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 or view. This weekly feature will be entitled “Steelers’ Seven Shots.”
Shot #1 – It looks like Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com sat down with Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell for an interview this weekend and I expect there will be a full story on what he said in the next day or two. Bell, who was back home in Columbus, Ohio, for his football camp this weekend had the below to say to Fowler.
Le'Veon Bell, who's back home in Columbus, Ohio, for his football camp, says LeBron James' phenomenal play at age 33 inspires him to have a long career with the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/ulPuOYZoIT
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) June 10, 2018
Shot #2 – Speaking of Bell, rapper Wiz Khalifa, as you can see in the video below, told TMZ Sports on Sunday that the Steelers running back has been working in his recording studio throughout the offseason.
“That’s my man,” Khalifa said. “He comes to the studio that I record at, ID Labs, all the time.”
Shot #3 – According to Forbes, Steelers defensive end Stephon Tuitt was the 14th highest earning NFL player over the course of the last year and he ranked No. 79 overall on their annual World’s Highest-Paid Athletes list. Tuitt, according to the publication, earned $24.4 million this past year in pay and endorsements. The bulk of his earnings came courtesy of the new contract he signed just before the season began, with just $200,000 coming from endorsement deals.
Shot #4 – More than a dozen decision-makers around the league reportedly graded every NFL team’s offseason for an ESPN.com post only for Insider subscribers. The Steelers, in case you’re curious, received a B- grade. Below is the main summary for the grade the Steelers received and there was no mention of the team signing two main free agents during the offseason in linebacker Jon Bostic and safety Morgan Burnett, both of whom are expected to play considerably during the 2018 season.
The offseason came and went without significant changes to the Steelers’ roster. That’s a good thing for a contending team that should be strong again in 2018.
Two decisions stand out: firing offensive coordinator Todd Haley after six seasons, and using a third-round pick for potential Ben Roethlisberger successor Mason Rudolph.
Shot #5 – In a recent episode of “First Things First” on Fox Sports 1, Cris Carter and Nick Wright gave their reactions to Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown recently asking on Twitter if he’s the best wide receiver of his generation. The two analysts then give their rankings of the NFL’s top wide receivers over the course of the last 10 years.
Shot #6 – Dwight Freeney who was a premier pass-rusher in the NFL for 16 seasons, was a guest on NFL Total Access just over a week ago and during his appearance he demonstrated his pass-rushing favorite moves. I enjoyed this video and I think you will as well.
Shot #7 – Speaking of pass-rushers, below are some interesting stats for Steelers outside linebacker Bud Dupree from the 2017 season courtesy of Pro Football Focus. The Steelers picked up Dupree’s fifth-year option for the 2019 season several weeks ago and the former first-round draft pick out of Kentucky is hoping to finally hit double-digit sacks in 2018. In case you missed it, here is what Dupree’s personal pass-rushing coach said about him recently and here are the six sacks from 2017.
Bud Dupree put together the most productive year of his career pressuring the quarterback last season with 40 pressures.
— PFF PIT Steelers (@PFF_Steelers) June 7, 2018