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  • Chiefs at Steelers NFL Week 16 Inactives

    Chiefs: QB Aaron Murray, WR Donnie Avery, CB Marcus Cooper, RB Charcandrick West, C Eric Kush, OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, DL Nick Williams.

    Steelers: TE Matt Spaeth, S Troy Polamalu, CB Ike Taylor, WR Justin Brown, G Chris Hubbard, QB Landry Jones, DE Clifton Geathers.

     
  • Steelers Gab: Black and Gold Links of the Week (December 18, 2014)

    Steelers Gab Black and Gold Links of the Week

    It’s December football time, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are making a push for the playoffs.  With a 9-5 record, the Steelers head into Week 16 with the Kansas City Chiefs standing in their way.  Here are our picks for the Black and Gold Links of the Week:

    The Steelers Must Stop Dual-Threat Jamaal Charles

    Ed Bouchette:  ‘I think this will be it for’ Troy Polamalu

    Opponent Profile:  Steelers Host Chiefs in Week 16

    Steelers Update: Tomlin Preparing Team for Chiefs

    Gilbert: ‘I expect to see the stadium rocking’

    Players embrace ‘win and in’ mentality

     
  • Can Shazier and Tuitt Take Steelers Defense To Another Level

    Ryan+Shazier+Stephon+Tuitt+Pittsburgh+Steelers+2014+Rookies

     

    When Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt were drafted in the first and second round of the 2014 NFL draft respectively, both were projected to be day-one starters shortly after they drafted. With the Pittsburgh Steelers in the midst of a playoff push, the question remains whether Shazier and Tuitt can help transform the Steelers defense from a “good” to “great” defense.

    The Steelers are undefeated when Tuitt starts. Tuitt has yet to record a sack, but playing in a 3-4 defense, sacks are hard to come by at his position. After getting off to a slow start, Tuitt, over the past two weeks, has shown a knack for getting after and pressuring premier quarterbacks such as Andy Dalton and Matt Ryan. Most importantly, in Tuitt’s last two starts, the Steelers run defense has not allowed a 100-yard rusher. If that trend continues, it will aid a secondary dealing with injuries and size disadvantages. Tuitt will face a tough test against running back Jamaal Charles who accelerates in between tackles and outside the tackles as well. Tuitt will have a hard time getting after quarterback Alex Smith this Sunday due to the fact Smith gets rid of the football quickly and utilizes many short passes. The positivity to that is Tuitt will have more more chances to bat down passes at the line of scrimmage and  bump tight end Travis Kelce at the line of scrimmage, disturbing the timing between Kelce and Smith.

    Shazier has battled injuries a lot this season, but when healthy he has flashed his speed and quickness at times. Shazier was drafted in the first round because he was projected  to be able to hit and cover speed running backs and tight ends. Charles clearly has game-breaking speed, so Shazier’s recognition and agility will be tested Sunday. Shazier will likely be given chances to blitz up the middle to force Smith to throw off-target and toss predictable passes which could lead to interceptions and/or pick 6’s. Shazier will also be counted on to help out the secondary by covering the middle of the field along with Lawrence Timmons, allowing the corners and safeties stop the deep ball and sideline routes.

    Shazier and Tuitt are showing great upside as the games have become more pressure packed. If Shazier and Tuitt have continued success, the defense could become a defense Steelers fans were used to back in the glory days.

     
  • Chiefs at Steelers Wednesday Injury Report

    KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
    Practice Report
    Wednesday Practice Not Complete
    PITTSBURGH STEELERS
    Practice Report
    DID NOT PARTICIPATE IN PRACTICE
    Wednesday CB William Gay (not injury related), DT Steve McLendon (not injury related), TE Heath Miller (not injury related), S Michael Mitchell (groin), S Troy Polamalu (knee), QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related), TE Matt Spaeth (elbow)
    LIMITED PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
    Wednesday C Maurkice Pouncey (ankle), CB Ivan Taylor (shoulder, forearm)
    FULL PARTICIPATION IN PRACTICE
    Wednesday T Marcus Gilbert (ankle), LB James Harrison (knee)
     
  • The Steelers Must Stop Dual-Threat Jamaal Charles

    Jamaal+Charles+Kansas+City+Chiefs+v+Pittsburgh+Steelers

     

    It’s no secret that the best offensive player for the Kansas City Chiefs is Jamaal Charles. Charles, who is once again closing in on another 1,000 yard rushing season, will be looking to carry his team into the playoffs. How will the Pittsburgh Steelers stop or at least contain him this Sunday?

