Jimmy Johnson answers whether Jerry Jones will present him at Pro Football Hall of Fame induction

Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach Jimmy Johnson revealed on Twitter who will be presenting him at the Pro Football Hall of Fame ceremony.

       

Keep reading this sports article on USA Today - NFL Top Stories.

Eric Dickerson says he will pass along fans' concerns on Los Angeles Rams' new logo

The Los Angeles Rams unveiled a new logo this week, and the Internet’s response was overwhelmingly negative. 

Between the memes and social media shots, Hall of Fame running back and former Rams great Eric Dickerson — who signed his message “The Rambassador”  — said he planned on taking fans’ suggestions straight to the front office and tweeted two alternative logos. 

“(Rams) fans, I reviewed your comments regarding our new logos and share in your disappointment,” Dickerson wrote. “I’ll be speaking with the Rams on our behalf. Please like if you prefer the logo on the left and retweet to vote for the logo on the right.”

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Rams general manager Kevin Demoff had some fun with the backlash this week, turning it into a charity opportunity: if donations to a charity telethon for coronavirus relief eclipsed $2 million, he’d read mean tweets (the drive eclipsed that goal on Tuesday). 

“If some self-deprecating humor and people taking shots at me can raise money for someone who needs a meal, that’s the best thing I can do with my time,” Demoff told USA TODAY Sports’ Jarrett Bell earlier this week.

“When you unveil something that’s a little different, people have to warm up and get used to that. I think some people will come around to the change and obviously we will look forward and try to make sure the feedback is incorporated in the best way possible.”

From 1983-86, Dickerson was an All-Pro in three of his four full seasons with the Rams. He rushed for 7,245 yards and scored 58 total touchdowns in that span. 

Keep reading this sports article on USA Today - NFL Top Stories.

How accurate were the Pro Football Focus grades for the Steelers offense in 2019?

Pittsburgh Steelers v New York JetsPhoto by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

Some people swear by PFF rankings while others give them no weight at all, but the real answer is probably somewhere in between when it comes to grading the Steelers offense

As the NFL offseason presses on, fans are evaluating how players from their favorite team performed in 2019 in order to determine how they view the position both continuing in free agency and going into the draft. While some positions have much easier data to compare, others are very difficult to quantify with statistics. With many of these positions, fans often turn to the Pro Football Focus (PFF) player grades they issue for the season. There are many fans who swear by the rankings while others dismiss them completely. So how much can fans truly trust these grades?

The first thing which is needed is to understand how PFF breaks down each player in order to come up with an overall score. The first installment looking into PFF grades was two weeks ago just before the flurry of free agent activity began and it explained the process of how PFF determines their grades. This time, we are going to look at some of the PFF grades of the Steelers offense from 2019 to help determine how accurate their scores could be.

For this exercise, we will look at the ranking and scores at the offensive positions for the Steelers’ players. The top ranked player as well as the number of players ranked will be listed. Fullback was not included as the Steelers did not have a qualifying player. These numbers are merely presented in order to help you draw your own conclusion. All scores are courtesy of pff.com.


Quarterbacks:

Top Ranked: Russell Wilson (92.0)
Number Ranked: 37
35: Mason Rudolph (53.0)
37: Devlin Hodges (45.8)
N/A: Ben Roethlisberger (49.0)

Of all the quarterback who played enough snaps to qualify (about 315), the Steelers young QB’s ranked as two of the bottom three. The only player who separated them was Washington’s Kyle Allen.


Running Backs:

Top Ranked: Nick Chubb (88.7)
Number Ranked: 58
21: James Conner (73.6)
55: Jaylen Samuels (54.4)
N/A: Benny Snell Jr (67.2)

Snell did not reach the 260 snaps in took to qualify in the rankings. Had he been included, he would have been placed just ahead of Todd Gurley (67.0) as well as Melvin Gordon (66.0), LeSean McCoy (65.4), and Leonard Fournette (64.0).


