Steelers’ Safety Fitzpatrick Has Message for Fans During COVID-19

Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick on December 29, 2019 at M&T Bank Stadium. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media, FILE)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The only hits currently being generated by the NFL are via the internet.

All-pro safety Minkah Fitzpatrick is among the nearly 1,700 players in the National Football League who are eager to take the field in the 2020 season. However, with the uncertainty of whether a season will be played — in light of the COVID-19 pandemic — Fitpatrick spoke to the media (via Zoom) and his message to the fans was one of optimism.

“We appreciate all of the love and support they show us, previously and in the future,” Fitzpatrick said in his remarks Tuesday. He, along with his teammates, have been practicing social distancing during the pandemic but have been in close contact to help team chemistry from afar.

 

As far as the loyal Steeler fans who are anxious to watch football, Fitzpatrick added, “Whether there are no fans in the stadium or whether it’s going to be full, we’re going to have unwavering support and that is greatly appreciated and reflected in the way that we play.” 

As the world sits, waiting for an outcome to the coronavirus, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement saying, “We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this off-season in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual off-season program, and the 2020 NFL draft.”

Steelers Safety Minkah Fitzpatrick. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

In the midst of waiting, Fitzpatrick knows there is no definitive answer to how the games will shape up, or if fans will be allowed in stadiums across the country, “Whether there is nobody in the stands or a full stadium, we’re going to give our best effort and make sure you guys are entertained and having a good time.

The Steelers acquired Fitzpatrick in a  week-3 trade with the Dolphins for a 2020 first round draft pick, a fifth rounder and a sixth round pick in 2021. He made a significant impact in the secondary immediately after joining the team.

He racked up 5 interceptions, 150 yards and 1 pick-six and became an instant fan favorite in the Steel City.


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
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Wife of Former Pittsburgh Pirate Starling Marte Dies

Starling Marte, former centerfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates sins autographs for fans at PNC Park. (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media, FILE)

(GSM) — Centerfielder Starling Marte may have left the Major League Baseball’s Pirates but he and his family are very much in the heart of Pittsburgh’ers.

On Monday, Marte took to social media informing the public that his wife passed away from a heart attack. Via Twitter, the Dominician-born baseball player wrote a heartfelt message — first in Spanish then in English — about the loss.

“I go through the pain of making public the unfortunate death of my wife Noelia, due to a heart attack. It is a moment of great sorrow.” -Starling Marte via Twitter

 

Marte, now with the Arizona Diamondbacks, received an outpour of support from his team.

 


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER  
 

Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Defends Quarterback Mason Rudolph

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin took issue with  his backup quarterback Mason Rudolph being “accused” of using racial slurs during a game in Cleveland last season.

A physical altercation resulted in a melee between the Steelers and Browns during the 2019 season where Browns defensive end Myles Garrett forcibly removed Rudolph’s helmet and proceeded to hit him over the head with it. With 8-seconds left to play in the game, Garrett was ejected and suspended for the remaining 6 games of the season.

Coach Tomlin appeared on ESPN’s “First Take” to voice his opinion on the matter and to discuss the allegations against Mason Rudolph:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Steelers’ Head Coach Tomlin released the following statement:

I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game. I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization – players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns’ organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions.


BRIAN COOK IS AN EMMY-NOMINATED INTERNATIONAL JOURNALIST WHO HAS BEEN COVERING THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE SINCE 2005. HE CAN BE REACHED AT BCOOK@GOLDENSKYMEDIA.COM.
FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER  

Bill Cowher Elected to Hall of Fame Class of 2020

Bill Cowher, former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers after being announced as a 2019 Hall of Honor recipient on September 30, 2019 at Heinz Field. (Photo: Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Informally known as, “The Chin,” former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers Bill Cowher was officially elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Donning a record of, 149–90–1 (161–99–1 including the postseason) and 1-1 in Super Bowl wins (Won Super Bowl XL), Cowher will forever be among football’s elite.

He was notified in a surprise appearance by David Baker, President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame during  CBS’ “The NFL Today” where is a weekly analyst.

