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Daily News & Links: Steelers Among Youngest NFL Offenses; AB, Jr. Hit Recruiting Trail

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Pittsburgh Steelers WR George Pickens
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver George Pickens during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23, 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.

🏈 Longtime NFL insider Peter King announced that he’s retiring, at least from writing his popular  Football Morning in America column. King gave a shoutout in his final FMIA column to former Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch and current Steelers defensive tackle Cam Heyward for being two of the nicest guys that he covered in his career.

“Charlie Batch. His work with the needy in hardscrabble areas of Pittsburgh is inspirational. Should write a book on how players, even non-superstar players, can make a huge difference in their hometowns,” King wrote.

“Cam Heyward. Genuine and thoughtful, while being a beast between the lines. He’s arranged for each male student in 11 Pittsburgh high schools—many indigent kids—to get a free suit during their high school years.”

🏈 Steelers running back Najee Harris is one of just five running backs to rush for 1,000+ yards in the last two seasons. He’s in good company with Christian McCaffrey, Derrick Henry, Travis Etienne Jr. and Tony Pollard. However, Harris is the only player in the league to rush for 1,000+ yards in the past three seasons.

🏈 Former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was vibing with UCF’s men’s basketball team after they knocked off No. 23 Texas Tech. AB was at the game because his oldest son Antonio Jr. had an unofficial visit with UCF. Antonio Jr. is a 6’3” sophomore small forward at NSU University School (FL) and is an emerging recruit in the 2026 class.

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🏈 According to Warren Sharp of Sharp Football, 53% of the Steelers’ offensive snaps in 2023 included players in their first three years in the NFL. Only Tampa Bay (55%) and Green Bay (63%) had higher percentages.

🏈 Pro Football Talk: The NFLPA is exploring the possibility of dramatically different offseason workouts, with the current program scrapped and players showing up several weeks earlier for the start of training camp. For now, it’s in an exploratory phase.

🏈 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Franco Harris’ dreams to revive Crawford Grill No. 2 in the Hill District live on through his wife Dana and son Dok.

The Harrises are moving forward with Franco’s vision and pleased to see other development in this part of the Hill District. Across Wylie Avenue is The Legacy senior apartments, with the names of Pittsburgh luminaries etched in stone on its facade: Billy Eckstine, Mary Dee, Ahmad Jamal and Walt Harper.

“Pittsburgh has a remarkable place in Black cultural history,” Dok said.

“I’m very honored to be part of it … and I’m trying to fill some big shoes.”

🏈 Former Steelers quarterback Terry Hanratty said on his podcast that a general manger told him that North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye is Ben Roethlisberger with better movement.

“A GM told me that everyone talks about [Caleb Williams] from Southern Cal. And all of a sudden, guy tells me, ‘Don’t be surprised if you don’t see Maye go before him,'” Hanratty said. “He’s like a Roethlisberger with better movement. Big and strong, and he’s got a big arm, and he’s a tough guy.”

🏈 Cam Heyward thinks the jerseys in the Mighty Ducks are the best sports movie jersey.

🎂 Happy Birthday to former Steelers running back Benny Snell Jr., born on February 26, 1998 in Columbus, Ohio. Snell, 26, had played his entire four-year career with the Steelers since joining the team as a fourth-round draft pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. The 5-foot-10, 224-pound running back was known for his powerful running style, dubbed “Benny Snell Football,” during his time at Kentucky.

With the Steelers, Snell started strong in 2019, but faded throughout the rest of his career. He rushed 108 times for 426 yards (3.9 yards per carry ) and two touchdowns as a rookie backup to James Conner in 2019. On August 10, 2023, Snell signed with the Detroit Lions. He was released on August 29. On October 31, the Arizona Cardinals hosted Snell for a workout, but he was never signed.

🎥 Get a look at the scouting process in the latest episode of The Standard.

NEWS FROM AROUND THE SPORTS NOW NETWORK

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Sidney Crosby had four points as the Pittsburgh Penguins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-6 in a back-and-forth slugfest.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: Former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jose De Leon has died of cancer at age 63.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: Pitt football signee Jahsear Whittington has won a state-wide honor.

West Virginia Sports Now: There’s growing hype around one West Virginia football transfer addition.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State wrestling star Carter Starocci suffered an injury in the team’s last regular season dual meet.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds have new home and away kits.