JuJu at the Super Bowl: JuJu Smith-Schuster is among current Steelers players in Miami this week as a part of Super Bowl LIV hype, and he shared his take of his role in the Steelers receivers room this year.
"We go to where I am the youngest guy in the room who is technically considered the oldest guy on the field based off years of experience. My leadership role, me being more vocal changed a lot. It was a pretty cool experience. You learn about yourself, your teammates, your guys. The guys we had in that room, we made it work."
Rooney's legacy: The inaugural Dan Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Richard Lapchick at the 15th annual Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Salute to Excellence Awards dinner as a part of Super Bowl LIV week.
Rooney, the late Steelers' chairman, was the inspiration for the Rooney Rule. Rooney was appointed by former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to work with a committee after a report came out in 2002 about the lack of minority coaches in the NFL. Rooney worked diligently with the committee, until what became known as the Rooney Rule was passed. The Fritz Pollard Alliance was founded after the Rooney Rule passed, overseeing that teams abide by the rule. The rule requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for openings in coaching and senior football operations positions. It was recently expanded to require teams to interview women for executive positions as well, and the rule continues to be something that is a point of focus.
The lifetime achievement award honors dedication and meritorious performance to improve the workplace surrounding the game.
Lapchick is a human rights activist who has been widely referred to as "the racial conscience of sport."
Lapchick has been involved with the Racial and Gender Report Card of the NFL and other sports leagues since the 1980s, examining how leagues handle racial and gender diversity and inclusion regarding hiring.
Jim Rooney, the son of Dan Rooney, presented the award to Lapchick.
"Embracing diversity and inclusion is not only the right thing to do but is also a business imperative," said Lapchick. "To be given the Dan Rooney Lifetime Achievement Award by the Fritz Pollard Alliance is a great honor."
International football continues: The NFL won't know the dates or teams for a few more months, but one thing the league does know is there will be international games played in Mexico during the 2020 season, as well as the 2021 season.
"We had a great experience this past November down in Mexico," said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during his yearly Super Bowl press conference. "It was just a great event and we loved being there. We look forward to being back and we are proud to be able to say we're going to be there for two more games over the next two years. Our fan base down there continues to grow and become more passionate. Our partners down there have been extraordinary, and we want to continue that. We want to build on that."
Earlier this month Steelers President Art Rooney II said he was interested in playing a game in Mexico, but no teams have been confirmed at this point.
"We continue to raise our hand and say that we're interested in playing a game in Mexico," said Rooney. "But who knows? "Our first choice would be to play a game in Mexico if we have an international trip."
The Steelers played a preseason game in Mexico City in 2000 and hold a fan football camp in Mexico on a yearly basis because of the strong fan base there.
Losing a legend: Cam Heyward was moved by the passing of Pro Football Hall of Famer Chris Doleman, who lost his battle with brain cancer this week. Doleman played at the University of Pittsburgh, the same school where Heyward's late father, Craig 'Ironhead' Heyward, played.
Girl Dad: The tragic death of Kobe Bryant and his 13-year old daughter Gianna had a lot of people talking about Bryant being the father of four daughters, and the hashtag #GirlDad was born out of it. Several members of the Steelers organization shared their love of being a #GirlDad, including Coach Mike Tomlin, who has two sons and one daughter, and Ryan Switzer, who is expecting his first child, a daughter.