Adam Schefter hints Justin Fields to Steelers is more likely than Falcons


Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers
Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Schefter hints that the Steelers are a more likely option

It was widely speculated that a Justin Fields trade could be worked out during the week of the NFL Combine. While nothing has come to light yet, ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw a small wrench into what many believed would happen.

Speaking on SportsCenter, Schefter said that Fields going to Atlanta would be surprising, and hinted that the Steelers are still very much interested in the Bears quarterback.

“I think Atlanta will be something of a surprise right now to trade for Justin Fields,” Schefter said. “There’s been some conversation about the Pittsburgh Steelers. Maybe something can be figured out there.”

The Falcons and Steelers share several similarities. They both have terrific skill position players, good defenses, and feel like they are a quality quarterback away from being real players in their respective conferences. While the Raiders have also been put in the Fields conversation, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense with his former offensive coordinator Luke Getsy getting the offensive coordinator job in Las Vegas. There was a clear disconnect between the two in Chicago, and reuniting elsewhere doesn’t make sense. It looks like it will either be Atlanta or Pittsburgh that land Fields.

Saturday Night Open Thread: Saying Goodbye


NFL: DEC 02 Chargers at Steelers
Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Come and join this merry band of Steelers’ faithful for some lively debate about our Steelers, good food, music, and the merits of the odd cold beverage.

It is with some mixed emotions that I will be stepping away from hosting our beloved SNOT.

I am very passionate about a few things in life. I couldn’t love my wife and kids more, family is everything to me. I also love cooking and eating good food, the sharing of adult beverages, campfires, good company, listening to 80’s hairbands, and obviously cheering on my beloved Habs and Steelers. That’s why this Saturday night adventure has been so much fun. Many of you share similar passions.

SNOT started out as, incredibly enough, a good thing to actually come out of Covid. I started it as a fan post and it received about as many comments as the Friday night open thread. It was maybe a month or so before it was a regular feature on the main page much to the delight of many of us stuck at home on a Saturday night.

I have loved the discussions about so many of our shared passions. I have learned a great deal from many of you. Cooking ideas, recipes and some new music for sure, but about how to have real debate, something sadly missing from far too much of our society today. This is such a great group!

I feel very fortunate that you have put up with me as your host for so long. I just feel that the time has come to pass the torch, so to speak. I am happy to let you know that SNW will be taking over as your regular host. I am sure that with his talents and leadership you all are in great hands.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for letting me share in your joy and love of our favourite football team.

Cheers!

  1. What is your favourite or most cherished Steelers moment or memory?
  2. As my going away present to you all, if I could, I would grant you a dinner with any Steeler past or present. Who are you choosing? More importantly, why?
  3. With the draft around the corner, what is your favourite draft moment or memory?
  4. You are responsible for setting up the Steelers draft board. Where do you rank the following: Talent, Teamwork, Work Ethic, Physical Traits and Measures and, Leadership?
  5. What is your favourite all time recipe? And yes, of course, we all want you share it, lol!
  6. Bonus SOTN… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R24bCFcdJ8Y

Report: Steelers interested in trading for Chiefs CB L’Jarius Sneed


NFL: JAN 13 AFC Wild Card - Dolphins at Chiefs
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The star cornerback was franchise tagged by the Chiefs

The Pittsburgh Steelers are in the market for a cornerback. So much so that it is very possible they address the position in the first round of the NFL Draft. That may not be necessary, though, should their wishes become fulfilled.

According to Nick Farabaugh of Steelers Now, the Steelers are interested in trading for Kansas City Chiefs star cornerback L’Jarius Sneed.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have expressed interest in Kansas City Chiefs cornerback L’Jarius Sneed, a league source in Indianapolis told Steelers Now. Pittsburgh believes they need to upgrade their cornerback room, and the team sees Sneed as one of the top potential fits.

The Chiefs’ asking price is at least a second-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network and Dianna Russini of The Athletic have reported and sources confirmed to Steelers Now. Kansas City has informed Sneed that they will franchise tag him, unless the sides can work out an arrangement on a long-term contract. If the Chiefs can’t sign Sneed, they play to tag and trade him according to Jordan Schultz of Bleacher-Report.– Nick Farabaugh, Steelers Now

Should the Chiefs only be want a second-round pick in exchange for the services of Sneed, several teams will be on the phone. Even if Pittsburgh has to throw a day-three pick or a player into the deal to sweeten the pot, a cornerback tandem of Sneed and Joey Porter Jr. would instantly become the best in the NFL.

