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Melvin Ingram will offer solid depth for the Steelers at OLB, that’s the headline

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 07/21/2021 - 6:30am
Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Melvin Ingram was brought in to provide the Steelers with solid depth at outside linebacker in 2021. That’s all anyone should expect from him.

You know what social media “cool phrase” I’m really starting to get annoyed by these days (almost as much as the social media “cool phrase” that begins, “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but....”)? The one where someone makes a simple statement and then tags it with, “That’s it, that’s the list.”

A rather pretentious way of putting things, I’d say, but if someone would have gone on Twitter on Monday and said, “Melvin Ingram will provide solid depth for the Steelers at outside linebacker in 2021. That’s it, that’s the Tweet” immediately after Pittsburgh inked the veteran pass rusher to a one-year deal, I would have replied with, “That’s fair.”

After all, that’s what Ingram was brought in to do, right? The Steelers were in obvious need of solid depth behind T.J. Watt and Alex Highsmith. I mean, Cassius Marsh? Quincy Roche (for now)? Yikes.

Ingram, 32, with his 96-career starts and 49-career sacks should allow the Steelers and their fans to sleep well at night knowing the team has a decent backup at outside linebacker just in case.

But it can never be like that anymore, at least not in the world of extreme sports takes.

Instead of people just saying, “Oh, cool,” when the news of the Ingram signing was announced, we started having arguments everywhere, with some people being too happy and others being too angry.

Some non-Steelers fans have even been mocking Steelers fans over this signing as if Ingram was brought in to be the savior of the defense. Sure, there are those who, with their glee, seem to be a little too high on the deal as if Ingram actually will be a huge difference-maker for Keith Butler’s unit in 2021.

They’re probably wrong, too.

Don’t talk to me about working Ingram into the rotation or exploring his versatility. He is an oft-injured 32-year old outside linebacker who was sitting near the middle of a list of mostly-prominent unsigned free agents in July.

Those guys usually don’t go somewhere and become difference makers. However, those kinds of free agents—the unsigned prominent names sitting around in July—are often still pretty good and can be of some value to a team for the right price. But one problem may be that they’re just not a hiring match, thanks to their asking price or their desire to play a lot. Maybe you can identify by relating in a “real world” sorta way. Let’s say you’re out of work. You know you still have a lot to offer, but the only jobs available are of the minimum-wage variety. Do you take one of those jobs, or do you become a gig worker while you bide your time, waiting for a more attractive offer to come along? I would go with the gig work. You work your own schedule. You can maintain your independence. Something better almost always comes along.

That’s the kind of free agent Melvin Ingram was. He was too old and injury-prone to sign a mega-deal at the onset of free agency, but he was still too valuable to settle for some veteran-minimum contract.

Now, Ingram is a Steeler. Now, he can come in and be a dangerous and explosive weapon in Butler’s defense...but probably not. It could happen, sure, but I wouldn't bet on it. Best case scenario: Ingram will be a Tyson Alualu kind of veteran addition, someone who saves the team’s bacon from time to time, especially when an injury arises. No, he doesn’t give the team the kind of starts that make fans and media members go, “I don’t think Ingram should be taken out of the lineup when Highsmith is healthy,” but he does do his job very well while filling in. Much like Alualu, you find yourself going, “Wow, Ingram is such a comforting veteran presence on this defense. The Steelers sure were smart to bring him in as depth.”

You’d take that, wouldn’t you? If you knew you were going to get that kind of year from Ingram, would you be breaking out the wine or breaking out the whine? No, it just wouldn’t be worth all of that fuss.

There is nothing wrong with Ingram simply being quality depth at outside linebacker in 2021. Why do we think it could be more? Why are some so upset about Ingram’s injury history? Because July free agents used to be guys that were just sitting out there until someone signed them. Now, thanks to social media, they’re on all of these lists. Fans bring them up all the time on podcasts. Talk show hosts say things like, “If the Steelers don’t sign (insert July free agent here), they just don’t care about winning.” Really? Let me tell you, if you need a July free agent to put you over the top, you're likely going to be stuck at the bottom.

Think of a July free agent in a more practical sense. It’s kind of like finding an old movie that you love on some free streaming service. For the purposes of this article, let’s just say you stumble upon Back to School starring Rodney Dangerfield. No, it’s not a cinematic masterpiece, but it certainly is a refreshing alternative to all of that pretentious prestige programming you’ve been binging on recently.

It saves your evening in a way you didn’t even know was possible.

Melvin Ingram is nothing more than a practical free-agent pickup, a player who will hopefully provide solid depth for the Steelers at outside linebacker in 2021. That’s it, that’s the article.

Podcast: Does Melvin Ingram make the Steelers go from good to great?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 07/21/2021 - 4:30am

Jeff Hartman leads the way with the Wednesday episode of his AM studio show on the BTSC family of podcasts with the latest episode of “Let’s Ride“.

Melvin Ingram is a Pittsburgh Steeler after the black and gold signed the veteran to a one-year deal on Sunday to address their depth at outside linebacker. But how far will it push the needle? 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 senior editor Jeff Hartman for this and more on “Let’s Ride”.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • Steelers News and Notes
  • The Live Mail Bag
  • 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 get all of their rookies under contract by signing Kendrick Green

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 7:07pm
Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ entire 2021 NFL Draft class is now officially under contract.

The Pittsburgh Steelers can now put getting their 2021 NFL Draft class under contract in the rear view mirror. During the final phase of Organized Team Activities (OTAs) the Steelers were able to get top pick Najee Harris and second round pick Pat Freiermuth to sign on the dotted line after Day 1, and now they have their third round pick, Kendrick Green, under contract too according to his agent.

Congrats to @The_fridge53 on signing his contract with the #Steelers! pic.twitter.com/KASsgBy2Xm

— Jason Bernstein (@Clarity_JB) July 20, 2021

Getting all nine draft picks under contract is just the final step in the process of preparing for the regular season. But for those who wonder what the salary cap implications are of Green’s contract, check out the detailed information below:

Based on the reported salary cap cost for each draft picks, their exact signing bonus can be estimated. So here are those numbers for Kendrick Green, specifically using overthecap.com. The calculated signing bonus is determined by taking the 2021 salary cap number, subtracting the $660k base salary, and multiplying by four as the cap hit will be spread out over the four years of the contract.

