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Steelers News: Ramon Foster okay with expanded playoffs, not okay with an 18-game regular season

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

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers-Training Camp Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the gridiron this week when they reported back to training camp. With practices underway, the news surrounding the black-and-gold is just starting to heat up. 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 the Pittsburgh Steelers’ NFLPA representative, Ramon Foster, is just fine with expanding the playoff format, but is not okay with an 18-game regular season.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The thought of more football and less preseason games is exciting for football fans. Who wouldn’t want to see more football? But Ramon Foster, and by proxy the Steelers players, aren’t buying the 18-game regular season plan the owners want. He is okay with expanding the playoffs though.

Steelers union representative Ramon Foster endorses expanded NFL playoff format

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

In agreement with his union brethren, Ramon Foster again said Monday he was against the NFL’s reported proposal of an 18-game regular season in which players appear in only 16 of those games.

But, surprisingly, Foster isn’t against ALL additional games.

“I’m all for expanding the playoffs,” the Pittsburgh Steelers NFLPA player representative said at Saint Vincent. “Reward the teams that get the opportunity to do good.

“I would look forward to expanding the playoffs more than I would 18 (regular-season) games.”

Foster was short on specifics on expanding from the six-teams-per-conference format that has been in place for more than a quarter century.

“Ten, 12, maybe?” Foster said. “We will see.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Can Bud Dupree finally live up to expectations? In his 5th year?

Kevin Gorman: Steelers need a leaner Bud Dupree to finally live up to expectations

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

If Bud Dupree looks noticeably leaner for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s not because he lost weight.

“I’m still 260,” Dupree said. “I just trimmed up.”

Maybe he wised up, too.

A soup-and-salad diet since April allowed Dupree to lose some body fat — the Georgia native told me giving up fried foods, especially catfish and chicken, was the hardest part — in hopes his stamina will match his speed and strength this season.

The 6-foot-4 outside linebacker, who said he has been as heavy as 275 pounds, believes it will make him a stronger pass rusher. That’s what the Steelers desperately need from Dupree, who has had at least four sacks every season but never more than six. To that degree, he has been a disappointment.

“It’s just for being able to stay on the field and (play) full speed while I’m on the field,” said Dupree, who started eating protein again just weeks before the start of training camp. “It’s about stamina. That’s the main thing — and for training camp. I’m in tip-top shape off the field for football, but when you’re chasing people around, it’s a whole different kind of shape. When you’ve got to go out with the pads on and really chase people around, it’s a different level.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Many fans want Javon Hargrave to get a new contract sooner than later, but there haven’t been any talks...yet.

Still no contract talks with Hargrave

By: Dale Lolley, DKPittsburghSports

It’s funny how one year can change perceptions.

It wasn’t that long ago -- after the 2017 season to be exact -- many fans felt the Steelers needed to find a new nose tackle, one that would help the team avoid embarrassing losses, such as the one to the Jaguars in the playoffs in which Jacksonville ran the ball very well.

Some felt Javon Hargrave wasn’t an effective enough player to be the Steelers’ long-term answer at nose tackle.

Now, many are wondering how the Steelers could not sign Hargrave to a contract extension following his breakout season in 2018.

How effective was Hargrave last season? He finished with 49 tackles, including 32 solos, 6.5 sacks and eight additional pressures, seeing his numbers improve across the board in all of those areas.

Now consider that he played just 455 snaps or 43.6 percent of the team’s defensive plays. That means Hargrave made or assisted on a tackle or sacked the quarterback every 8.2 snaps he was on the field.

”That’s what I do. I like to get off blocks and go make the tackle,” Hargrave told me Friday, as the Steelers held their first practice of training camp for the 2019 season.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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