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Steelers News: Did Zach Gentry show enough to ease the concern with the Steelers TE depth?

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

NFL: Preseason-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers returned to the gridiron 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 prepares for the coming season, we continue to provide you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over until the season starts!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether or not the rookie tight end from Michigan, Zach Gentry, showed enough on tape vs. the Buccaneers to ease the concern about the team’s depth at the position.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers ignored the tight end position until the 5th round of the 2019 NFL Draft before they took Zach Gentry from Michigan. Gentry had his first taste of NFL action last Friday, and fans are wondering if he did enough to silence the critics of the TE depth.

Towering Zach Gentry gives Steelers clarity in tight end pecking order

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A familiar scene unfolded in the third quarter Saturday night at Heinz Field.

The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback scrambled around in the pocket, searching for a target in the back of the end zone. He let loose a high throw, and the tall, lanky tight end wearing a No. 81 jersey leaped high in the air before coming down with the ball for a 3-yard touchdown.

The big difference in the preseason opener wasn’t Mason Rudolph throwing the pass as much as it was Zach Gentry — and not Jesse James — catching it in the Steelers’ 30-28 victory against Tampa Bay.

With James being lured to the Detroit Lions by a four-year, $22.6 million contract in free agency, the Steelers face a literal tall order in replacing the 6-foot-7 tight end. For the first time in five seasons, another player besides James is wearing No. 81.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Despite some ups and downs, it looks as if Joshua Dobbs did improve, even if just as a double threat, in his first preseason action of 2019.

Classroom: Dobbs grows as double threat

By: Chris Carter, DKPittsburghSports

Josh Dobbs came into the season as the Steelers’ No. 2 quarterback and got the start in the Steelers’ 30-28 win over the Buccaneers. He finished with five completions on eight attempts for 84 yards, as well as leading the Steelers in rushing with two carries for 44 yards.

He didn’t finish a drive with a touchdown, but he did move the ball for the Steelers and combine his athleticism with multiple good throws down the field. Let’s take a closer look at his night:

Since Dobbs’ first training camp with the Steelers in 2017, Mike Tomlin has made a point during situational scrimmage drills to force Dobbs to win with his arm on plays instead of his legs. At first it was a frustrating challenge for Dobbs, but in his third year he’s shown he’s comfortable with the playbook and his presence as a quarterback to not rely on his legs as much.

That doesn’t mean Tomlin doesn’t want to see him running to get first downs. He just wants there to be a balance, and Dobbs showed that balance against the Buccaneers.

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

  • The death of Steelers WR coach Darryl Drake has left the team and organization stunned.

Kevin Gorman: Darryl Drake’s death leaves stunned Steelers at a loss for words

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

A man we were just getting to know, one now gone far too soon. Survived by his wife, Sheila, daughters Shanice, Felisha and Marian and two grandchildren, Drake was remembered by Steelers coach Mike Tomlin as “an amazing husband, father and grandfather” and a close friend who had “a tremendous impact” on his coaching career and who “loved the game of football and every player he coached.”

No wonder Tomlin’s statement that “it is difficult to put into words the grief our entire team is going through right now” was echoed by Steelers president Art Rooney II saying what everyone was thinking: “We are at a loss for words.”

Drake never seemed to be at a loss for words when talking football. His candor was captivating, especially when he spoke about coaching football. Never was that more evident than during the NFL Draft this past April, when he turned questions about third-round pick Diontae Johnson of Toledo into a dissertation on discovering and developing talent.

“To me, it doesn’t matter where you play,” said Drake, who played and coached at Western Kentucky before it became an FBS program. “I played the game at a small school because back when I came out, there weren’t very many minorities who were going to major college schools. But I could play. It didn’t matter where I came from or that this guy is at Toledo.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Putting a bow on the Steelers’ 30-28 win over the Buccaneers in Preseason Week 1.

Labriola on the win over Tampa Bay

By: Bob Labriola,

It would be foolish to suggest all of the concerns they carried with them to Saint Vincent College when training camp opened on July 25 have been solved following a single preseason game against an opponent that finished 5-11 last year, because preseason games can do to coaches what a mirage does to someone wandering in the desert.

Still, there were a number of things to like based on what was displayed last night at Heinz Field, not the least of which was that the game didn’t end in a tie, which when it relates to an NFL preseason game deserves to be considered a crime against humanity.

No, the Steelers came within a missed two-point conversion of that dreaded tie, but when Ryan Griffin’s pass for Dare Ogunbowale fell incomplete, Pittsburgh escaped with a 30-28 victory over Tampa Bay. While it’s always better to win than lose, this game certainly will provide Coach Mike Tomlin and his staff with enough teaching points to carry the team through the final four practices in pads before the Steelers break camp and return to Pittsburgh.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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