Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
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. 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 season as we move forward.
Player: QB Dwayne Haskins
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan was the latest to speak positively about quarterback Dwayne Haskins, the former first-round pick signed to a Reserve/Future contract in January as he enters his third season.
May and June is the time for positive (for some teams, magical) thinking. It’s the time of year when everybody’s plan is possible and every player is capable of reaching their potential. In other words, all the positive stuff that you hear about players (and really, the negative stuff, too), it’s best to take it with a grain of salt.
That said, it’s still worth communicating where we stand as we continue on in this offseason journey. And the Steelers are in a particularly interesting position as they stand at the precipice of a quarterback transition, trying to figure out whether the next arm is already on the roster or not.
They have, conceivably, two options in Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins (you can add Joshua Dobbs in there as well, based on your preferences). Haskins was the pedigree, a former first-round pick who, for numerous reasons, didn’t pan out with his drafted team.
Can the Steelers change things up? Quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan did talk about some things that they are working on, particularly with respect to his lower body. He praised the quarterback’s velocity, and said that, for the most part, he’s learned over the years that it’s best not to tweak the upper body for somebody who’s been throwing a football all his life.
Throwing the ball is really as much about the full bodily process than just the release of the ball, though. Footwork, hip movement, all of it plays a role in placing the ball where you want it to be, or in other words, accuracy.
Sullivan also noted that Haskins has been focused and disciplined, which is frankly something that his former teammates and coaches have had not choice but to acknowledge was lacking in Washington.
What’s also interesting is that he said he didn’t look into Haskins’ background in Washington and why things didn’t work out there, or really even dig into the tape. This is a true clean slate with fresh eyes. Maybe that will be of benefit to the former Buckeye.