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Steelers News: Young players waiting for their chances to shine

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with disappointment for the second week in a row after the Kansas City Chiefs came into Heinz Field and dismantled the home team. Heading into Week 3, the team must slowly turn its attention away from the embarrassing loss and solely focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week-3, prime-time matchup. 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 focus on some of the younger Steelers who haven’t got a chance to shine yet. Players like Jaylen Samuels, Chukwuma Okorafor and Marcus Allen who are biding their time waiting for an opportunity to prove their worth.

Let’s get to the news:

Rookie Jaylen Samuels stays patient, waits for his chance in Steelers offense

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Updated 11 minutes ago

Jaylen Samuels is living the dream after making the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 53-man roster as a rookie. The running back has been part of the 46-player active gameday squad for each of the season’s first two games, too.

But getting on the field? Not quite yet.

That’s not going to bring Samuels down.

“I am just taking it a day at a time, coming to work every day improving every day on what I’ve got to do and focused on what I got to do,” he said. “And when my number gets called just be ready to go.”

Samuels said he’s been a part of the gameplan during the games against Cleveland and Kansas City – and he even was on the field for a snap in the loss to the Chiefs. Officially, though, it didn’t count because the play was nullified because of a penalty.

The No. 3 running back on the depth chart, Samuels was a tight end at North Carolina State and also has a background as a wide receiver. A fifth-round pick in April, he’s an intriguing chess piece for first-year offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner to play with.

Antonio Brown hasn’t lost respect in the Steelers locker room

By: Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Antonio Brown doesn’t appear to have lost any friends in the Steelers locker room after skipping work Monday, one day after he was involved in a couple of sideline confrontations with offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and receivers coach Darryl Drake.

Team captain Maurkice Pouncey did not have a problem with Brown getting into an argument with Fichtner during the game.

“One hundred percent,” Pouncey said. “Tom Brady does it. I’ve seen him do it plenty of times. No one ever says anything. The ultimate competitor Tom Brady does it. Peyton Manning used to do it all the time. The guy wants to win a football game. He wants to go out there and make plays. I love A.B. to death. I’ll never say anything bad about him. He’s a great player. He’s the ultimate competitor. He cares about this team, and he cares about winning. That’s what you want on a football team.”

As for Brown not showing up to work Monday, Pouncey said Brown communicated with the proper people about having to deal with a personal matter.

Steelers punter Jordan Berry well aware of his early-season struggles

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Jordan Berry has heard from his coaches. Not that he needed to get their opinion to assess his own punting this season.

“We (as punters and kickers) know we kick the ball (poorly),” the Pittsburgh Steelers punter said Wednesday. “But you know, (coaches) are going to come up and be up front with us as well.”

So while Berry didn’t hear what coach Mike Tomlin had to say during his weekly news conference Tuesday ( “It’s got to be better,” Tomlin said of the punting), Berry had already been given the message by the special-teams braintrust of Tomlin and special-teams coach Danny Smith.

“‘Hey, you haven’t hit the ball well. We need you to improve. If you don’t improve it, you know, you have to start looking over your shoulder’ kind of thing,” Berry said.

“The coaches here are fantastic and they are very upfront with everybody. They are not going to hide anything. You hear stories from other teams; head games with people… There’s nothing that (Steelers coaches) are hiding from me.”

Berry acknowledged he mis-hit several balls during Sunday’s loss to Kansas City. He was trying to kick directionally to avoid Tykeek Hill and the Chiefs’ stellar return game – but not as directional as some of his punts went.

“I was really trying to make sure I was getting it toward the sideline with that punt return team; I just didn’t hit a couple of them clean,” Berry said. “So then when you are taking that sharp angle and then you don’t hit it clean, it just exaggerates how bad the ball is.

“I am just not hitting the ball well. That’s about it.”

Antonio Brown rejoins Steelers 2 days after being a no-show

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Antonio Brown returned to work Wednesday, rejoining his Pittsburgh Steelers teammates after not showing up Monday for scheduled film review and team meetings.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he spoke to Brown “a little bit,” but he said the All-Pro wide receiver did not address teammates about his absence.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said Tuesday that Brown did not report Monday because of a “personal matter.” Coach Mike Tomlin, who typically reveals when players have excused absences, did not do that at his Tuesday press conference. Tuesday is a day off for Steelers players.

Rosenhaus said Brown did not mean it when he tweeted “trade me let’s find out,” in reference to a former team employee’s social media comments that Brown owes his success to playing with Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger also said he doesn’t believe Brown was being serious about his “trade me” message.

“If I spoke to him and personally he reiterated those things to me or if I felt they were personally coming from him and not just a reaction to someone else, maybe I’d have a little more worry,” Roethlisberger said. “But as of now I don’t feel that way.”

Roethlisberger said frustration over not being a bigger part of the offense is the genesis of Brown’s behavior. He confronted offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner on the sidelines in the second half of the Steelers’ 42-37 loss Sunday to Kansas City. He also walked off the field by himself while teammates were celebrating Roethlisberger’s touchdown run that cut the deficit to five points with 1:59 left in the game.