Steelers duo OK playing new roles

in General discussion Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:51 am
by aliciahuang • 6 Posts | 60 Points

The Pittsburgh Steelers running backs know what it’s like to have the ball in their hands on nearly every play, each carry serving as another body blow to a defense worn down from a long afternoon trying and failing to keep them in check.

In those moments during their prolific collegiate careers — Watson at Azuza Pacific, Conner at Pittsburgh — they never worried about the workload. Their only concern was the moment.

“I got the ball 40-some times in college, we’re playing right now.”,” Watson said. “They didn’t play ‘I’m going to keep him fresh for next week.’ No

It’s similar in the NFL. Only now Watson and Conner’s perspectives have changed. Instead of the ones doing the grinding, a rarity for a player on pace for more than 450 touches., they’re the ones on the sideline trying to simply stay ready just in case All-Pro Le’Veon Bell needs a break

“I know what the situation was when they drafted me, taken in the third round last spring after setting an Atlantic Coast Conference record with 56 career touchdowns at Pitt. “(Bell) was going to be the man. I’m OK with that.”,” said Conner

So is Bell, though his production has put the first-place Steelers (6-2) in a bit of a tight spot. They are at their best when he’s the engine driving the offense. And yet there’s the lingering question how much is too much for a player who sat out most of an AFC championship game loss to New England after a groin injury flared up.

Bell insists he’s getting stronger as Pittsburgh prepares to start the second half of the season Sunday against Indianapolis (3-6).

Still, he admits “I don’t need all the carries.”

Maybe, but he’s pretty much getting them.

Bell has 229 touches through eight games. Conner has 18. Watson? Five. And while the coaching staff talks extensively about trying to find spots to give Bell a breather, combined., they haven’t exactly gone to great lengths to give him one. Bell has been on the field for 90 percent of Pittsburgh’s offensive snaps. Conner and Watson? Eight percent

Hey, that’s business.

“You got to fulfill your role,” said the 240-pound Watson, you got to be ready for it.”, who is used primarily in short-yardage situations and on special teams. “You got to understand what your role is. We all want to be the starting running back, but we all can’t. Like all coaches want to be head coaches but they all can’t be a head coach. Just do your job and when your number is called

Part of the issue has little to do with lack of talent but lack of versatility and nuance. Bell isn’t only one of the best running backs in the league, he’s arguably the best pass-catching back since Hall of Famer Marshall Faulk was doing his thing with Kurt Warner and “The Greatest Show on Turf” Rams around the turn of the millennium.

Oh, and Bell is effective picking up the blitz, though quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can see the growth., a part of Conner’s game that remains a work in progress

“He’s more comfortable, less questions,” Roethlisberger said. “I can look at him and ask him,Womens Stephon Tuitt Jersey, ‘Are you good?’ and ‘Got it.’ Obviously that’s good. He’ll continue to push himself to want to be better, running routes. … I’m just pleased he keeps taking steps forward.”, whether that’s running the ball, pass blocking

Don’t expect Conner to pipe up asking for the ball. Yes,Womens Chris Boswell Jersey, it’s a little weird for a player who averaged 17 carries a game while starring for the Panthers to take on a secondary role. Considering he’s on a team with Super Bowl aspirations and the guy ahead of him on the depth chart is having an MVP-type season, learn and wait., there are far worse problems to have. So he and Watson will continue to work, listen

“We’re winning, I’m good.”,Womens Jordan Berry Jersey,” Conner said. “So long as we’re winning

Ben Roethlisberger has been one of the winningest quarterbacks in the NFL ever since he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2004. He has two championships, all incredible achievements., nine playoff appearances and 129 regular season wins in his time with the team

Let's key in on that last one though. If Roethlisberger earns regular season win No. 130 against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, he will be, the third fastest quarterback ever to accomplish the feat.,Authentic David DeCastro Jersey, according to Steelers' PR manager Dom Rinelli

Who is ahead of him on that list? Two names you might know: Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Behind him on the list, assuming Roethlisberger gets there Sunday, those are three names you want to be compared to., is Brett Favre. Needless to say

They aren't the only names on the win chart for Roethlisberger to watch, though. Terry Bradshaw may not have won as many regular season games as Roethlisberger, but he didn't play as many. His winning percentage, though, that percentage will jump to 68.8., remains ahead of Roethlisberger's. Bradshaw won 68.4 percent of his starts in the NFL. Roethlisberger is at 67.3, but if he wins his next eight

The Pittsburgh Steelers face the Indianapolis Colts in Week 10, it is a confident and well-rested Steelers team that will take on a Colts team struggling to find ways to win without star quarterback Andrew Luck, a game that will mark the 29th meeting between the two teams. Winners of their last three games in a row before their bye

When these two met last season, it ended in a 28-7 win for the Black and Gold after impressive performances from Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell. Brown ended the day with 5 receptions for 91 yards and 3 touchdowns, a fifth win in a row over Indianapolis is almost guaranteed., while Bell controlled the game on the ground with his 23 carries for 120 yards and a touchdown of his own. If both players can record similar stats line this Sunday