Kendrick Green

2021 salary cap number: $886,502
Calculated signing bonus: $906,008

So, with the draft class locked up, what do the Steelers do now? If they wanted to make another move in free agency, they could, but would likely need to create more salary cap space by way of restructuring contracts or giving extensions. It wouldn’t be difficult to become a player in the waning weeks before training camp, but the Steelers could also just sit back and wait to see who gets cut before the regular season begins.

Either way, be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the rest of OTAs, mandatory minicamp and training camp!

BTSC Fantasy Football Draft Open Thread, Tuesday, July 20

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 5:30pm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the BTSC Fantasy Football League to make their picks...and here is an open thread to discuss said selections!

Welcome to night two of the second annual BTSC Fantasy Football draft! For the first time ever, the draft will be taking place in the comment section, which means that all BTSC members get to not only watch as the picks come in, but also interact with the fantasy team owners.

Since this type of “virtual offline draft” will take longer than a normal draft to complete, we are splitting the draft up over two nights, July 19th and July 20th, beginning at 7 ET both nights.

Each team owner is a member of the BTSC website, and we have some high profile names in the league this year. BTSC writer and podcast personality Shannon White has joined this year, and Jeremy Betz, the host of BTSC’s first ever fantasy football podcast coming this fall, has joined the league for the second straight year. We also have some of BTSC’s most popular commenters, including AliquippaQuip, Blunosed Steelhead, Yinzer, and many others! We are also excited to have last year’s league champion, Dooogs, in the league once again.

Not only do we have several popular members on the editorial side of the site, but we also have a couple favorite listeners of the live podcasts on YouTube in the league, including Black & Gold Goggles and Tyler W. We are also excited to see several new members of BTSC join in on the fun, including Mikep816, mswagner, Cocalico, and several others.

All of that to say, it is going to be a blast! Our team owners have been working hard as they assemble their rankings for a draft that will be 240 picks long.

For those of you in the league, you will want this thread opened for the entire night. You will also want our Google Sheets pick tracker, which you can view HERE, opened in a separate tab throughout the draft. If the draft thread begins to bog down, we will move to a new Fan Post thread for the remainder of the night. Splitting the draft up over two nights will hopefully help with that issue, but in the event we need to move to a FanPost, I will have one ready and will post the link in the comments if we decide to move over to that thread.

First of all, I would like to thank senior editor Jeff Hartman for allowing this event to take place on the BTSC site. I would also like to thank BTSC member itsports01 for updating the pick tracker throughout the draft and OneBucPerson for helping draft for the team owners that are unable to make it.

Each person will get approximately 90 seconds to make their pick. For round one, I will put people on the clock, but after round one, your time starts right when the person before you makes their pick. Make sure that you are crossing names off your own rankings as the players are taken. We do not want anyone draft players that were already taken, as it would only prolong the draft more.

If you are unable to make it in time to draft for your team either night, please let me know as soon as possible. If a team owner does not show up to make their selections, they will be given the highest rated player on nfl.com’s default rankings at their greatest position of need.

If you are a member of the site, I highly encourage you to watch us draft in the comments below and interact with us as we make our picks. I just ask that you do not post GIFs, videos, or images that could potentially bog the comment section down. But have fun grading our picks, trash talking, and talking Pittsburgh Steelers football!

Our fantasy draft is finally here, BTSC!!! It is now time to head to the comment section and see how night two of the draft unfolds!

Despite the Melvin Ingram signing, Alex Highsmith is still the future for the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 2:00pm
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

However, Highsmith has significantly less pressure with Melvin Ingram in town.

The mood around the National Football League seemed to shift when the Steelers landed former Pro Bowl linebacker Melvin Ingram. Hundreds of tweets trying to rank a perspective starting edge duo of T.J. Watt and Ingram popped up on the Internet and even national media types got in on the action. But these people are forgetting one glaring detail: The Steelers didn't sign Melvin Ingram to fill a starting spot but to fix an issue with depth at outside linebacker.

The Steelers have already drafted and begun the development of Alex Highsmith. The 2020 third-round pick put together a nice little rookie season for himself despite not being looked upon to play big minutes until injuries forced him into the lineup. Highsmith has taken some fairly significant strides this offseason, looking physically leaner while reportedly weighing in six pounds heavier. The 23-year-old is primed for this opportunity to start in Week 1 opposite of T.J. Watt.

The reason Melvin Ingram has been brought into the fold comes down to a couple issues. Number one, he provides the Steelers with a veteran presence with a high upside. In the event Highsmith isn't prepared to carry the load of being the full-time stater, then Ingram can step in. Secondly, T.J. Watt is a maximum effort edge rusher, meaning to be at his best he needs to be rested. Watt plays somewhere in the range of 80-90% of the snaps of an NFL game and needs to be spelled every couple of series. The other factor comes down to the Steelers depth at outside linebacker was simply not good enough. Cassius Marsh was a liability when teams run the ball and Quincy Roche needs time to develop his game.

The Steelers don't need a ton out of Melvin Ingram if Watt and Highsmith stay healthy. You are looking at 12-15 snaps per game on average for him as the swing OLB. Surely he has that in him at age 32. A good and much-needed signing.

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) July 19, 2021

Ingram represents a linebacker that has run into some injury issues the past couple seasons and has the opportunity to get healthy in a smaller role in Pittsburgh. He’ll likely play 30-50% of the defensive snaps each game, either as a sub or in certain packages. If he can stay healthy, Ingram may set himself up for one more pay day before he hangs his cleats up. If that next pay day is not with the Steelers, then they are in line for the corresponding compensatory draft pick. The Steelers extensive special teams depth also means the 32-year-old won't need to cover a single kick, and can just be a defensive specialist. Think James Harrison by the end of his run, but a better leader.

But what do you think? How should the Steelers divvy up the defensive snaps for the outside linebackers? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments below.

