Daniel McCullers to Start, AFC North Favorites, Slow Starts


The Steelers will try to rebound from what was quite possibly their worst loss of the season against the New York Jets and go on the road for a Monday night matchup against the Tennessee Titans. While they prepare to move forward we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Friday, Nov. 14th.

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Big Dan’s first start

The big guy is getting his first start of his career. Teresa Varley tells us that rookie NT Daniel McCullers will make his first NFL start for the injured Steve McLendon on Monday night against the Titans. McCullers had been inactive for most of the beginning of the season but has played increased snaps in the last few games. Steelers fans are certainly hoping to see if McCullers, at 6’7”, 350lbs, can be that immovable object at nose tackle the Steelers defense has been missing since the days of Casey Hampton.

Who you got?

Each team in the AFC North has taken a turn holding the lead in the division. At this point in time, the top spot currently belongs to the Cleveland Browns, for the first time in this part of the season since before Johnny Manziel was even born. ESPN’s “experts” took turns picking which of the four teams they think has the best shot to have the top spot in the division when it counts the most, at the end of the regular season. Kevin Seifert and Mike Sando both think the Steelers have what it takes to beat out the rest of the AFC North, while Matt Williamson gives a slight edge to the Ravens, but says Pittsburgh is right behind. Seems most are jumping off of the Bengals’ ship since their record of 2-3-1 since their bye week has them looking more on the decline than any other team. Those same experts aren’t jumping off of the Steelers’ ship in spite of the recent loss to the Jets.

Pick up the pace

If the Steelers want to avoid another let down against Tennessee on Monday night, they’d be best served to get out to a fast start, according to Ray Fittipaldo of the PPG. The Steelers have trailed early in eight of ten games and been outscored 60-33 in the first quarter. On Sunday against the Jets, they fell behind 17-0 rather quickly. Trailing early hasn’t always been the kiss of death for them, as they were able to overcome early deficits against Houston, Indy, and Baltimore but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t benefit from being the first team to strike instead of starting from behind more often.