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Terrible Towel Tales: Long-time Steelers foe Bill Belichick leaves New England

Steelers news and commentary Thursday, January 11th

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Welcome to the Terrible Towel Tales, where we’ll highlight some of the latest stories permeating Steelers media for your reading pleasure every Monday through Saturday. In today’s news…

Bill Belichick leaving Patriots after 24 seasons, sources say | Adam Schefter and Mike Reiss, ESPN

Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots are expected to part ways Thursday after a remarkable 24 seasons together, ending an unmatched run in NFL history that included six Super Bowl titles, league sources told ESPN.

Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft spent a good part of this week periodically meeting and discussing how each side wanted to proceed. From sources familiar with those conversations, there was said to be no conflict, no disagreement, and in the end, productive talks resulted in a mutual decision that left both sides comfortable and at ease.

Mike Tomlin now NFL’s longest tenured head coach | CBS Sports, X

How Steelers’ Mason Rudolph completely turned around the offense, helped lead Pittsburgh to the playoffs | Chris Trapasso, CBS

In his three regular-season starts, Mason Rudolph is 53 of 71 (74.6%) for 716 yards — that’s an enormous 10 yards per attempt — with three touchdowns and no interceptions in three wins... two of which featured the Steelers scoring 30-plus points. Those contests marked the first Steelers occasion with 30-plus points in consecutive games since October of 2020.

And much of what Rudolph’s done as a passer harkens back to his time as a prodigious producer at Oklahoma State before Pittsburgh selected him in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

Sample sizes matter, but all we can do now is use a two-game sample for Rudolph, and in those three starts, in which the Steelers offense has done a 180, he’s attempted a pass 20-plus yards down the field on 12.2% of his throws. Before his injury, Kenny Pickett’s downfield throw rate was just 9.5%.