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 was the one thing that you learned from spring practices that most concerns you about the prospects of the 2018 season?
The Steelers are off for the next several weeks after concluding minicamp on Thursday, and we will not hear from them again until late July when they begin to report to Saint Vincent College in Latrobe for training camp.
But they have left us with plenty to consider over the course of the dead time between now and then, from free agency, the draft, and the last month or so of on-field work, including OTAs and minicamp. While none of those sessions were open to the public, we were able to learn a decent amount of information all the same.
So what did you take away from the past few weeks that you are finding most concerning when it comes to the Steelers’ ability to get further than they did last season? What did you see or hear, or not see or hear, that makes you believe the Steelers will come short of their goals in 2018?
I’m sure the popular answer will be about the inside linebacker position. The team didn’t sign a priority free agent, nor did they even draft anybody at the position, but they did sign Jon Bostic. Yet Bostic hasn’t been given the opportunity to even take reps with the first-team unit yet behind Tyler Matakevich. Does the idea of Matakevich being given an earnest opportunity to compete for the starting job (whether he earns the job or not) concern you?
Are you worried about the depth at wide receiver or running back? How about the backup tackle position, given that they always end up starting at least a couple of games?
Defensively, the Steelers are counting a lot on Bud Dupree, who apparently missed time during minicamp with a shoulder injury. There really isn’t much proven depth behind him, either. There are multiple young starters in the secondary in need of taking ‘the next step’ as well, and we haven’t gotten many indications of that happening. Meanwhile, we don’t know where Sean Davis will be playing yet.