PITTSBURGH STEELERS And The 2017 NFL Draft

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As the NFL playoffs become a distant memory, each NFL team will refocus it’s sights on the upcoming NFL draft. The Pittsburgh Steelers advanced to the AFC Championship game but fell to the eventual Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Who will the Steelers need to draft this year that will help them in their Super Bowl quest? Which position is the greatest need?

The Steelers will have eight selections in the upcoming draft.
1st Round – 30th Overall
2nd Round – 62nd Overall
3rd Round – 94th Overall
3rd Round – 105th Overall (Compensatory Pick)
4th Round – 137th Overall
5th Round – 174th Overall
6th Round – 216th Overall
7th Round – 250th Overall

The biggest need for the Steelers heading into the draft will be Outside Linebacker. James Harrison will be 39 years old in the upcoming season and the Steelers need to be planning for the future. Jarvis Jones is a free agent and will likely not return to the team next season. Bud Dupree has been an excellent player, when healthy, but he will need another linebacker on the opposite side of him. The Steelers could potentially target either OLB Zach Cunningham from Vanderbilt, OLB Carl Lawson from Auburn, or OLB Haason Reddick from Temple with their 1st round selection. Both of these player would fill an immediate need, and help deliver pressure to the opposing quarterbacks.

The next primary need is at the cornerback position. Artie Burns has shown great potential but they will need to find another lockdown cornerback that can play on the opposite side. Marlon Humphrey from Alabama would be a great selection in the first round, as he is a pure press corner that the Steelers desperately need. Cornerback Teez Tabor, from Florida, would also be a great selection, but he may not be available when the Steelers are on the clock.

The Pittsburgh Steelers may also need to begin looking towards the future at the quarterback position. Ben Roethlisberger has hinted at retirement and is 34 years old. Landry Jones is set to become a free agent, and the Steelers will need to re-sign him. The Steelers could potentially take a quarterback between rounds 3-5 and develop him behind Ben Roethlisberger. National Champion winner Deshaun Watson of Clemson could be a potential pick if he falls to the 3rd Round or lower. He threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns in the National Championship game against a very stout Alabama defense that is loaded with future NFL stars.

The Steelers will also need to look towards adding depth at the running back position. Le’Veon Bell is set to become a free agent but will likely be re-signed or have the franchise tag applied. Backup running back Deangelo Williams is also scheduled to be a free agent, and is unlikely to be re-signed at 34 years of age. The Steelers could benefit by selecting a running back midway through the draft to solidify the position and to ease the load off Le’Veon Bell. RB Kareem Hunt from Toledo would be a great complimentary back as he can catch out of the backfield and has excellent speed. He is currently projected to be selected between the third and fifth rounds.

As you can see, the Steelers will have plenty of options to choose from in this year’s NFL draft. They will be primarily looking for the best player available that fits their position of need. The Steelers will have a great opportunity in the upcoming draft to rebuild and contend for the 2017 NFL season.

2017 Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Predictions

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2017 Season Preview 
The Pittsburgh Pirates will begin the 2017 season hoping to bounce back from last year’s less than stellar season that found them finishing 25 games out of first place. They finished the season at 78-83 and it was the first losing season since 2012. They hope to rebound from last year’s effort but it may not be that easy.

The biggest storyline heading into the offseason was the future of star outfielder Andrew McCutchen. Trade rumors swirled throughout the offseason that Andrew McCutchen was on the trading block and that the Washington Nationals were interested. Ultimately, the Pirates held on to McCutchen as trade talks broke down over the offseason. Statistically, McCutchen had his worst season last year batting .256, while hitting 24 home runs and driving in 79 RBI’s. The Pirates organization has decided to move him from center field over to right field, while Starling Marte will take his place. According to McCutchen, he was not happy about the move but decided to do what is best for the team defensively, even though he has played in center field his whole career.

