Steelers | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |
Sunday, October 6, 2019

Posted By on Sun, Oct 6, 2019 at 5:49 PM

click to enlarge James Conner waits to take the field inside the tunnel for introductions. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
James Conner waits to take the field inside the tunnel for introductions.

No, this isn't a general game story. If you're a Steelers fan, you know they lost a wild game in overtime filled with turnovers and injuries to the Baltimore Ravens.

Instead, I wanted to share the one of the best piece of photo advice I ever received: "Go where everyone isn't."

Every week, photographers shoot photos as players are introduced one by one and enter the field through a cloud of smoke. We're fairly limited as to where we can stand for these, and it's typically in less than ideal spots. Last week I was able to take a bad spot I was given and make something (thankfully). But this week, I wanted to try something different.

I went up into the stands early and found a spot that gave me a different vantage point as the players waited inside the tunnel. They aren't groundbreaking photos and they probably won't win any awards, but it feels good to see something different at an event I've covered dozens of times. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn't. But I had fun and met some wonderful fans in the process!

click to enlarge Alejandro Villanueva waits in the tunnel before being introduced. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Alejandro Villanueva waits in the tunnel before being introduced.

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Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Posted By on Tue, Oct 1, 2019 at 12:23 AM

click to enlarge Jaylen Samuels #38 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his second half touchdown. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Jaylen Samuels #38 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his second half touchdown.
Hopefully the Steelers season ends the same way their 27-3 win over the Bengals did on Monday night. Down 3-0 early to the Cincinnati Bengals following a fumble made it seem like Pittsburgh would continue its losing streak. Luckily the defense stepped it up and kept the Bengals from scoring while their offense slowly figured out how to move the ball down the field. Some timely sacks and turnovers coupled with a run game that opened up in the second half between James Conner and Jaylen Samuels gave the Steelers its first win of the season, improving to 1-3 on the year so far.

The Steelers next game will be at home on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens at 1 p.m.

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Sunday, September 15, 2019

Posted By on Sun, Sep 15, 2019 at 5:52 PM

click to enlarge Alejandro Villanueva #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sits on the bench in front of the cooling fans. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Alejandro Villanueva #78 of the Pittsburgh Steelers sits on the bench in front of the cooling fans.
The home opener for Pittsburgh started with an opponent most Steelers fans have good memories of — the Seattle Seahawks.

As a kid, I drove to Detroit with my mom in 2006 to be a part of the Super Bowl festivities. We didn't have tickets to the game, but that didn't keep us from enjoying everything else about it, especially the 21-10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

A much different team these days with Russell Wilson at the helm, the Steelers had a number of chances to pull out the win, but between Ben Roethlisberger giving the ball to backup quarterback Mason Rudolph for the entire second half due to injury, and the defense not able to contain the mobile quarterback on the other sideline, the team simply ran out of time for a comeback resulting in a 26-28 loss.

Pittsburgh plays at San Francisco for a 4:25 p.m. EST game next Sunday before returning home to play the Bengals for an ESPN Monday Night Football game.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

Posted By on Sun, Dec 30, 2018 at 9:18 PM

click to enlarge Terrell Edmunds #34 watches the Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens game on the big screen following their 16-13 win against the Cincinnati Bengals. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Terrell Edmunds #34 watches the Cleveland Browns vs Baltimore Ravens game on the big screen following their 16-13 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In my 10th season shooting NFL games, I've never encountered a situation like what transpired at the end of the Steelers vs Bengals game.

With their playoff hopes in the hands of the Cleveland Browns, who had to defeat the Baltimore Ravens, about half of the team stayed on the field, along with thousands of fans, to watch the other game finish on the big screen. Terrell Edmunds was the first I saw, who held his hands up. Then T.J. Watt, who stood with coaches. Other players sat on their helmets on the field. But they were all glued on every move by Baker Mayfield and the Browns offense as they made their way down the field with less than two minutes remaining. A close catch. A review. It kept everyone on pins and needles through Heinz Field even though the game they were there for had been over for ten minutes. Then JuJu Smith-Schuster walked to the other side of the field and watched the game with two members of the team the Steelers had just defeated 16-13.

As the Browns went for it on 4th down, Mayfield threw an interception. Game over. Fans left and JuJu made his way to the tunnel. There's still a slim chance that the Steelers make the playoffs, as I write this, if both teams in the Sunday Night Football game tie. But I think Lloyd Christmas had a better chance with Mary Swanson.

Thanks for following along all season with my coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I hope to bring you more sports coverage in the coming months and wish everyone a Happy New Year!


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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Posted By on Sun, Dec 16, 2018 at 9:07 PM

click to enlarge Joe Haden intercepts a fourth quarter pass by Tom Brady. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Joe Haden intercepts a fourth quarter pass by Tom Brady.

For the first time all season, the Pittsburgh Steelers elected not to do individual player introductions against the New England Patriots.

