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Steelers News: Can Mason Rudolph duplicate the same success Ben Roethlisberger had in 2004?

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

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are moving into Week 3 of the NFL regular season, and as the team prepares for the San Francisco 49ers, 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 Mason Rudolph could possibly duplicate the success Ben Roethlisberger experienced when he was a rookie in 2004.

Let’s get to the news:

  • When Ben Roethlisberger was a rookie in 2004, he came in for an injured Tommy Maddox in Week 2 and rattled off 14 straight wins en route to the AFC Championship game. Could Mason Rudolph do the same?

Tim Benz: Steelers a long way from possible repeat of 2004 magic

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The comparisons are obvious.

The team was coming off a non-playoff season. The veteran starter hurt his elbow in a Week 2 loss. The reigns were handed over to a first-time starter many thought could be the franchise heir apparent.

Things felt bleak.

Feels familiar, right? It’s 2004 all over again.

That’s the vibe Pittsburgh is getting in 2019 as Ben Roethlisberger gives way to Mason Rudolph in a similar fashion to how he took over for an injured Tommy Maddox in 2004.

The comparisons don’t stop there. Much like this year’s team, the list of 2004 Steelers injuries didn’t stop at the quarterback.

• Nose tackle Casey Hampton went on injured reserve in mid-October after getting hurt during a win in Dallas.

• Free agent acquisition Duce Staley got off to a strong start but was injured during a Week 7 victory over New England before yielding the starting job back to Jerome Bettis.

• Guard Kendall Simmons was lost in training camp with an ACL injury.

Now all the Steelers need is a nice, tidy, 15-game winning streak into the playoffs to complete the picture.

Good luck with that.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Can Minkah Fitzpatrick be the ultimate communicator in a defense that lacks communication?

Kevin Gorman: Can Minkah Fitzpatrick solve Steelers’ communication issues?

By: Kevin Gorman, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Right before Minkah Fitzpatrick’s first practice with the Pittsburgh Steelers, strong safety Terrell Edmunds looked at his new teammate and offered a not-so-necessary reminder.

“ ‘T’ looked at me and said, ‘Make sure we talk. Make sure we communicate,’ ” Fitzpatrick said. “It’s really important at safety to communicate, make sure we are on the same page and make sure we speak the same language.”

Fitzpatrick spent his first 24 hours with the Steelers learning a new language, including a five-hour film session with coaches Tuesday to grasp their terminology on defense.

Right now, it’s about word association. The sooner he speaks it fluently, the more valuable Fitzpatrick will become.


By trading their 2020 first-round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for Fitzpatrick, the No. 11 overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Steelers gambled the versatile defensive back can help solve their communication issues on defense.

“I feel as if he’s going to pick it up fast,” Edmunds said. “He seems like he knows what he’s talking about now. That’s really on us. It’s not so much on him. We’ve got to make him feel comfortable back there. From there, his play is going to do the talking.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • It is hard to believe, but there are players who don’t love football anymore. That was the case for Zach Banner before he came to Pittsburgh.

Falling in love with football again

By: Teresa Varley,

“I had lost the love of the game and my passion to have fun in football.”

If you stood in the middle of the Steelers locker room and looked around and tried to guess who said that, chances are pretty good your first three guesses would be wrong. And probably a few more after that. And then a few more.

Because the player who uttered those words radiates a love for the game, a passion for what he does every day. He is fun-loving, smiles all the time, and always seems to be enjoying himself as he jokes with those around, whether it be teammates, coaches or staff.

But you never know what a person has gone through, what they are going through, by what’s on the outside.

And that’s why nobody would have guessed it was offensive tackle Zach Banner who uttered those word.

If you are wondering how a football player could lose that passion, just take a minute to learn about Banner’s journey to the Steelers.

Coming out of USC, Banner had high hopes of being a high round draft pick. But his weight was an issue, and it proved costly, dropping him down to the fourth round, where he was selected by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2017 NFL Draft.

“My weight went like this and this and this, which is why I dropped to the fourth round,” said Banner. “That is the truth. The coaches will tell you that.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Minkah Fitpatrick’s media availability

  • Social Media Madness