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Steelers vs. Chiefs: Second-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 9:00pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 preseason continues with the Steelers and Chiefs locking horns in Week 2. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the second time in the 2019 preseason as they prepare to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Steelers vs. Chiefs Preseason Week 2: 2nd quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:53pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

1st Quarter In-Game Update

The second quarter was more of the same for both teams until Rudolph started to get into a rhythm with his college teammate James Washington. Two big completions to Washington got the Steelers into Kansas City territory for the first time in the game. Diontae Johnson’s first professional reception set up a Jaylen Samuels run into the endzone for the first score of the game.

.@JaySam1k with no one around‼️ pic.twitter.com/nbEQv3ftKZ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 18, 2019

Boswell’s point-after was good, making the score 7-0 with 6:39 left in the first half.

Chad Henne wasn’t about to be outdone by Mason Rudolph, and he put together a drive of his own. With 1:11 left in the half Henne hit Mecole Hardman for a 17-yard touchdown to tie the game 7-7.

Joshua Dobbs came into the game to try and move the Steelers into at least field goal range before heading into halftime, and he delivered a long 40-yard strike to James Washington on the first play from scrimmage. However, the Steelers failed to get into field goal range and turned the ball over on downs. Instead of just kneeling out the half, Mike Hilton caused a fumble while blitzing and Skipper Tuzar recovered the football with 25 seconds left in the half.

A pass to Eli Rogers aided by a personal foul set the Steelers up inside the 10-yard line, but Dobbs threw an interception at the goal line which was returned to midfield. The Chiefs’ completed a quick pass before giving Harrison Butker a 58-yard attempt which sailed wide right. The first half ended with a 7-7 tie, and the Chiefs due to get the ball after the break.

Steelers vs. Chiefs Preseason Week 2: 1st quarter in-game update

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 8:06pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back, and we keep you up to date with those who aren’t able to watch the game live.

The Pittsburgh Steelers were slated to play the Kansas City Chiefs at Heinz Field Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Due to thunderstorms in the Pittsburgh area, kickoff was moved back an entire hour before these two AFC powerhouses finally got the game underway.

The Steelers elected to receive the football to start the game, and Mason Rudolph was first under center for the black-and-gold with the first team minus players like Ben Roethlisberger, Maurkice Pouncey and David DeCastro.

After back-to-back runs to James Conner, the Steelers dialed up a pass with Rudolph on 3rd and 2, only to see it fall incomplete and punt the ball away. The Chiefs’ starters, including Patrick Mahomes, started the game and wasted little time going to work. But when their drive reached the midfield mark, it stalled.

The Steelers were forced to punt again, and Mahomes and company took over with good field position, but on a 2nd down run by Carlos Hyde, Terrell Edmunds got his hands on the football, causing a fumble, and it was recovered by Sean Davis. The very next play from scrimmage, Rudolph hit Donte Moncrief for a short gain, but Moncrief fumbled the ball back to the Chiefs.

Chad Henne took over for the Chiefs, but both teams failed to register any points on the scoreboard before the end of the first quarter.

Steelers vs. Chiefs: First-half live updates, injury news and open thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 6:07pm
Photo: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Steelers are back on the gridiron! The 2019 preseason continues with the Steelers and Chiefs locking horns in Week 2. Keep tabs on all things Black-and-gold with our updates and open thread.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the field for the second time in the 2019 preseason as they prepare to face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 of the preseason.

Throughout the game, be sure to check back here for score updates, injury news and any breaking news from those on the sidelines following the team live. You can also follow along in the Twitter feed below.

For those wondering, you can enjoy some lively commentary with the best Steelers fans across the globe in the open thread for all BTSC members in the comment section below. Let’s remember to keep it clean, respect everyone’s thoughts and ideas, and ultimately remember we’re all here for the same reason—to root on the Steelers!

So enjoy the game and be sure to follow BTSC for all the latest news surrounding the team throughout the game and afterwards!

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

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Which Steelers are you most looking forward to watching vs. the Chiefs?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 4:18pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers play their second preseason Saturday night, and it begs the question who you are excited to watch vs. the Chiefs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are back on the football field in live game action for Week 2 of the NFL Presason. To say there is excitement from the fan base is an understatement. But with the excitement comes the reality this is just a preseason game, and the players who will truly make up the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers will be doing more watching than playing.

This doesn’t mean there aren’t players fans are excited to watch!

There are plenty of players to get excited about watching, and if you have followed the team’s offseason roster, you should be interested throughout the entire game. Players are playing for their professional lives starting tonight, and with that brings plenty of pressure.

Here are the players I’m looking forward to watching Saturday night vs. the Chiefs, but I want to know who you are excited to watch? Let us know in the comment section below and be a part of the conversation!

Mason Rudolph, QB

In my opinion, Rudolph can lock up the backup spot with a quality start on Saturday night. Getting the start, and playing with the starters, will give him every opportunity to succeed.

Chris Boswell, K

Boswell had a horrible 2018 season, that is well documented, and there is a lot riding on this preseason. His job with the Steelers, a hefty bonus — yeah, there is pressure on Boswell to perform. He kicked well in Week 1. Can he stack good performances?

James Washington, WR

Washington had a tremendous Week 1, but can he continue to play well in Week 2? He is just one of the many players who is looked upon to take a huge step in Week 2.

Donte Moncrief, WR

Moncrief didn’t play in Week 1, and I would imagine he will play some in Week 2. This will be his first taste of football in the black-and-gold. I want to see how he handles the new scenery.

Artie Burns, CB

Like Moncrief, Burns didn’t play in Week 1. His reclamation project will hit the field in Week 2, and no one knows what to expect. The up-and-coming corner everyone was excited about in 2017? Or the dreadful picked on corner form 2018? Time to find out...

Predicting which Steelers will sit out Week 2 of the preseason against Kansas City

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 3:13pm
Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

Although there is no set number of players who must sit out, there are certain to be a number of Steelers players who will not play Saturday night

With no injury report in the preseason, the best gauge for predicting which Steelers will sit out Week 2 of the preseason is a combination of participation in the open practices at training camp and Mike Tomlin’s remarks throughout the week. While technically nobody has been ruled out, there are bound to be several players who do not dress against the Chiefs.

Here are the possibilities of players who might get the night off against Kansas City:

Definitely:

QB Ben Roethlisberger- Coach Tomlin technically didn’t rule Roethlisberger out for this week. But when the order of play was stated for quarterbacks, Roethlisberger was not on the list.

OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi- With news breaking Friday morning of Ola recovering from surgery, it’s safe to say he will not be playing on Saturday. With no official announcement from the Steelers at the time this article was constructed, the information of a 2-4 week recovery has yet to be corroborated.