Sneed allowed just a 55.9 passer rating when targeted in 2023 while nabbing two interceptions en route to helping Kansas City win their second consecutive Super Bowl.

Andy Russell and the 1971 Steelers


Pittsburgh Steelers v Cincinnati Bengals
Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

A dynasty prequel story…

Before there was a dynasty in Pittsburgh, or a standard, or even an Immaculate Reception, there was the Same Old Steelers. Until Franco Harris’ playoff miracle, the black and gold hadn’t had a winning season since 1963. But if the movie version of the Steelers dynasty had a prequel, it would be 1971 and Andy Russell’s team-MVP season.

In ‘71, many pieces of the Steel Curtain defense were already in place. Veterans including Joe Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Russell and Mel Blount welcomed new rookies Dwight White, Jack Ham, and Mike Wagner. They were greatly needed, as Pittsburgh would rely on its defense much of the year. Terry Bradshaw’s second season saw him throw 22 interceptions to only 13 touchdowns. Here’s how NFL Films described Russell that season.

In Week 1 of the ‘71 season, the defense allowed just 141 total yards to the Chicago Bears. It was a dominating performance for 58 minutes, however the offense had seven turnovers throughout the game. With a 15-3 lead in the fourth quarter, the offense fumbled away a touchdown return. Then, with two minutes left, they fumbled again. Russell’s only miss of the game happened at the game’s most crucial moment, whiffing on former Steelers quarterback Kent Nix during a QB draw. The 17-15 loss stole the accolades from an otherwise impressive defensive performance.

In Week 3, the Chargers found themselves in the red zone three times in the last five minutes of the game. A touchdown on any one of the drives would be enough to win. But the Steelers defense gave up zero points. The final drive included three plays from within the two-yard line.

In Week 8, the Steelers hosted the Browns with a shot at a tie for the division lead. When Bradshaw was knocked out of the game, Pittsburgh’s defense rose to the occasion, sacking quarterback Bill Nelson three times and picking off two of his throws. The win meant with six games left, the Steelers had a division title in their sights.

A week later in Miami, Andy Russell recovered a key fumble that Terry Bradshaw would turn into a 21-3 lead. Unfortunately, this second-quarter moment would be the turning point of the season. Following that, Bob Griese led a three-touchdown comeback to give the Dolphins the victory. Pittsburgh would still be in the pennant race in Week 11, but back-to-back losses to Houston and Cincinnati would eliminate them from contention.

Russell and the Steelers defense would still find moments to shine. In Week 14, they held the Rams to 237 total yards. It probably would have been an easy victory for Pittsburgh, if not for Terry Bradshaw’s four interceptions. Pittsburgh would finish the season at 6-8, but it was their most promising season in a decade and foreshadowed the arrival of the Steel Curtain dominance. The team named Andy Russell the MVP of the season and sent him to his third of seven Pro Bowls. His true contributions from that season are largely lost to time. His Topps card from 1972 literally lists zero stats from his MVP campaign. His jersey is largely missing from the highlight reels of the season.

For a team that celebrates six Super Bowl titles, few will look back fondly at 1971. But as we honor the legacy of the 10-time captain, remember this time, before “The Standard was The Standard,” when Andy Russell was the standard.

2024 NFL Combine Open Thread QBs, RBs and WRs


NFL Scouting Combine - February 25, 2006

10am ET Saturday edition

The NFL in its infinite wisdom decided to go with the NFL Channel only this year.

The Steelers hold picks #20 – 1st, #51 – 2nd, #84 – 3rd, #120 & #121 – 4th, #197 – 6th, #238 – 7th.

Today we have QBs, RBs and WRs, I don’t think they’ll choose a RB this draft, but they need a QB and WR.

WRs of some interest that will be available after round 1. All third round type prospects that could slide do to volume of WRs going at the top of the draft.

  • Tez Walker: Washington – 6’ 2” 200lbs.
  • Jalen McMillan: Washington – 6’ 1” 192lbs.
  • Jermaine Burton: Alabama – 6’ 0” 200lbs.
  • Johnny Wilson: Florida St. – 6’ 7” 267lbs.
  • Brenden Rice: USC – 6’ 3” 210lbs.

QBs to watch:

  • Joe Milton: Tennessee: – 6’ 5” 245lbs. 7th. This one is here for Yinzer.

