claypool even though I already had Najee. Just weigh the balances in your draft, and make sure quality is always more important to you than quantity, as does royalty to loyalty.

2. Who is the most likely Steeler to have a breakout season in fantasy?

To me, this boils down to two players and two players only: Pat Freiermuth and Chase Claypool. There is definitely a scenario where we see breakout campaigns from both players, but if we are going specifically by most likely, I would put my money on Freiermuth. There is no Eric Ebron lurking in the background this year, and regardless of who plays quarterback for the Steelers, Freiermuth is the more likely player to develop an immediate chemistry with him. I am still high on Claypool and believe he could be a league-winning draft pick if he remains focused, but I think Freiermuth’s odds of breaking out are slightly better.

This is only the first part of this two-part series, so stay tuned to BTSC to make sure you do not miss the second part. But what are your answers to these questions? Give me your answers down below, and stick with BTSC for all the news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers as the NFL season approaches!

Diontae Johnson is providing interesting talking points early in Steelers training camp

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 6:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Diontae Johnson is “holding in,” and I’d like to thank him for providing such a wonderful talking point during the early stages of Steelers training camp.

“Diante can go suck one.”

That was a text I received from my cousin on Thursday afternoon. I immediately knew it was about Diontae Johnson and his “hold in” during the first week of Steelers training camp at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. But I thought there must have been more developments in the Johnson saga that I was not aware of. After all, my cousin is an engineer and an incredibly smart guy, so something significant must have forced the kind of outrage that would lead to him mangling Johnson’s first name so badly.

But my cousin, who isn’t on social media (I told you he was smart), was showing his delayed frustration with the whole Johnson situation.

I would like to thank Johnson for forcing my cousin to send me such an inflammatory text. I would also like to thank the fourth-year man out of Toledo, who is in the final year of his rookie contract and is in search of a more market-acceptable deal, for providing us with such a debatable topic over the first few days of Steelers training camp, where the players have yet to don the pads and won’t even start hitting for real until Monday.

Believe it or not, there really are no gray areas when it comes to Johnson and his decision to hold in at training camp (so far). We’d like to think there are, but Johnson is a member of the NFLPA, which is a union. When it comes to unions, it’s all black and white, baby. I learned that from my boss at the University of Pittsburgh in the late-’90s. You can’t just allow an employee to knock off an hour early for a dentist appointment if he or she is part of a union. Why? What if the next person wants to leave early to go pick up their kid?

“Sorry, we need you.”

“But you allowed Todd to leave early on Wednesday to go to the dentist. Are you saying his teeth are more important than my child?”

Like it or not, the Steelers and head coach Mike Tomlin set a precedent by allowing the likes of Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt to hold in during recent training camps.

Yes, those guys were in the middle of negotiating new deals, while we have no idea if Johnson is even anywhere near the top of his employer’s list of priorities.

It is also true that both Heyward and Watt have been more integral to the team’s success in recent years than has Johnson.

Just try telling Johnson that. Just try convincing him that he should put his body at risk when his teammates did not while in similar contract situations in past years.

It’s going to be hard for Tomlin and the Steelers to ever nip this whole “holding in” deal in the bud in the coming years. How do you convince that wild horse to get back in the barn after it’s been prancing around for a few summers?

It’s one thing to discipline a player for off-the-field issues or for holding out of training camp while still under contract. But how do you punish a player for handling a situation the same way his teammates—leaders on the team—did in the past?

Johnson is at work, and he’s going through individual drills. Is that really a breach of contract? If it is, why wasn’t it for the other guys? Because they’re more special? Again, try convincing Johnson of that. Furthermore, try convincing his union of that.

I’m glad it’s happening, though. Why? It’s comical, the pictures of Johnson working out on his own, while his mates work through team drills.

It’s like a softer, gentler controversy that is fun for the whole family.

Thanks, again, Diontae Johnson.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Mon, 08/01/2022 - 4:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest three podcasts for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said and written, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each show:

We Run the North: Burgh Battles, B-More Bucks, Browns Bait and Burrow

Join BTSC’s Kevin Tate and his AFC North Crew featuring Brandon Herriott, Mike Tate and Pay Saunders as they break down the division after the first week of camp for the Browns, Bengals, Ravens and Steelers.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Note
  • Top Camp Battles
  • Can the Bengals repeat as AFC Champions?
  • Is Burrow a legit MVP candidate?
  • Can TJ be back to back DPOY?
  • Trades each team needs to make before opening day?
  • When is Lamar Jackson getting paid
  • What was Cleveland thinking signing Josh Rosen?
  • Is Kareem Hunt trade bait and will he ever be a #1 running back again
  • Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!
The Steelers Sunday Night Q&A: Training Camp equals new questions to be answered

It’s another offseason Sunday in 2022 with no NFL football and no games scheduled. However, the Steelers drafting is complete. so is their minicamp for rookies, voluntary OTAs and mandatory minicamp. BTSC is continuing a question-and-answer free-for-all from you the loyal fans. This time, join BTSC’s Jeff Hartman and Kyle Chrise as they team up to take questions from the live chat for some good Steelers discussion.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Let’s Ride: Trying to decipher Mike Tomlin’s plan during training camp

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a week of training camp under their belts, and there have been some questionable decisions made by Mike Tomlin. In the latest episode of “Let’s Ride” BTSC Senior Editor Jeff Hartman tries to decipher what’s going on with some of these decisions at Saint Vincent College.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • The Tomlin Plan
  • and MUCH MORE!

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Have a BAD Week: A look back at the Steelers week from a black-and-gold mind

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 2:30pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

BTSC’s random-thought renegade is back with his bizarre look at the Steelers week that was.

The Steelers’ season ended over seven months ago and a new one is about to begin with the Steelers having reported to training camp. Of course, there’s plenty of news coming out of Latrobe. BTSC continues their recap of the past week’s events for our readers. So, let’s all take a look at the week in the ‘burgh together.

Sunday 7/24

Announcing the cities welcoming their own XFL teams and head coaches who will lead tomorrow’s game.

