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Steelers News: Will the improved offense equate to more “splash” on defense?

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

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

It has been a one-of-a-kind offseason for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2020. With the 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 the improved Steelers offense, behind Ben Roethlisberger, could equate to more big plays on defense.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Steelers’ offense should be vastly improved in 2020, and that could mean bigger results for the defense.

With improved offense in 2020, could Steelers defense make even more ‘splash’ plays?

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ defense led the NFL in sacks and turnovers during the 2019 season.

Imagine what it could do if the opposing offenses had to revert to taking chances, throwing more or went into desperation mode to come back?

The Steelers managed 54 sacks and 38 takeaways last season. Remarkable, but when considering the Steelers held a lead of more than 10 points only three times last season, that makes their ability to force takeaways and put pressure on the quarterback even more impressive.

“You always want to have the lead, so you know that it is going to be a pass most of the time,” outside linebacker Bud Dupree said during a video conference call with media Monday. “That being said, you can get way more opportunities when you have the lead. We have to create plays. When you get those opportunities, we have to create the plays and the splash plays that we can, and it might be something special.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • Where in the world is Ryan Shazier?

‘Missed’ by teammates, Ryan Shazier’s role with Steelers less prominent in 2020

By: Chris Adamski, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

The highest-profile unofficial assistant position coach in the NFL is no more — at least not for now.

A familiar sight in the team’s practice facility and practice fields the past two years, Ryan Shazier has not been taking part in Pittsburgh Steelers training camp this season.

A combination of coronavirus-related personnel restrictions and personal reasons have led to a less visible role within the organization for the former Pro Bowl linebacker.

“It’s really hard to not have him around,” inside linebackers coach Jerry Olsavsky said during a video conference call Monday. “I think about him every day. I have to send a text to him. I haven’t. I go out there, and I see a picture of something or a clip of something from years past, and I’m really like, ‘Damn, I miss him.’ ”

After his playing career was halted by a serious spinal injury suffered in late 2017, Shazier spent the past two seasons around the Steelers on a seemingly daily basis. He remains on the team’s roster under the “reserve/retired” designation.

The organization paid him a player’s salary in 2018 and ’19 but needed to maneuver some league logistical and procedural hurdles to preserve roster space and allow for Shazier to perform coaching-like duties. Shazier was regularly around the team in meetings and practices.

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

  • The Steelers’ pass rush is hoping to go to the next level in 2020.

Camp Blog: Taking it to the next level

By: Teresa Varley,

Taking it to the next level: Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt have grown into one of the best tandems at outside linebacker in the NFL, combining for 25.5 sacks in 2019.

The good news is, there is more where that came from.

“We’re just trying to add on to what we did last year, get better and better every day,” said Dupree. “Encouraging ourselves to just take that next step. Keep going and going and getting better. With Cam (Heyward), and (Stephon) Tuitt and Tyson (Alualu), those guys push you to another level. There is always competition.”

Dupree had the best season of his career in 2019. The 11.5 sacks were a career-high, recording at least four sacks in each of his first five seasons with the Steelers for a total of 31.5 career sacks. Dupree also set a single season high with 16 tackles for a loss in 2019, ranking him fourth in the NFL last season. He added four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Despite the numbers, like he did the year before he always looks back at his sacks and the ones he missed.

“Anytime you are a pass rusher you always go back and look at the sacks you could have had and correct those mistakes,” said Dupree. “Finishing is a part of it. You have to make sure that is the number one priority as a pass rusher, to make sure you finish. You might have a situation where it’s not the ideal situation for a sack, but you have to keep it going and make that play.”

To read the full article, click HERE (Free)

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