The Pittsburgh Steelers probably had about a 3-13 offense last season. But they had a 13-3 defense, and that all worked out to an 8-8 record in 2019. There is reason to believe that the defense should be about as good this year as it was a year ago. But there is even more reason to believe that the offense will be much better, and yes, it starts under centerr.
Bucky Brooks and Daniel Jeremiah recently weighed in on the Steelers, and the fact that they are not being talked about a lot this offseason, as though they are flying under the radar. As Jeremiah said, “I would just advise everybody, do not sleep on the Pittsburgh Steelers”.
Brooks first emphasized the Steelers’ marked improvements on defense, and how in just a short amount of time they have accumulated a number of players who can make a difference in a game all on their own. Two of them were first-team All-Pros, and one could be in the near future.
The Pittsburgh Steelers can win the Super Bowl. They have all the ingredients to be a team that is there at the end. Mike Tomlin did his best coaching job of his career last year, and it started with the defense. They have some young, hungry defensive players that could make it happen. T.J. Watt was a contender for the Defensive Player of the Year, being a menace off the edge. Devin Bush was a guy who was a tackling machine right away. And then bringing over Minkah Fitzpatrick to really solidify their safety position, gives them a playmaker at every level. The Pittsburgh Steelers are primed and ready to make a title run this season.
On the flip side, Jeremiah’s focus was on just how much better the offense should be as a complement to that defense, with the Steelers having ranked near the bottom in virtually every meaningful statistical category a year ago, saying that they don’t even need the Ben Roethlisberger of old to be a lot better.
This is an 8-8 football team who finished last year 30th in total offense, who finished 31st in passing. They finished last in red-zone offense. Even if you’re not getting the best version of Ben Roethlisberger, you’re gonna get some version of Ben Roethlisberger, which is gonna put them at least in the middle of those categories. JuJu Smith-Schuster’s numbers are gonna go way up. Hopefully they can keep James Conner healthy, who can run behind that good offensive line. And you’re gonna see this offensive production tick up. I just think it’s fascinating what the Steelers, having got so much attention as one of the most talented rosters in the NFL for the last decade, nobody’s talking about this team.
I don’t know if the skeptics out there are going to call me a homer for this, but I wholeheartedly agree with the premise that, as long as the Steelers are healthy, they are very much a Super Bowl contender. The last time they had a solid defense, they went 13-3, but well apart due to injuries at the end of the season.
That was 2017, the year of Ryan Shazier’s devastating spinal injury, and the defense wasn’t the same without him after that. Cameron Heyward and Javon Hargrave were also playing through injuries at the end of the year, and the Jaguars’ offensive line shoved them around as a result, while Tuitt was playing with only one arm.
Friendly reminder to the rest of the NFL- Don’t forget about the Steelers. pic.twitter.com/ondh5FEh9P
— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) May 21, 2020