Former Steelers and Robert Morris coach Dan Radakovich died at the age of 84 on Thursday, and the Steelers are mourning the loss of the two-time Super Bowl winning coach affectionately known as “Bad Rad.”
“We are saddened to learn of the passing of Dan Radakovich,” Steelers president Art Rooney II said a press release. “During his time in Pittsburgh under Chuck Noll, Dan began as a defensive line coach in 1971, but then after a couple of years at the University of Colorado, Dan returned to the Steelers in 1974. During his second stint on Chuck’s staff, Coach Rad became affectionately known as “Bad Rad”, as he also became known as the offensive line coach of one of the best offensive lines of all time. In the process, Coach Rad helped the Steelers win two Super Bowl Championships.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Radakovich family.”
A Duquesne, Pa., native, Radakovich was a Penn State alum and got his coaching career started with the Nittany Lions in 1957. He helped start the Robert Morris football program in 1994 and was one of the first assistants hired by Joe Walton. He returned to RMU as defensive coordinator from 1996-07.
Radakovich also worked for Cincinnati (1970), the Steelers (1971, 1974-77), Colorado (1972-73), San Francisco 49ers (1978), Los Angeles Rams (1979-81), NC State (1982), Denver Broncos (1983), Minnesota Vikings (1984), NY Jets (1985-88), Cleveland Browns (1989-90), St. Louis Rams (1995) and Westminster (2014-19).
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Projects Alabama C Landon Dickerson to Steelers in Latest Mock Draft
ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. predicted that the Pittsburgh Steelers will select Alabama center Landon Dickerson in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft in his latest mock draft.
Kiper, who released his second mock draft of the season on Thursday, has the Steelers staying with the No. 24 overall pick in the first round to take Dickerson in a mock draft that has three trades in the first round.
The 6-foot-6, 325-pound Alabama grad could play center or guard, but would be immediately be slotted in as a replacement for retired starter Maurkice Pouncey at center.
Dickerson spent his first three seasons at Florida State before transferring to Alabama in 2019. He started four games at right guard and nine games at center in 2019 and started at center in 2020, where he was the winner of the Rimington Trophy as the country’s best center.
Dickerson suffered an ACL injury in the SEC Championship Game in December and concerns regarding that injury have depressed Dickerson’s draft value, but he is generally considered to be the best center in the class and no worse than a second-round pick.
Poll: What Was Biggest Issue with Steelers Running Game in 2020?
The Steelers finished dead last in the NFL in rushing in 2020 and general manager Kevin Colbert has seen it as a top offseason priority to rectify that standing going into 2021.
The Steelers have already made a change in coaching, with Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm taking over as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach.
There will also be substantive changes to the personnel, as starting center Maurkice Pouncey has retired and starting running back James Conner, left tackle Alejandro Villanueva, left guard Matt Feiler and right tackle Zach Banner are pending free agents.
“You can’t say the runners weren’t good enough or the quarterbacks weren’t good enough or the line wasn’t good enough,” Colbert said in speaking with the media last week. “To put out the kind of running game we did, no one was good enough. And again, that is a collective effort. … We need to finish (seasons). And I think having a strong running game helps teams finish in that time of year.”
With that being said, Steelers fans, which area of the running game do you think was the biggest issue in 2020?
NFL Insider John Clayton: Steelers Out of Running for J.J. Watt
One of the league’s most prominent insiders believes the Steelers are out of the running for free agent defensive end J.J. Watt.
Joining The PM Team on 93.7 The Fan on Wednesday, NFL insider John Clayton said Watt will not be joining his brothers T.J. and Derek in Pittsburgh.
Clayton sees the Tennessee Titans, Green Bay Packers and Buffalo Bills as the favorites to land Watt’s services.
For a potential dark horse, Clayton says the Las Vegas Raiders as an outside-the-box candidate to sign the veteran pass rusher.
.@JohnClaytonNFL says JJ Watt won't be coming to Pittsburgh. Tennessee, Green Bay, and Buffalo are the 3 teams. Raiders as a dark horse.— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) February 24, 2021
Watt leaves Houston as one of the greatest players in franchise history. He was selected to five Pro Bowls, named First-Team All-Pro on five occasions and earned three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards.
A future Hall of Famer, Watt is the Texans’ all-time leader in sacks (101), tackles-for-loss (172) and forced fumbles (25).
Watt recorded 52 total tackles, 14 tackles-for-loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and returned an interception for a touchdown in 2020.