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The Steelers are blessed with a problem at right guard

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 6:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

While some NFL teams are struggling to find a capable player at the position, the Steelers have to deal with which option is best.

There’s a saying in the NFL that if a team has two quarterbacks, chances are they don’t really even have one. While this might seem to be the case when teams are trying to figure out who’s going to be commanding their huddles and slinging the rock down the field, this isn’t necessarily the case when it comes to other positions. The Pittsburgh Steelers know this all too well, especially when it comes to right guard.

In five games of the 2020 season, the Steelers have had three different players start at right guard. Stefen Wisniewski took the field in Week 1 replacing injured All-Pro David DeCastro. When Wismiewski went down late in the game, it opened up the door for rookie Kevin Dotson to step up to the plate and make the start in Week 2. What happened in that game? Kevin Dotson exceeded expectations.

Then comes Week 3 of the 2020 season. David DeCastro returns and Dotson is delegated to the sidelines. So in three games, the Steelers had three different starters.

In Week 4, the Steelers end up with an impromptu bye week. DeCastro is back on the field for the Week 5 against the Philadelphia Eagles but sustained an injury in the first quarter. Kevin Dotson was called back into duty and started the Steelers Week 6 thumping of the Cleveland Browns.

Over the Steelers last four games, right guard has not been a concern. Whether it was DeCastro or Dotson, the Steelers have gotten above the line play from each player. At the same time, Chukwuma Okorafor has stepped up to the plate at right tackle and has helped to hold down that side of the Steelers offensive line.

Although nothing has been said as of yet in regards to the return of David DeCastro this week, it is believed he should be ready sooner than later as the Steelers did not place him on the Reserve/Injured List which would have held him out for three games. Should DeCastro return this week as the Steelers face the Tennessee Titans, exactly what Pittsburgh does on the right side of the offensive is a problem many NFL teams would be dying to be faced with in 2020.

Would you like a good example? Simply look at the Steelers Week 6 opponent. The Cleveland Browns starting right guard Wyatt Teller was the highest ranked offensive guard according to PFF. But Teller was unable to play against the Steelers with a calf injury, so former Steelers tackle Chris Hubbard made his first NFL start at guard on Sunday. Although the scoreboard tells quite the tale, trust me when I say that Teller’s presence was greatly missed against the Steelers dominant defensive front.

No matter which player the Steelers go with moving forward at the right guard position, they will be having a great option not seeing the field. While there is a suggestion among Steelers’ Nation of shuffling around the Steelers line in order to get both players on the field, it’s highly unlikely barring an injury to another position. The Steelers line has a good thing going, and making an unnecessary shift in positions during the season isn’t something they need to be undertaking at this point.

One thing the play of Kevin Dotson has brought is there being no need to rush David Castro back from his abdominal injury. If he needs another week, it’s fine. If he needs several more weeks, the rookie is ready to continue to hold down the position, and he’s doing it quite well.

But when did Castro returns, look for Dotson to be standing next to offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett during the game.

It’s a shame a player like Kevin Dotson may miss out on playing time simply because of the skill of the player he is backing up. Dotson has yet to give up a sack in 2020 and coming into Week 6 of the season he was the highest graded pass blocking guard in the NFL according to PFF. After his performance against the Browns, I don’t expect that ranking to change.

Kevin Dotson is showing the Steelers not only have great play at the guard position in 2020, but the future is also looking bright. Unfortunately, Dotson will most likely only be honing his skills at practice and when having to fill-in due to someone else’s injury.

Having too many options for a given position can be a problem. But for the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m sure they will manage it quite well. After all, it is light years ahead of having the opposite problem of not having an adequate back up when needed.

Podcast: The Steelers have the best defense the NFL has seen in a decade

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 5:30am

In the latest podcast on the BTSC family of podcasts, we talk about some burning topics surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and the emergence of the Steelers defense as one of the best units that the NFL has seen in a decade.

The group of defenders that make up the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive unit are contributing greatly to the team’s 5-0 record and starting to hit their stride. With 24 sacks in five contests, the Steelers are on track to break their team mark and the NFL record for sacks in a single season. Along with that, the rush defense is so dominant, the steelers have shut down some of the league’s best backs. Join BTSC Deputy Editor Michael Beck as he explains how the Steel boast the best defense that the NFL has seen in a decade

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

You can listen to the show in the player below.

NFL Week 7 Betting Preview: Steelers currently a 1.5-point favorite against the Titans

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 10/20/2020 - 4:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers are a slight favorite on the road against the undefeated Tennessee Titans

Alright, let’s try this again…

The Pittsburgh Steelers are scheduled to face off against the Tennessee Titans, this time in Week 7 of the 2020 NFL season. Much like three weeks ago, both teams are still undefeated going in to this huge matchup. What is different from three weeks ago is they are now the only two undefeated teams remaining in the AFC.

The date may have changed, but the same questions still remain. Can the Steelers continue their impressive run defense against the likes of Derrick Henry? Will this Steelers continue with their own success at running the ball?

When it comes to the betting lines for Sunday’s game, the following information is the current consensus spread and over/under for the Steelers this week as reported by oddsshark.com.

Game Info: Week 7 Pittsburgh Steelers vs Tennessee Titans Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 1:00 PM

Betting line: -1.5

Over/under: 52.5

Last Regular Season Meeting: Steelers (W) 40-17 vs Titans

Win streak: 2 game PIT

Last 3 Meetings: PIT 2 - 1 TEN

Last 10 Meetings: PIT 6 - 4 TEN

The opening line on the game was at +2 when the schedule was released in May. Even though both teams have not lost in 2020, the line has moved enough in favor of the Steelers to turn them from underdogs to favorites when they were scheduled to meet in Week 4. The line has not changed in three weeks, but the over/under is 5.5 points higher than in Week 4.

Being favored on Sunday, the Steelers have a current moneyline of -125 to win the game straight up, which is the equivalent of 4/5 odds. So a $20 bet placed on the Steelers over the Titans would have a payout of $36 ($16 plus the original $20 bet). The Titans have a current moneyline of +110, or 11/10 odds. Therefore the same $20 bet placed on Tennessee to win straight up would have a payout of $42 ($22 pus the original $20 bet) .

