Steelers Select Najee Harris in 1st Round of ’21 Draft

1/1/21 MFB Alabama vs Notre DameAlabama running back Najee Harris (22)Photo by Photo by Kent Gidley

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — “Najee Harris is the second coming of Franco Harris,” says football guru and NFL scout Smokin’ Jim Frazier. Only time will tell, but he very well could be!

Harris leaves the Alabama Crimson Tide as the top running back on the 2021 draft board to a Steelers team that cut ties with James Conner, the team’s former starter at the position. Harris racked up 4624 total yards from scrimmage with an impressive 3843 yards by way of rushing.

Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin and General Manager Kevin Colbert took questions from the media Thursday, moments after the 1st-round selection. “He’s got a nice combination of size, strength and athleticism. His picking vision is excellent in terms of finding holes,” Tomlin said. “He shows patience while doing that. He’s a complete back.”

 


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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James Conner Signed by the Cardinals

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner stretches over the goal line to score a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns on October 28, 2018 at Heinz Field.
(Photo: Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media, FILE)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Erie, PA native and former Steelers running back James Conner has a new home over 2,000 miles away.

The Arizona Cardinals signed Conner in a 1-year deal just months after the Steelers decided not to renew his contract. In 4 years with Pittsburgh he racked up 2,302 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns on the ground. He also accomplished 963 receiving and 4 receiving touchdowns throughout his tenure.

Conner joins Chase Edmunds and Jonathan Ward in the backfield and is the second big-name free agent signed this off season by the Cardinals. Arizona signed former Texans defensive end J.J. Watt signed a 2-year, $31 million contract on March 3.

Welcome to the Valley, @JamesConner_!

We have agreed to terms with RB James Conner on a one-year contract.

— Arizona Cardinals (@AZCardinals) April 13, 2021


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-Browns Rematch Scheduled for Prime Time Slot

Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster makes a reception during the game against the  (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)CLEVELAND (GSM) — The stage is set. The prime time rematch between the Steelers and Browns will take place during the wild card round of the playoffs. 

The Steelers (12-4) lost to the Browns (11-5) 24-22 at FirstEnergy Stadium Sunday afternoon. It was a game that Cleveland needed to win to snap an 18-year drought of making the postseason. Despite Ben Roethlisberger, Joe Haden, Maurkice Pouncey, TJ Watt and Cam Heyward taking this game off, Pittsburgh still gave the Browns a run.

This will be the third meeting between these two teams with a 1-1 split during the 2020 season and this will also be third time in both franchises history where they will meet in the playoffs. The Steelers have won both meetings.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner stretches over the goal line to score a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns on October 28, 2018 at Heinz Field. (Photo: Brian Cook / Golden Sky Media)

 

Kickoff is scheduled for Sunday Jan. 10, 2021 at 8:15pm EST at Heinz Field.

 

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’ Lineman Derwin Gray Waived, Claimed by Jaguars

Steelers offensive lineman Derwin Gray following the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 21, 2020 at Paul Brown Stadium. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Heading into the final game of the 2020 season, the Pittsburgh Steelers have released offensive tackle Derwin Gray to make space in the 53-man active roster and 10 on the practice squad.

Gray was a seventh round draft by Pittsburgh out of Maryland in 2019. He spent most of his time on the team’s practice squad but played in five games this season. 

Steelers offensive lineman Derwin Gray in action during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals on December 21, 2020 at Paul Brown Stadium. (Marlon Martin / Golden Sky Media)

 

On Twitter, Gray thanked the city of Pittsburgh and fans for the support during his time as a Steeler but mentioned that he is excited to begin the next journey in his career. The Jacksonville Jaguars claimed him from waivers on Tuesday.

 

 

 


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  

Dionte Johnson Returns to Form, Sparks Steelers’ Defeat of Colts

Steelers’ wide receiver Diontae Johnson makes a leaping catch against the Indianapolis Colts on December 27, 2020 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh (Clyde Harris / Golden Sky Media)

PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Dionte Johnson leads the league with 12 dropped passes. These dropped passes have come at the most inopportune  time during the recent 3 game losing streak. Two drops in the Steelers loss to Buffalo, three in the loss against Washington, and one against the Bengals. Johnson has attributed the recent occurrences to a lack of focus and overthinking the process of catching the football. It has been a dark and frustrating time for Johnson.

All of his recent problems with dropped passes, faded away against the Indianapolis Colts. Dionte Johnson returned to form, looking like a true number 1 receiver. Johnsons acrobatic 39 yard touchdown pass ignited the Steelers offense, overcoming a 17 point third quarter deficit, en route to a 28-24 victory. The win crowned the Steelers the 2020 AFC North Division Champions.

With Johnson, and the other members of the vaunted Steeler receiving corps returning to the form, the Steelers offense will once again be a force to contend with.