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Daily Links: Steelers Overlooked?, AB Gives Unhinged Press Conference



Former Steelers WR Antonio Brown

Pro Football Focus thinks the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the most overlooked teams heading into the 2023 season.

“The Steelers have finished .500 or better for 19 straight seasons now while winning nine or more games in all but three of Mike Tomlin’s 16 seasons as head coach. They have the worst odds to win the AFC North, but that’s largely because they are in a division with two genuine contenders in the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens. If the Steelers can get consistently good play from quarterback Kenny Pickett, who was second among quarterbacks with a 90.1 PFF grade from Week 12 through the end of the season, they could really surprise some people,” Gordon McGuinness of PFF wrote.

🏈 Majority owner of the Albany Empire and former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown said he’s going to suit up this Saturday. Brown said he was going to play on May 27 but it never came to fruition. So who knows if it’s for real or just a publicity stunt to sell tickets. To say the least, Brown’s interview with the Albany media was bizarre as he had no shirt on and referred to “AB” as a character created by the media. He referenced the stories about former players who complained about lack of payment, adding he still has yet to talk to AB, and that he, Antonio Brown, hopes to be paid.

Brown did not play the last time he said he would.

🏈 Bleacher Report: Alex Kay of Bleacher Report thinks Kenny Pickett will explode into stardom in 2023.

“Pickett—the lone quarterback selected in the first two rounds of last year’s draft—may not have posted big numbers in his first NFL season, but he showed he’s a capable signal-caller who can lead his team to wins,” Kay wrote. “With a full offseason to prepare as the starter, he should see his stats significantly improve while he pushes to take the Steelers back to the playoffs following a one-year layoff.

“With quality pass-catchers like Diontae Johnson, Pat Freiermuth and fellow sophomore George Pickens surrounding him and an improved offensive line bolstered by the addition of first-round pick Broderick Jones, expect Pickett to greatly improve on the 2,404 passing yards and seven touchdowns he posted in 13 games last year.”

ESPN 100: Mark Silverman of Waddle & Silvy ESPN Chicago has heard that the Chicago Bears aren’t happy with where things are with Chase Claypool, especially in regards to his self-motivation.

“Chase Claypool is a guy that they’ve wanted to see some things from. They have not been able to see those things from him on and off the field. All those things don’t sound great for Claypool going into training camp on where they think he’s going to be,” Silverman said.

Claypool recorded just 14 receptions for 140 yards and no touchdowns in seven games with the Bears last season after the Steelers traded him to Chicago on Nov. 1 for a second-round pick. The Steelers used the second-round pick to select Penn State cornerback Joey Porter Jr. at 32nd overall in the 2023 NFL Draft.

🎥 Steel City Star: Former Steelers cornerback and Hall of Famer Mel Blount explains how he adapted to the “Mel Blount Rule” in 1978.

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Pittsburgh Sports Now: Four-star Aliquippa linebacker Cameron Lindsey is set to announce his college choice, with Pitt one of the finalists.

West Virginia Sports Now: West Virginia is after another player from Laurel Highlands High School.

Nittany Sports Now: Penn State is a massive early favorite for the Lions’ season opener against West Virginia.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Penguins named Jason Spezza assistant general manager.

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