Steel City wake-up call: morning links
The first reports from across the pond come from the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review where Alan Robinson and Dejan Kovacevic didn’t exactly encounter excitement in London about the return of the NFL to England’s capital city.
I still can’t for the life of me figure out why commissioner Roger Goodell seems so intent on having an NFL franchise in London one day. I think it would be a logistical nightmare -- as does Steelers free safety Ryan Clark who told ESPN’s "NFL Live" on Wednesday that he would retire before playing for a London-based team if he had to make that choice.
Then there is the reality of how rooted futbol is in Europe. Kovacevic illustrates how a major difference between futbol and football is one reason why the latter has never really caught on across the Atlantic Ocean.
The Steelers' players echoed the sentiments of their coach before the team left for London. There are ample sightseeing opportunities in London, but the Steelers won’t take advantage of them since they are focused on coming home with a win.
The Steelers need improved play along the offensive line if they are to beat the Minnesota Vikings and avoid an 0-4 start. In their quest to find the right combination up front the Steelers will continue to rotate Kelvin Beachum at tackle with Marcus Gilbert and Mike Adams.
Adams and Gilbert have each struggled through the first three games, and if they don’t show marked improvement Beachum will see the field more and more. The Steelers don’t have a lot of other options as they try to get better play out of their line, and their hope has to be that some competition will compel Adams and Gilbert to raise their respective games.
Kion Wilson has started the last two games at strongside inside linebacker but rookie Vince Williams is on track to make the position his. The sixth-round draft pick played 75 percent of the defensive snaps, considerably more than Wilson, last Sunday night, and it is worth noting that the Steelers list the two as co-starters on their depth chart.