The Steelers Trifecta: T.J. Watt, White, and Williams

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 12:30pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Day 30 of the Steelers Trifecta! Featuring T.J. Watt, Cody White, and Vince Williams

Welcome to the Steelers Trifecta! Over the 30 days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 training camp, we will be highlighting three players every day in order cover the entire 90-man offseason roster. With roster moves, there will be a bonus 31st day tomorrow to cover all the player. So without further ado, here are today’s three players:

T.J. Watt Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Position: Linebacker
Age: 26
Year: 5
Height: 6’4”
Weight: 252
Drafted: Round 1, Pick 30, 2017
College: Wisconsin
Roster Outlook: Lock it and throw away the key
Analysis:

There is no question as to T.J. Watt’s roster status for 2021. There are really two main questions that remain when it comes to Watt. The first is if he will sign an extension before the start of the 2021 regular season. The other is if he will finally bring home the Defensive Player of the Year award which has eluded him the last two seasons despite being quite deserving.

Cody White Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Wide Receiver
Age: 22
Year: 1
Height: 6’3”
Weight: 215
Drafted: UDFA 2020 (Cheifs)
College: Michigan State
Roster Outlook: Unlikely
Analysis:

Cody White spent the majority of the 2020 season on the Steelers practice squad. With the same receivers coming back on the 53-man roster from last year, White would still be a longshot to make the roster. The more reasonable expectation would be for him to hold on to his practice squad spot.

Vince Williams Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Position: Linebacker
Age: 31
Year: 9
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 233
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 206, 2013
College: Florida State
Roster Outlook: Lock
Analysis:

He was briefly gone, but now he’s back. Vince Williams is the veteran leadership the Steelers need at inside linebacker. Whether he’ll be used as the starter or in a rotational role remains to be seen, but VinnyVidiVici is back for the Steelers in 2021.

Be sure to check back everyday for anther ‘trifecta’ of Steelers, and as we go along click back on previous articles listed below so you don’t miss a thing.

Steelers Vertex: How Melvin Ingram can improve an already great defense

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 11:30am
Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images

The Steelers added much needed depth at the edge rusher position, but what exactly did thy get?

Although we were in the midst of a series of the Steelers passing game based on direction, the Steelers signing edge rusher Melvin Ingram to a one-year deal is enough to make us pause the current series and address what the Steelers look to gain by adding Ingram into the mix.

Let’s get a quick reminder of where this nerdiness is coming from.

Vertex- a single point where two or more lines cross.

Sometimes to make a great point, it takes two different systems of analysis to come together and build off each other in order to drawl a proper conclusion. In this case, the two methods are statistical analysis and film breakdown. Enter Dave Schofield (the stat geek) and Geoffrey Benedict (the film guru) to come together to prove a single point based on our two lines of thinking.

Here comes the breakdown from two different lines of analysis.

The Stats Line:

Melvin Ingram IIII comes to the Steelers after nine seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. A first round-draft pick in 2012, Ingram has 49.0 career sacks, 14 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries one of which was for a touchdown, three interceptions, 28 passes defensed, and 360 tackles. Looking at Ingram‘s 2020 season, he only appeared in seven games due to injury and did not register a sack for the first time in his NFL career. Ingram did have an interception and two passes defensed with 10 tackles to his credit to go along with five quarterback hits.

Looking at the scores from Pro Football Focus, Ingram was the 27th ranked edge rusher out of 108 eligible players in 2020 with an overall score of 72.3. Ingram actually finished just behind Alex Highsmith who was 24th and had a score of 72.9 overall. For reference sake, Bud Dupree was ranked 75th in 2020 with a score of 60.2 overall. Dupree did have a better run defense score of 63.4 compared to Ingram’s 53.8 and Highsmith’s 59.6

Even though Ingram did not appear in many games, his play did not fall off significantly when he was on the field in 2020 according to PFF. Ingram‘s overall score in 2019 was 74.7 with had him also ranked 27th among edge rushers. His highest PFF score of his career was in 2017 with a score of 85.3 which ranked ninth out of 108 eligible players.

The other significant statistic that Ingram brings is three Pro Bowl selections from 2017 through 2019.

Another big factor with the Steelers signing Ingram to a one-year deal will be his salary for the season. At this time, Ingram‘s contract has not been reported.

So those are some of the stats when it comes to Melvin Ingram. As we know with these articles, numbers are one thing but the film doesn’t lie.

The Film Line:

While Melvin Ingram did not have a sack in 2020, he had 7 in 2019, when he was still a really good pass rusher.

2019, Melvin Ingram is the edge rusher to the left side of the screen.

Ingram drives through the block (not a good block, mind you) and turns the corner to record the sack. I like his first steps heading into the tackle before coming outside. The tackle respects his power enough to give Ingram the advantage when he heads outside. That respect is well earned.

2019, Melvin Ingram (#54) is lined up inside, right in front of #52 on the left side of the screen.

Despite being the size of an outside linebacker, Ingram frequently lined up inside and took on guards. Here Ingram has to move with the play, while keeping the tackle from driving him too far to his right. Ingram holds his positioning and helps shut down this run play.

Just because he didn’t have a sack in 2020 doesn’t mean Ingram lost the ability to rush the passer.

2020, Melvin Ingram (#54) is the edge rusher to the right side of the screen.

Ingram sells the upfield rush, delivers a nice spin and reaches the quarterback in time to affect the throw. Ingram has power that lineman have to respect, and can play off of that with a variety of moves that he uses intelligently.

Ingram shows off his intelligence in the rest of his game as well.

2020, Melvin Ingram is the edge rusher to the right side of the screen.

Ingram moved around a good bit, and would at times change positions pre-snap, often taking this stand up stance with a heavy slant. The receiver blocking Ingram is expected to take advantage of Ingram’s first steps inside to simply seal him out of the outside run lane. The problem here is, despite that strong inside lean, Ingram sees the play quick enough to win the initial contact and mirror the running back to stop this run.

2020, Melvin Ingram is the edge rusher to the bottom of the screen.

This is fantastic. As he rushes, Ingram realizes a screen is coming. He locates the back and follows him, and is rewarded with an interception.

