The NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, like the Senior Bowl and the East-West Shrine Game, is a chance for college seniors to showcase themselves in front of NFL scouts in helmets and shoulder pads one final time in advance of April’s NFL Draft.
The Collegiate Bowl, through its sponsorship with the NFL Player’s Association, also provides a stable of professional coaches that will help the players not only get through the week of practices and the game, but help to prepare them for the rest of the draft process and their professional future.
To meet that goal, there are a whopping 45 coaches between the two teams, and that coaching staff, announced on Wednesday, has plenty of familiar names to Pittsburgh football fans.
Former Ford City, Tulsa and NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte will be the offensive coordinator for the National Team. Since his retirement in 2008, Frerotte has stayed involved with the game and since 2017, has been the vice president of Coraopolis startup RC21X, a company that has developed The Roberto App to help people understand brain health and function.
Joining him on the National staff as one of two wide receivers coaches will be former Steelers wide receiver Nate Washington. Washington retired from football in 2016.
Another former Steelers wideout will coach the American Team. Plaxico Burress retired after six seasons with the Steelers in 2013. He has worked for Sportsnet New York and was a coaching intern with the Arizona Cardinals in 2017.
The list of the full staffs, which include head coaches Mike Tice and Chuck Pagano, can be found here.
The region had three players participate in the game last season: Pitt offensive linemen Brandon Hodges and Alex Officer and Duquesne offensive linemen Ben Huss.
Steelers Defense First in 30 Years with Four Straight 50-Sack Seasons
PITTSBURGH — Stephon Tuitt’s third quarter sack of Philip Rivers gave the Steelers defensive unit at least 50 sacks in each of the last four seasons (2017-20). The Steelers are the first team in the NFL to record 50-plus sacks in four consecutive seasons since the New York Giants (1985-1988).
This marks yet another historic achievement for the Steelers defense. Earlier in the game, TJ Watt became the first player in the illustrious history of the Steelers franchise to record 14 or more sacks in multiple seasons while wearing black and gold.
Unlike the time period of the Steelers streak, the Giants were a consistent contender and won a Super Bowl during that span under Bill Parcells in the late 1980’s. After missing the playoffs in both 2018 and 2019, this Steelers team is assured a spot in the 2020 postseason. But just being in the playoffs is not enough on its won to secure receiving the respect of great defenses of the past.
TJ Watt Becomes First Steelers Player with Multiple 14-Sack Seasons
PITTSBURGH — While the Steelers defense joined NFL history with its streak of consecutive games with a sack a couple weeks ago, linebacker TJ Watt’s sack of Philip Rivers early in the first quarter of his team’s game against the Colts gave him an historic achievement all to himself.
Watt became the first player in the illustrious history of the Steelers franchise to record 14 or more sacks in multiple seasons while wearing black and gold. The 26-year-old linebacker continues a season that has him firmly in the discussion to earn his first career Defensive Player of the Year Award.
Watt is also on pace to surpass his previous career high for solo tackles in a season. He entered the game with 40 with 50 being his best total from the 2018 season.
Steelers to Announce 2020 Hall of Honor Class in Halftime Livestream
The Pittsburgh Steelers will announce their 2020 Hall of Honor class at halftime of the Week 16 meeting with the Indianapolis Colts in a livestream video presentation, the club announced Saturday night.
The event will be hosted by AT&T Sportsnet and ESPN Pittsburgh’s Stan Savran, and will provide fans a virtual tour of the new Hall of Honor display and include interviews from former Steelers players and coaches on the 2020 class.
As announced back in September, the safety Troy Polamalu, middle linebacker James Farrior, outside linebacker Greg Lloyd, safety Mike Wagner and defensive end Dwight White will be honored as the 2020 class.
Pittsburgh inducted 24 inaugural members when the Hall of Honor was created in 2017. The Steelers added five more inductees in 2018, while four new members were enshrined last year.