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Steelers host LSU OL Garrett Brumfield and San Jose State TE Josh Oliver on pre-draft visits Wednesday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 12:06pm

The Steelers met with two more 2019 draft prospects at team facilities on Wednesday.

The Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed just two prospects to team facilities once again on Wednesday, hosting LSU offensive lineman Garrett Brumfield and San Jose State tight end Josh Oliver on pre-draft visits.

Pre-draft visitors for the #Steelers on April 10: G Garrett Brumfield from LSU; TE Josh Oliver from San Jose State

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 10, 2019

Brumfield is projected to be a late round pick or possibly to go undrafted, while most experts have Oliver coming off the boards from Round 4 to Round 7. The Steelers have now officially used 24 of their 30 allocated visits, with Dravon Askew-Henry, David Long and Miles Sanders all considered local visitors who do not count against their allowance.

Scouting reports for each player can be found below, along with a highlight video for both prospects.

OL, Garrett Brumfield, LSU

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Garrett Brumfield faces a difficult projection to the pros. He’s very tight throughout his frame and struggles significantly with the needed short area quickness and precision needed to be a true asset on the interior. Brumfield won’t inspire in space, but he does have a really heavy anchor that allows him to hold his own against power players on the interior. Brumfield projects as a potential practice squad player but needs to find a lot of extra ROM and quickness to stick in the pros.”

TE, Josh Oliver, San Jose State

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Josh Oliver is a pretty dynamic seam threat as a receiving tight end. His skills will be watered down initially on account of his questionable play strength and issues as a blocker. But when given a free release into the second level, Oliver eats up space well and can quickly get behind LBs. Usage as a receiver was pretty versatile, but his general availability is going to require patience and coaching to get him totally up to speed with the complimentary parts of his game.”

Midweek Mock Draft Roundup 12.0: A look at the Steelers latest mock draft projections

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 10:45am

We take a look at 10 of the latest mock draft offerings from some of the more notable names in the game.

With the college pro day schedule now complete and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the midst of their pre-draft visits, time is running our for the experts to narrow down the options they believe the Steelers are considering in the first-round.

Each and every Wednesday for the next two weeks, we will bring you a selection of the latest mock draft projections from around the NFL draft community in an effort to help identify some of the players Pittsburgh could be interested in come April. So far, we have looked at 110 contrasting offerings from some of the more well-known names in the business, with five different defensive players standing out from the pack as the most popular names to project to the Steelers over the past eleven weeks.

This week we have 10 more mock drafts worthy of review:

Charley Casserly, NFL Network - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington

“Murphy is an excellent technician at the position, helping to bolster the Steelers’ secondary.”

(Previous pick - CB, Deandre Baker, Georgia)

Dane Brugler, The Athletic - TE, T.J. Hockenson, Iowa

“While there is a decent chance Hockenson is drafted before this pick, it wouldn’t be surprising if he is still available — similar to the 2017 NFL Draft when most thought O.J. Howard would be a top-12 pick, but he “fell” to No. 19. Tight end isn’t need No. 1 for Pittsburgh, but I would be surprised if they passed on Hockenson.”

(Previous pick - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington)

Will Brinson, CBS Sports - LB, Devin Bush, Michigan

“Man this draft is deep. And the Steelers benefit greatly from it, snagging a sideline-to-sideline linebacker they badly need to help shore up the middle of their defense.”

(Previous pick - CB, Deandre Baker, Georgia)

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports - CB, Greedy Williams, LSU

Their corners have to be upgraded and Williams would do that. He isn’t a great tackler, but the coverage skills are there. ”

(Previous pick - CB, Greedy Williams, LSU)

Chris Trapasso, CBS Sports - CB, Greedy Williams, LSU

“GM Kevin Colbert would waste no time making this selection. Williams would represent value and fill a gigantic need for Pittsburgh here.”

(Previous pick - CB, Deandre Baker, Georgia)

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports - TE, Noah Fant, Iowa

Antonio Brown is gone and the Steelers could offset some of his lost production by taking the most athletic tight end in a stacked draft class.”

(Previous pick - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington)

Kyle Crabbs, The Draft Network - LB, Devin Bush, Michigan

“First of all, how amazing was it to see Ryan Shazier doing a box jump the other day? I feel bad that every time we mock for the Steelers, Shazier and his absence comes up. It’s great to see him getting himself put back together and living a normal life.”

“Adding Devin Bush to the Steelers’ second level gives them a level of athleticism they’ve been missing. It fits a need and the value at this point in the draft is about right.”

(Previous pick - LB, Devin Bush, Michigan)

Josh Norris, Rotoworld - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington

“There does not appear to be a corner that will be highly coveted in this year’s class. One that will top every list. Murphy is a super fun watch, however, as he is very aware of route concepts and anticipates targets to disrupt. Plus he will crash down on receivers and ball carriers.”

(Previous pick - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington)

Dan Kadar, SB Nation - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington

“With Joe Haden down to his final contract year in Pittsburgh and Artie Burns failing to live up to his first-round draft placement a few years ago, the Steelers will be taking at least one cornerback in the draft. That could happen as early as the first round with a player like Murphy. He’s tough and physical, and the fans would absolutely love him.”

(Previous pick - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington)

Luke Easterling, DraftWire - LB, Devin Bush, Michigan

“If Bush gets anywhere near this pick, the Steelers should be looking to move up a few spots just to make sure they get him. Landing him without trading up would be a huge win for a team that still misses Ryan Shazier terribly.”

(Previous pick - CB, Byron Murphy, Washington)

For the second week in a row we have a tie for favorite among our draft experts with Michigan linebacker Devin Bush and Washington cornerback Byron Murphy both named in three mocks a piece. LSU cornerback Greedy Williams is also back in the mix in a couple of our projections, and for the first time since we started doing this exercise, we have finally seen an appearance by Iowa tight ends T.J. Hockenson and Noah Fant,

We will add more mock drafts to our weekly roundup as they appear and we encourage you to let us know which experts you think we should be highlighting over the coming weeks.

Ryan Shazier doing box jumps is the best Steelers news witnessed on social media in a long time

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 9:21am

Does Ryan Shazier still dream about playing in the NFL? He’s doing box jumps, so probably.

It’s been an ugly time for the Steelers, especially on social media.

There have been so many social media beefs involving current and former Steelers lately, if he had the talent to do so, Le’Veon Bell could write and produce a rap song about them.

But I’m not here to talk about Steelers-related news I’ve witnessed on social media in recent days. Actually, I am. And the news isn’t negative. In fact, if it were any more inspirational, any movie producer worth his or her salt would throw away the script—"There’s no possible way this ever happened."

