Steelers sign QB Mason Rudolph to extension through 2022
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed backup quarterback Mason Rudolph to a one-year contract extension through the 2022 season. The team made the move just moments before the start of the 2021 draft, indicating they will not be shopping for veteran Ben Roethlisberger’s replacement with the 24th overall pick. Rudolph is 5-3 as a starter, completing 176 of 283 passes for 1,765 yards and 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Rudolph was entering the final year of his rookie contract. The extension gives the Steelers a bit of continuity at the position with Roethlisberger perhaps entering the final season of his career.
Steelers turn to Alabama star Harris to jump-start run game
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are turning to Alabama star Najee Harris to give their running game a jolt. The Steelers selected Harris with the 24th overall pick in the NFL draft. They hope he can help a rushing attack that finished dead last in the NFL in yards rushing in 2020. Pittsburgh is looking to maximize whatever time left it has with veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The 39-year-old restructured his contract to ensure he would be back for an 18th season. Harris provided the opportunity to grab a player who could make an immediate impact.
WILLOUGHBY HILLS, Ohio (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Justin Layne has been arrested in Ohio after police say they found a loaded gun in his car during an early morning traffic stop. Willoughby Hills police say Layne was arrested on a fourth-degree felony charge of improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle. Police say they stopped Layne for speeding and conducted a search after smelling marijuana and seeing loose particles scattered throughout the vehicle. That search revealed there was a loaded Glock pistol in the center console. According to the police report, Layne acknowledged the gun was his and said he forgot it was there. A Steelers spokesman says the team is aware of the incident and is still gathering information.
Steelers bring back LB Williams on 1-year deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Vince Williams isn’t going anywhere after all. The Pittsburgh Steelers have re-signed the veteran inside linebacker to a one-year deal. The signing comes a month after the Steelers cut Williams in a cost-cutting measure. Financial terms were not disclosed but the salary comes at a significant discount against what Williams was scheduled to make in 2021 before being released in March.
Man accuses NFL’s Aaron Donald of assault at Pittsburgh club
PITTSBURGH (AP) — A lawyer is telling Pittsburgh police that Los Angeles Rams player Aaron Donald and others assaulted his 26-year-old client at a nightclub last weekend, causing multiple injuries. Attorney Todd Hollis said Wednesday that De’Vincent Spriggs required 16 stitches. Spriggs suffered a broken orbital bone in his head, a broken nose and a sprained or broken arm at a bar around 3 a.m. Sunday. Hollis says a misunderstanding that Spriggs bumped into Donald precipitated the alleged assault. Hollis released a photo that showed Spriggs with facial injuries and swelling. Donald played college football at the University of Pittsburgh. The Rams said they were looking into the matter.
Steelers re-sign WR Ray-Ray McCloud to 1-year deal
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ray-Ray McLoud’s solid season with the Pittsburgh Steelers earned the wide receiver/returner a second stint with the team. The Steelers signed McCloud to a one-year deal to give them some depth at the position with the impending departure of JuJu Smith-Schuster in free agency. McCloud averaged 10.3 yards per punt return and 23.1 yards per kickoff return last season. He also caught 20 passes for 77 yards and ran for 65 yards on four carries.
(Pittsburgh, Pa.) Today marks the 20th Anniversary of the implosion of Three Rivers Stadium on Pittsburgh’s North Shore. Three Rivers was the home of the Pirates, Steelers, and even the Pittsburgh Maulers at one point during its history.
Both the Steelers and Pirates played there from the time the $55 million multi use stadium opened on July 16, 1970 when the Bucs donned a new style uniform to take on the The Reds until its implosion in 2001. The Bucs lost to the Reds 3-2 that day. The stadium’s capacity was 59,000 people.
The Final game ever played at was on Dec 16, 2000 as Steelers Legends Jack Lambert, Franco Harris, Jack Ham, and Mel Blount twirled Terrible Towels as they walked out for the coin toss, which was the only thing to go the Redskin’s way that afternoon.
Coach Bill Cowher started quarterback Kordell Stewart who, combined with Jerome Bettis, steamrolled over the Redskins to a massive 24-3 victory.
The Steelers did not qualify for the play-offs that year.
Thousands of people watched the implosion from Point State Park, Mount Washington and at home on TV.
Colts QB Rivers, 39, retires from NFL after 17 seasons
By MICHAEL MAROT AP Sports Writer
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Longtime NFL quarterback Philip Rivers has decided to retire after playing one season with the Indianapolis Colts. His decision at age 39 comes less than two weeks after the Colts suffered a 27-24 loss at Buffalo in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Rivers spent his first 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers after they acquired him in a draft-day trade that sent Eli Manning to the New York Giants in 2004. Rivers finishes his career ranked among the league’s top five in career completions, career yards passing and career TDs. His 240 consecutive regular-season starts was the second-longest streak since 1970, trailing only Brett Favre. He never played in a Super Bowl.
Steelers part ways with Randy Fichtner, 2 assistants
By WILL GRAVES AP Sports Writer
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are shaking up their coaching staff. The team announced offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and assistants Shaun Sarrett and Tom Bradley will not be back following a first-round playoff loss to Cleveland. Fichtner spent 14 seasons with the Steelers and was promoted to offensive coordinator three years ago. Yet Pittsburgh’s offense struggled down the stretch this season following an 11-0 start. The decision to not retain Fichtner could impact whether quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returns in 2021. Roethlisberger and Fichtner have a close relationship dating back to Fichtner’s stint as quarterbacks coach from 2010-18.
Browns get back 3, not top corner Denzel Ward for Steelers
By TOM WITHERS AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Browns finally caught a needed break when safety Ronnie Harrison, tight end Harrison Bryant and linebacker Malcolm Smith were activated from the COVID-19 list to play in Sunday night’s wild-card game at Pittsburgh. However, the team will not have top cornerback Denzel Ward, who tested positive with the virus last week and isn’t ready to play. The Browns are short-handed for their first playoff game since the 2002 season. Coach Kevin Stefanski and Pro Bowl left guard Joel Bitonio both tested positive this week and can not take part in the game. The Browns have lost 17 straight games at Heinz Field.