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.
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.
Last time the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cincinnati Bengals met, Cincy put one of ours in the hospital. Yesterday, we may have put their Super Bowl chances in the morgue. Le’Veon Bell ended up on season-ending IR after our first meeting. Now there’s a chance Andy Dalton is about to join him.
Oh and by the way, the Steelers won the game 33-20 to keep their shot at a Wild Card alive.
Somewhere the spirit of Al Davis is clapping his hands and laughing.
For years and years the running joke in the NFL draft was if a player was fast, the Raiders would inevitably take him. With Darth Al’s passing, Oakland has taken a much more sensible approach to picking players. Of all the teams to step in and take over their obsession with speed, who expected it to be the Pittsburgh Steelers?
In my Steelers Draft preview, I didn’t mock out specific players but I did identify bolstering the defensive line and a Chris Rainey-type running back as areas of interest. I just didn’t expect them to go out and fill those needs in rounds two and three. Your second and third rounders are premium picks today’s NFL. I’m not too sure about the wisdom behind using one of those picks on a third string running back.
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed their second big free agent, coming to terms on a two year deal with former San Diego Chargers nose tackle Cam Thomas. And when I say “big,” I mean that literally in the case of the 6’3 330 pound man affectionately nicknamed Baby ‘Zilla. The acquisition of Thomas gives some clue as to how the Steelers are planning to rebuild a defensive line that performed quite terribly last season. It’s hard to imagine these moves leading to a run D worse than the one that got gashed with alarming ease last year.
Thomas was a fourth round pick out of North Carolina back in 2010. He started ten games last season for San Diego before losing his job over what is rumored to be the coaches’ dissatisfaction with his effort level. From what I’ve read on Chargers blogs, Thomas was frustrating to watch because in some games he looked like a world beater while in others he barely bothered to show up. If the Steelers can properly motivate him – and while Mike Tomlin is about as inspiring as a shrieking parakeet, Dick LeBeau has traditionally inspired fierce loyalty in his men – they could kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have managed to claw their way back into the AFC playoff discussion. As I mentioned in yesterday’s game recap, a large part of their resurgence is due to recent line-up changes. A few of those changes were coach Mike Tomlin demoting guys due to poor performance but most of them came about because of injuries. In nearly every instance where a starter has gone down, his replacement has come in and been an improvement.
Baseball has what is called a Lou Gehrig situation. Basically, Gehrig was a bench warmer until one fateful day when the starter was ill and couldn’t play. Gehrig took his place and performed so well he’d play every game thereafter for the next fourteen years. It’s a tremendous achievement but also a cautionary tale about how quickly and unexpectedly a player can find themselves replaced.
There was no Mike Tomlin press conference last week. Pity, considering how pissed Coach T appeared in the aftermath of the Pittsburgh Steelers loss to the Minnesota Vikings, I’m sure it would’ve been highly entertaining even if the questions are being furnished by the cheerleader local media. With the Penguins starting their season and the Pirates continuing to shock the baseball world, the media treated yesterday’s presser like a typical Pittsburgh sports fan: with stunning apathy.
While the sparsely attended affair wrapped in a tidy 15 minutes, there were still several juicy Tomlin nuggets worthy of note (and mockery). Read on!
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin promised changes after his team’s terrible loss to the Minnesota Vikings in London. As with anything spoken by Tomlin, I operated under the standard assumption if his mouth was moving, he was probably lying. Lo and behold a few days later the team made a trade for left tackle Levi Brown in an effort to bolster that position.
If you thought that was the end of the changes, boy were you wrong. Evidently all it takes is a historically disastrous start for Tomlin to finally mean business.
The offensive line won’t be the only line undergoing change when the Steelers take the field against the Jets. Cam Heyward has been elevated to starting defensive end ahead of fellow first round pick Ziggy Hood. Brett Keisel will continue to start on the opposite side with Steve McClendon manning the middle.
I didn’t see this one coming…
And, no, I’m not talking about the Patriots cutting Tim Tebow. Can anybody believe we lost a playoff game to that guy?
The Pittsburgh Steelers were one of the first teams to cut down to 75 men. When it came time to set their final 53 man roster, though, they were one of the last. As I waited and waited on Saturday, I immediately grew suspicious. The longer it takes, the more likely it is the team is debating cutting somebody nobody thought would be cut.
Jonathan Dwyer, come on down. Don’t forget to bring your playbook with you.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a long and storied tradition when it comes to dance. Hall of Famer Lynn Swann was able to contort his body to make those insanely athletic catches we see on the highlight films thanks to a childhood spent studying ballet. Recently, future Hall of Famer Hines Ward competed on “Dancing With The Stars” and came away with the MirrorBall Trophy despite no formal dance training whatsoever.