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Podcast: The Steelers’ response to the Week 11 debacle will define their season

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 5:27am

Answering questions and breaking down what to expect from the Steelers after the Week 11 loss to the Browns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 5-5, and there is no hiding from such an elementary truth, but there is always hope on the horizon and it comes in the form of the winless Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12.

With there being an extra day off, Jeff Hartman and Dave Schofield took to the airwaves to answer all of your burning questions about the team leading up to the game, and we answer them to the best of our ability.

Plenty has to be deciphered here, and I lay it all out there for the listeners in the latest show...

Check out the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section below!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

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

Black and Gold Links: The other side of the Mason Rudolph, Myles Garrett fiasco

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 11/18/2019 - 4:27am
Photo by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 12 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the Cincinnati Bengals, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the next game starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how there are two sides to this Mason Rudolph/Myles Garrett fiasco.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Steelers fans know all too well about Myles Garrett’s role in the fiasco on Thursday night, but what about Mason Rudolph’s role in the entire situation?

John Steigerwald: Steelers QB Mason Rudolph shouldn’t get off so easily in Myles Garrett fight

By: John Steigerwald, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Has everybody calmed down?

Let’s try to take a nonhysterical look at what happened Thursday night in Cleveland. Myles Garrett of the Browns hit Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on his helmetless head with his own helmet.

And now Garrett is suspended indefinitely, for the rest of this season at least.

Rudolph was fined but not suspended. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended three games.

Let’s go to the video tape and see what actually happened.

There are 13 seconds left in the game, and the Browns are leading 21-7. The Steelers are on their own 17-yard line, and, for some reason, they tried to gain yardage with a pass to Trey Edmunds.

Here’s something that didn’t happen, contrary to what many — if not most people — on this side of the Pennsylvania-Ohio border would have you believe: Garrett did not take a cheap shot at Rudolph. He wrapped Rudolph up with a bear hug a split second after the ball was released to Edmunds, standing a few feet away in the backfield.

Garrett didn’t drive Rudolph into the turf. He fell and pulled Rudolph on top of him, which takes us to something else that didn’t happen.

There was no flag on the play.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Outside of the brawl at the end of the Week 11 game vs. the Browns, the NFL’s concussion policy is being tested this season.

Helmet hits in Steelers-Browns game test NFL’s concussion-reduction strategy

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin a week of preparations Monday for their next game, and they will do so with three players, including two starters, in the NFL concussion protocol.

Wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson and linebacker Ola Adeniyi were placed in the protocol after suffering concussions in the Steelers’ 21-7 loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night.

Smith-Schuster and Johnson exited after being on the receiving end of helmet-to-helmet hits by Browns defensive backs. Johnson had blood running out of his ear as he was being escorted to the medical tent after Damarious Randall’s hit that warranted an ejection for the Browns safety.

Adeniyi was hurt making a tackle on punt coverage after the first series of the game.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Get ready for plenty of fines from the NFL after Week 11.

Report: NFL to fine around 10 players for leaving bench during Thursday’s fight

By: Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk

In Friday’s announcement of suspensions for three players and fines for the Browns and Steelers related to the fight at the end of Thursday night’s game, the NFL said more fines would be coming for players who were involved in the fracas.

That group is expected to include Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph along with players from both teams who left the bench during the fight.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that around 10 players are expected to be fined this week for going onto the field. The league is still reviewing video of the incident before formally issuing the penalties.

Players who leave the bench and don’t get involved in a fight can be fined $3,507 for a first offense. Getting involved ups the fine to $7,017 for a first offense.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

from Thursday night's game ➡️ https://t.co/gfqmOVzuuq pic.twitter.com/5O3BLjHRKl

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

Who ride? #WeRide pic.twitter.com/Q3TDyF63fn

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 17, 2019

.@_TJWatt has recorded 10.5 sacks this season, which is the third most in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/LvkwDJcwqM

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 17, 2019

Terrelle Pryor wants to play for the Steelers, but should the Steelers sign him?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 8:02pm
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiving corps is decimated right now. Should Terrelle Pryor be on the team’s radar?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are id desperate need of wide receivers heading into Week 12. As of right now, here is what their depth chart looks like heading into the game vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

JuJu Smith-Schuster (In the NFL’s Concussion Protocol)
James Washington
Diontae Johnson (In the NFL’s Concussion Protocol)
Johnny Holton
Tevin Jones
Deon Cain (Just signed off the Colts’ practice squad)

If Smith-Schuster and Johnson can’t play, that isn’t a very convincing group of pass-catchers to send into a divisional game most would view as must-win to keep your playoff hopes alive.

Holton, the veteran of the group, has just one catch on the season, with Jones getting his first regular season reps vs. the Cleveland Browns in Week 11. Is there anyone on the market who might be able to help make a difference?

That is debatable, but one player is making it known he wants to come to Pittsburgh and try his hand at making an impact.

That person would be none other than Pittsburgh native, Terrelle Pryor. Check out what he said on his Instagram story:

Yep. @TerrellePryor really wants his shot with the #Steelers.

Do you approve? pic.twitter.com/g3ZEwilcCx

— DK Pittsburgh Sports (@DKPghSports) November 17, 2019

Strong words from the Ohio State product, and a tantalizing prospect of bringing him in to potentially help your team. But do the Steelers need/want him? After making the roster move Saturday it seems like a long-shot for Pryor to be signed, but would they take a flier on him boosting the position?

I consider this move a low-risk move for the Steelers. Pryor, if healthy, would be brought in on a veteran minimum deal, and if he doesn’t pan out you send him the way of Donte Moncrief. What could it hurt? In my opinion, it could only help.

Or the Steelers could continue to throw deep to Holton, only to watch the ball be dropped or overthrown. What do you think? Should the Steelers take a run at Pryor to help the team? Or should they just stick with what they have? 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 the team prepares for the Bengals in Week 12.

