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Steelers News: Why Steelers fans can expect a breakout season from James Washington in 2019

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

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-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 why fans of the black-and-gold can prepare for second year wide receiver James Washington to have a breakout season in 2019.

Let’s get to the news:

  • We all had high hopes for James Washington when he was drafted in 2018. As a second round pick everyone expected another JuJu Smith-Schuster, but what fans received was nothing close to Smith-Schuster. But that doesn’t mean Washington won’t break out in 2019.

Carter’s Classroom: Washington will bust out

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

It’s no secret that James Washington’s rookie season was disappointing. A second-round draft pick from Oklahoma State, Washington caught only 16 passes on 38 targets for 217 yards and one touchdown.

But 140 of those yards came in the Steelers’ final four games. What changed in Washington’s game is what makes him the Steelers’ best candidate for a breakout season. Here’s why:

Last week, Dale Lolley reported about Washington’s progress in both his relationship with Ben Roethlisberger and his work to improve. Between Washington’s loss of 15 pounds and that improved chemistry, he might be on his way to being the threat the Steelers need at wide receiver.

The loss of that weight obviously is meant to impact Washington’s speed, but it’s also to help his quickness in and out of his breaks. Route running was one of the stronger traits that separated him in college and it started off as one of his biggest weaknesses.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Ryan Switzer was welcomed to Pittsburgh with open arms, but how he got to the Steelers was anything but easy.

Ryan Switzer nearly quit football last year

By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk

After a pair of hot-potato trades following only one season in the NFL, Steelers receiver Ryan Switzer came very close to walking away from the game. A brief encounter with Steelers coach Mike Tomlin not long before the season opener changed that.

“We are playing Cleveland in three days, and he says to me, ‘Make sure you get your sh-t together because you are going to be in there a lot,’” Switzer told Mark Kaboly of regarding remarks made in the aftermath of the trade that sent Switzer from Oakland to Pittsburgh less than two weeks before Week One.

“Now, I am thinking I am just going to come here and catch some punts and some kicks and be kind of an afterthought,” Switzer said. “It was like ‘Wow!’ He didn’t care where I came from and what they thought of me, and he puts me out there Week One against Cleveland [for seven offensive snaps] because he has trust in me. . . .

“I have always been a guy who if you show trust in me, I will run through a brick wall or die trying,” Switzer said. “For him to do that, I felt really good.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Ola Adeniyi’s road to the NFL has not been easy, but it doesn’t mean he is done doing work and making an impact on the Steelers’ roster.

If at first you don’t succeed ...

By: Mike Prisuta,

Outside linebacker Ola Adeniyi has been stepping outside of his comfort zone at OTAs.

“That’s what OTAs are for, working on something new,” the first-year pro maintained. “Hopefully, whatever you learn you can take it into training camp, and then work it from there, and then the preseason and so on and so forth.”

For Adeniyi, that approach included an opportunity to perfect his pass-coverage skills in a 7-on-7 drill today during OTA No. 6.

He was rewarded with an interception.

“I probably dropped to the flats maybe once or twice my junior year,” Adeniyi assessed of his tenure at Toledo. “Definitely this offseason I was trying to work on that aspect of my game because I never really did that in college.

“And last year I didn’t really have the opportunity to do that.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Turnovers, turnovers, and more defensive turnovers...that is what the Steelers want in 2019.

Labriola on INTs, Hilton, blocking kicks, Starr

By: Bob Labriola,

There is nothing that will happen or can happen during OTAs to impact this cause, but there can be a laying of a foundation where it becomes an emphasis. And there does seem to be an energy around the defense when it comes to making things happen in the area of takeaways.

So far, it has been little things. Simple things, even, with one of those being a drill that is easiest described as half of a seven-on-seven. Just defense on the field, some configuration of seven linebackers and defensive backs, which is a fairly typical representation of sub-package football. The ball is snapped, the defenders drop to cover the imaginary receivers, and conditioning assistant Marcel Pastoor – in the role of the quarterback – picks an area and fires a football at NFL velocity into an open area, which allows the defenders to break on the ball and hopefully get hands on it and catch it.

To read the full article, click HERE

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