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hawaiiansteel
07-14-2019, 05:50 PM
Merril Hoge says new-look Pittsburgh Steelers are a better team

By Eric F. Epler | eepler@pennlive.com
July 14, 2019

Merril Hoge had little time to complete a down-and-distance report on his former NFL franchise. Just know the former running back and longtime analyst is a bit more engaged with the new-look Pittsburgh Steelers.

“I think the key work here is team. Teams win championships,” said Hoge on Wednesday, mere minutes before teeing off in the Mid Penn Bank Celebrity Golf Tournament at Hershey Country Club.

“Quarterbacks don’t win championships, defenses don’t and offenses don’t. They have a lot of weapons there and they feel more like a team now. I like their odds better this year than I did last year.”

A tumultuous 2018 season saw the Steelers finish 9-6-1 and miss the playoffs, but the lead up to training camp has been an interesting one as Pittsburgh attempts to avoid more off-field distractions and regain its contender status.

Embattled stars Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are out, leaving WR JuJu Smith-Schuster and RB James Conner as the offensive leaders alongside Ben Roethlisberger.

“We had our moments,” said Hoge, the bulk of his 3.139 rushing yards and 34 touchdowns coming as Pittsburgh’s fullback from 1987-93.

“There was a time when we had three players on drug suspension, which was more players than any team in football. But, when you talk about a player’s behavior and you blame an organization or league, that’s irresponsible. Players are responsible for their actions.”


https://www.pennlive.com/steelers/2019/07/merril-hoge-says-new-look-pittsburgh-steelers-are-a-better-team.html

Oviedo
07-14-2019, 05:54 PM
Hoge is right. Better record and success this year barring key injuries

Steel Maniac
07-15-2019, 09:14 AM
Hoge is right. Better record and success this year barring key injuries

All the little things seem to be adding up to this; but we've got to get through camp virtually injury free to really exhale and start to rub our hands together. :tt2

Oh wow
07-15-2019, 09:25 AM
I hope so. I don’t really care how close we are as a team in the locker room if we aren’t winning games on the field.

AzStillers1989
07-15-2019, 09:41 AM
Hoge is a bit of a homer but then again so am I. It is nice to hear how team oriented everyone seems to be. I think we are all just anxious to see what this team can do now that the problem children seem to have been sent away to the orphanage.

The Man of Steel
07-15-2019, 10:05 AM
A big win in Foxboro to start off the season would really boost my optimism about this Steelers team.

rpmpit
07-15-2019, 12:37 PM
A big win in Foxboro to start off the season would really boost my optimism about this Steelers team.

Was thinking about this. If we win big I'll be psyched. But I'll also feel this uneasy dread, deep down, that Belicheat threw the game to set us up for the playoffs.

Is it just me??

Oh wow
07-15-2019, 12:55 PM
While I want to win every game I won’t be mad if we lose.

I WILL be upset if we look unprepared and get blasted by Brady.

One thing I’ve seen recently is the Steelers AND Pats start slow.

Eich
07-15-2019, 01:54 PM
Was thinking about this. If we win big I'll be psyched. But I'll also feel this uneasy dread, deep down, that Belicheat threw the game to set us up for the playoffs.

Is it just me??

I agree. The cheaters don't care all that much about a one-game, outside the division matchup in the regular season. He's not throwing the game. But he's also not throwing the kitchen sink against us either. I think he uses those games to game plan for a potential playoff matchup, hoping the team is dumb enough to have the same gameplan in the playoffs.

It would be great to win the opener - of course - but the only win against them that I'll ever get excited about is in the playoffs.

RuthlessBurgher
07-15-2019, 02:05 PM
In game one, New England won't have HoF TE Gronk (retired) or his replacement at TE Ben Watson (suspended to start the year like Edelman was last season). Also, rookie first round pick N'Keal Harry should still be very green in his first NFL start. I figure it will be a RB-centric game plan (Sony Michel, James White, rookie Damian Harris, Rex Burkhead, etc.) for the first game, either running the ball or catching short dump-offs out of the backfield to test our new ILB's Bush and Barron.

By the time the playoffs roll around, they should be airing it out more, since Harry will be much more experienced, Watson will have returned the lineup, and it wouldn't shock me at all if Gronk game out of retirement around week 10 or so (avoiding training camp dredgery and more than half the season) to join his old team for the stretch run into the playoffs.

Steel Maniac
07-15-2019, 02:21 PM
I agree. The cheaters don't care all that much about a one-game, outside the division matchup in the regular season. He's not throwing the game. But he's also not throwing the kitchen sink against us either. I think he uses those games to game plan for a potential playoff matchup, hoping the team is dumb enough to have the same gameplan in the playoffs.

It would be great to win the opener - of course - but the only win against them that I'll ever get excited about is in the playoffs.

