2021 Offseason Questions: Will Steelers Be Able To Hold Camp In Latrobe?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

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: Will the Steelers be allowed to hold training camp in Latrobe this year?

The Steelers were unable to hold training camp at Saint Vincent College last year for the first time in something like half a century, and then only because it was mandated by the NFL that all teams would not travel to an off-site location as part of a league-wide Covid-19 prevention measure.

Pittsburgh had every intention of making the trip, even issuing a statement about it early on, until the NFL came in and said that nobody’s going anywhere. Instead, they held training camp inside of Heinz Field, which seemed to work well enough—of course, there’s no reason that it shouldn’t.

Something like two thirds of all NFL teams had already shifted their training camp locations to their own local facilities already, so the Steelers were in the minority. Over the course of the past half a year or so, there has been talk from the NFLPA about pushing to eliminate off-site locations for training camp as well, and it would be reasonable to believe that the league would be fine with that as well.

That could be something that happens down the road, but until something is announced, it’s irrelevant. What is relevant this year is how the ongoing pandemic affects the NFL. It’s already by and large scrapped the Combine, and it’s not unreasonable to wonder if there will continue to be restrictions of some kind by the end of July and into August.

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