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Steelers Daily News & Links: Hines Ward WRs Coach Smoke, Smith’s Fit

The Pittsburgh Steelers could look to land Hines Ward and Arthur Smith’s fit with the team is questioned by a PFF analyst.

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Pittsburgh Steelers Hines Ward Senior Bowl
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward honored as part of the Senior Bowl 75th Anniversary Team. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

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 Pittsburgh Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward gave high praise to head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar during an interview with NFL Total Access at the Super Bowl.

“He’s consistent. His message stays consistent, he resonates with his players. All he cares about is winning more Super Bowls. He doesn’t go into a season expecting anything less,” Heyward said of Tomlin. “When he states that from the very beginning, you know where you stand. You know where it comes from. He’s challenging you on and off the field, and I think that’s how he gets the best out of his players.”

The Steelers have recorded 304 sacks since 2018, the most in the NFL. No other team has more than 280 in that span.

“When you talk about Karl Dunbar. He’s just an unbelievable teacher,” Heyward said. “He takes time to really help you study. I can definitely say that he helped me continue to grow in my development as a player and as a person off the field. He’s constantly challenging us. You look at our group — it’s me, T.J. (Watt), Alex Highsmith, Larry Ogunjobi, even a young kid like Keeanu Benton. He’s all helped us achieve so much. What we do throughout the week is what you get in the game. It allows to stay consistent because he’s so good.”

๐Ÿˆ Longtime NFL insider Peter King said on 93.7 The Fan that former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward was the “best all-around receiver” he’s ever seen. Ward, who is a Steelers legend and eight-time semifinalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a possible option to replace Frisman Jackson as the Steelers wide receivers coach.

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๐Ÿˆ Hines Ward congratulated longtime columnist and radio host Ron Cook on his retirement. Cook started covering the Steelers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 1990 and has been with 93.7 The Fan since its inception in 2010. Cook announced on air Monday that he was retiring.

“Congrats to Ron Cook! One of the BEST in the Business! Enjoy the good life Ron! Well deserved!,” Ward wrote on X.

๐Ÿˆ Former Steelers center and Hall of Famer Mike Webster’s son, Garrett, also gave a shoutout to Ron Cook and shared a heartfelt memory.

“Mike Webster son here. I remember after my dad died, Ron called me and before asking any questions, talked to me for a good 10-15 minutes about my dad telling me stories and how much everyone loved him.ย  On one of my worst days it meant so much to me! Love ya Ron!,” Garrett Webster wrote on X.

๐Ÿˆ Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus thinks new Steelers offensive coordinator Arthur Smith is an interesting fit in Pittsburgh.

“Arthur Smith is fascinating because he’s not bad. It would be easy if he was just a terrible coach with a bad scheme that didn’t work, and you can just say let’s move on and go in a different direction,” Monson said on the Jim Rome Show from Las Vegas. “He’s not a bad coach, he’s a good coach. But he has this crazy sort of fascination with hitting you with the thing you’re least expecting. You got four amazing players over here, so this guy is going to be the one that I’m going to design the offense for and he’s the guy who’s going to hit you with the sucker punch. It’s like sometimes you’re just trying to overthink this too much.”

 

๐Ÿˆ Former Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden absolutely hated watching Matt Canada’s offense. He’s glad that a new era is getting kicked off with Arthur Smith at the helm.

“I mean, considering what we’ve had in years past. It’s an upgrade! I gotta keep it real with you. The OC (Matt Canada) was, I don’t wanna say bad, but it just didn’t look good. You know, watching our offense was like watching a Lifetime movie,” McFadden said on Dukes & Bell on 92.9 The Game in Atlanta. “Man, you watch a Lifetime movie, you know it’s gonna be sad, it’s gonna be cloudy, it’s gonna be dreary-looking, and you’re gonna walk away feeling some type of way. Mostly upset and depressed! That’s how our offense was and I hated watching our offense!โ€

๐Ÿˆ Throughout Black History Month, the Steelers will honor and recognize individuals who broke down barriers and made a profound impact in the organization. On Tuesday, the Steelers celebrated the life and career of former Steelers scout and Hall of Famer Bill Nunn.

๐Ÿˆ On this day in 2006, the Steelers had their Super Bowl XL victory parade in downtown Pittsburgh. It was the Steelers’ first Super Bowl title in 26 years.

 

๐ŸŽ‚ Happy Birthday to former Steelers wide receiver Markus Wheaton, born on February 7, 1991 in Phoenix, Arizona. Wheaton was selected in the third round out of Oregon State by the Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft. Wheaton caught 107 passes for 1,508 yards (14.1 average) and eight touchdowns in his four seasons with the Steelers. Wheaton signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Bears in March of 2017 but only lasted one season. He played one game for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018 before announcing his retirement on January 22, 2019.

Also, Happy Birthday to former Steelers defensive tackle and current San Francisco 49er Javon Hagrave, born on February 7, 1993 in Salisbury, North Carolina. Hargrave signed a massive four-year, $84 million contract with San Francisco that included $40 million guaranteed at signing last March. He’ll play in his second consecutive Super Bowl. He came up short against Kansas City last year when he was with the Philadelphia Eagles.

The 6-foot-2, 305-pound Hargrave was the Steelersโ€™ third-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. He played his first four seasons in Pittsburgh, all as a starter, and amassed 168 tackles, 22 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks and forced two fumbles. ย Hagrave recorded 44 total tackles (25 solos), seven sacks, eight tackles for losses and 14 quarterback hits in 2023. Hargrave is a key member on the 49ers’ vaunted front.

๐ŸŽฅ Mike Tomlin was spotted chatting with Georgia cornerback Tykee Smith at the Senior Bowl.

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