Steelers Digest

Steelers Digest

June 2020

Steelers Digest is the official fan publication of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each issue provides game previews, inside information, award-winning columns and features, and complete statistics. Steelers Digest is published 8 times a year throughout the NFL regular season, playoffs and Super Bowl.

United States
Dollard Publishing Company
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8 Issues

in this issue

6 min.
for a draft class to succeed the picks have to be a good fit

Draft choices are a lot like suits, because even the best material ultimately will be displeasing if the fit isn’t right. The following is a look at how the Steelers’ Class of 2020 fits into its existing roster: WIDE RECEIVER CHASE CLAYPOOL When it comes to NFL wide receivers it has become wise to view them as offensive linemen, because while individual talent is important, it’s how those individuals complement each other to form a unit that can make the offense special. The decision to spend their second-round pick (49th overall) on Chase Claypool was a move by the Steelers to add a complementary piece to the young receivers already on the roster, with the idea of providing Ben Roethlisberger with a more complete set of weapons. It would be easy to look at JuJu…

6 min.
virtual offseason: global pandemic forces steelers to adjust program

ASSISTANT EDITOR Technology has come a long way, but never did Steelers’ players think technology would come so far that their offseason would be a virtual one. While it obviously wasn’t by choice, it was the only way to go once the COVID-19 pandemic hit and kept players away from team facilities for workouts. On a regular basis, players and coaches have met this offseason via Zoom, an app many players didn’t even know existed before March. “It was cool, an experience,” said Steven Nelson of the virtual offseason to this point. “I am glad to be a part of it. It was a smooth transition. The coaches gave us information. The players gave feedback. It’s a combination of information. A lot of it was critiquing last season and helping guys understand how to…

6 min.
claypool will complement wrs already on the roster

ASSISTANT EDITOR If there is anyone who knows what Steelers’ second-round pick Chase Claypool can bring to his new team, it’s Notre Dame Coach Brian Kelly. “For me, his coach, what I have enjoyed more than anything else is somebody who had grown up and matured over his time at Notre Dame,” said Kelly. “He was mentored by some great players before him. They have really influenced him as well. As we got to 2019, he really emerged because he wanted to live up to that ability as well.” One word those at Notre Dame consistently associated with Claypool was “dependable.” He had 66 receptions for 1,037 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior season, and when needed most, he came through. “If you look at our games, when it was on the line,…

5 min.
highsmith added to provide much needed depth at olb

DIGEST CORRESPONDENT Let’s just jump ahead to the comparison we're going to run into in a few paragraphs anyway. Let’s just compare Steelers third-round draft pick Alex Highsmith to this other outside linebacker/edge rusher, an outstanding if not unheralded edge rusher by the name of Yannick Ngakoue of the Jacksonville Jaguars. HERE ARE THEIR RESPECTIVE NFL COMBINE NUMBERS: • Ngakoue: 6-2, 252, 32.5 arms, 4.75 40, 1.64 10, 34.5 vertical jump, 9-10 broad jump, 4.5 shuttle, 7.35 3-cone.• Highsmith: 6-3, 248, 33.1 arms, 4.70 40, 1.68 10, 33 vertical jump, 10-5 broad jump, 4.31 shuttle, 7.32 3-cone. AND THEIR FINAL TWO YEARS OF COLLEGE STATISTICS: • Ngakoue: 51 solo tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss, 19 sacks, 3 passes defensed, 2 forced fumbles.• Highsmith: 81 solos tkls., 40 tackles-for-loss, 18 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 4 forced fumbles. THEIR DRAFT POSITIONS: •…

16 min.
the execution of a virtual draft

EDITOR From the time Dan Rooney assumed day-to-day control of the Pittsburgh Steelers and hired Chuck Noll in 1969, stability has been a hallmark of this franchise. Three head coaches in the 51 seasons from 1969-2019. A belief that the best way to build a championship contending team is through the draft. Physical over finesse. There are other guidelines, some that border on commandments, and they are based on the singleness of purpose that began with the relationship between Dan Rooney and Chuck Noll. Since there are six Lombardi Trophies serving as proof of concept, this business model has survived the passage of time and the changes that came with it. Dan Rooney to Art Rooney II. Noll to Bill Cowher to Mike Tomlin. Bill Nunn, Art Rooney Jr., and Dick Haley…

2 min.
anthony mcfarland jr.

CAREER Finished third in school history with 6.7 yards per rush, ninth in Maryland history with six 100-yard rushing games, and 21st in Maryland history with 1,648 career rushing yards … Set the Maryland record for single-season rushing yards by a freshman (1,034). 2019 SEASON Appeared in 11 of 12 games, with 7 starts … Posted two 100-yard games (at Temple on Sept. 14 and at Michigan State on Nov. 30 … 11/30) … Ran for 134 yards on 8 carries including a 63-yard TD to put the Terps ahead, 16-13, in the final game of his college career at Michigan State … Was first Maryland player to have 7 rushing TDs in the first 6 games since Keon Lattimore in 2007. 2018 SEASON All-Big Ten Second Team … Appeared in all 12 games with…