Happy Friday and I hope all yinz have survived another week.
We received quite the surprise earlier this week when Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger released a new video of him throwing at a local high school to some teammates. Little did we know at that time, however, that the beard trim that followed that practice session would become national news by the middle of this week. At least all of that seems to have died down by now. Regardless, it was great to see Roethlisberger finally being able to let it rip again. With two months remaining before the start of training camp, that’s great news.
Wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was on ‘Good Morning Football’ on Friday so that gave us a little to write about to end the week. Head coach Mike Tomlin also provided us some content thanks to an under-the-radar interview he gave this week.
Not only is this Memorial Day weekend, plead keep in mind that this is Mental Health Awareness Week as well. It’s a very important week in my life due to my OCD and Mania Bipolar. The theme is kindness.
as usual, I have five questions for yinz to answer starting this evening and through the weekend and I look forward to reading all responses.
Please have a very safe holiday weekend and thank you to all who visited the site since last Friday. I love all of yinz.
Peace and love, peace and love.
1 – How big of an advantage is it for the Steelers this offseason with them having a team with a lot of 2019 players as well as a coaching staff that’s mostly been together a good while?
2 – Do you like the proposed NFL rule change that includes teams having a 4th and 15 option instead of attempting an onside kick?
3 – Rank these players by total number of receptions (most to least) they will have during the 2020 regular season:
4 – Through the first four games of the 2020 regular season, will rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool have played more than 60.5 total offensive snaps?
5 – Do you miss Ben Roethlisberger’s beard? Are you glad he trimmed it up?
Question 1: Ben Roethlisberger needs a big statistical season plus the Steelers must reach the playoffs for Ben to win the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2020. Most Steelers Depot respondents linked the team’s success with Ben’s individual performance for the NFL to award it to him. Some even included a Super Bowl appearance or hoisting the Lombardi Trophy outright for his chances. The baseline statistics are at least 4000 passing yards with 25+ touchdowns and less than 12 interceptions. If those statistics place him among the top five or he gains a pro bowl berth he should be a shoe-in.
Question 2: 65% of Steelers Depot respondents believe neither Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin nor any member of the organization paid the $75 thousand fine that former outside linebacker James Harrison received for his 2010 hit on then Cleveland Browns wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi. Referees did not penalize Harrison on that play. In fact, the referees flagged the Browns for delay of game. I believe this was Browns quarterback Colt McCoy’s first start. He was so traumatized he did not want to come off the bench in the second half. The Steelers sacked McCoy five times and recorded nine quarterback hits in his debut.
Question 3: James Conner will record over 200 touches in 2020 according to 70.6% of Depot respondents. In his pro bowl sophomore season, Conner touched the ball 270 times in 13 games played. Last year that dropped to 150 in ten games. If Conner stays healthy and plays all 16 games, he should easily surpass it with as few as 13 touches per game versus the 20.8 touches per game in 2018.
Question 4: Looking ahead to 2021 is daunting for those that do not like change. The median and average scores did not line up. The most-likely to least-likely Steeler returning in 2021 by the median rankings is Juju Smith-Schuster; Matt Feiler; Cameron Sutton; Alejandro Villanueva; James Conner; then Mike Hilton. The order based on average ranking is Feiler; Sutton; Juju; Villanueva; Conner; then Hilton. If we look at the frequency the players were ranked the order is Feiler; Juju; Sutton; Villanueva; Conner; Hilton. So, the consensus is that Matt Feiler; Juju Smith-Schuster and Cameron Sutton most likely to return in 2021 but in no particular order. The least likely to return is Mike Hilton, then James Conner and finally Al Villanueva. Clear as mud?
Question 5: The toughest four-game stretch for the Steelers in 2020 is Tennessee Titans-Philadelphia Eagles-Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens. Very close was weeks five to eight which would swap Dallas Cowboys for the Titans. Either way, by the season’s midway point we should have a good measure of this year’s edition of the Pittsburgh Steelers.