Most Likely:

C Maurkice Pouncey- Practicing for the first time in almost two weeks this past Thursday, there isn’t any rush to get Pouncey back on the field before Ben Roethlisberger is read to take the snaps.

LB Vince Williams- Also coming back to practice Thursday after a two week hiatus, Williams is only in danger of losing snaps but not a roster spot at this point. Another week until he plays seems to be the likely route.

CB Joe Haden- Although a regular return to practice seems close, the Steelers have a number of corners they need to get a look at this week. Haden most likely gets ready to suit up Week 3 in Tennessee.

G David DeCastro- Reports were inconclusive if DeCastro practiced one day this week or not. Regardless, he sat out at least two practices and will probably be held out again on Saturday night.

TE Christian Scotland-Williamson- The only player injured in the Steelers first preseason game, “Scotty” doesn’t look like he’ll be able to go.

Possibly:

S Sean Davis- While he did practice this week, Davis has missed a lot of time and could be given another week to get game ready. Another possibility is he could see limited action early and then get the rest of the night off.

LB T.J. Watt- In order to not sound like a broken record, read the explanation for Sean Davis but substitute the name “T.J. Watt.”

TE Zach Gentry- Although he didn’t practice this week, you never want to rule out a rookie who is fighting to make the team. But if I had to guess, I’d say he’s out.

LB Devin Bush- He did miss at least one practice this week, but Bush appears to be fine. Most rookies would definitely play in this situation, but Bush is not a typical rookie and precautions could be taken.

OLB Sutton Smith- He’s in, he’s out. He’s up, he’s down. Who knows what will happen with Smith?

Unlikely:

Any player with less than one year of experience will most likely take the field against the Chiefs. Players making their way back such as Diontae Johnson , Donte Moncrief , and Artie Burns should be in action Saturday night.

CAny player with less than one year of experience will most likely take the field against the unless they were drafted in the first three rounds. All other young players are in danger of being waived/injured if they are unable to play.

Final Thoughts:

Since Mike Tomlin said more of the starters will see action is Week 2, there should be very few players who are not dressed for reasons other than injury. It is possible that a few other veterans such as Cameron Heyward and Ramon Foster could sit out, but at this point it’s hard to make that distinction.

Who do you think will sit out Saturday? Was there someone missing from the list? Feel free to leave a comment with your list of players we won’t see this week.

Bold and Bizarre predictions for Steelers vs. Chiefs, Preseason Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 1:50pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the chagrin of most, BTSC’s Nostradumbass predicts the Steelers’ second preseason game of 2019 vs. the Chiefs.

The Steelers return to Heinz Field tonight after a long and emotionally taxing week to battle the Chiefs. As always, some questions will be answered, while some remain a mystery. Who will make their 2019 debut? Will Diontae Johnson make noticeable impact? Can Bennie Snell Jr. and Justin Layne experience less growing pains this week? Will Duck Dynasty end? What will Devin Bush do next?

With these questions, storylines, and more, I’ve compiled a list of predictions (some basic, and some utterly idiotic) to look for in this preseason contest:

  • Devin Bush only has nine tackles in the first half, some members of a disappointed Steelers fan base demand that the trade be revoked.
  • Along with Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Haden and T.J. Watt do not see action Week 2.
  • Donte Moncrief makes his Steelers debut with three catches and a score.
  • Benny Snell Jr. finds redemption with an inspired performance and a TD. Finds a way to refer to himself in the sixth person.
  • Since his Jets played on Thursday at in Atlanta. Le’Veon Bell drives fan in his own Uber to the Steel City and performs his latest single “35 Million Reasons” at Blaze Pizza on McKnight Road. Upon realizing that the name is misleading and you can’t smoke weed while waiting for your pizza, Bell leaves in a huff.
  • A revitalized Steelers defense racks up four sacks again this week.
  • Mason Rudolph shines with the first team.
  • Amid duck noises from fans and Rick Dees’ “Disco Duck”, Devlin Hodges enters the game and further complicates the QB depth chart with a solid effort.
  • Patrick Mahomes goes 5 for 6 with a TD on the opening drive.
  • The Steelers are brought back down to earth 31-23. During his post-game press conference, Coach Tomlin answers every question by pointing out that the team needs to do more “in-stadium”.

Will any of this actually happen? I’ll bet at least one or two. Heck, maybe every one of them. Be sure to post your predictions — basic or bizarre — below.

Steelers Fact or Fiction: Preseason Week 2 Chiefs Edition

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 12:29pm
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

BTSC takes five bold statements surrounding the current state of the team and labels them as Fact or Fiction.

With members of the Pittsburgh Steelers getting ready to do battle against Andy Reid and his Kansas City Chiefs on Friday at Heinz Field, the narrative of the ‘19 campaign continues with speculation and excitement galore. BTSC anticipates big storylines and issues bold statements regarding each one of them. Let’s take a look and deem them as fact or fiction.

Only playing Ben Roethlisberger a half in this preseason will lend to a slow start in New England. Fact

In the past five seasons, Ben Roethlisberger’s only good showing in the opener was against Washington in 2016. Although the team needs to err on the side of caution and make sure their franchise quarterback doesn’t get injured, No. 7 needs to play more than one half of football in exhibition play. Waiting to shake off rust against the Pats reduces chances of winning.

Ola Adeniyi’s surgery ensures Tuzar Skipper a spot on the 53-Man Roster. Fiction

With Adeniyi out, his Toledo teammate has the best chance of anybody to make the team. However the Steelers played a good bit of the 2018 season with only three linebackers on the 53MR and they could repeat that practice again.

The WR2 position is James Washington’s to lose after one game. Fiction

Washington had a phenomenal 2019 debut, but more of a sample size is necessary. The second-year Cowboy from Oklahoma State was very impressive, but Donte Moncrief and Diontae Johnson haven’t shown what they could do yet. No. 13 may be a front runner, but this competition has just begun.

The Pittsburgh defensive scheme did a lot to hinder Justin Layne’s first appearance as a Steeler Fact

While the third-rounder from Michigan State struggled in his Steeler debut, one can’t help not to wonder why a press corner was playing off of his man. No. 31 needs to get improve mightily, but the system does as well. The team desperately needs to take advantage of their players’ strengths. That was far from done last week pertaining to Layne.

How the secondary defends Pat Mahomes could be a sneak peak of the tale of 2019. Fact

I personally would love to see Pat Mahomes play against the Steelers secondary the entire contest. If a majority of the first-string starts against Mahomes and they struggle...it could foreshadow a long season.