    Over the past two weeks, the Steelers have not allowed a single 100-yard rusher. Adjustments have been made, such as inserting rookie defensive end Stephon Tuitt into the starting lineup as he has brought a more physical presence to the defense.  Rookie middle linebacker Ryan Shazier was drafted in the first round for games like this. The speed of Shazier will be needed to stop Charles on sweeps, screens, and/or passes in the flat.  Nose tackles Steve McLendon and  rookie Daniel McCullers have held their own in the middle of the defensive line. Their efforts will be needed as well to help kep the Chiefs offense more predictable by forcing runs to the outside, allowing the linebackers free to chase down Charles in a limited area of the field. With over 2,000 yards receiving and 54 total touchdowns, Charles has proven if he does not have a big game running the football he can get it done by catching it as well.

    A major weakness for the Chiefs offense is that their wide receivers have not caught a single touchdown pass this season.  This could make very well allow strong safety Troy Polamalu to play closer to the line of scrimmage at least 20-25 snaps. Charles possess great speed, meaning even if he is contained on 19 snaps, he can still hurt a defense on snap 20. This game will greatly help or hurt each teams’ playoff chances depending on who wins. The Steelers must be greatly motivated.

    Last season, in week 17, Chiefs head coach Any Reid decided to rest his starters against the San Diego Chargers, giving the Chargers a huge advantage as they won a close game. This Sunday, the Steelers will be looking to crush the Chiefs’ playoff hopes without the help of any other team, unlike the situation in 2013.  If they contain Charles the entire game, it will greatly help their chances of forcing Kansas City to watch playoff football from their couches instead of playing football in January.

     
  • Post-Game Interviews From Steelers, Falcons

    Ben+Roethlisberger+Matt+Ryan+Steelers+Falcons+December+2014

    Steelers Post Game Interviews

    Head Coach Mike Tomlin:

    “Man that was a tough fought game, it took efforts obviously in all three  phases working together
    offensively, defensively and kicking. But it wasn’t an easy undertaking by any stretch. I tip my cap to the
    Atlanta Falcons, they did a great job of neutralizing our running game, although we were able to run it in
    the significant moments. In the short yardage and goal line we were efficient in that area but 1st and 10,
    2nd and medium I thought they did a great job but largely I thought in all three phases we did what was
    necessary in  a tough environment. I  would be remiss if I didn’t mention  Steeler  Nation. They were
    special in the building today, just love and appreciate the support that we get from our fans on the road,
    we are used to seeing it but it never gets old, we really appreciate it. ”
    On the defense making plays when it had to:  
    “We fought in a big way, defensively. I thought we did a good job of keeping a lid on it that prevented
    some of the big plays that have hurt us in the past. Obviously, they created some big plays with some
    shorter passes but that is life. We are who we are and we are not a perfect group by any stretch but we
    will fight the fight until the end together.”
    How much offense was created or based on what they gave you: 
    “We did largely did what we wanted to do other than obviously the effective 1st and 10, 2nd and medium
    open grass running. They did a nice job of minimizing our on schedule running game.”
    Thoughts on Antonio Brown’s catch on the sideline: 
    “I thought he got in on time but it was under two minutes so I didn’t have the ability to check. But I did
    assume they would get that correct. Antonio is the best in the world at that, we see it every day.”
    WR Markus Wheaton’s big catches on 3rd down: 
    “Not only him but all of the guys. We talked about it. Antonio Brown gets a lot of recognition, RB
    Le’Veon Bell gets a lot of recognition, but those guys are able to do what they do because when other
    guys are called upon, deliver. Whether it’s Wheaton, WR Martavis Bryant, we have a nice group of
    complimentary  guys  that  don’t  get  a  lot  of  volume  in  terms  of  opportunity  but  when  they  get  the
    opportunity they deliver.
    Following sequence where you answered right back: 
    “It was big. I feel comfortable when we are in our two minute specifically before the half. We have had
    success with it and it is significant to get the seven as opposed to the three, the guys did a nice job.”
    Play of CB William Gay: 
    “Will has been around a long time. He is one of those savvy veteran guys more than anything, he does a
    great job of staying on script. When he picks the ball off he hits the near sideline, he has good grip, good
    ball security, he runs out of real estate, he is willing to cut it back, he doesn’t make things up, he stays to
    script so the guys that are blocking for him know where he is going to be. And I think that allows us to
    work together to maximize the opportunity.”

