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Steelers vs. Packers: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 6:35pm

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2018 preseason is here with the Steelers and Packers locking horns in Week 2. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the second time in 2018 as they prepare to face off against the Green Bay Packers in Week 2 of the preseason.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 90-man roster and jersey numbers preseason Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 4:54pm

Our updated 2018 roster list includes all the jersey numbers allocated to players for the Steelers second preseason game of the year against the Green Bay Packers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will rest a number of their veteran players against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, and fans will see a lot of unfamiliar numbers on the field for the Black and Gold once again, just as they did in Philadelphia.

For anyone struggling to keep up with all of the number changes we have seen among the returning players in the secondary, our updated roster list should help in identifying who’s who on gameday. Joe Haden, Sean Davis and Mike Hilton will all have a different look in 2018 after adopting new numbers this offseason.

Not every jersey number is exclusive to just one player and there a handful of names who will be carrying the same number on offense and defense. Running back James Conner and defensive back Jamar Summers will both wear number 30, while Parker Cothern and Larson Graham will be both wearing number 61 for example.

Simon Chester Pittsburgh Steelers 90-man preseason roster Week 2

Before you rush out to buy the jersey of your favorite undrafted rookie free agent, you might want to wait a few more weeks until the 53-man roster has been decided to see if they keep that number, let alone make the team. The final round of cuts if sure to free up a few more jerseys and it would be a surprise if there were not a few more number changes before the regular season begins.

Throwback Thursday: Christmas greetings from Green Bay

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 3:54pm

With the Steelers set to visit the Packers in Week 2 of the preseason, BTSC revisits a memorable game from the past.

As we risk our lives to acquire the proper nuclear fuel to feed BTSC’s 1981 Delorean, we find ourselves programming the time circuits for the holidays once again. It was a time when NATO began peacekeeping in Bosnia, moviegoers were enjoying the original Jumangi and the collaboration of Boyz II Men and Mariah Carey was in its’ record-breaking number one streak with One Sweet Day.

Welcome to December 24, 1995.

Meanwhile, on the professional gridiron, the Pittsburgh Steelers were enjoying an 8-game winning streak and had already clinched the AFC Central. However, the final week of the regular season had them still in a battle for home-field advantage in the AFC with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Steelers were set to visit legendary Lambeau Field and square-off with the Green Bay Packers. The Green-and-gold featured Head Coach Mike Holmgren, the eventual MVP in Brett Favre and a stifling defense that was home to Reggie White and Sean Jones. It had been 23 years since Green Bay had a division winner and they needed a win to clinch.

The Steelers, operating without their top-two running backs, Erric Pegram (rib injury) and Bam Morris (hamstring pull) had Fred McAfee starting at running back. The former Saint had only 22 carries the entire season, so penetrating the Green Bay run-defense was expected to be a tough task. But Neil O’Donnell, Yancey Thigpen and rookie phenom Kordell Stewart highlighted an offense that could score quickly without having to rely on the running game as much as it used to.

The first quarter was primarily a defensive struggle as Green Bay indeed took the running game completely away from the Steelers. The biggest action was a Steelers’ turnover-on-downs in enemy territory and an Edgar Bennett 23-yard run to end the first quarter. But the second play of the second quarter saw Bennett run nine yards up the middle for the touchdown and into the arms of the fans in the stands for the famed Lambeau Leap. It was 7-0 Packers.

After shutting the Steelers down again on the next drive, Favre and the Packers were moving the ball into Steelers’ territory. At the Pittsburgh 47, No. 4 dropped back to pass and fumbled while trying to elude a sea of white shirts. Carnell Lake, also on the blitz, recovered the ball to put the Steelers in good field position that turned into a Norm Johnson 33-yard field goal.

Then, the Steelers started having more trouble with Green Bay’s receivers, as Favre connected with Brooks and Mark Ingram on the next drive. Brett found Brooks, the Packers’ newly-minted single-season yardage champ, in the back of the end zone for 19 and he Lambeau-leapt as well. It was 14-3 in favor of the home team. But the Steelers got the ball back with less than two minutes on the clock and raced down the field to get into field-goal range. But O’Donnell and company found themselves quickly in the red zone behind three completions to Andre Hastings and two to Ernie Mills, one of which was his eighth touchdown of the year. The halftime lead was cut to four.

After the Steelers were pinned down on the 1-yard line by a Craig Hentrich punt, they went three-and-out and had to punt as well. The short kick gave Green Bay a short field. Dorsey Levens’ 23-yard run got the ball out to the nine. Then Favre, on a busted play, took off for pay-dirt and was stopped short. It looked as though he was injured on the play, but he merely took a legal shot to the gut by Greg Lloyd and threw up. Jim McMahon was set to enter, but Favre stayed in. On 3rd-and-goal, Favre capped off the 5-play drive by rolling right and completing the pass to Mark Chmura. Suddenly it was 21-10 in favor of the Packers on the frozen tundra with the 0° wind-chill.

Fred McAfee (31 yards on the drive) started to move the ball on the ground well as the Steelers worked their way towards the end zone. However, the Green Bay defense clamped down and the Steelers had to settle for a Norm Johnson field goal of 25 yards. But after a Kevin Greene plaster-sack of Favre led to McMahon’s entrance, Green Bay countered with a 47-yarder from Chris Jacke to make the score 24-13 with 13:26 left in the game.

On the next drive, Ron Ehrhardt’s offense was even more focused and drove into Packer real estate again via O’Donnell completions to Stewart (2), Thigpen (2) and Hastings (1). On the eighth play of the drive, rarely used Tim Lester burst in from the right side for the TD. However Kordell ran into a wall on the option and was forced to pass on the two-point try. It fell incomplete to Jonathan Hayes and the score was Green Bay 24 and the visiting Steelers 19.

Green Bay tried to put the game away on the next series, but the Blitzburgh Defense wouldn’t allow it and forced a punt from the Steelers’ 40. Starting on the 20 with 5:27 remaining in the contest, Bill Cowher’s club drained all but eleven seconds from the clock with a 19-play drive that included two conversions of fourth and inches. On the 19th play, the Steelers were facing a 4th-and-goal from the GB six. Holmgren’s team was being thoroughly dominated on the drive and was looking for a Christmas miracle. It didn’t appear as they’d get one as Thigpen found himself all alone in the left corner of the end zone. O’Donnell launched a perfect pass to the Pro Bowler that fell right into his hands...and then inexplicably bounced off of his knee. Thigpen ripped off his helmet in disgust, but restrained himself from spiking it. The Steelers’ win streak was over as frozen fans wearing foam cheese on their heads rejoiced in the holy Wisconsin night.

The Steelers wouldn’t have gotten home-field advantage with the win. Kansas City demolished Seattle to wrap that up, but Pittsburgh still earned the bye-week. Cowher and Company still really wanted the win. But the loss against the eventual NFC runner-up still elevated the Black-and-gold. It motivated them as they’d go on to reach their first Super Bowl in 16 seasons.

