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Cam Newton is one free agent QB that makes some sense for the Steelers

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 6:30am
Cam Newton could spend a year on the Steelers bench before finding greener pastures elsewhere | Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Another free agent QB post... this should go over well

Cam Newton is reportedly open to accepting a backup QB position if the right fit becomes available. And for once I'm completely onboard with the idea of giving the position some juice.

From NFL Now: Free agent QB Cam Newton has not ruled out a backup QB job in the right situation, I'm told. He wants to be (and should be) a starter. But he's open to being a backup. pic.twitter.com/g89M6vAgyv

— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 7, 2020

Now hear me out..

...stop yelling...

...okay, let's begin.

The price point for any free agent quarterback that has been on the market since the beginning of free agency is almost nothing. There is no market for Cam, why else would he be okay with accepting a reduced role? The former NFL MVP could be had for next to nothing on a deal comparable to Jameis Winston.

Yes, even the Steelers could afford that.

I wouldn't just bring in Newton to sit on the bench however. I would create his own package while loading up the field with jumbo personnel and let him run an option based attacked. He doesn't need more than a drive or two per game, but the change of pace would be a nightmare to game-plan for opposing defensive coordinators.

Not only that but let's just say Ben Roethlisberger isn't quite 100% right to start the 2020 season, Newton isn’t far removed from an MVP season and could provide some quality starts. This could also be a positive for Mason Rudolph as he can work closely with QB coach, Matt Canada to fix some mechanical issues, that is if the team still values him of the QB of the future (which I believe they do).

And if it doesn't work out? Cut him after camp. It won't matter because his cap hit won't damage the cap in the slightest.

The only other team I could see the being interested in riding the pine is in Washington where he could help teach Dwayne Haskins with his former coach Ron Rivera. But I really don't think the Redskins want to put any pressure on Haskins yet and having one of the best QB’s of the 2010’s on your roster would defiantly make the second year pivot look over his shoulder.

For the Steelers, if the price is right, why not. I firmly believe getting a former MVP on a dirt cheap one-year deal would just make the Steelers that much more challenging to play against.

But what do you think? If you were the Steelers GM and could bring in Cam Newton on a 1 year, 2 million dollar deal, would you do it? Let us know in the comments below...

Podcast: There is hope after Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retires

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 5:30am

Why there should be hope for life after Big Ben in the Steel City.

The Pittsburgh Steelers know their time with Ben Roethlisberger is coming to an end. But that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be hope for the future at the quarterback position.

This is going to be the talking point in the latest podcast featuring BTSC’s own Tony Defeo. Welcome to Steelers Brunch with Tony!

Check out the show below, and be sure to comment what you think in the comment section below!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out the YouTube clip here, and be sure to subscribe to our channel by clicking HERE:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE

Spotify: CLICK HERE

Google Play: CLICK HERE

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

Black and Gold Links: For rookie Antoine Brooks, the focus is at safety, not linebacker

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sun, 05/10/2020 - 5:00am
Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Draft is officially over. After finishing last year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, have another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how the Steelers are putting their 6th round safety/linebacker more at safety than linebacker to start his rookie year off right.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers have a hybrid safety/linebacker on their hands, but it looks like they have plans for Antoine Brooks at safety, not linebacker.

Coaches exposing him to ‘a lot,’ but Steelers rookie Antoine Brooks’ first focus is safety

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Antoine Brooks appealed to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the draft because of his versatility. Less than two weeks into his pro career, that remains true. But it’s his given position — safety — that is Brooks’ primary focus during this weekend’s virtual rookie minicamp.

“(Coaches) have let me know a lot of things,” Brooks said Saturday in a video call with media. “We’ve been talking about a lot of certain positions, but primarily safety.”

The 5-foot-11, 220-pound Brooks was a linebacker as a freshman at Maryland but was listed at defensive back the past three seasons. The Steelers were intrigued by his ability to fit into a hybrid role as a box safety or dime linebacker, and they are thin at inside linebacker.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Mike Tomlin agrees with Roger Goodell. No facilities should open until they can all open.

Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: No team facilities should open until all NFL team facilities can open

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Even if Allegheny County’s “yellow light” turns green, that will have little to do with if the Pittsburgh Steelers can get back to the football field. At least, that’s Mike Tomlin’s opinion.

The Steelers coach said Saturday he believes no NFL teams should be permitted access to their facilities until all teams are. League policy currently has banned most personnel from all team’s official headquarters because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“I subscribe to the approach of a competitive fairness within our game, and that is everybody gets an opportunity,” Tomlin said during a conference call with media. “Our game is extremely competitive. It’s one of the things that makes football at this level so attractive to our fans. I am committed to preserving and protecting that, so all teams getting an opportunity to start on the same footing is a core element of that.”

One of the NFL’s longest-tenured coaches and a member of the powerful competition committee, Tomlin has some sway in how the league navigates the complex and delicate circumstances surrounding the stay-at-home orders in effect throughout much of the country as a safeguard against the spread of covid-19.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • It is business as usual for the Steelers’ staff, even though it might look different.

Tomlin doing the same thing, only differently

By: Bob Labriola, Steelers.com

The best way to understanding this weekend’s Steelers rookie minicamp is this: What they’re doing hasn’t changed, but how they’re doing it has.

Rookie minicamp is underway for the Steelers even though there is nothing happening at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. That’s because, like so much else happening around the world when it comes to the business of conducting business, it’s taking place remotely. The Steelers “welcomed” their draft picks and their undrafted rookies virtually, with the first part of the weekend happening on Friday in the form of a speech to the group by recently retired guard Ramon Foster.

“We were excited about that, and Ramon delivered in a big way,” said Coach Mike Tomlin. “I just thought he was a great guy to welcome those guys, a guy who understands the journey that many of them are attempting to walk, as a guy who was undrafted and went on to have a great career here that lasted over a decade as a really well-respected professional. Being recently retired, Ramon is very fresh to getting off the field, and the position he is in, the perspective he has, would be a good one (for them). I thought he did an awesome job.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • BTSC articles you may have missed...

What is your favorite Steelers memorabilia?

The Steelers’ regular season schedule looks favorable

Will this be the last year for JuJu Smith-Schuster and the Steelers?

