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Rooney: Steelers Still Hoping for Fans at Heinz Field this Season

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Steelers president Art Rooney II said that the team has not given up on having fans in the stands at Heinz Field this season.

Speaking on the team’s broadcast of practice Saturday night aired by WPCW-TV, Rooney said that the team is still exploring its options with regards to getting some of Steelers Nation into the building when the home portion of the team’s schedule begins on Sept. 20.

“We miss the fans,” Rooney said. “We haven’t given up completely on potentially having fans at some point during the season. We continue to work with the governor’s office on that. We’ll see. If things improve, perhaps we will have some fans at some point during the season.”

Rooney added that he does not expect there to be a blanket policy on fans from the NFL and that different teams may end up making different decisions. On the same day the Steelers practiced without fans at Heinz Field, the Kansas City Chiefs allowed 2,000 fans to witness their practice at Arrowhead Stadium and have plans to allow 5,000 fans to attend next week.

“The home field advantage will be very different around the league,” Rooney said. Some stadiums are going to have fans, some are not. It’s like everything else this year it’s going to be an unusual situation we just have to adapt to.”

The practice attempted to integrate some portions of the team’s game day experience into practice, something that head coach Mike Tomlin has felt necessary to do in the absence of preseason games this season.

The team wore its game uniforms, had pregame introductions, and piped in crowd noise to the stadium.

“I thought it was important for us to simulate a game-like environment, and by that, I mean, the procedural things leading up to the game,” Tomlin said. “We approached it in that way in terms of our pre-practice work, the time line that we followed, the routines, the stretch routines and all the things that we would do in a preseason game. It’s just another step that we’re taking to ready the group for the regular season. I don’t want it to be where we’re in New York, and that’s the first time, they’re finding their rhythms prior to kickoff.”

Steelers

Terrell Edmunds Explains New Nickname

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Terrell Edmunds informs the media, including Mike Asti and Alan Saunders of Steelers Now, about his new nickname. Call him “Old Fashioned” from now on. He also expresses how feels about the current state of the Steelers, and that’s obviously includes being happy about the team’s record but also understanding the need to improve.

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Steelers

Steelers Week 10 Game vs. Bengals Flexed to 4:25 p.m. National Broadcast

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The Steelers game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10 has been flexed into a national television broadcast slot.

The Steelers and Bengals will now kick off at Heinz Field on Sunday, Nov. 15 at 4:25 p.m. The game had originally been scheduled to kick at 1 p.m. It will be broadcast nationally on FOX. All of that weekend’s early games will be broadcast on FOX, as CBS has coverage of The Masters, which was rescheduled from this summer.

The game will be Pittsburgh’s first matchup against 2020 NFL Draft No. 1 pick, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

The Steelers are also playing a 4:25 p.m., nationally broadcast game in Week 9 against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. That game will be televised by CBS.

That will be the second time this season the Steelers will be placed in a nation-wide television slot. The team opened the season playing on ESPN’s Monday Night Football against the New York Giants.

The Steelers’ Week 7 game against the Tennessee Titans was protected by CBS in a 1 p.m. time slot, but was broadcast nearly nationwide, with CBS only showing two other 1 p.m. games.

The Steelers will play on national television at least three more times this season: against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Nov. 26, on Sunday Night Football against the Buffalo Bills on Dec. 13 and at the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday, Dec. 21.

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What Does Being NFL’s Last Unbeaten Team Portend for Steelers?

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The Steelers are the last remaining undefeated team in the NFL after beating the formerly unbeaten Tennessee Titans on Sunday while the Seattle Seahawks lost on Sunday night, leaving the Steelers as the only 6-0 team in the nation.

What does that mean for them in the long term? Not as much as you might think.

In the last 20 years, one of the last undefeated teams didn’t even make the playoffs three times: 2002 4-0 San Diego Chargers, 2014 3-0 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2016 5-0 Minnesota Vikings. Ten other times, one of the last undefeated teams (some years, there are more than one), lost in the first or second round of the NFL playoffs.

Just once since 2000 has the last undefeated team won the Super Bowl, in 2006 when the Indianapolis Colts started 9-0 on the way to winning Super Bowl XLI.

In the first three decades of the league’s modern era, that was significantly different. The last undefeated team won six Super Bowls in the 1990s, two in the 1980s and three in the 1970s, including the 1972 Miami Dolphins, who finished a perfect 17-0, the only team in NFL history to do so.

More recently, being the last undefeated team has resulted in a bunch of Super Bowl losses, including the last time the Steelers were the league’s last unbeaten team. 

The 2001 St. Louis Rams, 2002 Oakland Raiders, 2004 Eagles, 2007 New England Patriots, 2009 Colts, 2010 Steelers, 2015 Carolina Panthers, 2018 Los Angeles Rams and the 2019 San Francisco 49ers all made it to the championship game after being the last undefeated team before losing in the end.

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