I’m talking about the incredible physical progress—the leaps and bounds (quite literally)—made by former (and, perhaps, future) Steelers inside linebacker, Ryan Shazier.

About a year ago, when Bryan Anthony Davis and I co-hosted a special draft-night edition of The Hangover, and we watched on our TVs as Shazier walked to the podium to announce the Steelers 2018 first-round pick, it was very emotional—a tear-jerker if there ever was one.

At the same time, however, it was also a little sad. Here was Shazier, almost five months removed from a spinal injury that left him temporarily paralyzed from the waist-down—an injury that required surgery—walking, sure, but with great struggle—not to mention the assistance of his fiancee.

Obviously, in the grand-scheme of things, this was quite encouraging. When you’re wondering if you will ever walk again, any progress in that department is a blessing. But the sight of Shazier walking with a great deal of struggle was sad for a different reason: his desire to resume his career as a top-flight inside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Watching Shazier continue to struggle to walk all last summer and over the course of the season made you realize he would likely have to reevaluate his goals.

But here we are today, and Ryan Shazier is doing box jumps. And the box jumps come just months after he was first seen doing dead-lifts.I’m not sure if you know what a dead-lift is, but not only does it involve the lifting of a lot of weight, it requires you to have a strong and sturdy spine.

Many people have said they just want Shazier to be able to walk again, to have a normal existence. However, his dreams are apparently still greater than that. His goals for himself are different than what we have in mind for the rest of his life.

At a time when most of the news involving the Steelers—particularly on social media—is negative, here is Shazier giving us something 100 percent positive. No person in his or her right mind would ever troll the comments section of any story or video involving his great progress—not unless they were looking for a beat-down by the entire World Wide Web.

A rational person might rain on this picnic by reiterating their fear of Shazier trying to play again. I get that, but I’m starting to think there really will be a script written about the Ryan Shazier story some day, a script no movie producer worth his or her salt would ever dare throw away.

Antonio Brown derides emotional Steelers fans, immediately gets mad online

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 8:08am

Antonio Brown took to Twitter to remind Steelers fans that he totally isn’t mad.

To the surprise of absolutely no one, Antonio Brown took umbrage with something someone said to him online and, instead of luxuriating in his victory in a power struggle against his erstwhile employer, reminded everyone of how totally not upset he is about the circumstances that precipitated his departure and how totally happy and not at all resentful he is at present. It all started shortly after Brown tweeted the following:

Keep your emotions off the internet

— Antonio Brown (@AB84) April 7, 2019

So, you know, that’s already a really stupid thing to say on the internet, especially if you’re a public figure and especially especially if you’ve spent the better part of three months shamelessly leveraging your emotions online specifically in order to achieve a desired end. The natural corollary to posting something like “Keep your emotions off the internet” on the internet is the immediate conferral of dense and voluminous compendium of brutal takedowns, and, in this regard, the internet did not disappoint. Among the most cutting clapbacks came from Pittsburgh’s own Bill Crawford, who responded to Brown’s original tweet with “And your furniture in your apartment,” which is in reference to a pending lawsuit filed against Brown after he allegedly tossed a bunch of furniture from his penthouse in Florida last year. Brown, who just moments before encouraged his followers to refrain from being too emotional online, responded:

Emotional pittsburgh fans it’s over bro move on fam buy my @Raiders jersey https://t.co/1Qn7ZREM3j

— Antonio Brown (@AB84) April 7, 2019

Shortly thereafter, another user posted the following graphic:

pic.twitter.com/OPFFGT2QDA

— Steelers Steve (@StephenCoveyII) April 7, 2019

It is at this point that even a Twitter neophyte (or any rational person) would—correctly!—conclude that the only appropriate recourse is to say nothing. Antonio Brown, as has recently become straightforwardly apparent, is not only not a rational person, but a bitter and contemptible butthole, so he responded:

Emotion: boy fumbled the whole post season in the biggest game of year ! Everyone went blind to busy making guys famous not enough reality these days ! by the way check the list https://t.co/2SWWT8k0jx

— Antonio Brown (@AB84) April 7, 2019

Smith-Schuster, who throughout Brown’s fallout with the Steelers abstained from any explicit or implicit public denigration against Brown, caught wind of this slight and did precisely the opposite of what any 22-year-old with a Twitter account would do: he did not cast any aspersions, but instead provided a thoughtful response that aptly conveyed his earnest sadness about Brown’s rancor. Brown, in response to this, posted a screenshot on Instagram of a direct message Smith-Schuster sent him in 2015 to, uhh, [checks notes] own and infantilize Smith-Schuster? I don’t know, you be the judge:

Antonio Brown just put up a 2015 DM from JuJu asking for advice while at USC… pic.twitter.com/fJPDs1XQtq

— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 8, 2019

(You’ll notice that I didn’t link the actual Instagram post; this is because Brown, in a bout of cowardice, deleted it.)

Posting this screenshot clearly did not have the desired effect—unless, of course, his goal was to depict Smith-Schuster as a humble and respectful professional, thereby reaffirming everyone’s suspicions that JuJu Smith-Schuster is, in fact, a pleasant and affable young man, in which case, by God, he succeeded mightily.

Buddy. Listen, it’s one thing to take direct shots at Ben Roethlisberger—a figurehead who many Steelers fans only begrudgingly support—and his “ownership mentality,” but it’s quite another to drag a player who is universally adored. (There’s also the fact that, in the aftermath of his game-ending fumble against the Saints, Smith-Schuster exhibited intense and genuine remorse; keep in mind, too, that Smith-Schuster was responsible for a multitude of heroic feats—his performance in the fourth quarter against Jacksonsville comes to mind—during the regular season, all of which should absolutely overshadow that mistake.)

This latest excursion in what has been an exhausting, multi-month bridge-burning tour all came about specifically because Brown, a 31-year-old adult person, used his online platform to post vague (and stolen) nonsense for the express purpose of gaslighting his followers. Of course, this is not the first time Brown has called-out Smith-Schuster—Brown sub-tweeted Smith-Schuster several weeks ago after Smith-Schuster went public in support of Big Ben’s leadership aptitude—but it is the first time he’s directly acknowledged his former contemporary.

This is not a particularly novel bit of intel, but Antonio Brown sucks. He totally rules as a receiver, so it’s kinda lame that his comeuppance for dunking on the Steelers was a trade to his preferred destination and a brand new contract, one that makes him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL. I genuinely believed that Brown’s issues with the Steelers were mostly rooted in the organization’s dynamics, particularly the perceived dichotomy between Big Ben and the rest of the roster and that any severed ties caused by his withdrawal could be chalked up as collateral damage, but it’s clear now that Brown also became indignant with Smith-Schuster’s ascension from a promising sidekick to a legitimate superstar and fan-favorite (it probably didn’t help that Roethlisberger, following a loss to Denver, publicly denounced Brown while simultaneously outwardly supporting Smith-Schuster).

