Steelers Special Teams, Butler’s Help, Top Triplets


The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their OTAs on Thursday afternoon and will just have the mandatory minicamp remaining of their offseason workout program before they break for the summer. While they put the finishing touches on their pre-training camp preparations we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Saturday, June 13th.

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No big deal

In spite of the Steelers starting off the three weeks of OTAs with a two-point conversion drill in light of the new changes to the extra point in the NFL, the Special Teams unit is preparing business as usual. Max Cohen of the PPG explains that Steelers Special Teams Coach Danny Smith doesn’t see an issue for Steelers kicker Shaun Suisham to adjust to kicking the extra point at the 15-yard line as opposed to the 2-yard line.

"“The commissioner, the owners, the competition committee, they decided to change the rule, they felt a need to change that rule and I just coach the rules that were given. So honestly, we don’t fool with it, we don’t mess with it, I don’t spend time discussing it, we put it down on the 15 and we’re going to go kick it.” – Danny Smith"

Last season, Suisham was 6 for 6 for field goals kicked from 30-39 yards out so realistically there won’t be much adjustment needed from him to kick extra points from that distance. The rule change is intended to entice teams to go for two more often, bringing more elements of entertainment to an otherwise automatic play.

I think once the novelty wears off that most teams will end up not opting for two and going for their trusty kicker, as long as the weather is favorable.

With a little help from my friends

The main reason why no one expects major changes out of this year’s Steelers defense under new DC Keith Butler is that he worked under Dick LeBeau so long you can’t help but link the two together. But, as Mike Prisuta points out from Butler’s comments at the end of OTAs, Butler has a connection with Tomlin that might influence him more than people think.

"“Oh yes, I look for his input. I have known him for a long time. I know what he thinks for the most part. He worked with Tony Dungy (in Tampa). He learned a lot from Dungy. Dungy was a great coach. Coach Tomlin was a defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings. It would be foolish for me not to get advice or input from him when his expertise is defense.I don’t know everything there is to know about defense. I am going to make some stupid calls out there. I hope my players can cover up for me sometimes. I would be crazy and arrogant to think I could do this without other coaches’ help.” –Keith Butler"

Top Triplets

FWIW, ESPN’s Mark Schlereth thinks quite highly of the Steelers QB-RB-WR trio.

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