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  • Steelers To Honor Chuck Noll With “CHN” Decal This Season

    Chuck Noll

    The Steelers announced today that they will be wearing a special “CHN” decal to honor Chuck Noll throughout the 2014 season.

    Noll, the legendary Steelers Hall of Fame coach, died at the age of 82 on Friday, June 13th.

    In 1969 Noll took over the Steelers that at the time had produced only two winning seasons in the previous nine years. By 1972 the team went 11-3, going to the postseason for the first time in 25 seasons.

    From 1972-79, the Noll led the Steelers to an 88-27-1 regular-season record without ever missing the playoffs and while winning Super Bowls IX, X, XIII and XIV. Overall, he sported a 209-156-1 record, and he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.

    Noll’s record was 209–156–1, including the post-season.

     
  • The End Of A Great Career

    James Harrison

    James Harrison recently retired from the NFL. Harrison career didn’t end the way he hoped it would but during his prime he was one of the best in the game. Through injuries, releases, and playing behind others Harrison never gave up. Making him a winner, in much more than football.

    Many die hard Pittsburgh Steelers fans knew who James Harrison was before he became a starter. After Joey Porter was released Harrison became the starter,and for the next five years brought a toughness and physicality that few if any could match.

    His coming out game was a Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens. On that magical night he had 3 sacks and a memorable explosive hit on star safety Ed Reed on special teams. Harrison was a five time Pro Bowl selection and in 2008 was the NFL Defensive Players of the Year.

    Harrison went on to record 647 tackles to go along with 66 sacks, and 6 interceptions. He will be remembered for his bone crushing hits as well as his big plays.

    He will also go down as someone never afraid to use his boldness to speak his mind. In my eyes Harrison is no doubt a Hall of Fame player because he dominated in a era that was mostly about offense.

     
  • Steelers 2014 Scouting Report Week One: Cleveland Browns

    Chicago Bears v Cleveland Browns

    They have had a revolving door of coaches, GM’s, and players, and most seasons the Steelers use the Browns as whipping boys in the AFC North. They hope that Sunday all that stays the same, as the Browns comes to Heinz Field with yet another new look in the lid lifter to the 2014 season.

    Last season the Steelers laid an egg against the Titans in the opener 16-9, even after getting a 2-0 lead on the opening kickoff. Sunday they hope to recover opening day magic against a Browns team that won four games in 2013. With that, here’s our quick scouting report on the Browns.

    Offense: QB Brian Hoyer is back under center after holding off rookie wonderboy Johnny Manziel and he gets his shot to be the day one starter after winning 3 starts last season. The team has no great deep threat with Josh Gordon suspended for the season, and TE Jordan Cameron is their surest player that can catch the ball. The run game will see a steady dose of new RB Ben Tate, who runs behind a line anchored by center Alex Mack and LT Joe Thomas. The offense as a whole is going to be their weak point, and it will be up to the line and Tate to provide much of a spark.

    Defense: Can be stingy, with a secondary and backfield with some solid players, with Joe Haden leading the way and rookie Justin Gilbert due to see time at the other corner spot. Donte Whitner will line up at strong safety, while Tashaun Gipson will be the free safety. The line is now a 3-4, and their 3 big bodies up front are led by , Ahtyba Rubin. The 4 LB’s leave a lot to be desired, and the team is hopeful that last seasons first-round pick Barkevious Mingo will start to show off some of the talent they felt they were getting. The defense is better than the offense, but has a long way to go.

    Special Teams: Billy Cundiff will handle the Browns kicking duties heading into 2014, and he’s in his second season after the team needed a replacement starting 2013 for the reliable Phil Dawson. Cundiff is solid, not a huge leg but good 35 and in. Spencer Lanning handles the punting duties, and again is marginal, nothing to brag about but will put up about a 40 net avg this season for the Browns. Their kick return and punt return duties will be to Travis Benjamin for punts and Taylor Gabriel will see time returning kickoffs.

