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High School Football Showcase - Week 3

Steelers.com Videos - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 8:00am
Penn Hills visits Pine-Richland in this week's Steelers High School Football Showcase presented by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

High School Football Showcase - Week 3

Steelers.com Videos - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 8:00am
Penn Hills visits Pine-Richland in this week's Steelers High School Football Showcase presented by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Antonio Brown: The NFL’s best receiver and a truly great Pittsburgh Steeler

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 7:40am

Not only is Antonio Brown the best receiver in the NFL, he's a clutch player who continues to provide many great moments for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Far be it from me to pick the low-hanging fruit from the Steelers 21-18 Week 1 victory over the Browns on Sunday, but how about that Antonio Brown, huh?

After catching 11 passes (on 11 targets, mind you) for 182 yards, how do you think Brown is feeling today?

If I know Brown, and if he's like every other receiver who ever lived, he's probably thinking he didn't get nearly enough targets against Cleveland.

He had to be open on every play, right?

Brown has been known to annoyingly make his quarterback/offensive coordinator/head coach aware of his prowess for getting open throughout his eight-year career.

As someone who played a lot of receiver in my day, I can certainly attest to the frustrations of running down field time and time again, without my quarterback even looking in my direction.

Therefore, if I, a non-athletic blob of a human being, feel the urgency to complain about not getting enough targets during my co-ed recreational flag football game, can you imagine how an athletically gifted human being feels during each and every NFL game, especially when he knows he's the top player at his position?

Before the 2015 campaign, Brown was most known for little dust-ups including disagreements with quarterbacks Ben Roethlisberger, Michael Vick and Landry Jones, along with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

Then, suddenly, about the time when "Business is Boomin'" became Brown's catchphrase and the theme for everything he represents on the football field, fans started to become a bit preoccupied with how he conducted himself off of the field.

Who was Brown dating? How many kids did he have?

Was he all about himself and his stats, or was he all about winning?

Do any of those things matter, really?

I mean, if social media had existed back in the '60's and 70's, there are many former sports icons who may not be so iconic right about now.

Why does it matter what Brown does off the field, as long as he's not getting arrested and hurting the Steelers in the process?

That's the thing about Brown, for someone who’s supposedly so selfish, he’s incredibly dependable on the gridiron.

Take Sunday, for example.

Where were his fellow receivers Martavis Bryant, Eli Rogers and Juju Smith-Schuster?

It's hard to say, really, since they teamed up to catch only four passes for 25 yards. But we did know where Brown was on Sunday, as did Cleveland's defense. But that didn't stop No. 84 from still being the best player on the field.

Just how dominant was Brown and just how integral was he to the Steelers victory in Cleveland?

The Steelers had 290 yards in total offense—only 108 more than Brown had all by himself.

Just under half of Roethlisberger's completions, and roughly 70 percent of his passing yards went to Brown.

Late in the second quarter, Pittsburgh's first offensive touchdown was set up by a deflected Roethlisberger pass hauled in by Brown who raced 50 yards down to the Cleveland 39-yard line. Prior to this play, the Steelers offense had posted only 41 yards.

In the third quarter, the Steelers second and final offensive touchdown was set up thanks to a 41-yard pass interference penalty on Browns cornerback Jamar Taylor who was charged and convicted of grabbing Brown’s left wrist on a deep sideline pass.

And finally, late in the final period, after the Browns had pulled to within three points, No. 84 saved the day, by out-jumping three defenders and coming down with a 38-yard pass from Roethlisberger that iced the game with 2:28 to go.

Seconds later, as I looked over at my uncle who, like me, was watching the replay of Brown's heroics, instead of complaining about Brown being a self-promoter or worrying about his Twitter activity, he said, "Man, he is unbelievable!"

When you examine Brown's body of work and how many times he's saved the team's bacon during his career, it's obvious he’s a team-first player.

It was Brown who seemingly did the impossible last Christmas Night at Heinz Field, when he fought through three Ravens defenders and extended his arm over the goal line to score the winning touchdown with mere seconds left, giving Pittsburgh the AFC North title.

It was Brown who pulled in the huge reception on 3rd-and-3 that clinched the AFC Divisional Playoff game against the Chiefs on January 15.

