by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (3/5/14) The Steelers gave safety Troy Polamalu a two-year contract extension, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Terms were not immediately available.
Jason Worilds signs transition tender
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (3/4/14) Steelers outside linebacker Jason Worilds signed his transition tag and is scheduled to make $9.75 million for the 2014 season, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. The team and Worilds have made progress in negotiating a long-term deal and "that will be the goal of both parties now," La Canfora wrote.
Nose tackle a problem for Steelers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/11/14) The Steelers are looking to upgrade the middle of their defensive line after nose tackle Steve McLendon's performance in 2013, reports ESPN.com. McLendon made his average tackle after a gain of 3.0 yards, worst of any starting nose tackle in a 3-4 defense, according to Football Outsiders.
Pittsburgh gave up 125 rushing yards per game after yielding 95 yards per game in 2012. McLendon is signed through 2015, but most expect the Steelers to take a defensive tackle early in the draft.
Cortez Allen wants to be lockdown corner
by Jamey Eisenberg | Senior Fantasy Writer (2/10/14) Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen would like to become a shadow corner and follow around the opposing team's best receiver, reports the official team website. He would be replacing Ike Taylor in that role if it happens in 2014.
"Of course," Allen said. "I've always liked to challenge myself. I've always wanted that challenge just to see how I match up. And it's always fun to go against talent like that. Ike's done it before me. Hopefully, one day I'll be in that position to be the level of player that he is. It's a day-by-day process. I'm just trying to learn as much as I can from him and the guys around me. Wherever I am in the defense, wherever they see fit, what's best for the team, then that’s where I'll be. I've never been a guy who said, 'I want to play on this side or that side.' We’re both capable of playing either side. And we're both capable of playing anybody we face. It's always us. It's never them."
Jury out on Jarvis Jones
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com (2/5/14) Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones didn't live up to his draft status, tallying one sack and getting benched for poor play. The jury is still out on last year's 17th overall pick, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Jones, expected to start in 2014, finished with 41 tackles and four passes defensed in 14 games.
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You might think the Steelers DST is old and weak and not what they used to be. Technically you'd be right as they finished with worse-than-expected stats in 2012. As the 12th-ranked DST, the unit had 37 sacks but just 10 interceptions with one total touchdown. So despite holding opponents to 19.6 points per game and ranking first against the pass and second against the run, they didn't deliver. Weird, right? The unit remains mostly unchanged save for rookie Jarvis Jones replacing James Harrison and Casey Hampton no longer on the roster. The Jones addition is promising but with five starters playing in their 10th year or more and depth an issue, this unit could make Fantasy owners feel some pain. The AFC North's offenses are getting better and the Steelers defense isn't turning over fast enough, so this might be the year to not overvalue the DST. If you don't get them with a final-round pick, don't shed tears -- it only means someone else reached for them. (Updated 5/15/13)