Happy Friday to you all. As Dave Bryan gave you the heads up last week, I’m the lefty out of the bullpen filling in the Friday Five this week. Dave will return with your regularly scheduled programming next week.
It’s officially the start of summer and that means we continue the dead zone of the offseason. For Pittsburgh, maybe that’s a good thing. To have a drama free couple of months. We’re getting closer to previewing camp battles and I’ll be bringing back the Blast From the Past articles on past Steelers next week. Let me know if there’s anyone you’d like me to write about.
As usual, we have five questions for you all to answer. For your Friday Flashback, here’s what we asked you this time a year ago. A question about preseason snaps and the one year anniversary of Shaun Suisham’s release. Miss you Sushi.
Peace and love!
1. Tell me how many passes Xavier Grimble will catch this year (had 11 in 2016)?
2. Will Tyler Matakevich ever become a starting LB? In Pittsburgh or elsewhere. Starting defined as starting Week One of a given season.
3. James Harrison dropped into coverage 32% of the time last year. Ideally, how often would you like to see him drop into coverage in 2017?
4. The Jets have arguably the worst roster in football. But if you had to choose one player off their roster to put on the Steelers (rookies don’t count), who would it be? A link to the roster, if you need a refresher.
5. Who is the first Steeler you remember watching? For me, it was Bobby Shaw and his Superman undershirt.
Question 1 – Ryan Shazier had 9 or 10 tackles for a loss (TFL) including sacks in 2016 depending on the source used. Shazier accomplished that in 13 games playing just under 74% of the Steelers’ defensive snaps according to the Pro Football Reference. Also for context; the stats vary by source but consensus is that multiple players tied for the NFL lead in TFL’s in 2016 at 17 (players mentioned in various sources include DE Jadeveon Clowney, DE Joey Bosa, DT Aaron Donald, DE Cameron Jordan, DE Olivier Jordan & LB Lavonte David). In 2015, J.J. Watt went ape and regarding 29 TFL’s. So, our range of predictions between 11-27 is somewhere between a slight increase in production to Shazier having a first team All-Pro worthy year. Our median response was 15.5 which is nearly one TFL per game if he stays healthy.
Question 2 – Over 70% considered Marvel Smith as the best left tackle that Ben Roethlisberger has had protecting him. It was noted that he missed a Super Bowl which is why two folks gave Max Starks the edge and another three called it even.
Question 3 -This was rather close with 55% of respondents agreeing that Alejandro Villanueva will overtake Max Starks (57) for the most left tackle starts protecting Ben Roethlisberger. Some cast doubt on whether Alejandro would play for the Steelers the next 3 seasons where he would have to start 36 of 48 games. Another major point among the naysayers was whether Ben Roethlisberger would finish out his contract which ends in 2019.
Question 4 – A few knocks on wood; but currently, we are seeing the Steelers’ “off-season drama level” as low. Responses ranged from 1-6 on the 10-point scale with the median response at 3.
Question 5 – Confidence is very high for Knile Davis to make the 53-man roster while it is much lower for Justin Hunter. Over 83% believe Davis makes it while only 28% feel that Hunter will.