The Pittsburgh Steelers 2019 season is officially over. After finishing the year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, has another long offseason awaiting them. Just because the games are done doesn’t mean we stop providing you with features, commentary and opinions to tide you over throughout the offseason!
Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at what the future holds for special teams ace Tyler Matakevich?
Let’s get to the news:
- Tyler Matakevich is a good special teams player, but does that mean he will stick around in 2020? His first year of being a free agent?
Steelers free-agent-to-be Tyler Matakevich hopes value earns him new contract
By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tyler Matakevich was at his locker the day after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season ended last week. About a quarter of the team was gathered within a few feet of him whooping it up around a finger-soccer game set up on a pool table, and Matakevich scanned the group reflectively.
“All these dudes, man, these are some of my best friends over here,” Matakevich said. “But it’s crazy — it’s the last time you’ll see some of these guys.”
But was it the last time that any of those guys will see Matakevich in a Steelers locker room?
The answer will come soon. Matakevich is set for unrestricted free agency. And although he won’t command an eye-popping contract on the open market, Matakevich has shown value that has endeared himself to coaches and could be coveted by another team.
“The way the conversations I have had with ‘Coach T’ (Mike Tomlin) and (special teams coach Danny Smith), the respect that’s there and the way they look at me, I am grateful for that and appreciative of that,” Matakevich said. “It’s just nothing but respect both ways. I love those guys.”
To read the rest of the article, click HERE (Free)
- Will the NFL dump the pass interference rule/review system? ESPN thinks so...
NFL execs make predictions for 2020: A new Saints starting QB, and Brady’s future
By: Jeremy Fowler, ESPN
The first year of reviewable pass interference led to confusion from fans and frustration from coaches who simply gave up. Coaches failed on 20 of 21 challenges during one early-season stretch.
It was no secret that league owners never wanted the review in the first place. They basically passed it at the NFL owners meetings to appease angry coaches in the aftermath of the blown no-call against the Saints in the NFC title game.
Now it has reached a boiling point.
”They have to do something -- either get rid of it or alter it,” one AFC exec said. “But there’s no clean way of changing it.”
That exec offers to expand the automatic review time at the end of each half from two minutes to four minutes, or to encourage officials to set clearer standards on holds.
To read the full article, click HERE ($$)
- Does the NFL need to re-evaluate the Rooney Rule?
The Rooney Rule (still) isn’t working
By: Mike Florio, ProFootballTalk
To say that the Rooney Rule isn’t working is to presume that it ever did. It never truly did, at least not in the way it was intended.
Ideally, the rule requiring at least one minority candidate to be interviewed for every head-coaching vacancy will prompt owners to engage in a deliberate, patient, inclusive search, one that doesn’t have the destination selected before the journey begins. That’s not how it worked in the decades before the rule was created, and that’s definitely not how it has worked in the 18 years since the rule was put in place.
The Rooney Rule was never about forcing an owner to hire a minority candidate. It was about requiring owners to give fair consideration to a diverse set of qualified candidates before picking the next coach. But even though the league can mandate at least one interview of a minority candidate, the league can never force owners to not make decisions about the coaches they want to hire.
And so the practical value of the rule comes only from the fact that requiring interviews of at least one minority candidate per vacancy places into the media pipeline names that otherwise wouldn’t be mentioned, and gives minority candidates opportunities to get experience with the interview process. There’s value in that, although less value when (for example) the Cowboys choose to interview not an up-and-coming assistant but Marvin Lewis, who needs no boost in name recognition or job-interview experience.
To read the full article, click HERE (Free)
- Social Media Madness
Charitable and talented, I can't think of anyone else who deserves the recognition more. Congrats @MaurkicePouncey for your @NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year Nomination! We're rooting for you, Maurkice! #WPMOY @Nationwide #ad pic.twitter.com/ydDzDyzLkL— Cam Heyward (@CamHeyward) January 8, 2020