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Steelers sign two more players to reserve contracts, including Trey Edmunds

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 3:42pm
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers bring back Trey Edmunds just days after releasing him.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the process of getting their offseason roster solidified, and a critical part of that process is signing players to Reserve/Future contracts. The team recently added 13 players to reserve contracts, and Friday they added two more players to their growing roster.

Those players would be running back Trey Edmunds and offensive tackle Jarron Jones. This official statement is from the Steelers:

We have signed RB Trey Edmunds & T Jarron Jones to Reserve/Future contracts. @BordasLaw https://t.co/2itZ13CxGH

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 15, 2021

What might come as a shock to many fans of the black and gold is how the Steelers recently parted ways with Trey Edmunds. He was waived just days ago, most thinking it was to help the veteran running back/special teams player find a new home.

Nonetheless, he finds his way back to the Steelers alongside his brother, Terrell Edmunds, for at least another season.

Edmunds was active for the Steelers in four games in 2020, twice as a practice squad elevation and twice once signed to the active roster before landing on the Reserve/Injured List. After rushing for 92 yards on 22 attempts in the 2019 season, Edmunds did not have a rushing attempt this season and only saw seven snaps on offense.

As for Jaron Jones, he spent the entire 2020 season on the Steelers’ practice squad until he was placed on the injured list prior to the end of the season. A defensive lineman in college at Notre Dame, Jones made the change to offense and came to the Steelers in the 2020 offseason via the XFL.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and note surrounding the black and gold as they get ready for a busy offseason with a tremendous amount of turnover likely both within the coaching staff and the roster.

Will the Steelers organization learn from their latest playoff dud?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 1:30pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers were embarrassed, again, in the postseason. Will they learn, for once?

Losing sucks.

There is no better way to put it, and the Pittsburgh Steelers have experienced losing at the worst possible times too often the last few seasons. The playoff defeat to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs wasn’t just the latest playoff loss, it was a disturbing trend within the organization.

Everyone says you can learn from losing, but at what point will the lessons sink in for the Steelers?

Here is what Minkah Fitzpatrick said in a recent media availability about this topic:

“Me personally, I try not to get too emotional about it, or too low about it, because it is part of the game.” Fitzpatrick said. “A loss like that is very hard to deal with. You hang low for a little bit, but you still have to learn from it.”

As for head coach Mike Tomlin, here were some of his opening remarks for his end of season press conference Wednesday regarding the latest playoff loss.

“In regards to football, still experiencing the disappointment associated with our last performance. It’s just tough to swallow, it’s tough to accept. Coming to grips with that, assessing what transpired. Going through or starting the process of going through the normal things you do unfortunately at this time of year, I start first and foremost saying obviously I didn’t anticipate being here in this position. Disappointed by it.

“Understand that we better make some changes in terms of the things we do. We better look at every aspect of it. Schematics, personnel, approach to business. I am committed to that. I am also committed to not sitting in this position and feeling the way we feel right now moving forward. Those are just the general thoughts and feelings.”

It all sounds great. Many fans will read/hear these comments and nod their head in agreement, assuming these players and coaches will indeed learn from the defeat and adjust accordingly. Hopeful to not feel this again.

Yet here we are.

The Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since the 2016 season, and their last two playoff games, 2017 and 2020, were embarrassing defeats at home to the Jacksonville Jaguars led by Blake Bortles and a depleted Cleveland Browns team due to COVID-19. If those last two playoff failures, or their inability to make the postseason in 2018 and 2019, haven’t taught them anything, what will?

As the 2020 offseason is just days old, maybe the Steelers are finally committed to making the necessary changes to show they have learned from previous failures. Changes which can equate to on-field change in the immediate future.

Not renewing the contracts of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley was a step in the right direction. But there are still a lot of pieces missing on this puzzle.

Will they have the ability to bring in the right offensive coordinator to lead this team in the future?

Will they have the guts to make another bold move before, or during, the 2021 NFL Draft to get a player who will impact their future for the next decade and more?

Will they be willing to cut ties with players not just for salary cap reasons, but due to not living up to their contract?

While Fichtner’s dismissal from the team was a positive, there are a lot of unknowns still lingering. How they handle those unknowns will tell me whether this team is committed to learning from previous mistakes, or if we are just part of the Standard is the Standard.

Oh, and in case you haven’t noticed, the recent standard for the Steelers isn’t winning, but experiencing late season collapses.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they enter what could be the most tumultuous offseason in the Mike Tomlin era.

Rejoice! The Steelers have fired Randy Fichtner

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 12:00pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers have fired Randy Fichtner. This will change everything.

Our long national nightmare is over! The Pittsburgh Steelers announced on Thursday that Randy Fichtner, the offensive coordinator for many, many, many years (three), will not be coming back for 2021.

Yes, apparently, Fichtner called one too many “A whole season without Ben” and “air-mail the snap over Ben’s head” plays to stick around any longer.

If you’re a Steelers fan, this has to be music to your ears and something that has become quite the tradition in January. If there’s one thing we celebrate more than playoff victories this time of year, it’s the firing of offensive coordinators. People were so through with Fichtner, even before the start of the 2020 regular season, some had changed their Twitter name to something to do with firing him. In fact, I don’t know what mattered more to the Steelers’ faithful during the regular season: Firing Fichtner or winning a seventh Super Bowl.

In fairness, it was probably a Super Bowl, but if you can’t have that, the next best thing is a pound of flesh. Heads must roll. People must be held accountable.

And the offensive coordinator’s head is never too far away from the chopping block.

I remember the good old days when Bruce Arians was held accountable. “This will change everything,” they all said about the franchise quarterback who was a little too chummy with his offensive coordinator. To be honest, it did. Ben Roethlisberger tweaked his game under the smarmy tutelage of Todd Haley, a man who has never been known for being too chummy with anyone. He actually seemed to do a decent enough job. In fact, Pittsburgh had one of the more explosive offenses in football from 2013-2017. Of course, that just so happened to be around the same time Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell and a rebuilt offensive line began performing as well or better than any of their peers in the National Football League.