Bill Cowher, former head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. (Photo: Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

Statement by Steelers President Art Rooney II on Bill Cowher: Congratulations to Bill Cowher on his election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One of our most successful coaches in team history, Bill’s energy and dedication for coaching was evident in every practice and every game. His Pittsburgh roots were perfect for our organization because he knew the history and passion of our fans, and he wanted to bring a Super Bowl back to his hometown. He accomplished that feat in dramatic fashion in Super Bowl XL. Bill was always a family man and made the tough decision to walk away from coaching at a young age to focus on them. I am so happy for his entire family, and I’m sure this summer in Canton will be a special time for Bill and all of Steelers Nation.


 


 

EDITORIAL: Dear, ‘Tomlin Sucks/Harbaugh Rocks’ Haters

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (left) and Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh (Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Can I say it? Can I just go…ahead…and say it?

The very things that you “seemingly hate” about Tomlin and the “…a good coach like John Harbaugh would never do…” things, came out in full force Saturday night in the 28-12 loss to the Tennessee Titans at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

For some examples (among many):

* Unlike Tomlin, a good coach like Harbaugh would NEVER lose a home playoff game after gaining home field advantage in the playoffs, much less after lording over a 14-2 football team that dominated the league all season,

* Unlike Tomlin, a good coach like Harbaugh would NEVER allow his obviously-more-talented football team to come out “flat” (e.g., go down 14-0 at home to a 9-7 #6 seed),

* or “uninspired” (e.g., how do you not get a 4th-and-1 or a 4th-and-inches while fighting for your playoff lives),

* or “undisciplined” (e.g., did you see Humpreys bite on that double move for the long TD pass that led to the 14-0 lead),

* nor would he make “unforgivable coaching decisions” (e.g., really? you go for it on a 4th-and-inches in YOUR OWN TERRITORY down 7-0 to a QB that barely threw for 100 yards the weekend before…with the #4 defense in the league AT HOME?!?!? Better still, why the heck would you kill what little momentum and hope you’d gain from FINALLY scoring a TD in the 4th Q by going for two, not getting it, then KICKING OFF DEEP while down by 2 TD’s?!?!?),

* or allow his team to “under-perform” or “play down to the competition” (e.g., Blake Bortles….I mean, Ryan Tannehill is a journeyman QB that has thrown for less than 250 yards in TWO NFL PLAYOFF GAMES) with a #4-ranked defense that KNEW that the ONLY REAL THREAT that the Titans had was the running game with Leonard Fournette….I mean, Derrick Henry,

I mean: you have the NFL MVP ON YOUR TEAM (Lamar Jackson) and the #4 defense in the NFL as well as home field advantage and facing a #6 seed that lost to the Panthers, Broncos and Jaguars this season, and you lose by 16?

WHAT. A. BUM!

And he’s only been to ONE Super Bowl!

John Harbaugh’s career as head coach:

– 128–81 (.612)

– AFC North Champs: 2011, 2012, 2018, 2019

– AFC Champs: 2012

– SB Champs: 2012

– Sub .500 seasons: 1

– Playoff appearances: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2018, 2019

Mike Tomlin’s career as head coach:

– 141–80–1 (.637)

– AFC North Champs: 2008, 2010, 2014, 2016, 2017

– AFC Champs: 2008, 2010

– SB Champs: 2008

– Sub .500 seasons: 0

– Playoff appearances: 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017

Of course, I’m being a little sarcastic here — while pointing out only SOME of the items that happened last night in the Ravens’ horrendous loss.

At the same time, for all of you that love to point out “Tomlin’s flaws” yet put Harbaugh on a high pedestal over him as a “much better coach,” please check out what happened last night, as that loss was at least as bad as the 2017 Jags loss at Heinz Field.

Remember that Tomlin has never had 2 Hall of Fame players on his Defense at the same time (i.e., Harbaugh won with Ed Reed/Ray Lewis…”someone else’s players”) or a Super Bowl MVP-winning quarterback in Joe Flacco.

Tomlin is 2-1 vs. Harbaugh in the playoffs, including a loss without MVP running back that was injured 6 days earlier.

Both guys are good coaches. The stats are there as to who has done better in the same division and almost with the same mirror-image teams of each other (especially earlier in the rivalry).

After watching that fiasco last night, I ask (some of) you not to let “other items” get in the way of your “analysis” of the Tomlin/Harbaugh debate. Not all of you do this, but some folks do – and we kinda all know what’s going on with those that do.