Trying to predict the stat line for the Steelers 2020 rookies

Comeback Player of the Year? Ben Roethlisberger has the best odds

  • Social Media Madness

"We're excited about introducing ourselves and introducing the organization to these men this weekend."

Coach Tomlin talks about virtual rookie minicamp, instructing the players, getting to know how they learn/communicate and more.

Watch the full video on YouTube ⤵️

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 9, 2020

"I want to get a good grasp on the playbook after this. Just a good grasp on the concepts, the terminology."@ChaseClaypool speaks about virtual rookie minicamp, meeting the coaches, talking to his new teammates, working out and more.

Watch the full video on YouTube ⤵️

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 9, 2020

Our 2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣ season schedule..

..in photos from our last meeting with each opponent!#HereWeGo

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 10, 2020

What’s your own favorite piece of Steelers memorabilia?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 1:32pm
Whats the prize possession of your Steelers collection? | Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Steelers logo might be plastered all over your house but what's the one thing you treasure the most?

From game tickets, to autographed items most sports fans will find themselves with some sort of shrine dedicated to their favorite team. During to the Covid-19 pandemic I find myself staring at my wall dedicated to the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With no sports on TV, I find myself filling the void by spending (too much) time on the internet. Namely scrolling through pages and pages of Steelers jerseys, pictures, helmet, etc. for sale. Before I completely run myself into debt, I got an idea and turned my attention over to this blog. I want to know what piece of memorabilia that you already own that you’re most proud of. What is the center piece of your Steeler Cave?

For me it’s an autographed 75th anniversary helmet from Jerome Bettis.

Tell us your favorite piece of merchandise in the comments below or even tag us in a picture of it on twitter or facebook!

Ben Roethlisberger has the best odds to win NFL Comeback Player the Year in 2020

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 10:55am

After missing all but six quarters of the 2019 season, Roethlisberger is the odds-on favorite to return to the NFL in a big way in 2020

Most Valuable Player. Defensive Player of the Year. Offensive and defensive rookie of the year. These are severely of the NFL awards for individual performances. One of said awards that was not listed already is Comeback Player of the Year which the NFL has awarded every season since 1998.

To win the Comeback Player of the Year in the NFL, one must overcome adversity from the previous season to perform at a high-level for the year. Players may not necessarily be returning from injury as they may just make a large jump in production.

According to the odds makers at BetOnline, Ben Roethlisberger has the best chance of winning Comeback Player of the Year in 2020. At 5/2 odds, Roethlisberger is almost twice as likely as the next closest player. The following players are the most likely to win Comeback Player of the Year according to BetOnline:

Ben Roethlisberger 5/2
Rob Gronkowski 9/2
J.J. Watt 5/1
A.J. Green 6/1
Nick Foles 6/1
Cam Newton 8/1
Matthew Stafford 8/1
Myles Garrett 12/1
Antonio Brown 20/1

Of the nine players listed above, four are quarterbacks. Historically, a quarterback is given the award more than half of the time as they have been 13 of the 23 winners. The reason there are 23 winners in 22 seasons is because the award was given to two players in 2005 when both Steve Smith and Teddy Bruschi were both selected.

Two players on the list— Rob Gronkowski and Matthew Stafford— have previously won the award. Gronkowski won in 2014 while Stafford won in 2011. The only player who has won the Comeback Player of the Year multiple times was quarterback Chad Pennington with the New York Jets in 2006 and the Miami Dolphins in 2008.

Gronkowski also fits into the category of a player who did not miss the previous season due to injury but rather retirement. Myles Garrett has a chance to win the award after being suspended for a large portion of 2019 after his vicious attack on Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph. The other non-injury player on the list is former Steelers’ wide receiver Antonio Brown who only appeared in one game in 2019 with the New England Patriots due to various legal problems. For 2019, the recipient of the award— quarterback Ryan Tannehill— won the award not due to injury the previous season but poor play for a different team.

With Ben Roethlisberger being the front runner for 2020, the biggest thing he needs to do to win the award is have a productive season. While winning Comeback Player of the Year would not do anything for the Steelers, it would mean Roethlisberger‘s production and the Steelers success on the football field was noteworthy. If this is the case, both Roethlisberger, the Steelers, and all of us fans in Steelers’ Nation will be the real winners.

The Steelers 2020 regular season schedule looks favorable

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 9:15am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Steelers 2020 regular season schedule looks really good.

The Steelers, in conjunction with every other NFL team, released their 2020 NFL schedule on Thursday night.

That’s right, the who, where and when were finally revealed. Actually, the who and where were known for quite some time, but it’s nice to know the when for planning purposes, and all.

I didn’t watch the schedule reveal (I would have, but I don’t have the NFL Network), but much to my relief, I was able to find Pittsburgh’s portion of it on Twitter, BTSC, ESPN and some guy’s blog site.

And after poring over it for a few minutes, I must say, not bad, not bad at all. A Steelers schedule often includes one or two “Yikes” match-ups that you can’t imagine them winning (they usually win most of those that don’t involve Tom Brady and Gillette Stadium, FYI). But no game brought about that sort of visceral reaction this time around.

For starters, the Steelers have to play the NFC East, beginning with the season opener vs. the Giants at MetLife Stadium on Monday Night Football. Facing the NFC East this year is preferable to the NFC South, a division that includes Drew Brees, Teddy Bridgewater, Matt Ryan and old what’s his face. And while someone has to win the NFC East, chances are, that team will wind up with a 9-7 record. Also, there’s about a 50/50 chance Andy Dalton is the Cowboys’ new starting quarterback by the time Pittsburgh travels to the Jerry Dome on November 8. What’s my point? Pittsburgh has a chance to feast on some out of conference cooking in 2020.

All-in-all, the Steelers only face five playoff teams from a year ago. Of those five, two reside in the AFC South—or the NFC East of the AFC. Much like the NFC East, the AFC South is generally a division where all four teams beat up on one another, and if one of them wins the division with anything better than a 10-6 record, that’s usually pretty amazing.

But, again, two teams made it into the playoffs last year. Furthermore, both the Texans, the division champs, and the 9-7 Titans, the sixth seed, advanced beyond the first round. In fact, Tennessee won two postseason games and even held a 17-7 lead late in the first half of the AFC Championship game, before succumbing to the eventual Super Bowl-champion Chiefs.