It’s evident, too, that, in addition to securing a new contract, Brown wanted to be the foremost commodity in the offense. He debatably was this for the Steelers last season (his 15 touchdowns led the NFL, and he was targeted 168 times—two more than Smith-Schuster—despite playing in only 15 games), but a cursory mental inventory on his part likely revealed that Smith-Schuster’s usage would’ve potentially surpassed his own as early as next season. I don’t know how productive Antonio Brown will be in 2019, but being that the Raiders lack any semblance of a serviceable rushing attack, that their receiving corps features Brown, Tyrell Williams, and tumbleweed, and that Brown’s averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 170 targets per season over the past six years, Brown should have plenty of chances to eat. Perhaps Brown should keep these details in mind and, in lieu of behaving like a petulant teenager online, take his own advice.

Steelers announce their 2019 preseason schedule

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 6:45am

The Steelers will face the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs, Tennessee Titans and Carolina Panthers in preseason matchups this year.

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially announced their 2019 preseason schedule on Tuesday, a slate of four games that will begin with two home matchups and end in customary fashion with a game against their annual opponent.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will be the Steelers opening contest of the preseason on August 9, with Week 2 bringing the Kansas City Chiefs to the Steel City on August 17. That will be followed by a trip to face the Tennessee Titans on August 25 and finally a road game against the Carolina Panthers on August 29 in Week 4.

Pittsburgh will close their preseason with a game against the Panthers for the 17th consecutive year in a row, one of three games that will be broadcast by local television station KDKA-TV. The Steelers game against the Titans will be a national televised game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football, broadcast locally by WPXI-TV.

While the team has already announced the dates of their offseason schedule for minicamps and OTAs in 2019, they have yet to confirm when training camp will begin. However, given the date of their first preseason game, it should be expected that the players will report to Saint Vincent College around July 25, assuming they follow the same pattern as last year.

Podcast: Believe it or not, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is not on the hot seat

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 5:35am

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

There is a large contingent of Pittsburgh Steelers fans who have grown tired of Mike Tomlin. They don’t like the losing to sub-par teams, the apparent lack of focus in the locker room and a myriad of other issues each individual in this group carries with them.

For those, they love to hear the Steelers’ head coach could be on the hot seat if the team stumbles again, like it did in 2018. In fact, there are some who believe he is already on the hot seat after being 7-2-1 and missing the playoffs last year.

You think this way? Well, hate to tell you but Tomlin’s seat isn’t even warm.

This is where the newest BTSC podcast “Yeah, I Said It” comes in. My co-host on ‘The Standard is the Standard’, Lance Williams, talks about why Tomlin isn’t on the hot seat, and it would take something extremely drastic to even heat his seat up a bit.

Lance is the perfect man for the job, and delivers the goods in the latest show.

Check out the audio below:

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

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

Black and Gold Links: In strange course of events, Antonio Brown, not Le’Veon Bell, is the most hated ex-Steeler

Behind the Steel Curtain - Wed, 04/10/2019 - 4:31am

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how with Antonio Brown’s most recent antics, it has made fans long for the good ol’ days of Le’Veon Bell holding out and producing lousy rap songs.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Remember when Le’Veon Bell was Public Enemy No. 1 among Pittsburgh Steelers fans? Not anymore...AB has been atop that pedestal for quite some time now.

Le’Veon Bell shares positive text from Steelers’ James Conner

By: Frank Carnevale, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Le’Veon Bell, the New York Jets new running back, who skipped the entire season last year rather than sign the franchise tag and take the field for the Steelers, shared a private text message from current Steelers running back James Conner.

Conner apparently sent a message to Bell saying hey and acknowledging that Bell hasn’t talked bad about his former teammates and that he appreciated that.

Here’s Conner’s message according to the screenshot:

“What’s up bro. Just reaching out, social media got dudes acting crazy and it got me thinkin you was always a real one, never talked bad about nobody and was always solid. I appreciate that! Congrats on the new deal you weathered the storm and came out stronger. Like you always say all POSITIVE VIBES! Do ya thing brodi.”

Bell post an image of that message to Twitter with the caption, “I usually don’t post private conversations…but this txt just hit me so differently…I love youu to death bro @JamesConner_ #AllPositiveVibes”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • The demise of Antonio Brown with the Steelers, and the subsequent issues with JuJu Smith-Schuster had many wondering what happened. Jeremy Fowler of ESPN chimes in...

Antonio Brown’s resentment grew with each JuJu Smith-Schuster reception

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

...Brown was nearing his 31st birthday without guaranteed money while Smith-Schuster was dancing his way into Brown’s own endorsement deals.

”JuJu was in AB’s Pizza Hut commercials -- you don’t think that got to [Brown]?” one team source said. “JuJu was coming up and that became a problem for AB.”

Smith-Schuster winning the Steelers’ most valuable player award, as voted on by teammates, seemed to make matters worse. Many inside and outside the building believed Brown harbored resentment over that voting, though it was never really talked out. Roethlisberger’s support of Smith-Schuster throughout the season, even failing to call Brown his No. 1 receiver after Week 12, loomed large.

What’s curious to teammates now is many felt they had a great relationship with Brown. Despite his issues with punctuality and star treatment and sideline flare-ups, they respected his jovial encounters with even the lowest locker-room rungs and the way he worked.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Remember that direct message from JuJu Brown posted on social media? Yeah...he deleted it.

Antonio Brown deletes his latest JuJu Smith-Schuster attack

By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk

Raiders receiver Antonio Brown apparently has some self-awareness, after all.

Brown has deleted a Monday social-media post based on a direct message from a then-18-year-old JuJu Smith-Schuster seeking advice from the then-Steelers receiver. The move quite possibly was influenced by the avalanche of criticism that Brown endured after posting the screen shot.

It doesn’t change the fact that Brown’s gesture exposed to the world the inner #mirrormirror turmoil fueling his envy of the much younger and ascending player. Brown’s inability to control his impulses gave everyone a glimpse of the jealousy that fueled his attack on his former teammate.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • AFC North Links

Ozzie Newsome might not be the GM anymore, but he is still there helping
Andy Dalton is pumped to get back to work
OBJ was sad when he was traded to the Browns

  • VIDEO

Ryan Clark says Antonio Brown ‘Isn’t a good human being’
How Brown posting private message from Smith-Schuster backfired

  • Social Media Madness

An October to remember.#TopShots | @JamesConner_ pic.twitter.com/jjj443B6ug

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 9, 2019

We have signed CB Kameron Kelly, LB JT Jones and DT Winston Craig to one-year contracts.@BordasLaw TRANSACTION: https://t.co/KnyKSRtBN5 pic.twitter.com/iUdeRSVV9j

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 8, 2019

2017➡️2018#TransformationTuesday | @_TJWatt pic.twitter.com/QuieUwUSMK

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 9, 2019

2019 NFL Draft: The Tennessee Titans are on the clock, but who will they pick?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 2:43pm

It’s time to make a pick for the Tennessee Titans in our 2019 Community Mock Draft

...the pick is in

With the 18th pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select Jawaan Taylor OT Florida.