Let us know who you’re keeping an eye on so we can watch too.

Steelers free agency files: RB Antonio Gibson


NFL: Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A look at potential free agents for the Black & Gold to consider in 2024…

Approaching the 2024 NFL free agency, we’ll be scouting as many of the potential depth pieces and other free agents who the Steelers could have their eyes on. We’ll break down the player’s career in the NFL thus far, strengths and weaknesses, projected contract value and their fit with the Steelers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers could use a third running back to provide depth. Soon to be a free agent from Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson could be a valuable depth option and has some experience on special teams as well. Gibson is better than most running backs as a receiving option out of the backfield.

NFL: Washington Commanders at San Francisco 49ers
Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Gibson free agent profile

Current team: Washington Commanders

Height/weight: 6’0, 228 pounds

College: Memphis

Experience: 4 NFL Seasons

Best fit: Passing downs back, occasionally split out wide as a receiver, can return kicks as well

NFL draft pedigree: 2020 NFL Draft third-round pick

Player Bio

Washington Running Back Antonio Gibson is one of those players that just is just so frustrating to watch on tape. While Gibson can produce explosive plays of more than twenty yards due to his speed he can outrun several receivers. Too often he tries to bounce plays outside even when it’s seemingly designed for him to run inside. When he does that he gets himself into trouble on the field, and when he comes to the sidelines. But, occasionally being able to exploit the defense for a huge explosive play does have its advantages, especially for an offense predicted to be as conservative as the Steelers.

Antonio Gibson overview

Antonio Gibson has the talent to be the leader of a running back by committee, however, he continues to literally fumble the opportunity away. 12 career fumbles are unacceptable; the ball is not covered in bacon grease man. With a new regime in Washington and better alternatives available on the free agency market, Gibson should be allowed to walk in search of greener pastures. Gibson does have the size the Steelers generally gravitate towards with his height and weight, and they may be willing to take a look with his special teams background. He would be a player who could contribute on both offense, as well as special teams.

Antonio Gibson’s strengths

  • Speed — Gibson was clocked at 4.39 at the NFL Combine in 2020
  • Experience as a kick returner during time at Memphis and in the NFL
  • Natural receiver — Converted wide receiver
  • Prototypical size for running back position
  • Just 25 years old

Speed

When Antonio Gibson finds a lane he’s gone, he’s able to show his speed when he gets out in space. You can see his previous experience at playing receiver when he’s able to get on linebacker out in space. He’s also able to use his experience as a kick returner to make defenders miss.

Gibson also shows his receiving ability on screen passes when he’s able to get on the perimeter. The Steelers previously, and for a long time have been dreadful on screen plays to receivers and running backs. However, that’s something that Gibson can execute well when called upon, as well as executing zone runs.

Experience as a returner

Antonio Gibson can be an option as a returner. The Steelers third running back will certainly be expected to contribute on special teams. Gibson has only been a kick returner during his time at Memphis and with Washington. The Steelers may be able to get both depth at the running position as well as adding a kick returner with Gibson. With limited usage the team can use him at the running back spot should either of the Pittsburgh Steelers Running Backs Najee Harris or Jaylen Warren need a breather, or one of them suffers an in-game injury.

Weaknesses

  • Prone to turning the football over with 12 career fumbles
  • Doesn’t play to his size — not a physical back, more of a finesse player
  • Will bounce plays outside too often shying away from contact
  • Wide receiver/running back hybrid, but HE hasn’t excelled at either over time

Antonio Gibson coughs the football up too frequently to be a startable option should Harris or Warren miss time with injuries. Of the twelve times he’s fumbled the ball, only three were recovered by the offense. That landed him squarely in former Commanders’ head coach Ron Rivera’s dog house. The Steelers don’t currently have the offensive firepower to overcome costly lost fumbles.

