With all of the recent drama surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers, it’s easy to wonder whether or not the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, or even Mike Tomlin will find themselves back in Pittsburgh for the 2019 season. Between Bell’s season-long absence, Brown’s absence from the final game of the season, or Tomlin’s lack of postseason success, many fans advocate for any of the above listed (sometimes it’s all three) to pack their bags and find a new team.
Bet Online recently released their odds on the potential departures in Pittsburgh. Some odds you may find surprising, while others might align with your expectations this off-season.
Will Antonio Brown be on the Steelers for Week 1, 2019?
These odds are somewhat close to even, but the sports books favor Brown will remain in a Steelers uniform come the first week of the season among myriads of reports suggesting otherwise. Brown has found himself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, stemming from his absence in Pittsburgh’s last game of the season.
Since Brown’s future in black and gold remains in serious question, there’s opportunity to make money no matter what side you fall on. If you believe Brown will stay in the steel city, $200 must be wagered in order to profit $100 on your bet. If you believe Brown will be sent packing, a $100 bet will pay you $150 should that happen.
Will Mike Tomlin be the Head Coach of the Steelers in Week 1, 2019?
These odds are more one-sided when compared to Brown’s odds of staying. Tomlin’s overall success as the Steelers head coach has been sustainable enough to keep him around despite underwhelming finishes to the past few seasons. While Tomlin’s job has never been in true jeopardy in years past, many believe the breaking point for Tomlin creeps closer with each season that doesn’t end in a minimal playoff run.
However, the likelihood of Tomlin being waived good-bye before the 2019 season appears to be unlikely, so much to the point where you would need to bet $1000 in order to make $100. Feeling risky or have sources nobody else does? A nice $500 can be made off betting $100 if you think Tomlin won’t be around the next time the Steelers suit up and play.
What team will Le’Veon Bell play for in 2019?
Best Odds: New York Jets at 3/1 odds
Worst Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers at 16/1 odds
Bell’s roller-coaster career in Pittsburgh is likely to come to its conclusion after Bell opted to sit out the entirety of the 2018 season to preserve himself for next year. With his absence, James Conner emerged as one of the best backs in the league. Bell is expected to not be brought back, although the Steelers could opt to franchise tag him for a third straight year.
The fate of Bell’s 2019 ultimately rests within the hands of the Steelers organization. Will Pittsburgh attempt to bring Bell back for one more go-around? Odds-makers don’t believe so, ranking ten teams with even or better odds to land Bell for next year:
New York Jets, 3/1 odds
Oakland Raiders, 4/1 odds
Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 5/1 odds
Philadelphia Eagles, 7/1 odds
Green Bay Packers, 15/2 odds
San Francisco 49ers, 9/1 odds
Indianapolis Colts, 9/1 odds
Baltimore Ravens, 9/1 odds
Houston Texans, 12/1 odds
Seattle Seahawks, 16/1 odds
Pittsburgh Steelers, 16/1 odds
If you’re a betting man, it appears anybody but the Steelers is the option for Bell moving forward. The Jets are strong favorites to land Bell due to a great need at the running back position and excessive cap room, yet the Colts and 49ers find themselves in the same conversation due to similar structures heading into the off-season as well.
Nobody possesses a crystal ball with all the answers (at least that we know of), yet the odds given above may reveal a little more about the future of some of the biggest names involved with the Steelers.
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/25/20
It was all about wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster’s return and the Watt brothers at the final practice before the Steelers week 3 game against Houston.
Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers
Highlights from Steelers Practice 9/24/20
While it’s odd to see referees standing out in a clip of highlights, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin’s plan to incorporate actual refs into practice this week happened on Thursday.
Tomlin explained he is adding refs to practice to ensure his team is more disciplined, which hopefully leads to less penalties in their game this week compared to last week.
Wide receivers James Washington, Diontae Johnson and tight end Eric Ebron run routes and catch passes in this clip.
Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger Says Form, Mechanics Can Be Better Despite Hot Start
To hear Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tell it, he can better than what he’s shown on the field in his first two weeks since returning from elbow surgery.
He’s not happy with his footwork, he thinks he’s dropping his arm a bit and needs a more consistent release point.
The statistics, however tell another story. They say Roethlisberger has been operating at a higher level of precision than ever before. So which is it? Maybe both.
“I do feel I got a little lazy with my feet, which then, in turn, translated to a lazy arm,” Roethlisberger said. “There were some throws that I kind of dropped my elbow, if you will. I don’t want to get too technical, but it became more of a three-quarter release instead of an over the top when I didn’t need to. There are obviously times you have to change your release point. There were too many throws, I felt looking back, that I just have to get my feet working better, and that will then translate, hopefully, to the rest of the body. Then, I won’t be guiding some of the throws.”
Here’s an example from the game Roethlisberger’s form getting a little sloppy. He throws this ball flat-footed and almost all with his right side, getting less power behind it than usual and resulting in a pass that ends up behind JuJu Smith-Shuster instead of allowing him to build a head of steam toward the defenders at the line of scrimmage.
Is this a big deal here? Not really. Smith-Schuster probably couldn’t have done much better than he did at bulling over the defender, anyway. But this is also a route into the flat on the near side of the field. Over longer distances, that can make a big difference.
“I’ve gotten away with it in the past being able to not necessarily be perfect from the ground up and just letting my arm kind of make up for a lot of things, a lot of imperfections if you talk to quarterback people,” Roethlisberger said. “I feel great. I just need to get it in my mind that I can still make the throws when I’m not in the perfect position to make them.”
All of that can be true, and yet, it’s hard to argue with the results. Through two games, Roethlisberger has a 68.5 completion percentage. His career season high was 68% in 2015. In a game and a half last year, it was 56.5%.
His passer rating, even with an interception against the Broncos, is 107.1. His career season-long high came in 2o07, when he finished with a 104.1 mark. Last season before his injury, it was 66.
Some of that can be explained by a passing scheme that has take fewer deep shots down the field than it has in years past. His yards per pass attempt sits at 7.4, lower than all but four of his other 16 seasons.
Mechanical inconsistency can certainly have a greater impact on longer throws, so the Steelers’ somewhat more methodical offensive approach could be helping Roethlisberger get into the swing of things.
“Maybe some of that just comes from not playing a lot of football,” he posited. “I played two games this year. I played a game and a half last year, so really, it’s about three and a half games in two years if you think about it. It’ll come. Like I said, if I’m having these issues and we are still winning football games, that’s a plus.”
If a 2-0 record with career highs in passer rating and completion percentage is what he looks like with mechanical issues, the NFL should be very worried about what might happen if he gets into a groove.