According to Oddsshark.com, the Steelers are 4-1 against the spread in their last 5 games as well as being 5-2 straight up the last 7 times they played in Tennessee. The Steelers also have gone OVER in 6 of their last 7 games in Tennessee but have gone UNDER the in 8 of their last 9 road games.

If looking at the futures bets, the Steelers odds to win the Super Bowl vary from 12/1 to 16/1. They have odds to win the AFC Championship of 6/1 odds. As for winning the AFC North, the Steelers are currently at 7/5 odds behind Baltimore at 20/31 odds. The Browns are next at 12/1 odds with Cincinnati coming in at the bottom at 250/1 odds to win the AFC North.

Steelers host punter and linebacker for workouts Monday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 7:57pm
Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers bring in a familiar face at punter as well as an candidate for linebacker.

The Pittsburgh Steelers continued their due diligence when it comes to making the most of their roster with the best possible players. On Monday, the Steelers brought in two players for workouts in linebacker Ray Wilborn and punter Jordan Berry. This per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle:

Jordan Berry, Ray Wilborn visiting Steelers

— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) October 19, 2020

Wilborn spent training camp with the Atlanta Falcons after going undrafted in the 2020 NFL draft out of Ball State. In his two years at Ball State, Wilborn had 166 tackles, three sacks, four interceptions, eight passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.

Another intriguing player who was brought in was former Steelers punter Jordan Berry. Released by the Steelers following training camp, Berry was replaced on the 2020 roster with veteran Dustin Colquitt.

Although the move to the former Pro Bowl punter to start the season saved the Steelers some money in regards to the NFL salary cap, the production of Colquitt has been met with mixed reviews. The Steelers are currently 28th in the NFL in yards per punt with a 43.1 average.

In his five years in Pittsburgh, Jordan Berry had a career average of 44.2 yards per punt with 2019 being one of his better years at 45.5 yards per punt. Unfortunately, Berry also had two fumbles for the Steelers in 2019.

It’s interesting how the Steelers brought Berry back for a tryout as they currently have two punters among their 69 players as the Steelers also have also have Corliss Waitman on the practice squad.

While bringing in players for a workout doesn’t mean the Steelers are making a move, it will be interesting to see what the Steelers do with both their punting and linebacker situation moving forward. With Devin Bush reportedly out for the season, the Steelers should be making a move at the position when they place Bush on the Reserve/Injured List.

As for the situation at punter, if the Steelers were completely content there would have been no need to bring in Berry for a workout. Perhaps the move is merely a wake-up call for the veteran Colquitt.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage as the undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers take on the undefeated Tennessee Titans this Sunday in Nashville.

Chiefs vs. Bills: Monday Night Football double header open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 3:50pm
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

An AFC and NFC double header in prime time to finish out Week 6!

It is hard to believe, and some might still struggle with it, but NFL football is back!

It wasn’t always certain there would be a return of America’s favorite game, but here we are, finishing up Week 6 with another Monday Night Football double header between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills going head-to-head at 5 p.m. ET, and the Cowboys and Cardinals squaring off at 8:15 p.m. ET.

While this isn’t the first NFL game of the 2020 season, our new commenting system remains a work in progress. While improvements have been made, and they aren’t done with those improvements, just wanted to put a message here from NFL Manager Jeanna Thomas about the system:

Here are a few features that you might want to include in game day thread articles, to help your community enjoy the game day threads more:

If you change the ‘Sort By’ option to “Oldest,” you can read all the comments in chronological order, and the comment box moves to the bottom. If you leave it as “Newest”, the latest comments will appear at the top.

If you’re using a computer, you can move down the comments using C, and move back up using shift-C by clicking once inside the comments area. This can also be used to ‘load more’ comments.

Under the ‘My Profile’ tab, you can keep track of replies to your comments, and also sign up for email notifications of replies

If you want to auto-show all images/GIFs/Tweets, you can opt into this under My Profile - Preferences

As always, we’re continuing to improve the system, and will be watching how everyone is using it on game days – and if you or your community have suggestions on how we can further improve the game day thread experience, we’d love for you/them to join our commenting feedback group: https://forms.gle/2FTSCHRgnggxH6SR6 or you can email support@coralproject.net.

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 for the Steelers!

If you don’t want to hear the talking heads babble on about the two teams playing tonight, you can always watch the game on mute and listen to some of our great Steelers podcasts. Check out the playlist below:

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!

AFC North Recap: Steelers remain perfect, send message to rest of the division

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 2:30pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers remain the lone undefeated team in the AFC North heading into Week 7.

The sixth week of NFL football is behind us, and it was quite the week in the AFC North division. With that said, it is time to see how the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns all did in the week that was.

Time to take a look...

Baltimore Ravens - 30
Philadelphia Eagles - 28

You might not believe this, but there was a point when this game looked to be a laugher. The Ravens jumped out to a huge lead, but Carson Wentz, like he did vs. the Steelers in Week 5, stormed back and was a two-point conversion away from tying the game. The Ravens are a very talented team, but they are in no way unbeatable, that has been proven throughout the 2020 regular season.

Indianapolis Colts - 31
Cincinnati Bengals - 27

Similar to the Ravens, there was a point when it looked like Joe Burrow and company were going to run away and hide for their second win of the season. Philip Rivers and the Colts had different plans as they stormed their way back and beat the Bengals by four. This is truly the difference between a team like the Ravens and a team like the Bengals. They both allowed teams to come back, but the Bengals just don’t have what it takes to hang on for the win.

Pittsburgh Steelers - 38
Cleveland Browns - 7

This was the most dominant performance of the season for the Steelers, and possibly in the past few seasons. The Browns literally didn’t stand a chance in this game, and that was from Minkah Fitzpatrick’s pick-six in the first quarter onward. The Steelers’ road doesn’t get any easier, but they passed their first true test of the regular season with flying colors.

AFC North Standings

Pittsburgh Steelers - 5-0-0
Baltimore Ravens - 5-1-0
Cleveland Browns - 4-2-0
Cincinnati Bengals - 1-4-1

Week 7 AFC North Schedule:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Tennessee Titans — Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals — Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
Baltimore Ravens — BYE

A look ahead...

