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Insider Only Kings of the North? Steelers developing an identity, back in conversation

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What We Learned: Steelers – Bengals

1. Cincinnati Bengals (4-2)
2. Baltimore Ravens (4-2)
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2-1)
4. Cleveland Browns (2-3-1)

What a way for the Steelers to go into their bye week.

Antonio Brown’s 31 yard touchdown catch with 10 seconds left delivered a 28-21 come from behind win over the Cincinnati Bengals.

Cincinnati was oh so close from going to 5-1 while the Steelers were on the cusp of falling to 2-3-1 after six games.

What we learned from the Steelers in this win is the team starting to develop an identity in winning from the trenches.

James Conner was balling again with 111 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the Steelers offensive line starred in the running game and protecting Big Ben who was not sacked.

Randy Fichtner showed a lot of rookie mistakes in the early goings but he’s starting to find the right mesh for this offense.

After the Ravens game, Fichtner was adamant that James Conner being non-factor in weeks 3-4 was all on his playcalling and has been determined to get Conner more involved and the Steelers are reaping the benefits because when this O-line is on like it’s been the last two games, it’s one of the best in the league.

Now in the short-term, does Le’Veon Bell mess up all this momentum Conner has going?

While Bell told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler a few weeks ago he plans to report this week (Gerry Dulac of PG reported Sunday evening the Steelers have yet to hear from Bell), there are core players in that room who don’t want Bell back. It starts with the quarterback and that says something when Roethlisberger is at the age he is where winning another Super Bowl is the only goal.

Roethlisberger threw some clear shad at Bell after the Bengals game.

“He was a bowling ball today,” he was all over the place,” Roethlisberger said of Conner.

Then Roethlisberger said with a straight face……”I know it’s his last game for us because Le’Veon’s coming back, but I thought he did well in his last one”.

This was Ben clearly saying Conner is our guy and I don’t give a damn about Le’Veon.

Conner’s success has also showed why you don’t give a running back even as good as Bell $15-$16 million a season, let alone $10 million a season. Who you have at quarterback is what matters and there are always James Conner, Rashard Mendenhall types out there.


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About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at