Every Sunday during the offseason I plan on recapping for you seven items related to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the NFL that may have fallen through the cracks the past week that should be worth your time to read. This weekly feature will be entitled “Steelers’ Seven Shots.”
Shot #1 – Former Steelers guard Kendall Simmons is celebrating his 39th birthday today and you can wish him well on Twitter here at @bigk73. The Steelers drafted Simmons in the first round of the 2002 NFL Draft out of Auburn and here is what Ed Bouchette wrote about him and the team’s other day-one picks, wide receiver Antwaan Randle El and safety Chris Hope, the next day.
Shot #2 – You probably already knew this, but if not, Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell ran the most routes in the NFL in 2017 at his position. 499, according to Pro Football Focus.
No RB ran more routes than Le'Veon Bell in 2017 pic.twitter.com/G8yPi2rW0T
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 10, 2018
Shot #3 – Per NFL Football Operations, the first televised NFL draft took place in 1980 and ESPN was the network to do it. You can learn more about the draft and its evolution at this link. That broadcast, by the way, reportedly only netted one review and it was by now-retired Hartford Courant columnist Owen Canfield and you can read it here. Can you imagine a 12-round draft being conducted in two days in 2018? Also, I would pay to see that 1980 ESPN draft broadcast.
— NFL Football Operations (@NFLFootballOps) March 10, 2018
Shot #4 – While we’re on the subject of the 1980 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected quarterback Mark Malone out of Arizona State in the first-round that year. The selection of Malone was considered a surprise, according to Vito Stellino, who wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette at the time. Steelers head coach Chuck Noll said that Malone was “the best athlete available.” Make sure to peruse the other draft-related Steelers stories via the link provided. Below is Malone’s 90-yard touchdown reception in 1981.
Shot #5 – Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is a big fan of LeBron James and he attended the Friday night game at the Staples Center between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Clippers and even sat at the end of the Cleveland bench in a No. 23 Steelers jersey. Watch his reaction below when James slaps his hand on as the Cavaliers take the court before the game. James also poised for a picture with JuJu after the game.
LeBron dapped up JuJu Smith-Schuster last night and JuJu couldn’t believe it ?
— SB Nation (@SBNation) March 10, 2018
BIG THINGS COMING SOON! ? pic.twitter.com/dkIHkcuLM2
— JuJu Smith-Schuster (@TeamJuJu) March 10, 2018
Shot #6 – Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman signed a three-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday and below are some early numbers related to the deal via Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network.
Interesting. Just $7M in base salary. $6M more in incentives. Sherman is betting on himself in a big way. $16M in base for 2019 & ‘20 becomes guaranteed if he’s All-Pro. Another option would’ve been signing a 1-year & be a free agent again in 2019. Will watch this play out. https://t.co/hBMjRajtX8
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2018
Richard Sherman’s deal includes a $5M signing bonus, plus $2M base salary, $2M in 46-man roster bonuses, $1M playtime incentive and $3M Pro Bowl incentive in 2018. So #49ers get protection, and Sherman gets upside to beat his #Seahawks deal if he plays well. Win-win.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 11, 2018
Shot #7 – Steelers general; manager Kevin Colbert is about to oversee his 19th draft with the organization and I have stumbled across the media guide from 2000, his first year in Pittsburgh. This PDF below ought to give you plenty to read and reminiscent about on this Sunday. Make sure to check out Colbert’s headshot while perusing.