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Steelers News: Building a Super Bowl roster is not a cookie cutter operation

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

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

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 while fans think turning the Steelers’ roster from a non-playoff team into a Super Bowl contender is easy, it isn’t. In fact, putting together a Super Bowl roster is anything but easy.

Let’s get to the news:

Analysis: No set way to build a Super Bowl roster

By: Dale Lolley

The Patriots are in the Super Bowl for the third consecutive season and fourth time in five years. The Rams are the new kids on the block who have quickly gone from a team that was 4-12 three years ago to one that is on the cusp of winning a championship.

How did they get there and, perhaps more importantly for Pittsburgh fans, how do the Steelers get over the hump to get back to their ninth Super Bowl?

Looking at the rosters of all three teams, there are some definitive similarities to how they have been constructed and some obvious differences. There are even some differences between the Patriots and Rams, showing there’s no set rule how to build a roster.


The Patriots have been a team that has not been afraid to sign players through free agency. In fact, 12 of their current players were acquired in that fashion.

But none of their free agents would be considered big-name or big-money players. For example, their biggest signing last offseason, defensive end Adrian Clayborn, signed a two-year, $10-million deal. And he’s a player with 32.5 career sacks in eight seasons.

The Rams, on the other hand, were extremely active on the free agent market last offseason. They signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a one-year, $14-million contract in their biggest move. They also signed linebacker Ramik Wilson, defensive lineman Dominque Easley, center John Sullivan and corners Nickell Robey-Coleman and Sam Shields to deals worth a combined $29 million. Only Sullivan, who got a two-year deal, and Robey-Nickell, who was signed for three years, were signed for more than one season.

(To read more, click the link in the headline...)

Roger Goodell admits blown call in Rams-Saints; NFL will consider replay for pass interference

By: The Washington Post, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Wednesday that the league’s competition committee will consider the prospect of making pass interference calls subject to review by instant replay, but he stopped short of declaring that he favors such a change to the sport’s replay system.

Goodell, speaking at his annual state-of-the-league address during Super Bowl week, also said that he never considered overturning the result of the Los Angeles Rams’ triumph at New Orleans in the NFC championship game and ordering the game replayed from the point of the missed interference call late in regulation that may have cost the Saints a victory.

“That was not a consideration,” Goodell said.

The tumult over the interference non-call in the final two minutes of regulation has continued into Super Bowl week. Goodell made the NFL’s first public acknowledgment that the call was erroneous.

“It’s a play that should be called,” Goodell said.

Al Riveron, the NFL’s senior vice president of officiating, admitted to Saints coach Sean Payton after the game that interference should have been called against the Rams’ Nickell Robey-Coleman for an early hit on the Saints’ Tommylee Lewis. Robey-Coleman also was fined for an illegal hit on Lewis on the play that went uncalled.

Goodell said he subsequently spoke to Payton, a member of the competition committee. He said he understands the frustration of the Saints and their fans. He also defended the league’s decision not to make a public acknowledgment of the officiating mistake earlier.

“That’s our process,” Goodell said.

Goodell noted that the competition committee in the past has been against making judgment calls such as pass interference subject to replay. But he said the league still must consider potential changes.

“Technology is not going to solve all those issues … but we have to continue to go down that path… . We will look again at instant replay,” Goodell said.

Goodell said he will “make sure the competition committee understands this is critical to us” for there to be a better solution than there currently is for addressing such an officiating mistake.

“We try to get better,” Goodell said. “We try to learn… . I think the committee will definitely consider this.”

(To read more, click the link in the headline...)

Here are some Pittsburgh-themed Super Bowl prop bet ideas

By: Adam Bittner, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

We have to break up the monotony of another Super Bowl involving the New England Patriots somehow, so here are some Pittsburgh-themed prop bet suggestions. Challenge friends and family to match wits. The person who gets the most answers correct wins ... uh ... tortilla chips, or some other mutually agreed upon prize.

1. Yes or no: Will CBS analyst Bill Cowher, former Steelers coach, cause another social media stir by wearing a turtleneck during the network’s pre-game coverage?

2. Over or under: Two sacks for Los Angeles defensive lineman Aaron Donald, the former Penn Hills and Pitt star?

3. Over or under: One touchdown for New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, a former Woodland Hills standout?

4. Yes or no? Will the game broadcast mention 2019 as the 10-year anniversary of the Steelers’ last Super Bowl victory? (References to James Harrison’s long interception return and Santonio Holmes’ iconic game-winning touchdown catch count.)

5. When will the mystery ad featuring Donald and Steelers’ legend Joe Greene air? Choices: Before the game, first half, halftime, second half, after the game.

6. When will the NFL ad featuring Steelers receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and former Pitt star Larry Fitzgerald air? (Same choices as above.)

7. Yes or no? Will former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw appear in an ad?

8. Yes or no? Will Antonio Brown’s strained relationship with the Steelers be mentioned on the game broadcast?

9. Yes or no? Will Brown awkwardly appear in an ad while wearing a Steelers uniform or team colors?

10. Over or under: One reference to New England QB Tom Brady as a “known cheater” on the game broadcast?

(To read more, click the link in the headline...)