BOSTON (CBS) – It’s not your typical classroom. They’re not your typical teachers. It’s where you go after failing all year. It’s Gresh & Zo’s NFL Summer School on 98.5 The Sports Hub!
Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak’s summer school tour rolls on and travels to the Steel City, where the guys educate us all and preview the 2014 season for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Steelers brought in LeGarrette Blount from the Patriots during the offseason, but said goodbye to wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (Denver) and Jerricho Cotchery (Carolina) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (Oakland). Lance Moore is a new addition to the Black & Yellow as well.
Former Titans head coach Mike Munchak will be in charge of shoring up the Steelers offensive line, who through injuries and poor play got Ben Roethlisberger sacked 42 times — seventh most in the league in 2013.
Zolak: “The first thing I look at is the subtractions at the wide receiver position. We’ve seen it over the years: Mike Wallace, Plaxico Burress, Santonio Holmes — these were players that were go-to guys to Ben Roethlisberger that got money elsewhere. Ben is going to miss [Sanders] even though Antonio Brown is a very good player. You look at the guys they’ve brought in the past few years in Le’Veon Bell and ‘Where’s The Beef?’ LeGarrette Blount, it seems like the Steelers are going back to that old style football where you got two backs that compliment each other. Pound the run, play action and if the tight end Heath Miller is healthy, Roethlisberger can make some plays there.”
Gresh: “They’re turning over the roster. They lost more than they gained.”
Today’s debate is around Dick LeBeau’s 3-4 defense. Is the 3-4 defense still effective?
Gresh Arguing For: “One word: pressure. At the end of the day the 3-4 is about pressure and getting it from different angles that aren’t traditional. It’s not necessarily defensive lineman putting pressure on the quarterback. There are more athletes coming out of college football now more than ever as opposed to position-specific guys. This defense allows you to take some of those guys, implement them in different ways and take advantage of what skills they do have.”
Zolak Arguing Against: “LeBeau is an aging defensive coordinator. Hall of Fame guy. I respect him immensely and what he’s done for the game of football. But I’ve got two words: Charlie Weis. Charlie Weis exposed this team and this package. He killed them with the slot receivers. He figured it out and how you attack this 3-4, old school-type defense. You cannot combat a spread formation with base defense. The game has changed and that hurts Dick LeBeau and that team.”
Will Le’Veon Bell be an elite fantasy running back?
Gresh: “I think Le’Veon Bell this year rushes between 1,250 – 1,400 yards and he gets you 12 touchdowns. So yes. He’ll be limited to 20-25 touches but he can carry the mail. I think Le’Veon Bell is a high-end, first string running back for your fantasy team.”
Zolak: “I don’t think he gets 1,000 yards. I can see him around 800, 850 with 6 or 7 touchdowns because they’re going to use LeGarrette too.”
Is Antonio Brown a top 10 fantasy wide receiver?
Gresh: “I wouldn’t go that far. But he’s top 20. He’s the no. 1 receiver on his team with a good quarterback so probably a top 20 guy. He won’t put up top 10 numbers.”
Last year the Steelers finished 8-8. Year before that? 8-8. Vegas over/under on the Steelers is 8.5 wins. Where do they finish and do they make the playoffs?
Zolak: “Hit me. If they go 8-8 again they’ll burn that city down. I’m serious. They’ll get 9 wins but I’m going to say they don’t get in the playoffs.”
Gresh: “I’m going under and they are not making the playoffs.”