     
  • NFL 2014 Week One Lines – Steelers 6.5 Point Favorite Vs Browns

    Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns

    Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total
    9/4 8:35 ET At Seattle -5.5 Green Bay 46
    9/7 1:00 ET New Orleans -3 At Atlanta 52
    9/7 1:00 ET At St. Louis -4 Minnesota 44
    9/7 1:00 ET At Pittsburgh -6.5 Cleveland 40.5
    9/7 1:00 ET At Philadelphia -10 Jacksonville 53
    9/7 1:00 ET At NY Jets -5 Oakland 40
    9/7 1:00 ET At Baltimore -1.5 Cincinnati 43
    9/7 1:00 ET At Chicago -6.5 Buffalo 48
    9/7 1:00 ET At Houston -2.5 Washington 45.5
    9/7 1:00 ET At Kansas City -4 Tennessee 43.5
    9/7 1:00 ET New England -4.5 At Miami 47.5
    9/7 4:25 ET At Tampa Bay -1 Carolina 39
    9/7 4:25 ET San Francisco -5 At Dallas 51
    9/7 8:30 ET At Denver -7.5 Indianapolis 55.5

    Monday Night Football Line

    9/8 7:10 ET At Detroit -5 NY Giants 47
    9/8 10:25 ET At Arizona -3 San Diego 45

     

     
  • Analysis of the Steelers 2014 roster and practice squad

    Steelers 2014 Roster

     

    The Pittsburgh Steelers spent eight months analyzing the players on their 2013 roster, their 2014 NFL Draft selections, free agents brought in during the offseason and players brought in to training camp and their 2014 preseason games. On Saturday, the Steelers released their initial 53-man roster and then the ten players they placed on their practice squad were announced Sunday.

    While General Manager Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin will most likely keep their eyes on the waiver wire around the league, they are settled thus far with the players they’ve placed on the initial roster.

    Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 Roster

    It wasn’t much of a surprise to see Ben Roethlisberger and Bruce Gradkowski listed as the Steelers quarterbacks. The battle during the preseason between Brendon Kay and Landry Jones, however, was one of inconsistency. Jones came out as the third man on the depth chart, possibly due to the fact that he completed 14-of-18 passes for 97 yards against the Carolina Panthers. Jones has not shown what Mike Tomlin called “consistent, above-the-line play,” so the jury is out on whether the Steelers will watch for a quarterback that will be waived by another team.

    There were no surprises along the offensive line. Offensive line coach Mike Munchak spent the majority of his time with Mike Adams, Kelvin Beachum, David DeCastro, Marcus Gilbert, Ramon Foster and Maurkice Pouncey. Chris Hubbard spent all of the 2013 NFL season with the Steelers on the practice squad and will be a backup guard. Cody Wallace and Wesley Johnson showed enough during the preseason that Munchak lobbied to keep nine linemen, but only Gilbert, Beachum and Adams are listed as tackles.

    After releasing or cutting most of their running backs after inefficiency in 2013, the Steelers brought in veteran free agent LeGarrette Blount during the offseason. They also nabbed undrafted rookie free agent Dri Archer. Le’Veon Bell earned the starting position in the middle of the 2013 season and looks to carry most of the rushing load for Pittsburgh in 2014. Will Johnson will retain his position at fullback.

    The Steelers had quite a battle at wide receiver during the preseason with several players battling for a roster spot. Veteran Antonio Brown will be joined by veteran free agents Darrius Heyward-Bey and Lance Moore. Possibly due to inconsistent play, Derek Moye did not make the final roster opening up the way for Justin Brown, Markus Wheaton and rookie Martavis Bryant to take the final spots on the depth chart.

    At tight end, the Steelers will stick with three proven players that have spent time with the team; Heath Miller, Matt Spaeth and Michael Palmer. Many were surprised to see rookie Rob Blanchflower bumped off of the final roster, but Palmer’s special teams play showed his versatility and value to Pittsburgh.

