You probably don’t need a creative set of rankings to know just how bad the Pittsburgh Steelers were on special teams during the 2016 season but in case you do, Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News has you covered.
Gosselin, who annually ranks the league’s 32 teams in 22 different special teams categories and then assigns points according to their standing, has the Steelers ranked 20th overall for the 2016 season with a composite score of 394.5. In case you’re curious, the Steelers ranked 6th overall in 2015 in Gosselin’s rankings with a composite score of 316.5 and 21st overall in 2014 with a composite score of 410. By the way, the lower the score the better.
In a half-hearted defense of Steelers special teams coordinator Danny Smith, his unit lost several top core players throughout the 2016 season for multiple games due to injuries and leading that list of players are linebacker Steven Johnson, safety Shamarko Thomas, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and fullback Roosevelt Nix.
While several Steelers’ fans are hoping that Smith will be jettisoned during the offseason, unless that happens later on this week, it looks like he’ll back in 2017. In fact, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette believes Smith’s job is safe when asked about his future during his most recent online chat.
“I believe so, yes,” Bouchette wrote when asked if Smith will be back for the 2017 season.
Here’s to hoping that the Steelers special team units can find a way to get back into the top-10 in 2017. If that fails to happen, Smith will likely be looking for a new team this same time next year.