2019 Week 11 Late Games: Updates, news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 3:01pm
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Steelers have already played in Week 11, but we all will be watching on Sunday to see how things shake out in Week 11.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already played in Week 11, let’s not talk about it, and having all day Sunday without the Steelers certainly feels like an eternity. With the Steelers slated to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, the Steelers Nation fan base will be watching games throughout the day to see how things shake out.

Some take this day to just relax and get caught up on things outside of football, but if you are like me, you are still watching the full slate of action on Sunday.

With that said, join others like me in the open thread to talk about all of the games going on Sunday. Which game are you watching? Are you someone with NFL Sunday Ticket who has access to all games, or are you stuck watching just one or two games? Let us know, and be sure to keep tabs on all those AFC North games in the process.

As always, remember we are all here for the same reason...

GO STEELERS!

2019 Week 11 Early Games: Updates, news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 11:45am
Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Steelers have already played in Week 11, but we all will be watching on Sunday to see how things shake out in Week 11.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have already played in Week 11, let’s not talk about it, and having all day Sunday without the Steelers certainly feels like an eternity. With the Steelers slated to play the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12, the Steelers Nation fan base will be watching games throughout the day to see how things shake out.

Some take this day to just relax and get caught up on things outside of football, but if you are like me, you are still watching the full slate of action on Sunday.

With that said, join others like me in the open thread to talk about all of the games going on Sunday. Which game are you watching? Are you someone with NFL Sunday Ticket who has access to all games, or are you stuck watching just one or two games? Let us know, and be sure to keep tabs on all those AFC North games in the process.

As always, remember we are all here for the same reason...

GO STEELERS!

The NFL is preparing a proposal for a 17-game schedule, and here are the details

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 11:10am
Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The NFL wants more games, and here is what they are going to propose.

The NFL and NFLPA have been embroiled in labor talks the past few months and are determined to strike a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) before it expires at the end of this 2019-2020 league year.

In an effort to avoid the lockout they experienced in 2010, the last time they negotiated a new labor agreement, the NFL has openly said they want to add to the regular season, but this are a lot of details to this extended schedule which need to be ironed out before the NFLPA signs off on it.

Things like the bye week, the preseason schedule, where the extra game comes from and where games are played.

CBS Sports Jason La Confora gave some inside information regarding the reported proposal the league plan to offer the players are the end of the season.

The proposal includes Week 1 still beginning after Labor Day, and the Super Bowl concluding the final Sunday of February (which could be bad news for The Oscars). It would allow the NFL to have playoff games on air throughout the month of February -- critical sweeps weeks for its broadcast partners -- and would include two byes for each team.

The additional game for each club would be played out-of-market, the sources said, with a heavy emphasis on key international locales like the United Kingdom (London and Ireland, in particular), Germany, Mexico and Brazil. It also opens the possibility of a full eight-game regular season schedule of games in London – something commissioner Roger Goodell is very supportive of -- with fans there able to buy a “season ticket,” which would include at least two Jaguars games.

La Confora continues with the proposal:

The NFL has also talked internally about playing games in other cities in the U.S. which do not have pro teams, with some buzz about playing a game at Notre Dame or Alabama, as well as Hawaii and cities in Canada. It is viewed as a unique and profound way to grow the game globally and extend the reach of sales, merchandising and broadcast rights around the globe, with there only so much more room for growth within America.

The additional international games would also allow the NFL to create a new broadcast package that would be aimed toward streaming/digital without disrupting or taking away from the current packages of Monday night, Thursday night and the AFC/NFC package. Many owners believe the additional package could bring in $1 billion or more per season. (Those streaming games would also be available to in-market fans of the participating teams on over-the-air broadcasts.) Furthermore, the league proposal would support an additional wild-card playoff game in each conference, but not an additional round or weekend, which also could be spun off as an additional broadcast package.

The preseason would be truncated to two games, but there is also strong support for each team participating in one scrimmage with another NFL team that would be officiated by NFL crews and could be held at NFL stadiums. Some league sources believe those scrimmages could end up being held for free to expose the game to young fans and segments of the market who may not be able to afford regular-season tickets.

The league would expand rosters to compensate for the two additional weeks of the regular season, sources said, and also lower the accrued-seasons threshold for players to qualify for pensions. The gross revenues would clearly increase substantially, though there is always a debate over what percent of those dollars go towards players and the salary cap.

There is a lot to digest here. So, take it all in and let us know what you think of the proposal in the comment section below!

Suspension appeals from the Steelers vs. Browns brawl set to be heard Monday or Tuesday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 9:53am
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The three players who have been suspended by the NFL for their part in the melee at the end of the Thursday Night Football game will have their appeals heard early this week.

The entire football world has been enthralled with the incident which took place in the waning seconds of the Thursday Night Football game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals in Week 11.

Regardless of your feelings on the situation, three players were suspended for their involvement in the melee. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the appeals for the suspensions will be heard by Wednesday this week.

Per Schefter:

Jointly appointed officers Derrick Brooks and James Thrash are expected to hear and rule upon the appeals of the three players suspended for Thursday night’s Steelers-Browns melee no later than Wednesday morning and possibly as early as Tuesday, NFL sources told ESPN.

The appeals for the three suspended players -- Myles Garrett, Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Ogunjobi -- will be heard on Monday and Tuesday, according to sources.

For fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers, what are the chances Maurkice Pouncey will return to the team earlier than the three-game designation handed down by the league office on Friday? Schefter gives a quick glimpse into players who have appealed their rulings, and been successful.

Both Brooks and Thrash haven’t always automatically signed off on the NFL’s ruling. They have shown a willingness to be open- and fair-minded, reducing past suspensions if warranted.

• Thrash reduced then-Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict’s suspension from five games to three games in 2017.

• Brooks reduced Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan’s suspension from two games to one game in 2017.

• Brooks reduced then-Raiders receiver Michael Crabtree’s suspension from two games to one game in 2017.

