The Pittsburgh Steelers well underway with the offseason workouts at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, also referred to as the South Side Facility. We are already into the heart of the offseason, where hope springs eternal following a few months of pretty significant changes, in terms of both departures and arrivals.
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: What are your impressions of the 2019 Steelers as we head into the summer break before training camp?
Teams all over the league have now completed their spring activities and will reconvene next for training camp, whether they do so at their usual training facilities or conduct it at a secondary location. This is usually a period for optimism—as Mike Tomlin said, nobody has really faced much adversity yet—but what do you think of the 2019 Steelers so far through this portion of the offseason?
This has been one of the most adventurous offseasons in recent memory, featuring big losses in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell, big moves in free agency to bring in Steven Nelson, Donte Moncrief, and Mark Barron, and big trades in the draft to go up in the first round to get Devin Bush.
There are still a few questions to be answered, such as who will start at right tackle or who will be the number two wide receiver, but unlike in some position battles in recent years, they appear to have a number of options that may prove to be worthy.
Whether rehearsed or not, many players have also spoken of a change of tone so far this offseason, a shift from the individual to the team, which has been interesting, and hopefully, ultimately good. Even people like Alejandro Villanueva have said it, and he tends to speak his mind or not speak at all.
While the Steelers lost two key players on offense, they gained some key players on defense, so I think many are hoping that the two sides will be more balanced this year. As I’ve mentioned a number of times, in the seven games that they lost or tied in, they relinquished a lead in the fourth quarter in five of them, so defense was definitely the side of the ball that was a bigger concern to address.