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Steelers News: No Steelers have opted out yet, but Mike Tomlin understands if they do

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

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. With the scheduled start of training camp now behind us, it looks like we’ll have to wait until opening weekend to see the Steelers take the field. Just because the NFL has cancelled the preseason 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 no Steelers have opted out of the 2020 regular season, yet, but even if someone does, Mike Tomlin understands.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Going to work during a pandemic isn’t an easy decision, and Mike Tomlin understands this.

Mike Tomlin ‘respectful’ of any Steelers player who decides to opt out of 2020 season

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

As NFL training camps entered the third day of covid-19 testing Thursday, 30 players across the league already have decided to opt out of the 2020 season because of medical concerns.

That includes six members of the New England Patriots, two starters from the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and two players from AFC North counterparts Cleveland and Baltimore.

Although two of Mike Tomlin’s young players are on the reserve/covid-19 list, he isn’t aware of any Pittsburgh Steelers players preparing to sit out the season.

Saying he hadn’t “spent a lot of time trying to anticipate” whether any of his players might opt out, Tomlin told reporters Thursday he’ll be prepared in case it happens.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • For Mike Tomlin, this isn’t just about strange and unusual circumstances, it is still about football.

Tomlin is excited to have football back

By: Teresa Varley,

You would have a tough time finding anyone happier to have Steelers training camp underway at Heinz Field than Coach Mike Tomlin.

He is a self-described football junkie and that is as accurate a description you can find for him.

On Thursday, you could tell how genuinely excited he is to be back in his environment when he spoke to the media via a Zoom call for the first time since camp got underway, while at the same time approaching it in a safe and cautious manner.

“We are all excited. We miss football,” said Tomlin. “We are glad to get moving. We have a lot of respect for this environment we are in. We are working our tails off to familiarize ourselves and adhere to the COVID protocol and keep the individuals, and thus the collective group, as safe as we can be in the midst of this.”

That protocol, which was set through an agreement with the NFL and the NFLPA, makes the start of the 2020 Steelers training camp much different than anything we have seen before.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The Steelers’ safeties are not very deep, but will someone step up and earn the label of quality depth?

Steelers’ 90-man roster: Ss

By: Jim Wexell, Steelers Digest

ON THE ROSTER NOW: Marcus Allen, John Battle, Antoine Brooks, Jordan Dangerfield, Terrell Edmunds, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Tyree Kinnel.

ON THE ROSTER IN SEPTEMBER: Mike Tomlin had four safeties on last year’s initial 53-man roster and six on the initial 53-man roster in 2018. It always depends on special-teamers. As mentioned in the preview for the cornerback position, six of them could make it, so that means the prediction here is four safeties make it.

STAT THAT STANDS OUT: Since obtaining Fitzpatrick after Game 2 last season, the Steelers’ defensive passer rating was 68.1, which, had it been the full season, would’ve been the best since the 63.4 defensive passer rating in 2008. In the 16 games of the 2018 season, plus the first two games of 2019, the defensive passer rating was 97.0. The highest defensive passer rating in team history was 98.3 in 2014.

KEY DEPARTURES: Sean Davis was a three-year starter but was injured in last year’s training camp and the team traded for Fitzpatrick. Davis ventured into the free agent market and signed a one-year contract with hometown Washington. Davis’ initial replacement, Kameron Kelly, lost his job to Fitzpatrick, played mainly special teams through Game 14, and was released after a legal incident.

KEY ADDITIONS: Brooks was drafted in the sixth round out of Maryland. He was primarily a box safety with the Terps and weighed 215 pounds at the NFL Combine. Kinnel, out of the XFL, is a free safety who was highly recruited by Michigan, became a special teams ace there, and then a captain before spending training camp with the Bengals last August. Battle played both safety spots at LSU but is more of a strong safety. He also went undrafted last season and spent the year on the Tampa Bay practice squad.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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