If you want to go back to the last time the Steelers made it to the Super Bowl, it was Brown who pulled in the famous helmet catch on 3rd-and-19 that set-up the winning touchdown against the Ravens in the 2010/2011 AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field.

A week later, it was Brown who secured a first down and a trip to Super Bowl XLV with a third-down reception against the Jets in the AFC title game.

Besides being absolutely clutch, Brown has been dependable and durable throughout his legendary career in Pittsburgh.

What more could you want from a Pittsburgh Steeler than the things Antonio Brown brings to the game on a regular basis?

Podcast: What lies ahead for the Steelers, and the rest of the NFL, in Week 2

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 6:30am

It is time for another round of sound from the boys at the BTSC ‘Black and Gold NFL Recap’ show. Take a listen!

Take a listen to the latest BTSC podcast ‘Black and Gold NFL Recap’ for a round of sound as they break down the upcoming slate of games, but more importantly, the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

If you missed the live show, you can access it via podcast in a number of ways — Our BlogTalkRadio page, on iTunes by searching “The Standard is the Standard”, on various podcast apps for android users, and on BTSC the following day.

...

The show is sponsored by Frank Walker Law, the top criminal defense firm to call in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and home to one of the nation's top-100 ranked trial attorneys in Frank Walker. For his PA office, call 412-212-3878 or to reach his WV office call 304-712-2089. You should also checkout his website frankwalkerlaw.com to see how he can help you in your time of need. Frank Walker Law: Real Talk, Real Experience, Real Results.

Saturday BTSC Six Pack of Steelers Questions and Open Thread

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:40am

The Steelers are 1-0 and about to face the Minnesota Vikings. Let’s do this...

It is time for another edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers BTSC Saturday Six Pack of questions as the team sits at 1-0 and prepares for the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field Sunday.

Quick run down of the ground rules.

  • I will ask at least three 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, time to get this party started on a Saturday morning. Hey, don’t act like you’ve never done a little day drinking in your day...

1. This week’s game is a tough one for me to predict. How exactly do you see the game playing out, and what is your prediction?

2. OVER/UNDER Ben Roethlisberger touchdowns Sunday: 2

3. If you had to pick who scores the first home touchdown of 2017, who is it and how do they score?

4. James Harrison played in just a handful of snaps in Week 1. How do you handle his usage moving forward, assuming T.J. Watt continues to impress?

5. What is the one key to victory for the Steelers (offense or defense) Sunday?

6. I have always loved picture captions, so I figure we could try one here. Caption this picture:

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

If you haven’t yet, don’t forget to check out the thread from last weekend where we are trying to put together an ultimate Steelers Fan Guide!! The link is HERE!! All help is welcome!

The Vikings; Heinz Field; true heroes and more

Steelers.com News - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:00am
If you missed anything this week, we have you covered with our weekly recap.

The Vikings; Heinz Field; true heroes and more

Steelers.com News - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:00am
If you missed anything this week, we have you covered with our weekly recap.

The Vikings; Heinz Field; true hereos and more

Steelers.com News - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:00am
If you missed anything this week, we have you covered with our weekly recap.

Steelers-Vikings key matchup: Stefon Diggs vs. Artie Burns

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 5:00am

Stefon Diggs wore painted cleats in Monday night’s opening victory against the New Orleans Saints that honored Randy Moss, one of the greatest Vikings receivers of all-time.

Steelers News: Has Blitzburgh returned to Pittsburgh after all these years?

Behind the Steel Curtain - Sat, 09/16/2017 - 4:30am

The Pittsburgh Steelers have been longing for a ferocious pass rush ever since LaMarr Woodley left town. Has their search finally come to an end?

It’s no surprise the Pittsburgh Steelers have wanted to return to their “Blitzburgh” roots for some time now, but they simply haven’t had the right personnel to get the job done. Failed draft picks like Jarvis Jones—and to some extent, Jason Worilds—left the team searching for answers almost yearly when the NFL Draft rolled around.

But after the draft picks of Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt, has Pittsburgh finally found the bookend outside linebackers they’ve been searching for all these years? Some might say, “absolutely,” while others take a wait-and-see approach. But the fact remains the Steelers’ defense doesn’t merely want these players to develop, they need these players to develop.