The Tennessee Titans are on the clock

Team Needs: CB/Edge/IDL/WR/TE/ IOL/S

2018 NFL Draft Selections

1 (22) Rashaan Evans, lb, Alabama.

2 (41) Harold Landry, lb, Boston College.

5 (152) Dane Crulkshank, s, Arizona.

6 (199) Luke Falk, qb, Washington State.

2019 NFL Selections and Order

Pick 1 - Arizona Cardinal Nick Bosa Edge Ohio State

Pick 2 - San Francisco 49ers Josh Allen Edge Kentucky

Pick 3 - New York Jets Jonah Williams OT Alabama

Pick 4 - Oakland Raiders Quinnen Williams IDL Alabama

Pick 5 - Tampa Bay Buccaneers Greedy Williams CB LSU

Pick 6 - New York Giants Dwayne Haskins QB Ohio State

Pick 7 - Jacksonville Jaguars Drew Lock QB Missouri

Pick 8 - Detroit Lions Clelin Ferrell Edge Clemson

Pick 9 - Buffalo Bills Ed Oliver IDL Houston

Pick 10 - Denver Broncos Devin White ILB LSU

Pick 11 - Cincinnati Bengals Cody Ford OT Oklahoma

Pick 12 - Green Bay Packers Jachai Polite Edge Florida

Pick 13 - Miami Dolphins Kyler Murray QB Oklahoma

Pick 14 - Atlanta Falcons Montez Sweat Edge Mississippi St.

Pick 15 - Washington Redskins D.K. Metcalf WR Mississippi

Pick 16 - Carolina Panthers Rashan Gary Edge/IDL Michigan

Pick 17 - New York Giants Brian Burns Edge Florida State

Pick 18 - Minnesota Vikings Jawaan Taylor OT Florida

Note: For those that may vote “other”, let us know who you would have picked. If its a trade scenario fill us in on what you are thinking.

Report: Steelers sign former AAF DL Casey Sayles

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 1:30pm

The Steelers reportedly added a sixth former Alliance of American Football player on Tuesday, signing a familiar face who was with the team in 2018

Judging by the rate at which the Pittsburgh Steelers have been signing players from the Alliance of American Football over the past few days, it would appear that they rated the talent a bit more highly than many of the other teams in the NFL.

With reports emerging of another former AAF player the Steelers have signed to a one-year contract, the Steelers have now added the most players from the defunct league than any other team in the NFL, tying the Carolina Panthers with six AAF signings so far.

DL Casey Sayles of the AAF signs with the Pittsburgh Steelers

— Aaron Wilson (@AaronWilson_NFL) April 9, 2019

Sayles should be a familiar name to many Steelers fans after he joined the team as a futures signing in 2018, remaining with the team throughout training camp before being released in the final round of cuts. Originally signed by the Los Angeles Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Sayles is the third former Birmingham Iron player Pittsburgh has signed this offseason.

Still only 23-years-old, Sayles was used as a defensive end in the Iron’s 3-4 scheme and was one of the standout performers on the league’s best defense. Second in the AAF with 24 quarterback pressures, as per Pro Football Focus, Sayles finished the season ranked third at his position overall with a grade of 87.6. He also recorded 12 tackles, a sack and five tackles for a loss through eight games.

Casey Sayles sacks Matt Simms pic.twitter.com/naAQ0qBaUA

— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) February 24, 2019

Steelers host LSU TE Foster Moreau and Texas DL Charles Omenihu on pre-draft visits Tuesday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 12:18pm

The Steelers met with two more 2019 draft prospects at team facilities on Tuesday

The Pittsburgh Steelers welcomed two more prospects to the Steel City on Tuesday, hosting LSU tight end Foster Moreau and Texas defensive lineman Charles Omenihu at team facilities.

The #Steelers pre-draft visitors for April 9: TE Foster Moreau from LSU; DE Charles Omenihu from Texas

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 9, 2019

Foster had already been connected with the Steelers after meeting with them at the Senior Bowl, while the pre-draft visit from Omenihu had always been expected after reports emerged of an impending trip to the Steel City following his pro day attended by Kevin Colbert.

The Steelers have now officially used 22 of their 30 allocated visits, with Dravon Askew-Henry, David Long and Miles Sanders all considered local visitors who do not count against their allowance.

Scouting reports for each player can be found below, along with a highlight video for both prospects.

TE, Foster Moreau, LSU

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“LSU TE Foster Moreau presents value for teams who require/prefer additional blockers at the line of scrimmage beyond their starting line. Moreau has an effective feel for pass protection and presents additional upside as a run blocker if he’s able to establish more consistency with his hands at first contact. Moreau is a limited upside receiving prospect who projects best as a potential TE2, should not be considered a viable receiving feature in the long term.”

DE, Charles Omenihu, Texas

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Charles Omenihu projects favorably as a base 4-3 defensive end in an even front. Omenihu has the needed length, power and hand pop to be a stout run defender and modest pass rusher in a starting role, however his hand usage needs to show improvement in accuracy and violence if he is to maximize his tight angled reps against blockers on the edge.”

Bookmaker creates market for Antonio Brown vs. JuJu Smith-Schuster performance betting in 2019

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 11:00am

Proving you really can wager on anything, sportsbook BetOnline.ag unveiled a new range of bets involving the two feuding wide receivers on Tuesday.

With former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown revealing his resentment towards JuJu Smith-Schuster over the past few days, it should come as no surprise to learn that some sportsbooks are looking turn this latest drama into a money making opportunity.

In response to the war of words the two players are having over the internet, online bookmaker BetOnline.ag has created a new market for the statistical battle the two will wage on the football field this year, offering a range of bets about which wide receiver will have the better season in 2019.

It's JuJu Smith-Schuster vs. Antonio Brown, on social media and on the gridiron.

Most receiving yards for 2019:
JuJu: +150
AB: -200

Most receptions in 2019:
JuJu: +135
AB: -175

Most TDs in 2019:
JuJu: +110
AB: -150

More player props ➡️ https://t.co/yBNRhGJK8S pic.twitter.com/mCL25aRzMN

— BetOnline.ag (@betonline_ag) April 8, 2019

Gamblers can now bet on which player will record more receptions, more yards and more touchdowns, with Brown the clear favorite in each market.