Did Haley get any of the credit for this offensive output, even if it would have almost been impossible to fail with that crew? Not a ton, I can tell you that. Besides, Roethlisberger probably wanted to punch him a lot, and the team’s red zone efficiency was not so efficient.

It may have helped if the Steelers had won a Super Bowl, but that didn’t happen, so something had to change, and it was Haley’s employment status.

By the time Pittsburgh was upset in the divisional round by the Jaguars following the 2017 season, the only question was, when would Haley get the boot? The other question was, when would Fichtner get promoted from his role as quarterbacks coach?

The answer to both questions was, not long.

Fichtner was the new sheriff of the offense. “This will change everything,” they all said of Fichtner, who may not have had the relationship with Roethlisberger that Arians did (they golfed and vacationed together), but at least he wouldn’t be the Vivian Vance to the quarterback’s William Frawley (the tension on the set of I Love Lucy was palpable).

In fairness, it did change things, especially in the red zone, where Pittsburgh excelled in 2018. But it’s hard for an offense to excel anywhere when the franchise quarterback is standing on the sidelines with his throwing arm in an apparatus.

That was 2019 when it was determined that Fichtner didn’t know his head from a potential matchup problem.

Fichtner never recovered from a season of designing game-plans for Mason Rudolph and/or Devlin “Duck” Hodges—even with Roethlisberger back in the saddle for all of 2020; after Pittsburgh’s quick and painful exit from the playoffs at the hands of the Browns on Sunday night, it seemed like Coach Randy’s days were numbered.

Now, his number is up! “This will change everything,” they’re all saying about (insert the new offensive coordinator here).

Do you really think this will change things? I’m guessing it won’t. Oh, sure, there will be articles written all offseason about how the new coordinator’s previous experience is just what Pittsburgh’s offense needs.

But it’s just a matter of time before the next failed trip inside the red zone. What happens then? What happens when the new offensive coordinator runs when a pass may have been the answer? What will be the reaction to one too many bubble screens (Steeler Nation hates bubble screens no matter who the OC is)?

What will happen if the Steelers fail to make the playoffs next year or make them but lose before a Super Bowl can be captured?

I know what will happen: The offensive coordinator will be dismissed.

That will change everything.

Steelers Podcast: What will be the ripple effects of the Steelers closing Randyland?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 11:00am

BTSC’s Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis talk news of the day and everything surrounding the Steelers. All of this while mixing in fun and frivolity like only they do.

The Steelers made news Thursday by announcing four vacancies on their coaching staff. This is the result of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, defensive backs coach Tom Bradley and offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett not having their contracts renewed and tight ends coach James Daniel retiring. The key reduction seems to be Fichtner’s. What will be the ripple effects of the closing of “Randyland”? This is just one of the subjects that will be discussed and speculated on in the latest edition in the flagship show of the BTSC family of podcasts.

As always, it sure is a good time to get on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-Gold and there you have the topic for the BTSC podcast The Steelers Preview with Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis. Join the triumphant trio as they combine the down all things Steelers and with shenanigans galore.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • The whirlwind of Steelers’ coaching personnel news
  • Trivia

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:

The Steelers need to reassess how they hire coordinators

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 10:30am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NFL assistants on winning teams often see promotions while the Steelers coordinators never get poached

The NFL coaching carousal is in full swing. Many names are getting tossed around for head coaching gigs. Almost all of the usual names you hear come from winning organizations. Robert Salah, Eric Bieniemy, or Brian Daboll have seemingly interviewed for every team with a head coaching vacancy. But when you look at the Pittsburgh Steelers not one of their assistant coaches even so much have an interview lined up. It’s stranger yet when you keep in mind this organization hasn't had a losing season since 2003.

The last time a Steelers’ coordinator had been poached off this team, that was still under contract, was way back in 2007 when Ken Wisenhunt jumped ship to Arizona when it was clear that Mike Tomlin would receive the Steelers head coaching gig. This also means that Mike Tomlin has never had an assistant coach go on to take a head coaching gig while they were still a member of the Steelers organization.

A commonality of the head coaching candidates today is their young age. You rarely see anyone getting their first head coaching job older than 45 years of age. For comparison Keith Butler is 64, and recently fired Randy Fichtner is 57. No one is looking for an old dog any more and NFL coaching is becoming a young man’s game full of bright and refreshing new ideas.

One of the top head coaching candidates for 2022 is Los Angeles Rams defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Staley is just 38 years old, meaning there are players much older than him in the league. The Steelers themselves typically only hire head coaches in their 30’s. Just take the last three guys who've held the position. Mike Tomlin was 35, Bill Cowher was 34, and Chuck Noll was 38 when they were hired.

The Steelers also have another glaring issue with their coaching staff. The Steelers have the smallest payroll for its coaches across the entire league and have the least full time coaches. For an organization considered to be the gold standard this is embarrassing.

The Steelers have the cheapest coaching staff in the NFL. They're 32nd on money spent on assistant coaches. You get what you pay for. How does a team that values coaching and winning championships cut costs on coaches? Explain. It's not like their assistants are young.

— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) January 12, 2021

Keith Butler is rumored to be on a year to year deal, and Randy Fichtner didn’t even make it to February. So as the organization begins the search for a new offensive coordinator there are a couple simple rules they should abide by. For starters, they need to get young and that means guys younger than 50. Secondly, the Steelers need to add more people, and more full time people to this staff.

What do you think? Should the Steelers bring in new coordinators, and if so who would you want them to be? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.

Which Divisional Round matchup is the most intriguing to Steelers fans?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 9:30am
Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

With the Steelers offseason underway, is there any game this weekend Steelers fans want to see?

Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Steelers are not playing this weekend. The sting of the loss is still painful, and there is likely to be a number of fans you may choose to not tune in to other NFL playoff action, at least for this week, since the Black & Gold are not involved. But for those who are taking in every football game they can before it is gone for the long offseason, there are some intriguing matchups in the four games in the Divisional Round.

So the question is, which game this weekend are you looking forward to the most?

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers Saturday 4:35 PM on FOX

Not many people picked the Rams to get past the Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend. With uncertainty at the quarterback position, they were not a safe bet. This week, it’s Jared Goff, bad thumb and all, right from the beginning. Can the Rams stellar defense contain a rested Green Bay Packers team? Will the Packers come out flat after the week off? Will either team take advantage?

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills Saturday at 8:15 PM on NBC

This game will likely be particularly difficult for Steelers fans when it gets time to kickoff. We all know this was the time slot they should be playing in, and I’ll just leave it at that. The Ravens and Bills should make for a very interesting matchup as they are two teams who have been known for defense in the past but have been in shootouts more recently. Weather could be a large factor in this game if it is actively snowing, but exactly who would benefit more will be determined Saturday night.

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs Sunday 3:05 PM on CBS

The Kansas City Chiefs may be ripe for the picking if the correct team was matched up against them as their first playoff game. As dominant as many believe the Chiefs offense to be, they have not won a game by more than six points since Week 8 against the New York Jets. Add in the fact over the last 15 years when quarterbacks are rested the final week of the season and have a first round bye, they have a losing record. The only question is if the Browns are a team that can take advantage.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints Sunday at 6:40 PM on FOX

This is the only game this weekend in which these teams have faced off during the regular season. Playing twice on the year, New Orleans got the best of Tampa Bay in Week 1 by 11 points, and had a complete beat-down in Week 9 in Tampa with a 35-point victory. Has Tom Brady & Co. learned from their losses in order to take down the Saints in New Orleans?

So there are the Divisional matchups this weekend. So which of these games are you looking forward to watching the most? Make sure you vote in the poll and give your thoughts in the comments below.

A list of candidates for the Steelers’ vacant coordinator position

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 8:30am
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Randy Fichtner is out, but who will be the man to replace him?

Well, it’s official: Randy Fichtner is no longer the offensive coordinator of the Pittsburgh Steelers. When we’re all done popping champagne bottles, it’s time to get down to business of finding the next offensive play caller. This is not an easy job whatsoever as their is so much uncertainty at quarterback as well as whether or not Mike Tomlin has a future as this teams head coach should the Steelers regress next season.

With so many question marks, I compiled and separated a list of possible replacements. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers picked anyone of the following guys or if they went off the board completely. There is no clear-cut favorite and I anticipate this job will not be one that is highly sought after due to the Steelers glaring question marks.

Hired from within:

Matt Canada - The most obvious name on our list is current Steelers quarterback coach, Matt Canada. Canada was seemingly hired to take over this job after Randy Fichtner’s time came to an end. But with the Steelers completely turning away from Canada’s offensive creativity, I don’t imagine he’s the front runner by any means. Additionally, the Miami Dolphins are currently persuading Canada to return to south beach to be their offensive coordinator. He’ll have options at his next job and the Dolphins gig is in a better place than the Steelers.

Recently fired:

Jim Caldwell - Caldwell is the perfect coach if the Steelers are looking for someone to bridge the gap between now and whenever the Steelers have a new starting quarterback.

Doug Pederson - Pederson is still a candidate for the head job in New York. However, if they go in another direction, Pederson might be more willing to take a year off of football after getting chased out of Philly.

Adam Gase - The incompetent head coach is still beloved by Peyton Manning. Gase will never be a head coach in the league again but he is destined to return as a coordinator.

Anthony Lynn - Lynn was fired after some baffling decisions as the Chargers head coach. With less responsibility, Lynn will find success again in the league.

Brian Schottenheimer - Former Seahawks and Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has gotten a lot out of some lacking offenses. But much like the Steelers this year, the Seahawks fell off a cliff after a hot start.

Young positional coaches:

Pep Hamilton - Chargers quarterback coach was the former head coach and general manager of the DC defenders of the XFL. Hamilton is a name already circling the league as a possible coordinator and future head coach.

Mike Kafka - The Chiefs passing game coordinator is in play for the Eagles head coaching job. The 33 year old’s meteoric rise comes on the back of the success of the Chiefs high powered offense, but Kafka will get a promotion before the 2021 season.

Mike McDaniel - The 49ers run game coordinator has learned under possibly the best offensive mind in the game today in Kyle Shanahan. He could be the guy.

Tony Elliott - The University of Clemson offensive coordinator is a name involved with the Miami Dolphins offensive coordinator list. The man calling plays for Trevor Lawrence will be in the NFL soon enough.

Long shots:

Lincoln Riley - Lincoln Riley could have any of the NFL head coaching openings he wants. He loves his role at the university of Oklahoma and it will take a lot to pry him away. He would need some certainty of being the next head coach as well as a massive contract.

Matt Campbell - The Iowa State head coach turned down the Jets offer to be their next head coach. Campbell is going to skyrocket up the NCAA coaching hierarchy in the coming years. Perhaps drafting his quarterback, Brock Purdy, might help in persuading him.

Mike Munchak - Perhaps the biggest long shot. Coach Munchak is one of the most respected minds in the city of Pittsburgh. The offensive line guru left for Denver to be closer with his grandkids. Perhaps a promotion could bring him back to the steel city.

That’s the list! What do you think? Who do you want to be the next offensive coordinator? Did I miss any names? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!

2021 Free Agent Tracker: Keeping tabs on players staying, and leaving

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 7:15am
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long list of free agents this offseason, and we keep you up-to-date with the news and rumors surrounding these players.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season now over, it is time to start looking at what the team will do with some of their own free agents heading into the 2021 season. In a perfect world the team would have enough money to pay those they want to keep, and let the others walk in hopes of receiving a compensatory draft pick.