Next three opponents for all AFC North teams:

Baltimore Ravens: BYE, vs. Steelers, at Colts
Cleveland Browns: at Bengals, vs. Raiders, BYE
Pittsburgh Steelers: at Titans, at Ravens, at Cowboys
Cincinnati Bengals: vs. Browns, vs. Titans, BYE

Titans dealing with their own huge injury heading into Week 7 vs. the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 1:30pm
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers will be without Devin Bush for the foreseeable future, and the Titans will be without their rock on the offensive line.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were dealt a tough hand, as it pertains to injuries, during their Week 6 blowout win over the Cleveland Browns. Second year inside linebacker Devin Bush was lost for the season after tearing his ACL, but the Steelers’ Week 7 opponents, the Tennessee Titans, are dealing with a big name player getting injured as well.

Per Steve Layman and Jay Glazer, it is being reported left tackle Taylor Lewan could be out for the season with a potentially torn ACL.

Jay Glazer reporting #Titans Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan has a possible torn ACL.

That's some dark news on an otherwise great day for a now 5-0 team. @NC5

— Steve Layman (@SteveLayman) October 18, 2020

Taylor Lewan will have a MRI Monday to get into the severity of his knee injury. As @JayGlazer reported it's possible it's a torn ACL for #Titans Pro Bowl LT. @NC5

— Steve Layman (@SteveLayman) October 19, 2020

As of Monday afternoon, Lewan took to his official Twitter account announcing his 2020 season is over.

I can’t wait to watch my guys crush it, I’m going to be the biggest titans fan each and every Sunday. We are doing something special here and this small set back doesn’t change a thing!

— Taylor Lewan (@TaylorLewan77) October 19, 2020

The Steelers could use all the help they can get as they approach the biggest game of date on their 2020 regular season schedule. The 5-0 Titans vs. the 5-0 Steelers in Nashville in Week 7 has huge story lines all through it.

Derrick Henry vs. the NFL’s best rushing defense.

The Steelers’ secondary vs. Ryan Tannehill and A.J. Brown.

Ben Roethlisberger and company vs. the stout Titans’ defense.

The loss of Bush is a big one for the Pittsburgh defense, but the loss of Lewan is a huge blow to a red-hot Titans offense. It will be the battle of the undefeated teams this Sunday, and both teams will be dealing with big name injuries heading into the contest.

Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the injury to Lewan, as well as Steelers injuries, as both teams prepare for Week 7.

Film Room: The Steelers secondary shines in win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 12:30pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers playmakers in the secondary show up big in the Week 6 win over the Browns.

One of the biggest stories of the Pittsburgh Steelers first 4 games was the secondary, and not in a good way. With Minkah Fitzpatrick virtually invisible in the highlights and the stat sheet, and following a game where the Steelers repeatedly allowed the Philadelphia Eagles to convert third downs, the defensive backs made play after play on third down, and the Cleveland Browns converted 2 of 13 third downs (I’m counting the non-play penalty) and 0 of 3 fourth downs.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was a first overall draft pick and won a Heisman trophy, was held to 10 completions for 119 yards passing, 1 TD, 2 INTs on 18 pass attempts, good for a 54.9 passer rating, his worst rating of the 2020 season and the fourth worst of his career.

While the defensive line had a lot to do with that, the secondary looked like the 2019 Steelers secondary, with 6 passes defended and 2 interceptions while allowing only 4.5 yards per pass attempt on the day.

The secondary also set the tone for the entire game on the Browns third offensive play of the game.

Week 6, 1st quarter, 9:05. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the safety to the bottom of the screen.

In last week’s film room about Minkah Fitzpatrick I talked about getting Fitzpatrick into more robber looks, because he is the most dangerous in that role. Opposing quarterbacks give him a wide berth and often avoid his entire side of the field when they see him move up, but Baker Mayfield doesn’t, and it pays off for the Steelers.

Week 6, 1st quarter, 2:49. Odell Beckham Jr. is the wide receiver to the top of the screen.

Baker Mayfield has Beckham Jr. on an out route for the first down, but with T.J. Watt behind him and Stephon Tuitt in front of him he is forced to throw the ball high, and while Beckham Jr. makes the catch, it gives Joe Haden the opportunity to shove Beckham Jr. out of bounds for an incomplete pass.

The Steelers corners were physical with the Browns receivers all game, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the receivers.

Week 6, 2nd quarter, 0:31. Odell Beckham Jr. is the receiver to the top of the screen, Jarvis Landry is the slot receiver next to him.

You can see Beckham Jr. show his displeasure with his rough treatment after Steven Nelson finally gets him out of bounds short of the sticks, and you can also see Jarvis Landry fighting with Mike Hilton, and at the end Landry throws HIlton to the ground to earn a penalty.

The Steelers defensive backs would also draw a penalty in the game.

Week 6, 2nd quarter, 2:39. Joe Haden (#23) is covering Odell Beckham Jr. (#13)

The contact from Joe Haden is enough to draw a flag, and it nullifies an interception. While the contact is understandable as Haden is likely going to get beat by Beckham Jr.’s double move, the throw wasn’t the best, and that contact did not affect the play on the ball. Without that contact Joe Haden adds an interception to his already impressive game.

That drive would end with a Cleveland touchdown, the only Cleveland Browns score of the game.

Week 6, 4th quarter, 13:51. Joe Haden is the cornerback to the bottom of the screen.

Now this is good physicality. Joe Haden times his attack well and knocks the ball out of Jarvis Landry’s hands for one of the Browns many failed third downs.

Week 6, 4th quarter, 2:00. Joe Haden is the cornerback to the bottom of the screen, Cameron Sutton is the slot corner next to him.

Now this is a play straight out of 2019. Baker Mayfield thinks he has Cameron Sutton beat on the quick out, but Sutton is dropping deep, and Joe Haden jumps the short pass for another pass defended. On this play Sutton starts with hard inside leverage because there is no middle help at all, and because Joe Haden is going to cover his man if he cuts outside quick. The receiver makes a quick outside cut, Sutton drops deep and Joe Haden makes the play.

This same defensive concept didn’t go well earlier in the game.

Week 6, 3rd quarter, 0:03. Cameron Sutton is the defensive back lined up behind the edge defender to the bottom of the screen.

Cameron Sutton and Steven Nelson both believe they are responsible for the outside receiver here, and Jarvis Landry is wide open for a 24 yard gain. Landry was almost certainly Sutton’s responsibility, as asking Nelson to cover that route from his starting alignment would be ridiculous

It is good to see the defense fix a mistake and get it right inside of the same game, and it is also nice to know that when Sutton got the chance to make a play of his own, he rose to the occasion.

