It is July 1st, which means football is right around the corner. Jul 27th the Pittsburgh Steelers report to Latrobe, PA for another training camp. Although we still have a few weeks of the “dog days” of the NFL offseason, it doesn’t mean there isn’t news to still be discussed.
We take you around the world wide web to give you your daily dose of black and gold, along with making BTSC your one-stop-shop for all things Steelers.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is training in Los Angeles and feeling healthy after offseason groin surgery.
"I'm good with everything, just taking it day to day for real," Bell told ESPN about how he is approaching the process.
The Steelers have expressed interest in giving Bell a long-term extension, but negotiations could push close to the deadline. A deal would likely make Bell the NFL's highest-paid running back, a spot currently occupied by Buffalo's LeSean McCoy at $8 million per year.
As part of his training, Bell has been playing pickup basketball.
Why and how the Pittsburgh Steelers are football's model franchise — Jeff Diamond — The Sporting News
I learned early in my NFL career that the key to consistent success is strong ownership and management. The Patriots’ run over the past 17 years during the Robert Kraft/Bill Belichick era is a prime example.
But for sustained success that has lasted almost 50 years, the best organization in the NFL — and perhaps all of the sports world — resides in the Steel City.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are a storied, iconic franchise with a championship pedigree fueled by terrific ownership and management. The team has stayed in the Rooney family for 84 years, transferred from founding owner Art Rooney to his son Dan, who passed away in April. Today, Art Rooney II is lead owner and president.
For the NFL franchise with the most Super Bowl titles (six), success starts at the top. The Rooneys are tremendous people and great franchise operators. I've known, liked and respected Dan and Art II for more than 30 years. They were bred to run the Steelers and, despite all the winning seasons and championships, have remained friendly, humble, low-ego and never in panic mode.
The Rooneys' management philosophy has carried over to their heads of football operations through the years, including current leader Kevin Colbert, who is the first to hold the general manager title. It's about drafting well, making key free-agent and trade acquisitions and then developing the players with excellent coaching staffs. And not overreacting to anything negative.
Patience is key for this team. That explains it having just three head coaches in the past 48 years: Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin. All three went through occasional losing periods, but those were followed by multiple playoff seasons and Super Bowls.
Zach Miller to the Pittsburgh Steelers
The Pittsburgh Steelers offense has enough fireworks to power your upcoming neighborhood July 4 celebration and then go on to roast the league all season.
But there is one area where the crackling kaboom isn't quite as loud: tight end.
Jesse James started to develop a connection with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger toward the end of 2016. The fifth-round pick in 2015 caught 10 passes for 131 yards over the Steelers' final two playoff games. He's still unproven, though, with only 394 career regular-season receiving yards.
The Steelers could use a more established seam stretcher to complement all of the other firecracker downfield weapons available to Roethlisberger. Specifically, they could use Zach Miller.
The Chicago Bears are dismantling and rebuilding, and as such, they need every extra draft pick they can get their hands on. Clinging to a 32-year old isn't the best path forward for them at tight end, especially after they just used a second-round pick on high-ceiling prospect Adam Shaheen.
Miller is injury-prone and has missed seven games over just the past two years, including six in 2016 because of a Lisfranc fracture. His age and brittle nature should lower the trade price from the Bears, but when healthy, Miller can still be a threat while streaking down the middle. He scored nine times over the past two seasons and logged 925 receiving yards even with that missed time.
Trade Cost: Late-round pick
As has become somewhat of an annual tradition, Ben Roethlisberger was among the “20 most hated players in the NFL” list by Sporting News, which you can read here.
Roethlisberger’s status on this unfavorable list is warranted. So, in the spirit of Bryan counting down the most hated players who are NOT members the Pittsburgh Steelers, allow me to explain why:
People who are not fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers—and, in fact, many people who are fans—are going to hate Ben Roethlisberger for the remainder of NFL career. This is due in large part to the fact that—and excuse my bluntness—many people think Ben Roethlisberger is a rapist.
The Steelers didn’t, and won’t, have to beat the Patriots to legitimize a Super Bowl victory — Anthony Defeo — BTSC
At the end of the day, nobody remembers who your team had to defeat along the way to a championship. Don’t get me wrong, it sometimes makes for a better story, but it’s not really that important.
Case in point: The Steelers managed to make it to three Super Bowls and win two of them over a six year span from 2005-2010, and they didn’t play the Patriots once in the postseason during those years.
Did I care about that? Certain individuals have made me try to care over the years, but these people are fans of teams that didn’t participate in or win Super Bowls XL, XLIII and XLV.
While you’re thinking back on the Steelers glorious run to Super Bowl XL in 2005 that included three road wins as a sixth seed, do you ever get jolted by the fact that New England was knocked off by the Broncos in the divisional round?
And while we’re on the subject of Super Bowl XL, does it really bother you when Seahawks fans (or simply non-Steelers fans) try to convince you to this day that “them damn officials were cheating!”?