It’s time to take a look at the Black-and-gold news outside the walls of BTSC.

The Steelers had seven sacks against Cleveland on Sunday, but that doesn’t mean they went “Blitzburgh” on the Browns. The Steelers did blitz some, but they also got at least four of their seven sacks without blitzing at all. And that should scare the heck out of opposing offensive coordinators as they prepare to deal with the Steelers’ pass rush.

Pressure without blitzing means the Steelers won the one-on-one battles up front, and that allowed them to drop more men into coverage. Steelers defensive coordinator Keith Butler said that’s an exciting development for the Steelers because they came into the season hoping to improve in that area.

“Everybody knows that we had seven sacks, but we came by them in different ways,” Butler said. “Sometimes it was the basic 4-man rush, sometimes it was the 3-man rush, sometimes it was blitz.”

The fact that the Steelers got a sack with their 3-man rush is especially exciting because it meant eight players could drop into coverage. Butler can be more creative with his coverage alignments if that continues, and the Steelers then will become very difficult to pass against. That’s a welcome change from last season when the Steelers ranked No. 17 in the NFL in pass defense. The Steelers gave up 3,882 passing yards (243 yards per game) and their porous pass defense ultimately cost them the AFC championship against the Patriots. While they did rank ninth in sacks (38), Butler said they had to blitz too often to achieve that number. He’d like to see more sacks coming from the front three or four and a lower percentage of them coming from blitzes.

It’s always a good day when you can quote a line from one of the Godfather movies.

“This is the business we’ve chosen,” Hyman Roth told Michael Corleone in “The Godfather Part II.”

I thought about that Thursday afternoon when I talked to Todd Haley after the Steelers practice on the South Side. His business of choice is coaching football—offensive football to be specific. There are drawbacks because he has his critics, lots of critics.

A year ago, it took until the third game for fans to start calling for Haley to be fired. The Steelers failed to score a touchdown in a 34-3 loss at Philadelphia as the Eagles held them to 29 rushing yards and sacked quarterback Ben Roethlisberger four times.

This season, the critics have come out early. They were biting at Haley’s behind during the first game of the season on Sunday in Cleveland. And they were still biting after the Steelers won, 21-18 because the offense looked dull and ineffective and produced only two touchdowns and 290 yards.

“I wasn’t disappointed at all because a win is a win. It really is,” Haley said. “When you start on the road in the [AFC] North, you know it’s going to be a rough game. We did what it took to win.

“I thought it was a great win for us. I thought we showed great resolve in the red zone with the limited opportunities we had. Now, we want to be in there a lot more. But when we got in there, we put the ball in the end zone. I thought that was real encouraging with Jesse [James]. And we got the ball back in a four-minute situation at the end and didn’t give it back.

“If you do those things, you’re pretty happy.”

Funny, based on fan feedback, a lot of people seemed to disagree.

Martavis Bryant flashed his toothy grin. Moments earlier, he was playfully deriding a teammate in his corner of the Steelers locker room. Not long after that, another teammate approached to greet Bryant with a friendly handshake.

There is plenty the Steelers' dynamic young receiver missed during his yearlong banishment from the NFL. Settling back into the normal routine of a game week surrounded by the camaraderie of his peers ranks highly on that list.

“It's just fun to be back around my teammates,” Bryant said after Friday's practice. “I'm happy to see everybody; everybody's happy to see me. We're just working hard, man, and it feels good to be with them trying to win games and put it all together at the end of the year.”

The last time Bryant played in a regular-season game at Heinz Field, he set a career-high mark with 10 receptions in a big win against the Denver Broncos on December 20, 2015. Few could have known then that 22 months would elapse before Bryant would again appear in a meaningful game on the North Shore. But he will do so on Sunday against Minnesota.

Preparations for the game this past week provided Bryant with his first normal in-season game week since he was suspended for a year by the NFL for a violation of its substance-abuse policy. Even after Bryant was conditionally reinstated in the spring, the league prevented him from taking part in the first week's worth of training camp practices. It wasn't until Sept. 1 he was giving full clearance to participate in regular-season games.