Swipe through to see all the teams who will be crossing paths.

XFL Coming Soon. Spring 2023. #XFL2023

— XFL (@XFL2023) July 25, 2022

Brought to you by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Dany Garcia, another incarnation of the XFL. With Hines Ward coaching San Antonio and Rod Woodson leading Las Vegas, I’ll pay attention for the first two weeks and then lose interest. But former Steelers involvement provide two more weeks of interest than usual.

Monday 7/25

Steelers are releasing RB/FB Trey Edmunds today, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 25, 2022

The revolving door of Trey Edmunds with the Steelers continues. Don’t be surprised to see him back again.

Tuesday 7/26

We have signed RB Jeremy McNichols to a one-year contract.

To make room on the 90-man roster, we released RB Trey Edmunds. @BordasLaw

: https://t.co/LcuyJOvtl6 pic.twitter.com/oRfwzO2efY

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 26, 2022

This is an A+ signing just because it fills a need. No risk, all reward. The Steelers haven’t had a third-down back in a while and McNichols was successful in Music City behind another big-bodied No. 22 Crimson Tide alum.

Najee Harris has arrived (& he’s got jokes) pic.twitter.com/Rnt7lhDMYc

— Jenna Harner (@JennaHarner11) July 26, 2022

Training Camp has begun as players arrive at St. Vincent College. Najee Harris is already in midseason form with the media and his charm.

We have placed DE Tyson Alualu on the Active/PUP List and S Minkah Fitzpatrick on the Active/NFI List.

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 26, 2022

Minkah fell off a bike and Tyson has a sore knee for rehabbing his ankle. Not ideal news for the defense. Let’s just hope it’s not a long absence.

Wednesday 7/27

Art Rooney Jr. and Buddy Parker are finalists for the @ProFootballHOF Coach/Contributor category for the Class of 2023.

: https://t.co/DfojOv0iOm pic.twitter.com/T8g5F4QU6o

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 27, 2022

If you don’t know anything about these guys that came way before most of us, look them up. Well deserved honor and here’s hoping both get enshrined in Canton.

Thursday 7/28

Seahawks’ WR DK Metcalf is signing a three-year, $72 million extension that includes $58.2 million guaranteed, per source. Deal includes $30 million signing bonus, the highest ever for a WR. Metcalf will be a free agent again at 27 years old.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 28, 2022

Diontae Johnson’s hold-in will last longer because of this signing. But with rookies George Pickens and Calvin Austin III shining in camp, DJ18 may want to reconsider.

Friday 7/29

Mike Tomlin said Pat Freiermuth has a hamstring injury. Chase Claypool is being evaluated for a shoulder injury. Levi Wallace is I’ll and missed practiced.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 29, 2022

The offense can’t afford to take a hit like this. Let’s hope this is temporary.

Steelers worked out Jordan Howard, Josh Adams, Mike Pansluck, Hauti Pututau

— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) July 30, 2022

First signing McNichols and now a workout with Howard among others, Omar Khan is serious about putting the best running back stable on the field.

Saturday 7/30

Introducing the Hall of Honor Class of 2022! pic.twitter.com/7DnJ0oeN8X

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

Posthumous honors for three Steelers greats and one recent legend. Great class.

This was the significant week that was for the Steelers, mixed-in with my black-and-gold loving life. I’m sure next week will be full of Steelers happenings as well, so we’ll have to do this again. Have a great week, but better yet have a BAD one.

Will Diontae Johnson price himself out of Pittsburgh?

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 12:00pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

As the price for wide receivers has skyrocketed this offseason, the Pro Bowl receiver simply looking for more than what the Steelers are willing to invest?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a decision to make before training camp 2022 comes to a close. That decision will revolve around Diontae Johnson and the wide receiver room.

The NFL wide receiver market exploded during the past offseason, with the likes of Tyreek Hill signing a four-year, $120 million deal with the Miami Dolphins. That wasn’t the only big money invested in the receiver position as Davante Adams was traded from the Green Bay Packers to the Las Vegas Raiders and was abruptly signed to a five-year, $141.5 million deal. In addition to those monster deals, Johnson’s draft mate, A.J. Brown, who was picked one round and 15 selections before him, was traded from the Tennessee Titans to the Philadelphia Eagles for the Eagles 2022 first-round pick (No. 18 overall) and their third-round pick (No. 101 overall). The Eagles then signed Brown to a four-year, $100 million deal with $57.2 million guaranteed. Then just this week, DK Metcalf signed a three-year, $72 million contract with a $30 million signing bonus to remain with Seattle after he was not participating to start training camp.

Diontae Johnson was a Pro Bowl wide receiver in 2021, but if we as fans and editorial writers are honest with ourselves, we know Johnson isn’t on the level of the aforementioned players. The market became most volatile as it pertains to Johnson and the Steelers when Christian Kirk signed a four-year, $72 million deal that could be worth up to $84 million with $37 million fully guaranteed and the Raiders signing their number two receiver Hunter Renfrow to a two-year, $32 million deal with $21 million fully guaranteed.

This is where the rubber meets the road for the Steelers. Most fans can all agree Diontae Johnson is better than Christian Kirk and Hunter Renfrow and probably not as good as the top tier receivers, so the question becomes what is Johnson’s market value? This creates a perplexing situation for the Steelers. They still have Chase Claypool under team control through the 2023 season and they just drafted George Pickens and Calvin Austin III who are on their rookie deals through the 2025 season. Pickens has the pedigree and potential to be a number one receiver in this league.

Diontae Johnson’s camp is seeking a deal in the range north of $20 million per. If I’m Omar Kahn and the Steelers front office I offer Johnson some where in the range of $18-$20 million, if he doesn’t want the bag, then I offer the deal to Chase Claypool provided he has a good 2022 season. This is similar to what happened in 2013 when Mike Wallace turned down the Steelers offer of a five-year $42.5 million deal to sign with the Miami Dolphins on a five-year $65 million deal. The Steelers then offered that same deal to Antonio Brown and the rest was history.