As for me, I was back home for my first Christmas in Johnstown since moving away. After the loss, I celebrated Christmas Eve with my family and all anybody wanted to talk about was how valiantly the Steelers played in the loss. I remember my Great-Aunt Theresa breaking down the play to Thigpen. She was in her late-60s, but I was impressed. Even today, at her advanced age, she knows her team. I remember raising my glass for the toast during our traditional Italian meal of the seven fishes. I remember giving thanks for being back home with my beloved family and friends at the table, and I capped it off with giving thanks to the Steelers for what would continue to be (despite the future Super Bowl loss) a special year.

5 players to watch in Steelers vs. Packers Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 2:16pm

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be on the gridiron Thursday night, and time to narrow the focus on 5 players to keep a close eye on when they play the Packers.

Football is back, sort of, and although the upcoming Pittsburgh Steelers vs Green Bay Packers game in Week 2 of the 2018 preseason is technically meaningless, it doesn’t mean there aren’t specific players fans are excited to see.

While Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown and other starters will be taking a night off and will enjoy being spectators, there are plenty of players fans should be excited to watch on the field.

Maybe you haven’t kept good tabs on the Steelers this offseason? Don’t know who you should be watching? Here are 5 players to keep an eye on during tonight’s preseason fracas.

1. Bud Dupree — OLB

Dupree missed Week 1 with a concussion, and after the switch from left outside linebacker to right outside linebacker, fans want to see something flash from the former 1st round draft pick. Dupree, who had his 5th year option picked up by the Steelers this offseason, is in a very critical season for his NFL future. Show up and play big, be rewarded by the team that drafted you. Keep up the usual lack of production and prepare to hit the free agent market sooner than later. This game is Step No. 1 for Dupree to make a new name for himself.

2. Terrell Edmunds — Safety

Fans didn’t get to see much of Edmunds in Week 1, because the starting defense didn’t play a great deal in the preseason opener, but the hope is Edmunds will see more playing time in Week 2. He will have his hands full as the Steelers defense will face Aaron Rodgers for at least part of the first quarter...talk about trial by fire. With Sean Davis nursing a groin injury, there is a chance Edmunds makes the start at Strong Safety.

3. Damoun Patterson — WR

Was Week 1 a flash in the pan? Or is this what we can expect from the former Youngstown State wide receiver? Patterson could, and probably should, be given more than enough opportunities to showcase his talent and prove last week wasn’t a fluke. The reality of the situation is to keep an eye on Patterson when special teams are on the field. It will be in this area where Patterson can truly make a name for himself.

4. Mason Rudolph — QB

Rudolph looked good in his first NFL action last week, but that was in the second half of a Week 1 preseason game. While Mike Tomlin hasn’t stated who will start for the Steelers in Week 2, between Rudolph and Joshua Dobbs, Rudolph hopefully gets a shot at going against stiffer competition. Fans should also remember while Rudolph could be going against a better defense, he will also have a better supporting cast around him on offense as well. All fans want to see is the progression continue with their young rookie quarterback.

5. Keion Adams — OLB

The need for depth at outside linebacker could start and end with Keion Adams. Anthony Chickillo has cemented himself as the first off the bench at the position, but if Adams is trying to keep the team from looking elsewhere for pass rush help, he needs to show up in a big way. Adams, in his first NFL action last week, showed some promise, but will need to continue to play well to ease fans’ minds regarding the depth at the outside linebacker position.

Other players to keep an eye on:

James Washington — WR
Chukwuma Okorafor — OT
Cameron Sutton — CB
James Conner — RB
Joshua Dobbs — QB
Ola Adeniyi — OLB

Former Steelers safety Robert Golden back on the open market after asking for his release from Chiefs

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 12:52pm

After six years in Pittsburgh, it would seem that Robert Golden did not enjoy spending less than six months with the Chiefs quite so much

After spending his first six seasons in the NFL with the Pittsburgh Steelers, it was something of a surprise to see safety Robert Golden released by the team back in March. Signed by the Kansas City Chiefs during free agency, Golden was one of four defensive back the Steelers released this offseason and the first of that group to find a new home.

However, in light of an announcement Golden made via social media on Wednesday, it would appear it might not have been the right home for him after all.

I am no longer a Kansas City Chief. Although I appreciate the opportunity that organization gave me, the fit was not ideal for me. Look forward to being in a better situation here in the near future!

— Robert Golden (@R0bG0lden) August 16, 2018

Life is too short to not be happy... so I made a decision for betterment... However, I am thankful for the opportunity.

Blessings!

— Robert Golden (@R0bG0lden) August 16, 2018

His tweet clearly suggests he was not enjoying life with the Chiefs and a post from NFL reporter Ian Rapoport later in the day confirmed it was the player’s decision to leave, rather than the team wanting to get rid of him. Rapoport also provide a little more detail about why the former Steelers’ safety wanted out of Kansas City, as per Golden’s agent.

The #Chiefs have released veteran S Robert Golden at his request, his agent Jordan Woy told me, saying Golden didn’t feel like he was getting the opportunity to contribute the way he wanted to. “He’s hoping to catch on with another team soon,” Woy said.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 16, 2018

Given Golden was only able to secure a 1-year deal with the Chiefs that paid him the veteran minimum and did not include a signing bonus, it seems unlikely he will find a host of suitors now he is a free agent once again.

Steeler Nation should not discount a reunion with the Steelers given his past performance as the special teams captain in Pittsburgh, but considering the number of young safeties on the roster that includes two recent draft picks, it is doubtful they would be interested at the moment. Should he remain on the open market after the season has begun, Golden could be a logical signing should the Steelers lose a safety to injury.

Film Room: Ola Adeniyi leaves question marks heading into Week 2 vs. the Packers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 11:44am

The Pittsburgh Steelers saw some production in preseason Week 1 from a No. 92 not named James Harrison, but can Ola Adeniyi step up in Week 2? We break it down in the Film Room.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans were treated to a familiar site during the first preseason game — No. 92 roaring off the edge and disrupting another NFL team’s offense. This was not James Harrison playing in the second half but instead, it was Olasunkanmi Adeniyi (Pronounced “OH-la-suhn-KAHN-mee | ah-DAY-nee”).

Adeniyi declared early for the NFL draft in 2018. The former red-shirt junior has been viewed as a project that can latch onto Pittsburgh’s 53 man roster due to the questionable depth at the outside linebacker position. The former Toledo Rocket will not make Steeler fans forget Harrison anytime soon, but he did not embarrass himself in his first professional outing. Adeniyi racked up two tackles, a strip sack and subsequent forced fumble.

There is a caveat to his performance. The left tackle Adeniyi was facing was taking part in his first NFL game. This is not unusual during the first game of the preseason, but what is unusual is that the 6-feet 8-inch 346-pound behemoth across the line was playing in his first ever American football game. Jordan Mailata experience as a rugby player with the South Sydney Rabbitohs earned himself a seventh-round selection by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Steeler fans came away impressed by what they saw from Adeniyi, but should the production have had an asterisk, or been more productive against a player who has struggled in training camp and never played American football?

