Welcome back to your weekly edition of the Steelers Mailbag. Our 300th one. So thanks to everyone for hanging out with us over the years. Like the 299 times before, we’re here for the next hour to answer anything and everything on your mind.
To your questions!
BurghInPhilly: Hi Alex, thanks again for your great work covering the camp and in general. Based on your observations, where is this team better and where is it worse than last year’s? Net-net, is it a better team than the 2020 squad?
Alex: Whew, good question. All that matters is Week One so it’s hard to gauge it right now. Certainly running back and hopefully run game will be better. TE is stronger overall. The d-line is a bit stronger overall as their young guys have developed. ILB is stronger with Bush’s return + Schobert. But we’ll see how it all looks together.
How you feeling about the secondary. On paper it look fine, but the depth is terrifying to me. Which position which you upgrade first, corner or safety? And I guess which player do you feel best about taking over for Hilton?
Alex: For sure, there’s concern there. All offseason we’ve talked about the two X Factor areas with this team are the offensive line and sub-package secondary. I’d get a safety. I’m cool with Sutton in the slot, Pierre at RCB. The team seems really gung-ho about finding a Mike Hilton clone so they may target a slot guy and maybe someone with some FS versatility (as those guys often do).
Sutton seems to be the obvious, and sort of the only, choice right now. I’d take him at slot and Pierre at RCB over Maulet in the slot and Sutton at RCB.