It’s customary protocol for the Steelers not to negotiate contracts during the season, but perhaps new General Manager Omar Kahn will deviate from the long standing tradition. However it goes, the Steelers and Johnson are on the clock. Johnson was a sideline participant during the first four days of training camp, much like T.J. Watt last year and Minkah Fitzpatrick in the voluntary sessions of OTA’s back in June.

The current options are to pay Johnson what he wants, let him play under the last year of his rookie deal at approximately $3 million, which is grossly under paid for his production, and franchise him next year if he balls out, or trade him before the start of the season. If a deal is going to be done, it’s going to be before the season opens at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio on Sunday, September 11th.

There isn’t a right or wrong answer, only determining what is the best option as it relates to roster construction and overall cap management. Stay tuned as the situation is in a perpetual state of flux until it’s not.

The More You Know: Random facts about your Pittsburgh Steelers, Back to Business edition

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 10:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Time to learn more about your favorite NFL team, and some trivia as well!

It’s no longer the offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers as they made the switch to the preseason this week, so there are so many topics to talk and write about. Possible free agents still joining the team, the coordinator conundrum, the starting quarterback, and breaking news will all be covered here at BTSC. But who’s going to give you little-known-facts out of the 500 Level?

Luckily, your one-stop, and non-stop, shop for everything Steelers employs a Steelers fan that was allegedly dropped on his head as a one-year-old during the Immaculate Reception. Useless and somewhat fascinating facts are his forte. So, here we are with off-the-wall thoughts from the dark side of a black-and-gold brain that nobody asked for. But the joke’s on you as you’ll be telling your peeps something you read here later.

412 Fosters Forever

I wouldn’t go as far as saying that Jake Gyllenhaal is a die-hard Steelers fan, but he’s shown some great admiration for the team over the years. Having filmed two films, Love and Other Drugs and Southpaw in Pittsburgh, Jake has added the “Stillers” on a list including the Patriots as the two franchises that he follows. On a 2009 episode of The Jimmy Kimmel Show, Gyllenhaal talked about the glory of the Terrible Towel, eating sandwiches at Primanti Brothers, and even exposed a Steelers tattoo. The ink on his lower back may have been temporary, but hearing the actor talk, it seems like Jake Gyllenhaal’s black-and-gold fandom may be permanent.

BTSC Steelers Jeopardy

(Answer at bottom of article)

Steel Stats and Facts Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

The Hall of Fame Game is coming up on August 4th when the Jacksonville Jaguars face the Las Vegas Raiders in the classic in Canton, Ohio. The Steelers have played in this game a total of seven times, including last year versus the Dallas Cowboys. Pittsburgh’s record in the HOF Game is 4-3. How did the Steelers fare in what is now known as Tom Benson Stadium and, more important, what was their record in the regular season?

September 8, 1963 Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Cleveland Browns 7

1963 Record: 7-4-3

September 6, 1964 Baltimore Colts 48, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

1964 Record: 5-9

July 30, 1983 Pittsburgh Steelers 27, New Orleans Saints 14

1983 Record: 10-6

August 1, 1998 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, Pittsburgh Steelers 6:

1998 Record: 7-9

August 5, 2007 Pittsburgh Steelers 20, New Orleans Saints 7

2007 Record: 10-6

August 9, 2015 Minnesota Vikings 14, Pittsburgh Steelers 3

2015 Record: 10-6

August 5, 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers 16, Dallas Cowboys 3

2021 Record: 9-7-1

Middle First Name Madness

We love citing middle names of members of the Men of Steel here at Behind the Steel Curtain, but real first names are fun to unveil as well. In the past, we have cited FeDerius Terrell Edmunds, Trent Jordan Watt and Brett Mason Rudolph, but who else? Hence, the “More You Know Given Name of the Week”. This week we feature a valuable depth-piece on the offensive line.

Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images James C. Hassenauer This Week’s Birthdays of Steel

7/31 Glen Edwards (1947), Jason Gildon (1972), Kevin Greene (1962)

8/1 Mike Wallace (1986)

8/2 Al Hajj-Shabazz (1992)

8/3 Kay Eakin (1917)

8/4 Mike Schneck (1977)

8/5 Dick Tomlinson (1928)

8/6 Ross Cockrell (1991), Marvel Smith (1978), Bruce Van Dyke (1944)

Strange Sights for Sore Steelers Eyes

Not every NFL player retires with their original team, having played with no other franchise. We may try to forget the image of our Steel Heroes wearing another uniform, but it’s a part of fandom and legends sometimes change team colors. However, the sight of Hardy Nickerson wearing the creamsicles as a Buccaneer was disconcerting.

Varsity Blues Black & Golds

When Mitch Trubisky dons black and gold for the first time, it will be his third and best-looking NFL uniform. However, the Carolina Blue of the Tarheels definitely looked sharp and so did Mitch when wearing them. Trubisky wasn’t a full-time starter until his junior year, but on the strength of 3,748 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions the quarterback parlayed it into being selected second overall in the 2017 Draft.

Mitch Trubisky Hypocycloids Gone Madison Avenue

Burt Reynolds has always been a fan of the Steelers and he got former Steelers involved in 1980’s Smokey and the Bandit 2. Of course, you know Terry Bradshaw and Joe Greene in this fun clip from the movie, but pay close attention to Junior Justice in the car with Jackie Gleason, played by actor Mike Henry. Henry was a linebacker for the Steelers from 1959 to 1961 and the Rams from 1962 to 1964 before portraying Tarzan in the 1960s trilogy, Lt. Col. Donald Penobscot on MASH and countless other roles in Hollywood.

Cliff Clavin Corner

It’s a little known fact that the famed coin toss between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Chicago Bears for the No. 1 overall pick in the 1970 NFL Draft for the rights to Terry Bradshaw would never have happened in modern days. Both teams were 1-13, but the Bears beat the Steelers head-to-head in 1969 and thus would have been ranked higher than Pittsburgh.

