Podcast: Devin Bush and company finally hit the field at rookie minicamp

In the latest episode of “The Standard is the Standard” show, we break down all the news you need to know surrounding the Black-and-Gold from the week that was.

The Pittsburgh Steelers season is over, but the news is just starting to heat up. With a surge of Steelers news, it was time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.

Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC flagship podcast The Standard is the Standard. On this show Jeff Hartman and special co-host Lance Williams break down all things Steelers, including a fun game of “True or False!”

Check out the rundown of the show:

  • News and Notes
  • Talking expectations for Ben Roethlisberger in 2019
  • The Steelers’ skill players heading to Georgia with Big Ben
  • Six pack of Steelers Question
  • and MUCH MORE!

Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Lance Williams walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.

If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!

If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:

Apple Users: CLICK HERE
Google Play: CLICK HERE

If you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.

Black and Gold Links: Can the Steelers’ kickers have a bounce back season, or just more of the same?

Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers.

With the 2019 NFL Draft in the rear view mirror, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2019 season is fast approaching, and the news surrounding the black-and-gold is far from over. As the team now turns their attention to more offseason workouts, OTAs and minicamp, there is no shortage of news.

Today in the black-and-gold links article we take a look at whether 2019 will be a different year for the Pittsburgh Steelers’ specialists, Chris Boswell and Jordan Berry, or if their dreadful career paths will continue.

Let’s get to the news:

  • The Pittsburgh Steelers’ kickers was awful last season. There is no better way of putting it, but can fans expect a bounce back season from Boswell and Berry? Or maybe they won’t even make the team?

Analysis: Special teams jobs up for grabs?

By: Dale Lolley, DKPittsburghSports

Typically, the focus on a football team in terms of position battles is on the offense and defense. Special teams are largely an afterthought.

But anyone who watched a single Steelers game in 2018 knows this team had issues aplenty with their special teams performances, most notably at placekicker.

That’s why starting Tuesday, when the Steelers open Phase 3 of their OTAs, there will be a lot of attention on the special teams units.

We’ll take a look at the special teams battles and what to look for as they are set to begin. We’ll do these in order of significance, with the most pressing battles listed first…

To read the full article, click HERE

  • One of the biggest question marks on the Steelers’ offensive roster is at the tight end position. Who will actually be the depth behind Vance McDonald?

Steelers OTA preview: Who is behind Vance McDonald at tight end?

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Today: Tight end

Who’s back: Vance McDonald, Xavier Grimble, Christian Scotland-Williamson*

*International player/roster exemption

After battling injuries in 2017, McDonald made 14 starts last year and played in all but one game. Not surprisingly, he set career highs with 50 catches and 610 yards while tying a personal best with four touchdowns. He returns as the starter. As he begins his fourth season with the Steelers, Grimble enters OTAs as the backup for the first time in his career. Scotland-Williamson is entering his second year as part of the NFL’s International Pathway Program and doesn’t count against the offseason roster limit.

Who’s gone: Jesse James, Bucky Hodges, Jake McGee, Ryan Malleck

To read the full article, click HERE

  • A pretty big name country music star was in town recently, and he paid the Steelers a visit.

Brooks: ‘I like the people here’

By: Teresa Varley, Steelers.com

“Where I was from everybody was a Dallas Cowboys fan,” said Garth Brooks, who is from Oklahoma. “If I am going to go against the grain, the two teams going against Dallas at that point were the Washington Redskins and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh had (Jack) Lambert and (Jack) Ham. If you are a little kid and see those guys, that’s who you want to be.”

His love of all Pittsburgh sports teams grew through the years, as did his friendship with players, from Ben Roethlisberger and Brett Keisel, to newcomers like Mason Rudolph and James Washington, who both played at Oklahoma State.

“I’m in love with Ben Roethlisberger,” said Brooks. “He’s my guy. Any time I get down, I look in the mirror and say, ‘I am Ben Roethlisberger.’

“Ben always told me the difference between this city and others is that they expect you to get up here. If you get knocked on your (butt) you’re in the game, which means you’re living.

“I think that’s why I like Ben. I like the people here. They’re the kind of people I want to be.

“Keisel might be one of the sweetest guys I’ve ever met. Thank God that God put a sweet soul in a man that size. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet, at the same time one of the most feared guys I have ever seen. You put him around children, and he becomes this teddy bear. That’s the kind of guy I want to be around. It’s pretty cool.”

