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Steelers News: Mason Rudolph returns in year two with a new sense of swagger

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

Tennessee Titans v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

It is hard to believe, but the Pittsburgh Steelers return to the gridiron this week when they report back to training camp. In the meantime, don’t think the news surrounding the black-and-gold is over. As the team returns from their summer break, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until training camp starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at how second year quarterback Mason Rudolph returns for his sophomore season with the Steelers with a renewed self-confidence as he tries to take the backup quarterback role from Joshua Dobbs.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Mason Rudolph is back, but he isn’t the same quarterback Steelers fans saw out of Oklahoma State.

Swagger returns for 2nd-year Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

ames Washington has known quarterback Mason Rudolph longer than any other Pittsburgh Steelers teammate, having shared the same locker room since they were freshmen at Oklahoma State in 2014.

As he prepared for the start of his second NFL season, the young wide receiver noticed something in Rudolph he hadn’t seen since they were terrorizing Big 12 defenses for three-plus seasons:


“He looks more confident back there leading the pack,” Washington said in June during the Steelers’ minicamp. “He was like that at Oklahoma State. He was the guy who likes to take charge of his group, which I like.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Although extremely early, the reviews have been good thus far for Diontae Johnson, wide receiver from Toledo.

Positive returns thus far for Steelers rookie Diontae Johnson

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Danny Smith visited Toledo in the offseason with the purpose of scouting Diontae Johnson, a talented wide receiver who doubled as a kick and punt returner for the Rockets.

Confirming what Smith saw on tape, the Pittsburgh Steelers special teams coach was impressed with what happened when Johnson got the ball in his hands. It was what happened before the ball landed in Johnson’s mitts that Smith questioned.

After the Steelers selected Johnson in the third round of the NFL Draft, Smith went to work trying to fix what he viewed as the reason Johnson had the occasional drop on his returns in his three seasons at Toledo.

“He has a technique issue that we are working on, to be honest, but he’s got great hands,” Smith said during minicamp before Johnson and the rest of the Steelers players embarked on a six-week break before training camp.

Johnson admitted to using spring workouts to correct a flaw in his hand placement when fielding punts and kicks.

“It’s how I’m drop-stepping and catch the ball a certain way,” Johnson said. “Keep my hands up high and not let them get wide. If I do that, the ball goes through my arms.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Where did the 2018 season go wrong? Here are some specific moments when the wheels fell off of last year...

Five times Steelers 2018 season went oddly, inexplicably wrong

By: Hunter Homistek, DKPittsburghSports

Let’s revisit some of the chaos from 2018 that contributed to the Steelers’ early exit:


We’re coming in hot. I can’t choose just one kick, because that would ignore the fact Chris Boswell missed seven of his 20 attempts. That was both his lowest number of attempts since taking over in 2015, and his highest number of misses. His 65 percent conversion rate fell far below his previous career-worst of 84 percent in 2016.

That 2016 figure was bad.

His 2018 campaign was atrocious.

Add in five missed extra points — he’d missed three total in his career to last season — and you get the picture.

“If I had to point to a couple of things that I think were problems that may have cost us that opportunity, I think No. 1 was a lack of even an average kicking game,” team president Art Rooney II said at the end of the season. “(For) somewhat inexplicable reasons our kicker went from one of the best in the league to one of the worst in the league, and so games that we won close last year, we didn’t win close this year.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • People often forget about Brian Allen, but he is going to have to fight for a roster spot in 2019.

Classroom: Allen has something to prove

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

In years past, Brian Allen might have been a candidate to fight for a starting spot with the Steelers, back when his only competition might’ve been Brandon Boykin, Antwon Blake or Cortez Allen.

But Allen now looks up from the bottom of the depth chart at Joe Haden, Steven Nelson, Mike Hilton, Cameron Sutton, and even rookie Justin Layne. Outside of Artie Burns, Allen will have to do a lot to prove he deserves more playing time over those guys.

And the fact remains that in two years with the team, Allen has never played a defensive snap in regulation, despite being a fifth-round draft pick in 2017. So how can Allen show something that finally gets him on the field when it counts? Let’s take a look ...

To read the full article, click HERE ($$)

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