Steelers Jeopardy Answer in the Form of a Question: Who is Ara Parseghian

Ara Parseghian won National Championships as the Head Coach of Notre Dame in 1966 and 1973, but most of you may remember him being portrayed in 1993’s Rudy. Ara was a halfback for Miami of Ohio and was drafted to the professional ranks by the Steelers in 1947. Failing to stick in Steeltown, Parseghian spent two seasons with the Browns until a hip injury forced him into retirement and ultimately into coaching.

Photo by Rich Clarkson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

So, there you have it. Anybody can spout out stat after stat, but not everybody can embrace the colorful and personal side of the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, the more you know, the more you can stupefy your friends, family and neighbors with your big, black-and-gold brain.

We’ll see you right here next week. Until then keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the hypocycloids.

A Letter From the Editor: It’s put up or shut up time for the 2022 Steelers

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 9:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers talk and speculation is coming to an end, and it’s time for to see if this group can perform up to snuff.

The first week of training camp for the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers is in the books, and I, for one, am thankful. Not only does the news coming out of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA give us here at BTSC something to write/talk about, but it also starts the process of putting storylines and narratives to bed.

You know, the narratives which never seem to die throughout the offseason?

Before going any further, let it be known how not all of these narratives or storylines are negative. They just grew tiresome during the lengthy NFL offseason.

What are some of the storylines/narratives which will be either solidified or dispelled in the coming weeks? Let’s take a look at some...

New Faces (FAs and Draft picks)

Whether you are talking about the signings of Mitch Trubisky, James Daniels, Myles Jack or Levi Wallace. Or if you are talking about one of the seven 2022 NFL Draft picks. It is now time for the Steelers to go out and show fans what they can do. No more talking about potential rosters along the offensive line. No more wondering about a player’s ability to adjust to a new scheme. We finally get to see it first-hand.

Tomlin on Pivot podcast

When Mike Tomlin went on Ryan Clark’s Pivot Podcast, it made waves, and rightfully so. Tomlin spoke truthfully, and honestly. To be candid, when he speaks in a setting like that, it can be mesmerizing. But the one thing which stood out was how Tomlin doesn’t cling to his non-losing season streak. He doesn’t sit back in awe of any accomplishments. I liked that, but I really hope his players respond and perform at a high level. Tomlin is a wordsmith, but it doesn’t make his job any easier.

Speculation on position battles

The position battle talk is never ending during the lead up to training camp. Who will be QB1? What about RB2? What about WR3?! This is the time of the year when the players decide this, not fans debating and discussing different aspects of the depth chart.

Matt Canada

Of course Matt Canada would make a list for storylines and narratives which never die. All offseason Canada was compared to the sub-par 2021 offense, and why his 2022 unit will be more of the same. On the flip side, there were plenty of people who stuck up for Canada, suggesting getting players who fit his scheme would change the outcome of the offense dramatically.

As I said earlier, not all of these narratives/storylines were negative, and I didn’t come close to listing them all. However, the one thing which is best about this time of the year is it isn’t speculation anymore. It isn’t what we think should happen. The players go out on the field and have to prove it. Tomlin and company have to do the same.

Monday the pads go on and the live hitting begins. This will provide even more information for fans to glean and start to differentiate how the current team is taking shape, or lack thereof. In the meantime, it is time for the 2022 Steelers to either put up, or shut up. Either way, I’m here for it.

(Note: The Letter From the Editor article runs every Sunday during the Pittsburgh Steelers offseason.)

Training Camp Recap, Day 4: Kenny Pickett finally gets his “shot”

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 7:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Training Camp, and it is time to check out what went down during the latest practice!

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back at Saint Vincent College for the first time since 2019, and fans have descended on Latrobe, PA in hopes of catching a glimpse of the 2022 team.

What went down during the latest training camp practice? That is where this article comes in. Check out all that was said, as well as photos and videos from the day’s workouts.

Here we go...

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a lot of questions marks across the roster, and it will take every practice and preseason game for the coaching staff to find a way to get answers to those questions. There were a lot of storylines to come out of Saturday’s practice, and we highlight some of those below:

7 Shots

There is always a lot of talk surrounding the Steelers usage of the 7 Shots drill. At this point, fans expect it to be the first team drill of every training camp practice. While the drill ramps up on Monday when pads come on, how players compete is certainly worth noting.

On Saturday, Mitch Trubisky continued to struggle, Mason Rudolph was average, but a new quarterback was allowed to participate in the drill.

That would be one Kenny Pickett.

Mitch Trubisky, meanwhile, went 0/4 for the second day in a row on 7 shots.

Rudolph went 1/2, first throw — on a free play — got tipped LOS and Donovan Stiner made what looked like a diving INT, but ball popped out of his hands and Connor Heyward grabbed it for a TD.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Pickett was given one repetition in the drill, and he made the most of it. He put up a beautiful touch pass to Tyler Vaughn, but whether it was a touchdown or not was disputed.

Kenny Pickett gets his first rep in “seven shots.” Tyler Vaughan was target in the corner of the end zone. Assistant coach Fredo Roberts said TD… Scout Dave Pettet said out of bounds. To be determined until film review later on tonight.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 30, 2022

Thanks to Charles Palla, the photo of the pass certainly looks like Vaughn got his elbow, and his hip, down in bounds before landing out of bounds. At least by this still image, it looks as though Pickett’s first red-zone pass in 7 Shots was a touchdown.

Steelers receiver Tyler Vaughn pulls in a Kenny Pickett pass for a touchdown past James Pierre during 7 shots drill at practice in front of a packed house of an estimated 15K of fans at Saint Vincent College. pic.twitter.com/OYbNAmetU1

— Charles Palla (@ChazPalla) July 30, 2022

After practice Tomlin was asked about Pickett only getting one rep in the drill, and he reiterated how reps will come. It’s still early in the camp process.

Tomlin on Kenny Pickett getting his first rep of camp in the "seven shots" drill: “Reps are going to come. We’re at the very early stages of this.” Pickett's pass attempt fell incomplete.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 30, 2022

Injury Update

As for injuries, Marcus Allen joined the growing list of players on the injured list. Allen, like Pat Freiermuth, was out with a hamstring injury. Chase Claypool was out with the shoulder injury he sustained Friday, and Connor Heyward got his ankle rolled up on during practice, but seemed to be okay.

