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 Steelers are set to have a spirited competition for playing time at wide receiver once they get to training camp later this month and second-round pick JuJu Smith-Schuster is going to be right in the middle of it.
Smith-Schuster is the youngest receiver vying for playing time in Pittsburgh and his inexperience at the NFL level is one of the things he’ll be working to overcome once camp is underway. In particular, the rookie will need to get used to the fact that he’s part of an offense led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“When I’m thrown in there with Ben, I get too excited. I have to keep calm,” Smith-Schuster said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “He goes to any [receiver], but I have to make my own play. I was watching [Antonio Brown] and Ben, and that’s eight years they’ve had together. That’s something I want with a quarterback.”
Building that kind of relationship with Roethlisberger isn’t something that is going to happen overnight, but everyone should be getting together just fine if Smith-Schuster can show the same knack for making catches in traffic that he showed at USC.
DeAngelo Williams moved into a new arena recently when he slipped on some tights and stepped into a wrestling ring for a tag team match alongside former NFL player Quinn Ojinnaka.
Williams’ debut was a winning one, although it came with a brief scare when an attempt to leap off the top rope and drive his opponent through a table ended with an awkward fall for the longtime NFL running back. Williams told Adam Schefter of ESPN on a podcast that he once told his late uncle, who was a huge wrestling fan, that he’d get in the ring if the opportunity ever came about and that it was a one-time deal because he still wants to play football.
“I’m definitely playing football,” Williams said. “I guess you could say I’m waiting on the phone call. I guess you could say that. I mean, not guess. You can say that. I’m waiting on the phone call with a G.M. or head coach or whoever decides they need my services. I’ll be ready. You can rest assured of that. I work out every day. I keep in shape because I know once that phone call comes — when it comes, not if — I’ll be ready to step up and deliver.”
Williams ran for 343 yards and four touchdowns for the Steelers last year while also missing time with a knee injury and it may take an injury to another player for that phone call to come Williams’ way.
After a year in which he bounced between destinations, Knile Davis is striving for some stability by returning to a place he had been with regularity over his first three NFL seasons: the end zone at the end of long kickoff return.
Signed by the Steelers in March, Davis is listed as a backup running back. But particularly after the team drafted James Conner in the third round in April, Davis' most likely path to a roster spot figures to be as a kickoff returner.
That's a spot the Steelers long have tried to solidify.
“It's something that I love to do,” Davis said of returning kicks, “something that's helped me stay around the league, something that gave me another avenue to make a name for myself.
“I'd never returned kicks in my life. (Kansas City special teams coordinator) Dave Toub gave me an opportunity in my rookie year, and I told him I would do whatever would help the team out. So I went for it, and I had success.”
Davis returned a kickoff for a touchdown during each of his first three seasons after being a third-round pick of the Chiefs in 2013. The latter touchdown came on the opening kickoff of a 2016 AFC wild-card playoff game in Houston, igniting a 30-0 Chiefs win over the Texans.
That is the type of play that for too long has been missing from the Steelers special teams. They haven't had a kickoff return touchdown since 2010 and haven't had one that didn't involve a trick play in a decade.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wanted another offensive weapon in the 2017 NFL Draft, and they received one when they selected JuJu Smith-Schuster from USC in the second round.
With rookie minicamp, Organized team Activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp in the rearview mirror, fans sometimes forget just what to expect from their rookies in the upcoming season.
If that were the case with Smith-Schuster, he took to his verified Twitter page to remind fans with a ridiculous highlight reel of his time at USC and the caption “Ain’t No Complaints...”
Check it out in the link above...