PITTSBURGH — Through two games, the Pittsburgh Steelers are one of nine NFL teams that don’t have an interception.
They’d like it an awful lot if that changed this Sunday when they visit the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
The team traded its 2020 first-round draft pick this week to add talented defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, and while the Alabama grad has played all over the secondary, the Steelers plan for this Sunday is to use him solely at free safety.
That’s partially an acknowledgement of the time that it’s going to take Fitzpatrick to get up to speed on all aspects of the notoriously complex Pittsburgh defense. But it’s also giving one of the team’s elite playmakers the ability to be a ballhawk in the middle of the field.
Also, the presence of Fitzpatrick, along with Joe Haden, who was photographed below practicing on Friday after missing the first two days this week, Steven Nelson and Terrell Edmunds gives the Steelers a starting four across the defensive backfield without any obvious holes.
At practice on Friday, the Steelers’ defensive backs were working on their hands, as they’ve done since the very beginning of OTAs.
They defensive backs aren’t the only ones that want to get their hands on the football, either. Here, head coach Mike Tomlin and defensive line coach Karl Dunbar work with the biggest Steelers defenders on making plays on the football.
JuJu Smith-Schuster Delivers Pizzas to Steelers Fans
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is bringing some joy to fans during tough times.
Smith-Schuster spent his Tuesday afternoon delivering pizzas for PizzaHut, and even took the time to snap a pic with a young fan, courtesy of JimStamm22 on Twitter.
Hopefully, this gives everyone a little lift today. @TeamJuJu just delivered @pizzahut to our house in Pittsburgh. He even took a little time to take a picture with our son, Ben. Thanks Juju, you made our day!!! 👍😁🍕#Steelers #HereWeGo pic.twitter.com/u7u561SheP— ForTheCity_412 (@JimStamm22) June 2, 2020
A fan favorite, Smith-Schuster is entering his fourth season in Pittsburgh.
After an explosive sophomore season in 2018, Smith-Schuster battled injuries and inconsistent quarterback play that combined for a lackluster 2019.
With the return of franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Smith-Schuster appears primed to deliver more than pizzas this upcoming season.
Report: Steelers to Hold Training Camp at Team Facility, Not at Saint Vincent College
It looks like the Steelers will be staying home for training camp this August.
According to a report by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Tuesday, the league has informed teams that they must hold training camp at their facilities later this summer in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And so the NFL has told all its teams that they must stay at their team facilities for this summer's training camps.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 2, 2020
The Steelers will now be conducting training camp on the South Side, instead of their traditional summer home of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, snapping a 54-year streak.
The league still plans for training camp to begin on time, but has made no announcement on changes to the season or whether games will have fans.
Steelers Honor 2020 Graduates at Heinz Field
The Pittsburgh Steelers are showing love to the 2020 graduates that had their senior years cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team honored this year’s graduating class by displaying a congratulatory message on the scoreboard at Heinz Field Friday night.
You worked hard.— Heinz Field (@heinzfield) May 30, 2020
You did your best.
You gave it your all.
You earned this.
Congratulations to the class of 2020! pic.twitter.com/bzykmUF6u7
A few current and former Steelers players also voiced their support on social media, including running back James Conner, defensive end Cam Heyward and retired defensive end Brett Keisel.
“Keep focused, keep chasing your dreams,” Conner said. “I know 2020’s been a wild year, but just stay focused, stay locked in. I know you guys are all going to go and accomplish great things.”
Congratulations to the graduates of the Class of 2020!— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) May 29, 2020
Tonight at 8:20 pm, we honor you by displaying a special congratulatory message on the videoboard at @HeinzField!@JamesConner_ | @CamHeyward | @bkeisel99 pic.twitter.com/HaG5SVofNi
Students across the Pittsburgh area have been forced to finish the school year from home, and have unfortunately had to miss out on some of life’s biggest milestones, such as prom and graduation day.
It’s great to see the Steelers doing their part to make students feel celebrated and recognized.