(Please bear with me with the video editing — it is a work in progress and I am still learning my program.)

Three clips that show Adeniyi’s potential and ability to make the 53-man roster.

Clip 1: While Adeniyi does not get a clean hit on the quarterback he had the presence to swat the ball out of the QBs hand and was rewarded with the turnover. His bend around the quarterback is not ideal but knocking the ball out is.

Clip 2: The second clip shows Adeniyi’s ability to set the edge and force the run inside.

Clip 3: Adeniyi’s power and technique almost allow him to split the double team. This causes the quarterback to get happy feet and hit his safety valve.

Three clips that could keep Adeniyi off the 53-man roster.

Clip 1: Adeniyi is disruptive during the play, but he should have been able to shed the tight end who he was engaged with. The tight end is Joshua Perkins who weighs in at 225 and is not known for his blocking ability while being in Philadelphia’s camp as a camp body.

Clip 2: During the third clip, fans were on the edge of their seats as Adeniya came in untouched and was poised to bring Wendell Smallwood down with a massive loss. This was not the case as the 208 pound Smallwood used a lethal stiff arm to stymie the 248-pound Adeniyi. The stiff arm did not seem to be that good and would cause Adeniyi to lose his balance and go sprawling to the turf.

Clip 3: Penalties draw the ire of coaches no matter of the score and turning a fourth and seven into fourth and two is unacceptable.

The last clip was tough to categorize. Adeniyi starts off showing his technique and power by tossing Mailata aside and starts his pursuit of the quarterback. Just like one of the clips above Adeniyi whiffs on him due to the lack of lateral movement.

The level of productivity compared to the level of competition is a tad concerning but not overwhelming. Adeniyi is far from a polished product and should not be viewed as one. He is raw, but talented, and is still learning the finer points of the NFL. While the Green Bay Packers have not released their inactives for the Thursday night tilt, Steeler fans hope that Adeniyi will face Kyle Murphy who had starts at left tackle last season. Going up against him will be a better test for Adeniyi than their third-string left tackle, Adam Pankey. Pankey spent the 2017 season holding down a spot on the Packers practice squad.

Will Adeniyi shine against the Packers? Or will he wilt against stiffer competition? What are his odds of making the 2018 53-man roster?

Bold and bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Green Bay

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 9:56am

BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts tonight’s preseason tilt with the Green Bay Packers

It’s Week 2 of the Steelers’ Preseason and Mike Tomlin’s charges are looking to improve on last week’s exhibition win in Philly. Steelers Nation will be looking to see if Ola Adeniyi and Damoun Patterson continue to shine, whether one of the two dressed QBs pulls away from the other, and if Terrell Edmunds makes his first true impact for the Steelers in a game situation.

With all of these questions and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic and some utterly idiotic) to look for in tonight’s contest.

  • James Conner will run well again. His performance will lead to fans calling for the Steelers to cut Le’Veon Bell, despite the fact that No. 30 isn’t the pass blocker, or receiver, Bell is.
  • Bell will record and drop a rap single during halftime stating that Conner isn’t the pass blocker or receiver he is.
  • In his first game back since an injury derailed his 2017 season, Aaron Rodgers will shred the Steelers over-the-middle to further worry Steelers Nation.
  • Somewhere in the world, NaVorro Bowman looks at his phone and wonders aloud why Kevin Colbert still hasn’t called him.
  • Coty Sensabaugh picks off a pass for the second consecutive week. This serves notice that the Steelers’ corners could be stronger than in the past couple of years.
  • Rookie QB Mason Rudolph improves on his debut outing and throws his first two TD passes of the preseason.
  • Rudolph brings a tire gauge out onto the field to prove the footballs are properly inflated.
  • Antonio Brown announces a boycott of the press and then proceeds to talk to the press about his boycott for another ten minutes.
  • OLB Keion Adams and WR Marcus Tucker have solid games to join Ola Adeniyi and Damoun Patterson as the Preseason Phenoms.
  • Ben Roethlisberger’s inclusion in the Concussion Protocol is mentioned at least five times during the broadcast.
  • Gigantic defenseman Daniel McCullers scores on a fumble recovery, goes into the stands for his version of the Lambeau Leap, and is disappointed to learn there isn’t a real block of cheese resting on a fan’s head.
  • James Washington reaches the end zone for the first time.
  • The Steelers win in Lambeau by the tune of 29-27.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

3 Steelers who need to step up vs. Green Bay in Preseason Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 8:46am

Some players need to show they’ve improved or that one week wasn’t just a fluke. Who needs to step up?

The Pittsburgh Steelers enter this season with it likely being the last hurrah for Le’Veon Bell and perhaps the last year of that proverbial Super Bowl window everyone likes to talk about. When you break down this roster, it’s very possible it could be the most talented one in the NFL, or at least one of the most talented.

When we look at what can take this team over the top, the obvious picks are its top players, but the progression of still-developing players is a whole different deal. Thus, this second preseason game is an opportunity for returning players or rookies, to show they can have a big immediate impact on the team.

Here are three players who must step up Thursday night.

Bud Dupree

There might not be any player that needs to show more on Thursday than Bud Dupree. Returning from a concussion suffered during training camp, Dupree enters a year where he must make strides as a pass rusher if he’s to live up to his first-round pedigree.

The question remains whether Dupree will ever be anything more than an average player. Good in coverage and a modest run-defender, Dupree has impacts in games, but cannot pass rush for the life of him. In fact, it’s questionable whether Dupree is even in the right scheme. While he does have the athletic presence to be a pass-rusher, Dupree doesn’t have any of the marquee check marks to be a true presence in the league at EDGE. There’s no effective hand usage, no bend, and he seems unable to convert his athletic ability into power. Honestly, how many times have you seen Dupree turn the corner? Hardly ever. Most of his sacks come off of missed blocks by the opposing team. With the skill set Dupree has, he very well might be better suited as a 4-3 ILB.

But Dupree has to show he’s finally ready to have an impact in the pass rush. He was drafted to generate pressure and has yet to show he can do so. His counterpart T.J. Watt was already more productive than Dupree was a season ago, and Watt wasn’t even overly productive in his own right. So, it would be nice to see some pass rush from Dupree, as well as some progression in his overall game.

Tyler Matakevich

Matakevich had one the roughest games against the Eagles, and he has to show he’s part of the solution, not the problem. He had a nice forced fumble, but his instincts and quickness showed how limited he was. Therefore, his play needs to be more disciplined against the Packers.

I could put this tag under any ILB not named Vince Williams, because they all need to step up as well, but given Matakevich’s performance against the Eagles, he’s in a position now where he needs to show why he even merits a backup role. He was the worst-performing ILB in the game as a whole. L.J. Fort and Matthew Thomas had better games and very well might push Matakevich into the role of strictly a special-teams ace.

So, we need to see Matakevich not only make the plays necessary in run defense, but also show some semblance of coverage instincts in his game. No one outside of Fort really showed much in coverage against the Eagles, and even he had some head-scratching moments. If Matakevich wants to show why he should earn snaps over anyone, he has to step up and have a much better game. But that doesn’t seem too likely based on past performances.

