Now that the regular season 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 have seen and are seeing over the course of the offseason and the regular season 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 reasoning. 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. Because of this, we can and will see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: ILB Joe Schobert
Stock Value: Down
Reasoning: Although he actually played very slightly more snaps than did either Robert Spillane or Devin Bush, Joe Schobert did not start Sunday’s postseason game against the Kansas City Chiefs, which does not bode well for his future in Pittsburgh.
The Steelers may have thought they were getting a bargain when the Jacksonville Jaguars made former Pro Bowl inside linebacker Joe Schobert available for a late-round pick. While they would have to take on his salary, it was workable, especially given the value they figured they would be getting.
But Schobert’s first season in Pittsburgh proved to be average at best, and there was no real upward trajectory over the course of the year, as you might expect for somebody who was a late addition in the process, only acquired in August during training camp.
While he finished with 112 tackles on the year, they didn’t seem to be particularly impactful as a whole, and there’s a reason safety Minkah Fitzpatrick had to record 124 tackles this year—something you never want to see from your ballhawk in the secondary. When he’s getting those tackles, it means guys upfront are not getting the ones that they should be.
During the regular-season finale and in the postseason game, the Steelers decided to play Robert Spillane a lot more, starting him over Schobert. That tells me they have no intentions of carrying him into the 2022 season.
He has a base salary of nearly $9 million. I think we all can agree that they didn’t get that sort of play out of him this year, even if you try to account for the fact that he had to come in and learn the defense as he was going. Montravius Adams and Ahkello Witherspoon, both of whom were picked up after the Steelers got him, are more likely to be with the team in 2022 than he is.