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 encourages you about the prospects of the 2018 season?
We’ve got a lot of dead air to fill between now and the start of training camp, but before we get too deep into that abyssal period that awaits us, there is still plenty of time to reflect on where we just came from: that is, OTAs and minicamp.
It was the first taste of ‘football’ that we’ve gotten since the bitterness of the Steelers’ postseason defeat at the hands of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was the first opportunity to start piecing together answers to the questions that that game and others raised about the future of the team.
So the question for today is this: of everything that you learned, or think you learned, from the team’s practices over the course of the past four weeks, what one thing most encourages you about their ability to go further in 2018 than they did a season ago?
That doesn’t have to mean that you actually think they’re a better team or that they will go further into the postseason, but if they were to become better or to do better, for what reason do you believe that would be, based on the past several weeks’ worth of on-field work?
Was is encouraging signs from the rookies? What about growth from a young player like T.J. Watt? Instilled belief that the team can get by without Ryan Shazier better than they showed over the last several games?
What about the comments players have made hinting at how Randy Fichtner will conduct the offense—or his own comments? The other new coaches having an influence on changing the team? Keith Butler’s recognition of the need to tackle much better?
For those with the itchy trigger fingers, don’t worry, we’ll get to the flip side of this question tomorrow. For today, let’s stick to the positives.