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Steelers Now NFL Notebook, July 5



Steelers NFL Notebook

The Steelers Now Notebook is your go-to source for all the latest news and notes surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL.

🏈 4 p.m: Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus released his NFL power rankings ahead of the 2022 season on Monday and had the Steelers ranked 21st. Only the Jets, Jaguars and Texans were behind the Steelers in the AFC. Monson listed his power rankings in five different tiers, and the Steelers were in the “stuck in limbo” category.

“The Steelers have been perennial contenders for the duration of Ben Roethlisberger’s career,” Monson wrote. “Their quarterback since 2004, Big Ben retired this offseason after never finishing a season with a losing record. Now, Pittsburgh needs to sustain that success with a combination of Mitchell Trubisky and Kenny Pickett at quarterback. Either player will massively change the offense that had the fastest average time to throw in 2021.”

As for the rest of the AFC North — the Bengals ranked eighth, the Browns were 10th and the Ravens came in at No. 11. Monson noted that the Browns’ ranking could significantly change depending on Deshaun Watson’s availability, as he could potentially be suspended for the entire season for violating the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. The NFL is working toward the conclusion of its investigation into his sexual assault accusations against Watson.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin observes practice during OTAS at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, May 26, 2022 — ED THOMPSON

🏈 2 p.m: Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports recently ranked all of the NFL’s current throwback jerseys, and the Steelers’ “Steel Curtain” era throwbacks from the 1970s came in at No. 4.

“The Steelers have donned some interesting throwbacks in the past, but the ‘Steel Curtain’ era throwbacks are right for a franchise with a storied history,” Kerr wrote. “These commemorated the 40th anniversary of the team’s Super Bowl XIII victory, with vintage block letters and numbers and the removal of the Steelers logo on the chest.

“Pittsburgh retired the ‘bumblebee’ uniforms in favor of these. A massive upgrade that shouldn’t be changed, especially for a team that has excellent uniforms that withstood the test of time.”

Kerr had the Dolphins’ 1972 home and road jerseys ranked No. 1, followed by the 49ers’ 1994 home and road jerseys and the Cowboys’ 1994 home jerseys. The Steelers are 2-0 when donning their 1970s throwbacks — defeating the Browns in 2018 and Rams in 2019. The Steelers didn’t wear their 1970s throwbacks in 2020 and 2021, but Art Rooney II said in May that they’re bringing them back this year with the 50th anniversary of the Immaculate Reception taking place on Dec. 23.

“We’ll take a closer look at it, but right now I predict it’ll be that Nov. 20 game against the Bengals,” Rooney said of when they’ll wear the throwback jerseys via Bob Labriola of “The throwback jersey will be a replica of the 1972 jersey. So, back to the Immaculate Reception.”






🏈 Noon: After the tragic death of former Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in December, Boston University doctors announced on Tuesday that his brain showed signs of Stage 2 CTE. His cause of death has not yet been determined. The New York Times has more.

Demaryius Thomas

🏈 11 a.m: Happy 26th birthday to wide receiver Diontae Johnson, born on July 5, 1996 in Ruskin, Florida. Entering his fourth NFL season, Johnson is an NFL youngster, but he’s the second-oldest player in his position group, behind only 27-year-old Anthony Miller.

Steelers WR Diontae Johnson

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