Wide Receivers:

Top Ranked: Chris Godwin (90.7)
Number Ranked: 122
59: James Washington (69.3)
65: Diontae Johnson (67.9)
85: JuJu Smith-Schuster (63.1)
108: Deon Cain (55.6)

Johnson’s receiving score was slightly higher than Washington’s, but Washington ranked in the top 25 in run blocking among qualifying NFL receivers.


Tight Ends:

Top Ranked: George Kittle (94.4)
Number Ranked: 66
64: Nick Vannett (48.2)
T-65: Vance McDonald (45.3)

2019 was a difficult year to evaluate much of the Steelers’ offense, especially tight ends. McDonald tied for last among qualifying players with Vannett only one spot above.


Tackles:

Top Ranked: Ryan Ramczyk (90.9)
Number Ranked: 81
20: Matt Feiler (75.2)
24: Alejandro Villanueva (74.0)
N/A: Zach Banner (78.3)
N/A: Chukwuma Okorafor: (58.3)

Banner was about 100 snaps short of qualifying in the rankings which would have put him around 15th even with a very low pass blocking score. The Steelers were one of the six NFL teams with both tackles ranked in the top 25.


Guard:

Top Ranked: Brandon Brooks (92.9)
Number Ranked: 81
15: David DeCastro (71.0)
50: Ramon Foster (59.0)

It can be noted Stefen Wisniewski ranked 16th with a score of 70.9 just behind DeCastro.


Center:

Top Ranked: Jason Kelce (81.1)
Number Ranked: 37
32: B.J. Finney (56.9)
36: Maurkice Pouncey (51.5)

Not only was Pouncey’s score the lowest on the Steelers’ offensive line, his individual scores in both run blocking and pass blocking were lowest of all the Steelers’ starters.


So do you think PFF grades are reliable source in evaluating a player’s performance based on their assessment of the Steelers offense? Did the players score where you expected? Please vote in the poll and leave your thoughts in the comments below.

2020 NFL Mock Draft: 4 Round mock has the Steelers thinking defense with their top pick

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Utah at UCLAPhoto by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t have a first round pick, but their three picks in the top four rounds will certainly frustrate many fans.

The 2020 NFL Draft is going to go off as scheduled, it might look different but will still be held at the end of April. With this announcement coming from Roger Goodell this past week, it brings more validity to the practice of mock drafts. While mock drafts are simply guesses as to what will happen, it does create some great discussion for fan bases.

In the latest 4-round mock draft by Chad Reuter of NFL.com, he has the Pittsburgh Steelers going all over the map when it pertains to their top three picks in the process.

Check out who Reuter has slated to the Steelers, and a synopsis of the player below their name from their NFL Draft Profile.

Round 1

No Pick (Well, Minkah Fitzpatrick)


Round 2

Bradlee Anae – Edge

School: Utah | Year: Senior

Overview

Anae’s tape tends to grow on you the more you watch with his revved-up motor and salty disposition showing up in every game. He’s fairly skilled and instinctive as an upfield rusher with a threatening upfield burst and a relatively diverse approach to climbing past tackles. He’s not a natural bender or the longest edge defender and he’s much better at attacking blockers than defending his territory against the run. He has the size, hands and strength to play standing or with a hand down, but may have a better chance of becoming a starter as a rush linebacker in a 3-4.


Round 3

Jalen Hurts – QB

School: Oklahoma | Year: Senior

Overview

Like Tim Tebow, Hurts is a winning dual-threat quarterback known for his strength, toughness and character. Hurts is a more accurate passer and better runner than Tebow but is inconsistent as a decision-maker and tends to break the pocket when throws are there to be made. His deep-ball touch and intermediate accuracy improved this year so teams may see him as a developmental talent who will keep getting better in the right scheme. He’ll struggle to beat NFL defenses from the pocket, but his ability to grind out yards on the ground and make off-schedule plays should make him a solid backup with upward mobility.


