The Curtain Call, Part 2: Will the Steelers double-dipping of Aggies spread nothing but joy?
All right ladies and gentlemen time for the second. Half of the curtain call Once again my name is michael beck. Joined us always by jeffrey benedict. Jeffrey what do you think of the to texas guys are are you. Are you excited about about their presence or are they two guys that you were expecting to go in the fourth round her. What's your kind of vibe. When these two guys authur with buddy johnson. I think he did a great job. Talking funny johnson and really So people in the live chat were saying but he sounds like they're saying he sounds like a more athletic version of events williams and that's what we were saying on this show. What of the steelers need. They need vince williams but more athletic as of this. This young guy is gonna come in and beat that kind of a player right. He's that kind of a player and he's gonna have bins williams and i no doubt mike tomlin vents. Like get into this kid's head what it means to be a steelers linebacker Somebody did an article talking about and they talked events williams about it about what it meant and what he would he first came to the steelers of what was taught to him by veterans by former players The quotes from people like like talking. About how vince williams is carrying that steeler linebacker attitude of just go in there and be like the biggest dog in the on the field. Beat that dude. It just goes in there and takes the will out of the other team. I think you're gonna see my column. Pull vincent say hey you get that into this kit. Because he has that ability he has that kind of mentality so unexcited. I i love the idea of him. because he's he is the guy we wanted like we know about him. At the time we really into buddy johnson but as we look into him he is exactly what we wanted to sealers to get for that inside linebacker spot so i'm excited about him I don't think he'll be you know a big time player in his first year But i think he is. He is the future to go along with devon bush and it's very exciting tandem. Those to the idea of those two right now As dan moore gotta agree with like agree with that would like dan moore. Is this guy. That's got wonderful traits. That you like. He's got a temper temperament that you want. But they're stuffy needs to work on right so you're going to have to get him in coach him mop you know. Give him a shot. Yeah exactly if you just have the guys in the right scheme. I i think that's really all task for Before we continue on. Though i really. I really want to go back to step back here. just your genuine thoughts are you at all a fan of the pittsburgh penguins and hockey in general. Yeah i'm a much more casual fan crazy into stats and film with football hockey. I just like to watch a game now. Of course for everyone listening at this point that you probably already know. The penguins have been eliminated from the playoffs. So i do. I do apologize from the bottom of my canadian. Heart for that but Do you think this is a little snake bit and right now when it comes to to play offs because of course the steelers. They've only one. What three playoff games as past decade The penguins of course they won a couple cups but since then have struggled a bit in the playoffs. Do you think the city snake bit nerves. do you believe in curses. I wouldn't say it's a curse. I think you know the the really the truly special teams and the truly special players are kinda hard to come by Penguins got a little spoiled with lows. Four top three picks in four years there with a flurry bulkin crosby and jordan stall So we i think more than anything. we're kinda spoiled in pittsburgh With everything but baseball and it's just kind of normal like guys get older. The players it really fit with these guys are gone. And guy. Got stars trying to rebuild. You're trying to rebuild something that's that's fleeting you know it's it's constantly moving on and guys are constantly getting older. You know players aren't what they used to be latonya bulk and they're not the guys they used to be right. They can't do it all season so for me. this is. this is kind of what you get. This is what you get when guys start getting older. You know what we'll get back to back to football here. But i will say being a fan of the vancouver canucks say it could be a whole heck of a lot worse. You cannot be watching hockey at all. That seems to be The plate of my hockey team. But i guess the big news of the week of coarser were an organized team activities. Now basically There's a few storylines that are worth the following. Is there one that jumps off paper off the paper right now to you that you're most interested in watching over. The course of these are kind of a padded air quotes but padded practices. referee is. There's no receivers like your genes. Insure film of ben rothlisberger there. And he's thrown. Who's heathrow into. Oh it's another running back. It's another depth tight end. Like he's throwing luck he's throwing the ball downfield two guys wide receivers. It's cracking me up. It's just it's ota's it's it is what it is and i guess when you really don't have you know all your all your mind. Receivers were here last year. There's no rookie. So you know they. They could pretty much do what they want. They don't have to show up But i'm it's otas more than anything there on the field right for me. This is actually happening. We're getting news that the nfl