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 simple fact how the nearly $7 million dollars Le’Veon Bell has passed up during his holdout has now been more than any other running back in the NFL has, or will, make throughout the entire 2018-2019 regular season.
Think about that, and let it sink in...
Let’s get to the news:
By: Frank Carnevale, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, who hasn’t shown up for work this season, has forfeited more salary than other running back will get paid, minus bonuses, this season.
According to a tweet by Spotrac , “Le’Veon Bell has now forfeited $6.84M from his 8 weeks away from the 1st place #Steelers. Not including signing bonuses, no active RB will earn that much in 2018.”
The tweet goes on to list three top backs and their salaries, minus bonuses: Buffalo Bills’ LeSean McCoy: $6.3 million; Houston Texans’ Lamar Miller: $5.75 million; and Minnesota Vikings’ Latavius Murray: $4.6 million.
Spotrac compiles the athletes salaries. Here’s their breakdown of NFL running backs.
For the record, Bells’ replacement, second-year player James Conner earns $578,000… a year.
He has 453 yards rushing, averaging 4.4 yards per carry and has 7 touchdowns. He also has 26 catches for 257 yards.
By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Ramon Foster is sitting on his stool, talking about Big Ben, byes and the Browns, when a question makes the Pittsburgh Steelers left guard lean forward and tap twice on his wooden locker stall.
Foster doesn’t want to hear about whether the possibility of a bye in October is a bad omen for the Steelers, as it’s the month in which Ben Roethlisberger has a 38-12 record, has posted his highest completion percentage (66.81) and passer rating (100.4) and thrown the most touchdowns (92) and fewest interceptions (40) in his career.
So the last thing Foster wants to hear about is how Roethlisberger is 10-0 at Heinz Field against the Cleveland Browns, who visit the Steelers on Sunday.
“History doesn’t mean anything. You’ve got to learn from it,” Foster said, rolling his eyes and tapping twice again on his locker stall. “It’s bigger for them than anything. To say that Ben’s 10-0 at home against them, they’re probably going to read into that and say, ‘Hey, we’ve got to do everything we can to beat him.’ ”
At this point, I should’ve known better to mention that the offensive line hasn’t allowed a sack the past two games, especially what with the Browns boasting one of the NFL’s top pass rushers in defensive end Myles Garrett.
“You keep saying all these … you sound like the announcers on ‘Sunday Night Football’ talking about Tucker,” Foster said, referring to Fox’s Chris Myers noting Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker had never missed an extra-point attempt in his career just seconds before Tucker missed his first in a 24-23 loss to New Orleans.
“Come on, bro! Goodness, I’m tired of knocking on wood here.”
Superstitious as that sounds — knock on wood — the Steelers know the next two games could determine their playoff fate, so they aren’t about to allow anyone to jinx their season. Before the Steelers can worry about their visit to the Baltimore Ravens next week, they have to do something we take for granted but they failed to do in the opener.
Beat the Browns.
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
Coming off a historic rookie year, JuJu Smith-Schuster set forth a three-point plan for a Year 2 leap:
Work harder, learn the nuances of the Steelers’ offense and “never change for nobody” as a contact-craving playmaker.
That process is going so well that the Steelers are looking for ways to keep challenging their 21-year-old budding star.
While Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown still catalyze the passing game in Pittsburgh, Smith-Schuster has breezed straight past his No. 2 receiver role on his way to 1a.
Smith-Schuster became the NFL’s youngest player to record 1,000 total yards in 2017, and now he’s leading the Steelers in receptions (42) and yards (561). Smith-Schuster is involved in most of the Steelers’ intermediate- to deep-ball packages and converts 66.7 percent of the passes thrown his way.
”I’m just embracing it, having so much being out here,” Smith-Schuster said. “Those stardoms under my belt helps me a lot and I’m able to, you know, play with the big boys.”
But with that stardom comes a delicate balance for the young playmaker. Veteran Darrius Heyward-Bey, considered a Yoda of sorts in the receiver room, said Smith-Schuster has shown he’s “pretty automatic” making plays when the ball is thrown his way but has much more room for growth.
His message for Smith-Schuster is clear.
”Don’t be content. Always think you can get better,” Heyward-Bey said. “You’re only in your second year. There’s so much more he needs to learn. He needs to continue to be a student of the game. He has the ability to make plays when the ball comes his way. Are you going to take those next leaps to run better routes, to get to your spots, know your ins and outs of the whole design of the play so we can put you in different positions?”
During training camp, Heyward-Bey and Roethlisberger were among those having sideline talks with Smith-Schuster after plays went wrong. Veterans are heavily invested in his success because they understand his value, and they know what’s next -- more attention from defenses.
Brown earns most of the bracket coverage, but Smith-Schuster has predicted “that’s coming” soon enough if he keeps wearing out slot corners.