The Pittsburgh Steelers are back-to-back winners for the first time in this 2018 season after a solid performance vs. the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Week 6. With the team now able to relax on their bye-week in Week 7, they will hope to improve on their 3-2-1 record by beating the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in Weeks 8 and 9.
Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-gold Links article.
This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article.
Today we talk about the Steelers’ offense. When you are talking about some of the high-flying offenses in the league, the Chiefs, Rams and Patriots all come to mind, is there a chance the Steelers could be equal, if not better, than those aforementioned teams?
Let’s get to the news:
By: Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Year after year, for at least a half-decade, the Steelers have said their goal was to average 30 points. We have heard about all the weapons they had combined with one of the best quarterbacks in the business, and how that would translate into an explosive, borderline unstoppable unit.
The Steelers have indeed been extremely productive in recent years, but they have yet to reach that magic number. Though they had four of their six highest-scoring seasons in 2014-2017, they have underachieved, especially when you consider the standards they set for themselves.
Their best season was 2014 when they scored a team-record 436 points and averaged 27.25 points. That was great by Steelers standards, but they were still not among the top five – or six — scoring teams that season.
That’s why I, like many, rolled my eyes when I heard in the preseason that this could be the Steelers’ best offense. Yeah, we’ve heard this every year, and we won’t be fooled again! That was especially true when it became clear that they would be without Le’Veon Bell for a portion of the season.
A funny thing has happened, though; the Steelers are starting to make a believer out of me. This offense isn’t quite where it wants to be, but it’s headed in the right direction. The Steelers are on pace to have their highest scoring season ever (28.5, No. 7 in the NFL). They are sixth in yards per game (417.7) and second in passing yards (329).
What makes this season different is that I think the best is yet to come. It feels like this offense is just starting to scratch the surface, and there is no question it has a chance to be the top unit in the league by the end of the season.
Why? For starters, Ben Roethlisberger is playing some of the best football of his career. He has gotten off to slow starts but has looked the part of a Hall of Famer as games progressed. Roethlisberger is still capable of turning a defense’s lights out — quickly. If he stays healthy, the sky is the limit.
He has a great chance to stay healthy, too, because the offensive line has been dominant. These last three games have been some of the best I’ve seen from a Steelers line in a long time. The unit has opened big holes for running back James Conner and kept Roethlisberger from getting hit.
By: Kevin Kirkland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A Steelers quarterback never expects a friendly reception in Baltimore, even when he’s on vacation.
“He walked up to me and said, ‘I’m a K9 officer and I have one of your dogs. I just wanted to say how much it meant to me,” Ben Roethlisberger recalled.
In the 11 years since the Findlay, Ohio, native bought a police dog for his hometown, the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation (https://bigben7.com/the-ben-roethlisberger-foundation) has purchased and paid to train 130 German shepherds and Belgian malinois for police departments in Western Pennsylvania, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Cleveland and many other communities not in the AFC North Division.
Ben’s dogs are everywhere.
People who wouldn’t think of rooting for a Pittsburgh team cheer Mr. Roethlisberger’s charitable mission. And local K9 officers, well, they don’t hide their gratitude for the man who’s given them some of the best partners they’ve ever had.
Pittsburgh Police K9 Officer Philip Lerza gets to thank Big Ben for Beny whenever the handler and his dog work the players’ entrance at Heinz Field before Steelers home games. The foundation paid for the 75-pound-German shepherd-Malinois mix in February 2014 after Rocco, Officer Lerza’s previous partner, was killed on duty.
“Staying busy with Beny helped me get through it. It helped my whole family,” Officer Lerza said.
That’s because police dogs go home with their partners, but never really go off duty.
By: Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
Steelers owner Art Rooney II took a deep breath, seemingly considering his responses about all his team had dealt with the last few months. He chose his words carefully. Was he surprised the Le’Veon Bell saga lasted as long as it has?
”Yes,” Rooney said after a pause. “Yes, I am.”
As is everyone else. The mystery surrounding the Steelers franchise running back could be ending this week, with Bell potentially returning to the team as early as Monday. Except Bell hasn’t told the team he’s definitely coming back, and until he does, it’s status quo.
One facet, though, is becoming clearer: Bell appears increasingly likely to remain on the Steelers until 2019. Rooney said as much in a conversation with NFL Network this week before exiting the league meetings in New York City.
“I expect him to be a member of the team going forward,” Rooney said, in response to a question about trade talks ahead of the Oct. 30 trade deadline. “That’s my expectation.”
Pittsburgh shopped Bell earlier in the season, and remain open to it. But by now, they know the reality is that Bell will almost certainly sign whenever he does, rejoin the team, form a 1-2 punch with James Conner, then walk in the offseason.
Based on Bell’s current contract and the inability of a new team to negotiate a deal to lock him up long term, this was always the likeliest option. And Rooney seems resigned to it.
There are even some who believe -- absent final word from Bell or his agent Adisa Bakari -- Bell will show up after the trade deadline if he isn’t shipped out of town. Rooney said while there have been conversations between the team and Bell’s agent, it hasn’t been much.