is going to be at full capacity for the whole season. Like just it's absolutely phenomenal. And i absolutely love that. It's really back like football is really back we're going to have an actual offseason and that's huge to me for this season. It's huge because we can have a last year. We got a super chat here in the live. Chat from aa puts nineteen ninety nine in the tip jar. Thank you so much for that. That's a huge tip. He says for a long suffering cannot fan and his co host. Who has to list when we get off air. There's a lot of complaining so jeffrey deserves that. W if you if you have a question make sure to throw it in there I'll get to that as well I i guess kind of one of the story lines that i've kind of been watching Since the start of ota's nausea harris. He's getting a ton of coverage who when you look across really all the rookies in the nfl. Not sure there's one player that gets post post more than nausea harris. When you're looking across social media any form of media really he's kinda the the the the name everyone just been jumping towards. But what do you think of Nausea hairs nausea hair. Show is the preview of a player. That's about to go on a offensive rookie of the year type. Terror is this. Is this an exciting time. what's your vibe with nashi harrison. Ota's ninety harrison the star of the show he really is I mean ben roethlisberger's and is eight hundred season You know everyone's i guess the the luster off after last year of the offense like it's crazy to think that when when you know. We spent a lot of time as a as offense offensive scoring pretty good about a points. until we weren't. I should caveat that we worked for a while and then we weren't An offense it showed promise and then really fell apart. I guess the best way to put it. You know no one from that offense really good right now. No one's there. You're not sitting there looking at him saying that's the dude you know that's the do that we're excited to see this year is how that player develops no. It's all najji. it's all ninety harris like we've we've got to get back to the run game okay. Run game was just awful last year. worse i mean. We were thirty secular worse than it is. I like to tell people We were top ten through five weeks so so not only we were the worst. We were were bad enough. The worst that we dropped from top ten to the worst and at eleven games We we were there before the eleventh game before that last game two. It was bad so he is. He's the guy you know. He is what we're gonna watch it. If nauseous running then mission accomplished we ever run game. And that's the key. We've been looking at to get ben to play better. When does ben played better when we have a run game. When there's a threat pool in those those linebackers up into run defense. It will now now. He can throw those routes that he couldn't throw last year because linebackers were starting to. You know six seven yards off. The line of scrimmage is being like you can't run we're not we're coming up there. We don't care so i really think he is the biggest he might be the biggest draft pick fan expectation and excitement. Sense ben rothlisberger. I mean anyone else bigger than him in that time. I don't think anyone has been this exciting. And that time yen with najjar harris in. Here's kind of brief couple practices that we've got to see some clips i will say is the offensive skill player outside of harris that has looked kind of like jumped off the paper the most thus far is anthony mcfarland. Who like when you're watching some of these drills. He looks a really fast which is exactly the kind of change of pace back. I think you'd want to have when you have nausea harris In front of you. Are you expecting a bit of a step here. In twenty twenty one for anthony mcfarland especially being perhaps the rb two i he fits that like what you like you said i think he really fits the change of pace. You want for nausea harris matt canada's taken over the offense mcfarland when his one season at maryland He started off playing wingback. He was doing jet sweeps and he was the receiver he was. He was catching passes. Downfield steelers i mean the steelers through downfield pass to him on. What was it a fourth and one something like that through. It was like a wheel yards. Yeah and they throw downfield to. He's going to see that like if he's the number two running back he's going to get action and this offense he will get some some place he will get some stuff drawn up for him because if he has that speed he's a mismatch and now he's had a year in the nfl last year. I can't even imagine trying to transition. From you. know the end of the season. He had where he was banged. Up at the end of the season mcfarland of his college season any goes in to the pros. And there's not as there's no training at the facility you're on your own you got like your rookie signing bonus but that's it that's the only money you've gotten like is going to be hard for those guys especially in a new town you've gotta find people to train with you. Got find stuff to do to have the whole season to be an pittsburgh. No the offense. Nobody's getting into and have an actual real season to train and prepare a think. This could be a very big season. France before i could see him having a pretty good job. I guess to play devil's advocate on that side. As long as mike tomlin is the head coach. I'm not going to suggest that the running back who's gonna get to me carries. It