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Steelers News: The skycam, it’s a love-hate relationship

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The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans debuted the ‘skycam’ view on Thursday Night Football. What were everyone’s thoughts on it?

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans did more than just play football on Thursday night. They were the guinea pigs for the NFL’s latest invention — the skycam view.

For the gamers out there, this was a view very reminiscent of the one you see while playing the Madden football game. The camera is directly behind, and elevated, behind the offensive line.

While fans knew of this debut, nothing really prepared them for the experience. After all, watching football for years one way, and then making a drastic change, isn’t always easy.

Some fans loved it, while others hated it. At first, I thought it was too drastic of a change, but after awhile there were things I liked, and still some things I didn’t like. For instance, I loved how you could see what the quarterback sees from the snap. The zone coverages, the tight windows to pass the football, as well as the running lanes and pass rush about to engulf the passer. A truly unique way of watching football and an experience few ever get to experience themselves.

The downside of this was a true lack of depth perception. A pass of 12-yards looked almost like a 5-yard gain. In the second quarter Marcus Mariota hit Delanie Walker for a big gain. I figured, by the view, it was about a 20-yard pick-up. Then the announcers state it was a 42-yard gain. Yeah, didn’t like that part of it.

I have to admit, after a while I got used to the skycam view, but hopefully the NFL finds a happy medium for it. For instance, I would love to see this view from the red-zone and on special-teams plays. The skycam view would also be amazing for replays to show how things worked/broke down, but when a team is driving around mid-field, I think it would be best to take the more traditional angle.

Just my thoughts...but what did you think? Let us know in the comment section below!

Pro Bowl ballots won't be counted for another month. That doesn't mean some early campaigning isn't being done in the Steelers locker room on behalf of their defensive captain.

“Cam Heyward for Pro Bowl!” a teammate yelled as he walked past Heyward's locker after the Steelers' win against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night. Heyward couldn't suppress a sheepish smile.

But that was far from the only teammate expressing such a sentiment in the wake of Heyward's 2-sack game that helped fuel a dominant 40-17 victory.

“We need to get him (to the Pro Bowl),” fellow defensive end Stephon Tuitt said.

“He should be a Pro Bowler,” said linebacker Bud Dupree. “Absolutely.”

And while the Pro Bowl has lost much of its cache to fans, being named to the AFC roster would mean a lot to Heyward, a seventh-year pro.

“Yes, I'd love to be recognized for it,” Heyward said. “Recognized from my peers, my coaches, coaches and players around the league, and the fans. It's something that I strive for.”

Love it or hate it, the SkyCam perspective for the broadcast of Thursday night's Steelers game didn't appear to have a significant effect on the audience size.

The NFL and the network that broadcast the game aren't coming out fully for or against its future usage.

The Steelers' home game against the Tennessee Titans peaked at 15.2 million viewers across the variety of media platforms on which the game was available, according to figures provided by NBC Sports and attributed to data released Friday by The Nielsen Company and Adobe Analytics.

The telecast was the first in NFL history to use SkyCam as its primary viewing angle. The view –— from behind the offense with it traveling “up” the screen, not unlike the “Madden” video games franchise — was panned by many on social media , though it was liked by others as an alternative from the traditional sideline view.

“We enjoyed the challenge of presenting last night's game with much of the live action covered by SkyCam,” an NBC Sports spokesperson said in a statement released to the Tribune-Review on Friday. “As we expected, there was a range of reaction as some fans have become accustomed to the traditional camera angles, while many others were excited to watch the game from a perspective that they've grown up with, but was new to television. We look forward to evaluating the telecast further in the coming days.”

When Ryan Shazier conceived the Steelers defense's newest post-interception celebration, he never factored in how winded it could make him.

"I got a little tired today," the linebacker said in the locker room after the Steelers' 40-17 victory against the Tennessee Titans on Thursday night.

Shazier couldn't have been the only Steelers' defensive player feeling fatigued. After all, they victimized Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota for four interceptions, the most in a game for the Steelers in more than 20 years (Nov. 7, 1997).

That's a lot of celebrating – particularly on three days' rest—and especially when this particular celebration involves gathering as many defensive teammates as possible together in one spot to pose for a group photo.