Sal Pal praises Big Ben, picks Steelers

The NFL Scouting Combine is not just about teams learning about prospects, but it's also an opportunity for media to learn about them, and get some insight into what is happening in the NFL as well.

Coaches and general managers are all on hand at the Combine, and while they talk formally at the podium during the first two days of the Combine, it's the informal interaction people like ESPN's Sal Paolantonio value even more.

"I like it because you get the chance to interact casually with all of the people in the know in the league," said Paolantonio, who is attending his third Combine and is a part of ESPN's nightly coverage.

Paolantonio was among the media making their rounds on Friday, sharing their take on everything from the Combine, to the Draft and weighing in on individual teams, like he did talking about the Steelers with SNR.

"I always like the Steelers," said Paolantonio. "This is the Tiffany operation in the NFL. I have a lot of respect for the organization, for (Mike) Tomlin, for (Ben) Roethlisberger. I have a lot of respect for Big Ben. I am around Merril Hoge all of the time so I learn about the Steelers whether I want to or not.

"I always think they are the class of the league. They will always be competitive in the division as long as you have the organization. It's become an owner's league. You have a strong ownership group that wants to do the right thing, wants to develop players the right way. You have a coach who players believe in, players will follow, players will listen to and players have respect for. You have a quarterback of the same category. If you have those three things, you always are going to be competitive, highly competitive.

"It doesn't matter who comes and goes with the Steelers organization. They figure out who to bring in and help them out and get them to the next level."  

Paolantonio has high hopes for the Steelers in 2016, picking them to win the division.  

"I think the Steelers will win the division," he said. "(Joe) Flacco is coming back from an injury. The Browns, who knows what is going on with them. The Bengals will be tough, but I always like the Steelers."

The 2016 Steelers Fan Blitz presented by Xfinity will be held at Heinz Field on Saturday, April 30. For ticket information and details click on Steelers Fan Blitz.

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