Market value estimate

One-year contract with a value between $1,250,000 – $1,350,000

Steelers free agency files: RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire


NFL: AFC Championship-Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

A look at potential free agents for the Black & Gold to consider in 2024…

Approaching the 2024 NFL free agency, we’ll be scouting as many of the potential depth pieces and other free agents who the Steelers could have their eyes on. We’ll break down the player’s career in the NFL thus far, strengths and weaknesses, projected contract value and their fit with the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith’s system is very run-heavy. The team may be in the market for a number three running back to spread the workload further so that Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren are fresh later in the 2024 season. The Steelers usually prefer to target players with strong character and pedigree, and Kansas City Chiefs impending free agent Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be a player that fits that bill.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots
Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Clyde Edwards-Helaire free agent profile

Current NFL team: Kansas City Chiefs

Height/weight: 5’7”, 207 pounds

College: LSU

NFL Experience: 4 NFL seasons

Best fit: Passing down back

NFL draft pedigree: 2020 NFL Draft first-round selection (No. 32)

Player Bio

The rushing stats have been trending downward in each of his four NFL seasons. Edwards-Helaire was miscast as a starter capable running back. He was a draft bust, it happens NFL teams miss on prospects. However, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be useful players in other schemes or as role players. He has a career yards per carry of 4.2, along with a career yards per reception of 8.6. The best statistical season for him was his rookie season in 2020.

The Chiefs effectively completely phased him out of their offense as running back Isaiah Pacheco became the featured back. He barely played for them during the 2024 season.

Player overview

Edwards-Helaire is comparable in size to current Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jaylen Warren. However, he doesn’t play with the same type of violence that Warren does. Edwards-Helaire doesn’t have the best vision and seems to be better out in space. He should not be in on short yardage downs, as he would be better served to be in on obvious passing situations.

Strengths

  • Good receiving option, whether out of the backfield or as an option out wide
  • Slippery as a runner
  • Should fit well in a zone-style running scheme
  • Team-first player
  • Only two career fumbles

Good receiving option

As an outlet option, Edwards-Helaire can be an effective receiving option out of the backfield. Giving the quarterback an additional short to intermediate option out of the backfield. Arthur Smith doesn’t utilize a third receiver often in his scheme, the running back position should continue though to see a fair share of targets.

Slippery style runner

Edwards-Helaire’s running style is somewhat reminiscent of former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. That stutter step, plant, and go — no one other than Bell has been as successful at it as he was. However, Edwards-Helaire at times does a pretty good impersonation of it. Able to fool the defender by seeming to lean in one direction, only to plant and go in another one. While the tackling in this clip is horrendous, it’s the skill that Edwards-Helaire displayed during the play picking up huge chunks of yardage.

Weaknesses

  • Foot speed — Not going to run away from anyone, even in the open field. Struggles to get to the outside.
  • Vision — Very poor at finding the open hole
  • Contact — Doesn’t initiate contact with the defender, doesn’t run with aggression
  • Blocking — Can tend to take poor angles when engaging blitzes
  • Limited usage — Has handled 15+ carries in just eight of 32 career starts
  • Lack of special teams experience — Zero snaps on special teams over four seasons with the Chiefs

Edwards-Helaire is not very fleet of foot, so he’s not likely to produce a large number of explosive plays. He seems to run into the back of his lineman far too often due to his poor vision following plays. Mike Tomlin often has been quoted as saying he’d rather say, “Woah” than, “Sick em!” A coach shouldn’t be concerned with having to coach physicality into a player; you either play with it, or you don’t.

In Pittsburgh, the third running back on the depth chart will be expected to play a role on special teams, so he’d be wise to make quick friends with Steelers special teams coach Danny Smith. That’s the best way for them to make the team, though it could be unlikely given his lack of experience in this phase of the game in the NFL.

Market value estimate: One-year, veteran minimum benefit contract — 1 year, $1.25 million

How to build your Steelers 2024 NFL Draft board at home


NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia Eagles
Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

A look at how the Steelers have approached previous drafts to help you build your own 2024 NFL Draft wish list.

The NFL Combine kicks off today February 26, 2024. We encourage you to watch the Combine in full if at all possible as you can see some of the prospects who likely will be holding up a Pittsburgh Steelers jersey during the 2024 NFL Draft, or who get the call from the team during the draft. You can begin building your draft board to follow along with the draft at home. You likely will not get every selection correct, but you may be surprised at how close you can get.

Syndication: Tuscaloosa News
Gary Cosby Jr. / USA TODAY NETWORK

Using the Steelers past to predict the future

Like most things in life, people form habits that can serve to predict how they behave. NFL front offices are no different to be perfectly candid. If you go back to the beginning of the Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s tenure with the team and put all of the players’ names, schools, and whether the school is from a Power Five conference (updated 2024), it starts to paint a picture.

For the last 17 years, the Steelers have never once drafted a player in the first round outside of the previous version of the Power Five conference. Even though the Power Five has changed a bit over time, don’t be surprised if the Steelers stick to what they have done in previous seasons. Their 2024 NFL Draft first-round pick will probably be from a large college program. So, there’s the beginning to setting your draft board which should give you an idea where to begin.

