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Tomlin on the NFL Competition Committee Videos - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 3:17pm
Coach Mike Tomlin talks about being a part of the changes in the NFL.

NFL owners approve 7 different rule and bylaw changes

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 1:42pm

The National Football League will be ushering in some new rules and regulations next season. See what changes were made.

The NFL world has been clamoring for rules to be changed/altered for a long time, and none has caused such a stir as the ‘Catch Rule’. This rule has had a major impact in many games for many teams.

The Dez Bryant play, the Jesse James play vs. the Patriots last year and even the Kelvin Benjamin play vs. New England last year. All were impacted by not just the rule, but the way it was reviewed.

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said it best when he talked about how he felt the officials on the field made the correct call, but it was the replay process which truly intervened to change the ruling on the field.

The ‘Catch Rule’ wasn’t the only change to be made to the game heading into 2018 regular season. They also allowed those at NFL headquarters the authority to instruct on-field officials to eject a player for a flagrant non-football act.

So, Al Riveron now has the power to eject players.

Take a look at the rule and bylaw changes below, and let us know what you think about them in the comment section!

The playing rules & bylaws approved by @NFL clubs this morning

— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) March 27, 2018

James reacts to new catch rule News - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 12:25pm
Jesse James is among those happy that NFL owners passed the new catch rule.

James reacts to new catch rule News - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 12:25pm
Jesse James is among those happy that NFL owners passed the new catch rule.

Tomlin 'not opposed' to defensive changes News - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:55am
Coach Mike Tomlin said he is open to just about anything that helps the defense improve in 2018.

Tomlin 'not opposed' to defensive changes News - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:55am
Coach Mike Tomlin said he is open to just about anything that helps the defense improve in 2018.

NFL owners approve change to catch rule - Steelers/NFL - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:41am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Steelers president Art Rooney II and general manager Kevin Colbert think part of the problem with the old no-catch rule is how replay overturned calls on the field without conclusive evidence.

Steelers plan on hosting Florida CB Duke Dawson for Pre-Draft visit

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:30am

The Steelers plan on bringing in Duke Dawson, from the Florida Gators, for an official pre-draft visit.

The NCAA Pro Day schedule is slowing down, but this means NFL teams are ramping up their official pre-draft visits for potential prospects. Teams can have around 30 pre-draft visits, and rumors are starting to swirl regarding players teams will be bringing in.

The latest rumor surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers is how they will be hosting cornerback Duke Dawson of Florida for one of those 30 pre-draft visits.

.@GatorsFB DB Duke Dawson has private meetings and/or workouts scheduled with the #Steelers, #Panthers, #Saints and #Buccaneers.#NFLDraft2018 #GoGators

— Justin M (@JustinM_NFL) March 25, 2018

Many people believe the Steelers, for once, don’t need to look at cornerback in the upcoming NFL Draft. After all, with Joe Haden, Artie Burns, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, Coty Sensabaugh and Brian Allen all slated to return next season, you have to wonder where they would fit.

Then again, the Steelers never abide by the ‘too much talent’ philosophy when it comes to the draft. They stick by their ‘Best Player Available’ guns as much as possible.

One aspect of Dawson’s game which probably intrigued the Steelers is his versatility. Dawson played both inside and outside for the Gators, and while his combine results don’t jump off the page at you, he is more than capable of playing at the NFL level.

He is projected to be a 3rd or 4th round prospect, and Lance Zierlein of had this to say about Dawson as a prospect:

Compact, strong slot corner who can beat up finesse receivers when he’s allowed to crowd and disrupt the route release. Dawson can match and blanket underneath, but hip tightness shows up when he’s forced to turn and run from a backpedal. Dawson can handle himself in man or zone coverage and is ready to work when run support calls. He has some length and speed limitations, but he has the instincts and cover talent to become a starting nickel cornerback.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest on the news, and rumors, surrounding the black-and-gold as they continue to press on towards the NFL Draft.

