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Steelers News: How Isaiah Buggs could end the Daniel McCullers experiment

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

NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Mark J. Rebilas-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 rookie defensive tackle Isaiah Buggs could finally end the Daniel McCullers experiment.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The past two years the Steelers have signed defensive nose tackle/defensive end Daniel McCullers to a new contract making fans scratch their heads. But could he be on the outside looking in when they cut to the 53-man roster?

Carter’s Classroom: Buggs vs. Big Dan

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

One question I’ve been repeatedly asked about the Steelers’ roster in recent years is about the future of Dan McCullers. Despite underperforming and not bringing much value outside of his size, he has retained a roster spot for five years.

If there’s a chance for a rookie to replace him before the sixth, it could be with sixth-round pick Isaiah Buggs.

Buggs is an interior defensive lineman who wore No. 49 from Alabama who occasionally lined up on the edge. That versatility made him an attractive late-round pick for the Steelers along with the prospect of reuniting Buggs with his former position coach, Karl Dunbar, the Steelers’ defensive line coach.

But the Steelers tried this in 2018 when they selected Joshua Frazier, another Alabama defensive lineman, in the seventh round to no avail. Buggs was available late because he was one of the worst performing defensive linemen at the scouting combine. From his defensive line class he ranked:

To read the full article, click HERE

  • The biggest difference between college football and the NFL? The speed...

Rookie Snell admits NFL is ‘really fast’

By: Hunter Homistek, DKPittsburghSports

Benny Snell agrees: The NFL is fast.

Throughout Steelers OTAs, I heard the expression from players at various levels. Rookies face many challenges when coming to the pros, but the biggest by far, it seems, is the speed of the game. There was this from Vance McDonald when I asked him about his work with rookie Zach Gentry:

Well, first off, the NFL is way faster than college,” McDonald was telling me after Day 2 of OTAs at the Rooney Complex. “But when you’re talking about a guy with that kind of size, obviously playing low to the ground is very difficult. Naturally, you want to run high and come off the ball, so that’s the first thing he’s going to have to focus on and think about, is staying low, playing low and playing fast. That’s really phase one for him.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • You can never underestimate what a comfort level can do for a player, and James Washington is finally comfortable.

James Washington more at ease playing with Roethlisberger, Steelers

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

James Washington never felt entirely comfortable in the Steelers offense — or with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger — in his rookie season.

A late-season pep talk by Roethlisberger calmed the young Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver’s nerves. Still, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that Washington began to feel totally at ease around the team’s franchise quarterback.

He hopes that cohesion serves as a springboard into a strong second NFL season.

Washington was one of 10 skill position players that Roethlisberger invited to his vacation lake house in Georgia. The players spent some time in the pool and riding on Roethlisberger’s boat, and they also mixed in a little football while bonding during a getaway that preceded organized team activities.

“It was a time for us to get to know each other a little better,” Washington said. “Last year, we never really got to hang out.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • The Steelers are serious about increasing their defensive turnover totals in 2019. But will it matter?

Haden’s statement

By: Mike Prisuta,

For a team that’s hopefully destined to come up with more interceptions, the first play of OTAs couldn’t have worked out any better.

We’ll let cornerback Joe Haden explain:

“It was me and (tight end) Vance (McDonald) out there on the island. He ran an outside release so I thought it was going to be a fade. Then when he sunk his hips down to run a comeback I just under-cut it.

“I looked back and the ball was there so I had to pick it off.”

It was an opening statement that resonated in “Seven Shots,” the Steelers’ practice-opening, two-point conversation/short-yardage drill.

It worked out so well for the defense in that particular instant on Tuesday morning at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex that it almost appeared scripted.

“I just told Joe I did it on purpose to get him ready for the year,” quarterback Ben Roethlisberger joked.

To read the full article, click HERE

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