• Thrash reduced then-Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib’s suspension from two games to one game in 2017.

One source told ESPN that he would not be surprised if at least one of the three suspensions announced Friday were reduced or overturned. But a lot will depend on their arguments issued early this week.

Either way, the league office will want to move on from this fiasco as soon as possible. So, when the appeals take place they will want to decided the duration of the punishments and move quickly so teams can prepare accordingly, and the helmet swinging brawl will be moved from the forefront to the rear view mirror.

For more information on this and other news surrounding the black-and-gold, stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes as the team prepares for the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12.

Fan Rooting Guide, Week 11: Who Steelers fans should root for in other games this weekend

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 8:45am
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

BTSC's guide to the other weekend games that might impact the Steelers the most.

We were all aware of the significance of winning vs. losing when the Steelers took the field Thursday Night in Cleveland. Of course, the Steelers didn’t win, but other games still have a direct impact on them. With parity ablaze in the AFC, the playoff contenders are far from being determined. However, it starts taking more and more of a shape with every passing week. Most of the time, Steelers fans know who to root for. But here’s a guide to significant matchups, and whose losses the Steelers would benefit more from this weekend. Once again, the Steelers need to win for this wish list to be viable. For those that argue that this is a fruitless exercise, then think of this as a rooting guide for the Steelers traded first-rounder to go later.

If the season ended today, the Steelers would be the sixth seed in the AFC, but there are plenty of teams to root for in other action.

Here are the current AFC playoff standings.

  1. New England Patriots 8-1 (Would win AFC East and would earn a First Round Bye)
  2. Baltimore Ravens 7-2 (Would win AFC North and earn a First Round Bye)
  3. Houston Texans 6-3 (Would earn Wild Card and host Wild Card Steelers)
  4. Kansas City Chiefs 6-4 (Would win AFC West and host Wild Card Bills)
  5. Buffalo Bills 6-3 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Kansas City)
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers 5-5 (Would earn Wild Card and travel to Houston)
  7. Oakland Raiders 5-4
  8. Indianapolis Colts 5-4
  9. Tennessee Titans 5-5
  10. Jacksonville Jaguars 4-5
  11. Los Angeles Chargers 4-6
  12. Denver Broncos 3-6
  13. Cleveland Browns 3-6
  14. Miami Dolphins 2-7
  15. New York Jets 2-7
  16. Cincinnati Bengals 0-9

(X) eliminated

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts - Sunday 1:00 PM

The Jags and Colts are both behind the Steelers now and Pittsburgh needs both of these teams to lose, but a Colts loss may be more beneficial.

Who to root for: Jacksonville Jaguars

Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins - Sunday 1:00 PM

The Bills could start struggling and the Dolphins are riding a two-game winning streak. With Buffalo at 6-3, the Steelers need to keep winning and hope for the Bills to lose.

Who to root for: Miami Dolphins

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens - Sunday 1:00 PM

Boy, I wish T.J. Watt’s brother was playing in this game. There’s no explanation needed here. Go Texans.

Who to root for: Houston Texans

New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles - Sunday 4:25 PM

This game really doesn’t matter too much to the Steelers, but for the sake of the longest of long shots...it would be good to bridge the gap between the two. However, that borders on the ridiculous.

Who to root for: Philadelphia Eagles

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders - Sunday 4:25 PM

The Raiders are right on the tail of the Steelers and their schedule is pretty soft down the stretch. In a way, it might be a good idea to root for the Raiders to overtake the Chiefs for the division. I’m torn on this.

Who to root for: Cincinnati Bengals...I think

Kansas City Chiefs at Los Angeles Chargers - Monday 8:15 PM

The Chargers could help the Steelers by beating KC. That, coupled with an Oakland win, would actually put the Chiefs out of the division lead and possibly behind the Steelers.

Who to root for: Los Angeles Chargers

Other AFC Games in Week 11:

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings - Sunday 1:00 PM

New York Jets at Washington Redskins - Sunday 1:00 PM

...

Bye Week: Tennessee Titans

NFL Odds and Predictions: Picking all the Week 11 games against the spread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 7:40am
Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

BTSC’s Jeff Hartman and Dave Schofield pick all remaining NFL games both against the spread and over/under point totals

After Week 10 of the NFL season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were looking to keep their four-game winning streak going. Unfortunately, the Steelers have already suffered a loss for Week 11 as they fell on Thursday night 21-7 to the Cleveland Browns. With the extended time available to prepare for Week 12 and the Cincinnati Bengals, there will be plenty of time to catch up on all the other action around the NFL on Sunday.

Looking around the league, there will not be a team which challenges the 1972 Miami Dolphins in 2019. The final unbeaten team fell on Monday Night Football at the Seattle Seahawks defeated the San Francisco 49ers 27-24 in overtime. The only winless teams left in the NFL is the Cincinnati Bengals as they got crushed by the Baltimore Ravens 49-13. This week, the Bengals can try to get their first win of the season in Oakland against the Raiders.

For the 2019 NFL season, both Jeff Hartman and myself will be picking every game (except Thursdays) against the spread and the over/under point totals. Please remember we are not experts on betting or any kind of sports gamblers. We are just a couple of Steelers’ fans saying who we think will come through each week.

Last week, I was horrible picking against the spread as I finished 4-7-1. As for the over/under, I fared much better at 7-5. Jeff crushed me in both categories as he was 7-4-1 against the spread and 8-4 in the over/under. Jeff has now taken the lead across the board as he is .500 or better in both categories.

So here are the picks for the 13 games this Sunday and Monday for Week 11 of the NFL season. Please feel free to list your choices in the comment section below and play along!

All selections are based off of the consensus data from oddsshark.com as of Friday night.

NFL Distribution Maps: What game will you get to see in Week 11?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 6:33am

The Steelers have already played in Week 11, so check out what game you will get to see in the comfort of your own home.

