This is officially the beginning of the end for Lawrence Timmons career in the black and gold.
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the toughest NFL teams to figure out ahead of the 2016 season—in a good, potentially great, way.
Just after the 2015 campaign ended, had you asked if the Steelers would improve upon their 10-win performance and wild card berth the following year, the answer would have been a resounding yes. They would have Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown and Le’veon Bell for an entire season. Ben Roethlisberger remains one of the most underrated great quarterbacks of all time. How could they not emerge as a dynamo on the back of perhaps the scariest offense in the NFL?
Well, a spanner or two (or three) has been thrown into those plans. Stud wide receiver Bryant is suspended for the entirety of the 2016 crusade after violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Bell, the Steelers’ star running back, is also facing a four-game suspension for skipping a drug test. Multiple reports have the Steelers confident that the suspension levied will be overturned, and that Bell will, in fact, be available for their Week 1 sparring.
Still, these types of hiccups are troubling. You want your best players on the field every week, and the Steelers won’t have that luxury with Bryant watching from home all year. And there’s a chance they’ll be debilitated even further for the first 25 percent of the season with regards to Bell. Those losses would cripple most teams.
But the Steelers aren’t most teams. Not by a long shot. Bell’s backup, Deangelo Williams, shined as the No. 1 running man through the first few weeks of last season. Brown, meanwhile, is the best wideout in football. Having Bryant on the field, as one of the most lethal deep-ball threats in the game, makes his job easier; not having him on the field, though, doesn’t make Brown’s job impossible.
Brown caught more than 70 percent of his passes while racking in 136 total receptions and more than 1,830 yards. The last player to reel in at least 69 percent of his passes while clearing the 1,800-yard plateau? That would be Jerry Rice, during the 1995 season, as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, according to pro-football-reference. That’s some serious company, and it suggests that Brown can carry an entire receiving corps on his own.
He has a better chance than most one-man shows anyway. The Steelers’ running game, whether they are using Bell or Williams, will open up plenty of opportunities in the air, while Big Ben has the ridiculously strong arm necessary to capitalize on Brown’s speed against double coverage. Wide Receiver Sammie Coates has also stepped up in training camp and could be speeding toward a subtly spectacular season. Any production of Bryant’s that he can make up will make life exponentially easier on Brown and the rest of the Steelers’ offense.
The defense, of course, will need to tighten up as well. It was hot and cold last season, and appeared to cool off as the year progressed. The Steelers, nevertheless, ranked 11th in points allowed per game.
If they can stay right around that area, they’ll be just fine.
Pittsburgh’s passing prevention will most likely need to improve for that to happen. While the Steelers ranked among the top six defenses in total interceptions, they finished 30th in passing yards allowed and 19th in passing touchdowns relinquished.
Their secondary would often get burned taking too many gambles, so they’ll have to see if rookie cornerbacks Artie Burns out of Miami (first round) and Sean Davis out of Maryland (second round) can make an immediate impact. Anytime defenses are even slightly dependent on newbies in the secondary, the potential for some sort of regression exists.
And yet, there’s a reason why Bovada gives the Steelers top-five Super Bowl odds (+1200), in addition to the second-best AFC Title chances (+550), behind only the New England Patriots (+275). Even a slightly below-average defense puts you in a great position if you’re carried by a dominant offense. And we know the Steelers will have that, even without Bryant and, potentially, Bell.
Besides, regardless of what Pittsburgh’s secondary looks like, it will be buoyed by a stingy run defense. The Steelers ranked in the top five of both rushing yards allowed per game and touchdowns let up on the ground last season, and they didn’t lose any personnel that would suggest they’re do for a decline.
It helps, too, that the AFC isn’t exactly overrunning with powerhouses. You have the Patriots, yes. But the No. 2 slot in the conference is far from determined. Any one of the Cincinnati Bengals (+800), Denver Broncos (+900), Indianapolis Colts (+1100) or Kansas City Chiefs (+1100) could end up being Super Bowl contenders or pretenders. The Steelers, on paper, are easily the best team of that bunch. They have the best quarterback, in Roethlisberger, and it isn’t even kind of close, and their backfield combination of Bell and Williams leads the pack by a similar margin.
In any other season, given the absence of Bryant and the uncertainty of Pittsburgh’s passing defense, it might be tough to envision the Steelers as Super Bowl contenders. They would be playoff-bound, sure. But there would, presumably, be another team or two to slot ahead of them. That’s just not the case this year. The Steelers are a good-to-great football squad that will be propped up even further by the AFC’s shallow juggernaut pool—and there is, by no means, any shame in that.
