JACKSONVILLE (GSM) — All they do is “win, win, win no matter what!”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have solidified their position as the best team in the league throughout the 2020 season. The convincing victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars may not have been impressive — especially against a team who has lost 9 straight — but it helped stack wins for Pittsburgh.
Wideout Chase Claypool scored his 10th touchdown and broke an NFL record as the first receiver to score 10 a touchdown in their first 10 games as a rookie.
The Steelers have also broken a team record by starting the season at 10-0 for the first time in history.
With only 4 days off, the Baltimore Ravens head into Pittsburgh for the prime-time Thanksgiving game in Pittsburgh. Baltimore will be without many starters due to a major COVID-19 outbreak at the facility.
Runningbacks Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins, Nose Tackle Brandon Williams and Pernell McPhee who plays linebacker, will all miss the game Thursday.
East Rutherford, NJ (GSM) — Although there were no fans in the stands, “Steeler Nation’s” presence was felt at MetLife Stadium.
The Steelers were victors on the road over the home team New York Giants, 26-16, thanks to the return of Ben Roethlisberger – JuJu connection that was missing last season. Roethlisberger was placed on injured reserve in 2019 to recover from a year-long elbow injury. On Monday night, Roethlisberger completed 21 of 32 passes and 3 touchdowns.
Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster was on the receiving end of two touchdowns, one for 10-yards another 8 yards, respectively.
James Washington caught one for 13-yards and scored on a valiant second effort to reach over the goalline for a touchdown.
Steelers’ defensive end Cam Heyward racked up an interception after a pass from Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was deflected.
The Steelers are now 1-0 on the season and have their home opener against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.
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
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.”
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.
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:
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.