If you were like me, before I decided to sign up for the DirecTV Sunday Ticket package every week I was wondering whether I’d be able to watch my beloved Steelers in the comfort of my own home, or if I’d have to go elsewhere to watch the game.

Before there were websites devoted to this, it meant a lengthy trip on the television guide screen to see which game was scheduled to air, but now it’s just a click away.

So, since the Steelers already played in Week 11, see what games you’ll see in your local viewing area on Sunday.

For those who want to know which game they’ll see, check the map below, courtesy of 506 Sports:

CBS Early

RED: Texans at Ravens
BLUE: Broncos at Vikings
YELLOW: Bills at Dolphins
GREEN: Jaguars at Colts

CBS Late

RED: Patriots at Eagles
BLUE: Bengals at Raiders

FOX Single Game

RED: Cowboys at Lions
BLUE: Falcons at Panthers
GREEN: Jets at Redskins
ORANGE: Saints at Buccaneers
YELLOW: Cardinals at 49ers (Late)

Podcast: Have Steelers fans seen the best of Mason Rudolph?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 5:27am

Mason Rudolph had a very forgettable game in Week 11, which makes fans wonder if they’ve already seen the best of the second year QB?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been without Ben Roethlisberger since Week 2, an have turned to Mason Rudolph since Roethlisberger’s injury. Rudolph has shown flashes of brilliance, and times of sheer stupidity.

It begs the question, have we seen the best of Mason Rudolph?

This is a tough question, and one where they can be multiple responses/answers to. This is going to be the talking point in the latest podcast.

Plenty has to be deciphered here, and I lay it all out there for the listeners in the latest show...

Check out the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section below!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

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Google Play: CLICK HERE

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

Black and Gold Links: The Steelers were one of the many teams to not attend the Colin Kaepernick workout

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 11/17/2019 - 4:38am
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 12 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the Cincinnati Bengals, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the next game starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers were one of just a handful of teams who passed on sending a representative to Atlanta to watch Colin Kaepernick workout.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The NFL world has been turned upside down since Colin Kaepernick was given the chance to workout in front of scouts/coaches on Saturday. Too bad the Steelers didn’t even make the trip.

Steelers decline to attend Colin Kaepernick workout

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Pittsburgh Steelers did not have a representative scout free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s workout Saturday in Atlanta.

Eight teams attended the official workout that was switched to a high school facility an hour away.

Kaepernick changed locations after his representatives and the NFL disagreed about some conditions regarding the scheduled workout.

Oddsmakers recently gave the Steelers favorable 4-1 odds to sign Kaepernick, 32, who has not played since the 2016 season.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • As it turns out, several Steelers could be a little lighter in the wallet for leaving the sideline during the brawl vs. the Browns.

Dozens of Steelers could face fines for leaving sideline, joining fracas

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The NFL swiftly administered harsh penalties to the Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett and Larry Ogunjobi and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey for their actions in the final seconds of Thursday night’s game. But the league cautioned that those won’t be the only players disciplined for involvement in the melee.

The news release from the NFL that announced suspensions for Garrett (at least six games), Pouncey (three games) and Ogunjobi (one game) also included the following sentence: “Additional discipline for other players will be forthcoming through the standard accountability process, including those players that left the bench to enter the fight area.”

Video from the Fox broadcast of the Browns’ 21-7 win at FirstEnregy Stadium showed several players who were not part of the play in question who entered the playing field to participate, in some level, in what the league referred to as a “fight” when explaining the suspension of Garrett.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Don’t look now, but the Browns vs. Steelers rivalry is alive and well again...

Steelers’ matchup with Browns brings amped-up sense of physicality to rivalry

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

TribLIVE’s Daily and Weekly email newsletters deliver the news you want and information you need, right to your inbox.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers travel to Ohio, they are used to encountering the type of physical, and occasionally reckless, brand of football that was on display Thursday night.

It’s just that they expect to face it when visiting their divisional neighbors in the southern part of the state, not when they venture up the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

In defeating the Steelers, 21-7, the Cleveland Browns announced an emphatic return to the long-time rivalry by scoring their first win in the series since 2014. They did so with a chippy style of play, and an infamous late-game skirmish, that conjured memories of hard-hitting games that typically involve the Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals.

Before Myles Garrett wrestled off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at the Steelers quarterback in the waning seconds, the Browns already had knocked Steelers wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson from the game with shots to the head.

Johnson, in fact, was bleeding from the ear after Browns safety Damarious Randall delivered a helmet-to-helmet blow near the Steelers sideline that led to his ejection.

“The NFL has to take care of that,” guard David DeCastro said. “That’s not our job. … They’ve got their work cut out for them in the front office. It will be interesting to see what they will do with all that happened.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

from Thursday night's game ➡️ https://t.co/gfqmOVzuuq pic.twitter.com/5O3BLjHRKl

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

On Friday, @TeamJuJu held his inaugural @JuJuFoundation Luau where he was able to combine honoring his heritage with a way to give back to the community. pic.twitter.com/ASPFBoIjFr

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

This team was legendary.

Taking the #️⃣3️⃣ spot on the #NFL100 Greatest Teams list is the 1978 #Steelers. pic.twitter.com/aDMfRmmMYv

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

“When that chemistry meshed, it was unstoppable.”

Coming in at #️⃣1️⃣0️⃣ on the #NFL100 Greatest Teams countdown is the 1975 #Steelers! pic.twitter.com/GNxltYdQLz

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

The Steelers sign a wide receiver and a running back to the 53-man roster

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 3:53pm
Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Deon Cain and Kerrith Whyte Jr become a newest members of the back and gold

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed two players to the 53-man roster in preparation for their Week 12 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals.