Will these statements identify more as, to quote Bill Murray as John Winger in Stripes, “That’s a fact...Jack!” or will they identify more with the Albert Camus quote “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.”? What matters most is your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.

Crunching the Numbers: Continued improvement for the Steelers in Preseason Week 2 vs. the Chiefs

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 11:02am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After many positives coming out of preseason Week 1, growth in Week 2 is the desired outcome

The Pittsburgh Steelers preseason Week 1 is now more than a week behind them as they get ready to take Heinz Field by storm in prime time Saturday night. To say it wasn’t a traditional week for the Steelers would be the understatement of the year. After loosing the beloved wide receivers coach Darryl Drake Sunday morning, football took a back burner to real life tragedy for a couple days. Once they got back on the practice field, the Steelers had only one full session open to the public to end training camp as bad weather forced them indoors prematurely on Tuesday and Thursday.

With training camp now behind them, the Steelers focus should be on marked improvements in various areas each week of the preseason. In this week’s installment of Crunching the Numbers, we’ll take a look at some statistics from the Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers which need to improve in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs.

28

The Steelers averaged giving up 23.75 points a game during the 2018 preseason. After surrendering 28 points to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 1, the Steelers face an even bigger offensive threat in Week 2. The Kansas City Chiefs led the NFL in scoring for Week 1 of the preseason, putting up 38 points on the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs also led the league in scoring in the 2018 regular season with 35.3 points per game. In 2018, the Steelers gave up an average of 22.5 points per game. If they can hold the high-powered Chiefs to 24 points or less, it would be a major victory.

10

While they still had four less than their opponent, the 10 accepted penalties charged to the Steelers is high even for the preseason. With 12 or more penalties going against them the first three weeks of 2018, it should be a point of emphasis to get the penalties under control now before the games count in the standings.

31

I know, this statistic does not always paint an accurate story. But the Steelers giving up 31 first down to Tampa Bay last week is a concerning statistic. While a low number of first downs doesn’t always mean the defense is making stops, a high number is indicative of giving up long drives.

479

Another stat which could be skewed by the game situation, it’s never a good thing for a defense to be in the neighborhood of giving up 500 yards to their opponents. Part of the reason Tampa Bay may have been able to rack up a good bit of yardage was because they were attempting to come from behind to win the game. Even while holding a significant lead for three-quarters of their Week 1 game, the Kansas City Chiefs still reached 400 yards of offense. If the Steelers can keep the Chiefs from eclipsing the 400-yard mark for the second week in a row, it could be a significant victory as long as the game isn’t a blowout.

0

One thing Steelers fans failed to witness last week at Heinz Field was a rushing touchdown. As much as the quarterback play was entertaining as three players are battling for two spots, seeing a Steelers’ running back reach the end zone for the first time can be as equally entertaining. In 2018, the Steelers averaged one rushing touchdown a game in the regular season and 1.25 in the preseason. Getting at least one rushing touchdown against the Chiefs would be a welcomed site.

So there are some numbers to use as a measuring stick in terms of improvement for the Steelers second game of the 2019 preseason. Which number would you most like to see the Steelers reach? Is there another one you’re looking for? Please leave your answers in the comments below!

Ben Roethlisberger should play more in the preseason, but it’s probably a good thing he doesn’t

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 9:28am
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Roethlisberger could probably benefit from more playing time in the preseason. However, the risk of a year-ending injury just isn’t worth the reward of a sharper start to the season.

The Steelers take on the Chiefs on Saturday night at Heinz Field in the second preseason game of 2019.

Much to no one’s surprise, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be held out for a second straight week. Going by recent exhibition season trends, you can expect Roethlisberger to play a few series next week in the all-important dress rehearsal third preseason game and no series at all a few days later in the fourth.

The question comes up every preseason: should Steelers starters—specifically, Roethlisberger—play more as a means to get ready for the regular season?

The answer to that is, absolutely. That’s especially the case for the franchise quarterback. Purely from a rhythm and “iron sharpens iron” standpoint, how could Roethlisberger not benefit from more preseason action?

There is only one answer to that question, but that answer is only truly safe in a perfect world, a world where very important players never get injured.

I remember where I was that day four Septembers ago when Roethlisberger lay prone on the turf of then Edwards Jones Dome as Pittsburgh battled the then St. Louis Rams in a Week 3 match-up in 2015.

I was at a sports bar in Chicago with my uncle and his buddy; we were just taking in some NFL action as we prepared for a fun night at Wrigley Field where the Pirates would take on the Cubs in a preview of the National League Wildcard Game.

Late in the third quarter, Roethlisberger was hit just below the knee during a sack by then Rams safety, now Steelers linebacker Mark Barron. Roethlisberger was in great pain instantly, and a hush fell over the crowd—at least the small Pittsburgh trio that consisted of my uncle, his buddy and me.

I’m sure Steeler Nation was holding its collective breath as Roethlisberger was carted off the field with what later was diagnosed as a sprained MCL and bone bruise.

It wasn’t a season-ending injury, and Roethlisberger was back a month later. But it could have been so much worse. Of course, it could ALWAYS be so much worse. As the saying goes in football, you’re always one play away from a season/career-ending injury.

If that’s the case, if you can just as easily suffer a traumatic injury in Week 3 as you can in the preseason, why not roll the dice and just sharpen that iron during some August football?

Because it’s just not necessary. What would you rather have to start the season, Rusty Ben or Booted Ben? Erratic Ben or Big Bruised Ben?

I think it’s an easy answer. There’s always time during the regular season to improve on one’s accuracy, but there’s never enough time to come back from a torn ACL. Even if it’s a less significant injury that forces a player to miss a few games, there’s not always enough time to come back from that. Take the aforementioned 2015 season, for example. The Steelers were 1-2 during Roethlisberger’s absence, as Michael Vick and Landry Jones took turns filling in for him. Pittsburgh ultimately finished 10-6 and needed help from Rex Ryan and the Bills just to sneak into the playoffs as a sixth seed.

Bottom line, you can always get by and remain competent with just about any player on your roster...with the exception of your future Hall of Fame franchise quarterback. If he goes down, the integrity of your team suffers greatly, and it’s often reduced to the proverbial shell of its former self.

A month from now, while you’re possibly lamenting some early-season rust from Roethlisberger, just remember it could always be worse. You could be ruing the extra time he played in the preseason.

Steelers Film Room: Evaluating Devlin Hodges’ Week 1 preseason performance

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 7:55am
Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is getting a lot of buzz, but was his performance worth it?