What can the current team needs and players under contract tell you?

Next, let’s work off of the Steelers’ current team needs. Unfortunately, there are a lot of them. In no particular order:

Center: Unless the Steelers decide to invest heavily in a free-agent center when the new league year begins, as their roster stands, they don’t have a true center candidate on the team. It wouldn’t be surprising if Omar Khan elects to sign a stop-gap option at the position before the 2024 NFL Draft — someone like Aaron Brewer of the Tennessee Titans — to give them an appearance of flexibility. Don’t be fooled though, he would not be considered as a Week 1 starter for the Steelers.

  • Cornerback: The Steelers are extremely thin at the corner position behind Joey Porter Jr., It’s not a given they don’t waive veteran Patrick Peterson with the potential to save just under $7 million against the cap in 2024. They could take a large swing in free agency here, which would push the positional need down the board.
  • Defensive line: Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward will be 35 years old before the season, which means it’s past time for the team to start looking at his future heir at the position. DE Larry Ogunjobi hasn’t done much of anything either. Their 2023 NFL Draft second-round selection Keeanu Benton looks like a find at nosetackle, but there’s not much depth behind their starters.
  • Inside Linebacker: Age and injury concerns certainly are a problem for the team, and they don’t have much depth behind presumed starters Cole Holcomb and Elandon Roberts. But, if Holcomb gets the green light to return to football activity sooner rather than later, don’t be shocked if they push this need down the board a bit.
  • Strong safety: The Steelers don’t have an NFL-quality starting strong safety; they just don’t. Approaching free agency, their top options are 28-year-old Keanu Neal, who missed time with injury last season, and 2022 UDFA Trenton Thompson.
  • Offensive tackle: The Steelers will look to get 2023 rookie Broderick Jones back to left tackle this season, which means they’ll need to find his complement on the right side of the line.
  • Quarterback: The Steelers are certainly going to look at competition for Kenny Pickett. It’s doubtful they make a big trade at the position or sign a veteran to a lucrative deal.
  • Punter: There aren’t any attractive free agents at this position, and there are three candidates the team could look too on day three of the 2024 draft.

That looks like a lot but you should expect to see a few starting-level free agents that come in and serve to fill some of those needs which will push them down, or off the draft board altogether.

Steelers in free agency

When preparing your draft board, it’s important to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the incoming draft class. With strength at the top of the 2024 center class, the Steelers could decide to shy away from spending large dollars on a veteran center and opt to pursue their next center in the draft.

The team isn’t likely to bring in another starting option at the inside linebacker position, either, after the Steelers invested a lot in Holcomb and Roberts last offseason. So, you shouldn’t expect to see them sign another starting-caliber inside linebacker. They very well could sign a role-player-type backup-level player, with several available options that make sense. Barring them doing that, they should address the position in the draft, though how early remains to be seen given other needs.

Being that this is expected to be a relatively poor class at strong safety and a good pool of experienced veteran options in free agency who fit what the Steelers often like, this is a position you could very well see the Steelers sign a free agent to a top-of-the-market contract.

The rookie draft class at offensive tackle on paper looks promising, and that’s probably the path the team chooses to travel versus signing a free-agent tackle. Whether it’s on the right or left side, tackles tend to get paid well — even the bad ones. If they can find the complement to Broderick Jones to play on a rookie contract, all the better.

As for the quarterback position… The top two quarterbacks in the draft are USC quarterback Caleb Williams and UNC’s Drake Maye will be long gone before the Steelers’ selection at pick No. 20. Even if the Steelers do somehow trade up during the draft, they certainly won’t be able to get in range of those two top-tiered options. It’s also a fool’s errand to draft a quarterback in the first round of the draft simply to draft a quarterback, especially when they may have even already done that with current starting quarterback Kenny Pickett. So, it wouldn’t be smart to draft a quarterback in this draft unless they are certain they found not only an improvement on Pickett but a franchise quarterback. Unless that is the feeling, you can very well completely cross off quarterback before round six of the draft.