But not all free agents are created equal. There are many different types of free agents.

Check out the distinction between an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA), Restricted Free Agent (RFA) and an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA). For a detailed explanation of each type of free agent, we have all that for you right HERE.

Below you will see the complete list of Steelers 2021 free agents, and this will be updated with players who are signed, released, sign with a new team and even rumors of players who might be landing in Pittsburgh for the 2021 season.

Be sure to check back for the latest news and notes on the Steelers’ free agency rumors and news!

2021 Pittsburgh Steelers Free Agents

Bud Dupree — EDGE — UFA
Alejandro Villanueva — LT — UFA
Avery Williamson — LB — UFA
Mike Hilton — CB — UFA
Matt Feiler — RT — UFA
Tyson Alualu — IDL — UFA
Zach Banner — RT — UFA
JuJu Smith-Schuster — WR — UFA
Jayrone Elliott — EDGE — UFA
Cassius Marsh — EDGE — UFA
Jordan Berry — P — UFA
Chris Wormley — IDL — UFA
Danny Isidora — RG — UFA
Trey Edmunds — RB — RFA (Released)
Sean Davis — S — UFA
Jordan Dangerfield — S — UFA
Cameron Sutton — CB — UFA
James Conner — RB — UFA
Jerald Hawkins — RT — UFA
Ray-Ray McCloud — WR — RFA
Joshua Dobbs — QB — UFA
Marcus Allen — S — ERFA
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi — EDGE — RFA
J.C. Hassenauer — C ERFA
Robert Spillane — LB — ERFA

Rumors

None to date

Future/Reserve Contract

TE Kevin Rader,
WR Anthony Johnson
WR Cody White
OT Anthony Coyle
OT Brandon Walton
S John Battle
LB Tegray Scales
DT Demarcus Christmas
DE Calvin Taylor
P Waitman
LS Christian Kuntz
OT John Leglue
Cornerback Trevor Williams

Official Free Agent Signings

None to date

Odds for the Steelers’ starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 season

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 6:00am
Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images

If you were interested in placing a wager on the Steelers starting quarterback next season, the odds are available.

As I’ve learned over recent years, it’s possible to bet on almost anything. I no longer have to find a buddy willing to shake on it in order to ‘put my money where my mouth is’ when it comes to almost anything dealing with sports. Be it championships, draft picks, points scored, or almost any crazy thing you can think of, chances are you can find somewhere online to place a wager.

If you were looking to place a wager on who will be the Steelers starting quarterback come Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season, the odds are already available at SportsBettingDime.com. Granted they don’t have the odds for every team as franchises who appear to have their quarterback set in stone such as the Kansas City Chiefs, Baltimore Ravens, and teams of that nature. But for 19 of the NFL’s 32 teams who either have an aging quarterback or uncertainty at the position, there are opportunities to place a wager on the team’s starter for Week 1 of 2021.

When it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, with a quarterback who is about to turn 39 years old in the offseason, to say that there are questions going into next season would be accurate. Even after throwing for 500 yards in a playoff game, there are parts of Ben Roethlisberger‘s game where age has caught up to him. So although he is entering what would be his 18th season and his 17th as being the projected starter in Week 1, the coming weeks will tell more about Roethlisberger’s story in 2021.

Although there are many questions, Roethlisberger is still the odds-on favorite to start for the Steelers in 2021 at 4/7 odds. Roethlisberger is the only player for the Steelers with negative odds (meaning the payout would not double the original bet). If one were to wager $100 on Roethlisberger starting for the Steelers Week 1 of next season, the payout would be $150.14 with a profit less than the original wager.

What is interesting about the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback situation is they had the second most players listed with odds of being a starter next year with six different players. The only team with more quarterbacks listed than the Steelers was the New England Patriots who had 10 players with whom bettors could wager on being their starter for Week 1 of 2021.

As many would expect, the next best odds of being Steelers starter in Week 1 belong to Mason Rudolph at 5/2 odds. The same $100 bet placed on Rudolph to be the Steelers starter next year would earn a payout of $350 should it be the case.

Of the other names listed for the Steelers, one which hasn’t got any traction throughout much of Steelers Nation is Jimmy Garoppolo. While the Jets’ Sam Darnold has higher odds to be the Steelers’ starter next season than Garoppolo, at least his name has been mentioned in some circles when it comes to the Steelers in 2021.

It would be of note that one player missing from the list of possible starting quarterbacks in 2021 for the Pittsburgh Steelers is current third-string quarterback Josh Dobbs.

Here is the complete list of players and their odds of being the Steelers’ starting quarterback in Week 1 of the 2021 season according to SportsBettingDime.com:

Pittsburgh Steelers

1. BEN ROETHLISBERGER: 4/7 (-175)
2. MASON RUDOLPH: 5/2 (+250)
3. SAM DARNOLD: 65/1 (+6500)
4. JIMMY GAROPPOLO: 75/1 (+7500)
5. DWAYNE HASKINS: 90/1 (+9000)
6. JAMEIS WINSTON: 150/1 (+15000)
7. FIELD: 28/1

*NOTE: Odds were determined prior to any coaching changes by the Steelers

Sam Darnold appears on four other teams lists as a possible starter for 2021 with his greatest odds being for the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, and the Denver Broncos which were all higher than his odds to be with the Steelers. Jimmy Garoppolo appeared on two other lists other than the Steelers and was the top odds for both the San Francisco 49ers and the New England Patriots.

While many teams also included odds with quarterbacks who could be drafted in the 2021 NFL draft, the Steelers list did not include any of these quarterbacks as the 24th pick appears to be out of the running for the other players listed.

So who do you think will be the Steelers starting quarterback in 2021? Which option seems to be the most far-fetched? Make sure you vote in the poll and leave your comments below.

The 2021 NFL Draft looms large, but there’s no reason to worry

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 5:00am
Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers have found a number of quality players beyond the first round of the NFL draft in recent years.