    Ben Roethlisberger

    On the play of the wide receivers today especially the young ones: 
    “I’m really proud of Markus (Wheaton) tonight.  He made a couple of big plays, a couple of third down
    catches.  But that’s the work that he puts in.  You see him in practice, film, things like that.  He will
    always come and talk with me to see what I want.  He put some good stuff on tape today.  I thought that
    10 (Martavis Bryant) did some stuff as well and you always know what you will get from A.B. (Antonio
    Brown).”
    Does it feel good to secure a winning season: 
    “Yes. It is just another win along the way. We have to get hot at the right time.  We came in and played a
    very good football team. We are happy to get the win and will enjoy it for a little bit but then get ready
    for two home games.”
    How tangible is momentum with this team right now: 
    “It’s huge.  The first Super Bowl that we won we were a team that got hot at the right time.  We went in
    as a six seed and just played good football and that is what this League is all about. If you get hot and
    play your best football at the right time then you are a dangerous football team. I don’t know if we are
    there yet, but we got a win and are happy about it.”

    Cornerback William Gay

    On his third interception return for touchdown on the season:  
    “I’m just glad we got the win. That was a big win against a division leader. That’s something that you try
    to get in December football. We’re trying to stack wins. Playing against good opponents and just putting
    everything on the line.”

    From the Falcons

    Head coach Mike Smith

    “Like all of you that watched the game today, we felt like we had lots of chances to have a different
    outcome. We have to take advantage of the opportunities that we have in all three phases. I think that
    we normally have been a very good team in the red zone, and we were not able to convert and score
    touchdowns there. When you do that you put yourself behind the eight?ball when you’re playing a good
    football team like the Pittsburgh Steelers. Overall, we didn’t play well enough to win the ball game.
    Consistency throughout is something that we’re still striving for as a team. We will move on to New
    Orleans, and get prepared for a very interesting two weeks, not only in the NFC South, and for the
    people here in Atlanta, but for the people around the NFL.”

    On Roddy White and his record breaking performance:  
    “Well, Roddy White has been a great player. He’s a very good teammate. He’s about as passionate a
    football player that I’ve ever been around. He hates to lose, and when you have guys like that on your
    football team you’re going to win a lot of football games, and since we’ve been here we’ve won a
    number of football games. Roddy’s helped us do that, not only by his plays on the field, but by how he
    responds to what we do in practice and how we prepare.”

    Quarterback Matt Ryan

    On what may have been the reason for a slow start: 
    “Not talking about last week, talking about this week, we didn’t really get started the way we wanted to.
    We had an opportunity early on and just missed on a couple. We continued to battle back. I think
    offensively  it  comes  down  to  a  couple  things,  you  can’t  turn  the  football  over  and  when  you  have
    opportunities in the red zone, you’ve got to put it in the end zone. We didn’t do a good enough job of
    that today.”

    On what happened on the interception: 
    “It was just kind of a tough play. I let it go and certainly a decision you can’t make. I can’t do that. It
    stops there.”
    On the different kind of coverages the Steelers played: 
    “We kind of knew what they were doing. They brought pressure on the side with (Troy) Polamalu. The
    way that they played the coverage was a little unique. Again, I’ve just got to do a better job than that.”