Anthony Chickillo

Again, with the weakest of the crowd, Anthony Chickillo had a mediocre performance against the Philadelphia Eagles. Granted, he was facing Jason Peters, but in run-defense he still looked slow in space and undisciplined, often getting washed away in plays and allowing the edge to break wide open. In that respect, Ola Adeniyi and Keion Adams both had better games.

Chickillo was modest in coverage, as were Adams and Adeniyi, so there’s not much to expect from any of them. If Chickillo has a repeat performance in coverage, but a much better performance in run-defense and also applies some pressure in the pass rush, he’ll bolster his stock on the team as a whole.

Chickillo has to show he can at least be the best backup on the team, as both Adeniyi and Adams had good showings against the Eagles. We likely will see Bud Dupree and Chickillo as the first-string OLBs this week, so it’ll be imperative for both to perform at a high level. Adeniyi and Adams will likely get some first- and second-team reps as well. If Adams and Adeniyi continue to outperform Chickillo, Chickillo could see himself fall down the depth chart and not have much of an impact at all this season.

Ben Roethlisberger travels with Steelers to Green Bay, reportedly ‘okay’

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 7:20am

Good news for the Steelers’ franchise quarterback.

The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t need to see Ben Roethlisberger on the field anytime soon. After all, the 15-year veteran doesn’t need to play in Weeks 1, 2, 3 or even 4 of the preseason if he didn’t feel the need to, but when Roethlisberger went down at practice Tuesday and entered the NFL’s concussion protocol — fans were concerned.

Not just concerned for the quarterback’s ability to play, but concerned for the man who has had his share of head injuries throughout his career.

While the Steelers, rightfully so, have been quiet on Roethlisberger’s overall status, there was some good news which hit Twitter late Wednesday night. KDKA’s Bob Pompeani had footage of Roethlisberger entering the team’s hotel lobby with head coach Mike Tomlin, and The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly said a source told him Roethlisberger was ‘OK’.

RT @KDPomp: Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger arrive in Green Bay. #Steelers at #Packers Thursday on @KDKA Coverage begins at 7:30 pic.twitter.com/kJQkqFE3el

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 16, 2018

Was told Ben Roethlisberger is “OK.” He made flight to Green Bay with team according to @KDPomp furthering the notion that he’s indeed “OK.” Likely doctors wouldn’t have let him fly if he was having concussion symptoms. All around good news for Steelers. @TheAthleticPGH

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 15, 2018

As stated by Kaboly, it’s highly unlikely Roethlisberger would be permitted to fly with the team if he were experiencing concussion symptoms of any kind. While this is speculation, the protocol for the NFL and all the way down to high school football, is very clear when it comes to recovery from concussions.

The fact remains that Roethlisberger, though being evaluated for a concussion, might have been evaluated and deemed not to have suffered any brain trauma. Either way, it’s good to see Roethlisberger with the team. The hope is he’ll be more than healthy when the team hosts the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field in the Week-3 preseason game — the next-to-last dress-rehearsal and opportunity to knock off rust before the games really start to count in September.

Six Steelers’ Slobberknockers: A half-dozen questions for BTSC fans to discuss on game day

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 6:50am

The Pittsburgh Steelers are prepped and ready to play the Green Bay Packers. We have some big questions which need answered before kickoff.

What the heck is a “slobberknocker?” In football terms, it’s s a hit that, well, knocks the slobber right out of the other player’s mouth. I’ll be posing six hard-hitting questions to BTSC fans every game-day morning during the 2018 preseason and regular season.

These questions won’t be the same old dull and droll questions rolled out every game day by the networks or cable channels. Let Terry Bradshaw or Kurt Warner bore the average NFL fan by asking questions about the windy conditions the quarterbacks will face — won’t happen here (we already know wind influences the trajectory of a football).

The questions will be directed towards the knowledgeable fans here at BTSC. Fans who are considered not to be average NFL fans or Pittsburgh Steelers fans — but a cut above.

Q1: Will a player play so poorly in tonight’s game that he is cut tomorrow? Who is the most likely candidate? Should this even be a consideration?

Q2: Which player who didn’t shine last week do you believe will be a bright spot in the game tonight?

Q3: Do you want to see more creativity out of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s offense tonight or would you rather wait until the regular season, so as not to tip his hand?

Q4: If Tyler Matakevich has a better game tonight, will that alleviate your concerns about him and the Steelers’ inside linebacker depth? If he performs poorly again what should the next move be for Pittsburgh?

Q5: If Damoun Patterson face-plants tonight will you chalk it up to one bad game or start to view last week’s performance as a fluke?

Q6: Who is the one offensive and one defensive player you’d like to see more of tonight?

Steelers fans will be glued to their TV from kickoff until the final whistle, scrutinizing everyone from starters to camp-fodder players. While fans don’t put a great amount of stock in preseason games, they still want to see how players perform compared to the chatter coming out of training camp. Hopefully, the players we see early in the game at Lambeau Field will showcase the talent which made them Pittsburgh Steelers in the first place.

Will these players live up to their offseason hype, or will they flounder under the bright lights of the NFL? Only time will tell.

Steelers vs. Packers Preseason Week 2: Time, TV Schedule and game information

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 6:31am

All the information you need to know to keep up with the action from the Steelers’ second preseason game of the year against the Green Bay Packers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will face the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field in their second preseason game of the year on Thursday night, and we have all the information you need to know to follow the action.

As an inter-conference opponent, the two teams traditionally only play once every four years and the two have faced each other just 35 times dating back to 1933. The Packers currently hold a 19-16 advantage over Pittsburgh and the Steelers are 3-1 against Green Bay since Mike Tomlin took control of the team in 2007. Sadly that one loss under Tomlin was Super Bowl XLV and a game few fans are likely to have been able to forget quite yet.

Simon Chester Pittsburgh Steelers at Green Bay Packers preseason Week 2 Preseason Week 2:

Game: Pittsburgh Steelers @ Green Bay Packers

Date: Thursday August 16

Kickoff: 8.00 p.m. ET

Venue: Lambeau Field, Green Bay

Weather: Live weather update

Watch:

TV Channel: Broadcast locally on KDKA-Channel 2 with Bob Pompeani and Charlie Batch as commentators and Missi Matthews the sideline reporter. Check the national broadcast map to see if the game is on in your area.

Online: NFL.com Game Pass on delay in the US and live for international viewers or via live a subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket. The NFL Game Center will update the action on a play-by-play basis.

Radio: Steeler Nation Radio with Bill Hillgrove and Tunch Ilkin as commentators and Craig Wolfley as the sideline reporter. Broadcast live on WDVE 102.5 FM and WBGG 970 AM in the Pittsburgh area and online via Steelers.com and the Steelers Official Mobile App.

You can also follow Behind the Steel Curtain on Twitter to catch all of the highlights as they happen, and be sure to check back with us after the game for our post-match roundup.

