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The Andy Weidl Effect on the Pittsburgh Steelers

Over the past two seasons there has been an apparent theme of the Pittsburgh Steelers, physicality. “We’re going to be big, we’re going to be physical, we’re going to be tough. We are gonna break the will of other teams.” Those are the words of assistant general manager Andy Weidl after being hired by the Steelers. Weidl came over from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2023 and brought with him a mentality the Steelers have been missing for a while now. While with the Eagles, Weidl served as the team’s vice president of player personal helping the team build a Super Bowl winning roster.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for the same result with the help of Weidl. Weidl has a formula of how he wants to construct a roster: nasty, physical, aggressive and dominant. While he wants his team to be the “bully on the block” he knows it starts in the trenches. In the two seasons Weidl has been in Pittsburgh, the Steelers have drafted four offensive lineman in the first four rounds: Broderick Jones (1st round), Troy Fautanu (1st round), Zach Fraizer (2nd round) and Mason McCormick (4th round). Also drafted was a 6’ 7”, 265 pound tight end in Darnell Washington who calls himself “the sixth offensive linemen”. Along with drafting four offensive linemen and a massive tight end, he also brought over two free agents: James Daniels, who at the time signed one of the largest free agent contract in Steelers history, the outstanding guard Isaac Seumalo and Nate Herbig, who Weidl is familiar with from his time in Philly.

Looking at this draft class specifically, each player brought in has a nastiness to their game, a characteristic Andy Weidl and the Pittsburgh Steelers are looking for.

“I just feel like you have to play O-Line violently”, “I try to do my best of trying to set the tone and go hit someone in their mouth” – Troy Fautanu

Mason McCormick has been described as one of the nastiest and most underrated players in the entire 2024 NFL Draft class. This type of attitude and characteristic has been echoed throughout the entire draft class and it’s not limited to the offensive linemen.

Sixth round pick, Defensive lineman Logan Lee “…I just loved the Steel Curtain era stuff. I loved watching Mel Blount slam people on their heads and stuff. I was always a big Steelers fan growing up”.

Fourth round pick, Inside Linebacker Payton Wilson, “Growing up watching the Pittsburgh Steelers defense, that is the way I model how I play. Hard, fast, physical and playing as tough as you can play…” Brian Baldinger was quoted as saying “you want to see a hitting party? Go watch Payton Wilson play football. He’s bringing that to the Burgh”

Even wide receiver Roman Wilson, at 5’ 11”, 185 lbs, brings back memories of Hines Ward. Now before Steelers Nation gets riled up, I am not suggesting Wilson will become the next Hines Ward (but I’m not saying he can’t either). He is known to be a very physical player who has no problem blocking and doing the dirty work which will be a vast difference from Dionte Johnson. I also believe Wilson will motivate George Pickens to be the aggressive physical receiver he can be but on a more consistent basis.

Andy Weidl has his finger prints all over the turnover of the Pittsburgh Steelers roster and I’m here for it! These moves excite me and should excite you as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers brand of football we miss looks to be back.

Continue to check out the Steel Curtain Network for all of your Pittsburgh Steelers news and updates.

Stay Blessed and Stay Positive… “Here We Go”


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