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Steelers News: After a “red shirt” year, Derwin Gray is ready to claim a spot on the Steelers OLine

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

NFL: AUG 03 Steelers Training Camp Photo by Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers 2020 NFL Draft is officially over. After finishing last year 8-8, the Steelers, and their vast fan base, have 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 how second year offensive lineman Derwin Gray is ready to make his mark on the Steelers offensive line.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The former University of Maryland offensive lineman is ready to make his mark after a year on the Steelers’ practice squad.

Taking the next step

By: Teresa Varley,

A rookie season can be a challenge, trying to learn the ropes, adjust to a new team, new city. For the majority of young players, it comes with a big role change, going from being one of the standout players on your college team to someone who might only get limited snaps, if any snaps at all.

For offensive lineman Derwin Gray, his rookie season was definitely an adjustment. The team’s seventh round draft pick last year spent the entire 2019 season on the practice squad, working like his teammates were, going to meetings, practicing, everything, but not reaping the benefits on game day. It’s something that could have discouraged him, could have gotten him down. But Gray didn’t let himself get discouraged. Just the opposite. He used the 2019 season as a time to learn, to grow, to develop so he will be ready to go when his opportunity comes.

“I wasn’t out there. The coaching staff understood why I wasn’t out there, why I needed that time,” said Gray. “I understood I needed the time. It was helpful for me moving forward. It was the best thing for me. It was like a redshirt year. I needed that year. I could have tried to rush out there and play but I don’t think that would have been a smart move for me because I was coming off of surgery still in college. I think Coach (Mike) Tomlin and the whole staff knew that. They could see the change in my body from when I first got here until now. This year will be a different year.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • This dream has become a reality for Kevin Dotson.

When a dream becomes reality

By: Teresa Varley,

The smile is something that is going to be on Kevin Dotson’s face for a long time.

And you can’t blame him.

Just think about it for a minute. You are a young kid watching your favorite football team on television, dreaming someday that you will be that player out there on the field.

And then one day you get a phone call, and boom. That dream has come true.

That is life in a nutshell for Dotson.

Like so many kids, Dotson grew up a Steelers fan. He watched games on Sunday with his family in their Steelers cave, cheering on his favorite players. His dream was to play for the black and gold and that became a reality when he was selected by the team in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft.

“I couldn’t even imagine it when I was talking on the phone with Coach (Mike) Tomlin,” said Dotson, who has a twin brother, Kenny. “It’s crazy. I have been thinking about it since I was five, that I want to play for the Steelers. Now I am doing it. Right now. This is really going through right now. They chose me out of all of the guards they could have chosen, they chose me, the team I always wanted to go to. It’s a Godsend.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Next year’s NFL Draft could be crazy...buckle up!

Tim Benz: Steelers fans, did you like this year’s draft? Good. Because next year could get weird.

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Here’s a odd thought for Steelers fans.

Let’s say the franchise drafts Ben Roethlisberger’s successor at quarterback next year. Then all of Pittsburgh sits down to watch him suit up …

… in his college bowl game.


Weird, right? But not entirely out of the question.

Given the uncertainty of, well, everything because of the covid-19 pandemic, no one knows what is going to become of the fall football schedule.

For the time being, the NFL is attempting to plow through as unscathed as possible. With or without fans in the seats.

But college football could get put on the shelf for a while. Some conferences may play (like the SEC), while others may not. And there is even talk of moving the sport to a February-May 2021 schedule. If college football doesn’t play in the fall, then the NFL may soak up the open Saturday dates. That could benefit both the league and the networks.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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