    Wide Receiver Devin Hester

    On the loss: 
    “We came up short again. It was a close game. It’s tough right now. We’ve got to find a way to win close
    games. Fortunately, with our situation, we still control our destiny and next week is going to be a big
    game for us. It’s a must win and a chance to fight and see who will be #1 in our division. We’re going
    against a great team this week and like always, we’ve got to prepare for it and hopefully we’ll come out
    with a W.”

     
  • Steelers Offensive Line: Big Boys Put Up Big Performance Against Falcons

    Pittsburgh+Steelers+v+Atlanta+Falcons+December+14+2014

     

    The Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line, the ‘big boys’ up front, played extremely on the road in a hostile environment.  The Atlanta Falcons are known for getting pressure and and being very difficult to beat at home. But, Kelvin Beachum, Ramon Foster, Maurkice Pouncey, David DeCastro, and Michael Adams collectively kept Ben Roethlisberger upright and his jersey white during the entire game.

    The Steelers’ offensive line only allowed one sack and led the way to a 398-yard offensive performance.  Le’Veon Bell only had 47 yards rushing, but the offensive line gave Roethlisberger enough time to find Bell for 72 yards receiving and two rushing touchdowns.  Over the past several weeks, the offensive linemen have been efficient in blocking for extra seconds, allowing Ben to find Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown and Markus Wheaton down the field, and tight end Health Miller on delayed routes.

    The offensive line has progressed this season to the point in which each player has shown the ability to get to the second level in the defense on counter runs, sweeps, and screens pass plays as well.  Backups such as Adams, and Cody Wallace have both played as if they were 16-game starters when called upon. Moving forward, the formula is simple.  If the Steelers’ offensive line continues to give Roethlisberger time to throw and holes for Bell to run through, the Steelers will continue to win.

     
  • Steelers hold on to beat Falcons, 27-20

    steelerswin

    The Pittsburgh Steelers entered the Georgia Dome with one thing on their minds – winning.  The Atlanta Falcons were hoping that home-field advantage would be just that, an advantage.  The Steelers were first to put points on the scoreboard and held the lead throughout the game, getting some key defensive stops.  While it wasn’t Pittsburgh’s best game of the 2014 season, they did just enough to get the ‘W’.

    Placekicker Shaun Suisham was solid all game, kicking two field goals to score the only points in the entire first quarter.  The Steelers defense kept flipping the field, but the Falcons defense kept the Steelers from getting a touchdown.

    ” I don’t know if it’s key people,” head coach Mike Tomlin said about the resiliency of his team before the game, “or central people who specifically lead the charge in terms of responding to adversity. I just think it’s largely who the group is, individually and collectively. The makeup of them. It’s helpful when the group is resilient, obviously.”

    William Gay got his third interception of the season by jumping a Matt Ryan route and took it to the house, scoring a touchdown.  Gay’s play has been improved in 2014 as he has been asked to take a bigger role, especially now that Ike Taylor is most likely done for the season.

    Le’Veon Bell was once again a key player for Pittsburgh even though his rushing numbers were lower in week 15.  Bell had 20 carries for 47 yards and scored two touchdowns.

    Although Ryan kept his team in the game, pulling within a touchdown on a 4-yard pass to a wide-open Roddy White, the Steelers defense held.  Once the Steelers got the ball back, they converted three times on third down in their final offensive possession.  A long pass to tight end Heath Miller made it possible for Pittsburgh to kneel for the win.

    The Steelers move to 9-5 on the season, a half game behind the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North.  The Falcons fell to 5-9 and slipped out of first place in the horrible NFC South.

    Steelers offensive team leaders

    Passing:

    Ben Roethlisberger – 27/35 for 360 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs

    Rushing:

    Le’Veon Bell – 20 carries for 47 yards and 2 TDs

    Receiving:

    Antonio Brown – 10/10 catches for 124 yards

    Le’Veon Bell – 5/7 catches for 72 yards

    Heath Miller – 4/5 catches for 68 yards

     
 
 
 
 
 

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