Inactives:

The Steelers had already made the decision to sit Ben Roethlisberger before he appeared to suffer a concussion at practice on Tuesday. Cameron Heyward, Landry Jones and Antonio Brown will also be rested against the Packers, while Vance McDonald and Ramon Foster will miss the matchup due to injury. Although Pittsburgh saw several names miss practice in the run up to the game, no other players have officially been ruled out as of yet.

2018 NFL Preseason: Steelers vs. Packers Week 2 replay time and date

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 08/16/2018 - 5:38am

A majority of the fan base won’t get to watch the game live, so we’ll keep you abreast of when and where it’ll be aired for your viewing pleasure.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base is ridiculously large, and when it comes to watching the Black-and-gold on TV, no one wants to miss a minute.

While many fans, like yours truly, pony up the money for DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket to watch every regular season game from the comfort of our own home, the package doesn’t include preseason games.

The NFL Network, another channel not promised to everyone with a television and cable, promises to air every preseason game, but only a select few are aired live and in real-time. The Steelers almost always grab one of those live broadcasts, but their Week-2 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers isn’t one of them.

While the Steelers will be battling the Packers, fans who tune into the NFL Network will get to watch the Cleveland Browns battle the Buffalo Bills on Friday night.

YEAH!

Have no fear! According to the NFL Network’s preseason schedule, the Steelers and Packers game will be re-aired in its entirety on Friday, August 17th, at 2 a.m. EDT. So, set your DVRs to record so you can watch and analyze those 4th- and 5th-string performances!

What to do if you don’t want to miss the game? There are several ways you can still watch it. If you live in the Pittsburgh area, you will get to watch the game live. You can pony up the cash for the NFL Game Pass, which airs all preseason games live. Then there are those questionable, streaming sites. It’s against our community guidelines to post streaming links in the comment section below, and realize that we here at BTSC do not endorse any of these links and are not responsible for any issues due to using them.

So, how will you be watching the game?

Winners and Losers from Steelers Training Camp 2018

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 1:40pm

The Pittsburgh Steelers have wrapped up their training camp, and we evaluate players who stepped up, and disappointed, during the month-long stay at Saint Vincent College.

It seems like just yesterday the Pittsburgh Steelers were rolling, or flying, into Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA checking into their dorm rooms. All of a sudden the team has wrapped up another training camp and is headed back to Pittsburgh after Week 2 of the preseason.

At this time it seems relevant to highlight some players who stood out and upped their stock during their time away from home, and others who disappointed and/or left us with more questions than answers heading into the final weeks of August and the NFL preseason.

Here are the Winners and Losers from the Pittsburgh Steelers 2018 Training Camp:

Winners

JuJu Smith-Schuster

While known for video games and social media use almost as much his play on the field, Smith-Schuster has had a very strong training camp. Reports from Saint Vincent were Smith-Schuster is poised not just to avoid a sophomore slump, but to excel in his second year as a professional. As he looks to make fans forget about Martavis Bryant, Smith-Schuster seems to be another budding superstar in the Steel City.

Mason Rudolph

The hype surrounding this camp was almost 90-percent excitement over seeing Mason Rudolph in a black-and-gold uniform for the first time. In his first preseason game he didn’t disappoint, although the sample size is minuscule. For as slow as Rudolph started camp, he has been performing better and better each step of the way. Rudolph was as-advertised throughout training camp, and that is promising.

Damoun Patterson

Anyone see this kid coming? I sure didn’t. Patterson had been impressing viewers of camp prior to his outburst in Week 1 vs. the Eagles. When you come from Youngstown State as an Undrafted Rookie Free Agent (UDFA) and have people talking about you making the 53-man roster...you are doing some really good things.

Terrell Edmunds

When the Steelers pulled the trigger on Edmunds as their first overall draft pick many fans were left scratching their heads. Many wondered just how Edmunds would fit into the Steelers’ defensive scheme. After training camp, Edmunds has done nothing shy of show everyone why the team drafted him in the first round. The game has never been too big for him, and although he has made his mistakes, the arrow is certainly pointing up for the rookie safety from Virginia Tech.

James Washington

Speaking of rookies who have impressed, James Washington might have had the most rave reviews of the bunch. All the others, Edmunds, Rudolph and others, have had moments where they look like rookies in the NFL. If Washington has had those moments, which I’m sure he has, they weren’t talked about often. The rookie from Oklahoma State seems to be on the JuJu Smith-Schuster path. He may not start from Day 1, but look for him to be a force by season’s end.

Cameron Sutton

The hype was high with Sutton coming into his second season, and like Smith-Schuster, he hasn’t disappointed. Sutton had a strong outing in Week 1 of the preseason, and he provides more than just the William Gay role in the Pittsburgh defense, but valuable depth across the board.

Losers

Vance McDonald

Everyone was excited to see McDonald after a full season with the team, and his first training camp, but that didn’t happen. A foot injury early in camp has made him a spectator for nearly the entire time at Saint Vincent College. At a time when people always follow talk about McDonald with “If he stays healthy”, his luck has left these doubts lingering far longer than most would have thought. Now comes the time when fans wonder if he is the next Ladarius Green, or will be healthy, and stay healthy, when the regular season rolls around.

T.J. Watt

There was a lot of excitement surrounding Watt entering training camp. How will he perform in his second year? What will the switch from the right side to the left look like? Fans will have to wait to find out after Watt suffered a hamstring pull early in camp and has sat out the entire camp. Watt will likely rebound, but frustration here lingers.

Sean Davis

Davis is playing a new position, so putting him on this list wasn’t easy. However, when it comes to the basics, like tackling, Davis leaves a lot to be desired. Throw in a nagging groin injury and Davis hasn’t had the best camp of his career. Will he rebound when the games count? Fans better hope so.

Local Pittsburgh media speaks out against Antonio Brown for daring to respond to injury claims

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 12:29pm

The report about his health might not have been entirely accurate, but that hasn't stopped some local media members from calling Antonio Brown a diva and asking the team to discipline him.

While a lot of the drama that surrounds the Pittsburgh Steelers is of their own making, it would be fair to say that the press isn't averse to helping create some when it suits their purpose.

After Ed Bouchette posted a tweet about the status of Antonio Brown during practice on Monday, the Steelers wide receiver took exception to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter’s remark. With a tweet of his own in reply, that should have been the end of the matter, but it would appear that some of the local beat writers aren’t quite ready to let it go that easily.

Bro seriously have some respect you making shit up clown https://t.co/SxgHHee7KV

— Antonio Brown (@AB84) August 13, 2018

By Tuesday, it turned out Bouchette had given his response to Brown’s post during a radio segment, and one of his colleagues in the press room seemed to want AB disciplined for daring to speak out about a report both Mike Tomlin and No. 84 had denied. Radio host and TribLive reporter Mark Madden even had some choice words of his own for Brown as well, while fellow TribLive writer Tim Benz was also less than impressed.

If @AB84 is half the man he pretends to be, he should apologize to @EdBouchette . But he's not. He's a no-ring pissant &a narcissistic douchebag,

— Mark Madden (@MarkMaddenX) August 14, 2018

Appearing as a guest on 93.7 The Fan on the Cook and Poni Show, Bouchette gave his reply to Brown’s remark.

