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Steelers News: How big of role will Vance McDonald have in the Steelers’ 2019 offense?

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

New England Patriots v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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 big of a role tight end Vance McDonald will have within the team’s offense in 2019. Will he be the focal point of the offense? Or will he be just another receiver for Ben Roethlisberger to target?

Let’s get to the news:

  • Vance McDonald showed off his potential in 2018. Not only did he stay relatively healthy the entire season, but he flashed the size and speed which isn’t often seen in the NFL. How will the team handle him in 2019?

Carter’s Classroom: Need to feed McDonald

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

If there’s a player that needs to be utilized more on the Steelers’ offense above anyone else, it’s Vance McDonald. After his best statistical season in 2018, McDonald looks to make his eighth NFL season a statement year.

Dale Lolley wrote about McDonald’s Pro Bowl chances last week, and I’m here to go over some of the reasons that support Ben Roethlisberger feeding him as many targets as it takes to get there.

McDonald caught 50 passes on 72 targets for 610 yards and four touchdowns. Everyone remembers the bulldozing of safety Chris Conte for a 75-yard touchdown against the Buccaneers. That play was great because it showed the league what would happen if he was left in single coverage against an average defensive back.

But McDonald had advantages throughout 2018 than just his brute force. He mixed great agility to get open in space against savvy coverage men with his ability to win combat catches.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Terrell Edmunds, with a year under his belt, is having the game slow down for him now...and that is great news.

Everything’s slowed down for Terrell Edmunds heading into second season

By: Josh Alper, ProFootballTalk

That’s more than any other rookie in the league played last year and finished the year with 78 tackles, a sack and an interception. Edmunds said he felt like he got better as the year progressed. He also feels better prepared for this season after the heavy workload.

“Everything slows up in your mind,” Edmunds said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “Last year you can say everything was moving faster. From the first day of OTAs last year to the first day of OTAs this year, you can just tell because everything was moving so fast, everybody was moving fast. And now that you have those snaps under your belt, that year under your belt, you’re one of those guys now, like you’re moving fast to the young guys now. The calls, the playbook, everything, you can say, is easier, you know what to expect. Now you can just go out there, get more comfortable and play your game.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Sometimes it is great to see feel good stories in the NFL, and the Steelers rookies did just that when they visited UPMC Children’s Hospital recently.

There were smiles all around

By: Teresa Varley,

On Monday afternoon, smiles and hugs were plentiful when the team’s rookie class visited UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, an annual tradition that is meaningful for the players and kids.

“This is great,” said Benny Snell. “It’s always good to take a day out and make somebody else’s day. That is what I find the most important. We are out here having fun. Me being able to see that joy and enjoyment, it means I am making somebody’s day. For me to be able to see someone else smile, it makes me smile and feel good. I am enjoying myself like the kids are enjoying themselves.

“It’s a great day. To see them smile it gives us enjoyment. I get to make their day and have fun doing it. It’s a good day. I live to see people smile. I live for enjoyment, especially for kids going through a tough situation. May God be with them.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Instead of having session seven of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), the Steelers went to Top Golf near Pittsburgh. These football players are big, strong and forceful. Not always adjectives that embody a golfer.

Steelers poke fun at Cameron Heyward’s golf swing: ‘Just awful’

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Mike Tomlin on Monday gave the Pittsburgh Steelers their annual day off away from the practice fields and meeting rooms. This year, the escape was to the Topgolf in Bridgeville.

And while a number of players spoke after an organized team activity session Tuesday that it was a good team-bonding exercise, something else stood out from the outing for some.

“Oh, 97 was terrible,” receiver Ryan Switzer said, referring to the golf swing of defensive captain Cameron Heyward. “Awful. Just awful.”

To read the full article, click HERE

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