The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is underway, and they are hoping for a better outcome in comparison to last season. After starting out 11-0, they finished the year 1-4 in the regular season, and then lost in the Wildcard Round to the Cleveland Browns, ignited by a 0-28 first quarter.
They have lost a large number of key players in the offseason, like Maurkice Pouncey, Bud Dupree, Alejandro Villanueva, David DeCastro, Mike Hilton, and Steven Nelson, but they’ve also made significant additions as the months have gone on, notably Trai Turner, Melvin Ingram, Joe Schobert, and Ahkello Witherspoon. They also added Najee Harris, Pat Freiermuth, Kendrick Green, and Dan Moore Jr., all of whom are starting.
There isn’t much left to do but to play the games at this point. Even if they play them poorly. They still have a lot to figure out, though, such as what Matt Canada’s offense is going to look like in any given week, or how the new-look secondary and offensive line is going to play.
These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.
Question: What happened in the relationship between Melvin Ingram and the Steelers (assuming the reports are true)?
We’ve been hearing for about a week or so now that not all was well between outside linebacker Melvin Ingram and the Steelers. After playing about 70 percent of the team’s defensive snaps through the first five games, he only played about a quarter of the snaps in an overtime win against the Seahawks before the bye.
According to Aditi Kinkhabwala yesterday, Ingram doesn’t want to be in Pittsburgh anymore because he feels that he should be starting, and that he is a better player than Alex Highsmith, who has taken over a full-time starting role opposite T.J. Watt. Basically, he’s not playing as much as he thinks he should and wants to be somewhere that would allow him to play more.
Kinkhabwala also said that she doesn’t believe Ingram was at any point ever misled about the role that he would be playing with the Steelers, which is a pretty important point to make, especially in light of how the situation with James Harrison dissolved in his final season here.
Ingram was on the open market and available all offseason until Pittsburgh signed him shortly before training camp. Anybody could have signed him up to that point (granted, he was recovering from injury), but he chose to sign with Pittsburgh on a one-year, $4 million deal.
And he seemed really happy to be here at first, and seemed like a great team player. Now he’s come down with a mysterious groin injury during the bye that conveniently left him back in Pittsburgh this Sunday, not traveling with the team. So how did we get to this point? And will it lead to a trade today?