The NFL Draft is basically Christmas in April for NFL fans and pundits. And while some fans fear for the selections from their respective front offices, Steelers’ fans should rest easy knowing Kevin Colbert and company are still around.

Take 2020 for example, the most disorganized draft processes in modern NFL history... for one more cycle, the Steelers entered the long weekend without a pick until midway through the second round. Colbert and co. only came away with Chase Claypool, Alex Highsmith and Kevin Dotson in the second, third and fourth rounds, respectively.

And 24-year-old back-to-back All-Pro Minkah Fitzpatrick served as the de facto first rounder, so... yeah.

T.J. Watt at No. 30 in 2017 was one of the best selections of the 2010s and the rare draft day trade for Devin Bush in 2019 has already paid dividends shown from his on-field performance and his injury fallout this season. Terrell Edmunds has turned into a 16-game starter across from Fitzpatrick from the 28th pick, but the jury is out on how he’ll be remembered. And we’d all do well to just forget about Artie Burns in 2016.

Since that 2016 Draft, the Steelers have hit on quite a few mid-round selections. JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second round in 2017 and Diontae Johnson in the third round in 2019 were slam dunk selections, but that’s just the standard for the Steelers when it comes to selecting wide receivers.

In 2019, the Steelers hit on possible 2021 Week 1 halfback starter Benny Snell in the fourth round, and uber-talented yet little-used cornerback Justin Layne in the third. In 2018, the best wide receiver on the Steelers’ roster in 2019, James Washington, was selected in the second round and starting tackle Chukwuma Okorafor was selected in the third. In 2017, the draft produced James Conner, the mercurial running back who probably doesn't need much explanation, and Cameron Sutton, the man tabbed to replace Joe Haden at cornerback, in the third round. While Javon Hargrave and Tyler Matakevich have left Pittsburgh, the third and seventh round selections in 2016, it certainly wasn't for a lack of interest.

With a penchant for finding wide receivers and offensive linemen, especially over the last two drafts, the Steelers have navigated recent drafts better than most.

Watt, Claypool, Dotson, Highsmith, Bush and Johnson are strong bets to impact the Steelers for years to come. Edmunds, Okorafor, Sutton, Layne, Washington and Snell are at least expected to impact next season. and the jury is out on whether Smith-Schuster or Conner will play in Pittsburgh or elsewhere next season.

The Steelers have never — and will never — be a team to build through free agency. In the past couple of seasons, the Steelers have made some very shrewd trades that have been extremely successful, but history says that will not be the norm.

The Pittsburgh Steelers build through the draft, always have and always will. With so much undecided and undetermined for next season, there really cannot be a “favorite” for the first round selection — and there shouldn't be for the second or third round picks either.

In 2021, with the 24th pick — the highest naturally acquired pick since the Steelers selected Bud Dupree 22nd in 2015 — the Steelers have a multitude of needs but only so many picks.

After watching Alabama’s Najee Harris dominate college football this season, only to be snubbed of a Heisman Trophy finalist honor, the thought of him in Black and Gold is extreamely tempting. But with so many other pressing needs, drafting a running back so high would probably be a mistake, especially with this offensive line.

My dream first round selection all season had been Florida tight end Kyle Pitts. But with his meteoric rise, there’s no chance he’ll still be around in the mid-20s.

Besides, if I’ve learned anything in my years of watching NFL Drafts, other than trusting in the Steelers’ scouting department to make the best choice, it’s that you can’t come into the draft deadset on any single player. The motto is, and should always be, ‘draft the best player available.’

Depending on how the draft unfolds and what decisions the Steelers/Steelers’ players make between now and April 29, the Steelers’ original big board could and will be changed repeatedly.

The hope is the Steelers draft an impact offensive lineman, running back, cornerback and defensive lineman with a strong developmental quarterback spread somewhere in there. But I’m just saying, it would be fun to see Najee Harris as Steeler next season.

Bring on the draft! What are your early thoughts on the impending Steelers’ draft class?

Podcast: Steelers fans, don’t get your hopes up for this offseason

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 01/15/2021 - 4:30am

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

The Steelers are expecting to make major changes in the off-season, but the moves aren’t promising to be exciting at all. In fact, fans can’t expect an influx of new and exciting nomes to get all pumped up for. This is the main topic that will be discussed on the latest episode of the morning flagship show in the BTSC family of podcasts. Join BTSC co-editor Jeff Hartman for this and more on “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • The off-season for the Steelers may be uneventful and disappointing to fans
  • 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.

Steelers could see another coach leave as Teryl Austin interviews with the Titans

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 4:31pm
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers could be without another coach if Teryl Austin is hired by the Tennessee Titans.

Thursday, January 14th has been a busy day for the Pittsburgh Steelers. After informing offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and secondary coach Tom Bradley they won’t be getting new contracts with the team, the Steelers also learned of veteran tight end coach James Daniel retiring.

Now the Steelers have to wait and see if some other coaches will be looking for work elsewhere in 2021.

The Miami Dolphins are interviewing quarterback coach Matt Canada for their offensive coordinator position, and now it seems the Steelers defensive assistant coach Teryl Austin is getting an opportunity to prove he is capable of another defensive coordinator job with the Tennessee Titans.

This per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

More potential coaching departures for Steelers: Senior defensive assistant/secondary coach Teryl Austin is interviewing with the Tennessee Titans today to be their defensive coordinator.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 14, 2021

Austin came to the Steelers after being the Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator, and he has thrived in Pittsburgh reviving the team’s secondary. If Austin is offered the job in Nashville, you can’t blame him for taking it, considering it is being rumored the Steelers are keeping Keith Butler on a year-to-year basis.

If both Canada and Austin were to leave for greener pastures in 2021, the Steelers would have an incredible amount of coaching turnover heading into the new league year. Again, these are just interviews Canada and Austin are attending, but a whopping 6 new coaches would need to be hired if they were to get their promotions with other jobs.