just goes kind of against his core beliefs really since john bell. Even james conner. If there's been a bell cow back they're getting the ball and they're going to get at a ton of. Would you agree with that or would you still say anthony. Mcfarland should take off this year. I think you're gonna see a little bit of a difference because what you saw with like levy on bell wise when they put in the angela williams you had to change your run blocking. You don't wanna do that in the middle of the series. You really wanna do that like okay. This game this series. We're going to run block differently and the next year is we're going to run block for this other guy and we're going to switch back. That's that's rough to do an offensive line. So we saw mostly like levy on and angela williams both have good numbers but it was because that would miss some games and then the offense would change like they change how they blocked With with connor. These other guys are too similar. Like benny styling. James conner are too close together for me. Harris if mcfarland is making place. He's going to keep getting the ball. He's going to get chances if he is not gaining yards if he is not making the most of his chances then you're not going to write. It's like last season. Benny snow when he comes in as a change of pace guy as a backup dwelling games where he only carried the ball like ten times or less. His average was under two yards per carry when carried it more than fifteen times it was. It was pretty good. You know for for better offense was it was. It was pretty good. It was up there with james conner numbers. So he wasn't that guy. They tried to let farley be that guy that didn't work out in your one We'll see your to i. But i think it all depends on the value. You're getting from him if he's gaining yards if he's baking place he's going to get a chance to play. We saw the same thing In twenty nine hundred and carrots white would come in and when it was benny snell white white would get carries. Because he was bright he had the speed and benny snell did not so it worked and they would they would use both of them so i i think he's got a good chance to get to get some decent carries while nauseous plane. You mentioned benny snell. Of course the way this kind of running back. Rooms kind of shaping up It seems like he'll probably be the defendant of third back. Do you think a chance. He doesn't make this team or is Is this is this. The end of the line for benny snell or are they going to keep them around. Just to be a depth piece. I think benny snell is pretty much alaka. Partly because we're going to be running a lot of inside zone even outside zone. Benny snell is zanny cells zone runner so i think he will fit with matt. Canada's run style. A little better than he did of with what we run under any feet ner. 'cause james conner james conner and benny snell had different kinds of reads it. None of the offense fit really really fit. What either of them did well. So i think i think now fits better. What matt candidate does so he would be. Kind of the re- dodgy replacement like if nause's missing a game or they wanna limit carries. Then it's time for you know good old. Benny snell football benny snell. Benny no jets as one former host used to say all the time but anyway When it comes. I'm gonna put you on the spot for a second year because we didn't discuss this but in the spirit of a surprise cut. Would you say there's anyone on this team that you could point and be like. I wouldn't be surprised if this guy didn't make the team after training camp and some of that could potentially could potentially either be playing a decent amount or could be on the chopping block. Is there one name that pops out to you as a potential kite. Yeah as much as i just thought. I think he's lock. It would be benny snell. Anyone if anyone's going. That's who i would expect to be the one to go But in my mind that would take some serious serious game from jalen samuels kaelin ballads. Really stepping up in kind of taken that job from him. And then he's expendable. I think if i'd give you a name. Just because how many defensive lineman the steelers of added. Maybe chris warmly. Of course he got that to deal but a draft is allowed or milk. Who knows what the guys behind him. it it seemed like he got that deals more specifically because tyson al din originally get one from the steelers. That's why i kind of saw them going right back warmly. But it'll be interesting. i. I'm not really banking on too many surprise cuts but like you said snell could be one or perhaps if some crazy free agent that we weren't expecting to come down the pipeline. I suppose if that were to happen Than they might they might be in the mood to move off of someone to bring someone else in but with those moves it a wait-and-see thing one of the bigger storylines though here in training camp. Ota's rather tease me Ben rothlisberger showing up and going through all these reps. You think this is a big deal should chewy. Make something of this. Typically something ben roethlisberger would be showing up to. yeah. I think he saw last year. How he didn't have you know chemistry with his receivers. he didn't have that developed. he could skip. T. as come back and throw the ball antonio brown like it didn't matter antonio brown and ben rothlisberger for several years. they're probably could've skipped. Most of training camp showed up one and torch teams And then all of