I will not make any bones about it, I am a Devlin Hodges fan. I knew nothing about him until I did a player bio on him. A kid from Samford with the all-time FCS passing leader was intriguing, and I came away wanting to see more. Finally, the time came with the Pittsburgh Steelers first preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers midway through the third quarter. What a surprise as most Steelers fans probably thought the same as me he may get in sometime in the fourth quarter.

During the next quarter and a half, there was plenty to like but moments of confusion and even an ill-advised throw. If you were just to look at his eight of 14 passing for 79 yards and a touchdown, you might come away uninspired with his playing against guys deep on Tampa’s depth chart. Factor in the two to three drops and his stats look much more productive.

Overall, the rookie showed poise, pocket presence and an ability to go through his progressions while limiting his mistakes.

In the video montage, you will see replays of Hodges, his good, his bad and his mediocre.

While Hodges had a respectful performance when factoring in the drops, he also had a hand in those drops with touch or lack thereof. While Josh Dobbs struggled, he was also playing against players who will start for Tampa Bay on opening weekend. That is something that the players Hodges did not have to face. The players Hodges faced will either be finding a new line of work, on the practice squad or possibly buried deep on the depth chart playing on special teams.

There are two main questions the man with 14,584 collegiate passing yards and 111 career passing touchdowns must answer. Can he repeat his performance against players who may submit their resumes in a month? And can he perform at that high of a level against the competition that Dobbs faced last week and the competition that Mason Rudolph will face this week?

Hodges did not embarrass himself and threw his hat into the ring to make the 53--man roster, can he build on his success or just a flash in the pan?

Please share your comments below, BTSC would like to hear your opinion!

An updated look at the Steelers 91-man roster with jersey numbers before Preseason Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 6:47am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Heading into Week 2 of the preseason against the Chiefs, here is the Steelers complete roster with numbers for your reference

As training camp continues, there may be some names who are unfamiliar to some Steelers fans. As a guide, here is a breakdown of the Steelers entire roster by position with their jersey numbers. With the Steelers receiving an international exemption, 91 players can be carried into training camp. The number of players kept (in parentheses) on the Steelers initial 53-man roster in 2018 have been noted for reference.

(Editor’s Note: Every time the team makes a transaction, we will update the roster to keep you up-to-date on who is still on the 91-man roster.)

Offense

Quarterback (3)

  1. Ben Roethlisberger #7
  2. Joshua Dobbs #5
  3. Mason Rudolph #2
  4. Devlin Hodges #6

Running Back (3)

  1. James Conner #30
  2. Jaylen Samuels #38
  3. Benny Snell Jr #24
  4. Trey Edmunds #33
  5. Malik Williams #39
  6. Travon McMillian #35

Fullback (1):

  1. Roosevelt Nix #45

Wide Receiver (6)

  1. JuJu Smith-Schuster #19
  2. Donte Moncrief #11
  3. James Washington #13
  4. Diontae Johnson #18
  5. Eli Rogers #17
  6. Ryan Switzer #10
  7. Trey Griffey #15
  8. Johnny Holton #80
  9. Tevin Jones #14
  10. Diontae Spencer #82
  11. Brandon Reilly #83

Tight End (3)

  1. Vance McDonald #89
  2. Xavier Grimble #85
  3. Zach Gentry #81
  4. Kevin Rader #87
  5. Christian Scotland-Williamson #49
  6. Trevor Wood (also LS) #88
  7. Mickey Crum #46

Offensive Line (9)

  1. Maurkice Pouncey #53
  2. David DeCastro #66
  3. Ramon Foster #73
  4. Alejandro Villanueva #78
  5. Matt Feiler #71
  6. Chukwuma Okorafor #76
  7. Jerald Hawkins #65
  8. B.J. Finney #67
  9. Zach Banner #72
  10. Derwin Gray #77
  11. Damian Prince #64
  12. Patrick Morris #62
  13. J.C. Hassenauer #60
  14. Garrett Brumfield #68
  15. Fred Johnson #74
Defense

Defensive Line (6)

  1. Cameron Heyward #97
  2. Stephon Tuitt #91
  3. Javon Hargrave #79
  4. Tyson Alualu #94
  5. Daniel McCullers #93
  6. Isaiah Buggs #96
  7. Lavon Hooks #95
  8. Conor Sheehy #61
  9. Winston Craig #64
  10. Casey Sayles #74
  11. Greg Gilmore #65
  12. Henry Mondeaux #72

Outside Linebacker (3)

  1. T.J. Watt #90
  2. Bud Dupree #48
  3. Anthony Chickillo #56
  4. Olasunkanmi Adeniyi #92
  5. Sutton Smith #42
  6. Tuzar Skipper #51
  7. Christian Kuntz #99

Inside Linebacker (5)

  1. Vince Williams #98
  2. Mark Barron #26
  3. Devin Bush #55
  4. Tyler Matakevich #44
  5. Ulysees Gilbert III #54
  6. Robert Spillane #49
  7. Tegray Scales #46
  8. Ryan Shazier (PUP) #50

Cornerback (5)

  1. Joe Haden #23
  2. Steven Nelson #22
  3. Mike Hilton #28
  4. Artie Burns #25
  5. Cameron Sutton #20
  6. Justin Layne #31
  7. Brian Allen #29
  8. Marcelis Branch #39
  9. Trevon Mathis #35

Safety (6)

  1. Sean Davis #21
  2. Terrell Edmunds #34
  3. Jordan Dangerfield #37
  4. Marcus Allen #27
  5. Kam Kelly #38
  6. Dravon Askew-Henry #41
  7. P.J. Locke #24
Specialists

Placekicker (1)

  1. Chris Boswell #9
  2. Mathew Wright #16

Punter (1)

  1. Jordan Berry #4
  2. Ian Berryman #8

Long Snapper (1)

  1. Kameron Canaday #57
  2. Trevor Wood #88

Offense: 44

Defense: 42 (not including Shazier)

Specialists: 5 (not including Wood)

Total: 91

Podcast: Why no news, is good news for the Pittsburgh Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 5:21am

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

With Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell gone from the Pittsburgh Steelers, most fans have enjoyed a Training Camp/Preseason with their favorite team not being called “Team Turmoil”. In fact, there has been a lack of news coming from the Pittsburgh Steelers lately.

It makes you realize why the saying, “No news, is good news.” certainly comes to play when talking about the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers.

This is where the newest BTSC podcast “Yeah, I Said It” comes in. My co-host on ‘The Standard is the Standard’, Lance Williams tries to decipher why the lack of news surrounding the Steelers this preseason.

Time to deliver the goods on the latest show.