While watching Ingram’s play I was reminded frequently of James Harrison. Ingram doesn’t have James Harrison’s freakish strength and power, but his is respectable, and his ability to play off that power with counter moves makes him a dangerous rusher. Ingram adds to his rush ability with intelligence and a knack for making plays. When James Harrison returned from Cincinnati he wasn’t a DPOY candidate anymore, and he never reached 7 sacks again, but he was a solid edge rusher and still produced some big plays for the Steelers.

I think Melvin Ingram can fill that role at this point in his career, if he can be as good at 32 as James Harrison was at 37, he will be a valuable addition to the team.

The last thing I want to cover is the difference between 2019 and 2020 Melvin Ingram and his film from 2017.

2017 Melvin Ingram is the edge rusher to the left side of the screen.

There’s one significant difference, and it is Ingram’s explosiveness off the snap. In his best seasons, Melvin Ingram had power, technique, intelligence and he had top tier burst off the line. His burst off the line isn’t the same now, and it limits his effectiveness just like it limited James Harrison’s effectiveness when his first steps slowed down.

The Point:

Melvin Ingram has played on the left and the right, he can also line up inside or move around and be creative. He isn’t the same player he was at his peak, but his intelligence and technique make him a great mentor for Alex Highsmith, whose game is similar to Ingram’s. His power continues to be enough of a threat to make him an effective rusher in his own right as well, and that makes him a fantastic addition to the Steelers defense. If the Steelers limit Ingram’s snaps by being a rotational piece, the greater the chance Ingram can bring his best game whenever called upon.

Podcast: Steelers games that can create lasting memories in 2021

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 11:05am

In the latest episode of “Steelers Hangover” show, Bryan Anthony Davis, Tony Defeo and Shannon White look at the week that was and the Steelers going forward.

There are 17 games in the regular season of the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 schedule. All of them have an opportunity to be special for Steelers Nation, but which one’s have the chance to be most memorable? Welcome to the Steelers Hangover. On this show, Bryan Anthony Davis takes the week off as Tony Defeo and Shannon White break down all things Steelers! Join the veteran trio (minus one) as they analyze all things black-and-gold.

Check out the rundown of the show

  • News and Notes

and MUCH MORE!

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

Melvin Ingram explains why he chose the Steelers as his home for 2021

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 10:00am
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Pro Bowl linebacker talks about why he chose the Steelers over other teams who were showing interest in his services.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made national media waves Monday when they were able to sign former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram to a one-year, $4 million dollar contract.

In case you missed the breakdown of Ingram’s contract, and how much space the Steelers have remaining, see below.

After the dust settled on the news, several fans, and media members, wondered why an established player like Ingram would choose the Steelers. After all, it was reported the Kansas City Chiefs and Miami Dolphins, among others, had also been in the mix for Ingram’s services.

What made him choose the Steelers over those teams? Well, former ESPN reporter Josina Anderson got the scoop by speaking to Ingram shortly after the deal was done. This is what Ingram had to say regarding why he chose Pittsburgh as his home for the 2021 season.

“I just did the deal not too long ago and just got to the airport. It’s definitely a dope organization and environment; so I definitely feel it’s the place for me.” Ingram told Anderson.

“I met with Coach [Mike] Tomlin. You can tell he is very involved and a players coach. That’s what stood out to me. He wants to win and that is what I am on. My role is my role. He just told me to come in and be me. Everyone knows how I play.”

There are times when being a “players coach” is viewed as a negative, but in this case it seems to have been a deciding factor in Ingram coming to Pittsburgh.

It also looks as if the Steelers are trying their best to put a championship team together for 2021, and if they are able to do so it would be a huge feat considering the salary cap dropping prior to the start of the new league year.

Nonetheless, Ingram’s presence alone will be a huge upgrade for the Steelers’ defense. What was an extremely thin position group at outside linebacker just got a veteran playmaker added to it.

Does this mean the organization has given up on Alex Highsmith? Absolutely not. But it also means they don’t have to rely on the second year linebacker to step in and perform at a high level right away. In fact, you might suggest the trio of T.J. Watt, Highsmith and Ingram could be one of the best pass rushing trios in the entire NFL.

Now, if Ingram can just stay healthy...but that’s a topic of discussion for another time. In the meantime, the Steelers fan base should be excited about the potential Ingram brings to the black and gold for 2021.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.

Steelers make Melvin Ingram signing official, also make three other roster moves

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 8:19am

The Pittsburgh Steelers made the Melvin Ingram signing official, as well as some other roster moves to free up space on the 90-man offseason roster.

The Pittsburgh Steelers made headlines Monday when they hosted free agent linebacker Melvin Ingram to a free agent visit, but they made bigger news Monday afternoon when they signed Ingram to a one-year contract.

Tuesday morning the acquisition was made official, but that wasn’t the only roster move which was made. The Steelers also acquired offensive tackle Chaz Green to a one-year contract. To make room on the 90-man roster for these two players, the Steelers released offensive tackle Jarron Jones and linebacker Calvin Bundage.

We have signed LB Melvin Ingram III & OT Chaz Green to one-year contracts.

To make room on the 90-man roster, we have released OT Jarron Jones & LB Calvin Bundage. @BordasLaw https://t.co/EbrGzThW6r

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) July 20, 2021

At this point everyone knows about Ingram, but in regards to Green, he brings a wealth of experience to the offensive line room.

Green has been an NFL journeyman since he was drafted in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. Appearing in 37 games in his career, Green has only started eight contests with the most recent being one game started in 2020 for the Indianapolis Colts. Green has spent time with the Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos, and the Colts.

As for the players released, Jones spent the 2020 season on the Steelers practice squad and his brother is still on the 90-man roster as a linebacker. Calvin Bundage was an undrafted free agent by the Steelers out of Oklahoma State in 2021.

At this point you might be wondering what this means for the Steelers’ salary cap situation. Once the details for the Ingram contract were released, we updated the salary cap numbers, and you can check that out below. As for Green, his projected salary is not likely to affect the cap significantly, if at all.

Could the Steelers make more moves? They could, but not without making cap space in some way. Maybe it would be in the form of an extension, or a new contract for someone, but if things stay the way they are, the roster looks about set as the team prepares for training camp to start this week.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.