As Thursday showed, business with the Steelers is picking up this offseason, and to stay on top of the news be sure to stay tuned to BTSC.

Steelers continue with offseason moves by signing 13 players to Reserve/Future contracts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 3:32pm
Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

The list is comprised of players who either finished the 2020 season on the Steelers’ practice squad or were with the team at some point this season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers continued with their flurry of offseason activity on Thursday as they signed 13 players to Reserve/Future contracts. The signed players, according to Steelers.com, are as follows:

Tight end Kevin Rader,
Wide receiver Anthony Johnson
Wide receiver Cody White
Offensive tackle Anthony Coyle
Offensive tackle Brandon Walton
Safety John Battle
Linebacker Tegray Scales
Defensive tackle Demarcus Christmas
Defensive end Calvin Taylor
Punter Corliss Waitman
Long snapper Christian Kuntz
Offensive tackle John Leglue
Cornerback Trevor Williams

The two players on the list who were not on the Steelers practice squad to finish the season were long snapper Christian Kuntz and linebacker Tegray Scales. Kuntz was released from the practice squad the week of the Steelers Wild Card matchup against the Cleveland Browns while Scales was on the active roster up until the return of Robert Spillane and Matt Feiler from the Reserve/Injured List last Saturday.

Other notable players from the list are tight end Kevin Rader and offensive tackle Anthony Coyle who both spent time active on game day for the Steelers at various points of the 2020 season. Coyle never saw the field for the Steelers on the occasions he was elevated from the practice squad. Rader was elevated for the Steelers playoff matchup where he played 20 special teams snaps after being used by the Steelers in Week 17 when they were without tight end Eric Ebron.

There are five players who finished the season on the Steelers practice squad who are not included in this list for signing Reserve/Future contracts. Those players include wide receiver Deon Cain, quarterback Devlin Hodges, tight end Charles Jones, running back Wendell Smallwood, and kicker Matthew Wright. Additionally, offensive tackle Jarron Jones, who finished the 2020 season on the Steelers Practice Squad/Injured List, was not included with the other signed contracts.

The Steelers will continue to shape their offseason roster in the given weeks. Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for continued coverage of the process of shaping the Steelers 2021 roster and coaching staff.

List of Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 Free Agents

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 2:00pm
Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers have some tough decisions ahead of them in free agency. Take a look at the players who could be finding a new home in 2021.

With the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season now over, it is time to start looking at what the team will do with some of their own free agents heading into the 2021 season. In a perfect world the team would have enough money to pay those they want to keep, and let the others walk in hopes of receiving a compensatory draft pick.

But not all free agents are created equal. There are many different types of free agents.

Check out the distinction between an Unrestricted Free Agent (UFA), Restricted Free Agent (RFA) and an Exclusive Rights Free Agent (ERFA). This per the league’s website:

Unrestricted free agent (UFA): Any player with four or more accrued seasons and an expired contract; free to negotiate and sign with any team.

Restricted free agent (RFA): A player with three accrued seasons and an expired contract. RFAs are free to negotiate and sign with any team, but their original team can offer them one of various qualifying offers (“tenders”) that come with the right of first refusal and/or draft-pick compensation. If the tender is withdrawn by a team, the RFA becomes an unrestricted free agent. In 2020, teams must submit these tenders before 4 p.m. ET on March 18. These amounts change annually; the following numbers are for the 2020 season. Players can choose either (a) or (b) regardless of which is greater in the applicable tenders below.

The RFA tenders are classified as follows:

First-round tender: One-year contract worth the greater of (a) $4.641 million or (b) 110 percent of the player’s prior-year base salary. If the player’s original team decides not to match an offer sheet signed with another team, it is entitled to a first-round draft pick from the player’s new team. Unless received two days or later prior to the NFL draft, draft compensation for each tender is due in the same league year as the offer sheet is signed.

A signed offer sheet with a new team includes Principal Terms that must be matched by the prior club. However, if the new team includes terms that waive or limit its ability to designate the RFA a franchise player, the old team will not have to match this term if it has tendered the player with an offer worth $500,000 more than the first-round tender ($5.141 million in 2020).

Second-round tender: One-year contract worth the greater of (a) $3.259 million or (b) 110 percent of the player’s prior-year base salary. Draft-choice compensation: second-round pick.

Original-round tender: One-year contract worth the greater of (a) $2.133 million or (b) 110 percent of the player’s prior-year base salary. Draft-choice compensation: a pick in the round the player was originally drafted in.

Right-of-first-refusal tender: One-year contract worth $2.133 million. Team has the right to match any offer sheet signed with another team, but there is no draft compensation tied to this tender.

Upgraded tender: If a team places a first-round tender on a player who was selected outside of the first round, it can only receive a second-round pick as compensation for any of its other RFAs who were first-round draft picks. The same is true for the second-round tender — if a team uses it on a player drafted in the third round or lower, it can only receive a third-round pick for any other second-round RFA it intends to tender. As an example, the Saints are reportedly using a first-round RFA tender on QB/RB/WR/TE Taysom Hill this offseason. Had New Orleans had any RFAs who were former first-round picks, it could only receive a second-round selection in return for a declined offer sheet.

RFA tender salary increases: If there is an increase in the salary cap in the 2021 or 2022 league years, each of the tenders will increase by the percentage of the salary cap from one season to the next. In addition to this, each of the tenders will increase by an additional amount during the 2021 and 2022 league years as follows: Right-of-first-refusal tender ($0), original-round tender ($50,000), second-round tender ($125,000) and first-round tender ($125,000). Beginning in 2023, each of these tenders will only increase with the percentage of the salary cap (if any) from league year to league year.

Exclusive rights free agent (ERFA): Any player with fewer than three accrued seasons and an expired contract. If his original team offers him a one-year contract at the league minimum (based on his credited seasons), the player cannot negotiate with other teams.

