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Steelers News: LB Sutton Smith not intimidated by the NFL

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

NCAA Football: MAC Championship-Northern Illinois at Buffalo Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

With the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is fast approaching, and the news surrounding the black-and-gold is far from over. As the team now turns their attention to more offseason workouts, OTAs and minicamp, there is no shortage of news.

Today in the Black-and-gold links article we take a look at how sixth round draft pick Sutton Smith isn’t intimidated in his new surroundings. Not by fellow Steelers, and certainly not by the National Football League. But will he be able to translate his college success into the professional ranks?

Let’s get to the news:

  • Every year, every draft class there are players who are enigmas. They had tremendous college success, but the ability to translate college success into NFL success is anything but easy. This is absolutely the case with sixth round pick Sutton Smith, who tore it up at Northern Illinois.

Sixth-rounder Smith not intimidated by logos

By: Dale Lolley, DKPittsburghSports

In his final two seasons at Northern Illinois, Sutton Smith recorded 29 sacks as a defensive end.

He did it mostly against other talent in the MAC, but don’t let that fool you. Smith was often at his best when the big lights came on.

In his final two seasons at Northern Illinois, Sutton Smith recorded 29 sacks as a defensive end.

He did it mostly against other talent in the MAC, but don’t let that fool you. Smith was often at his best when the big lights came on.

In 2017, for example, he had six tackles, including five for a loss, and a sack against Boston College. Then, there was a six-tackle, four for a loss, two-sack game against Nebraska.

He followed that up in 2018 with 17 tackles and four combined sacks in games against Iowa (Big Ten), Utah (Pac-12) and Florida State (ACC).

Despite being a small guy from a small school, Smith played at his best on the big stage.

To read the full article, click HERE


  • First round pick Devin Bush has a tremendous amount of talent. He is fast, tenacious and smart, but what might be one of his best traits is his leadership. And it seems as if he picked up where he left off with his leadership during Steelers Rookie Minicamp.

Devin Bush shows leadership at first Steelers practice

By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk

The Steelers drafted linebacker Devin Bush to be a leader, and he’s already leading.

Via Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the tenth overall pick already has asserted himself, during the first practice of his career.

“I just wanted to be vocal the best I could and trust what I see, whether I was right or wrong,” Bush said, according to Dulac. “I know concepts already, I just got to learn the language — different things they call, different things they speak. I just got to get familiar with the playbook, get familiar with the language and get confident in my playcalling.”

Fellow rookie Justin Layne noticed Bush’s abilities immediately.

“He’s a great leader, very vocal,” Layne said, per Dulac. “He’s going to be good. I can tell. You can tell. He was calling the right defenses and everything. He knows what’s going on.”

To read the full article, click HERE


  • Alejandro Villanueva has been busy this offseason. He was recently the commencement speaker at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, but also traveled back to an Army base in Germany which was very familiar to him.

‘It felt like home’: Steelers’ Al Villanueva returns to army base in Germany

By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN

Alejandro Villanueva knows how to maximize an offseason. He takes business classes at Carnegie Mellon University and spends time fishing in Florida and Canada.

Last month was all about savoring nostalgia from the fields of Kaiserslautern High School in Germany.

As an honorary football coach to military members as part of the USAA’s Salute to Service NFL Boot Camp, Villanueva returned to the place where his career as a U.S. Army Ranger began.

”As soon as I landed in Germany, it felt like it was home,” said Villanueva, who served in Afghanistan before working his way into the NFL. “Last time here (at Kaiserslautern) was with my dad getting my physical for the U.S. military.”

To read the full article, click HERE


  • The Steelers wrapped up their Rookie Minicamp Sunday, and it was a weekend full of learning for those players who will be a part of the 90-man offseason roster.

A weekend of learning for rookies

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

The Steelers wrapped up their three-day rookie minicamp on Sunday, and now the group will join veterans for the final week of Phase Two of the offseason program, before OTAs begin on May 21.

Many of the rookies are excited to work with the veterans at their position, including third-round pick Diontae Johnson who wants to learn from fellow receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster.

“I’m excited,” said Diontae Johnson. “JuJu is a great player, a Pro Bowl receiver. For me to come in here and learn from him, soak up as much information I can from him and apply that to my game, I’m excited. He’s a great player. I can’t wait to learn from him.”

Benny Snell, the fourth-round pick from Kentucky, can’t wait to work with the likes of James Conner and others in the Steelers’ backfield.

“There are a lot of weapons and guys I have been looking up to since I was little,” said Snell. “I can’t wait to learn from them. I am excited to work with them. James Conner, he is amazing. I can’t wait to meet him and learn from him.”

To read the full article, click HERE


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