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: Will Dan Moore Jr. perform well enough to remain in the starting lineup after Zach Banner returns?
While the coaches and players were beating around the bush even as of yesterday, the Steelers placing Zach Banner on the Reserve/Injured List basically let the cat out of the bag that they’re going to have to start Dan Moore Jr. in the season opener. If they were planning on starting Joe Haeg, he would already be working there, and Moore has consistently been the top backup throughout training camp.
Still, the question does rest on the assumption that Moore is going to start, but let’s just take that as a given for now. The question then becomes, for how long will he start? If he plays well enough, will he keep his starting job?
I think that’s a fair question to ask, given last year’s situation with Kevin Dotson at the end of the season. Almost everybody felt that he should have been given the opportunity to start in the postseason, but the coaches decided to go back to Matt Feiler, so maybe we shouldn’t assume this is the move the coaches would make.
Of course, Zach Banner is the wild card. Is he even going to be ready in three weeks? That’s a very legitimate question at this point.