Week 6, 2nd quarter, 7:50. Cameron Sutton starts the play second from the bottom, and covers the outside short zone. (sorry about the TV broadcast graphic that does nothing to help explain the play)

Cameron Sutton is able to high point the pass for the Steelers second interception on the day. This play is more than just another turnover for the Steelers defense, it showcases the reason the Steelers run their defense the way they do, and how it can pay off when the quarterbacks they face aren’t making great throws.

Here’s the field when Baker Mayfield starts to throw.

As Mayfield escapes the pocket, he has Rashard Higgins (bottom most in the picture, at the 48> yard line) and Jarvis Landry (above Higgins) between the defensive layers both running to the sideline. He also has Austin Hooper (just passing the <40 yard line) attacking underneath Cameron Sutton.

Against the Eagles Cameron Sutton stayed up too far and let Travis Fulgham attack the gap between him and his deep help for a first down, but here, even with Hooper underneath Sutton stays just behind the first down line, and when the pass is slightly underthrown Sutton is able to come down with it.

With Mike Hilton’s injury needing further evaluation, it is unknown if Cameron Sutton will be called on much more than he has so far this season in week 7. But if he is, it is good to know that he is playing well and fixing the mistakes he does make.

With the Steelers set to face a tough three game road trip without the Steelers best coverage linebacker in Devin Bush, the secondary will be tested more than they have this season. Hopefully this week was a turning point for the secondary and not just a bad game from Baker Mayfield.

The Steelers prove once again that the Browns aren’t in their league

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 11:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Steelers showed everyone on Sunday that they still occupy a tier of the AFC North that the Browns simply don’t deserve to live in yet.

You can say one thing about the 2020 Cleveland Browns, a team that everyone seems so desperate to crown as a true contender: They’re inching closer.

Unfortunately for the Browns, their improvements may have to be measured at glacial speed. Just weeks after opening up the regular season with a 38-6 loss to the Ravens, its first test against a traditional AFC North contender, Cleveland got shellacked, 38-7, at Heinz Field on Sunday against the Steelers, its second test against a traditional AFC North contender.

But this article isn’t about Cleveland and its worthiness as a contender—not totally. This article is more about the Steelers and the beatdown they administered to those Lake Erie warriors who came to town looking for respect.

The Browns didn’t earn any on Sunday. Pittsburgh did, and it didn’t do it by talking trash or exacting any sort of extra-curricular revenge for what transpired last November in a 21-7 loss at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Steelers earned their respect by thoroughly dominating Cleveland physically and fairly.

Cleveland came into the day leading the NFL in rushing yards with 188.4 per game. The Steelers allowed just 75 on Sunday, a number that will keep their defense near the top of the rankings in that category.

Pittsburgh’s defense was dead-last on third downs heading into Week 6, allowing teams to convert at a 50 percent clip. The Browns were only 1-12 on the day, and for good measure, Pittsburgh made sure they were also 0-3 on fourth-down tries.

As for the turnover battle. The Steelers took the football away twice—including a pick-six by the temporarily beleaguered Minkah Fitzpatrick—while Cleveland came away with the old goose egg.

Back to the physicality. The Steelers were really laying the wood on Sunday. How many times did you find yourself screaming “Wooo!” following a loud and forceful tackle by a Pittsburgh defender during the game? I personally lost count after the first few.

The Steelers sacked quarterback Baker Mayfield four times and battered his already sore ribs so thoroughly, they ultimately forced him to the sidelines in the second half.

But the way the Steelers expressed their physicality on offense may have been even more impressive. No, Pittsburgh didn’t gash the Browns on the ground collectively, but running back James Conner, who carried the football 20 times for 101 yards and a touchdown, certainly did individually.

And how about Myles Garrett vs. Alejandro Villanueva, Chukwuma Okorafor or whomever along the offensive line? Garrett was credited with four tackles, one sack and one quarterback hit on the day. That’s certainly a win for the hogs up front.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was efficient if not dominant. The Steelers receivers were solid if not spectacular.

It was total domination for a team whose strength of schedule and 4-0 record were being questioned heading into Sunday.

What can you question about the Steelers after Sunday? Is Cleveland a contender? If so, Pittsburgh beat up on a damn good team. If the Browns aren’t legit contenders, the home team did what it had to do against such an opponent.

No matter what you think of the Browns, you have to acknowledge one thing after Sunday: They still don’t belong in the same tier that the Steelers currently occupy in the AFC North.

Podcast: The Steelers’ versatility makes them a very dangerous team

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 11:00am

Jeff Hartman brings an AM studio show to the BTSC family of podcasts with the latest episode of “Let’s Ride“.

The Steelers are 5-0 and the offense is as deeper and well-rounded as any time in the new millennium. With a trio of rushers led by James Conner and a wide receiver stable that Ben Roethlisberger can count on to be his top weapon on any given Sunday, the Steelers are boasting a versatility that can serve them well to go deep in 2020. The defense has, more or less, a certain Swiss Army quality as well. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • The Steelers’ versatility makes them a very dangerous team
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-Gold.

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

You can listen to the show in the player below.

Winners and Losers after the Steelers 38-7 win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 10:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

After every game there are players who play well, and those who don’t. This is where the ‘Winners and Losers’ column comes from.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were back on the field Sunday when they played the Cleveland Browns in Week 6 of the regular season. After the AFC North game on Sunday, it is time to see who performed well, and who left a lot to be desired.

Improvement was evident in some ways, and hopefully will continue, but the judgement process must go on. Players who play well can be considered ‘Winners’, while those who left plays on the field can be deemed ‘Losers’. It may sound harsh, but it is the crux of this exercise.

Let’s check in to see who fell on which side of the ledger after Week 6...

Winners

Minkah Fitzpatrick
Stat Line: 1 tackle, 1 Pass Defense, 1 INT, 1 TD

I wish I was brave enough to tweet what I was really thinking when I watched Minkah Fitzpatrick take a 3rd and 7 pass from Baker Mayfield and saunter into the end zone. “GAME OVER” is what it would have said. Even at 10-0 in the early minutes of the first quarter that one play changed the game, and set the tone for the remainder of the contest. That is a game-changing play, and I am happy to see Fitzpatrick back and making plays for the black and gold again. Hopefully this becomes a weekly occurrence!

