Steelers looking to move forward in Week 2
Contrary to what the sports talk show hosts in Pittsburgh were saying this past Monday and Tuesday, the world did not end. The sun is still rising in the east and setting in the west. Yes, the Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots. That was no great surprise. For the Steelers to have beaten the Patriots in Foxborough everything would have to have gone right and it sure didn’t.
Enough of the past, it’s time to look forward. That’s why windshields are much larger than rear view mirrors. It’s more important to see what is in front of you than what is behind you.
The Steelers are going to have their hands full with the Seattle Seahawks in Pittsburgh. The Seahawks barely edged the Cincinnati Bengals 21-20 in Week One. They will be looking to atone for that woeful performance. A strong running team in 2018, the Seahawks only gained 72 yards (2.9 average) versus Cincinnati. Quarterback Russell Wilson is unbelievably efficient at managing a game. His passer rating is annually near the top of the league’s leaders. This game could be real trouble for the Steelers.
Versus New England, outside linebacker T.J Watt wore the green dot on his helmet which enabled him to hear instructions from the sideline and then forward them to the rest of the defensive unit. While it is unusual for an outside linebacker to be calling the signals, it actually made sense in the Steelers’ case. Calling signals would have been an undue burden for rookie Devin Bush playing in his first regular-season game. The other inside linebackers, Vince Williams and Mark Barron, are both utilized in different packages and are not always on the field. The defensive signal caller needs to be someone who is a linebacker so that they can communicate to the line and to the secondary.
It made sense to trade number-three quarterback Josh Dobbs to Jacksonville in exchange for a fifth round pick in next year’s draft. Those 53 active roster spots are too valuable to tie one up with a player who will basically be running the scout team in practice all year. Dobbs probably wasn’t going to be active for more than one or two games, if that. This way, Dobbs may actually get a chance to see action with the Jaguars. Devlin Hodges, who spent the preseason with the Steelers, before being waived, was signed to the practice squad. Hodges will quarterback the scout team during practice.
Opening up that roster spot enabled the Steelers to re-sign linebacker Jayrone Elliott, who they released August 31, after signing him a week earlier. The Steelers are woefully lacking in depth at linebacker, particularly on the outside. After losing linebacker Tuzar Skipper on a waiver claim when they activated wide receiver Johnny Holton, they needed another linebacker. At best, Elliott can be labeled as a “journeyman”.
Do not be surprised if they try to make a move for another tight end. When the Arizona Cardinals waived Ricky Seals-Jones, the Steelers put in a claim, but he was awarded to Cleveland due to the waiver selection order, which is based on 2018 won-loss records. The Steelers need a backup tight end who can run block.
Former wide receiver Hines Ward was recently hired as the wide receivers coach for the New York Jets. Ward worked with the Jets’ wide receivers during training camp. Ward was a finalist for the wide receiver coaching position with the Steelers following the 2017 season.
Hall of Famer Lynn Swann stepped down on Tuesday as the athletic director at the University of Southern California. The rumors continue to swirl around USC amid the admissions scandal.
Sam Davis, who was a member of the Steelers’ first four Super Bowl teams, passed away Tuesday at the age of 75. Davis, who started in Super Bowls XIII and XIV, had lived in an assisted living facility for a number of years. He suffered from dementia and was legally blind.