“I always thought he was a decent guy and I’m not changing my opinion on that, but he has become more of a diva over the years. I don’t think that is a secret.”

Given how many fans took exception to the perceived lack of professionalism Brown had shown in the way he addressed his complaint about Bouchette’s tweet, it seems only fair to question the wisdom of Bouchette responding the way he did live on air.

It would also be fair to wonder what Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network hoped to achieve when she questioned Mike Tomlin about his opinion on the matter and how he planned to address it with the player. At a point in the press conference when Tomlin was enjoying reminiscing about games he had been involved with at Green Bay, Kinkhabwala seized the opportunity to make things awkward.

“The longest tenured member of our group, one of the most respected members of our group, was called a clown by Antonio Brown. Have you spoken to him at all, do you have any plans to talk to him about that?”

Considering Tomlin is hardly a prolific user of social media, it was no surprise to discover it was all news to him.

“I don’t know anything about that, so I’m not in position to speculate or to comment, sorry.”

But his response didn’t seem to sit well with the NFL Network reporter.

“Okay, well if I tell you, that he publically called him it”

Cutting Kinkhabwala short, Tomlin continued.

“Then I’ll address it privately, I won't address it in this setting, I don't believe that that’s appropriate. When I don’t have a lot of details regarding it, I’m just not going to talk about whatever it is you are referring to in this setting. I’ll address it at a later time, after I get an opportunity to gather information if necessary, but I won't address it in this setting because you’re my only source, so that not appropriate from my perspective, respectfully.”

With the atmosphere in the room clearly deflated, the press conference ended, but it's hard to understand how broaching this subject in public was appropriate. If Brown should have known better than to air his complaint with Bouchette on social media, the more experienced media members were equally out of line, if not more so. A conversation that should have occurred behind closed doors was playing out for all to see.

It's unclear whether Kinkhabwala is looking for a public apology from Brown, or for the Steelers to punish him in some way, but once Tomlin knows all the facts, it's hard to imagine him saying anything of consequence to his wideout. When Brown complained that he felt persecuted by the press and didn't feel he could express himself without criticism, many struggled to understand what his problem was. Given the events of the past few days, I completely see his point.

Jalen Ramsey sounds off on NFL QBs, says Ben Roethlisberger ‘ain’t all that’

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 10:55am

The Jaguars’ All-Pro cornerback is making headlines heading into the 2018 regular season.

There is no denying the skill, talent and overall ability of Jacksonville Jaguars’ cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

The kid can flat-out play.

However, with the edge Ramsey brings to the field, also comes an edge off of it. This was on full display when Ramsey did an interview for GQ magazine and was brutally honest when talking about NFL quarterbacks — including Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

When Ramsey was asked about specific quarterbacks, he gave his honest opinion. Here is what he said about Roethlisberger:

Big Ben [Roethlisberger], I think he’s decent at best… It’s not Big Ben, it’s [Antonio Brown]. Big Ben slings the ball a lot of the time. He just slings it, and his receivers go get it. He has a strong arm, but he ain’t all that. I played him twice last year, and he really disappointed me. He’ll be in the Hall of Fame and all that.

Ramsey played Roethlisberger twice last season, and intercepted him once when Roethlisberger was hurried to throw after a blown blitz pick-up by James Conner and the early pass intended for Vance McDonald ended up in Ramsey’s hands.

While Ramsey is certainly entitled to his opinion, these quotes will do nothing but fan the flame which still lingers between the Jaguars and Steelers. Roethlisberger has always been a player who thrives on being told he isn’t good enough, or how he can’t play at an elite level. When these two AFC contenders meet up in Jacksonville this November, don’t think Roethlisberger won’t remember Ramsey’s comments, and want to prove him wrong in every way.

Roethlisberger wasn’t the only quarterback Ramsey discredited. Here is just a snap shot of what he said about other signal callers in the NFL:

On Jared Goff:

Jared Goff, he’s average to above average. He reminds me of Jimmy Garoppolo a little bit. Year one, he wasn’t good. He wasn’t even good enough to earn his own starting role. Like, if you the number one pick, you expected to start now. Period. He wasn’t ready to do that. He wasn’t able to do that. Then when he did get in, he didn’t really do that good. But in his second year, they got a new offensive coordinator. Your offensive coordinator is just your brainiac. When we played them, it felt like his offensive coordinator was drawing up perfect plays and then he was hitting the open man. For what his team ask him to do, yeah, he’s good.

On Andrew Luck:

Andrew Luck—I don’t really think he’s that good. Him and T.Y. [Hilton] had a connection in the past that made him stand out a little bit more, but I don’t think he’s good.

On Matt Ryan:

I think Matt Ryan’s overrated. You can’t tell me you win MVP two years ago, and then last year, you a complete bust, and you still got Julio Jones? There’s no way that should ever happen. I don’t care. You know what that tells me? That tells me [Offensive Coordinator Kyle] Shanahan left, went to San Francisco, got Garoppolo, made Garoppolo this big thing. And now Garoppolo is a big name—and now [Matt Ryan] has this bad year? Alright, well, was it really you, or was it your coach? He was doing what was asked of him and it was making him look really, really good.

These are just a few of the raw comments made by arguably the best cornerback in the game today. But what he feels about other quarterbacks is irrelevant to the readers here at this website. With that said, what are your thoughts on Ramsey’s comments? Do you feel he is more accurate than off-base? Or is he spot-on with his NFL QB analysis?

Let us know in the comment section below!

L.J. Fort and Matthew Thomas deserve a legitimate shot at Steelers’ ILB vacancy

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 9:45am

Tyler Matakevich was unimpressive, and now the other ILBs should been given a shot.

As soon as Ryan Shazier got injured, it was obvious that the Steelers’ inside linebacker situation was dire. Yet, it wasn't expected to remain this way when the 2018 season rolled around.

I'm not even sure I can blame Kevin Colbert all that much. He tried to trade up for Rashaan Evans and failed to do so. They didn't like anyone much after that, even though there probably was still quality talent available. Maybe they could have made a run at Avery Williamson or Mychal Kendricks, but then again, they wouldn't have been able to afford either of them.

The Steelers then faced the Eagles on Thursday in Week 1 of the preseason, and fans saw just how bad the ILB situation actually is in Pittsburgh. Vince Williams is who we know him to be -- a good run-stopping ILB who struggles heavily in coverage. Jon Bostic and Tyler Matakevich both struggled, and although Bostic looked much better, he still didn't look very good.

But L.J. Fort and Matthew Thomas both had decent games. Fort recorded a tackle for a loss and showed his ability to cover adequately. Thomas got lots of reps at EDGE, but during those reps, he showed he has discipline to his gap, lateral quickness, and the ability to fight through traffic.

Both of them have something in common — they are athletic playmakers. That's something this defense needs desperately in the middle of the field. Vince Williams isn't that, and neither Bostic nor Matakevich fit that mold.

