Sometimes it doesn’t matter how good your players are on your team; you don’t always get the result that you’re looking for. In spite of the fact that the Pittsburgh Steelers had a very talented roster at its disposal during the 2017 season, and even posted an impressive 13-3 record during the regular season, an early exit from the postseason utterly chilled any sense of positivity from the campaign.
Still, many Steelers players have found themselves individually recognized for their performances. After all, they have had 10 players named to the Pro Bowl this season, including seven alone from the offensive side of the ball, plus two on defense, and even one from special teams, which doesn’t often happen for them.
The team also had a number of players represented on the All-Pro list published by the Associated Press, which is the one that is formally recognized for considerations such as a bid for the Hall of Fame. But other outlets have their own All-Pro lists, and a trio of Steelers made that one as well.
Sporting News just came out with its own All-Pro list, in fact, and there are three members of the Steelers on it, as the team’s own website noted. Those on the list should not be surprising, either. Antonio Brown at wide receiver is the biggest name represented, but running back Le’Veon Bell and right guard David DeCastro also earned the honor.
All three players were also named to the AP first-team All-Pro list to boot. Bell was the first-team flex position player, and was also the second-team running back. It was his second appearance on the first-team list, as is the case for DeCastro. Brown has been a first-team All-Pro for four consecutive seasons.
Speaking of Brown, he not only made the Sporting News’ All-Pro list, he was also named their Offensive Player of the Year, and this comes in spite of the fact that he missed the majority of the final quarter of the season.
The eighth-year wide receiver caught 101 passes in 14 games for 1533 yards with nine touchdown receptions. He missed the final 10 quarters with a significant calf injury, otherwise his numbers would have been even more impressive.
Brown returned from the injury to participate in the Steelers’ Divisional Round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in the playoffs, and was able to catch seven passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns, but the team’s 42 points were not enough to secure the victory.
Individual awards will never be an adequate replacement for earning team success via a Super Bowl title, but they are going to come regardless of whether or not you want them, so from the players’ perspective, they might as well enjoy it.