Ben Roethlisberger
Stat Line: 14/22, 162 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, 101 Rating

Roethlisberger’s stat line might not scream ‘Winner’, but he checked a lot of boxes for me in this game. The most notable was his intermediate and deep passing. Roethlisberger threw two great deep passes to both Washington and Claypool, and a really well thrown touch pass on an out route to Washington which he wasn’t able to haul in. It wasn’t the throw which caused him to drop the ball. Roethlisberger is putting the pieces together, and he is doing it faster than I expected. Any time Roethlisberger can be pulled for Mason Rudolph to play the majority of the fourth quarter it is a good day.

James Conner
Stat Line: 20 carries, 101 yards, 1 TD, 5.1 yards per carry

Remember when Conner was being replaced by Benny Snell Jr. after the Week 1 win over the Giants when Conner tweaked an ankle early in the game? What has happened since? Conner has not just solidified himself as the starter, but as a feature runner in the NFL. Conner had one of his best days of recent memory vs. the Browns. There wasn’t a huge run to boost his numbers. It was a grind it out style of game, and Conner answered the bell.

Offensive Line
Stat Line: 2 sacks surrendered, 129 yards rushing

The Steelers have been without Zach Banner since Week 1, has anyone noticed? I haven’t. The Steelers have been without David DeCastro for 2+ games, has anyone really noticed? I haven’t. At a time when fans were concerned about Matt Feiler moving to left guard, then losing DeCastro and Banner to injury, the line has been a bright spot for the team. Chukwuma Okorafor and Kevin Dotson have filled in beautifully, and the run game looks to be getting going at just the right time. All thanks to the offensive line dominating.

Rush Defense
Stat Line: 75 total yards rushing allowed, Kareem Hunt held to 40 yards

This game was labeled strength vs. strength with the Browns’ rushing attack vs. the Steelers’ rush defense. We all know who won this matchup as the Pittsburgh front seven absolutely engulfed the Browns’ ground game to the tune of 75 yards. In fact, those 75 yards were helped by garbage time runs by the Case Keenum led offense. The Steelers’ sent a message with their run defense in Week 6.

Pass Rush
Stat Line: 4 sacks, 7 QB Hits, 6 TFL

Baker Mayfield came into this game nursing a rib injury, one which Kevin Stefanski said he might have rested him if the game weren’t a huge AFC North divisional showdown. Mayfield was sacked 4 times with 7 QB Hits, but it sure did feel like he was hit more times than that. The Steelers’ punished Mayfield, without being penalized, and the pass rush continued to do what they have done all season, dominate the opposition.

Defensive Backs
Stat Line: 2 INT, 1 TD, surrendered just 165 yards

The secondary has been the whipping boys of the Steelers’ fan base the first four games, and rightfully so. Fans watched Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz carve up the secondary, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday in Week 6. The secondary had two takeaways, scored a touchdown and only gave up 165 yards through the air. They should have had a third interception if Joe Haden hadn’t been called for illegal contact on a pass intended for Odell Beckham Jr. A great day for the secondary, but can they string performances like this together?

Chase Claypool
Stat Line: 4 receptions, 74 yards, 1 Rushing TD, 4 targets, 18.5 average

I did not expect Claypool to have another big day after breaking out vs. the Eagles last Sunday, and while many would suggest Claypool didn’t really break out vs. the Browns, he had another great game. Claypool led the Steelers in receiving, hit pay dirt again and his 18.5 average was outstanding. The professional game isn’t too big for Claypool, and his role within the offense is going to continue to grow moving forward.

James Washington
Stat Line: 4 receptions, 68 yards, 1 TD, 7 targets, 17.0 average

Every week there will be a player who will draw single coverage. It is up to that player to win that matchup, and this week it was Washington. Washington’s 68 yards and a touchdown were great to see, and his 17 yard average shows he was more than capable to handle to job when called upon.

Losers

Injuries
Stat Line: Devin Bush, Maurkice Pouncey, Mike Hilton

If there was anything which can be considered to be a downer after this game it would be the injuries sustained. Devin Bush tearing his ACL was gut-wrenching, but there were more injuries than just Bush’s knee. Maurkice Pouncey left the game with a foot injury, expected to be the same injury which kept him out of practice early last week, and Mike Hilton with a shoulder. We will find out more from Mike Tomlin on Tuesday during his weekly press conference, but the injuries were the only negative for me coming out of Week 6.

No matter how you slice it, Devin Bush’s season-ending injury will hurt the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 9:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The season-ending injury suffered by Devin Bush will hurt the Steelers defense. Just how much remains to be seen.

According to most credible sources—including ESPN’s Adam SchefterSteelers inside linebacker Devin Bush suffered a torn ACL in Pittsburgh’s 38-7 win over the Browns at Heinz Field on Sunday and will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

I don’t have to tell you that isn’t good.

That’s actually very bad for the Steelers defense. Is it 2017 bad? Will the loss of Bush hurt Keith Butler’s unit the same way the catastrophic back-injury suffered by Ryan Shazier late that season did?

It says here that it won’t. It says here that the 2020 Steelers defense, one equipped with playmakers galore, will be in much better shape than the unit from three years ago that leaned heavily on Shazier to do most of the heavy lifting.

But make no mistake, Robert Spillane, the youngster who entered Sunday’s game and recorded six tackles, is no Devin Bush. Ulysees Gilbert III, another youngster who has been compared physically and athletically to No. 55, is no Devin Bush.

There’s normally a huge difference between an undrafted free-agent—Spillane—and a first-round pick. You can say the same thing about a sixth-round pick from Akron—Gilbert—and a top-10 pick from Michigan.

Bush is the first-round and top-10 pick I speak of, and that’s why the Steelers acted so aggressively in moving up to select him in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Shazier’s combination of speed and athleticism in the middle of the field was what made Pittsburgh’s defense go for many years. Without that element, the defense was vulnerable and slow. It lacked range. That’s why someone like Jon Bostic looked out of place trying to replace Shazier in 2018.

For all the pub guys like T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cam Heyward were receiving heading into 2020, Bush may have been the most indispensable defender.

Now he’s gone. Once again, the Steelers will be lacking that rare combination of speed and athleticism at inside linebacker. Don’t get me wrong, I’m willing to give Spillane a chance. I want Gilbert’s similar speed and athleticism to shine through if given the opportunity to do so.

