Recent News

NFL Releases the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2014 Regular Season Schedule

April 23rd, 2014 at 9:26 PM
By Mark Mihalko

As was announced earlier in the week, the NFL released the 2014 schedule on Wednesday. For the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are coming off a second straight 8-8 season, will face an interesting slate as they try to get back into the playoffs.

'Chargers @ Steelers' photo (c) 2012, Fido - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
While this will be a tough road, especially not having a bye week until Week 12, the Steelers will be on display for all to see with five primetime match-ups. The schedule is extremely difficult early on. After opening with the Cleveland Browns on September 7 at Heinz Field, the team embarks on a two-game primetime road trip against the Baltimore Ravens and Carolina Panthers. In fact, four of their first six games are on the road.

The Steelers and Ravens will actually see both of their contests in primetime. In Week 2, the game will be a Thursday Night Football tilt, followed by a Week 9 Sunday Night Football battle at Heinz Field. They will also have two Monday Night Football appearances: Week 7 against the Houston Texans and Week 11 on the road against the Tennessee Titans.

Here is the complete 2014 Pittsburgh Steelers Team Schedule:

Week 1 Sep 7 1:00 pm Cleveland Browns

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30 Prospects Set to Attend the 2014 NFL Draft

April 23rd, 2014 at 2:08 PM
By Mark Mihalko

On Tuesday, the NFL announced that 30 prospects would be on hand for the NFL Draft. According to the league, all 30 are expected to come off the board within the first three rounds of the draft. Included in with the bigger names of this class; Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, were some players that Pittsburgh Steelers fans may keep an eye on.

'Navy, Marines present jersey to NFL commissioner, 75th NFL Draft' photo (c) 2010, MarineCorps NewYork - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Of those 30 prospects, six of them have visited the team during pre-draft visits. Those players are Jason Verrett, Bradley Roby, Calvin Pryor, Ryan Shazier, Ra’Shede Hageman, and Kyle Fuller. The Steelers have also been linked to four more prospects Mike Evans, Eric Ebron, Justin Gilbert and Odell Beckham Jr.

Below is a list of the completed and scheduled profiles of those 10 players of interest.

TCU cornerback Jason Verrett (Profile 4/6)

Ohio State cornerback Bradley Roby (Profile 4/10)

Louisville safety Calvin Pryor (Profile 4/8)

Ohio State outside linebacker Ryan Shazier (Profile 4/24)

Minnesota defensive end Ra’Shede Hageman (Profile 4/19)

Virginia Tech cornerback Kyle Fuller (Profile 4/24)

Oklahoma State cornerback Justin Gilbert (Profile 2/15)

Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans (Profile 2/6)

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Pittsburgh Steelers Pre-Draft Visitor Oregon State Defensive End Scott Crichton

April 23rd, 2014 at 7:37 AM
By Mark Mihalko

The Pittsburgh Steelers have marginal depth in their linebacker corps heading into 2014. To that end, it should be no surprise that more linebackers have visited the team facilities than at any other position in the draft. While many of those are tweeners and may only provide pass rush value you early in their careers, it is definitely a trend worth tracking as draft day approaches.

'Oregon State Football Game -- Upset #1 USC' photo (c) 2008, ryan harvey - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
As many know, the Steelers like to pluck undersized defensive ends and have them transition to the outside linebacker position. At times, these players are a surprise and may not seem like a good fit on draft day; yet, the team has had a tremendous track record at developing these players. One such player would be Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, who at first glance would appear to be a better fit in a 4-3 scheme.

Crichton has a non-stop motor and a well-built frame for the outside linebacker position, the major question would be his overall athleticism and speed. He does show a quick first step as a pass rusher and the ability to hold the point of attack in the run game, but he is a projection when it comes to coverage (much like it was with LaMarr Woodley as he entered the league).

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Pittsburgh Steelers Pick-up 2015 Option on Defensive End Cameron Heyward

April 22nd, 2014 at 11:43 AM
By Mark Mihalko

While much of the recent news has centered around the draft, there was different news coming out of the Pittsburgh Steelers facility early Tuesday. With the CBA deadline to pick up the 2015 contract option for 2011 first round selections approaching, it should come as no surprise to anyone that the Steelers have exercised their option on defensive end Cameron Heyward.

'MRR_0030.JPG' photo (c) 2007, SteelCityHobbies - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
The 24-year-old defensive end is coming off a breakout season in 2013, where he solidified himself as a long-term option for the Steelers defense. In all, the 6-5, 288-pound lineman recorded 59 tackles and five sacks after supplanting former first round pick Ziggy Hood early in the season.

With this move, Heyward will be due to earn $6.969 million in 2015 according to NFL reported Albert Breer. With a salary cap figure that high for 2015, he would be a likely candidate for a contract extension following the 2014 season. Even though, the salary cap is projected to increase again, the Steelers have some big contracts they have to tend to in coming seasons, and a player like Heyward is an important building block on defense.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Pre-Draft Visitor Wisconsin Nose Tackle Beau Allen

April 22nd, 2014 at 7:38 AM
By Mark Mihalko

One of the biggest disappointments of the 2013 season was the Pittsburgh Steelers run defense. Once a dominant force in the NFL, this unit sunk ranking near the bottom of the league. Some of that could be the departure of nose tackle Casey Hampton, who anchored that unit for over a decade. While Steve McLendon stepped in as the starter, he was nowhere near the run stuffer Hampton was.

'Audible to Thomas, Broncos vs Steelers 2012' photo (c) 2012, Craig Hawkins - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Armed with that knowledge, the Steelers will likely add a nose tackle at some point in the draft, although when is a great question. As of now, Steelers 101 has the team addressing the nose tackle position somewhere around the sixth round. Ironically, the same are where recent pre-draft visitor, Wisconsin nose tackle Beau Allen may be slated to come off the board.

At 6-3, 330-pounds Allen has the prototypical size for the position. Yet, this four-year starter was a non-combine invite and is relatively unknown outside scouting services. In all, he played in a school-record 54 games as a nose tackle for Wisconsin and appears to have the strength to anchor against the run in a 3-4 scheme.

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