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JuJu Smith-Schuster, Mason Rudolph Throwing in California

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Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and quarterback Mason Rudolph were getting some offseason work in yesterday from sunny Southern California, courtesy of videos shared on the former’s Instagram.

After finishing last season on IR with a shoulder injury, the Instagram stories from mark the first time Rudolph has thrown in a public setting. While none of the videos show Rudolph driving the ball downfield farther than about 15 yards, it is still a good sign that he is making progress and likely close to full health.

While appearing to not be running routes full speed yet, Smith-Schuster seems to be recovering nicely from the knee and foot injuries that he struggled with much of last season. Throw in the concussion he suffered and the inconsistent quarterback play, and you can see why Smith-Schuster’s numbers took the dip they did in 2019.

Although it is exciting for Steelers fans to see two of the team’s young contributors getting some work in together, they are not exactly following the indefinite stay-at-home order instituted by the state of California amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Still, according to ESPN’s Brooke Pryor, “the workout had fewer than ten people participating and everyone took precautions.”

Rudolph is coming off a season where he went 5-3 as a starter, tossing 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He threw for just over 176 yards per game, completing 62% of his passes. Based on everything that has come out of the Steelers organization this offseason, Rudolph seems firmly entrenched as the team’s backup quarterback heading into 2020.

After an exceptional sophomore season where he caught 111 passes and was named to his first Pro Bowl, Smith-Schuster saw his production drop drastically last year. He played in 12 games, catching just 42 passes for three touchdowns. A fully healthy Smith-Schuster should bounce back in a big way in 2020 with the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 10/22/20

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Stephon Tuitt practices his footwork and Minkah Fitzpatrick works on his ball awareness as the Steelers defense prepares for their upcoming matchup with the Tennessee Titans.

Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

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Steelers

Highlights from Steelers Practice 10/21/20

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Steelers receiver Diontae Johnson returns to practice and joins star rookie Chase Claypool by running routes and catching passes on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. The Steelers hope to show off their dynamic offense at full strength during the team’s game this Sunday against Tennessee.

Footage courtesy Pittsburgh Steelers

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NFL

Le’Veon Bell Says He’s Never Played with an MVP-Caliber QB

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Kansas City running back Le’Veon Bell spoke with the media Wednesday for the first time since signing with the Chiefs and expressed excitement about the chance to play with quarterback Patrick Mahomes, but he may have taken a shot at his former teammate Ben Roethlisberger in the process.

“Patty Mahomes, I’ve never played with a player MVP-wise, so it’s gonna be fun,” Bell said. “I think it’s a lot of weapons, it’s gonna be fun for me.”

While Bell could just be propping up his new teammate, it does appear that the three-time Pro Bowler has already forgotten just how good he had it as a Pittsburgh Steeler.

Roethlisberger has never won an MVP award, but the future Hall of Famer did post MVP-caliber numbers over the five seasons they spent together in Pittsburgh.

From 2013 to 2017, Roethlisberger passed for 21,221 yards and 138 touchdowns, as the Steelers went a combined 48-24 when he was under center. Bell was a clear beneficiary of Roethlisberger’s production. Not only did he rush for 5,336 yards and 35 scores as a Steelers, but he also caught 312 passes for 2,660 yards and seven touchdowns.

Bell signed with Kansas City last week after being released by the New York Jets following a disappointing 17 games with the franchise. The two-time All-Pro rushed for just 863 yards and three touchdowns as a Jet. He had no rushes over 19 yards while playing under head coach Adam Gase, and did not post a single 100-yard rushing performance in New York.

Pittsburgh selected Bell in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, but the two sides were unable to agree to a long-term extension following a productive five years. Bell sat out the entirety of the 2018 season before signing a free agent contract with New York. He is fourth in Steelers history with 5,335 rushing yards and 35 rushing touchdowns

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