But that was then. This is now. And while I might one day be afraid of Deshaun Watson, that day has yet to arrive. As for Ryan Tannehill, the Titans star (or high-paid, if you will) quarterback? LMAO! Although, there is the matter of Derrick Henry, Tennessee’s actual star running back who spent last January making postseason defenses succumb to his will. But he’s 26. He’s also a running back, and you know what happens to those guys at that ripe old age (he should be receiving AARP information in the mail any day now).

The Steelers face three of their 2019 playoff opponents at Heinz Field—including the NFC East Champion Eagles, a team from a conference Pittsburgh generally loves to play at home and in the afternoon (it’s a 1 p.m. start). Pittsburgh has to go on the road to face its other three opponents. That’s right, I know I said the Steelers only face five playoff teams from 2019, but the Ravens are one of them and, well, division stuff—you know how that goes.

The Ravens may actually be the best team the Steelers face in 2020, but since they’re AFC North rivals, are you really afraid of them? I know Pittsburgh isn’t—with Ben Roethlisberger back in the picture, both games figure to come right down to the wire.....again.

The Bills round out the Steelers 2019 playoff opponents with a re-match of last December’s clash at Heinz Field. Can you see Josh Allen besting Roethlisberger, even on the road in Buffalo on Sunday Night Football? Considering Allen barely bested Devlin Hodges last December, no, no you can’t see that.

Of course, what those five playoff opponents from last season don’t know is one or more of them likely isn’t making the postseason in 2020. As for the Steelers, absent from the playoffs the previous two seasons, their chances of getting back there are really good, what with parity and all.

Obviously, parity being what it is, some of Pittsburgh’s opponents who didn’t make the playoffs last year will likely rise up and be better than people think in 2020. But, again, the Steelers are poised to do that, too.

Ten of Pittsburgh’s games start at 1 p.m.—including seven match-ups at Heinz Field. I love that most of all. But if seven of the home games start at Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m., that can only mean one thing: Three of the Steelers four prime-time match-ups are on the road. Big deal. For one thing, the Steelers almost always come to play in prime-time—on the road or otherwise (unless, of course, the game is at Gillette Stadium). Secondly, two of the games are against teams that picked in the top-five of the recently concluded 2020 NFL Draft. Thirdly, one of those two teams is the Bengals, so, ya know. Fourthly, the home game is on Thanksgiving Night against the Ravens—a team Pittsburgh could play in a darkened basement in an undisclosed location and the game would still be decided by a field goal.

As far as schedules go, the Steelers 2020 version seems quite favorable....on paper.

I don’t know about you, but I’m starting to like this whole missing the playoffs/second-place schedule deal.

16-0.

Trying to predict the stat lines for the Steelers 2020 NFL Draft class

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 8:00am

From Covid-19 to a limited amount of draft picks, the 2020 class will have a tough time making an impact out of the gate.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already slashed the amount of field time the 2020 NFL Draft class will have with the Pittsburgh Steelers coaching staff before the regular season gets underway. Expectations should be low entering year one for the class, but this is Steeler Nation we’re talking about, and a lack of production will be met with torches and pitchforks!

So let's dive right into it, and predict each rookies 2020 season stat line.

Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images Chase is a threat on both the deep and jump ball Chase Claypool

53 Rec, 825 yards, 5 TDS, 8 special team tackles

A receiver needs time to find chemistry with his quarterback. But Chase is coming into a offence which will find him in some favorable matchups. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, and James Washington are all home run threats and will command tougher matchups until Claypool makes a name for himself. Mix that with behemoths Vance McDonald and Eric Ebron on he inside and Chase should never come across a double team. With speed to burn and his huge frame, Claypool only really needs to perfect a couple routes to leave his mark on the offense. That is, if Ben Roethlisberger is able to return to form in 2020.

His willingness to play specials should also see him compete with Derek Watt for the team lead in special team tackles.

Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images Highsmith doesn't have a high bar to surpass former OLB backups Alex Highsmith

3 Sacks, 20 total tackles, 1 fumble recovery

Coming off a 14 sack senior season, Alex Highsmith has shown a pass rushing prowess the Steelers haven't had out of an OLB3 since Jason Worilds backed up Lamar Woodley and James Harrison. Coming off a season which only saw Anthony Chickillo register a 1⁄2 sack, I think Steelers fans will be presently surprised with Highsmith getting to opposing QBs a handful of times in 2020. While 3 sacks isn't earth shattering, give how much playing time T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree will receive, I believe Highsmith will make the most out of his limited opportunities.

Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images McFarland will end up being the only non-one-cut-back on the roster and will see the ball a more then a usual 4th round pick Anthony McFarland Jr.

60 carries, 300 yards, 2 Total TDs

McFarland will see the field a lot more than I think any of us will expect (especially if he forces Jaylen Samuels out of Pittsburgh). He will be featured in Matt Canada’s famous jet speed motion, the passing game, and as a change of pace runner I believe this offense desperately missed. If anyone has the potential to smash the numbers I'm predicting — it’s defiantly McFarland.

Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports Dotson may steal some starts early in his career Kevin Dotson

4 Games played, 2 Starts

While offensive line doesn't have the sexiest stat lines to predict, I do believe the team struck gold with this pick. The heavy handed Dotson will keep Matt Feiler out at tackle and push Stefen Wisniewski for the starting left guard spot, don't be surprised if he does it.

Photo by G Fiume/Maryland Terrapins/Getty Images Brooks is in a prime spot to win the Steelers third safety spot Antoine Brooks Jr.

16 Games played, 8 special team tackles

Brooks won't find himself in a starting safety spot in 2020, even if in the case of injury the safety market is deep and with the Steelers in win-now mode I don't imagine they turn to its sixth round pick for starts down the stretch. That being said, he will contribute as a special teamer and may see the field in both the secondary and at linebacker depending on the package.

Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images Davis has a ton of competition in-front of him and might be a prime candidate to play a year on the practice squad. Carlos Davis

Practice Squad

The Steelers d-line features a lot of quality players and the team continues to mention how the game has evolved away from the nose tackle position. Neither of these things bode well for Davis, who is likely destined for a red shirt year.

Do you think you can predict the lines? Hit the comments below with your thoughts. But be prepared as I plan on revising this article at seasons end to see who hit the mark and who was way off in left field!

