Steelers Training Camp Capsule
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (9-6-1)
OPEN CAMP: July 25, Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
LAST YEAR: Pittsburgh let 2 1/2-game lead in AFC North vanish over final month of season to miss playoffs for...
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The same words kept popping up as James Conner, Jaylen Samuels and Benny Snell Jr. talked. Words such as "we" and "us" and "relationships" and "my guys."
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kentucky running back Benny Snell Jr. highlighted a busy final day at the NFL draft for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Pittsburgh selected Snell with their fourth-round pick,...
Steelers hire Faulkner as running backs coach
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Eddie Faulkner is the new running backs coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The team announced Faulkner's hiring on Thursday. Faulkner replaces James Saxon, whose contract was not renewed after the Steelers finished 9-6-1 and missed the playoffs.
Steelers rookie RB Samuels morphs from project to starter
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels spent the months leading up to the 2018 NFL draft answering one question over and over again.
"People were like, 'What position (are you) going to play?'" the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie said. "And I just kept saying 'I'm going to play running back.'"
Steelers ride rookie Samuels past Patriots 17-10
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger didn't want to use the word "crossroads." He did anyway.
His team mired in a three-game losing streak and with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on the other sideline Sunday — a sight that typically signals doom for Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers — the longtime quarterback understood his team's enigmatic season had reached a tipping point.
Steelers activate WR Rogers; RB Conner doubtful vs. Patriots
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Looks like Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner's balky left ankle won't be ready to go against the Patriots.
The AFC North leaders downgraded Conner from questionable to doubtful for Sunday's game against New England. Conner, who is sixth in the NFL with 909 yards rushing, skipped last week's game against Oakland and was limited in practice on Friday. Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley will fill in for Conner if he's unable to go.
Steelers RB Conner questionable against Patriots
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping running back James Conner's sprained left ankle will be ready in time to play on Sunday against New England.
FANTASY PLAYS: Pats-Steelers a strong potential daily stack
The last few weeks of the NFL season can be a wild ride, particularly as playoff races heat up and bad weather becomes a potential factor in the Northeast and Midwest.
The main slate contests on FanDuel and DraftKings feature just one game with a total above 50 points as the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots both try to secure their playoff positioning. For daily fantasy contests this will be a popular game to target and there are a few different ways to approach it.
Steelers turn to Samuels, Ridley with Conner injured
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels doesn't get caught up in roles.
Maybe because the one the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie is asked to fill seems to change by the week.
During his college career at North Carolina State he was a hybrid. Sometimes he'd serve as an H-back. Other times he'd line up at tight end. Occasionally he finds himself in the slot. Only rarely did he break the huddle as the featured running back.
FANTASY PLAYS: Injuries mean good pricing for backup RBs
With so many season-long leagues shifting to their playoffs, lots of fantasy players are turning toward daily game — especially if they're no longer contending for the title.
And key injuries like those to running backs James Conner, Matt Breida and Melvin Gordon have created opportunities in daily fantasy without the downside seen in seasonal leagues.
Here are a few situations that will be pivotal in Week 14:
FANTASY PLAYS: Samuels at TE and RB creates interesting add
Kareem Hunt and James Conner showed the value of fantasy handcuffs this week as fantasy leagues head toward the playoffs.
Hunt's release by the Chiefs after video surfaced of him in a scuffle with a woman at a Cleveland hotel prompted many fantasy players to flock toward Spencer Ware. And on Monday night, an injury to Conner led to Pittsburgh turning to Jaylen Samuels, who caught a late touchdown pass against the Chargers.
Steelers RB James Conner out with sprained left ankle
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers will head to Oakland without running back James Conner.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday that Conner is dealing with a sprained left ankle and will not play when the AFC North leaders take on the last-place Raiders.
FANTASY PLAYS: Week 11 waiver adds with 6 teams on bye
Six teams — including all of the AFC East — are off this week. But besides the Patriots, no other team has essential fantasy starters to replace.
San Francisco's break forces you to fill in for running back Matt Breida and tight end George Kittle. Cleveland's only regular fantasy starters are Nick Chubb and Jarvis Landry. Still, you must deftly navigate the waiver wire for potential playoff contributors, especially with trade deadlines about to pass in most leagues.
Wolfpack, Cavaliers meet in ACC cross-divisional matchup
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State's passing game has been the strength everyone expected in preseason. Now the Wolfpack must find the reliable running production to go with it.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jaylen Samuels smiled at the question. It's not the first time he's been asked where exactly he fits on the football field.