Marcus Allen went down with a hamstring injury in practice. He’s being evaluated. Freiermuth and Claypool are day to day with their hamstring and shoulder injuries.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 30, 2022

Going Skeet Shooting

The Steelers defense has been the better unit thus far in camp, and that can be expected considering the amount of new faces on the offensive side of the ball. Nonetheless, when the defense takes the ball away, they’ve been doing a new celebration. The player who took the ball away throws the ball into the air, and the fellow defenders pretend to shoot the ball out of the air...

TJ Watt intercepts Mitch Trubisky on the first play of the last team period on a pass intended for George Pickens. Watt ran it back 20 yards for a TD. Afterward, he threw the ball up in the air and the defense pretended to skeet shoot it, their training camp INT celly

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

DJ Return Monday?

Diontae Johnson’s hold-in continues, but could he return when pads come on? Mike Tomlin was asked about this after practice and refused to make any predictions.

Mike Tomlin on whether Diontae Johnson will practice once the pads come on Monday: “I’m not making any guesses about participation," he said. "I deal in reality and who we have working and what transpired today. We’ll see what happens as we move forward.”

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 30, 2022

Mason Impressing

The one thing most Steelers fans don’t want to hear is Mason Rudolph potentially winning the quarterback job out of camp. Well, most would suggest he has been the best of the bunch in the early portions of camp. Technically, he should be the best considering his experience within the system, but it is still worth noting how well Rudolph has played thus far.

Mason Rudolph just made an unbelievable 15-yard completion on an out with 2 DTs bearing down. The clear winner of Week 1.

— James C Wexell (@jimwexell) July 30, 2022

Hall of Honor

The Steelers announced their Hall of Honor inductees for the 2022 class, and one of those was in attendance.

Postcards from Latrobe include a celebration of the latest members of the Hall of Honor. pic.twitter.com/sxu2EpiN56

— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) July 30, 2022

Heath Miller, a part of the 2022 class, was in attendance at Saint Vincent and was hanging out with former teammate Ike Taylor.

These guys. pic.twitter.com/35qDKIYkYD

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) July 30, 2022

Tomlin Gives Thanks

Mike Tomlin gave an empowering speech to the fans at practice Saturday before the team got started with their work. Take a listen to some of what Tomlin said to the nearly 17k in attendance.

Mike Tomlin is fired up thanking the crowd for being at Latrobe today. More than 17,000 tickets were issued for today’s practice. Doesn’t look like quite that many showed up, but it’s still a large crowd at St. Vincent. pic.twitter.com/ZNw6kX4TUT

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Slim Press?

Last season the nickname many used for rookie punter Pressley Harvin III was “Big Press”. Not only is Harvin a big guy, but he can also move a lot of weight in the weight room. Nonetheless, heading into Year 2 Harvin has dropped weight. How much weight? According to Dale Lolley, who asked Harvin, the punter is down 35-40 pounds from last year. Is the new nickname “Slim Press”?

Pressley Harvin confirmed to me what I reported the other day. He is, in fact, down 35 to 40 pounds from last year.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

Mike Tomlin Post-Practice Press Conference

Coach Tomlin talks about the crowd for #BackTogetherSaturday, provides an injury update, talks about the day's practice and more. pic.twitter.com/XXC2c5b4tR

— Steelers Live (@SteelersLive) July 30, 2022

Video

8 ➡️ 14@kennypickett10 | #SteelersCamp | #BackTogetherSaturday pic.twitter.com/EbZ6WZjPkT

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

In the autograph scrum with @_TJWatt! #SteelersCamp #HereWeGo @KDKA pic.twitter.com/f7dktMwr2C

— Ian Smith (@ismithKDKA) July 30, 2022

Today’s punt return warm up feat Gunner Olszewski pic.twitter.com/RF68gIjBe0

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Anthony Miller tops out at fielding — and holding on to — five punts before he can’t come down with No. 6 pic.twitter.com/rZod7GC92R

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Photos

Great picture by ⁦@mattfreedpghpg#Steelers WR Anthony Miller having a ball or 6 !! pic.twitter.com/HGdL6hnWHD

— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) July 30, 2022

The number of guys signing today was unreal and guys were out there well over an hour after practice ended. pic.twitter.com/wJyHjmtlJq

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) July 30, 2022

They distributed approximately 17,000 tickets for a non-pads practice. Players took the field to banging drums, flying flags, chanting fans. Camp at SVC same as it ever was. Welcome back. pic.twitter.com/DU5Ny0IxKz

— Mike Prisuta (@DVEMike) July 30, 2022

Nothing but love for #SteelersNation #SteelersCamp | #BackTogetherSaturday pic.twitter.com/Qj4bcebhjp

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

6 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin following Saturday’s training camp practice

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 6:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Speaking to the media following practice each day of training camp, the Steelers head coach answered a few questions about specific players.

As the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers continue to practice for training camp at St. Vincent College on Saturday, we were also graced with a media session from head coach Mike Tomlin. For that reason, it’s time for another installment of the “players mentioned” article. Remember these are current players where a specific question was asked during the Q&A period.

Connor Heyward

With a lot of eyes on the Steelers 2022 rookie class, tight end Connor Heyward has been coming up with some noteworthy plays before the Steelers put on the pads. Coach Tomlin was asked what he liked about Heyward‘s practice and how it might be able to translate.

“He’s highly competitive. He warmed up to the competition and his skills were on display. He didn’t shrink in the face of it.”

T.J. Watt

As expected, T.J. Watt is bringing a lot of energy to the Steelers defense so far in training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked what it’s like to see Watt thriving in this kind of environment.

“T.J. [Watt] is being T.J. [Watt]. We appreciate that. He loves football. He loves to work; he loves to compete. It’s guys like him that you really want the young guys to pay close attention to. They have resumes and things that are respectable, but to watch him day to day, I think that’s where the real learning occurs. You see why they’re able to build the resumes that they have.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked if Watt seems more energized to be at camp this year as a full participant.