Most Receiving Yards 2019 Regular Season

Antonio Brown -200

JuJu Smith-Schuster +150

Most Receptions 2019 Regular Season

Antonio Brown -175

JuJu Smith-Schuster +135

Most TD’s 2019 Regular Season

Antonio Brown -150

JuJu Smith-Schuster +110

Betting against the NFL’s best wide receiver may not seem like the wisest move on the face of it, but Smith-Schuster’s chances of winning some of these battles should not be completely dismissed out of hand.

Beating Brown in the battle to record the most receptions could be a possibility. With no clear cut No.2 receiver on the roster, Smith-Schuster should not lack for targets in 2019 in an offense that saw both him an AB eclipse the century mark in 2018. A figure no Oakland Raiders receiver has come close achieving since Derek Carr was drafted.

With a superior quarterback throwing him the ball, Smith-Schuster should also have a fair chance of winning the most receiving yards battle as well. Amari Cooper looked like a much better player when he got away from the Raiders and it would be fair to question how much the poor play of Carr impacted his ability to be productive. Something AB will surely find out about soon enough.

The touchdown market is less likely to favor the young Steelers receiver considering the array of weapons that still remain in Pittsburgh and the lack of overall talent surrounding Brown in Oakland, but strangely this is the market that favors AB the least in the betting.

While we would not go as far as advising any significant wagers, there does seem to be some value for those looking for an interest bet that it is unlikely to be decided until the final few weeks of the season.

Hello, my name is Teryl Austin. How may I be of assistance to the Steelers?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 9:35am

Pittsburgh Steelers senior defensive assistant coach Teryl Austin has a rather long job title and an even longer list of responsibilities.

New Steelers senior defensive assistant/secondary coach Teryl Austin must have felt like he had died and went to Valhalla. He had been unceremoniously dismissed from his defensive coordinator duties with the Cincinnati Bengals, a pit of misery franchise run by a clueless owner, powerless head coach, and delusional fan base. Then he lands an interview with the Pittsburgh Steelers, one of the cornerstone franchises in the NFL. The interview goes great, Austin is offered the job, but there is just one catch.

Part of Teryl Austin's job description is to be, for lack of a better word, a narc. That is the bad news. The good news is it isn't a top secret mission seeing how everybody on the team and coaching staff are already more than aware.

What's the big deal if all his team apparel has that one special button that is actually a spy camera and the pen to his tablet is really a recording device, just like a cop's body camera, they are only required to protect the innocent.

Austin's main job description is to observe the day to day operations and interactions in and around the Steelers complex and report back to Mr. Rooney and Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. Ben Roethlisberger, as acting owner, will sit in on these meetings to go over all the information gathered by Coach Austin.

Teryl's job description calls for other high profile responsibilities beyond intel gathering. First off, he has been instructed to assist Coach Tomlin with all challenge decisions. More like prevent Mike from ever throwing the red flag unless given approval from upstairs. The use of force has been granted if Austin deems it necessary.

Next order of business is to assist Defensive Coordinator Keith Butler with weekly game plans and daily tasks. Little things like making sure Butler is aware of that week's opponent, who is and isn't on their active roster, and answer questions that sometimes can be confusing for Coach Butler. Like why in-game defensive adjustments are sometimes required and can be helpful, and why it is seldom a good idea to consistently attempt to cover a top wideout with your coverage challenged inside linebackers.

As if that wasn't enough, Austin is supposed to protect special teams coach Danny Smith from himself. This requires Austin to only supply Smith with decaf on any coffee runs, and to hide any and all energy drinks from Coach Smith. He must make sure that Smith has completely removed the wrappers from the approximately ten pieces of Bazooka bubble gum that Smith chews during each practice or game, seeing how it could be a choking hazard. If choking does occur then Austin is required to administer the Heimlich maneuver. He must also shield Coach Smith from any debris that might inadvertently come flying out of the stands. He is even supposed to protect any innocent team personnel on the sidelines from possibly being hit by a shanked Jordan Berry punt.

Lastly Teryl is supposed to listen in and try to decipher exactly what Coach Tom Bradley has been teaching Artie Burns and the rest of the Steelers secondary.

All of the information gathered will be crucial by the end of the year as the Steelers decide which coaches will stay and which ones will be shown the door, especially if they have another disappointing season.

Teryl Austin does have a lot on his plate, but he feels certain he is the right man for the job. It has to be better than being stuck in Cincinnati.

Steelers announce the signing of three more former AAF players to one-year deals

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 8:05am

The Steelers officially confirmed the expected addition of CB Kam Kelly on Monday, along with signings of LB J.T. Jones and DT Winston Craig

The Pittsburgh Steelers officially confirmed the signing of three more former Alliance of American Football players to one-year contracts on Monday, a group that included the expected addition of cornerback Kameron Kelly after he had announced the move earlier in the day via social media.

The former Atlanta Legends defensive backs will be joined in Pittsburgh by a fellow former Legend in linebacker J.T. Thomas and former San Antonio Commanders defensive tackle Winston Craig.

We have signed CB Kameron Kelly, LB JT Jones and DT Winston Craig to one-year contracts.@BordasLaw TRANSACTION: https://t.co/KnyKSRtBN5 pic.twitter.com/iUdeRSVV9j

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 8, 2019

We looked at the signing of Kelly in more detail on Monday here, and it might be fair to say that he has the best shot of making practice squad from this group of names, even if those chances are slim.

Before joining the Commanders, Craig was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017 as an undrafted free agent out of Richmond, spending time on their practice squad in both 2017 and 2018 before being picked up by the AAF at the end of last year. Craig recorded 4 tackles and 2.5 sacks with San Antonio.

Winston Craig sack. I feel like every member of the San Antonio DL, and most of the backups, have made big plays today pic.twitter.com/KthuBxSwX0

— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) February 17, 2019

Jones signed with the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2017, remaining on their practice squad throughout his rookie season. Released by the Falcons ahead of their 2018 campaign, the former University of Miami (Ohio) product would finish sixth in the AAF with four sacks through eight games, as well as recording 16 tackles and a forced fumble.

Jonesing for a SACK! #AllHailATL@JB_BigDawg I @TheAAF pic.twitter.com/0DOrtxvXTe

— Atlanta Legends (@AafLegends) March 17, 2019

Antonio Brown’s latest attempt to save face makes him look even worse

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 6:52am

Antonio Brown just can’t help himself...

The saga between the Pittsburgh Steelers, JuJu Smith-Schuster and Antonio Brown isn’t over, nor will it be over anytime soon if the past reflects what is coming up in the future. However, the saga took a strange turn on Monday.

