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Thread: Dirty red

  1. #141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oviedo View Post
    He looks to me like a better version of Chickillo. Maybe I'm wrong but I think predictions of him being the next Kevin Greene are totally unfounded.
    Well.....
    Technically, Kevin Greene IS a better version of Chickillo.

    Or since Greene was first, Chickillo is an inferior version of Greene.

  2. #142
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    Tyler Matakevich Made Splash Plays Throughout Spring

    By Matthew Marczi
    Posted on June 29, 2019

    Did you feel that you were lacking coverage of Tyler Matakevich lately? I hope you were, because if so, then I have the antidote for you. The fourth-year inside linebacker, who has cut his teeth so far almost entirely on special teams, may seem resigned to the reality that it’s unlikely he’ll see much of any time on defense any time soon, but according to observers of the team’s spring practices, that hasn’t stopped him from putting his best foot forward. Or his best hands.

    Brian Batko had an article on him a little over a week ago that I talked about a bit in minor detail. What I left out was the observation of his playing through OTAs and mandatory minicamp.

    Batko notes that ‘Dirty Red’ recorded three interceptions for the defense in the spring—and that’s not necessarily out of character for him. Remember, during his college career, he did have seven interceptions, including a whopping five during his senior season for Temple. He was also a tackling machine with 493 during his college career.

    So why is a linebacker who recorded a high volume of tackles and produced turnovers—he also had four forced fumbles—not being given the chance to make much headroom on the defensive side of the ball? Well, the college game simply differs from the NFL in too many ways in order for a player of his physical assets to be able to transfer easily against this level of skill.

    That’s why the Steelers brought in not one, not two, but three linebackers during this offseason, all of whom are a significant upgrade in the athleticism column to Matakevich. That started with Mark Barron as a free agent addition, and all you need to know about him in this regard is that he spent his first several years in the league as a safety.

    Even with Barron in-house, Pittsburgh moved up aggressively in the draft to get the very athletic Devin Bush out of Michigan with the 10th-overall selection, a player who can easily be seen as a day-one starter, or at least contributor. To him, they added Ulysees Gilbert III out of Akron in the sixth round, another very athletic linebacker.

    Where does that leave Matakevich? On special teams, of course, where he has made a name for himself. Make no mistake, he is an above average player for the team in that phase of the game and earns his roster spot in that manner.

    But as a competitor, I’m sure that he’s always going to see himself as a linebacker, just waiting for his number to be called. And Mike Tomlin makes sure to call his number during practices, as Batko wrote, even calling out plays to make sure the play goes Matakevich’s way, and letting him know it’s up to him to make the stop.

    And to his credit, he has made the plays this spring. That included some pass deflections as well, one of which was converted into an interception by Mike Hilton. It’s hard to envision a scenario in which he sees the field on defense this season, at least without disastrous circumstances; but nevertheless, it’s great to see the sort of passion that still remains within him for what he does.

    https://steelersdepot.com/2019/06/ty...ughout-spring/

  3. #143
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    Hard choices will have to be made soon about who makes the roster and who doesn’t.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  4. #144
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    Wait, Matakevich the mentor? Better believe it

    By Hunter Homistek
    Posted on July 10, 2019

    Tyler Matakevich is a goofball in the best possible way.

    "Dirty Red" is constantly engaged in the locker room, cracking jokes and cuttin' it up with his Steelers teammates. Drafted in the seventh round of the 2016 NFL Draft out of Temple, Matakevich has made just one career start, largely handling special teams duties as a pro.

    But even for Matakevich — a guy who oozes positivity and fun — something feels different and even more exciting this year inside the locker room. Throughout OTAs and minicamp at the Rooney Complex, players talked of team chemistry and their strengthened bonds as teammates.

    “I think we’re just goofballs,” T.J. Watt was telling me, even stealing my words in the process. “We hang out a lot off the field and I think that kind of builds that relationship. There’s nothing fake out here. This is all real emotion. We truly care about each and every guy out here, and I think that’s why you see us having so much fun.”