“I’d be lying if I said yes, he’s always energized.”

Pat Freiermuth

There were a number of former Steelers players at practice on Saturday as well as other days so far in training camp. With the announcement of Heath Miller going into the Steelers Hall of Honor which had him in Latrobe for the day, Pat Freiermuth, who missed practice with a hamstring injury, was seen speaking with Miller during practice. Coach Tomlin was asked what it meant to have another player who he coached make it into the Hall of Honor. In his response, Coach Tomlin mentioned Pat Freiermuth as well as a number of former players.

“It’s great to see big Heath Miller. It’s a cool thing to be in this position long enough to have guys that come back and receive recognition for their playing days. But, equally as important is for them to come back and share and spend some time with a current player. I smiled when I watched Pat [Freiermuth] talking to Heath. We have Vince Williams here today, and Max Starks. We had Aaron Smith yesterday. That brotherhood, that fraternity, you can’t describe it, but you feel it. It is appreciated.”

Although it did not involve Pat Freiermuth, a follow-up question about Miller only seemed appropriate to include in order to give more context. Coach Tomlin was asked his favorite recollection of Heath Miller on the field.

“I just love the fact that Heath [Miller] worked in silence. You talk about a man of few words, Heath [Miller] was a man of no words. But you felt the intensity in his demeanor and in his play. I just think it’s a unique thing when a quiet guy is still able to display intensity, and you feel it in his presence.”

Kenny Pickett

On the fourth day of practice, Kenny Pickett finally got an opportunity to run a play during the Steelers “7 shots” drill. Coach Tomlin was asked If that was something that Pickett earned or if it is just part of the process of playing and getting his reps.

“The reps are going to come. Not only for him, but for everyone. We are at the very early stages of this. Everyone is going to get an opportunity to show their capabilities for sure.”

In a follow-up question, Coach Tomlin was asked what he made of the throw Pickett made in “7 shots.”

“There were a bunch of throws, I’m not going to hang my hat on one particular play.”

Diontae Johnson

Despite not participating in team activities, Diontae Johnson will continue to be a topic of discussion during training camp. Coach Tomlin was asked if he expects to have Johnson available when they put on the pads.

“I’m not making any guesses about participation. I deal in reality, with who we have working and what transpired today. We’ll see what happens as we move forward.”

Anthony Miller

In the absence of Diontae Johnson, one player making a push for the Steelers roster is wide receiver Anthony Miller. Coach Tomlin was asked his thoughts on Miller.

“This is his first opportunity to be on the train when it leaves the station. Oftentimes, we pick guys up and they get on a moving train going through the course of a season and so forth. It’s good that he’s had the totality of the off season and the learning process. I think that being a component of the entire process is showing in a positive way.”

Mike Tomlin’s media session can be seen HERE on the Steelers YouTube channel.

Podcast Roundup: All the latest of the BTSC family podcasts

Sun, 07/31/2022 - 5:30am

Get the latest BTSC podcast content in the ‘Podcast Roundup’.

The Pittsburgh Steelers seasons come and go with no real offseason, at least not for those diehard fans. For those fans, the preseason bleeds into the regular season, the regular season into the offseason, free agency and the NFL Draft. It is a vicious, never-ending cycle.

Nonetheless, we here at BTSC, and our podcast platform, are here with you every step of the way. In the past we have given you the podcasts in individual articles on the website but have decided to go with a ‘Podcast Roundup’ article which has the latest podcast for your enjoyment. The reasoning behind this is to take up less space on the site for the great written content we have at BTSC.

With that being said and written, enjoy the shows below with a brief description of each broadcast:

Steelers Touchdown Under: What will training camp and preseason tells us about the offense?

Training camp is here, fan excitement is building for the 2022 NFL season, and so too, are the expectations for what this roster could achieve this year. What are we learning about the offense from training camp? Which positions need more development and depth? Who is proving their worth as an offensive contributor at training camp? These are just some of the many questions that Matty Peverell and Mark Davison will address on Steelers Touchdown Under. Matty P. and Marky D will bring a global perspective to how the Steelers can achieve success in 2022 and beyond, as they chase a seventh Lombardi. Tune into the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts.

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • Preseason and what it tells about the Steelers offense

Listen to the show below

Tune into the latest episode of Touchdown Under, the Australian sensation from the BTSC family of podcasts.

Be sure to check out this and all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

Saturday Night Open Thread: Camp has finally started

Sat, 07/30/2022 - 6:08pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Time for another Saturday night meeting of the black and gold minds!

It’s Saturday Night Five on BTSC! And yes, this weekend you get me, Steelwoman, subbing in for steel canuck (because he’s out there somewhere on vacation or some such thing). Training camp started on July 26, and we finally have new stuff to talk about.

Here we go....

1. I know we have only had 5 days of Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, but who is your stand out player so far?

2. Do you think this will be the starting Offensive line: Dan Moore, Kevin Dodson, Mason Cole, James Daniels, and Chuks Okorafor? Or do you think Kendrick Green figures in, or someone else?

3. Do you think Larry Ogunjobi beats out Chris Wormley for a starting job?

4. How many of these locations have you experienced in person: Saint Vincent College Steeler Training Camp, Acrisure Stadium (aka Heinz Field), Three Rivers Stadium, PNC Park, PPG Paints Arena (aka Civic Arena), Duquesne Incline, Monongahela Incline, Strip District, Gateway Clipper, Primanti Brothers, Eat n’ Park, Islay’s, The Point, Kennywood Park, taken a photo with Franco (the other Harris) at the Pittsburgh airport, or a photo with the Chief (Art Rooney Sr.) by the riverfront?

5. Obligatory food and drink question....what is your favorite snack? Cheetos, Corn Nuts, Cheese Balls, Twizzlers, Whoppers, Kettle Chips, Fritos, Doritos, or something else?

That’s it for now fans - have at it, be creative, and see you in the comment section!

