The 2020 Steelers from A to Z: Zach Banner

Cleveland Browns v Pittsburgh SteelersPhoto by: 2019 Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Breaking down every player one-by-one alphabetically on the Steelers current 90-man roster

We are on to part 5 of our 90-part series— assuming the roster does not change before we are complete— which will break down each player of the Steelers current 90-man roster in alphabetical order. This series will encompass many aspects of each players game and their current role with the team. At the end, I’ll give some projected stats as well as their chances to make the 53-man roster.

Today we’re featuring the most eligible tackle in the NFL:

Zach Banner

Position: OT
Height: 6’ 8”
Weight: 360 lbs
College: Southern California
Draft: 4th round, 137 overall in 2017 (Indianapolis)


2019 stats

14 Games played
1 Start


Contract remaining

Expires in 2020

$1,750,000 salary cap number (0.87% of total cap)
$0 dead money
$1,750,000 cap savings if cut


Likelihood of making the roster

Lock. Banner isn’t going anywhere, in fact he’s going to be entrenched in one of the more interesting position battles of training camp. Not to mention Banner is one of the most beloved members on the Steelers roster, public outcry would be far-reaching if he were cut. Whether he’s the starting tackle or continues at swing tackle I fully believe Banner will be a member of the Steelers 2020 roster.


2020 projection

With the additions of guards Stefen Wisniewski and Kevin Dotson, it feels less likely Matt Feiler will slide into the guard spot which, in-turn, could open up a spot for Banner to start. The most likely scenario appears to be Wisniewski sliding around the interior line depending on injury, Chukwuma Okorafor being the primary tackle back-up and Banner playing the slide tackle.


Projected stats:

14 games played
2 starts
1 target
1 reception
35 yards (Completely wide open and untouched)


Summary

Zach Banner will hear cheers ring out not only when he’s being announced as eligible on the field, but when Ben Roethlisberger dumps off a pass to him in the flat and then rumbles for a big gain. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is an inevitably! Banner will also continue his growth as an NFL player, whether or not he gets the opportunity to start for the Steelers in 2020, he will get the opportunity in 2021 either in Pittsburgh or elsewhere.


Previously Highlighted

Ola Adeniyi
Marcus Allen
Tyson Alualu
Trajan Bandy

Preseason Top 25: No. 1 Clemson again the team to beat in 2020 behind Trevor Lawrence, loaded offense

With a handful of teams starting the year with claim as “best in the country,” Clemson actually begins as the No. 1 team in our Preseason CBS Sports 130 rankings. And it’s certainly no surprise to see the Tigers take the No. 1 spot.

There’s a worthy discussion for Clemson or Ohio State, but the Tigers won that argument on the field in the Fiesta Bowl last December. Trevor Lawrence may have suffered his first loss as a starting college quarterback in the College Football Playoff National Championship against LSU, but that lone defeat is not changing his outlook for what should be another year of title contention for the Tigers. 

Clemson started the 2019 season as the No. 1 team in the CBS Sports 130 as well only to see its stock take a hit after escaping with

Wizards' Beal: Trade rumors 'a sign of respect'

9:50 AM ET

Even in the middle of a pandemic, when nobody is playing, Bradley Beal‘s name still emerged in trade rumors.

The New York Daily News last week reported that the Brooklyn Nets have had “internal discussions” about pursuing the 26-year-old Wizards guard, who signed a two-year, $72 million extension in October.

“It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” Beal told ESPN. “It’s interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I’ve been doing good things and guys want to play with me.

“That’s an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] want you, s—, that’s amazing. At the same time, you don’t know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I’ve put down roots in D.C. I’ve dedicated myself to this town, this community. I

Mason Rudolph is helpless to restore his reputation

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland BrownsPhoto by Jason Miller/Getty Images

The Steelers reserve quarterback wants to prove his worth to those questioning his talent and character, but a shadow will continue to linger

Here’s a question for the BTSC community: How do you prove something that never happened actually never happened? It is impossible to prove, or disprove for that matter, any action which never transpired. Therein lies the problem.

If no evidence is required to make an accusation, and there is no consequences for making a false accusation, then what is keeping any individual from utilizing a false claim for their own benefit or to save their own hide? Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph has been impacted by this very scenario.

Let me offer a little back story to clarify the statement. I was enjoying a little playful banter with some friends and acquaintances on social media the other day. As it is prone to do, the conversation turned into some good-natured ribbing concerning our favorite NFL teams. Fun for all, till the tone of the discussion took a sudden turn. I fully accept responsibility for my part in the debacle. I broke my own rule. I was joking around with the husband of an old friend of mine, a individual I don’t know personally, who happens to be a Ravens fan.

He made some disparaging comments about the city of Pittsburgh and the Steelers fanbase. He then took offence when I said a raven was basically a flying rat, which made it the perfect mascot for the city of Baltimore and their vermin problem. He resorted to childish name calling, and making accusations about former and current Steelers players. Nary a conviction in any of incidents he mentioned, but that didn’t seem to matter in his mind. Needless to say, I had no reason to suffer that foolishness and the conversation ended. I am a grown man and I will stick to adult conversations.

