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Steelers News: How the Steelers will replace Javon Hargrave in 2020

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Pittsburgh Steelers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

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 and the NFL has cancelled the 2020 Hall of Fame Game 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 replacing the production along the defensive line from last season.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Replacing the production of Javon Hargrave

Replacing Hargrave might not be difficult

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

As the Steelers prepare for the 2020 regular season, there are certain positions on the roster garnering more attention than others. After Mike Tomlin gave the media some depth chart news in a virtual press conference last Tuesday, the nose tackle and left guard positions have been points of emphasis.

Tomlin announced Tyson Alualu will be the first man given the chance to take the nose tackle job after Javon Hargave left via free agency to the Eagles.

“We are still determining those things.” Tomlin said. “With the lack of opportunity for learning in the offseason and teaching, we are acknowledging as a staff that we have to make some quick decisions and then kind of roll from there. I have talked to Matt Feiler. Matt Feiler is probably going to take the first snap at left guard and Ty [Tyson Alualu] is probably going to take the first snap at nose guard, and we will work from there.”

Can Alualu replace Hargrave at nose tackle? The answer to that question might not even involve Alualu at all.

As most fans know, although the Steelers still consider their base defense to be a 3-4 alignment, they only utilized this defense about a quarter of the time in 2019. When they are in their sub packages, mainly the nickel defense, the nose tackle is taken off the field.

So, why is losing Hargrave such a big deal?

Hargrave started 13 games in 2019, filling in for the injured Stephon Tuitt, and racked up one forced fumble, four sacks, 60 total tackles, seven tackles for loss and six quarterback hits.

A season worthy of the big money contract Hargrave received from the eastern side of Pennsylvania, but how will the Steelers replace his lost production?

His name is Stephon Tuitt.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • After leading the league in both categories in 2020, Mike Tomlin thinks the Steelers could have more sacks and takeaways

Making a good defense better? Mike Tomlin and Cam Heyward have different suggestions

By: Tim Benz, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Ask most Steelers fans what they want to see improve in 2020, and the suggestions usually come back to something on offense.

Rushing offense. Passing offense. Red zone offense. Third down offense. Scoring offense.

None of those are wrong answers.

But if we talk about the defense specifically, for as good as it was in 2019, there are areas where it can improve: generating sacks and turnovers.

Just ask Mike Tomlin.

“It’s reasonable to expect us to improve in that area and to improve in all areas,” Tomlin insisted. “We have a young nucleus defensively, guys that have been here.”

At this point in the column, the writer pauses to double-check last year’s stats.

Yeah. That’s what I thought. They led the league in both categories (38 takeaways, 54 sacks) a season ago.

Interesting. Because last week I asked Tomlin how hard it would be to replicate those 2019 totals in sacks and takeaways. Now — with the vast majority of last year’s defensive depth chart returning — Tomlin thinks the unit can improve on both fronts this season.

“A lot has been written and said about the acquisition of Minkah (Fitzpatrick) and its impact,” Tomlin continued. “For him to have an offseason and a preseason in the position that he’s in, a guy who plays in the middle of the field largely for us, I think, is significant. We are excited about it.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Breakdown of the Steelers v. Broncos both past and present

Countdown to 2020: The Broncos

By: Mike Prisuta,

Date: Sept. 20.

Time: 1 p.m.

Venue: Heinz Field

All-Time Regular-Season Series: Broncos lead, 15-8-1. Denver also leads the all-time postseason series, 5-3.

Last Meeting: Broncos 24, Steelers 17, Nov. 25, 2018, Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Steelers tied the game at 10-10 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from K Chris Boswell to OT Alejandro Villanueva on a fake field goal on the last play of the first half and took a 17-10 lead on a 97-yard scoring strike from QB Ben Roethlisberger to WR JuJu Smith-Schuster in the third quarter. But the Broncos scored the next two TDs and preserved the lead late when NT Shelby Harris intercepted a Roethlisberger pass intended for WR Antonio Brown on third-and-goal from the Denver 2-yard line with 1:07 left in regulation. The Steelers out-gained the Broncos, 527-308, but turned the ball over four times and didn’t register a takeaway.

Last Season: The Broncos went 7-9 and finished second in the AFC West. Denver ranked 28th in total offense (20th rushing, 28th passing) and 12th in total defense (16th rushing, 11th passing).

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • BTSC articles you may have missed

Ben Roethlisbereger looks ready for the 2020 season

Zach Banner was already aware of the upcoming battle for the right tackle position

5 Steelers who could end up in the Hall of Fame

Cam Newton signing with the Patriots is not a surprise

Anxiously awaiting the return of actual Steelers news

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