Steelers 2022 Training Camp Tracker: Tracking Saturday’s practice

Sat, 07/30/2022 - 2:09pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are hitting the field at St. Vincent College in Latrobe to prepare for the 2022 season.

With just one practice left this week in Latrobe for 2022 training camp before the players get a day off on Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers getting back on the field at St. Vincent College for practice is starting to become a routine.

After being forced to hold training camp at Heinz Field the last two seasons, the Steelers are back in Latrobe for four weeks before breaking camp the day before their second preseason game.

When it comes to the training camp schedule, it is much more known than it was the last two years. The Steelers will continue with practice today, but will not be in full pads until Monday, August 1. The team is not scheduled to practice on any Sundays, but all other days of the week will see practice of some kind. For those hoping to attend practice at St. Vincent, make sure you reserve your free tickets through Ticketmaster.

Check out the information below as the players hit the field in preparation for the 2022 season, starting with some player interviews before practice if available. If any additional information or reports become available, they will be updated below. Posts will come mostly in chronological order with new updates at the bottom.

The line of cars to get into Steelers practice at Latrobe is as long as it’s ever been so far this camp. Weather is beautiful today - high 70s right now and sunny.

Don’t forget sunscreen! pic.twitter.com/a0zO6ylP18

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Pressley Harvin confirmed to me what I reported the other day. He is, in fact, down 35 to 40 pounds from last year.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

Steelers rookie TE/FB Connor Heyward is gonna contribute on offense this year I think. He's getting reps with the first, second and third-team offenses depending on personnel.

"Just getting used to playing Y, F, some stuff in the backfield to show my versatility," he said today.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

Larry Ogunjobi hasn't taken any live reps yet with the Steelers after offseason foot surgery but he's not on the PUP list. He sounded optimistic this morning: "Hopefully sooner than later. We're taking it slow right now, taking it day by day and making sure my foot is good."

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

Mitch Trubisky on his smallest target Calvin Austin: "Calvin's fast, man. Anyway we can get the ball in his hands in open space it's gonna be deadly."

And his tallest Zach Gentry: "He's gonna be bigger than pretty much everyone covering him … 50-50 balls are more like 70-30."

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

I’m told there were 17,000 free tickets that fans signed up for to attend practice today. That was last night. I’m sure there were even more today. This place is buzzing.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

Heath Miller is out at Steelers practice hanging with Ike Taylor pic.twitter.com/1pcAYVOHPg

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Looks like Chase Claypool (shoulder) and Pat Freiermuth (hamstring) out for another Steelers practice today. But appears that Levi Wallace (illness) is back after a one-day absence.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

The Steelers only have one long snapper in camp and both punters are working on their holding. Christian Kuntz is working with Pressley Harvin. Chris Boswell is snapping to Cameron Nizialek.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

Kenny Pickett getting first-team reps …

… at holder pic.twitter.com/mqNe6DauMu

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

Today’s punt return warm up feat Gunner Olszewski pic.twitter.com/RF68gIjBe0

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Anthony Miller tops out at fielding — and holding on to — five punts before he can’t come down with No. 6 pic.twitter.com/rZod7GC92R

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Mike Tomlin thanking the crowd here at Chuck Noll Field for showing up today. "You are a driving force for us."

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

Mike Tomlin is fired up thanking the crowd for being at Latrobe today. More than 17,000 tickets were issued for today’s practice. Doesn’t look like quite that many showed up, but it’s still a large crowd at St. Vincent. pic.twitter.com/ZNw6kX4TUT

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

They’re parking cars in the grass next to Chuck Noll Field at Saint Vincent College. Biggest crowd I can remember at a Steelers training camp practice here in a long time.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) July 30, 2022

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addresses the crowd here at Saint Vincent to thank fans for coming out today and their passion year-round. With a big shoutout to Heath Miller, who’s also in attendance today. pic.twitter.com/0sukWE1J4e

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

A look at the crowd gathered in Latrobe. Probably at least 6,000 here, but tough to really tell pic.twitter.com/2s25udK0oc

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Coach Tomlin addresses fans before practice. #BackTogetherSaturday | #SteelersCamp pic.twitter.com/f8ExJ2L7Ce

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

Chase Claypool not practicing today with a shoulder that got dinged up yesterday. But he's not wearing anything on it. Doesn't look like it's serious. Should be another big George Pickens day.

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) July 30, 2022

First sighting of a UNC Mitch Trubisky jersey at Steelers camp pic.twitter.com/jBtfSgfqaH

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Back at it @_TJWatt #SteelersCamp | #BackTogetherSaturday pic.twitter.com/NsH3BTSCCv

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

Trubisky goes 0-4 in 7 Shots although he completed a pass to Connor Heyward that was stopped short by Edmunds.

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) July 30, 2022

Kenny Pickett gets his first 7 shots rep and puts a perfect fade ball on Tyler Vaughns in the back left corner. But I don’t think Vaughns got his feet down vs. James Pierre. It was entertaining at least.

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) July 30, 2022

Whatchu lookin' at? #SteelersCamp | #BackTogetherSaturday pic.twitter.com/vpwDsekiGB

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

Mitch Trubisky, meanwhile, went 0/4 for the second day in a row on 7 shots.

Rudolph went 1/2, first throw — on a free play — got tipped LOS and Donovan Stiner made what looked like a diving INT, but ball popped out of his hands and Connor Heyward grabbed it for a TD.

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Kevin Dotson starts at left guard today

— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) July 30, 2022

Steelers announce 4 members of the 2022 Hall of Honor class

Sat, 07/30/2022 - 12:19pm

The class includes three players and a legendary announcer.

On Saturday, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced the four members of the 2022 class of the Hall of Honor.

Introducing the Hall of Honor Class of 2022! pic.twitter.com/7DnJ0oeN8X

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

The Steelers’ Hall of Honor began in 2017 with the induction of 27 members. Through 2021, the Steelers are up to 45 members who are recognized in the FedEx Great Hall at Acrisure Stadium. With four members in the 2022 class, the total number in the Steelers’ Hall of Honor is now up to 49.

