Happy Friday and I hope yinz are well.
I’m back doing the Friday five questions this weekend with Alex Kozora wrapping up his vacation to Key west. He should be back in the saddle again come Monday.
I had a blast on The Terrible Podcast this past week with site contributors Josh Carney, Tom Mead, Jonathan Heitritter, Owen Straley, and Daniel Kitchen. They all were very relaxed and very thorough. Very natural feeling having them all on the show this week. I hope yinz get a chance to listen to the Tuesday and Friday shows. I also had Joel Corry on the Friday show and that’s always a treat for me when that happens. Included in that interview was a great talk about what contract extension for Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt might look like several weeks from now.
We got some great news this week as it was announced that there will be 12 training camp practices open to the public this year. We plan on having Kozora at all 12 of those and I think Carney will be at a few of them as well. With the East-West Shrine game now being in Las Vegas, look for us to have at least two people from the site present for the week of it. I think Carney will be one of those.
Believe it or not, the Steelers first preseason game of 2021, which is the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, OH against the Dallas Cowboys, will take place four weeks from yesterday. So, Steelers football is right around the corner now.
I hope yinz have a great and safe weekend and now on to this week’s Friday night five questions.
1 – What answer best fits your outlook for Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr, between now and the start of the regular season?
a) Positive he makes the initial 53-man roster.
b) Fairly sure he makes the initial 53-man roster.
c) Positive he won’t make the initial 53-man roster.
d) Not really sure either way about his potential of making the initial 53-man roster.
2 – Which Steelers player will lead the team in receiving yardage in 2021?
3 – Name the Steelers top three positional needs in any order for the 2022 NFL Draft as we sit here today.
4 – True of false: Steelers rookie running back Najee Harris will make the Pro Bowl in 2021.
5 – How many of the 12 Steelers training camp practices that are scheduled to be open to the public this year do you think you will attend?
Question 1: Steelers Depot respondents loved when Troy Polamalu leaped the line of scrimmage to tackle opponents for a loss of yardage. Troy accomplished that feat more than once. The play that respondents singled out as their favorite was his pick-six against the Baltimore Ravens in the 2008 AFC championship. The Steelers held a narrow 16-14 lead with a little over five minutes to play. First, LaMarr Woodley sacked Joe Flacco to set up third and 13. Then Flacco threw a pass intended for Derrick Mason that Polamalu returned 40 yards to put the Steelers up 23-16. Now in desperation mode, Baltimore would get the ball twice more in that last four minutes. The first drive ended with a crushing Ryan Clark hit on Willis McGahee who fumbled. Lawrence Timmons recovered the loose ball. On Baltimore’s final possession with less than two minutes to go, Tyrone Carter iced the game with an interception that put the Steelers into the victory formation. What a treat it was to watch Troy Polamalu play.
Question 2: No one expressed worry about Kevin Dotson’s conditioning and readiness for the 2021 season. Steelers fans have a lot more to worry about.
Question 3: Steelers Depot readers rattled off a host of random Steelers running backs excluding the household names of Franco, Bleier, Bettis, Parker and Bell. Here are some of our favorites with the seasons played for Steelers and how the team acquired them:
Merril Hoge; 1987-1993 (Drafted tenth round out of Idaho State)
John Clay; 2011 (Undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin)
John “Frenchy” Fuqua; 1970-1976 (Traded from NY Giants with Henry Davis for QB Dick Shiner)
Verron Haynes; 2002-2007 (Drafted fifth round out of Georgia)
Byron “Bam” Morris; 1994-1995 (Drafted third round out of Texas Tech)
Jack “Hydroplane” Deloplaine; 1976-1978 (Drafted sixth round out of Salem WV)
Barry Foster; 1990-1994 (Drafted fifth round out of Arkansas)
Sidney “Bull” Thornton; 1977-1982 (Drafted second round out of Northwestern)
DeAngelo Williams; 2015-2016 (Signed as free agent after Carolina Panthers released him)
Dan Kreider; 2000-2007 (Undrafted free agent out of U of New Hampshire)
Warren Williams; 1988-1992 (Drafted sixth round out of U of Miami)
Amos Zereoue; 1999-2003 (Drafted third round out of West Virginia University)
Chris Fuamatu- Ma’afala; 1998-2002 (Drafted sixth round out of Utah)
I bet we could come up with a whole new list if these folks were excluded too.
Question 4: Steelers Depot respondent predicted guard Trai Turner playing as few as three games up to playing all 17 regular season and ready for the playoffs. The median response has Turner playing 13.5 games. Let’s see if he can play well enough to get a sixth Pro Bowl appearance and some more playoff games.
Question 5: Respondents believe that sixth round draft choice Quincy Roche will record more sacks than Cassius Marsh by nearly a six to one margin.
Thanks to everyone who is responding to the Friday Night Five Questions during the offseason. Good to keep your prognostication skills sharp for the upcoming season.