The answer during Samuels' time at North Carolina State depended on when you asked him.
Tight end? Fullback? Tailback? Wide receiver? Safety? At some point, the Pittsburgh Steelers rookie played them all for the Wolfpack.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed rookie running back Jaylen Samuels to a four-year contract.
The team announced the deal Wednesday, less than two weeks after the AFC North champions selected Samuels in the fifth round. Samuels is the first of Pittsburgh's seven 2018 draft picks to sign.
- Tribune-ReviewStevan Ridley's fumble opens door for Jaylen Samuels' first NFL carries for SteelersNovember 18, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewSteelers notebook: Backup running backs get extended looksAugust 23, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewJames Conner groin injury gives chance to 'younger guys' at running backAugust 23, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewSteelers notebook: Mike Hilton doesn't back down from challengeAugust 12, 2018
- Tribune-ReviewPass-blocking remains challenge for Steelers rookie RB Jaylen SamuelsAugust 8, 2018
NC State's 52-31 Sun Bowl victory against Arizona State matched the Pack's talent and its potential to end a season that raised the bar in Raleigh.
"We have records being broken in this game -- the all-time leading receiver here in Jaylen Samuels, we have a 3,000-yard passer in Ryan Finley, a 1,000-yard receiver in Kelvin Harmon and a 1,000-yard rusher in Nyheim Hines," head coach Dave Doeren said after the game.
NC State beat Arizona State 52-31 in the Sun Bowl to finish the season with a 9-4 record (6-2 ACC). The performance is the Wolfpack's first 50-plus point game against a Power-Five opponent in Dave Doeren's five years in Raleigh and the first for the program since beating Maryland 56-41 in 2011.
Hines’ career day leads NC State past UNC, 33-21
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Nyheim Hines recovered from a concussion just in time to give rival North Carolina a headache.
Hines rushed for a career-best 196 yards and two long touchdowns, and North Carolina State beat the Tar Heels 33-21 on Saturday night.
NC State rebounds after 2 tough losses for 17-14 win over BC
BOSTON (AP) — Nyheim Hines was feeling much better on Saturday after injuring his right ankle two weeks ago.
The rest of his teammates are feeling pretty good now, too, with a chance for a memorable conference record.
Hines had a 50-yard scoring run midway through the fourth quarter, and North Carolina State rebounded from two tough losses against high-ranked teams with a 17-14 victory over Boston College.
No. 6 Clemson visits No. 20 NC State in key division game
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State can finally think about Clemson again.
The sixth-ranked Tigers visit the 20th-ranked Wolfpack on Saturday in a game that could all but decide the Atlantic Coast Conference's Atlantic Division race. It'll come more than a year since the Wolfpack squandered a huge road win against the eventual national champions by missing a 33-yard field goal at the end of regulation, which several players said has stayed with them even as played other teams since.
From Ryan Finley to Jaylen Samuels, Clemson defense has hands full at N.C. State
CLEMSON — He has watched the tape and spent all week formulating a game plan. And for Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables, this N.C. State offense his Clemson team faces Saturday seems to have a familiar vibe to it.
In one sense, it reminds him of one of Clemson’s biggest divisional rivals in the past: Florida State.
Wolfpack wins 4th-straight game, 33-25 over Syracuse
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State focused all week on avoiding a letdown after its upset win at then-No. 12 Florida State a week ago.
With failures of the recent past in their minds, the Wolfpack started fast to make sure there would be no such disappointment this year.
Nyheim Hines rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown, Jaylen Samuels and Reggie Gallaspy each ran for a score as well, and N.C. State held off a late rally to beat Syracuse 33-25 on Saturday afternoon.
No. 12 Florida State returns to action hosting NC State
North Carolina State (2-1) at No. 12 Florida State (0-1), Saturday, Noon ET (ABC/ESPN2)
FSU’s James, NC State’s Samuels to showcase versatility
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida State has one of the nation's most versatile defenders in safety Derwin James. On Saturday, James and the Seminoles' defense will go against what many consider the Atlantic Coast Conference's most all-purpose playmaker in North Carolina State's Jaylen Samuels.
The versatility comparisons haven't been lost on James, who said trying to game plan against Samuels is "kind of like going against myself."
Wolfpack quarterback Ryan Finley is on a roll.
One week after knocking off Marshall, Finley was locked in in a 49-16 win over Furman.
