The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books. 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.
Since then, they have lost several players in free agency who were key members of the offense and defense. Multiple starters retired, as well. They made few notable additions in free agency, and are banking on contributions on offense from their rookies, as well as perhaps a last ride for Ben Roethlisberger.
The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions. Right now, they lack answers. They know that they have Roethlisberger for one more year, but was that even the right decision? How successful can Najee Harris be behind a questionable offensive line? What kind of changes can Matt Canada and Adrian Klemm bring to the offense? And how can the defense retain the status quo with the losses of Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and Mike Hilton?
These are the sorts of questions we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football is a year-round pastime and there are always questions to ask, though there is rarely a concrete answer. This is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all of their uncertainty.
Question: Where does Isaiah Buggs stand entering his third season?
There was some doubt as to whether or not Isaiah Buggs, a sixth-round pick in 2019, would make the 53-man roster as a rookie. He successfully accomplished that, and even showed some potential on the small handfuls of snaps that he was able to get.
There was some optimism surrounding him and his potential for the future entering this past season. Now many seem to be under the impression that he is outside the bubble right now. After all, he did spend much of the second half of last season as a healthy scratch. Not only have the Steelers returned all of their defensive linemen from last season, they also drafted one in the fifth round (trading a future fourth for the right to do so).
That’s seven linemen who were on the roster together, at the same time, a year ago, and then you add Isaiahh Loudermilk to the mix. What we can say for sure is that this should be a competitive and motivated group. But what can we say specifically about Buggs after his disappointing sophomore year?
Personally speaking, I still believe that he has the talent to play in this league. I also think he will be motivated and hungry after coming out on the losing end of a position battle with then-rookie Carlos Davis. Is there room for both Davis and Buggs? How secure are Loudermilk and Chris Wormley in roster spots? Wormley would have $600,000 in dead money if cut, according to Over the Cap.