The Pittsburgh Steelers were able to escape the Queen City with a 33-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 14, and after the game the usual suspects were the center of attention. DeAngelo Williams' two touchdowns, Ben Roethlisberger as the captain of the team and William Gay for his pick-six. All deserve the credit, but what about those players who might not get the same amount of credit, yet are due some publicity?
That is where the BTSC's "Unsung Heroes" article comes in. I try to target a handful of players who might not have gotten the accolades they deserve, so I give it to them here.
Alejandro Villanueva - Forget about the fact he was a former tight end in college, turned defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, then added over 100-pounds to his frame to become an offensive tackle for the Steelers. Forget about all that and just realize how solid he has played in the absence of Kelvin Beachum. Villanueva hasn't been perfect, but for a backup with as little time at tackle, let alone left tackle at the NFL level, he has acclimated himself well in a short period of time. Villanueva did a tremendous job against Cincinnati, especially when Todd Haley designed several plays where the 6-foot 9-inch lineman pulled across the formation to seal block for DeAngelo Williams. Villanueva is quietly making a name for himself within the Steelers' organization.
Heath Miller - Another 10 catch performance...ho hum. Such is life for one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL; however, don't let anyone say he is under appreciated. Miller is a player who does the little things well. As great of a blocker as he is a pass catcher, Miller is in the running for best all around tight end in the league. Both his blocking and receiving skills were on display against the Bengals as he had several key blocks and caught 10 passes for 66 yards.
Chris Boswell - The man who's Twitter handle is the "Wizard of Boz" remains the steady hand, or should I say foot, for this team at the placekicker position. Boswell was called on to kick 4 field goals and 3 extra points against the Bengals, and as Mike Lange would say "There was no doubt about it". Boswell has done equally well at kickoffs, and has helped limit the opposition in the return game with a variety of kicks off the tee. Boswell looks like a player the team might want to keep around, even next year when Shaun Suisham returns.
Robert Golden - There is a small contingent in the Steelers fan base who are sick of Will Allen. Allen is far from perfect, but he is a veteran who works well with Mike Mitchell in the deep secondary. Allen has been hurt this year, and was again in Week 14, and when that happens Robert Golden is the man to step up. On Sunday, Golden did more than just step up, he made a key interception of AJ McCarron to help seal the victor for Pittsburgh. The special teams captain has proven his worth not just on "teams", but also as a viable backup safety on the team.