Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: WR Quadree Henderson
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Additions to his position and likely not a priority in the return game.
There really isn’t a lot to talk about in this column with no OTAs or minicamp happening, is there? To be honest, I might have to put it on ice for a bit while nothing is going on, before I start trying to talk about guys we’ve never seen and have hardly ever even heard of, like Leo Lewis or James Pierre or Anthony Coyle, all of whom, yes, are real players on the roster.
Sadly, by now we would probably already know about some of these guys. They would have given some interviews during OTAs, and we would have heard about what they looked like from Tunch Ilkin and Craig Wolfley, and perhaps a veteran or two would have given them a namedrop.
Unfortunately, none of that is going on, and we’re not at all privy to what is happening during these virtual meetings. How can you measure John Houston’s progress as a rookie off-ball linebacker out of USC if all he’s doing is listening to his coaches and studying his playbook, and we hear nothing about it?
Sorry for the rant, but it’s an inevitable byproduct of the circumstances. Even bloggers are feeling the pressure of the coronavirus, since it has eaten away at what we have to talk about.
As for Henderson, let’s be honest, not much has happened this offseason that would suggest that his chances of making the team have gotten any better. Sure, back in March, they released Johnny Holton, but then they drafted Chase Claypool in the second round, who is guaranteed to have a roster spot.
Not only did they draft Claypool, but they also picked up Saeed Blacknail from the XFL, and they already retained Amara Darboh and Anthony Johnson, who were also on the practice squad with him.
To top it all, there may not even be many preseason games for Henderson to show that he can be a dynamic kick returner. Maybe they just throw Anthony McFarland that job. JuJu Smith-Schuster didn’t return any kicks in the 2017 preseason before they gave him the job. Or maybe Ryan Switzer is still there.