335 episodes

Join the thick of the Pittsburgh Steelers Nation conversation with an entertaining podcast that taps into the very DNA of Pittsburgh's NFL team and its fiercely loyal fanbase, all from PennLive.com, Pennsylvania's leading online news source.

Steelers Update on Pennlive PennLive

    • Sports
    • 2.3 • 16 Ratings

Join the thick of the Pittsburgh Steelers Nation conversation with an entertaining podcast that taps into the very DNA of Pittsburgh's NFL team and its fiercely loyal fanbase, all from PennLive.com, Pennsylvania's leading online news source.

    Mason Rudolph is the Steelers’ starting quarterback in-waiting -- like it or not

    Mason Rudolph is the Steelers’ starting quarterback in-waiting -- like it or not

    Mason Rudolph and the Steelers have made clear what we long suspected – it’s just a matter of time before Mason is your Steelers’ starting quarterback. This, after the team re-signed Rudolph this off-season, and he stands as the only team QB under contract for 2022. It might not be nearly that long before Rudolph is taking snaps under center for real. That’s because current Steelers starter and future Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger is age 39 and entering his 18th season with the Steelers. No one knows how long he will last. Big Ben broke down coming down the stretch in 2020. This year, the NFL tacked on a 17th game, lengthening what is already the ultimate sport of attrition. All this means Rudolph’s wait to be anointed the once-and-future Steelers’ starter could be far shorter than fans think. So, the Steelers trotted out Rudolph this week after some OTA practices, as if to begin grooming him to take over the role as the face – and mouth – of the franchise. Largely, the assembled Steelers’ scribes seemed to buy it. Stories and tweets coming out of Mason’s media availability showed the press ready to roll over and revise Rudolph’s very shaky Steelers’ story. It is a ready-made script for a redemptive second chapter for Rudolph just as “our hero” prepares to rise to become the starter in Pittsburgh. But the NFL rarely offers Hollywood endings to uncertain passers at the most difficult position in all of sports. Still, the Steelers will give us this shotgun wedding with this shoo-in starter. Just like marriage, it will be for better or worse, till death – or divorce – do they part. All I can say is, speak now, or forever hold your peace, Steelers fans. I’ve rounded up all the revisionist reaction to Mason Rudolph in this reality-dose edition of your Steelers Update Podcast. And be sure to check out my PennLive column first thing Thursday. It will be packed, as always, with plenty of memes bringing this week’s Steelers’ saga to life. Now listen up! 
     
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    • 18 min
    Ben Roethlisberger commits to plenty of play action in new Steelers’ offense

    Ben Roethlisberger commits to plenty of play action in new Steelers’ offense

    Nothing short of a total Steelers’ offensive overhaul is underway in Pittsburgh. This comes right from the guy who’ll be pulling the trigger on the new attack – Ben Roethlisberger. New coordinator Matt Canada has big plans to have Big Ben back under center. There will be rollouts. There will be play action. There will be lots of movement – and a lot less shotgun and popgun that was both the Steelers’ offensive signature – and its ultimate undoing – last season. Roethlisberger, who’s had his share of sharp disagreements with offensive coordinators in the past, is saying all the right things right now. He’s willing to do all this and more in service of a Steelers’ Super Bowl. But the stats don’t lie about Big Ben preferring his “safe space” in the shotgun. So, is it Roethlisberger who is lying to himself about what he still can and cannot do? Ben swears he’ll move heaven and earth -- and move in the pocket -- to achieve the Steelers’ 7th Super Bowl trophy. Yet, there’s reason to doubt Roethlisberger and what could be the futility and failure of trying to teach old Ben new tricks at this late date. Only when bullets fly for real in the regular season will we know if Roethlisberger really is comfortable under center – or whether he’ll retreat back to the shotgun, where it’s safer. Ben’s mind may be willing. But is his body – and are those knees? Roethlisberger was plenty revealing in his post-OTA interview with the Pittsburgh media. We have all the best analysis of what the introspective QB is signaling about the Steelers’ season ahead. Plus, we take an emotional journey back to the ‘Cowher Power’ days of Bill Cowher with the release of the coach’s new autobiography, “Heart & Steel.” Inexplicably, the never shy ‘Chin’ shies away from a major Steelers’ chapter involving New England nemesis Bill Belichick. We tell you why, plus much more, in this sure-fire edition of your Steelers Update Podcast. 
     