Look at the pats next six games after playing us; they’ll be 6-1 easy if they lose to us so I could see Bellicheat sandbagging and not throwing the kitchen sink at us. But I don’t care; I’ll take a victory from them anytime I can get one.

RuthlessBurgher
07-15-2019, 03:14 PM
I’ll take a victory from them anytime I can get one.

If you'd take a victory from them any time you can get one, I'd imagine that you'd manage to somehow remember more than just one victory over New England in the last 9 games, though.

Northern_Blitz
07-15-2019, 05:20 PM
If you'd take a victory from them any time you can get one, I'd imagine that you'd manage to somehow remember more than just one victory over New England in the last 9 games, though.

Not if it goes against the narrative.

https://assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net/sites/default/files/styles/big_2/public/feature/images/cognitive_dissonance.jpg?itok=h8mfPmt1

Steel Maniac
07-15-2019, 07:05 PM
Hey north, please refer to my signature; that’s you and your crews unpleasant truth that you can’t deal with. That’s why you constantly are on the attack and I’m just going leave that signature where it is until it factually changes. hahahahaha

Steel Maniac
07-15-2019, 07:07 PM
Just like Conner was suppose to be a so so runningback. :rolleyes:

Oh wow
07-15-2019, 07:57 PM
Someone’s mad they had their facts wrong.

Here we go again.

hawaiiansteel
07-15-2019, 08:12 PM
ESPN’s Riddick Bullish On 2019 Steelers Despite Key Offseason Subtractions: ‘They Are Loaded For Bear’

By Dave Bryan
Posted on July 15, 2019

Are you buying the recent hard push in the media that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a better team in 2019 than they were in 2018 as a result of ridding themselves of two huge distractions in wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell? On the surface, ‘an addition by subtraction’ narrative is certainly being pushed hard by a few major media NFL analysts and it’s hard to ignore.

Last week, former Steelers running back Merril Hoge, who is a longtime NFL analyst for EPSN, said he likes the chances of the 2019 Pittsburgh team winning it all better than he did last year’s team. Hoge’s optimism for the 2019 Steelers is a result of them seemingly being more of a team this offseason with Brown and Bell now out of the picture. On Monday, another ESPN NFL analyst, Louis Riddick, was asked to give his thoughts on the 2019 Steelers and the possibility of addition by subtraction being a noteworthy this offseason and especially with those main subtractions being two great offensive players in Brown and Bell.

“I definitely am a believer in addition by subtraction,” Riddick said Monday morning. “I’m a big believer in chemistry. I’m a big believer in unity, brotherhood and having a healthy culture within the locker room. And look, Mike’s [Mike Tomlin] never just going to come out and say, ‘yeah, the wheels had come off and I lost control of my football team.’ That wouldn’t serve him any good, individually, and it wouldn’t serve their franchise any good, collectively. But I think there’s no doubt that there seems to be a renewed sense of togetherness, a renewed sense of, you know, we’re trying to get after this division, this conference, overall and we’re trying to make a run at this Super Bowl and we believe we still have the parts in place that we can do that.”

As for the Steelers offseason loss of Brown, who is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Riddick believes that the Steelers are still fine at the wide receiver position moving forward without him.

“JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be a bonafide number one,” Riddick said Monday morning. “James Washington will step up, he will be a quality number two. Keep an eye on Diontae Johnson, the third-round pick out a Toledo, I think he was the best route runner in this draft.”

Riddick isn’t just bullish on the Steelers offense ahead of their 2019 training camp about to get underway, he seemingly expects the team’s defense to improve this upcoming season as well and especially if their first-round draft pick this year, inside linebacker Devin Bush, can get on the field right away.

“And then on the defensive side of the football, as I’ve said, pound-for-pound, Devin Bush Jr. was the best player in this draft, regardless of position; offense or defense,” Riddick said.

Because he believes in addition by subtraction and because he likes what Pittsburgh still has on both sides of the football in regard to overall talent, Riddick made it clear on Monday that he expects the 2019 Steelers to run the AFC North division this season and ultimately compete for the Super Bowl in February.

“So they are loaded for bear,” Riddick said. “I think this team is healthy from a mental standpoint. They feel like a lot of the distractions are on the outside, although as Mike [Tomlin] says, ‘you can’t control the narrative on the outside, but you can be professional on the inside.’ I think this team will come out and exude that kind of professionalism and I expect, look, I expect Pittsburgh to easily have a double digit win season and make the playoffs and be a force to be reckoned with in January.”


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/espns-riddick-bullish-on-2019-steelers-despite-key-offseason-subtractions-they-are-loaded-for-bear/

Oviedo
07-16-2019, 01:53 AM
ESPN’s Riddick Bullish On 2019 Steelers Despite Key Offseason Subtractions: ‘They Are Loaded For Bear’

By Dave Bryan
Posted on July 15, 2019

Are you buying the recent hard push in the media that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be a better team in 2019 than they were in 2018 as a result of ridding themselves of two huge distractions in wide receiver Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell? On the surface, ‘an addition by subtraction’ narrative is certainly being pushed hard by a few major media NFL analysts and it’s hard to ignore.

