While this has felt like a quiet offseason for the Steelers (an early playoff exit never helps), the team has undergone some significant changes. Todd Haley will replace Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator. The offense's heart and soul, Hines Ward, has elected to call it a career. It's not like the team will be lost in the woods this fall, but there are still a few pressing matters that we'll all be wondering about.
-B- Antonio Brown's rise to stardom last year may have seemed like it came out of nowhere, but as the saying goes -- overnight success takes 10 years. Brown is one of the hardest workers in the NFL and much has been written of his offseason workouts with Chad Ochocinco and others.
Brown's at it again this offseason and The NOC followed him around Pittsburgh for a day, filming Brown's commute and training at the Steelers south side facilities. I always love this kind of behind the scenes videos, but this is really well put together and an awesome glimpse into the day-to-day life of the Steelers MVP. Thanks to Tom for sending it along.
-B- The Post-Gazette has a nice piece on Valley HS grad and the Steelers 7th round choice in last week's draft Toney Clemons. He's a great kid and I'll really be rooting for him to make the team, even if it's a longshot.
In fact, Clemons said that when the call from the Steelers finally came, his friends and family were jumping up and down, celebrating even more than he was.
"My mom has me home," he said with a smile. "She was just excited. You would've thought she got the call."
Although it seems like just a few weeks ago that Eli Manning and the Giants hoisted another Lombardi trophy at the conclusion of the 2011-12 NFL season, tomorrow marks the first of May. With another NFL draft weekend behind us--and OTAs & Rookie Minicamps just around the corner--now its time to look ahead to the 2012-13 season. Our partners at TiqIQ have done the same and they've put together this graphic highlighting the most in-demand tickets--by week--for the upcoming season.
After another stellar draft, the Steelers look poised to compete for the AFC North title and as always Steelers tickets are in high demand. Boasting 6 appearances on our list of most in-demand games, the Steelers are a hot ticket so be sure to keep it with Blitzburgh Blog Tickets. Check out all Steelers games here: http://tiqiq.us/Ar3
The Steelers selected Florida running back Chris Rainey in Round 5 of the 2012 draft with the 159th overall pick.
Rainey is an entirely different running back from Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman: he's only 5-foot-8, 180 pounds and is likely to have more of an impact on special teams and in the receiving game than he will taking handoffs out of the backfield. He led Florida in both rushing yards and receptions last season.
He's got blazing speed, running a 4.45 at the combine. But the lack of strength is definitely concerning.
Rainey has drawn a lot of comparisons to another skilled athlete out of Florida: Percy Harvin. Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said on Rainey: "He can do a lot of things. You want to get the ball in his hands and let him do his thing. He's a little bit like Percy (Harvin). He's a guy who can hurt you in many ways.”
I've long advocated for the Steelers to get a change of pace RB like Rainey. Today's NFL allows for some of these undersized running backs to still be very productive and having a versatile weapon like Rainey has to excite Todd Haley and Ben Roethlisberger.
After many experts forecasted the Steelers going after a nose tackle early in the 2012 draft, the Steelers waited until the 4th round to select a defensive lineman, choosing Washington's Alameda Ta'amu. He's 6'3", 330 pounds and projects to be a massive, run stopping nose tackle a la Casey Hampton.
The Steelers actually traded up 10 spots to get Ta'amu, which speaks to how highly they thought of him. Pittsburgh swapped 4th round picks with Washington, giving them a 6th round pick as well.
Ta'Amu had 30 tackles and four sacks during his senior year with the Huskies and was an honorable mention All Pac-12 selection.
Ta'amu will need plenty of seasoning, but he has all of the physical tools to become a starter in the NFL.
I think waiting until this point in the draft to select a nose tackle is a wise decision. With more and more teams becoming pass-happy, the role of the massive, space-eating nose tackle is simply not as important anymore.
I mentioned yesterday that the Steelers have gotten a lot younger and more athletic on the offensive line the last few years. The same is now true for their defensive counterpart with Ziggy Hood, Cameron Heyward and now Ta'amu all wearing black and gold.
As favorable as the situation was that the Steelers found themselves in during last night's first round, the war room had to be feeling even better tonight when two highly rated offensive tackles were still on the board when the Steelers made the 56th pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
The Steelers choose Ohio State's Mike Adams over Mississippie State's Bobby Massie and made another huge move to continue to rebuild their offensive line.
Adams has the skills and frame to be a franchise-type LT. He's 6'7", 323 pounds and anchored Ohio State's offensive line throughout his career.
He comes with some baggage, though, which makes this somewhat of an atypical Steelers pick. Adams was part of the whole "tattoo" scandal at Ohio State and he failed his drug test at the combine. He was suspended for 7 games during his college career.
Overall, though, he's well worth the risk of a second round pick. The Steelers offensive line is all of a sudden awfully young and athletic with Maurkice Pouncey, Marcus Gilbert, David DeCastro and now Mike Adams.
We're back at again with a live chat for the crucial 2nd and 3rd rounds of this weekend's NFL draft. There is still tons of value to be had at this point in the draft and most experts have the Steelers looking to add an inside linebacker this evening.
The Steelers took Stanford OG David DeCastro with the 24th draft pick of the 2012 NFL Draft.
DeCastro was the top rated offensive guard in the entire draft and projected by some as a top 10 player overall. Most mocks had him going at 11 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
DeCastro was compared by some to Maurkice Pouncey. He's an excellent pulling guard and is said to have great work ethic, compete level and drive.
He measures out at 6'5", 316 pounds. He ran the 40-yard dash in 5.43 seconds.
DeCastro's strengths are his run blocking, feet and athleticism. He moves really well blocking downfield and has an outstanding motor.
This pick really helps solidify the interior of the Steelers line. Pouncey and DeCastro both have potential to be perennial Pro Bowl players and with the regression last year of Chris Kemoeatu, DeCastro seems likely to plug right into LG for the Steelers. Rumor has it that the Steelers plan to play DeCastro at RG and he should plug in there right away.
We all remember how great of a player Alan Faneca was for Pittsburgh. DeCastro has a chance to be that type of player for the Steelers, who have to be very excited that we fell to them at pick 24.
Here are some vidoes of DeCastro: