The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.
We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.
You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.
Question: What are your preferences for the Steelers’ schedule, to be revealed later tonight?
We have already known since the season ended whom the Steelers will play and where, but that only tells a part of the story. We learn tonight when the Steelers will play each team on their 2018 schedule, and there are always a few interesting points to be made when they come out.
When will they have their bye week? How many games will they have in primetime? Will they have multiple short weeks? Long stretches at home or on the road? More home or away games late in the season? A tough (on paper) schedule early on, or late? These are the sorts of things we will learn in 15 hours (from the time of publishing).
Last season, the Steelers had their bye week right in the middle of the season, after their first eight games. They have had late bye weeks for the past couple of years now, and honestly that is my preference. They have had bye weeks as early as after three games, and I think that is far too early for a break, though it depends on the circumstances at the time.
Last season’s schedule also broke in such a way that they were on the road early a lot. Three of their first four games were away from Heinz Field and six of their first nine, but then they finished off the year with three out of four games at home, and five out of seven.
As I talked about yesterday, they have spent a lot of time playing football on holidays over the past two years. Gerry Dulac Tweeted yesterday that they put in a request not to play on holidays this year, so we will find out if the league obliged them.
I would be surprised if they are not awarded the maximum of five primetime games. Whenever they are doing reasonably well they tend to get their five, and they are coming off a 13-3 season as one of two teams to advance to the Divisional Round in each of the past three years. Those are the teams you want the eyes on.