After Smith-Schuster not only put Brown in his place via Twitter over the weekend, Brown clearly wasn’t done. He wanted to get the last laugh, but what he did might have been the complete opposite of his intended goal. He wanted to damage Smith-Schuster any way possible. See what he posted below:

View this post on Instagram

........ #OnToTheNext

A post shared by Antonio Brown (@ab) on Apr 8, 2019 at 10:56am PDT

By taking the Direct Message (DM) Smith-Schuster sent Brown in 2015 and posting it for the world to see, it spoke more about Brown as a person, than Smith-Schuster. If anything, it showed how humble Smith-Schuster was to reach out to a player he looked up to and ask for any type of advice or tips.

Meanwhile, Brown releasing the photo and message makes him look desperate, or even more than he already has.

After reading the message, NFL Network’s Aditi Kinhabwala took the words right out of my mouth when it came to the reaction to Brown’s latest antics.

From my seat, this old DM only illustrates exactly why @TeamJuJu is so darn easy for folks to root for. #Steelers
1) He’s driven to improve.
2) He’s not afraid to ask those more accomplished than him how to improve.
3) He’s respectful and has good manners. pic.twitter.com/gDHI7SxuSN

— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) April 8, 2019

I would love to be able to sit here and type this is the end of the sage with Antonio Brown, but doing so would be a lie. Brown loves the attention, and his obsession with the Steelers’ business might very well show how he is regretting everything but the money the Raiders gave him when he forced himself out of town.

Brown wants to lift himself up by tearing someone else down, but in reality he is making Smith-Schuster look like a vested veteran, and himself like an immature and insecure adult.

Stay tuned to BTSC because this saga is sadly far from over...

Round 2 Steelers March Madness: Best of the Rest featuring 2017 vs 1994

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 6:08am

Bracketing the best teams in the past 50 years of Pittsburgh Steelers history never to win a title. Who do you consider the “Best of the Rest” between the 1994 Steelers and the 2017 version?

BTSC continues to search for the best and most-memorable Steeler team to not win a title. Last time around, you voted the No. 8 seeded (due to record) 1976 team that dominated defensively after a 1-4 start over a team that ran out of film vs. the Spygate Patriots. Here’s the final tally.

No. 2 - 2001: Inaugural Heinz Field Heroes - 14% No. 8 - 1976: The Steel Curtain Defense at their highest level - 86%

Once again, you may not agree with the seedings...but they were done by record in the regular season and then postseason success. In the most recent matchup, the lower seed triumphed.

This time around we pit a high-potential team that suffered big egos, a devestating injury, a rule-changing call and looking ahead against a high-potential team that looked ahead and fell three yards shy. Be sure to vote for the team that remains the most memorable to you or the one you feel is simply the “best of the rest”. Your choice. Be sure to wax poetically in the comment section below.

No. 3 Seed: 2017 (13-3) Team Turmoil

The 2017 version of the Steelers epitomized the nickname of “Team Turmoil”. It started as the first season that the club would have without Dan Rooney after his death in April of that year. The team added talent by selecting TJ Watt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and adding Joe Haden and Vance McDonald. The regular season began with Le’Veon Bell showing up at the last minute and taking some time to scrape the rust off. In Week 3, everybody but Alejandro Villanueva stayed in the tunnel during the National Anthem and unrest in Steeler Nation and the NFL (as a whole) ensued. In Week 5, Ben threw five picks and Antonio Brown threw a Gatorade cooler in a 30-9 loss. But the Steelers reeled off eight-straight to extend their record to 11-2. In that stretch...the Steelers stunned unbeaten Kansas City at Arrowhead, Rosie Nix manhandled Cincy’s Vontaze Burfict in a win at home, Martavis Bryant blasted Smith-Schuster and was suspended for failing to show up to the facility after a win, JuJu reeled off a 97-yarder in a win against Detroit the game following that, Joe Haden went out with an injury and Ben feuded with Todd Haley in Indy, the team destroyed the Titans on TNF in their Color Rush jerseys, Ryan Shazier suffered his devestating injury in Cincy, JJSS was suspended for a blindsided hit on Burfict in that same game and the Steelers came back in an emotional 39-38 game against Baltimore. Then came the infamous Jesse James call that helped aid a loss against New England to snap the win streak and lose the top seed. A week later, James Harrison got himself released and fled to the Patriots. In the playoffs, the Steelers were caught looking ahead to a rematch against New England and faltered mightily against Jacksonville 45-42. It was a disappointing and underachieving end to a very promising season. Possibly the worst return from a talented group that included ten Pro Bowlers. It would be Le’Veon Bell’s last season on the field for Pittsburgh.

Pro Bowlers: Le’Veon Bell, Chris Boswell, Antonio Brown, David DeCastro, Cam Heyward, Maurice Pouncey, Roosevelt Nix, Ben Roethlisberger, Ryan Shazier and Alejandro Villanueva

First-Team All Pros: Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, David DeCastro and Cam Heyward

Team MVP: Antonio Brown

No. 1 Draft Pick: T.J. Watt

Rookie of the Year: JuJu Smith-Schuster

No. 6 Seed: 1994 (12-4) Not Quite 60-Minute Men

The third season of Bill Cowher’s tenure seemed to have the ingredients of a team to turn the corner. Barry Foster was back and seemed healthy, Neil O’Donnell was seemingly in command of the offense and the defense with Rod Woodson, Carnell Lake, Greg Lloyd and Kevin Greene looked to be the epitome of dominance. They also added a good bit of talent in the draft with names like Charles Johnson, Brentson Buckner, Jason Gildon, Bam Morris and Myron Bell. The season started on a sour note in a home loss to Dallas. In fact a 2-2 record wasn’t the beginning that Steeler Nation desired, but wins in 10 of the next 11 turned sour to sweet. Leading the way for the Steelers that year were O’Donnell, Foster (851 yards/5 TDs), Morris (836 yards/7 TDs), Charles Johnson (577 yards), Eric Green (618 yards/4 TDs), Chad Brown (8.5 sacks), Ray Seals (7 sacks), Kevin Greene (14 sacks), Lloyd (8.5 sacks), Darren Perry (7 INTs) and Woodson (4 INTs). The signature win came in the playoffs against Bill Belichick, Vinny Testeverde and the Cleveland Browns to the tune of 29-9. With spirits high and being favorites to go to their first Super Bowl in 15 years, the Steelers welcomed the San Diego Chargers and may have looked right past them. Seals organized the infamous “60 Minute Men” video and players seemed more concerned about SB tickets for friends and family. Up 13-3 in the third, the Chargers scored twice on passes of 43 yards from Stan Humphries to Alfred Pupunu and Tony Martin. Starring for the Chargers that day was Junior Seau with 15 tackles. But with a 4th and Goal on the three, No. 14’s pass to Foster was batted away in the end zone and Steeler Nation felt despair as a very strong team fell three-yards shy and couldn’t go 60 minutes to win the conference. 1994 would be the final seasons of Barry Foster and Eric Green in a Pittsburgh Steelers uniform.