To read the full article, click HERE

  • If you live in the Pittsburgh area, and you have a small child, this is a football camp you might want to attend.

Roethlisberger to conduct 11th annual youth football camp

By: Joe Rutter, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Roethlisberger’s 11th annual event will take place June 16 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex. The last day of mandatory minicamp — the final football work until training camp — for the Steelers is June 13.

The camp, which runs from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., is open to boys and girls in grades one through eight.

Camp attendees will be taught fundamental football skills and will have a chance to interact with Roethlisberger, who is entering his 16th season with the Steelers. Participants will receive a limited-edition T-shirt, a mouth guard, a souvenir autograph and a team photo with Roethlisberger.

To read the full article, click HERE

  • Social Media Madness

Drafting Sutton Smith viewed as the Steelers’ most ‘under the radar’ offseason move

The Pittsburgh Steelers took a disruptive, but smaller, pass rusher in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft that is getting the attention of others.

Throughout the course of an NFL offseason, there are moves which get overlooked. Often times these moves are ones which make a big impact on the team, yet were not those BREAKING NEWS stories when the move was made.

Some might call these moves ‘Under the Radar’ moves, and recently SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea gave an under the radar selection for all 32 NFL teams. For the Pittsburgh Steelers he selected a smaller, but powerful, pass rusher drafted in the sixth round of the 2019 NFL Draft from Northern Illinois. None other than Sutton Smith.

See what he had to say about the ‘Under the Radar’ pick:

Pittsburgh Steelers

Drafted DE/OLB Sutton Smith (sixth round)

Smith is extremely small for an NFL pass rusher (6’0, 232 pounds), but he was the nation’s most disruptive player over his last two seasons at Northern Illinois. He’s a gamble, but even a fraction of that production would give Pittsburgh a valuable counterbalance to T.J. Watt’s edge rush.

D’Andrea labeled Smith as a “gamble”, but can you really suggest this to be true as a sixth round draft pick? While some point to Tom Brady and Antonio Brown as sixth round draft picks to become All-Pros, and some of the best of their positions, these cases are truly few and far between.

The reality is 6th and 7th round draft picks flame out more than they pan out, and few become true impact players for their teams. In this case, I don’t view Smith as a “gamble” but as a move with an extremely high upside.

If Smith gets to training camp, shows some promise and makes the team solely as a special teams player, it would follow suit for a 6th round selection. If he provides quality depth at the outside linebacker position for the Steelers, this is an added bonus. If Smith somehow shows his size isn’t a negative, but a positive in terms of leverage, and becomes a sack machine, then you have found yourself a genuine diamond in the rough.

When looking at it this way, Smith isn’t a gamble, but a high upside selection. If there was a gamble move for the Steelers this offseason, it might be the signing of Steven Nelson, the most targeted cornerback in the NFL last season. Paying Mark Barron more than most expected. Moving up 10 picks and giving up valuable draft stock to take Devin Bush. Those moves are gambles in my opinion, not taking Sutton Smith in the 6th round.

With that said, all of Steelers Nation is excited to see what Sutton Smith has to offer the black-and-gold when Organized Team Activities (OTAs) start this Tuesday.

Get a glimpse of Steelers’ rookies Diontae Johnson and Benny Snell in their new uniforms

The Pittsburgh Steelers rookies haven’t donned their new uniforms, except for the two who were invited to the NFLPA Rookie Premiere.

Every year the same thing happens at websites like this one. A select number of players are drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the month or so until they report to OTAs/minicamp are spent sifting through numerous college photos to use for articles.

In other words, it is really cool to finally see these new players in the black-and-gold uniforms/colors for the first time.

The NFLPA hosts a select number of rookies every year for the Rookie Premiere. During this time these select rookies learn about the business side of the NFL, pose for photos for Panini Trading Cards and get to don their new team’s uniforms for the first time.

The Steelers’ representatives for the Rookie Premiere were none other than 3rd round pick Diontae Johnson, and 4th round selection Benny Snell Jr. Take a look below to get the first glimpse of this rookie duo in their new uniforms, and the photo below shows all the rookies were were invited, and attended, the Rookie Premiere in 2019.

At least for me, looking at these photos has be really excited for the upcoming football season! Here we go!