(GSM) — James Harrison, who was once a dominating force on the Steelers’ defense, took to social media following his former team’s loss to the Bengals Sunday.
The linebacker who has one of the most memorable plays in Super Bowl history, posted a video to his Instagram page where he showed disbelief that the Steelers would fall to the Bengals who — at that point — had only won two games all season.
His most recent post was coupled with a John Fogerty song titled “Centerfield” blasting in the background. Harrison can be seen picking up a game-worn Steelers helmet from his in-home trophy case, sarcastically insinuating he is ready to return to action to help the “Black-n-Gold.”
The Steelers (11-3) entered the game Sunday with a chance to clinch the AFC North title. However, the Bengals (3-10-1) had other plans as they walked away with a convincing 27-7 victory.
Harrison — a five-time All Pro — played for the Bengals, Patriots and Ravens in addition to the Steelers and hasn’t seen the field since 2018.
Harrison played 16 years in the National Football League.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — The NFL season is fast approaching with players, coaches and personnel going through the motions of Training Camp in efforts of conditioning to have a robust (and safe) debut.
Steelers’ wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster spoke to the media Monday about his chance to play with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger again. Smith-Schuster says he doesn’t anticipate any challenges with chemistry. However, the chance for rookies to get acclimated to Roethlisberger’s playing style is key for team success moving forward. “I think one thing we did before camp, we always threw with him, which was a good part,” Smith-Schuster said. “Having these young guys—that is the biggest part for us—the young guys trying to get used to him.”
Smith-Schuster also took to Twitter over the weekend to show chemistry between he and quarterback Roethlisberger. A connection the world hasn’t seen since “Big Ben” was sidelined with an elbow injury on his throwing arm in September 2019.
Monday marks the first time the team will practice in pads prior to the 2020 season. Head Coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media last week and says he realizes how protocol has been altered due to coronavirus concerns.
“We are willing to adjust based on what transpires between now and then.” And that is really our mentality about this next month or so. We realize there are certain boxes that need to be checked between now and when we step into a stadium, but we also realize that we might have to alter the pace of some of those intended plans based on the readiness.” — Mike Tomlin, head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers
CHARLOTTE (GSM) — In the wake of a major shake-up in North Carolina, secondary coach Perry Fewell will carry the team for the rest of the season. The Carolina Panthers fired head coach Ron Rivera after nine seasons at the helm.
2019 is Fewell’s first season with the Panthers and served as secondary coach for Bears, Rams, Redskins, Giants and most recently the Jaguars, stemming back to 1998.
Fewell adds to the list of only 3 black head coaches in the NFL: Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins), Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers) and Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers).
Fewell spoke about his past coaching experience, his on-field coaching style and his goals for the last four games of the season.
As for Rivera, however, he ends his tenure with an overall winning record of 76-63-1 with a poor showing in the postseason at 3-4. “My biggest regret is not winning the Superbowl,” Rivera said at Bank of America Stadium Wednesday. He says he is not done with his career and on if he plans to coach again, “I want to be able to coach people and impact people.”
Panthers owner David Tepper said in a statement, “I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team.” Tepper said about Rivera, “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin acknowledged that injuries are a part of the game. The realization of adjusting for the sudden — and always unexpected — changes in personnel can throw off team chemistry. However, Coach Tomlin has preached the, “next man up” approach on the journey to success as his team continues to heal.
Since the beginning of the 2019 season, the Steelers lost starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season due to an elbow injury on his throwing arm which required surgery. Starting defensive end Stephon Tuitt is out for the year with a pectoral tear, free safety Sean Davis was put on injured reserve with a shoulder injury, fullback Roosevelt Nix is also on IR with a knee ailment and kick returner/WR Ryan Switzer’s back will keep him from seeing action. Running back James Conner has missed significant time on the field as well when he re-aggravated his shoulder. Most recently, wide receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson in addition to linebacker Ola Adeniyi succumbed to concussions in the game against the Browns last Thursday night, just to name a few. Quite a few, actually.
While the team has seen its fair share of fallen players, Tomlin said in his weekly press conference Tuesday, “I don’t spend a lot of time crying over who’s available or who’s not available. It’s as much a part of the game as blocking or tackling,” Tomlin said. “If you are a competitor — like we as coaches are competitors — that fires you up. You want to smile in the face of adversity.”
The Steelers will play on the road Sunday Nov. 24 against the winless Cincinnati Bengals (0-10), a team that would love to get a win against the Pittsburgh. The Steelers (5-5) are still mathematically alive in the playoff hunt and in 2nd place in the AFC North division.
PITTSBURGH (GSM) — Banged up wideouts JuJu Smith-Schuster and Diontae Johnson are added to the list of starters who have temporarily fallen victim to injuries.
In the game against the Cleveland Browns Thursday, both standouts left the game with concussions and as of Monday, were still in concussion protocol. Neither were available for interviews.
JuJu Smith-Schuster left the game after suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit. In the second quarter, 2 defenders, [former Steeler] Morgan Burnett and Greedy Williams made contact with both sides of Smith-Schuster’s helmet, on the same play, leaving him motionless on the field. He was later able to walk off the field on his own.
Smith-Schuster took to his Twitter account to thank those who were supportive following his injury:
Want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers from the injury last night. I will be ok and can’t wait to get back out on the field with my brothers. pic.twitter.com/SV09EGwr4o
As for Diontae Johnson, Browns safety Damarious Randall lowered his head and collided in the third quarter with Johnson after a helmet-to-helmet hit, leaving him wincing in pain. Johnson started bleeding from his ear shortly thereafter. The hit prompted an immediate ejection of Randall.
Appreciate all the prayers man.. I’m doing good. I’ll be back 🙏🏾
“The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed wide receiver Deon Cain and running back Kerrith Whyte Jr. to the 53-man roster, it was announced today. To make room on the 53-man roster, the Steelers released linebacker Jayrone Elliott and running back Tony Brooks-James.”
We have signed WR Quadree Henderson and WR Amara Darboh to our practice squad and released WR Terry Wright and LB Sutton Smith.