Typically the starters from either the offense or defense will be announced one at a time and make their way through the fog and the fancy lights while pumping up themselves and the crowd before kickoff. And I was ready. On my stomach, waiting for some dramatic images. But nothing happened. I can only speculate but I'm going to assume that this type of pregame hype wasn't warranted against a team that was 2-11 all-time against Tom Brady coming into today's game. Perhaps they felt as if both sides of the ball equally needed to contribute to this game in order for them to come out of it with a win.

But win they did. 17-10. And they did it without starting running back, James Conner who remains injured. Rookie backup, Jaylen Samuels, finished the game with 19 carries and 142 yards.

We'll see if head coach Mike Tomlin keeps with the winning tradition for the last home regular season game of the season, Dec. 30 against the Cincinnati Bengals. The team has one more hurdle in their way, the New Orleans Saints, on Dec. 23.

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Monday, December 3, 2018

Posted By on Mon, Dec 3, 2018 at 1:19 AM

click to enlarge Brothers Derek Watt (left) and T.J. Watt (right) trade jerseys postgame. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Brothers Derek Watt (left) and T.J. Watt (right) trade jerseys postgame.


Even in a tough loss for Pittsburgh Steelers fans, family is more important than football. Tonight marked the head-to-head matchups for two sets of brothers, T.J. & Derek Watt, as well as twins Maurkice and Mike Pouncey. Sure, the calls on the field were quite terrible and the local team lost 30-33 in the final seconds on the third attempt of a field goal. But seeing the smiles and love shared at the end of the game, makes you realize that family will be with you much longer than the game. And in the holiday season and the first night of Hanukkah, it seemed only fitting to be reminded of that.

The Steelers record is now 7-4-1 and will play at the Oakland Raiders on December 9th at 4:25pm.

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Friday, November 9, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 12:50 AM

click to enlarge Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is lifted into the air by Vance McDonald following McDonald's touchdown. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is lifted into the air by Vance McDonald following McDonald's touchdown.
Hours before Antonio Brown flew down the sideline, he was clocked going 100mph down McKnight Road in his Porsche. He and the entire Pittsburgh Steelers team never took their foot off of the pedal in their game against the Carolina Panthers. Tonight's game set the NFL record this season for most points scored and Pittsburgh did it at will. Five touchdowns for Ben Roethlisberger, all to different receivers, put him in sole possession of 7th place all-time with 350 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh improves to 6-2-1 and will travel next to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars on November 18th for a 1pm game.

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Sunday, October 28, 2018

Posted By on Sun, Oct 28, 2018 at 6:09 PM

click to enlarge Antonio Brown hugs a fan on the sidelines prior to kickoff against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field. - CP PHOTO: JARED WICKERHAM
CP Photo: Jared Wickerham
Antonio Brown hugs a fan on the sidelines prior to kickoff against the Cleveland Browns at Heinz Field.
"We need love, not hate. And we need that giant hug..."

Those were the words of Jeff Finkelstein, President/CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh during today's vigil at Soldiers & Sailors in the Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh. He spoke just after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Cleveland Browns 33-18 at Heinz Field.

Sports offer us a healthy, temporary distraction from life during times like these. It’s not for everyone. We all have our own ways of dealing with obstacles in front of us, many of which are emotional in nature for many Pittsburghers right now. It can also be a platform for change like what we’ve seen in recent years with Colin Kaepernick, Eric Reid, and others. But it’s many things for many people. Today, myself and approximately 68,000 people used football to help heal.

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Friday, September 7, 2018

Posted By on Fri, Sep 7, 2018 at 1:24 PM

click to enlarge Antonio Brown (center) with Kennihan employees - PHOTO: KENNIHAN PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING
Photo: Kennihan Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning
Antonio Brown (center) with Kennihan employees
I only watch Animal Planet to learn about treehouses. (I would rather see animals in person than on TV.) And I’m not even super into treehouses, but an upcoming episode of Treehouse Masters piqued my interest.

Tonight, Pittsburghers should join me in my new tree house obsession because a special Pittsburgh guest is featured: Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

Since the premiere of Treehouse Masters in 2013, the scale and quality of the treehouses built by Pete Nelson have upgraded from treehouses to tree-mansions. In recent seasons, especially the current one, the treehouses on the show are nicer than most people’s homes. Brown’s is no exception.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 12:09 PM

click to enlarge JuJu Smith-Schuster bike bobblehead - PHOTO COURTESY OF NATIONAL BOBBLEHEAD HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM
Photo courtesy of National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum
JuJu Smith-Schuster bike bobblehead
In October 2017, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster tweeted out a picture of his beloved bike and informed his followers that it had been stolen. Pittsburgh social media exploded with calls for the thief to return Smith-Schuster’s bike, with the hashtag #TeamFindJujusBike. Fellow Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown even offered free tickets to a Steelers home game in exchange for the bike.

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