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Steelers News: With or without fans, T.J. Watt says the Steelers defense is ready to bring it

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Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

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 NFL has cancelled the 2020 Hall of Fame Game and cut the preseason to an undetermined amount of games 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 T.J. Watt’s comments on the possibility of playing games without fans.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Even without the crowd to feed them, the Steelers defense will bring the same energy

T.J. Watt: Steelers’ defense will be ‘flying around’

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

The NFL is planning to play their regular season in 2020, but whether fans will be in attendance has yet to be determined. The Steelers told season ticket holders if they can host fans, they won’t be filling the stadium, and will require masks on attendees. However, there is still a chance fans won’t be permitted into games as cases of coronavirus continue to spike in certain areas in the country.

Thoughts of what empty stadiums will certainly be different, and can also bring with it new wrinkles. Will there be a home-field advantage outside of not having to travel? Will ‘Renegade’ by Styx be played to an empty stadium?

All-Pro linebacker T.J. Watt was asked about just that during an interview with 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh.

“It’ll be ridiculous but it doesn’t matter the circumstances, man. If football is being played, we’re going to be out there and the Pittsburgh Steelers will be flying around, I guarantee you that.” Watt said.

Has not having fans in seats even crossed his mind while training this offseason?

“I’ve briefly thought about it, but not too much (playing without fans). Me? I’m just getting prepared to play football. It doesn’t matter if there are fans in the stands or if they’re not, obviously, it’s going to be an adjustment period for all of us. I would love to have fans there, but if they’re not there because of safety, safety always comes first when it comes to the players and to the fans so, we’re just going to have to adjust and adapt and play as best as we possibly can with the circumstances that we’re dealt.”

The Steelers’ defense is about to embark on a pass-rushing journey which could redefine pass-rushing prowess within the franchise.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • A 2020 matchup of three past Super Bowls

Countdown to 2020: The Cowboys

By: Mike Prisuta,

Date: Nov. 8

Time: 4:25 p.m.

Venue: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas

All-Time Regular-Season Series: Cowboys lead, 16-13. The Steelers lead the all-time postseason series, 2-1 (the three postseason meetings occurred in Super Bowls X, XIII and XXX).

Last Meeting: RB Ezekiel Elliott’s 32-yard touchdown run on first-and-10 from the Steelers’ 32-yard line with 15 seconds left in regulation provided the final points in a wild, 35-30 Cowboys’ victory on Nov. 13, 2016 at Heinz Field. Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger threw for 408 yards and two TDs, with WR Antonio Brown accounting for 154 receiving yards on 14 catches, one for a touchdown. RB Le’Veon Bell had 134 yards from scrimmage (57 rushing, 77 receiving) and scored twice. But Elliott’s third TD of the day (he also scored on an 83-yard pass and a 14-yard run) produced the fourth and final lead change of the fourth quarter.

Last Season: The Cowboys went 8-8 and finished second in the NFC East. Dallas ranked first in total offense (fifth rushing, second passing) and ninth in total defense (11th rushing, 10th passing).

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Is the NFL and Players Association headed toward a labor dispute in how to handle the 2020 season?

NFLPA responds to NFL’s escrow proposal

By: Jeff Hartman, DK Pittsburgh Sports

Earlier this week, it was reported the NFL was requesting players to escrow 35 percent of their 2020 salaries to help offset the losses of not having stadiums filled this regular season because of the coronavirus pandemic. As expected, this didn’t go over well within the players’ union.

Saturday, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero, the NFLPA responded with an economic counter proposal. Here was the reported response:

• No escrow of 2020 salaries

• Flat salary cap of $198.2M for 2021

• Spread revenue loss this year over 2022-2030 caps

• All fully guaranteed money paid even if games are canceled

On top of that, players are requesting a “COVID-19 Risk Stipend” which could pay players up to $500,000 if games are canceled because of the virus. The exact stipend amount would depend on at what point the games were called off during the season.

If the two sides can agree on anything, it is how neither side wants the salary cap to plummet in 2021 after the financial downfalls in 2020. The owners offered a solution with the money in escrow, but the players are not interested in going down this avenue.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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