That whole situation got me thinking about Mason Rudolph. Last season Rudolph was involved in the most dramatic incident of the NFL season, “The Helmet Swing heard around the World”. It was one of the most shocking displays of violence ever perpetrated on a NFL field, in front of a national television audience no less.

The incident, along with the national outrage, suspensions, and fines, has been well documented. I would like to focus for a moment on the accusation made by Browns DE Myles Garrett claiming a racial slur allegedly made by Rudolph instigated the whole incident. Without the benefit of any evidence, Rudolph is adamant it never happened, both parties are left to be found guilty, or not guilty, in the court of public opinion.

This scenario works out far better for Garrett than it does Rudolph. Garrett’s despicable actions were obvious and not in question. The accusation of a racial slur undoubtedly provided Garrett with some semblance of justification in the minds of some fans. Mission accomplished.

For Rudolph, the accusation is far more damaging. Without an avenue to prove his innocence, he is forever labeled a racist in the minds of so many. It seems to make perfect sense actually, why else would a star player lose all self control and try to use a helmet as a deadly weapon? Rudolph is left powerless to defend himself against the disparaging remark concerning his character.

These kind of unsubstantiated accusations affect a player’s reputation and earning potential. If you are a general manager or head coach, do you want to entrust your team’s success, and possibly your own career, in the hands of an accused racist? What if you are looking for an advertising spokesperson for your business or product? I don’t know about you, but I would simply pass on any potential drama or negative publicity.

One thing I learned from the otherwise useless conversation mentioned earlier is this article: Guilty or not, the damage has been done. It is truly a shame.

President Chris Paul — the point guard at a time of crisis

6:50 AM ET

MICHELE ROBERTS HAD just stepped out of an Uber when her phone started buzzing.

It was a little after 8 p.m. on March 11, and the National Basketball Players Association executive director had left her New York office after meeting with NBA commissioner Adam Silver to discuss the next steps amid the growing coronavirus pandemic.

She figured she had already missed tipoff of the Utah JazzOklahoma City Thunder game. So when she saw the name lighting up both of her phones, she knew something was wrong.

It was Chris Paul.

“Michele, what’s going on?” Paul said.

“You tell me,” she replied.

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The Thunder point guard, with confusion engulfing Chesapeake Energy Arena following Rudy Gobert‘s positive test just before the Thunder and Jazz were about to play, saw his basketball worlds colliding. As players’ union president, Paul was suddenly straddling roles.

With his team rattled,

Basketball Hall pushing enshrinement to 2021

May 27, 2020

Count the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as the latest institution to have its best-laid plans felled by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jerry Colangelo, the chairman of the board of governors for the Hall, told ESPN on Wednesday that enshrinement ceremonies for the Class of 2020 — one of the most star-studded lineups ever, including Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and Kobe Bryant — will be moved to spring 2021.

Colangelo said the original dates of enshrinement weekend, Aug. 28-30, and the proposed alternate dates, Oct. 10-12, are “just not feasible” in light of the pandemic that has killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S. and has rendered large gatherings taboo. The board of governors will convene on June 10, he said, to explore spring dates.

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“We’re definitely canceling,” Colangelo said. “It’s going to have to be the first

LeBron, Kap join outrage over Minn. man's death

May 27, 2020

ESPN News Services

LeBron James and other high-profile athletes have taken to social media to voice their outrage over the death of a black Minnesota man who was pinned down by police.

George Floyd, 46, died Monday night while in Minneapolis police custody. A bystander’s video showed an officer kneeling on the handcuffed Floyd’s neck, even after he pleaded that he could not breathe and stopped moving.

James weighed in Tuesday night on Instagram with a post referencing Colin Kaepernick, the NFL quarterback who famously kneeled during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice.

James’ post includes a photo of the officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck alongside a photo of Kaepernick kneeling during the anthem, topped with the caption: “This … … Is Why.” The Los Angeles Lakers star wrote in the post: “Do you understand NOW!!??!!?? Or is it

Blazers' Lillard: Play-in tourney 'would be perfect'

May 27, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard believes a play-in tournament for teams on the outside of the playoff picture “would be perfect” as the NBA considers options for how it could restart its season.

The Blazers were 3½ games behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference when the NBA season was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic on March 11.

“I feel like a play-in tournament would be perfect, just because we actually were in striking distance and also had enough games to get in the playoffs,” Lillard said Wednesday on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby. “But to that point, if they did decide that we’re just gonna go straight to the playoffs, obviously, we would all be disappointed.

“… We haven’t performed to be in that top eight. So if that’s the case, then fine. But if we’re gonna

Sources: NBA eyes plan for players' families

May 27, 2020

Ramona Shelburne

Close ESPN Senior Writer Senior writer for ESPN.com Spent seven years at the Los Angeles Daily News

Adrian Wojnarowski

Close Senior NBA Insider Host of The Woj Pod Joined ESPN in 2017

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are progressing on a plan that would allow for a limited number of family members to join the players for the season’s resumption inside an Orlando, Florida, bubble environment, sources told ESPN on Wednesday.

Conversations have centered on the timing of family arrivals at Walt Disney World Resort, which are likely to start once an initial wave of teams are eliminated and the number of people within the league’s bubble decreases, sources said.

Family members would be subjected to the same safety and coronavirus testing protocols as everyone else living in the NBA’s biosphere, sources said.

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