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

Check out the audio below:

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

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

Black and Gold Links: Ben Roethlisberger describes the 2019 Steelers as a “special group”

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 08/17/2019 - 4:34am
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the gridiron when they reported back to training camp. With practices underway, the news surrounding the black-and-gold is just starting to heat up. As the team prepares for the coming season, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the season starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how Ben Roethlisberger calls the 2019 Steelers a “special group” as he talks about his excitement for the upcoming season.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Ben Roethlisberger has never been one to hold back when it comes to his commentary on the team. Which means when the Steelers’ quarterback calls this team special, fans should listen.

Ben Roethlisberger says Steelers have ‘special group’ heading into season

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In the span of a week in early March, two former Pittsburgh Steelers NFL All Pros became the property of other teams. While the term “addition by subtraction” is cliché, the Steelers are trying to convince themselves it’s true in this case.

Perhaps that was the motivation for what Ben Roethlisberger said Thursday, or perhaps the veteran quarterback was genuine in speaking about an affection for this particular group of teammates.

“I like this group,” Roethlisberger said after the final practice of camp at Saint Vincent. “I think we have got a special group of people here, and that’s why I am excited to see when things get real what is going to happen.”

The Steelers, of course, traded receiver Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders, and former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell signed with the New York Jets after he’d sat out the 2018 season while refusing to sign the franchise-tag tender.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Why the man they call “Duck” has been turning both players and coaches’ heads during training camp this season.

Ben Roethlisberger on Steelers QB Devlin Hodges: Duck is ‘fun to watch’

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If Pittsburgh hasn’t yet caught “Duck” fever, perhaps the Pittsburgh Steelers’ starting quarterback has.

Devlin “Duck” Hodges has by far outperformed most of the No. 4 quarterbacks invited to Steelers training camp over the years. And with a nickname inspired by a national duck-calling championship win a decade ago, coupled with a strong NFL preseason debut last week, Hodges is on the verge of a mini-cult following among Steelers fans.

Ben Roethlisberger, apparently, is joining the ranks of Hodges fans.

“Duck is just slinging it — and it’s fun to watch,” Roethlisberger said Thursday after the conclusion of the final training-camp practice at Saint Vincent. “He’s kind of fearless out there.

“(A) young guy, small school, undrafted … it’s fun to see guys like that succeed.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • There was talk of the Steelers putting an advertisement(s) on the seats at Heinz Field. Turns out the City of Pittsburgh vetoed that idea pretty quick.

Pittsburgh zoning board sacks Steelers’ seat-painting plan at Heinz Field

By: Bob Bauder, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Pittsburgh zoning board has denied an appeal by the Steelers for permission to paint Heinz Field seats in the form of a sign, ruling that it constitutes a “roof sign” prohibited by city zoning regulations.

PSSI Stadium LLC, a team affiliate, sought permission to paint seats on the north side of the stadium, arguing that it should be exempt because it would be an “interior element” and not visible from the outside.

A zoning administrator in April determined that the city’s zoning code prohibited the sign. The Pittsburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment agreed in a seven-page decision released Thursday.

“Because PSSI Stadium did not specify what words or logos might be included on the proposed sign, it did not definitely demonstrate that the proposed sign would be a ‘non-advertising sign,’” the board noted in the decision, adding that PSSI also “offered no credible evidence or testimony that the proposed sign … would not be visible from the exterior.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Social Media Madness

The journey continues.#HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/zLeI1WDlRq

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 17, 2019

Giving back to a community that gives so much to us. Thank you, Latrobe! #SteelersHuddlefor100 pic.twitter.com/S5OgRDBE7Y

— Steelers Community Relations (@SteelersCR) August 16, 2019

Back Soon. pic.twitter.com/H9i0kMiVNv

— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) August 16, 2019

Waiting for tomorrow pic.twitter.com/Y8jBhxTTje

— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) August 16, 2019

I freakin love this city.

— Ryan Switzer (@Switz) August 17, 2019

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions: Training Camp Edition, Vol. 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 5:32pm
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

There is plenty to talk about regarding all things black-and-gold!

Several people have asked if we could bring back the Friday Night Open Thread. I had moved the event to Saturday morning, but after minimal success, I decided to bring it back to Friday night — with a slight twist.

I liked the Saturday Six-Pack theme, so I decided to just take the six questions and move them to Friday night. Say hello to Friday Night Six-Pack of Steelers Questions and open thread!

The rules haven’t changed...

Quick rundown of the ground rules.

  • I’ll ask at least four questions strictly related to the Steelers.
  • The rest of the questions could be about anything.
  • Be respectful.
  • Have fun talking about the Black-and-gold.

That’s it! With that out of the way, it’s time to get this party started. Hey, don’t act like you’ve never done a little Friday night drinking. Here goes:

1. The Steelers are done with training camp...who are you most excited to watch vs. the Chiefs in Preseason Week 2??

2. If you were Mike Tomlin, how would you handle Ben Roethlisberger in Week 2? Sit him, or play him in a series or two?

3. Between the two players, who makes the roster? Eli Rogers or Ryan Switzer

4. How many series/quarters would you play the starters on defense vs. the potent Chiefs offense?

5. This will be published this week, but who is your front-runner for the Isaac Redman Award?

6. Caption the photo below:

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No matter what, always remember...

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

Report: Steelers Ola Adeniyi has torn meniscus, out minimum 2-4 weeks

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 4:04pm
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a now-deleted post, Adeniyi reported having an unknown surgical procedure

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Steelers outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi underwent a surgical procedure this morning which is still unknown at this time.

Steelers OLB Ola Adeniyi had surgery this morning per his social media account. No information provided by the team yet. Adeniyi had a tremendous 3 weeks at Saint Vincent for training camp.

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 16, 2019

While surgery does not necessarily mean Ola’s season is over, it is difficult to speculate anything at this point until the exact procedure is announced. In 2018, Adeniyi began the season on injured reserve and returned to the Steelers active roster on December 1 following the Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos. Ola dressed for only one game in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers. His entire 2018 season consisted of nine defensive snaps and one combined tackle.

It appears that Steelers outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi is recovering from surgery this morning (though his social media posts have been deleted) https://t.co/UknewougIf pic.twitter.com/2TdPRTWgVM

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 16, 2019

In Week 1 of the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Adeniyi registered four tackles and impressed with his special teams coverage. Throughout training camp, Adeniyi was noticed for his performance both in drills and team activities creating a lot of buzz surrounding his upcoming 2019 season.