Last week, former Steelers running back Merril Hoge, who is a longtime NFL analyst for EPSN, said he likes the chances of the 2019 Pittsburgh team winning it all better than he did last year’s team. Hoge’s optimism for the 2019 Steelers is a result of them seemingly being more of a team this offseason with Brown and Bell now out of the picture. On Monday, another ESPN NFL analyst, Louis Riddick, was asked to give his thoughts on the 2019 Steelers and the possibility of addition by subtraction being a noteworthy this offseason and especially with those main subtractions being two great offensive players in Brown and Bell.

“I definitely am a believer in addition by subtraction,” Riddick said Monday morning. “I’m a big believer in chemistry. I’m a big believer in unity, brotherhood and having a healthy culture within the locker room. And look, Mike’s [Mike Tomlin] never just going to come out and say, ‘yeah, the wheels had come off and I lost control of my football team.’ That wouldn’t serve him any good, individually, and it wouldn’t serve their franchise any good, collectively. But I think there’s no doubt that there seems to be a renewed sense of togetherness, a renewed sense of, you know, we’re trying to get after this division, this conference, overall and we’re trying to make a run at this Super Bowl and we believe we still have the parts in place that we can do that.”

As for the Steelers offseason loss of Brown, who is arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL, Riddick believes that the Steelers are still fine at the wide receiver position moving forward without him.

“JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be a bonafide number one,” Riddick said Monday morning. “James Washington will step up, he will be a quality number two. Keep an eye on Diontae Johnson, the third-round pick out a Toledo, I think he was the best route runner in this draft.”

Riddick isn’t just bullish on the Steelers offense ahead of their 2019 training camp about to get underway, he seemingly expects the team’s defense to improve this upcoming season as well and especially if their first-round draft pick this year, inside linebacker Devin Bush, can get on the field right away.

“And then on the defensive side of the football, as I’ve said, pound-for-pound, Devin Bush Jr. was the best player in this draft, regardless of position; offense or defense,” Riddick said.

Because he believes in addition by subtraction and because he likes what Pittsburgh still has on both sides of the football in regard to overall talent, Riddick made it clear on Monday that he expects the 2019 Steelers to run the AFC North division this season and ultimately compete for the Super Bowl in February.

“So they are loaded for bear,” Riddick said. “I think this team is healthy from a mental standpoint. They feel like a lot of the distractions are on the outside, although as Mike [Tomlin] says, ‘you can’t control the narrative on the outside, but you can be professional on the inside.’ I think this team will come out and exude that kind of professionalism and I expect, look, I expect Pittsburgh to easily have a double digit win season and make the playoffs and be a force to be reckoned with in January.”


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/espns-riddick-bullish-on-2019-steelers-despite-key-offseason-subtractions-they-are-loaded-for-bear/

Riddick is a pretty solid analyst. I think he is 100% right

Captain Lemming
07-16-2019, 03:36 AM
Hoge is a bit of a homer .

I disagree, he is not "A BIT" of a Homer. He has no peer in that department. :)

Oviedo
07-16-2019, 04:59 AM
I disagree, he is not "A BIT" of a Homer. He has no peer in that department. :)

So a positive assessment makes him a "homer."

Would a negative assessment make him more credible?

AzStillers1989
07-16-2019, 07:26 AM
So a positive assessment makes him a "homer."

Would a negative assessment make him more credible?

No... I mean yes....Maybe?....I don’t know...

Oh wow
07-16-2019, 07:58 AM
So a positive assessment makes him a "homer."

Would a negative assessment make him more credible?
I think the lack of critical/negative assessment makes someone a homer.

RuthlessBurgher
07-16-2019, 10:08 AM
Yellow skin, bald head, five o'clock shadow, four fingers on each hand, immense craving for Duff beer and doughnuts...that's what makes someone a homer.

Or being a Greek philosopher. One or the other.

Steel Maniac
07-16-2019, 12:00 PM
No... I mean yes....Maybe?....I don’t know...

yeah; I know. Damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Been there.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-16-2019, 03:16 PM
I keep hearing people talk about the loss of Bell. I know I've mentioned this before, but it is laughable. His being gone from the 2018 team is the very definition of addition by subtraction. He provided nothing positive to the team last year by not playing. The only contributions he provided were negative.

As for AB, are you really looking for someone to replace his numbers, or are you looking for the offense to continue to produce? This will be where we find out a lot about Ben. I think that there are plenty of weapons on this O, and a line that will give him time to find someone.