Will 2020 be the last season in black-and-gold for JuJu Smith-Schuster?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 6:30am
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ star wide receiver is entering the final year of his contract, but will he be back in 2021?

While I did not like the selection of wideout Chase Claypool; I understood the pick for the long-term. While Claypool will need an injury or two to hit the wide receiver corps to see substantial snaps in 2020, his path to significant playing time after this season would be clearer with the departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster after the season.

Why would JuJu leave after his contract expires after the 2020 season? Easy, he will either struggle this season, like he did in 2019, and the team will low ball him, or he will return to his 2018 form and price himself out of the Steelers price range.

With the team up against the salary cap ($5.7 million) and Smith-Schuster coming off a horrendous season filled with poor quarterback play, drops, a costly fumble, and injuries, the team is unlikely to open up their wallet during the offseason. With a cap hit of $1.33 million, the former second-round pick is cheap. With any contract extension, no doubt his cap number would increase. The team would have to get very creative to make cap room to accommodate any substantial contract for the 6’ 1” 215 pounder. It is just hard to picture the Steelers making any contract offer that would satisfy the team and Smith-Schuster this offseason.

What would an offer by the team even look like?

In 2018, at the ripe age of 22, Smith-Schuster made the Pro Bowl while hauling in 111 balls for 1,426 yards and seven touchdowns. The reception total was good enough for seventh in the league and only 14 behind league leader Michael Thomas. Because of the myriad of items I listed above, his numbers plummeted to 42-552-3 over 12 games.

Is he worth a Pro Bowl level contract? Six wide receivers will make over $18 million in 2020 and no doubt Smith-Schuster will bypass any contract offer hoping to rebound to the 2018 level of play. Why would he want to take anything less, especially when you compare him to Amari Cooper? Cooper signed a massive five-year contract worth up to $100 million in March. That contract includes $40 million fully guaranteed and another $20 million guaranteed for injury. (Guaranteed money in Smith-Schuster’s next contract could be a sticking point, but that is a topic for another time.) Over the past three seasons, JuJu has more touchdowns, receptions and yards than Cooper. With the new CBA signed and the salary cap expected to explode in 2022 and beyond, no way Smith-Schuster does anything but bet on himself for another monster season.

If the former USC Trojan has another dismal season, it is unlikely that the Steelers would offer him anything substantial for a contract after the 2020 season. That would leave JuJu options to take a prove it deal, or a team desperate enough to offer him a large contract.

What happens if he has another season like he did in 2018? With only 38 players under contract for next season, seven other starters not under contract for 2021, and $28 million under the cap, the team may not afford the franchise tag or a bidding war with teams flush with cap space. (18 teams with over $50 million in cap space in 2021.)

I hope No. 19 has another season like he did in his second season with the Steelers and Steeler Nation will just have to deal with those ramifications after the season. But any hopes of getting a contract extension done during the offseason I put very close to nil.

Podcast: Why I cannot stand the NFL Draft

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 5:30am

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

The 2020 NFL Draft is in the rear view mirror, and as the Pittsburgh Steelers welcome their six newly drafted players, it doesn’t make the event anything better. Yeah, I can’t stand the NFL Draft.

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 he can’t stand the entire NFL Draft “experience”.

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: Tom Brady will be back in Pittsburgh, just not for a game that counts

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 05/09/2020 - 5:00am
Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Draft is officially over. After finishing last year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, have another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how Tom Brady will be making his return to Pittsburgh in 2020, just not in a game that counts.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Tom Brady is back in Pittsburgh...for a preseason game. And he probably won’t play.

Tom Brady’s first scheduled appearance with Buccaneers is in Pittsburgh vs. Steelers

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

He probably won’t play, and he perhaps might not even put on a uniform. For that matter, the game might not even be played.

But, as things stand now, Tom Brady’s first game of any sort for somebody other than the New England Patriots in 21 years is scheduled to be at Heinz Field.

Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers are to open their preseason at the Pittsburgh Steelers. The kickoff time and exact date have yet to be determined; the first week of the preseason games is Aug. 13-17. Brady, 42, signed with the Bucs in March after winning six Super Bowls over 20 seasons with New England.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Art Rooney II on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 schedule.

Rooney on the Steelers’ 2020 schedule

By: Bob Labriola, Steelers.com

The Steelers franchise has been a part of the National Football League since 1933, which means the 2020 season will be its 88th in the business of professional football. It wouldn’t seem there would be too many more firsts for the Steelers, but there is one more box they’ll be able to check come the end of November.

Since 2013, the Steelers have been selected to play four times on Thanksgiving Day or Christmas Day, and the 2020 season will include their fifth such appearance in the last eight seasons. But while the Steelers hosted the Ravens on Christmas Day in 2016, what will be unique this year is that the Steelers will be at home for a game on Thanksgiving Day.

The opponent will be the Baltimore Ravens, and that AFC North rivalry will be the third of the NFL’s tripleheader on Thanksgiving, with kickoff set for 8:20 p.m. on NBC. It will be the Steelers’ ninth all-time appearance on Thanksgiving, their third as part of the finale of the NFL tripleheader, but their first as the home team.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • An inside look at the Steelers’ 2020 NFL Draft class.

An inside look at the Steelers’ draft class

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

It was a unique, exclusive, inside look at the Steelers 2020 NFL Draft class that General Manager Kevin Colbert and Pro Scouting Coordinator Brandon Hunt recently provided.

They were open as they gave insight into each of the draft picks, as well as the process of selecting players during a virtual draft.

And what made it even more unique is that it was strictly for Steelers suite holders during the team’s Post-Draft Virtual Recap held on April 30.

“In typical years, we host an in-person event for our suite holders around the NFL Draft,” said Kristen Lewandowski, Director of Ticket and Premium Seating Sales and Retention. “Since that wasn’t an option this year, and because we still wanted to connect with our clients, this gave us the opportunity to do that. Having Kevin and Brandon provide their perspective on the Draft and discuss our draft selections one-on-one with suite holders was a unique experience we were excited to share with them.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • BTSC articles you may have missed...

Game by game predictions for the 2020 Steelers schedule

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers new schedule

Is quarterback really the biggest hole on the Steelers’ roster?