It’s far more likely to see the team bring in a veteran option via the free-agent market. They don’t have a fifth-round selection, so chances are low they make a trade for a quarterback unless it’s for someone who’s not going to cost more than a stale bag of chips. Lastly, the punter position, you can write in dark pencil the Steelers using their sixth-round selection on Iowa punter Tory Taylor, Texas Tech punter Austin McNamara, Vanderbilt punter Matthew Hayball, BYU punter Ryan Rehkow, Duke punter Porter Wilson. One of them will be getting a phone call from a 412 number on day three of the draft.

So here’s how you can start to put together your draft board. The Combine is important but the players who are seen as the top players likely won’t change much. What the Steelers do in free agency or don’t do will play a large role in composing your draft board. And don’t forget, remove those small school players from your first-round grouping for the Steelers.

Expect the Steelers to hit these positions in the draft after they plug some holes in free agency:

  1. Center
  2. Defensive End
  3. Cornerback
  4. Inside Linebacker
  5. Punter
  6. Offensive Tackle

The next steps are to start familiarizing yourself with names aligned with those positions, if you like to do mock drafts then start focusing on those areas.

Friday Happy Hour: 2024 NFL Combine edition


NFL Combine
Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Happy NFL combine, folks! NFL fans and Steelers staffers alike are tuning into the action in Indy this weekend, with some of the most interesting action still to come with skill position players on Saturday and OL on Sunday. Buckle up, Pittsburgh-ers. We need to pay close attention to the action, particularly on Sunday to scout out the future anchor on the offensive line… (please draft Jackson Powers-Johnson, please draft Jackson Powers-Johnson)

  • Congratulations! Omar Khan and Mike Tomlin have reserved a night in the lab and invited YOU to help them build their perfect first round draft prospect. Assign the following qualities in 5% increments to build our future Hall of Famer: Athleticism, football IQ, leadership, ideal size for their drafted position. (Example: 40% athleticism, 40% football IQ, 10% ideal size, 10% leadership = the perfect prospect). Feel free to add some qualities of your own!
  • If you’re Omar Khan for the weekend and can authorize one move to clear cap space for the 2024 season, what would you prioritize?
  • Who was your favorite Steeler to ever play the game, and what was your favorite moment from their career with the Black & Gold?
  • I’m in the process of sodding our backyard after a nasty bout of fungus wiped out our grass this season, and I’m WIPED. What’s the most exhausting house chore/landscaping job/etc you’ve ever had to do around the house?
  • What article (single or series) has been your favorite in the history of BTSC? What do you hope to see continue this offseason?

Terrible Towel Tales: Steelers’ great Andy Russell dies at age 82


New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers news and commentary from Friday, March 1st

Welcome to the Terrible Towel Tales, where we’ll highlight some of the latest stories permeating Steelers media for your reading pleasure every Monday through Saturday. In today’s news…

Former Steelers linebacker Andy Russell dies at 82 | Michael David Smith, NBC Sports

Andy Russell, a linebacker who played for the Steelers in the 1960s and 1970s and won two Super Bowl rings, has died at the age of 82.

A 1963 16th-round draft pick, Russell earned a starting job in Pittsburgh as a rookie, then missed the next two seasons while serving in the Army. Upon his return in 1966, Russell again earned a starting job and would not relinquish it until he retired.

Russell was named to his first Pro Bowl in 1968, and would then be named to every Pro Bowl from 1970 to 1975. He was voted the Steelers’ team MVP in 1971, and he’s a member of the Steelers’ All-Time Team and their Hall of Honor. Russell’s streak of 168 consecutive games played is the fourth-longest in franchise history.

REPORT: Steelers remain interested in Bears QB Justin Fields | Curt Popejoy, Steelers Wire

According to a report by Tyler Dragon of USA TODAY Sports, the Pittsburgh Steelers have not closed the book on the idea of trading for Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields.

Dragon claims that there are three teams — the Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders and Atlanta Falcons — still showing interest in making a trade for Fields. Bears GM Ryan Poles noted at the NFL Scouting Combine that if the team does trade Fields, they want to do right by him and do it before the start of free agency, which is just two weeks away.

Steelers Could Make Splash Trade for Star LB | Noah Strackbein, All Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers will begin negotiating with free agency in the upcoming weeks, but they likely have a list of players ready to go, hoping they can get their hands on a few once the open market begins.

One name that may not be on the minds of many, but who could be on the mind of the Steelers, is linebacker Haason Reddick.

The veteran pass rusher is likely leaving the Eagles after spending the last two seasons in Philadelphia. In making two Pro Bowls the last two years, Reddick has accumulated 27 sacks, 24 tackles for loss, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.