We like the Steelers to advance to the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots, where they’ll likely fall just shy of their ultimate Super Bowl aspirations. Then again, if a few things go their way, we could see the Steelers play Green Bay in an all-anticipated Super Bowl Final
Running back Le’Veon Bell faces the prospect of a four game suspension after missing scheduled drugs tests. After a frustrating campaign last time around due to a suspension and injury, in which the 24-year-old was restricted to just 113 carries for a total of 556 yards, this is certainly not the off season news of which both Bell and Steelers’ fans would have been hoping for. Bell will appeal the likely suspension in August, however should the verdict be upheld, he will miss the first four games of the new NFL season.
Bell is certainly no stranger to controversy, and following his arrest on DUI marijuana charges back in 2015, the 2013 draft pick is yet to see his career take off like it could and should, with just three touchdowns in six matches last season. Injury has certainly effected Bell in a negative manner however, with it remaining to be seen just how well he can recover from a season ending ligament tears suffered back in November against the Cincinnati Bengals. Despite his talent being there for all to see, in the form of being named a first-team All-Pro after carrying 290 times for 1361 yards and eight touchdowns, while making 83 receptions for 854 yards and three additional scores, patience is beginning to wear thing among some sections of the Steelers’ hierarchy. Despite such problems, Pittsburgh are still the favourites to win the AFC North title, with BettingSports bringing you all the latest NFL news from across the country.
The Steelers’ lost out to the Denver Broncos in the playoffs last time around, however the fact that their roster was impacted significantly by injuries will give the team renewed hope for the upcoming campaign. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, center Maurice Pouncey and Bell himself all missed large proportions of the season, with the Steelers’ still managing to rank third in the league in offensive yards. Having gone all the way to the Super Bowl last time around, the Broncos are once again the favourites for the AFC West division, with BettingSports showing all the leading contenders for next year.
Defense has certainly been an issue for the Steelers’ over recent years, however Coach Mike Tomlin believes that the additions of Artie Burns and Sean Davis could well have a positive effect on the team, with the youngsters more than ready for starting roles.
The Pittsburgh Steelers have a big decision to make on whether to sign all-pro running back Le'veon Bell to a long term contract before the start of the 2016-2017 NFL season. Bell is entering the final year of his contract which historically is the time the front office will resign players. The Steelers training camp is less than 2 weeks away and the organization does not negotiate new contracts during the season to avoid any distractions. So, the time is ticking.
The Steelers have 3 options:
- Get the deal done now. Sign Bell to a 4 year deal (at the most) averaging 10-12 million a year. Preferably, I would only sign him to a 3 year deal but I don't think Bell and his agent would go for that. 15 million/year as implied in his recent rap song is not going to happen and Bell as admitted as much.
- Franchise him next year. The Steelers could franchise him for approximately 15 mil next year if they can't get a deal done this year or if they want to take a "wait and see" approach. The wait and see approach does make sense given Bell's injury history
- Let him walk after this year. This might happen especially if the organization has durability concerns which is valid. He hasn't played an entire season and has already had 2 straight knee injuries requiring surgery.
There is little doubt that Le'veon Bell is the most dynamic RB in the league. You can't replace a player like that. The NFL odds makers have the Steelers and New England Patriots as the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Those odds are with a healthy Le'veon Bell. The Steelers are a different team with him on the field especially given his receiving threat.
After several months of waiting, the NFL is finally back for the 2015 season. Kicking off on Thursday the 10th of September, where the Pittsburgh Steelers took on the defending champions, in the New England Patriots in what was a tense and explosive match. As players will know, this time the Patriots arose victorious from this epic kick off match which finished with a final score of Patriots 28-21 Steelers. Obviously this was not the ideal result for the Steelers. But this doesn’t need to paint their performance for the entire season. Therefore, we would like to investigate; what are the Steelers’ odds for the rest of the season?
First of all, let’s look at what the experts think. When looking at predictions for favourites to win this season of the Super Bowl, the Steelers do not appear once. Instead, bookmakers predict a win for the Seattle Seahawks, the Indianapolis Colts, the Green Bay Packers and the New England Patriots. However, the Steelers odds are not abysmal, with their win total line sitting at 8.5. Considering that this is the same as their win total line last year, which they surpassed at 11-5, then there is a good chance that they can do well. The main problem facing the Steelers is that, compared to last season, they have far weaker ratings in their linebacker and their defensive line as well as in the secondary.
