By Marc Lawrence – The Steelers were without a first-round pick in this year’s draft after trading what became the 18th overall pick in exchange for Minkah Fitzpatrick. It’s hard to think that they’re regretting that decision too much at this point. Fitzpatrick is still just 23, and he brought a much-needed dose of playmaking to the back end of Pittsburgh’s secondary. Over the first two weeks of the season, the Steelers ranked 27th in team coverage grade, but they improved to second from Weeks 3 to 17 after trading for Fitzpatrick. There was a lot of discussion of the Steelers going running back with their Round 2 selection, but they made the right call here by going with a player who can win downfield instead. Chase Claypool has a freakish physical profile at 6-foot-4 and nearly 240 pounds with a 4.42-second 40-yard dash and a vertical jump over 40 inches. He also made plenty of plays down the football field at Notre Dame in 2019, pulling in 16 receptions on passes thrown 20 or more yards downfield. For more on the Steelers draft and a composite review of their grade from 4 of the nation’s leading football authorities, click here.
This from NFL.com: The NFL has plenty of experience adjusting the schedule, and officials familiar with the league’s planning say looking at the past gives a good indication of what the league would do if changes are merited. The NFL postponed a week’s slate of games after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and added those games to the back end of the season, pushing back the postseason and the Super Bowl. When the New Orleans Saints couldn’t play at the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina, they went on the road, playing home games in San Antonio and Baton Rouge and even at Giants Stadium. When heavy snowfall collapsed the Metrodome roof on the weekend of a game in 2010, the NFL moved the game from Minneapolis to Detroit. And Hurricane Irma caused the postponement of the season openers for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins in 2017. They played that game in Week 11, when both teams were originally scheduled for a bye. In other words, everybody should be prepared to be flexible and open to unorthodox solutions this season.
Grinding Out The Profits
From the 2020 PLAYBOOK Football Preview Guide magazine: Some college football experts feel the Ohio U Bobcats could field its best team in the Frank Solich era (Ohio U’s season win total is 8.5 – the highest in the MAC). That will take some doing, however, with seniors having starting 68.2% of their games last year, the largest percentage in the nation. On the opposite side of the ladder, underclassmen started the third-fewest amount (9.8%) of starts last season, with nary a start by a freshman. Plus QB Nathan Rourke and his 10,000-plus passing and rushing yards is gone. They will be happy with a bowl bid, let alone getting to 9 wins to cash their season win total.