Tomlin at the coaches breakfast Videos - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 11:00am
Coach Mike Tomlin spoke to the media during the coaches breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings.

Mike Tomlin says NFL should trumpet its progress with player safety - Steelers/NFL - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:21am

ORLANDO, Fla — As a member of the NFL’s competition committee, Mike Tomlin says the league has taken immeasurable steps to improve player safety.

6 things said at the coaches breakfast Videos - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:00am
Hear what coaches from the AFC North had to say at the NFL Owners Meetings.

Winners and Losers for the Steelers through the early stages of Free Agency

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 9:25am

The Pittsburgh Steelers haven’t made a ton of moves, but those moves have created a ripple effect throughout the roster. We break down the Winners and Losers to date.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have finally started to partake in NFL Free Agency, and with the acquisitions of Jon Bostic and Morgan Burnett, there is a ripple effect throughout the roster.

When players are acquired, there are others who will be impacted by those transactions. This is where the Free Agency Winners and Losers is born. Identifying players who have suffered from additions, and some who have benefited from the free agency period.

This can, and likely will, continue to change as the Steelers are not done making moves, and very well could still release and/or sign other players. So, without further ado, the first Winners and Losers after the Steelers’ first wave of free agency.


Vance McDonald

There were some, albeit not many, who thought McDonald could be a cap casualty considering his hefty salary for the 2018 season, and while the team could still part ways with McDonald, technically, it is highly unlikely. So, for McDonald, he is a big winner considering he is staying in Pittsburgh, and I would go as far to saying the team is a winner because of McDonald’s dual threat capabilities as a blocker and pass catcher...if he can stay healthy.

J.J. Wilcox

Mike Mitchell and Robert Golden were released, but somehow Wilcox remained on the team, for the time being. For reasons unbeknownst to the fan base, the Steelers see something in Wilcox they like, but there is still a chance the team lets Wilcox go if they draft a high profile safety in the upcoming NFL Draft. But as for right now, Wilcox is still employed by the team after they gutted their defensive secondary.

Daniel McCullers

When everyone penciled McCullers in as an Unrestricted Free Agent who would be allowed to go elsewhere, the Steelers brought him back for at least another season with a new one-year contract. Ignore the fact it is a veteran minimum contract, and there is no guarantee he makes the team’s 53-man roster, McCullers bought himself at least another chance in the Steel City.

Jerald Hawkins

Chris Hubbard was picked up by the Cleveland Browns to anchor one side of their offensive line, and this means a promotion for the former LSU tackle. After a promising start to his rookie season, which ended on the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury, his sophomore campaign was a roller coaster. Hawkins made the team, but was regularly inactive, even throughout Marcus Gilbert’s injuries and suspension. By the end of the season the team had more faith in Hawkins, and he will have to step up his game if he wants to be the swing tackle Hubbard was for the team.


Tyler Matakevich

After Ryan Shazier’s injury, many wondered why Sean Spence was signed and Tyler Matakevich wasn’t inserted into the lineup. After all, the standard is the standard. While Matakevich was nursing a shoulder injury, which required offseason surgery, it was also evident he isn’t the answer alongside Vince Williams. The signing of Jon Bostic means Matakevich will be relegated to special teams and backup duties again.

Jordan Dangerfield

Although realistic fans knew the team had to make a move in free agency at the safety position, Dangerfield was the only player outside of Sean Davis who had any real NFL experience. After Morgan Burnett was signed, and the team will likely continue to add at the safety position, it might be Dangerfield who is out of a job when the dust settles. This is where you insert the class Rodney Dangerfield “no respect” line.

Sean Davis

Before readers freak out of Davis being in the loser list, it isn’t because of his play, or his social media escapades. No, it is because of the potential position change he will possibly undergo. Mike Tomlin spoke at the NFL Owners Meeting recently and stated they aren’t sure if Davis will move from Strong Safety to Free Safety or not. A lot depends on Burnett and where he best fits within the Steelers’ scheme. This will be tough on Davis, who hasn’t had the best start to his NFL career, and any change in position for him could be accompanied by some growing pains...which isn’t a good situation for the team.

