The Steelers players head into the offseason for recovery and the coaches head out to prepare for free agency and the draft.
Steelers season never truly ends for Steeler Nation so while the offseason starts to heat up we’ll be busy looking for mentions of your Black & Gold so we’ve got you covered. Here’s your Steelers Morning Huddle for Wednesday, Feb. 24th.
Should we be looking for a kick returner?
It took two and a half seasons for the Steelers to realize that the Dri Archer experiment was a failure. He has since signed a futures contract with the New York Jets this offseason so it should be interesting to see if he makes a roster this year.
Incidentally the Steelers had to return to having their star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, returning punts and it always gives fans pause to see such a valuable part of the offense in such a vulnerable position to return punts.
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Bob Labriola explains that the Steelers won’t exactly seek out via the draft or free agency someone to specifically fill return duties, but if someone has those skills in their repertoire it does make them more attractive. He also noted that Brown has never been injured on a punt return (knocks on every piece of wood in arms reach) and neither did Antwaan Randle El when he was returning punts for the team.
Have to change
The Vontaze Burfict redemption tour has already started apparently. He sat down with an interview with ESPN’s Josina Anderson to attempt to sound contrite but he did actually come to the realization that he needs to change his style of play.
"“I play hard. Sometimes it gets me in trouble. My style of play is aggressive, and the game has changed, and I have to change with it, and that play right there, I think if I wasn’t number 55, I wouldn’t have got flagged.” – Vontaze Burfict"
I think what Burfict meant when he said that if he wasn’t No. 55 he wouldn’t have gotten flagged on the play that knocked Antonio Brown unconscious was that if he wasn’t already a dirty-ass player who needlessly attempted to injure players on a regular basis and hadn’t been trying to target Brown to take him out of the game the refs wouldn’t have paid extra attention to him and flagged him. I’m guessing.
NFLPA scores a win
Apparently the NFL owners tried to pull one over on the NFLPA and actually got called out on it. Mike Florio of PFT reports that the arbitrator, Stephen Burbank, ruled in favor of the NFLPA in deciding that the NFL hid cash away from what should have gone to player salaries.
As a result of the ruling, there will be an additional $2 million added to the 2016 salary cap. A cap that was projected to be in the $154 million range will now be in the $156 million neighborhood. An additional $2 million could do a lot for a team such as the Steelers with their offseason plans.