Round 4

Quintez Cephus – WR

School: Wisconsin | Year: Juniorvg

Overview

After missing all of 2018, Cephus got right back into the swing of things culminating with memorable games against Ohio State and Oregon. Size and body positioning create workable windows in tight quarters and his ball skills build trust with the quarterback. He’s a build-up runner who lacks suddenness to uncover and may need to be motioned, bunched, and lined in the slot to help with early separation. Teams know he can catch it but will need to see him get open. Cephus is a possession receiver with the profile of a capable WR3/4.


How would you feel if this is how the top three picks went for the Pittsburgh Steelers? Would you be happy? Frustrated? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comment section below, and be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black-and-gold.

How the deployment of Terrell Edmunds is the key to the Steelers 2020 NFL Draft

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at San Francisco 49ersThe Steelers third year safety may be the key to figuring out the teams biggest draft need. | Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A new role for Edmunds could see the Steelers go in a direction Steelers fans weren’t expecting

Many Pittsburgh Steelers fans have been pining for the team to chase a running back like JK Dobbins or a wide out like Jalen Reagor in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. The team’s biggest defensive needs appear to be adding depth players to its safety and linebacking corps, so naturally adding talent to an offense that struggled without Ben Roethlisberger would be the most obvious decision.

However, I do expect the Steelers to utilize the size and skill set of Terrell Edmunds in multiple situations at the inside linebacker position. He’s best in coverage inside the box, and would make the most sense for the team to play Edmunds down and take Vince Williams off the field in passing situations.

This leaves a substantial hole at strong safety as Jordan Dangerfield, a predominantly special teams player, as the top option.

Here is where the 49th pick of the draft could result in Pittsburgh killing two birds with one stone.

Cal safety, Ashtyn Davis is the 49th prospect on the Sports Illustrated big board and if he falls into the Steelers lap he could quite possibly be the guy.

Davis is an athletic freak that excels in zone coverage and possess great recovery speed. A tough tackler, and scouts rave about his character.

Pairing Davis with Minkah Fitzpatrick in the back end would be a scary turnover creating duo while allowing Edmunds to play a role where he would excel.

Davis is also a more than willing special teamer, twice being named Cal’s special teams MVP.

NCAA Football: California at UtahGabe Mayberry-USA TODAY Sports
Davis pulled in 7 interceptions in his college career and broke up 12 passes for Cal

If the Steelers draft Davis I’d expect him to be the top backup at both safety positions, a situational third safety, a special teams beast, and someone who will push Terrell Edmunds for starts.

What do you think? Should the Steelers target Ashtyn Davis with the 49th pick? Let us know in the comments below!

BTSC Watch Party: 2018 Week 15 vs New England

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

The first game of the BTSC Watch Party is the 17-10 Steelers victory over the Patriots in 2018

Welcome to the BTSC watch party! You’re just in time to catch all the action for the first game Behind The Steel Curtain will view and re-live together. In order to join in on the fun, the first step is to make sure you have a signed up for your free subscription to NFL Game Pass which will last through the end of May. In doing so, you will have access to all NFL games dating back to 2009. If you have not yet signed up for Game Pass, click HERE.

Here’s how the process will work. We will all watch the first game sometime between now and next Thursday. On Thursday morning, Behind The Steel Curtain will publish the next article to discuss key elements from the game in the comment section. Additionally, the next game to be watched will be announced. So whatever you do, make sure you scroll all the way to the end of this article in order to vote on the next game to be a part of the watch party.

Another suggestion to enhance our viewing for the next game was by BTSC editor Jeff Hartman. He proposed the notion of doing the watch party at a specific time where we will create an article with an open thread much like those during Steeler games throughout the season. To see if others are interested in viewing the games in this manner, there is an additional pole at the end of the article. If so, the watch parties will be at 8 PM on Thursdays and at 1 PM on Sunday afternoons.

