The Pittsburgh Steelers continued to revamp their defense, taking safety Sean Davis and defensive tackle Javon Hargrave in rounds 2 and 3 of the 2016 NFL Draft. Unlike yesterday’s selection of corner Artie Burns, these picks are being hailed as good value for their spot in the draft. They do share a common trait with Burns in that all three are talented athletes seen more as projects that need time to develop rather than finished products. If they do develop, though, their potential is sky high.
On National Superhero Day, Steeler Nation got the player it deserved but maybe not the one that it needs.
Last night, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Miami cornerback Artie Burns in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. To call this pick polarizing would be an understatement. Burns is the Donald Trump of draft picks. I’ve seen people applaud the Steelers by touting Burns as potentially the best corner in the entire class and I’ve seen people call this choice a disastrous overreach of a guy with 3rd round talent.
If at first you don’t succeed, try try again.
Good advice in both skydiving and the NFL Draft. It certainly seems to be the philosophy favored by the Pittsburgh Steelers. They’ve been trying to rebuild a defense that has fallen off in recent years primarily using the draft. The result, however, have been decidedly mixed.
Three years ago they took linebacker Jarvis Jones in the first round. He’s produced exactly 5 sacks since that time. That didn’t stop them from taking linebacker Ryan Shazier the next year and then linebacker Bud Dupree the year after that. Shazier has shown flashes of brilliance – when healthy – while Dupree had a solid rookie season.
Cancel the holidays!
The NFL released the Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 schedule and all I gotta say is I hope your entire family are Steeler fans. If not, well, there’s gonna be some awkward family dinners. The Black and Gold have not one, not two, but three holiday games this year. Of course they’re only the second team in NFL history to be bestowed such an “honor.”
Nice knowing ya, ‘Tez.
In a move that is both surprising yet totally expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers released cornerback Cortez Allen. Just two years ago the Steelers signed him to a five year $26 million contract extension but after playing exactly one game in 2015, they’ve seen enough. While the move wipes out $13 million in future obligations, bonus money means he’ll continue counting against the cap for years to come. This is the second disastrous extension in recent history with LaMarr Woodley finally coming off the books after accounting for $8.5 million in dead cap space last season.
Antonio Brown begins his quest for the Mirror Ball Trophy tonight on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars. He’s hoping to foxtrot in the footsteps of another great Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Hines Ward, who won the show back in 2011. AB will face a little tougher competition as this year will also feature former QB Doug Flutie and this year’s Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller of the Broncos. Although, truthfully, I’m more interested in seeing Stephanie Tanner from Full House who, um, really grew up.
Anyway, each “celebrity” is partnered with a professional dancer. The winner is determined half by judges’ scores and half by viewer voting which means it’s up to Steeler Nation to represent. When Hines was on, I’d dvr it and just fast forward to his parts. It’s pretty cheesy but the lady dancers wear skimpy outfits and have amazing bodies so there’s that. Plus the Black and Gold could always use a second Mirror Ball to go along with the six Lombardi’s.
It’s a long way from training camp.
The Pittsburgh Steelers continue to be uncharacteristically active in free agency, signing former Denver Broncos left tackle Ryan Harris to a two year $4 million deal yesterday. Harris started all 16 games last season and is slated to take over as our starting LT with Kelvin Beachum exiled to obscurity down in Jacksonville. I can’t say I know much about Harris but anybody charged to protect the blind side of the human statue that was Peyton Manning should be decent. It’s not like any lineman can hold a block the fifteen seconds it sometimes takes Ben to throw the ball.
Yeah, it’s a disease, an addiction, something people struggle with over a lifetime but all I can think of right now is the old Bobby Heenan line, “He’s got a million dollar body and a ten cent brain.”
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant has been suspended for one year for violating the NFL’s Substance Abuse policy. Last year he was suspended the first four games after a fourth (?!) violation. That placed him in the league’s high risk category making him subject to increased testing. Bryant evidently didn’t disappoint, blowing right by his fifth violation (which would’ve cost him 10 games) and going directly to a sixth resulting in a one year vacation.
That escalated quickly…
The first day of the 2016 NFL season came with an unprecedented frenzy of free agent activity. Surprisingly enough, the Pittsburgh Steelers even got in on some of the action. They didn’t make a splashy move involving a headline name but as we saw last season with DeAngelo Williams, sometimes it’s the smaller under the radar moves that provide the biggest dividends. Also seems like their salary cap situation is a tad better than we expected.
Later today, Peyton Manning is expected to announce his retirement. The 2016 NFL season has certainly started with a bang. The league year actually officially begins Wednesday with the beginning of the annual free-for-all known as free agency. As usual, the Pittsburgh Steelers are poised to have another uneventful off-season.
You’ll see articles on other websites dreaming up a list of potential free agents the Steelers have approximately zero chance of going after. With very rare exceptions, “winning the off-season” through splashy signings isn’t the Steeler Way. They’ll do what they usually do and look at fringe players while waiting to pick through the leftovers sometime in July or August.