Ola goes up against Okorafor and wins both matchups. More of a challenge than Hawkins but still Adeniyi looks good in pass rush drills. #dkps #Steelers

— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) August 1, 2019

There were many people inside the organization as well as countless fans who had high hopes for Adeniyi’s contributions to the Steelers in 2019. While his exact status for the season is still to be determined, it appears at least some time with the Steelers will be missed.

With Adeniyi’s availability for the 2019 season now in question, the outside linebacker position will be one to watch closely in the next three preseason games. While T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Anthony Chickillo all remain on the Steelers as the only outside linebackers on the Steelers roster for most of 2018, it is difficult to imagine the team going with such few options at the position for another season. Rookies Tuzar Skipper and Sutton Smith, both coming out of the Mid-American Conference, may now be given a greater opportunity to find their way onto the Steelers 53-man roster.

Skipper, a former teammate of Adeniyi’s from Toledo, earned his way to Latrobe after impressing the Steelers as a tryout player for rookie mini camp. In the Steelers Week 1 preseason matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Skipper registered a sack. As for Sutton Smith, he was a sixth round draft pick for the Steelers out of Northern Illinois but has battled injuries this preseason.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for updates as this story continues to develop.

UPDATE:

Per Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Adeniyi underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The injury will have him sidelined 2-4 weeks, minimum.

Ola Adeniyi has meniscus tear. Out 2-4 weeks min

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 16, 2019

If Dulac’s timeline is true, this injury will have Adeniyi missing the final three weeks of the preseason, and potentially the first two weeks of the regular season. Those games are the season opener in New England against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football, then the home opener vs. the Seattle Seahawks in Week 2.

Any time a player undergoes surgery the timeline to return is never cut-and-dry, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes on this story and more as the black-and-gold prepare for Week 2 of the NFL Preseason.

Re-visiting the Steelers’ projected 2020 compensatory draft pick

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 1:24pm
Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images

With contracts being set for months, the biggest factor remaining is playing time for the players lost and gained

With the time period for signing players who factor into the compensatory formula for 2020 having passed over three months ago, there are still other factors which will contribute to what additional draft picks are awarded. With the number one factor being a players salary, there are still some ongoing factors which could change things up just a little bit.

Based solely on contracts, here is a reminder of where the Steelers currently stand for a 2020 compensatory draft pick according to overthecap.com with the projected round value in parenthesis.

Departures:

Le’Veon Bell (3)

Jesse James (6)

L.J. Fort (7)

Arrivals:

Steven Nelson (4)

Donte Moncrief (6)

Starting at the top of the arrival list, the following cancellations would be as follows:

Nelson (4) cancels James (6)

Moncrief (6) cancels Fort (7)

Bell (3) is left

When it comes to players shifting up or down with their compensatory value, the two factors throughout the season will be playing time and postseason awards. Obviously, these factors will be something to discuss as the season goes on. But one very large factor which could greatly change the compensatory picks is if a player is released from their new team.

In regards to the players the Steelers signed, both Steven Nelson and Donte Moncrief seem to be locks to make the 53 man roster. As a quick reminder, Mark Barron does not calculate in the compensatory formula because he was released by the Rams. The compensatory system is set up to compensate teams for losing players when their contracts have expired, not when teams release a player with one or more years remaining.

As for the players the Steelers lost in the 2019 off-season, here is a quick recap of where they stand with their teams:

Le’Veon Bell

Although he did not play in Week 1 of the preseason, Bell’s contract and all of its guarantees make it where the Jets have no choice but to keep him on the roster. Bell is listed as the Jets starting running back, plus his four year, nearly $53 million contract would have too much dead money to handle. The biggest factor when it comes to Bell will be his playing time in 2019, either by choice or by injury, and if it lowers his value.

Jesse James

Signing a $22.6 million for five years with the Detroit Lions, James would carry a significant cap hit if he were to be released. If for some reason the Lions would cut ties with James, the Steelers should be calling his agent right away. The odds of James being cut are highly unlikely, especially since he is currently listed as the first tight end on the Lions depth chart ahead of rookie T.J. Hockenson. In Week 1 of the preseason, James caught his only target for a 16-yard gain.

L.J. Fort

The most likely candidate to affect the Steelers compensatory draft pick by being released would be L.J. Fort. By releasing either Fort or Andrew Sendejo, the Philadelphia Eagles could gain an additional fourth-round selection along with the third and fourth round picks they are already projected to receive. Currently, Fort is listed second on the Eagles’ depth chart at outside linebacker behind Zach Brown. Fort played in the Eagle’s Week 1 game of the preseason and logged four tackles.

In order to get a better grasp on L.J. Fort’s status, Brandon Gowton of Bleeding Green Nation had this to offer in regards to Fort’s status with the Eagles.

“L.J. Fort is having a solid camp/preseason with the Eagles. He’s actually getting some first team reps since projected starters Nigel Bradham and Kamu Grugier-Hill are both dealing with injuries. Bradham is expected to be ready by Week 1 but Grugier-Hill could be out until late September or early October. Fort’s presence as a veteran defender who can also contribute on special teams should allow him to stick on the 53-man roster. Not to mention the fact that Eagles general manager Howie Roseman previously called Fort a “target free agent” and backed up those words by signing Fort to a deal worth $1.9 million guaranteed.”

So as it stands at this moment, the Steelers are still projected to receive a third-round compensatory pick in the 2020 NFL draft. As factors change throughout the 2019 season, Behind The Steel Curtain will continue to update any possible developments when it comes to compensatory value regarding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Steelers Ola Adeniyi reportedly undergoes surgery

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 11:52am
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In a now-deleted post, Adeniyi reported having an unknown surgical procedure

In a since-deleted Instagram post, Steelers outside linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi underwent an unknown surgical procedure this morning.

Steelers OLB Ola Adeniyi had surgery this morning per his social media account. No information provided by the team yet. Adeniyi had a tremendous 3 weeks at Saint Vincent for training camp.

— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) August 16, 2019

While surgery does not necessarily mean Ola’s season is over, it is difficult to speculate anything at this point until the exact procedure is announced. In 2018, Adeniyi began the season on injured reserve and returned to the Steelers active roster on December 1 following the Week 12 game against the Denver Broncos. Ola dressed for only one game in Week 13 against the Los Angeles Chargers. His entire 2018 season consisted of nine defensive snaps and one combined tackle.

It appears that Steelers outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi is recovering from surgery this morning (though his social media posts have been deleted) https://t.co/UknewougIf pic.twitter.com/2TdPRTWgVM

— Brian Batko (@BrianBatko) August 16, 2019

In Week 1 of the preseason against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Adeniyi registered four tackles and impressed with his special teams coverage. Throughout training camp, Adeniyi was noticed for his performance both in drills and team activities creating a lot of buzz surrounding his upcoming 2019 season.