The Steelers should be able to beat the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. The Colts just had to shut down quarterback Andrew Luck for the season. Jacoby Brissett has done well since being traded for – he was with the New England Patriots – and has thrown for 1,950 yards, throwing for 308 yards and 2 touchdowns without a pick., 7 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. He had perhaps the best game of his career against the Houston Texans last week

That said, but a victory still sends the Steelers into the postseason., the Colts are still 3-6 on the season. The Steelers are 6-2 and first in the AFC North. That division may not be what it once was

the only team with better odds,Their biggest challenge may simply be that the Patriots, are also in the AFC. The two met in the AFC Championship Game after the 2016 season, they may just run back into Tom Brady and company and fall short of the Super Bowl., and the Patriots won 36-17. Vegas is suggesting that, even should the Steelers get that far again

Still, it’s clear that this team has found its focus after some early surprises, they’ll be one of the favorites to reach that title game. An all-Pennsylvania matchup between the Eagles and the Steelers would be epic., like the overtime loss to the Chicago Bears. If they can really gel as they head into the playoffs

Much like the Pittsburgh Steelers did a few weeks ago, the Jacksonville Jaguars tore through the Cincinnati Bengals and left some of the team’s biggest names suffering when it comes to grades.

This time the victims after the 23-7 loss to the Jaguars are quarterback Andy Dalton and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick.

Dalton’s offense only ran a miserable 37 plays and didn’t hold possession for even 20 minutes, so it isn’t a surprise to see him land with a grade of 68.6 at Pro Football Focus. And while much of the blame falls on a miserable offensive line, including what should have been a touchdown to A.J. Green., Dalton missed a few easy throws

More notably, Kirkpatrick came up lame in coverage against a Blake Bortles-led passing attack. PFF graded him at 33.9 and wrote the following: “The struggles continue for the Bengals’ big-money corner. He was targeted 11 times on the day and allowed six catches for 93 yards. It was the second time this season he allowed at least 90 yards in a game.”

Kirkpatrick was simply lost as the Bengals tried to run some man before opting for zone. A couple of his big mishaps came on crossers after apparent picks, but the grading system seems to take into account he should have seen those before they happened and worked around them.

Either way, two moves that converged against the Jaguars to have big downsides and hurt the season’s outlook., Authentic Stephon Tuitt Jersey,the Bengals have tanked the line in front of Dalton and invested big money in Kirkpatrick

The Pittsburgh Steelers may have made themselves look even better by not even taking the field this past weekend. At 6-2,Authentic Alejandro Villanueva Jersey, the Steelers are healthy (likely to get Marcus Gilbert and Stephon Tuitt back this week) and have a light schedule the rest of the way due to opponent injuries.

Former Baltimore Ravens head coach, Brian Billick joined “The Fan Morning Show” on Tuesday. He said that the Steelers were his pick to begin the year to win the Super Bowl and he is sticking by it., now NFL Network analyst

“In the AFC,” said Billick. “The way that defense played in its last outing,Authentic Chris Boswell Jersey,Womens Alejandro Villanueva Jersey, I think they’re the most complete team, the way they’re playing now, with the pressure with T.J. Watt and Bud Dupree and obviously, the explosiveness and the rhythm that Le’Veon Bell has. The understanding that,Authentic Jordan Berry Jersey, 30 times a game,Womens Mike Mitchell Jersey, ‘Yeah, he’s going to touch the ball 20, 25, that’s going to happen.’ They’ve got that rhythm down. There is no reason why they should not make that deep run all the way to the Super Bowl.”

Billick also said that the Steelers are doing Martavis Bryant a favor by keeping him around and that he needs to wake up to the fact that it is the best thing for him.

“[He needs to recognize] the best way for him to get value is to show that he can be a team player and be whatever it is that that team needs to be,Authentic Mike Mitchell Jersey,” said Billick. “You’ve got maybe one of the greatest receivers in the history of the game, that will enhance your value someplace else.”, clearly the best receiver in the game today in [Antonio] Brown. The best running back in the league in [Le’Veon] Bell. I’ve got news for you.Womens David DeCastro Jersey, You’re going to be third in line at best. OK? And there’s value in that. Be a part of that team

“As a coach on another team, do I really want to take Martavis Bryant and bring him on my team? A guy on a winning football team, surrounded by good players, that’s…moaning because he’s not getting the ball? Is that what I want to bring onto my team? They can do him a favor by keeping him on the team, very well and make a lot of money.”, try to be a functioning member of the team, grow up and learn what it is to be a functional player in the National Football League and you’re going to do very

or at least giving yourself a chance to beat them in the playoffs,Many think that the key to beating the Patriots, is to play man defense. Billick spoke to that as well.

“The hard thing when you face Tom Brady is what on a football field has Tom Brady not seen? So, that the matchups seem to be a little bit better. The matchups might favor you a little bit more to play more man,'” said Billick. “You do look at the man matchups because of injury and some of the other things they’ve got going on, he’s going to easily recognize, Oh, no matter what you do to him, you’re doing this and therefore, I’ve got that answer over there, but boy you’ve got to be careful about playing too much man and leaving your back end vulnerable to Tom Brady making big plays down the field.”

You can hear the entire interview with NFL Network analyst Brian Billick on The Fan Morning Show above.

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