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: Should the Steelers be calling up Jake McGee?
You know, I was going to keep going and write up a piece about who the greatest specialists in team history were. Then I realized that almost nobody was going to care. For the record, right now I would probably say that Shaun Suisham was the greatest specialist in Steelers history.
Instead, with training camp fast approaching and all of the offensive and defensive positions already in the books, I figured I would turn to something more relevant. One of the positions where the Steelers are the thinnest heading to Latrobe is at tight end.
So why not give Jake McGee a call? He suffered an Achilles injury in May of last year and spent the 2018 season on the Reserve/Injured List, but they did not bring him back. However, his name recently showed up as one of the tryouts for an XFL Summer Showcase, so that means that he’s at least healthy enough to get back on the football field.
McGee was originally signed by the Steelers as a first-year player in training camp of 2017 after rookie undrafted free agent Scott Orndoff suffered an injury and was waived. McGee played in a few preseason games and performed well, earning special mention post-game from Mike Tomlin multiple times.
He would go on to spend that year on the practice squad, and there was minor optimism about him heading into the 2018 season leading up to his injury, which of course crushed that enthusiasm in a hurry.
If he is healthy enough to be around, however, what could it hurt to bring him in now? With Jesse James gone, the Steelers are thing at tight end with Xavier Grimble set to move into the number two role and rookie Zach Gentry looking to be the number three. The team has already attempted at least once to claim a veteran off of waivers, so it’s not a position they’re fixed in.