Steelers love taking gamers out of Inexperienced Bay Packers’ yard
The Steelers love their native merchandise, however additionally they have a wierd affinity for taking gamers out of a sure Midwest college.
The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t love the Wisconsin Badgers as a lot because the Philadelphia Eagles love their Georgia Bulldogs, however then once more, nobody may beat the Philly Dawgs.
Pittsburgh dipped its toe into Wisconsin’s class of proficient defenders this previous draft, taking two key Badgers on the defensive aspect of the ball.
First, the Steelers chosen defensive lineman Keeanu Benton within the second spherical with the forty ninth total decide; then, within the fourth spherical, the group took linebacker Nick Herbig at 132nd total. With these new rookies, the Steelers now have six complete Badgers on the roster, 5 of that are defensive gamers.
Probably the most well-known Badger that Pittsburgh has drafted in current historical past is, after all, T.J. Watt.
Watt was really seen attending Herbig’s Badgers professional day and serving to the younger linebacker get a head begin on his transition to the NFL. At the back of his thoughts, Watt possible knew there was an inexpensive risk they’d be teammates subsequent yr, and as luck would have it, they’re.
Herbig, together with a number of different Steelers picks, was hailed as a savvy match by pundits and analysts, and he ought to slide proper in to a protection studded with former Wisconsin gamers.
Pittsburgh Steelers and Wisconsin Badgers have a longtime connection
Why do the Steelers like drafting out of Wisconsin, anyway? They prefer it nearly as a lot as they like pairing siblings collectively (Pittsburgh additionally signed Herbig’s older brother as a free agent offensive lineman after the draft).
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin gave a brief rundown of what makes Badgers defenders so particular:
“Typically a spot like Wisconsin is a stylistic match. I’ve all the time had quite a lot of respect for Jim Leonhard, their former defensive coordinator. They do quite a lot of comparable issues that we do. It makes it a straightforward analysis. There may be much less hypothesis by way of what they may be capable of do in our system.”
Together with Tomlin’s not-so-secret admiration for Jim Leonhard, the Steelers assistant GM, Andy Weidl, can also issue into the long-established hyperlink between the 2 groups.
Former Badgers particular groups coach Chris Haering apparently coached Weidl’s brothers means again in highschool, and the 2 at present share an in depth relationship.
Each Haering and Leonhard are now not teaching at Wisconsin, which may weaken the intertwined roots between the Steelers and Badgers in future drafts. Will the franchise return to counting on its native farm system then? Wait till subsequent April to seek out out.