Steelers’ Seven Shots – Sunday, February 18, 2018

Every Sunday during the offseason I plan on recapping for you seven items related to the Pittsburgh Steelers and the rest of the NFL that may have fallen through the cracks the past week that should be worth your time to read. This weekly feature will be entitled “Steelers’ Seven Shots.”

Shot #1 – Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell turns 26 today. If Bell blows out candles on a birthday cake today he’ll surely be wishing for a new long-term contract from the Steelers by Tuesday, the first day of the annual franchise tag period. Bell stated several weeks ago that Feb. 20 was an artificial deadline of sorts for him to sign a new long-term deal.

Shot #2 – Just in time for Bell’s 26th birthday, Thomas Bassinger of the Tampa Bay Times has a post on why teams should be leery of signing Bell to a very lucrative long-term contract due to his age and the workload he received last season. Bassinger’s post is sort of similar to the post on did on Bell and the topic a few weeks ago.

Shot #3Matt Harmon, the Associate Fantasy Writer/Editor for, released his offensive line rankings from the 2017 season a few days ago based on a set of Next Gen Stats and the Steelers’ unit is in the eighth spot. The rankings are a result of pressures allowed and yards gained by a runner before close.

Shot #4NFL Network draft analysts Mike Mayock and Bucky Brooks both released their top 5 2018 NFL Draft prospects by position rankings this past week and when it comes to off-the-ball linebackers, a position the Steelers are likely to address early this year, you’ll see a few similarities. It’s worth noting, however, that Brooks uses rankings for inside and outside linebacker positions while Mayock uses a generic linebacker classification in addition to an edge rusher one.

Mike Mayock’s 2018 NFL Draft position rankings

Bucky Brooks’ Top 5 2018 NFL Draft prospects by position

Shot #5 – Does an NFL offense need to run to set up play-action? Ben Baldwin recently addresses that topic in a post for Football Outsiders and using stats from the last 7 years he shows that there’s no correlation between offenses that run more (or better) and their success on play-action passes.

Shot #6 – While it is a few weeks old now, it’s worth your time to read the story by Peter King of on Wristband 145, the play the Philadelphia Eagles ran in Super Bowl LII that confused the New England Patriots.

Shot #7 – Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown and rap superstar Drake recently took a Miami hotel housekeeper on a luxury shopping spree and you can read the details about that in this story by Chabeli Herrera and Joey Flechas of the Miami Herald. Along those same lines, Brown has a has a cameo in Drake’s new video for the song “God’s Plan” and you can see that below along with another video that the Steelers wide receiver posted on Twitter that shows some behind the scenes footage.