Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



Here’s an excerpt from my latest Trib column: 

T.J. Watt was voted the Pittsburgh Steelers’ MVP for the fourth time in five years. Very well deserved. Leads the NFL in sacks. (Still hasn’t won a playoff game.) 

But in today’s high-octane NFL, you won’t accomplish much if a defensive player keeps getting team MVP. More specifically if your quarterback doesn’t. 

So if Mason Rudolph pilots the Steelers to a victory Saturday at Baltimore, a revote should be taken. Rudolph should get Steelers MVP. 

Rudolph will have helped the Steelers more in three starts than anybody else did in 17 games, especially if he plays like he did against Cincinnati and Seattle. (Two terrible defensive units, to be sure. Each could use Watt and then some.) 

That noted, here are my Top 10 Steelers for 2023: 

  1. Rudolph. The real MVP. 
  2. Watt. The other MVP. 
  3. Broderick Jones. The catalyst of the running game’s renaissance. 
  4. Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. A group entry. The stiff-arm twins. Franc0 and Rocky reborn. 
  5. Joey Porter Jr. A legit shutdown cornerback. Finally. 
  6. George Pickens. Better late than never. 
  7. Miles Killebrew. Blocks punts. That’s not easy. 
  8. Alex Highsmith. Far from being Batman, but a decent Robin. 
  9. Patrick Peterson at safety. Again, better late than never. 
  10. Hines Ward. The leader of the wideouts. I figure he should win something. 

My criteria: 

I won’t pick a guard. 

Chris Boswell is only a kicker. (But at least he’s not Pressley Harvin.) 

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cam Heyward were injured and didn’t play enough. 

All the inside linebackers got hurt. 

Damontae Kazee was disqualified because he committed manslaughter. 

Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky share Least Valuable Player. The quarterback was the problem, not the offensive coordinator. 


Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers

Photo: Joe Sargent / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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