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Steelers Daily News & Links: QB Questions, Top Draft Targets



Pittsburgh Steelers 2024 NFL Draft Alabama CB Kool Aid-McKinstry

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.

🏈 CNN: Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and longtime NFL insider for ESPN died on Sunday morning, the network announced. He was 72.

Mortensen was a fixture on ESPN for three decades, appearing on “Sunday NFL Countdown,” an analyst for the NFL Draft and as a contributor on “SportsCenter.” Mortensen, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016, stepped away from his role at ESPN last year “to focus on my health, family and faith,” he said.

“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate. He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, and was at the top of his field for decades. He will truly be missed by colleagues and fans, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement.

“It’s a sad day for everyone in the NFL,” Goodell wrote in a statement tweeted by the NFL. “I admired how hard Chris worked to become one of the most influential and revered reporters in sports. He earned our respect and that of many others with his relentless pursuit of news but also with the kindness he extended to everyone he met.

“He will be greatly missed by many of us in the league who were fortunate to know him well beyond the stories he broke each Sunday. We send our condolences to his family, his colleagues and the many people Chris touched throughout his well-lived life.”

🏈 NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah is impressed with this year’s offensive tackle draft class, which bodes well for the the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Needless to say…if you need an OT, you are in luck,” Jeremiah wrote on X.

🏈 Warren Sharp of Sharp Football thinks the Steelers need to move on from Kenny Pickett because of his poor second-year expected points added (EPA) percentage on attempts. EPA measures how well a team performs compared to their expectation on a play-by-play basis. Pickett’s (0.17) EPAranks 55th among first-round QBs in Year 2 of the NFL.

“Why NE, NYG, PIT & CHI should be looking at new QBs: 46. Mac Jones (-0.1), 52. Daniel Jones (-0.12), 55. Kenny Pickett (-0.17), 57. Justin Fields (-0.18) “You couldn’t be more diametrically opposed than: Year 2 Roethlisberger (#3), Year 2 Pickett (#55),” Sharpe wrote on X.

🏈 Sunday marked the 41st anniversary of when former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw underwent elbow surgery but he did not want to draw attention to himself so he assumed a pseudonym … Tom Brady. The acutal Tom Brady was six years old at the time.

Bradshaw’s recovery from the surgery didn’t go as planned and he was inactive for the first 14 games of the 1983 NFL season. Then on December 10, 1983, against the New York Jets, he felt a pop in his elbow while throwing his final pass, a 10-yard touchdown to Calvin Sweeney in the second quarter of the Steelers’ 34–7 win. Bradshaw later left the game and never played again.

🏈 Georgia offensive tackle Amarius Mims’ measurables were off the charts at the NFL Combine. Mims is 6-foot-7, 340 pounds with a 36 1/8″ arm length, 11 1/4 hand size and 86 3/4″ wingspan. He ran an impressive 5.07 in the 40-yard dash, and though he looked fine running through it, he mentioned he was dealing with a right hamstring injury after.

🏈 J.J. Watt knocked off some rust on the ice. Watt revealed recently that his brother T.J. and Bauer Hockey gave him some hockey equipment as a gift. Hockey was J.J.’s first love growing up.

🏈 Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry said Steelers wide receiver and former Georgia Bulldogs star George Pickens was the toughest player to guard during his college career.

“Pickens just don’t let [any] ball hit the ground no matter how good you got him covered,” McKinstry said. “He’s always gonna find a way to come up with a grab.”

🎂 Happy Birthday to Steelers wide receiver George Pickens, born on March 4, 2001 in Hoover, Alabama. Pickens, who had over 1,000 yards receiving for the first time in 2023, caught five touchdowns and averaged 18.1 yards per reception.

Despite a solid season, he wasn’t utilized by former offensive coordinator Matt Canada particularly well. He had a better rapport with Mason Rudolph as his quarterback, as well. In the final two regular-season games that Pickens received a target with Rudolph under center, he recorded 11 receptions for 326 yards and two touchdowns.  He wasn’t targeted in the Week 18 monsoon in Baltimore.

🎥 Steel City Star shared a clip of Chris Mortensen‘s reporting immediately after Ben Roethlisberger was drafted by the Steelers in 2004.




Pittsburgh Hockey Now:

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: What is the goal for the Young Bucs at Pirates spring training?

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Pitt basketball kept its NCAA Tournament hopes alive with a big win over Boston College.

West Virginia Sports Now: WVU basketball lost after leading at halftime to Texas Tech.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State tight end Theo Johnson had a historically good combine.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds finished the preseason with a 1-0 win over Louisville City.