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Terrible Towel Tales: The Steelers’ 2023 draft class is special

Steelers news and commentary Saturday, January 6th

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Pittsburgh Steelers v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Conor Courtney/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…

The Steelers’ rookie class, after a patient start, is now paying major dividends | Mike DeFabo, The Athletic

“Coach (Mike Tomlin) always talks about the standard is the standard,” Herbig said. “When your number is called, you have to uphold that standard.”

He wasn’t the only young gun growing up in Week 17. In one of the biggest games of the season, almost every rookie had his fingerprints on a pivotal victory that kept the Steelers’ playoff hopes alive.

First-round pick Broderick Jones paved the way at right tackle for a rushing attack that put up 202 yards, the team’s second-best performance of the season. Cornerback Joey Porter Jr. shadowed DK Metcalf and, while he gave up some completions in the first half, forced a pair of incompletions near the goal line in crunch time. Defensive lineman Keeanu Benton continued to do his thing up front. Tight end Darnell Washington literally dragged Najee Harris into the end zone for a touchdown.

Steelers want to avoid repeat of 2021 when playoff hopes came down to Sunday night outcome | Joe Rutter, TribLive

When the NFL conducts its 272nd and final game of the regular season Sunday night, the Steelers could be perched in front of their TV sets, at home following a trip to Baltimore and watching helplessly as two other AFC teams decide their playoff fate.

This year, it’s the Buffalo Bills playing at the Miami Dolphins. In 2021, it was a game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers that raised the Steelers’ collective pulse rate to uncharted levels.

“Craziest game I’ve ever seen,” outside linebacker Alex Highsmith said.

“I was on my couch and screaming at the damn TV,” defensive tackle Cameron Heyward said.

Special teams ace Miles Killebrew offered a more PG response.

“Oh my goodness,” he said. “That was crazy.”

Jets Sign Speedy Ex-Steelers Running Back | Nick Farabaugh, Steelers Now

The New York Jets are signing former Steelers running back Xazavian Valladay to their active roster, according to Mike Garafolo. The Steelers lost Valladay to the Jets when they signed him after Valladay was released during final cut-downs. Now, they have added two years to his contract, and he could be someone who ends up having a long-term future there.