2019 Offseason Questions: Biggest Concern Following Loss To Patriots?

Tomlin Fired

The Pittsburgh Steelers are now in Latrobe at Saint Vincent College, where they have held their training camp sessions since 1966. While the vast majority of the legwork of building the 90-man roster is done, there is always some fine tinkering to do. Now it’s time to figure out who is worthy of a roster spot, and what their role will be.

The team made some bold moves this offseason and in some areas of the roster look quite a bit different than they did a year ago. That would especially be the case at wide receiver and inside linebacker, where they’re bound to have new starters.

How will those position groups sort themselves out? How will the young players advance into their expected roles? Will the new coaches be up to the task? Who is looking good in practice? Who is sitting out due to injury?

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 is your biggest concern about the Steelers following last night’s blowout loss against the New England Patriots?

The Steelers saw so many things go wrong last night, but most of them can be corrected fairly easily. Plays were there to be made, plays that have been made in the past, that simply weren’t last night, both on offense and defense. I’m pretty confident that they’re not going to lose by 30 points every week, at least.

But what are your concerns about this team on a more global scale, problems that will last for a while? One thing that’s clear is that it’s going to take some time for this assortment of skill position players to establish themselves as a group and work as one. One interesting thing to note is that, up until late in the game, the tight ends were a virtual non-factor.

There were a lot of problems defensively, the most concerning being blown coverages. But those can be corrected too, and you have to consider that it was Kameron Kelly starting in prime time in the first game of his career at free safety. On the road, against Tom Brady. That’s not ideal.

The running game was below par. James Conner rushed for 21 yards on 10 carries, and that included a mixture of successes and failures in short yardage. Jaylen Samuels gained just four yards on two  carries. Ben Roethlisberger had a seven-yard scramble.

It’s hard for a lot of people not to overreact to opening weekend. It’s the only thing you have to go on at this point, and you have to wait another week for the next sample. But outliers tend to be more common this early in the year. Things will balance out as they go on.

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