The Steelers will practice under the lights on Saturday night at Heinz Field, and even though fans will not be permitted in the stadium, it will be broadcast through the team’s TV and radio partners.
KDKA-TV will broadcast Saturday’s practice, with Bob Pompeani, Charlie Batch, Missi Mathews and Tunch Ilkin broadcasting from 6-7 p.m. WDVE-FM will be providing a radio broadcast, with Mike Prisuta and Tunch Ilkin on the air from 6-8 p.m.
The Steelers have traditionally had one of the most open-to-fans training camp experience in the NFL, with the majority of their practices at St. Vincent College near Latrobe open to the public and the team holding special night practices for the fans at Latrobe’s Memorial Stadium and at Heinz Field.
None of that has been able to happen this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the team has sought out ways to keep their fans engaged, broadcasting a portion of each padded practice through the team’s website.
Head coach Mike Tomlin also wants ways to create game-like environments for player evaluation in the absence of preseason games this year, and a regional television broadcast could be one way to do that.
“We will create a competitive environment,” Tomlin said on Wednesday. “The guys have a lot to do with that. The way they embrace the competitive practice atmosphere that we have aids in sorting some of those things out. Make no mistake, there’s many layers to that discussion and others. It’s a challenge that all of us globally are facing in this no preseason game environment.”
After three straight days of full practice from Monday to Wednesday, the team is off Thursday. They will return to work at Heinz Field on Friday afternoon before Saturday’s night practice.
Steelers, Zach Banner Donate to Tree of Life Synagogue
Offensive lineman Zach Banner and the Pittsburgh Steelers have pledged a donation to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill as part of the Steelers 2020 Social Justice Grant program.
The congregation was attacked during a mass shooting own Oct. 27, 2018 that killed 11 people and wounded six others, the deadliest attack ever on a Jewish community in the United States.
The shooting stuck with Banner, who was a rookie on the team at the time. After Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson made an anti-semitic post on social media, Banner responded with a video post.
“We need to understand that Jewish people deal with the same amount of hate and similar hardships and hard times,” Banner said in the video. “I want to preach to the Black and brown community that we need to uplift them and put our arms around them just as much when we talk about Black Lives Matter and talk about elevating ourselves.”
This video is to transition from the incident, and move forward as a community. Not to harp on @DeSeanJackson10 mistake, but to progress by educating ourselves. We can’t move forward while allowing ourselves to leave another minority race in the dark.#Equality pic.twitter.com/MnLnCCYzQL
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) July 8, 2020
The video led to Banner becoming something of a fan favorite to the Jewish community.
“Mr. Banner spoke up when others didn’t and we appreciate that,” Barb Feige, executive director of Tree of Life, said to Steelers.com “The fact that he mentioned Tree of Life and the horrific shooting that happened there and how much it impacted him was very meaningful. We are very aware the shooting had an impact beyond our congregation, our Jewish community. The ripple effect was felt. Everybody felt something about it. For Mr. Banner to articulate that, and join our fight against anti-Semitism, was very, very special, very meaningful.”
Report: Steelers to Interview Los Angeles Chargers QB Coach Pep Hamilton
The Steelers have requested to interview Los Angeles Chargers quarterbacks coach Pep Hamilton for their vacant offensive coordinator position, according to a report by Josina Anderson.
Hamilton, 46, just finished his first season as quarterbacks coach with the Chargers, where he helped develop rookie quarterback Justin Hebert, who was named the PFWA NFL Rookie of the Year.
Hamilton has previously been an offensive coordinator at the NFL level with the Indianapolis Colts from 2013-15, where he led a resurgence around quarterback Andrew Luck.
Hamilton was the head coach of the DC Defenders of the XFL in 2020, the assistant head coach and passing game coordinator for Michigan in 2017-18 and was assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach of the Cleveland Browns in 2016. He has also been an NFL assistant with the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears.
Hamilton is the third person confirmed to have interviewed for the position, along with former Cleveland Browns and Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and Steelers quarterbacks coach Matt Canada, who is expected to earn the position.
Steelers Players React to Signing of Dwayne Haskins
The Pittsburgh Steelers signed former first-round pick Dwayne Haskins on Thursday to a reserve/future contract, not quite a month after Washington released its one-time starting quarterback in the midst of a playoff push.
Haskins comes with baggage after an abysmal showing statistically in Washington and a reputation for not taking the game the seriously enough off the field that Haskins has admitted was at least partially deserved. He also still has all the talent that led him to being the No. 15 overall pick out of Ohio State in 2019.
That’s made the signing of Haskins somewhat controversial among the Steelers fanbase, weary of seasons of drama with the likes of Antonio Brown in the team’s locker room.
But the players on the current team seem excited about Haskins getting the chance to revive his career in black and gold.
We been talkin bout this … welcome to the family🙏🏾 https://t.co/9nKwhRnNQB
— Chase Claypool (@ChaseClaypool) January 21, 2021
“We don’t care how you got here…”
-Coach T says that to all of us rejected draft picks when you get to Pittsburgh…
Welcome Dwayne, it was nice to meet you today! https://t.co/kadXKI4N8t
— Zach Banner (@ZBNFL) January 21, 2021
Who did we just sign pic.twitter.com/5siOMYqAKG
— Vince Williams (@VinnyVidiVici98) January 21, 2021
Former Steelers linebacker and current Steelers Nation Radio analyst Arthur Moats also offered his positive opinion of the signing.
Happy Thursday from the Blitzburgh Videos:
— BlitzburghUSAVideos (@sdextrasmedia) January 21, 2021