Below is a complete list of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 free agents, and the type of free agent they are, heading into the offseason. Some big names, and even bigger decisions, await the black and gold in the coming weeks and months.

Bud Dupree — EDGE — UFA
Alejandro Villanueva — LT — UFA
Avery Williamson — LB — UFA
Mike Hilton — CB — UFA
Matt Feiler — RT — UFA
Tyson Alualu — IDL — UFA
Zach Banner — RT — UFA
JuJu Smith-Schuster — WR — UFA
Jayrone Elliott — EDGE — UFA
Cassius Marsh — EDGE — UFA
Jordan Berry — P — UFA
Chris Wormley — IDL — UFA
Danny Isidora — RG — UFA
Trey Edmunds — RB — RFA (released from the team)
Sean Davis — S — UFA
Jordan Dangerfield — S — UFA
Cameron Sutton — CB — UFA
James Conner — RB — UFA
Jerald Hawkins — RT — UFA
Ray-Ray McCloud — WR — RFA
Joshua Dobbs — QB — UFA
Marcus Allen — S — ERFA
Olasunkanmi Adeniyi — EDGE — RFA
J.C. Hassenauer — C ERFA
Robert Spillane — LB — ERFA

So, who will the Steelers keep, and who will they let walk? Either way, let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

Steelers have a fourth coach not returning for the 2021 season

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 1:17pm

Steelers tight end coach James Daniel is retiring after after 17 seasons in Pittsburgh.

Changes to the 2021 Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff came fast and furious just a day after head coach Mike Tomlin held his end of the year press conference. After the Steelers have not renewed the contracts of offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett, and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley, another coach is not returning for the 2021 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have officially announced tight end’s coach James Daniel is retiring from the NFL coaching ranks.

We have announced the retirement of long-time tight ends coach, James Daniel.

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 14, 2021

James Daniels served as the Steelers tight end coach since 2004 when the Steelers drafted Ben Roethlisberger. Daniel began his NFL coaching career in 1993 as the tight end’s coach for the New York Giants before moving to the Atlanta Falcons in 1997. Coach Daniel was one of the few remaining in the Pittsburgh organization who was a part of both of the Steelers’ Super Bowl XL and XLIIII victories.

As the Steelers begin their search for a new offensive coordinator, they should have some say in helping to form their offensive staff as now both the offensive line and tight end coach’s positions are vacant.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Pittsburgh Steelers continue to shape their coaching staff for the 2021 season.

As the Steelers’ OC job opens, Matt Canada expected to interview for the Dolphins’ opening

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 12:00pm
Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

If the Pittsburgh Steelers want to promote Matt Canada to offensive coordinator, they better think about acting quickly.

Today, January 14th, 2021 has been a joyous occasion for fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Early on Thursday it was reported how the Steelers have decided to part ways with three coaches heading into the 2021 season, one of them being offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner.

Social media blew up with cheers as Fichtner’s demise was made public, and official, by the Steelers’ organization, but with the news came the fact the team now has to find someone to take over the duties of offensive coordinator.

The vast majority of fans think it would be wise to promote Matt Canada from quarterbacks coach to coordinator. After all, if Ben Roethlisberger is going to return for the 2021 season, he at least has one year of familiarity with Canada in Pittsburgh.

Some want the Steelers to look outside the organization to find their next play caller, but if the Steelers are even interested in promoting Canada, they might want to act quickly with the Miami Dolphins planning on interviewing Canada for their own opening at offensive coordinator.

List of Dolphins interview candidates, per source

Dolphins RB coach Eric Studesville
Dolphins QB coach George Godsey
Clemson OC Tony Elliott
Chargers QB coach Pep Hamilton
49ers run game coordinator Mike McDaniel
Steelers QB coach Matt Canada

— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) January 14, 2021

The Steelers organization has had their share of rumors recently. Whether it be the rumors of the Detroit Lions trying to steal Keith Butler from the organization, which proved to be false, or Omar Khan being considered for the General Manager positions for both the Houston Texans and Carolina Panthers.

But these seem to be more than just rumors for Canada to get the experience of an NFL interview to be an offensive coordinator. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Dolphins are taking a “hard look” at Canada after he consulted with Miami during the 2019 season before joining the Steelers’ staff in 2020.

Dolphins are believed to be taking a hard look at Steelers QBs coach Matt Canada for OC. Canada consulted with Miami last year, acquitted himself well in Pittsburgh.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 14, 2021

The Steelers are behind almost all other NFL organizations when it comes to the hiring process. For the teams who didn’t reach the playoffs, like the Miami Dolphins, they have a head start on the interviewing process. If Canada is who the Steelers are eyeing as their next offensive coordinator, you might expect a promotion being announced sooner than later.

But if they want to take the time to hire someone outside the organization, someone potentially from a team who is still currently playing in the NFL Playoffs, they might lose out on Canada as a viable option.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for a wild and crazy offseason leading up to the 2021 regular season.

With the Detroit Lions selecting a GM, it debunks the Kevin Colbert rumors

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 11:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Well those rumors were interesting while they lasted...

During a typical NFL offseason there are rumors which start and get legs. Rarely do people to the homework to see if these rumors are true, or even noteworthy, but they get plenty of attention.

This was the case when it was reported by multiple sources the Detroit Lions were actively trying to lure General Manager Kevin Colbert away from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

When these rumors picked up steam on social media, they were shot down by multiple sources. One of which was Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. As Dulac points out, the Lions never requested to speak with Colbert, something they would have to do with Colbert still under contract in Pittsburgh.

Source: The Steelers have not received a request for permission from the Detroit Lions to speak to GM Kevin Colbert. They cannot talk to Colbert without the Steelers' consent.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) January 13, 2021

Despite these reports, Mike Tomlin was asked about these rumors during his end of season press conference Wednesday. Here was his response:

“I’ve worked with Kevin [Colbert] for 14 years. We have an awesome working relationship. We communicate each and every day multiple times a day. We’ve communicated today. I look forward to beginning this process with him. I know next to nothing about the rumors of things that you mentioned.”

