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Steelers News: Making a case for T.J. Watt to be the Steelers’ MVP in 2019

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

NFL: New England Patriots at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

With all of the Steelers’ 2019 offseason workouts in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base has to suffer through the dog days of summer until the boys of fall return to the gridon. In the meantime, don’t think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over. As the team disperses for the summer, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until training camp!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how T.J. Watt not just could, but should, be the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 team MVP.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Last year it was Juju Smith-Schuster winning the team Most Valuable Player award which was the straw that broke Antonio Brown’s back. This year, it very well could be a defender, but not just any defender but a budding superstar in T.J. Watt.

Carter’s Classroom: Watt for 2019 Steelers MVP

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

A big deal was made out of JuJu Smith-Schuster receiving the Steelers’ MVP vote in 2018 and how it related to the team’s succeeding fallout with Antonio Brown. But what if another young star from the Steelers’ 2017 draft class won team MVP this season?

I’m calling my shot: That player will be T.J. Watt. After a good start with seven sacks in 2017 and almost doubling that with 13 sacks in 2018, Watt looks to be on the verge of becoming a superstar. I’ve followed his trajectory closely, and here’s my case for him being team MVP this season:

For context, remember that no defensive player has won the Steelers’ MVP since Troy Polamalu in 2010. It’s no coincidence that the past two times a defensive player won MVP, the Steelers made the Super Bowl (James Harrison, 2008), and the past three years they’ve made the Super Bowl, a defensive player was at least named co-MVP (Casey Hampton and Hines Ward, 2005).

That’s why it would be a big deal if Watt could pull this off, and it would be a good omen for the Steelers’ season. Watt’s shown a steady climb in his skills and production.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • If you haven’t been paying attention to the rookie class, Benny Snell Jr. is really tough not to like.

Smilin’ Snell: ‘I finally get to live my dream’ with Steelers

By: Hunter Homistek, DKPittsburghSports

Benny Snell takes nothing for granted.

Like catching his first pass from Ben Roethlisberger — a player 16 years his elder he grew up watching on TV.

Like being recognized at the mall as the Steelers’ fresh rookie running back.

Like the opportunity to stroll into the Rooney Complex and suit up in the black and gold.

”I finally get to live my dream,” Snell was telling me at his locker during Steelers minicamp at the Rooney Complex. “That’s how I think about it. It’s a full-time job and everything counts, when it comes to the reps, the quality reps, the film, the relationship with your teammates — everything counts. I always keep that in the back of my mind and I attack every day.”

Behind that “attack mode,” however, is one of the most likable, smiley characters inside the Steelers’ locker room. I’ve had the chance to speak with Snell three times throughout OTAs and minicamp, and each time I catch myself smiling right along. Getting him on video is actually a challenge, because my natural reaction is to laugh along — not to keep a steady frame for the viewers.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • One of the biggest debates among the Pittsburgh Steelers’ fan base is what they will do at the wide receiver position. They have plenty of players, but how will they use them all?

Tim Benz: Steelers explain plan to deploy WRs without Antonio Brown

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The comment from Ben Roethlisberger resonated.

Clearly, JuJu Smith-Schuster was banged up during the season finale. That’s part of the reason why the Steelers’ passing offense was so lackluster en route to an ugly 16-13 victory over a last-place Bengals team.

An even bigger reason, though, was the absence of Antonio Brown. The All-Pro wide receiver was benched because he missed practice during the week.

And with his status uncertain throughout the lead-up to an important season-ender against Cincinnati, game-planning was compromised.

Not strictly from the standpoint of missing his talent. But also the fundamental issue of the quarterback not knowing where everyone was pre-snap.

“Typically, A.B. is the ‘X’ receiver,” Roethlisberger said after that game. “No matter what you call, A.B. is always at X. Anyone else can come in. But A.B. always has his position. Tonight we had four or five guys play ‘X.’ ”

Now, with Brown gone for good, the Steelers are saying that approach will change in 2019. JuJu Smith-Schuster won’t be deployed in that manner as he gets promoted to the role of No. 1 wide receiver.

“No, that’s definitely not for me,” Smith-Schuster said during minicamp. “I’m the guy that plays everywhere around. Inside, outside, even playing tight end this year when we go five wide. We’ve got guys who can play everywhere. Not just one position. We are centering off of one person.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • NFL Hard Knocks is a tremendous show, regardless of the team being featured, but with the Oakland Raiders being the team selected for this year you have to wonder if they will live up to the hype with their crazy cast of characters.

Tim Benz: Will Raiders on ‘Hard Knocks’ live up to the hype?

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Most football fans have been rooting for it.

I’ve made it a mission to advance the cause.

And now it’s official.

HBO’s all-access training camp show, “Hard Knocks,” will be covering the Oakland Raiders.

This isn’t just the “Hard Knocks” season we wanted. This is the “Hard Knocks” season we deserve.

As the Raiders’ own website described last week, “A 30-person NFL Films crew will be in Raiders’ training camp in Napa Valley, shooting more than 1,750 hours of footage over the course of the series. Camera and sound crews will have unencumbered access to players’ and coaches’ meeting rooms, training rooms, living quarters and practice fields.”

Only 30 people? That’s it? Is that gonna be enough for this motley crew in Silver and Black?

To read the full article, click HERE

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