Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t want Washington Football Team edge rusher Chase Young or anybody like him on his football team, he told the star rookie on Monday during his team’s game against the second-overall pick and his teammates. At least that is the stupidest possible spin you could have on what he said.
“I don’t ever want to lose enough games to get a guy like you”, is what he actually said to Young. “You know what I mean? And I play against you all the time. Because you’ve got to lose 14-15 games to get a guy that looks like you”.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) December 8, 2020
Young was the consensus top defensive draft prospect coming out of college this year, taken by Washington right after the Cincinnati Bengals selected LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, who showed a lot of promise this season before being lost due to a knee injury.
The Steelers haven’t lost 14-15 games in a long time. A long, long time. You would have to go all the way back to Chuck Noll’s first season as head coach in 1969 to find the last time that Pittsburgh sunk anywhere near to that level—and they used their draft positioning the following year to select Hall of Fame quarterback Terry Bradshaw, who would help them win four Super Bowls.
They would win five games the next year, the lowest they would ever have since 1969, then six, and then run off nine consecutive seasons with winning records. They have only had eight total losing records since then.
But they have still found success in the first round selecting pass rushers. Jarvis Jones in 2013 didn’t exactly work out so well, but they hit the jackpot late in the first round in 2017 by landing T.J. Watt, who may be the frontrunner for the Defensive Player of the Year Award this year after finishing third in 2019.
There was also, of course, Bud Dupree, their 2015 first-round draft pick. While it took him some time to develop, he has been a Pro Bowl-level player for the past two seasons. Sadly, he was lost for the rest of the year due to a torn ACL a week ago today.
It’s hard to lose that many games when you have a franchise quarterback, as the Steelers do in Ben Roethlisberger, but even when they didn’t a year ago, they still managed to win eight games, one way or another.
In other words, they’re not likely to land a Chase Young or a Myles Garrett or a Nick Bosa or a Joey Bosa anytime soon, guys who come in as immediate known commodities. They’ll just have to settle for the Watts and Duprees who are less of a sure thing.