    The defensive line had one of the biggest shakeups during the offseason as the Steelers looked for a stronger defensive front, the ability to get to the passer and stop the run. Rookie defensive tackle Daniel McCullers had a good preseason and camp and earned a spot on the final roster. He is joined by Brett Keisel who was re-signed just before the Steelers’ final preseason game. Cam Heyward, Steve McLendon, Cam Thomas and 2014 draft selection Stephon Tuitt make up the rest of the line.

    The Steelers brought in former linebacker Joey Porter to assist them in developing a quicker, more efficient corps at that position and Pittsburgh decided to keep a total of eight. Veterans Lawrence Timmons and Jason Worilds will line up with Terence Garvin, Sean Spence, Jarvis Jones, Arthur Moats, Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier. Rookie Jordan Zumwalt, a Steelers’ sixth-round pick (No. 6a) has been placed on the injured reserve list where he will most-likely spend the 2014 season.

    Showing they recognized the necessity to create a more effective defensive secondary, the Steelers chose to keep 11 on the roster. Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor will be joined by Cortez Allen, Will Allen, Antwon Blake, William Gay, Brice McCain, Robert Golden, Mike Mitchell, Shamarko Thomas and recent addition, B.W. Webb. That means that the Steelers will have five safeties and six cornerbacks on the roster. 2014 draft selection Shaquille Richardson struggled with issues that hampered his performance and bumped him off the depth chart.

    Special teams ‘specialists’ have been a concern during the 2014 preseason. Long-snapper Greg Warren had meniscus surgery on his knee but appears to be ready to for the season opener. Shaun Suisham will return as the place kicker. Brad Wing has shown a lot of inconsistency in the preseason as the punter and there may be a change made at that position if someone more reliable shows up on the waiver wire.

    Practice Squad

    The Steelers signed wide receivers C.J. Goodwin and Derek Moye, offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, defensive backs Shaquille Richardson and Ross Ventrone, defensive linemen Josh Mauro and Nick Williams, running back Josh Harris, tight end Rob Blanchflower and linebacker Howard Jones on Sunday.

     

    (article originally posted by author on Examiner.com under different headline)

     
  • Coming Up Short Of Opening Day

    Credit: GeorgeGojkovich/Getty

    Credit: GeorgeGojkovich/Getty

     

    The final roster cuts for the Pittsburgh Steelers 2014 roster have been made. Some surprising moves were expected and made. The roster is all but complete and this is one of the first major steps for the Steelers on their way to ring number 7.

    Steelers 2014 roster moves:

    OLB Chris Carter, OT Guy Whimper, CB Shaquille Richardson, WR Derek Moye, TE David Paulson, TE Rob Blanchflower, DE Josh Mauro, DE Nick Williams, OLB Howard Jones, CB Isaiah Green, WR Lanear Sampson, LB Dan Molls, RB Stephen Houston, RB Josh Harris, LS Bryce Davis, DE Ethan Hemer, DT Roy Philon, S Ross Ventrone, QB Brendon Kay, CB Dayonne Nunley, G Will Simmons, G Graham Pocic were all cut from the team. There was a feeling that OLB Chris Carter,and Howard Jones would battle it out to make the last OLB spot behind Arthur Moats.

    Likely practice squad candidates are OLB Howard Jones, OG Will Simmons ,TE Rob Blanchflower,and DE Nick Williams.

     
  • Steelers claim cornerback Webb from Cowboys

    B+W+Webb+Dallas+Cowboys+v+San+Diego+Chargers+Preseason+NFL+2014
    The Pittsburgh Steelers faced a situation with rookie Jordan Zumwalt after he sustained an injury that would either place him on the cut or waive list, which teams seldom like to do with draft selections of that year, or place him on the Reserved/Injured list.  Zumwalt saw the latter, which meant that the Steelers had room to bring someone else in. Friday afternoon saw the Steelers claim cornerback Webb (B.W.) from the Dallas Cowboys.

    Dallas selected B. W. Webb in the fourth round (114th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft and the Colonial Athletic Association and Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year played in 15 games as a rookie for the Cowboys.