We have signed WR Deon Cain and RB Kerrith Whyte Jr. to the 53-man roster and released LB Jayrone Elliott and RB Tony Brooks-James.@BordasLaw TRANSACTION: https://t.co/UjY8Rcdrsi pic.twitter.com/nioVDQPAE5

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

Wide receiver Deon Cain comes to the Steelers via the Indianapolis Colts practice squad. Cain had been on the active roster for the Colts through Week 9 before being released and signed to their practice squad. On the season, Cain has four receptions for 52 yards. Drafted by the Colts out of Clemson in the sixth round of the 2018 draft, Cain was placed on Injured Reserve in August of his rookie year with an ACL injury.

Running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. was a seventh-round selection by the Chicago Bears in 2019. Whyte has spent all of this season on the Bears practice squad after rushing for 55 yards on 18 carries and a touchdown during the preseason. Out of Florida Atlantic University, Whyte rushed for over 1,300 yards and added another 2,000 yards as a kick returner. With Ryan Switzer placed on the IR this past week, Whyte may just get a chance to return kicks in the NFL.

With both players being signed off of other NFL teams’ practice squads, the Steelers will be required to pay their salary for at least three weeks even if they choose to release either player. With this being the case, most likely both Cain and Whyte will remain on the team for the next three games at minimum.

To make room on the roster, the Steelers have released outside linebacker Jayrone Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James. Elliott has been on and off the Steelers roster all season while Brooks-James spent time on the practice squad before being active the last two weeks.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for breaking news, injury reports, and all things Pittsburgh Steelers.

Todd Haley puts the blame of Myles Garrett’s actions on Freddie Kitchens

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 2:08pm
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The former Browns Offensive Coordinator chimes in on the institutional issues surrounding Myles Garrett and the Cleveland Browns.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have been the talk of the NFL world the past 48 hours, and it has nothing to do with the game which ended in the Browns claiming a 21-7 win over their divisional rival. No, it has everything to do with Myles Garrett’s actions at the end of regulation which resulted in an indefinite suspension from the league.

Everyone who has a microphone in front of them has given their opinion on the brawl which saw Garrett rip Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and swing it violently at the quarterback, striking him in the head.

There are pundits on major networks like ESPN, FOX and NFL Network who are giving their opinions, but none of them have inside information on the Cleveland Browns. However, Todd Haley, who started the 2018 season as the Browns’ offensive coordinator, has a general knowledge of the Browns and Freddie Kitchens.

Haley joined SiriusXM’s NFL Radio and gave his opinion on not just the Myles Garrett situation, but also the Browns under Freddie Kitchens.

Listen to the clip below:

"When I watch the Cleveland Browns, I see a lot of stuff being allowed to happen...clown shoes, visors...Myles Garrett hitting the QB low, hitting the QB in the head. It's happening too much, it's not just a fluke"

- Todd Haley reacts to the brawl last night

⬇️AUDIO⬇️ pic.twitter.com/FNDN3ZZ0zy

— SiriusXM NFL Radio (@SiriusXMNFL) November 15, 2019

There isn’t much more damning to a head coach when a man who coached alongside you just a year ago claims your team lacks “self control and discipline”. Some might bemoan Haley’s comments considering he was fired last season from his role as offensive coordinator, but he knows Kitchens and the majority of the current roster.

Haley would continue, “This to me comes back to coaching. This fall squarely on the head coach.” As if Kitchens doesn’t have enough to worry about as a rookie head coach, but according to Haley, “You are either coaching it, or allowing it to happen.”

Steelers fans know all about a coach who has been labeled as lenient when it comes to laying down the law with his players, but Haley sees the Browns as a unique case.

“You see things happening that shouldn’t be allowed to go on because you’re practicing bad habits. Practicing lack of discipline.” The Browns certainly have the moniker of not being a disciplined team, after all they lead the NFL in penalty yards throughout the first eleven games of the 2019 regular season.

While Haley’s comments make sense, and are likely truth, it is a bit hasty to suggest Garrett’s actions of taking Mason Rudolph’s helmet off his head and using it as a weapon are in any way related to Kitchens’ ability to lead the team. Sometimes players take actions in their own hands, literally and figuratively.

Either way, the Steelers can’t allow this one event, or poor performance, to derail their season. The Browns will be the ones who will have to deal with the repercussions of Garrett’s actions. Instead, the focus now shifts on getting healthy and beating the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 12. Once that takes place the team can turn to revenge as the Browns will make the trip to Heinz Field in Week 13.

In the meantime, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold as they have the weekend off before gearing up for Week 12.

Pittsburgh Steelers well represented in the Top 10 of the NFL’s Top 100 teams

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 11:42am
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

The NFL Network is listing their Top 100 teams, and the Steelers were well represented on the list.

The NFL Network is currently doing a Top 100 teams in NFL history to coincide with the commemoration of the NFL’s 100th season.

This list has been going from 100 to 1, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have been well represented throughout the list to date. There are plenty of selections from the dynasty of the 1970s, but more modern day Steelers have made their mark on the list too.

The most recent list was their Top 10, and of course the 1978 and 1975 teams both made the cut.

If you haven’t had a chance to check out the show, or you don’t want to sift through all the other plays and just want to see the Steelers plays, you can check out the videos are below. Some are longer than others, but every single play is worth watching.

In fact, some of these plays bring up some tremendous memories as a fan, and some were nightmares which eventually turned out okay for the black-and-gold...I think you know what play I’m talking about.

Check these out:

“When that chemistry meshed, it was unstoppable.”

Coming in at #️⃣1️⃣0️⃣ on the #NFL100 Greatest Teams countdown is the 1975 #Steelers! pic.twitter.com/GNxltYdQLz

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

This team was legendary.

Taking the #️⃣3️⃣ spot on the #NFL100 Greatest Teams list is the 1978 #Steelers. pic.twitter.com/aDMfRmmMYv

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) November 16, 2019

Those trying to defend Myles Garrett’s violent helmet-swinging act against Mason Rudolph look foolish

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 10:36am
Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Stop trying to defend what Browns defensive end Myles Garrett did when he ripped Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and bashed him in the head with it. You just look stupid.

I have a question: How much do people hate the Pittsburgh Steelers?

