Happy Friday to all of yinz once again and welcome to the weekend.
The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their annual OTA practices on Thursday and next up for the team is their mandatory minicamp next week. After those practices are completed the team will be off for the next six weeks. In summation, the start of training camp in Latrobe is now right around the corner and it can’t get here soon enough. Those empty six weeks between the start of training camp, however, are always the toughest to fill when it comes to content so if you have any suggestions as to what you would like to see, let us know either in the site comments, or via email.
Tonight, my weekend will begin with me having to leave the house at 8 p.m. for an all-night sleep study. I’m sure this will go just great as I barely get any sleep nightly in my own house. We’ll see, however, and I’m likely to tweet out a few pictures of my accommodations tonight so be on the lookout for those. My hope is that I have less than a week remaining before I’m done with the doctors for a while.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer during this glorious Friday evening and I look forward to reading quite a few while holed-up in the medical facility later tonight. Don’t let me down. I have included one bonus question this week as well.
1 – True or false: Steelers outside linebackers Bud Dupree and T.J. Watt will combine to have more than 20 sacks during the 2018 regular season.
2 – If forced to predict right now, will the Steelers have picked up the fifth-year option on cornerback Artie Burns by the 2019 May deadline?
3 – During his entire NFL career, will Steelers wide receiver James Washington catch 300 or more passes?
4 – Whats more likely to have happened with Steelers tackle Marcus Gilbert by the start of the 2019 regular season?
a) Has signed a contract extension
b) Has been released
c) No change and asked to play out final year of contract
5 – The Steelers released their 2018 training camp schedule this past week. How many practices are you planning on attending this year?
Bonus – Will Justify win the Triple Crown Saturday at the Belmont?
Question 1 – Jake Rodgers has some convincing to do with Steelers Depot respondents. 81% do not believe he will make the 53-man roster. Many think the Steeler will only keep eight offensive linemen leaving him in the cold. But some even thought he would not make it if they do keep nine. Let’s see how he looks at Latrobe.
Question 2 – On the other hand, Steelers Depot respondents are bullish on Vance McDonald. 96% believe he will set new career highs in both receptions and receiving yardage in 2018. There is the usual caveat of barring injuries.
Question 3 – Team Batman narrowly edged Team I don’t Care by 33 to 30% of votes cast. Write in candidate, Team Bumblebee edged Team Block Numbers 15 to 11% among the also rans.
Question 4 – We mentioned thirteen different non-Rookie Steelers players that we are most excited to see play in the preseason later this summer. Keion Adams (19%); Cam Sutton (19%); Brian Allen (16%) & Jon Bostic (16%) led the way. Josh Dobbs (8%) was only other with multiple mentions. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Javon Hargrave, Terrell Edmunds; T.J. Watt; Morgan Burnett; James Conner; Vance McDonald & Bud Dupree all got a single mention. NOTE: One rookie was snuck onto the list – Edmunds.
Question 5 – Pittsburgh sports fans are as hard on themselves as the players who dare to don the Black & Gold. Most agreed that we do a poor job of attempting to be difference makers at home games by being loud in games where the team is either trailing, tied or not leading big. We described ourselves as being old, spoiled silent fans.
Mea culpa. I am an old (remember when Pittsburgh was known as a baseball and not a football town). Could be considered spoiled (six Super Bowl rings & eight AFC championships, five Stanley Cups & six conference championships, five World Series titles & nine NL pennants) and mostly silent Pittsburgh sports fan when attending games. I’ve attended games in Washington DC, Kansas City and Baltimore that are much louder than Heinz Field from beginning to end. However, the native American fans and Baltimorons also cheer themselves hoarse rather than being tactical. My voice is reserved for 3rd down situations where the Steelers defense needs a big play. We need some situational metrics on the decibel levels comparing when the team is on offense or defense. The noise differential may be a difference maker. Also, to be considered; Fed Ex with a capacity of 82,000; Arrowhead at 76,416, M & T at 71,008 all exceed Heinz Field capacity of 68,400 fans. Those stadiums SHOULD be anywhere from 3-19% louder than Heinz Field. Other factors – both M & T and Arrowhead have speaker systems that are more sophisticated than Pittsburgh’s (at M & T it is for the marching band at halftime, but you can hear cheering through these loudspeakers during games). Another consideration is whether the field is designed to hold in sound. Heinz Field has an airy feel to it and I believe that a lot of the sound is directed up and not across the field unlike more closed in stadia like M & T or Arrowhead. Do we have any sound engineers amongst our Steelers Depot readership that can weigh in on this subject?