What would a new contract for Alejandro Villanueva look like?

An open defense of JuJu Smith-Schuster

  • Social Media Madness

Coach Tomlin speaks with @wyche89 about our 2020 season schedule, Ben Roethlisberger, our Thanksgiving Day matchup vs. the Ravens and more.

: Tune in now to @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/oZHwxGHjqy

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 8, 2020

2️⃣0️⃣2️⃣0️⃣. #HereWeGo

: Schedule Release '20 on @NFLNetwork now pic.twitter.com/sOHZHv3Kzu

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 8, 2020

"We need to take care of business early."@CamHeyward speaks with @missi_matthews about our 2020 schedule, what he looks at first when he sees the schedule, our primetime games and more.

FULL : https://t.co/2LdX6OR5f5 pic.twitter.com/V1x9QRQlwz

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 8, 2020

Our 2020 season schedule: It's in the game
@EAMaddenNFL | #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/ceIB9I15D8

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 8, 2020

Friday Night Steelers Six Pack of questions: Offseason, Vol. 18

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:45pm
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

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’ 2020 regular season schedule has been released. What game is the best on the schedule, and why?

2. What were you most surprised about re: the 2020 schedule?

3. A topic I’ve been wanting to ask here: What are your thoughts/expectations of Benny Snell Jr.? Some love him, and see him as a viable option for the future, while others think he is awful.

4. What is your ultimate prediction after seeing the schedule?

5. Do you think the new 7-game format will impact how teams play out the stretch? How will it be good, and bad?

6. Better sports movie?

Tin Cup or Caddyshack

Bull Durham or Major League

Remember the Titans or Any Given Sunday

Stay safe out there, and hopefully you use BTSC the same way I do — as a getaway from the madness.

No matter what, always remember...

HERE WE GO STEELERS!

PODCASTS

When should the Steelers draft their next quarterback?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:05pm
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

How should the Steelers be planning for life after Ben Roethlisberger?

Back before the 2020 NFL Draft, many NFL ‘experts’ on various TV networks were calling for the Steelers to draft a quarterback with their first pick. Most Steeler fans disagreed with that logic, and apparently the team did too, passing on popular names like Jalen Hurts, Jacob Eason, and Jake Fromm to draft a wide receiver with their top pick at No. 49. Despite rumors, Pittsburgh wasn’t interested in Jameis Winston, either.

The Steelers’ draft strategy made sense - why waste a pick on a developmental quarterback in a draft where the goal is to win in the here and now?

Even though Pittsburgh made the right choice in not drafting a signal caller in 2020, they will still need to select a replacement for Ben Roethlisberger at some point. The problem lies in when exactly they should do so.

Roethlisberger will probably play for about two more years or so, finishing off his contract. His goal is most likely to win a ring this year and then ride off into the sunset, and I’m sure Steeler fans wouldn't mind that, either.

However, winning a Super Bowl is never a guarantee for any team, and Roethlisberger’s Steelers timeline isn’t exactly locked in; it’s impossible to know how much longer he wants to play, which makes it even harder to know when the team should draft his successor.

The obvious choice is to draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft after Ben retires, but if the careers of Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers have taught us anything, having a young quarterback sitting behind a veteran for a year or two can do wonders for their development.

Drafting a quarterback earlier than necessary takes away the pressure of absolutely needing to select one later, and if a quarterback falls to the Steelers in this upcoming draft who they really like, it might be hard for them to pass him up. Much like in this year’s draft, however, using a high pick on a player who won’t be making an immediate impact could be what keeps the team from making a playoff run that year - which would go against the Steelers “win now with Ben” philosophy.

There’s also the unlikely possibility that Mike Tomlin wants to give Mason Rudolph another chance at being the next franchise passer.

Another variable to consider is the quarterback class. This upcoming year, both Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields seem to be first round prospects, but not many other quarterbacks are firmly in that conversation right now. Until now and the 2021 draft, a lot will change, but keep in mind that a strong quarterback class will raise the probability of a blue-chip passer falling to wherever the Steelers are picking.

Drafting a future franchise quarterback is a massive investment, with little room for error. There’s no easy answers.

All we do know is that the Steelers are in a ride-or-die situation with Ben Roethlisberger in 2020. Planning for the future is important, but the team has a chance to make some noise this year, and that’s what we should be focused on.

Let us know in the comments what your ideal post-Ben Roethlisberger reality looks like: what should the Steelers be planning at the quarterback position after No. 7 retires?

Mike Tomlin addresses the Steelers upcoming 2020 schedule

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 12:30pm
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

In an interview on NFL Network, Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin discusses different aspects of the 2020 schedule

Following the release of the entire 2020 NFL schedule, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin appeared on the NFL network in an interview with Steve Wyche. To kick things off, Wyche asked Tomlin about his initial assessment of the schedule and how everything laid out for the Steelers.

“I’ve been at it a while. I hadn’t seen a schedule I didn’t like,” Tomlin replied. “We all are football lovers and we miss competing, so it’s an exciting day when the schedule comes out.”

Wyche wasted little time getting to the big question many have about the Pittsburgh Steelers for the 2020 season— Ben Roethlisberger. With the Steelers opening in primetime on Monday Night Football at the Meadowlands against the Giants, Tomlin was asked if he believed if Roethlisberger would be ready and under center for the black and gold to start the season.

“As we sit here today, we’re extremely confident in his readiness,” Tomlin stated. “But we like where we are. He’s throwing on a rehab schedule, it’s going well, and we fully anticipate him being ready to go for that opener.”

While Tomlin is hopeful with Roethlisberger’s rehab and recovery, the current global pandemic has kept the Steelers quarterback from the typical evaluations at this point in the offseason. Although Tomlin didn’t go into any detail about communications with Roethlisberger, one would be naïve if they didn’t think the head coach was in constant communication with his franchise quarterback and any medical personnel who have been working with Roethlisberger.

Wyche went on to address one of the biggest marquee matchups of the season for the Steelers: Hosting the Baltimore ravens at Heinz Field on Thanksgiving night.

“We just are humbled and honored to entertain our fans on a special day like that,” Tomlin acknowledged. “We’ve had an opportunity to be in a number of those games over the years. We don’t take them for granted. We’ll be excited about this one.”