While we have all anointed Ju Ju as the number one receiver, I don't think that he has the diva mindset that normally accompanies that designation. When AB saw tightened coverage he would be upset at not getting the ball. I believe that JJSS would be happy to watch the other receivers produce TDs as he receives double coverage, leaving them in space. I could see a scenario where his numbers drop over last year and the Steelers O still hums along. I could see games where he puts up 3-35 and still get the W because Washington, Moncrief, or Johnson puts up monster numbers - or the running backs thrive.

We should see an upgrade in the running game as Conner enters his third year, Samuels his second, and Snell hopefully finding his niche.

Can't wait for game 1.

RuthlessBurgher
07-16-2019, 04:25 PM
This will be where we find out a lot about Ben.

I already know enough about Ben at this point.

He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB before Brown and Bell.
He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB with Brown and Bell.
He'll continue to be a Hall of Fame caliber QB after Brown and Bell.

I've seen Ben produce with Plaxico.
I've seen Ben produce with Hines.
I've seen Ben produce with Santonio.
I've seen Ben produce with Wallace.
I've seen Ben produce with Brown.
I've seen Ben produce with Juju.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington, Antwaan Randle El, Jerricho Cotchery, Manny Sanders, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, etc., etc. etc.

I've seen Ben produce with the Bus.
I've seen Ben produce with Fast Willie.
I've seen Ben produce with Mendenhall.
I've seen Ben produce with Bell.
I've seen Ben produce with DeAngelo.
I've seen Ben produce with Conner.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Najeh Davenport, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LeGarrette Blount, etc., etc. etc.

The common denominator throughout all of this is Ben. He'll be more than fine.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
07-16-2019, 07:02 PM
I already know enough about Ben at this point.

He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB before Brown and Bell.
He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB with Brown and Bell.
He'll continue to be a Hall of Fame caliber QB after Brown and Bell.

I've seen Ben produce with Plaxico.
I've seen Ben produce with Hines.
I've seen Ben produce with Santonio.
I've seen Ben produce with Wallace.
I've seen Ben produce with Brown.
I've seen Ben produce with Juju.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington, Antwaan Randle El, Jerricho Cotchery, Manny Sanders, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, etc., etc. etc.

I've seen Ben produce with the Bus.
I've seen Ben produce with Fast Willie.
I've seen Ben produce with Mendenhall.
I've seen Ben produce with Bell.
I've seen Ben produce with DeAngelo.
I've seen Ben produce with Conner.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Najeh Davenport, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LeGarrette Blount, etc., etc. etc.

The common denominator throughout all of this is Ben. He'll be more than fine.

If you read this the right way it sounds like it could be Dr. Seuss....except for where you said hell. :)

I don't doubt that he will produce, I wonder if this year he will become more of a Brady - a game manager (meant as a compliment, not the insulting way he was referred to when he was younger). Will he thread the needle to Ju Ju when Conner is standing all alone in the flat? IMO that is what makes Brady who he is. Not the spectacular throws but the patience and vision to find Chris Hogan wide open for 180 and 2 TDs in the playoffs.

The Man of Steel
07-16-2019, 07:31 PM
I already know enough about Ben at this point.

He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB before Brown and Bell.
He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB with Brown and Bell.
He'll continue to be a Hall of Fame caliber QB after Brown and Bell.

I've seen Ben produce with Plaxico.
I've seen Ben produce with Hines.
I've seen Ben produce with Santonio.
I've seen Ben produce with Wallace.
I've seen Ben produce with Brown.
I've seen Ben produce with Juju.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington, Antwaan Randle El, Jerricho Cotchery, Manny Sanders, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, etc., etc. etc.

I've seen Ben produce with the Bus.
I've seen Ben produce with Fast Willie.
I've seen Ben produce with Mendenhall.
I've seen Ben produce with Bell.
I've seen Ben produce with DeAngelo.
I've seen Ben produce with Conner.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Najeh Davenport, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LeGarrette Blount, etc., etc. etc.

The common denominator throughout all of this is Ben. He'll be more than fine.
Best comment of the month so far. Kudos.

Oh wow
07-16-2019, 09:04 PM
I don’t think it’s laughable when discussing the loss of Bell. Our running game started out wrong but when we needed it the most it came up short.

Conner has yet to show he can play 15 games. He runs hard but when he makes a mistake he tends to turtle up instead of having a short memory.

Samuels is great at what ge does and pretty bad at what he doesn’t do which is pick up the blitz.

JuJu has the positive attitude but outside of Moncreif we have no idea if anyone is ready to step up in crunch time.

It’s going to be interesting and I have no idea what to expect this year but it should be a fun ride.

Steel Maniac
07-16-2019, 10:02 PM
I keep hearing people talk about the loss of Bell. I know I've mentioned this before, but it is laughable. His being gone from the 2018 team is the very definition of addition by subtraction. He provided nothing positive to the team last year by not playing. The only contributions he provided were negative.

As for AB, are you really looking for someone to replace his numbers, or are you looking for the offense to continue to produce? This will be where we find out a lot about Ben. I think that there are plenty of weapons on this O, and a line that will give him time to find someone.

