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.
🏈 Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin presented Minkah Fitzpatrick with the Bart Starr Award at the 36th annual Super Bowl breakfast in Las Vegas on Saturday morning. Fitzpatrick was selected by his peers for the award, which honors a player for his outstanding character, integrity and leadership on and off the field.
“What a blessing and honor to be here,” Tomlin said, via Steelers.com. “Particularly because of that young man sitting before me. I am never surprised by God’s greater plan. I’m just always ready to receive it.
“A couple of nights ago, we recognized Cam Heyward with the Walter Payton Man of the Year. This morning it’s Minkah Fitzpatrick. It’s not my style to be at the Super Bowl site to be quite honest with you, unless I’m working. I’m leaving here and going directly to the airport. This man, Minkah Fitzpatrick, is so deserving of this recognition. I would not miss this. I read the description of what this award embodies…a man of high character, values, integrity, and leadership on and off the field.
“And it could have just said, Minkah Fitzpatrick.
“I’ve had the pleasure of being around this guy day-to-day since we acquired him in 2019 and he just continually displays that. Oftentimes he gets recognized for his extraordinary successes on the field and the talents, but those of us that know him, we appreciate those things. But we appreciate Minkah so much more.
“It is an honor to be associated with him and it’s an honor to present him with the Bart Starr Award.”
🏈 T.J. Watt gave Adam Alexander, a wounded war veteran, tickets to the Super Bowl. Alexander was given just a 5% chance to live after he was attacked by an enemy sniper in Afghanistan. Watt, along with other NFL stars, partnered with USAA to gift military veterans tickets to the big game.
“These people are fighting for our freedoms,” Watt told Fox News Digital. “I get to play football and do what I love for a living because these guys are giving the ultimate sacrifice to our country. So, I have the utmost respect for them, and I’m super appreciative and proud of this partnership. Just to show my gratitude at the end of the day, these guys are the ultimate heroes, and they deserve way more of the limelight than we do.”
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🏈 T.J. Watt explained how Mike Tomlin gets the best out of his players during an interview on Pro Football Talk Live earlier this week.
“I think it’s a holding everybody accountable-type thing as far as in the film room,” Watt said. “When we come into the team meeting room, you don’t know what’s he’s gonna show you. Everybody kind of has a little nervous feel. We’re all looking around each other like, ‘What play?’ When that play pops up, you immediately know before he even hits ‘play’ like, ‘Ahhh, it’s my play.’
“You could be talking to him outside the meeting room like cool, ‘How’s the family? How’s everything going?’ Really nice [and] all of a sudden you get in there and that play comes up like, ‘We were just cool outside and now you’re gonna roast me in front of the whole team?’ It’s that accountability aspect of in team meetings, the offense goes over their spiel a little bit, so the defense knows what the expectations are for the offense and vice versa. It helps us kind of hold each other accountable on the football field.”
🏈 Former Steelers offensive lineman Trai Essex called out Micah Parsons for saying that T.J. Watt is not a top 5 pass rusher in the NFL.
“I just heard what Micah said about TJ…..my goodness what a stupid take. These young dudes really justify themselves and their play from PFF stats. Not film, not actual personal analysis, but PFF subjective ass stats. He sounds as dumb as a lot of these media ‘experts,'” Essex wrote on X.
🏈 Former Steelers wide receiver Plaxico Burress’ son, Elijah, has committed to play his college football at Notre Dame. Elijah is a 6-foot-1 junior wide receiver at DePaul Catholic High School in Wayne, New Jersey. Among the other recruits who have committed to Notre Dame is Ivan Taylor, a cornerback who is the son of Ike Taylor, who was a teammate of Plaxico Burress in Pittsburgh. The highlight of Burress’s NFL career was catching the game-winning touchdown pass in Super Bowl XLII, after which he celebrated with the young Elijah on the field.
Happy Birthday to former Steelers safety Ryan Mundy, born on February 11, 1985 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Mundy, who starred at Woodland Hills High School and West Virginia, was selected in the sixth round by the Steelers in the 2008 NFL Draft. Mundy won a Super Bowl with the Steelers in his rookie year.
He played five seasons in Pittsburgh before stints with the New York Giants and Chicago Bears. Mundy’s best career season came in 2014 with Chicago, when he started 16 games. He recorded 103 total tackles (75 solos, four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown, six passes defended, and one fumble recovery. On August 30, 2015, the Bears placed Mundy on injured reserve due to a hip injury just before a pre-season finale against the Cleveland Browns. Mundy never played again.
🎥 Saturday marked the 42nd anniversary of Joe Greene’s retirement after a 13-year Hall of Fame career. Greene is without a doubt the greatest Steeler to ever don the Black and Gold.
“I came here as a boy. I’m gonna leave here as a man.”
42 years ago today, Joe Greene announced his retirement.
Video clip from “Joe Greene: A Football Life” pic.twitter.com/jrsRsDzIE3
— Steel City Star (@steelcitystar) February 10, 2024
NEWS FROM AROUND THE SPORTS NOW NETWORK
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: The Pittsburgh Penguins had a weekend to forget, losing their second game in two days to the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday, 2-1.
Pittsburgh Baseball Now: The Pittsburgh Pirates should already be thinking about how to keep Paul Skenes beyond his team-controlled years.
Pittsburgh Sports Now: Duquesne basketball outlasted St. Bonaventure for a key Atlantic 10 win, 75-69.
West Virginia Sports Now: One NFL analyst made a strong NFL Draft projection about West Virginia center Zach Frazier.
Nittany Sports Now: Penn State wrestler Carter Starocci extended the nation’s longest winning streak in the Nittany Lions’ dual meet against Iowa on Friday.
Pittsburgh Soccer Now: The Pittsburgh Riverhounds overcame a slow start to earn their first preseason win over Loudon.