In addition, some of their best players will be out of the competition for several games – Pouncey, playing center, looks likely to miss around 10 weeks, whilst RB Bell will not be available for the first two games and WR Bryant has been suspended for four games. These misfortunes have meant that despite the Steelers’ talent, they are arguably playing one of their toughest seasons – and certainly, of all the teams playing in this NFL, they probably have the most challenges to overcome. Therefore, whilst fans might sleep better knowing that any losses are not actually a reflection on the Steelers’ talents as a team, sports betting fans might not want to blow all of their cash on predicting them for a win.
Another good indicator to check out is the performance of the team during previous games. As we know, the Steelers lost their first game to the Patriots, but what about the preseason games taking place in previous months. It’s probably important to note that the Steelers lost 4 out of 5 of their last games. This included a devastating 6-23 loss to the Carolina Panthers on September the 3rd. Of course, this loss was something of an anomaly for the Steelers, whose average score overall ranks at 21, so hopefully they will have sorted out some of the issues which took place during that game. It is, however, still something to bear in mind during your bet. What’s more, in the last 5 games the total has gone under in 4 of them, so this will also affect the match and the league outcome.
Certainly the Steelers are facing a lot of adversity. However, it’s not all bad news for fans. Of the eight super bowls which the team has participated in, the Steelers have won six. The most recent of these was in 2009, where they beat the Arizona Cardinals by 27 points to 23. These are some very good results and indicates that the Steelers could well have the talent and determination to pull through.
Overall, it is very difficult to tell at this point who will win the current football season, and this article can only really be a rough guide. If you fancy making a bet on this season, so can do so at a bookmakers or on an online sports betting site. These sites often offer other kinds of gambling as well – for example, you can find new casinos online out there. Most of all, make sure you enjoy the new season and have plenty of fun.
The 2015 NFL Season is only three months away and the Pittsburgh Steelers will mark their 83rd season as a franchise as they attempt to win their first Super Bowl since 2009.
The Steelers will open their campaign away to the New England Patriots at the Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts on Thursday 10th September, 2015 and will be hoping to start with a big win that could set the tone for their season. The 2014 Season ended in disappointment for the Steelers as they suffered a 30-17 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens in the Wild Card Playoffs after topping the AFC North table.
Mike Tomlin will enter into his ninth season as the head coach of the Steelers with Kevin Colbert acting as the general manager for the sixteenth consecutive season. Both men will be desperate to improve on last season and recapture the magic that came when they beat Arizona Cardinals 27-23 in Super Bowl XLIII.
A lot of responsibility for galvanizing the roster into competing for the Super Bowl will rest on the shoulders of star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. “Big Ben” had already enjoyed two Super Bowl wins with the Steelers and has also won three Pro Bowl titles during his tenure with the franchise. He was also chosen as the Steelers MVP during their 2009 Super Bowl victory to show that if the Steelers are to reach their full potential then Roethlisberger will need to be at his best.
Roethlisberger is not the only offensive threat from the Steelers. Pundits and commentators have been tipping the Steelers to possess the most lethal set of triplets in the NFL for this coming season. The trio of Roethlisberger and both running back Le Veon Bell and wide receiver Antonio Brown give the Steelers a potency in the offense that has rarely been seen by an NFL franchise in recent years. In fact, Steelers fans are even suggesting it is the best triplets line up the franchise has had since Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, and Lynn Swann. Only the Green Bay Packers triplets of Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacy, and Jordy Nelson and the Seattle Seahawks triplets of Russell Wilson, Marshawn Lynch, and Jimmy Graham are generating anywhere near the same buzz as the Steelers triplets.
However, it is often stated that Super Bowl titles are won by the defense. The 2014 Steelers defense failed to match expectations set before the season started. It conceded 5,654 yards, only averaged 353.5 yards per game, and gave up an average of 23 points per game. If the Steelers are to make progress on last season then those stats will have to show to be improved upon. Worryingly, last season was co-ordinated by the experienced Dick LeBeau with defensive end Brett Keisel, franchise icon and safety Troy Polamalu, and outside linebacker Jason Worilds all forming the defensive set up. All four of those big names have been dropped from the 2015 roster. Keith Butler has been assigned the job of defensive co-ordinator. Polamalu officially retired on 9th April, 2015 meaning he will play no part in a Steelers season for the first time since 2002. He will be replaced by Shamarko Thomas and even though Thomas has big boots to fill, Steelers fans will be hoping he can create his own legendary status within the franchise. Arthur Moats is being lined up to fill in for the retired Worilds and Stephen Tuitt will be given the duty of replacing Keisel. There is concern that losing so many big names from the Steelers defense will be too big a blow but, on the contrary, it is being seen as a chance for the Steelers to get rid of the aging deadwood and give youthful blood a chance to create their own chapter in history.