Now on to the game! The game which we will be viewing this week is…


2018 Week 15
New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers

December 16, 2018
Result: Steelers 17 Patriots 10

Finally getting over the hump to take down “that team up north,” the Steelers relied on strong defensive play and a key fourth quarter interception in order to secure the victory. It was also the career highlight of running back Jaylen Samuels who rushed for 142 yards on 19 carries as James Conner missed the game due to injury. It was an electric atmosphere at Heinz Field (I was in attendance at this game), and the Steelers stepped up to the plate on the big stage.

Things to consider when watching the game:

  1. What was the key moment in the game which led to the Steelers victory?
  2. Was there any particular player who stood out for having an exceptional game?
  3. Was there one particular play which kept the Steelers from a more decisive victory?
  4. Was there a moment in the game where everything went the Steelers way and if not it could have been a turning point?
  5. What was your most favorite moment of the game?

Of course, these questions are simply designed to start discussion. Be prepared on Thursday to give any of your thoughts about the game.


Make sure you let us know which game you would like to have for the next Steelers watch party. Articles will be on Sundays and Thursdays. If there’s a particular game not on the list, please leave the suggestion in the comments below so it can be included in the next article.

Podcast: The other side of the Steelers/Dolphins Minkah Fitzpatrick trade

In the latest episode of “Steelers 1-on-1” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the week that was.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 season is almost here, and news is heating up. With a surge of Steelers news, it was time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast Steelers 1-on-1. On this show Jeff Hartman interviews Danny Renn to talk about all things black-and-gold, but specifically the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade.

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • The other side of the Steelers/Dolphins trade
  • Minkah Fitzpatrick the troublemaker?
  • Tom Brady out of the AFC
  • NFL Schedule news
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Max Starks walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Spotify: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Black and Gold Links: What will the new-look NFL Draft look like for the Steelers?

NFL DraftPhoto by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over. After finishing the year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, has another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how this new-look NFL Draft will look for the Steelers and the rest of the NFL…

Let’s get to the news:

  • With the NFL deciding to keep the Draft at the same dates, you have to wonder what this new-look draft will even look like…

Mel Kiper Jr., Steelers’ Kevin Colbert weigh in on new-look NFL Draft

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

With the bravado of a 19th century ringmaster, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last week proclaimed the show must go on as it pertains to the league’s annual draft.

Amid the escalating coronavirus pandemic, the seven-round event will proceed as scheduled, April 23-25, even though the draft no longer will be held in Las Vegas and will be devoid of the circus-like atmosphere it had garnered in recent years.

Teams will make picks remotely and, if the NFL doesn’t reopen team facilities by then, each organization’s scouts and coaches won’t convene in the proverbial war room to provide input on potential picks and evaluate possible trades. Prospects and their families will not convene at a draft site, meaning no first-round picks will walk across the stage and get a customary bear hug from Goodell.

The process will be akin to an online fantasy football draft, which is a reason the NFL general manager subcommittee recommended having it delayed.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


Char Valley grad Christian Kuntz ready for 2nd chance with Steelers after XFL run

By: Chuck Curti, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Christian Kuntz’s foray into the XFL produced the desired result.

Kuntz, a Chartiers Valley and Duquesne graduate, signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday, two weeks after the XFL canceled its season after five games because of concerns over the spread of covid-19. Kuntz played long snapper for the Dallas Renegades, not only showing off those skills but also his ability to cover kicks.

The sample size was small, but it was enough to convince the Steelers to give Kuntz another chance. He spent 16 days with the team last summer, playing in the preseason finale against the Carolina Panthers before being cut.

Kuntz (6-foot-2, 237 pounds) said he didn’t get an indication from the Steelers where he will be needed. His path to long snapper could be blocked by three-year veteran Kameron Canaday, but there are holes to fill in coverage.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • Stefen Wisniewski is absolutely living the dream heading back to his hometown team, the black-and-gold.

