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Saints seek to survive the Steelers in Week 16 We’ll continue a series of opponent preview posts for the New Orleans Saints opponents in 2018. Our last preview of the series is the last of our AFC opponents: the Pittsburgh Steelers. Our friends over at Behind the Steel Curtain took some time to give us Saints fans the scoop on the home of the Killer Bees.Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsWeek 16: vs the Pittsburgh SteelersNotable free agent additions:ILB Jon Bostic / S Morgan BurnettOver/Under:10.5 wins OVER -- The Steelers play in an improving Youth Sheldon Rankins Jersey , but far from accomplished AFC North. Combine that with still one of the most talented offensive rosters in all of football, the Steelers should at least be able to cover 11 wins in the 2018 regular season.Most exciting rookie:The rookie I am most excited about, and also because I feel he will have the biggest impact when it comes to playing time, is second round pick out of Oklahoma State, WR James Washington. Washington was one of the premiere deep threat receivers in college football while at Oklahoma State, and this will be the same role the Steelers ask him to fill with Martavis Bryant gone. Washington could round out a terrific receiving corps with Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith-Schuster.Position battle to keep an eye on:This is debatable, but I am excited about how the team deploys their safeties this season. Sean Davis is the only safety returning from last year, and with the addition of Morgan Burnett in free agency and Terrell Edmunds and Marcus Allen in the NFL Draft -- things could get interesting. I fully expect Burnett and Davis to be side-by-side when Week 1 rolls around, but I foresee roles for both Edmunds and Allen within the defense. Biggest storyline heading into training camp:Major media outlets will say Le’Veon Bell’s likely absence, but the development and maturation of rookie quarterback Mason Rudolph is what I will have my eye on. Ben Roethlisberger is supplanted as the franchise quarterback until he hangs it up, but Rudolph has impressed every coach, trainer and player since he walked into the Pittsburgh International Airport. Will Rudolph show he is the future? Or will he be nothing more than a competent backup? Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp:James Conner’s development will be a storyline to keep tabs on Sheldon Rankins Jersey Stitched , while it won’t be drawing huge headlines. Bell won’t be in camp, as expected when he didn’t get a good enough contract offer, and Conner is coming off a very lukewarm rookie season. During his rookie year Conner was injured during training camp and ended early with a knee injury. He is back with a healthy knee, a year of experience and the knowledge of what it takes to be an NFL running back. He will have a golden opportunity to prove he could be the next ‘guy’ for the Steelers in the backfield when Bell departs after 2018.Notable injuries heading into training camp:None...Knock on wood.***The Saints have a tough matchup with the Steelers sandwiched between their two games against the rival Carolina Panthers. It’s likely this game will have major playoff implications in Week 16.So what says you, you unbiased Saints fans? Can the Saints win an important game on the way to closing out the season? Vote in the poll. Explain in the comments. And make sure you also check out DraftDividends.com, a website for a new book I’m writing currently titled Draft Picks and Dividends: A Fantasy Football Player’s Guide to Understanding the Stock Market. Patrick Mahomes was barely 5 years old when Tom Brady completed his first NFL pass in 2000.Now Mahomes, whose undefeated Kansas City Chiefs play at New England on Sunday night, is the talk of the NFL in just his second season."That's the future of the league, so it's always great to see young players come in and learn from the guys in the past," the 41-year-old Brady said Friday. "Just like I did when I was young. I had a lot of guys that I looked up to, got to play against Brett Favre and some other really great players."Mahomes has thrown 14 touchdown passes and just two interceptions to go with a quarterback rating of 112.7. His team is second in the league with 35 points a game.Speaking on a conference call this week, Mahomes said he watched Brady a lot in college at Texas Tech."My coach in college was Kliff Kingsbury Youth Vonn Bell Jersey , and he actually was a backup for Brady at one point," he said. "And so he showed me things that he liked with Tom and his pocket movements and stuff he did within the pocket that I've tried to put in my game a little bit."He's someone that's had a ton of success in this league and is someone that you do take stuff from."Brady has seen all this before from other young quarterbacks — Mahomes being the latest after Deshaun Watson last season."I think quarterbacks always pay attention to other quarterbacks," Brady said. "You're just watching the way they're moving the ball. There's a lot of different ways to lead your team and move the ball down the field and score points."So if you can learn things from other players you're always trying to and if your offense is hot, you're scoring a lot of points, I think everyone is trying to learn from what they're doing. They're just executing really well and I think that's what we need to take from them."Brady understands that his defense clearly has more reason to take greater interest in Mahomes than he does."I look at it as a team that's 5-0," he said. "They're very talented and they've been playing very well all season and that's how I see it."He added: "This one's going to go down to the wire. They're good in all three phases, they score a lot of points, they rush it well, they've got a lot of skill players, they've got a lot of playmakers on defense. So we're going to be tested in all areas."Brady is hitting 69 percent of his passes with 12 touchdowns and an uncharacteristic six interceptions — the last two off the hands of his receivers — for a 96.1 rating. He said he reached out to Drew Brees after the New Orleans quarterback overtook Peyton Manning on the all-time passing yardage list.Brady, who goes for his record 200th regular-season win Sunday night, and Brees are both chasing league passing records. Asked if he and Brees are competitive over the numbers Vonn Bell Jersey Stitched , he said, "Not really . mildly competitive guys."We played against each other in college. We beat him — my senior year (Brady at Michigan, Brees at Purdue), which was good. He's had a great career. I think so highly of him and everything he's accomplished. He's a great player, a great leader, played on two different teams, been so productive," he said."It's great when you see that happen. It's a very competitive league, and to be around competing is really a privilege to still be able to do it. I feel that way myself. I'm sure he does, too." Custom Minnesota Vikings Jerseys
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