Connect with us

Steelers Daily Links

Steelers Daily Links: Minkah as X-Factor; Fans Picking Over



Pittsburgh Steelers FS Minkah Fitzpatrick
Former Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier takes in practice at OTA No. 6 on Thursday, June 2, 2022. -- ED THOMPSON

ESPN’s Louis Riddick thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers will be competitive in 2023, but he doesn’t see them winning the AFC North.

“Their offensive line still scares me because it’s still a work in progress. It’s really been their Achilles’ heel over the past 2-3 seasons,” Riddick said on the Rich Eisen Show. “It’s been the issue. They can’t run the football, they can’t protect the quarterback, they have to get the ball out quick, they can’t get push the ball down the field. They are always in second-and-long situations because they can’t run the ball effectively. This year is Broderick Jones going to make that much of a difference? Is (Chuks) Okorafor going to be that much better at right tackle? Is James Daniels going to be that much better at right guard? I don’t know.”

Overall, Riddick thinks the Steelers are just not up there yet in the elite category of the AFC. “Pittsburgh is Pittsburgh. They are a top-notch organization. It’s just that the AFC is so good. And that’s not hyperbole, man. I mean, these teams are good.”

RELATED: Odds Say Steelers Most Likely to Finish in Last Place in AFC North

🏈 The 33rd Team named Minkah Fitzpatrick as the biggest X-Factor for the Steelers in 2023.

“As a deep safety, he has an uncanny sense for nuanced positioning and body angles that lend helpful presence to teammates and cause hesitation in the quarterback,” Andy Benoit of the 33rd Team wrote. “Impressively, in Pittsburgh’s man coverages, Fitzpatrick displays these traits on the move as a rover. They show up when he drops down as the buzz defender in zone coverage.”

🏈 NFL on Prime Video’s official Twitter account examined Cam Heyward’s career numbers, which look Canton bound. Heyward is a six-time Pro Bowler and has been nominated first-team All-Pro three times. He ranks second all time in team history in sacks (78.5) and tackles for loss (115).

🏈 According to BetMGM, 91% of bets and 98% of the money is on the Steelers to go OVER their win total in 2023 (8.5). Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have went over their projected win total in each of the last three seasons. One bettor will win $45,000 if the Steelers (+4500) win the Super Bowl this season, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Pro Football Hall of Fame: Pennsylvania born, raised and educated, Jack Ham went on to be a career member of the Steelers and a member of the Hall’s Class of 1988. On the 35th anniversary of Ham entering the Hall, he’ll again be honored in Canton this summer.

🎂 Happy Birthday to Steelers defensive end DeMarvin Leal, born on July 1, 2000, in San Antonio, Texas. Leal was drafted by the Steelers in the third round out of Texas A&M in the 2022 NFL Draft. Leal finished his rookie season with two starts in 11 appearances. He had 14 total tackles and three passes defended. After weighing 315 pounds at the start of last year, Leal is now down to 290, which is more akin to his weight at Texas A&M. With a classic tweener built, Leal worked at both interior defensive line and outside linebacker during OTAs, lining up from those same alignments of wide-9 to 3-technique.

🎥 Mike Garafolo of Good Morning Football created a checklist for the Steelers to win the AFC North in 2023.

The Best Steelers Coverage in Your Email

All you have to do is enter your email to get all of the best breaking news, analysis and insights on the Pittsburgh Steelers from Alan Saunders, Nick Farabaugh and the Steelers Now team sent directly to your inbox.


Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins traded for top-nine forward Reilly Smith and drafted center Brayden Yager in the first round.

Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The Pirates put Ke’Bryan Hayes on the injured list, but call-up Jared Triolo helped them to a 7-1 win over the San Diego Padres.

Pittsburgh Sports Now: The Duquesne men’s basketball team has released its 2023-24 schedule. Still no City Game.

West Virginia Sports Now: WVU AD Wren Baker is interested in extending the basketball Backyard Brawl.

Nittany Sports Now: Westinghouse DB Kyshawn Robinson gets “dream” offer from Penn State.

Pittsburgh Soccer Now: Pitt women’s coach Randy Waldrum talks about his other job with the Nigerian national Team.