Finley finished his day 22-for-27 for 231 yards and a touchdown. Senior Jaylen Samuels had three rushing touchdowns on just five carries for 16 yards, all in the first half.
RALEIGH – For everything that the N.C. State offense has done right over the first two weeks of the season, the one thing it had done wrong was the one most likely to gnaw at a coach who preaches a culture of toughness, reflective of his own roots in the Midwest.
Samuels scores 3 TDs as Wolfpack rolls past Furman, 49-16.
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — With its offensive line back at full strength, North Carolina State flexed its muscle.
Jaylen Samuels rushed for three touchdowns to help the Wolfpack beat Furman 49-16 on Saturday.
Samuels scored on runs of 2, 1 and 1 yards, all in the first half. He added six catches for 75 yards for the Wolfpack (2-1), who rushed for a season-high 242 yards.
Finley throws 3 TDs, NC State beats Marshall 37-20
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State's slow start had nothing to do with losing last week. The Wolfpack's strong finish had everything to do with finding a rhythm.
Ryan Finley threw three touchdown passes and N.C. State beat Marshall 37-20 on Saturday night.
Four factors to watch in the Gamecocks’ season-opener against the Wolfpack at 3 p.m. Saturday at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium:
NC State hopes veterans provide edge against South Carolina
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State coach Dave Doeren spent the offseason touting the Wolfpack's depth and experience. Now his team gets a Saturday opener against a power-conference opponent — South Carolina in Charlotte — in the first test of whether the program is ready to take a leap in his fifth season.
"This is what we've been building," senior Jaylen Samuels said. "This is what everybody has been waiting for."
Wolfpack RBs set to share the load in opener vs. Gamecocks
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State's offense leaned heavily on a single running back last year. Things will look different for Saturday's opener against South Carolina in Charlotte.
The Wolfpack lost top rusher Matt Dayes from last year's team, and now has a depth chart indicating a committee approach with juniors Nyheim Hines and Reggie Gallaspy II, and fifth-year graduate Dakwa Nichols.
After years of building, NC State poised for leap in 2017
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Dave Doeren has spent the past four seasons building up North Carolina State's roster, developing young players into game-ready starters and gradually accumulating experience throughout the depth chart.
The payoff could come this fall.
"We've been playing young against some really talented rosters," Doeren said, "and this year we're not — finally."
Around ACC Kickoff: N.C. State still remembers missed field goal; rule changes for coaches and sideline management
CHARLOTTE — If he could reverse the fortunes of one game only from a season ago, the choice would be a no-brainer, Jaylen Samuels said.
"The game would be Clemson of course," N.C. State's leading receiver said. "We lost by a field goal, but I'm not trying to bring anything back up. That game is in the past now, we're moving forward. I'm looking forward to playing Clemson again this year, my senior season."
NC State beats Vanderbilt 41-17 in Independence Bowl
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — North Carolina State quarterback Ryan Finley has a simple philosophy when it comes to getting do-everything threat Jaylen Samuels involved with the offense.
"Just give him the ball in as many ways as possible," Finley said.
The method of choice on Monday was by air, and Finley found Samuels for three touchdowns passes in North Carolina State's 41-17 win over Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl.
Samuels, Dayes help NC State knock off Tar Heels 28-21
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Another big victory was slipping away from North Carolina State. Because the Wolfpack finally learned how to finish a game, their season isn't finished just yet.
Jaylen Samuels ran for one touchdown and threw for another on a trick play, and N.C. State held on to upset rival North Carolina 28-21 on Friday, earning bowl eligibility while also locking up a division title for Virginia Tech.
NC State's defense played well when its offense didn't and the Wolfpack offense gained steam as the defense lost its force.
The result: a 27-13 loss to Miami on Senior Day, yet another missed opportunity for a win by a team that points to basic mistakes after the clock winds down.
A fourth-quarter drive, that started with NC State trailing 20-10 encompassed the type of frustrating play that has become the marque of the 2016 season.
Finley starts at QB, NC State beats William & Mary 48-14
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Ryan Finley looked at ease as North Carolina State's starting quarterback. Of course, he didn't need to do a lot of heavy lifting with Jaylen Samuels and Matt Dayes repeatedly getting to the end zone.
Samuels and Dayes combined to score five touchdowns to help N.C. State beat William & Mary 48-14 on Thursday night, an easy win to open the season and build confidence with Finley running the Wolfpack's new offense.