30 Scenarios in 30 Days: If Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw, the Steelers will be pushing the ball deep down the field

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 7:15am
Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: If Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw, the Steelers will be pushing the ball deep down the field

Starts at running back:

2020: 108 passes, 12 TDs
2019: 98 plays, 6 TDs
2018: 121 plays, 13 TDs
2017: 131 plays, 8 TDs

Why it will happen: When it came to the Steelers deep passing game in 2020, it wasn’t about the receivers. While some of the national media tried to say Roethlisberger couldn’t physically throw the ball deep, this wasn’t the case either. If the second half of the Colts game showed Steelers’ fans anything, it was when Roethlisberger had the time to throw he was willing and able to push the ball down the field. If he’s given time to throw again in 2021, the gunslinger is going to do it.

Why it won’t happen: Ben Roethlisberger is 39 years old and doesn’t have to constantly throw the ball deep. With the Steelers hoping to revive their rushing attack, there will be less emphasis on Roethlisberger. It’s not that the Steelers will take the occasional deep shot, but don’t look for them to break out into throwing the ball deep down the field constantly. Plus, some feel Ben can’t throw more than 15 yards.

Prediction: The key to this scenario is “if Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw.” I think this will be the ultimate test. When the Steelers had multiple injuries on the offensive line later in the season, the dink-and-dunk passing game emerged more. I don’t believe the Steelers shied away from throwing the ball deep in certain circumstances because they didn’t want to, it’s that they simply didn’t have time. And no, it’s not that Big Ben can’t do it. So I believe the Steelers will push the ball down the field if the offensive line can protect Ben Roethlisberger. But that is ultimately the big “if.”

Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.

Updating the Steelers’ salary cap situation after the signing of Melvin Ingram

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 6:00am
Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

The reported salary uses up the room the Steelers had when taking into account other expenses for 2021.

On Monday, it was reported the Steelers signed former Pro Bowl edge rusher Melvin Ingram to a one-year deal.

Although the financials were not immediately available, it has been reported by Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com that the deal is worth $4 million.

Melvin Ingram's 1 year deal with Steelers is worth $4M

— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) July 20, 2021

Assuming this is the salary cap number for Ingram and there is nothing else included in the deal (such as void years), Ingram will bump Dan Moore Jr. out of the top 51 contracts. After the displacement, Ingram will count less than $3.2 million towards the Steelers salary cap.

Now where do the Steelers currently stand with the 2021 salary cap? Before free agency kicked off, the Steelers were little more than $6 million under the salary cap. Since then, the number has fluctuated due to various moves.

To determine how much each player changes the Steelers’ salary cap space, their cap number must be adjusted due to roster displacement. As a reminder, roster displacement is taking into account only the top 51 contracts for a team count towards the salary cap during the offseason. As a larger contract comes on the books, it bumps a smaller contract out of the top 51. Therefore, it’s only the difference in those contracts that increases the salary cap number.

Here is the approximate breakdown of the Steelers salary cap space based on recent moves by my own calculations. The numbers are strictly the salary cap hit, or change from what it previously was, for each player in 2021.

Steelers salary cap space heading into free agency: Approximately $6 million

Ray-Ray McCloud: Reported $1 million salary; After displacement: -$0.34 million
B.J. Finney: Reported $987,500; After displacement: -$0.3275 million
Cam Sutton: New report of $1.7 million; After displacement: -$1.04 million
Zach Banner: Reported $2.875 million; After displacement: -$2.215 million
Vince Williams: Saved $4 million salary; After displacement: +$3.34 million
Chris Wormley: Reported $1.6 million; After displacement: -$0.94 million
JuJu Smith-Schuster: Reported $2.4 million; After displacement: -$1.74 million
Tyler Simmons: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Joe Haeg: Reported $1.5 million; After displacement: -$0.84 million
Miles Killebrew: Reported $987,500; After displacement: -$0.3275 million
Steven Nelson: Saved $8.25 million salary; After displacement: +$7.59 million
Cassius Marsh: Reported $950,000; After displacement: -$0.17 million
Eric Ebron: Reportedly saved $3.904; No roster displacement: +$3.904 million
Tyson Alualu: Reported $2.0375 million; After displacement: -$1.2575 million
Jordan Berry: Reported $950,000; After displacement: -$0.17 million
Kalen Ballage: Reported $920,000; After displacement: -$0.14 million
Rashaard Coward: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.07 million
Matthew Sexton: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Jarvis Miller: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Jamir Jones: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
T.J. Carter: Reported $660k; not in the top 51: -$0
Abdullah Anderson: Reported $780k; not in the top 51: -$0
Vince Williams: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.07 million
Joshua Dobbs: Reported $900,000; After displacement: -$0.12 million
Mason Rudolph: Reported $2,193,066 cap number; After increase: -$0.945199 million
Dan Moore Jr: Reported $834,475; After displacement: -$0.054475 million
Buddy Johnson: Reported $784,836; After displacement: -$0.004836 million
Arthur Maulet: Reported $850,000; After displacement: -$0.067 million
Pat Friermuth: Reported $1,096,033; After displacement: -$0.311197 million
Najee Harris: Reported $2,372,263; After displacement: -$1.568887 million
Offseason Workouts: 90 players x $275/day x 32 days: -$0.792 million
David DeCastro: Saved $8.25 million salary; After displacement: +$7.946624 million
Trai Turner: Reported $3 million; After displacement: -$2.196624 million
Melvin Ingram: Reported $4 million; After displacement: -$3.165525 million

Approximate salary cap space: Approximately $9.9 million

Note: Miles Killebrew was the final contract displacing a $660k salary. From Cassius Marsh on, the displacement is a $780k salary. Buddy Johnson was the final contract displacing a $780k salary, so from that point on the contracts will vary which will be displaced.

So where does this number compare to those reported by the major salary cap websites?

According to overthecap.com, the Steelers are $13,139,993 under the salary cap. OTC has accounted for all other Steelers’ moves, so once they get Ingram’s contract on the books their number will be extremely similar to mine just as it was before the move.