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    • 17 min
    Steelers guarantee Najee Harris $13.1 million; it’s money well spent

    Steelers guarantee Najee Harris $13.1 million; it’s money well spent

    Careful observation the Steelers’ first OTA’s involving its new crop of rookies reveals the cornerstone upon which the 2021 season will rise or fall. On one side of the practice field, we glimpsed 39-year-old Ben Roethlisberger showing up and firing passes on the first day of these non-mandatory team activities. Video shows Big Ben zipping the ball. But he had thin air as the only defender breathing down his neck. In other words, what we saw was an illusion.  
    Reconstructive surgery on Roethlisberger’s throwing elbow forced Ben to alter his release and throwing motion last season. It didn’t do well because it’s not just his elbow. Roethlisberger’s knees are all but gone, too. The big-bodied quarterback once impossible to bring down can no longer generate power from his lower body to supercharge his passes. Roethlisberger’s once-signature long balls misfired. Big Ben was reduced to a pop-gun attack of short passes that defenders were batting down and snuffing underneath. Worse, the once-vaunted Steelers running game ground to a halt, too. It was a victim, at least in part, of an aging offensive line. The other problem was the lesser talent Pittsburgh had invested in the position. Enter first-round Steelers’ draft pick Najee Harris. He’s now the centerpiece of the Steelers’ attack. His churning legs, broad back, gifted hands and fleet feet will be the engine that powers the Steelers attack. Harris has been brought in to do nothing less than carry the load for Roethlisberger and the Steelers. Pittsburgh has always loved workhorse running backs. Najee, who scored 30 touchdowns in a single season in Alabama, will be pressed for similar sky-high production with the Steelers. So that $13.1 million fully guaranteed contract Harris just signed? It’s just the opening ante. Already Najee’s agent is signaling they’ll be coming back to the Steelers for far more much sooner than the four years of that rookie deal. After all, Harris’ Steelers workload will be insane. So much so, it threatens to curtail what is already the brutally short self-life of NFL running backs. Clearly, Najee and his negotiator aim to cash-in before the Steelers can grind their new rookie runner into the ground. If Harris is going to carry the Steelers, he’ll want to be paid – and paid again – before his own foundation starts to crack. Given the current state of the Steelers and Big Ben, it looks to be money well spent. In 2021, it will be giddy-up, Najee, as Steelers fans saddle up to enjoy the ride. I bring you more astute OTA observations – including the skinny on whether Big Ben’s diminishing skills are still enough for one last gasp – as smart Steelers’ scribes get their first glimpse at the 2021 team. This and much more in the still-mandatory edition of the Steelers Update Podcast. So, listen up! 
     
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    • 14 min
    Najee Harris poised to replace Ben Roethlisberger as ‘face of the Steelers’

    Najee Harris poised to replace Ben Roethlisberger as ‘face of the Steelers’

    Rookie running back Najee Harris isn’t just the new kid on the block, but a Steelers savior the likes of which we haven’t seen since Mean Joe Greene was installed as the cornerstone building block of all those 1970s Super Bowl teams. Najee was the guy Steelers Nation coveted in the draft. The Alabama basher and dasher fills a huge need after the Steelers, a team that once prided itself on running the football, just could not get it done in 2020. Meanwhile, Big Ben came up small in 2020, as his short-pass-crazy offense got stifled, and an 11-0 Steelers start disintegrated into one-and-done in the playoffs. In the ashes, Roethlisberger looked every bit his 39 years. Sure, Big Ben will be the Steelers’ starting QB for at least one more season. But as far as face of the franchise goes, it’s looking like a rookie running back will finally surpass Roethlisberger as the signature Steeler in the eyes of most fans. No one else has ever come close to besting Big Ben as Alpha Steeler. But this is a changing-of-the-guard season. And no Steelers’ rookie has been as heralded nor as well-positioned to steal the Steelers’ spotlight as Najee Harris is coming into 2021. It’s all there for Najee’s taking. He looks to be the guy to take it. And he’s not the only new Steeler looking to step up. We do a deep dive on the sky-high expectations, along with the more reality-based assessments, for what this new-look Steelers team is capable of this season. The first practices are in the books, and we have all the best analysis for what the future holds in this Pittsburgh prognostication edition of the Steelers Update Podcast. Listen up, Pittsburgh fans! 
     