As if that wasn’t enough, it is now being reported the Lions have agreed to terms on a 5-year contract with former Los Angeles Rams scouting director Brad Holmes as their new General Manager.

The #Lions have agreed to terms on a 5-year deal with #Rams Director of College Scouting Brad Holmes as their new GM, sources tell me and @TomPelissero. A meteoric rise for Holmes.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 14, 2021

So, if the fact Colbert is still under contract with the Steelers through the 2021 NFL Draft, sources saying it was false and Tomlin saying he has no idea what these rumors are about wasn’t enough for you to believe this was nothing but blowing smoke, this should debunk those Colbert rumors once and for all.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for what could be a very tumultuous offseason.

For more on the breaking news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers today, check out the Breaking News podcast below:

Steelers parting ways with three coaches, including Randy Fichtner

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 11:02am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers will be looking for a new offensive coordinator in 2021, per reports.

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense was quite the oddity in 2020. Their passing numbers were above average, but their running game was the worst in the league. Literally the bottom of the barrel in both yards per game and yards per attempt.

Throughout the season it became evident there was a disconnect not only with the play calling, but also with situational football. The inability to thrive on third downs, and especially on third and short situations.

When all was said and done, it seemed as if all signs pointed at one person, offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner. Well, for fans who have been calling for the end of the Fichtner era for years, today is your day.

The Steelers announced Thursday they are parting ways with Fichtner, and two other coaches. The two other coaches were offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley.

We have announced that offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett, and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley will not have their contracts renewed.https://t.co/6OHM9ufFxa

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) January 14, 2021

The Steelers didn’t necessarily fire these coaches, but their contracts were simply not renewed. In other words, a nicer way of saying you are fired.

Randy Fitchner had been on the Steelers coaching staff since 2007 when Mike Tomlin was hired as the head coach. The wide receiver’s coach for three seasons, Fichtner took over as the quarterbacks coach in 2010. Promoted to the offensive coordinator in 2018 while still remaining the quarterbacks coach, Fichtner was relieved of his quarterback coaching duties for 2020 when the Steelers hired Matt Canada. The Steelers have been the only NFL team in which Fichtner has coached as he has plenty of collegiate stops including Memphis, Arkansas State, and Purdue.

Shaun Sarrett has been on the Steelers coaching staff since 2012. Officially an offensive assistant through the 2017 season, Sarrett was officially given the title of assistant offensive line coach in 2018. Working with the offensive line prior to the arrival of Mike Munchak, Sarrett took over the job when Munchak left for the Denver Broncos in 2019.

Tom Bradley joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as their Ddfensive backs coach in 2018. Bradly came from the college ranks where he had been the defensive coordinator at UCLA the previous three seasons. With a stop at West Virginia University in 2014 as the Associate Head Coach, Bradley had previously been the interim head coach at Penn State in 2011. Bradley began his coaching career in 1979 at Penn State and had coached the Nittany Lions through his time as the interim head coach in 2011. In 2019, the Steelers added Teryl Austin to their coaching staff as a Senior Defensive Assistant and Secondary Coach.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain as the Steelers work to rebuild their coaching staff for the 2021 season.

For more on the breaking news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers today, check out the Breaking News podcast below:

Keith Butler reportedly survives the Steelers’ coaching cuts, at least for another year

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 11:02am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The Pittsburhg Steelers are reportedly keeping Keith Butler, at least for another season.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin met with media on Wednesday and talked about changes which would be forthcoming. No one knew exactly what kind of change to expect, or when to expect it, but on Thursday the organization decided to part ways with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner, offensive line coach Shaun Sarrett and defensive backs coach Tom Bradley.

When the Steelers made these moves official, many fans of the black and gold were wondering what the future would hold for defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

Butler was coming off a season where his defense was Top 5 in almost every major defensive category, leading the league in sacks and second in takeaways. Despite a complete dud in the postseason, where Butler’s unit allowed a season high 48 points to the Cleveland Browns in the Wild Card round of the AFC Playoffs, it is being reported Butler will return for the 2021 season.

This per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN:

#Steelers are discussing a new contract with defensive coordinator Keith Butler, who at 64, plans to go year-to-year, per source. Some details would still have to be worked out this week but signs point to Butler's return.

— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 14, 2021

It should be noted how Fowler points out the Steelers and Butler are going to take a year-to-year approach if they are able to iron out the details of a new contract. Why is this a good thing? Not only does it give the organization flexibility to cut ties with Butler if they feel he is no longer worth keeping on the staff, but it gives Butler the ability to call it a career when he feels it to be necessary.

The knee jerk reaction from the fan base was to clean house, but Butler’s resume with the defense speaks for itself. While the last image fans have of the defense was Baker Mayfield, Nick Chubb, Kareem Hunt and Jarvis Landry moving the ball at ease, it shouldn’t be enough to erase a really good defensive season for Butler’s unit.

This decision has not been made official yet, so be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they continue throughout the offseason and prepare for the 2021 regular season.

For more on the breaking news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers today, check out the Breaking News podcast below:

Podcast: In the end, were the 2020 Steelers their own worst enemy?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Thu, 01/14/2021 - 11:00am

BTSC breaks down, quite possibly, their greatest enemy of the 2020 season...themselves.

Welcome to the show where Michael Beck and Geoffrey Benedict break down the upcoming opponent for the Black-and-Gold. With the season over after a gut-wrenching loss to the Browns in the Wild Card game, the team to really analyze is the 2020 Steelers themselves. This week, Mike is off and Bryan Anthony Davis fills in. All of this and more will be pondered on the latest episode from the BTSC family of podcasts. As always, it is a good time to talk everything Steelers.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • A look at the Steelers greatest 2020 enemy
  • and MUCH MORE!

Michael and Geoffrey walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-Gold.

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:

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