Another credible salary cap website is spotrac.com, which has the Steelers at $14,733,320 under the cap. It should be noted that Spotrac does not have Ingram’s contract or the offseason workouts on the books at this time. Another discrepancy comes from where they are counting the prorated signing bonuses of players not in the top 51 toward the salary cap. One very big discrepancy is spotrac has Trai Turner’s contract including four void years which has not been reported by any other outlet. If adjusting for these things, their number is also about the same as mine.

As for the Steelers’ only other player not counting toward the salary cap, Kendrick Green’s contract will slide into the top 51 once signed and will ultimately bump out one of the eight contracts which have a cap hit of $850k. The ultimate cost after displacement for Green’s contract will now be about $36k once it gets made official.

Also, the Steelers will need about an additional $9.5 million come September when they need to account for all 53 players on the roster, sign their practice squad, and have some carryover in order to do business throughout the year. This number is dependent on the NFL going with a 16-man practice squad, and the exact players the Steelers release when they cut down their roster on August 31.

The Steelers have now spent the majority of the money saved from the release of David DeCastro last month. As training camp kicks off this week, the Steelers are not in a situation where they will still need to cut salary cap space before the season unless they make another significant signing.

Podcast: The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most “Over-Hated” team in the NFL

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 07/20/2021 - 4:30am

In the latest podcast on the BTSC family of podcasts, we talk about some burning topics surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

Football hate is an interesting thing. Opposing fans may hate the Pittsburgh Steelers for a history of excellence since the 1970s. But there is some respect mixed in. Media may hate them for different reasons. But nonetheless, could the Steelers be one of the most over-hated teams in the league?

Join BTSC Deputy Editor Michael Beck on the latest edition of The Live Mike as he helps Steeler Nation navigate through the 2021 offseason and beyond.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers are the most “Over-Hated” team in the NFL
  • and MUCH MORE!

Michael Beck of BTSC walks you through everything you need to know regarding the Men of Steel.

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.

BTSC Fantasy Football Draft Open Thread, Monday July 19

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 5:30pm
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It is time for the BTSC Fantasy Football League to make their picks...and here is an open thread to discuss said selections!

Welcome to night one of the second annual BTSC Fantasy Football draft! For the first time ever, the draft will be taking place in the comment section, which means that all BTSC members get to not only watch as the picks come in, but also interact with the fantasy team owners.

Since this type of “virtual offline draft” will take longer than a normal draft to complete, we are splitting the draft up over two nights, July 19th and July 20th, beginning at 7 ET both nights.

Each team owner is a member of the BTSC website, and we have some high profile names in the league this year. BTSC writer and podcast personality Shannon White has joined this year, and Jeremy Betz, the host of BTSC’s first ever fantasy football podcast coming this fall, has joined the league for the second straight year. We also have some of BTSC’s most popular commenters, including AliquippaQuip, Blunosed Steelhead, Yinzer, and many others! We are also excited to have last year’s league champion, Dooogs, in the league once again.

Not only do we have several popular members on the editorial side of the site, but we also have a couple favorite listeners of the live podcasts on YouTube in the league, including Black & Gold Goggles and Tyler W. We are also excited to see several new members of BTSC join in on the fun, including Mikep816, mswagner, Cocalico, and several others.

All of that to say, it is going to be a blast! Our team owners have been working hard as they assemble their rankings for a draft that will be 240 picks long.

For those of you in the league, you will want this thread opened for the entire night. You will also want our Google Sheets pick tracker, which you can view HERE, opened in a separate tab throughout the draft. If the draft thread begins to bog down, we will move to a new Fan Post thread for the remainder of the night. Splitting the draft up over two nights will hopefully help with that issue, but in the event we need to move to a FanPost, I will have one ready and will post the link in the comments if we decide to move over to that thread.

First of all, I would like to thank senior editor Jeff Hartman for allowing this event to take place on the BTSC site. I would also like to thank BTSC member itsports01 for updating the pick tracker throughout the draft and OneBucPerson for helping draft for the team owners that are unable to make it.

Each person will get approximately 90 seconds to make their pick. For round one, I will put people on the clock, but after round one, your time starts right when the person before you makes their pick. Make sure that you are crossing names off your own rankings as the players are taken. We do not want anyone draft players that were already taken, as it would only prolong the draft more.

If you are unable to make it in time to draft for your team either night, please let me know as soon as possible. If a team owner does not show up to make their selections, they will be given the highest rated player on nfl.com’s default rankings at their greatest position of need.

If you are a member of the site, I highly encourage you to watch us draft in the comments below and interact with us as we make our picks. I just ask that you do not post GIFs, videos, or images that could potentially bog the comment section down. But have fun grading our picks, trash talking, and talking Pittsburgh Steelers football!

Our fantasy draft is finally here, BTSC!!! It is now time to head to the comment section and see how night one of the draft unfolds!

Steelers reportedly sign Melvin Ingram to a one-year contract

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 5:03pm
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed help on the edge, and they got it in the form of Pro Bowl OLB Melvin Ingram.

The Pittsburgh Steelers needed help at the outside linebacker position in a big way. When you look at their depth chart, it didn’t take a genius to know they would be on the look out for someone who could help add proven depth at the position prior to the start of the 2021 regular season.

After the release of David DeCastro, the team had some cap space to make some moves. The Steelers had talks with Justin Houston, but they went nowhere. Then they hosted former Chargers linebacker Melvin Ingram, and, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the two parties signed a one-year contract.

Source: The #Steelers are signing FA pass-rusher Melvin Ingram to a 1-year contract to beef up the edge. The former #Chargers star lands in PIT before camp begins.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2021

Melvin Ingram was the first-round selection of the then San Diego Chargers in the 2012 NFL draft. Selected in the 18th position, Ingram has played nine seasons with the Chargers from 2012 through 2020. Earning Pro Bowl selections three straight seasons from 2017 through 2019, Ingram had a rough 2020 where he only appeared in seven games. For his career, Ingram has 49.0 sacks where he had two seasons of double-digit sacks in 2015 and 2017 with 10.5 each season.

Ingram is a player who has had his share of injury troubles in recent years. In 2013 Ingram tore an ACL in his knee, in 2014 he had a tear in his hip joint, in 2019 he had a severe hamstring injury and in 2020 he injured his patellar tendon. Some of those injuries put Ingram on the shelf for just a few weeks, while others ended his season.

