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Daily Links: Analyst Thinks Steelers Can Win AFC North, HOF Upper Room?



Pittsburgh Steelers at training camp, Aug. 5, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

Rich Eisen Show: NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah believes the Pittsburgh Steelers can win the AFC North in 2023. “I saw somebody on TV the other day debating are (the Steelers) going to be the fourth team in the division. I’m like, ‘I think they can win this division.’ Forget finishing in last place.”

Jeremiah thinks the duo of T.J. Watt/Alex Highsmith at outside linebacker, the improvements on the offensive line and Kenny Pickett and George Pickens in Year 2 will bode well for Pittsburgh.

“Pickett, when you watch him, everything that Joe Burrow does well, I think are strengths for Kenny,” Jeremiah said. “Now, Kenny doesn’t do all those (things) quite to the Joe Burrow level, but he has all those same strengths. And with the group that they have in front of them that’s better. George Pickens has made highlight reel catches everyday. He did when I was there as well. He has a chance to be a legit (WR) 1.”

Jeremiah also shared an interesting quote from Joey Porter Jr., who was exhausted after back-to-back full-padded practices from Friday night to Saturday afternoon. He said Mike Tomlin told the team before practice, ‘Today we’re going to find out who loves football and who’s comfortable being uncomfortable.”

🏈 The Steelers were heavily represented on Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk’s proposed “upper room” to the Hall of Fame list. Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders said last year that there needs to be an upper room in Canton, as they’re letting too many people in. The Steelers that made Florio’s list were center Mike Webster, defensive tackle Joe Greene, outside linebacker Jack Ham, middle linebacker Jack Lambert, cornerback Mel Blount, cornerback Rod Woodson, strong safety Troy Polamalu and owner Art Rooney Sr.

🏈 SiriusXM NFL Radio: Mike Tomlin explained the turnover on the Steelers roster this offseason and their approach to free agency. He said, “It’s not a get to know, it’s a re-get to know.” Tomlin said he and Kevin Colbert spoke with Elandon Roberts and his father for an hour at his Houston pro day in 2016. They also spoke with Allen Robinson and his family at his Penn State pro day nine years ago. They were also familiar with Patrick Peterson, since he’s the cousin of former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden.

“Man, Bryant McFadden played for me 10-12 years ago. He had a little cousin that was playing high school football who was killing people down in Florida. He kept talking to me about him. His cousins name was Pat Peterson. I met this guy when he was about 17 years old. So, there’s another example and we believe in that,” Tomlin said. “Yes, we play free agency, but there’s a history there because ground zero is difficult at this stage of the game. Particularly when you’re talking about established veterans and being the type of leaders that you need them to be. They got to know what your beat is and your beat’s got to be similar to their beat. And all of these guys fit that built.”

🏈 New England Patriots wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster shared his perspective on playing for Mike Tomlin, Andy Reid and now Bill Belichick. 

“Bro! All three coaches speak the same language when it comes to championship mindset. They may say it in different ways, but it’s all the same message,” Smith-Schuster told Mike Reiss of ESPN.

🏈 Via CBS Sports, George Pickens named his top five receivers of all time. They are (in order) Calvin Johnson, Randy Moss, Jerry Rice, Julio Jones and Michael Crabtree. Pickens also named A.J. Green, Matthew Stafford, Knowshown Moreno, Thomas Davis and Nick Chubb on his Georgia Mount Rushmore.

🏈 Pittsburgh Dad spoke with Kenny Pickett, Pat Freiermuth, Joey Porter Jr., the Herbig brothers, and Christian Kuntz at Steelers training camp.

🏈 NBC announced that Thursday night’s Browns-Jets preseason game averaged 6.3 million viewers, making it the most-watched Hall of Fame game since 2018.

🏈 Steel City Star shared a photo of the Steelers Band playing at Forbes Field during a Steelers game in 1953. The band often played the Notre Dame Victory March song, thanks to Art Rooney Sr.’s Irish roots.

📅 On this date in Steelers history, running back John Henry Johnson (1987), defensive tackle Joe Greene (1987), cornerback Rod Woodson (2009) and running back Jerome Bettis (2015) were inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

🎂 Happy Birthday to Steelers offensive tackle Chukwuma Okorafor, born on August 8 in Ibadan, Nigeria. Okorafor has started 52 games for the Steelers since being selected in the third round out of Western Michigan in the 2018 NFL Draft. On March 14, 2022, Okorafor signed a three-year, $29.25 million contract extension with the Steelers.

🎥 Mike Tomlin revealed his top three Tomlinisms on the All Things Covered podcast.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Kyle Dubas offers a promising prognosis for Jake Guentzel.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: A six-run third inning led the Pirates past the Braves, 7-6.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: The ACC is talking to Cal and Stanford.

West Virginia Sports Now: WVU football will be the winningest program in the new Big 12.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State is ranked seventh in the USA Today coaches poll.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: Pitt coach Randy Waldrum and the Nigeria team were eliminated from the Women’s World Cup on penalty kicks.

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