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Pittsburgh Steelers Fact or Fiction: Last Gasp Edition

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After another devestating loss for the Pittsburgh Steelers, BTSC takes five bold statements surrounding the current state of the team and labels them as Fact or Fiction.

Los Angeles Chargers v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Rob Leiter via Getty Images

are definitely running out of time if they have any earthly chance to reach the postseason in a very odd year. Ill-timed turnovers, a plethora of injuries and a horrific offensive plan is greatly hindering this team. Because of all of this, BTSC anticipates the storylines and issues bold statements regarding each one of them. Let’s take a look and deem them as fact or fiction. The


The “trade Tomlin talk” is not productive in the middle of a season.

Fact

I get the giddiness of some people that have been calling for Coach Tomlin’s headset at a time when the Steeler coach has appeared on the top of the wish list of a team that has just fired their head man. But c’mon, that wouldn’t happen this season, if it actually happens at all. These kind of trades rarely occur. I realize that Pittsburgh actually saw this kind of thing happen when the Pirates sent Manny Sanguillen to the Oakland Athletics for Chuck Tanner. That worked out very well as the manager skippered the Buccos to a 1979 World Series victory. The Raiders received two first rounders and two second rounders from the Bucs for John Gruden in 2002. With Dan Snyder having deep pockets and little sense, this would be quite a haul. But frankly, the only thing that matters right now is working to right the early struggles in 2019. Anything else is unproductive noise.


However, the Tomlin-to-Washington speculation gives Coach T added job security.

Fact

If there is even a shred of a chance for the Redskins to give up a king’s ransom or merely one first-round selection, Tomlin needs to appear as a coach not even remotely near the hot seat. I just read an article that Jeff Hartman wrote speculating how Ben Roethlisberger’s contract effects Tomlin’s future. The first comment I read called to fire the coach. Compensation for the 13-year coach would most likely include at least a top pick. This in no way is me advocating that Tomlin should go, however a deal could include a top three selection in the 2020 draft. That would make up for the Minkah trade should the Steelers not right the ship this year. So even if you want him gone so badly you can taste it. why on earth would you want him fired if he could net a nice return? This leaked list of candidates make him really safe.


Neutralizing Keenan Allen is the defensive key to beating the Chargers this weekend.

Fact

Yes. Yes it most certainly is. The dude had 14 receptions for 148 yards and a touchdown last December. The Steelers had a huge lead in the contest, but had no answer for Allen and it cost them. In fact, I’m still having nightmares of Jon Bostic trying to actually cover the tree-like No. 13. The Steelers have really progressed on defense since Minkah Fitzpatrick arrived via a trade with the Miami Dolphins. Sure there will be weapons for Phil Rivers like Melvin Gordon, Austin Ekeler, Mike Williams, Travis Benjamin and Justin Jackson to look out for, but it all starts with the coaches installing schemes to stop Allen.


Mason Rudolph is going to be the starting quarterback this weekend.

Fiction

At this particular juncture, nobody knows who the Steelers starting quarterback will be under center. Randy Fichtner conveyed in his Thursday conference that he is unaware as well. What is known is that Mason Rudolph is in the concussion protocol, that the league is not quick to clear concussed players and that Devlin Hodges has been taking starter’s snaps and the game plan should feature his strengths. The Steelers and Mike Tomlin have experience in this particular arena. Back in 2009, Ben Roethlisberger found himself concussed and feeling better a day before the team’s Sunday Night Football contest in Baltimore. Tomlin, at the time, rebuffed Roethlisberger’s desire to play and went with a Dennis Dixon. Dixon had spent the week practicing with the first team and Tomlin found himself not wanting to disrupt that. The Steelers lost a close one and fell short of the playoffs. I reckon that Tomlin will follow the same script this time around and give Rudolph, even though he’s been practicing) until after the bye to return.


Ending the season as a Top Ten unit is a possibility in Pittsburgh.

Fact

While the prospect of this is little consolation in an all-but lost season, the defense has definitely become the strength of the Steelers. They are in a position to end the season with a much stronger defense than when the first started. The Minkah Fitzpatrick deal, the maturation into a superstar of T.J. Watt, the leadership of Cam Heyward and Joe Haden, the sideline-to-sideline speed of Devin Bush, the acquisition of Steven Nelson and the emergence of Stephon Tuitt are making this unit must see. Currently they rank at No. 17 in total yardage with 355.6 on average. Twenty yards less per game allowed would have them in the Top 10. In the points-allowed category, The Steelers rank 15th with an average of 22.8 ppg allowed. Over the last three contests, they have given up 17.66 ppg. With that, this very well should be a unit that ranks Top 10.


Are these statements valid? We will soon see. What matters most is your opinions on the matter. Please state them in the comments below.