While the Steelers appear to be excited about hosting such an important game, Tomlin also acknowledged the issues in preparation for such a key matchup on a short week.

“It also presents some special challenges from a preparation week. We’ll address that appropriately so in preparation for that game.”

When I asked about the the flow of the schedule for 2020, particularly with groups of away games, Tomlin downplayed travel as a significant factor in the schedule.

“As long as I got 8 at home, 8 on the road, and a bye, I don’t read too much into it.”

To finish up the interview, Coach Tomlin addressed dealing with the current situation in our country and how it pertains to the business of football. Having to hold virtual workouts to begin the season, Coach Tomlin understands the challenge behind it yet the necessity of preparation for the upcoming season.

“I’ll take any opportunity to work with our players and get this ball rolling for 2020,” Tomlin answered. “I’ll be glad when we can get back out there and roll the ball out on some grass and play the game.”

I think we all can agree that seeing football played is something many can look forward to. Hopefully our country can continue to move forward confidently and safely to where life can return to normal as much as possible. And for many Americans, being able to view their favorite NFL teams in the fall would be a huge step.

Coach Tomlin’s entire interview can be seen below.

Coach Tomlin speaks with @wyche89 about our 2020 season schedule, Ben Roethlisberger, our Thanksgiving Day matchup vs. the Ravens and more.

: Tune in now to @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/oZHwxGHjqy

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 8, 2020

Steelers Film Room: Putting it mildly, Carlos Davis is a very raw prospect

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:05am
Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 7th round draft pick is a project.

The Steelers waited till the 7th round to draft a defensive lineman, and as Dave Schofield pointed out in a recent article, the Steelers draft a lot of late round defensive lineman. Carlos Davis is a similar pick to many others the Steelers have made, a big athlete that has a lot to learn before he’s ready for NFL action. Let’s go to the tape.

Run Defense

Carlos Davis played all over the line for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, playing 0 tech(nose), 1 and 3 tech (DT), 5-tech (3-4 DE), and even 7-tech (edge rusher). There has been a decent amount of speculation that Davis will fill the nose tackle role Javon Hargrave did in the Steelers 3 man front.

Carlos Davis (#96) is in the middle of the D-line, lined up right across from the center, in 0-tech.

Davis consistently struggles against double teams, getting driven upright and pushed back.

But he doesn’t do a whole lot better against single blockers.

Davis is playing 1-tech here as the left DT, second lineman from the top, third if you count the standing edge.

Davis fires of the line here, but you can see how the first contact is won by the center, who stands him up and moves him out of the run lane. The running back for Maryland is Anthony McFarland Jr in this clip.

Davis is playing left DT here, looks like 4-tech, second lineman from the bottom.

Davis is trying to move laterally with the play here, but he’s getting driven back, and then the center blocks him from the side and he has no impact on the play. One of the things that was mentioned in a lot of the scouting reports on him was his short arms and the problems that causes him. You can see how when Carlos Davis gets into the chest of the guard the guard gets his hands on both of Davis’s shoulders and steers him while driving him back, and has no trouble disengaging from him.

Pass Rush

Carlos Davis ran an impressive 40 yard dash, and frequently gets a good burst out of his stance, so you would expect him to be a better pass rusher than run defender.

That speed shows up when Davis is able to get quick penetration.

Davis is the right DT on this play, second lineman from the top.

This looks like a stunt, but Carlos Davis fires out of his stance to the inside, and the guard is not expecting it, and you can see Carlos Davis’s speed here as he runs through the guard’s best attempt to save his QB with a holding penalty but can’t prevent the sack.

This is the best clip for Carlos Davis’s upside. If he can round the rest of his game into form, that acceleration will be a weapon.

Davis is the left DT, second lineman from the top in 3-tech.

Again his explosiveness gets the best of the blocking scheme, the center is a little slow reading the rush and Carlos Davis gets past him. This play does a great job of showing how easily he can be redirected, and his lack of agility as he is pushed past the QB and out of the play. He will fire off the line low into blockers, but when he starts running he’s really high, and that cancels his strength.

Davis at 3-tech again, second lineman from the bottom.

This is one of his better rushes, he manages to connect with the blocker without getting too high, and is able to drive the guard back into the pocket before getting taken to the ground.

Take a better look

His lack of arm length really hurts him here, as he drives the guard back, but leans too hard, and the guard is able to get his arm behind his momentum and take him to the ground.

One place I think Davis will be able to succeed with the Steelers is on stunts, the Steelers like to run stunts with the DT going outside the edge rusher. They do it a lot with Bud Dupree and Cameron Heyward, and I think Carlos Davis could be a real weapon on those plays.

Davis is the right DT, second lineman from the top

This isn’t well executed, but look at the speed Davis shows once he gets free. You can see the quarterback realize the DT is stunting outside, and then realize how fast he is coming, and he ends up throwing the ball away.

You might look at that and wonder why Carlos Davis didn’t play DE more, with that kind of size and speed.

He did play DE a decent bit, on this play he’s the left end, the lineman to the top of the screen.

Look at those hands. This is what you got with Carlos Davis on the edge, a slap fight. This is one of the best clips for seeing it, but it shows up most of the time he’s outside, he is hand fighting, but with no purpose or plan to it, and it ends up looking like this.

One of the things he gets credit for in scouting is awareness to get his hands up in the passing lane.

Davis is the right DT on this play, second lineman from the bottom.

You can see he sees the QB’s eyes and times up his jump well, just can’t get a hand on the ball.

Often he is too content to watch the QB when his initial rush fails though, and he ends up just not having any impact on the play.

Davis is the left DT, second from the top.

Davis is reading the play here, denying the QB a lane to escape, but he gets no push at all and the quarterback has a big pocket to stand in until he panics and leaves it when he doesn’t need to. When you are 1v1 and the guard is blocking you with one arm and looking around to see if there is someone else to block. . . that’s not a good look.

Conclusion

Carlos Davis is the latest in a long line of defensive lineman with a lot of negatives in their film, to go with a few attributes that could be real weapons if they can improve the rest of their game enough. The Steelers like taking these guys and giving them a chance to win a spot at the bottom of the depth chart or the practice squad and see if they can be the next Brett Keisel.