Pro Bowlers: Dermontti Dawson, Eric Green, Kevin Greene, Duval Love, Carnell Lake, Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson

First-Team All Pros: Dermontti Dawson, Kevin Greene, Greg Lloyd and Rod Woodson

Second-Team All Pros: Carnell Lake

Team MVP: Greg Lloyd

No. 1 Draft Pick: Charles Johnson

Rookie of the Year: Byron “Bam” Morris

Even though the 2017 team had a 13-3 season, they exited early with question marks of what might’ve been. Meanwhile the 1994 team had a talented defense, but faltered when it counted the most. Vote and comment below.

Check back Wednesday for the results and the final. C matchup of Round Two.

Podcast: Is the football world finally understanding the Steelers’ side of the AB divorce?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 5:07am

Discuss all things Steelers and beyond as BTSC’s Bryan Anthony Davis and Tony Defeo comment on the latest news of the Steeler Nation,

Antonio Brown is no longer a Steeler and Steeler Nation desires a clean break. However, the player that got over on his old team keeps taking ugly shots. After Houston Texan Justin Reid expressed a desire to hit AB when they play, are others in the NFL finally understand Pittsburgh’s point-of-view in this ugly divorce? Join Bryan Davis and Anthony Defeo from BTSC for the extravaganza known as “Steelers Hangover”. They will discuss this burning question and much more. As always, Tony and Bryan have plenty to discuss with help from Steeler Nation.

Check out a rundown of the show:

  • Fact or Fiction
  • Are folks outside of Pittsburgh finally taking the Steelers side in the AB divorce?
  • Looking ahead
  • and MUCH MORE!

You can get all episodes on the following platforms:

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

Black and Gold Links: Ryan Shazier’s war on rehab has made all the difference

Behind the Steel Curtain - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 4:34am

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at the grueling rehabilitation Ryan Shazier undoes, and has undergone, to get him to doing the box jumps he unveiled Sunday.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Ryan Shazier is amazing. Period. Nothing else needs to be said.

Shazier’s latest milestone: Three-foot box jump

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Shazier, the two-time Pro Bowler who was carted off the field Dec. 1 in Cincinnati after a tackling attempt and had spinal stabilization surgery in the days after, has executed the jumps in stages, according to Shazier’s father, Vernon.

”The first boxes were a lot lower than that,” he said. “It all began with just trying to jump -- no box. It slowly graduated to what you see in that video.”...

...Vernon Shazier said his family doesn’t keep track of dates and times of milestones but simply “get up every day and go to war.”

”He’s grinding every day. It’s been very intense,” he said. “He’s come a long way but has a long ways to go. We’re grateful for the progress he’s achieved. He’s been dedicated to doing all he can to make as much progress as he can. We don’t have a ceiling, just working day to day.

”You know how the journey began, so to see him do that is very encouraging.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • The Steelers have a very good 3-4 defensive line, and Stephon Tuitt is a key cog along that line.

Tuitt pleased with progress

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

To survive in the NFL, growth has to be a constant. Doesn’t matter where you are in your career, you can’t stay the same. You always have to take the next step.

Stephon Tuitt understands that.

Tuitt, who will be entering his fifth season, knows there is plenty of room to grow, but also is pleased that he saw that growth last year.

“It can always be better, but I had a tremendous amount of growth last year and I am excited about that,” said Tuitt. “I grew in new ways that they wanted me to, new ways of me discovering things about myself to become the player I can be.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • While EDGE rusher isn’t on the top of the Steelers’ draft needs, the discussion of who is the best is certainly one which causes a lot of buzz.

2019 NFL Draft: Who is the best pass rusher in this class?

By: Bucky Brooks, NFL.com

o say the 2019 NFL Draft class has a deep pool of pass rushers is an understatement. This disruptive group is painted all over NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah’s top 50 prospects list, along with every mock draft on the internet.

Expected to go early on Day 1 of this month’s draft (you can watch live on NFL Network beginning at 8 p.m. ET on April 25) are pass rushers Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Montez Sweat, Quinnen Williams, Rashan Gary, Ed Oliver, Christian Wilkins and the list goes on.

After considering all the top talents from this deep position group, who is the best pass rusher in this draft class?

To read the full article, click HERE

  • VIDEO

Golic and Wingo chime in on the Antonio Brown/JuJu Smith-Schuster Twitter beef

Max Kellerman of ESPN weighs in on the AB/JuJu situation

  • Social Media Madness

I love my job and I’m thankful for it. I take nothing for granted.

— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) April 8, 2019

I don’t address my personal relationships via social media like attention whores and clowns. If I got ya number I call, if I got ya addy I pull up.

— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) April 8, 2019

My face says it all, lol. Its the moment I realized that I wasnt the cleanest in the room, it was Ryan Clark with his green coat. #MuchRespect. pic.twitter.com/gSoh51dZL3

— Charlie Batch (@CharlieBatch16) April 8, 2019

I only know how to keep it one way.. regardless the circumstance ‍♂️

— Terrell Edmunds (@rell_island6) April 8, 2019

Rise and grind #blessup

— Steve Nelson (@Nelson_Island) April 8, 2019

Social media posts of former AAF DB Kameron Kelly suggest he has signed with Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 2:15pm

The Steelers appear to have added another former AAF player to their roster on Monday

With the inaugural season of the Alliance of American Football coming to a premature end last week, the Pittsburgh Steelers have moved quickly to sign some of the more talented players from the league who are now available.

On Friday the team officially announced the signings of Jack Tocho and J.C. Hassenauer. As of Monday, it would appear that they have added former San Diego Fleet defensive back Kameron Kelly to the roster, if his latest social media posts are to be believed.

God’s bouta do somethin very special

— Kameron Kelly (@kaetwicefrfr) April 8, 2019

black & yellow

— Kameron Kelly (@kaetwicefrfr) April 8, 2019

blessings

beyond thankful for the @steelers organization & this opportunity

— Kameron Kelly (@kaetwicefrfr) April 8, 2019

A move also seemingly confirmed by The Sporting News.

Kameron Kelly started the AAF as a WR for the Fleet.

He moved to DB and had three interceptions in one game.

He's now apparently headed to the Steelers.

