Happy Friday to all of yinz and welcome to the first of several quiet sports weekends we’ll now encounter before the Pittsburgh Steelers open their 2019 training camp in Latrobe in late July. That’s right, for a little more than five weeks, we’ll have no NHL or NBA games to watch as both leagues crowned champions this past week. For now, all we have is the MLB to keep us occupied and maybe some golf, if you’re into that.
The NFL announced this past week that the Oakland Raiders will be this year’s selection for ‘Hard Knocks’ on HBO and that makes me very happy. This year’s series of episodes could wind up being the best of all-time because of the numerous train wrecks the Raiders currently have under contract and that includes former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Sunday is Father’s Day and while one of my dads passed away almost two full years ago, I still remember the first Steelers game that he took me to. That game was the Steelers 1980 preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons at Atlanta Fulton County Stadium on Friday, August 15, 1980. The Steelers won that game 17-14 and here is the newspaper report of that contest that was in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette the following day. There were over 50,000 people at that preseason game and I remember a lot of black and gold being in attendance despite it taking place in Atlanta.
Well, I’m closing out my Friday with another visit to the doctor and those appointments will continue every Friday for the next several weeks. Keep praying for me. Outside of that, I might go see some other sights in the state of Nevada on one weekend over the course of the next few weeks.
While the next five weeks will be slow from a Steelers news standpoint, we should have plenty of content to keep yinz entertained with until training camp gets underway just as we always do.
As usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer during this quiet Friday night and I look forward to reading all that’s posted in the comments below. Have a great weekend and I hope all the fathers reading this have a great day on Sunday. Thank you for visiting the site this past and peace and love to all of yinz.
1 – The Steelers will likely be expected to lose their 2019 regular season games against the New England Patriots (Week 1), Los Angeles Chargers (Week 6) and Los Angeles Rams (Week 10). Of those three games, which one are they most-likely to win as we sit here in June?
2 – The annual NFL Network Top 100 Players series will get underway in July and the early word is that Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and running back James Conner will both make their debuts on the list this year. Will Smith-Schuster crack the top 20 this year and if so, call your shot right now as to what number he winds up being in this year’s Top 100?
3 – A few weeks ago, Mike Clay of ESPN.com posted his initial 2019 stat projections for the Steelers and he predicted rookie wide receiver Diontae Johnson to have 28 receptions for 354 yards and 1 touchdown. With that, I want your over/under guesses on each of those stats.
a) over/under 28 recetions
b) over/under 354 receiving yards
c) over/under 1 touchdown
4 – Will Steelers safety Jordan Dangerfield make the team’s initial 53-man roster again this year?
5 – How many training camp practices do you think you’ll be able to attend this year?
Question 1: There was a lot of variation between which AFC North team defense would allow the least points. Depot respondents ranked the Ravens as the stingiest team in 2019 followed by the Steelers, Browns and Bengals.
Question 2: Steelers Depot respondents predicted the Steelers defense recording anywhere from 45 to 60 sacks in 2019. The median response was 53.5.
Question 3: If we go by the overall responses, the Steelers will be 2-1 after the first three games in 2019. A narrow majority believe the Steelers will lose their opener but win the next two. The strongest confidence is a win at home over the Seahawks.
Question 4: Steelers Depot respondents are bullish on Bud Dupree. 67% believe Bud will exceed 6 sacks in 2019.
Question 5: The consensus is that Ben Roethlisberger should play 2 quarters this preseason with Josh Dobbs & Mason Rudolph playing 6 each. Devlin Hodges would get the remaining 2.