Wisniewski is living the dream

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

When Stefen Wisniewski announced he was signing with the Steelers on his Twitter account, he was proudly sporting a Steelers hat showing the love not just for his new team, but his hometown team he grew up cheering for.

And the thought of course was, it was a hat he or his family had sitting around the house.

Not the case.

”I went out to Walmart and grabbed one,” said Wisniewski from his home in State College, Pa. “That is one of the good things about being near your hometown team. They have Steelers gear everywhere.”

And that wasn’t the only thing he has been sporting lately that is black and gold.

”I started wearing Steelers gear again. It’s been a while,” said Wisniewski. “I had to buy some new stuff. I grew a little bit since the last time I was wearing Steelers gear. My wife, Hilary, is pulling out a lot of her Steelers sweatshirts that she had in her closet. She is a Pittsburgher as well.”

For Wisniewski, signing with the Steelers as an unrestricted free agent has been a dream come true. He is a Pittsburgher, growing up in South Fayette and attending Central Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. He grew up a Steelers fan, attending games at Heinz Field. Now, he will be playing there.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)


  • BTSC articles you may have missed…

The best remaining free agents the Steelers might be interested in

Why the Steelers shouldn’t even considering bringing in Martavis Bryant

Devin Bush’s man cave is amazing, and awesome

Another day, another XFL player signed by the Steelers


  • Social Media Madness

Welcome to the BTSC Steelers watch party!

NFL: NOV 10 Rams at SteelersPhoto by Shelley Lipton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

With no sports on TV and NFL Game Pass offered for free through May, it’s time for BTSC to view some Steelers games and break them down

It’s a worst case scenario for sports fans at this time. Not only are we confined to are living spaces for much more time than we are accustomed, there are no live professional sports on television to help us get through these tough times. In order to get our sports fix, our only option is to view replays of old games of various sports.

Luckily, the NFL has stepped up in this time of crisis and is offering free access to NFL Game Pass through the end of May. With the availability to watch every NFL game since 2009, fans can view the condensed version, the full game replay, or the All-22 version. It all comes down to personal preference. But where do we start?

For me, I began thinking about looking at old games when NFL Network replayed Super Bowl XL Wednesday night. Although I did not catch the replay when it was shown, luckily my DVR picked it up for me and I have the game at my fingertips for my viewing pleasure.

In talking with BTSC editor Jeff Hartman about viewing replays of Steelers’ games, I mentioned to him the various things I look for when I watch. As the discussion continued, he suggested the idea of doing a “watch party” for BTSC. Of course, I was ready to run with the idea!

Here is how it will work:

There will be a number of polls at the conclusion of this article in order to set up what is best for the majority of the BTSC community. What games are we wanting to view? How far back are we wanting to go? How often do we want to come together in the comments section and discuss a game? Do we want to go a specific number of days, or do it on specific days of the week? These are the things which will be decided by all of you.

On Sunday morning, we will run our first watch party article with the results of the polls which will determine how the process will continue. At that time, we will announce the first game we will watch when convenient, have a poll for the next game to watch, and when the follow up article will be published where everyone can put their thoughts in the comments. We will also feature some specific things to look for in the game in order to engage in the conversation.

If you’re not sure exactly what we’re talking about, just think of it as a book club but instead of having to read a book, you get to watch a Steelers game.

So now it’s up to you, BTSC! Check out the polls below and help us get this rolling. Also, if you have more thoughts on the subject of how to make this the best possible for the community, leave them in the comments below!

If you want to get better prepared, you can go ahead and activate your complementary access to NFL Game Pass simply by clicking HERE.

For which game to chose, I stuck with either the first game of 2019 to go through the whole season in order, or the Steelers’ first win of the season. Other choices include signature wins from 2018. Please leave suggestions for games in the comments to be included in the next poll.