I’m only asking because I spent an entire offseason listening to national NFL reporters, analysts, pundits and former players defend the actions of former Steelers and (shocker) NFL receiver Antonio Brown’s transgressions that saw him burn every bridge on the way out of Pittsburgh.

Regardless of all the things Brown may have done or said, as far as many were concerned, the general sentiment was, “But what role did Ben Roethlisberger have in all of this?” Others looked at things with a broader scope, but they still tried to blame the team’s “toxic” work environment for Brown going, you know, crazy.

Speaking of crazy, all kinds of that took place on Thursday night, when a brawl broke out between Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and Browns defensive end Myles Garrett in the literal last seconds of Cleveland’s 21-7 victory at FirstEnergy Stadium.

Rudolph took exception to Garrett’s rather unsportsmanlike treatment of his person when the latter threw the former to the ground on a little pass play that came at a point in the game where the latter’s team had no actual shot of losing.

Rudolph did spark this brawl by grabbing Garrett’s facemask and trying to engage him in a fight. Garrett, being the bigger of the two men, easily got the physical upper-hand, even while being pushed backwards by guard David DeCastro, who, like any good teammate, came to the rescue of his quarterback.

This little scrum, the kind we’ve witnessed millions of times throughout the history of the NFL, would have ended fairly quickly. Unfortunately, Garrett took things further than few football players ever have by not only yanking Rudolph’s helmet off, but by using said helmet as a weapon and bashing Rudolph over the head with it.

This, of course, made everything worse, as center Maurkice Pouncey, who never has a problem coming to the rescue of a teammate, didn’t just push Garrett back. Nope, instead, he helped shove him to the ground and repeatedly punched and kicked him.

Yes, it was an ugly and alarming scene, one that eventually led to several fines and suspensions—including an indefinite one for Garrett through at least the end of this season.

You would think public opinion would be 100 percent on Rudolph’s side—he’s not the first quarterback to start a fight with a defensive player he thought went a little too far in his efforts to sack him—but you would be wrong.

Not in 2019. Not when people have a stronger need than ever to choose sides in just about every debate.

Take ESPN reporter Josina Anderson, who Tweeted: “I would bet Myles Garrett will say he heard Mason Rudolph call him something egregious. Never seen Garrett act like that, ever.”

Anderson ultimately deleted the Tweet, but it’s easy to see what she was trying to imply.

Then there’s James Rapien, a reporter at 92.3 The Fan in Cleveland, who Tweeted: “Myles Garrett is going to get suspended and rightfully so, but Mason Rudolph jumping up, getting in Garrett’s face and then throwing his hands up like he’s innocent is hilarious.”

I realize this is coming from a Cleveland reporter, but come on, man.

And, finally, here’s a Tweet from Bleacher Report’s Ian Kenyon: “What happens with Mason Rudolph? He got a helmet to the head, but he was down there fighting and trying to take off Garrett’s helmet first? Feels like at least a game, right?”

Maybe I’m just biased because I’m a Steelers fan, but I can’t believe anyone would even try to justify what Garrett did.

Even Garrett’s head coach and teammates—including quarterback Baker Mayfield—condemned his actions. Garrett, himself, issued a statement apologizing for his actions.

It’s pretty clear which player was in the wrong here--to reiterate, the NFL handed Garrett (not Rudolph) a rather lengthy suspension--so why look for a way to blame the player who was victimized? Why try to justify it by saying Rudolph grabbed Garrett’s facemask first? Why push a false narrative that Rudolph tried to kick Garrett in the groin or that he called him a racial slur?

Again, fights like this happen all the time in football. They happen during games. They even happen between teammates in practice and at training camp. But not since 1982, when Lyle Alzado grabbed the helmet off of the head of a Jets offensive lineman and threw it at him, has a player tried to do what Garrett did on Thursday night. They even made a rule after Alzado did what he did, which, as former NFL linebacker Matt Millen states in the video linked in this paragraph, prohibits an NFL player from using a helmet as a weapon.

So, again, why the need to try and justify what Garrett did, when he clearly stepped way over the line? Why try and defend Garrett’s actions, ones considered so egregious, few had a problem with Pouncey acting so violently in retaliation (even if he did get suspended for three games)?

Why try to come up with a reason? To quote the comedian Chris Rock: “Whatever happened to crazy? You can’t be crazy no more?”

This isn’t to say Garrett is crazy, but he clearly went crazy for a second or two and responded to a situation in a way that very few players ever have in the history of the NFL. And, in doing so, he jeopardized the health and safety of another human being.

Therefore, to anyone who is trying to defend Myles Garrett for his actions against Mason Rudolph, to quote Melvin Udall from the movie, As Good As It Gets: “Sell crazy someplace else. We’re all stocked up here.”

Why the NFL got the punishments right in the Steelers-Browns game

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 9:09am
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With 10 games between three players with a possibility of more for one, the NFL lay down the law after the ugly melee

It took the NFL approximately 12 hours before issuing their suspensions from the incidents which occurred at the end of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns game on Thursday Night Football. With constant news coverage, I don’t feel that I need to go into the details of exactly what happened. If for some reason you were just waking up from a three-day nap, check HERE in order to get the full story.

But when it comes to the suspensions, Browns’ defensive and Myles Garrett has been suspended indefinitely. His suspension will be through the rest of 2019 at minimum which will include the Browns final six games as well as any possible playoff game should the Browns qualify for the postseason.

The other Browns’ player suspended from the incident was defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi for knocking Mason Rudolph to the ground while his helmet was removed. Ogunjobi received a one game suspension as well as a fine.

The only Steeler to receive a suspension was center Maurkice Pouncey who will miss the next three games without pay along with a fine. As for Mason Rudolph, the league has announced he will be fined but has not specified the amount as of yet.