To be selected for the Hall of Honor, players must have been retired for at least three seasons and played for the Steelers a minimum of three seasons. For both players, coaches, and contributors are selected based on noteworthy contributions and achievements with the Steelers.

As for the 2022 inductees, here is a brief description of their time with the Steelers:

Ray Mathews

Drafted by the Steelers in the seventh round of the 1951 NFL draft, Ray Matthews played nine seasons in Pittsburgh. Playing running back for his first five years with the Steelers, Matthews transitioned to receiver in 1956 where he played another four seasons. Matthews was selected to the Pro Bowl in both 1952 and 1955. In his Steelers’ career, Matthews had 300 rushing attempts for 1,057 yards and five rushing touchdowns as well as 230 receptions for 3,918 yards and 34 receiving touchdowns.

Sam Davis

A four-time Super Bowl champion with the Steelers, Sam Davis came to the Steelers in 1967 as an undrafted player. In 13 seasons all with the Steelers, Davis appeared in 168 games with 114 starts on the offensive line.

Heath Miller

Selected in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Heath Miller played 11 NFL seasons all in Pittsburgh. Appearing in 168 games in the regular season with 167 starts, Miller had 592 receptions for 6,569 yards and 45 touchdowns. Miller still holds the Steelers single-season touchdown record by a tight end with eight in 2012, one of his two seasons of making the Pro Bowl. Miller I was also a member of the Super Bowl championship teams in 2005 and 2008. In the postseason, Miller started all 15 games where he had 49 receptions for 587 yards and four touchdowns.

Myron Cope

It’s difficult to find a Steelers’ fan who doesn’t appreciate the legacy of former Steelers announcer Myron Cope. Responsible for the birth of the terrible towel in 1975 where he encouraged fans to bring yellow dish towels to the game in order to waive them, Cope began on WTAE Radio in 1968. Spending 35 years as a Steelers broadcaster, Myron Cope began his broadcasting with Jack Fleming in 1970 and continued with Bill Hillgrove until 2005.

The 2022 Hall of Honor class will be inducted on November 13 during halftime of the Steelers matchup with the New Orleans Saints at Acrisure Stadium.

On the half of Behind The Steel Curtain, congratulations to all the members of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hall of Honor class of 2022.

The announcement of the 2022 Hall of Honor class can be seen here:

LIVE: We announce our Hall of Honor Class of 2022.

: Back Together Saturday coverage on @nflnetwork https://t.co/E8u3s94YRJ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 30, 2022

Football Outsiders predicts a step back for T.J. Watt in 2022

Sat, 07/30/2022 - 10:30am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We asked Football Outsiders five questions about the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers. See what they had to say.

The fine folks at Football Outsiders agreed to answer some questions about the 2022 Pittsburgh Steelers as they team gets into the thick of things with training camp. There were a lot of questions, and Rivers McCown was nice enough to answer all of them in the Q&A below.

With T.J. Watt seeing an increase in sacks every season of his career, when should Steelers fans expect him to top out?

So empirically speaking, the odds are very much tilted in favor of Watt never topping last season’s sack total. That’s not to say he’s not a superstar, the most-impactful non-Aaron Donald defender in the NFL, and so on. But injury attrition is something that constantly ruins NFL peaks, and any kind of regression-based model is going to take that and the potential for decline into account. Watt could very well notch like 24 sacks next year and make a fool of a weaker projection – wouldn’t shock me one bit. But predicting improvement from somebody who is already impossibly good is rough.

Will the choice of the Steelers starting QB in 2022 greatly impact their offensive style in 2022?

I kind of doubt it. I think we see more of Matt Canada’s influence on the offense in 2022 and that both quarterbacks are athletic enough to run option plays and get the Steelers more credibility with horizontal spacing. My best guess based on researching the chapter is that the offense would look different with Kenny Pickett in, but that’s because I think he’s more of an out-of-structure player who will face a real NFL learning curve in his first season. With Mitch Trubisky you buy more steadiness, for whatever that’s worth. Ultimately I’m sure both of them will see plenty of snaps in 2022.

The Steelers rush defense was historically bad last season. How can they improve outside of getting healthy players back in the lineup in 2022?

So we had the Steelers finishing 27th in run defense DVOA in 2021 – not good, but not historically bad. Perhaps historically bad for this particular franchise! (They were fifth in rush defense DVOA in 2020.) We actually like Pittsburgh’s defense to bounce back in a real way in 2022 because of how good they were in the years before 2021. Healthy players will be a big factor, and the late signing of Larry Ogunjobi should be at least a real step towards replacing Stephon Tuitt. The biggest thing will just be: Can Devin Bush not be an utter sieve? That kind of counts as a return from injury, but he did play last season – he just was really poor.

Ben Roethlisberger is retired. How bad was he in 2021, and how difficult will it be for the Steelers to replace his production last year?

In my opinion, not very difficult, and that’s kind of the draw to any argument for this team to win more in 2022. I understand that dumping on Ben Roethlisberger on a Steelers blog isn’t going to go over very well, but it was almost impossible for this team to do anything resembling functional downfield passing in their base offense last year. I don’t harbor high hopes for Trubisky or the year one version of Pickett, but I think you can credibly argue that they should at least be able to get defenses to play them more honestly.

The Steelers win total is set at 7.5 games currently. Tell the fans why it is safe to hammer the OVER on this bet.

Well, our in-book projection has the Steelers finishing with an average of 8.2 wins in our simulations. I would not call that safe at all, but I do think the defense will bounce back and give the Steelers some more upside. (I also love the idea of Brian Flores’ best third-down looks getting brought in to diversify some of the defensive play calls.) You know Mike Tomlin will get the most out of a squad. If I really had faith in Pittsburgh’s offense I’d be more excited about hitting the over, but I think there are credible reasons to believe that side of the ball can get better. I just lose them in the offensive line and quarterback situations.

A big thanks to Rivers McCown for taking the time to answer those questions. If you’d like to purchase the Football Outsiders 2022 almanac, click HERE. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the rest of camp and the preseason.

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