    Matakevich, a guy who seemingly gets along with everyone, recognizes it all, too. I asked him if the team genuinely feels closer this year or if it's just the general excitement of getting back in the facility fueling all the laughs and camaraderie.

    "For sure, bro. Everyone's definitely as close — a lot closer, actually — since I've been here," Matakevich was telling me at his locker. "Guys are just hanging around at the facility a little longer. Guys, I know at least with the linebackers, we're always doing something at least once or twice a week, sometimes more. But we're always constantly doing something outside of the building. People might not think it's much, but that is huge for the young guys."

    There's proof to support Matakevich's words. In mid-May, the Steelers held a steak cookoff challenge and filmed the special event for the team's YouTube channel. Several players involved — including Matakevich, Watt, Bud Dupree, Stephon Tuitt and Cam Heyward — also posted about it all over social media. But Matakevich ensured me that wasn't done for PR or for the team to boost its social media engagement numbers.

    That was simply the 2019 Steelers being the 2019 Steelers — a group of tight-knit friends hanging out beyond the gridiron. Oh, and before you click the video, take note of Matakevich messing with somebody off-camera as the question begins. We weren't kidding about that whole "goofball" stuff:

    Matakevich, at 26 and entering his fourth year in the league, is a young guy by almost any standard. But among the inside linebackers currently jockeying for position, he holds an experience advantage. Rookies Devin Bush and Ulysees Gilbert are brand new, as is Mark Barron, who, despite owning eight years of experience at the NFL level, was just acquired by the Steelers during free agency.

    As such, Matakevich has taken on a bit of a mentor role for the fresh crop, and it's something he's embracing early.

    "It's huge, man. It's honestly been huge," Matakevich was saying. "All different guys — whether linebackers or different positions, safeties, d-line — they're just always asking you questions and stuff like that, what to expect. What should I do here? What do I gotta do here? It's just funny how that circle keeps going around and around. I remember asking a bunch of guys for help, what I should do, how I could do things better, and they'd give me little tips. Now guys are asking me for tips, yet I'm still asking some of the older guys [too]. Every time I see an older vet, I'm still asking him for some tips. So it's just funny how all that stuff comes around and works around."

    And despite his affable nature and his team-first mentality, Matakevich understands it's time to get selfish as training camp approaches. The team will kick off the festivities July 25 in Latrobe, and from there it's a battle for playing time, and for their careers. With Matakevich having experienced this grind before, he says he feels prepared.

    "The mentality doesn't change — the only thing that changes is you just know what to expect," Matakevich said. "You know what it takes and you know what you're going to get each and every day out of practice. You know what works better for you in the offseason. What can I do that's going to help me? Or, what don't I have to do that didn't help me so much? Each year that goes by, it just makes things much easier."

    https://www.dkpittsburghsports.com/2...ker-mentor-hh/

  5. #145
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    So he's mentoring the guys who are trying to take his job? okay.
    From the 2010-2018 season, (An 8 year period that the majority of Cowher's players & coaches had left) Mike Tomlin has only won 3 playoff games. And two of those wins were against back up Quarterbacks. Our history has been defined by what we do in the postseason; not the regular season.

  6. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Maniac View Post
    So he's mentoring the guys who are trying to take his job? okay.
    Like any NFL player who has ever taken a rookie under his wing.
    Steeler teams featuring stat-driven, me-first, fantasy-football-darling diva types such as Antonio Brown & Le'Veon Bell won no championships.

    Super Bowl winning Steeler teams were built around a dynamic, in-your-face defense plus blue-collar, hard-hitting, no-nonsense football players on offense such as Hines Ward & Jerome Bettis.

    We don't want Juju & Conner to replace what we lost in Brown & Bell.

    We are counting on Juju & Conner to return us to the glory we once had with Hines & The Bus.

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