With Ingram now in the mix, you would think the Steelers’ depth chart would look something like this heading into training camp:

T.J. Watt
Alex Highsmith
Melvin Ingram
Cassius Marsh
Quincy Roche

This depth chart is drastically better than it was just 24 hours ago, and if Ingram can stay healthy it could be a tremendous unit. If Ingram isn’t asked to be an every down pass rusher, and just spell Highsmith and/or Watt, he could not just stay healthy but be extremely impactful when called upon.

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers as they report to Training Camp at the end of this week, and prepare for the 2021 regular season.

Check out the breaking news podcast from BTSC editor Dave Schofield below:

Counting down the days to key 2021 dates for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 2:00pm

The Steelers 2021 offseason is finally coming to a close!

It has now been four months since Super Bowl LV concluded the tumultuous 2020 NFL season. With just over three months remaining until the Steelers take the field in the regular season, it’s time to look at some of the key dates for the remainder of the offseason as well as through the entire 2021 season.

3 days: Players report for Training Camp

With the Steelers set to play in the Hall of Fame Game, the fist day of training camp will be earlier than the rest of the NFL who are set to begin on Tuesday, July 27, 2021. The Steelers, as well as the Dallas Cowboys, can start as early as July 21, 2021 while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who will face the Cowboys on the opening night of the NFL season, can start July 24, 2021. All three teams are having players report one day later than they were allowed with the Steelers and Cowboys starting July 22 and the Buccaneers starting July 25.

9 days: First Padded Practice

17 days: Hall of Fame Game

This date will be significant to the Steelers for 2021 as they are scheduled to play the Dallas Cowboys after the cancellation of last year’s game. The Hall of Fame Game is set to kick off the weekend on Thursday August 5, 2021. The Hall of Fame activities will be over the course of the weekend from the game Thursday through Sunday, August 8, 2021 with the 2020 enshrinement scheduled for Saturday with the 2021 class being inducted on Sunday.

24 days: Week 1 Preseason Game

Even with the Steelers playing in the Hall of Fame Game, they are still scheduled to play on Thursday night during the first full week of preseason games in Philadelphia against the Eagles. All of the games for the first full week of the 2021 NFL preseason will fall between Thursday, August 12 and Sunday, August 15, 2021.

29 days: First Roster Cut Down

Following the first week of the NFL preseason, all teams will be required to cut their rosters to 85 players by 4 PM ET on Tuesday, August 17.

33 days: First game at Heinz Field

The Steelers a set to host the Detroit Lions in their only home preseason game of the 2021 season. It will be the first time fans will be able to fill the stadium since Week 15 of the 2019 season. Being a preseason game, it is unlikely the stadium will be filled to capacity, but there will be more fans there to support the Steelers than what they have seen in 20 months.

36 days: Second Roster Cut Down

Much like the previous week, following the second week of the NFL preseason, all teams will be required to cut their rosters to 80 players by 4 PM ET on Tuesday, August 24.

39 days: Last Preseason Game

The Pittsburgh Steelers are once again scheduled to finish up the preseason against the Carolina Panthers. Unlike recent years when the final preseason games were all on a Thursday, the Steelers will face off against the Panthers on Friday, August 27, 2021.

43 days: 53-man Rosters

By 4 PM on Tuesday, August 31, 2021, teams will have to make their final cuts in order to determine their 53-man rosters. Teams will only have 80 players heading up to this deadline as they will have already cut 10 players as previously outlined. With teams essentially having a bye week as the final preseason game, there will be extra time for teams to scour the waiver wire and prepare for Week 1 with their 53 players they have chosen to begin the season.

52 days: NFL Kickoff Game

Thursday, September 9, 2021 will be the first game of the NFL season as the Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys. Although this game doesn’t sound overly exciting to some Steelers fans as it is an NFC matchup, it is regular-season football for the first time for the 2021 season.

55 days: Steelers 1st Regular Season Game

Sunday, September 12, 2021 at 1 PM the Pittsburgh Steelers will kick off in Buffalo against the Bills. After 52 days of preparation since reporting to training camp, the results on the field will finally count.

62 days: Steelers Home Opener

In Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season, the Steelers will have their first home game of the regular season at Heinz Field. Seeing 68,000 strong waiving their Terrible Towels will be something many of the young Steelers players will experience for the first time.

174 days: Week 18 Games

Sunday, January 9, 2022 will be the final games of the 2021 NFL regular season. While all 32 NFL teams are scheduled to play this day, the time of each kickoff will be determined based on various playoff scenarios.

209 days: Super Bowl LVI

Super Bowl LV is scheduled to be played on February 13, 2022 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

The Steelers Trifecta: Washington, Watson, and D. Watt

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 12:30pm
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Day 29 of the Steelers Trifecta! Featuring James Washington, Jamar Watson, and Derek Watt

Welcome to the Steelers Trifecta! Over the 30 days leading up to the Pittsburgh Steelers 2021 training camp, we will be highlighting three players every day in order cover the entire 90-man offseason roster. So without further ado, here are today’s three players:

James Washington Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Position: Receiver
Age: 25
Year: 4
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 213
Drafted: Round 2, Pick 60, 2018
College: Oklahoma State
Roster Outlook: Lock
Analysis:

James Washington has firmly entrenched himself as the Steelers number four receiver in 2020. He was still a dependable target though, and really should have seen more balls thrown his way. With a knack for making tough catches and running through contact, Washington may even take another step in his development the more Ben Roethlisberger looks his way. Washington might not be the flashiest of the Steelers skill players but he is consistent and that means everything in the NFL. He should take on a bigger role in this offense than he had in 2020.

Jamar Watson Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Position: Linebacker
Age: 23
Year: 1
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 241
Drafted: UDFA 2021
College: Kentucky
Roster Outlook: Unlikely
Analysis:

Once again competing for a job amongst the Steelers inside linebackers will prove to be a Herculean task. Any of the guys that aren't already NFL Players will need to prove they are substantially better special teams players to even get a shot. Watson will duke it out with the likes of Marcus Allen and Ulysees Gilbert III for a shot to just crack this team but in all likelihood will really just fight to try to make the practice squad and develop throughout the year.