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    • 13 min
    Steelers’ 2021 schedule presents huge challenges

    Steelers’ 2021 schedule presents huge challenges

    The Steelers shuffle off to Buffalo to face the playoff-built Bills in Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. It doesn’t get any easier from there, either. The Steelers are facing a brutal 2021 schedule regardless of how you slice and dice it. If you believe in stats, Pittsburgh is starring at an NFL gauntlet of games that ranks as the league’s most difficult. But it’s not only the opponents the Steelers face that spell trouble. It’s the way this particular team is built for this season that could deflate all that Pittsburgh playoff optimism yet again. I’m talking about assembling the 2021 Steelers around a past-his-prime Hall of Fame quarterback named Ben Roethlisberger. At 39, Big Ben increasingly doesn’t resemble the once-mobile, nearly impossible-to-bring-down passer that has earned him HOF enshrinement. With Big Ben under center, all Pittsburgh could muster last season was a pop-gun attack built around Ben’s short, quick throws from the pocket. It literally got batted down, and the Steelers were one-and-done in the playoffs, with the Browns showing them the exit. Ouch! This year, the Steelers are betting that a revamped running game built on the back of rookie Najee Harris and road-graded by a rejuvenated offensive line offers the best chance for Ben’s swansong of a season to end successfully. But the biggest hurdle preventing such a story-book Steelers’ ending will those chapters – i.e. games -- that fall between Thanksgiving and New Years’. Far from being festive, this is precisely the pivot point where good teams rise and pretenders fall away. If past is prologue, Pittsburgh and its playoff aspirations could be in real trouble. And this was before the NFL gauntlet was extended by an additional, 17th game. It will be that much harder for Ben and the boys to keep it all together in 2021. Sure, Roethlisberger will give it everything he has on last time. We know that. We just don’t know what maximum effort from Big Ben’s depleted tank will look like – and whether it’s anything close to what it used to be. Only time – and that brutal slate of a 2021 Steelers’ schedule, will tell. Check out the podcast for much more game-by-game analysis in this highly scheduled edition of the Steelers Update Podcast. And be sure to catch Thursday morning’s column on PennLive. It will be packed with plenty of memes that perfectly capture the challenge presented by each of Steelers’ contests comprising this intriguing 2021 season. 
     
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    • 17 min
    Marshawn Lynch on Najee Harris: ‘Freak of nature’ could be NFL Rookie of the Year

    Marshawn Lynch on Najee Harris: ‘Freak of nature’ could be NFL Rookie of the Year

    National NFL pundits like ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. are poo-pooing Pittsburgh picking Najee Harris in the NFL draft. But one guy who knows what it takes to really roll in this league insists the Steelers just might have landed themselves the 2021 Offensive Rookie of the Year. Lynch, who’s now Najee’s agent, absolutely gushed about ‘his big, tall son’, saying “physically, he’s a G.D. freak of nature. I could see him putting up numbers. I would love to see him, you know, Rookie of the Year-type stuff. Like, you feel me?” The Steelers definitely do. But Pittsburgh broke the Cardinal Rule against drafting a running back in the first round. And they passed on making a big play on a passer, such as Ohio State’s Justin Fields, who went to the Chicago Bears at pick 11 after a blockbuster trade-up. Pick 11 – sound familiar? That’s precisely the point at which Pittsburgh landed Big Ben Roethlisberger all those seasons ago. Now Ben and the Steelers have come full circle, with Roethlisberger in the twilight of his Hall of Fame career, if not the final season. In picking Najee, the Steelers might have fixed their pop-gun ground attack that reached an unheard of low in 2020. But they failed to secure the franchise’s future. Running backs, even those selected in the first round, aren’t built for the long haul. Instead, this team is built for right now. The Steelers may run out of the gate with a bang in 2021, but they’ll wither with a whimper until they find their next franchise quarterback. Hear more thought-provoking takes on what the Steelers did and didn’t do in the draft, all in this tough-grading edition of the Steelers Update Podcast. Also, be sure to check out my print column on PennLive first thing Thursday morning. It will be packed with plenty of memes perfectly mimicking the bi-polar post-draft mood in Pittsburgh. 
     
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    • 13 min

Customer Reviews

2.3 out of 5
16 Ratings

16 Ratings

okoe dokes ,

Good stuff but...

Your content is informative but it sounds like you’re doing way too much with your voice. It sounds like you’re doing a promo the whole time, pretty distracting.

Jzaffuto ,

Poor execution

I wanted to love this podcast. I love listing to pod casts, and I love the Steelers. I thought this would be a match made in heaven! But this was one of the most annoyingly frustrating podcasts Ive ever heard.. Listen man, your content is informative and really a great content driven podcast. But whatever producer told you to “emphasize” your words with these ridiculous inflections of your voice should be fired. Plain and simple. You could have a truly important podcast but the voice acting makes this unbearable to listen to.. You are turning fans off with the antics, switch it up and speak normally and you’ll see more positive reviews and gain more listeners.

Fans want a steeler specific podcast and you could be a great outlet for that, just need to improve and take the criticism as it comes!

hjwjswbjdvwrkfgeowifgqwdj ,

It’s an entertaining Steelers podcast to listen to

Honestly, the vocal delivery of the host reminds me of the comedian Lewis Black narrating .

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