The Pittsburgh Pirates did lose three pitchers to free agency over the off-season. They lost RHP Neftali Feliz, RHP Ryan Vogelsong, and LHP Jeff Locke. Neftali Feliz went 4-2 with a 3.52 ERA and 2 saves (1.0 WAR). Ryan Vogelsong struggled throughout the season going 3-7 with a 4.81 ERA through 82 innings (-0.1 WAR). Jeff Locke had an even worse season going 9-8 with a 5.44 ERA through 127 innings (-0.3 WAR). Overall, these departures will not have that much impact for the Pirates heading into this season. The Pirates did sign free agent RHP Daniel Hudson to a two year $11 million deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks. Hudson will make $5.5 million each season and also $1.5 million in performance based bonuses. Hudson went 3-2 last year and posted a 5.22 ERA in 70 games with the Diamondbacks. He will be bring much needed depth to a bullpen that does not have any dominant relievers.

The Pirates also lost OF Matt Joyce and IF Sean Rodriguez over the off-season. Matt Joyce had a batting average of .242, with 13 home runs and 42 RBI’s (1.6 WAR). While, Sean Rodriguez had a solid season with a .270 batting average, 18 home runs and 56 RBI’s (1.8 WAR). The Pirates did not sign any position players this past off-season.

The projected starting rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates will include Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Ivan Nova. The last two remaining spots in the rotation will be determined in Spring Training. The bullpen will include Daniel Hudson, Antonio Bastardo, Felipe Rivero, A.J Schugel, Wade LeBlanc, Jared Hughes, Nefi Ogando, and closer Tony Watson. Overall, the Pirates enter Spring Training with a few question marks in the rotation and will hope to have solid answers before the regular season begins.

The Pirates will have catcher Fransico Cervelli behind the plate. The infield will consist of first baseman Josh Bell, second baseman Josh Harrison, shortstop Jordy Mercer, and third baseman David Freese. The outfield will include left fielder Gregory Polanco, center fielder Starling Marte, and Andrew McCutchen moving to right field. The Pirates will need McCutchen to have a bounce back season from last year and for Josh Bell to continue to develop at the Major League level.

The Pirates hope to be contending for a playoff berth as the season progresses but they could easily falter down the stretch. If they struggle during the season, they will likely become sellers at the trade deadline and begin building for the future.

Pittsburgh Top Sports Celebrities Of All Time

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Pittsburgh is considered the “City of Champions” considering they have won 17 titles. There are quite a few players that would be called the best of all time in Pittsburgh including:

  • Roberto Clemente
    -Clemente won four National League batting titles throughout his career.
    -He won the NL Most Valuable Player Award in 1966.
    -He led the Pirates to the World Series in 1971.
    -Clemente made his 3,000th hit in the 1972 season which made him the 11th player to ever make that many hits.
  • Joe Green
    -Green was given two NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards throughout his career.
    -He was six first-team All-Pro selections
    -Greene is known as one of the greatest defensive linemen to ever play in the NFL.
    -Characteristics that have been used to describe him are that he displays leadership, has fierce competitiveness, and has a intimidating style of play.
  • Jack Lambert
    -Lambert was the starting middle linebacker for four Super Bowl-winning teams.
    -He had a 11-year career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    -He is in the Football Hall of Fame as “the premier linebacker of his era.”
  • Mario Lemieux
    -Lemieux helped Pittsburgh to win two consecutive Stanley Cups in 1991 and 1992.
    -He is the only man to have his name on the Cup as a player and as an owner.
    -He won the Lester B. Pearson Award as the most outstanding player.
    -He won the Hart Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player during the regular season three times.
    -He won the Art Ross Trophy as the league’s points leader six times.
    -He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in 1991 and 1992.
    -He ranks second in NHL history.
    -He was put into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2004.
  • Willie Stargell
    -He played his entire career for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
    -He had a 21-year career with the Pirates.
    -He helped his team win six NL East division titles, two National League pennants, and two World Series.
    -Stargell was put into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
  • Bill Mazeroski
    -He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates for 17 years.
    -In 2001, he was put into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
    -He is considered one of the greatest defensive second basemen of all time.
    -He was an All-Star for seven seasons and a Gold Glove Award winner for eight seasons. -He is best known for his walk-off home run in the 1960 World Series.
  • Terry Bradshaw
    -Bradshaw is a former American football quarterback who played in the NFL.
    -He has been a TV analyst and co-host of Fox NFL Sunday.
    -Bradshaw is also an actor.
    -He played for 14 seasons with Pittsburgh. While playing with them, they won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period.
    -In 1989 he was put into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, which was the first year he was eligible.
    -Bradshaw is known for having one of the most powerful arms in NFL history.
  • Larry Fitzgerald
    -Fitzgerald was at Pittsburgh for two years and he is said the have absolutely dominated.
    -He led the NCAA in yards and touchdowns.
    -He is remembered as one of the greatest ever to put on a Panther jersey.
  • Troy Polamalu
    -Polamalu is a former American football strong safety.
    -He played his twelve-year career for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.
    -He was chosen by the Steelers in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft.
    -He was a member of two of the Steelers’ Super Bowl championship teams.
    -He was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2010.
  • Dan Marino
    -Marino was not ever on a Super Bowl-winning team but he is still seen as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history.
    -Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career.
    -In 2005 he was put into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Best Pittsburgh Steeler Players in Team History