But it’s likely not going to be the same for the Steelers defense over the final 11 games.

Yes, the Steelers still have a hellacious front-seven, and their secondary is light-years ahead of where it was in 2017.

However, it’s foolish to think the Steelers defense didn’t become at least a bit weaker with the loss of Bush.

The Steelers have talked a good game over the past few years with regards to finding safeties who can also act as dime linebackers. Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen are just two fellas that come to mind. If there was ever a time for that talk to finally begin to pay off, it’s now.

The loss of Devin Bush won’t be a deathblow for the 2020 Steelers defense, but it will require some work, luck and extra effort to make up for.

The Steelers defense has come a long way since the loss of Ryan Shazier. Therefore, it should be able to make up for the absence of Devin Bush.

But it won’t be easy.

Report Card: Grading the Steelers Week 6 win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 8:00am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Breaking down the success and failures of Pittsburgh’s Week 6 performance.

The Pittsburgh Steelers opened up AFC North play against the Cleveland Browns Sunday. Heading into the game, many were calling the Browns the Steelers toughest opponent yet. However, the Steelers beat the barn doors off of their opponent and cruised to a 38-7 victory.

Let’s evaluate the team and highlight some individual performances. You may think my grades are spot on, you might also think I'm an idiot... Regardless, express your thoughts in the comments below.

Let’s do this.

Offense

Grade: A

Two weeks in a row the Steelers have put 38 points up on the board. This week they did it without a single turnover, and a 100 yard rushing attack. Anytime an offense can get its back-up quarterback into the game in a relief role, with half of the fourth quarter remaining, you know it was a great day.

James Conner was dominant. Ben Roethlisberger got better as the game went on, and the receivers caught the ball when it went their way. Great day from the offense, you couldn't ask anymore from them.

Defense

Grade: A+

The Steelers defense bounced back from a poor day against the Eagles. You knew it would be a great day the second Minkah Fitzpatrick took back a Baker Mayfield interception for a touchdown on the Browns opening drive. The secondary as a hole had a great game limiting Baker Mayfield and Case Keenum to 145 yards, and added a pair of picks.

The Steelers front seven had their most dominant outing, possibly ever. Their were no rushing holes for Kareem Hunt and company. They hit the quarterback seven times, and added four sacks. They finally looked like the Super Bowl caliber defense we’ve been yearning for. Stuffing the Browns on fourth and short twice was the cherry on top.

Robert Spillane looked like a fine back up after Devin Bush went down with a serious knee injury. Losing Bush for any stretch of time hurts, and it will be a position to watch moving forward.

Special Teams

Grade: A

The Steelers special teams have yet again turned in a great performance. Chris Boswell has mastered the art of the kick-off and the coverage team has consistently brought down returners well short of the 25 yard line. Boswell was also perfect kicking the ball through the uprights. Most notably being his final extra point of the game when Dustin Colquitt salvaged a dropped snap and Boswell knocked it through anyway.

Punting was fine, but watching a nicely placed punt roll into the end zone left a little meat on the bone.

Both the kick and punt return game was just ok. But, with Ray Ray McCloud fielding punts the weekly turnover has been eliminated. A step in the right direction.

Coaching

Grade: A

The Steelers beet down the Browns. It was never close whistle to whistle, and you have to give Coach Tomlin and his staff credit. The defense was dominant, especially on third down. The offense got into the end zone again and again. And finally the special teams units stood head and shoulders above the Browns.

The coaching staff will have their hands full in the coming weeks, but this game shows the heights of which this team can climb.

Overall

Grade: A

Straight A’s for the Steelers this week. I can't stress enough how great an afternoon it was for the Pittsburgh Steelers. If the Steelers had any detractors, they were silenced on Sunday. This team is for real and you can't deny them as one of the teams to beat in the NFL.

The Offense, defense, and special teams were firing on all cylinders. If the Steelers can keep this type of effort up they will win a ton of games this year.

A perfect afternoon earns a perfect grade, and the Steelers have put some distance between themselves and the Cleveland Browns.

The Steelers now turn their attention to the 5-0 Tennessee Titans, and a three game road trip. The Titans caused the Steelers bye week to be moved much earlier into the season than it was originally set for. I expect the Steelers to be ready for this one.

Keep your eyes locked on BTSC for the latest updates, breakdowns, and previews for the Steelers Week 7 match up with the Tennessee Titans.

Steelers players take to social media to talk about their win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 7:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Members of the Pittsburgh Steelers take to social media after their win over the Browns in Week 6.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have won their fifth game of the regular season! After their latest win moves their record to 5-0 for the 2020 regular season after beating the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.

Following the Steelers’ win, players took to social media to celebrate the big win over the AFC North opponent.

Take a look at what was said on different platforms following the game! I also added some interesting video which I felt fans might enjoy.

(Editor’s Note: This article may be updated as more players take to social media to talk about the team’s victory.)

@JamesWashington pic.twitter.com/JorT7W6GRE

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) October 18, 2020

My love, thoughts and prayers go out to @_Dbush11. Get well soon my brother! -- Ben

— BigBen7.com (@_BigBen7) October 18, 2020

Gods Plan. 5-0 pic.twitter.com/CyAwJNNR8n

— Chukwuma Okorafor (@Chuks__76) October 18, 2020

pic.twitter.com/4hT16j6VWC

— James Conner (@JamesConner_) October 19, 2020

5-0

— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) October 18, 2020

praying for my brother Devin Bush he is the ultimate competitor and doesn’t get enough credit for how well he plays! #DBUSHMYBRUDDA

— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) October 18, 2020

Winning is fun.

— Chase Claypool (@ChaseClaypool) October 18, 2020

✋ &0️⃣ I am so happy to be a @steelers

— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) October 18, 2020

Praying for my dawg D-Bush

— Diontae Johnson (@Juiceup__3) October 18, 2020

https://t.co/MvM1TkIlOH pic.twitter.com/csp2RhUPik

— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) October 18, 2020

Great Team Win!! 5-0 ! #HereWeGo #SteelerNation

— Mike Hilton (@MikeHilton_28) October 18, 2020

BIG 5-0‼️‼️‼️

— Mr SNELL YA LATER (@benny_snell) October 18, 2020

Great Team Win!! 5-0 ! #HereWeGo #SteelerNation

— Isaiah D. Buggs (@BigPooh_91) October 18, 2020

Analyzing the Steelers Week 6 win over the Browns, by the numbers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 6:00am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There were plenty of numbers to discuss after the Steelers 38-7 victory on Sunday

It was a complete beat down by the Pittsburgh Steelers in their first AFC North action of the 2020 season. Although the Cleveland Browns came to Heinz Field with a record of 4-1, they were completely outplayed from the onset as the outcome this Sunday for the Steelers was never in question.

