It is July, which means football is right around the corner. July 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.
...The Miami Herald reported Burns spent a night in jail after police pulled him over for expired tags and discovered he had failed to pay $1,012.20 in traffic tickets. Sports radio station WINZ reported Burns’ violations included going 130 miles per hour in a 60 mph zone. He also reportedly failed to show for a court date.
And we wonder why there is a growing disconnect between fans and so many professional athletes?
Money is a big part of that. I get it. In the past month, Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (5 years, $125 million), Golden State Warriors guard Steph Curry (5 years, $201 million) and Edmonton Oilers center Connor McDavid (8 years, $100 million) became the highest-paid player in their sport. They moved into the same filthy-rich neighborhood of Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (13 years, $325 million). We are talking about Monopoly money. Who can relate to that?
But most fans have come to realize that outrageous contracts are a part of the entertainment industry. It’s not just a sports thing. It’s television. It’s movies. It’s music. What fans struggle to cope with is the nauseating sense of entitlement that so many pro athletes have. That seems to be Burns’ problem. Either that or a bad case of immaturity. Or maybe a lack of discipline.
I will try to read Burns’ mind:
Why should I have to fill out the forms for an updated automobile registration?
Why should I have to stand in line to get my picture taken for a new driver’s license?
Why should I have to pay my traffic tickets?
Why should I have to do what everyone else has to do?
Remember how Mike Tomlin called Steelers safety Anthony Smith “young and dumb” after Smith guaranteed a win against the 12-0 New England Patriots in 2007? Right before the Steelers went to Foxborough and were beaten, 34-13?
I’m thinking that description fits Burns.
Burns, the Steelers’ No. 1 draft pick out of Miami in 2016, really is young. He was just 21 last season — the youngest player on the team — when he became a starting cornerback. He showed great promise as a rookie, helping the team all the way to the AFC championship. Tomlin is counting on him being an even bigger part of the defense in 2017.
It will help if Burns learns from this arrest and grows up.
...Adams made the decision to get away from it all by attending Western Michigan, where he started one game as a freshman in 2013, three as a sophomore, seven as a junior, and then last year, as a full-time starter, led the MAC in tackles-for-loss with 18, led his team in sacks with 7.5, had 12 quarterback hurries and forced three fumbles. He was named to the 2016 All-MAC Second Team as a down lineman and drew the Steelers' interest with what Hargrave calls "crazy bend" for an outside linebacker prospect.
The Steelers were one of five teams Adams visited, following a pro day at which Adams measured 6-2, 247 and ran a 4.7 40 (with 27 reps, 36 vj, 10-4 bj).
Of the five he had visited, Adams hoped to land with the Steelers.
"Yeah, I did, ever since I knew (Hargrave) was here," Adams said. "And just being around and watching football all my life, you see the way the Pittsburgh organization has taken the NFL by storm as really one of the top programs with a legacy in the NFL. Just to be a part of the rich tradition and the rich culture was everything to me. I knew coming into the situation they were the best fit for the way I play as an outside linebacker, so naturally once I saw him on the team, along with the other stuff, I just felt like it was the place I wanted to be and that it would be exactly where I needed to be if I wanted to really thrive and not just be one of those guys who bounce from team to team. I know I really want to be in here and be a part of this team."
Hargrave believes Adams has a chance because of what Hargrave described as Adams' "crazy bend."
"He'll get around the edge." Hargrave said. "And he has a stupid get-off. We used to train with each other in the summertime sometimes, so I've seen that about him. Real good quick-twitch type of guy."
Adams' position coach, Joey Porter, said that Adams "has shown us good things. He's picking up the defense fairly well. I'm excited about his growth so far."
As for Adams, he's feeling comfortable enough to call Hargrave "Wobble," a nickname bequeathed upon Hargrave last year by veterans, and one he doesn't particularly like.
"He didn't like me saying it at first," said Adams. "But I used it so much he was just like, 'Oh, you know, you got it.'"
Does Adams feel after the spring that he's "got it"?
"I definitely think my athleticism shows," he said during the final week of practice. "Coming into it I just wanted to show that I'm not just a one-down player, as far as a pass-rusher. I definitely want to show I'm a two-way player, as far as a run-stopper, and I can be out there playing every down. I definitely think my athleticism shows. I just have to hone it in and make sure I do everything the Steelers are asking me to do."
In the weeks and months since the Panthers selected running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Curtis Samuel in the first two rounds of this year’s draft, they’ve made no secret about how they hope the two players fit into their offense.
The team sees the rookies as adding an explosive element to the unit because of their speed, especially when it comes to catching a short pass from Cam Newton and turning it into a big game. Getting the ball out to them quickly would also likely limit the hits Newton takes in the pocket, something that would double the benefit of expanding the ranks of playmakers on offense in Charlotte.
During an appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio with Ross Tucker and Bob Papa, Panthers coach Ron Rivera reiterated those hopes as well as the kind of offense that the Panthers see as an example of where they’d like to go.
“Look what they did in Pittsburgh with Ben Roethlisberger,” Rivera said. “Look what they did with the type of players they put in their backfield, put in their receiving corps. They run the ball with a very quick, slashing style running game. They can ground and pound it at the same time with the same running game. Then they’ve got some very versatile, quick receivers that make plays once they get the ball in their hands.”
No one is likely to start comparing McCaffrey and Samuel to Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, but they don’t need to be on that level to add new wrinkles to a Panthers offense that didn’t have enough of them last season.