Derek Watt Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Position: Fullback
Age: 28
Year: 6
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 234
Drafted: Round 6, Pick 198, 2016 (Chargers)
College: Wisconsin
Roster Outlook: Lock
Analysis:

Derek Watt is in a very interesting situation. In 2020 Randy Fichtner just didn't involve him in the offense, but new offensive coordinator Matt Canada used Watt heavily when they worked together at the University of Wisconsin. A playing time uptick should be on the horizon which will be crucial in making sense of that big money deal the Steelers gave him in the Spring of 2020. Watt is still one of the best fullbacks and special teamers in the league and is due to bounce back in 2021.

Be sure to check back everyday for anther ‘trifecta’ of Steelers, and as we go along click back on previous articles listed below so you don’t miss a thing.

Steelers visit with Melvin Ingram scheduled for Monday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 11:03am
Photo by Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The former Chargers’ defensive end is meeting with the Steelers before players report to training camp this week.

Over the weekend, it was reported the Steelers had, at least for the moment, moved on from the possibility of signing end rusher Justin Houston and were set to host former Los Angeles Charger Melvin Ingram sometime this week.

Exactly when the meeting was taking place was previously unknown. The Steelers players are reporting for training camp this Thursday, July 22, so a roster move would be better served to happen sooner than later. According to NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport, the meeting with Ingram is today, Monday, July 19.

The #Steelers are hosting veteran FA pass-rusher Melvin Ingram today, source said, as they look to fill a need before camp. Ingram also has had interest from the #Chiefs and #Dolphins.

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 19, 2021

Melvin Ingram was the first-round selection of the then San Diego Chargers in the 2012 NFL draft. Selected in the 18th position, Ingram has played nine seasons with the Chargers from 2012 through 2020. Earning Pro Bowl selections three straight seasons from 2017 through 2019, Ingram had a rough 2020 where he only appeared in seven games. For his career, Ingram has 49.0 sacks where he had two seasons of double-digit sacks in 2015 and 2017 with 10.5 each season.

Ingram is a player who has had his share of injury troubles in recent years. In 2013 Ingram tore an ACL in his knee, in 2014 he had a tear in his hip joint, in 2019 he had a severe hamstring injury and in 2020 he injured his patellar tendon. Some of those injuries put Ingram on the shelf for just a few weeks, while others ended his season.

Simply because the Steelers are meeting with Ingram does not mean he will land in Pittsburgh for the 2021 season. Not only would it need to be the right fit for the Steelers, it would also have to be what Ingram is looking for at this time. Issues such as playing time and salary would likely be the driving force as to whether or not Ingram feels this is the right situation for him, and the Steelers need to weight the injury, cost, and production factors to decide if he is the player to join the Steelers for the upcoming season.

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

Podcast: Sometimes it’s okay to pretend

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 11:00am

With the Steelers now in their off-season, it’s time to bring back an old favorite as we look back at Steeler tales from yesterday and today surrounding the black-and-gold.

There’s been too much talk about “pretend” vs. “real” in Pittsburgh media lately with heavy hitters getting in the mix. Is pretending so bad if it makes you feel good? Join BTSC podcast producer Bryan Anthony Davis with the lighter side of the Men of Steel. This leads to the topic of the latest episode of the most unique member of BTSC’s family of podcasts.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Is pretending bad?
  • Getting ready for camp
  • Steelers that bleed 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

11 reasons why the Steelers will be totally horrible in 2021

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 07/19/2021 - 10:00am
Kareem Elgazzar via Imagn Content Services, LLC

The Steelers are going to be bad in 2021, and this article includes 11 realistic reasons why.

With the Steelers about to embark on yet another hot and sweaty training camp, I’d just like to say that I don’t think they will be very good in 2021. I don’t normally like to say things like that, but I’m trying to advance in my career as a journalist (or whatever).

Therefore, with my black lenses smashed into itty bitty pieces, and my gold frames mangled in my garbage disposal, I’d just like to keep it real moving forward when discussing how I feel Pittsburgh will do once training camp ends and the regular season begins. I realize my headline seems negative, but I just know my realness will get spun into negativity, so I might as well just go with it.

Below are 11 reasons why I just know the Steelers will be bad in 2021.

  1. They are going to spend all summer working out in the hot Pittsburgh sun, especially quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. If you know you’re 39, why work out at all? Why not just do all that you can to preserve whatever energy you have left for the regular season? He’s spent the majority of his career not caring about fitness, and now I’m supposed to believe he’s suddenly serious about it and committed to getting in shape? I’m supposed to believe he’s suddenly all about film study and reading defenses? Just stick to being the playground quarterback you’ve always been, Ben. That really is the only shot you have to squeeze one last season out of your 39-year old arm. That pretty much goes for the rest of the team—at least the part about preserving your energy. It’s going to be a long, hard year. The more you rest, the more likely you might be to eke out an extra victory or two, especially by the end of the season, when contending teams are resting most of their starters.
  2. The offensive line will be completely new. What if it’s good, you say? Maybe, but I’m glass half-empty.
  3. Running back Najee Harris represents horrible value as a first-round pick. That’s it, that’s the third reason.
  4. Bud Dupree is gone, and there’s literally nobody at outside linebacker behind Alex Highsmith, who will undoubtedly get hurt. Even if Highsmith stays healthy all season, T.J. Watt will spend all 17 games getting triple-teamed. Not good.
  5. Matt Canada is the new offensive coordinator. What has he done up to this point to prove to you that he can design a game plan at the NFL level? I’ll wait.
  6. The Steelers have the toughest schedule on paper in 2021. As we all know, those things tend to work out just the way we think they will.
  7. Canada said the Steelers are just going to let Roethlisberger do whatever he wants on offense. When I saw that quote, I knew there was no point in digging any deeper. The offense is doomed.
  8. Former NFL general manager Mike Tannenbaum says Roethlisberger will be benched by mid-season. You really think Mason Rudolph can lead this offense? He has no feet. You honestly believe Dwayne Haskins can get his act together and lead this team? He has no morals.
  9. There’s the feeling.
  10. Mike Tomlin teams always play down to their competition.
  11. TikTok.

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