While we have all anointed Ju Ju as the number one receiver, I don't think that he has the diva mindset that normally accompanies that designation. When AB saw tightened coverage he would be upset at not getting the ball. I believe that JJSS would be happy to watch the other receivers produce TDs as he receives double coverage, leaving them in space. I could see a scenario where his numbers drop over last year and the Steelers O still hums along. I could see games where he puts up 3-35 and still get the W because Washington, Moncrief, or Johnson puts up monster numbers - or the running backs thrive.

We should see an upgrade in the running game as Conner enters his third year, Samuels his second, and Snell hopefully finding his niche.

Can't wait for game 1.

well said; I could see the passing game being totally spread out in the manner you are saying.

skyhawk
07-17-2019, 01:03 AM
I already know enough about Ben at this point.

He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB before Brown and Bell.
He was a Hall of Fame caliber QB with Brown and Bell.
He'll continue to be a Hall of Fame caliber QB after Brown and Bell.

I've seen Ben produce with Plaxico.
I've seen Ben produce with Hines.
I've seen Ben produce with Santonio.
I've seen Ben produce with Wallace.
I've seen Ben produce with Brown.
I've seen Ben produce with Juju.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Cedrick Wilson, Nate Washington, Antwaan Randle El, Jerricho Cotchery, Manny Sanders, Markus Wheaton, Martavis Bryant, etc., etc. etc.

I've seen Ben produce with the Bus.
I've seen Ben produce with Fast Willie.
I've seen Ben produce with Mendenhall.
I've seen Ben produce with Bell.
I've seen Ben produce with DeAngelo.
I've seen Ben produce with Conner.

Hell, I've seen Ben produce with Duce Staley, Verron Haynes, Najeh Davenport, Mewelde Moore, Isaac Redman, Jonathan Dwyer, LeGarrette Blount, etc., etc. etc.

The common denominator throughout all of this is Ben. He'll be more than fine.

OMG this! This! This! Best comment of the past 10 years. When will people wise up? Oh wait, we have something to learn about Ben. LMAO!

I've never in my almost 45 years of football fandom has someone ignored a Hall of fame player more than this! The guy has done it all with all types of teams, players, defenses, coordinators, coaches. I think he is the best player/most pivotal player in Steelers history. However, I think the last 5 years he could have played better and finally be a QB that can score points at will. I have been disappointed in him to say the least. Addition by subtraction yes! I 've always thought Bell was a liability, and AB just got kuck-oo at the end!

Captain Lemming
07-17-2019, 01:57 AM
So a positive assessment makes him a "homer."

Would a negative assessment make him more credible?

No, I agree with most everything he says here, not critical at all. Heck I have said essentially the same thing.

Just chuckled at the homer comment as I have always considered him an over the top homer, that's all.

tiproast
07-17-2019, 07:40 AM
Yellow skin, bald head, five o'clock shadow, four fingers on each hand, immense craving for Duff beer and doughnuts...that's what makes someone a homer.

Or being a Greek philosopher. One or the other.

What about a round-tripper (a.k.a. a four-bagger)?

hawaiiansteel
07-24-2019, 01:41 AM
Joe Haden: ‘I Think It Is’ Going To Be Beneficial To Have Eliminated AB, Bell Controversy From Locker Room

By Matthew Marczi
Posted on July 23, 2019

Heading into his 10th NFL season, and now having competed for two different organizations, it’s fair to say that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden has been around the block a bit. In other words, when he has something to say within his purview, you can generally trust that he knows what he’s talking about, whether it’s about the game or the business of football.

He touched on both yesterday concerning his former teammate, current New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, when he made an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. He made it clear that he understood Bell’s position, but when pressed, also acknowledged that it created issues.

Separating Bell’s decision not to report as an extension of complications relative to his contract offer (e.g. the franchise tag) from Antonio Brown’s issues, Haden told Eisen, “Le’Veon’s situation was completely different because, just the way the Steelers do their contracts”. He said he felt Todd Gurley III’s contract changed things, and he added that he could see the logic for Bell.

According to reports, the Steelers offered Bell a five-year contract worth $15 million per season, on the high side of the multiple numbers reported. But that total figure of an estimated $75 million included only $20 million in virtually full guarantees, including a $10 million signing bonus and a $10 million roster bonus that would become due just days after signing (in other words, it served a bookkeeping purpose).

The contract that Bell signed does offer slightly more in virtually fully guaranteed salary, but appears otherwise to come up somewhat short of the reported high-side offer the Steelers extended to him last summer. Nevertheless, at the time, it was low enough for him to choose not to sign it, which was the first domino to fall in him not playing at all in 2018.

That led to weekly questions that his teammates had to field, and a number of them grew visibly and verbally strained in being volunteered to take up that task. That has become even more apparent this offseason. Eisen asked Haden if he felt having that aspect, and others, gone from the locker room in 2019 will be valuable to them.