Ola goes up against Okorafor and wins both matchups. More of a challenge than Hawkins but still Adeniyi looks good in pass rush drills. #dkps #Steelers

— Christopher Carter (@CarterCritiques) August 1, 2019

There were many people inside the organization as well as countless fans who had high hopes for Adeniyi’s contributions to the Steelers in 2019. While his exact status for the season is still to be determined, it appears at least some time with the Steelers will be missed.

With Adeniyi’s availability for the 2019 season now in question, the outside linebacker position will be one to watch closely in the next three preseason games. While T.J. Watt, Bud Dupree, and Anthony Chickillo all remain on the Steelers as the only outside linebackers on the Steelers roster for most of 2018, it is difficult to imagine the team going with such few options at the position for another season. Rookies Tuzar Skipper and Sutton Smith, both coming out of the Mid-American Conference, may now be given a greater opportunity to find their way onto the Steelers 53-man roster.

Skipper, a former teammate of Adeniyi’s from Toledo, earned his way to Latrobe after impressing the Steelers as a tryout player for rookie mini camp. In the Steelers Week 1 preseason matchup against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Skipper registered a sack. As for Sutton Smith, he was a sixth round draft pick for the Steelers out of Northern Illinois but has battled injuries this preseason.

Stay tuned to Behind The Steel Curtain for updates as this story continues to develop.

Ranking the 2019 Pittsburgh Steelers roster heading into Preseason Week 2: The Offense

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 10:52am
Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking each player at their position after the first preseason game.

Just like my defense power rankings, I’m ranking them by what I’ve seen on film, ignoring draft investment and contracts. This is not a 53 man roster prediction.

On to the film reactions and rankings.

Quarterback

Josh Dobbs: Had some nice passes and is dynamic when he runs. Looked like his pocket presence has improved, but still a ways from good. Drops 1 spot.

Mason Rudolph: Better footwork and pocket presence than I was seeing in camp film, and his passes had nice touch on them. Good outing for Rudolph. Moves up 1 spot.

Devlin Hodges: He was a good 4th string QB, but his arm, decision making, footwork and pocket presence are all behind Dobbs and Rudolph. He isn’t a real threat to either at this point. No movement.

My current QB rankings:

1. Ben Roethlisberger
2. Mason Rudolph
3. Joshua Dobbs
4. Devlin Hodges

Running Back

Benny Snell: Really struggled early, making poor reads, failing at chip blocks, stumbling over his own feet. The line was blocking really well on almost every run he had throughout the game, and he lost yards early and later did better but was still disappointing. He looked good catching the ball. Looking at the blocking I kept waiting for Snell to slip through the hole or power through an arm and break a big run, but he never did. I was surprised to see him not break tackles at all. Late in the game he started driving defenders for a few yards, but even against third stringers he wasn’t breaking loose. Really hoping it was just a rough first day for Benny. Drops 1 spot.

Trey Edmunds: Whiffed badly on one pass block, but he showed up in several blitz pickups and threw some knockout blows on chip blocks. Was a more decisive and effective runner than Snell although not a receiving threat at all. There is no excuse for Snell to be behind Trey Edmunds and I expect Snell to correct the situation, but for now Edmunds moves up 1 spot.

My current RB rankings:

1. James Conner
2. Jaylen Samuels
3. Trey Edmunds
4. Benny Snell Jr.
5. Travon McMillian

Fullback ranking:

Roosevelt Nix got one snap, no one else played FB.

1. Roosevelt Nix

Tight End

Xavier Grimble: He was used almost exclusively as a blocker and was impressive, taking on LBs and DEs and winning every matchup. Didn’t move, but increased his hold on the #2 spot.

Christian Scotland-Williamson: Sad he didn’t get to play more, he did a good job blocking, even if he doesn’t get low easily. He didn’t show up in the passing game in his limited time. Hamstring injury crushes his chances of building on it. Drops 1 spot

Zach Gentry: Looked good for the most part, had some impressive blocks, including driving a 300 lb DT with starter experience backwards, but he also struggled when he didn’t have a good start to the block. His route running, awareness and hands lived up to his college tape, and he played a part blocking downfield a few times. Moves up 1 spot.

Kevin Rader: Did not have a good game, one of his first snaps he was driven into Switzer knocking them both out of their routes. He got beat on several blocks as well. Drops 1 spot.

My current TE rankings:

1. Vance McDonald
2. Xavier Grimble
3. Zach Gentry
4. Kevin Rader
5. Travis Wood
6. Christian Scotland-Williamson

Wide Receiver

James Washington: Had a great game as a receiver, showed improved ability to create separation, flashed his great hands and big catch ability, and stood out throughout the game as a blocker, on run plays and on returns. Moves up 1 spot.

Ryan Switzer: Was surprised by how much he played, didn’t show much as a route runner and didn’t record a catch, but I believe he had a drop. Expected to see more growth from him in his routes. Drops 3 spots.

Tevin Jones: Physical receiver with decent route running and good hands. Didn’t do enough to move into the top 6, played ST but didn’t show up much. He’s another Cobi Hamilton. Moves up 1 spot.

Johnny Holton: Speed really showed on his long catch and run, on ST as a gunner and in drawing a pass interference call. He’s got a great shot of filling DHB’s role on ST and his role as a depth deep threat like DHB was in his first few seasons here. Having a 5th WR enter the game with speed to burn and great yards after catch threat is a headache for the defense. Moves up 4 spots.

My current WR rankings:

1. JuJu Smith-Schuster
2. James Washington
3. Donte Moncreif
4. Diontae Johnson
5. Johnny Holton
6. Eli Rogers
7. Tevin Jones
8. Ryan Switzer
9. Diontae Spencer
10. Trey Griffey
11. Brandon Reilly

Offensive Line

Some players will be listed at multiple positions.

Chukwuma Okorafor: Had a tough game, rushers attacked him high, getting hands in his chest and neck area and driving him back. When he sat back on that they went around him. His guy blew up plays far too often. Drops 1 spot.

B.J. Finney: Didn’t have a good game, got beat a high percentage of plays he was engaged 1v1. Needs to bounce back, but his job isn’t really at risk. Drops 1 spot.

Fred Johnson: The most impressive performance of the night, he was great in pass protection and in the run game. He also played most of the game, from the first snap into the 4th quarter. He lived up to the recent hype, but it was clear that early on Finney was focused on helping his side in 4 man rushes.