    Webb was the first freshman to boost his All-American season with the Tribe (2009) with eight interceptions and lead the (college) league.  One of his most attractive features was an exceptional visual ability on the field, vertical skills and quickness in the backfield, allowing him to defend 30 passes during his college career.  Webb was also an effective return specialist, gaining 604 yards (third on William & Mary’s all-time punt return chart).

    Webb became the first NCAA Football Championship Subdivision player to earn Bronko Nagurski National Defensive Player of the Week honors his freshman year.  Webb followed up that distinction by earning All-CAA first-team defensive honors in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

    For his career at William & Mary, Webb recorded 151 tackles (100 solo) with 7.5 stops for losses of 25 yards, one forced-fumble and two fumble recoveries.  Webb added 11 interceptions; two for touchdowns, gaining 171 yards.  The only other Tribe player to ever lead the league in interceptions was Darren Sharper (1994 and 1995).  Similar to Sharper, Webb returned 70 total punts for 604 yards and two touchdowns and 13 kickoffs for 207 yards.

    Webb enhanced his draft stock at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine by clocking 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash; 3.84 seconds in the 20-yard short shuttle; 11.06 seconds in the 60-yard shuttle; a vertical jump of 40.0 inches and long jump of 11 feet, zero inches.

    Vitals

    Height:  5-11

    Weight:  178

    Age:  24

    College: William & Mary

    With the Cowboys, Webb was earning his rookie stripes.  During the 2013 NFL Season, Webb recorded 16 tackles (13 solo) and one pass defensed behind starters Orlando Scandrick and Morris Claiborne.

    The news that the Steelers were able to claim a young cornerback in B.W. Webb may give  a sense of relief to ‘Steelers Nation’ fans who were concerned about depth at the defensive backfield position in Pittsburgh, especially when they watched the team virtually ignore the position during the 2014 NFL Draft.

     
  • Steelers Game Grades: Aftermath Of The Last Tune Up

    Landry Jones Steelers Quarterback

     

    Steelers Game Grades

    The Carolina Panthers and Pittsburgh Steelers evaluated their teams for the last time before cuts are made before the 4 p.m. deadline on Saturday. The Pittsburgh Steelers impressed on defense but the offense is another story.

    Coaching: Mike Tomlin did not show much in the way of a aggressive game strategy. Offensive Coordinator Todd Haley did not call plays that lead to the offense opening up. Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau held back on many of his blitz plays he usually calls.

    Team Grade: C-

    Offense:

    The offense was lead by quarterback Landry Jones. This offense was stagnant all night long. Jones passed for 97 yards on 14 of 18 passes. No deep passes were completed and the tune-up game never got on track. None of the backup receivers separated themselves from the competition. Nor did any running backs or tight ends. Offensive linemen did an ok job, but failed to generate a consistent push in the run game. Backup quarterback Brendon Kay did little to move the offense when needed. The lone bright spot was rookie backup offensive lineman Wesley Johnson who started at center.

    Offense Grade: D-

    Defense:

    Only allowed 10 points. Allowed a lengthy first drive. Secondary had some trouble dealing with rookie receiver Kevin Benjamin. Not a lot of pass rush was generated. Run defense held it’s own not allowing a 100-yard rusher. Backups did an admirable job containing mobile quarterback Joey Webb. The only negative was allowing a 53-yard completion deep.  Many backups made a strong case to make the team.

    Defense Grade: B

    Special Teams:

    The punting situation is not in good shape with Brad Wing as the Steelers’ option heading into the regular season.  Once again the return game offered little. The defensive special teams did a great job in not allowing any big returns. No field goals were attempted which is always a negative and indicative of an ineffective offense. Overall more work is needed in this area.

    Special Teams Grade: C-

     

    Do you agree with this Steelers game grade?  Have input on where the team needs to trim on the roster before Saturday?  Click here to go to our Steelers forum and talk about it at GridironChatter.com.

     

     
 
 
 
 
 

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