“Yeah. Yeah I think it is”, he said. “I think we’re gonna be able to just literally focus on who’s in the locker room, who’s in there. Because now my boy, I like AB—he’s with the Raiders. I love Le’Veon—he’s with the Jets. You know what I’m saying? So now we can just really figure out what we got going on. [James Conner] be the best version of himself, [JuJu Smith-Schuster] be the best version of himself. Defense step up, and [Ben Roethlisberger], you know, come out and ball”.

The Steelers will no longer have the on-field talents of Brown and Bell, but they also won’t have the off-field complications that they brought along with them, and which have seemed to become more apparent in the aftermath of the dissolution of their relationships with the organization. Haden’s not the only one to see the advantages in that.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/joe-haden-i-think-it-is-going-to-be-beneficial-to-have-eliminated-ab-bell-controversy-from-locker-room/

Oviedo
07-24-2019, 09:18 AM
Joe Haden: ‘I Think It Is’ Going To Be Beneficial To Have Eliminated AB, Bell Controversy From Locker Room

By Matthew Marczi
Posted on July 23, 2019

Heading into his 10th NFL season, and now having competed for two different organizations, it’s fair to say that Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Joe Haden has been around the block a bit. In other words, when he has something to say within his purview, you can generally trust that he knows what he’s talking about, whether it’s about the game or the business of football.

He touched on both yesterday concerning his former teammate, current New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell, when he made an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. He made it clear that he understood Bell’s position, but when pressed, also acknowledged that it created issues.

Separating Bell’s decision not to report as an extension of complications relative to his contract offer (e.g. the franchise tag) from Antonio Brown’s issues, Haden told Eisen, “Le’Veon’s situation was completely different because, just the way the Steelers do their contracts”. He said he felt Todd Gurley III’s contract changed things, and he added that he could see the logic for Bell.

According to reports, the Steelers offered Bell a five-year contract worth $15 million per season, on the high side of the multiple numbers reported. But that total figure of an estimated $75 million included only $20 million in virtually full guarantees, including a $10 million signing bonus and a $10 million roster bonus that would become due just days after signing (in other words, it served a bookkeeping purpose).

The contract that Bell signed does offer slightly more in virtually fully guaranteed salary, but appears otherwise to come up somewhat short of the reported high-side offer the Steelers extended to him last summer. Nevertheless, at the time, it was low enough for him to choose not to sign it, which was the first domino to fall in him not playing at all in 2018.

That led to weekly questions that his teammates had to field, and a number of them grew visibly and verbally strained in being volunteered to take up that task. That has become even more apparent this offseason. Eisen asked Haden if he felt having that aspect, and others, gone from the locker room in 2019 will be valuable to them.

“Yeah. Yeah I think it is”, he said. “I think we’re gonna be able to just literally focus on who’s in the locker room, who’s in there. Because now my boy, I like AB—he’s with the Raiders. I love Le’Veon—he’s with the Jets. You know what I’m saying? So now we can just really figure out what we got going on. [James Conner] be the best version of himself, [JuJu Smith-Schuster] be the best version of himself. Defense step up, and [Ben Roethlisberger], you know, come out and ball”.

The Steelers will no longer have the on-field talents of Brown and Bell, but they also won’t have the off-field complications that they brought along with them, and which have seemed to become more apparent in the aftermath of the dissolution of their relationships with the organization. Haden’s not the only one to see the advantages in that.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/joe-haden-i-think-it-is-going-to-be-beneficial-to-have-eliminated-ab-bell-controversy-from-locker-room/

Can't wait to see the old #84 fail in Oakland and have a meltdown when he isn't getting the ball

Also want to see the old #26 fail in NY and show it was more about our OL and the attention opponents paid our QB and passing game that created opportunities for the old #26

RuthlessBurgher
07-24-2019, 10:34 AM
Ben Roethlisberger, JuJu Smith-Schuster plan to answer bell

1:13 AM ET

Jeremy Fowler
ESPN Staff Writer

The Pittsburgh Steelers open training camp on July 26 at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Here’s a closer look at a few storylines:

What more do the Steelers need from Ben Roethlisberger to flourish without Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell?

They need one of his best seasons of his 15-year career, for starters. The Steelers are relying on their 37-year-old veteran to offset the loss of serious weaponry. Roethlisberger has a way of elevating a supporting cast -- 11 different receivers have caught at least 100 passes in Pittsburgh's offense during the Big Ben era -- and he needs Vance McDonald, James Washington or someone else to become No. 12 soon enough. Expect Roethlisberger to rely on his no-huddle offense, mixing a quick-strike passing game with run checks at the line. He led the league with 5,129 passing yards in 2018, and don't be surprised if he contends for 5,000 once again.

