Good Labor Day to you Steelers fans.
While the nation enjoys a day away from work, the Pittsburgh Steelers began theirs as preparations for the season opener in Buffalo are underway. With less than a week to go our friends at Bovada Sports Betting have been putting in work too. No team entering this season has as much doubt as the Steelers. I have seen everything from 14-3 to as low as 6-11. This week I’ll be putting out my season preview and in it, I’ll tell you exactly where I have the Black and Gold finishing this year in what is sure to be a season to remember. From the return of fans, the potential for forfeited games and an extra game on the docket 2021 should be unlike any season we’ve ever seen.
It’s Black and Gold
If you go to the Pro Shop at Steelers.com you’ll find shirts with the phrase “Black and Yellow” on them. Then over the weekend I get an email from the Steelers telling me to “get some tailgating gear to celebrate the Black and Gold.” So which is it? Well, it’s rather simple. In order to make steel you need iron ore and coal. Gold represents the iron ore while black represents coal. So next time you hear any self-respecting Steelers’ fan say “Black and Yellow,” kindly remind them that its “gold.”
Tweet of the Day… There’s no question that Covid will play a huge part in the season ahead whether we like it or not.
Talked or text with number of NFL coaches/execs who are nervous about COVID-19 testing today with the number of players who visited their former college teams’ opening games (and social gatherings) this past weekend.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) September 6, 2021
When Kevin Colbert traded for Seattle CB Ahkello Witherspoon last week, the immediate thought was this was to install a player at the nickel slot. That couldn’t be further from the case. Witherspoon is 6’3” and is rangy. He’s built to play the boundary and that is exactly where he’s made his career living in 33 starts over 47 career appearances. This has to mean that Can Sutton will spend the majority of his time in the slot as opposed to the boundary. To me, Witherspoon is either insurance if James Pierre struggles OR he will start ahead of Pierre period. This would indicate the team is not convinced Pierre is ready to be a full-time starter yet. I have concerns with Sutton in the slot. He’s not nearly the tackler or blitzer Mike Hilton was and while he’s better in coverage than Hilton I never thought that gap was as wide as many have made it.
They certainly are making this dramatic aren’t they? Everyone that I know that has any insight, information or whatever tells me this will get done this week. Not surprisingly the major sticking point is guaranteed money. The Steelers have a very specific way of doing this and I’m sure that paradigm is being challenged a bit here. No one argues that Watt is deserving of being the highest-paid defender in football. It just comes down to how it all shakes out and it had better shake out this week!
For as much talk as we’ve had about the offensive line (and deservedly so) what concerns me just as much is the absence of Stephon Tuitt. He was one of a handful of players in 2020 to have double-digit sacks and not having him in the lineup is huge. What we know is that Tuitt has struggled with the shocking and awful loss of his brother in a hit-and-run back in June. What we know less about is just what is wrong physically with Tuitt. Keith Butler made the comment that Tuitt “needed to get back in shape” and we’ve heard rumblings about a knee issue too. The bottom line here is the Steelers need Tuitt and I’m hoping he needs them for his mental well-being as well.
Have a great day Steeler Nation!
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