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Steelers News: Can you compare this 2020 defense to the 1976 version?

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

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. The Steelers have finally taken the field in the regular season! It is to check in on all things black-and-gold as the team rolls through their 2020 schedule!

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at if the 2020 Steelers defense is comparable to the vaunted Steel Curtain of the 1970s.

Let’s get to the news:

  • Is this defense as good as the 1976 version?

Mark Madden: This year’s Steelers defense could be comparable to ’76 unit

By: Mark Madden, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Steelers defense in 1976 is regarded by some as the NFL’s greatest ever, and is among the top five by acclamation.

The current Steelers defense has a chance to approach those lofty heights.

It won’t allow just 28 points over its last nine games or post five shutouts like that ’76 defense. That can’t happen in today’s football. The game has changed. The rules are designed to encourage scoring, as is the officiating.

Today’s defense might have four Hall-of-Famers like the ’76 unit. It probably won’t send eight to the Pro Bowl like the ’76 unit.

But that defense was constructed for then. This defense is constructed for now.

Consider Monday’s season-opening 26-16 victory over the New York Giants. The Steelers’ defense didn’t have a vintage night. The Giants converted eight of 15 third-down opportunities. They put together a 19-play drive. New York quarterback Daniel Jones hit Darius Slayton for a 41-yard touchdown, putting the ball where Minkah Fitzpatrick vacated. Nobody’s perfect, not even a first-team All-Pro safety.

But the defense still heavily influenced the result by being a splash-play machine. That’s how defenses win games in 2020.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Who is the soldier who Alejandro Villanueva honored on the back of his helmet?

Who is Alwyn Cashe and why did Alejandro Villanueva choose to honor him?

By: Paul Guggenheimer, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Pittsburgh Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva is being both criticized and praised for taping the name Alwyn Cashe — an Army sergeant who died fighting in Iraq in 2005 — over the name of Antwon Rose Jr. on the back of his helmet for Monday night’s game.

The Steelers decided as a team to support Rose, who was killed by an East Pittsburgh police officer in June 2018, by displaying his name on the back of their helmets. Pittsburgh players also held up a sign in front of their bench that read “Steelers Against Racism.”

Villanueva, a former Army Ranger who served two tours in Afghanistan, essentially called an audible, choosing instead to honor Cashe — a Black officer who died at the age of 35 after an explosive device detonated near his vehicle on Oct. 17, 2005.

Cashe was posthumously awarded the Silver Star for valor in combat. He incurred his fatal injuries while attempting to save his fellow soldiers from a burning Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • In case you didn’t know...Ben Roethlisberger is back!

After Further Review: Ben is back

By: Mike Prisuta,

It had been one day shy of a year since Ben Roethlisberger had last played quarterback for the Steelers, but it took him less than two minutes to apply an exclamation point upon his return.

The two-minute drill Roethlisberger executed late in the second quarter on Monday night at MetLife Stadium provided a lead the Steelers would never relinquish in what became a 26-16, season-opening victory over the New York Giants.

It also confirmed Roethlisberger was indeed all the way back.

“I was telling (wide receiver) Diontae (Johnson), ‘Man, it feels so much different,’” wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster gushed. “Us being out there right before the half, having two minutes to go down and put points on the board, we felt like, ‘OK, that’s Ben, that’s the Ben we know.’”

The Steelers took possession at their 22-yard line trailing 10-9 with 1:32 remaining in the second quarter.

Roethlisberger completed five of seven passes for 67 yards and scrambled for 11 more on what became an eight-play, 78-yard march in 1:25 for the touchdown that gave the Steelers a 16-10 lead.

“The guys were protecting up front,” Roethlisberger said. “My job is just to get the ball out of my hand as fast as I can and get it to the play-makers.

“Just disappointed we didn’t do it at the beginning of the second half.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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Ben Roethlisberger talks about how he feels after his first game in a year

A close look at the Steelers’ snap totals in Week 1

Stock Report: Whose stock is rising and falling?

The latest odds for the Steelers vs. Broncos in Week 2

Part 4 of Ben Roethlisberger’s docu-series is an amazing way to end it

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