Carlos Davis was a four-year starter at Nebraska, and it is strange to see a player with that experience level come into the draft like this. He’s a raw athlete who needs to learn how to play his position, a position he played extensively the last 4 years. That’s a big sign he isn’t likely to make it, but that’s why a player with his first step and athleticism is available with the 232nd pick.

Podcast: How the Steelers newest additions will impact the 2020 season

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:01am
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In the latest episode of the BTSC podcast, “The Live Mike” we give you the latest injection of black-and-gold news.

The 2019 season is long gone, and with the Pittsburgh Steelers now in the offseason, it is time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Live Mike. On this show BTSC contributor Michael Beck breaks down all things Steelers leading into the offseason.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • How the Steelers’ 2020 acquisitions will help the team
  • Interview with the Steelers Fan of the Week
  • and MUCH MORE!

Mike Beck walks you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold. Be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

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

You can listen to the audio in the player below:

6 thoughts on the Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 schedule

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL schedule has been released, and I have some thoughts on the schedule itself.

The Pittsburgh Steelers, along with the rest of the NFL, have received their slate of games for the 2020 preseason and regular season. Whether these games will go off without a hitch due to the coronavirus is up for debate, but when the schedule is released I like to dive into the details to point out some factors of the schedule which might get overlooked.

Let’s take a look into the latest 16 games for the black-and-gold:

  • Only 4 prime time games...for now

The other day on our Standard is the Standard podcast I asked my co-host Lance Williams if he would take the Over or Under on the Steelers’ prime time games with the number set at 4. He took the over and I agreed, because the Steelers almost always get the maximum 5 games.

But not this year.

The Steelers only have 4 prime time games, but this could change with flex scheduling. If I were to hand pick a game to get flexed it would be the Indianapolis Colts game in Week 16 with some possible playoff ramifications on the line.

  • No divisional play until Week 6

It seems the NFL goes through phases where they front load divisional games, and other when they back load them. It seems the Steelers’ current schedule is a mixture of both, but an interesting note is the Steelers don’t play any AFC North games until the Cleveland Browns come to Heinz Field in Week 6.

The Steelers have 2 divisional games in the first half of the season, and the other 4 in the second half of the season.

  • Bye week sweet spot

I don’t know about you, but if anyone would ever ask me what is the best time for a bye week in the NFL, I would always say around midseason. The bye never comes at a good time, but I don’t like it when it is early in the season, and I am not a fan of the late season bye week either.

Not only is Week 8 a great time for the bye week, it is sandwiched between a game vs. the Baltimore Ravens and the Dallas Cowboys. Yeah, I like where the bye fell in 2020.

  • Holiday Happenings

As someone who has to cover the Steelers in multiple facets, when they play a game on a holiday I can’t stand it. As a father of 5, and usually pretty busy, when the Steelers play on a holiday it almost always takes me away from my family.

But the NFL doesn’t care what I think, and they have the Steelers and Ravens clashing on NBC Thanksgiving night. Some love the holiday games, I am just not a fan of them.

Let’s at least hope the Steelers vs. Ravens at Heinz Field ends up better than the last Thanksgiving night game at M&T Bank Stadium when Mike Tomlin “accidentally” interfered with Jacoby Jones.

  • Prime time from afar

The Steelers are a big name in the NFL, and it should come as a shock to no one when they are a hot commodity for prime time games. What is shocking is how out of their 4 prime time games, three of them are on the road.

Week 1 at NYG (MNF)
Week 12 vs. BAL (Thanksgiving)
Week 14 at BUF (SNF)
Week 15 at CIN (MNF)

Heinz Field won’t be rocking for a prime time audience much in 2020, unless Flex Scheduling moves a home game to the prime time slot. Not horrible, just odd.

  • New Playoff Format

Something which hasn’t been talked about a lot is how the new 7 team playoff format will change the end of the season. With only one team jockeying for a bye, the rest of the seedings could be set prior to the regular season wrapping up. If that is the case, you have to wonder what the Week 17 at Cleveland game will mean for the Steelers. Could they have a bye and/or their seed locked up and rest big name players? Should be interesting how things play out with this new format.

What were your thoughts on the schedule? Any interesting nuggets you want to share? Let us know in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the Steelers heading into the 2020 season.

Game-by-game predictions of the Steelers 2020 schedule

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 7:45am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Four BTSC podcasters give their predictions for each Steelers’ game of the 2020 season

The 90-man roster is full. The games are now set. Even though there is a lot of uncertainty as we approach the fall and exactly how this season can progress, the NFL has released the 2020 schedule. Usually fans start scrambling to see which game will fit into their busy schedule in order to watch their beloved black and gold in person. But with the uncertainty of how many fans will be in the stadiums for games, if any, the NFL appears to be prepared to adjust their schedule if necessary. But until that occurs, we have dates and times for all 16 games of the Steelers’ 2020 regular-season schedule.

Between bringing back a stellar defense from 2019 as well as the anticipated return of future Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the expectations for 2020 are high. But as we learned in 2019, things can change very quickly in the NFL. Butt are we going to live in our fears? Although some may, we here at Behind The Steel Curtain made our initial reaction to the schedule based on the Steelers having all hands on deck.

Within minutes of when the Steelers announced their 2020 schedule, four podcasters from Behind The Steel Curtain went live on the BTSC YouTube channel to give their thoughts and predictions for the Steelers’ 2020 season. Jeff Hartman, Bryan Anthony Davis, Dave Schofield, and Lance Williams all went through the schedule game-by-game and gave their predictions of when the Steelers would be victorious or fall in defeat.

Without further ado, here are the predictions for the Steelers 2020 season:

Knee Jerk Reactions to the Steelers 2020 regular season schedule

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 6:30am
Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

One BTSC writer shares his initial and real time unadulterated reactions to the Steelers 2020 schedule.

Knee-jerk Reactions are immediate responses to a situation without taking the time to analyze the situation. That’s something as sports fans that we typically do. Especially if you are a card carrying member of Steeler Nation. As is the custom, I compile my knee jerk thoughts and publish them immediately after each Steelers game. It’s my version of shooting first and apologizing later. So with that being said, I’m going to employ that philosophy here during the NFL schedule release. Here are my initial reactions to the Steelers season-to-be.