Zach Banner: Impressive game. Struggled a bit with speed and finesse, and while he played most of the game he didn’t face any legit NFL pass rushers. Three times a Tampa Bay DT timed the snap and drove into Banner hard before he got out of his set, and he was able to absorb the hit and keep it from wrecking the play each time. Moves up 2 spots.

Patrick Morris: Stalwart at Guard in this game, not as great at Center. Drops 1 spot at Center, moves up 2 spots in Guard.

Jerald Hawkins: Showed awareness and skill, but was pushed around and driven backwards regularly. Drops 2 spots

J.C. Hassenhauer: Not a good guard at all, was driven back and beaten often. Looked better at Center the short while he was there. Moves up 1 spot at Center.

Derwin Gray: Played Guard for a few plays at the end, looked solid. Drops 2 spots at Guard because of the order they got in and how well others did.

My current OL rankings:

Tackle:

1. Alejandro Villenueva
2. Matt Feiler
3. Zach Banner
4. Chuks Okorafor
5. Derwin Gray
6. Jerald Hawkins
7. Damian Prince

Guard:

1. David DeCastro
2. Ramon Foster
3. Matt Feiler
4. Fred Johnson
5. Patrick Morris
6. Derwin Gray
7. Garrett Brumfield

Center:

1. Maurkice Pouncey
2. B.J. Finney
3. J.C. Hassenauer
4. Patrick Morris

Combined:

1. David DeCastro
2. Maurkice Pouncey
3. Alejandro Villenueva
4. Ramon Foster
5. Matt Feiler
6. B.J. Finney
7. Fred Johnson
8. Zach Banner
9. Chuks Okorafor
10. Patrick Morris
11. Derwin Gray
12. J.C. Hassenauer
13. Jerald Hawkins
14. Damian Prince,
15. Garrett Brumfield

...

Feel free to share your thoughts on who looked good in preseason game 1, and to tell me where I’m horribly wrong.

4 players mentioned by Mike Tomlin in Thursday’s press conference

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 08/16/2019 - 9:31am

Coach Tomlin addressed the media and answered questions before the final practice open to the public in Latrobe for 2019.

In his final press conference in Latrobe for the Steelers’ 2019 training camp on Thursday, head coach Mike Tomlin briefly addressed the media and answered questions. Coach Tomlin was asked about specific players in regards to their recent play and his expectations for the upcoming game on Saturday against the Kansas City Chiefs. This list isn’t to suggest these players were the only ones who stood out, but highlights players about whom Tomlin was asked questions.

Mason Rudolph

As expected, Mason Rudolph will start Saturday night against the Chiefs. Ben Roethlisberger not going to play. #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 15, 2019

Much like last season, Mason Rudolph is starting the Week 2 game of the preseason, this time at Heinz field. After a great showing last week, Rudolph is getting the chance to work with many of the first-team players for the Steelers, as well as face the first defense put on the field by the Kansas City Chiefs. This could be his only start of the preseason depending on what Tomlin decides for Week 4, and Rudolph is poised to make the best of his opportunity.

Coach Tomlin was asked if he’s seen Rudolph’s aggression.

“I have, and I know that that’s his intentions. I think one of the things that really attracted us to him out of Stillwater was that level of aggression. The way that he attacked the defense vertically and threw the ball. I know that that’s his style, that’s his demeanor, and it’s showing more and more consistently.”

Tomlin was also asked if he had any expectations of Rudolph working with the starters.

“I don’t know that there’s a black or white answer to that. I just believe in quarterback play regardless of what group they’re in. If they’re doing their job and doing it at an acceptable level, they’re capable of moving their group.”

Cameron Sutton

Cam Sutton with an interception of Dobbs on overthrow ends it for the second team offense #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 14, 2019

One of the players who has constantly been mentioned about having an impressive training camp is Cam Sutton. Playing throughout the defensive secondary, the third year player is hoping to carve out an important role for the 2019 season. Nestled in the same draft class as T.J. Watt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and James Conner, Sutton is ready to prove his worth in the NFL.

Coach Tomlin was asked about the areas Sutton has improved the most.

“Details and increased versatility. He’s always been a detailed guy, he’s always been versatile, but I have seen an upswing in both. I think those are positive attributes to his resume when he came out of Tennessee and as he gets into his career has proven to be legitimate and real.”

Diontae Johnson

Rudolph just threw a beautiful ball down the left sidelines to Johnson. Beat Layne on the play. #Steelers

— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) August 15, 2019

With Coach Tomlin stressing that a player’s best ability is their availability, it is paramount for Dionte Johnson to get onto the field Saturday night. Missing last week’s game, Johnson has been working his way back in order to show the Steelers’ coaching staff what he can do “in stadium.” While his spot on the roster should not be in danger as the Steelers’ second pick in the 2019 NFL draft, earning a helmet on game day would become more difficult if Johnson’s health continues to be an issue.

After saying he hasn’t seen enough of Johnson, Coach Tomlin was asked if he needs to be on the field more.

“He was yesterday, and he will be today. For a lot of young guys, particularly battling nagging injuries, it slows their growth and development and it slows us to get an opportunity to get to know them. But not anything unusual about that.”

Matt Feiler

Matt Feiler is pulling away with starting right tackle job. Okorafor will compete with him. #Steelers

— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) August 9, 2019

Although nothing has been officially announced, the battle for the starting right tackle position is over. Matt Feiler has shown he’s the best right tackle on the Steelers to a point where he’s rarely played in his starting position due to filling in at guard for most of training camp. Once the starting job is announced before the start of the regular season, Feiler will be one of three former undrafted free agents starting on the Steelers offensive line along with Alejandro Villanueva and Ramon Foster.

Coach Tomlin was asked if Feiler has played more at guard because of injuries or because of his abilities at the position.

“We like some of these young tackles. They’ve done well in the groups they’re working in, so we want to get a chance to evaluate them against stiffer competition, but at the same time, we want to give him reps and keep him ready to go. He’s guard capable so he’s able to serve both masters, if you will, by doing so.”

Other News and Notes:

Tomlin said Mason Rudolph will start vs KC Saturday night. Josh Dobbs will relieve him.

— Gerry Dulac (@gerrydulac) August 15, 2019

Tomlin said he expects to use more starters this week #Steelers #dkps

— Dale Lolley (@dlolley_pgh) August 15, 2019

Tomlin said the sand is running through the hourglass for guys trying to make an impression. #Steelers

— Blitzburgh (@Steel_Curtain4) August 15, 2019

Mike Tomlin’s full media session can be seen here:

#LIVE: Coach Tomlin previews Saturday's matchup against the Chiefs. https://t.co/lC1JdNh6Or

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) August 15, 2019

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