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Daily News & Links: Troy Polamalu on USC Hit; Russell Wilson’s Connection to Steelers

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Steelers Troy Polamalu

Steelers Daily News & Links: Your daily stop for all of the news and links from the Pittsburgh Steelers, NFL and around the Sports Now Group.

๐Ÿˆ Former Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu talked about his infamous hit at USC on the Bussin’ With The Boys podcast.

In a 2001 game at the L.A. Coliseum, Polamalu destroyed Kansas State punt returner Aaron Lockett with a helmet-to-facemask shot as Lockett prepared to field a punt. Polamalu later apologized to Lockett, stating that he meant no harm and was just trying to make play.

Despite the honest mistake, many wrongly labeled Polamalu as a dirty player.

“Yeah, it was a ill-timed hit,” Polamalu said on Bussin’ With The Boys. “But what I always tell people is that was the third one. The two before that were perfectly timed, so if you were to watch the whole game, you would have saw the two before that.”

๐Ÿˆ Russell Wilson has a connection to the Steelers. Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette pointed out that Wilson and his wife, Ciara, a Grammy Award-winning singer, are founding partners and equity owners in Evolution Advisers, a joint venture formed by Acrisure, which owns the naming rights to the Steelers’ stadium.

๐Ÿˆ Russell Wilson has the best odds to be the Steelers’ Week 1 starting quarterback, per Betonline. Wilson’s odds are 1/1, followed by Kenny Pickett (1/3), Justin Fields (4/1), Baker Mayfield (8/1), any rookie QB (9/1), Kirk Cousins (10/1), Ryan Tannehill (14/1) and Mason Rudolph (25/1).

๐Ÿˆ Pat McAfee thinks Pittsburgh is the perfect city for Russell Wilson if he wins. He believes Wilson and Tomlin will mesh well, too.

โ€œIf Russell Wilson goes in and wins, oh yeah thatโ€™s the perfect city for him. Mike Tomlin probably is the perfect coach for him cause Mike Tomlin will also talk shit for Russell Wilson,โ€ McAfee said.

๐Ÿˆ Despite having an ADOT of 7.1 in 2023 (29th), Kenny Pickett ranked 35th in catchable passes, per Sports Info Solutions. He was one of the least accurate QBs in the NFL, all while throwing shorter than almost every other starting QB in the league.

๐Ÿˆ Offensive line guru and trainer Duke Mayweather gave a shoutout to Kevin Dotson for getting a massive deal with the Los Angeles Rams. Dotson agreed to terms on a three-year, $48 million deal that includes $32 million guaranteed.

“From no combine invite, training in my garage during Covid to this!!! Iโ€™m so happy for KD! The work this young man put in, when nobody was watching and many just simply didnโ€™t understand himโ€ฆ Well done @kdd7696,” Mayweather wrote on X.

๐Ÿˆ Russell Wilson’s 66 touchdown passes off play-action are the second-most in the Next Gen Stat’s era (since 2018). Kirk Cousins is first with 79 touchdowns. If Wilson lands with the Steelers, he will fit well in Arthur Smith’s run-heavy, play-action attack.

๐Ÿˆ Russell Wilson had a 20-1 touchdown-interception ratio in the red zone last season.

๐Ÿˆ The 33rd Team posted a highlight clip of Washington wide receiver Rome Odunze. Odunze met with several teams at the NFL Combine, and one of them was the Pittsburgh Steelers, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Rapoport added that the Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Los Angeles Rams are potential trade up teams.

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy Birthday to former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward, born on March 8, 1976 in Seoul, South Korea.

Wardโ€™s 14-year NFL career was spent carving out a role as one of the most physical players on the Steelers, even as a wide receiver. The Korean-born Ward won two Super Bowls with Pittsburgh and was the MVP of Super Bowl XL after his game-sealing touchdown reception. His impact as a blocker was so well-known that the NFL changed its rules to prevent blindside blocks downfield, which has come to be known as the Hines Ward Rule. Ward was named to four Pro Bowls, was a three-time All-Pro, and is on the Steelersโ€™ All-Time Team.

๐ŸŽฅ Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell showed out in the weight room, squatting 505 pounds repeatedly while weighing sub 200 lbs.

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