The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.
This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others.
Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor is heading into free agency, as is Trai Turner.
These are the sorts of topics 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 might Stephon Tuitt have told Cameron Heyward (and other teammates and members of the organization) about his intentions of playing in 2022?
Following skeptical comments by the likes of outgoing defensive coordinator Keith Butler and president Art Rooney II about Stephon Tuitt’s future, remarks from members of the Steelers organization have turned toward the positive in the past week.
A few days ago, outgoing general manager Kevin Colbert struck a different tone, saying that he has absolutely expressed an interest in playing football again, and that he wanted to play football last year as well. He added that he is excited to see how Tuitt’s situation plays out, implying an optimism about his return.
More recently, Cameron Heyward, who I’m guessing is Tuitt’s closest friend on the team, has been doing the media rounds at the Combine as well. During a discussion about the defense heading into 2022, he made reference to getting key players back who were missing last year, like Tyson Alualu—and Tuitt.
Heyward and Tuitt surely communicate, probably with more frequency even under these circumstances than Tuitt does with coaches or executives. Most are in a frame of mind of believing when they see, but for me, personally, I find myself optimistic about the recent tone stuck from the organization about their expectations for one of their best players in 2022.
It would certainly be nice to know what others know about his current thoughts. But the truth is, we don’t even know if he knows whether or not he expects to play in 2022 just yet. Wanting to play and actually playing don’t always go hand in hand, and there are other things for him to consider.