After opening the season 5-0 for the second time in franchise history, here are some of the numbers which helped lead to the Steelers win on Sunday at the Heinz Field against the Browns.

38-7

It was extremely tempting to just type this number and call it an article. The score really says it all when it comes to the Steelers dominance on Sunday. But you all are here for some numbers, so I’m ready to give you some more. Not only did the Steelers 38 points scored match their season high from last week against the Philadelphia Eagles, the 7 points they surrendered on defense is the lowest in 2020 and the least the defense has surrendered since Week 4 of 2019 when they defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3.

14

The Cleveland Browns came in to Heinz Field Sunday leading the NFL in takeaways. While the Steelers did not turn the ball over at all to the Browns, they forced two takeaways of their own in which they scored 14 points. The first interception was on the Browns opening drive of the game and was returned for the Steelers first defensive touchdown of the 2020 season by Minkah Fitzpatrick. The second takeaway came courtesy of a Cameron Sutton interception which turned into a James Washington touchdown catch from Ben Roethlisberger four plays later. The Steelers have either scored points or ended the game with all of their takeaways in 2020.

1/15

In Week 5, the Steelers struggled with getting off the field on third down on defense. In Week 6, the Steelers only gave up one third-down conversion in 12 chances on the day. Additionally, the Steelers kept the Browns from converting all three of their fourth down conversions.

5:55

It was only 56 minutes and 55 seconds into the game when Minkah Fitzpatrick returned the Baker Mayfield interception for a touchdown. It was at that point the Steelers took a two-score lead and they never looked back. Basically, just over five minutes into the game and this one was out of reach for the Browns.

13

I have to give credit to this crazy stat to Bob Pompeani of KDKA. Pompeani posted on Twitter the Steelers have won 13 straight home games in which their opponent’s starting quarterback was drafted with the number one overall pick. It is the longest streak in NFL history.

#Steelers extended its regular-season home winning streak to 13 games when facing a starting QB drafted No. 1 overall.

13-game regular-season home winning streak when facing a starting QB drafted No. 1 overall is the longest streak in NFL history.

— Bob Pompeani (@KDPomp) October 18, 2020 20

For the first time this season, the Steelers had one player reach 20 rushing attempts in a game. James Conner went over 100 yards on his 20th carry which was his last one of the game. It’s been nice to see the Steelers not overwork any of their running backs early in 2020.

3-1

The Steelers also accomplished another feat in their fifth game of the season. For the first time since 1985 in which the New York Giants accomplished the same feat, the Pittsburgh Steelers have started their season with five straight games with at least three sacks and at least one interception in each game.

75

The Cleveland Browns came into Heinz Field on Sunday leading the NFL in rushing. Averaging 188.4 yards per game prior to Week 6, the Steelers shut down the Browns running attack for a combined 75 rushing yards. Additionally, 27 of those yards came on the final two drives after the Steelers were up 30 points. At this point, the game was no longer in doubt and both teams were beginning to rest players.

62

Of course, the sack streak continues as the Steelers have now gone 62 straight regular-season games with at least one sack. It is the fourth longest streak in NFL history and the second longest streak since sacks became an official statistic in 1983. Manny look at the “official” record being 69 by the Tampa Bay buccaneers from 1999 to 2003, but the Detroit Lions went 76 straight games from 1960 to 1965 where they recorded at least one sack.

37-25

Normally the Steelers are quite balanced with their offensive attack, but when they have a lead like they did throughout the game it was one of the more unbalanced games they have had in a while. The Steelers had 37 rushing attempts with 25 pass plays. Of the 37 rushing attempts, four came as quarterback kneel downs. Of the 25 passing plays, 23 were pass attempts where two plays the Steelers took a sack.

So there are some numbers to help evaluate the Steelers’ performance Sunday against the Browns. With a victory of more than 30 points, they were a lot of numbers to look at on the positive side and basically no negatives on the list. The Steelers dominated on both sides of the ball and made for a great Sunday for Steelers’ Nation.

Were there any other numbers which stood out to you? Please leave your answers in the comments below.

Podcast: Steelers shut out the noise and shut down the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 5:30am

Join BTSC for immediate reaction after the Steelers home contest against the Cleveland Browns

The Browns rolled into Pittsburgh with the number one rushing attack in the league, but it was the top defenders of the run that prevailed. The Steelers had a definitive win over the Browns to smack them back down to reality by the score of 38-7. Jeff Hartman and Bryan Anthony Davis break down the game like no one else does on the latest podcast, The Steelers Post-Game 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.

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

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

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

Part 1:

Part 2:

Post-Game Sound: Hear from Steelers coaches and players after the Week 6 win over the Browns

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 10/19/2020 - 4:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers were winners in Week 6 of the NFL regular season. Take a look and listen to what was said after the game.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were winners in the third week of the regular season after a 38-7 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 6.

After the game, there was plenty of video/audio to take in via Zoom. Here at BTSC we try to gather as much information as possible for those fans who might not be on social media and see this on a weekly basis.

Therefore, in the post-game sound article you will hear from head coach Mike Tomlin, and a myriad of other players as the Steelers official Twitter account gives fans the press conferences from all who participated on Monday.

Enjoy the content and be sure to stay with BTSC for all things black-and-gold as they look to continue to put tallies in the win column this season:

Mike Tomlin Press Conference

#LIVE: Coach Tomlin addresses the media following our win over the Cleveland Browns.@UPMC https://t.co/fUmcYvhX36

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Ben Roethlisberger Post-Game Press Conference

#LIVE: Ben Roethlisberger addresses the media following our win over the Browns.@UPMC https://t.co/QGYkrAq7c3

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) October 18, 2020

Ben Roethlisberger On-Field Interview

“I’m glad I only have to play them on Wednesdays, Thursdays, little parts of practice when I’m not live.”