Which Steelers veterans will get an extension before the regular season starts?

Four key defensive players -- Joe Haden, Sean Davis, Mike Hilton and Javon Hargrave -- each enter camp with one year left on their contracts. With $1.148 million in cap space, the Steelers might need to restructure veteran contracts to make the money work. Haden is a likely candidate. His $11.916 million cap number for 2019 makes his new deal more palatable, and he was one of the Steelers' best players last year. Hargrave and Davis are young, talented and reasonably affordable. Hilton, a two-year starter, hasn't signed his exclusive rights free-agent tender, which means he can't report to camp without a signature or a new deal.

Who is a veteran who could be in jeopardy of losing his job?

The roster is mostly set, but a few uncertainties remain, most notably cornerback Artie Burns, who's due an $800,000 roster bonus on the third day of camp. The former first-round pick plans to rebound after his 2018 benching, in Pittsburgh or elsewhere. The Steelers have their strongest corner depth in years and should employ a six-man rotation entering Week 1. After missing seven field goals and five extra points last year, Chris Boswell's $4.2 million cap hit could make him expendable, save for a strong preseason.

Where will rookie Devin Bush be in the Steelers' defense Week 1?

Over the middle as the starting inside linebacker, but that doesn't mean veteran Mark Barron is out of the mix. The Steelers can find room for Bush, Vince Williams and Barron, a free-agent addition who has safety experience. Stout play at camp will ensure Bush's playing time, but he showed his elite athleticism in offseason workouts and should have no problem adjusting, especially in pass defense. The stage is set for an 80-tackle season.

How will JuJu Smith-Schuster handle the anticipated Year 3 leap?

Smith-Schuster is aware that secondaries will be designed to stop him with bracketed coverages. He's ready for it, and the Steelers believe his football savvy will help him get open often despite the loss of Antonio Brown. But he'll need Donte Moncrief, James Washington and the supporting cast to help to loosen up one side of the field. The offense is at its best with multiple options thriving at once.

https://www.espn.com/blog/pittsburgh-steelers/post/_/id/30996/ben-roethlisberger-juju-smith-schuster-plan-to-answer-bell-for-steelers

Steel Maniac
07-24-2019, 01:24 PM
Can't wait to see the old #84 fail in Oakland and have a meltdown when he isn't getting the ball

Also want to see the old #26 fail in NY and show it was more about our OL and the attention opponents paid our QB and passing game that created opportunities for the old #26

Boom...............

hawaiiansteel
07-25-2019, 12:32 AM
Steelers Need ‘Significant Jumps’ In 2019 From These 7 Second-Year Players

By Dave Bryan
Posted on July 24, 2019

This year’s group of second-year players that are currently expected to make the 53-man roster obviously includes several members from last year’s draft class. That group also includes one notable undrafted free agent the team signed last year. With that, below is a look at this year’s group of second-year Steelers that will be expected to make significant jumps in 2019.

S Terrell Edmunds – If not for safety Morgan Burnett starting last season off injured, Edmunds, the team’s first-round draft pick last year, wouldn’t have had to start right out of the chute at one of the two safety spots and thus could have been brought along a bit slower. Not only did Edmunds have to start right out of the chute for the Steelers as a rookie, he wound up playing the second-most amount of defensive snaps on the team in 2018 as only fellow safety Sean Davis had more. Edmunds’ head was obviously spinning at times last season on his way to registering 78 total tackles, an interception and a sack. He was forced to learn on the fly and thus didn’t have a much fuller grasp of the defense until late in the season. He wasn’t able to play up to his expected speed because he was having to think quite a bit. With 16 games underneath his belt and a full offseason to get himself even better conditioned for an NFL season, Edmunds will be expected to make a significant jump in 2019. He’ll likely be asked to interchange safety positions some in 2019 and cover even more down low in the box. His now perceived complete understanding of the defense should allow him to play up to full speed and thus result in some big plays being made.

The Steelers safety depth chart isn’t very deep at all ahead of camp starting and while there will obviously be a lot of eyes on rookie inside linebacker Devin Bush and his ability to significantly impact the defense in 2019, Edmunds needs a lot of eyes on him as well. If Edmunds doesn’t make a significant jump in 2019, the roars related to the Steelers seemingly over-drafting him will be loud enough to break car windows.

WR James Washington – Washington’s 2018 rookie season wound up being extremely disappointing as last year’s second-round draft pick out of Oklahoma State wound up registering just 16 receptions for 217 yards and a touchdown despite playing a little more than 47% of all offensive snaps. At the very least, Washington, who was even benched for two games during his rookie season, ended his first NFL campaign on a very positive note as 8 of his receptions and 140 of his receiving yards came in the team’s final four games. He even had a few deep pass receptions late in his rookie season and that’s something he was known for doing quite a bit of during his very productive college career. In his second NFL season, Washington is likely to play quite extensive in personnel groupings that require three or more wide receivers with him getting most of his reps at the Z position. With wide receiver Antonio Brown now gone and with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster now expected to get most of the attention from opposing defenses in 2019, Washington should have a lot of opportunities to win down the field against average and below-average cornerbacks. He needs to be the team’s field-stretcher and also become a better extended play option for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

T Chukwuma Okorafor – The Steelers young second-year tackle out of Western Michigan wound up playing a lot more than most thought he would during his rookie season. That was mainly a result of tackle Marcus Gilbert missing a lot of last season due to an injury.