The only other way to solve this would be to go sign Navorro Bowman or move Terrell Edmunds to ILB. Edmunds would get bullied and washed out of plays since he's simply not big enough to fight through traffic, and Bowman is injury-prone.

To recap the preseason performances of both Bostic and Matakevich, they both had less than starter-level games. For Bostic, the real tell-all would be the huge gain Jay Ajayi got due to four missed tackles for the Steelers' run-defense.

This play is just a mess. The DL gets absolutely pushed out of the play, Chickillo then decides to leave the gap open and gets washed into the play. Bostic, Burnett, and Burns whiff on the tackle. Good angle by Haden at least. This is what killed them last season. pic.twitter.com/RVP7r7clVE

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 14, 2018

(Good angle by Sean Davis, not Joe Haden. The new numbers strike.)

Bostic wasn't the direct cause for this play breaking open. Morgan Burnett has to come down harder into the gap and fill it so Ajayi cannot do exactly what he does on this play. Yet, Bostic had the discipline to read the cutback and make a play, but he missed the tackle. He didn't do this often last season, but it's not an encouraging sign to see that here in the first preseason game.

Bostic did rebound to make some nice plays in the backfield, blowing up two runs that were counters and traps respectively. This at least shows a high football IQ of recognizing the play and weaving through the crowd to blow up plays. However, he was putrid in coverage. He looked lost and gave receivers far too much room in zone. Matakevich and Bostic both were big reasons Dallas Goedert had a big impact. Giving up so much room, they allowed Sudfeld and Goedert to play pitch and catch.

Matakevich was the worse of the two offenders, though. He showed a lack of athleticism and looked extremely slow in space. That's not only in coverage, but in one-on-one tackling scenarios. Corey Clement and Nate Sudfeld made him look silly.

Matakevich really did not play well. In space he is not disciplined and does not move well even in the 1v1 scenarios to get enough merit here. He gets juked out a few times this game, but man this play just show how much of an issue his lateral quickness in space is. pic.twitter.com/HYmB1G5Xvo

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 14, 2018

He displays a complete lack of lateral quickness here and chops his feet in hesitation (which Bostic did on the Ajayi run too). Props to Javon Hargrave for forcing the cutback but Matakevich doesn't the fill the back end and leave his hips open, which allows Clement to juke straight past him for a sizable gain.

And then this is just not only a bad angle. but also a terrible lack of any agility from Matakevich. Sudfeld is not much of an athlete, but Matakevich gets thrown out of his shoes and gives up the easy sack. pic.twitter.com/5hXCo3ctwG

— Nick Farabaugh (@FarabaughFB) August 14, 2018

For one, Matakevich takes such a sharp angle and is so slow in getting around the corner that he allows Sudfeld to just sidestep by him and bully him for a touchdown. However, Bostic looks lost in coverage. If you look at where he is, he just looks lost and is nowhere to be found. It's as if he lost Goedert, when Bostic should have been in that zone, he was lost instead.

After seeing three ILBs that aren't playmakers and shoddy in coverage, the Steelers need to look to their athletic backups. It's no secret that Fort was much better than Sean Spence ever was last season, and yet they never played. Fort has already shown his playmaking ability in camp, and he has made a few interceptions to boot.

Thomas is an athletic monster who seems to have improved his once subpar instincts. As long as he stays away from off-the-field issues, Thomas likely has a good shot at the 53-man roster.

Against the Packers this upcoming Thursday, Fort and Thomas deserve much longer looks against higher level competition than they did in the first preseason game. Maybe Bostic and Matakevich aren't the answers, and it's a worthwhile investment to see if Fort or Thomas can be that guy.

As of now, this really seems like their best option to deal with the ILB fiasco.

Training Camp Recap: Mason Rudolph and young talent highlight final day of training camp

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 8:12am

The Steelers were back on the gridiron at training camp, and we’ve got the recap for you!

The Pittsburgh Steelers pressed on towards the end of their 2018 Training Camp on Tuesday but, due to stormy weather, had to move the practice from St. Vincent College to nearby Latrobe High School. Wednesday practice will be closed to the public — the final practice before the team heads to Green Bay to play the Packers on Thursday night. Then, after the preseason game in Wisconsin, the Steelers return to their homes in Pittsburgh, leaving behind dorm life for another calendar year.

Nevertheless, a lot still took place at Tuesday’s practice. Ben Roethlisberger left practice early after taking a spill and banging his head on the turf. This occurred immediately after No. 7 orchestrated a phenomenal 7 shots series, and concerns suddenly shifted to the Pro Bowl quarterback’s health.

But there was still football to be played, and Roethlisberger’s understudies stood out on the final day of the 2018 Training Camp. As rough as camp started for rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph, he certainly ended it on a high note. While running the starting offense in the 2-minute drill, Rudolph moved the team down the field with ease to score a touchdown.

Mason Rudolph pretty impressive in two-minute drill. Starting from around midfield with the first-team offense, Rudolph went 6-of-7 with a bullet touchdown over the middle to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Scored with plenty of time to spare.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 14, 2018

Speaking of JuJu Smith-Schuster, he and James Washington have gotten nothing but rave reviews during this camp for their overall ability and what they bring to the team on a daily basis. It shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone that Smith-Schuster was the player to cap off the 2-minute drill with a touchdown.

While Rudolph was impressive, Joshua Dobbs also showed up well when he got his turn running the 2-minute offense.

Josh Dobbs was solid, too. Missed a few throws but took the offense downfield for the score with several nice completions.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 14, 2018

The Steelers will get a close look at both Rudolph and Dobbs under game conditions on Thursday when the team travels to play the Green Bay Packers. How they perform individually, particularly Dobbs, will dictate how the team fields its wealth of quarterbacks once the regular season starts.

So — just like that — the Steelers training camp has wrapped up. They’ll have a private walk-through on Wednesday before hopping on a plane and heading for Wisconsin. When they return, players will be glad to be sleeping in their own beds back in 412 area code until the season ends . . . . hopefully sometime in February.

VIDEOS

The crew’s all here for #SteelersCamp‼️ pic.twitter.com/XIuIuIQaLu

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 14, 2018 PHOTOS

And so ends 2018 training camp for the Pittsburgh Steelers

See you on the South Side pic.twitter.com/MryZRAu9Ja

— Chris Adamski (@C_AdamskiTrib) August 14, 2018

Training camp OVER pic.twitter.com/LmWn4TwyMY

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 14, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger leaves practice after going down during afternoon workouts Tuesday at Latrobe Memorial Stadium in Latrobe. #Steelernation pic.twitter.com/qoGeYXeDNk

— Peter Diana (@peterdianapghpg) August 14, 2018

Steelers Injury Report: Multiple players set to miss Week 2 Preseason game vs. Packers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 6:48am

Injury concerns will keep a number of names on the sidelines in Green Bay on Thursday, and the absences of these veterans will create opportunities for many of the younger players.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have seen several players sustain nagging injuries during the past few weeks, and it would appear that only a handful of them have been cleared to suit up against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night. With a number of other veterans set to have the night off as well, there will be plenty of opportunities for the younger players on the roster to see some snaps during the Steelers’ second preseason game.

