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Steelers Daily News & Links: J.J. Watt Proposes Holding Changes, Steelers Fans 2nd-Drunkest in NFL



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Pittsburgh Steelers fans during a game against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 3, 2023. -- Ed Thompson / 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.

🏈 J.J. Watt suggested reducing the penalty for offensive holding from 10 yards to five, in order to get more officials to call the penalty.

“I think the refs understand that a 10-yard penalty is a massive penalty in the NFL. So I think if you made [it] a 5-yard penalty, I think it’s going to be called much more fairly and much more realistically. Because it’s not as crippling to the offense,” Watt said recently on the Pat McAfee Show.

🏈 Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Pat Freiermuth talked about how special Penn State fans are on The Pocket podcast, which is hosted by former Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and linebacker Brandon Bell. Freiermuth starred at Penn State before being selected by the Steelers in the second round of the 2021 NFL Draft.

“I get recognized just as much being a Penn State football player as I do as a Steeler,” Freiermuth said.

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🏈 Steelers fans are the second-most drunkest fans in the NFL, according to a new study by BACtrack. Tennessee Titans fans were deemed the drunkest fans in the NFL.

🏈 Pat Freiermuth talked about his mentors on The Pocket podcast. One of them is Steelers tight end and fellow Penn State product Jesse James.

“Jesse’s great man, we talk a bunch. I go for rehab when I’m in Pittsburgh to the same guy he used and he’s close with Ty Howle and I’m close with Ty, so kind of a mutual connection,” Freiermuth shared.

“I went to Tight End U and I talked to certain guys, like (George) Kittle and (Travis) Kelce, and you know, they’re great, but they’re at the top of their game now where they operate at a different level. So for me, I’m talking to guys like Mike (Gesicki) and Jesse. (Eric) Ebron helped me when I got into Pittsburgh, he’s a great guy. I talked to (Brock) Bowers a bunch, Noah Fant, guys like that I’ve gained a relationship with throughout my career. I kind of used their experiences from watching or talking to them and implementing what they’ve learned into my game, and trying to take my game to the next level.”

🏈 Bryan DeArdo of CBS Sports thinks Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw can’t be forgotten among Super Bowl’s all-time great quarterbacks.

“While most of his records have been broken, Bradshaw still has two Super Bowl records that have yet to be duplicated. He’s the only quarterback to win back-to-back Super Bowls twice. He’s also the only quarterback to throw the game-clinching touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of four different Super Bowls,” DeArdo wrote.

“Bradshaw also called in his own plays, so you could say that he was 4-0 as a Super Bowl play-caller. One of his best Super Bowl play calls was his decision to give the ball to a fuming Franco Harris late in Super Bowl XIII. Harris, who was fired up after Henderson threw Bradshaw down after the whistle on the previous play, took off like a rocket after Bradshaw gave him the ball and didn’t stop until he was in the back of the end zone.

“(Joe) Montana and (Tom) Brady’s Super Bowl exploits earned them a seat at the table along with Bradshaw as the Super Bowl’s all-time great quarterbacks. Patrick Mahomes recently joined that select group of QBs after winning his third Super Bowl MVP (a feat matched by only Brady and Montana) following the Chiefs’ win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII.

“Mahomes, Montana and Brady are deserving of whatever praise is thrown their way regarding their performance in Super Bowls. But don’t forget about Bradshaw and his unique place in Super Bowl history.”

🏈 Staff Sergeant Adam Alexander won a trip to Super Bowl LVIII thanks to Steelers outside linebacker T.J. Watt. Watt surprised the Purple Heart recipient a few weeks earlier with a trip to the big game. The All-Pro outside linebacker teamed up with the USAA and Disabled American Veterans to honor the 2022 Disabled Veteran of the Year.

Alexander, who is a fellow Wisconsinite and diehard Green Bay Packers fan, got the chance to meet Watt at the Super Bowl.

“The Watt family is royalty here in Wisconsin,” Alexander said. “So we’ve all followed his career closely. We were absolutely gutted when the Packers passed on him in the draft and traded out of the first round.”

Alexander said he couldn’t tell that Watt was upset about being snubbed for NFL Defensive Player of the Year during their meet-and-greet

“He was still in very good spirits and he was super down to earth,” Alexander explaiend. “I had him sign a few things. He’s a humble guy, and a lot of fun to talk to.”

🏈 The Steelers are at +800 to land Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, according to DraftKings Sportsbook.

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, born on February 18, 1992 in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. Bell, who spent five seasons with the Steelers after being drafted in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, has not played in the league since 2021, but he hasn’t officially retired. Bell said earlier this month that he intends to start training for an NFL return. But Bell hinted that he only wanted to return to play for the Steelers, where he had the most prolific stretch of his NFL career.

“I won’t start training until like March,” Bell said. “And I’m gonna be honest with myself, I got to go out there and be like, I’m going to put my foot in the ground. Do I feel it? Am I hurting? Can I go out there and really play again? And bro, I’m telling you all right now when I go out there and train in March and if I hit April and I make this decision to come back to play in the NFL again, mark my words down — I will be better than I ever was. And I will only come back for that one team. You all know who it is. I don’t have to say no team. You all know who it is.”

Bell flamed out after singing a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets in March of 2019. He had short stints with the Kansas City Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Baltimore Ravens before exiting the league after the 2021 season. Bell has said multiple times that he regrets holding out in 2018 and not accepting the Steelers offer.

Also, Happy Birthday to former Steelers cornerback Dwayne Woodruff, born on February 18, 1957 in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Woodruff was selected by the Steelers in the sixth round out of Louisville in the 1979 NFL Draft. He played 157 games (105 starts) for the Steelers from 1979-1990, recording 37 interceptions and three touchdowns. He’s a member of the Steelers’ 1979 Super Bowl-winning team.

During his NFL career, Woodruff obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law in 1988, and became an associate attorney of the Meyer Darragh law firm, having the unprecedented distinction of practicing law and playing in the NFL simultaneously for three years. In 1997, he became a founding member of the law firm Woodruff & Flaherty, P.C. (now Flaherty Fardo, LLC) out of Shadyside in Pittsburgh. Woodruff was elected in 2005 to be a Judge in the Court of Common Pleas in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and has presided primarily in the Family Court Division.

🎥 Former Steelers defensive end Kimo von Oelhoffen‘s daughter, Talia, nailed a buzzer-beater to get No. 11 Oregon State the win over No. 9 UCLA on Saturday.



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