The 2016 season is unfortunately over, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are now embarking upon their latest offseason journey, heading back to the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, formerly known and still referred to as the ‘South Side’ facility of Heinz Field. While the postseason is now behind us, there is plenty left to discuss.
And there are plenty of questions left unanswered as well. The offseason is just really the beginning phase of the answer-seeking process, which is lasts all the way through the Super Bowl for teams fortunate enough to reach that far.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring the developments in the offseason as they develop, and beyond, looking for the answers as we look to evaluate the makeup of the Steelers as they try to navigate their way back to the Super Bowl, after reaching the AFC Championship game last season for the first time in more than half a decade.
Question: Which area of the roster is currently the most in need of developing chemistry?
The game of football is one of the more intricate and complex competitive team sports there is, or ever has been, and requires a great deal of interpersonal coordination in order to ensure that a play goes as it should, among other purposes.
The ability to work in sync with others is often given to the term ‘chemistry’, and it is a critical, yet overlooked, component of football. The process of building chemistry is year-round, and involves components both on and off the practice field.
But with a mind toward on-field chemistry in particular, today’s pondering is about which area of the team’s roster is most in need of an improvement in chemistry. I do think that one area that we can eliminate right off the bat would be the offensive line, a group that to a man has been working together for two years already, and four of the five for at least four years.
Other areas of the team have not had the same amount of time investment put into working together, in large part due simply to the fact that they involve a lot of young players who have not had the opportunity to develop that level of rapport with the peers with whom they have to work on the field.
On grouping to give consideration to is the wide receivers with the quarterback, as outside of Antonio Brown I don’t know that there is a lot to speak of right now. With Martavis Bryant having missed a season, JuJu Smith-Schuster being a rookie, and Sammie Coates getting used to playing with his damaged hand again—not to mention the critical importance of the wide receivers this year—it would be a logical target.
I suspect, however, that the majority consensus will be with the secondary as a whole, which will feature a pair of second-year starters, and potentially even a rookie. But Vince Williams and Ryan Shazier haven’t spent much time together, and there is the rest of the front seven to consider as well. Even the tight ends are still growing in terms of coordinating their blocks and developing a rapport with the quarterback position.