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Daily Links: Steelers Bold Prediction, Questions about Canada



Steelers Matt Canada
Heinz Field, June 30, 2022. -- Alan Saunders / Steelers Now

FOX Sports’ Jason McIntyre dropped five bold predictions for this season and one of them is the Pittsburgh Steelers appearing in the AFC Championship Game.

“The Pittsburgh Steelers are going to the AFC Championship Game,” McIntyre wrote. “Kenny Pickett, during the final seven games [last season], was a top 11 quarterback in the league. That guy was a rookie. Kenny Pickett is mature. He looked sharp at the end of the season. The defense will be back and be really good. I’ve already bet them in Week 1. This Steelers team is a buy.”

🏈 In an ESPN ranking conducted by executives, players, scouts and coaches, Pittsburgh Steelers T.J. Watt came in as the fourth-best edge rusher in the NFL. Watt was behind Micah Parsons, Myles Garrett and Nick Bosa. Pro Football Focus also had Watt as the fourth-best edge rusher in the league. PFF had Garrett at No. 1 and Bosa at No. 3, though. Parsons was second.

“Watt was hurt last season, but when healthy, he is still a walking masterclass of how to play the edge position,” Trevor Sikkema of PFF wrote.

🏈 PFF had Alex Highsmith as the 32nd-best edge rusher in the NFL. “Finally, Highsmith was productive in T.J. Watt’s absence, playing 941 defensive snaps with 14.5 sacks and 55 pressures,” Sikkema wrote.

🏈 The 33rd Team: Najee Harris has yet to average over 4.0 yards per carry in a season, but former NFL and Pitt head coach Dave Wannstedt believes that with a stronger supporting cast and the quarterback position stabilized, the big runs are going to come.

NFL insider Adam Caplan thinks Matt Canada could prevent Kenny Pickett and the Steelers offense from breaking out in 2023.

“Now, what’s it gonna take for Kenny Pickett to have a breakout season? To me it’s not so much Pickett, I don’t worry about him. It’s the play-calling, it’s Matt Canada, the OC, freeing guys up,” Caplan said on the Ferrall Coast To Coast podcast. They are super deep, they are super deep in pass targets, between their receivers and tight ends there are six guys who can catch the football … I like their offense, Canada’s just gotta get something going.”

🎂 Happy Birthday to Steelers cornerback Patrick Peterson, born on July 11, 1990 in Pompano Beach, Florida. The eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro signed with the Steelers in free agency after two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings. Peterson is coming off a season where he recorded five interceptions and 15 passes defended. It was the most interceptions for Peterson since 2012 when he had seven in Arizona. Not only is Peterson an upgrade at cornerback for the Steelers, but he’s also serving as a great mentor for rookie cornerbacks Joey Porter Jr. and Cory Trice.

🎥 Najee Harris was running hills with his Steelers helmet on. He also got some work in on the Jugs machine.

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