Welcome back and happy Friday to you, Steelers’ Nation. The week started slow but picked up yesterday. We found out the team wasn’t heading to Latrobe for camp this summer, they released David DeCastro, and signed Trai Turner. Lot of info to take in for just one day.
Be sure to check out today’s The Terrible Podcast too with special guest Dr. Melanie Friedlander recapping the DeCastro news while getting her predictions on the Steelers’ 2021 season.
But we’re glad you guys have stuck with us and made this this one of the busiest and most successful offseasons we’ve ever had.
As usual, I have five Friday night questions for yinz to answer these next several hours. I look forward to reading the responses in the comments below this post.
Have a great rest of your weekend and once again, thank you for stopping by the site.
Peace and love, peace and love!
1 – On a scale of 1-10, how surprised were you by David DeCastro’s release? One being the least surprised, ten being the most.
2 – Will newly signed Trai Turner be an upgrade over DeCastro? Or will there be a dropoff in play?
3 – What member of the Steelers’ projected offensive line are you most concerned about this season? Assume the starters are: Okorafor, Dotson, Green, Turner, and Banner.
4 – Anthony McFarland’s YPC in 2020 was 3.4. What will it be in 2021?
5 – Will the Steelers return to St. Vincent College in 2022?
Question 1: Dwayne Haskins still must prove himself to Steelers Depot respondents. But early reports starting to catch attention. Quite a few readers do not see Haskins ever playing a game for the Steelers. But some see him starting 18 or more games. The median response was 2-17 games. I want to see how he looks in preseason games since the NFL won’t let us see him in training camp.
Question 2: Everyone picked Cam Sutton and James Pierre to complement cornerback Joe Haden in the defensive secondary. Despite early reports that Sutton would replace Steven Nelson at the right outside corner, all but one person says he will play with the slot with Pierre taking the outside. Intercepting Ben’s pass during a two-minute drill in minicamp certainly helps Pierre’s cause. Let’s see where the Steelers play these two in the preseason.
Question 3: Steelers Depot readers looking for meaningful change in the offensive scheme judging by the varied responses. Here is a sampling of the areas that readers say Matt Canada’s offense will have the biggest influence this year:
- More pre-snap motion
- More play action including from behind center.
- Improved running play success rate
- Better disguised plays to be less predictable.
- Two tight end sets with motion
- Overall deeper passes especially to JuJu Smith-Schuster and Chase Claypool
- Rub routes developing longer after snap.
- Schemes leading to more open receivers decreasing dependency on combat catches.
Most of these will be easy to measure as the season progresses. A lot of the success will depend on the offensive line’s performance to avoid broken plays.
Question 4: Steelers Depot respondents are bullish on Pat Freiermuth. 87% took the over on the rookie tight end catching more than 21 passes. 80% believe Freiermuth scores more than two touchdowns. And 73% say Freiermuth will gain more than 250 receiving yards. Heath Miller set a high standard with 39 receptions for 459 yards and six touchdowns his rookie season. But he was the number one tight end leading a group with Jermane Tuman the only other tight end to catch balls that season. Freiermuth will have Eric Ebron in front him eating up a lot of the targets to their position group.
Question 5: Tackle Dan Moore Jr. will play at least one offensive snap this season according to 87% of respondents. With 17 games plus the last game often not a factor, readers see him getting a few offensive snaps in.
Thanks to everyone who is responding to the Friday Night Five Questions during the offseason. Good to keep your prognostication skills sharp for the upcoming season.