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The Pittsburgh Steelers may well be the finest franchise in the history of football, and they have a large number of players who are considered the greats of the game. Their teams always stacked with talent, and this list explains how talented they were. This is a list of the best players in team history. Each one of these men has brought pride and success to the city of Pittsburgh pride like no other.

#1: Terry Bradshaw

Terry Bradshaw is often lampooned as a man with minimal talent who played on a great team, but there is no greater football man than Terry Bradshaw. He thanked everyone he ever played with when inducted into the hall of fame, and he led the team to four Super Bowl wins. He may not have been the most-talented man on the field, but he is a large part of their success.

#2: Ben Roethlisberger

Bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Pittsburgh was high on Big Ben’s list, and he did so twice with stunning wins in the biggest game in the world. He told Jerome Bettis he would win one for The Bus, and he did it. He has been one of the best offensive players in the league for the balance of his career, and he will likely excel until the day he retires from professional football.

#3: Lynn Swann

Lynn Swann was a star receiver before there was such a thing as a star receiver. He brought a style to the team that did not exist before he got there, and many of his most-iconic catches are still fodder for NFL Films highlights. He was a great man who helped bind his team together, and he gave Terry Bradshaw an easy target. His contribution to the team is unmatched as he brought in the era of the star receiver and powered the offense for the Steelers.

#4: Jerome Bettis

Jerome Bettis came to the Steelers from the Rams as a way of reaching a Super Bowl, and he fought most of his career without any success. He ran for over 10,000 yards in his career, and he assured the Steelers of many successful seasons. His time with the team ended when he won his first Super Bowl. He became an instant legend in the city, and he allowed the city to take back its pride in football which was lost for some time.

#5: Mean Joe Green

Mean Joe Green is a pop culture staple who appeared in commercials in the 1970s when athletes were finally becoming a part of the national conversation. His famous commercials have become a large part of the advertising culture that is found in sports today, and his influence is felt with the Steelers even to this day. The Steel Curtain defense was so good that it is failed as being unstoppable, and Mean Joe Green was at the center of it all.

#6: Franco Harris

Franco Harris is the man who caught the immaculate reception, and he was the workhorse who carried the ball during the 70s in Pittsburgh. The team would not have had an offense without Franco Harris, and he is largely the catalyst for a team that became good at passing. Lynn Swann would have had no openings without Franco Harris, and he is considered one of the greatest running backs of all time.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have Chuck Noll and the Rooney family to thank for their amazing success. These men created a franchise and culture of winning that exists today at the Steelers are still competitive in the AFC.