The Pittsburgh Steelers have won four straight games and continue to “stack wins.” After their 23-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9, the team has to move on quickly as they prepare to face the Carolina Panthers at Heinz Field on Thursday Night Football in Week 10.
Today we talk about how after Artie Burns was benched in Week 8 for being late to a walkthrough prior to the Cleveland Browns game, it looks as if Coty Sensabaugh has taken the starting role away from Burns, considering their was no rotation at the cornerback position in the Week 9 win over the Baltimore Ravens, as there had been in weeks prior.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Another week, another game in which Artie Burns stayed on the sidelines when the Pittsburgh Steelers were on defense.
This time, though, it wasn’t because he was late to a meeting. Had nothing to do with Burns’ ankle injury, either.
During his weekly news conference Monday, coach Mike Tomlin tacitly – but not not-so-subtly – confirmed that veteran Coty Sensabaugh has passed former first-round pick Burns on the Steelers’ depth chart at right cornerback.
Asked Monday if Sensabaugh has separated himself from Burns regarding playing time as one of the Steelers’ top two cornerbacks, Tomlin said: “You tell me, based on usage.”
Sensabaugh played 60 of the Steelers’ 61 defensive snaps during a 23-16 win at Baltimore on Sunday. Burns did not play on defense for the second consecutive week.
When Burns did not play cornerback during a win against the Browns on Oct. 28, Tomlin said it was because he was disciplining Burns for being late for a meeting the day prior.
Both players were on the official injury report released Friday – Sensabugh for turf toe suffered late in the Cleveland game, Burns for a turned ankle suffered late in Friday’s practice. Tomlin, though, confirmed that Burns was healthy enough to play.
Burns had started 31 consecutive Steelers games (counting playoffs) since earning a featured role Week 8 of his rookie 2016 season, a streak that ended at a Sept. 24 game at Tampa Bay in which Sensbaugh started two weeks after he was a healthy scratch for the season opener.
A seven-year veteran, Sensabaugh has started 36 of the 93 career games he has played. When the Steelers signed him to a two-year, $2.6 million contract in the spring of 2017, he was with his fourth team over a span of 14 months.
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Four days after what is annually one of their most physically demanding games of the season, the Pittsburgh Steelers will play again.
Like every NFL team, the Steelers have a Thursday night game on their schedule. Theirs falls Thursday at home against the Carolina Panthers. The Steelers have won four consecutive games, their most recent coming Sunday at AFC North rival Baltimore, 23-16.
“I’m sure the fans like (Thursday night games); they like seeing football as often as they can,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said on his weekly 93.7 FM radio show Monday morning. “Players? (Sighs) It’s like, ‘Oh here we go, short week, especially after a Baltimore game where you’re physically beat up.’
“I guess the only nice thing about it is you have the weekend off.”
The Steelers met Monday for meetings at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, will practice for the only time this week on Tuesday and have a walkthrough Wednesday.
During most typical weeks, NFL teams practice three times in addition to a meeting day and a walkthrough on the eve of gameday.
The Steelers have played one in-season Thursday night game every year since 2006, the season before Mike Tomlin took over as coach. Tomlin said the coaching staff does its best to squeeze in a typical full gameplan and preparation into the short week.
“You get to it (all) – but the depths in which you get to it is debatable,” Tomlin said of a short week. “So I think having a perspective of dealing with it for a number of years, I think the things that you choose to push to the front of the line if time is limited. Where do you allocate your time? Not only from time spent with players, but I am talking about staff time. The allocation of time and focus I think is the critical element of short week prep.”
By: Adam Schefter and Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
Le’Veon Bell has not had contact with the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, sources tell ESPN, and barring an unforeseen development in the next few days, is not expected to report to the team in time for Thursday night’s game against the Panthers, increasing the possibility that the star running back will not play at all this season.
Bell faces a deadline of Nov. 13 to report in order to play at all this season. Under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Bell must report to the Steelers by 4 p.m. ET next Tuesday or he will be ineligible for the remainder of the season, a source confirmed to ESPN.
The collective bargaining agreement mandates that any player on a contract or on a tender must report by the Tuesday after the 10th week of the season if he wants to play that year.
But one source pointed out to ESPN that it “doesn’t make any sense for [Bell] to play now.”
”If he doesn’t want to play for $14.5 million, why would he want to play for $5 million?” the source told ESPN, referring to the prorated balance remaining on Bell’s $14.5 million franchise tender.
Bell told ESPN in early October that he is staying away to preserve his long-term health for his next contract but intends to play football this season. Bell has been working out in Miami this season, but on Monday he tweeted “Fairwell Miami” without further explanation.
But despite Bell’s tweet, the Steelers still haven’t heard from him and their focus remains the same with the players and coaches in the building as they prepare for Thursday’s game vs. Carolina, a source told ESPN.
Bell said the Steelers told him they plan to place the transition tag on him this offseason, and a source confirmed to ESPN that the tag would be worth approximately $9 million to $10 million.
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt had a parting shot on Instagram for Joe Flacco.
Tuitt’s Instagram post is a still shot of him tracking down Flacco before a late-game sack, accompanied by the phrase, “I think we was pretty physical today.”
That was an apparent reference to what Flacco had to say after the first game against the Steelers earlier this season.
”It’s not like today was the toughest Pittsburgh Steeler game I’ve ever played,” Flacco said.
He also stated that he felt as if the Ravens could’ve had as many as 35 points in that game. A few other players made references to Flacco’s comments in the locker room leading into the game and after the win.
Those quotes must have made an impact. And the Steelers shoved them back in Flacco’s face.