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 the fact the Steelers could have B.J. Finney and Matt Feiler, at guard and tackle respectively, on the right side of the offensive line. Not really an ideal situation for the offensive front as they head into a game many consider a must-win on Monday night.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
The most recent time Matt Feiler started a game – any game, at any level, meaningful or not – at offensive tackle came Nov. 30, 2013.
It was in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference championship game. Feiler and Bloomsburg lost, 40-38, to rival West Chester and failed in an attempt to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II playoffs.
Since then? Well, there were nine late-game snaps at right tackle during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ win at Detroit last October.
Other than that…
“I honestly don’t know,” Feiler said, pondering his experience at tackle since college. “I don’t think (any).”
It could come in a few days on Monday Night Football against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“It’s just something you have to be ready for at all times,” Feiler said after completing a practice in which he said he was taking reps in place of starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert. “If they call my number, they call my number. I have to be ready to play.”
Gilbert has not practiced yet this week because of a hamstring injury. Despite the presence of rookie Chuks Okorafor and Zach Banner on the 53-man roster, the Steelers in practice thus far have been turning to Feiler instead of those two young pure tackles.
By: Mark Madden, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Whenever the topic of Antonio Brown and whatever negative impact his shenanigans have on the Pittsburgh Steelers comes up, it’s often dismissed by saying, “He doesn’t play defense.”
That triggers discussion and dissection of the defense.
Legitimate nausea soon sinks in.
Brown is selfish and frustrating. Thursday’s meet with the media was amazing. He admitted no wrongdoing, contradicted himself constantly and berated the media with (in so many words) cries of “fake news!”
If Brown keeps that up, he might be President someday.
But Brown can play. (Just not as well as JuJu Smith-Schuster right now.) Brown will top 100 catches. (Unless, at 30, he can’t get open like he used to.)
The Steelers defense can’t play. It has potential to be ruinous. Its problems are many, and they are great.
The Steelers missed 17 tackles in last Sunday’s home loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. That’s mind-boggling. That’s a failing grade in Football 101. If that doesn’t resolve itself organically, it won’t resolve itself. NFL teams barely wear pads in practice anymore, let alone work on tackling. Tackling can’t be fine-tuned.
The defense doesn’t have many (any) strengths. A 3-4 base relies on solid linebackers. That’s been a Steelers strength since adopting the 3-4.
It’s far from being a strong point now.
Vince Williams is average (or worse) now that he’s not partnered inside with Ryan Shazier. T.J. Watt has potential but needs consistency. If Bud Dupree isn’t yet a bust, he’s staking his claim.
The linebackers are bad. That’s a big reason the defense is bad.
Perhaps if the Steelers had drafted more backup quarterbacks …
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Vince Williams doesn’t know how his stall ended up in the far corner of the Pittsburgh Steelers locker room a few years back. It’s prime real estate: a coveted “corner lot,” close to an exit and away from the heavy foot traffic in those busy times after practice.
But to Williams, what made the positioning most fortuitous wasn’t the view of the whole room, nor the ability to stretch his legs onto a makeshift folding-chair ottoman.
“I was blessed by my locker position because I am by a guy like AB,” Williams said, referring of course to Antonio Brown, “and I was next to a guy like James Harrison. So all we ever talked about was all of us had similar paths finding success.”
Harrison went from an undrafted rookie to an All-Pro linebacker. Brown became a likely future Hall of Fame receiver from humble beginnings as a sixth-round pick.
Also a sixth-round pick, Williams isn’t quite on Brown’s Hall of Fame track. But he has come a long way as his career with the Steelers has evolved.
The 6-foot-1, 233-pound Williams has always been a well-respected and liked teammate, as well as a favorite of coach Mike Tomlin and his staff. But as recently as two years ago during his fourth NFL season, Williams’ role was that of core special-teams player and backup to Lawrence Timmons and Ryan Shazier.
Now, he’s the Steelers’ longest-tenured linebacker and has become an indispensible part of their defense. He calls out the signals, plays in all situations and almost never comes off the field.
Williams has missed just one of the Steelers’ 147 defensive snaps this season. Through two weeks, just three linebackers across the league played more.
“I never had to prove to anybody what my role was; I always knew what my role was on this team — now my role is just expanded,” Williams said.
“We all what I was capable of — we just had Ryan Shazier. If it’s who do you want on the field, Ryan or Vince, you’re picking Ryan.”