Speaking to the media earlier in the day on Tuesday, Mike Tomlin confirmed he would be resting Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Cameron Heyward and Landry Jones, and he highlighted the injured players who had already been ruled out in Ramon Foster (knee) and Vance McDonald (foot).

For a whole host of other players who spent time on the sidelines recently, Tomlin suggested the door remained open for their possible involvement. This group would include players like T.J. Watt (hamstring), Sean Davis (groin), Xavier Grimble (thumb), Marcus Allen, James Conner (groin), Stevan Ridley and B.J. Finney (quad). While he was short on information about the health of most of those injured, he did at least have some good news to share about Bud Dupree, as reported by Bob Labriola of Steelers.com.

“We’ve had a number of guys dealing with injury. The number of guys who can be characterized as week-to-week won’t play. Vance McDonald, Ramon Foster, guys like them. The guys who are dealing more with day-to-day injuries, the guys who have missed partial work, or maybe a day or two here and there, we’ll leave the light on for those guys with the hope they’re participants. Bud Dupree is out of the protocol. He’s playing.”

Fans on hand for the Steelers’ last day of practice open to the public this year would have noticed a number of players back at work on Tuesday who missed time recently.

Not only is Bud Dupree back today, so is Anthony Chickillo. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 14, 2018

Stephon Tuitt back at practice today after being ill yesterday. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 14, 2018

However, there were still some notable names unable to take part in training.

Xavier Grimble and TJ Watt still out. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 14, 2018

Sean Davis and Marcus Allen still out of practice. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 14, 2018

Final open practice of Steelers camp. Stevan Ridley not practicing.

— Ray Fittipaldo (@rayfitt1) August 14, 2018

The most significant injury concern of the day centered around Ben Roethlisberger after he went down with an apparent head injury towards the end of practice, one that would ultimately require him to be evaluated for a concussion.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger holds his head after getting knocked to the turf during afternoon practice. pic.twitter.com/YOVQc6Ift9

— Peter Diana (@peterdianapghpg) August 14, 2018

Given that the plan already was to give Roethlisberger the night off at Lambeau Field, his injury will have no impact on the distribution of snaps at quarterback against the Packers. But it’s likely his participation in Week-3 preseason activities will be limited, assuming he’s been cleared by the medical staff by then.

The Steelers’ tackling woes were hardly squelched vs. the Eagles

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 08/15/2018 - 5:43am

The focus this preseason has been all about tackling better, and the Steelers left a lot to be desired in Preseason Week 1.

Pittsburgh Steelers fans have heard it repeatedly during the offseason from Mike Tomlin, Keith Butler and anyone else within the organization having any type of authority — “We need to tackle better.”

After stating the obvious, the Steelers have been going through a very physical training camp where tackling has received strong focus. One might expect, with this hyper-focus on the skill, you’d see some on-field improvement, right?

Wrong.

Check out the stats from Pro Football Focus (PFF) after Thursday’s Week-1 preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles — a game Pittsburgh won 31-14.

Last season, the #Steelers missed 146 tackles during the regular season which was worst in the NFL.

The missed tackles returned in the first preseason game of 2018. The #Steelers missed 10 tackles against the Eagles on Thursday.

— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) August 11, 2018

Not a great start and, while some of those missed tackles came from players destined to be unemployed in a few weeks, anyone who watched the game knows the starters also contributed to many of those missed tackles.

It’s early, but after fans witnessed their favorite team fold like a cheap lawn-chair on defense to finish the 2017 season, the old panic-button finger is getting sort of itchy.

This week’s preseason game against the Green Bay Packers will be an opportunity for the Steelers’ defense to put some of those concerns to rest. To be quite honest, if the Steelers were able to just do two things better in 2018, most fans would be pleasantly surprised and pleased.

Those things would be:

  • Tackle better
  • Don’t give up the big play

Thinking back to the Week-1 preseason game, the defense failed on both accounts. Ten total missed tackles and Dashaun Phillips gave up a big touchdown pass in the first half.

It’s early though — just keep telling yourself that and hope the Keith Butler-led defense starts to figure out their responsibilities and is able to put what’s being taught into good practice. After all, Pittsburgh doesn’t need the top defense in the league — they just need a defense capable of doing the mundane tasks well, like tackling, and get the ball back more often for the Steelers’ prolific offense.

Mike Tomlin confirms Ben Roethlisberger is being evaluated for a concussion

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 08/14/2018 - 5:16pm

After going down with an apparent head injury near the end of practice, the Steelers confirmed their star quarterback was being evaluated for a concussion by the team’s medical staff

On Tuesday morning, the Pittsburgh Steelers announced that Ben Roethlisberger would be given the night off against the Green Bay Packers. By Tuesday afternoon, it would appear that an injury suffered towards the end of practice would have prevent him from playing anyway, regardless of the team’s plans.

Reportedly knocked to the turf during the seven shots drill, Roethlisberger was seen clutching his head as he lay of the turf before being attended to by medical staff. At the end of the practice session, Mike Tomlin would confirm the expected news - the Steelers’ star quarterback was being evaluated for a concussion.

Coach Tomlin on #Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: “Ben Roethlisberger sustained a hit today in practice. He is being evaluated by team doctors as part of the concussion protocol.”

— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) August 14, 2018

Fews observers watching practice seem to have had a good view of the hit that injured Roethlisberger, but it appears that Marcus Gilbert was involved in the collision. Although Mason Rudolph saw some of the incident, he was not willing to name names when speaking to the media after practice. An interview aired on the NFL Network on Tuesday evening.

“He (Roethlisberger) got knocked pretty good today, obviously, I wish him the best. I think he is fine. I think they might have checked him out for concussion, maybe protocol, but I think, hopefully, he will be okay.”

Asked if Roethlisberger has run into one of his own players, Rudolph responded.

“I think someone kinda got bullrushed and kinda of a bit of a domino effect there, but I’m not sure who it was. I not going to name any names and get death warrants out.”

Marcus Gilbert said he was blocking Keion Adams while Roethlisberger was rolling out. Said Ben ran into him and that is what sent him to ground

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018

Marcus Gilbert said it was scary situation when Ben Roethlisberger went down. “That’s my guy.”

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018

Marcus Gilbert on Roethlisberger: “It happened so fast. I saw his head whip back.”

— Joe Rutter (@tribjoerutter) August 14, 2018

Ben Roethlisberger told teammate Maurkice Pouncey that “he was good, he was fine.” Marcus Gilbert was blocking and saw Roethlisberger’s head “whip back.”

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) August 14, 2018

Given that the drill was meant to be an non contact exercise while Roethlisberger was without a helmet, the blow to the head was something of a freak occurrence. According to Pro Football Talk, Roethlisberger has suffered at least three reported concussion in his professional career, the last one coming in 2015 when he self-reported concussion like symptoms during a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

As more information becomes available about the results of Roethlisberger’s medical evaluation, we will be sure to update this post.

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