Big Ben was relieved to watch the @Steelers defense from the sideline today, not the line of scrimmage (@TracyWolfson) pic.twitter.com/b3DrN8JvDs

— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 18, 2020

Minkah Fitzpatrick On-Field Interview

#Steelers S Minkah Fitzpatrick... on his pick-six, setting the tone, making statements and losing Devin Bush. pic.twitter.com/Q2x6HTf8W1

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) October 18, 2020

Ben Roethlisberger talking to Tony Romo during the game

Ref: Romo thinks [Claypool] got in.

Ben: Oh, it's in. Good job, Tony. Tony finally made a good call...Just joking, Antonio.

Tony: I can't believe he doubted me...like I was going to get one wrong. pic.twitter.com/bHxxG8FVZ3

— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) October 18, 2020

Available FA ILBs the Steelers could target after Devin Bush’s injury

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 5:29pm
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers might be looking for an inside linebacker on the open market after Devin Bush’s season-ending injury. Here are the players who are available.

The Pittsburgh Steelers reportedly suffered a horrible injury to second year linebacker Devin Bush. During the team’s 38-7 win over the Cleveland Browns Bush left the game with what is being labeled a torn ACL. The injury is season-ending and will require the Steelers to dig into their depth at the position.

Unless they want to look for some players outside the organization to help fill out the position.

It should be noted how none of these players are going to be locks at the position and be the cure-all for the team as they try to fill the huge shoes vacated by Bush. Nonetheless, here is a list of available free agents who could help soften the blow of losing Bush:

Wesley Woodyard
Deone Bucannon
Alec Ogletree
Manti Te’o
Nigel Bradham (Denver Practice Squad)
Darron Lee
Marquel Lee
Preston Brown
Vontaze Burfict

Obviously not every name on this list is a realistic option, especially the last one. We’ll just leave it at that.

When you look at names on paper, it always seems as if they could be the answer the team needs at the position of need, but the reality is how the Steelers very well could just fill the position within their own organization.

What would that look like? Obviously, the team thinks Robert Spillane is the next man up at inside linebacker, and he played well in the second half vs. the Browns in Week 6. Other than Spillane the team has Ulysees Gilbert III on the roster to help with depth at the position. Gilbert was the craze of training camp, but has struggled to even get a helmet on game days, making fans everywhere scratch their head when wondering what happened. After Gilbert, it would be safety/linebacker hybrid Marcus Allen who could fill in and help play linebacker.

The Steelers will likely need multiple players to help fill Bush’s position, and might force them to lean on their sub packages more. For instance, Spillane might be the team’s ILB next to Vince Williams on their base defense, but other than that it might be a mixture of Allen and Gilbert to help with more athletic, and versatile offenses.

With the Steelers preparing for the 5-0 Tennessee Titans in Week 7, it is a safe bet the team won’t have a long time to think about this decision. Stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on injuries and more as the Steelers roll through the 2020 regular season.

Report: Devin Bush tears his ACL and will have season-ending surgery

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 4:23pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The second-year player will be sidelined for the remainder of the 2020 season.

Steelers sophomore linebacker Devin Bush, has reportedly tore his ACL according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Bush will have an MRI to confirm the report, but the organization fears the worst. Bush injured his knee late in the first half and was helped off the field before being lead to the locker room.

Steelers’ LB Devin Bush tore his ACL today and will require season-ending surgery, per source.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 18, 2020

When Bush exited the game, he was leading the defense with five tackles and teamed up for half a sack on Baker Mayfield. The Steelers first-round pick of the 2019 draft had tallied 26 tackles on the season before his injury. Bush was seemingly coming into his own as the leader of the Steelers defensive front, taking over the green dot helmet, and was overall looking comfortable in Keith Butlers defense.

If Bush’s ACL is in fact torn, he will not be available for the rest of the 2020 season. Robert Spillane filled in at inside linebacker and looked good in limited action. Losing Bush for the year weakens one of the top ranked defenses, and the Steelers will have to find a way to share the snaps lost by Devin Bush.

During Mike Tomlins press conference, the Steelers head coach said the team will have to find the formula in replacing Bush and you could expect an uptick of snaps for both Spillane, and safety Marcus Allen who spent time at nickel linebacker in training camp.

Many members of the Steelers organization have taken to twitter to wish the Michigan alum the best. Including Steelers tight end, Eric Ebron.

praying for my brother Devin Bush he is the ultimate competitor and doesn’t get enough credit for how well he plays! #DBUSHMYBRUDDA

— Eric Ebron (@Ebron85) October 18, 2020

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage of the Steelers 38-7 win over the Cleveland Browns and as they prepare to take on the Tennessee Titans.

Steelers having to deal with key injuries after the big win over the Browns in Week 6

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 10/18/2020 - 3:35pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers lost some starters on defense, testing their depth heading into Week 7.

The Pittsburgh Steelers had a decisive win over the Cleveland Browns in Week 6, but it didn’t mean there wasn’t a toll taken by the winning team. Despite the 38-7 win, the Steelers suffered several key injuries, mainly on defense, during the game.

The most notable injury was to second year linebacker Devin Bush. Bush left the game near the end of the first half with a knee injury Mike Tomlin labeled as a “significant” knee injury.

This per Ed Bouchette of The Athletic.

Mike Tomlin: Devin Bush appears to have "a significant knee injury."

— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) October 18, 2020

Another injury on the defensive side of the ball was to Mike Hilton. Hilton left in the second half with a shoulder injury and Tomlin said he is being evaluated after the game.

Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t able to finish the game vs. the Eagles in Week 5 with a foot injury, and that same injury seems to have lingered into Week 6. Tomlin said the injury will be monitored throughout the week.

Coach Mike Tomlin on injuries:
Devin Bush – significant knee injury
Mike Hilton – shoulder being evaluated
Maurkice Pouncey - foot

— Teresa Varley (@Teresa_Varley) October 18, 2020

At this point, news of Bush’s knee will likely come sooner than later. Robert Spillane filled in, and did so nicely, and Tomlin said it will take a community to fill the shoes of Bush if he is out for the long term. Tomlin stated Spillane, Ulysees Gilbert III and even Marcus Allen will be called upon to help fill out the inside linebacker depth for as long as necessary.

Outside of the aforementioned injuries, the Steelers seems prepped and ready to turn the page from their win over the Browns and head into a huge game in Week 7 vs. the Tennessee Titans in Nashville next week. Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they roll throughout the regular season.

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