While Okorafor wasn’t chosen to be the player to replace Gilbert at the starting right tackle last season, as that distinction went to Matt Feiler, he did see a decent amount of offensive snaps as an extra tight end. Okorafor, however, did make one start later in his rookie season due to Feiler being banged up. He was provided a lot of help in that game against the Denver Broncos, however, and with good reason because of him having to square off quite a bit against their premier edge-rusher Von Miller. With Okorafor being a third-round draft pick, the expectation is that he should beat out Feiler this summer for the open starting right tackle spot that was created with the offseason trading away of Gilbert. It will be really disappointing if he’s unable to do that. Assuming he does win that starting spot, Okorafor will be expected to make even more significant improvements as the 2019 progresses. He’ll easily be considered the weakest link on the Steelers offensive line until he proves otherwise. That proving needs to happen quickly.

QB Mason Rudolph– Obviously, nobody reading this post wants to see Rudolph have to play any meaningful snaps during the 2019 season because that would mean that something happened to Roethlisberger. That said, the Steelers will always be one snap away from having their number-two quarterback being on the field. Will Rudolph be the Steelers number-two in 2019? That should be the expectations due to the team spending a third-round draft pick on him in 2018. The Steelers maintain that they had a first-round grade on Rudolph, who like Washington, played his college football at Oklahoma State. The Steelers also drafted Rudolph just one year after they selected their other backup quarterback from last season, Joshua Dobbbs, in the fourth-round in the 2017 NFL Draft. Dobbs beat out Rudolph last season for the right to back up Roethlisberger and a repeat of that better not happen again. If it does, the Steelers shouldn’t be thrilled at all by that. Rudolph should get plenty of playing time during the preseason along with Dobbs. He needs to very visibly be the better of the two quarterbacks in those four games.

S Marcus Allen – Allen’s 2018 rookie season was essentially a red shirt one after being selected in the fifth round as the Penn State product spent all but two games on the inactive list. Not only did Allen play just less than 20 defensive snaps during his rookie season, he only logged 12 special teams snaps as well. In his second season in the NFL, Allen should be expected to dress for every game. Can he be the team’s dime safety this year? That’s what the early expectations seem to be when it comes to what Tomlin has said this past offseason. He’ll likely be expected to be the first safety off the bench in some instances during his second season and be a core special teams player to boot. We know so little about Allen as a Steelers player to date due to him being inactive most of his rookie season. At the very least, Allen should be expected to be a special teams demon for the Steelers in 2019 and the team certainly could use another one of those. We’ll learn a lot more about Allen over the course of the next six weeks. Hopefully that learning about includes several significant plays being made by him.

RB Jaylen Samuels – Nobody would have dreamed after Samuels was selected in the fifth-round last year that he would go on to see a significant amount of playing time during his rookie season. However, thanks to running back Le’Veon Bell deciding to sit out the 2018 season, Samuels wound up becoming the main backup to fellow running back James Conner as the season progressed. After Conner went down injured late last season, Samuels was thrust into the starting role. While the Steelers only managed to win one of the three games that Samuels started late last season, the North Carolina State product didn’t disappoint in his playing time as both a runner and a pass catcher. Samuels’ rookie season ended with him having registered 256 rushing yards and 199 receiving yards. He also scored three touchdowns as a rookie and all three came via receptions.

Samuels played almost 24% of all special teams snaps last season and that percentage might increase a little in his second season. He will also likely be the backup to Conner at the start of the 2019 regular season and see a series or two of offensive action on a weekly basis. His patient running style and receiving ability should make for a nice compliment to Conner, who doesn’t need to be overworked in 2019. Samuels is primed for a bigger statistic line in his second season as a result of lot more meaningful playing time.

OLB Olasunkanmi Adeniyi – If not for a hamstring injury that he suffered last year during the preseason, Adeniyi probably would have seen some meaningful playing time on defense as the year progressed. After all, last year’s undrafted free agent out of Toledo really represented himself well in the exhibition games not only as a pass rusher, but as a run defender as well. However, the hamstring injury Adeniyi suffered resulted in him spending a good portion of 2018 on the team’s Reserve/Injured list and that of course resulted in way too many missed practices and him falling way behind the proverbial fast-moving train.


https://steelersdepot.com/2019/07/steelers-need-significant-jumps-in-2019-from-these-7-second-year-players/