While some people want to take the third grade mentality of saying “Well he started it!” as a narrative for pushing for a suspension for Rudolph, the league did a very good job of sorting out all the suspensions in the proper way. While some Steelers’ fans and many NFL players wish Pouncey would not have been punished so harshly, it is a fitting punishment when looking at the situation from the proper perspective.

Why the NFL got it right

There’s one main reason why the suspensions seem to be appropriate in my eyes. I know not everyone will agree on this, but maybe if you hear me out you will understand a little better. The best way to look at the situation was to see each player’s individual actions from only that perspective and not based on the entire situation. Each player should be punished not for the reason behind their actions or the reaction of others for what they did. When looking at each player individually, it begins to shed more light on why punishments were what they were. So let’s take a look at each player and why their punishment was fitting.

Myles Garrett

The most important thing to remember here is it doesn’t matter “who started it.” This is a mentality becoming more and more apparent today to where people do not take responsibility for their own actions and instead justify why they responded in the inappropriate way they did. It doesn’t matter what someone has done to you or how horrible it is. You have complete control over your actions and, unless you are acting in self-defense, the consequences they bring.

Myles Garrett ripped the helmet off of another player and swung that helmet violently striking them in the head. If it were not for the exact way the helmet happened to twist as it was being slammed down onto Mason Rudolph, he could be still in the hospital (or worse) at this moment. Fortunately, the softer spot of the helmet is the base of the back of the neck in case the head is ever driven backwards. There is a pad that usually sticks out below the helmet at this point to save the hard shell from going into the back of the players neck. Fortunately, it appears this was the piece which hit Rudolph. Not only was it fortunate for Rudolph, but fortunate for Garrett. If the swing had connected with almost any other area of the helmet, he could have been escorted from the field in handcuffs and still be in a jail cell.

When looking at just these facts around the situation and not what led up to or what occurred afterwards, these actions alone are worthy of an extended suspension.

Maurkice Pouncey

When Garrett was attempting (and succeeding) to remove Rudolph’s helmet, Maurkice Pouncey was there to jump into the middle of the situation. Once Garrett used the helmet as a weapon, Pouncey stepped in swinging multiple punches and attempting several kicks. Although there has been a lot of support around the NFL from former and current players for Pouncey and his willingness to stick up for his teammate, the league still has to look at the situation of what Pouncey did at the moment he did it. Taking several swings at a player and also kicking a player while he was down, Pouncey deserved an ejection and suspension. Three games seems to be appropriate as one could be issued for punches, another for kicks, and a third for using a combination of both in the same incident. While Pouncey’s actions were noble in sticking up for his teammate, the consideration for this will be only reviewed during an appeal. Although not likely, Pouncey could see his suspension reduced by a game.

Larry Ogunjobi

The other Browns player who was suspended was Larry Ogunjobi who also took a shot at Rudolph as he was watching the situation. Given the fact that Rudolph is a quarterback, had his back to the player, was not actively involved at the moment he was struck, and was not wearing a helmet, this incident would seem appropriate for ejection and a one game suspension. If Rudolph had lost his helmet in some other way and there was not another fight going on at the time when Ogunjobi took the shot, it would have been deemed appropriate to eject and suspend the player. The fact it was part of a larger incident should not factor in determining the punishment for his specific actions.

Mason Rudolph

Here is where the “He started it” crowd just gets annoying. When the league looked specifically at what Rudolph did after he was pulled to the ground late, it seemed appropriate that a fine was coming. Had the incident had stopped right then because Garrett got up and walked away, would anyone have considered this situation was in need of a suspension? Absolutely not. His actions alone were not worthy of such a punishment. So to throw a suspension at Rudolph based on everything that happened afterwards is ridiculous. Frankly, I can’t understand why people would think this way.

Here’s an analogy: If you were driving a car and someone cut you off in traffic, they were in the wrong. But if you get angry and try to speed up and go track down the other car and crash into a different vehicle, is the first car responsible for the accident? Just think about that one for a little while.

Bottom line, when looking at Rudolph’s actions and not everything else that transpired, he is deserving of a fine. That’s it.

I also realize there were some interesting still shots were people tried to paint Mason Rudolph in a worse light than what was actually going on. The video speaks for itself. When a player is yanking your facemask to rip your helmet off, much like someone getting pulled by the hair, your reaction is going to be to use whatever hands or feet you have available to push yourself away. If people want to say that that was a “kick” and justified all Garrett’s actions, they have completely missed the order of operations.

It’s been a rough couple days as a sports fan. I have to admit the situation has me quite bothered. What upsets me the most is not the players and their responses. I’m disappointed in fans. I’m disappointed in fans that want to support their team so much that they are willing to disregard terrible behavior. I’m tired of fans looking at things from their teams perspective and not looking about what is right and what is wrong.

Mason Rudolph grabbed Myles Garrett’s helmet. He deserves a fine. Myles Garrett ripped off Mason Rudolph‘s helmet and struck him in the head with it. He deserves to be suspended indefinitely. Maurkice Pouncey threw numerous punches and kicks even though he was defending his teammate. He deserves a multi game suspension. Larry Ogunjobi took a shot at a defensive player who wasn’t wearing a helmet. He deserves a one game suspension.

3 games to watch in Week 11 which give perspective on the Steelers future opponents

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 7:46am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

There are several NFL games this week which will help shape the perception of teams the Steelers take on later in 2019

It was a performance that Steelers’ fans would like to forget, although extenuating circumstances at the end of the game make it nearly impossible. The game with the Browns on Thursday Night Football was ugly, frustrating, and embarrassing. After a four game win streak, Steelers were put back in their place in prime time as they now scramble to make the needed improvements to finish strong in 2019.

With the Steelers having already played in Week 11, some fans might just take a break from the NFL and do something different with their Sunday afternoon. If you are able to and feel the need to do this, I commend you. As for me, I will still be tuning in to see other games going on throughout the league.