John Mitchell won't have any on-field coaching duties for Steelers - Steelers/NFL - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 8:55am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Mike Tomlin cleared up any questions about the role of former defensive line coach John Mitchell, saying he will no longer have any on-field coaching responsibilities and will serve purely in an administrative role with the team.

Tomlin doesn't like TD celebrations: 'It's not a good look for young people' - Steelers/NFL - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 8:23am

ORLANDO, Fla. – Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin said he doesn’t like the end-zone celebrations that permeate the NFL and would prefer they not be allowed.

The NFL says it will clarify the ‘Catch Rule’, but I’ll believe it when I see it

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 03/27/2018 - 7:48am

After many confusing interpretations of its often controversial catch rule during the 2017 season, the NFL's Competition Committee will attempt to bring more clarity to it as it convenes in Orlando, Florida this week. Fans can only hope on-field officials are the people most sure of what a catch is in 2018.

I don't always pay attention to notifications of re-tweets I'm not directly involved with, but when I received one on Thursday about a Tweet from Al Riveron, the NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating, my eyes perked up.

If you're a Steelers fan, you no doubt can guess Riveron's Tweet pertained to the NFL's always controversial catch rule and how the powers that be were looking into ways to clarify said rule:

"After much deliberation & input from coaches, players, @NFLLegends, & club executives, the @NFL Competition Committee will recommend the following language simplifying the catch rule at the Annual Meeting next week."

Another part of Riveron's Tweet detailed the ways in-which the Competition Committee will attempt to clarify the rule:

  1. Control
  2. Two feet down or another body part
  3. A football move such as:

—A third step; reaching/extending for the line-to-gain; or the ability to perform such an act.

It's nice that the league will likely clarify these things at the annual owners meetings which kicked off Sunday in Orlando, Florida, but even in the language used by Riveron to explain the clarifications, you can see where people (mostly on-field officials and replay reviewers) would still be confused.

Again, if you're a Steelers fan, you obviously latched on to the second example in the previously mentioned list of football moves—reaching/extending for the line-to-gain.

The fact that that part needs clarification tells you just how over-officiated the NFL has become—especially when it involves determining a reception.

The catch rule has become so convoluted, a receiver extending his arm with ball-in-hand in-order to gain extra yardage and/or score a touchdown (something he can't actually do unless he possesses a football) isn't necessarily a catch if the ball comes loose once he hits the ground.

This, of course, brings me to the controversial Jesse James play that occurred in the waning moments of Pittsburgh's season-altering game against the Patriots last December 17 at Heinz Field.

In-case you don't know (or erased it from your memory), James caught a pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger at the two-yard line and, after dropping to his knee, extended his arms over the goal line and appeared to score the go-ahead touchdown with 28 seconds remaining.

After a long review, the play was overturned, and Pittsburgh went on to lose the game, the number one seed in the AFC and, ultimately, the divisional round match-up against the Jaguars on January 14.

If the Committee does clarify the catch rule, that would mean James, in-fact, scored on that play—just not officially in any record book from now until the end of time.

"It is going to bother me forever," James said of the play in an interview published on on Friday.

"I don't think they know yet what is correct," James went on to say about the league's understanding and application of the rule. "I am hoping they will re-evaluate that and bring more clarity to it."

Countless other receivers around the league are hoping for the same thing, as are thousands of football fans who, at one time or another, have stared in disbelief after something that looked an awful lot like a completion was deemed incomplete.

It's a little too late for James, who really shouldn't let a play that has been a catch for the vast-majority of the NFL's existence haunt him for the rest of his life, but maybe he'll get a chance at redemption in the near-future.

As for the NFL, it has a chance to redeem itself regarding the most controversial rule in its book.

Most people know what a catch is when they see one.

Hopefully the NFL will, too, starting in 2018.


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