  • A couple of nationally-televised preseason games will make it easier for non-412 and non-724ers.
  • I expect the Hall of Fame Game to be a casualty of quarantine.
  • The Steelers first quarter of the season aren’t gimmes , but I don’t think they are overly brutal.
  • The Giants at Metlife to open on MNF. It’s the early game (7:15 pm), so a gift as far as Prime Time games go.
  • The Watt Brothers double-teaming their big bro needed to happen early. J.J. Is typically done for the year by mid season.
  • I get why the divisional game were pushed back until later in the season. But six of the last ten games being against divisional foes means you have to start the first quarter over .500.
  • More like .750.
  • I’m still shocked the Cowboys game in Dallas isn’t on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Even more shocking is a home game on Turkey Day.
  • What do you call football supporters on Thanksgiving? Trypto-fans.
  • I loved night games as a kid. My parents let me stay up. As an adult I abhor them because of work the next day. I know this doesn’t work out for everybody, but it only feels like two games for me that I have to stay up late. The opener is early enough and the TGD game against B-More won’t hinder my waking up the next day.
  • I wanted to drive to Buffalo for the Bills game, but a night game in December in Upstate New York seems treacherous.
  • This is a pretty even schedule for the Steelers. If Big Ben holds up, it could be sweet.
  • i am surprised that the NFL didn’t front-load the schedule with out-of-conference games. That suggests that they are committed to reduced-fan games.

There you have my knee jerks. I’m going to sleep on these and we’ll see how they hold up in the morning.

Podcast: Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 regular season schedule release show

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:30am

In the latest episode of “The Steelers Preview” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-gold from the week that was.

The 2019 season is now over, and with the Pittsburgh Steelers now in the offseason, it is time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Steelers Preview. On this show Jeff Hartman, Dave Schofield and Bryan Anthony Davis break down all things Steelers leading into the offseason.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • 2020 Steelers regular season schedule release
  • Full 16-game predictions
  • Steelers Q&A
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, Bryan Anthony Davis and Dave Schofield walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

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

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

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

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

The After Party podcast will be published in audio platform after 3:00 p.m. ET, and the audio can be found below:

There was no party this evening...it will return next week!

Black and Gold Links: Another day, someone else cracking on Ben Roethlisberger’s conditioning

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:30am
Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Draft is officially over. After finishing last year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, have another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how it seems almost every day that someone is going after Ben Roethlisberger for his lack of conditioning.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers know what they have in Ben Roethlisberger, and that certainly isn’t a workout warrior. However, they also know despite his superior level of conditioning, he wins football games.

Tim Benz: Jay Glazer’s shot at Ben Roethlisberger raises interesting dynamic

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer is known to have a good relationship with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

I’m not sure how great his relationship will be with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger now, though.

In a mailbag Q&A with The Athletic, a fan asked Glazer about potential success for the 2020 Steelers if “Big Ben” is “back to even 85% plus fitness.”

Glazer’s response was less than kind.

First of all, let’s not put the words fitness and Ben Roethlisberger together, they are allergic to each other. There is no fitness in Ben Roethlisberger. His idea of a great off-season workout program is doing one yoga session, playing golf, and drinking some beer.

With that beard Roethlisberger is currently sporting, the golf and beer part I can see. Wrapping my brain around that visage on a yoga mat is a little difficult for me at this point.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • As if there was any doubt about this...

Steelers, Penguins among top 10 on Forbes list of ‘most passionate fans’

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The page-wide photo at the top of the website link for the article said it all: a face-painted fan covered in black and gold from the waist up and waving a Terrible Towel at a Pittsburgh Steelers game.

Though stay-at-home orders that have shut down the sports world offer them little way of showing it, Pittsburgh pro sports fans have been recognized as some of the best on the continent.

Using a formula that included local TV ratings, attendance, merchandise sales and social media reach, Forbes.com on Wednesday released its rankings of “America’s most passionate sports fans.” Partisans of the Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins made the top 10.

The Steelers were No. 4 overall on the NFL-dominated list, and the Penguins were the lone NHL representative in the top 10, ranking ninth.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Charlotte head coach Will Healy is unbelievably proud of his star pupil.

Proud of one of his stars

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

You could hear it in Will Healy’s voice. It was something the Charlotte 49ers head football coach couldn’t hide and didn’t want to hide.

It’s because when talking about Alex Highsmith, Healy just can’t help but let it be known how proud he is of the newest Steelers linebacker.

“I am ridiculously proud,” said Healy. “He’s a guy I have grown really close to over the last year. I was fortunate enough to inherit him and coach him. It couldn’t happen to a better person.

“The amazing part about Alex is not just the way he is on the field, but his leadership and how he handled his business and mentorship is so vital for our program well after he is there. He is a tremendous person. He has it figured out. He is very mature about how he handles himself. He is such a good teammate and person. His work ethic is second to none.

“To see him enjoy this type of success is really good for the guys who are in our program to see what a professional player looks like. It’s really gratifying for me as a coach to see a guy who buys into it as much as he does, and I am so happy he was rewarded this way.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • BTSC articles you may have missed...

The NFL is putting plans in place to re-open facilities

In defense of JuJu Smith-Schuster

Perspective is key, as it pertains to the Steelers’ 2020 regular season schedule

The rookies have claimed their roster numbers!

Offseason acquisitions have also chosen their 2020 jersey numbers

  • Social Media Madness

Chuck Noll never said anything to Joe Greene about getting thrown out of games.
Joe wanted his equipment during training camp, the room was closed so Joe kicked the door in and got his stuff.
Only thing Chuck said to him was “That’ll be $500”#Steelers pic.twitter.com/dqYxGYG2PX

— Old Time Football (@Ol_TimeFootball) May 7, 2020

Now more than ever, we want to express our gratitude for all that nurses are doing to keep us healthy & safe!@ZBNFL made the call to send @UPMC nurses & other frontline workers some delicious food through @Slice & @SliceOutHunger! You can too!

Donate: https://t.co/r2E4ZFYYmh pic.twitter.com/wFWUmL1IRx

— Steelers Community Relations (@SteelersCR) May 6, 2020

2020 Schedule Release

: 7:30 pm - 2020 Schedule Release Roundtable on #Steelers Facebook & YouTube pages
: 8 pm - Schedule Release '20 on @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/iVX945gsEJ

— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 7, 2020

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