BALTIMORE (GSM) — The Steelers have missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year, however faced adversity that enabled them to see the performance of their defensive and offensive depth.
Quarterbacks Mason Rudolph and “Duck” Hodges both received a chance to prove if they are the heir to the throne after Ben Roethlisberger finally retires. Defensive end Isaiah Buggs received playing time after all-pro d-lineman Stephon Tuitt was placed on injured reserve following a pectoral tear. And who could forget the running back carousel between James Connor, Jaylen Samuels, Benny Snell Jr. and Kerrith Whyte?
Throughout the season, Coach Tomlin often mentioned how adversity was an obstacle that he had to overcome. Nonetheless, his team fell short of reaching the postseason this year after a more than impressive run with many of the starters hurt. Despite their shortcomings, Coach Tomlin performed exceptionally well under the circumstances.
After the final game of the year vs the Ravens, Coach Tomlin responded to a question from Golden Sky Media, saying, “I appreciated their efforts today, but not only today, all season. We’re not trying to assess it too much, to make too many broad statements.”
The Steelers will now focus on the draft and solidifying their franchise tags for players that have made a significant contribution for the team thus far.
BALTIMORE (GSM) — Week 17 of the NFL season is here and there are 2 slots left — in both the AFC and the NFC — for teams to enter the postseason. The 6th seed of both conferences are up for grabs and Pittsburgh is on the outside looking in, needing a win and needing help to reach the tournament.
The Steelers will need to win against the Ravens and the Titans will need to lose to the Texans in order to gain the last playoff spot.
Devlin “Duck” Hodges will get the start after throwing 2 interceptions against the Jets last week and was benched for Mason Rudolph. Rudolph was injured in the game after throwing a touchdown to Diontae Johnson and was ultimately placed on injured reserve.
After the shuffling of quarterbacks and leaving New York in the losing column, it is up to coaches and fellow teammates to help boost the morale of the team’s leader. In this case, “Duck” Hodges, by default. The undrafted quarterback has a chance to rebound from his latest performance and possibly solidify a spot o the roster in the future. Before that, it is imperative that his confidence is repaired.
In his weekly press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the importance of players being mentally stable.
“Having a hardcore plan; having a level of consistency in terms of the procedure that is preparation, creates a constant that is an anchor for guys. That allows them to build — not only preparation — but confidence associated with it as you get closer to game time.”–Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin
The Steelers — who have an uphill battle — now face a Baltimore Ravens team that has already secured the #1 spot in the AFC, are resting their starters and have nothing to play for.
(GSM) — Business won’t be “boomin'” again for Antonio Brown. At least not during the 2019 regular season. The New Orleans Saints decided not to sign him after a workout with the team, Friday.
After a tumultuous year for the embattled wide receiver, Brown landed with 3 NFL team in less than a year. He played 9-seasons with the Steelers, 6-months for the Raiders (off season only) and 1-game with the Patriots and was released shortly after allegations of sexual assault were made public.
Saints’ head coach Sean Payton addressed the media Friday afternoon confirming that Brown will not be joining the team.
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ (GSM) — Instead of flying first class, the Steelers are on standby waiting for their ticket to the post season after falling to the New York Jets 16-10, Sunday. It was a game that was a must needed win in order to control their own destiny. Now they wait in the wings hoping to land in the playoffs.
Head coach Mike Tomlin, not mincing words, said his team just didn’t get it done. “It’s put-up-or-shut-up time, and we didn’t get the job done.” Tomlin said about playing during December football, “We accept responsibility for the fact and the ramifications of it.”
Linebacker TJ Watt had 2 tackles, 1 resulting in a sack said, you win as a team and lose as a team. Nonetheless, everyone is responsible for the outcome of games no matter the position. “Football is the ultimate team game,” Watt said. “This is the Pittsburgh Steelers, we love everybody in the locker room, we believe in everybody in the locker room. It’s just a matter of putting together a complete game”.
The quarterback carousel continued as Devlin “Duck” Hodges was benched in the first half after throwing 2 interceptions and was replaced by the man he took over for, Mason Rudolph who came in and threw 14-20 129 yards and a touchdown. Rudolph was then injured in the game and “Duck” returned to the game in a losing effort. Hodges says it is unfortunate turn of events.
The 6th seed is still attainable but the Steelers need help to reach the postseason. There is one more game to play for Pittsburgh and it is against AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens. In order for the Steelers to make the playoffs however, they MUST beat the Ravens and the Tennessee Titans must lose to the Houston Texans to solidify the final slot in the tournament. There is still a lot to play for as the regular season comes to a close.