The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season is over, but if you think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over — think again. For the drama-filled Steelers, things are just heating up, and this is where the daily links article comes in. You might have missed some key news, and we fill you in and give you the latest, and sometimes greatest, news surrounding the Steelers.
Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how a young star in the league, and most likely a leader on the Steelers’ roster, T.J. Watt, is tired of the drama surrounding his team. All he wants to do is win, and this should be the ongoing theme throughout the locker room.
Let’s get to the news:
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
From assistant coaching changes to an All-Pro receiver being out of pocket, the Pittsburgh Steelers face a barrage of challenges to resolve over the next few months.
One answer to the Steelers’ disorder can be found on one side of the pass rush. Outside linebacker T.J. Watt strengthened his position as a defensive building block in Year 2 with 13 sacks, tied for eighth in the league.
After struggling to close out games late in the season, the Steelers’ defense could look different in 2019. More personnel is on the way, possibly at linebacker and in the secondary. Scheme tweaks may be on the table, too.
But the defense was strong in a few areas. The playmaking of Watt, Cam Heyward, Joe Haden and others helped the Steelers rank sixth in the NFL in total defense (327.2 yards allowed per game) and tie for first in sacks (52).
Watt doesn’t seem to care about his numbers or his place in the leadership hierarchy.
“I just want to see us win. I don’t care who’s here, who’s at the helm of everything,” Watt said. “I just want to win games. We had a great team last year and I got to see what being on a 13-3 team is all about. Now, I’ve gotten to see what a (9-6-1) team is all about. I just want to be a part of success. If I’m the leader, if anyone else is the leader, I don’t care. I just want to be a part of it.”
Watt’s progress in his second season should be encouraging for a franchise that’s had uneven draft success on defense in recent years. Corner Artie Burns, the team’s top pick in 2016, fell out of the starting lineup in September. Outside linebacker Bud Dupree, the Steelers’ first-rounder from 2015, has shown flashes but hasn’t eclipsed six sacks in any of his first four seasons. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, the top pick from 2013, is no longer in the league.
Watt ended his second season on the rise. After experiencing a midseason sack lull, Watt refined his pass-rush moves in an effort to generate more consistent pressure. He finished the year with a sack in three straight games.
“I feel good. I always want to do better,” Watt said. “I felt I’ve left a lot of plays out there this year. Wish that I would have played better and made some more plays, but it’s not a game where I’m going to sit here and wish I would have done this, wish I would have done that. I feel like I can make a lot more plays ... Just have to practice hard, keep refining my craft.”
(For more...click the link in the headline.)
VIDEO: ESPN’s PTI crew discuss the state of the drama-filled Steelers
CLICK THE LINK HERE!
By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
There have been many complaints about Mike Tomlin from Steelers fans.
• He doesn’t have control over his players.
• His teams underachieve given their level of Pro Bowl talent.
• His playoff success hasn’t matched his regular season success in recent years.
• His players play down to the level of competition.
• His defenses are weak, and he is supposed to be a defensive coach.
How’s that for a start?
More specifically, many Steelers fans gripe about two things related to their coach: He’s rotten at replay challenges and has poor clock-management skills.
Tomlin’s clock-management credentials have long been in question, and he hasn’t won a challenge in his last 10 attempts.
Many in “Steelers Nation” have suggested the club add a coach or two on Tomlin’s staff, to be specifically in charge of these aspects of game management.
The Atlanta Falcons are doing just that for head coach Dan Quinn. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, ”Kyle Flood, who was the team’s assistant offensive line coach last season, will serve as a senior assistant and will help Quinn with replay challenges and clock-management issues.”
Other teams besides the Falcons have gone in this direction in the past. The Steelers should, too.
(For more...click the link in the headline.)