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Steelers News: Pittsburgh teams get the go-ahead to hold practice

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

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Atlanta Falcons v Pittsburgh Steelers

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. Unable to attend most player pro days and participating in the NFL’s first virtual draft, the Steelers keep pushing forward toward a return to football activities. Just because the Steelers are unable to hold their typical OTA’s 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 the positive steps the city of Pittsburgh is able to take towards the return of professional sports.

Let’s get to the news:

  • With Pittsburgh in the yellow phase, it’s now up to the NFL to allow the Steelers to practice

Pittsburgh pro teams given green light by Pa. Gov. to practice, play; Philly still week away

By: Brooke Pryor, ESPN

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a new guidance Wednesday permitting the play and practice of professional sports in counties that are under the yellow and/or green phase of reopening.

But that doesn’t mean every professional team in the state can start gathering right away.

Located in Allegheny County, which currently is “yellow,” the Pittsburgh Steelers would be allowed by local laws to practice once the NFL permits. But the Eagles, located in the “red” Philadelphia region, would not be allowed until their county moves to “yellow” on June 5.

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Pittsburgh Pirates would be allowed to resume practice and play under Wolf’s guidance, as would the Phillies after June 5.

The Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers, who practice in New Jersey, were given the green light by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Tuesday. Wolf’s guidance would allow them to hold games in their home arenas as long as there were no fans in attendance.

Earlier this week, the NHL announced a plan that would reopen team facilities and resume training in June.

And, because Monroe County will move to the “yellow” phase on Friday, the NASCAR races at Pocono Raceway from June 25-28 will be allowed to go on as scheduled.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Diontae Johnson is ready to catch passes from Ben Roethlisberger

Johnson is building his relationship with Ben

By: Teresa Varley,

Going into the 2019 season, Diontae Johnson was excited about the opportunity to work with Ben Roethlisberger. But his time on the field was limited after Roethlisberger’s season ended after just two games with an elbow injury that required surgery.

The outlook for 2020 for the duo to work together is much brighter, and they have already spent some time this offseason getting prepared.

“It’s crazy. It’s Big Ben,” said Johnson. “He’s great. Just being able to work out with him this offseason has been good. Just getting the timing down, get a feel for him, what he likes, what he doesn’t like. How he likes to throw the ball on a certain play, certain routes. Just trying to pick his brain. I might go back up there next week and work out with him again. Just getting that timing down and get a bond with each other so we can build that trust.

“Me and Ben started talking during the end of last season. I had to prove to everybody I can play, that I am not a bust. As the season went on, I started contributing, making plays. He was talking to me more. It’s building that trust with one another. I talk to him almost every day now. That’s my guy. We’ve got things to do this year and we are trying to win the Super Bowl together.”

In the meantime Johnson is focusing on getting himself back to full strength. During a Zoom call on Wednesday he said he is still coming back from offseason surgery he had for a core muscle injury he suffered Week 2 of the season against Seattle, the same game where Roethlisberger was lost. And despite the injury, he still had a strong season.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • It’s more than just Minkah Fitzpatrick when it comes to shifting the Steelers’ secondary

If Minkah Fitzpatrick starts moving around, which Steelers move with him?

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Minkah Fitzpatrick has made his opinion known. The Steelers safety would like to move around on defense more often.

At the Pro Bowl this year, Fitzpatrick said he may like to do something besides just play the deep middle or one half of the field. It’s Fitzpatrick’s belief that his turnover numbers dipped as the season went along because quarterbacks were avoiding him. He was a part of seven turnovers in his first seven games as a Steeler.

Then the former Dolphin was involved in just one turnover — a fumble recovery — in the last seven games.

Some data supports that. According to The Athletic, Fitzpatrick was targeted just seven times over the last eight games of 2019.

Fitzpatrick is not exactly Nikita Khrushchev about his desire to experiment, though. He’s not banging a cleat on a table in his home while on a Zoom chat with head coach Mike Tomlin.

In fact, during one of those online Q&A sessions with media members Tuesday, Fitzpatrick may have even dialed back the sense that maneuvering positions is high on his agenda.

It’s just something he thinks may be worth investigating now that he’s had 14 games to digest the nuances of the Steelers defense.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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