Off the Snap: Steelers eyeing a game in Dublin?
Catching you up on the latest must-read news and analysis from around the web….
• The NFL will continue its London series this season with a pair of games: Pittsburgh vs. Minnesota and San Francisco vs. Jacksonville. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says his team would be up for a return trip across the pond, too — though, next time to Ireland, where Steelers owner Dan Rooney served as the United States’ ambassador.
“Even if guys said they would never want to play in London, 100 percent of the guys on our team would say they would play in Dublin for Mr Rooney,” Roethlisberger told IrishCentral.com “I’d do it for him.
“People always ask me what makes Pittsburgh special, why the tradition, why the history, why the most Lombardis? To me it starts at the top, that’s him, Art his son and his family.”
Depending on how you feel about the NFL expanding the game, this either falls under the “great idea” banner or in the “Don’t give Roger Goodell any ideas” column. It’s little secret that several NFL owners are intrigued by the idea of eventually moving a team to London permanently, and the league continues to increase its presence overseas — this is the first season that two games will be played as part of the London series.
If the Steelers are serious about playing in Dublin, the NFL might be willing to accommodate them with at least a preseason game.
• Michael Bush struggled to make a major impact for the Bears last season, finishing with a career low 411 yards rushing. Possibly part of the problem? Bush says he played last season with a fractured shoulder.
Assuming he is fully healthy again, Bush could work his way back into a role as Matt Forte’s backup and a goal-line/short-yardage threat for the Bears.
• Who will be the Bengals’ No. 2 wide receiver, alongside star No. 1 A.J. Green? That’s a question Cincinnati has been trying to answer for multiple seasons now, with Mohamed Sanu and Marvin Jones again battling to step into a role as Green’s complement.
Nick Mension of Rotoworld took a closer look at both of those players to determine what each did right or wrong last season, and to figure out if either could be ready for a breakthrough 2013.
• We’re still a long way from the 2014 draft, but it appears that draft class will include at least a couple of elite tight end prospects in Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Oregon’s Colt Lyerla. Peter Smith of WithTheFirstPick.com hit last year’s tape on Lyerla to provide an early glimpse at his potential.
The verdict is promising if you’re a fan of a team in need of some TE help.
• Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker scored 13 touchdowns and caught 83 passes last season, his third with Denver after being taken in Round 3 of the 2010 draft. He’ll be a key weapon for Peyton Manning again this season, meaning that Denver eventually will have to pony up for Decker if it hopes to keep him beyond this year.
Decker is set to make just $1.323 million in base salary in 2013, the last year of his four-year rookie deal. Mike Klis of the Denver Post writes that another impressive performance from Decker would land him a “rich, multiyear contract” from the Broncos, who may have to make a similar move after 2014 to keep Demaryius Thomas once his contract expires.