With all that drama behind him, Bryant is back to being just one of the guys.

“It's good,” Bryant said. “It feels good to be working out with my team.”

Bryant's readjustment back to the NFL hasn't appeared to go as smoothly on the field as it has in the locker room, at least if his production in the season opener is any indication. Bryant was limited to two catches for 14 yards in Cleveland last Sunday.

Defensive end Stephon Tuitt returned to the practice field Friday for the first time since injuring his biceps muscle on the second snap Sunday in the Steelers' 21-18 victory against the Cleveland Browns.

Tuitt said he did some running and other cardio exercises during practice, but did not have any contact and was held out of 11-on-11 drills.

Tuitt is listed as questionable to play Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings at Heinz Field. But coach Mike Tomlin doesn't typically dress players having such limited practice time for the week.

“I've got today and tomorrow to try to get some stuff going,” said Tuitt, who has been doing rehab exercises to strengthen his arm and shoulder. “But we've got capable guys out there if I'm not able to go.”

Veteran Tyson Alualu would replace Tuitt in the starting lineup with L.T. Walton as the main backup on the defensive line. The Steelers had only four healthy defensive linemen after Tuitt exited against the Browns, but nose tackle Daniel McCullers could be activated against the Vikings.

“We did everything we were supposed to do throughout the week,” Tuitt said. “I'm staying positive. We have guys out there right now that have been putting in the work throughout the week to be ready and be prepared for Sunday.”

Steelers Podcast: ‘Black and Gold NFL Recap’ returns tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST

Behind the Steel Curtain - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 7:30pm

Join the guys as they return to the airwaves to talk about all things NFL, and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Join the BTSC podcast ‘Black and Gold NFL Recap’ for a round of sound as they break down the upcoming slate of games, but more importantly, the Pittsburgh Steelers Week 2 game against the Minnesota Vikings.

The show starts at 9:00 p.m. ET, and if you want to listen live, simply go to our BlogTalkRadio page. If you miss the live show, you can access it via podcast in a number of ways — Our BlogTalkRadio page, on iTunes by searching “The Standard is the Standard”, on various podcast apps for android users, and on BTSC the following day.

...

The show is sponsored by Frank Walker Law, the top criminal defense firm to call in western Pennsylvania and West Virginia and home to one of the nation's top-100 ranked trial attorneys in Frank Walker. For his PA office, call 412-212-3878 or to reach his WV office call 304-712-2089. You should also checkout his website frankwalkerlaw.com to see how he can help you in your time of need. Frank Walker Law: Real Talk, Real Experience, Real Results.

Friday practice report

Steelers.com Videos - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:23pm
Missi, Bob and Mike give you the practice report from Friday's practice in preparation of Sunday's game vs. the Vikings.

Prisuta's plays

Steelers.com Videos - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:22pm
As the team prepares for Sunday's game Mike takes you through some key plays from the Vikings game last week.

Tunch's Keys to Steelers vs. Vikings

Steelers.com Videos - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:21pm
Tunch Ilkin brings you his three keys to Steelers vs. Vikings on Steelers Live.

Steelers Nation is ready for game day

Steelers.com News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:00pm
Steelers fans gathered on the North Shore for a kickoff rally.

Steelers Nation is ready for game day

Steelers.com News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 3:00pm
Steelers fans gathered on the North Shore for a kickoff rally.

This week on The Mike Tomlin Show - Show #2

Steelers.com Videos - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 2:44pm
Here is a quick preview of this week's Mike Tomlin Show.

Antonio Brown continues to wow Steelers coaches and teammates

post-gazette.com - Steelers/NFL - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 2:18pm

Todd Haley has been a coach in the NFL for the past 22 years. He coached some of the top receivers of the past and current generation, Keyshawn Johnson, Terrell Owens and Larry Fitzgerald among them. He coached in a Super Bowl and has an intimate knowledge of how greatness is achieved.

Week 2 Injury Report (Vikings)

Steelers.com News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 1:30pm
A look at player injuries and practice participation for Week 2.

That smile will never go away

Steelers.com News - Fri, 09/15/2017 - 1:10pm
Make-A-Wish recipient Jerardo Lopez was all smiles after meeting Steelers players.

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