With less than half the season remaining, the match ups between teams who the Steelers still need to face will become fewer and fewer. Therefore, the requirement of both teams being on the Steeler schedule has now been suspended. Even though there are five games on Sunday which involve the Steelers’ future opponents, we’ll look at three different games based on how soon the Steelers face them and overall intrigue.

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders Sunday at 4:45 PM on CBS

This game was the obvious choice to start as the Bengals will host the Steelers in Week 12. Additionally, although the Bengals have yet to win a game in 2019, they could actually do the Steelers a favor by taking out the Oakland Raiders as they are now one of the many teams who are primed to leapfrog the Steelers in the wildcard race. While I do believe the Steelers next game will be more about themselves and less about the Bengals, it is still helpful to understand the state of your opponent as they enter into the next game.

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers Sunday 4:05 PM on FOX

With the Cardinals being the next non-AFC North team the Steelers face on the schedule, it is interesting to see how they are faring with their first-overall pick at quarterback. Add in the fact the Steelers played the 49ers earlier in the season and this is an interesting game to say the least. Also, these two teams are dealing with a similar circumstance as the Steelers and Browns as they faced off just two weeks ago on Thursday night football.

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens Sunday at 1:00 PM on CBS

While I know the Buffalo Bills are on the schedule before the Ravens, and they are playing a common opponent with the Steelers, this matchup between the AFC North-leading Ravens and the AFC South-leading Texans is just too sweet to let go by. Both of these teams have been on the rise and are jockeying for overall seeding in the playoff picture. There is a very decent possibility this game could be for the winner receiving a first round bye in the 2019 playoffs. Yes, they will then have the advantage, but there is still a lot of football still to be played.

So there are the three other NFL matchups which can give Steelers’ fans an indication as to the quality of upcoming opponents in 2019. While each week is a different game and upsets due to certain matchups are bound to happen, the greater the body of work each team puts on the field can help to draw better conclusions.

So which of these games on Sunday will be the most telling as it pertains to the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers schedule moving forward? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

The Steelers had no answers in 21-7 loss to the Browns on Thursday Night Football

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 6:28am
Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Not a great night for the Steelers, as they had no answers in a 21-7 loss to the Browns on Thursday Night Football.

When the Steelers arrived at Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium to take on the Browns in a Week 11 match-up on Thursday Night Football, all things appeared to be as they always were.

Pittsburgh, despite its depleted offense that included the absence of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is out for the rest of the year with an elbow injury, rode into town on a four-game winning-streak and, at 5-4, was now firmly back in the playoff race.

As for the Browns, despite all of their obvious talent, despite all of their offseason hype, they were the same old Browns, complete with a 3-6 record and loads of incompetence and chaos.

The Steelers swagger was back, both with the players and with their fans, while those derogatory memes about the Browns were as plentiful as ever on social media.

You just had to expect Pittsburgh would find a way to defeat those Brownies, come heck or high water.

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the only thing that was high on Thursday was the Browns’ energy, as they basically had their way with the Steelers in a 21-7 victory that didn’t even seem that close.

I suppose it was no surprise that the Steelers offense struggled against Cleveland. Under the leadership of second-year quarterback Mason Rudolph, that’s come to be expected. It’s a woe familiar to most teams missing their most important player at the most critical position. Unfortunately, in one of those “all hands on deck” situations, the Steelers were quickly down some very vital skill-position players, as receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson left the game with concussions, while running back James Conner re-aggravated a shoulder injury that forced him to miss the previous two weeks and also went out early.

The result? Even more struggles than normal, as Pittsburgh’s only touchdown drive was aided greatly by penalties.

Rudolph often looked indecisive and confused, as he completed 23 of 44 passes for 221 yards, one touchdown and a whopping four interceptions. Rudolph was also hurried and harassed most of the night to the tune of four sacks. That’s right, not even the Steelers decorated offensive line could make life easier for the still struggling to make it Rudolph. Both tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Matt Feiler played more like the projects they entered the NFL as and not the starters they eventually became.

As for the defense, I suppose it was just a matter of time that it would look mortal and ordinary—even the good defenses have a hard time avoiding such days from time to time.

Baker Mayfield didn’t look like a future Hall of Fame quarterback on a night in-which he completed 17 of 32 passes for 193 yards and two touchdowns, but he did prove to be frustratingly elusive while avoiding the Steelers pass rush most of the night, often escaping potential sacks before scrambling away and making something positive happen for his football team.

And in addition to only recording one sack on the night, the Steelers opportunistic defense was brought back down to Earth and couldn’t come up with a single takeaway to help out the offense.

No answers on offense. No answers on defense. As for the special teams? How about a botched hold by punter Jordan Berry that led to an ugly field goal miss by kicker Chris Boswell early on when the Steelers were trying to respond to a Cleveland touchdown with points of their own?

I suppose the Steelers were due for a letdown, especially after living so close to the edge during most of their four-game winning-streak.

But a defeat that was so thorough? A performance that was so lifeless in just about every area? When the biggest fan pop comes from a Maurkice Pouncey beat-down of Myles Garrett, who committed one of the most egregious acts in recent memory by taking Rudolph’s own helmet and smashing him in the head with it, you know it was a night in-which the Steelers had no answers.

Will they be able to find the right answers in time to keep the playoff discussions realistic over the final six games?

I guess we’ll find out in another week or so. The only thing we know for sure is, the Steelers have a lot of studying to do between now and the next time they line up to play a meaningful football game.

Podcast: I just saw something criminal with the Steelers in Week 11

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 11/16/2019 - 5:35am

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers had won three of their last four games, and fans were starting to think about the team resurrecting their season all the way to the postseason. That was until the Cleveland Browns smacked them down in Week 11. In fact, I saw something criminal happen during that game.

This is where the newest BTSC podcast “Yeah, I Said It” comes in. My co-host on ‘The Standard is the Standard’, Lance Williams tells fans how he saw something criminal during the prime time game.

Time to deliver the goods on the latest show.

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

Check out the audio below:

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
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