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Steelers News 7/3: Steelers and their 2017 title-caliber defense

The Steelers’ offense is ridiculous, but their defense? Not so much. Could they actually be a title-caliber unit?

NFL: AFC Wild Card-Miami Dolphins at Pittsburgh Steelers Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Making the Leap: Steelers fielding title-caliber defense — Greg Rosenthal —

Mike Tomlin has been waiting for this defense, his defense, for a decade.

Two years removed from legendary Steelers coordinator Dick LeBeau's exit, Tomlin is running a scheme in Pittsburgh closer to the one that helped build his reputation as a coaching prodigy. Unsung Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has constructed a foundation of defensive players entering their primes who combine explosiveness and continuity, led by front-seven disrupters Cameron Heyward, Stephon Tuitt, Ryan Shazier and Bud Dupree. Three promising defenders from last year's rookie crop look ready to take the next step. Pittsburgh's offense possesses an unfair amount of talent, taking pressure off the defense.

If Tomlin doesn't deliver a return to Steelers defensive dominance now, it's never going to happen.

Ravens TE Darren Waller suspended for at least a year —

Another Ravens tight end has been sidelined for the 2017 season.

Backup tight end Darren Waller was suspended for at least one year without pay for violating the league's policy on substances of abuse, a league spokesperson announced Friday.

Waller is the second Baltimore tight end to be lost before training camp. The Ravens released veteran starter Dennis Pitta after he re-injured his hip during organized team activities, knocking him out for the entire season and threatening his career going forward.

Ravens lead the NFL in drug suspensions — Michael David Smith — ProFootballTalk

The Ravens lead the league in one stat they’d prefer not to: Suspensions for failed drug tests.

When Ravens tight end Darren Waller was suspended for the full 2017 season last week, it marked his second suspension and the 13th total suspension, coming from 10 different players, that the Ravens have received since 2010 for either performance-enhancing drugs and drugs of abuse. According to ESPN, that’s the most of any team.

Waller and Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon have both been suspended this offseason, though Dixon’s suspension is for only four games. The Ravens’ other recent suspensions are receiver David Reed in 2011, defensive end Ryan McBean in 2012, cornerback Asa Jackson in both 2012 and 2013, safety Christian Thompson in 2013, defensive tackle Haloti Ngata in 2014, safety Matt Elam in 2015, tight end Nick Boyle in both 2015 and 2016) and safety Will Hill in 2016.

Including Waller and Dixon, the Ravens’ suspensions have totaled 76 games over seven seasons.

The Long Road Back: Exclusive Interview with Ex-Steelers TE Weslye Saunders — KellyAnozie

One may say that the true test of a person's character is how they are able to battle through adversity. This definitely can be said for former Pittsburgh Steelers and current free agent Tight End Weslye Saunders. When we last saw Saunders in the NFL, he was playing with the Indianapolis Colts, whom eventually waived him before the end of the 2014 season. Saunders last played in the NFL in 2014.

Most players in his circumstance would have already moved on to a different profession; Saunders on the other hand chose to do the very opposite. Since he was waived, Saunders has committed himself to a daily workout regiment, and has kept himself in peak physical condition in hopes of getting that next opportunity to play in the NFL.

Back on February 4th, 2017, I had the opportunity to get in touch with Weslye Saunders. I wanted to know what makes a guy work as hard as he does on a daily basis, despite not playing a single down in the NFL since 2014. You can see the exclusive BTSC article HERE.