The Steelers are currently listed at odds of 28/1 with most bookmakers to win Super Bowl 50. Since 2009, the Super Bowl betting has grown and grown (see here for Nevada figures alone) and many fans are now enjoying the online options in the US.Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, and Baltimore Ravens are all favoured more but for a franchise that is completely restructuring its defensive line, it offers hope for Steelers fans that they are being considered as dark horses to win the Super Bowl. The fact they are ranked as the 9/4 second favourites behind Baltimore Ravens at 7/4 to win AFC North shows that expectations are not as high as last season but that could work in favour of the Steelers.
Ultimately, if the Steelers are to push on and win this season's Super Bowl then they will need the starring triplets of Roethlisberger, Bell, and Brown to deliver the goods on the offense but they will also need their newly formed defensive line to greatly improve on last season's poor stats. It could turn out that with all eyes on Roethlisberger to guide the Steelers to the Super Bowl, a less likely hero could rise from defense and a new era of Steelers success may well be on the horizon. The Steelers have their doubters but it would not be the first time they've proved everyone wrong.
While the Pittsburgh Steelers are still in a state of mourning following Troy Polamalu's retirement, there is a silver-lining to the departure of the 12-year veteran. The Steelers may have lost one of the best safety's in Steelers history, but the franchise have saved a significant amount of money that will now be used to strengthen their roster before the start of the new season.
Polamalu's decision to hang up his boots has saved Pittsburgh millions in both cap space and base salary, although it remains to be seen just when the franchise will see the benefits. If the Steelers and Polamalu submit his retirement papers before June 1, the franchise would save a useful $3.75 million in cap space this year. Doing it after June 1 would save more room in their salary cap this season but see Pittsburgh sustain a hefty $2.5 million charge for dead cap space over the next two years.
If the Steelers go with the first option, they will drop to just under $10.5 million, while the second option would put the franchise just over $12.5 million under the cap. The safety was expected to be the joint third biggest earner at Pittsburgh this season alongside Antonio Brown, with Polamalu also in line to earn the third-highest signing bonus with the eight-time Pro Bowler set to pick up $2.25 million before taking the decision to end his 12-year NFL career.
Polamalu's announcement has shocked the Steelers, not least due to the fact the two-time Super Bowl winner signed a new three-year contract last year. The strong safety has been a key part of Pittsburgh's success over the past decade, racking up 770 tackles, 32 interceptions and three touchdowns during his 12-year stay with the Steelers, and Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin will have their work cut out to find a replacement. The loss of Polamalu has certainly had an impact on the betting - and it won't be a huge surprise if the Steelers don't start the season as one of the bookies's favourites to clinch the Super Bowl - unless they have a sensational offseason in terms of player recruitment.
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2014 Steelers Schedule
Sep 7, vs. Cleveland Browns (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Sep 11, vs. Baltimore Ravens (MT Bank Stadium - Baltimore, MD)
Sep 21, vs. Carolina Panthers (Bank of America Stadium - Charlotte, NC)
Sep 28, vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Oct 5, vs. Jacksonville Jaguars (EverBank Field - Jacksonville, FL)
Oct 12, vs. Cleveland Browns (FirstEnergy Stadium - Cleveland, OH)
Oct 20, vs. Houston Texans (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Oct 26, vs. Indianapolis Colts (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Nov 2, vs. Baltimore Ravens (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Nov 9, vs. New York Jets (Metlife Stadium - East Rutherford, NJ)
Nov 17, vs. Tennessee Titans (LP Field - Nashville, TN)
Nov 30, vs. New Orleans Saints (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Dec 7, vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Paul Brown Stadium - Cincinnati, OH)
Dec 14, vs. Atlanta Falcons (Georgia Dome - Atlanta, GA)
Dec 21, vs. Kansas City Chiefs (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)
Dec 28, vs. Cincinnati Bengals (Heinz Field - Pittsburgh, PA)