a sudden he's gone if got diontae johnson James washington and chase claypool. Ben hasn't thrown much to either any of those guys before last season much at all and there's growing pains there and there's drops and there's issues with the game so i think you're seeing ben rothlisberger realize what i have the opportunity now to have this offseason and he's kind of seeing the value of it last year when they didn't have it and how much it costs him the other quarterback in camp right now. That is drawing a lot of attention. Of course they're all they're currently at. Ta's but dwayne haskins his first time wearing black and gold practice stepping on the field. What are your thoughts on him like. Have you seen any hopes to him. Throwing the ball or are you excited about. This guy could could he. Could you actually have something here. I am not going to be excited about about any quarterback during during like drills like if you if you can't throw a ball down the field to a receiver who's not covered and who's just running like if you can't do that then then you shouldn't be in the nfl I mean different higest. Do that fine. Paxton lynch looked good when he didn't have defenders on field so so. I'm not gonna get excited about quarterbacks till preseason. I'm incredibly excited that we have we have still have four preseason games. We got that extra game in a season where we have a dwayne haskins. 'cause he's gonna get some serious time And i always hated because at the end of the games that used to be the steelers at the end of the at the end of the preseason game you get landry jones in there and it'd be like well we going to say. Oh you know you get excited like oh maybe one of these death wide receivers is going to be something and didn't have enough a chance to catch the ball because landry jones was terrible and then we now have legit guys can at least in preseason they can be like dominate the fourth quarter of a preseason game dwayne haskins and mason rudolph they both have wins as starters in the nfl either plaited the fourth quarter of a preseason game. They should be lightened. People up excited for that. That's going to be fun. It will be on. I agree it's going to be one of those battles. I think you're going to be really fun to watch throughout training camp when it comes to position battle. so what. What are you most excited for. A move through this offseason process and get through many camps and Eventually training camp. What's what are the most exciting training camp position battles cornerback. I'm very excited. I talk him up all time. But james pier i really. I really wanna see what he can bring in a second season because his film from his first season was incredible and you know obviously. Nfl offenses will get to see what he did. Maybe figure out where his weaknesses are. Maybe it was a little bit of you know. We'll test this guy but we don't really know what he's good at what he isn't so we'll just kind of avoid him but he looked good. I want wanna see him play on see how that plays out and those contests because that's actually for playing time to Dan moore is a big one. I'm watching 'cause man. I want to see him play because tooks a core four year. Know what you're getting in the run game with jukes right. He's he's a he's a decent kind of outside zone blocker. And that's about it you know. He's he's he's passable kelvin beecham. You know you're going to get what you get from him. It's not terrible but it's not the guy you want. Run blocking out there at tackle. So dan more puts a lot of hope in the same if he is a tackle and he is a guy that can actually you know either. Be the swing tackle this year on the takeover next year or even come in at some point in the season in kinda take that job. Dan warriors is a big one kendrick green to i. I think he's gonna win that. But that is an actual battle and bj any so that's another one on half power but i'm kidding i see a lot of people live chat the the circus's laugh. I love that I see a lot of people in the live. Chat bringing the punter if firstly harvard. Third doesn't win that job. I would be befuddled. Goodness me Outside of that. I think i'm excited to see how the wide receivers can jimmy themselves In terms of what position they will play within the receiving core. I think there's a lot of reasonably that's still up for grabs. What spot each guy will play Just based on the way some the receivers talking so that will be something. I'm excited watching outside of that. There really isn't too many position battles. Of course it you got. I guess that third quarterback slot. Whether or not dwayne haskins to some of the steelers risk on the practice squad. Or what have you so. I guess that's kind of interesting to watch but it really isn't too too much other than what you've already expressed. I guess to move on for possibly the last question of the show here. I'm thinking more specifically about the second year players. They're kind of getting a little bit of love here. S especially today on social media. Those being chase claypool alex highsmith who came into in in a camp jack out of his mind at a story run on the website today with the alex smith putting onto mass kevin dawson who also looks shredded for guard. He looks ready to take over the starting duties. And then of course. Anthony mcfarland like we talked about earlier Who looks impressively fast cabinet as well as some other guys. What carlos davis brian ethnic