The Pittsburgh Steelers are out of Latrobe and back at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the regular season, where everything is magnified and, you know, actually counts. The team is working through the highs and lows and dramas that go through a typical Steelers season.
How are the rookies performing? What about the players that the team signed in free agency? Who is missing time with injuries, and when are they going to be back? What are the coaches saying about what they are going to do this season that might be different from how it was a year ago?
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.
Question: Do the Steelers have a top five roster in terms of depth from top to bottom? If not, top 10?
I happened to notice an article on NFL.com yesterday in which Adam Schein listed the top nine (for some odd reason) rosters in the NFL right now in terms of ‘completeness’, though the understanding of that term being used was a bit vague.
When I see that term, I generally take it to mean something like quality depth with few to no holes. Either way, the Steelers didn’t make Schein’s list, so it got me to thinking: would you agree with that? Looking at the Steelers’ roster, compared to the rest of the league, are they one of the deeper, more complete teams in the NFL?
I certainly think that they made positive progress in terms of depth, and quality depth, this offseason, shoring up some of their weakest positions like inside linebacker and cornerback with the additions of Devin Bush, Mark Barron, Steven Nelson, and Justin Layne, all players who were brought in as priority pieces in free agency or in the early rounds of the draft.
They did take a hit at tight end and wide receiver, on the other hand. While they took steps to patch the hole left by Antonio Brown, it was a big one that can’t be fixed with just one, or even two, replacement parts.
They do have Pro Bowl or equivalent smattered all over the roster, especially on offense, at nearly every position, with a couple of blue chip or blue chip-potential players on defense like Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt. Depth at some positions like outside linebacker and safety have yet to prove themselves with players like Marcus Allen and Olasunkanmi Adeniyi.