Full list of AAF players to sign with NFL teams: https://t.co/4AHqkSPYL1 pic.twitter.com/xOM5ZPD7qq

— Sporting News NFL (@sn_nfl) April 8, 2019

Kelly was one of the four players we highlighted on this site last week as one of the AAF players Pittsburgh should consider signing, and it would seem we were not the only ones who saw NFL caliber talent in this young defensive back.

Converted from safety to cornerback at San Diego State, Kelly joined the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent in 2018, only to be released in the final round of cuts later in the year. Initially signed by the Fleet as a wide receiver, he would move back to defense when San Diego were hit by injuries to their cornerbacks.

As per Arif Hasan of The Athletic, the 6-foot-2 defender ranked fifth in the AAF in passer rating allowed among cornerbacks and led the league with four interceptions. He would also record 10 interceptions in 43 games for San Diego State.

Former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Kameron Kelly had three interceptions on Saturday, one returned for a touchdown. At 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds, it wouldn’t surprise me if he earns a tryout from the #49ers. Like @eric_crocker said, he fits their mold.pic.twitter.com/9IR4errINe

— Rob Lowder (@Rob_Lowder) March 10, 2019

Kameron Kelly went ⬆️ for this INT!#SDvsAZ

pic.twitter.com/5OIC69CVy4

— PFF_AAF (@PFF_AAF) March 24, 2019

Steelers host two top ranked cornerbacks and a linebacker on pre-draft visits Monday

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 12:55pm

The Steelers welcomed two highly ranked cornerback prospects and a linebacker to Pittsburgh on Monday as they continue their evaluation of the 2019 draft class

The Pittsburgh Steelers began their second week of pre-draft visits by hosting two players widely expected to go in the first-round of the draft on Monday, a duo who are arguably the highest rated cornerback available this year.

TCU linebacker Ben Banogu was also part of the group visiting the Steel City, joining Byron Murphy from Washington and Deandre Baker from Georgia on a trip to the Steelers’ facilities.

Pre-draft visitors for the #Steelers on April 8: CB DeAndre Baker from Georgia, OLB Ben Banogu from TCU; CB Byron Murphy from Washington

— Bob Labriola (@BobLabriola) April 8, 2019

The Steelers have now officially used 20 of their 30 allocated visits, with Dravon Askew-Henry, David Long and Miles Sanders all considered local visitors who do not count against their allowance.

Scouting reports for each player can be found below, along with a highlight video for all three prospects.

CB, Deandre Baker, Georgia

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Deandre Baker projects favorably as a press man corner in the NFL. If allowed to play within the contact window and disrupt route releases, Baker can be an impact starter from the get go. With some concerns centered around his long speed, Baker is a more favorable fit in a Cover 2 heavy defensive system, where he can be afforded deep help to ensure he’s not compromised vertically in the event he misses his jam at the LOS. Baker can make an immediate impact in the NFL.”

CB, Byron Murphy, Washington

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Murphy’s fluidity, quickness, speed, ability to mirror routes, press technique, zone awareness and ball skills make him a scheme-transcendent talent. He features lockdown coverage skills with the ability to make game-changing plays on the football. He may have only started 20 games in college but his football IQ and athletic ability is good enough to contribute right away. Murphy has the potential to be among the top cornerbacks in the NFL by year three.”

LB, Ben Banogu, TCU

Scouting report from Kyle Crabbs of The Draft Network.

“Ben Banogu is one of the most high-upside defenders of this year’s NFL Draft. Banogu has dynamic explosion and he’s got effective change of direction skills as well. Played in a very gap-disciplined defense at TCU, Banogu wasn’t necessarily allowed to roam free as an aggressive pass rusher, which has stunted some of his growth. In a new, more aggressive environment, Banogu could develop in time to be a high impact pass rusher.”

Akron LB Ulysees Gilbert speaks fondly of his pre-draft visit with Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 11:55am

After his trip to Pittsburgh to meet the coaching staff and tour team facilities, Ulysees Gilbert admits he would be excited to be drafted by the Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers have made no secret of their interest in Akron linebacker Ulysees Gilbert this offseason, meeting with him at his pro day and inviting him to Pittsburgh for a pre-draft visit. And judging by his response to the trip, it appears that he would welcome returning as a member of the Steelers come draft day.

When speaking to Andrew DiCecco of EaglesWire, Gilbert revealed just how much he had enjoyed visiting the Steel City, a place he had only been to twice before to watch the Steelers play a preseason game against the Indianapolis Colts and in Week 13 last year to watch them play the Los Angeles Chargers. As per DiCecco.

“It was amazing, honestly. The Steelers were my favorite team growing up, so to meet everybody and meet Tomlin and just be around there — it was a blessing. I really enjoyed it.”

“[The facility] was big, and low-key kind of modern. I ate in their new cafeteria — they just built a new cafeteria, which was really nice. The locker room was pretty typical, nothing too special. The weight room is really nice, the field is nice — they have an open window area that looks out onto the field while you’re working out.”

As a fan of the Black and Gold, Gilbert is more than aware of the team’s needs on defense, seeing something of himself in the player Pittsburgh is clearly looking to replace this year.

“Obviously, they’re looking for that new Shazier. I feel like I share some of the same kind of moves as him. I’m not saying I’m going to be him, but I feel like we share similar traits — kind of around the same size, both fast, high football IQ. I feel like I’d fit perfectly fine with the defense that they run, I’d be right there in the middle. I’d be excited to be drafted by them, to be honest.”

By all accounts, Gilbert spent most of his time with linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky during his trip, with the young linebacker notably warming to the man who would be his position coach in Pittsburgh.

“He’s a cool dude. When we were watching film, he was very calm and asked questions — then we’d talk it through. We watched my ten best plays, and some of the plays I had some issues and he’d ask what would I do in certain situations or why I made a certain decision on a play. He told me some of the plays that they do, and I have it down pat already. I would love to play for him.”

Expected to be a Day 3 selection by most draft experts, this scouting report from Pro Football Draft Zone seems to indicate a player who could potentially be a valuable asset in pass coverage.

Notes: From Ocala, FL. Played mostly on special teams as a true freshman in 2015; had 11 tackles and a blocked kick. Starter at WLB in 2016; led team with 122 tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 PBU, 2 FF. Posted 141 tackles, 9.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 4 PBU, 1 FR, 3 INT in 2017.

Positives: Outstanding productivity and range. Excels in pursuit. Very agile and athletic. Can often avoid and out-quick blockers in space. Good movement and change-of-direction skills. Able to run with backs in coverage. Closes quickly. Good skill set for special teams.

Negatives: Undersized. Struggles to take on and shed blockers at the point of attack. Gets bounced around and easily washed out at times. Tends to bite on play action, leaving passing lanes open behind him.

Summary: Weak-side linebacker prospect who needs to play off the ball and excel on special teams to make it.

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