davis's Safety that i can't remember black. Doorway no no from the year before from junior. Anthony brooks junior antoine. ross junior. We got there we did it. I'm proud of us good for us. Which second year player is going to take the biggest step in two thousand nine hundred twenty one. It took to get there but we got to the question of the biggest step. Yeah ooh because chase claypool is going is going to be phenomenal He he ten eleven touchdowns last season including rushing. Yeah like eleven. that's that's like it's hard to take a step up from that. Like it's legitimately difficult to take a significant step up from a from a double digit touchdown season I'm gonna go with alex moments. Does he is. He is definitely stepping up. And he's gonna he's gonna produce over there. He's going to be productive player. I would agree with that. You're not getting sexy. Stats out of a guard. Even though i think dawson will be on dawson. Feast like you said. With claypool like a touchdown wise it would be really a challenge for him to improve on what he did. I think yardage reception wise. I think he'll take step. But alex smith is do. He's gonna play a ton and obviously he's in better shape that he wasn't bad shape last year but i think he'll be better against the run We know he's to let me pass rush move. I think he could also take a pretty substantial step forward in twenty twenty one but as we approach the top of the hour. here jeffries or anything you want to plug before we sign off actually can i can i. Can i divert the show. And you mentioned the wide receivers and positioning. I want to throw this out really quickly here. they're talking about juju smith schuster playing on the outside more and what immediately triggered to me was watching candidate system in his offense they he uses a tight ends running backs wingbacks fullbacks and smaller faster slot receivers like a guy like pit quadri hundred henderson in that slot receive a role which is very different than what the steelers started doing under todd haley Where the z receiver. Kind of with richard. Manuel zero receiver becomes the slot slides into the slot. And there's a guy goes outside of him like a james washington. Mark davis bryant would go outside of juju even when randy fichtner took over. That's gone that's not going to be how the wide receivers work in mac canada's offense as you're probably going to see juju running the z and that not turn into the slot that's guy staying out there So that's going to be very interesting change to this. Offense is the johnson in the slot. How how is that gonna work out. I'm a big big fan of chase claypool being the ex receiver I you know we used. We used to use antonio brown there I think chase claypool was at his best in that spot and kind of diontae johnson in the slot moving around a bit more So it'll be interesting to see what they do. But i did want. I did want to bring that up because it is a different way. These wide receivers are going to be used and it is going to be interesting when they actually do show up for mandatory minicamps to watch how they line up what they're doing. What kind of routes they're running Because this is a different offensive is going to use those wide receivers and a little bit different ways. That's just great stuff outside of that though anything you wanna put back to. you know. Just dropped David i just dropped a vertex on the inside linebackers. Last week we did. You know. Comparing avery williamson at the end of the season with a devon bush wasn't the most fair comparison to make for poor avery williamson. He wasn't that bad. But you know he's not having bush This week we're talking about the guys. We talked about the guys across from devon bush. Robert splaine vince williams. Comparing them what they bring a check that out. It's always good and i'm working on. I'm doing some pieces on canada's offense for alphonsus from college where i'm just taking a single play and breaking down what he does. I've got another one coming this week on a win. I've actually got to do it. Maybe early next week. It goes and we will love it when that content gets here aside from that. I just want to remind people to click over to behind the curtain dot com of course. Ota's who were compiling a mega list of all the stuff that's dropping every single day so make sure you're clicking order behind the curtain dot com for and getting that roundup outside of last thing i want to remind people of make sure you're checking out the the secondary am shows. You can find those wherever you get your classic podcasts from apple podcasts or spotify pandora what have you We are running a contest where there is an article on behind the steel curtain dot com explaining all the rules but basically you are waiting for a secret code Plays and you have to listen to every single. Am show from monday to friday this week. That's the three Let's rides the monday wednesday friday version. My live mike. From tuesday and dave scofield's stack which of course drops on thursday. So make sure your chicken those out and getting that secret code Winsome sweet free merged from breaking teas and behind the steel curtain. So make sure your law. You're you're locked in for all of that and get yourself some sweet steelers stuff which we all know. We need more of being steeler fans but with all that being said. My name is michael. Back in for my co host jeffrey benedict. Thank you for tuning. We'll see guys next time.